We all take ourselves a bit too seriously, made worse by stressful jobs that make you just want to curl up and not leave the house. So much so, we forget that you can unwind like a child, without the whinging and with much less snot.
So, if you want to act like a big kid and leave all your cares behind, here are the places to do just that.
Have a knock about at Junkyard Golf
We all know about Junkyard Golf, mostly because it is by far and away the best way to act like a big kid in the city but with the added benefit of drinking cocktails. Supping your way around a choice of three crazy golf courses is a lot of fun, with the added thrills of a couple of slides, some fiendish challenges and one of the most head-banging hall of mirrors imaginable. This one is more of a kiddie activity that’s definitely not for kids.
Junkyard Golf, Unit 1, First Street, Manchester, M15 4FN
Flip Out on a Trampoline
Bouncing about on some rubber and plastic is one of the best ways to let your hair down and it’s some really good exercise too! Flip Out in Sportcity features more trampolines than you could ever imagine, alongside loads of other fun games too. They’ve even got an obstacle course which includes monkey bars, standing swings and a web rope that you can either time yourself on or race friends.
Flip Out Manchester, Ashton New Rd, Manchester M11 4TA
Get high and Go Ape!
Okay this one isn’t in Manchester but it’s only a stone’s throw away in Bolton where you can swing from high ropes like the giant kid that you secretly are. Not just a day out for children, it’s definitely one for your inner child – as long as you’re not shit scared of heights that is!
Go Ape Rivington, Great House Barn, Rivington Ln, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7SB
Go Bowling at Dog Bowl
Who doesn’t love a bit of bowling? Thankfully Manchester has an abundance of bowling alleys where you can drink and eat like kings and queens too. Dog Bowl always has great deals on throughout the week as well as a brilliant breakfast deal on at the weekends. You can’t really go wrong with the sheer number of cocktails on offer here – most of which will help lubricate your inner child for sure.
Dog Bowl, Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
Play some old school Arcade Games
If you find yourself in Bury then you’ll be an idiot to miss out on the Arcade Club – a whole centre packed with free-play retro arcade games! Pay £10 on the door and play to your heart’s content the likes of Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. A little closer to the city centre though you’ll find 17 Below, a subterranean 80’s den featuring pool tables and some amazing old school arcade machines – which are also free!
Arcade Club, Ela Mill, Cork St, Bury BL9 7BW
17 Below, Dogs ‘n’ Dough, 17 Bow Ln, Manchester M2 4FW
Check out Dino Falls Adventure Golf
Now this one actually is for children but it’s so much fun you’ll be pushing them out the way to play. I’m not going to lie I’m pretty terrified of dinosaurs after a stint on the Jurassic Park Ride in Florida that featured a lot of nervous tears (I was 19 btw) and I’m also not good at golf, crazy or otherwise, but it’s all part of the fun.
Dino Falls Adventure Golf, Old Park Ln, Stretford, Manchester M17 8PG
Be Enchanted at Breakout
Don’t pretend you’ve never once wished you could cast spells or ride a broomstick after reading all the Harry Potter books. Whilst this breakout room can’t promise that you will become a wizard, you can however wear wizarding gear and have one hour to complete magical tasks to secure a place at the coveted University of Magic.
Breakout Town Hall: 14 a Brazennose Street, Manchester M2 6LW
Get physical (or mental) at The Crystal Maze
Only the greatest programme in the history of all time, you can actually be in The Crystal Maze, led around by a nutter offering skill, mental, mystery or physical games just like in the programme. All the zones and even The Crystal Dome have been perfectly recreated from the programme too, but unfortunately there is no Richard O’Brien. I once took part with my family on what was probably the best day of my life, but we were deemed the worst team to ever play the game – life made!
The Crystal Maze LIVE, Lower Byrom St, Manchester M3 4FP
Go Tubing at Chill Factore
Nobody finds it fun to fall down a massive hill of snow while connected to two long rods of plastic, breaking ribs, hands and skulls on the way down. So forget the skiing (or snowboarding). Instead you can unleash your inner child at Chill Factore by getting involved in a bit of tobogganing and tubing – much safer and in my opinion – much more fun.
Chill Factore, 7 Trafford Way, Trafford, Stretford, Manchester M41 7JA
Relive your childhood at SIM
Nothing makes you feel more like a kid than heading to a museum which you actually used to visit when you were at school. Well the Science & Industry Museum was always a treat growing up, especially that room on the top floor which has all of the weird little games, puzzles and science experiments that you can fiddle with. It’s great fun and you might just learn a thing or two while you’re at it.
Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP
Get creative at Legoland
Of course you can unleash your inner child when Lego is about. The best toy in the world, you can actually do anything with Lego and it will end up being brilliant. Down at the Legoland Discovery Centre in the Trafford Centre there’s so much Lego-related activity that if you’re a fan of Lego – you may explode. They also have a Lego ball pool type thing which is the best thing ever.
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, The Trafford Centre, Barton Square, Manchester M17 8AS