Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Debbie Cowley, Families Editor

Our top picks this February bring you the best family things to do across Manchester and the north. We know this is the toughest stretch of winter so take it easy and treat you and your family to some quality family time together exploring the places and things you love. Our top picks include science, art, music, theatre, crafts and even insects!

The fabulous Young Explorers programme returns to the Royal Northern College of Music. Designed to engage young children in classical music, this latest event invites you to take a trip through the musical art gallery that is Pictures at an Exhibition. 

Over at Z-arts they open their smash-hit show of the year this month, The Tiger that Came to Tea and Mog the Forgetful Cat. Children can get up close to some of Judith Kerr’s famous characters. We’ve also selected The Little Prince at Z-arts, which is a magical, timeless story, on stage this February half term.

For the young scientists in your life the Science and Industry Museum and Jodrell Bank have got a packed programme of fun activities ready to entertain and inspire throughout half term.

Heads up for March; Zog is coming to Oldham Coliseum! Join Zog at Madam Dragon’s school to learn all the things that dragons need to know…

Lots to look forward to and we’ll make sure you hear about it all. Read on for more details.

Check out our free things to do in Manchester guides for more ideas.

Here are our picks

More in Families

Exhibitions Until 1 March 2020, FREE

In A League Of Their Own at Castleford Museum

Rugby League is born and bred in West Yorkshire. From its beginnings in Huddersfield in 1895 to the Super League superstars of today, celebrate over 120 years of blood, sweat and tears.

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields
Exhibitions Until 20 July 2020, FREE

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields

‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.

Young girl playing with a tea set at Toddler Tuesdays
Families Until 30 June 2020, FREE

Toddler Tuesdays at Castleford Museum

These lively mornings of crafts and singing are fun, creative sessions for toddlers.

Little Lambs Toddler Sessions at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Childrens Until 12 May 2020, from £3

Little Lambs Toddler Sessions at The Piece Hall, Halifax

Visit The Piece Hall in Halifax for a series of People Play inspired early years mornings complete with songs, stories and a craft activity.

Alice Irwin: People Play Trail at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Activity 28 February–1 June 2020, from £1

Alice Irwin: People Play Trail at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Drop into The Piece Hall Welcome Centre and collect a sculpture trail map that will take you on a sketching and symbol spotting journey.

An performer doing acrobatics on a box
Families 29 February 2020 11:30 am, from £7.50

BOX at Waterside Arts

Featuring impressive acrobatics and a mysterious box of tricks, BOX offers a humorous and uplifting tale about sibling connection and compassion.

Alice Irwin: People Play Party at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Exhibitions 29 February 2020 3:00 pm, FREE

Alice Irwin: People Play Party at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Head to The Piece Hall in Halifax to celebrate the launch of People Play – a new sculpture commission and exhibition by artist Alice Irwin.

Education 6–15 March 2020, FREE

British Science Week at Various Venues

Join the ten day celebration of all things innovative and check out the scientific happenings in Manchester and the North.

young girl playing with material in a mindful makers session
Families 12 March 2020 10:30 am, from £7.00

Mindful Makers at The Hepworth Wakefield

Mindful Makers is a fun morning of children’s yoga including movement, meditation and mindful art activities inspired by artwork in the galleries.

Culture Guides

Cinema

We advise booking early this month as cinemas fill up with brand new award winners and offbeat classics.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Poet and performer Kate Tempest.

Literature

From Helen Fielding to Hilary Mantel, the literati hard-hitters are in town as Manchester Literature Festival and UNESCO City of Literature turn up the gas.

Music

Lost in the middle distance between Christmas and spring, this funny old time of year has a saving grace: So. Many. Gigs.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Stage adaptations of cult film classics, award-winning verbatim performance and charming slapstick. You’ll find all this and more in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.