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8 Things You Can Do With Your Toddler in Manchester for Free

8 Things You Can Do With Your Toddler in Manchester for Free

There are many things that you can do for free with your toddler in Manchester. Luckily, there are many free parks, playgrounds, and museums in the area.

Finding the perfect activity is all about knowing the city and the best places to explore. This is why we compiled some of the best spots that you and your little one can enjoy without spending a penny!

Is Manchester a good place for toddlers?

In general, Manchester is a decent place to raise a family – so this is perfect for those with toddlers. It is a relatively safe area with kind people, and it has many establishments equipped to take care of every member of your unit.

As for toddlers, we are sure that they will find the city enjoyable to explore. Many parents also find it nurturing for the little ones as it comes with many opportunities for them to play, learn, and grow.

Things You Can Do With Your Toddler in Manchester for Free

With the cost of living consistently getting more expensive, we totally understand why some caretakers would opt for activities that they can do with their toddlers for free. The good thing is that there are many things that can make them happy without spending money.

Here are some of them:

1. Explore the People’s History Museum.

Explore the People’s History Museum.
AddressLeft Bank, Manchester M3 3ER, United Kingdom
Operating HoursWednesday to Monday: 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Insider TipsAlthough food and drinks are not free, there is a child-friendly cafe within the museum. 

The People’s History Museum is one out of only two national museums in Manchester. It features exhibits that depict the history of Manchester and its people.

Many young children find it engaging that it has interactive displays that tackle various important movements that happened in the UK. 

While the topic covered here may seem too serious for toddlers to appreciate, we are happy to share that toddlers would still have things that they can explore here.

This museum is a popular destination for parents and children because both can enjoy the displays and attractions here. There are many interactive child-friendly exhibits that your toddler can play with. 

You may refer to their website for the complete list of events. We also like that the descriptions for the exhibits specify if the event is suitable for children. 

Marvel at the interactive gallery at Manchester Art Gallery.
AddressManchester Art Gallery, Mosley St, Manchester M2 3JL, United Kingdom
Operating HoursTuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Insider TipsIf you want to be updated with the events that they hold in the gallery, you may sign up for their newsletter through their website. 

It is never too early to expose your children to the beauty of art. There is no better way to do that other than a visit to the Manchester Art Gallery.

There are thousands of art pieces here that you can slowly introduce to your little one. Furthermore, their staff members are also friendly and accommodating, in case you encounter issues during your visit. 

Many families with young children like it here because of its beautiful and spacious interior that will not overwhelm the little ones. Furthermore, Manchester Art Gallery also hosts child-friendly events here every now and then.

You can also refer to their website to get an update about their schedule. You can even come back here every now and then and not be bored with the sights as the exhibits are always changing.

3. Have fun under the sun at the Piccadilly Gardens.

Have fun under the sun at the Piccadilly Gardens.
AddressPiccadilly, Manchester M1 1AF, United Kingdom
Operating HoursOpen 24 Hours
Insider TipsParking slots are difficult to find here during peak hours. Since the place is in a convenient location, it would be best to take public transportation. 

In case you are looking for an outdoor adventure, then you should consider taking a stroll at the beautiful Piccadilly Gardens. The luscious greenery that surrounds this place is impressive.

Many children will appreciate the open space where they can run and play. With this, the Piccadilly Gardens is a perfect place if you want their kids to maximize their energy.

Aside from that, this is also a perfect place to nurture the social skills of your toddler. Since the place is a popular spot for people from all walks of life, they will be exposed to other children and pets. 

Furthermore, we also like that it is conveniently located in Piccadilly, hence the name of the garden. Given the convenient transport options in Manchester, you will have no issues coming here with a toddler in tow. 

4. Test your creative skills at the Whitworth.

Test your creative skills at the Whitworth.
AddressOxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER, United Kingdom
Operating HoursSunday to Wednesday: 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM–9:00 PM
Friday to Saturday
Insider TipsTheir schedule of activity changes every now and then, it would be best to contact them before dropping by to be safe.

If you are looking for a fun activity where your toddler can enjoy art, nature, and friendship, then Whitworth is the place to be. Here, they hold an Outdoor Art Club where children and their parents can tap into their creativity while exposed to a beautiful landscape.

