As the first half term of 2024 approaches, you might be looking for activities to keep the kids busy on their week off. Manchester has an exciting array of family friend events and attractions, from educational exhibits to crafty challenges to keep their curious minds busy. Find the perfect blend of education and entertainment, ensuring the week is filled with laughter, discovery, and cherished moments with family.

This half term, give your kids the opportunity to be delighted, excited and amazed at the programme at Chester Zoo. From inspiring tours to zootastic games, there is so much to explore with your little ones. It’s not just wandering round seeing all the wonderful creatures, included in your ticket are activities like the Elephant Poo Show, Penguin feeding, Q&A with a Zoo Ranger and so much more.

Over half term, go wild and enjoy their Native wildlife exhibit, an immersive experience showcasing the most iconic species in the British Isles. Brought to you by the film makers behind your favourite BBC and ITV documentaries, all included in your entry fee. Tickets start at £20, depending on what day you go.

To book your trip, visit here.

After a hugely successful tour across the US and China, the stunning exhibition of The Golden Mummies of Egypt offers unparalleled access to world-class Egyptian and Sudanese collections. Featuring over 100 objects and eight mummies, this exhibition gives you and your family a rich perspective on beliefs in the afterlife during this iconic era of history. This free exhibition is ticketed and may be busy over half term, so if you’re looking for a day at Manchester Museum, we recommend booking in advance!

Book your slot here.

3. RHS Bridgewater

Get exploring the great green space on offer at RHS Bridgewater, with a jam-packed schedule of activities to keep the little ones busy over half term. Some of the events on offer include, Great Garden adventure, Family planting session, Family arts and crafts, Garden trail and Storytelling with Colour the Clouds. Join in the February fun and enjoy the gardens at this chilly time of year. RHS Membership is needed for the events or garden admission may apply.

Find out more here.

4. Science and Industry Museum

Discover the power of play with a programme of free, hands-on fun for all ages at the Science and Industry Museum. Explore programmes like the Rust Retreat – a sensory experience inspired by Manchester’s industrial past and present, or add a ticket to Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You, and journey through the digestive system with interactive games and challenges. For the video game lovers, play through the very best video games of the past five decades with a ticket to Power Up – named the ultimate game experience.

To find out more on what’s on at the Science and Industry Museum, click here.

5. East Lancashire Railway

Put your best foot forward this half term and spend a day with East Lancashire Railway. Whether that’s whizzing around with the wacky wizards on their Wizarding Adventure route, or an enchanting dining experience with their Traditional Luncheon, or even joining our intrepid explorers on an adventure of Jurassic proportions as you meet with baby dinosaurs on The Dino Adventure. With something planned for every day over half term, it’s a fantastic day out for kids of any age. With tickets varying per event.

For more information, book here.

6. National Football Museum

For your footie fans in the family, a trip to the National Football Museum is a must do during your down time this half term. Explore their latest exhibition Batteries Not Included, which explores the history and development of football toys and games. Kids of all ages can enjoy a range of football toys and games, from the Victorian era right up to the present day of VR. You can also immerse yourself in the history of the beautiful game, with collections from FIFA, FA and much more.

To plan your visit, click here.

This February Half Term, Jodrell Bank presents an explosive new Science Show “Curious Kids!”. Set your course for an incredible live show that promises to really go off with a bang! Try to keep a cool head as you test your knowledge in their Adults vs Kids Space Quiz, and join their team of experts to investigate incredible forces found on Earth and beyond. Suitable for all ages, and running from the 17th to 25th of February. Included FREE with entry tickets, tickets start at £10.

To plan your visit, click here.

8. Go Ape

You can find Go Ape in the heart of Lancashire, a 20-minute drive from Bolton. Tucked away in the borough of Chorley, the high ropes experience lies adjacent to Lower Rivington Reservoir. If you're looking for things to do with the kids and a fun day out close to Manchester look no further. Days out at Go Ape Rivington are about having fun and creating unforgettable memories, from super-fast zipwires and tree top crossings, to high-wire bridges and free-fall Tarzan Swings. For your older kids, the Treetop Challenge is an exhilarating self-guided journey through the forest canopy, tackling high crossings, free falling and ziplines. Tickets from £20.

For more information, visit here.

9. Peoples History Museum

If you’re looking for some hands-on learning, People’s History Museum in Spinningfields is a family-friendly museum that covers the development of Britain and its democracy. Children can enjoy digital interactive games, play areas like the suffragette kitchen, arcade-style games, make believe co-op shop and even a vintage jukebox. There is a lovely café, gift shop and picnic area onsite too.

February 1st also brings their brand-new Banner exhibit, which shines a light on notable strike banners of miners, teachers, and health workers. Collect your 2024 Banner Bingo activity card to keep the kids entertained and engaged.

