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Things to do with the kids in and around Manchester this school summer holidays 2022

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 23/07/2022 Emma Gill

The summer holidays are upon us which means you'll no doubt be looking for things to do with the kids.

Whether you're off for just a few days or a few weeks, there are loads of things happening to keep children of all ages happy.

And with our ever-changing weather, there are both indoor and outdoor activities on the cards, so you can keep dry if you need to.

When the weather is warm, you might want to check out our list of the best family beaches, plus we've got a round-up of water parks and splash zones to enjoy here.

Here's our full round-up of events and things to do in and around Greater Manchester this summer...


Heaton Park

There's always lots of fun to be had at Heaton Park over the summer.

The annual funfair and beach is back from July 23 until September 4, offering free entry and either tokens or unlimited wristbands for the rides.

You could head out on the boating lake where you can hire rowing boats or swan and dragon shaped pedal boats and let the kids have a run around in the Lakeside Adventure Play Area.

The boating lake at Heaton Park © Manchester Evening News The boating lake at Heaton Park

There are craft sessions taking place in the Stables Courtyard every Monday throughout August. These cost £2 each and run from 1pm to 2.30pm.

A pump track has also been set up for kids to go on with bikes or scooters. There are some available to use at the site if you don't have your own, but all bikes are welcome, from balance bikes to adult mountain bikes. The only requirement is that you must be able to ride a bike without stabilisers.

It's open daily from 10am until at least 5pm until August 18 and again the cost is £2 a session, just turn up on the day.

The activity, from Dirt Factory, is open to all and located in the 'Bowl' area - which is the grassed area between the Lakeside, Hall and Stables.

Treetop Trek and Nets

Also at Heaton Park is the popular Treetop Trek and Nets.

It offers nets high in the trees, as well as a Full Trek and Mini Trek, with slots available to book online.

The nets are for adults and children from the age of three, the Full Trek for adults and children aged seven and above, and the Mini Trek for adults and children from aged five.

Adults need to accompany children under 12 on the treks, but children aged five and over can go on the nets alone. An adult must remain on site though, even if they're not taking part.

The two-hour Full Trek costs £37 for adults and teens aged 16 and over, or £30 for children. The Mini Trek lasts an hour and costs £22 each.

Tickets for the nets cost £20 each for two hours, or £14 for supervisors and under fives.

Treetop Nets © Manchester Evening News Treetop Nets

Science and Industry Museum

The museum has a full summer holiday programme including the chance to unpick the history of Manchester’s textiles heritage, or switch it up in a new gaming experience and play with computers and consoles from the last 50 years.

Whether it’s tinkering with moving machines, trying their hand at traditional weaving or producing unique fabric prints, visitors will have the opportunity to put their creative skills to the test during free daily drop-in activities and weekly workshops all themed around Manchester’s history as a hub of textiles manufacturing.

Or they can try something different by indulging in a daily dose of gaming in interactive experience, Power Up, where players can enjoy the very best video games from the past five decades, try out over a hundred different consoles and test out some of the latest developments in virtual reality.

Free tickets to the museum are available now and can be booked in advance through the website here or by calling 033 0058 0058. Tickets for the free pre-bookable workshops are also available online alongside museum admission. Entry to Power Up is charged at £8 for adults, £6 for children and concessions (family discounts available) and needs to be booked in addition to museum entry.

Power Up at the Science and Industry Museum © Manchester Evening News Power Up at the Science and Industry Museum

The Whitworth

It's all about the art of play at The Whitworth this summer.

There are loads of free sessions taking place, with everything from Scrap Studio and sketching stations to Minecraft and outdoor music.

Explore The Art of Play runs from August 2 to 31 and everything is free. See the Culturekidsmanchester Facebook page below for more details.

National Football Museum

With the focus firmly on women's football right now, there are plenty of ways to celebrate both female players and fans at the National Football Museum this summer.

Three activities are running throughout the duration of the UEFA Women's EURO this summer, all around creating and collecting football stickers.

Between now and July 30, you can join a gallery trail, enjoy some football sticker making or join in one of the Sunday sticker swap sessions.

You can also visit the new exhibition, Crossing the Line: the story of women’s football, which chronicles the game’s early growth, the effects of the FA’s de facto 1921 ban, its survival and its resurgence in recent decades.

For specific dates and times, visit the website here.

a group of people standing in a room: National Football Museum © Manchester Evening News National Football Museum

GMP Museum

The Greater Manchester Police Museum hosts open days in the school holidays.

This sessions are held every Tuesday between 10.30am and 4pm and there's no need to book.

The free events 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.

Last admission is 3pm. See the website for more details.

Fairy Tales at Z-arts

The interactive experience based on some much-loved children's stories is running throughout the school holidays.

After a sell-out run at the Discover Children’s Story Centre in London, Fairy Tales arrived at Z-arts earlier this year.

An imaginative storytelling experience for children aged up to eight years old, it is designed to encourage role play and exploration, bringing to life some of the most loved traditional tales from around the world, including The Three Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk and the spider Anansi.

It's running Tuesday to Saturday throughout the holidays. For tickets - £8 per person and £3 for babes in arms - visit the website here, or call the box office on 0161 226 1912.

Fairy Tales at Z-arts © Z-arts Fairy Tales at Z-arts

Chorlton Water Park

Whether you want to go cycling with the kids down one of the many paths, or head into the woodlands, there's plenty to keep the kids busy here.

The picturesque Chorlton Water Park is a Local Nature Reserve comprising of a lake surrounded by grasslands and woodlands.

There is car park, a play area with wooden climbing frames and ropes, picnic benches and a large network of accessible paths.

The kids love the chance to get up close to all ducks and swans while you're there and if it's a sunny day you'll most likely find the ice cream van and coffee van there too.

a river running through a park: Chorlton Water Park © Manchester Evening News Chorlton Water Park

The Crystal Maze Live Experience

The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience is a popular attraction for all ages and there's a family ticket you can buy, saving 10% off the usual price.

The Maze lowered its playing age from 13 to nine last year and adapted a selection of games to introduce the Maze and the iconic Crystal Dome to a new generation of adventure seekers.

Kids and adults can battle it out to win crystals within the attraction's famous four zones - Aztec, Industrial, Futuristic, and Medieval and face a range of crazy challenges against the clock.

The attraction is also hosting a Crystal Camp in August, teaching budding thespians the Maze’s theatrical ropes.

Kids attend for five days and it culminates in a show for family and friends at the end of the week where the child is the Maze Master.

To book maze tickets, from £51, visit the website here. To find out more about the Crystal Camp, running from August 1 to 19, visit here.

The Crystal Maze Live Experience © Crystal Maze LIVE Experience The Crystal Maze Live Experience

Elizabeth Gaskell's House

There's a free family Garden Trail happening at the home of Elizabeth Gaskell, Manchester’s very own Literary house, this summer.

The trail promises to 'entertain families with fun facts, discoveries and things to do' as they make their way around the traditionally planted Victorian garden. QR codes along the trail will activate the different elements to be found in the garden and there will also be a paper version of the map available.

The trail also highlights facts about sustainability and shares take home ideas about reducing carbon emissions. To spread this message even further, families will also be able to take home a special pack of Elizabeth Gaskell House wildflower seeds - while stocks last.

Visitors can enjoy their own picnic on one of the lawned areas where there is also a selection of traditional Victorian garden games to play.

The Garden Trail is a free activity included in the entrance fee. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is open every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11am to 4.30pm.

Entry is £6.50 for adults and free for children under 16, when accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be booked online.

Elizabeth Gaskell's House © Supachai - Elizabeth Gaskell's House

Great Northern

Great Northern Warehouse’s iconic amphitheatre has reopened its newly redesigned playhouse and popular giant outdoor sandpit for families to keep little ones entertained.

Located in the heart of the city and all outdoors, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy the warm weather and offers little ones hours of free entertainment.

With 50 tonnes of sand, some wooden logs to sit on and play with and buckets and spades to borrow, it’s the perfect place to stop off for a couple of hours.

Great Northern is also home to the Lane7 bowling alley and you grab some food from its Fat Hippo concession - which has a build your own burger option for kids - or the nearby Almost Famous.

The beach at Great Northern © Manchester Evening News The beach at Great Northern

Treetop Adventure Golf, Printworks

There's loads for families to do inside Manchester's Printworks, including Treetop Adventure Golf, which opens even earlier in the summer holidays.

It's open from 10am daily from July 25 until September 4, with its two courses Tropical Trail and Explorer.

Early Bird tickets are available every Monday to Friday, meaning if you tee off before midday, you can play two courses for the price of one.

Tickets cost £9.75, or £32 for a family of four. Under fives £4.75. See the website for more.

a person standing in front of a box: Treetop Adventure Golf, Printworks © Manchester Evening News Treetop Adventure Golf, Printworks

TeamSport Karting

Karting sessions are available at TeamSport indoor karting every day over the summer.

The multi-level track is 550 metres long and is underneath the Manchester Arena car park.

The Family Ultimate Race Experience is the most popular session for both beginners and seasoned pros.

This format is ideal if you want to go along on your own and put in some lap times or battle it out on the track in a small group with friends or family.

Tickets cost from £33 per person - using the discount code GET10 at the checkout - for two 15-minute sessions.

Visit the website to book.

