Family Fun

1. Every Plant that Peeps up is a Treasure’ wrote Elizabeth Gaskell about her garden in Manchester. This summer families can discover the treasures of the garden for themselves. The Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Family Garden Trail will entertain families with fun facts, discoveries and activities as you make your way around the traditionally planted Victorian garden. Explore the colourful herbaceous borders, daisy scattered lawns, vegetable patch and more. QR codes along the trail will bring the different elements to life and there will also be a paper version of the map available. There will also be traditional Victorian garden games like croquet, skittles, quoits and skipping ropes on the lawns, where you can also enjoy a picnic.

2. Looking to get the children out of the house and to engage in some fun, creative play now that home-schooling is out of the way? Well, you’re in luck, as the Great Northern Warehouse’s iconic amphitheatre has reopened its newly redesigned playhouse and ever-popular giant sandpit for families to enjoy throughout the summer. With 50 tonnes of sand and buckets and spade to borrow, a beach day really isn’t far away.

3. Get back to nature at RHS Garden Bridgewater this summer and enjoy a Great Garden Adventure. Imaginations will run wild with adventure trails, challenges, interactive storytelling sessions and craft activities. Plus, there’s the chance to meet birds of prey and go on a big bug hunt. This summer, reconnect with nature and let your little explorers run wild.

4. The Trafford Centre are putting on a summer spectacular to suit all ages. Their Summer Daze event features live music, an outdoor cinema, sport livestreams, a summer-themed funfair, outdoor food & entertainment, a beach, and a splash park. What more could you ask for? Entry to the food and entertainment hub and big screens is free and on a first come first served basis. The fairground must be pre-booked, entry costs £2.80 per person and doesn’t include ride tokens.

5. Head to Tatton Park for some summer farm fun every day. Discover Tatton Park’s farm and all of the fun that comes with it from a woodland play area, a Maize Maze, Milking Demos and of course the chance to get up close and personal with the animals.

6Ordsall Hall is hosting a programme of outdoor theatre and arty activities in the grand setting of the spectacular Grade I Listed Manor House. Classic Shakespearean tales and fairy tales will be performed in the stunning gardens, so grab a picnic and enjoy the great outdoors. Throughout the summer holidays the gardens will also host activities like Den Building, Leaf Printing and Wand Making to keep the little ones entertained.

7. Get ready for a beach day like no other as Oldham Summer Beach comes to Alexandra Park. With a 100 sqm beach, inflatables, daily magic shows, films, games and more this promises to be a day out the whole family can enjoy. Entry is only £1 or £2 on themed weekends which include princesses, superheroes and a dino invasion. Unlimited bounce wristbands for inflatables start from £9.

8. Visit Cockfields Farm Park this summer for the biggest & best dinosaur adventure in the North West! You will get a chance to meet real-life walking dinosaurs, participate in fossil excavation activities and enjoy tractor rides. They’ll also be hosting their very own festival. Expect dancing, singing, foam parties, sounds of the 80’s & 90’s and more. Animal activities will be running every 20 minutes and of course there will be plenty of opportunities for fun and games.

9. There is magic in the air this summer. Head to Dunham Massey for a fairy-tale summer inspired by your favourite childhood stories. Enjoy a self-led family trail which will bring your favourite tales to life as well as daily activities including music on the lawn and children’s stories in the Orangery. Every weekday during the school summer holidays, Dunham Massey will be adding a little magic to the proceedings through special daily events and activities suitable for all imaginations.

10. Explore the city in a truly unique and family-friendly way with Treasure Hunt Manchester. This phone-based, self-guided tour of the city will teach you interesting facts and stories about the city as you Follow treasure maps and solve clues that'll even keep the whole family engaged! The whole family will need to work together to solve the challenges. Take it at your own pace to really make the most of your day in the city, pop into cafes along the way.

Food and Drink

11. Manchester Food and Drink Festival is back with a bang this year for the 25 anniversary. Taking place at Cathedral Gardens and at venues across the city, this event will celebrate the city’s famous food and drink scene. With a market, street food stalls, bars, chefs and live promises to be a treat for all of the senses, not just tastebuds.

12. Bolton’s ever-popular food and drink festival is returning for the 17th year with a great line-up of family-friendly entertainment. It will bring together local and celebrity chefs including James Martin and Ainsley Harriot, with live cookery demos, artisan market traders, arts and craft stalls and even a picnic zone. Expect children’s entertainment and a music stage making the most of local music talent.

13. Everyone loves a food festival, it’s a chance to try some new dishes, fill up on old favourites and explore flavours from around the world. Heaton Park Food & Drink Festival 2022: A Feast in The Park will be a delicious day out. With live chef demos, music, artisan markets, a street food arena, independent bars, performing arts, kids activities and a funfair, there really is something for everyone. Plus, it’s dog friendly.

14. If pizza is more of your thing, then head to Cathedral Gardens to enjoy all things Italian at Festa Italiana, the country’s most vibrant festival of Italian food, drink and culture. . You can expect live music, outdoor cinema, cooking demonstrations and delicious food. Enjoy mouth-watering dishes from Manchester’s Italian favourites Sicilian NQ, Pasta Factory, Proove and more.

Open Air Cinema

15. Enjoy the Magical Moments Movie Nights as Inflatable Flix head to Cheadle’s Great Outdoors for Cinema on the Green. This summer Cheadle Green in Stockport will be home to an open-air cinema showing some of your favourite movies from Encanto to The Greatest Showman. Grab the popcorn and get ready to sing along in style.

16. Head to the historic estate of Tatton Park for the ultimate experience of Luna Open Air Cinema under the stars. This summer, the estate will play host screenings of classic films, with the parkland providing a stunning backdrop, all combining to make a truly memorable open-air cinema experience.

17. This summer Dunham Massey is hosting an outdoor cinema experience like no other. Pack up a picnic and head to the stunning house and deer park for Adventure Cinema. Screenings take place within the grounds and films include West Side Story, Mamma Mia and Rocketman.


18. With top-class entertainment, food and culture across the town’s venues, Rochdale Feel Good Festival promises to be a great day out for everyone, after all the clue is in the name. With names including The Fratellis, The Northern Soultrain and Britain’s Got Talent favourite Sign Along With Us on the main stage, there’s plenty to enjoy. And, you can head to the food and drink village for a tasty treat.

19. Music festival lovers, Moovin Festival is returning to Stockport. Head to Whitebottom Farm to hear from some of your favourite artists and DJs. Show off your dance moves and get ready for a weekend like no other.

20. Manchester Pride Festival celebrates equality, arts and culture, community, activism, youth and family. This huge party and celebration of love will have the Manchester Pride Parade, Gay Village Party and the closing Candlelit Vigil, a gathering in Sackville Gardens to remember those lost to HIV, and those still facing LGBTQ+ persecution globally.

You can find a round-up of Manchester’s summer festivals here.