10 Things to Do with the Kids this Half-Term in Greater Manchester

16:00 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Half-term is just around the corner even though it seems like the children only went back a few days ago! I'm sure all of your thoughts are turning to entertaining your children and getting out and about before Winter starts to bite. I've pulled together ten suggestions for half-term fun, some free, some charged for across Greater Manchester.

1. Spot Harry Potter at Manchester Museum

In addition to their outstanding permanent collections, Manchester Museum are giving fans the chance to spot Harry Potter this half term. Artwork by Jim Kay, from the new edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has been hidden in twelve museums across the UK this half-term (including Manchester Museum), simply find the image, take a selfie with it and share it on Twitter or Instagram using #HarryPotterSpotter to have a chance to win.

While you're in the museum be sure to check out the Gifts from the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed exhibition which is on until April 2016. The exhibition uses modern science to explain the ancient practice of mummy making and takes visitors 'underneath the wrappings.'

2. Investigate Spooky Seas at SEALife Manchester

SEALife Manchester have so much Halloween fun planned. Spooky Seas will help us find out who is the scariest creature of the seas. Sharks, eels, giant crabs are all seen as scary but SEALife Manchester want to dispel the myth as humans are seen as scarier than that! There is a pumpkin hunt with letters hidden in tanks for children to track down. If they find all the clues they can take part in the yucky dip to win a prize.

Arts and crafts and talks with Halloween facts will also be available, as well as lantern making and origami! To find out more and book tickets visit the SEALife Manchester website.

3. Meet Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers at The Whitworth Art Gallery

I'm ashamed to say we haven't made it to the Whitworth Art Gallery since it re-opened after it's extensive refurbishment. I've heard so much about their family friendly activities though and they are getting half term off to quite a start with a fantastic event featuring two of the brightest names in children's books. Oliver Jeffers and Eoin Colfer have joined forces to create 'Imaginary Fred' and will be appearing live on stage for an event filled with fun, banter, words and pictures.

The event takes place on Saturday 24th October and is part of The Big Draw, To find out more information and book free tickets click here.

4. Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre is getting in on the Halloween action with some exciting activities for half-term week. Take part in an adventurous Halloween Hunt, building your own special LEGO pumpkin in the designated Halloween building area and you’ll even come nose-to-brick with three giant spooktacular castles haunted by LEGO® zombies, ghosts and skeletons!

Children who dress in costume on Halloween (31st October) will get free entry into the attraction when accompanied by a paying adult. Visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre to book tickets and check out the deals which allow you to combine a visit to Spooky Seas at the SEALife Centre nearby.

Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre

5. Take in a Show at The Met, Bury

Bury's lively entertainment venue, The Met, has no less than five family friendly shows planned for October half-term, suitable for children age three upwards.

On Tuesday 27th October at 2pm Big Telly Theatre Company present Gulliver. - An uproarious theatrical adventure suitable for ages 12+. Tickets £6.

Big Telly Theatre Company present Gulliver at The Met

On Wednesday 28 October at 7:30pm  Publick Transport bring We Are Brontë to The Met. We Are Brontë is a visually comic family friendly introduction to the world of the Brontës. Suitable for ages 12+, tickets £10/£6 concessions.

Kid Carpet brings his new show Kid Carpet and the Noisy Neighbours to The Met on Thursday 29 October at 1pm. Using music, puppetry and projection Kid Carpet and the Noisy Neighbours looks at what it’s like to move into a new house in the city and find your place there. Suitable for ages 6+, tickets £6.

Returning to The Met on Friday 30 October is Artful Playground with The Toothy Adventures of Davy Denture, an imaginative and interactive musical journey for children. Aimed at young children ages 3+ and children with special educational needs. Performances of The Toothy Adventures of Daviy Denture are 11am & 1pm, tickets £6.

After half term is over why not join Les Enfants Terribles at 7pm on Thursday 5 November for Imaginary Menagerie.Packed with puppets, music and magic Imaginary Menagerie is the world’s weirdest wonder emporium. Suitable for ages 6+, tickets £10/£6 concessions.

For more information on any of these events or to book tickets phone The Met’s Box Office on 0161 761 2216 or go online at www.themet.biz.

