Interested in visiting Manchester with your kids?
There is a lot more to Manchester than just football.
If you scratch a bit under the surface you will discover amazing places to visit suitable for families with young children.
In this article we will highlight the exact Manchester attractions that kids will love.
We have summed up the city’s most popular places to visit and dug out a few hidden gems that guarantee super fun for kids.
Here is our list of 27 fun things to do in Manchester with kids.
1. Explore Manchester by Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Get to know Manchesters on the sightseeing hop on hop off bus and take your kids to multiple places if you can’t decide where to go.
Discover why this city is home to music, sports and art.
There are 15 key stops along the route, and the whole drive takes about 90 minutes.
It will take you from Manchesters iconic attractions all the way to old industrial areas.
You can decide where to hop off and explore and where to pass by.
English commentary will be available, or you can download an app in several other languages.
It is also possible to board the bus at any stop on route.
2. Spend an Afternoon on a Walking Tour of the City
Exploring Manchester with a guide will give you plenty of insights and offer kids a fun way to learn more about the city.
You can choose from free to paid tours.
There are many options for downloading tours on your smartphone if you don’t like groups.
Most of Manchester’s attractions are located in the city centre, so it’s an easy walk from one stop to another.
There are many walking tours available.
Some are specially designed for younger tourists, some for older and for locals.
A typical Manchester walking tour is a fun 2 hour experience.
3. Tour Manchester United Museum and Stadium at Old Trafford
No football fan will want to miss this one.
A great chance to find out why Manchester is a football city.
Old Trafford stadium is one of Manchester’s iconic locations and a temple of English football.
Take a behind the scene look at players dressing room, tunnel, players dugout and other exclusive areas.
Sit your kids in managers and player’s seats.
There is a live English guided tour, or headphones in different languages.
After completing the tour you get a personal certificate as a memory.
4. Ride a Steam Train on the Historic East Lancashire Railway
This 12 mile long, recently restored railway will take you through beautiful countryside of northwest England.
This iconic steam engine train drives through pictures small villages and historic towns of Irwell Valley.
The route has 6 stops between towns of Rawtenstall and Heywood.
This heritage railway line offers an insight of what it was like to travel by train in Victorian England.
Go behind the scenes and let kids explore the steam engine or sit in the locomotor’s seat.
It’s an ideal opportunity for families with young kids to explore the countryside as well.
The easiest way to get there is by tram from Manchester’s Victoria Station and it takes half an hour to get to Bury.
5. Explore Tatton Park by Segway
Tatton is a 2,000 acres deer park and woodland in Knutsford, just south of Manchester city.
There is an 18th century mansion and gardens, historic working farm, and an adventure playground for kids.
An easy way to explore Tatton Park is through a Segway tour.
On arrival, training starts in parkland.
Once you master driving the segway, you continue into Woodland Rally track.
You can then enjoy a scenic ride around the park for 60 minutes, before receiving a complementary certificate to show that you’ve mastered a segway!
6. Discover the Stockport Air Raid Shelters
Stockpot Air Raid Shelters are a mile long system of tunnels in Stockpot, six miles south of Manchester.
These tunnels could house up to 6,500 people, during the war.
Kids can learn about what was life like in wartime Britain during 1940’s.
There are displays and audio guides giving a realistic experience.
Hear the stories and experiences from local people who have been through the war.
You can choose from several tours – self guided, explorer, children and private tour.
7. Walk down the Famous Coronation Street
Set of the popular 1960’s British soap opera, Coronation Street is now opened for public visits.
It is located in Manchester’s MediaCityUk.
Coronation Street tour is an enjoyable 1 hour learning experience as kids can learn about this popular show.
It will take you through the Coronation street, Rosamund street and the newly extended Victoria street.
An experienced guide highlights to visitors a few filming secrets, and shares stories of the show’s favourite characters.
Months of planning and building have created a fantastic new retail area with Costa Coffee, the Co-op, urban garden and Weatherfield North tram stop.
Coronation Street tours are available between 9 am and 6 pm on selected weekend.
8. Join the CBBC Tour at Media City
CBBC interactive tour is a great new fun tour designed for kids by MediaCityUK.
Suitable for all kids from 4-12 years old.
This interactive tour brings classics like Blue Peter and Horrible Histories.
There is an interactive and educational tour that goes behind the scenes.
The tours last for about 90 minutes and there are plenty of photo opportunities.
Kids can go in front of a camera, present the news or weather forecast, and learn what it likes to be a real host on TV!
9. Dine in Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe is centrally located, within walking distance of Manchester Arena.
It is a great American dining experience for kids since it has a fun lively vibe.
There are a variety of choices from flavory salads to burgers.
Hard Rock Cafe is very popular in Manchester so book a table on time as there is a waiting list.