Many parents find it convenient that they do not need to book in advance to get a slot here. All you need to do is drop by and their staff members will assist you.

However, if you have a specific space that you want to occupy, it would be best to arrive at the venue early. Nevertheless, they always have space here for everyone who wants to participate.

On the off chance that they are at full capacity when you arrive, the staff at Whitworth will provide alternative activities for you. They also have Welly Walk booklets, a park trails map, and a colouring-in park map in their facilities. 

5. Be one with nature at RHS Garden Bridgewater.

Be one with nature at RHS Garden Bridgewater.
AddressOccupation Rd, Worsley, Manchester M28 2LJ, United Kingdom
Operating HoursSunday to Saturday: 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Insider TipsUnlike other parks on this list, the RHS Garden Bridgewater required pre-booking for visits. To do so, you may log into their website and input your information.

RHS Garden Bridgewater is another venue where your children can be exposed to the wonders of nature. Here, they have stunning landscaping complete with flowers, trees, paths, and arches.

Furthermore, there is also a play area where your toddler can socialise with other children. The spacious area will allow them to run and engage in physical activities that young ones rarely get to enjoy these days.

It’s also notable that the management holds events here, especially during holidays. All you need to do is check their website and you will see the schedule with all of the important information. 

Also, RHS Garden Bridgewater is a perfect place for toddlers who have allergies to dogs and other animals since the management does not allow pets to enter.

Stroll around the Salford Museum and Art Gallery.
AddressCrescent, Salford M5 4WU, United Kingdom
Operating HoursSunday | Tuesday to Friday: 11:30 AM–4:00 PM
Saturday: 11:30 AM–4:00 PM
Insider Tips

Salford Museum and Art Gallery is another museum in Manchester that you can enjoy with your toddler for free. What sets them apart from others is that they have a park behind it.

After exploring Salford and Victorian art in their various exhibits, you can head outside for some outdoor fun. Here, children are free to run around and engage with other children. 

It would be a perfect opportunity to stimulate your young one’s mental, physical, and social well-being. More importantly, you will also enjoy your visit here because of the informative exhibits.

While the entrance here is free, it is highly encouraged that you leave a little donation. This is to help the management of the museum maintain the establishment and its staff and keep the facilities going for free.

Aside from cash donations, you may show your support to this museum by buying from their cafe and gift shop. 

7. Slide into the Queen’s Park Playground.

Slide into the Queen’s Park Playground.
AddressUnnamed Road, Manchester M9 5TF, United Kingdom
Operating HoursOpen 24 Hours
Insider TipsIt can be hard to find a parking spot here in the morning. It would be best to take the public transport instead.

Of course, this list would not be complete without a playground. If you are looking for one with lots of activities that your toddler can enjoy, Queen’s Park Playground is one of the best options in Manchester!

Here, your toddler can enjoy the slides, climbing frames, interactive play equipment, and more. The spacious area will also give them space to run around.

Since it is conveniently located near Harpurhey Post Office, you will also have no issues coming here with a little one in tow. Just remember to apply sunscreen as it can get pretty sunny here sometimes.

Nevertheless, we are sure that you will appreciate the fresh air thanks to the beautiful greenery surrounding the place. Since this is a public playground, there will also be a lot of other kids to play with here.

8. Go on an outdoor adventure at Sand Playground.

Go on an outdoor adventure at Sand Playground.
AddressDeansgate, Manchester M2 5QR, United Kingdom
Operating HoursOpen 24 Hours
Insider TipsSometimes, the sand can get to your toddler’s eyes which can cause irritation. We suggest that you make them wear sunglasses. 

Sand Playground is another playground that you can enjoy with your toddler. What sets this apart from the others is already in its name – the sand.

Unlike typical playgrounds with sandboxes, this one has the entire floor area covered with sand. This feature makes it safer for kids as the sand will provide a cushion in case they fall from the play equipment or trip.

We also like that the playground is open 24/7, which means that you can come here when other play areas are already closed. Just keep in mind that the surrounding area is not well-lit at times.

Nevertheless, we think that this is a solid option in case you want your toddler to experience a unique playground. 

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