With close to 500,000 people, Manchester is a city in northwest England. In addition to its thriving arts community, numerous museums, and its world-famous sports legacy, the city also offers a number of fun activities for kids. Although there are some pricey attractions such as Legoland, there are many activities that are inexpensive or, in some cases, free.
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Water Fun at the The Manchester Aquatics Centre
The Manchester Aquatics Centre was originally built for the 2002 Commonwealth games and is the largest swimming facility in the city. There are numerous pools, including one especially for children. There are also water slides that are available on the weekend. Kids can swim for leisure or take lessons, and Manchester residents 16 and under get in free as long as they register with the centre.
The Manchester United Museum and Tour
Soccer is the most popular game in the world, and Manchester United is arguably the most famous team in the game. The Manchester United Museum and Tour gives youngsters an up-close look at the stadium and the adjoining museum. Visitors can see the numerous trophies the club has won over decades, as well as enjoy its interactive exhibits that allow visitors to kick for tickets to a match, or have their pictures taken with their favourite players. Tours of the stadium and museum can be taken together or separately.
Manchester Treasure Hunts
For kids and families who enjoy fresh air and physical activity, a treasure hunt around the central Manchester area is an option. Pre-printed tour maps may be purchased that include a map of the tour route, as well as clues that must be solved along the way. Not only will kids learn about the city, but groups can also stop at points of interest such as museums while on their journey.
Creative kids will enjoy an afternoon of pottery painting in one of several Manchester studios. Guests choose from a variety of pre-made ceramic items, such as banks, plates and cups, then paint them any way they want. The studio will glaze and fire the items for pickup a few days later. Prices are relatively inexpensive, and some studios, such as the Pottery Corner, are available for parties.
An Afternoon at the Museum
The Museum of Science and Industry sits on the spot of "the world's oldest surviving railway station." It has a number of permanent and temporary exhibits that are ideal for children, including a 4-D theatre, with water and air blasts and moving seats; a planetarium; steam train rides; and the interactive science gallery. Except for the 4-D theatre, all exhibits are free of charge.
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