Live in or near Manchester and looking for something to do with the family that won’t cost a fortune? Then check out our list of cheap family days out in Manchester for some great ideas and how to get the best value for money.
- Sea Life Centre Manchester – up to half price
- LEGOLAND Discovery Centre – up 50% off
- Manchester United Old Trafford Stadium Tour – save 10%
- Go Ape Rivington
- Palace Theatre Manchester
- National Football Museum - FREE admission
- Imperial War Museum North - FREE admission
- CBBC Interactive Tour at BBC Media City
- Manchester Museum - FREE admission
- Manchester Aquatics Centre
- East Lancashire Railway - FREE musuem entry
- Travel deals
- Hotel deals in Manchester
Sea Life Manchester - up to 50% off
With extended daily opening hours of 10am to 7pm, Manchester’s Sea Life Centre offers convenience for working families and more time to spend browsing the centre’s more than 5,000 sea creatures in 30 displays.
Sea Life Manchester forms part of the Trafford Centre, just to the west of the Manchester CBD, although the actual park sits across the road from the main Trafford Centre complex.
- Online exclusive – save up to 14%: Save now when you buy online and in advance. Don't waste money on the door price of £14, get in for just £12 for adults and children (kids 2 and under go free).
- Up to half price after 4pm: Save your visit to Sea Life until later in the day and save up to 50% off standard ticket prices when you go after 4pm with pre-purchased tickets.
- 33% off Sea Life + LEGOLAND combination tickets: Buy a combined entry ticket online for Sea Life and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre for £22 – one third off the door price AND you get priority entry to both attractions.
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre - over 25% off
When it comes to family days out in Manchester, Legoland Discovery Centre is a popular attraction to visit for families with kids aged 3-10. It is located at Manchester Trafford Centre and offers yet another experience for little Lego fans.
On-the-door tickets are £16.50 per person, and kids 2 and under go free, but you don't have to pay full price:
- Save over 25%: Book in advance online - advanced tickets are just £12 per person
- Get HALF PRICE tickets when you book online for a visit after 4pm
- Enjoy the immersive 4D cinema, Lego Factory and other hands-on attractions
Manchester United Old Trafford Stadium Tour - 20% off
Why not spend a day out with the family touring the ground of arguably the world’s most famous football club! Depending on the amount of time you have, how much you want to see and of course your budget, there are several Manchester United Old Trafford Stadium tours available that will take you through various parts of the stadium.
The most popular is a combined stadium tour and museum entry ticket, which lets you see legends past as well as all behind-the-scenes in the stadium as it stands today.
- Save up to 10% with 365Tickets: book online and you can save up 10%
- Adults (16 and over) for £15.90, kids (5-15 years) for £10.50 and a family of four (two adults and two kids) for £51.75
- 20% off with combination tickets: 365Tickets also offers combination tickets with the stadium tour at around 20% off the on-the-gate prices. Choose to double up the tour with either Legoland Discovery Centre, Sea Life Manchester or visit all three attractions under one ticket, all at 20% off.
Go Ape Rivington
If you're looking for family days out in Manchester and fancy something a bit different then Go Ape Rivington (a short distance from Manchester) offers a unique experience for families with older kids. This treetop adventure which includes tunnels, ladders, rope swings and a 200 metre long zip is sure to release their inner Tarzan!
- Book your tickets online to avoid queues on the day
- Open selected dates from February to November each year.
- Tickets are £30 for adults, £24 for kids aged 10-17 (all kids must be above 1.4m tall).
Palace Theatre Manchester
Family days out in Manchester often become family days in, particularly during the cold winter months or on rainy days during the school holidays. These are great times to consider treating the kids to a show somewhere like the Palace Theatre.
- Ticketmaster has a list of shows currently on sale at the Palace Theatre.
- Upcoming family-friendly performances include Wicked, A Christmas Carol and My First Ballet: Coppélia.
- You can also buy a gift card for someone special this Christmas to use for an upcoming show they would enjoy.
National Football Museum - FREE admission
There is no cheaper family day out in Manchester than a trip to the National Football Museum – admission is FREE! The museum is dedicated to showcasing all that is great about British football, and has things to see and do for all ages:
- Visit the Hall of Fame to relive all your favourite moments.