TeamSport Karting © Coventry Telegraph TeamSport Karting

People's History Museum

There are lots of family-friendly activities to enjoy at People's History Museum over the summer.

A sculpture called The Manchester Argonaut, which features ‘bright colours, intricate patterns, statement tattoos and fantastical accessories' is the centrepiece of its newest family friendly exhibition.

Highlighting the struggle for disabled peoples’ rights in Manchester, it is also stood in the shape of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, according to artist Jason Wilsher-Mills.

Throughout the school summer holidays the museum will be open seven days a week, from Monday, July 25 until early September. Visit the website for more details.

Entry is free, with a suggested donation of £5.

The Manchester Argonaut © Vincent Cole - Manchester Evening News The Manchester Argonaut

Urban Playground, Manchester Arndale

The new Urban Playground opened in Manchester Arndale earlier this year.

The multi-million pound entertainment complex is home to The Cube Live, where families can play the ITV game show in real life - with a number of extraordinary mental and physical challenges in the show's iconic perspex boxes.

But as well as that there's also a new tech-infused mini golf course Putters with the option of a 9-hole or 18-hole course, alongside the first UK branch of international burger bar The Butcher.

The Cube Live © Manchester Evening News The Cube Live

It is the first time ever that fans of The Cube can get to experience it live, and offers teams of up to four the chance to play the games.

The Urban Playground venue has taken over the former Dorothy Perkins/Arcadia stores on the upper floor of the Manchester Arndale centre, and stretches over two floors and 4,000 square metres.

Children must be aged 12 or over to play The Cube, while participants at Putters golf must be aged nine or over.

Tickets to play The Cube Live start from £30, golf is £12 for children and from £15 for adults. Visit the website for more details and to book.

Golf at Urban Playground © Manchester Evening News Golf at Urban Playground

Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens

If it's a picturesque walk you're after then the popular Botanical Gardens in Didsbury will do the trick.

Fletcher Moss has lots of wooded areas to explore and there's a nature trail and a pond to enjoy too.

You might not be out late enough to spot the bats flying along the river at dusk, but there are plenty of insects such as dragonflies and butterflies to find on your adventure.

The river offers an opportunity for that all important pebble throwing too.

More information about the Nature Trail can be found in the Visitor Centre in The Croft (off Millgate Lane).

a plant in a forest: Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens © Manchester Evening News Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens

Junk Yard Golf

Junk Yard is home to three mashed up nine-hole crazy golf courses created from 'pre-loved and reclaimed random shizzle'.

Groups can putt their way through all sorts of bizarre holes; think UV garage, scrapyard slides, circus freaks and jungle bathtubs.

It's largely aimed at an older crowd, but children are allowed in Sunday to Thursday before 6pm.

You can book for groups of up to eight on the website and it costs £8.50 per person, per game.

Manchester Art Gallery

There's plenty for kids to get creative with at Manchester Art Gallery this summer.

Grab a Keep It Curious activity kit during opening hours for some inspiration.

The mini match box of activities includes a sketchbook, pencil, photography filter and prompt cards to help connect you to artworks and ideas as you explore the Gallery. Take it home with you and continue the journey.

On Wednesday and on alternate Saturdays and Sundays during the holidays The Lion's Den, otherwise known as Clore Art Studio, is hosting creative making sessions between 1pm and 3.30pm. There's no need to book so you can just turn up. See the full list of dates for the Creative Families sessions here.

Manchester Art Gallery © Manchester Evening News Manchester Art Gallery


I'm A Celebrity Jungle Challenge

The much-anticipated I'm A Celebrity Jungle Challenge opened last year and has been a big hit with families.

Billed as 'the ultimate jungle encounter', the visitor attraction, inspired by the blockbuster show, promises to 'take Campmates into the heart of the jungle to navigate a series of fun-filled physical challenges'.

Based at Quayside, MediaCityUK - formerly known as The Lowry Shopping Centre - the attraction features Main Camp, the Throne and Winner's Bridge, and promises to 'put campmates' nerve and agility to the test as they race against the clock in a bid to collect stars and be crowned King or Queen of the jungle'.

Tickets for the attraction - from £20 for early evening slots - can be booked online at You can also save more than 25% at other times with a family ticket costing £84.

Visitors must be at least eight years of age and a minimum of 135cm and 30kg (4st 7lb) to take part.

I'm A Celebrity Jungle Challenge at Quayside, Salford © Manchester Family / MEN I'm A Celebrity Jungle Challenge at Quayside, Salford

RHS Garden Bridgewater

The RHS site has been another popular attraction since opening last May and there are some great events happening this summer.

A Great Garden Adventure awaits with 'an action-packed programme of holiday fun for all the family' promised from July 23 until September 4.

Families are invited to 'discover the wonders of the natural world on an explorer quest around the gardens' and try something new with exciting hands-on workshops and crafts to bring kids big and small closer to nature.

The self-guided quests are daily throughout the holidays and there's a full programme of events from storytelling and seed planting to bug hunts and meeting minibeasts. See the website here for specific dates and times.

Most activities are included in usual admission fees - adults £11.50, children £5.75, family £27.50.

RHS Garden Bridgewater © RHS / Helen Yates RHS Garden Bridgewater

Salford Museum and Art Gallery

There's lots to keep little ones entertained at Salford Museum and Art Gallery this summer.

A whole programme of family activities is planned, from arts and crafts to object handling and outdoor adventures.

Sessions are running between July 26 and August 25 and include ceramic tile decorating, Victorian toys, junk modelling, Victorian washday and more.

Most activities are free but there's a fee of £2 or £3 for others. For specific dates and times and to book, visit the website here.

Victorian washday at Salford Museum © Manchester Evening News Victorian washday at Salford Museum

City Airport (Manchester Barton)

Barton Beach Funpark comes to the airport daily from July 23 to September 4.

Children can get a wristband for all the rides, if booked in advance, for £7.99. Otherwise it's £2 per single ride ticket, or 10 for eight single ride tickets.

Sessions run 11am to 3pm and 1pm to 5pm.

Rides include a dragon roller coaster, balloons and dodgems and there's a large sandpit with deckchairs, inflatables, pedal boats, trampolines, donkey rides and more.

Themed days will also be running, with princesses, superheroes and dinosaurs.

While you're there the little ones can watch the planes taking off and, as well as a food court at the funfair, there's also the family-friendly Runway 26 cafe, with indoor and outdoor seating.

City Airport is just five miles from Manchester City Centre, close to Junction 11 of the M60 on the A57 Liverpool Road. See thr website here to book.

Barton Beach at City Airport © Manchester Evening News Barton Beach at City Airport

The Lowry

If you fancy a trip to the theatre this summer, then the much-loved Gruffalo production is back on at The Lowry.

The musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is on at the Salford venue from July 30 to August 21.

There promises to be 'songs, laughs and monstrous fun' for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the much-loved show that’s toured Britain and the world.

Tall Stories use 'a physical storytelling style combined with original songs to create a lively theatrical experience that embraces its audience'.

Performances last for 55 minutes and there is no interval. tickets, costing from £18, can be booked online.

The Gruffalo is coming to The Lowry © Tall Stories / The Lowry The Gruffalo is coming to The Lowry

Also at The Lowry is a brand new musical 'Identical' based on the novel The Parent Trap, which inspired the hugely successful Disney films featuring Hayley Mills in 1961 and Lindsay Lohan in 1998

Recommended for ages eight plus, it's running from August 19 to September 3, with tickets from £24.50.

There's also a new family exhibition at the theatre titled Picture This.

Running from July 23 until the end of October, it features six popular children’s books that have a strong visual identity and have also been vividly brought to life on stage, including Room on the Broom, Floella Benjamin’s Coming to England, You Choose and Alice in Wonderland.

Each section of the free family exhibition will include illustrations and artwork from the books, alongside filmed extracts from stage productions, with a variety of props, costumes, designs and posters.

Throughout there will be interactive opportunities for visitors to draw, write, perform, read and play and even devise their own production ideas. At the heart of the exhibition will be a stage, featuring daily readings of the featured books and many other titles, as well as performance, music-making and artist-led workshops.

For more details, visit the website here.

Picture This at The Lowry © Manchester Evening News Picture This at The Lowry

Salford Literacy Trail

A family ‘BookBench’ trail has arrived in Salford this summer - with 20 uniquely decorated benches celebrating the magic of reading.

Each bench making up the Salford Literacy Trail kicks has been designed by local schoolchildren and artists and individually sponsored by local businesses to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust.

With the aim of encouraging children to read, they've been dotted around locations across Salford, including the Blue Peter Garden at MediaCity and Salford Cathedral.

The 20 benches - with names such as The Raven and The Children who Drew Dragons - will be situated around The Quays, central Salford, Eccles and Worsley until September 9.

The BookBenches have been created by Wild in Art, a specialist organisation behind many other successful trails, such as Bee in the City, Elmer’s Great North Parade, and Walking with The Snowman.

For more information, including a downloadable trail map, click here.

The 'Elmer’s Day Out' bench, which has been designed by pupils at Willow Tree Primary School and artist Amanda Quellin © Katarina Jovanovic / National Literary Trust The 'Elmer’s Day Out' bench, which has been designed by pupils at Willow Tree Primary School and artist Amanda Quellin

Walkden Town Centre

There's lots of free fun on the cards at Walkden Town Centre over the holidays.

