Three family-friendly days in Manchester

From ski lessons to meeting sea creatures, exploring the gardens of a mansion to family walks in the countryside, Manchester could be the perfect backdrop to your fun-packed family holiday in Britain. Here’s how you and your family can make three days in Manchester full to the brim with laughter, new experiences and great food.

Day 1 of 3

Morning activity - Ready, steady, snow!

Playing in the snow is one of those unforgettable childhood memories, so why not let yourself and your little ones enjoy some time zipping down the slopes on skis or an inflatable doughnut, at Manchester’s Chill Factore! Although just half an hour’s drive from the centre of Manchester, Chill Factore will transport you to a magical world of endless fun in the snow.

Jump into the world of winter sports, with sledging, skiing and snowboarding as well as the longest snow slope in the UK to race down. Private and group ski and snowboarding lessons are available too, with a 50-minute snowboarding taster session also available.

For those who prefer to stay snug in the warm, there’s a viewing gallery where you can sit back with hot drink and watch the fun.

For very small snow fans there’s Mini Moose Land, a space specially made for children under three – the ideal spot little ones to experience snow-play for the first time. Decked out with mini igloos, crawl-able tunnels and tiny sledges, even the youngest members of the family can enjoy the fun.


Lunch - a child-friendly feast

After working up an appetite on the slopes, you can drive just six minutes to Las Iguanas in the Trafford Centre. This laid-back restaurant offers a special kids’ menu and ‘niños’ meals, with portions made for under twelves, as well as free organic baby food and the option to reheat bottles.

For the grown-ups, their menu of comforting Mexican dishes includes halal chicken, goat, lamb and duck.


Afternoon activity - see the sea (creatures)

Feel a part of the underwater world as you explore Sealife Manchester. Home to more than 180,000 marine creatures and just an eight-minute drive from the Trafford Centre, a trip to Sealife gives both children and adults the chance to marvel at the giant green sea turtles, Japanese spider crabs, sting rays, octopuses and seahorses – some of which you can touch, if you dare!

Alternatively, families can immerse themselves in the Lego universe at Legoland Discovery Centre. Offering numerous fun-packed activities, little ones can run wild in the many brightly coloured worlds. These include a Ninjago City Adventure, where kids can explore a ninja-inspired playground, Miniland, a mini interactive city, or the ‘built and test’ race course, where they can let their creativity lead the way! This centre also has an amazing VR experience, taking you through your own Lego car race, and a 4D cinema showing your favourite Lego movies.


Dinner – enjoy food with flair

After a twenty-minute drive back to the city centre, you can enjoy an evening meal with some delicious ring-side entertainment. Sapporo offers the chance to witness an experienced chef demonstrate the skill and theatrics of a teppanyaki table, where your meal will be carefully created on an iron griddle. A dining experience that became popular in post-war Japan, your chef will skilfully dice and flip your meal with a spatula, with lots of tricks and flames in between. There are also halal options and a handy children’s menu.

Day 2 of 3

Morning activity - more than just a mansion

Escape the bustling city centre and spend the morning exploring Tatton Park, a historic English mansion just forty minutes away from Manchester. You and your family will be transported back to the 18th century, as you explore the neo-classical mansion, spot wild deer in the vast deer park and experience a working farm.

Tatton Park is a perfect example of how gardens would have been in Edwardian times. Stroll amongst the collections of flora and fauna, perfectly pruned hedges, traditional glasshouses and even the historic kitchen garden, full of herbs and produce that would have once stocked the house.


Lunch – go mad as a hatter

Families can tuck into a whimsical Alice in Wonder themed afternoon tea, at Richmond Tea Rooms. Housed in a Grade II-listed historic building just over 30 minutes’ drive from Tatton Park, it features black and red diamond-clad walls, ‘eat me’ ‘drink me’ signs and tables set up for a party under a tent – all to recreate the magic of Alice in Wonderland.

With a special children’s afternoon tea option, little ones will be fully immersed in this delightful experience, as they tuck into delicate sandwiches, small scones, sponge cake and choice of milkshake.


Afternoon activity - delve Manchester’s past

For a chance to learn more about Manchester’s industrial past and soak up some science, you can swing by the Science and Industry Museum. Packed with things to learn and experience, from up-close space exploration to walking through a replica textiles factory, this is the perfect activity to broaden the whole family’s horizons.


Dinner – eat Italian style

If all that learning has made you hungry, just a short drive away you can find Rosso, one of Manchester’s first halal Italian restaurants. A luxurious dining experience for all the family, their mouth-watering á la carte menu offers steak, pasta, ravioli, pizza and fish dishes, whilst the children’s menu has a list of favourites such as pizza and spaghetti Bolognese.

Day 3 of 3

Morning activity - let the race begin

For fans of Formula 1, Stonerig Raceway is a playground like no other. Sit in a replica F1 car cockpit surrounded by three screens, take a spin in a super-car simulation or buckle-up for an intense VR experience, all topped off by some races in the UK’s biggest Scalextric centre. Located fifty minutes’ drive from Manchester, this unique daytime activity will excite the whole family, an experience very much worth the trip.


Lunch - a spot of pub grub

For those wanting to tuck into some classic British dishes, just ten minutes’ drive from Stonerig Racecourse you can find the Waggon Inn. Once a traditional pub, this inn has been transformed into a modern and stylish gastro-pub. Offering up dishes such as ale battered haddock, roast free range chicken and a rich three cheese and onion pie, you can be sure of a warming food, served in a cosy environment.

Alternatively, families can enjoy some sizzling grub, at BBQ’d, where all sorts of halal meat dishes are served in a laid-back eatery. Alongside the impressive BBQ sizzlers, chicken platters and handy kids’ menu, you can also enjoy a range of exciting mocktails.


Afternoon activity - explore the surrounding landscape

Enjoy a slice of the Peak District National Park, at Yeoman Hey Reservoir. Wander around this glorious reservoir, breathing in the fresh countryside air, whilst gazing up at the stunning landscape. Keen hikers can explore the famous moors, while families can enjoy a hill-free stroll around the trio of reservoirs, Dove Stone, Yeoman Hey and Greenfield.


Dinner – dine in the height of luxury

Enjoy a meal with panoramic views over the city as you dine in the height of luxury, on the 19th floor. 20 Stories features a menu of lavish dishes that celebrate high-quality and local produce, all served in opulent surroundings. Their elegant á la carte menu highlights include lobster, venison and baked ratatouille, whilst their children’s menu offers little ones simple but tasty food that is sure to be a hit.

27 Jan 2020(last updated)

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