There are a range of budget-friendly family activities available over the summer, reaching from Bury to Birmingham! Here are the details of just a few for you to explore...

Greater Manchester

The Grand Bug & Pest Hotel Hunt family trail at RHS Garden Bridgewater – Enjoy a free family-filled day outdoors exploring the importance of insects and other small creatures, while also having a fun adventure.

Octagon Family Festival at Octagon Theatre – Join the free festival at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, to enjoy live storytelling, family disco, theatre performances, fun bubbles, circus performances, creative arts and crafts, and so much more!

Manchester Museum at The University Of Manchester – The recently re-opened museum has lots of brand-new exhibition spaces to explore, including a stunning new Exhibition Hall, the UK’s first permanent South Asia Gallery, and Stan the T-Rex.

The Great Northern Giant Sandpit – Whether you’re packing a picnic, fancy a beach day or just want somewhere to play, the free Giant Sandpit is sure to put a smile on the whole families face!

Science and Industry Museum – With free entry, the museum provides an inspirational visit for all ages with their revolutionary, world-changing ideas and fun, interactive exhibitions.

The Whitworth at The University of Manchester – The award-winning gallery and park hosts free creative events for babies and toddlers as well as ongoing welly walks, art picnics and crafty activities for the whole family.


National Memorial Arboretum – Get active exploring the Stick Man Trail and playgrounds, or settle down for some quiet reflection in this stunning setting.

The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery – If you’re looking for a place to escape the rain, the museum makes for a fun and educational activity, taking you back in time to discover the history of the Potteries.

Rudyard Lake in Leek – Jump into the great outdoors with a day by the lake. Whether you’re walking, cycling, rowing or wildlife watching, Rudyard lake has something for everyone – including a steam train!

The Wolseley Centre – Explore the free sensory garden, play trail and wildlife garden, or join one of the centre’s exciting events for a day of fresh-air in this hidden gem.

Middleport Pottery – Whether your wanting to get your creative juices flowing by joining an interactive class, or be inspired by exploring the artisan markets and exhibitions, there is fun for the whole family at Middleport Pottery this summer!

RSPB Coombes Valley and Consall Woods – Explore the wonderful woodland, spotting a range of wildlife as you follow the play trail, or cook up a mess in the mud kitchen and building dens.


Dudley Museum at the Archives – Bring history to life as you explore the museums displays about dinosaurs, geology and fossils, as well as the stories of local heroes and finds from Dudley Castle.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts – Inspire your creative side with a free trip to the Barber Institute so you can gaze on iconic pieces of artwork by the likes of Van Gogh and Botticelli.

Tamworth Castle Pleasure Grounds – Explore the picturesque gardens, enjoy a picnic by the river, or even have a game of crazy golf. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or an active adventure, there’s activities for everyone!

Sheldon Country Park and Old Rectory Farm – Immerse yourself in nature at the 300-acre park and discover their range of farm animals! Don’t forget to check out their viewing platform overlooking Birmingham International Airport.  

The Old Guildhall Prison Cells – Travel back in time to the 1500s, exploring Lichfield’s old prison and discovering the stories and experiences of inmates.

Lichfield Cathedral – Discover over 1300 years of history at the only medieval three-spired Cathedral in the UK while also visiting their man-made beach! Or join one of their free events, like the children’s craft club.