12 ways to keep the kids amused over the summer holidays in Manchester


School’s out for summer. No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks, as dear old Alice Cooper once put it.

One week down, five to go.

If you’ve taken them to the park, taken them swimming and taken them to the pictures, and you’re already running out of ways to keep them entertained, read on. You might find something that will keep them quiet for a couple of hours that won’t cost the earth.

Good luck and roll on September. (Only joking. We love the little angels really and we know you do, too).

The Playhouse Project

Keeping the kids entertained doesn’t have to all be soft play and Thomas the Tank Engine. The Playhouse Project is a family rave experience organised by ex-ravers and DJs who are now parents. It’s a daytime clubbing experience in a safe and fun nightclub environment with free glow sticks, top DJs, club lighting, visuals, LED hoops, their robot performer ELECTRON, bubble and foam machines, inflatables and giant balloons. When the fun gets too much there are chill out activities such as craft tables, play-doh
areas, soft play chill out area, book corner, glitter and face painting. And there are cake stalls and a fully licensed bar. August 26th 2pm till 4.30pm

Adults (12+) £8; Children (under 12) £6.50; Family tickets £28; Babies (under 18m) Free.

The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester, M1 7HE 


FREE vouchers for GCSE/A-Level students at The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience

Based on the outrageously popular TV show, The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience invites teams of up to eight people to take part in the incredibly themed maze. Players dash through the Medieval, Aztec, Industrial and Futuristic adventure zones to complete a series of challenges against the clock guided by an eccentric Maze Master. All GCSE and A-Level students who book a visit between 14th August and 28th August will receive a free return voucher to come along and play again! To claim the voucher, students just need to flash their results letter when they visit.


2-for-1 at Treetop Adventure Golf

Pic copyright Huw John, Cardiff

You don’t have to travel far to take the kids on an adventure. Families heading to Treetop Adventure Golf at The Printworks during the summer holidays can enjoy special extended early bird hours, playing two courses for the price of one every Monday to Friday before 4pm.

Free face painting and glitter tattoos are available for the whole tribe every Thursday – Saturday throughout the holidays, as well as arts and crafts all day everyday, in addition to all the usual fun of exploring both 18-hole mini golf courses.

Then when the kids have worked up an appetite, the famous Pizza Cabana will be open on site to feed the entire clan from 10am every day!

Putt for less with the Family Saver Deal. Tribes of four can play 18-holes of mini golf for £31.50 or 36-holes for £48. Groups of four must have at least one child aged 12 or under to qualify.

No need to book. Just turn up and tee off to play mini golf and enjoy the bar and cafe.


Ice skating and ice hockey at Planet Ice

Learn how to skate or play ice hockey at Planet Ice in Altrincham. You never know, one day they may be good enough to pay for Manchester Storm. Storm are playing German ice hockey club Heilbronner Falken at Planet Ice in two pre-season friendlies on Saturday August 31st (7pm) and Sunday September 1st (5.30pm). Never been to an ice hockey game? There are three twenty-minute periods of almost non-stop action and two intervals when there’s plenty going on to keep you amused. Weekend tickets (both matches) £20 adults £10 kids.


A World Inside a Book – Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures

Credit: Suzi Corker

If you haven’t already taken the kids, the A World Inside A Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures exhibition is in Manchester until February 2020. It’s the sort of attraction that will have children wanting to return again and again as they get to creep into the magical deep dark wood of the Gruffalo, gaze up at a flying Zog at his dragon school, or see how they fit in the Squash and a Squeeze house.



Most kids love bouncing. Pendlebury trampoline park Bounce Central UK has over 110 trampolines creating a giant bounce area and a fantastic on-site cafe to watch the fun from, no matter what age or ability. On Sunday 4th August, they’re teaming up with Kidscan to bring you BounceFest, an amazing day for families whilst raising money for an incredible charity at the same time.


All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes know how to keep your little ones entertained. They’ve got a great range of facilities just for them including extra light bowling balls, bowling ramps, and bowling bumpers. And there’s a kids menu with smaller bites for smaller bellies

A family of four can enjoy a main course, side, drink and a game of bowling from just £15 per person. To get this awesome offer quote ‘Family Package’ when booking for the ultimate family day out. The kid’s party package deal includes any kids main, a soft drink, choice of a dessert or shake, one game of bowling plus a special treat – all for £15 per child.


Treat the kids to lunch at Corn Exchange

Grab the kids and head down to premium dining destination Corn Exchange Manchester for a wide variety of delicious kids’ menus that will satisfy their tiny taste buds and keep them smiling for at least an hour.

Cosy Club has you covered with an impressive choice of kids dishes to choose from including fish fingers with fries and peas, or a tasty macaroni cheese with garlic bread. For puddings, your little angels can get their five-a-day with a yummy fruit sundae with berry sauce and bananas for only £2.50.

Banyan has an impressive kids’ menu that will leave your children spoilt for choice with dishes like sausage and mash, the classic Banyan kids’ cheeseburger or the super healthy Revitalise Salad with halloumi, butternut squash, quinoa, roasted vegetables beetroot, avocado and pumpkin seeds. Banyan also has the option of a kid’s Sunday roast for only £5.95 with a choice of roast beef or chicken.


Thai for kids at Thaikhun

The Little Explorer menu at Thaikhun has two options – the Phuket features two courses and a drink from £4.95 whilst the Bangkok £6.95. Both menus come with a drink (non-alcoholic) and ice cream.


We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Live

Pic Lesley Cook

See the smash-hit production of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt on tour, direct from the West End, as it returns vividly and noisily in director Sally Cookson’s fun-filled adaptation set to Benji Bower’s versatile lively score. Based on the much-loved book picture by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, this mischievous celebration of play is the perfect treat for families with children aged 3 and up. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Live is at The Lowry from Saturday 3rd August until Sunday 1st September.

And don’t forget The Lowry’s 2019 Open Day on Sunday 1st September for a day of exploring, backstage tours, workshops, performances and fun.


Take the kids on a river cruise

You don’t have to spend a fortune to take the kids on a cruise. Ditch the dry land, hop aboard the Princess Katherine and get ready to spot some of the top attractions along the waterways of Manchester and Salford with Manchester River Cruises.


Shop till they drop at Afflecks

Afflecks isn’t your usual shopping experience. You can spend hours there, browsing local and independent businesses spread across four eclectic and eccentric floors. From artwork to anime merch, vegan glitters to artisan ice cream there’s something for kids of all ages – and big kids too.

They can build their own beaded bracelets at The Bead Shop. Browse their huge selection of beads and jewellery supplies and allow their creativity to run wild! Find everything they need to make stunning/cutesy jewellery, from pendants and charms to letter and alphabet beads!

Play on the retro arcade games dotted around four eclectic floors of independent boutiques and businesses. Introduce the kids to some old school classics like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Galaga, Pinball and Asteroids, to name a few.

Browse through a wide selection of Marvel, DC and sci-fi comic books at Wow Comix. Whether your kid is a Marvel or DC fan, Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh, Wow Comix has a ton of of memorabilia and merch. Explore Wow Comix’s great selection of super hero and sci-fi comics, graphic novels and books along with posters, mugs, T-shirts, models, collectables and games.


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