To find out more about People's History Museum, visit here.

10. DNA VR

Take virtual reality to the next dimension with DNA VR, a unique social approach to gaming, making it the perfect activity for your kids to meet up with their friends over half term. With experiences that tailor to all sizes and experience levels, there will be something for everyone. Defend your town against hordes of zombies, explore the mysterious depths of the ocean, fly around in an epic game of anti-gravity laser tag - They have it all! It’s good to keep in mind that DNA VR is aimed at the older kids, welcoming all children above 7 years old. Come and visit DNA VR in Manchester and discover the ultimate virtual reality gaming experience! Tickets start at £22.

Find out more here.

11. Rock Up Manchester

Rock Up is a unique indoor climbing arena where adults and kids can enjoy healthy, action-packed fun! Offering a unique rock-climbing experience in a safe and fun environment. With individual and multiplayer climber wall challenges and rope courses of varying design and difficulty, encourage your kids to find their climbing courage and agility in lots of different ways. It promises to create an unforgettable experience for you and your family.

Book you and your kids in here.

Get up close and personal with thousands of creatures like sharks, jellyfish, octopus and sea turtles at SEALIFE Manchester in Trafford. Take you and the kids on a fascinating journey from the coast to the ocean depths, all while learning about how these creatures live. Interact with starfish and other creatures in their rockpool experience, and join in on animal feeding, diving demonstrations and much more. Visit the Seahorse Hotel this half term at SEA LIFE Manchester! Meet and learn all about these incredible creatures, as well as other amazing animals throughout the aquarium. Take part in an interactive trail around the aquarium, design your own seahorse and meet with experts. Tickets start at £18.50.

To book your spot, click here.

13. Museum of Transport

Manchester has a deep history to be proud of when it comes to transport, having the first bus service in the UK in 1824. See Greater Manchester’s heritage in real time at the Museum of Transport, located on Boyle Street in Cheetham. Let your kids explore the history of classic busses, cars and taxis and everything in between. They regularly have classic car shows, and in half term have a Morris Minor show on Sunday 25th February. Keep an eye out for their free heritage bus rides too! Tickets start from £5.

More information here.

If your kids love to explore the outdoors, it’s time to brush off your wellies and take a trip to Dunham Massey. Join in on the welly walk around the gardens. Spot colourful displays, playful installations and see the first bulbs of spring peeking out the winter soil. With deer spotting being a must, let your kids explore the beautiful gardens and once they’re all worn out, enjoy a hot chocolate in the café.

For more information, visit here.

Join the dastardly pirates of Irwell in the search for the mermaid’s treasure! The kid’s takeover to help the pirates find the treasure on this hour long cruise from Salford Quays. This fancy dress cruise promises mermaid sing-alongs, games, and activities for kids between 2 – 10 years old. Running each day over half term from 10th to 25th February, give your kids the joy of becoming a swash-buckling pirate for the day!

For more information, visit here.

On the 21st and 22nd of February, Peppa Pig is back for her brand-new live show Fun Day Out. Join Peppa and friends as they go to the zoo and the beach for a special party. Packed full of songs, dancing and muddle puddles – Peppa’s Fun Day Out guarantees giggles and snorts for all Peppa fans, and a perfect introduction to theatre for your little ones. With tickets from £13.

Book your tickets here.

Looking for something different to do with the family that is totally weatherproof this winter? Head to the Ping Pong Hub at Great Northern. Open seven days a week, from 9am – 9pm, the hub has seven tables – four open play which are available to use for free, and three larger match courts, perfect for practice or match play. The hub will also play host to a series of open events, including bookable coaching sessions, individual table bookings and club days, and will be open at Great Northern Warehouse until 29th February.

More information here


Join Cockfield’s Farm Park for their Barnyard Baby Bash this half term - The farm will be bursting with adorable babies during their live lambing event, with the opportunity to see carf bottle feeding demonstrations, educational talks from animal experts and see the newly hatched chicks and ducklings. Learn to be a farmer with hands-on activities in the new Farmer Roll-Play area, where your little ones can practice delivering a calf, groom a highland cow, and learn to sheer a sheep. Tickets start at £6.95.

Book your slot here.

Gain entry into 13 of Manchester’s top attractions including Coronation Street, Manchester City Football Club, RHS Garden Bridgewater and more for one discounted price with The Visit Manchester Pass, with access to exclusive discounts across the city, make the most of your time in Manchester with a Visit Manchester Pass.

Get 20% off ALL passes until the end of Feb 24. Use Code: MCR20

For more inspiration on things to do in Manchester over half term and beyond, check out our Ideas and Inspiration page.