6. Experiment with Science at Manchester Science Festival

Manchester Science Festival is back for it's 9th year and the 11 day city-wide festival showcases a broad array of events for people of all ages to explore, investigate and experiment. The natural home for this event is, of course, MOSI but there are events in a wide range of other locations, from the Royal Eye Hospital to MediaCity UK. Check out the Manchester Science Festival website for the complete guide to what's on. The Family Fun section showcases everything suitable for families, but that's just one of the eight strands that make up the festival. 

7. Join in the Snoopy & Friends Fun at intu Trafford Centre

Head down to intu Trafford Centre this October half term where there’s a whole host of fun activities on offer to keep the kids entertained. Ahead of the release of the highly anticipated film The Peanuts Movie on November 6th, Snoopy and friends will be taking over intu Trafford Centre with a variety of different pop-ups and workshops for children including: a pop-up Peppermint Patty pamper station, Snoopy themed Halloween pumpkin carving workshops, mask making and plane building,.

The beautiful Victorian Carousel that graced Barton Square last year will also be returning to intuTrafford Centre on 24th October to take children on a magical vintage ride around the shopping centre.

Finally, there’s two key dates to take note of as the hugely popular Christmas Light Switch On kicks off this year’s festivities on 29th October and the Fireworks Spectacular goes off with a bang on 1st November.

Peanuts the Movie

8. Celebrate Animation at the Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

The start of half term sees the opening of a brand new exhibition at the Waterside Arts Centre, Sale. Puppet Masters: Celebrating Animation focuses on the work of world-renowned puppet makers Mackinnon and Sanders. This includes Corpse Bride, Mars Attacks!, The Clangers and Bob the Builder and give visitors a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into the world of stopmotion animation.

The exhibition will bring together a unique collection of original puppets, sets, props, technical drawings, character designs and concept art, on display together for the first time. Through a series of ‘story-zones’ the journey of each character from page to puppet will be explored, alongside the practices of stopmotion animation in an immersive gallery experience. To find out more about the exhibition and the special events arranged as part of it, visit the Waterside Arts Centre website. They have a programme of family friendly shows for half term on too.

9. Learn About The Blitz with Horrible Histories at IWM North

We love Imperial War Museum North and their current Horrible Histories: Blitzed Brits exhibition is one of the best we have attended there. Seventy-five years ago, the Blitz brought the war to the doorsteps of everyone in Britain. The exhibition features more than 200 objects, photographs, art works, film clips and sound recordings and reveals the personal stories of the people who lived through the Blitz.

This Horrible Half Term explore the  exhibition with a special family friendly tour and hear how 14 year old girl Charity Bick, volunteered to become an ARP despatch rider and deliver important messages during air raids and was awarded a medal for her bravery. Then drop into the Open Studio to get up close with items not on display and sketch your own still life masterpiece of Second World War objects from IWM's collection. Don’t miss the ration weary 1940s housewife - a silent masked character on the loose in the museum – to find out just what rations she had in her shopping basket. Discover the Blitz through the eyes of Dotty, a 10 year-old girl whose mum is an Air Raid Warden, in this interactive storytelling session. Follow Dotty as she goes on a daring rescue mission and get hands on with ARP artefacts and unique pieces of shrapnel collected by children over 70 years ago.

10. Celebrate Halloween at Lowry Outlet

Halloween comes to the Lowry Outlet with an exciting event - Spooktacular,  taking place fro Wednesday 28th - Saturday 31st October.

Follow the Halloween trail through Lowry Outlet for tricks and treats which can be found in the Little House of Horrors - a dark and spooky experience suitable for children aged 4-12 years. The house is filled with spooky decor, lighting and characters to test the nerve of the bravest young souls.

Enter the Witch's Kitchen, where you can meet the witch in her cauldron filled kitchen. Reach inside her slime filled pots and pans and find the missing spell ingredients.

Dare you crawl through the Spider's Lair? Discover ghosts and skeletons behind the cobwebs and mirrors. After that you can venture into the Skeleton's Tomb and try your hand at our spooky hoopla game.

For further details check out the Lowry Outlet Events Guide.

There's so much going on in Greater Manchester this half-term. Will you be joining in with any of the fun?