Activities include an assault course and mini golf and there will be special appearances from the Minions and a Space Ranger.

See the Facebook page here for updates.

Walkden Town Centre events © Manchester Evening News Walkden Town Centre events

Ordsall Hall

A programme of outdoor theatre is planned in the grounds of the Grade I listed Tudor manor house.

Family theatre shows include Alice in Wonderland on August 16 and Rapunzel on August 22.

Tickets, costing from £10 per child, can be booked online here.

There's lots more going on at the hall too, with everything from den building and wand making, to Tudor playtime and the chance to Meet the Servants.

Most activities are free but there's a fee of £1.50 or £2 for others. For specific dates and times and to book, visit the website here.

Meet the Servants at Ordsall Hall © Manchester Evening News Meet the Servants at Ordsall Hall

Worsley Woods

Generations of families have descended on Worsley Woods and there's more reason to visit following last year's refurb of the popular play trail.

It might be hidden away but it actually covers 30 hectres in all and can be reached from Salford's network of looplines or the historical Bridgewater Canal.

There's a lake there too, with a jetty to walk along and see the ducks and swans and there are lots of steps and winding paths to explore on your adventure through the woods.

a bench in front of a forest: The play area at Worsley Woods © Manchester Evening News The play area at Worsley Woods

Clifton Country Park

The country park and nature reserve is part of the Irwell Valley and offers a vast expanse of beautiful countryside on the edge of Salford.

As well as the children's play area, with climbing frames and wooden play equipment, there's a large climbing boulder for kids to tackle.

You can then enjoy a lakeside walk - venturing round the entire lake if those little legs can make it round - and you can cross a green bridge to reach a stream lined with pebbles for that all important stone skimming.

Clifton Country Park © Manchester Evening News Clifton Country Park


Trafford Treetop Adventures

Enjoy a trek through the trees at Trafford Treetop Adventures.

The courses are in the grounds of the Trafford Centre, near the Regent Crescent car park.

They feature more than 20 challenges and obstacles, finishing off with a zipline at the end.

The minimum age is six years old and participants under 1.4m must be accompanied by an adult.

Tickets cost £14.95 for children and adults. Book online here.

Trafford Treetop Adventures © Emma Gill / Manchester Evening News Trafford Treetop Adventures

Trafford Watersports Centre

Family and mini adventures are available at Trafford Watersports Centre over the summer.

You can choose from kayaking, canoeing, kata kanuing or stand up paddleboarding and you get a one-hour instructed session.

Family adventures - for up to five people - cost £100 and mini adventures £40. Boat hire starts from £10.

See the website here to book.

a man riding on the back of a boat in the water: Trafford Watersports Centre © Manchester Evening News Trafford Watersports Centre

Manchester Airport's Runway Visitor Park

A new plane-shaped climbing frame is drawing even more visitors to Manchester Airport's Runway Visitor Park.

The play frame, along with some new swings, has proved a welcome addition to the attraction, which gives families a view of the aircraft as they take off and land.

The park is also home to a variety of retired planes, including the spectacular supersonic airliner, Concorde G-BOAC; and former RAF military spy plane, Nimrod and runs Junior Flight Academy sessions throughout the holidays.

The children's playground is available to use daily from 8am to 8pm. Car parking costs £5 for up to two hours, £10 for two to four hours, or £12 for all stays over four hours.

A number of special events are planned over the summer, including an Family Days on August 28 and 29. Visit the website here for more details.

New climbing frame at Manchester Airport's Runway Visitor Park © Runway Visitor Park / Facebook New climbing frame at Manchester Airport's Runway Visitor Park

Dino Falls Adventure Golf

Dino Falls Adventure Golf near the Trafford Centre features a Rapids course and a Volcano course, with a six-metre walk-through spouting volcano.

It's the biggest adventure golf attraction outside of London and features everything from a Tyrannosaurus Rex and baby Triceratops to Velociraptors and a Diplodocus.

The site is open 7am to 10.30pm daily, with tickets costing £9 for adults, £7 for under 16s, or £28 for a family of two adults and two children. Additional children £5 each. Book online.

Dino Falls Adventure Golf © Manchester Evening News Dino Falls Adventure Golf

Summer Daze, Trafford Centre

The giant funfair is back outside the Trafford Centre this summer and bigger than ever.

Summer Daze will feature a huge beach and a brand new splash park, as well as a new ride called Sea Storm, where the public can ride the wave in individual cruisers.

Former favourites are also set to make a return including the log flume, bungee trampolines, wave swinger, water balls, pirate ship and bumper boats.

The Trafford Centre fair © Manchester Family / MEN The Trafford Centre fair

The summer season entertainment for 2022 is the centre’s most significant outdoor event to date and will include a fan zone for watching this summer's sport including Women’s EURO and the Athletics World Championships, as well as a free outdoor cinema showing a range of classic films.

Entry to the fair is £2.80 and you can either buy ride tickets on the day, or book online, getting 25 ride tokens for the price of 20.

Sessions run at 11am to 2pm, 2pm to 5pm and 5pm to 8pm. Visit the website to book.

The Summer Daze event has arrived © submitted The Summer Daze event has arrived

Namco Funscape Trafford Centre

Visitors can bowl for £5 per person with Namco Funscape's Summer Lovin' Fun offer.

It's running all day Monday to Friday from July 25 to September 2.

And there's even more reason to head to Namco after it welcomed a new Mario Kart VR game.

As well as being able to enjoy bowling, dodgems and arcade games, visitors can dive into the world of Mario Kart - but this time you're in the driving seat. You can race with up to four people and immerse yourself in the game with VR technology.

So far, the immersive multiplayer VR title has only been available in a number of venues across the country, but it arrived at the venue at the end of March, along with Galaga Fever VR.

Mario Kart costs £6.95 per player or you can get a four-player package deal for £20.95. Galaga Fever costs £4.95, or you can play both games for £9.95.

Bowling can be booked by the game or by the hour. Visit the website here.

The Mario Kart VR game at Namco Funscape © Manchester Evening News The Mario Kart VR game at Namco Funscape

Play Factore

It's soft play on a mammoth scale at Play Factore, which houses the largest play frame in the UK along with other attractions including a full indoor laser tag arena, four Valojump trampolines, a zip wire and VR.

It's open daily 10am to 6pm with tickets costing £15.95 for ages five and over, £8.95 for ages one to four and £2.95 for babies aged six months to 11 months. Adults are £4.95 and under six months go free.

Bookings are now being taken online.

Chill Factore

There's loads of fun on offer at Chill Factore over the break, from activities in the Snow Park to Kids' Holiday Camps.

The Snow Park is for anyone from the age of four and includes Downhill Donuts, where you can ride the slope in either a single or a double inflatable rubber ring and a Sledge 'n' Slide where you can board a sledge and race to the bottom.

For those aged six and above there's also the Ice Slide, where you lie on your back and slide down on a mat.

One-hour sessions cost £19, or you can get a four person pass for £69. Anyone booking a Snow Park session between July 25 and September 4 gets a free drink at The Lodge Bar & Kitchen. Simply show your Snow Park ticket at the end of your session.

Kids' Holiday Camps are also running throughout the holidays to teach youngsters aged four to 16 how to ski. There are different age and ability groups and the green one for beginners is currently half price from £24.50.

For more details and to book, visit the website here.

Chill Factore © Manchester Evening News Chill Factore

Legoland and Sea Life

It's all about pirates at Legoland Discovery Centre and Sea Life this summer - and it's more economical to get a joint ticket for both, which allows you to visit on different days.

In a brand-new event, Captain Careless needs the help of buccaneering pirates to salvage his lost treasure in an adventure spanning both venues.

From trail-led activities at Sea Life to building a pirate pet or flag from millions of pieces of Lego at Legoland, there's all sorts to keep youngsters entertained - not to mention Legoland's soft play and 4D cinema.

Visitors will be able to collect ‘Top Trump’ cards to reward them for completing the tasks and at the end of the trail, participants will receive a pirate bandana, so they really look the part.

Joint tickets cost from £31.95 and can be booked online. Events are running from now until September 4.

Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester © Manchester Evening News Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester

Dunham Massey

A 'magical day out' is promised at Dunham Massey this summer as it hosts a fairy tale themed programme of summer events.

Families are invited to Minibeasts and Giants: a Fairy-tale Trail, running from July 25 to September 7.

As well as the self-led family trail 'of discovery and imagination' little ones can 'uncover moments of magic with storytelling, performance and crafts' in Midweek Magic sessions.

The event is free but usual admission fees apply - children £4, adults £8, family £20.

For more details see the programme here and look out for updates on Dunham Massey’s social media.

Dunham Massey © Manchester Evening News Dunham Massey

IWM North

Take a step back in time at the Imperial War Museum North this summer.

'Story Seekers' is back, this time focusing on 'Camouflage and Disguise' - giving families the chance to get up close with objects and dig deeper into the museum’s collections using the new, illustrated trail booklet as your guide.

Successfully complete your special mission by finding all of the Story Seekers: Camouflage & Disguise trail objects and receive a special Camouflage Unit badge to take home.

Sessions run daily between 10am and 3pm from July 26 to August 26.

