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Family-friendly things to do in Manchester this half term

From shows and exhibitions to family-friendly activities and dining offers, there's plenty to keep younger and older children entertained

Half term starts for many next week – and if you’re looking for inspiration to keep the family entertained, there’s plenty going on in Manchester.

From shows and exhibitions to family-friendly activities and dining offers, you’ll find plenty to keep both younger and older children entertained.

Even if the weather stays gloomy, there are plenty of options indoors, too.

Here’s our pick of the most fun family-friendly things to do this half term.

See paintings come to life at Van Gogh Alive

Photo: Gemma Parker Photography

After welcoming over a staggering 120,000 visitors since its launch in October, the world’s most visited multi-sensory experience Van Gogh Alive has extended its run at MediaCityUK until 27th February.

Eight million people have flocked to Van Gogh Alive, such is the scale and spectacle of the event. It’s a feast of sight, sound, and even scent that will help younger visitors to understand the emotion and tone of each artwork as they explore the space.

Visitors are encouraged to engage with the display, walking through starry nights and entering Van Gogh’s world.

Even the most hard-to-please teenagers will find it difficult to feign disinterest in the larger-than-life imagery and a mirrored room filled to the brim with sunflowers – an unrivalled photo op.

Van Gogh Alive is at MediaCityUK until 27th February. Find out more and book tickets here.

Competitive cricket at Sixes

Bringing people together through the age-old game of cricket, Corn Exchange venue Sixes Social Cricket fuses great food and drink with a friendly slice of competition.

The batting nets, which you can book for 30 minutes, one hour, 90 minutes or two hours, are suitable for all ages and abilities, meaning beginners, club regulars or even professionals can come along and test out their cutting-edge technology.

And like any great day at the cricket, the game itself isn’t the only highlight – you’ll also find some great food and drinks to make a real day of it.

To book Sixes Social Cricket at the Corn Exchange click here.

Science-filled fun at the Science and Industry Museum

Photo: The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum – Jonty Wilde

From a journey around the body, to the birth of computing to lifting a mini, there’s a great day out at the Science and Industry Museum this February half term.

Families will find plenty of science-filled fun and discovery at one of Manchester’s most loved attractions, exploring a whole host of favourites alongside brand-new experiences every day during the holiday.

Tickets for February half term are available now and can be booked in advance through the museum’s website or by calling 033 0058 0058. 

Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever

Peppa Pig is excited to be going on a special day out with George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig – it’s going to be her best day ever – and you can join them for a live show packed full of songs, games and laughter at the Opera House.

Get ready for a road-trip full of fun adventures. From castles to caves, dragons to dinosaurs and ice-creams to muddy puddles – there is something for all of the family and their friends to enjoy, including Miss Rabbit, Mr Bull, Suzy Sheep, Gerald Giraffe and more.

Performances at the Opera House are 18th and 19th February 2022 at 4pm, also on 19th February at 10am and 12pm. Book tickets here.

Activities and food offers at Great Northern

Great Northern Warehouse is sorting out your half-term plans this February with a range of lip-smacking restaurant offers and fun-filled activities for all the family in Manchester city centre.

Get the whole family singing along to the highly anticipated Sing 2 which promises lots of laughs and family fun at the Odeon; and keep the older children entertained this half-term at Lane 7, the must-visit venue which offers bowling like you’ve never experienced before.

When it comes to food, Almost Famous offers kids their very own menu with options including a classic cheeseburger and chicken burger served with plenty of fries for just £6, or Fat Hippo at Lane 7 allows little ones to build their burger their way.

If it’s pizza they want you can check out newly opened Cibo on Great Northern Square. Their lunch menu has one course for £7 and two courses for £12 making it a perfect family pit stop.

Find out more about the Great Northern Warehouse here.

Discover sewer monsters at the Arndale

As a horrible half term treat, four revolting sewer monsters are visiting Manchester’s Arndale Centre to amaze parents and children with their terrible antics.

Franken-Foods, Greasy Ghoul, Toiletry Terror and Wet Wiper will be lurking about at a special family-friendly interactive exhibition highlighting the nasty things that are being put down drains and toilets causing 22,000 sewer blockages a year and 7,000 incidents of sewer flooding to homes and gardens.

The gruesome foursome are visiting the city centre shopping mall from Tuesday 22nd February to Friday 25th February 2022.

Meet superheroes at the Printworks

Superhero fans are in for a treat this February, as seven famous film heroes take over Printworks to offer fans the ultimate super selfie.

The life-size statues, complete with a giant Hulk, will descend upon Printworks where fans can marvel at their favourite heroes and snap a selfie for free.

The venue is offering fans the opportunity to brush shoulders with the likes of Captain America, a 10ft Hulk, Spiderman, Batman and more all in one place.

Head to Printworks’ Pump Yard from 19th-27th February for your chance to catch a glimpse of the heroes and show your best superhero pose with the statues.

Find out more here.

Activity packs and free desserts at Riva Blu Corn Exchange and Piccolino

Providing a perfect half term treat for both little ones and grown-ups, Riva Blu (Manchester Corn Exchange) and Piccolino (Manchester, Didsbury, Hale, Bramhall, Stockton Heath, Chester, Knutsford) are offering all younger guests a chance to enjoy some creative fun as parents make the most of the school holidays.

The fun and educational packs see the introduction of three new playful characters – Artie the bear cub, Piccoli Tize the bunny and Riva the lynx – all of whom promise to keep little ones entertained whilst guests dine, with a series of creative drawing, word and numerical challenges.

Children dining with their families will also be treated to a free dessert during the February holidays, when also enjoying a main course meal (offer exclusive to members of Club Individual).

Find out more here.

Family-friendly festivals and trails at Tatton Park

There is plenty to keep the family entertained in the great outdoors this February half term, with a Scarecrow Festival, Percy the Park Keeper trail and Parkland Scavenger Hunt at Tatton Park.

Book online at least three days before your visit and you’ll save 10% off every ticket.

And if you can visit Tatton Park on a weekday, you will save money on your Parkland entry.

Find out more and book here.

Show off your dinosaur knowledge

So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs is the hit stage show starring dinosaur aficionado Dr Ben Garrod.

Get ready to go on an exciting pre-historic adventure as Ben explores the biggest, deadliest and weirdest predators that ever roamed the planet.

On 26th February at Waterside Arts, Dr Ben presents an interactive, educational and highly entertaining show using film footage from the BBC’s Planet Dinosaur.

Pitting the knowledge of unwitting adults against their all-knowing kids, this hit live interactive show is now bigger and better than ever.

So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs? is on 26th February at Waterside Arts. Find out more and book here

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