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The 11 Best Animal Parks to Visit in Manchester for a Fun and Educational Day Out

Fun fact: did you know we have over 140 free-roaming Barbary macaques right here? Yep, it’s true! After all, Manchester isn’t just about football and rainy days – we’ve got some fantastic animal parks perfect for a fun and educational day out. 

And to help you plan the perfect day, we’ve scoured the city to find the absolute best spots where you can get up close and personal with all sorts of critters. Read on for Manchester’s best animal parks! 

Reddish Vale Farm

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Address: Reddish Vale Rd, Stockport SK5 7HE

Contact details: +44 161 480 1645

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM



  • General Farm Admission – £10.00
  • Midweek Offer – £8.00

Reddish Vale Farm is a treasure trove of activities and animals. Here, you’ll find everything from cheeky llamas and tiny Shetland ponies to small pygmy goats and beautiful cows. 

The little ones will love feeding the animals; you can grab some feed bags and watch them interact with the farmyard friends. It’s not just about the animals, though. 

There’s a horse riding school for budding equestrians, and kids can bounce to their hearts’ content on the bouncy castles or zoom around on quad bikes and sand diggers. The adventure playground has a zip wire, train trails, a playful sand pit, and bounce-tastic air bouncers. 

For those rainy days, there’s an indoor play area to keep the fun going. Seasonal events are also a big hit here, from Halloween Farm Fun to a summer dino farm experience. 

Pro tip:
Don’t miss the tractor train rides and the fantastic nature trail – they’re perfect for a bit of downtime while the kids play.

Cockfields Farm

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Address: Lees New Rd, Oldham OL6 8AR

Contact details: +44 161 123 7890

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM



  • Adult Tickets – £5,00 
  • Child Ticket – £5.00 
  • Under 1s – Free

Cockfields Farm is an amazing day out for the whole family. Spend your day feeding, handling, stroking, and learning about the massive range of animals they have on the farm. 

Animal handling encounters usually run every 30 minutes, so you can get up close with bunnies, guinea pigs, lizards, snakes, and tortoises, among others. Ride the tractor and trailer around the farm, enjoy the fairground carousel, or bounce on the jumping pillow. 

There’s also sand and water play, swings, slides, climbing frames, and an indoor role play village, making it a fantastic value-for-money day out the whole family will love.

Pro tip:
Keep an eye out for their themed events – there’s always something special happening at Cockfields Farm!

Sea Life Manchester

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Address: Barton Square, Trafford Centre

Contact details: +44 161 629 2040

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM



  • Adult prices – £18.50
  • Child prices (3-17) – £15.50
  • Child prices (Under 3) – Free

Sea Life Manchester is a top spot if you’re into marine life; you’ll encounter everything from stingrays and sea turtles, and clownfish. The interactive rockpool experience is fantastic for kids and adults alike – getting to touch starfish and other marine creatures is always a hit. 

The ocean tunnel, where sharks and other sea creatures swim overhead, is an absolute must-see and offers a truly immersive experience. Educational talks and feeding demonstrations run throughout the day, providing plenty of chances to learn something new. 

Sea Life Manchester is also dedicated to marine conservation, so you can feel good about supporting their efforts to protect our oceans. And if you’re keen on seeing behind the scenes, they offer tours that give you an insider’s look at the care and feeding of the sea creatures.

Pro tip:
Don’t miss the behind-the-scenes tours for an insider’s look at the care and feeding of the sea creatures. Plus, it’s a nice break from the usual aquarium walk.

Lancaster Park & Animal Farm

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Address: Middleton Rd, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 6JW

Contact details: +44 161 620 6000

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM



  • Adults – £7.50
  • Children – £7.50 
  • Children under 12 months old – Free

Lancaster Park & Animal Farm is a delightful destination for families looking to get close to nature. You’ll find a variety of friendly animals, including alpacas, donkeys, and even reindeer. 

Kids can feed the animals and enjoy hands-on experiences like grooming the ponies, which is always a crowd-pleaser. The farm also features a large play area with swings, slides, and climbing frames, perfect for letting off steam.

One of the standout attractions here is the tractor rides; they take you on a scenic tour around the farm, offering great views and a chance to see the animals in their natural habitats. 

The park hosts seasonal events, such as Easter egg hunts and Christmas festivities, adding extra excitement to your visit. 

Pro tip:
Pack a picnic and make use of the lovely outdoor seating areas – a great way to enjoy a sunny day at the farm!

Heaton Park Animal Centre

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Address: Heaton Park, Middleton Rd, Higher Blackley

Contact details: +44 161 773 1085

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-6PM


Fees: Free

Heaton Park Animal Centre, nestled within the expansive Heaton Park, is a charming spot for a family day out. The centre is home to a variety of animals, including goats, pigs, and rabbits. 

Kids will love the chance to see these animals up close, and there are regular feeding sessions where they can get involved. The staff are friendly and always ready to share interesting facts about the animals, making the visit both fun and educational.

The park itself is massive, offering plenty of space for picnics, games, and leisurely strolls. There’s also a play area nearby, so once the kids have had their fill of the animals, they can burn off some energy on the swings and slides. 

Pro tip:
Bring some sturdy shoes and explore the wider park – there are lovely walking trails and even a boating lake for a bit of extra adventure.

Chester Zoo

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Address: Upton-by-Chester, Chester CH2 1EU

Contact details: +44 1244 380280

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM



  • Adult – £28.00 
  • Child – £24.00 

Chester Zoo is a must-visit if you’re a fan of exotic animals. It’s huge, housing over 35,000 animals across 128 acres. From lions and tigers to elephants and rhinos, you’ll find a vast array of creatures here. 

