Steph Smith, who manages the Hale, Altrincham and Sale area for Mums in the Know, chooses five great things to do with the kids over the next week.
1. Living History Open Day at Wythenshawe Hall (Sunday January 25th)
Wythenshawe Hall was home to the Tatton family for over 600 years, and is now owned by Manchester City Council. This Sunday, there is a great opportunity to tour the hall at the FREE Living History Open Day. Along with guided tours, children can create and decorate memory boxes to take away and also try their hand at writing with old fashioned dip ink pens.
Wythenshawe Park offers over 109 hectares of parkland to explore with the kids. While you’re there, why not pop along to The Farm – a countryside farm in an urban setting, located just near the children’s play area. At this time of year, The Farm is open from 11.30am to 3.30pm – I hear feeding time is usually at 3pm. If light refreshments are in order, the Courtyard Cafe is also open at weekends.
Times: 12-4pm. Wythenshawe Hall, Northenden, Manchester, M23 OAB
2. Oliver at The Altrincham Garrick Playhouse (until February 1st)
Lionel Bart’s brilliant adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist has enjoyed sell-out runs since its London premiere in 1960 and the award-winning screen version in 1967. The famous story of orphan Oliver and his sometimes frightening journey to London, where he encounters the dubious friendship of the artful dodger, Fagin and Bill Sykes, is packed with favourite songs including “Food, glorious food”, “Consider Yourself”, “I’d Do Anything” and the classic “As long as he needs me”.
This new version will bring the Victorian streets of London to life again and is sure to leave you asking for more! We hear the matinees are almost sold out but evening tickets are still available. Evenings 7:30pm; matinees 2:30pm. Full Price £18.00; Concessions £16.00; Members Prices £15.00 (additional £2 transaction fee/ticket). Book online or call 0161 928 1677.
Altrincham Garrick Playhouse, Barrington Road, Altrincham, WA14 1HZ
3. Frozen Exhibit at Portland Basin Museum (until February 28th)
Calling all Frozen Fans! The Portland Basin Museum in Ashton-Under-Lyne currently has a Frozen exhibit which will appeal to mini Elsa and Anna wannabes. On show are the stunning costumes for Olaf, Sven and the snow queens which designers from No Eyed Theatre made for the December Winter Wonderland Parade in Tameside.
This exhibition is running until the end of February but kids are in for an extra treat on Saturday, when “Queen Elsa” herself will be visiting the museum to meet her friends between 1 and 2pm. Portland Basin Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm. Admission is free. Call 0161 343 2878 for more information.
Portland Basin Museum, Portland Place, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Tameside, OL7 0QA
4. RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2015 at Jodrell Bank (Saturday January 24th)
Take a closer look at the wildlife on your doorstep and take part in the biggest wildlife survey in the world! You may wish to venture no further than your own back garden to join in this fantastic and very worthwhile study. Click here for more details of exactly how to get involved.
Another option is to visit Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre on Saturday morning to join the Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers and help them to count the wildlife in the gardens. Will the Ravens show up on time? How many different species will you see? Experts will be on hand to help identify the birds. Normal admission applies – RSPB Members may show their membership card at the front desk for group rate entry on the day.
Times: 10.30-12.30. Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL
5. Family Movies at Vue Cinema in Altrincham
If the chilly temperatures we’re currently experiencing make you want to stay indoors, how about a trip to the cinema! Altrincham’s Vue Cinema shows discounted family films at weekends. For just £2 a ticket (children and adults alike) you can enjoy a “Kids AM” film on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This weekend’s choice is “The Nut Job”.
Vue Cinema is also currently showing a series of Disney classics at a special rate of just £2.95 a ticket – a lovely opportunity to enjoy an old favourite on the ‘big screen’. This weekend’s Disney movie is Peter Pan. Enjoy!
Vue Cinema, Denmark Street, Altrincham, WA14 2WG