Little Moreton Hall
Image courtesy of Little Moreton Hall/ National Trust

Summer Holidays: the best things to do with kids

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Summer Holidays in Manchester and the North are nearly here! Come July, school will be out for six heady weeks of adventuring. Indoor, outdoor, free, ticketed…whatever you fancy. Look no further for your ultimate guide for cultural and just outright fun things to do together to make long-lasting memories (and also achieve precious hours of relative sanity during the hols).

Now the big holiday still a little way off, and we’ll be adding plenty of events here in the meantime, but here are a bunch of ideas to help you get that planning off the ground, including adventure activities and lots of outdoorsy fun.

Giddy kippers can run off some energy and enjoy adventures of the highest order at Quarry Bank, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Little Moreton Hall. There are also Victorian pastimes, games and a family garden trail happening at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House throughout the summer.

And to make that budget go further these summer holidays, take a look also at our round up of the best free things to do with kids in Manchester. Also don’t miss our guides to parks and our families guide for other longer-term capers.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Treetop Trek Heaton Park

    Treetop Adventure Manchester
    Treetop Trek

    Treetop Trek Heaton Park, Heaton Park St Margaret's Road, Manchester, M25 2GT - Visit now

    Both kids and adults are welcome to test their bravery in the canopies of Heaton Park. Unleash your inner Indiana Jones on the 14 zip lines and 20 aerial challenges set above the beautiful parkland.

  • 2. BeWILDerwood

    Courtesy of BeWILDerwood

    BeWILDerwood, Bickley Moss, Whitchurch, Cheshire, SY13 4JF - Visit now

    Designed to provide a day of adventures for children, BeWILDerwood in Cheshire combines fun, forest activities with the world of BeWILDerwood itself, based on the books by Tom Blofeld.

  • 3. Mayfield Park

    Mayfield Partnership

    Mayfield Park, Mayfield Park, Manchester, M1 2PY - Visit now

    A big draw of Mayfield Park is its massive 1400 square foot children’s playground. Its unique design is formed around six dramatic towers reaching 10-metres high and shaped like chimneys in a nod to the area’s industrial heritage. For kids, though, the first thing to catch the eye will be the enclosed 18m-long slide that crosses the newly-restored River Medlock!

  • 4. Little Moreton Hall

    Little Moreton Hall

    Little Moreton Hall, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 4SD - Visit now

    With its beautifully charming and quirky style, Little Moreton Hall offers an iconic Tudor manor house, moat, manicured knot garden and plenty of fun activities for everyone.

  • 5. Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary

    Courtesy of Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary

    Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Turbary Woods, 92 Chain House Lane, Whitestake, Preston, Lancashire, PR4 4LB - Visit now

    Kids will love the thrill of having a bird of prey swoop to land on their arm. With over 90 birds of prey resident here, Turbay Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary offers the chance to do just this.

  • 6. Chill Factore

    Three children with an instructor on the slope at Chill Factore

    Chill Factore, 7 Trafford Way, Manchester, M41 7JA - Visit now

    The winner of Manchester Tourism’s ‘Access for All’ Award and home to the UK’s largest indoor ski slope, Chill Factore is a welcoming environment where you can get your pulse up as you speed down real snow slopes. A great option for those inevitable wet days!

  • 7. Festa Italiana at Cathedral Gardens

    Festa Italiana
    Festa Italia

    Festa Italiana, 25–27 August 2023, free entry - Find Out More

    Festa Italiana Manchester is the country’s biggest festival designed to celebrate Italian food, drink and culture. Transforming Manchester city centre’s Cathedral Gardens into Little Italy once again from the 26th to 28th August.

  • 8. Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, Yorkshire, WF4 4LG - Visit now

    Explore Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s award-winning 500 acres in all weather with additional family events like Outdoor Sculpture Building, Family Summer Walks and the Family Studio Space.

  • 9. Quarry Bank

    Quarry Bank Mill / National Trust

    Quarry Bank, Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 4HP - Visit now

    Avoid those cries of boredom. Hotfoot it to Quarry Bank for family nature trails, bushcraft sessions and more. A jam-packed day-out inspired by the great outdoors.