One of the standout features is the Islands exhibit, which replicates the habitats of Southeast Asia. You can take a boat ride through the exhibit and see animals like orangutans and tigers in a setting that feels quite natural.

The zoo is also well laid out, making it easy to navigate; there are beautiful gardens and several play areas, perfect for letting the kids blow off some steam. They also host educational talks and feeding demonstrations throughout the day, so there’s always something new to learn. 

Pro tip:
Arrive early to beat the crowds and take advantage of the quieter morning hours to see the animals at their most active.

Gauntlet Birds of Prey, Eagle & Vulture Park

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Address: Manchester Rd, Knutsford WA16 0SX

Contact details: +44 1565 754419

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM


Fees: £10.50

Gauntlet Birds of Prey, Eagle & Vulture Park is a fantastic spot for anyone interested in birds. With over 180 birds, including eagles, vultures, hawks, and owls, it’s a bird lover’s paradise. 

The flying displays are truly something to behold, with these magnificent creatures swooping and soaring right above you. The park also offers interactive experiences where you can handle some of the birds, adding a personal touch to your visit.

The staff are very knowledgeable and passionate about their work, making the educational talks and demonstrations engaging and informative. There’s also a cosy café on-site, perfect for grabbing a quick bite or a drink while you take in the scenic surroundings.

Pro tip:
Check the schedule for flying displays and arrive a bit early to get a good spot. These shows are a highlight and fill up quickly.

Peak Wildlife Park

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Website: Peak Wildlife Park

Address: Winkhill, Leek ST13 7QR

Contact details: +44 1538 308880

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM


  • Child (2-16) – £16.95 
  • Adult (17-18+) – £18.85

Peak Wildlife Park offers a unique opportunity to get up close with a variety of animals in walk-through enclosures. You can stroll alongside lemurs, wallabies, and penguins, making for a very interactive experience. 

The park is particularly family-friendly, with plenty of play areas for kids and regular talks and feeding sessions to keep everyone entertained. The park is spacious and well-maintained, ensuring a pleasant visit. 

There are also several places to grab a bite to eat, with the café offering a good selection of food and drinks. 

Pro tip:
Wear comfortable shoes – the walk-through enclosures mean you’ll be on your feet a lot, and you won’t want to miss any of the fun.

Trentham Monkey Forest

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Address: Trentham Estate, Stone Rd, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent ST12 9HR

Contact details: +44 1782 659845

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM



  • Adults – £12.00
  • Concessions (Students & 65+) – £11.00
  • Children (aged 3 to 14) – £9.50
  • Carer – Free
  • 2 & under – Free

Trentham Monkey Forest offers a unique experience where you can walk among 140 free-roaming Barbary macaques in 60 acres of woodland. There are no barriers between you and the monkeys, so you get to see them up close in a natural setting

Along the way, information boards provide interesting facts about the monkeys, and the staff are always on hand to answer questions. Kids will enjoy the adventure playground, and there are also nature trails for a bit more exploration. 

The on-site café is a good place to refuel, offering light bites and refreshments; the relaxed atmosphere makes it a perfect day out for the whole family.

Pro tip:
Visit during feeding times to see the monkeys at their most active. It’s a great opportunity to watch their natural behaviours up close and personal.

Blue Planet Aquarium

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Address: Cheshire Oaks, Longlooms Rd

Contact details: +44 151 357 8804

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM



  • Standard (aged 13+) – £27.25 
  • Junior (up to 12 years) – £19.45 
  • Concession (aged 65+ or student) Proof required – £24.25 
  • Toddler (under 90cm) – Free

Blue Planet Aquarium is a great spot if you’re into marine life. It has a wide variety of sea creatures, from sharks and rays to tropical fish. The highlight is the Aquatunnel, a 70-metre-long underwater tunnel that gives you a close-up view of the aquarium’s inhabitants.

The aquarium also features interactive displays and talks that provide interesting insights into marine ecosystems. Kids love the rockpool area where they can touch and learn about starfish and other creatures. 

After exploring the exhibits, the on-site restaurant offers a decent selection of food and drinks. It’s a relaxing spot to take a break and grab a bite.

Pro tip:
Keep an eye out for the shark feeding times – it’s an exciting and educational experience that you shouldn’t miss.

Blackpool Zoo

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Address: East Park Drive

Contact details: +44 1253 830830

Operating Hours: Mon – Sun 10AM-5PM



  • Adult Ticket – £21.50 
  • Child Ticket – £16.99 
  • Concession – £19.50 
  • 2 Adults & 2 Children – £68.99 
  • 2 Adults, 3 Children – £84.50 
  • Smart Day Adult Price (online only) – £15.99 
  • Student – £19.50

Blackpool Zoo is a solid choice for a fun day out with a variety of animals to see, from big cats and primates to exotic birds and reptiles. One of the cool things about this zoo is the Dinosaur Safari, a walk-through exhibit with life-sized dinosaur models – the kids love it!

The zoo has several daily talks and feeding demonstrations, so there’s always something going on. There are also plenty of play areas for children, and you’ll find a good mix of food options, from cafés to snack bars. 

Pro tip:
Check out the sea lion display – it’s entertaining and informative, and a favourite with visitors of all ages. Plus, the café near the sea lion pool has some tasty snacks and a decent coffee to keep you going.
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