Manchester has two claims to fame. Its music scene and football. I wonder if a person exists on the face of the earth who has not heard about Manchester United and Manchester City teams. For football enthusiasts, the biggest Manchester attractions are Old Trafford and Etihad Stadium. We will share more details in a while. For music lovers, the scene is always on. Manchester’s musical heritage has the privilege that the biggest music stars belonged to Manchester. The stars include Stone Roses, Oasis, The Smiths, Blossoms, and The Courteeners.
We have made a list of the best things to do in Manchester. Let’s see our picks.
1. Manchester Museum
Manchester Museum is one of the best things to do in Manchester for kids as well as for grown-up. It gives you a tour of the natural history and has the best collection of artifacts ranging from the ancient world to living cultures. Kids can get close to live reptiles and amphibians at the vivarium situated on the second floor. And then, there is a full floor dedicated to the research and study center. Manchester Museum has a vast collection of six million objects; however, the total size T-Rex skeleton is the most famous exhibit of the museum.
Manchester Museum is much more than its exhibits. The museum continues its research and keeps hosting events related to science, technology, culture, natural history, the environment, and other areas.
2. Museum of Science and Industry
The museum of science and industry focuses on Manchester’s contribution to the development in the field of science, technology, and industry. It covers many diverse areas, like textiles, communication, transport, computers, and electricity. Although it is a magical place for kids and adults alike because it has exhibits that people are genuinely interested in. For example, the industrial machines section has operational steam engines, hot air engines, hydraulic pumps, to name a few. Then the textile cycle can be seen entirely from wool to fabric as the weaving and spinning machines run on schedules time.
This is one of the best things to do in Manchester for kids as it is not only a museum where they can visit the exhibit, but the displays here do work, and that gives fascinating insight.
3. People’s History Museum
The people’s history museum has a unique theme. This museum is about the history of labor, the working class. This museum offers you a visit to the working, living, and leisure of British people over some time of 200 years. Another aspect of the museum is that it tells the story of politics and democracy in Britain. The focus here is on freedom, the voting process, and the political campaign. This area is a must-visit for people interested in governmental affairs and history. The people’s history museum announces its annual theme, and you can experience the theme displays throughout the museum. The subject has to do with fundamental rights, events, and causes in people’s lives, for reference to the theme for the year 2020 is migration. People’s history museum touches the lives of people and focuses on the issues close to living like equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.
4. Heaton Park
Heaton Park is a full day activity for all ages. It is a great place to enjoy a variety of activities. It has an animal farm where young kids enjoy a lot. The animals on the farm include chickens, goats, pigs, rabbits, alpacas, and more. Then have a boat steering experience at the lake with family and tram rides at the tram museums are fun too. There is a golf park, garden, and horticulture center, and unique activities like beekeeping and stargazing are also available.
Heaton park hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Music concerts, theatrical performances, and festivals are frequent in Heaton Park, especially during the summer months.
5. Victoria Baths
Victoria Baths is a heritage site for visitors. It has swimming pools, Turkish baths and an old fashioned jacuzzi called aeration. Festivals are happening at the Victoria baths as well, the most popular being the Indy Man Beer Con festival and Independent Manchester Beer Convention. It has food festivals happening too.
6. Manchester Cathedral
Manchester Cathedral is open for visitors all round the year. The visitors can take guided tours to have a detailed insight into the history of the cathedral. For kids, the cathedral has a bunch of activities to do, including a dot to dot to reveal the Angel Stone, word search, coloring in the St George’s window, and designing their mythical creature. Activity packs are given to older children to explore the cathedral in a fun way.
Manchester cathedral has its own architectural and historical value. The church is made of three types of stones, and the medieval woodwork and stained glass work in the church worth a mention. You can find more details about the design and architecture of the church in the Architectural Guide available at the help desk.
7. The Lowry
The Lowry is a theatre and gallery space in Manchester. It has several collections on display, with Lowry’s collection being the most popular. It has around 400 works by L. S. Lowry in different mediums and from different times. The complex has two theatres and a drama studio. These venues host a variety of plays, comedy and music performances.
The Lowry also holds workshops and creative programs for people catering to all ages. Then they have a program called art for social change. Here the seasoned artists work with the people who are facing challenges in their lives.
The Lowry is one of the best things to do in Manchester for kids because it has exclusive shows aimed for kids, including puppets, storytelling, and music. Special workshops are also held in the Lowry catering to acting, music, and drawing for people of all ages, giving them opportunities to be creative.
8. Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester art gallery probably has the largest and the best collection of Victorian art. Apart from that, the Manchester art gallery is home to thousands of oil paintings, watercolor works, drawings, sculptures, and miniatures. Manchester art gallery has some interesting exhibits like dollhouses, silverware, wallpaper, furniture pieces, and armor.
Moreover, it is one of the best things to do in Manchester for kids primarily because, at the Gallery of Craft and Design, there are artifacts metal, glass, ceramic, and wood that are allowed to be touched. So the curious kids can have all the fun there.
9. Manchester Town Hall
Manchester town hall building is an architectural piece of Victorian Neo-Gothic architecture. This building is more than 140 years old and has a distinguished place among the most iconic buildings in the United Kingdom.
Guided tours are also available to fully explore the history and architecture of Manchester town hall. The view of Manchester city from the clock tower is utterly spellbinding.
10. Old Trafford
Home to Manchester United, the largest club football stadium, is one of the main attractions in Manchester and is the best thing to do in Manchester for football lovers. The guided tours to the old Trafford stadium give a walk down through the stadium, including the areas privately used by the football players like locker rooms and dressing rooms as well as trophy rooms.
If you want to take back any Manchester united merchandise like caps, shirts, keychains, or flags, head to the official Manchester United store.
Old Trafford also has a museum exhibiting trophies and other items related to the Manchester United history. This museum is also included in the guided tour.
What is a tour of any city without tasting its food? Manchester’s Chinatown is the second-largest in the UK and has a bunch of great restaurants offering delicious food. After a day out in the city, when you reach Chinatown, a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and bakeries are waiting to serve you.
If you happen to visit Manchester in February, don’t miss the annual Chinese new year festival.
12. Whitworth Art Gallery
This Jacobean-style building is home to around 55,000 exhibits ranging from watercolor works, sculptures, wallpapers, fine art, and textile. Whitworth’s art gallery is a dream come true for art lovers because of the number and variety of art pieces exhibited here.
Whitworth art gallery frequently holds exhibitions to display works of local and international artists. Therefore, you can see new art pieces every time you visit apart from its permanent art exhibits. The gallery also hosts some interactive activities for children and young people, so keep checking the calendars to mark a good day for the visit.
Whitworth’s art gallery has an on-site cafe for visitors.
HOME is synonymous with contemporary art, theatre and film. HOME has five cinema screens for which you can book on-site or the phone. HOME is committed to supporting emerging artists from all over the world. For this, they have a theatre and a studio space where the emerging artists often show their work, although established artists are welcome too. The Home art gallery is also among the best things to do in Manchester as it shows contemporary art exhibits.
After having your fill with the arts and theatre, you can head to HOME bar and restaurant for you to have a relaxed lunch or a delicious drink.
14. Northern Quarter
The Northern Quarter is a hub for leisure fun in Manchester. Northern Quarter is known for its cafes, bars, and restaurants as well as for shopping fun at the famous clothes shops and the music scene. The record shops at Northern Quarter are known for the wide variety and collection of records and is the place for DJs to shop.
Another claim to fame for Northern Quarter is its fashion design industry. There are various boutiques, designers, and wholesale agencies here to cater to all types of customers.
The art scene in the Northern Quarter is also thriving with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Arts in particular. The entry here is free, and you can walk into art exhibitions, workshops, and lectures. This place is among the best things to do in Manchester for kids as it hosts several seminars aimed at kids. The street art in the northern quarters is also worth mentioning. Manchester loves street art, and the Northern Quarter is one of the best places to view the city’s treasure of sculptures and wall art.
15. Royal Exchange Theatre
Royal Exchange theatre is a new experience altogether. It is not your typical theatre where you go and see a theatre performance. It gives a unique experience altogether where you can take a tour of backstage and see how these magical performances do take this refined final shape. For volunteers working at the royal exchange theatre, this theatre is a cause of reviving and supporting theatre.
Manchester has a multi-facet identity and thus deserves more than a day visit to unveil its true potential. There is so much to see and explore, and then the historic status attached to the city makes it the right candidate for the tour. In today’s world, when a lot of emphasis is on commercialism, the focus on values and issues in life is rare. Still, people’s history museum comes to rescue the situation and delivers the much-needed efforts for the causes. Also, the museums and art galleries strive to include the less privileged people to the activities they hold. Moreover, it adds a unique feature to the identity of Manchester as a city that cares.