We at the Window Company know all too well that the summer holidays are what every school kid looks forward to…but what many parents dread. Waking up to groans of ‘I don’t want to go to school’ is replaced with the pained ‘I’m sooooo bored, what can I do?

So when the offer of divvying out the household chores is inevitably rejected, why not consider one of these activities? The only costs involved are for transport, possibly parking and maybe an ice cream; you can take a packed lunch, too. The boredom will be long forgotten, and memories made instead.

manchester free activities

Outdoor Fun

Let’s face it: when the sun’s out, we need to be out, as we don’t know how long it’ll last! Our region is home to some brilliant parks, and over the summer, people from all over will be flocking to enjoy these green spaces. What’s more, the following places are hosting some free events, too!

Red House Farm (Dunham Massey)
Home to the Maize Maze (payable), this lovely little farm offers free entry to a play area suitable for little ones, as well as a deli shop and tea room. Plus, you can take your dog along, and it’s open 7 days a week.

Go Gruffalo Spotting (Delamere Forest)
“A Gruffalo? What’s a Gruffalo?” Bring this modern children’s classic to life in an exciting Gruffalo hunt at Delamere Forest. You can follow the clues dotted around the forest, or you can go one better and download the Gruffalo Spotter augmented reality app and capture fun photos with the characters as you go! For older children, the forest is a great place for nature walks with games of hide and seek, or even a bit of cycling. The Gruffalo trail, as well as the Forest, is open 7 days a week.

Park Lives (14 Parks across Manchester)
Following on from the success of last year’s Park Lives, this scheme holds various family-friendly activity sessions, led by professionals – and they’re all FREE! Choose from all sorts, such as Zumba, football and bowling, across 14 different parks in Manchester. All you need to do is set up a Park Lives account and book the sessions you wish to attend!

Come To The Beach (Heaton Park)
Why go to the beach when the beach can come to you? Get yourself down to Heaton Park for some seaside fun! Entry is free, but you may wish to take some money for the fun fair rides and attractions (and obviously, an ice cream).

Spinningfields Summer Screenings (The Oast House)
Watching a movie with a load of mates is always fun, so why not get a group together and make your way to The Oast House for a Tuesday night classic on the big outdoor screen?

Sunday Fun Days (Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park)
You won’t need your passport (or wallet*) for this! Not just for the plane spotters; every Sunday throughout August you can take full advantage of free fairground rides! All you need to take is your picnic.

*Car park charges apply

manchester days out

Indoor activities

When the weather inevitably turns but you really need to get out of the house, where can you go?

Summer of Fun (The Lowry Outlet)
The Lowry Outlet are holding a Summer of Fun with loads of free activities throughout the school holidays. The kids can get involved in sing-along sessions and enjoy story book performances, as well as take part in the ‘Shaun the Sheep’ crafts and games!

Summer Fun at Barton Square (intu Trafford Centre)
Get the buckets and spades ready…the beach is coming indoors at the intu Trafford Centre! Access to the beach (and the deck chairs) is free of charge, but there will also be various payable activities around the beach, too. And that’s not all… kids can eat free!

Manchester’s Museums (Various)

Who says the learning has to stop during the holidays? Manchester has got some fantastic museums – surely one or two are worth a visit?

For football fans, there’s the National Football Museum. This museum is in its 5th year, and to celebrate, there are various activities being run all summer!

The fascinating Museum of Science and Industry is also running an event throughout the school holidays: ‘Imagine It, Make It, Move It’. Most sessions are free, but tickets are required. Entry to the museum is free of charge.

Home to dinosaurs (or their skeletons, at least) and ancient Egyptian mummies, the Manchester Museum will have something to wow every family member. And yes, it’s free to get in!

For something a little more serious, there’s the excellent Greater Manchester Police Museum or the ever-popular Imperial War Museum North; a sobering experience to say the least.

Finally, for the arty types, there’s The Whitworth, which will be holding family events throughout the summer, plus the Manchester Art Gallery. Again, both venues offer free admission.

Where do you fancy?

Wherever you choose to go, please do check the websites just in case there are any changes to timetables!

Have a great summer from all of us at the Window Company.