Manchester Science Festival
October half term is almost upon us. That means you have a whole week to entertain the kids, which we all know is no easy task, especially in the unpredictable autumn weather.  

Luckily, across Greater Manchester, there are plenty of activities to keep children of all ages entertained from free events to live performances. 

Here is a roundup of some of the best half-term goings-on across the city-region. 

1. Manchester Science Festival 

Manchester Science Festival is back with a bang this year from Friday 21 to Sunday 30 October. The renowned festival is returning to the Science and Industry Museum for an educational and awe-inspiring look into the world around us. 

Celebrating science, revealing wonder and inspiring innovation, the annual Manchester Science Festival is full of world premier events, immersive performances, and interactive activities the whole family can enjoy. Highlights of the 2022 line-up include the headline multi-sensory exhibition Turn It Up: The Power of Music which explores the science behind music’s ability to make us feel. Explore never before seen musical inventions, first-hand accounts from renowned musicians and the future of melody making. Plus, acclaimed choreographer Corey Baker will be premiering his out-of-this-world immersive experience Giant Leaps, festival goers will be able to see their movements transported to outer space, influencing the journey of stars and space dust as they move through the cosmos. 

Throughout the week there will also be a series of hands-on events and experiments across the city which explore climate change, biomaterials, the role of trees in the climate crisis and how to clean up our future world. These events and talks range from travelling to the year 2222, finding new ways to make music and meeting people to discuss careers in STEM.  

For full details of the line-up and to book tickets visit The Science and Industry Museum’s website. 

2. Storytime sessions 

Throughout the October half term, HOME will be running family-friendly Storytime Sessions workshops in Manchester libraries which are all about storytelling and story-making, giving kids the chance to hear inspiring stories but also create their own. Prepare to get crafty as these sessions are sure to capture the imaginations of your little ones. The sessions will take place on Monday 24 October at Central Library Manchester, Wednesday 26 October at Longsight Library and Learning Centre, Thursday 27 October at Powerhouse Library and on Monday 31 October at HOME. The session at HOME focuses on When Animals Could Talk by Ruth Awolola, a series of Nigerian fables about how animals came to be as we know them today. 

3. The Tiger Who Came to Tea The Lowry 

Children’s favourite The Tiger Who Came to Tea is leaving the West End and heading to The Lowry Theatre in Salford. As part of its UK tour, this Olivier Award nominated family show will come to Greater Manchester from Thursday 27 October to Sunday 30 October, making it an ideal half-term activity. Join Sophie and a tea-guzzling tiger in a family show packed with magic, sing-a-longs and clumsy chaos as this beloved book is brought to life. Tickets are £19.80 per person. 

4. October Half Term at RHS Garden Bridgewater 

Get some fresh air this October half term with a trip to RHS Garden Bridgewater, but with Halloween on the horizon, this won’t be your typical visit to the garden. Uncover the secrets of some of the deadliest creatures and plants in a week full of adventure. On Saturday 22 October and Sunday 23 October babies and toddlers can enjoy a sensory autumnal storytelling session. On Monday 24 October and Wednesday 26 October the Cacti and Succulent Society will be on-site to let you get up close and personal with pointy plants. On Thursday 27 and Friday 28 October, there will be an intimate performance by Long Nose Puppets all about tiny critters with big ideas. And finally, on Saturday 19 October The Fungi Guy will be hosting mushroom walks through the woodland and there will be interactive story walks all about the mystical and sometimes deadly folklore surrounding your favourite mushrooms, ready to get you in the mood for the spooky season. 

5. Crossing The Line The Story of Women’s Football 

If women’s football fever swept through your house this summer after the Lionesses' incredible Euros victory, then this half term there’s a chance to relive the excitement. The National Football Museum is hosting an exhibition called Crossing the Line: the story of women’s football, documenting the game’s origins, growth and challenges faced along the way. Beginning on Monday 17 October, the second half of the exhibition focuses on the present state of women’s football from grassroots clubs up to professional games. It will feature stories and objects from your favourite players and showcase the best of the beautiful game. So whether you have a future lioness in your family or your kids just love football, this exhibition is a must-see this half term. 

6. The Lion King Palace Theatre 

This half term, escape to the Serengeti Plains and relive everyone’s favourite The Lion King. Disney’s multi-award-winning musical is an incredibly moving and powerful performance that will leave kids and adults in awe. Follow Simba and all of your favourite characters on his epic adventure to becoming king of the Pridelands. The Lion King will take over Manchester’s Palace Theatre from Thursday 27 October to Sunday 19 February, so even if you can’t make it this half term, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a spectacular show. 

7. October Half Term at Trafford Watersports Centre 

For a more active half-term activity, Trafford Watersports Centre may just have the answer. It has a full-week school holiday programme specially designed to keep the kids entertained. Get the kids out in the fresh air and ready to enjoy an abundance of activities from kayaking to bushcraft. Every day offers both water and land-based activities which are sure to be packed full of fun. The holiday club runs from Monday 24 October to Friday 29 October, drop off is from 8:30 am and 9 am each day and pick-up is between 5 pm and 5:30 pm. 

8. Halloween Ghost Trains at East Lancashire Railway 

October half-term marks the beginning of the spooky season, so it’s the perfect time to get your kids involved in some Halloween fun. East Lancashire Railway is delivering just that, with the return of their spooktacular Halloween Ghost Train. Climb on board and help the Monster Squad banish the ancient railway curse, with plenty of tricks, treats and fun along the way. It’s a chance to show off your best Halloween fancy dress and meet some seriously spooky characters. The Halloween Ghost Train at East Lancashire Railway in Bury will run from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 October. 

9. Halloween in the City 

Speaking of Halloween, it doesn’t get much spookier than Halloween in the City. Mark October's half term and the arrival of Halloween with this series of monstrously marvellous events. First of all the MCR Monsters will be back and taking over your favourite city centre buildings from Tuesday 25 October to Monday 31 October, will you be able to spot them all? But that’s not all, a monster music festival and procession of monster puppets will take to the city centre on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October alongside a fancy dress challenge and seriously spooky activities across the city centre throughout the weekend, all for free. Plus from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 October a Carnival of Monsters will take over New Cathedral Street. This family-friendly freakshow will have rides, stalls and monsters galore. 

10. Spookfest Trafford Centre 

The Trafford Centre is also getting in on the scary season with the return of its spectacular Spookfest. Running from Friday 14 to Sunday 30 October, your whole family can enjoy a hair-raising haybale maze, ghost train, haunted house and plenty of treats for your little monsters. Independent food and drink brands will be serving delightful and devilish dishes to tickle your tastebuds. Plus, Gandeys Circus returns with a Halloween-themed Big Top Show for all of the family bringing together vampires, skeletons and more to have you on the edge of your seat. Entry to Gandey’s Halloween Spooktacular must be booked in advance. 

So there you have It, from the spooky to the scientific, stage shows to sports Greater Manchester has a huge array of events to capture the imaginations of kids and adults this October half term. School’s out and it’s time to make some memories while enjoying some autumnal fun. 

For a full round-up of what’s on in Greater Manchester visit our What’s on Page

For more Halloween events around the city-region, take a look at our blog