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Manchester: Family & Friends

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Picture this: you’ve just had a text from Mam saying she’s coming to visit you at the weekend. She’s bringing Dad and your little brother. Aside from panic cleaning the flat you’ve now got to plan a whole weekend of family friendly fun in Manchester City Centre. Don’t worry, we’ve got everything you need to keep them entertained for a whole weekend.

Things to do this weekend with family in Manchester City Centre #1: Museums

It doesn’t matter what age or what interests, it’s a universal fact that museums are just really cool and Manchester has the best ones. The Science and Industry museum is bound to keep everyone happy, it offers lots of Mancunian sciencey history, like the Manchester baby computer, alongside the history of Cottonopolis and original factory machinery. Any younger siblings and kids are bound to enjoy a visit to the Science and Industry Museum for a weekend trip in Manchester City Centre with a whole floor dedicated to playful and tactile science learning for young people.

When you’ve got to come up with a weekend of things to do with family and kids in Manchester City Centre one museum just won’t cut it, but how about two? The People’s History Museum is great for little people and big people with clear, interactive and fascinating timelines of the people’s democracy in the UK. What’s even better is when Da needs a cuppa there’s a great zero waste cafe for you to refuel in.

There’s plenty of museums to be cracking on with in the city centre, you can find the perfect one to visit here.

Things to do this weekend with family in Manchester City Centre #2: Crazy Golfers

Swing on over to the jungle in the city at Treetop Adventure Golf. There’s two roar-some 18 hole courses (all jungle themed of course) and you can do one or both, depending on how long you need to keep the family entertained in Manchester City Centre. It’s good fun and kid friendly but there are Mai Tais at the Rainforest cafe & bar waiting for anyone in need.

If the jungle isn’t your kind of paradise you can head over to Junkyard Golf instead. There’s a limit on when under 18s can go so maybe this one is just for cocktail loving parents looking to let their hair down with family while visiting Manchester City Centre. They’ll enjoy the junkyard theme with appearances from the Reliant Robin of Only Fools and Horses fame, sugar filled cocktails and some terrible puns. Losers buy the drinks, so definitely brush up on your game beforehand!

Things to do this weekend with family in Manchester City Centre #3: Crystal Maze Live Experience

Rewind to the 90’s with Manchester’s Crystal Maze Experience, do you have what it takes to make it through? If you’re looking for things to do with your family in Manchester City Centre this has to be on the list. It’s the perfect way to test your communications skills, get competitive and sort out who’s paying for tea later.

You get to wear some dashing orange satin bomber jackets, Vogue is gagging to get their hands on these we promise, and you’ll have to use all of your skills to quickly move through each challenge. The quicker you go, the more time you’ll have to spend in the iconic Crystal Dome. Also the leaderboard is published on their site so no pressure, but if you do rubbish then we’ll all be able to see.

Things to do this weekend with family in Manchester City Centre #4: Electric Game Box

Electric Game Box is a great activity in Manchester City Centre to keep the family (or friends) entertained. Being an immersive digital adventure, it’s a little bit different from what you might usually do with family but it’s definitely going to be a hit.

It’s the only place in Manchester (hopefully) where you will be graded by aliens, search for rare martian minerals and save the Queen’s corgis in just 60 minutes. This jam packed adventure takes place in an interactive digital room with projection mapping, touch screens, motion tracking and surround sound. It’s bound to tire everyone out so make sure you stop off somewhere for a rest.

Things to do this weekend with family in Manchester City Centre #4: KICKair

KICKair indoor park is literally as cool as it sounds. If you’re hanging out and looking for things to do in Manchester City Centre with your family and kids then you’ll want to put this on your to do list.

The Air Zone has a room made of trampolines, perfect for hitting new heights. You can wreak havoc in the total wipeout area or challenge each other to dodgeball and basketball. It’s a family friendly activity in Manchester City Centre for the whole bunch, even the under 5’s can get worn out in the little kicks area. There’s also huge inflatable slides and an assault course too which is bound to put a smile on even the mardiest of faces.

Things to do with friends in Manchester City Centre

Because there’s some things you just don’t want to do with your family.

Things to do with friends in Manchester City Centre #1: Go on a bar crawl

According to stats from the British Beer & Pub Association, there are 416 in Manchester City Centre, that’s not even including all the bars. There are approximately 2.4 places to drink per 1,000 people living in the city. You could do one mammoth bar crawl, or you could make one tailored to your tastes, Manchester’s offering you the works.