For more details about what's going on at the museum over summer, including the chance to create your own camouflage design in the Dazzle Design Studio, or meet the IWM veterans at its We Were There Family Days, see here, or visit the website.

a group of people looking at a laptop: Story Seekers at IWM North © Manchester Evening News Story Seekers at IWM North

Inflata Nation

The attraction, packed full of inflatable fun, is open across the summer.

As well as drop slides, the wall-to-wall inflatable features a fun ‘shooting gallery’ - featuring air cannons that fire plastic balls at special targets, a 20ft tall ‘jump off’ platform - where guests can don a harness before taking a leap of faith to freefall to the floor below, and a gladiator podium.

There's also spinning dodgems, a tilting slide, an obstacle course and a huge ‘Inflata Bubbles’ section, designed so that visitors can achieve 'optimum bounce heights'. Tickets - £10.99 for ages four plus and £5.99 for under fours - can be booked online and you can use the code SUMMERMANC to get 15% off.

The venue is open even longer over the holidays too, from 10am to 7pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 7pm at weekends.

Inflata Nation © Manchester Evening News Inflata Nation

Longford Park

There's loads to keep the family happy at Longford Park.

As well as being a lovely park to take a brisk walk, there are well-equipped play areas suitable for all ages, Simply Cycling sessions on the athletic stadium track and a disc golf course - basically golf with frisbees.

Once you're all suitably worn out you can take a rest at the Longford Cafe.

iFLY Indoor Skydiving

The home of indoor skydiving, participants are suspended in a column of air which reproduces the feeling of freefall.

Soar like a bird in the first 14ft (4.3m) diameter iFLY wind tunnel to be built in the UK. Tickets cost from £47.99 and you can book online here.

Total Ninja

There are more inflatables to enjoy at Total Ninja.

As well as a Ninja Academy area to tackle, there's also a Ninja Inflatable Course, for ages four plus, with a smaller soft play area for threes and under. There's also an upgraded arcade area to enjoy too.

Sessions, costing £11 for an hour on the inflatables or £16.50 if you add an hour on the Ninja course, can be booked online.

Total Ninja © Manchester Evening News Total Ninja

Paradise Island Adventure Golf

There's some more indoor adventure golf inside the Trafford Centre's Paradise Island.

There are two 18-hole courses to complete - the Tiki Hut Trail, with wheelchair and push pram access, and Temple Ruins Adventure.

Tickets for one course cost £4.50 for under fives, £7.50 for ages five to 16, £9.50 for adults, or £30 for a family of four. For two course it's £6, £11.50, £14.50 and £42 respectively. Book online.

a sign next to a fireplace: Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Trafford Centre © Manchester Evening News Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Trafford Centre


East Lancashire Railway

There are some great events planned at the popular East Lancashire Railway this summer.

As well as the return of a Day Out with Thomas, for the first time ever the attraction is hosting Peppa Pig events.

Peppa, George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig will meet and greet visitors at Bury Transport Museum.

Guests can complete Peppa’s activity trail and continue the fun with 'a cracking funfair, expert balloon modellers, face painters, and even meet farmyard friends at the petting zoo'.

The day out will be complete with a ride through Irwell Valley on a real heritage steam or diesel train, included in the price of a ticket. Travel on whichever train best suits you on the day, working around your booked entrance time to meet Peppa and friends.

Peppa Pig is coming to East Lancashire Railway © Manchester Evening News Peppa Pig is coming to East Lancashire Railway

Peppa Pig and Friends Fun Days will take place on August 25 and 26.

Other events include The Dino Adventure on August 10 and 19, Day Out with Thomas on August 6 and 7, and the Wizarding Adventure, on July 31.

The 'spellbinding adventure' is billed as 'an interactive day out for all aspiring witches and wizards' - 'a chance for magicians to gather and enjoy mastering their wand waving, improving their broomstick skills and defeating evil forces'.

Alongside the wizard themed activities and photo opportunities, guests will head off on a two-hour train experience with the region's best enchanters.

To book tickets, costing from £13.50, visit the website.

A Wizarding day at the East Lancs Railway © Manchester Evening News A Wizarding day at the East Lancs Railway

Arcade Club Bury

The summer holidays is the perfect time to check out the Arcade Club in Bury, especially on those inevitable rainy days.

The Ela Mill venue features hundreds of retro and modern machines and gamers have been flocking there since it opened in 2015.

Not only are opening hours extended over the school holidays - opening from 11am Thursdays and Fridays as well as the weekend - but the place has been extended too, with a new fourth floor full of even more games.

There's everything from Pac-Man and Space Invaders to Donkey Kong and Sega Rally and kids can play their modern favourites like Fortnite and Rocket League.

You pay the one entry fee - £8 for kids and £16 for adults (or £40 for a family) - and can play on whatever you like for as long as you like. Families are welcome at all times, except for Friday evenings, when it's adults-only after 6pm.

For more information, or to book tickets, visit the website here.

Victorian washday at Salford Museum © Emma Gill / Manchester Evening News Victorian washday at Salford Museum

Bury Transport Museum

Across the road from ELR is Bury Transport Museum where the industrial heritage of the North West is brought to life.

Through stunningly restored vehicles, original artefacts and interactive exhibits, families can explore the lives and jobs of people in the early 20th Century.

There is plenty to keep both adults and children entertained, from discovering the horse drawn tram that was once a chip shop, learning about how 'Hilda' the steam roller almost met her end, meeting the bus with a history in movies or taking a look around the smallest museum inside of a museum in the UK.

It's open 10am to 4pm whenever services are running at the East Lancashire Railway. You can find the running days here.

Tickets cost £5 for adults, £3 for children aged three to 17, or £13 for a family of two adults and up to three children. You only have to pay once and they are valid for 12 months.

a little girl riding on the back of a car posing for the camera: Bury Transport Museum © Manchester Evening News Bury Transport Museum

Holcombe Hill

This walk on the outskirts of Ramsbottom boasts some of the most amazing panoramic views from the top.

It might be a hike up the 1,100 feet (335m) hill, but the route has a clear track leading up.

At the top you'll find the famous Peel Tower. Built in 1852, the landmark monument was erected in tribute to Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the police force and former Prime Minister who hailed from Bury. It stands 128ft high and when you reach it, you'll discover unparalleled views over Manchester, Cheshire and across to North Wales.

Burrs Country Park

Whether walking or bird watching there are plenty of reasons for families to take a trip to Burrs Country Park.

The park has different trails to walk around near the River Irwell, you can feed the ducks and there's an exercise trail for kids.

There are plenty of spots to enjoy a picnic or you could try out the park's café The Lamppost, which prides itself on 'the best coffee and cake in town', as well as muffins they bake for dogs.

a young boy standing next to a fence: Burrs Country Park © Manchester Evening News Burrs Country Park

Bury Art Museum

Families can drop into the art museum during the holidays.

Craft activities for five to 11 year olds will take place in the temporary exhibition galleries every Tuesday and Thursday during school holidays, between 10.30am and 12pm.

The first session will take place on Tuesday, July 26 and run every Tuesday and Thursday until the last session on Tuesday, August 20.

Sessions cost £3 per child and you can book at the front desk in the main foyer.

The museum's tea room is family-friendly and all floors of the building are accessible via a lift.

whiteboard: Bury Art Museum © Manchester Evening News Bury Art Museum


Tribal Survival, The Hive at Moss Bank Park

A new event has come to the park this July.

After transforming into warriors with face paint and camo vests, families will head out on an adventure trail where you will learn about foraging, there will be a fire lighting masterclass, and a memorable den building experience. Special tribal crafts will also be on offer along with 'unforgettable campfire games'.

Sessions are running on July 23, 24, 30 and 31, with limited tickets available. For children it's £7.50 and for adults £3. Visit the website here to book.

Moss Bank Park © Manchester Evening News Moss Bank Park

The Octagon

The Octagon Theatre has announced a whole host of fun family activities to keep youngsters entertained this summer - with outdoor theatre performances and a free family festival.

There Be Monsters, from acclaimed outdoor performers The Fabularium, is billed as 'an outdoor heroic romp-around' and will visit four venues - Moss Bank Park (July 22), Queens Park (July 23 and 24), Atherton Laburnum Rovers (July 25) and Bradshaw Cricket Club (July 27).

Join the hapless but noble knight Don Quixote and his long suffering, fortune seeking side-kick Sancha Panza on their epic quest to revive chivalry, confront monsters and seek to right what is wrong or accidentally wrong what is right.

There Be Monsters outdoor theatre show © Manchester Evening News There Be Monsters outdoor theatre show

As you meet these two iconic characters, you are promised 'a journey like no other', with 'live original music, catchy songs, and plenty of audience participation that will deliver a fun yet thought provoking outdoor theatrical experience for all'.

There'll be performances at 1pm and 3.30pm each day. Tickets from just £7 for adults and £5 for children and can be booked online.

Later in the summer family fun comes to the Octagon’s town centre building with the free Octagon Family Festival.

Taking place alongside Bolton’s Food and Drink Festival (August 26 to 28) and sponsored by Carrs Pasties, the Octagon will create a varied programme of events for children and their families including craft making, storytelling, live performances, refreshments and more.

All activities will be free, with bookable timeslots for some activities available across the weekend. Visit the website here to book.

There Be Monsters, from The Octagon © Manchester Evening News There Be Monsters, from The Octagon

Smithills Open Farm

Smithills Open Farm is a popular day out for the whole family and tickets have already been selling fast for the summer.

