The school holidays are almost upon us which means the kids are off and raring to go.
If you’re wondering how you’re going to keep the little and big ones busy for two weeks then never fear.
We’ve been on an Easter hunt of our own to find out what’s going on and we’ve come up with a bumper list of events happening over the spring break.
There are duck races, farm visits and everything in between. We’ve tried to choose mainly long-running activities taking place across the holidays, but there are some one-off events and some running across the long Easter weekend too.
Oh and don’t forget to check out our A-Z of family days out for even more inspiration.
As well as our guides to the best parks , playgrounds, family walks, crazy golf, wild days out , farms and petting zoo, castles, trampoline centres , water parks with slides and roller rinks . Phew, that should have you covered.
If not, here’s our full round-up of family events in and around Greater Manchester…
Treetop Easter Trail, Heaton Park
The Treetop Easter Trail is back at Treetop Nets this Easter promising families ‘an egg hunt like no other’.
The Treetop Nets play park features giant treetop trampolines suitable for everyone aged three and up.
On arrival, kids will receive a free activity sheet challenging them to find a series of eggs hidden high in the nets and trees and solve the puzzle.
The trail will run from April 13 to 22 for anyone visiting Treetop Nets. Just book your tickets for any session as normal – adults and children aged five plus £20 each, supervisors and under fives £13 each.
Treetop Trek and Nets, St Margaret’s Road, Manchester, M25 2GT.
Easter Funfair at Manchester Central
A massive indoor Easter Funfair is coming to Manchester and running throughout the school holidays.
It’s taking over the Central Hall at Manchester Central and everything will be indoors so you can keep dry whatever the weather.
Organisers are promising rides for kids of all ages, with traditional ones like the carousel and the dodgems to bigger, thrill rides.
There will also be features such as a play centre and inflatables for younger children.
As well as the rides, there’ll be a range of funfair games and stalls, including those selling food and drinks.
Sessions will run twice a day, from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, with doors opening 15 minutes before each sessions begins.
The 10-day event starts on April 13 and finishes on Easter Monday, April 22.
Tickets cost £15, or £54 for a family, and include unlimited goes on all the rides. Under threes go free. Stalls and refreshments are not included in the ticket price.
To find out more, or to book, visit the website here .
Manchester Central Convention Complex Ltd, Petersfield, M2 3GX.
Dunham Massey, Altrincham
Percy the Park Keeper’s spring trail is running at Dunham Massey.
Based on the new book, One Springy Day by Nick Butterworth, it’s running daily from 10.30am to 4pm.
Families can pick up a free trail from the garden kiosk (normal admission fees apply) and complete the trail around the garden to collect a sticker.
During the Easter holidays, March 30 to April 28, there will be a £2.50 charge per trail as it becomes part of the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt with a chocolate prize.
There’ll be storytelling sessions on various dates too.
Gardens are open 10.30am to 5pm. Visit the website for more details.
Dunham Massey, Altrincham, WA14 4SJ.
Giant Easter Duck Trail, Martin Mere, Lancashire
If you fancy a wild day out then the Giant Easter Duck Trail is back at Martin Mere over the holidays.
A total of 25 giant ducks have been hidden around the grounds and your help is needed to find them all.
The event’s running from April 6 to 22 and as well as the trail, families can also get creative in the craft room.
Buy a rubber duck, colour it in and then take it back to the centre on the bank holiday, Monday, May 6, to enter it into the annual duck race.
Easter marks the opening of the brand new Pond Zone at the wetland centre.
The new attraction has everything you need to get pond dipping and uncover incredible underwater life. There are nets, trays, magnifying glasses, identity charts, and the friendly Learning Team are on-hand to help.
The duck trail is 50p to enter on top of usual ticket fees. These are £6.25 for children (under fours free), £11.70 for adults, or £30.51 for a family and can be booked online.
WWT Martin Mere, Fish Lane, Burscough, Lancashire, L40 0TA.
Beauty and the Beast pantomime, Albert Halls, Bolton
There’s an Easter pantomime on in Bolton again this year – oh yes there is!
Families are invited to ‘Be our guest’ for Beauty and the Beast, which is running from April 15 to 22.
Joseph Purdy Productions are bringing the show to the Albert Halls and promising ‘a truly magical Easter adventure with glittering sets, sparkling costumes and a laugh a minute script’.
Tickets, costing from £5, can be booked online.
Albert Halls, Victoria Square, Bolton, BL1 1RU.
GMP Museum open days, Manchester
Always a popular choice with families, the free GMP Museum open days are back this Easter.
Founded in 1981, the GMP Police Museum is itself located in a former police station and hosts regular open days during school holidays on Tuesdays and Thursdays – falling on April 9, 11, 16 and 18.
It collects and preserves relevant archive material and acts as an important resource for community engagement.
Open days run from 10.30am to 3.30pm and focus on different units within the police force from the North West Underwater Search and Recovery Unit to the Tactical Dog Unit and the North West Ambulance Service. Private tours can also be arranged.
GMP Museum, 57A Newton Street, Manchester, M1 1ET.
Legoland Discovery Centre, Trafford
Legoland is the ultimate indoor Lego playground for kids and it’s currently celebrating Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.
Fans of Emmet, Wyldstyle, MetalBeard, Unikitty and Benny can enjoy movie themed days with regular character appearances throughout the day and the chance to help Emmet find his friends in the Miniland scavenger hunt.
They can also build an alien invaders escape vehicle and race it down a zip line and direct their own stop motion movie.
Legoland offers three fun rides, 10 build and play zones, a 4D cinema and much more.
A Ninjago City Adventure opened after a £1m refurbishment, offering kids a ‘whole ninja experience’, with a special ninja training camp and a three-tiered play temple.
Play features include a climbing wall, Ninjago character challenges, crisscross maze and vertical rope climb, a spiral slide of lights, crawl through tunnel, ball pool, sky wheels, bash bags, lightening buzzer bars, Spinjitzu tornado and more.
Legoland Discovery Centre, intu Trafford Centre, Barton Square Bridge, Trafford, M17 8AS.
Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Salford
There are loads of free and cheap events at the museum and art gallery over Easter.
Salford schools break up sooner than most so the fun starts earlier.
Museum Explorers runs throughout the opening hours between April 2 and 12 when children can get to know the museum and its collection by buying one of the gallery trails for £2 each. You also receive a pack of colouring pencils and a sticker.
There are other events on too, like Toys Through Time, where children can have a go with traditional toys from the past and take home a make-it-yourself toy kit.
Sessions are 10am – 12pm and 1 – 3pm on Tuesdays April 2 and 9 and cost £1.50.
Washday Wednesday is on April 3 and 10 when families can head along to Lark Hill Place for a chat and a demonstration about how the residents of Lark Hill Place would have done their laundry in Victorian times. These are free and running at 11am and 2pm on both days.
Also at Lark Hill Place is the traditional Mr Tomlinson’s Sweet Shop and it’s open for business every Friday in the school holidays – April 5 and 12.
For more details and to see what else is on in the holidays, visit the website here.
Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WU.
Easter Wonderland, Cockfields Farm, Ashton
There’s fun at the farm over the holidays as Cockfields hosts its Easter Wonderland event.
Running from April 6 to 22, there’ll be Easter entertainment shows, egg hunts, bottle feeding goats and cuddling the baby chicks.
Children will be able to decorate a chocolate egg and the usual activities will be running too, including rabbit grooming, tortoise bathing, meet the reptiles and more.
All the play areas will be open at the farm, including the indoor climbing frame, slide and beach area and indoor role play area if the weather is wet.
The big jumping pillow will be available outside too.
Tickets cost £9.95 for children and £7.95 for adults.
The farm’s open 10am to 4.30pm, closing at 4pm on Sundays. Visit the website.
Cockfields Farm, Ashton, OL6 8AR.
Easter Bunny Trail and more at Ordsall Hall, Salford
Ordsall Hall is a large former manor house in Ordsall, Salford, and there are loads of events going on over the holidays.
From April 1 to 21 families can have a go at the Easter Bunny Trail. Find the rabbits hidden around Ordsall Hall and gardens and answer their riddles to get a reward at the end. The trail costs £2, no booking required.
Other events include decorating ceramic baskets and egg cups, Tudor playtime and Tudor toiletries where children can make a soap ball to take home.
The big Orsdall Hall Egg Hunt event takes place on Thursday, April 21
Find spring related clues hidden in the garden and gather up golden eggs for extra points to win a range of chocolaty treats.
The event costs £4.50 per child and is running from 1-1.30pm and 2.30-3pm. Tickets can be booked online.
Visit the website for more details and specific dates and times for events.
Ordsall Hall, 322 Ordsall Lane, Salford, M5 3AN.
Wizard Academy, East Lancashire Railway
There’s plenty of adventure at East Lancs Railway over the Easter break.
The action packed timetable includes the Harry Potter inspired Wizard Academy on April 11, where trainee wizards can realise their dreams of boarding a train and steaming off to magic school.
On the journey they will get to take part in an interactive adventure to help teachers at the Grand Old School of Wizardry rescue an artefact from the clutches of villainous warlocks. All while travelling through the Irwell Valley on one of England’s best steam railways.
On April 18 it’s time for the Dinky Dinosaur Adventure, where families will join some cute dinky dinosaurs on board a heritage steam train – taking part in activities and games whilst learning about prehistoric history.
For those who want something a little more traditional, pay a visit to the Bury Transport Museum Spring Fete on April 19 and 20, to enjoy lots of fun and games as well as special guest appearances from the East Lancashire Railway’s Buffer the Cat.
From April 19 to 22 it’s the main East Lancashire Railway Easter weekend when little ones can hunt for easter eggs in the Irwell Valley, meet real life owls and get creative with a sand art workshop.
For more information about upcoming events and to book tickets visit www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk/
East Lancashire Railway, Bolton Street, Bury, BL9 0EY.
Lambing week, Tatton Park, Knutsford
If you’re hoping for the chance to see some cute little lambs this Easter then you can’t go wrong with Tatton Park.
It’s lambing week at the farm from April 6 to 14, when, with the exception of April 8, it opens daily from 12pm to 5pm.
Say hello to new-born lambs and learn lots about lambing at the regular ‘meet the sheep’ talks. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of lambs being born.
A special secrets of the lambing shed event is running on April 11, from 10am until noon.
Families can join the resident sheep expert Elly Edwards to discover the secrets of a successful lambing period and the signs of early labour in sheep.
It’s a rare chance to meet the ewes and lambs and help out during one of the busiest times on the farm. Tickets cost £15 and need be booked via 01625 374435.
Usual farm admission fees apply – children £5, adults £7, or £19 for a family.
Visit the website for more details.
Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6QN.
Emily’s Paint A Pot, Next, Arndale, Manchester
There are loads of Easter themed events happening at Emily’s Paint A Pot inside the Arndale’s Next store over the school break.
Children can get a golden ticket posted to them for its Willy Wonka Extravaganza, which costs £6 per child.
They each get a candy bar with sweet trees and treats, there are selfie opportunities and taste test games and, for a separate charge, they choose a pot they’d like to paint.
Families go on a hunt for Peter’s friends across Next, then return to paint Peter or Flopsy.
Other events include a Mad Hatters tea party and a PJ Mask session where kids can make their own PJ Mask slime. website.
Emily’s Paint A Pot, Next Arndale Centre, 100 Corporation St, Manchester, M4 3AJ.
Go Karting at Three Sisters Circuit, Wigan
There’s Easter fun planned at the Three Sisters Circuit in Wigan over the school break.
Arrive ’n’ Drive Karting sessions for kids aged eight to 15 are running and cost £20 for 20 minutes.
The Bill Sisley Kart School for ages 8-11 and 12-15 years are also running, as well as the popular Bambino Sisley Kart School for ages 6-7 years on selected dates.
Visit the website for more details and to book.
Three Sisters Circuit, Three Sisters Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, WN4 8DD.
Treetop Adventure Golf, The Printworks, Manchester
Not far from the Arndale, at the neighbouring Printworks, there’s free face painting and free crafts for families enjoying adventure golf at Treetop Adventure Golf.
These will run daily between 12pm and 4pm from April 8 to 22.
Treetop Adventure Golf offers two 18-hole courses, Ancient Explorer and Tropical Trail.
Whichever route you choose, there’s a chance to challenge the monkey gods and brave the bonus 19th hole and win a free round of golf, plus over the long Easter weekend guests can also win an Easter surprise as part of Treetop’s Easter Weekend 19th Hole Challenge.
With the Family Saver Deal running across the holidays, tribes of four can play 18-holes of mini golf for £31.50 or 36-holes for £48. Groups of four must have at least one child aged 12 or under to qualify.
Visit the website for more details and opening times.
Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester, M4 2BS.
Easter Weekend, The Refuge, Manchester
There promises to be loads of fun for the family at this event planned at The Refuge over the Easter weekend.
On Good Friday there’ll be a workshop hosted Evie Waxman, from Raw Bake Station, a brand she created from her mother’s kitchen three years ago.
Evie will guide you in a 90-minute hands-on raw baking workshop, taking you step by step through her favourite raw and vegan dessert recipes. Tickets are £15 per person.
There’ll be lots more across the weekend and on Easter Monday, including activities with Our Kids Social, circus skills class, face painting and a collaboration with The Hallé, who will be holding a free singing meet-up.
The event, in collaboration with the Bluedot festival, will also be celebrating the Lunar Landings anniversary with walkabout alien and spacemen performers, science experiments and more.
Visit the website for more details and to book.
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester, M60 7HA.
Jawsome Sharks, Sea Life, Trafford
An immersive in-tank trail exploring a variety of sharks is on at the centre until May.
Little ones are tasked with helping Professor Finn locate the large Play-Doh model shark teeth in the tanks.
Along the way, guests will discover facts about the different species of sharks and will have the chance to learn more about Sea Life’s sharks and rays.
At the end of the trail Professor Finn will greet the new Jawsome Rangers and share some of his expert knowledge of the fascinating sharks.
Kids can get hands on with some shark related items including models of shark teeth, create their own shark models from Play-Doh and get a Play-Doh gift to take home.
The event is running until May 6, with tickets costing from £11.95. You can book online.
Sea Life, Barton Square Bridge, Stretford, M17 8AS.
Chill Factore, Trafford
Winter might be over but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some snow to play in this Easter.
Families can enjoy some fun in the white stuff at Chill Factore’s Snow Park, with its Downhill Donuts, Luge Slip ’n’ Slide and Sledge-O-Mania rides.
For younger ones, aged three and under, they can have a play in the snow in Mini Moose Land and enjoy sensory play, lights, textures, music and more.
One-hour Snow Park passes cost £15 or £55 for families of 4 (two adults and two children) and can be booked online.
If you fancy something even more challenging them skiing and snowboarding taster lessons have been reduced to £25, or £85 for a family of four.
Chill Factore, Trafford Way, Trafford, M41 7JA.
Madagascar and Lego Big Cats at Chester Zoo, Chester
Let’s face it, the zoo is a great day out whatever time of year, but there’s more reason than ever to visit Chester Zoo this Easter.
It will feature the attraction’s first ever ‘walk-though’ primate experience – giving visitors the chance to see lemurs jumping across the path in front of them or swinging in the trees above them.
As well as being home to four rare species of lemur, it will also include Madagascar’s top predator and largest carnivore, the fossa.
Madagascar opens on Saturday, March 30. There’ll be a programme of activities running throughout the Easter holidays including storytelling, dance, music and art.
Chester Zoo, Chester, CH2 1LH.
Right To Play event, Quarry Bank, Wilmslow
Families can take guided tours of the Apprentice House at Quarry Bank, where child workers lived and were given food and board in exchange for their labour.
A ‘right to play’ event is running in the Easter holidays from April 8 to 18 between 11am and 4pm.
Focusing on the fact that children there didn’t always have the right to play, families are invited to go along, play in the great outdoors, and find out why play matters.
At the Apprentice House you can see what the children ate and the dormitories, where they slept two to a bed.
You can explore the working kitchen garden and orchard next door, where apprentice children once worked after their shift in the mill.
Normal admission charges apply – children £10, adults £20.25, families £50.50. See the website for more details.
The Apprentice House is open 10.30am to 4pm and Quarry Bank House until 5pm.
Quarry Bank, Styal Rd, Styal, Wilmslow, SK9 4LA.
Play Factore, Trafford
Underneath the slope of Chill Factore you’ll find Europe’s largest play frame inside Play Factore.
As well as a giant four-lane slide, the venue is also home to a zip wire, a laser tag, go karts and a separate toddler area for under fives and recently launched a new VR experience where children 1.25 metres or above can choose between the Star Defence, Clock Tower and Alien Invasion games.
The VR attraction is open on weekends, bank holidays and during school holidays and costs £5 on top of the general £12.95 admission fee.
Alternatively you can pay £18.95 for the Ultimate All-Inclusive package, which includes admission for once child, a run on the zip-wire and one VR experience.
Visit the website for more details.
Beyond, Trafford City, 7 Trafford Way, Manchester, M41 7JA.
Air Raid Shelters, Stockport
Stockport’s intriguing network of underground tunnels get even more exciting in the school holidays by letting families visit after dark.
You can learn about the experiences of local people during the war as the tunnels offer an unparalleled insight into life in wartime Britain in the 1940s.
In the holidays children can book on explorer tours to brave the darkened tunnels between 6.45pm and 8.15pm and go back in time to experience the life of a child during the war. These are suitable for ages seven and above and cost £4 for children and £3 for adults.
The usual self guided tours – costing £5 for adults, accompanying under 16s free – are Tuesday to Thursday 1pm to 4pm, Saturdays 10am to 4pm, or Sundays 11am to 4pm.
Air Raid Shelters, 61 Chestergate, Stockport, SK1 1NE.
Manchester Duck Race, Salford
One event that always pulls in the crowds is the Manchester Duck Race and it’s back this Good Friday.
This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the race at New Bailey and will feature music and entertainment, fairground rides, food stalls, stilt walkers and of course the famous giant dressed ducks such as Count Duckula, Tim Beake and many more.
Event sponsors Bathroom Takeaway will be filling their bath tubs with gooey slime for children to take part in free slime challenges throughout the day.
Thousands of families are expected to go along to the free event from 11am to 4pm and stand on the banks of the River Irwell at New Bailey cheering the rubber ducks as they waddle their way to the finishing line.
All proceeds from the event will go to the children’s charity Brainwave, which helps children with disabilities reach their potential.
Visit the website to buy your own £1 duck to join the race.
New Bailey, Salford, M3 5JL.
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