Who else agrees that Easter has arrived in a flash? It feels like just last week we were peeling Santa themed stickers from our windows and restarting those gym memberships, but now the only thing on our minds is chocolate eggs and, for some, how to keep the kids occupied for the next two weeks.
Whether you want some Easter-themed fun or theatre performances of classic novels, there are plenty of things to do across the North West. Alice in Wonderland makes an appearance at Fletchers On The Farm’s Easter weekender, Heaton Park’s annual fun fair returns for the thrill-seekers among us and there’s a chance to get hands on with Easter egg decorating at 20 Stories. But, if you’re looking for somewhere to party after you’ve dropped the kids off at Grandma’s house, you might want to give our list of the best bank holiday parties a read instead.
Read on for our round up of where to take the kids this Easter in Manchester.
‘The Library of Enchantment’ Kids’ escape room at Z-Arts
Saturday 1 - Friday 14 April
At Z-Arts this Easter you can challenge yourself and the kids to a 60-minute family-friendly escape room, without the looming threat of live action zombies. You’ll step into a story full of adventures, twists and time travelling that’ll test your puzzle skills. Supported by a host who’ll be dropping hints and tips along the way, you’ll have one hour to solve the puzzle or you'll be trapped amongst the pages forever.
Fletchers On The Farm Easter Wonderland
Saturday 1 - Sunday 16 April
Macclesfield’s Fletchers Farm is open across the whole of Easter half term, complete with fluffy farm animals and an Alice in Wonderland themed egg hunt. Follow the map as you stumble upon lambs, goats and even a game of pig football as you collect a number of eggs before exchanging them for a selection of chocolate treats with Alice and the Easter bunny. There’ll also be hot and cold drinks available to enjoy with views across the Peak District.
Easter funfair at Heaton Park
Saturday 1 - Sunday 16 April, Saturday 22 - Sunday 23 April
Combining rides for both adrenaline junkies and those that’d prefer to stick to the carousel, Heaton Park’s funfair returns for the Easter break. Open from 12-5pm each day, the fair combines traditional rides, stalls and attractions with Heaton Park’s greenery, cafes and even the return of the lakeside dining domes, which are available to book now.
The King of Nothing at The Lowry
Sunday 2 April
A puppet theatre show is the perfect opportunity to keep the kids occupied across half term. The King of Nothing follows the story of King Reginald, ruler of the Kingdom of Fa La La and a lover of fashion, as he makes sure he’s always donning the latest trends. A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic, Emperor’s New Clothes, the performance is littered with storytelling, puppetry and slapstick comedy.
The Suffrage-eggs trail at The Pankhurst Centre
Sunday 2 April, Thursday 6 April, Sunday 9 April, Thursday 13 April and Sunday 16 April
You’ve heard of the Suffragettes, but what about the Suffrage-eggs? This half term, The Pankhurst Centre and former home of Emmeline Pankhurst is hosting its own trail inspired by the story of the leader of the Suffragette movement. It’ll guide visitors around the house as it delves into the history of the Pankhurst family and the women behind the movement, with fancy dress photo opportunities and chances to to decorate eggs, too.
Welcome Wednesdays at Victoria Baths
Wednesday 5 & Wednesday 12 April
Dedicated to families, communities and individuals, Victoria Baths' new Welcome Wednesdays run from 11-3pm each week and offer visitors a chance to marvel at the historic baths in all of its glory. Book a guided tour, treat yourself to some lunch or change up your usual work from home set up in the baths' Tea Room. On Wednesday 5 April, the newly restored Gala doors will also be revealed and on Wednesday 12 April there will activities for the kids including spring flower making. Entry to Welcome Wednesdays is free.
Easter family fun at Elizabeth Gaskell’s house
Wednesdays, Thursday & Sundays between 2 - 16 April
One of history’s most important female writers, Elizabeth Gaskell lived in Manchester for 15 years and her former house is now a shrine to her greatest work. Over Easter, the museum is opening its doors to families with creative craft classes inspired by Victorian cards and Easter bonnets. Kids can create their own work of art in the servants hall, or follow the Cranford Cat trail that explores the life and legacy of Elizabeth Gaskell. The house is open from 11am - 4.30pm and entry is £7 for adults and free for children under 16.
Mother Goose at The Lowry
Wednesday 5 - Sunday 9 April
Starring Ian Mckellen and John Bishop, Mother Goose is a comedy fairytale for all ages. Described as a “live spectacle not to be missed”, the show has been created by the minds behind Coronation Street and Gimme Gimme Gimme and brings together broadway choreography, alongside musical hilarity for all the family.
Make Your Mark workshop at The People’s History Museum
Wednesday 5 April & Wednesday 12 April
The national museum of democracy inside The People’s History Museum is hosting a ‘Make Your Mark’ workshop across Easter. Families are invited to meet the ‘Manchester argonaut’ and create their own clay sculpture inspired by its story, which host Pauline Wood delves into throughout the session. The museum is also hosting a game of banner bingo, in which participants must be on the lookout for various symbols found on banners across the museum.
Mister Magnolia at Waterside Arts
Thursday 6 April
Based on Quentin Blake’s book, Mister Magnolia at Waterside Arts is a must-see show full of live music, puppetry and audience participation. The book is a classic rhyming story from 1980, which tells the tale of Mister Magnolia’s odd yet happy life as he receives a mysterious parcel. The performance is suitable for children aged between three and 10, and is priced at £6.50 for adults and £7.50 for children.
Good Fridaze at Freight Island
Friday 7 April
Freight Island has recently reopened its doors, and, for Easter, the indoor / outdoor food market is hosting a number of family friendly activities. From live music to hands-on workshops and a mystery egg hunt, all of the venue’s new traders will also be offering alfresco street food across the half-term. There’ll be a silent disco, a circus skills session and even a “glitter swoosh bar”, with adult tickets costing £7.50 and kids £11 with a free pizza slice included.
