Kids & Family

Manchester Museum is throwing a free birthday party with kids’ party games

Pass the parcel, pin the tail on the dinosaur, and more.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 9th February 2024

Manchester Museum will be celebrating the anniversary of its £15m makeover with a free birthday party – and it sounds pretty nostalgic.

The hugely popular cultural attraction down on Oxford Road officially reopened its doors a year ago next week.

While it’s still home to Mancunian icons like Stan the T-Rex, the museum now also has a new modern two-storey extension, plus a beautiful new entrance and gift shop, and a new dinosaur to keep Stan company, with April the Tenontosaurus back on all fours near the Fossils gallery.

The extensive redevelopment proved so popular last year, the museum had queues down the street for its opening weekend and its director was left an ’emotional wreck’.

In the year since Manchester Museum revealed its new galleries and exhibitions, more than 800,000 people have visited.


So now it’s time to celebrate. The museum is throwing a ‘party for the people’, complete with nostalgic party games and a red carpet.

Visitors on Sunday 18 February will first be encouraged to strike a post for the photographer as they sashay up the red carpet.


Then as you head inside you’ll see that all the museum’s spaces have been transformed for one big birthday party, which will run all the way from 10am until 5pm.

Even the creatures at Manchester Museum will be getting in the party spirit with their own custom hats. Credit: Manchester Museum
Even the creatures at Manchester Museum will be getting in the party spirit with their own custom hats. Credit: Manchester Museum

A gigantic game of pass-the-parcel will be taking place in the Living Worlds gallery, where you’ll be surrounded by cabinets full of taxidermy animals and watched over by the sperm whale skeleton who’s been suspended above it all for 130 years.

Stan the T-Rex will be overseeing a game of musical dinosaur statues in the Fossils Gallery (and he is an expert at this game).


There’ll be craft workshops where you can make your own party hats, with prizes handed out for the best efforts.

Other creatures inside the museum, including the Japanese spider crab who sits in the window on Oxford Road, will be getting into the spirit of the occasion, donning party hats specially made for them by artist Lucy Burscough.

More games at the party will be ‘pin the tail on April the Tenontosaurus’, plus performances from a magician and circus performers.

You can take part in poetry workshops and performances in the new South Asian Gallery, and learn the movements and exercises of Wuqinxi in the Chinese Culture Gallery.

Manchester Museum’s Party for the People is totally free of charge with no ticket required.


You can find out more here.

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Featured image: Manchester Museum