The family-run business, set within 70 acres of rolling countryside, is home to everything from cows and pig to llamas and alpacas.

Pets Corner is the most popular activity where you get to meet the animals close up, feeding baby lambs and goats and meeting any newborns.

Daily at 1pm you can watch the cows being milked and at 12pm it's calf feeding.

The venue also offers tractor rides - on toy ones as well as the real thing - donkey rides and there's a new play area that opened earlier this year.

Tickets cost £9 for adults, £8 for children (under twos free), or £30 for a family of four. Visit the website to book.

a kangaroo standing on grass: Smithills Open Farm © Manchester Evening News Smithills Open Farm

Alice in Wonderland, The Victoria Hall

Alice in Wonderland is coming to The Victoria Hall this summer.

With the aim of offering 'affordable family theatrical shows' to all, tickets for the production, which is running at Bolton's Victoria Hall, cost just £5 per person.

The Bolton Panto will feature 26 performances running over 11 dates, from July 29 to August 9, and tickets are already being snapped up.

It features Hannah Dale as Alice, who, after falling down the Rabbit Hole, finds herself in the bonkers yet magical world of Wonderland.

Performances will take place in the main hall of The Victoria Hall, with shows starting from 11am, 1pm, 2.30pm, 5pm, 6pm and 6.30pm, depending on the date. Visit the website here to book.

Alice in Wonderland panto comes to Bolton this summer © Bolton Panto Alice in Wonderland panto comes to Bolton this summer

Go Ape Rivington

There are more treetop challenges to have a go at if you visit Go Ape Rivington.

With 13-metre-high platforms and 'a brilliant free-falling Tarzan Swing', it's the only Go Ape location in the UK to feature a zip wire over water.

Participants must be a minimum age of 10 and 4ft 7" in height. Tickets, costing £33, can be booked online here.

Rivington Pike

If you want to make even more of your time at Rivington then you could head even higher to Rivington Pike.

It's long been a popular choice for families wanting to head out for some fresh air.

Start at the Great House Barn car park, which is free, for the best route up and after burning off all that energy you can call in the tearoom when you're finished.

There are other options to eat nearby too, including the Rivington Village Green Tea Room, in Sheep House Lane, Rivington Village, which sells meals and lighter snacks.

a child sitting on a wooden bench: Rivington Pike © Manchester Evening News Rivington Pike

Bolton Library and Museum

The Museum and Library are a big hit with families, especially the free aquarium where you can meet exotic fish, creatures and wildlife from all over the world, including flesh eating piranhas from South America.

There's lots to enjoy there this summer, with free activities running from 11am to 3pm from July 23 to September 4.

There'll be a different theme every week with a range of craft activities, handling tables, films, trails, stories and much more.

Plus, there’ll be fish feeds in the aquarium on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 1pm, and on Sundays there'll be self led activities.

Lookout at your local library for activities taking place over the holidays and see the website for more details.

Air Vault

Air Vault is not just trampolines - there are inflatables too, with an obstacle course, slides and more.

You can get a Summer Jump Pass, which lets you visit five times for £29, or Family Sessions, at 9.30am Monday to Saturday, cost £6.50 per person.

Otherwise sessions cost £9.95 for an hour's jump and bounce. Book online.

an office building: Air Vault © Manchester Evening News Air Vault

Bolton Steam Museum

The visitor attraction displays the largest collection of working mill engines in Europe.

Entirely volunteer run the museum has been developed over 20 years and showcases many of the manufacturers that powered the North.

It's open for visits every Wednesday and Sunday between 11am and 3pm.

The popular Steam Days are also returning this August bank holiday weekend - on Sunday, August 28 and Monday, August 29.

There is no charge for admission but a donation is always gratefully received. Keep an eye on the website for more details.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Bolton Steam Museum © Publicity Picture Bolton Steam Museum

Jump Xtreme and That Fun Place

There are two venues in one at Jump Xtreme as it also houses That Fun Place inside it.

Jump Xtreme has stunt air bags, tumble tracks and more than 118 trampolines. There's also a dodgeball court and slam dunk hoops.

That Fun Place is for younger ones - primarily toddlers through to 12-year-olds - and is an adventure play zone featuring three levels of activities including swinging donuts, a spiral slide, a rope course and more.

A summer pass is available - letting you visit every day if you want to, with a slushie or Mr Whippy ice cream for £1.

The passes run from now until September 6 and cost from £59 per person.

Otherwise sessions are £11.95 to jump, £7.95 for That Fun Place, or £14.95 for an hour in each. Book online.

Jump Xtreme and That Fun Place © Manchester Evening News Jump Xtreme and That Fun Place


Oldham Summer Beach

The Oldham Summer Beach is back at Alexandra Park this summer and promises to be bigger than ever.

There'll be a sandpit, inflatables, magic shows and a whole lot more at the event, which runs from July 23 to September 4.

Each weekend there'll be special guest appearances from princesses, superheroes, dinosaurs and more.

Entry is £1 (£2 on special event weekends) and wristbands cost from £9.60. Visit the website to book.

Oldham Summer Beach © Manchester Evening News Oldham Summer Beach

Daisy Nook Country Park

Daisy Nook country park is very popular with families.

With woodlands, canals, and picnic areas across the 40 hectare site, there’s something for everyone - including two play areas, a cafe, and a garden centre.

A towpath along the canal is accessible for both wheelchair users and prams, making it easier to get the whole family out for a stroll.

a bridge over a body of water: Daisy Nook Country Park © Aidan o'rourke, freelance Daisy Nook Country Park

Gallery Oldham

The gallery is open 10am to 5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays and has lots of free activities running over the school holidays.

From slime making to painting robots, there promises to be something for everyone.

It's free to take part, but you need to book online to make sure there are enough supplies to go around.

See the website for more details.

Little Owl Farm

As the name would suggest there are owls to meet at Little Owl Farm but there are other animals too, including rabbits, pigs, goats, sheep and donkeys.

It's also home to Cindy's Cafe serving food and drinks, with indoor and outdoor seating available.

The place is only open at weekends - from 10am to 4.30pm - and tickets cost £5, or £18.50 for a family of four. Under twos free.

See the Facebook page for details of events.

Lancaster Park and Animal Farm

Visitors are invited to meet, touch and feed a range of animals from horses and sheep to rabbits, chickens and more.

The attraction is open daily throughout the school holidays, between 9.30am and 4pm from July 22 to September 4.

There are play areas with swings, slides and mini ziplines dotted along a scenic nature walk.

There's also a caterpillar ride to enjoy for £2 a go, driven by one of the farmers and there's Digger Corner, where kids can operate their own digger for £1.

You can take your own picnic to eat at the picnic benches.

Tickets cost from £6 per person and can be booked online or bought on the day - cash only.

a cow standing next to a wire fence: Lancaster Park and Animal Farm © Manchester Evening News Lancaster Park and Animal Farm

Tandle Hill Country Park

A mix of woodland and open grassland, with a gorgeous view of the countryside, makes Tandle Hill a very popular spot to visit.

A great place for walking and cycling, the war memorial - standing at the park's highest point - has a view over to the Welsh mountains on a clear day.

Dove Stone Reservoir

Dove Stone Reservoir is part of the Peak District National Park and another great place to take in some scenery.

There’s the main walk plus a sailing club, Chew Brook, where you can explore rocks and paddle in the stream, picnic areas, an RSPB spot where you can look through telescopes to see the peregrine falcons

The path around the reservoir is accessible for both pushchairs and wheelchairs and if you want to grab a bite to eat there's a burger van and an ice cream van there.

There are two public car parks, both of which are pay and display.


David Walliams' Awful Auntie at Bramall Hall

Outdoor theatre is back at Bramall Hall this summer, with a production of David Walliams' Awful Auntie.

The show, from Heartbreak Productions, takes place on the Croquet Lawn adjacent to the Hall from 5.30pm on August 28. It lasts for two hours and is recommended for children aged seven plus.

Tickets, costing £15, can be booked online.

David Walliams' Awful Auntie at Bramall Hall © Manchester Evening News David Walliams' Awful Auntie at Bramall Hall

Bear Trail, Bramall Hall

There's even more fun to be had at Bramall Hall, as it hosts the Nevill Bear Trail this summer.

'An exciting adventure' is promised inside the hall, as families are invited to follow the clues to find Nevill Bear's hiding place.

Along the way you may meet some other famous bear friends and learn a few facts about bears too. If you find Nevill you will be awarded an exclusive 'Bear Finder' badge.

Tickets, costing £3 for children and £6.50 for adults, can be booked online, or on arrival at the hall.

Bear Trail, Bramall Hall © Manchester Evening News Bear Trail, Bramall Hall

The Garden House

There's plenty to see and do at The Garden House in Stockport.

Usual opening hours are 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday and the place is free to visit, although a donation of £3 per person is suggested.

The animals on the site include alpacas, Shetland ponies, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, ducks and geese.

Visitors can have a picnic and children can enjoy the junior assault course with scramble nets and balancing logs.

The Riverside Cafe is open from 11am to 3pm serving drinks and snacks, including bacon barms, crumpets and sandwiches, as well as cakes and ice cream.

No booking is required so you can simply turn up. Visit the website for more details.

Reddish Vale Farm

Another popular place for children to meet and handle animals is Reddish Vale Farm and there's loads happening this summer.

