October half term 2022 Manchester: things to do with kids - from Spookfest Trafford Centre to Science Festival

It may feel like the school term has just begun, but October half-term and Halloween are already around the corner. Here are some fun ideas on how to keep the family entertained in Manchester.

Spookfest

Trafford Centre, October 14-30

The Trafford has organised a whole range of events and attractions for this year’s Halloween and October half term. Starting on Friday October 14, Gandey’s Spooktacular Circus will be pitching up and performing daily. Tickets start at £9.99 can be found on their website. There will also be a funfair with over 20 rides. Entry tickets at £2.80 can be purchased on the Trafford centre website, and tokens for individual rides will be available to buy once inside or online. They are offering 25 tokens for the price of 20 online at £22.

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    If you’re still looking for things to do, you can also check out a Halloween movie screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coco or Toy Story of Terror, or check out Manchester’s first and only pumpkin tower. Halloween-themed food and drink will be on offer, as well face painting for the little ones.

    Halloween events at Trafford Centre

    Manchester Science Festival

    Science and Industry Museum, 21-30 October

    The Science and Industry Museum is hosting a number of events both onsite and around the city as part of Manchester Science Festival. “Turn It Up,” one of the headline exhibitions, explores some of the latest innovations in music, which visitors will be able to test out for themselves. Tickets for this event are £8 for adults, £7 seniors, £6 child, with family discounts also available.

    There will also be workshops on app design, machine learning and AI, as well as other events aimed at encouraging young people to explore STEM subjects. The full program of events and how to book them can be found on the Science and Industry Museum’s website.

    Horror-Nation Street: The Tour

    ITV Studios, Trafford Park

    Throughout October, the Coronation Street is getting a creepy makeover and taking a look at the ghosts of storylines past for their special Halloween tours. You’ll be exploring all the villains, deaths and destruction of the soap’s history.

    Surprise soap stars will show guests around the set for the first time (Photo: Getty Images)

    Tickets start at £28 for adults and £25.50 for under 16s. Family ticket options are also available. Superfans of the soap will also be able to book on to a special Star Tour, featuring a visit from a mystery villain. Tickets for this are £40 and £38.50 for children. Check out the Coronation Street Tour website for more details.

    Halloween Ghost Train

    East Lancashire Railway, 27-29 October

    All aboard the Ghost Train! East Lancashire Railway are taking visitors on a spooky ride this Halloween, starting and ending at Bury Bolton Street Station. During the hour-long trip, you’ll be helping the Monster Squad banish the ancient railway curse. There will also be prizes for the best fancy dress.

    Visitors can also check out the rides Carn-Evil across the road at Bury Transport Museum, which is open 4pm-9pm.

    Tickets start at £20.40 and can be purchased on the East Lancashire Railway website. Tickets for the Carn-Evil can also be purchased on the website for £10, or £5 if purchased with a Ghost Train ticket.

    RHS Garden Bridgewater - The Paradise Garden

    October half term at RHS Garden Bridgewater

    22-30 October

    If you want to get outdoors and enjoy some nature this October half-term, there’s plenty to do at the RHS Garden Bridgewater – from the deadliest plants and bugs trail, to craft sessions, puppet shows to storytelling walks.

    Entry to the Garden is £12.65 for adults, £6.35 for children aged 5-16. Family ticket options are also available, and entry is free to RHS members. There are additional booking fees for some of the activities, so check the website.

    Flight Academy at the Runway Visitor Park

    Manchester Airport, 24-28 October

    Kids can learn what it’s like to sit in the cockpit of an airliner this October half-term at the Runway Visitor Park’s Flight Academy. In the 90-minute session, they will get to find out more about the aviation industry and what it takes to run an airport. The sessions are open to two age groups – 4-7 year-olds and 8-12 year-olds – and tickets are £12 per adult and child. General entry to the park will also be discounted at £5 for anyone with a Flight Academy booking.

    More information can be found on the Runway Visitor Park website.

    Learn what it takes to be a pilot this October half-term at the Runway Visitors’ Park Flight Academy. Credit: Manchester Airport

    Spooky Sunday: Horrible Family Halloween Party!

    Central Library, October 30

    Manchester’s Central Library is inviting families to a Halloween party, complete with disco, face painting, crafts and fancy dress. Tickets cost £10 per family of maximum two adults and three children. More information can be found on the Central Library website.

    Halloween Hunt at Treetop Manchester

    Heaton Park

    If your brave little ones are up for challenge this half-term, Treetop at Heaton Park have added a special Halloween twist to their high ropes course. As well as trying the super slides, walkways, tunnels and giant trampolines at Treetop Nets, they will also get to solve creepy clues on the search for some spooktacular objects hidden beneath the tree canopy.

    The Halloween Hunt at Treetop Manchester is included with any two-hour session on Treetop Nets between Friday 21 and Monday 31 October.

    Ticket prices can be found on the Treetop website.