While you are learning how to flatlay soup or optimise any blog post for the no.1 spot on a Google search, your responsible adult might have to amuse themselves in Manchester for the day. They may even have children to entertain. Here are 20 ideas for places to go and things to see – some need advance booking, some are free, all are within a tram ride or a 20 minute drive of Hotel Football…
Manchester City Centre
Loads of shopping opportunities including the LEGO Store in The Arndale Centre, the eclectic mix of indie shops in Afflecks Palace and the biggest Primark in the UK. There’s also pretty much whatever you might want to buy or eat… or see…
Manchester Museum – Open 10am-5pm. Free entry.
Large natural history museum with absolutely loads to see, including an Egyptian exhibit, fossils, Stan the T-rex and some slightly more modern stuff… Manchester Museum website.
Museum of Science and Industry – Open 10am-5pm. Free entry.
See Baby, the world’s first modern computer, as well as all kinds of science, technology and engineering from the industrial revolution until the present day. Steam trains, cars, planes, graphene, 3D printing, cotton mills and plenty more… MOSI website.
National Football Museum Open 10am-5pm. Free entry.
The Urbis is worth a visit for the building alone. Full of the history of football from early beginnings through wartime matches and superstar pin ups to the mega-rich and famous of today. Plenty for anyone to enjoy – even if you don’t like football! National Football Museum website.
People’s History Museum Open 10am-5pm. Free entry.
The history of protest and people power, diversity and fairness. Suffragettes, CND, votes for all, the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Let’s not forget. The PHM website.
Imperial War Museum North – 10am-5.00pm. Free entry.
Small payments for The Shard and craft activities, but plenty to do and see for anyone of any age, with specially tailored exhibits for children, horrible histories and wartime life. The IWMN website.
Manchester United Football Stadium Tour, Old Trafford
There are loads of options, including Museum, Stadium Tour and your dinner for around £25. Find out what is going on during your visit date on the website – Man Utd Football Experience website.
Manchester City Football Stadium Tour, Etihad Stadium
Around 1.5 hour experience from around £17. Loads of different tours are available, but you need to see what is happening on the day you visit. Check the website for details – Man City Football Experience website
Coronation Street Tour – Open 9am-6pm Tours weekends only.
Approx £35 for a full 80 minute tour, which is apparently well worth it for fans. Find out more and book on the Coronation Street Tour website.
Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park
Loads to offer planespotting visitors, with free entry but you will have to pay for your parking! Sundays are ‘Fundays’ with all kinds of events and the opportunity to book a tour of Concorde. There is also a Flight Academy for children costing a mere £7, including getting onto a real plane – book in advance and find out more on the Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park website.
Trafford Park/Trafford Centre
Shopping / Cinema / food court inside the Trafford centre, as well as lots around Trafford park
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre 10am-6pm
Brand new VR Experience (book a slot) plus soft play, climbing wall, miniature cars, 3D cinema and of course LEGO. No lone adults admitted. See the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre website for details.
This is very pretty and features lots of sea creatures, but it’s compact and an individual ticket is hard to justify. See the Sealife Manchester website for details.
Both LEGOLAND and Sealife are Merlin attractions and a joint ticket is far better value than individual. Always buy in advance online (up to the day before) as walk up prices can be steep.
Chill Factore Book online in advance. Open all day and has activities for any age.
You can get a full afternoon’s play for around £20. The Chill Factore website has details of all different activities and prices.
Underneath/behind Chill Factore. HUGE indoor play centre with giant soft play etc. Around £20 for an adult and child per 2.5 hour session. More details on the Play Factore website.
East Lancs Railway, Bury
Different events all through the year – Thomas, Harry Potter, The Flying Scotsman, Period Costume Days etc, but trains run every day from Bury to Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. Ticket prices vary, but are usually around £15.50 per adult for a day ticket except special events. Find out more on the East Lancs Railway website
Dino Falls Adventure Golf – 7am-10.30pm no booking required.
£8 adult price. This is an outdoor attraction, but unless you are made of candy floss you shouldn’t get too drenched. Find out more on the Dino Falls Adventure Golf website.
Heaton Park, 8am til dusk. Free with parking charge for cars.
The largest municipal park in Europe with championship golf course, play areas, cafe and farm. Map and information on the Heaton Park website.
Treetop Nets, Heaton Park, 9am-8pm
2000sq m of slides, tunnels and walkways made from nets suspended from the trees and suitable for adults and children. £20 for up to 2 hours unlimited play. Find out more on the Treetop Nets website.
Jenny, lover of LEGO and reluctant cat-owner. Good at hugs and putting the world to rights. Looks fabulous for a 63 year old. Has blogged at The Brick Castle for the last 4 years, yet still hasn’t tried every toy invented. She is over on Social Media at @TheBrickCastle too.