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Cheap and Free Things To Do In Manchester For Families For 2022

Free day out Manchester Science and Industry Museum

Want to get out and about without spending a fortune. Check out these great cheap and free things to do in Manchester for families. 

It is always great to get out with the kids but big days out can prove expensive. However, there are lots of great places in Manchester and Greater Manchester where you can visit for free or on the cheap. 

From great Manchester parks to Museums, and even cinema visits. Here are our top picks of the best cheap and places to go in Manchester and surrounding areas. 

Cheap Things To Do In Manchester For Families. 

Swim Slide and Waves, Hyde Leisure Pool - £14.50 Family of Four 

Hyde Leisure Pool Credit Active Tameside

Hyde, Tameside 

Swimming is a great family activity. Not only can you have lots of fun but it also tires out the kids. To make it extra special why not head to Hyde Leisure Pool which has a huge slide, rapids and waves. Their Swim, Slide and Waves sessions run for an hour and a half and take place at the weekends and on a Thursday evening.

They only cost £14.50 for a family of four, £3.50 for children, £5.50 for under adults and £2.00 for under 5's and you need to book places in advance. 

Check out the times of the Swim Slide and Waves sessions here.

Plus find out more about Hyde Leisure and its facilities here. 

Manchester Cinema Trip - £19.96 for a family of four. 

vue cinema printworks Credit VUE Cinemas

Manchester City Centre

When you think of a trip to the cinema the word cheap doesn't automatically come to mind. However, you can watch a 2D film at the Vue Cinema Printworks with their Super Saver tickets for just £4.99 per person making it just £19.96 for a family of four.

To get the Super Saver ticket price of £4.99 you need to book online. But you can grab tickets for just £5.99 at the venue. 

Check out this offer and where else you can find cheap cinema tickets in Manchester here. 

Adventure Golf, Haigh Hall Park - £16 for a family of four. 

Haigh Hall Adventure GolfCredit Haigh Hall Park


Haigh Hall Park is giving the chance to try their hands at a fun golf session for just £16.00 for a family of four. There are 18 holes to make your way around with fun challenges such as the Viking Boat, The Oak Tree Stump, Grey Squirrel and lots more. Plus Haigh Hall makes a great day out itself see below for details.

Along with the £16.00 family ticket, individual tickets cost £4 for 3 to 11-year-olds, £5 for over 11's and under 3's are free when accompanied by a paying adult.  The sessions are drop-in and there is no need to book. 

Active Tameside Cycle Track - £10 for a family of four 

Active Tameside Cycle Track Credit Active Tameside 

Ashton Under Lyne

Kids can enjoy a safe family bike ride at the Active Tameside Cycle Track. The cycle track offers a safe environment for learning how to ride and to simply enjoy riding their bikes away from the busy roads? The track run sessions for children and adults of all abilities. Plus friendly staff are more than happy to help little ones learn how to ride.

The sessions cost £4 per adult, £3 for children under 16 years and the family tickets cost £10. Spectators can watch for free and bikes and helmets can be provided (free of charge) or you can take your own bike too.  

The Garden House Marple - Suggested £3 per Person 

The Garden House Marple Credit The Garden House Marple

Marple, Stockport 

The Garden House Marple offers a lovely animal-themed day out for the family. They have a variety of animals from pigs, to alpacas, rabbits, goats, Shetland ponies and more. 

The pigs, alpacas and Shetland ponies roam around free so a chance to get up close to them whilst you enjoy a riverside walk.

They have a small playground and a zipwire, and also have an onsite cafe serving hot drinks, basic sandwiches and ice-creams. 

The Garden House is a community charity and offer free entrance but have a recommendation of £3.00 per person. 

Lyme Park - £20.00 per family of four 

Lyme Park


A visit to a National Trust property always makes a lovely day out and Lyme Park in Stockport is great for families. There is 1400 acres of parkland to explore where you can spot Highland Cattle, sheep from the spring and the Lyme Park and Red Deer. Plus they boast lovely gardens including an orangery and the beautiful house which opens in early February which is family-friendly. They also have a fun play area Crow Wood which is due to re-open after refurbishment from Spring. 

Entrance is free for National Trust Members, and family tickets are available for just £20.00, plus under 5's go free. The tickets include entrance to the house (when open), gardens and estate along with parking. 

Dunham Massey £20 for a family of four

Dunham Massey Free Christmas Trail


Another lovely National Trust property that makes a great cheap day out is Dunham Massey. Walk their parklands which is home to freely roaming deer which at times are happy to get close. Plus here you will find lots of fallen trees and logs perfect for climbing and making dens. The gardens make a great walk and ideal picnic area in warmer weather. tickets also includes entry to the house opens in from spring to autumn. 