You can feed all the outdoor animals, cuddle the rabbits and guinea pigs and take a tractor ride around the nature trail stopping off to feed the pigs on the way.

As well as the large outdoor adventure play, there's an indoor play area including bouncy castles, quad bikes and sand diggers.

Farm Fest makes a return from August 20 to 29, with fairground rides, a beach area and lots more.

Tickets, £10.50 for adults and £15 for children, can be booked online. Usual admission for July and August is £9.50 for adults and children.

a large empty field: Reddish Vale Farm © Manchester Evening News Reddish Vale Farm

Jump Heaven / Golf Heaven

Jump Heaven is not just a trampoline park, but has now been expanded to include adventure golf too.

The adventure park has two giant inflatable airbags, a Ninja Warrior Course filled with monkey bars, foam pits and climbing walls. The park also has a huge indoor trampoline park and children’s activity frame, filled with different activities for all ages to try their hand at plus a zipline.

Golf Heaven opened in April - it is open to children aged three and up, and you don’t need any previous experiences to join in.

Visitors can enjoy the 18-hole adventure golf course, which has a pirate theme throughout. Each hole offers a new challenge, and has an array of pirate themed characters and props that will make an appearance throughout the game.

Jump Heaven costs £10 for an hour, golf is £5 per person. See the website here to book.

Jump Heaven has been expended to include Golf Heaven too © Golf Heaven Jump Heaven has been expended to include Golf Heaven too

Lyme Park

There's loads of fun on the cards at Lyme Park over the holidays.

From a daily activity trails to kite flying and the chance to get creative with a summer activity pack (£2), there's something for kids of all ages.

Events are running from July 23 to September 4. Usual admission fees apply - children £3, adults £6, family £15. See the website for more details.

Lyme Park © Manchester Evening News Lyme Park

Stockport Scalextric Racing Centre

Sessions are running at the independent Scalextric racing track at Goyt Mill in Marple.

The venue is offering racing sessions from 12pm to 3pm Monday to Sunday throughout the school holidays, starting July 25.

It costs £11 for two hours or £7 for an hour. Message the Facebook page to book.

a person standing next to a highway: Stockport Scalextric Racing Centre © Manchester Evening News Stockport Scalextric Racing Centre

Bruntwood Park, Cheadle

There's a wide range of play equipment including a zip wire, rope pyramid, tyre swing and a pirate ship situated in a ‘sea’ of sand.

A popular park for families, there's also a Pitch and Putt and a BMX race track.

Because it's so close to Manchester Airport kids love the chance to see the planes fly over while you're there.

Etherow Country Park, Romiley

The popular park lies at the heart of the Etherow/Goyt Valley, was one of Britain's first country parks and features an impressive waterfall.

The Nature Trail path will take you alongside the Keg Pool, home to wildfowl and many different aquatic plants and animals.

When you've worked up an appetite you could always try out the Etherow Park Café too.

When the weather's nice there's an ice cream kiosk set up outside.

Etherow Country Park © Trip Advisor Etherow Country Park

Stockport Nerf Centre

The Nerf Centre is one of only two licensed Nerf combat centres in the country.

Aimed at six year olds and above, participants can have a go on the 'heavy gun' Blaster Range and enjoy the combat area.

Sessions are running 12pm to 4pm Monday to Friday throughout the school holidays.

Message the Facebook page to book, or just turn up.

Stockport Nerf Centre © Manchester Evening News Stockport Nerf Centre

Stockport Air Raid Shelters

Carved into the natural sandstone cliffs, Stockport's intriguing network of underground tunnels offers visitors an unparalleled insight into life in wartime Britain in the 1940s.

The tunnels, which date back to the Second World War, once held thousands of people as they sheltered from Nazi bombs.

You can learn about the experiences from the displays in the tunnels and from the state of the art audio-guides. You can also to find mementos of the 1940s in the shop.

The shelters are open 1pm to 5pm Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm on Saturdays and 11am to 4pm on Sundays. They cost £5.50 for adults, £4 concessions and under 16s go free. See the website here for more details.


Cockfields Farm

The farm is a popular with families across Tameside, Oldham and beyond and there's loads happening over the summer.

From the chance to meet some dinosaurs at the 10-day Jurassic Farm event, or enjoy some dancing and tie dye fun at the Farmlife Festival, starting July 23, there's no end to the entertainment.

There are lots of animals for children to meet and feed including sheep, reindeer, Gloria the pig and the baby goats.

Outside they can play in the outdoor beach area, explore the duck pond walk and meet the donkeys and pony, bounce on the giant jumping pillow and more.

For tickets, costing from £13 general admission, visit the website here.

Cockfields Farm © Manchester Evening News Cockfields Farm

Portland Basin Museum

The museum is a popular attraction for families and it's free to enter.

You can step back in time on the 1920s street, as the sights and sounds of bygone Tameside are brought to life. Take a look in the kitchen and parlour to find out how people used to live.

Visitors can also explore the area's industrial heritage and discover what life was like down the mines, or on the farm. Find out more about local crafts and industries and marvel at the historic machines. For younger ones there's the 'Nuts and Bolts' educational play area, suitable for children under five.

The museum opens 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday and there's no need to book.


Haigh Woodland Park

Haigh is a firm favourite with families across Manchester and further afield.

As well as having a huge array of free play equipment for kids of all ages, the venue is also home to an adventure golf course, a smaller crazy golf course for just £1 per person and climbing ropes.

There's also a model railway where you can hop on one of the steam or diesel engines. Rides are free but donations welcome.

Outdoor theatre is back this year too, with an 'open air walkabout production' of Alice... Through the looking glass and into Wanderland.

Performed by The Stolen Thread Theatre Company, it's running from August 16 to 21. Tickets, from £5.98, can be ordered online.

For more details about the park, or to book one of the attractions, visit

Velocity Wigan

There's lots to keep the kids happy at Velocity as it's home to trampolines, a small soft play and a Clip n Climb.

Summer passes are now on sale, which let kids jump for one hour every day of the holidays - July 22 to September 5 - for £39.95.

Otherwise it's £12 per person, £12 for Climp n Climb, or you can get a ticket to do an hour in both for £18.

Visit the website to book in advance.

Lancashire Mining Museum

Lancashire Mining Museum occupies some 15 acres of the Astley Green Colliery site and its 98ft high lattice steel headgear can be seen for miles around.

The place was thrust into the spotlight a few years back when it was chosen as the location for an episode of Peaky Blinders, series four.

There's lots to see and explore in the 14 acres of woodland and open areas of the site and it now has its very own train - part of which has been modified for wheelchairs.

For more details, see the Facebook page here.

a group of people on a train track with trees in the background: Lancashire Mining Museum © Manchester Evening News Lancashire Mining Museum

Atherton Gun Range

Children from the age of eight can have a go at shooting at Atherton Gun Range, which boats the largest public indoor air gun range in the UK.

Rifles can be hired and there's full tuition to make sure that novice shooters know what they're doing.

During lockdown bosses installed fully electric, interactive, robotic recall targets, which means people can send their targets to the distance of their choice, whenever they like, all at the touch of a button on their phone.

Visit the website to book.

a little boy sitting on a table: Atherton Gun Range © Manchester Evening News Atherton Gun Range


Another place families can see and feed some animals is the little known Applecast on the outskirts of Wigan.

The venue is home to goats, pigs, sheep, horses, alpacas and a whole lot more. There are smaller ones too, including rabbits and guinea pigs, and there are owls and other birds including some baby rheas, which you might confuse with ostriches.

For more information about the attraction, visit the website here.

a close up of a llama: Applecast in Wigan © Applecast Applecast in Wigan

Kenyon Hall Farm

It's only just in Wigan, on the border with Warrington, but it's well worth taking a trip to Kenyon Hall Farm.

There's a play area, featuring play frames and its own tractor, and there are picnic benches now dotted around it.

Fruit picking is available across the summer - book in advance for strawberry picking - and the attraction has just launched this summer's 'magical themed' Enchanted Maize Maze, inviting families to 'navigate the winding paths through the maize plants, finding the wizard, unicorn and other magical characters along the way'.

The maze takes around 20 to 30 minutes to complete and costs £3.50 per person. You can book tickets three weeks in advance on the website here.

There's a cafe selling food and drinks and it also stocks Cheshire Farm ice cream.

Kenyon Hall Farm © Manchester Evening News Kenyon Hall Farm

Bents Garden and Home

Again on the border with Warrington, Bents is another place that pulls in the families.

There's an outdoor play area the kids can enjoy and you could also tie in your visit with a trip to the Bents' Jurassic Cove Adventure Golf course, which has its own cafe and outdoor seating too.

Players make their way around the 18-hole course surrounded by life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. Just book a slot at the site when you arrive.

See the website for details.

Scotman's Flash

Watersports are back at Scotmans Flash with summer hire sessions now available to book online.

There are paddle boards, rafted canoes, and single and double kayaks available.

You can also take your own SUP, kayak or canoe to self launch (conditions apply).

Prices are £11.90 for SUPs and kayaks, and £24.30 for canoes. See the website here to check availability and to book.

Scotman's Flash © Manchester Evening News Scotman's Flash

Ninja Warrior

If you fancy a challenge then you can put your stamina to the test at Ninja Warrior UK Adventure.

