Kids & Family
Some of the best things to do with the kids in Greater Manchester this February half term
Half term is a time that most kids look forward to, but most parents, carers, and guardians tend to dread, as it usually means having to search around for various different ways to keep the youngsters entertained, educated, and engaged, all while making sure they’re still enjoying themselves – which is, undoubtedly, a real task.
Luckily, the bustling city of Manchester and the surrounding areas have got you covered with so much to offer.
From exploring a brand-new city centre urban park, to making the most of a whole host of museum events, and so much more, there’s lots of things to do this half term if you’re in need of some inspiration.
Here’s just a handful of our picks.
Half Term at the Science and Industry Museum
Science and Industry Museum
Mancs will get the chance to “unravel the secrets of sound” through experiments, play, and performance at the Science and Industry Museum this half term.
The Science and Industry Museum is encouraging families to “march to the beat of their own drum” and have a go at finding their inner musician, as there’ll be a whole host of interactive activities, special shows, and unique performances all themed around the science of sound to get stuck into.
Aside from sound, there’s also still time to check out the interactive gaming experience, Power UP – where players can enjoy the very-best video games from the past five decades, and try out over a hundred different consoles to rediscover childhood favourites and test out some of the latest developments in virtual reality.
Find out about everything happening at the Science and Industry Museum over the half term here.
Manchester City Centre
Manchester‘s new ‘sky park’ on Castlefield Viaduct has reopened after being closed for maintenance over the winter, and families are encouraged to make the most of it.
The New York-inspired elevated urban park on the giant Grade II-listed 330-metre steel viaduct has been closed since December to allow time for the team of National Trust gardeners, volunteers, and community partners to prune, plant, and create new and exciting areas,
On top of the work to add a variety of seasonal planting displays created by, four plots on the viaduct have also been handed over to local community groups and partner organisations to create their own unique gardens for visitors to enjoy.
A booking system will stay in place for guided walk visits between 11am to 12:30pm, but unlike last time it was open, those wanting to explore the viaduct at their own pace after 1pm can now just turn up on the day without needing to book.
Find out more and book tickets here.
Runway Visitor Park
Little Mancs can try their hand at becoming a pilot this February half term, as the much-loved Flight Academy returns to Manchester Airport.
The Flight Academy programme is back at Runway Visitor Park with 90-minute sessions to give curious kids the chance to learn all about the different job roles that help keep Manchester‘s airport in action throughout the year.
The first part of the session takes place aboard a retired Monarch DC10 airliner, so kids can sit in the cockpit and find out about everything from the cabin crew’s role, to the ground operators, and more, and they’ll even get to dress the part, and “take control” of the flight deck too.
Find out more and book your tickets here.
Looking for somewhere to take the kids for a hearty meal this half term, but keen to keep the pennies in your pockets?
With the rising cost of living crisis sadly continuing to make its impact felt on many families, plenty of supermarkets, independent and chain restaurants, and pub groups across Greater Manchester and the UK are offering kids the chance to eat a hearty meal out for as little as £1.
Some are even offering up children’s meals completely free of charge.
So if you’re looking to treat the kids to a meal, but you want to things on the cheaper side and save a few pennies, then thankfully, eating out just got a whole lot easier.
Read our roundup list of February half term food offers here.
Manchester City Centre
Manchester Museum has finally reopened to the public after an ambitious £15 million transformation project.
After an 18-month refurbishment, the cultural institution – which is part of the University of Manchester – has expanded into a modern new two-storey extension, with new exhibition spaces and inclusive facilities added into the space.
New spaces inside include a brand new Exhibition Hall, which has opened with the blockbuster exhibition Golden Mummies of Egypt, where visitors get an unparalleled access to more than 100 objects and eight mummies in a UK debut, while the new extension also includes the South Asia Gallery, which will be the UK’s first permanent space to explore the lived experience of South Asian diaspora communities.
There’s a new dinosaur in town too, joining the museum’s legendary T-Rex Stan.
Find out more about Manchester Museum here.
One of the North West’s most-popular outdoor events is back once again at the picturesque Arley Hall in Cheshire for the February half term, and with more than 200 individual dinosaur models making up the woodland trail this year, it’s an ideal day out for families.
Aimed at primary school children, and named as being one of the safest attractions for all the family in Greater Manchester, Totally Roarsome gives families the chance to get up close to the raptors, brontosaurus, spinosaurus, triceratops, stegosaurus, and more.
Wild animals, sea creatures, unicorns, aliens, farm animals, pirates, and dragons are just some of the other themes at the event this year.
Tickets priced at £8.95 and already selling fast – grab yours here.
Half Term at East Lancashire Railway
Bury Transport Museum
East Lancashire Railway and the Bury Transport Museum has, once again, got a wide range of fun activities planned to keep the little ones busy this February half term.
While the trains may not be running, there’s lots of other events in the calendar – including a visit from Peppa Pig, a tumble down the rabbit hole with Alice and friends, and a dalliance with dragons on an epic Dragon Quest.
There’s also museums and galleries to explore too, if you’re keen to keep things educational.
Find out more here.
SEA LIFE Manchester
SEA LIFE Manchester is inviting families to dive deep into the past this February half term with its new pre-historic adventure called ‘Jurassic Seas’.
For those up for the true Jurassic experience, you’ll be able to dig for fossils, take part in challenges, enjoy dino photo opportunities, meet and greet The Professor, and even see animals from pre-historic times up close and personal – including sharks, turtles, and sea anemones.
Find out more and grab tickets here.
Family Friday – Half Term Edition
The extremely popular ‘Family Fridays’ event returns to Manchester’s largest street food hub and social space GRUB for a half term special this week, with a range of activities including everything from watching specially-selected kids’ films at the in-house cinema CULTPLEX and playing puzzles and board games, to arts and crafts, music making, bulb planting for spring and more.
There’ll even be face painting, temporary tattoo workshops, and lots of fun with glitter too, on top of a wide range of street food, coffee, and the GRUB bar for the parents to enjoy.
The event will run from 1pm-4pm, with GRUB remaining open afterwards, and tickets are £3 per child, but adults do not need a ticket.
Find out more and grab tickets here.
Featured Image – Science Museum Group | GRUB | National Trust