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Manchester half-term things to do

8 months ago

It’s no-one’s favourite school holiday but it’s here anyway: February half-term. So if you’re taking time off your normal schedule to look after the kids, make the most of it by planning a family day out to remember.

ConfidentialGuides.com has over 200 suggestions of family-friendly things to do and places to eat in Manchester, including lots of free entry attractions. We’ve also got a guide to kids eat free deals in Manchester city centre.

Manchester days out for February half term 2023

Head to Sea Life Manchester for a pre-historic Jurassic Seas trail including fossil digs and encounters with sharks, turtles and sea anemones. Pay an extra £10 and you get entry to Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester too.

Want to relax with a coffee while the kids burn off energy? Take yourselves to Play Factore near the Trafford Centre. It’s got the UK’s largest indoor play frame and slide plus interactive trampolines, a massive toddler area, arcade games and more.

Got a pirate or mermaid-obsessed youngster in your family? Get onboard the good ship Isabella at Manchester River Cruises for an hour-long adventure along the Manchester Ship Canal. There’ll be treasure, games, fancy dress and singalongs (plus rum punch for adults).

Over at the Science and Industry Museum, discover the secrets of sound in their world-first exhibition Turn It Up: The power of music. There are live performances on 18/19 February including dancer Chris Fonseca and rapper Harry Jardine.

A heads-up if you’re planning to go to the newly reopened Manchester Museum or Castlefield Viaduct this half term. The viaduct is booked up completely from 18-27 February, and there are only a few tickets left for the Golden Mummies of Egypt – the special exhibition at Manchester Museum. You can go and see the rest of the museum though; and there is plenty there to enthral children and adults.

Other top ideas include escape rooms, art galleries, and that fail-safe option for a low-effort trip out: your local park.


  • Dunham Massey, a National Trust property near Manchester, in autumn.
    Book Now Altrincham

    Dunham Massey

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    Dunham Massey is one of the National Trust’s top 10 most visited properties, bringing in 439,000 people in 2020/21. We reckon at least 80% of them were Mancunians escaping the city for their nearest bucolic country park.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Escape Hunt | Corn Exchange


    The ultimate rainy day activity (and Manchester certainly has its wealth of those), Escape Hunt at the Corn Exchange places you in a locked room for 60 minutes for fun.

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  • Heaton Park in Manchester, UK

    Heaton Park

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    If you’re craving greenery but don’t want to stray too far out of the city, Heaton Park, on the Manchester-Bury border, is one of your best options.

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  • Lego Batman and Lego Superman eating ice creams by Yulia Matvienko on Unsplash
    Book Now Trafford Park

    Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester


    Legoland Discovery Centre is Manchester’s ultimate Lego playground. If your children like building and creating with those brightly coloured blocks, then they will love it. There are evening sessions for adults available too so serious Lego architects can geek out undisturbed, otherwise adults (15+) must be accompanied by a child to visit.

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  • Manchester Art Gallery in Manchester city centre
    Manchester City Centre

    Manchester Art Gallery

    Art Galleries

    Mosey down Mosley Street between Piccadilly Gardens and St Peter’s Square, and you can’t miss the Greek columns that flank the front of Manchester Art Gallery. It’s one of Manchester’s most visited cultural attractions thanks to its central location and extensive collection of historical and contemporary art.

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  • Spinningfields

    Manchester River Cruises


    Manchester boat tours from £9pp.
    Want to fall in love with your city all over again? Take a boat tour from Manchester River Cruises, and you’ll see its iconic views from a new and surprising perspective.

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  • Mayfield Park, Manchester

    Mayfield Park

    Parks & Gardens

    It’s no secret that Manchester city centre is short on decent parks. The opening of Mayfield Park in September 2022 goes some way to fixing that with its 6.5 acres of lawns, playgrounds, pathways and live events area.

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  • Tube slides at Play Factore in Manchester
    Book Now Trafford Park

    Play Factore


    Play Factore is like a super-sized version of the traditional indoor play centre.

    It’s enormous; crawling through tunnels, clambering through spider nets and zipping down slides is only the start of it. One of the highlights of the huge play frame is the big red slide – the biggest indoor slide in the UK. There is also a toddler area with mini slides, soft play and sensory lights for age-fives and under.

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  • The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester
    Book Now Castlefield

    Science and Industry Museum


    Much like the once mighty industrial power of the North, Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum has shrunk noticeably over the years. But it’s still well worth a visit.

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  • Book Now Trafford Park

    Sea Life Manchester


    Sea Life Manchester is the city’s only aquarium. It isn’t enormous – for something bigger you’d have to travel to Blue Planet in Ellesmere Port – but there is plenty to keep the kids entertained for an afternoon.

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