Half Term in Manchester

17th February 2020

February Half Term in Manchester – in the rain

It’s that time again, you have a whole week off with the kids and they are excited. The jury might still be out on how excited you are for half term in Manchester, however. Of course, you love them – they’re your kids – but that doesn’t mean they’re easy.

We’ve just blown through two weekends of storms and blue skies are currently about as reliable as a trampoline during storm Dennis. So exactly how do you keep the kids entertained when the rain just won’t stop?

We’ve put together a list of rainy day activities you can do around Manchester this half term week, guaranteed fun for the kids and less stress for you!


SeaLife Manchester

SEA LIFE Manchester - Ernie the Turtle

SEA LIFE Manchester – Ernie the Turtle

Find Nemo, watch sea turtles swim over your head and be mesmerised by jellyfish and all kinds of wonderful colourful fish at the SeaLife Centre this half term.

Adult: £20.95

Child: £16.95


Legoland Discovery Centre

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre - Miniland

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre – Miniland

Take a trip to the Legoland Discovery Centre, marvel at sculptures taller than you – all built out of lego! Make sure you visit the gift shop for all of your building needs, perfect for families. And you can even go shopping afterwards – all at the intu Trafford Centre!

Adult: £20.95

Child: £16.95

Even better –take 30% off your visit to both attractions with our Manchester Sightseeing discount vouchers!

The Build United event is a separate event available by booking only – not included with your discount.


East Lancashire Railway

East Lancashire Railway - Liam Barnes-min

East Lancashire Railway – Liam Barnes-min

All aboard the East Lancashire Railway steam train! Sit in the warm carriages as you chug along from Bury Bolton Street Station to Rawtenstall and back. There are cafes on both stations for a warming cup of hot chocolate on your journey. Book with Manchester Sightseeing Tours!

Adult all-day travel: £16

Child all-day travel: £10

Bury Bolton Street Station 


Visit Manchester’s Museums

manchester group tours

Museum of Science and Industry Exterior ©Museum of Science and Industry

There’s plenty going on at Manchester’s best museums, from Magnificent Minibeasts at the Manchester Museum (18th – 20th February) to transport themed fun at MOSI – the Museum of Science and Industry. You can also visit the Science Show at Jodrell Bank, an exciting opportunity for discovery. All of these museums are free to visit and have plenty just waiting to be discovered!



Dippy the Dinosaur on Tour

On the subject of museums, you would be dippy to miss out on a visit to see the National History Museums’ Dippy the Dinosaur at Rochdale’s Number One Riverside on its only stop in the North West. Free to enter, perfect for your little palaeontologist.


Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU

The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat

Join the tiger for tea and discover the much-loved stories of Mog the Forgetful Cat before taking part in arts and craft activities. This exhibition at Z-Arts in Hulme is the first of its kind outside of London, just in time for half term; the little ones will love exploring the worlds of these much-loved characters.


Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA


Family crafts at John Rylands Library

manchester cotton

John Rylands Libary, Spinningfields, Manchester ©Visitengland, Percy Dean

Beautiful John Rylands Library is holding two family craft events this half term week. Make and create your very own ‘cuffs of power’ and ‘magic bowls at these events running on the 19th of February and 20th of February between 10:30 and 12:30 – free with no need to book!


150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH


Costume Factory

Manchester Central Library

Manchester Central Library

In preparation for World Book Day (5th March), go along to Manchester’s Central Library on the 18th of February or Manchester Art Gallery from the 19th to the 22nd of February for the family-friendly event making costumes of their favourite storybook characters! From the Gruffalo to Gangsta Granny, you can design, cut and stitch felt masks for any character!

Drop-in sessions run from 1pm to 3pm at both venues without the need to book!

Manchester Central Library        17th – 18th February

Manchester Art Gallery                 19th – 22nd February


Origami at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

manchester inspirational women

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Manchester – Exterior © Mark Tattersall

Featured throughout Elizabeth Gaskell’s life and writing you’ll find plenty of reference to her feline friends! From her own cats, Cranford and Mimi, to the unfortunate cat who swallowed a fine lace collar in her novel Cranford, and the crafty cat who stole the Christmas sausages in her short story Christmas Storms and Sunshine, cats are creating chaos everywhere!

Create some simple origami cats of your own this February half-term at Elizbeth Gaskell’s craft workshop on the 19th of February between 1pm and 3pm!

You can also take part in the fun family trail around the House, featuring its very own Cranford the Cat!

£1 per child, with accompanying adult with usual House ticket.


So make it a week your little one will write about when they get back to school, even if it doesn’t stop raining!