The Six Week Holidays are expensive. Whether you’re working full time and paying for childcare, or trying to keep the kids entertained yourself… it’s costly. So with that in mind, today I am sharing some free activities in Greater Manchester this Summer. I hope these help you to have a few good days out – without having to sell a kidney to fund it!

Free Activities In Greater Manchester This Summer

I have decided to break down the activities into different categories, so readers can scroll down to what they are looking for.

Free Activities In Greater Manchester Parks

There are loads of free parks in Greater Manchester. Some of my favourites include:

Heaton Park in North Manchester – Heaton Park has a brand new playground! It literally opened a couple of weeks ago! There’s also a farm, lake and plenty of woodland to explore. Parking isn’t free, so do bear that in mind.

Clifton Country Park in SalfordClifton Country Park has a huge lake which is fab to walk around. There’s a cute Fairy trail for kids to follow, as well as plenty of woodland to explore and a fab new playground. Parking is free too, so what’s not to love!

Clifton Country Park lake - Free Activities In Greater Manchester This Summer

Stamford Park in TamesideStamford Park is located near Tameside Hospital. It has on-road parking around it. There’s a fab playground and a great water feature to cool off in on sunny days. There’s also plenty of space for picnics.

Free Activities In Greater Manchester Museums

Ordsall Hall in Salford

Ordsall Hall is a stunning Tudor house, with wonderful grounds too. It is free to visit at all times, but parking is £2.50 for 3 hours. There’s lots to explore indoors and outdoors, as well as loads of activities happening over the Summer.

Some of the events are chargeable, but some are free, like the Playtime At Ordsall Hall session. This free drop-in session is on Wednesday 7 August, from 12 pm – 3 pm. Have a go at outdoor games, make a kite to fly in the gardens and have a go at the brand new heritage trail. Stay as long as you like and why not take a picnic? 

Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Salford Museum and Art Gallery is free to enter, but you do have to pay for parking. This Summer, Salford Museum has really pulled out all the stops with free activities! Check out this line-up!

Toys Through Time

Go along and play with the museum’s traditional toys from the past. See how they have changed over the years and how they compare to toys children play with now. These drop-in sessions are every Tuesday in the summer holidays until 27th August. Sessions held at 10am-12pm & 1-3pm. (You can opt to pay £1.50 if you want to buy a take-home toy kit). 

Washday Wednesday

Head down to Lark Hill Place (Salford Museum’s amazing Victorian Street).  Here, you can have a chat about how the residents of Lark Hill Place would have done their laundry, and join in with a demonstration. These drop-in in sessions are every Wednesday in the holidays until 28th August. Sessions start at 11am and 2pm.

kids washing clothes dressed in victorian clothes - Free Activities In Greater Manchester This Summer

Lark Hill Place through the Ages

Find out about the inhabitants of Lark Hill Place from one of Salford Museum’s knowledgeable guides. Additionally, you can get up close with objects from their handling collection. Each week they focus on a particular house or shop. You have the option to buy a take home a make-it-yourself peg doll kit for £1.50. This free drop-in session runs every Thursday from 1st August until 29th August. Sessions run at 10am-12pm & 1-3pm. 

Science and Industry Museum in Manchester

The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester was once known as MOSI or the Museum of Science and Industry. It is one of the most popular places to go when looking for free activities in Greater Manchester this summer. This museum is home to tons of interactive exhibits. There are 5 different buildings, which all contain very different exhibits. From Stephenson’s Rocket to the first computers. Interactive kids areas and gigantic Looms, this museum is packed with Manchester’s history. There’s loads going on over the summer, too. (The link above gives you a breakdown of daily activities).

Free Activities In Greater Manchester Libraries

Libraries aren’t just about books these days. As well as the annual Summer reading challenge, libraries in my local area have really upped the number of activities on offer this Summer. Most of these sessions are £1 per child, so not free. However, they sound like great fun, so I included them…

Lego Mania

Come along to play LEGO bingo and other games. Or simply build whatever you want – It’s up to you! Sessions take place at ten Salford libraries throughout the Summer. See their website for full details and times. This costs £1 per library member or £3 per family. 

Free Board Game Club For Children – If you’re in Rochdale, why not check out the free Board Game Club for kids? It’s every Thursday from 3.30 to 4.30pm in their Langley Library. Find full information here.

Other Free Events

This is a selection of free events I have heard about at other places across Greater Manchester.

Free Crafting At Bents Garden and Home – The free craft session will be located in the Children’s Boutique at Bents. The craft session is open daily from 11am-3pm. It runs until 3rd September, so there’s plenty of time to pop along and get crafty! Children must be supervised at all times.

crafts at Bents
Image Credit

Eco Explorer Treasure Trail at Bents Garden and Home – This activity requires the download of a free smartphone app… “Eco Explorer”. Once you’ve got the app, you can head off to discover all sorts around the open skies glasshouse. Find out more here. Additionally, smaller kids can enjoy the giant sandpit too!

Emergency Services Day At The Trafford Centre 1st August – Most kids are fascinated by the Emergency Services. Why not take them down to the Trafford Centre on 1st August to meet them up close? The event runs from 10 am to 4 pm. Find out more here.

Finally, check out this blog post for more free activity ideas to help you survive Summer!



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