Based on the concept of ITV's prime time show, children and adults can tackle the ninja obstacles, take on the gladiator or enjoy the huge inflatable zone, which has just been upgraded and features foam pits, slides, a ball pool and climbing walls.

It features two ninja runs for children aged five to 14 and two for over 14s. The big inflatable zone is for ages five and over.

For under fours there's a smaller inflatable area as well as a soft play frame.

To find out more, or book a session, visit the website here.

Ninja Warrior © Manchester Evening News Ninja Warrior

Boomers and Swingers

You can try your aim at actual army tanks on the field at Boomers and Swingers, based at Astley Golf Driving Range.

Billed as 'the Best Ball Whacking Field in Manchester', everyone is welcome - whether you're a seasoned golfer or just wanting to hit balls at tanks.

You basically pay per basket of balls, starting from £5 for a basket of 50.

Footgolf is also on offer, just take your own ball along. See the website for more details.

Boomers and Swingers © Manchester Evening News Boomers and Swingers

Pennington Flash, Wigan

Another favourite for a family walk is Pennington Flash.

Part of an impressive country park, the lake and surrounding marshland are home to a diverse group of mammals, birds and insects.

You can enjoy a walk around the lake, feed the swans and little ones can have a go on the play area.

If you're feeling peckish then there are always food and ice cream vans at the site so don't forget to take some cash along.

a boat on a lake next to a body of water: Pennington Flash © Manchester Evening News Pennington Flash



Families have been flocking to Fireground since its official launch in January.

The attraction replaced the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum in Rochdale's old fire station last year.

As well as fully restored fire engines, historic horse-drawn fire carriages and manual hand-operated pumps, there's an immersive Victorian street scene and a scene from the blitz, complete with lighting and sound effects.

Fireground at the former Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum © Katrina Heywood Fireground at the former Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum

But perhaps the best bit for little ones is the many interactive display elements, including a play area with a fireman's pole to slide down.

It's open every Thursday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm and tickets for under-fours are free, with children and concessions £5, adults £7, or family tickets for £20.

On Saturday, August 20, it's hosting a Family Fun Day with fire engines, a bouncy castle, train ride, amusements and more. The event is running from 10am to 4pm. Entry to the yard is free. Museum entrance fees apply and there'll be individual fees for games and amusements. Visit the Facebook page for more details.

Clifton Country Park © Manchester Evening News Clifton Country Park


There's mini golf and an amusement area to enjoy at Puttstars at Rochdale Riverside.

Puttstars promises customers 'mini golf with a unique and modern twist, thanks to three interactive and fun filled nine-hole courses'.

Gone are the days of pencil and paper scoring. Instead, scores are digitally calculated using high-tech screens at each hole and totted up as players make their way around.

There's a bar and diner at the venue selling food and drinks including pizzas, hot dogs and shakes.

Visit the website to book.

Puttstars at Rochdale Riverside © Puttstars Puttstars at Rochdale Riverside

Springfield Park

You could use half term to check out the pirate-themed play area at Rochdale's biggest park which opened last year.

The focal point is the multi-play ship with accessible stairs, curly slide and space for wheelchair users.

There are also two sets of swings for toddlers and older children; an inclusive roundabout, a four-child seesaw and a seagull springer.

Covering 42 acres, the popular park, which sits between Heywood and Rochdale, is the largest park in the borough. It boasts a large lake; sports facilities, an 18-hole golf course and a miniature steam railway.

a close up of a slide in a park: Pirate-themed play area at Springfield Park © Rochdale Borough Council Pirate-themed play area at Springfield Park

Hollingworth Lake

Hollingworth Lake is a popular spot for walkers and families with kids.

As well as being a great place just to take a stroll - it's buggy friendly too - there are loads of activities to enjoy on the water, from pedalos and paddle boards to electric boats, kayaks and rowing boats.

To find out more visit the website here. Bookings are only taken three days in advance in line with the weather forecast.

a small boat in a body of water: Hollingworth Lake © Manchester Evening News Hollingworth Lake

Flip Out Rochdale

Rochdale's biggest indoor trampoline and adventure park is open with a ninja warrior course, laser maze and lots more.

There's a viewing gallery and cafe upstairs, so parents can watch and admire as their kids are perfecting their flipping skills - unless you want to show them how it's done that is!

A one-hour flip session costs £11, or £6 for those aged four and under.

Visit the website to book online. Or see the Manchester Flip Out here.

Flip Out Rochdale © Manchester Evening News Flip Out Rochdale

Healey Dell Nature Reserve

Healey Dell is a beauty spot and wildlife sanctuary, two miles from Rochdale town centre on the way to Whitworth and Bacup.

The River Spodden has carved its way through the woodlands down thousands of years, creating delightful scenery and spectacular waterfalls which once powered corn, wool and cotton mills.

The Healey Dell Heritage Centre promises 'a unique experience' with its Victorian themed tea rooms with English cream teas served in vintage bone-china.

As well as the chance to spot some horses along their route, a highlight for little ones is a Fairy Grotto where children can meet the 'Healey Dell Fairy Godmother'.

Car parking is available at Broadley Wood Lodge, off Station Road and at the Heritage Centre.

a large waterfall over some water: Healey Dell © Sandy Sharples Healey Dell


If you fancy a spin double time karting is back at TeamKarting - giving visitors 40 minutes of karting for £29.99.

TeamKarting has the longest all-tarmac indoor karting track in Greater Manchester and is billed as the 'most challenging and the most exhilarating karting track in the North West'.

Tickets can be booked online.

a man riding a motorcycle on a track: TeamKarting © Coventry Telegraph TeamKarting

Cheshire and elsewhere

Chester Zoo

The recent hatching of nine adorable penguin chicks is just one of many reasons to visit Chester Zoo this summer.

Plum, Peach, Papaya, Cherry, Rhubarb, Banana, Lemon, Satsuma and Iona-Berry have all been named after the bird keepers’ favourite fruits.

Hatching at a weight of just 80g, penguin chicks triple in size in their first three weeks of life and quickly reach around 3kg so they might be bigger than you expect, depending on when you visit.

Chester Zoo is open across the school holidays and for groups of three or more you could save up to 25% off a group ticket price for a limited time only. Book online here.

Penguins have hatched at Chester Zoo © Manchester Evening News Penguins have hatched at Chester Zoo

Knowsley Safari

More than two dozen life-sized brick model animals have arrived at Knowsley Safari for this year's summer trail.

The Endangered Species Bricklive exhibition features 27 models - made from a staggering 1.1 million bricks - along the attraction's Foot Safari, alongside the real giraffes, meerkats, Amur tigers and bush dogs who already reside there.

They include Bryn, a seven-foot tall Bengal tiger, which took a team of three builders more than 390 hours to create, using more than 81,000 bricks.

Along with land animals, the collection will also feature some sea creatures, with visitors able to look out for a blue fin tuna, a green sea turtle and a dolphin.

The Endangered Species event runs from now until Sunday, September 4, 2022 to coincide with the school summer holidays.

Tickets cost £15 for children and £18.50 for adults, with cheaper tickets available for later time slots. Under threes and carers go free. Visitors must book online.

Brick animals at Knowsley Safari © PA Brick animals at Knowsley Safari

Tatton Park, Knutsford

There are lots of reasons to visit Tatton this summer.

The farm is hosting a full programme of activities and events from July 26 to August 26 - including sheep racing, meet the chicks, storytelling, milk demonstrations and more. There's also a maize maze and an adventure play area to enjoy.

You could pack a picnic, or pre-order a Stables summer picnic to enjoy in the farm picnic area.

Standard farm entry applies - there is no extra charges for daily events that run. Farm opening times apply (Farm is closed Mondays.)

A new exhibition is also opening in the mansion this summer, letting families discover the lives of those who toiled to ensure the house ran efficiently.

Explore their stories, walk through in their footsteps and take in the smells and sounds of life ‘below stairs’. You can even dress up as a servant when you visit.

The mansion is open Wednesday to Sunday from July 27.

Tickets, from £6 per child and £8 per adult, can be booked online.

Tatton Park © Manchester Evening News Tatton Park

Tatton Park Pop-up Festival

The Tatton Park Pop Up Festival is back this summer offering family entertainment for all ages.

Shows still to run include The Greatest Family Show - on July 30 and August 5 - which promises a 'jam-packed live stage production show to delight children of all ages including well-known songs from Lion King, Little Mermaid, Frozen, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, and many others'.

On August 5 there's The Greatest Circus Show, a tribute to the amazing Greatest Showman, with 'spectacular performers and thrilling circus acts' and on August 6, therre's the 'ultimate kids' festival' Kidchella, with music from Little Mix, Ariana and Taylor Swift tribute acts, as well as face painting, glitter bars, children's workshops and more.

The popular Princess Parties are also making a return on July 29 and August 4.

Little ones are invited to dress up for the 'interactive show filled with your favourite Princess sing-along hits'. The events will feature glitter stations, photo opportunities, children's workshops and more.

Tickets cost from £18 per person. Visit the website here to book.

Tatton Park Pop-up Festival © Tatton Park Pop Up Festival Tatton Park Pop-up Festival

Wild Shore Delamere

There's loads of fun to be had in the water at Wild Shore Delamere.