There is a special offer of VIP Rock Star Menu with a guaranteed reservation.
You can finish your dinner by visiting their Rock Shop for a memorabilia.
10. Sign up for a Chocolate Making Workshop
Kids will love learning about the secrets of chocolate making from master chocolatiers.
This is a two hour workshop by R&M ideal for chocolate lovers.
During the class, listen to the story of chocolate.
Try the original Indian drink that started the whole chocolate frenzy.
Kids can learn about the history and the production process of the chocolate.
Try different techniques of creating chocolate lollies and truffles.
In the end, you get to take your sweet creations to eat yourself or share with family and friend.
11. Go on a Self-Guided Treasure Hunt Adventure
The Wizard’s Spellbook Treasure Trail is a super fun adventure for the whole family.
This self guided treasure hunt takes you around Manchester city.
It is ideal for families with children.
This 1.5 mile loop trail will take approximately 2 fun hours to complete.
If you get stuck, you will get a text message with clues.
This trail is dog friendly as well, so it might be fun to bring your 4 legged companion on a mission.
12. Have Fun at Crystal Maze LIVE Experience
Crystal Maze is a series of mental and physical challenges designed to promote teamwork, but in a fun way.
Kids will love the Maze as it will test their skills in mystery solving, and and provides an interactive challenge.
There are 4 adventure zones to choose from – Medieval, Industrial, Aztec and Futuristic.
The more challenges you complete, the better rewards you receive.
Entire experience lasts for about 75 minutes.
Crystal Maze is recommended to children age 13 and above with at least one person being adult.
13. Skydive Indoors in iFLY
iFly Manchester is a premier indoor skydiving facility, with a state of the art vertical wind tunnel.
It is located in the heart of Trafford city.
Kids can experience what it feels like to skydive 4.3 meters in the air, under professional supervision.
Relax and float in the air without having to jump from a plane.
No previous experience is needed as you will be instructed by a professional.
By the end of the session, you may even be able to do back flips mid-air!
14. Slide Away in InflataNation
iNflataNation is Manchester’s top inflatable theme park perfect for kids with lots of energy.
Located in Trafford Park, iNflataNation is open all year round except Christmas day.
Booking in advance is highly recommended as they are very busy.
There are many different activities to choose from, like small contests and challenges.
It is possible to organise kids parties as well, or private sessions.
They also have a “Inflata Totts class” designed specifically for the youngest bouncers.
On top of this, InflataNation has specialised programs for children with disabilities and behavioral difficulties like autism.
15. Ski or Snowboard in Chill Factore
Chill Factor is the UK’s largest indoor ski slope that opened in 2007.
It is located only 4 miles from the center of Manchester city.
Kids can ski and snowboard or enjoy a variety of other fun activities like wall climbing.
Two ski lifts drive to the top of 180 meters long main slope.
Besides the main slope, there is also a beginners slope and instructors are available for renting.
There are several bars and restaurants available as well as shops.
Shopping area in the authentic Alpine street offers top outdoor clothing brands.
16. Play Mini Golf in Paradise Island
Paradise Island Adventure Mini Golf is an indoor mini golf arena located in Trafford centre.
Spread over 16,500 square feet area, it has two amazing 8-hole courses spanning over 2 levels.
The mini golf arena was designed to mimic a tropical island and is decorated with statues of wildlife and stone carvings.
Kids can choose from 2 different courses – Tiki Hut Trail and Temple Ruin Adventure.
This is a perfect day of fun for families.
You can also organise events like children’s birthday parties or other celebrations.
17. Jump til you Drop in AirVault Trampoline Park
AirVault Trampoline Park was Manchester’s first inflatable trampoline park.
You can choose between slides, obstacle course, ninja run wall, climbing wall, foam pit and trampolines.
It is an activity suitable for all visitors.
Energetic kids can play and roam around til their heart’s content, while adults can still join in and improve their fitness by joining in the fun activities.
Try popular activities like airfit, free jump, foam pit, dodgeball, basketball or air tots.
Booking in advance is necessary if you don’t want to be left disappointed.
18. Take on High Rope Challenges in Go Ape Rivington
Go Ape is one of the UK’s top adventure forest park companies.
There is one located south of Manchester, in Rivington area, on the shores of a beautiful lake.
They encourage kids to enjoy a more adventurous lifestyle.
There are many activities available like treetop challenge, nets adventure, forest segway, zip trekking adventure and many more.
You can also organise group visits or children’s parties.
Go Ape often organises various team events for the kids like Halloween.
19. Spend a Fun-Filled Day in Haigh Woodland Park
Haigh Woodland Park is one of the best places to enjoy nature for locals in Manchester.
It is the perfect place for a weekend picnic.
Kids can enjoy the playground, obstacles and golf courses nearby.