Fancy playing pub golf? Pick 9 or 18 pubs to play, each one being a ‘hole’. You’ll have to assign a ‘par’ (drink) to each pub before you go. The rest is simple. Need to set your course? We’ve got you covered.

Or you could play actual golf (plus drinks of course) because Manchester City Centre has multiple mini golf courses to take your friends to. You can really step it up with a visit to Junkyard Golf where you can enjoy their sugar and sweets filled cocktails around the course and get top ups while you’re playing. Just remember – losers buy the drinks.

When taking your friends around Manchester City Centre a bar crawl is a must on your things to do list. You can take them to their familiar chain bars or get them to experiment in any one of the independents the city centre offers. Basically, if you want it, Manchester has it and you can find the best here.

Things to do with friends in Manchester City Centre #2: Whistle Punks

Are you looking for a proper mad one? Whistle Punks Urban Axe Throwing will definitely be mental enough for you. Longtime pals John and Jools were looking for an edgy experience to deliver to us Brits which is why they decided to bring us the UK’s first axe-throwing venue.

The best part is it’s not just super cool axe throwing. Each location is partnered with a charity of their choice to make sure they’re delivering great experiences and having a positive impact on the community around them. Manchester’s venue is paired with Forever Manchester who help fund community activities across Greater Manchester – it’s good vibes all around, so you can feel good while doing things with your friends in Manchester City Centre.

Book yourself in and in an hour you’ll be an axe throwing pro, have played a tournament with your pals and filled up on incredible bar snacks and drinks. Just make sure you’re looking sharp for some slow-mo vids for Insta to show off.

Things to do with friends in Manchester City Centre #3: Pottery Class

Is throwing axes not quite your cup of tea? Why not try throwing on a pottery wheel instead. Daniel Smyth Studio runs introduction classes for you and a friend where you’ll have two hours learning to use a pottery wheel.

The Ancoats based workshop is nice and close to Manchester City Centre so you’ll never be far from the next activity with your friends. It’s a calm and relaxing vibe which is great for adding something a bit different to your social schedule. You’ll also get to pick the two best pieces from your workshop to be fired and glazed which you can pick up at a later date.

There’re other workshops dotted around so when you’re looking for something to do with your friends in Manchester City Centre you’ll have your pick of places to go and recreate the iconic Ghost scene.

Things to do with friends in Manchester City Centre #4: Experience the legendary music scene

Haven’t heard about Manchester’s music scene? We’ll catch you up here.

Now when you’re looking for things to do with your music loving friends in Manchester City Centre you’re spoiled for choice. You can catch drag queens and a live band every night of the week for free at Albert’s Schloss, you can see the music industry’s next big thing at the iconic Night & Day Cafe or you can experience incredible keys and brass (for free) at Matt and Phred’s jazz club.

You can also go and see your all time favourites at any one of the infamous major venues in the city centre. There’s Victoria Warehouse and the 02 Arena for those who are big on huge-scale atmosphere. Or you can pay a visit to Albert Hall, a once abandoned chapel now restored in all its grand glory hosting an array of musical acts.

Things to do with friends in Manchester City Centre #5: Explore Northern Quarter

Exploring the Northern Quarter is a rite of passage to any Mancunian, but especially to those visiting the city centre. You’re basically not really northern until you know the Northern Quarter.

We’ve included this because it’s an absolute must do on your list of things to do with your friends in Manchester City Centre, and it’s a whole day out. You can kick off the day by going on a record shop crawl – including Piccadilly Records, the longest running independent record store and moving through to Vinyl Revival which has a collection of all of Manchester’s finest and more.

Don’t worry, Manchester City Centre’s Northern Quarter has more than just music related things to do with your friends. If they’re into vintage then you’re in for a treat because with Blue Rinse, Pop Boutique, Cow and a range of charity shops you’re bound to find something you love. You might even find something to wear on a night out in NQ later that day – who knows.

Don’t forget to leave time to visit Affleck’s and see it all (and leave enough time to climb all of the stairs too). Affleck’s has an array of clothing, jewellery and knick-knacks from all kinds of indie businesses. It’s unique to Manchester City Centre and it’s been an institution for decades which is why we’re putting it on your things to do with your friends list.

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