Manchester – the first two days

For the second week of the Easter holidays, I booked four nights in and around Manchester for the boys and I.

Sunday

Sunday afternoon we traveled to YHA Manchester for our first two nights. I became interested in the city when Dad told me about “Bee in the City” (similar to our 2016 Snowdogs) which took place over summer. Dad had seen some of the bees whilst on a work trip. Unfortunately we didn’t make that, but when I spotted a room for £40 (for four per night en-suite at the YHA, with free parking) it was too good an opportunity to miss.

We had a quiet evening, and enjoyed a picnic tea of sandwiches after exploring the canals and trains outside.

Monday

We found a local Weatherspoons for breakfast, on route to the Tourist Information. Based on two posts (here and here) from one of my favourite bloggers Samantha Rickelton at North East Family Fun, I’d decided on the Science and Industry museum (just round the corner from the YHA) for Monday, and a combi ticket to Legoland Discovery Centre and the Sealife Centre (both at Trafford Centre, a fifteen minute drive) for Tuesday. I was keen to seek out other child friendly ideas for our city based day.

We were recommended:
– The National Football museum – £10 for adults, £5 for children (for tourists, locals free)
– Manchester Art Gallery – free
– The John Rylands Library – free, was described as being a bit like the Harry Potter library inside
– People’s History Museum – free
Science and Industry museum free. They confirmed this was the biggest and best offering for families.

Of those, we went for the last two (unfortunately the Art Gallery and John Rylands library had not yet opened as we passed). The boys also enjoyed playing in the park next to the water fountains behind the tourist information.

People’s History Museum

Highlights for the boys included hula hooping and playing with the musical instruments in the story corner. They also enjoyed going to the toilets in the basement! I didn’t get to read many of the exhibits, but soaked up a real sense of politics and activism as I walked round. Families can request a Busy Bee Explorer Bag (for 3-6 year olds) to help explore the museum free of charge.

Science and Industry Museum

This museum is huge, spread across five buildings, and there were lots of activities and talks throughout the day. The boys enjoyed the experiment section on the first floor of the New Warehouse (which had lots of hands on activities – similar to the Eureaka museum at Halifax) – we spent a good hour there. I enjoyed the 1830 station, which is the oldest surviving passenger railway station in the world, and the Air and Space hall.

By mid afternoon we were exhausted so decided to watch Dumbo at the Odeon cinema, which we all enjoyed. I hadn’t realised the original film was created in 1941, and I liked how the new Dumbo had similar eyes to the cartoon version.  I preferred this new version.

We had a relaxed (as you can be with three boys!) tea at the YHA on a nice red sofa. The boys enjoyed playing games and tablet time before bed.

To be continued…

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