Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Shekina Rose, Families Editor

As the nights get colder, the days get shorter and live entertainment returns to normal, Manchester and the surrounding areas are brimming with events and activities for children of all ages. Here’s our round-up of some of the best family activities and fun days out taking place across the region in the coming weeks.

Interested in science? Head to the Science and Industry Museum and discover all there is to know about the body, the textile industry in Manchester and many more fascinating facts.

Get creative and build new, colourful worlds with your pre-schooler. Come along to the interactive Little Play Squad Sessions at Legoland Discovery Centre, designed for parents and their little ones.

This October half-term it’s time return to the age of the dinosaurs. The Teach Rex crew and their roarsome dinosaur friends are on their way to Manchester, for the awe-inspiring, interactive Teach Rex puppet show.

And Halloween is creeping just around the corner. Climb aboard the hair-raisingly spooky Halloween Ghost Train this October and join ghastly ghouls and terrifying monsters, wicked witches and chilling zombies, and a whole host of creepy yet wonderful delights to spook the entire family. You can head to the Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park Farm, where you can pick your perfect pumpkin and visit Tatton’s medieval hall to take part in a creepy quest! And the much loved (and feared) Halloween In The City is back to haunt Manchester over the Halloween weekend, with a petrifying programme of Halloween-themed events taking place across Manchester city centre.

Here’s one for the football fanatics and a rainy weekend in Manchester. Prepare for a day of football discovery, penalty shoot-outs, interactive play and much, much more, with family activities at the National Football Museum.

 

Here are our picks

More in Families

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank is a perfect way to keep children (and their adults) busy while learning from home.

British Textile Biennial 2021 – across Pennine Lancashire
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021, FREE

British Textile Biennial 2021 – across Pennine Lancashire

British Textiles Biennial 2021 has an impressive list of headliners, including Maxine Peake, Lubaina Himid and fashion designer Patrick Grant.

Exhibitions Until 30 October 2021, FREE

Lightpool Festival

Taking place during Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display, Lightpool is a celebration of spectacular art works and live, illuminated performance across the iconic town.

Electric Gamebox at the arndale
Childrens Until 22 October 2022, from £5.00

Electric Gamebox at The Arndale

Get ready for an immersive, digital, gaming adventure at the Arndale Centre in Manchester.

tim burton showroom
Childrens 25–31 October 2021, from £4.50

Strange and Unusual: A Tim Burton Half Term Double Bill at Showroom Cinema

Join Showroom this half term break for a spooky double bill of Tim Burton films in the run up to Halloween.

Halloween at the Old Hall: The Lost Crystal at Tatton Park
Families 26–31 October 2021, from £18.00

Halloween at the Old Hall: The Lost Crystal at Tatton Park

Looking for a family-friendly Halloween adventure? Join Rusticus Arts for a magical quest around Tatton Park’s Medieval Old Hall.

cherry blossom
Activity 26 October 2021 10:30 am, FREE

Cherry Blossom Paper Craft

An online, interactive workshop, led by artist Lydia Meiying, where you will learn to create exquisite paper cherry blossoms. In China, cherry blossom signifies new beginnings and the remarkable beauty of nature.

Winter Droving Penrith
Families 28–30 October 2021, FREE

The Winter Droving in Penrith

An incredible wonderland of outdoor arts, masquerade and pint carrying competitions in Penrith.

Families 12 November–23 December 2021, from £5

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

Adventure around nine new magical, illuminated worlds after dark including an Ice Kingdom and meet Father Christmas.

Culture Guides

Titane

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Black History Month, spooky screenings and the return of film festivals all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Exhibitions

Fear not as we head into the darkness of winter; a brand-new arrival to Manchester’s festival scene is filling the city with light.

Brandon Taylor

Literature

Events for readers meet events for writers, with plenty of book launches, open mics, literature festivals, writing conferences and poetry showcases to pop into your diary for the rest of October and onwards into November, both online and in person.

Baxter Dury

Music

We’re now well into gig season and it’s proving to be a special one, with artists and audiences giving it their all. From atmospheric electronica to taut post-punk, there’s a whole lot to dig into in our new music guide.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Black History Month, contemporary theatre commissions and captivating dance shows feature in this month’s eclectic theatre guide.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Edinburgh Castle

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

A guide to Food and Drink in Manchester and the North, including plenty of new bars and restaurants and exciting new menus from old favourites.

Tours and Activities

Resist the urge to hibernate this autumn; our latest selection of tours and activities will have you out and about, making the most of what’s on offer in Manchester and the North.

Things to do right now

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Childrens Until 31 October 2021, from £4

The Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

Exhibitions Until 30 October 2021, FREE

Lightpool Festival

Electric Gamebox at the arndale
Childrens Until 22 October 2022, from £5.00

Electric Gamebox at The Arndale

Little Play Squad Sessions at Legoland
Education Until 17 December 2021, from £15

Little Play Squad at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

doodle den at people's history museum, young girl using thick marker pen to drawer on a glass panel
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Doodle Den: Playful Protests Online