Wow are we halfway through? The holidays are whizzing by at an alarming rate… they felt endless as a child I’m sure. We have been cramming a lot in though, and time flies when you’re having fun doesn’t it?
This week we celebrated World Breastfeeding Awareness week with a list of great places to breastfeed in Manchester. It was a tough one for us because you should and can legally breastfeed ANYWHERE, but let’s face it some cafes are comfier than, say, a bus stop (although I’ve fed loads in bus stops)… I’m going to leave it there! We have also compiled a great list of beaches to enjoy around Manchester (some even in the city – yep, really) and searched out our favourite places to enjoy outdoor activities for free. Finally if you’re quick you should just have time to enter our competition to win a free family ticket to Martin Mere.
And so on to the week ahead…
Blackpool Air Show & Fireworks
We hear the famous Red Arrows are confirmed for both days of the festival which is surely reason enough to head down. But of course there will be loads more family-friendly activities on too. Take a look at the website for full details.
Blackpool Airshow, 12 & 13 August, 12pm to 5pm, free
Saturday Spectacular at Central Library
Always a good day out, head to Central Library for Super Saturday. Join them for animal prints and book-making fun. Have a go at letterpress printing with images from the archives. Create your own wonderful prints or take part in a book-making workshop.
Central library, 12 August, 12pm to 4pm, free, drop-in, age 12 and under
Salford By The Sea
This family fun day by the Friends of Lightoaks Park celebrates all things seaside. There will be donkey rides, Punch & Judy, sandpits, bouncy castles and lots of other coastal delights. The festival will also be collecting donations for Salford Food Bank.
Lightoaks Park, 12 August, 1pm to 5pm, free
Shooting Stars Over Manchester
One of the most stunning events in the stargazer’s calendar is the annual Perseid meteor shower. Not an organised event as such but you could definitely make it one, pack a picnic and head to the back garden. And what a great opportunity to get older kids out and excited about astronomy; as far as I can tell children love anything that happens after dark. Let’s hope for clear skies.
Anywhere in Manchester, best sightings 12 August but you will also get excellent sightings on 11th & 13th.
North Manchester Community Games
If you’re feeling active there will be free sports and activities as part of the community games at Boggart Hole Clough this weekend. Lots of sports to try plus the usual bouncy castles, stalls, face painting etc…
Boggart Hole Clough, 12 August, 12pm to 4pm, free
StockFest at Stockley Farm
Stockley Farm is celebrating its anniversary with an 80s-themed family party over the weekend. Two by Two Sale will be there creating an anniversary mural, with your help of course, and there will be all sorts of fun family activities including sport, art, music and performing arts.
Stockley Farm, 12 & 13 August (you can even camp), check the website for prices
Kingfisher Family Festival at Clifton Park
This free festival by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust will get you back to nature. Enjoy folk music, crafts, storytelling, heritage information and much more, all in the beautiful setting of the Croal-Irwall Valley.
Clifton Park, 13 August, 11am to 3pm, free
The Week Ahead
Monday 14th: For reasons unbeknownst to me Shaun the Sheep is known as Shu-an in our household! Either way I suspect the kids would love this themed event at the Lowry shopping centre. It’s running over the weekend and you can catch the last day of Shu-an themed events today… I recommend checking out the full line-up here. Whilst you’re down at the Quays, don’t forget to check out the Blue Peter Garden and its unfathomably popular bench/climbing frame.
Tuesday 15th: If you fancy a bit of a treat head back to the Lowry, this time the theatre to see Room on the Broom. We went to see it yesterday, bear with us while we write our review, but I’ll give you a sneak preview… we all loved it. Or if the sun’s shining head to the beach? There are a few man-made ones in Manchester (Heaton Park and the Trafford Centre are both free with other pay to go on rides if you fancy; or take a drive to the coast and picnic among the dunes (Formby, Crosby and Morecambe are all favourites of ours). Also today local Author Alice Sargent will be reading her first children’s book, ‘The Troll of Manchester Cathedral’ amid Troll-themed craft activities and a Troll Trail around this historic building (I hear chocolate coins are also in the offing (all free but booking advised, this session also runs on Friday).
Wednesday 16th: Head to town and the People’s History Museum. We love this museum and think it’s a great day out. Be inspired by the people in their collections – they dreamed BIG! So can you with your very own dream catcher. Think about your ambitions and dreams and learn how to make a woven rainbow dream catcher to take home with you. For little ones Baby Explorers is running at Manchester Museum today. It’s free but booking is essential. If you fancy getting outdoors and you’re happy to travel we really recommend Martin Mere for boats, birds and adventure; they have tons on over summer and its a great day out if you have children of different ages. Closer to home why not try some mini-beast hunting at Bridgewater Beasties at Duke’s Drive Monton in the afternoon? It’s free and you’re advised to bring a net. Sounds great.
Thursday 17th: Back in Manchester, Hulme Garden Centre run their toddler group on Thursday. Enjoy the seasonal activities and chill out for a while among the plants for a while afterwards. Alternatively enjoy some outdoor theatre with children’s classic The Smartest Giant in Town at Ordsall Hall. At Our Kid in Chorlton for £6 children can screen print their own T-shirt courtesy of Square Pegs and their customized Horse Box. For something more traditional under 12s can join in old-fashioned games at the Peel Park Play Session.
Friday 18th: Brockholes is good for a visit whether you take part in an organised activity or not but we do love a good Minibeast Safari, so it’s lucky they are running them every Friday through the holidays. Yey. It’s also the Sling Swing Summer Social today, where you will be able to get your Sling Swing Fix, also try out a Hartbeeps class, and get advise on using your slings and carriers. There are also stalls and soft play. Finally if you didn’t make it on Tuesday there is still time to enjoy all things Troll at Manchester Cathedral today.
Well hopefully that has sorted you out with a few ideas for this week. Want our summer holiday guides straight to you inbox? Enter your email address below, why not, it’s free! You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram. And thank you for taking the time to read our blog, we love hearing back from you and if you have any suggestions for our pages, just comment below, we’d love to hear!
As always, if something on this list has taken your fancy, we highly recommend checking on the links provided to make sure a session hasn’t been moved or cancelled before you travel.