It turns out Manchester is home to many spots that will fill your kid’s wildest Dinosaur dreams, from museums to a raptor safari.
So many kids get obsessed with dinosaurs, and if you’ve got a dino-fan in the family here are some of the fun activities and events to get involved with around Manchester.
Dippy the Dinosaur, Rochdale
Dippy on Tour opened up back in February but quickly closed due to the pandemic. Luckily, they’ll be back open from August 3rd. The diplodocus skeleton left London’s Natural History Museum to tour the UK earlier this year.
Dippy will be in Rochdale until October, before making it’s way to Norwich Cathedral as its final stop.
Using the wonders of technology, many of Manchester’s parks have ranges of quiz trails and guided tours that are free to use. You simply use the app to search for dinosaurs and test your knowledge. There are also Fairy Trails available.
The app is available in Alexandra Park, Boggart Hole Clough, Debdale Park, Heaton Park, Platt Fields Park, Phillips Park, Whitworth Park, and Wythenshawe Park – you can get the app here.
The real mini adventure at Raptor Safari near Manchester Airport is now back open following a devastating flood. They’re offering private hour-long tours for families with a Ranger, which will let you see gigantic moving dinosaurs like the famous T-Rex.
There are even some Ice Age beasts like the woolly mammoth there too. The slots run from 9am to 6:30pm daily.
Make a day of it and visit Dinosaur Safari at Blackpool Zoo, with six new mega beasts, including Dilophosaurus and a baby Stegosaurus which all make sounds and move. Tickets are just £15.25 for children and £19.75 for adults – you must pre-book online.
The theme park in Warrington has its very own Lost World section, perfect for any dino fans. You can dig up fossils or enjoy the Flight of Pteranodon ride. Gulliver’s World is open every weekend from 10:30am to 5pm.
Manchester Christmas Markets opening date finally confirmed for 2022
It’s nearly that time of the year again, as we count down the days until Christmas – yes, it’s only September, but there’s no harm in getting excited early.
And the festive season means one thing – the return of the popular Manchester Christmas Markets.
The annual event will once again return to Manchester in 2022, and will be spread out across a number of locations in the city centre.
The dates for this year’s event have now been revealed, and this year it will all kick off on Thursday November 10th.
From this date, they will be open every day until Thursday December 22nd – the main hub of markets will then close, but certain zones will reopen after Christmas and into the New Year.
This will include the Christmas ice rink at Cathedral Gardens, with the food and drink stalls at that location also reopening after Christmas Day.
Last year, the main hub was located at the newly established ‘Winter Gardens’ in Piccadilly Gardens, which will be returning – the council is yet to release the full list of zones for this year, however.
It’s very likely that, as per usual, there will be stalls on Market Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Exchange Square and Cathedral Gardens.
Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, Councillor Pat Karney, said: “With Christmas Day a mere three months away, that can only mean one thing – Manchester Christmas Markets Day is even sooner!
“In fact, there’s only seven weeks left to go until you can grab a gluhwein and buddy up with a bratwurst whilst checking out the fantastic Christmas gifts and goodies on the best Christmas Market in the land. Mark it on your calendars – 10 November – they’re back!”
A huge Hot Wheels Monster Truck ‘Glow Party’ is coming to Manchester
There will be a pre-show party before each performance, giving fans the chance to get up close to their favourite Monster Trucks
Mancunians are set for some serious nostalgia with the arrival of the iconic Hot Wheels Monster Truck ‘Glow Party’ early next year.
Following the success of its debut in the US, family entertainment tour Hot Wheels Monster Trucks will be bringing its ‘Glow Party’ experience across the pond to Europe.
And in January next year, the battling monster trucks will roll into Manchester’s AO Arena for a two-night residency.
The ‘thrilling’ new experience is set to give audiences the chance to watch their favourite Hot Wheels Monster Trucks, including the likes of Mega Wrex, Tiger Shark, Boneshaker, Bigfoot, and the all-new Gunkster light up the floor.
There will be an exciting ‘Crash Zone’ pre-show party before each performance, giving fans access to the competition floor to get up close to the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks and get an autograph from their favourite drivers and performers.
Tim McWilliams, the Senior Vice President of Touring and International Music at Live Nation, said: “We are thrilled to be embarking on our third UK tour of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live.
“As the world’s largest live-entertainment company, we are part of many incredible shows, but Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live provides a new dimension in family entertainment that never fails to impress.
“We can’t wait for these shows so we can all join the Glow Party.”
And speaking ahead of the event’s arrival next year, the CEO of Family Entertainment Live Ken Hudgens added: “With the success of the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party thus far, we’re excited to continue the amazing experience into 2023 internationally.”
Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Glow Party will be taking over Manchester’s AO Arena on Saturday January 14th and Sunday January 15th 2023.
Tickets are on sale now, with each one including an autograph card, a souvenir pass, and lanyard exclusive to Crash Zone attendees.
Manchester’s ‘first public city centre park’ to open this week
The park has been in the works for the last six years
Manchester’s first city centre park in over 100 years is set to open to the public this week.
Over the last eighteen months, the derelict space next to Piccadilly Station has been transformed into Mayfield Park, a stunning, accessible and varied green space for everyone to enjoy.
The planning, design and delivery of the park has been in the works for over six years, with it receiving £23m of investment from the government’s Getting Building Fund in 2020.
This investment, delivered through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), is part of the Government’s strategy to support ‘shovel ready’ schemes that will help to drive economic recovery following the Covid pandemic.
And this Thursday (September 22nd), Mayfield Park’s main entrance on Baring Street will officially open to the public.
The park will then be open seven days a week from dawn until dusk, providing local residents, visitors and communities across Manchester with a ‘city centre oasis of green space and beautifully landscaped river walkways’.
Martyn Evans, Creative Director at U+I, the regeneration company leading the Mayfield development on behalf of the Mayfield Partnership, described the opening as a ‘momentous day for Mayfield and for Manchester’.
He said: “The greatest cities in the world offer a true blend of amazing culture, great architecture and green space. Manchester is one such city and Mayfield Park adds a significant piece of new, family-friendly, inclusive green space to the city centre.
“It’s been a true team effort with our project team and our partners at Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and LCR working closely with local building contractors PP O’Connor to deliver the park.
“We are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and we’re excited to welcome our first visitors on 22nd September.”
The leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Bev Craig, added: “It’s with excitement then that we can look ahead to the official opening of the city centre’s first public park in 100 years later this week.
“We know the massive health and well-being benefits that green spaces can have for our residents and increasing access to parks for our residents is a key priority for us. Mayfield will be a 6.5 acre oasis at the heart of our city.
“Green investment is fundamental to our wider ambitions to improve air quality and underpins our work to strengthen Manchester’s resilience to climate change.
“Mayfield is a park first and foremost, but it is also a statement that development in the city can and should celebrate green spaces to become a focal point in our communities.
“Importantly, Mayfield also represents a significant economic boost for Manchester. The partnership has shopped local when procuring contractors to make sure that employment opportunities have benefited local companies and local people first.
“During the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it’s this type of development that provides the jobs that our residents need – and makes sure Manchester people continue to share in the success of our city.”
Mayfield Park will open to the public on Thursday September 22nd at 12:30pm. For more information, visit the Mayfield website.