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Bring the family

Play, reconnect and be curious with our free family-friendly resources.

Families and early-years

The skeleton of a sperm whale, a giant Japanese incense burner and one the rarest frogs in the world – these are just some of the amazing objects we care for.   

Getting to know the objects and asking questions can help children to make sense of the world around them and spark big ideas. Being close to culture can also offer an escape from the pressures of modern life and provide a space to reflect and bond.

The museum is full of incredible stories and our free activities made for families will help you take a deep dive into some of the most fascinating objects on display

On this page you will find unmissable events, creative resources and the important stuff – like where the picnic area is – to make your family’s visit one to remember!

Activities made for families

Self-led trails

Coming soon

Events made for families

The BIG Weekender

Bring the whole family for a weekend of hands-on activities, mess and fun in the museum! Takes place every quarter.

Visit our What’s On page

Museum Meets...

Meet the people who look after our frogs, amazing artists who get crafty in the museum, and more….

Visit our What’s On page

Play on

A free drop-in club for kids during school holidays – we’ll keep you entertained while school’s out!

Visit our What’s On page

What you need to know

Picnic area  

Our new ground floor picnic area offers a welcoming environment where you can eat your picnic lunches. It is beautifully decorated to complement the Museum Café and includes tables, microwaves, work surfaces, a sink, and bins. It is free to use and does not need to be booked in advance. 

Museum Café 

Our family-friendly café can be accessed through the Main Hall or from Oxford Road. It serves delicious vegetarian food and drinks all day.

Buggy parking  

We have space for buggy parking in the Main Hall close to the picnic area – please ask a member of the team for assistance. Events for 0-5s will have temporary buggy parks available, ask at the museum welcome desk for details. 

Baby feeding   

You are welcome to breastfeed or bottle-feed anywhere in the museum. Should you wish for more privacy, there’s a quiet room located on floor 1 next to the Egypt and Sudan Gallery. Please see our map of museum facilities and ask our Museum Visitor Team for details and access. 

Baby changing  

There are baby changing spaces in the toilets on the ground floor, next to the Main Hall, and in the toilets on floor 1 near to Living Worlds. You can ask for a family pack at the welcome desk, which include nappies, baby wipes, and bags.

Find more information to help plan your visit.

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Social prescribing

Programmes for people experiencing or at risk of postnatal depression or anxiety.

Muso Baby is a series of friendly, interactive, music sessions, led by music therapist, Rachel Swanick for small groups.  The sessions aim to support bonding with your little one, and are an opportunity to meet new people who may have similar experiences to you, whilst exploring the museum’s collections.

Spaces for this programme are limited and open to referrals through GPs, Health Visitors, and Health and Social Care professionals working with parents experiencing or at risk of postnatal depression and/or anxiety.

All sessions are free and run for 6 weeks. For more information or to book a place please contact Victoria Grant, Family Programme Coordinator.

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You can help us care for our collections and bring joy and inspiration to people in Manchester and beyond.

As one of the UK’s largest university museums, we care for over 4.5 million objects, with an internationally-important collection spanning from Archaeology to Zoology, and nearly everything in between. We work with communities, support university students and schools in Manchester and beyond and we are a free, inclusive museum for all. But we need your help. Every object we care for, exhibition, school visit and community event comes at a cost, and you can help make the museum as ambitious and impactful as possible.

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