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Cheap and Free Things To Do In Manchester For Families For 2024

Cheap and free days out Manchester credit Science and Industry Museum Manchester
7 Jan 2024

  Want to get out and about without spending a fortune? Check out these great cheap and free things to do in Manchester for families in 2024. 

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 that you can visit for free or on the cheap. 

From great Manchester parks to Museums, and even cinema visits. Read on for our top picks of the best free and cheap places to go with kids Manchester City Centre and surrounding areas. 

Cheap Things To Do In Manchester For Families. 

Adventure Golf, Haigh Hall Park – £18 for a family of four. 

Haigh Hall Adventure Golf


Haigh Woodland Park offers the chance to try your hand at adventure golf for just £16 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. 

Aside from the £18.00 family ticket, individual tickets cost £4.50 for 3- to 11-year-olds, and £5.50 for over 11s, while under-3s are free when accompanied by a paying adult.  

The sessions are drop-in and there is no need to book. 

You can also enjoy craft activities for £2 to £4, crazy golf for £1 and train rides for just £1. 

Plus the park it’self offers lots of free fun, you can discover more below. 

Read More >>> Haigh Woodland Park

Swim Slide and Waves, Hyde Leisure Pool – £16.80 Family of Four 

a swimming pool with a large red slide

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 £16.80 for a family of four, £4.10 for children, £6.40 for adults and £2.30 for under 5’s and you need to book places in advance. 

Discover the times >>> Swim Slide and Waves at Hyde Leisure 

Read More >>> Hyde Leisure Pool Booking and facilities 

Manchester Cinema Trip – £24.00 for a family of four

cinema seats

Across Manchester

When you think of a trip to the cinema the word cheap doesn’t automatically come to mind.

However, both Odeon and Cineworld cinemas offer cheap cinema tickets for a family of 4 the chance to catch a film for around £24.00 depending on the time or film.

You will find these great prices at Cineworld Ashton, Bolton and Didsbury where family tickets start from £23.96. 

Plus Odeon offers any time and tickets for just £5.00 when you book online.

The offer is valid at Odeon Manchester Great Northern, Odeon Oldham and Odeon Rochdale, as part of their my Odeon Saver Tickets.

Free sign-up is required and tickets need to be booked online. 

Read More >>> Cheapest cinema tickets in Manchester here. 

Active Tameside Cycle Track – £11.55 for a family of four 

Active Tameside Cycle Track

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 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 £4.40 per adult, £3.30 for children under 16 years and the family tickets cost £11.55

Spectators can watch for free and bikes and helmets can be provided free of charge or you can take your own.  

The Garden House Marple – Suggested £5 per Person 

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 zip wire and also have an onsite cafe serving hot drinks, basic sandwiches and ice-creams. 

The Garden House is a community charity and offers free entrance but has a recommendation of £5.00 per person. 

It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm – closed Mondays. 

Read More >>> The Garden House Marple

Lyme Park – from £17.50 for a family of four 

Lyme Park Stockport National Trust


A visit to a National Trust property always makes a lovely day out and Lyme Park in Stockport is great for families.

There are 1400 acres of parkland to explore where you can spot Highland Cattle, and sheep from the spring and the Lyme Park and Red Deer.

Plus they boast lovely gardens including an orangery and a beautiful house which opens in early February and is family-friendly.

The kids can also blow off some steam at the fun play area Crow Wood which has been newly renovated.

Entrance is free for National Trust Members.

For non-members, family tickets for the park and gardens are available for just £17.50 with 2 adults and £10.50 for 1 adult, plus under 5’s go free. The ticket also includes parking. 

If you want also to look around the Lyme Park house the family ticket with 2 adults will cost £37.50 and with 1 adult just £22.50.

Discover more >>> Lyme Park 

Dunham Massey from £21.25 for a family of four

Dunham Massey outdoor theatre


Another lovely National Trust property that makes a great cheap day out is Dunham Massey.

Walk their parklands which are 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. 

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.

For non-members family tickets with 2 adults are available for just £21.25, one with one adult for just £12.75, plus under 5’s go free. The tickets include gardens and estate along with parking. 

You can also add on an entrance to House and Servants courtyard for £15.00 for a family ticket with 2 adults and £9.00 for 1 adult. You cannot purchase this seperately.

Read More >>>  Dunham Massey Parking, Opening times and cafe

Stockport Air Raid Shelters £11.00 for a family with 2 adults

Stockport Air Raid Shelters


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 learn about the time from the state-of-the-art audio guides.

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

Tickets to normal tours cost £5.50 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. 

Check out more about Stockport Air Raid Shelters here. 

Dino Falls Adventure Golf – £28.00 for a Family of Four 

Dino Falls Adventure Golf Trafford - Credit Dino Falls Adventure Golf
Credit Dino Falls Adventure Golf

Trafford City 

For kids and families who love dinosaurs and or golf, Dino Falls Adventure Golf is a great choice. 

