Thursday 26 September 2019

What's on This Autumn in Manchester and the NW for Families with Kids of All Ages.

As usual there is loads to do in Manchester and the North West this Autumn - here are just a few events and activities which are suitable for families with children of all ages, possibly even when they're taller than you and have a full beard...

I will add to this post as more comes in. If you have anything you'd like me to add, please email it to me, with a photo! Please don't send me anything which isn't in the North West UK...

Z-access Family Fun Day
Z-arts, Hulme, Manchester

Sunday 13 October - an accessible day of interactivity, including dance, music, and arts activities. This day is designed especially for families where one or more members may have additional accessibility requirements.

Collage of 4 photos from plays listed below

Little Monsters and drag queens – and everything in-between
Z-Arts, Hulme, Greater Manchester

A World Inside A Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures
Until December 2019
Immersive Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler inspired world to explore. 0-8 years old and their families : £6 - £7
Little Monster
Saturday 28 September
Is the mysterious monster that has made everyone else run away really as bad as he seems? Ages 3 - 5 : £6 - £9
Stitch Brothers Patchwork Wonders
Friday 11 & Saturday 12 October
It’s theatre, but not as you know it…. join us for this genre-bursting mix of beatboxing, live drawing, animation, jazz, hip hop and South Asian folk music Ages 5 – 8 : £6 - £9
Saturday 19 October
This hilarious performance incorporates music, magic and movement, with a focus on thinking for yourselves. Ages 3+ : £6 - £9
The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps
Saturday 26 October
 A gothic tale to make you shudder and giggle at the same time, with an unfortunate inheritance,
a creepy butler and bizarre and hilarious deaths, this show is laugh out loud fun for the whole family. Ages 7+ : £6 - £9
Saturday 2 November
Children experience perceptions, sensations, images and emotions through a game of contrasts, with two very different characters. Ages 2 – 4 : £6 - £9
Sunday 3 November
Baby’s first theatre experience, aimed at ages 6 – 18 months. It uses mirrors, lights, colours and sounds to create a show inspired by how a baby’s sense of sight develops. Ages 6 – 18 months : £7 - £9

Find out more and book tickets on the Z-Arts website.

Waterside Arts Sale Autumn Programme for families

Autumn Programme
Waterside, Sale

6 The Dragon Who Hates Poetry 11:30 & 14:00
12 Mission…Save The World 13:30
19 Alice in Wonderland 14:00
20 Kaleidoscope times vary
24-25 Stick Man times vary
26 ComedySportz 4 Tots 15:00
26 ComedySportz 18:30
30 The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps 14:30
3 The Stitch Brothers 11:30 & 14:30
16 ComedySportz 4 Tots 15:00
16 ComedySportz 18:30
17 Emily Rising 11:30 & 14:00

Find out more and book tickets at

Hatch Student specials autumn collage with food jumper notebook

Hatch, Oxford Road, Manchester

Regular programme of events including:

3rd October - Quizimodo 8pm-10.00pm, free entry
‘The best quiz in town’ is coming to Hatch, the first Thursday of every month.

Sunday 27th October - Howl’oween 12- 6pm, Free Entry.
Bring your dogs along to Hatch to party. Fancy dress optional, but Hatch is hosting a ‘Spooky Pooch’ competition (at 4:00pm) where the ‘Spookiest Best Dressed Pooch’ will be crowned. The winner will get an overnight stay for two plus their ‘award winning’ dog at dog friendly neighbouring hotel, The Principal.
Pop ups include The Barkside (Manchester city centre’s only doggy day care centre), Millie’s and Ruby’s Dog Bakery, Ernie & Theo Dog Accessories and SWALK Creative with ‘Pumpkin doodling’ to keep the kids entertained and ‘pet portrait’ packages. DJ’s will be playing throughout the day

The following stores offer student discount throughout the year if you show you valid student ID on purchase (ask at all stores for student offers): Beer Box - 10% off on all craft beers : DJ Gym - 10% off DJ and production courses : ELECTRIK BOX - 10% everyday : Mezze Street Food - 10% off Mezze meals : Nordic Muse - 10% in-store and online at (Offer code: TOTUM) : Portland Barbers - 20% off every Tuesday and Thursday : Sneaker Pharm- 10% off on Mondays

For info on all Hatch events visit: Hatch Facebook events page.

Brick Or Treat
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Manchester

12th October - 3rd November
This October bring your little monsters to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester and get into the Halloween spirit with our Brick or Treat event! Take part in a ‘Scarevenger’ Hunt, join in a Monster Dance Party and add your own creations to the Haunted Hall of Fame for the chance to win epic prizes.
We reviewed Brick Or Treat last year...

Find out more and book tickets on the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre website. 

SeaLife, Manchester

12th October – 3rd November
Explore the ocean depths to discover the spooky creatures that lurk beneath the waves.
Meet the Merwitch in her lair, find the missing ingredients,  help cast the magic spell. Watch our spooky pumpkin show and claim your FREE SEA LIFE reusable bag!
We reviewed the Ascarium event last year here...

