Summer Holidays: the best things to do with kids

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Summer holidays in Manchester and the North are here! Eeek…school’s out for six heady weeks of adventuring. Indoor, outdoor, free, ticketed…whatever you fancy. Look no further for your ultimate guide for cultural things to do together to make long-lasting memories (and also achieve precious hours of relative sanity during the hols). Here is our first lot of summer holidays highlights but we’ll be updating this each week so keep checking back.

To make that budget go further, take a look at our round-up of the best free things to do with kids in Manchester. Also, don’t miss our guides to parks, our top picks of adventure activities happening across the North, and our families guide for other longer-term capers.

Our top picks

Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You at the Science and Industry Museum

Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You at Science and Industry Museum, Manchester, Until 2 June 2024, from £9.00 - Book now

Dive into the digestive system and enjoy some seriously stinky science at the Science and Industry Museum’s brand-new exhibition.

Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You
Science and Industry Museum

Treetop Trek Heaton Park

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.

Treetop Adventure Manchester
Treetop Trek


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.

Courtesy of BeWILDerwood

Mayfield Park

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!

Mayfield Partnership

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.

Little Moreton Hall

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.

Courtesy of Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary

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!

Three children with an instructor on the slope at Chill Factore
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Festival-goers at Green Island
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