A family of four can play 18 holes of adventure golf for just £28.00. You can add an extra child on for just £5.00 and individual tickets cost £9 for adults and £7.00 for under 16’s.

They have two courses to choose from Rapids where you will have to navigate the winding river and cascading waterfall, or Volcano with a colossal erupting volcano.

Booking required.

Read more >>> Dino Falls Adventure Golf 

Putt Stars Mini Golf – £14.00 for a family of four

Manchester cheap days out Putt Stars Rochdale


Putt Stars makes a great family activity and is perfect on a budget. 

This indoor mini golf course has a choice of three 9-hole courses Slingshot, Zig-Zag and Pin Ball all with lots of fun challenges. 

You can keep track of your score on the tablets placed at each hole, the lower shots per hole the higher the points you get and you can play allocated Jokers to double your points.

Putt Stars costs just £3.50 per person no matter the day or time, meaning it’s just £14.00 for a family of four. They also offer discounts for students, seniors and carers. 

They also have an onsite cafe where they offer a family meal deal including 2 adult meals, 2 kids meals and 4 soft  drinks for just £29.00

Discover more details and how to book Putt Stars Mini Golf here.

Arcade Club (unlimited arcade machines) – £43.00 for a family of 4

Arcade Club Bury


For families who love to play arcade games together the Arcade Club is the perfect day out. 

It features four floors of arcade machines, pinball, consoles and games and once inside everything is free. 

The entrance costs £17.00 for adults, £9.00 for children and £43.00 for 2 adults and 2 children. 

We know that is at the higher end of our cheap days out ideas,  however, entrance includes unlimited goes on all their machines, games and consoles. Plus it is for all-day entry which we think makes it a great price. 

If you are planning on staying all day they have a very reasonable onsite cafe.  Prices start at £4.00 for pizza, £3.50 for burgers, £3.00 for hotdogs and £2.75 for nachos. 

They also offer cold drinks at very reasonable prices. 

Check out everything that the Arcade Club Bury has to offer here. 

Bowling at Light Stockport – £14.99 for a family of four

Bowling Light Stockport


Bowling is a fun activity for all the family but can prove to be an expensive one. 

However, Light Stockport offer up to four people the chance to bowl for just £14.99 for 40 minutes. A party of six can enjoy 60 minutes for £22.99 .

The offer is valid at weekends on lanes booked between 9.30 and 10.30 am.

If those times don’t suit their normal bowling price costs just £25.99 for four or £37.99 for six people.

They have 10-lane boutique bowling and drinks can be served to your lane. 

More details and how to book a lane at Light Stockport see here. 

Shuffleboard at Light Stockport – £15.99 for up to 6 people

Shuffleboard Light Cinema Stockport

Shuffleboard is a great activity for families, it can be played by all ages and abilities and is lots of fun. 

A mix of curling, bowling and pentanque, playing in teams you are tasked with pushing your puck along a 14ft table to earn points. The team with the most after both team have played all their pucks. 

You can play Shuffleboard at Light Cinema Stockport for just £15.99 for 40 minutes. 

There are only two tables at Light Stockport and booking in advance is reccomended. 

Read More >>> Shuffleboard at Light Stockport 

Manchester Roller Skating – £20 for a family of four

Manchester Roller Skating


For a fun family activity get your skates on and head to the Manchester Roller Rink. 

Manchester Roller Skating runs roller discos on Saturdays and Sundays from 3.00pm to 5.00pm and they are open for all ages. 

The roller discos cost just £5.00 per person including skate hire, although you are welcome to take your own. 

If you don’t fancy skating they have a small cafe serving hot drinks and confectionary and spectators are free. 

The sessions are drop-in and no booking is required. 

For more information about Manchester Roller Skating see here.

Karaoke at Tenpin Manchester Printworks – £20 for 30 minutes for up to 8 people

Kids Singing Karaoke Booth at Tenpin Manchester
Credit Tenpin

Have fun singing along to your favourite tunes at the Karaoke Booths at Tenpin Printworks. 

They have thousands of songs to choose from a great for a family singalong. 

The karaoke booths allow up to groups of 8 and cost just £20 per 30 minutes. 

Under 18’s are only allowed in the booths up to 9 pm. 

To book a Karaoke Booth at Tenpin in Manchester see here. 

Please note all prices were correct at the time of publishing and may have changed.

Treetop Nets, Heaton Park – From £5.00 per person 

TreeTop Nets Manchester - Credit TreeTop Manchester
Credit Treetop Trek Manchester

Treetop Nets in Heaton Park makes a great family day out. 

Kids and adults get to play bouncing, sliding, playing with balls and exploring tree houses all above the ground. 

Although their 2-hour sessions cost £20pp, they offer after-school sessions for just £10.00 per person and pre-school sessions for 1 to 5-year-olds for just £5.00.

To book Treetop Nets at Heaton Park see here.

