Half term is fast approaching and once again, Greater Manchester has plenty going on to keep kids and adults entertained. This year, half term also meets the Jubilee Weekend, so there is even more reason to celebrate, and activities will be taking place across the city region. It’s a great time to get out and about, exploring the best of Greater Manchester’s cultural offering, family fun and everything in between.

Here are some of our top picks of events going on in Greater Manchester this half term:

Experience the buzz of RHS Garden Bridgewater

This May half term, head to RHS Garden Bridgewater to discover The Power of Superbees, with a week of fun, bee-themed activities. From Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June the garden will be a hive of activity. The flowers are in bloom and the bees couldn’t be happier. Follow the Super Bee Garden Trail to learn more about this incredible insect, go on a bee safari with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, get crafty in various workshops and lose yourselves in the multi-sensory world of Artizani’s beehive installation.

Then from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June, the RHS Garden Bridgewater will be creating a buzz around the Queen’s Jubilee. They will be celebrating 70 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign during half term with performances from the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, Astley Youth Band and Farnworth and Walkden Band, along with the commemorative planting of the final tree in The Queen's Green Canopy in Victoria Meadow.

Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers

 If you’re looking for family-friendly entertainment this half term, then The Lowry Theatre has a show that will capture the imagination of little ones and big kids. Imagine a world without Roald Dahl’s work, it would be a much less fun place. In this play, his celebrated books are disappearing, not only in books but from the minds of children everywhere. Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers is an interactive theatre experience which follows the ancient guild of tale tenders as they work to save Dahl’s work and to keep the creativity alive. The show runs from Sunday 29 May to Wednesday 1 June with performances at 11 am and 2 pm each day.

Visit The Manchester Flower Show

This half term is also the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend and to celebrate, The Manchester Flower Show is back and more captivating than ever. Explore the floral trail of gardens and installations around the city centre, full of beautiful blooms and bringing a new life to the streets. There will be opportunities for al fresco dining, special cocktails and even an indulgent afternoon tea, the perfect way to toast our Queen and take in the fabulous floral displays on offer. As the flowers fill our streets with colour, there are sure to be plenty of social media moments and chances to capture some stunning memories.

Adventures on the East Lancashire Railway

The East Lancashire Railway is ready to take your family on an extraordinary journey this half term. Jump aboard the heritage steam train as it takes you to a new world, from a school for wizards to a dinosaur adventure. This half term, Funcast performance company will be providing a range of interactive adventures to capture the imaginations of your little ones. For a truly magical journey, you can jump on board the train for your first day at the Grand Old School of Wizardry on Wednesday 1 June with The Wizarding Adventure. Take part in spellbinding adventures, master charms and potions as well as brush up on your flying skills in this two-hour wizarding experience. If magic isn’t for you, then travel back in time on Thursday 2 June with the Dino Adventure. The train will take your family back to the Jurassic period to meet baby dinosaurs and see some of the first creatures to walk the earth first hand, it’s going to be roar-some!

Plus, The East Lancashire Railway will be holding its own Jubilee Celebration towards the end half term. Travel back to the 1940s from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 June, with live music, vehicle displays and themed activities from dance classes to battle re-enactments to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Banner Exhibition at The People’s History Museum

If you’re looking for an educational and inspiring way to entertain your kids this half term, then the 2022 Banner Exhibition at The People’s History Museum is for you. Come face to face with the handiwork of people who fought for the rights we have today discovering the messages and imagery used to fight for change. This year’s banners give an insight into the LGBTQ+ protests, the miners’ strike of the 1980s, campaigns for women’s rights and disabled people’s activism. Open minds and offer a fresh perspective, giving kids an insight into our political history with colourful and meaningful banners. Plus, there’s the chance to make it interactive by playing Banner Bingo. This free exhibition runs until Sunday 8 January 2023 so there is plenty of chance to attend.

The Football Art Prize

To build up excitement for The 2022 FIFA World Cup, Touchstones Rochdale has created The Football Art Prize. Artists from around the world have taken part in an open submission, sending in art that celebrates the world’s most popular sport. From works reflecting on the riches of the sport to the muddy grit of grassroots clubs, the Football Art Prize aims to show how football has become ingrained in our culture with deeply personal pieces and recognisable scenes. There’s a range of media on display and the chance to vote for an Audience Choice winner, so make sure you vote for your favourite artwork. The exhibition runs until Sunday 26 June, making it an ideal half-term activity for art and sports lovers alike.

British Art Show 9

The UK’s biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art Is coming to Manchester on Friday 27 May, which makes it a perfect half-term activity. The British Art Show is a landmark touring exhibition that celebrates recent contemporary art and tours every five years. The artists featured in British Art Show 9 look at how we live with and give a voice to difference and understand identity. This particular show was developed at a moment in Britain’s history filled with political and social concerns as well as issues of racial and environmental justice. The exhibition will take place across Manchester’s celebrated art galleries; HOME, Manchester Art Gallery, Castlefield Gallery and The Whitworth between Friday 27 May and Sunday 4 September.

Street Eat Festival Rochdale

Rochdale’s Street Eat Festival is back and more delicious than ever to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday and half term of course. Local restaurant chefs will be coming together on Friday 3 June to serve up a whole host of dishes from all across the world. All dishes will be £4.50 each and there will be plenty of activities and rides for children, a bar and musical entertainment to keep the whole family entertained. This free event will be held on at The Butts from 11 am to 7 pm.

The Play That Goes Wrong

Half term fun isn’t just for the kids, there’s plenty for teachers, parents and everyone else to enjoy in Greater Manchester. Theatre lovers will not want to miss The Play That Goes Wrong as it takes to The Palace Theatre between Monday 30 May and Saturday 4 June. This multi-award-winning comedy is based around a 1920s murder mystery party thrown by The Cornley Drama Society, but as the title suggests, not everything goes to plan. It’s guaranteed to be a laugh a minute and one of the most entertaining shows you’ll see. If you could use a laugh this half term, this play could be just the tonic.

The Comedy Store at Escape to Freight Island

On the subject of adults having a laugh this half term, The Comedy Store Manchester is coming to Escape to Freight Island to fill Depot Mayfield with Laughter. This new and exciting collaboration in the city means you can enjoy the finest stand up while savouring some of Greater Manchester’s finest food and drink. Escape to Freight Island brings together some of the UK’s finest restaurants and chefs under one roof, throw in some quality comedy and you’ve got a recipe for a night you won’t forget. The Comedy Store will be taking over Escape to Freight Island every Thursday night from 5 May to 31 August, making it a perfect excuse to let your hair down without the kids this half term.

From jubilee celebrations to eye-opening exhibitions and everything in between, there’s plenty to keep families of all shapes and sizes busy this half term across Greater Manchester.

To find out more about events going on in our city-region, visit our What’s On page.

To learn more about special events being held in the region to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, click here.