The attraction is based at Delamere Lake Sailing and Holiday Park in Northwich, around 40 minutes from Manchester, and is home to the floating obstacle course Aqua Chimp.

The place is also home to a huge inflatable Aqua Park, which hosts a number of Ninja Warrior-style features including Tire Run, Ninja-Jump and Monkey Bars along with a 3.8m inflatable tower Mount Rainier.

Aqua Chimp is for adults and children aged eight and above, although there is a minimum height restriction of 1.2m and you must be able to swim 25m.

Billed as a 'world first', the concept is simple - there's no harness, so if you fall off, you get wet.

It's suitable for all abilities, with different coloured runs to match the participant's ability.

Instructors deliver a safety brief before each session and offer full support and instruction throughout.

Aqua Chimp sessions, which cost £19 per person, last for 50 minutes and must be booked online in advance. All kit hire is included so participants just need a swimming costume, a towel and a pair of closed toe shoes that they don't mind getting wet.

Aqua Park sessions are suitable for ages six plus and also cost £19. Visit the website here for more details.

Aqua Chimp at Wild Shore Delamere © Wild Shore Delamere Aqua Chimp at Wild Shore Delamere

Manley Mere, Frodsham

It's well known for its inflatable aquapark, but there's a lot more for families to enjoy on a day out at Manley Mere.

As well as the massive floating assault course, Manley Mere also has an Adventure Trail, and offers paddle boarding, kayaking and sailing.

There's no set route but the trail is around a mile-and-a-half long and meanders through woodland, alongside a stream and features obstacles and challenges on the way.

The trail, suitable for all ages, is about a mile-and-a-half long and a change of clothes is advised as things can get a bit muddy.

Adventure Trail tickets cost £12.50 each, under fives and over 60s go free. Pay at the shop on the day before you start.

Aquapark sessions last for 50 minutes and cost £25. Wetsuits and buoyancy aids are provided within the price paid.

For more details visit

Manley Mere © JON SHRIMPTON Manley Mere

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

If you're wanting your roller coaster fix this summer, then you could head over to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

As well as rides like Icon and the Big One for older children, there are lots of tamer rides and coasters for younger ones in Nickelodeon Land.

Late night riding is available on July 23 and 30, and August 6 and 27, with rides open until 10pm.

Tickets, from £32, (from £38 for late night riding) can be booked online.

The ICON rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach © External Contributor The ICON rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sandcastle Waterpark Blackpool

Another popular attraction in Blackpool is the waterpark and sessions can be booked online for the summer.

It features the Master Blaster, the world’s longest Indoor Roller Coaster waterslide, Aztec Falls, Sidewinder and more.

Families and younger guests can enjoy the Typhoon Lagoon wave pool, Treetops water chutes, the Caribbean Storm Treehouse and Fort Riptide.

Visit the website to book.

Gulliver's World, Warrington

There are plenty more rides for the family at Gulliver's World in Warrington.

The attraction houses 30 rides in six themed areas and the website lets you quickly see how many your child will get on according to their height.

There's everything from the Adventure Canyon water ride and Billy Bob's Bi Planes, to dinosaur rides in The Lost World and Tree Top Swings.

Visit the website to book.

Walton Gardens, Warrington

Also in Warrington is the popular Walton Gardens.

As well as being home to a free children's zoo - housing everything from donkeys, alpacas, sheep and African Pygmy goats to ducks, guinea pigs, rabbits and a colourful array of birds - there's a huge children's playground, which is separated into zones for different age groups and an adventure golf course.

Last year it also welcomed the new treetop adventure Jungle Parc too, featuring rocket zips, Tarzan swings, wobbly bridges and an aerial skateboard.

The Adventurer Course has over 60 different activities and has six different levels of difficulty - with each one getting slightly higher.

Sessions can be booked online.

Jungle Parc at Walton Hall and Gardens in Warrington © Jungle Parc Jungle Parc at Walton Hall and Gardens in Warrington

Martin Mere, Burscough

There's loads for families to see and do at the popular Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

Summer is one the busiest times of year for wildlife, so it's a beautiful season to experience the wetlands at their best.

The attraction is fully open again with talks, feeds, boat tours and den building, but visitors are still asked to book in advance on the website.

A Junior Wetland Rangers event is running from July 21 to September 4 inviting youngsters to 'learn what it takes' to care for the wetlands.

There'll be 'an adventure-packed timetable of ranger activities throughout the holidays' and youngsters will be able to pick up a free Ranger Record Book to complete activities such as a fun flamingo health check and pond surveying.

Complete at least three of the activities and you can go along to a special ceremony at 4pm in the exhibition hall to collect your ranger badge.

For more details visit the WWT website.

A Junior Wetland Rangers event is running at Martin Mere © Manchester Evening News A Junior Wetland Rangers event is running at Martin Mere


There's 70 acres of wild woodland to discover at Cheshire's BeWILDerwood and families have been flocking their to visit since it opened last year.

Based on the Boggle at BeWILDerwood stories by author and creator Tom Blofeld, the experience revolves around the magical characters that live in the trees and the woodland - with the adventure brought to life by storytellers on the site.

The multi-million pound attraction boasts treetop walkways, magical treehouses, huge slides, extra-long zip lines and multiple mazes as well as a raft of interactive storytelling adventures.

A Towering Treetop Tangles giant play structure was also added to the place in October aimed at 'braver explorers' and featuring 'challenging high-level walkways and super tall platforms', as well as clamber nets, balance beams and more.

Tickets to the attraction, around an hour from Manchester, are based on height, as some of the play structures require longer arms and legs. Prices start from £12. You can read more about this summer's events here, or visit the website here to book.

BeWILDerwood Cheshire © BeWILDerwood Cheshire BeWILDerwood Cheshire

Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston

There is so much for families to explore at Brockholes Nature Reserve so it's well worth making the drive from Manchester.

Get there early to avoid the crowds and make the most of your day exploring the nature reserve which is home to a free adventure playground.

Children aged seven plus can enjoy the climbing forest and the play area features everything from a zip wire and balance blocks to a miniature gravel quarry for scooping and digging.

There are loads of events to make the most of this summer, including a Summer Xplorer Challenge and wildlife adventures.

See the website for more details.

Superworm at Delamere Forest

The Superworm family activity trail is running at Delamere Forest over the holidays.

The trail is based on the children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler and follows the premiere of the popular animation which aired on Christmas Day.

From the creators of The Gruffalo, the Superworm story has been brought to 26 forests across England, with the other closest ones being Gisburn Forest in Lancashire, Grizedale Forest and Whinlatter in Cumbria, and North Yorkshire's Dalby and Guisborough forests.

For £3.50, families can buy an activity pack featuring a forest superhero mask, a paper bag to colour in, seven creature fact cards, an activity sheet, stickers, a pencil and crayon, and the trail leaflet.

It's the latest partnership between Forestry England and Magic Light Pictures, with the trail aiming to showcase 'the unsung heroes of the forest' by highlighting the small but mighty creatures in the Superworm story, such as toad, beetle and Wizard Lizard, and shows their amazing abilities as they make their home in the forest.

The trail should keep little ones entertained for about an hour, leaving time to explore the rest of the forest, which is also home to Gruffalo characters mouse, snake, fox, owl and squirrel.

Superworm trail launch dates differ between forests, for more details visit the website here.

Superworm at Delamere Forest © Forestry England Superworm at Delamere Forest

Quarry Bank, Wilmslow

Visitors to Quarry Bank can enjoy the free 'play pavilion' on Mill Meadow this summer, with activities running from July 23 to September 4.

Families are being encouraged to 'Look out! Listen up!' to the sights and sounds of their natural environment. 'What might you see through the periscopes? What might you hear through the ear horn?'

There's also a Nature Obstacle Course for all ages to enjoy - 'Fish the rubbish from out of the river with our hook-a-duck style game, save the trees from being bulldozed by leaping over the hurdles and crawl through the tunnels to escape the city pollution'.

Usual admission fees apply - adults £19, children £9.50, family £47.50. See the website here for more.

Quarry Bank © Manchester Evening News Quarry Bank

Ice Cream Farm, Chester

The Ice Cream Farm is a popular choice for families at this time of year and has loads of activities to keep the kids happy.

There's sand and water play, a Scoop JCB Challenge, a Silvercone quadbike track, adventure golf, soft play and more.

You need to pay to enter - at £2.50 per person - and you can pay for play attractions either individually, or with a play pass, starting from £15.

Visit the website for more details.

The Crocky Trail, Chester

The Crocky Trail is always a popular day out so tickets end up selling out in advance.

Families can enjoy a mile long adventure of adrenaline drenched fun running along the famous trail, scrambling through trees, climbing over crooked bridges and swinging over the Crocky stream.

It's open seven days a week. Tickets cost £16 for children and £11 for adults, under fives go free. Book in advance online.

The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre, Preston

Situated next to the Barton Grange Garden Centre, The Flower Bowl houses everything from crazy golf and bowling to curling sessions and a cinema - on sofa style seating.

It's perfect for a rainy day as everything is inside.

Crazy golf is in the Secret Garden, which is outdoors yet still under cover and takes you round flower-filled borders, water features and garden statues.

There's eight lanes of bowling open during the same hours and on certain days you can book on an hour-long Try Curling session, for which the minimum age is 11.

Visit the website for more details.

The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre, Preston © Manchester Evening News The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre, Preston

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