Best Things to Do This February Half Term in Manchester

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Young child lying in a ball bit with black painted glasses on
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It doesn’t feel 5 minutes since we were unwrapping presents at Christmas, does it?! But half term is looming and with the weather still a bit, well very, unpredictable we thought we’d share some top ideas to keep your little ones out of mischief and you sane. culturecalling.com's choice is varied to suit everyone’s interest, budget and cater for that rather predictable Manchester weather.


The Warehouse, Aviva Studios

Outside the Factory International white and concrete space reflecting in the water and people standing outside it
Factory International

Water Street, Manchester, M3 4JQ

Big kids also need entertainment during the half term hols and this night could be right up their street.  Sampha, the Mercury Prize-winning artist, returns to Manchester for an in the round performance celebrating his second album LAHAI This is his first headline show in Manchester in seven years and one of only 2 UK 2024 tour stops.  The international star’s latest album, LAHA!  explores the many ways in which we as humans connect to each other, and to something bigger than ourselves; in the radical acceptance and joy in the human condition, and the beauty in the journey itself. It sounds deep!

15 – 16 Feb 2024

You can book tickets from £10 here


National Football Museum

colourful poster with using green, red, yellow and blue and images of whistles, trophy, timer and Subutoe
National Football Museum

Urbis Building Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG

The National Football Museum is a great one for any child who has an interest in football.

The museum is based in the Urbis building in Manchester city centre and is custodian of the world’s largest public collection of football objects and archives. 

2500 items are on display – including artwork, toys, clothing, photos, games and memorabilia.  You can also watch hours of filmed interviews.

Batteries Not Included is a one-off family friendly exhibition that explores the history and development of football toys and games, their remarkable influence on our lives and understanding of the game.

Visitors of all ages can get hands-on with a range of football toys and games with no fewer than 17 interactive games and exhibits, including updated takes on classic pastimes, a broad range of arcade video games - and, of course, Subbuteo.

The museum is open daily from 10-5pm and the great news is that if you live in Manchester, the museum is free. For everyone else, it’s best to book online for the cheapest prices.


Nerf Action Xperience

Inside Nerf Action Xperience showing a dimly list space with a large blue X sign and other neon lights.
Nerf Action Xperience

Unit C2-C6, Trafford Palazzo, Trafford City, Manchester M17 8AS

Are you drowning in Nerf bullets? We are at my house.  Nerf Action Is our saviour and pitches itself as the first official Nerf themed space. It has four action-packed zones where you can Hone Your Skills, 2 battle arena’s – Chaos City and Mission X.

Kids get to enhance their hand-eye coordination by playing various games where physical blasters meet digital environments and capture the flag in Chaos City.   Sessions are £12 and include one hour and come with goggles and a NERF gun.

Birthday parties are also great fun here – you get 1hr of NERF Action Xperience plus 30 mins of dedicated party time and food in Archies afterwards.

You can make a booking here


HOME

Blue installations stuck to the gallery walls of a white room
Naomi Harwin

2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN

Naomi Harwin: Middle Moments 13 Jan – 24 March

This is a colourful and interactive exhibition suitable for little ones and big ones.

Naomi Harwin is a Manchester based artist that specialises in sculpture and installation.  Her latest collection is on display at HOME and she welcomes everyone to be curious and play with the interactive sculptures, encouraging visitors to leave their mark for others to discover and connect with.   

The artist invites you to explore her collection of ‘middle moments’ in Manchester through cut outs and interactive, tactile installations.


The Lowry

A lady in a red dress talking to a man in a pig costume
Lowry

Pier, 8 The Quays, Salford, Manchester M50 3AZ

The Adventures of the Little Red Hen

The Lowry always puts on a great show during the school holidays. This is suitable for ages 3 to 10.  The Adventures of the Little Red Hen is an adaptation of this much-loved story, featuring an entertaining combination of brilliant puppetry, live music and unforgettable comedy.  

It’s produced by a company called Stuff and Nonsense who are well-known for their clever, captivating storytelling and ability to make us all laugh.

The show runs from 20 – 23rd February and you can book tickets here


Depot Climbing

white climbing wall with hundreds of multi coloured shapes for climbing on
Depot Climbing Manchester

Unit 1/N2 Mosley Road, Central Park Estate, Trafford Park Manchester M17 1PG

Wall climbing is a great activity for those rainy days. There are a few climbing spaces in Manchester but we like Depot Climbing for its level of professionalism and it caters to all ages and levels of experience.   

The kids’ walls are for absolute beginners to those who are competing, and it runs sessions suitable 1 year olds to 14.  It offers different types of classes including – Rock Tots, Wild Climbers, Nicas Bouldering to Kids clubs – depending on the level of experience and how frequently you’re going to climb.

To find out more and book a session click here


Science and Industry Museum

3 doctors in white coast holding and a picture of a poo
Operation Ouch!

Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP

The museum might be undergoing extensive regeneration but there’s still a lot going on this half term.  Discover a programme of free, hands-on fun, games and challenges for all ages.  

Meet mighty machines in the Textiles Gallery and discover world changing ideas in Revolution Manchester. There are also a couple of ticketed events running.

In Operation Ouch! Kids can delight in how Food, Poo and You journey through the digestive system with interactive games and challenges, fun facts and fascinating objects on a special mission to find out what happens to food when we eat.  

Or play your way through the very best video games from the past five decades with a ticket to Power Up—the ultimate gaming experience.

You can book here


Circus Funtasia

bright red and orange montage of circus acts - acrobats, motorcycle in a flaming wheel
Circus Funtasia

Wythenshawe Park, Wythenshawe Road

15 – 25 February 2024

After the sell out 10 year anniversary tour, Circus Funtasia is back with a bang.

There’s something magical about a Big Top circus. You’ll get to hear the roar of motorbike engines, become mesmerized by the stunning aerialists and jaw dropping wheel of death.

Marvel at the energetic Cuban Acrobatic Troupe, heart stopping roller skating Duo and much more.  To top it off, there’s laugh out loud comedy by the award-winning comedian, 'The Geek'. 

Fantasia’s got all the talent of a West End show, with irresistible circus magic.

You can book tickets here


Manchester Spy Mission Treasure Trail

Spy Mission booklet
Manchester Spy Mission

Need to get your kids out walking but on a mission? This activity ticks all the boxes and is pretty cheap.   It requires minimal planning and all you have to do is purchase a booklet online for £9.99 and use it to explore whenever you like!   

The Manchester Spy Mission Treasure Trail will have you and the kids running around the 1.3-mile 'loop' Trail which takes around 1.5 hours to complete at your own pace. You’ll need to look for clues (you can receive text message service with clues if you get stuck) and by the time you complete your mission, your trivia knowledge about Manchester will have improved a great deal! Solve the mission and be entered into a £100 monthly draw.

The booklet’s available instantly and you can download it here