- Rotating exhibitions, including ‘Game Changers: 125 years of the football league’.
- Play and Learn Discovery Zone for under 5s.
Imperial War Museum North - FREE admission
The Imperial War Museum is another attraction with free admission, and has plenty of education exhibits and activities for kids young and old. In addition to the Manchester branch, the Museum also has branches in London and Duxford, as well as operating the Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast.
- Learn more about conflicts throughout the ages, including the World Wars and the World Trade Centre attacks.
- Special talks, screenings and photo exhibitions
- Children’s art workshop
CBBC Interactive Tour at BBC Media City - tickets from £6
Take your youngsters behind the scenes and see how live television works at BBC Media City. The CBBC Interactive Tour is a favourite for kids aged around 6 to 11, letting them see a new side of their favourite TV shows including Blue Peter.
- 90-minute interactive tour.
- Experience being a CBBC presenter.
- Capture photos of the family on-set.
- Tickets are £9 for adults, and £6 for kids aged 6-11 (tour is not suitable for under 6s).
Manchester Museum - FREE admission
Why not take the kids to discover the history of the world around them? The Manchester Museum, which dates back to 1868, has a varied collection of exhibits from around the world, which have been gathered by local researchers for nearly two centuries. The Museum is located at the University of Manchester.
- FREE admission.
- Discover archaeology and ancient worlds including Egypt and Greece.
- Hundreds of natural history exhibits.
Manchester Aquatics Centre - entry from £1.90
Kids always like to have a splash in the pool, and it’s a great way for them to burn off excess energy while having fun at the same time. And having heated indoor pools, Manchester Aquatics Centre can be enjoyed year-round.
- Open long hours, seven days a week.
- A family swim costs just £6.50, or pay-as-you-go swims are £3.10 for adults and £1.90 for juniors.
- Manchester residents aged 16 and under, or 60 plus, swim for free.
East Lancashire Railway - FREE entry to transport museum
Who doesn’t enjoy going back in time for a trip on a grand old steam train?! The East Lancashire Railway operates a number of steam engine voyages on several routes, meaning you can go back again and again yet experience something different each time.
- FREE entry into the Bury Transport Museum when you buy a return ticket
- Special event voyages for holidays including Halloween and Christmas.
- Full or half day experience days, including lunch and guided tours.
- See both steam and diesel trains in action.
If you don’t live in the heart of Manchester, never fear – we’ve got some great travel deals to share to get you on your way.
2-for-1 entry Virgin train tickets
If you’re travelling into Manchester by train, it’s worth checking out Virgin’s 2-for-1 ticket offers when you combine your train tickets with your attraction entry. Currently, Virgin has 2-for-1 entry to:
- Legoland Discovery Centre
- Manchester United Stadium
- The Museum of Transport
Cheap trains to Manchester
Red Spotted Hanky have some excellent deals on train travel to Manchester. And, unlike other train companies or train ticket websites, there are:
- No credit or debit card fees.
- No booking fees.
- Just pay for your tickets and away you go!
Coach deals from National Express
Alternatively, National Express operate coach services to Manchester from destinations across the UK.
- Loads of pick-up destinations.
- You’ll always get a seat, as tickets are pre-booked online.
- Coach travel often works out considerably cheaper than train travel.
Hotel deals in Manchester
Whether you’re looking to stay a few days in the city centre with your family, or booking for friends or relatives to visit, we’ve found some great hotel deals available:
Premier Inn from just £29
It’s hard to beat a hotel room from just £29, but that’s exactly what Premier Inn is offering.
- Choose from 23 Premier Inns in Manchester.
- Family hotel rooms from £29.
- Kids under 16 stay and eat breakfast for free (up to two kids per paying adult).
Great value and choice from Laterooms
Sometimes family days out in Manchester are planned last minute, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune. Laterooms has plenty of deals for hotels in Manchester:
- Great value late deals on accommodation.
- Plenty of choice for every budget with over 100 places to stay in Manchester.
- Instead of a hotel, you can choose from an excellent range of B&Bs.
We hope we've given you some inspiration for your family days out in Manchester! Enjoy the discounts, offers and freebies and let us know about your experience in the comments below.