It’s always tricky striking a balance between fun and learning. Horrible Histories gets it about right, but one wrong move and you’re in Countdown territory. When planning a family day out you want to be able to give children – even tiny ones – the chance to experience culture and education, without boring them senseless.
That’s why we’ve stepped in and – with our crack squad of know-alls – helped to find some of the best family days out in Manchester. There’s fun, there’s learning and there’s coffee shops for when your feet give in.
And the Winner is…
MOSI: MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
You’ll have no trouble getting around the MOSI – not only because it’s has step-free access throughout the entire place, perfect for all manner of pushchairs and buggies, but because there is so much to see and do that you won’t be able to stop yourself.
They cater to all ages with “Experitots” aimed at giving under 5’s the chance to play, learn and create with activities including; dancing, puppets, crafts and more. Then there’s “Engineer Eric’s Difficult Day” in which audiences of all ages assist Eric and Forgetful Fireman Fred as they try to get “Pender” the Victorian steam engine working. Storytelling sessions, steam train rides and a 4D theater all complete the line-up of exciting activities; learning has never been so fun.
Baby changing facilities, buggy storage, a coffee shop and restaurant with specific children’s menus help to round out this day and make it perfect for families of all ages.
LIVERPOOL ROAD, CASTLEFIELD, MANCHESTER, M3 4FP
www.mosi.org.uk; 0161 832 2244
When we conducted our survey of the best days out, the Manchester Museum came a very close second. It was the Mike Tyson to the MOSI’s Lennox Lewis. But don’t let that detract from just how brilliant it is.
History, although incredibly important, does have a tendency to be a little dry, but the Manchester Museum works relentlessly hard to present history in a way that is interesting and funny for even the tiniest Time Team. The attention to detail has gone beyond the standard changing-facilities, lifts and highchairs and sees them place greater focus on smaller children. Activity backpacks allow them to learn as they go, while the “Magic Carpet” storytelling sessions and “Baby Explorers” sensory classes give them a more direct learning experience.
They even cater to those interested in nature with three magical worlds – Owlwood, Oceandeep and Flowermeadow! A café and inside picnic area complete what is a brilliant and exciting place kids will want to keep exploring.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, OXFORD ROAD, MANCHESTER M13 9PL
www.manchester.ac.uk/museum; 0161 275 2634
We hope these reviews are of use, but with so much to see and do, you’ll struggle to keep these trips to just one day! Make sure you have everything you need for the perfect day out, here. Don’t forget to let us know how you get on.