Best Family-Friendly Activities in Manchester on a Budget this Summer

By August 8, 2019 Blog-Manchester
Happy children running ahead of their parents at a fun-fair

Keeping the kids entertained for six weeks on a budget doesn’t have to be daunting. We’ve gathered together the best cheap and free activities on offer in Manchester this summer, so you don’t have to!

Manchester was recently named the 3rd most popular UK city for international visitors, and it’s easy to see why! At a fraction of the cost of its southern rivals, Manchester is bursting with events and activities which will keep the whole family entertained.

Whether you’re a Manchester local or planning a visit, we’ve put together a list of family-friendly activities on offer this summer that won’t break the bank.

A photograph of a green field and building at Heaton Park, Prestwich

Image: Heaton Park and Hall

Heaton Park

Just a short tram ride from Manchester city centre, Heaton Park in Prestwich is the perfect family-friendly stop on a sunny day.

Open from 8am until dusk every day, Heaton Park is packed with hours’ worth of free attractions for children and adults alike. The park offers two great, action-packed playgrounds designed to entertain children of all ages. The newly opened Lakeside Adventure Playground also features accessible play equipment, so the facilities can be enjoyed by a wide range of children.

Kids will also love Heaton Park’s free Animal Centre, where they visit and learn about many animals – from common farmyard animals to alpacas. They might even spot a peacock or two!

Heaton Park isn’t just one for the children. Set in beautiful grounds, with scenic walking routes to suit all abilities, the historic venue is a must-see for people of all ages.

To find out more, Click Here!

The Farm Centre, Prestwich, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M25 2SW

Picture of the lobby area of the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester

Image: Visit Manchester

Science and Industry Museum

School may be over for summer, but Manchester’s many museums allow children to learn about the world around them all year round.

The Science and Industry Museum has exciting and immersive exhibits around every corner. The Experiment gallery contains 25 hands-on activities for children – they can stare into an infinite mirror, create a tornado, and even watch their own skeleton ride a bicycle!

Open from 10am to 5pm daily, both children and adults are guaranteed to learn something new at the Science and Industry Museum. If that isn’t reason enough, it doesn’t cost a penny!

For more information, Click Here!

Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FP

A family participating in the Spy Mission Treasure Trail, Manchester


Manchester Spy Mission Treasure Trail

Want to explore the best sights and landmarks that Manchester has to offer? The Spy Mission Treasure Trail takes you on a self-guided tour of Manchester that is sure to keep kids engaged throughout.

Following the 1.3 mile trail, the whole family will need to search for clues along the route. The Spy Mission Treasure Trail gives kids an opportunity to roleplay as spies, learning about Manchester’s rich history as they find clues and crack codes on their secret mission.

You can download a trail online or get one delivered straight to your door. Each trail booklet costs £6.99, and one trail booklet is recommended for a group of 4 to 5 people, so your family can immerse themselves in Manchester’s Spy Mission Treasure Trail for less than £2 per head!

The Spy Mission Treasure Trail begins outside the Science and Industry Museum, so scheduling both activities for the same day would result in a fun day out that won’t break the bank!

To download the trail booklet, Click Here!

A picture of the Living Worlds Collection at Manchester Museum

Image: Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum

Another of Manchester’s free Museums, Manchester Museum opens its doors to the public from 10am to 5pm every day.

Manchester Museum promises a fun, educational day for children and adults alike. From dinosaur skeletons to Ancient Egyptian mummies, their remarkable collection is sure to teach the whole family something new.

The museum has many free family-friendly events planned throughout the summer holidays. Their Lost Words arts and crafts sessions, running on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2-4pm until the end of August, invite kids to ‘discover, share and create’ as they learn about the English language.

The Manchester Museum also runs events aimed at children with autism and other needs, such as ‘See, Make and Do’, running on Fridays from 9:15-11:30am until the end of August.

You can visit their website Here!

Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9PL

A man kicking a football at some targets at the National Football Museum

Image: National Football Museum

National Football Museum

Manchester is home to two of the UK’s biggest football teams – Manchester City and Manchester United – and there’s no better place to learn about football than Manchester’s National Football Museum!

Aimed at both football fanatics and casual fans, the National Football Museum’s wide range of events, exhibits and activities are designed to ensure that everyone has a good time. The museum also runs a Sporting Memories group, a free bi-weekly event which uses football to help older visitors reminisce and connect over their experiences.

The National Football Museum offers free admission to all Manchester residents. Those who don’t live in the city will have to pay an admission fee – £10 for adults and £5 for children – but this one-off payment guarantees entry to the museum for an entire year!

In addition to accessing the exhibitions and displays, your ticket to the National Football Museum includes a photo opportunity with one of their famous trophies, a tour of the museum, and access to the museum’s interactive football experiences. If you’re a football fan, or want to try something different this summer, it isn’t one to miss!

If you’d like to find out more, Click Here!

Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG