As a family with young children we are always looking for those new spots in and around Manchester that will make the most of our time together. So every time we come with some new ideas we like sharing them with you here on the blog. Whether you are new to the city, visiting for the first time and looking for hotels or serviced apartments in Manchester or maybe a local, looking for cool suggestions, this is the place to find some inspiration.
We are not new to Manchester, but since we moved to Leigh (which is a few miles from the city centre) we like discovering other places that are just not the typical tourist spots in the area.
So our first spot is actually close to Manchester city centre.
In Manchester: Z-Arts and Theatre for children and Families.
Located in Hulme, this arts and theatre hub is perfect for all your cool drama, dance and crafts activities to do with your little ones. We had been in the past to meet some friends there and we loved the atmosphere so this time, for the February half term holidays, we decided to attend one of their performances. We chose ‘The Little Prince’ an adaptation to Antoine de Saint-Exupery story by Inva Ellams. I loved reading this story when I was 8 years old. My grandma gave that book to my mum and she passed it on to me when I was the right age to understand it. I loved it when I was little and I still find so many useful teachings that you can apply in your life as a an adult.
The play was amazing! the cast, the atmosphere, even our youngest one, who is only 4 years old enjoyed himself. As they tell you in their sinopsis you really get transported to a ‘world of puppetry, music of North African heritage and a rich Afrofuturist aesthetic’. We were quite lucky to participate in a Q&A at the end and the actresses shared with us their thoughts about this production. Even how actually ‘heavy’ it was that Little Prince! But it was very rewarding to hear them say the messages they wished the story inspired the younger generation. – To keep trying, to make a difference, to not give up, and to carry on despite the challenges.- ‘Small efforts matter, every little helps’- They made us all chant this at the end. It was powerful!
The coolest thing about this place is that you have so many options to do there. The Little Prince has finished but there are so many other family friendly productions taking place and plenty of activities to do with the little ones. Local or not we recommend you to visit their website and check what’s on. I am sure you will have a lovely time altogether!
OK. So next stop. Let’s move a bit outside the city: Rochdale Number One Riverside and Touchstones Museum.
Around 30 minutes away from the city centre you have the chance to meet Dippy the Dinosaur. Dippy’s home is in London, at the Natural History Museum, but I suppose he was a bit bored of the busy city and decided that it was time to tour around the country. His only spot in the North West is in Rochdale so you better get there before it leaves.
Having a dinosaur lover at home who makes us read every night a book with all, and I mean, ALL the names for the dinosaurs, we decided we couldn’t miss this chance! Best of all, the activity is completely FREE so perfect if you are on a family budget!
They suggest you start your visit at Number One Riverside (library) where you can actually see your fossil friend. They also have other displays and family friendly activities for the little ones. After a while trying to take a good picture of LONG Dippy we moved onto Touchstones Museum.
They are currently showing an exhibition about Dinosaurs and that era. Depending on how old are your children you will actually be able to read some of the information and learn more about it.
Finally! Last stop: South of Manchester – Yakisoba Japanese Restaurant in Chorlton.
Well, not every single thing that you do on your tour around Manchester will have to do with little ones, right? So we thought, ok, let’s go to one of our favourite restaurants in the city.
An image is worth more than a thousand words, they say…
Yes. Food is absolutely delicious there! Atmosphere is perfect. At least it is the type of restaurant we like. Not too fancy where you feel uncomfortable because you don’t know which fork to use and not the chippy around the corner where you just don’t feel it ‘special’. Price wise is also quite good for the quality and variety of the dishes. The only thing we missed from this Japanese Restaurant is sushi. Coming from Barcelona ourselves, where is the heart of many well-known Japanese restaurants, we love being able to have some sushi every time we try this type of food. But, anyway, all the other dishes are so flavoured and delicious that you almost don’t miss your raw fish bites!
Overall it was a nice and relaxed half term holidays for us. We are glad that we were able to team up again with Hotels.com for this adventure.
If you want to check other ideas I recommend you to read one of our other blog posts for family days out in Manchester.
Whatever you do during your visit, remember that the most important is actually not the places but the people you share this experience with. So make it fun, make it memorable!
**This has been a collaboration between The Family Treasure and Hotels.com. We were gifted spending money by Hotels.com, but all views are our own.