Haigh High Ropes offer lots of aerial adventure suitable for the whole family.
From mini zip wire to rope bridge and all sorts of climbing frames, Haigh Park is a favourite for the energetic kids.
Miles of walking trails are also available if you just want to take your family for a walk.
There is a brewery, chocolaterie, bakery, and ice cream parlour are on site if you’re looking for snacks.
20. Unwind in Chorlton Water Park
Chorlton Water Park is a natural reserve in the Chorlton area of Greater Manchester.
Set around a central lake with woodlands and meadows, it’s total size is about 170 acres, plenty of space for kids to run around.
Some of the popular activities in the park are fishing, dinghy sailing, canoeing and windsurfing.
Nearby, Kenworthy Woods has popular walking trails where you can see over 20 species of community orchards.
The park amenities include a small playground for kids, picnic benches, accessible paths and a car park.
It is opened every day from 7 am to 6 pm.
21. Feed Animals in Lancaster Park and Animal Farm
Lancaster Park and Animal farm is your ideal fun day for kids as you’re surrounded by animals.
Kids get to feed and pet the animals at the farm.
It is a family owned business located in Oldham near Manchester.
Some of the popular activities are Rooster Rally, Pirate shootout, petting barn, feeding animals, and tortoise bathing.
You can also enjoy a nice walk along the beautiful valley of river Irk and meet swans, donkeys, ducks, or turkeys.
There is a picnic area with a playground for kids.
Lancaster park often has special events, so check their official site before planning your visit.
22. Meet Wonderful Marine Creatures in SEA LIFE
Let your kids know about endangered creatures of Earth’s oceans in Sea Life Manchester.
See the 3D projection of sea turtle’s life cycle, from egg to sea.
Explore the mini caves from up close with your little ones and observe weird creatures living inside.
Discover the abundant sea life of the tropical corals.
Take your kids inside the incredible ocean tunnel and observe sharks swimming above your head.
Sea Life is dedicated to conservation and preservation of oceans and his inhabitants, which is presented trough various live shows and demonstrations.
23. Visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
Legoland Discovery Center Manchester is the ultimate lego indoor playground which kids will love.
They will learn the building tips from master Model Builder.
On display, are Manchester’s top attractions in lego.
One of the more popular sections is the Lego City Ninja Adventure which is an awesome 3 story play area.
Want to try some virtual reality?
Then buckle up and enjoy the ride at The Great Lego Race.
There are more fun activities like Kingdom Quest, Merlin’s Apprentice, Space Mission, and 4D cinema.
If you take your kids to Legoland in Manchester, you’re guaranteed a fun day out.
24. See Marvels in the Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry is a great place for kids to learn about Industrial revolution and how it shaped the world.
What better place to learn about industry development than its capital – Manchester.
Objects and Stories has a section showcasing 250 years of discovery and innovation which mostly began in Manchester.
Your kids will especially enjoy the interactive shows, workshops and learning activities.
Learn about railway development, automobiles, textile industry and how modern computing began.
There is a restaurant and bar available as well as a gift shop for memorabilia.
25. Learn Local History in the Manchester Museum
Manchester Museum is the UK’s leading university museum opened seven days a week and its completely free!
Kids will love the dinosaur skeletons and life size models.
Take a chance at holding the various historical artefacts and discover the stories behind them.
Participate in interactive shows and workshops, or discover the secrets of ancient mummies.
There are many exciting temporary exhibitions as well that guarantee a fun family day.
26. Step Back in Time in Clayton Hall Living History Museum
Clayton Hall is a rare medieval site in manchester.
Located in Clayton Park, it was originally built for the Clayton family in the 12th century.
Rooms have been redesigned in Victorian style and offer an insight of what life looked like in the 19th century.
Discover Clayton Hall Memories Room, Humphrey Chetham Room, tea room and gift shop.
To reach the building you need to cross the stone bridge over the dry moat.
Kids will enjoy replicas of costumes from the middle ages and they can learn about normal house activities of that time period.
27. Find out about Life in Tudor Times in Ordsall Hall
Ordsall Hall is the oldest building in greater Manchester area dating back to Tudor times.
Wander back to Elizabethan era and discover what normal life looked like back then.
They often host weekly events like “Knit and Natter”, baby sensory events, and explain the history to visitors.
Its beautiful gardens are filled with strange sculptures and a variety of plants.
Popular activities include the outdoor theatre, ghost walks, and guided tours.
Crafting workshops are a fun way to show kids how various items used to be produced before mass industry.
As you can see, there are plenty of kid friendly things to do in Manchester.
These 27 activities just show how well adapted Manchester city is to families with young children.
However, if you’re still looking for more ideas, check out our Manchester activities to find something more suitable.