Book online to guarantee entry and find out more on the Sealife Website

Family Events
People's History Museum

Thursday 17 October 2019, 11.00am - 12.00pm
Beeing special
Meet Little Bee, the bee who wants to be different.  Join in the busy bee dance, search for flowers in the museum and follow Little Bee’s adventure to find out how he becomes the hero of Victorian Manchester.  Fun interactive story session with puppets, song, dance and a craft activity.
The Little People’s History Museum activity, suitable for under 5s and their grown ups, booking suggested via Eventbrite, one week before the event.

Saturday 19 October 2019 to Sunday 3 November 2019 10.00am - 5.00pm
Where’s Wally? The Big Museum Hunt
Can you find Wally in our collections?  Pick up an activity sheet and get a special sticker if you do! Organised by Kids in Museums and Walker Books.

Saturday 19 October 2019 to Sunday 3 November 2019 10.00am - 5.00pm
Doodle Den: Playful Protests
The Doodle Den is a relaxed space where visitors of all ages can take time out, pick up a pencil and explore ideas through drawing. Family Friendly activity, suitable for all ages. No booking required, drop in activity.

Find out more on the People's History Museum website

Halloween at Eureka Childrens Museum Halifax shows 2 members of staff dressed as witches

Bubble, bubble, there’s toil and trouble...
Eureka! Museum, Halifax

A coven of witches and a convocation of wizards have flown in to use the children’s museum for their official Halloween recruitment drive. Bring your budding Harry Potters and Mildred Hubbles to Eureka! this October half term to discover whether they belong on #TeamWitch or #TeamWizard!
The Eureka! Witches and Wizards will be putting apprentice magicians aged 0-11 years through a series of tasks and tests before they pledge allegiance, while mystical characters from Black Knight Historical will be conjuring up some truly magical classes in the Eureka! Theatre. Spooky fancy dress encouraged!

Find out more (there's lots more on over the next few months) on the Eureka National Children's Museum website

Sleeping Beauty cast and title logo St Helens Theatre Royal

Sleeping Beauty
St Helens Theatre Royal

Saturday 19 - Tuesday 29 October
Regal Entertainments Ltd presents Sleeping Beauty, with a cast including Samantha Palin; Mia Molloy; James Lacey; Lewis Devine; Shameless’ Warren Donnelly; Abigail Middleton; and St Helens’ resident Dame Si Foster.
The enchanting tale of Princess Aurora, who is cursed by the evil fairy Carabosse, tricking her into eternal slumber which can only be broken by a kiss from her true love.

Times: Monday & Tuesday: 1pm / Friday: 1pm & 5pm / Saturday and Sunday: 12pm & 5pm (no shows 21-24 October). Tickets: From £13

Book in person at the Theatre Royal Box Office (Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm), call 01744 756 000 or visit:

October Half-Term Activities
The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester

Until Sunday 5 January 2020 - The Sun
The Museum’s current major exhibition looks at Earth’s nearest star in detail. Try on an archive of sunglasses and see some of the earliest Victorian examples of solar-powered devices. Kids go free.
Daily - Mini Movers 
Revolution Manchester Gallery - 11.00 and 13.30
Drop-In (For ages 2 – 4 years)
Energy and the human body are explained in fun and friendly ways.
21 October – 3 November - Crank-Bots
Revolution Manchester -11am – 4pm
Drop in (Recommended for ages 5+)
The robots take over! Visitors power a robot under their control, getting it to draw a picture to take home.
21 - 26 October - Science Showdown: People Power
Revolution Manchester - 11am, 1pm and 3pm/27 - 30 October 11am and 3pm
Drop-In (Recommended for ages 5+)
Join this interactive show as explainers attempt to discover the best use of human energy. The three different experiments and demonstrations will be: Muscle Power, Human Waste and Brain Power
23 October - 30 October - People Powered Party 
Revolution Manchester - 10am – 4.30pm
Drop in (Recommended for ages 5+)
Families power their own disco. Six dynamo bikes , nutrition-based guessing games, trampette energy-burn competitions and healthy plate-building activities.
23 October – 30 October - The Big Build 
1830 Warehouse and 1830 Station - 10am – 5pm
Drop-In/Managed Entry (See Staff For Information)
Get hands on, grab your bricks and get building together or solo – simple! Sections include: Brick Pits for 3+/5+, Junior STEM Brick Robots Workshop  7+, Brick Play Tables  5+, Drop-In Brick Building with STEM Challenges set by engineers
23 October - Bright Sparks 
Revolution Manchester, 10am – 4pm
Drop-In (Recommended for ages 7+)
Find out more about how electricity works with visitors from Electricity Northwest
24 and 26 October - Waters Wacky Lab 
Revolution Manchester, 10.00 – 16.00
Drop-In (Recommended for ages 5+)
Fun activities that bring science to life include playing with quicksand, magnet experiments and building mega-structures!
27 October - 1 November - The Juggling of Science – Workshops and Shows
Shows at Revolution Manchester, 13.00
Workshops at Experiment, 11.00-12.00 and 15.30-16.30
Both drop-in
Ben and Fred present a completely free performance
28 October – 3 November, What’s inside a little sun lamp?
Conversation Space - 11:30 - 12:30 and 12:30 - 13:30
Book at front desk (Recommended for ages 8+)
A humble has changed over two million lives. Meet the Little Sun team, learn all about solar power and explore how solar power works by dismantling a Little Sun lamp.
28 October – 1 November - Pop-up Engineers 
Conversation Space, 10am – 5pm
Drop-In (Recommended for ages 5+)
A village fete-themed activity - meet STEM Ambassadors and draw on their knowledge by getting involved in the following activites: Spin the Wheel, Skills Jenga and I-Spy