Access All Adventure Activities at Active Medlock, £13.00 per person

sky high adventure climbing centre credit sky high adventure


Adventure activities such as climbing and high ropes can prove expensive. However Active Medlock in Droylsden offer an Access All Area Pass for just £11.55

Running on Friday evenings from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm, the pass offers two hours of active fun. 

The pass includes Clip n Climb, Caving and Bouldering, High Ropes and Soft Play.

The sessions are run in a structured way we set times for each (apart for soft play) and height restrictions apply.

Booking is required. 

Read More >>> Access All Areas at Active Medlock 

Free Things To Do In Manchester For Families. 

Haigh Woodland Park

Haigh Woodland Park


A trip to the park always makes a lovely free day out and Haigh Woodland Park is a great option.

They have a large adventure playground with lots of climbing frames, different style swings, mini zip wires, an electric hit zone, a sandpit, mini diggers, and lots more. 

You can also check out the brand-new Trim Trail with jump logs, parallel bars, rope runs and climbing frames.

Plus your can tire the kids out on their lovely woodland walks with downloadable maps, and on Sundays, they have a model train which is free to ride. 

Read More >>>Things To Do at Haigh Woodland Farm and Opening Hours, Events, Parking

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, to alpacas, geese, rabbits and more.  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 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. 

Read More >>> Heaton Park Parking, Events, Restaurants and Things To Do

Manchester Disc Golf, Longford Park Stretford

Disc Golf Longford Park


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. The aim of the game is to hit the target 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 frisbees from the Longford Park Cafe for just £1 plus a £5 returnable deposit. 

Longford Park is also great place to visit in itself. It has two fun playgrounds, a nice cafe and lots of space to run around. 

The Donkey Sanctuary Manchester 

Donkies at Donkey Sanctuary Manchester - Credit Donkey Sanctuary Manchester
Credit Donkey Sanctuary Manchester


For a lovely animal visit head to The Donkey Sanctuary in Gorton. 

Set across seven acres, this haven for donkeys is open to the public when you pre-book. It is also dog-friendly as long as they stay on the lead. 

The Donkey Sanctuary is open to the public on Saturdays and the first Sunday of every month from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon and 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm.

Booking is required, the visits are free but donations are welcome. 

Read More >>> Donkey Sanctuary Manchester 

Science and Industry Museum

Experiment Floor Science and Industry Museum

Manchester City Centre

The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester makes a great family day out for all ages and it is free.  

Head to the Textiles Gallery where you can follow the textile story through innovations in design and printing, plus they offer a free activity trial pack.

Kids of all ages and adults alike will love the Experiment Science Floor. Here you can get hands-on with all things science from mixing shadows, discovering recycling and even lifting a car. 

Read More >>> Science and Industry Museum Opening Times , Tickets and Events 

Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum Dinosaurs April the Tenontosaurus Fossil

Manchester City Centre

Another free museum in Manchester great for kids is Manchester Museum. 

Recently refurbished they have lots to see and do. From meeting Stan their giant T-Rex and being an archaeologist in the dinosaur area to playing a big game of eye spy in the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery. Plus lots more. 

Entry is free, however donations are welcome.

Discover Top Tips >>> Manchester Museum 

Stockport Museum 

Stockport Museum


Have a great little free day out for families at Stockport Museum.

Travel through 10,000 years of Stockport history from pre-historic to the 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. 

You can check out more details about Stockport Museum and everything has to offer here. 

Runway Visitor park 

Runway Visitors Park Altrincham


The Runway Visitor Park is a great location for families to kill an hour or two.

It offers a great spot to watch a huge selection of planes take off and land at Manchester Airport.

You will also find a small playground, cafe and what’s more, there are five aircraft you can get up close to. 

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. 

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.

The offer is valid during the weekends and school holidays, and only if you live within Manchester City Council.

You just need to sign up for a free Pay and Play Membership beforehand. 

Check out the details here. 

Things To Do For kids in Manchester City Centre

Things To Manchester City Centre for Kids

Planning a day out in Manchester City Centre you will be pleased to hear that there are lots of things to do for kids on all budgets.

From playgrounds to museums, activities and gaming there is something to do for both kids and all the family and all ages from toddlers to teens and adults. 

Read More >>> Things To Do In Manchester For Kids

National Football Museum – Free For Manchester Residents 

National Football Museum Building

Manchester City Centre

Manchester football fans can enjoy a free visit to the National Football Museum. 

The National Football Museum is the home to the world’s largest collection of football memorabilia. They promise that there are always around 2,500 items on show at any one time. 

They offer free tours and there are lots of interactive, objects games and display idea for all ages. Plus they often run craft activities during the school holidays.

Entry is free for Manchester residents who pay their council tax to Manchester City Council – see here to check your postcode. 

It is still advised to book a ticket online beforehand and proof of address is required. 

If you are not a Manchester resident tickets cost £28 for a family of four when booked online. 

For more information about the National Football Museum and to book tickets see here.

Discover >>> Kids Birthday Party Ideas In Manchester 

Read >>> Best Birthday Freebies 

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