Free Easter fun at Box On The Docks
Friday 7 & Saturday 8 April
From 1-3pm on both Good Friday and the Saturday of Easter weekend, Box On The Docks will host free craft workshops from local businesses. Taking over the Friday is Kidzrus Nursery who will provide craft workshops including colouring and wooden egg painting, alongside an interactive Easter themed storybook time. Parents can also partake in a Q&A about child development and screen time. On Saturday, Born To Be Wild Child will offer visitors Easter treats and activity packs followed by a family disco.
Puss in Boots at Stockport Plaza
Friday 7 - Monday 10 April
Stockport Plaza’s Easter panto this year is the classic story of pesky kitty, Puss In Boots. The furry hero can be traced back to the late 1600s, where his name first appeared in the 75-story novel The Facetious Nights of Straparola penned by Giovanni Francesco Straparola. Since, the character has been reinvented in books, on TV and even in iconic movies including Shrek. Now back on the stage, the performance features Richard Chandler and David Vickers and a whole host of belly aching fun.
Fluffy Fluffy's city-wide Easter egg hunt
Friday 7 - Monday 10 April
Specialising in Japanese Souffle pancakes, Fluffy Fluffy are hosting a huge Easter egg hunt for families at locations across Manchester city centre. 10 eggs will be hidden behind social media clues found on Fluffy Fluffy's Instagram, revealing a host of prizes including the chance to win the restaurant's famous wobbly pancakes on the house. On the day of Easter Sunday diners can also enjoy a special stack complete with chocolate ganache, whipped cream, and a gooey creme egg.
Easter Eggstravaganza at The Black Friar
Saturday 8 April
Hosted in support of Kidscan, a local children’s cancer charity, The Black Friar’s Easter event combines tombolas, easter egg hunts, DJs, bubble blowing, crafts, face painting and more. Hosted at the quaint pub just on the outskirts of the city, the afternoon will also offer freshly cooked flatbreads, breakfast rolls, juices and coffee, as well tables for sit down dining at lunch. Tickets for adults are £3, kids are £2.
Free golfing at Dino Falls Adventure Golf
Monday 10 - Friday 14 April
Manchester’s biggest crazy golf course, Dino Falls is putting a prehistoric spin on Easter this year with a dino-themed Easter egg trail and free games for kids. From 10 - 14 April, one child will go free with any paying adult on adventure golf rounds booked to play before 10am. From the 3 until the 14 April, the golf course will then host its egg hunt. Snap pics of the hidden Easter characters around the course and claim a free chocolate treat in the Starbucks Cafe & Bar at the end of your game.
Kids Easter masterclass at 20 Stories
Tuesday 11 April
Led by 20 Stories’ head pastry chef, Ethan Ballan, kids can learn how to decorate their very own Easter egg using expert piping techniques up in the Manchester skies. Following the masterclass, there'll be a three-course lunch provided and adults are welcome to order from the A La Carte menu from 12pm if they’re also wishing to dine. The masterclass costs £35 and runs from 11am - 12pm, with lunch following.
SpringFest at Victoria Baths
Saturday 15 April
A new festival lands at Victoria Baths over the half-term break with workshops, music and art aplenty. Ideal for a wholesome end to the two-week break, SpringFest combines live music from local musicians, exhibitions featuring the work of illustrators and printmakers and an ‘under the sea’ themed pool party - alongside a host of activities and workshops for kids. In the evening, a special performance from Ríoghnach Connolly and Honeyfeet will also take place in the baths.
The Little Mermaid at Waterside Arts
Saturday 15 April
The underwater tale of Ariel, a free spirited mermaid with a desire to be ‘part of that world’ outside of the ocean has been once again reinvented for the stage. Heading to Sale’s Waterside Arts this half term, the show, brought by the producers of Rapunzel, is full of aquatic scenery, singing, dancing and there’s even an opportunity to meet the cast after the show.
Farm weekend at Alderley Park
Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 April
Welcome in spring with a full weekend of family friendly activities, performances, and local food and drink pop-ups at Alderley Park. There's a range of farm activities, including donkey and tractor rides, animal-petting, outdoor sports and an interactive CBeebies set, too, featuring characters from Teeny Tiny Creatures.
Easter egg hunts and trails across Manchester parks
Various dates across half-term
Heaton Park’s annual Easter egg hunt will return from 8 - 9 March, giving families the chance to search for eggs across the park, solve a puzzle and claim their prize. Fog Lane Park will also be hosting the ‘Great Bunny Hunt’ from 1 - 16 April, and Cringle Park, will be hosting their ‘Spring Into Cring’ Easter event on 7 April, complete with music, hot food and ice cream. Old Moat Park will then invite families to find 10 species of wildflower on display from 10 - 16 April, and on 1 April, Delamere Park will be hosting its Easter fair from 10:30am - 1pm.
Other Easter activities taking place at parks across the North West include Heaton Park’s local Easter market that will invite sellers offering everything from upcycled bird feeders to embroidery art and Manchester-made gin. Heaton Hall will also make a return for the spring / summer season.
20% off a two-night family stay and a £50 voucher at Kimpton Clocktower
Kimpton Clocktower has launched a ‘Manchester Family Weekender’ package for Easter half term, where the whole family can enjoy 20% off a two-night stay, plus a £50 voucher to spend on food in The Refuge. From 7 - 10 April, kids can also take part in a special Easter bank holiday Kimpton Clocktower Social Hour, which will see The Vault turned into an underground cinema complete with treats from Grandpa Greens. The littlest guests over Easter weekend will also be welcomed with an Easter egg hunt in their hotel room and an activity pack to keep them quiet.