They also have two cafe areas with a range of hot and cold food and drinks along with ice cream. 

Entrance is free for National Trust Members, and family tickets are available for just £20.00, plus under 5's go free. The tickets include entrance to the house (when open), gardens and estate along with parking. 

Stockport Air Raid Shelters £10.00 for a family with 2 adults

Stockport Air Raid SheltersCredit Stockport Museums and Galleries 


For a fun day out on a budget why not step back in time with a visit to Stockport Air Raid shelters. Carved into the natural sandstone cliffs, discovering the underground tunnels offers visitors an insight into life in wartime Britain in the 1940s. Families can make their way around the tunnels where you will find displays and learning about the time from the state of the art audio guides.

They also do specific tours for children in the school holidays and a lovely gift shop with mementos of the 1940's. 

Tickets to normal tours cost £5.00 per adult and are free for children when accompanied by an adult. The children's tours cost £4 per child and £3 for adults so £20.00 for a family of four. 

Laser Zone at Active Longendale £18 for a Family of Four 

Lazer Zone Active Longendale


If you and the kids need to blow off some steam, the Laser Zone is a fun family activity and only costs £18 for a family of four. 

Based at Active Longendale the Laser Zone give you the chance to climb high and crawl low through corridors, up platforms and behind booths in this multi-level city as dodge the lasers as you seek out opponents.  If you want to just let the kids have fun, parents can wait in their coffee shop.

Visitors have to be aged 5, tickets cost £5 for adults, £5 for children and £18.00 for a family of four which can be just made 4 kids. 

Check out more details about Active Longendale and how to book the Laser Zone here.

Free Things To Do In Manchester For Families. 

Science and Industry Museum

Science and Industry Museum Manchester Credit Science and Industry Museum Credit Museum Science and Industry 

Manchester City Centre

The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester makes a great family day out for all ages and it is free.  From the Textiles Gallery where you can follow the textile story through innovations in design and printing and grab a free activity trail pack; to the very popular Experiment science floor where you can get hands-on from mixing shadows, discovering recycling and even lifting a car. 

For more information, the Science and Industry Museum facilities and opening times see here. 

Manchester Disc Golf, Longford Park Stretford - Free 

Disc Golf Longford Park Credit Manchester Disc Golf


Head to Longford Park in Stretford for a fun round of Disc Golf. This 18 hole course is played by throwing the frisbee disc as close as possible to a specially designed basket target with the aim to get it into the basket in the lowest number of throws. There are two courses to choose from, beginners and advanced and both are free to use with your own frisbee.

You can also hire frisbee's from the Longford Park Cafe for just £1 plus a £5 returnable deposit. 

Runway Visitor park 

Runway Visitors Park Altrincham Credit Runway Visitor Park


The Runway Visitor Park is a great location for families to kill an hour or two. Not only can you watch a huge selection of planes take off and land at Manchester Airport, there is also a small playground and five aircraft you can get up close too. 

Runway Visitor Park is free to enter when arriving by foot, bike or public transport however parking charges apply for cars starting from £5 for up to 2 hours. 

Heaton Park Animal Centre 

Heaton Park Animal Centre


A day out involving meeting animals always makes a great family day out and the Heaton Park Animal Centre is a great free option.  The centre houses a whole host of animals from cows and pigs, alpacas, geese, rabbits and more and if you are lucky you may even spot the resident peacocks in full bloom. 

Plus Heaton Park itself has lots to offer, with two big playgrounds, lovely walks, two cafes and a lovely ice-cream parlour. 

The Heaton Park Animal Centre is located near to the St Margaret Road entrance where you will find a pay and display car park.  Heaton Park is also a stop on the Metrolink making it easily accessible from Manchester City Centre. 

For details about all the facilities at Heaton Park see here. 

Stockport Museum 

Stockport Museum Credit Stockport Museums and Galleries 


Stockport Museum makes a great little free day out for families. Travel through 10,000 years of Stockport history from pre-historic to present day. Discover medieval Stockport to the textile history and World War II. The museum has been designed with families in mind with an interactive gallery and activities for all ages and is spread over 3 floors. 

Free Swimming at Manchester Pools for Kids and over 60's 

Free Swimming for kids Manchester

If you live in Manchester under 17's and over 60's can swim in Manchester City Councils pools for free during the weekends and school holidays. You just need to sign up for a free Pay and Play Membership before hand. 

Check out the details here. 

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