I was in Manchester recently for work and thought it would be interesting to research what there is to do for toddlers. I was surprised to find that there is a huge range of museums in Manchester with activities aimed at little ones. Here are the most interesting 6 things to do in Manchester with a toddler that I found…
6 Things to do in Manchester with a Toddler
1. Manchester Art Gallery
Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL
Monday – Sunday 10am – 5pm, including bank holiday Mondays. Late night opening on Thursday until 9pm. Closed 23, 24, 25, 26 and 31 Dec 2017 and 1 Jan 2018
Manchester Art Gallery has explorer toolbelts which uses things such as binoculars and spot cards to help families make connections with the artworks in a playful way. The Clore Interactive Gallery is an interactive space for families to be creative together with materials such as blocks and counters. They also run lots of creative workshops throughout the summer holidays aimed at families. The cafe offers a great ‘pay as you feel’ deal on children’s meals. They will also warm baby food and have plenty of high chairs. There are baby change facilities on the ground floor and it is buggy-accessible.
2. People’s History Museum
Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER
The museum is open every day from 10.00am to 5.00pm, including bank holidays. On the second Thursday of the month, the museum is open from 10.00am to 8.00pm. It is closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January.
Free, donations gratefully received
The People’s History Museum is perhaps not an obvious choice for a toddler. They don’t tend to be that interested in politics, democracy and social change… However, they hold regular family days, with activities such as crafts, storytelling and music-making. The museum makes an effort to be family-friendly and can be quieter than those more obviously targeted at kids. There are Busy Bee packs available to help your little ones explore the museum (aimed at 3-6 year olds). The cafe does a kids’ meal, has high chairs and bottle warmer, and has a little play area. There is also a space for picnicking if you are on a budget.
3. Museum of Science and Industry
Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FP
Museum open daily 10.00–17.00, except 24–26 December and 1 January
The Museum of Science and Industry pops up on most lists of ‘things to do in Manchester with kids’. And for good reason. This museum has loads of great interactive activities for kids, whatever their age. For toddlers, head for the Experiment! gallery. Here youngsters can have a go at hands on engineering, building with the colourful blocks. There is also ‘My Den’ for babies, where there are soft mats for playing on and sensory activities. The museum also has a range of activity packs to help you make the most of the different galleries. There are a couple of cafes, but if you are saving the pennies, there is a picnic area too.
4. Rock Over Climbing
Weekdays & Weekends 10-6pm
£3.50 per child Monday-Friday (under 12 months go free), £4 per child Saturday/Sunday
Introduce your toddler to climbing at Rock Over Climbing. There is an area dedicated to little ones, with soft play, climbing wall and adventure area.
5. Manchester Museum
The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL
10am-5pm. 24-26 Dec, 1 Jan: closed
My toddler really enjoys this sort of place. At the Manchester Museum, you can hold objects and discover their stories. You can visit the Nature Discovery gallery, which is aimed at little ones exploring the natural world. There are baby change facilities, children’s menu at the cafe and a picnic area. There are also lots of free family-friendly events, such as the Magic Carpet story-telling activity.
6. Museum of Transport
Boyle St, Cheetham, Manchester M8 8UW
Open Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holidays and daily in August, 10am – 4.30pm. Closed over the Christmas and New Year period (from Christmas Eve to the New Year’s Day Bank Holiday inclusive).
Adult £4, under 16 free
Another perennial favourite for toddlers – anything to do with transport! The Museum of Transport is in an old bus depot, so plenty of space to run around. It is full of vintage vehicles, such as trams, buses, and fire engines. Some of the buses can be clambered on, always fun for a toddler. There is a simple cafe selling sandwiches and so on.
Rainy City Kids has some great posts on things to do in Manchester with kids. Does anyone else have any tips?