The summer holidays of 2021 have proven a little more challenging for families than usual.
First, we had to wait for the lockdown lifting dates to roll around before we could start booking activities. And then – right on cue – the storm clouds gathered and Manchester has been soaked ever since.
According to the Met Office, this torrential rainfall has set the tone for the final stretch of summer – with the rest of the month grimly forecasted to be something of a washout.
It’s at times like these we should consider ourselves fortunate we’ve got the National Football Museum right on our doorstep.
Situated inside in the uniquely-shaped Urbis Building at Cathedral Gardens, English football’s flagship cultural venue is playing host to a range of interactive exhibitions this month – offering four floors of indoor family-friendly activities all under cover.
Not only is there loads to see and do here (away from the unseasonably wet and windy weather) for parents and kids alike – it’s also the perfect way to whet your appetite for the new football season.
Here’s what’s happening at the museum right now…
The National Football Museum is home to a fantastic Play Gallery right now which lets you put your skills to the test with a series of interactive challenges.
You can also host your own mini competition with a penalty shootout or game of table football; have a go at being a goalkeeper on Shot Stopper; or try stepping into the shoes of a Match of the Day Commentator.
Hall of Fame exhibition
The National Football Museum’s English Hall of Fame highlights the achievements of those who’ve made an outstanding contribution to football – celebrating players and managers whose work, talent and dedication have “made football the game of our lives”.
Guided 30-minute tours take place daily at 2pm.
Euros craft activities
Not all of us are ready to forget about the Euros just yet.
The National Football Museum is hosting a range of craft activities themed around the magic of the tournament that gripped the nation in June and July – and everyone is free to join in.
Make your own football timeline / Rewrite the Rules
Ever wondered where all the football rules actually came from?
At the National Football Museum you can read up on the original Laws of the Game and even create your own with the ‘Rewrite The Rules’ activity.
If you were in charge, what would you change?
Tours take place across the whole museum every opening day – allowing you to enjoy the best possible insight from one of the venue’s expert curators.
(Every Day 11am)
Right across the museum, there’s also plenty of photo opportunities.
You can pose alongside the Premier League trophy – won by Manchester City in 2020/21 season, the first ever England football team strip, the infamous Diego Maradona ‘Hand of God’ shirt, and the match ball from the 1966 World Cup Final – the year football came home.
Other exclusive summer exhibitions include Still Gleaming: Euro 96 in Pictures – remembering key moments during the year in which the continental tournament was hosted on home turf – and a new museum gallery dedicated to football’s first female superstar – Lily Parr.
You can find out more about everything that’s happening at the National Football Museum during the remainder of the summer on the official website.
Plan your visit here.