Bottle, bottlewarmer, food, nappies, nappy cream, nappy bags, toys, change of clothes… got everything? Schlepping a baby, a buggy and all the accompanying gear around the city centre can sometimes feel like mounting an expedition into the rainforests of Borneo; add another child and the chaos multiplies by a factor of ten. But barring a few blips (who decided Oxford Road station didn’t need a lift? ), the city of Manchester is a baby-friendly zone. And most harried Mancunian parents have their safe houses: the places they know they can go where the sight of a pram in full regalia won’t be greeted with hostile stares. Our guide of things to do with babies in Manchester.
If you want more things to do with the kids, check out our regularly updated families guide which picks out the best cultural adventures for families in Manchester and the North.
Here are our picks
Teacup Kitchen, 55 Thomas Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1NA - Visit now
If you’re out and about with a baby in the not-traditionally-baby-friendly Northern Quarter, Teacup on Thomas Street is a spacious cafe with plenty of room for prams round the table, highchairs, and a changing table in the bathroom. They serve kid-friendly fare as well as stuff that mums and dads will appreciate. Be aware that it gets busy at lunchtime, so it’s always good to have a backup plan.
Home Sweet Home, Manchester, 49-51 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HW - Visit now
Just around the corner, Home Sweet Home has a cracking kids menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ve always found the customers and staff extremely tolerant of our occasionally intolerable screaming bundles of joy!
Manchester Arndale, Market Street , Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3AQ - Visit now
The Ardndale is a bit of a godsend for families. While it is a mega shopping centre (and can thus be a little soulless), it also has mega up-to-date facilities for parents: separate baby changing and feeding rooms, parent and child stalls in the women’s rooms, and parent and child toilets. If you’re on your own with a pram, attendants will open an accessible toilet for you. On site cafes such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee (in Waterstone’s) and Cafe Nero, are handy places for a feed and all come with highchairs as standard. Watch out for (very) long lift queues at busy times, though.
National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3BG - Visit now
The Football Museum has been designed for families of all ages but its Discovery Zone and Baby Moves sessions are aimed specifically at the under-5s. The entire building is pram friendly and there’s changing facilities too.
Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4FP - Visit now
It’s worth having a look around all the museums in Manchester, but along with the National Football Museum, MSI feels especially family-friendly. There’s monthly activity sessions, soft play and quiet zone.
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now
Home to Art Baby, Music Baby and Welly Walks, it’s safe to say that the Whitworth wear their family-friendly heart of their sleeve. The Whitworth is an especially peaceful escape from the city but most art galleries in Manchester are perfect for running the buggy around.
There isn’t masses of green space in the city centre, though Castlefield is good for open space and a bit of green, while All Saint’s park (part of the MMU campus and just off Oxford Road) is a welcome retreat from the nearby thundering buses; a place to catch your breath if need be. Here are some of our preferred parks and gardens.
If all else fails, head to Chorlton. Once the house party centre of South Manchester, now very much the home of yummy mummies and daddies, with most bars jam-packed with babies at the weekends.