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Manchester boasts of a deep and storied past – with its Victoria baths, old redbrick mills, timeworn pubs, and rich musical history.  But don’t get fixated with its past, intriguing though it is.  The city has successfully fused classic with cutting-edge, from musical theatres to trendy bars, gothic architecture to state-of-the-art stadiums. You and your family will never run out of fascinating activities to do in this city. 

Here is our list of five fun things to do when you are visiting Manchester and its nearby areas.

  1. Moss Bank Park – Bolton

Start your tour with a relaxing yet exciting exploration of Moss Bank Park in Bolton.  This park features two large play areas for kids, four tennis courts, thrilling fairground rides, and a mini steam train, all set in 85 acres of open space, woodland, and gardens.

The funfair rides at Moss Bank Park change throughout the year, but its staples include roundabouts, a rollercoaster, and a bouncy castle. You can bring food and have a picnic on one of the grassy fields or buy from the kiosk that offers hot and cold beverages, ice cream, and an assortment of snacks.  If you have time to spare, visit nearby attractions such as the Smithills and Barrow Bridge.

2. Three Sisters Race Circuit – Wigan

Are you game for something adrenaline pumping? Try go-karting at the Three Sisters Race Circuit. This 1.5 km outdoor race circuit is considered one of UK’s most challenging tracks with its several tight corners and sudden turns.  However, the activities here are not limited to karting. 

At the Three Sisters Race Circuit, you can also experience supercar driving in some of the most famous and high-performance race vehicle brands such as Aston-Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche. Who says this venue is only for grown-ups?  The Three Sisters Race Circuit offers a wide range of activities for children aged over eight, from introductory lessons to advanced training for juniors to karting parties. 

3. Museum of Science and Industry – Manchester

You don’t have to be a science buff to enjoy the Museum of Science and Industry – if not for its science shows and celebrated machines, then at least, for its world-changing ideas.  Among its intriguing collections is the Power Hall, home to Europe’s most extensive array of stationary steam engines.

Another great attraction to check out is the Alcock and Brown exhibit, which tells the story of the aviators who were the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic.  Here, you will find the historic Vickers Vimy aircraft that they flew in. The museum also dedicates sections for revered scientist John Dalton and his equally accomplished protégé James Joules. 

4. Chinatown – Manchester

A visit to Manchester is incomplete without satisfying your gastronomic cravings.  Sure, you can explore food elsewhere in the city, but there is nothing quite comparable to the Far Eastern charm that Chinatown offers.

Right in the heart of Manchester, located close to some of the best accommodation in Europe, you will literally be able to walk from your hotel to China Town. The moment you walk through the intricately beautiful three-tiered pagoda that marks the entrance to Chinatown, you feel transported to a different world where a thousand exotic smells and sights await you. Although the district is called Chinatown, it features a plethora of restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets, and other businesses that represent various Asian cultures.  Here, you will find Pearl City, one of Manchester’s oldest Chinese restaurants, serving Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine, alongside Yuzu, offering traditional Japanese fare, and Koh Samui Thai, dishing out a delectable menu prepared in the authentic Thai style.

5. Old Trafford Stadium (Manchester United Football Club Stadium)

Manchester and football go together like an inseparable pair.  Delve into the city’s tremendous enthusiasm for the sports by taking an excursion of the Old Trafford Stadium, home of Manchester United. The tour allows you to explore the grounds, dugout, dressing room, and players’ tunnel.  Then, you can spend some time at the Manchester National Museum to learn more about the league, and appreciate the history of football.

Every fan should see what the shops have to offer; you can either window shop leisurely or splurge on your favourite memorabilia.  Before you book a tour, take note that the museum is closed on match days, but is open the day before and the day after.