19 October – 27 October, Pi: Platform for Investigation – Powered by Siemens
Conversation Space/Textiles Gallery - 10.30 – 15.30
Drop-In (Recommended for families with children 7+)
A series of events where families can discover together the cutting-edge research that’s happening right now and how it affects our lives. Meet real-life scientists and find out about the latest discoveries with a different theme and expert partner organisation each day. Those confirmed to date include:
Sun 19 Oct - Pi: making waves in space, Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
Sun 20 Oct - Pi: blood and bodies,University of Salford
Mon 21 Oct - Pi: fashion, tech and body image, Manchester Metropolitan University
Tue 22 Oct - Pi: data power, Royal Society/Manchester Metropolitan University/Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Wed 23 Oct - Pi: medicine – as unique as you are, QIAGEN, Apis and MMPathIC (University of Manchester)
Thu 24 Oct - Pi: healthy heart, healthy brain, University of Salford/Alzheimer’s Research UK
Fri 25 Oct - Living and travelling in a future Manchester, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Sat 26 Oct - Pi: cybersecurity playground, Manchester Metropolitan University
Sun 27 Oct - Pi: sounds like science, University of Manchester

The full range of events for children, young people and families at The Science and Industry Museum during Half Term can be explored at with booking details provided where applicable.

Halloween Show 3 Comedysportz

ComedySportz Halloween Spooktacular
Waterside, Sale.

26th October 2019     
Frightfully funny family friendly comedy with two teams of top comics, who compete for your laughs with ghoulish gags and games. It’s a night of unpredictable, unscripted laughter where anything can happen. There’s a referee on hand to ensure a good clean match with penalties for bad behaviour and bad jokes.
There will even be treats for any audience members in fancy dress – but don’t worry, there won’t be a trick if you’re not.
For families with children aged 6 and under there is also ComedySportz 4 Tots, an afternoon show jam-packed with silly songs and stories.
2hrs inc. interval, starts at 6.30pm. ComedySportz 4 Tots is at 3pm
Tickets:  £8 Adults £6 Concessions

Find out more on the Waterside website

Afflecks Halloween
Afflecks Palace, Manchester

Saturday 26th October
Afflecks traders will be in fancy dress for Halloween as the whole venue is transformed into spooky shopping destination. Traders will be open to “Trick or treat”, so if you want to try your luck you may receive some spooky treats while you shop.
One stop shop for fancy dress, costumes, accessories, party fun – everything needed for best Halloween ever.
Gingers Emporium will have pumpkin special ice cream, there'll be a pop-up fancy dress store from American Graffiti on the second floor near to Soapy J’ and Heather from Ruby Sohos Make-up studio is on hand to do some spooktacular make-up. She will be taking appointments and walk-ins on the day. Visit her facebook page for more details and how to book.
You can also take part in one of Jonathan Schofield’s special Halloween tours Ghosts of Afflecks and the Northern Quarter taking place on Saturday 26th at 2.30pm and 3.45pm.  Must be pre-booked here.

‘There is no planet B’ creative disobedience day
People’s History Museum, Manchester

Sunday 27 October, 12.00pm to 3.00pm
Designed to inspire both young children and teenagers, so that all can find out how they can make a difference.
The Royal Horticultural Society is running workshops about climate resilient green spaces. Lancashire Wildlife Trust will be focusing upon the wildlife in back yards and gardens, and get hands-on with the Trust’s Bog Experience! Make seed bombs and meet special guests from Manchester Museum vivarium, including a Red Eyed Tree Frog. Visitors can meet and talk to local campaigners and find out how to get involved themselves.
No booking required and free entry (pay what you feel). SEND requirements will be a key provision with relaxed opening (11.00am – 12.00pm) and closing (3.00pm – 4.00pm) ensuring anyone with sensory sensitivities will be able to enjoy the activities at a less busy time.  A quiet room available throughout the day. The museum’s Left Bank cafe bar will be marking the occasion with a Meat Free Sunday by serving a plant based menu for the day.

To find out about visiting the museum, its full exhibition and events programme visit

Fright Night event
Air Unlimited, Burnley

Thursday 31st October from 5pm until 7pm
The two-hour party includes two hours on the playground, spooky games and a special appearance from ghosts and ghouls for just £10 a ticket. Family tickets are available for two adults and two children for £30 and fancy dress is encouraged, as long as it doesn’t affect the ability to bounce!

To book tickets, please visit the Air Unlimited website 

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jenny! I've just written one all about Halloween in Manchester - what a fab city for families!


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