Skip to content
A woman and toddler lay playing in the snow next to a frozen pond.
Play in the snow at Lyme, Cheshire | © ©National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Family-friendly places in Cheshire and Greater Manchester

Plan a Christmas adventure in Cheshire and Greater Manchester, with play areas, activities for kids, wildlife to spot and plenty of things to do when it rains, there's something for the whole family this winter.

Places to visit with the family in Cheshire and Manchester

Get close to nature, find the perfect place to crunch through leaves or step into the past – there's something for the whole family to enjoy this autumn.

Family enjoying exploring the garden in autumn at Quarry Bank

Quarry Bank 

Plan your family day out to Quarry Bank and discover all the family-friendly things to do, from spotting wildlife in the woodland to enjoying one of our seasonal trails around the property.

A woman and a child throwing leaves in an autumn woodland at Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey 

From roaming fallow deer to bug-rich gardens and the heritage and history in the Georgian House and 400-year-old mill, there's something for all the family at Dunham Massey.

Visitors in the garden in autumn at Lyme Park, Cheshire


From running, skipping and jumping around Crow Wood play area and dressing up in period costume inside the house, to spotting red deer in the park, there’s something for everyone at Lyme.

Visitors sitting on a garden seat in the walled garden at Hare Hill, Cheshire.

Hare Hill 

Let the kids run wild in the natural play area at Hare Hill, the perfect spot for a family day out.

A family enjoying the gardens at Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire

Little Moreton Hall 

Whether you’re enjoying one of our self-led trails or the wibbly-wobbly floors, there's plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained at Little Moreton Hall.

Pigs in the Walled Garden at Attingham Park, Shropshire

Tatton Park Farm 

Learn about 1930s farming practices and techniques, meet traditional and endangered species of farm animals and learn where our food comes from in a unique interactive exhibition.

Play areas in Cheshire and Greater Manchester

There’s nothing quite like playing outdoors. Swooshing down slides, clambering over logs and letting your imagination run wild. It’s no wonder that play areas are an essential part of many family days out. Here are some top places to play in Cheshire and Greater Manchester. 

Children playing in the play area at Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire

The log pile at Dunham Massey 

Is it a ship? Is it a castle? Will you get eaten by sharks if you fall off a beam? The log pile in the north park is a play area at one with nature. Perfect for little ones with active imaginations, these carefully placed logs and branches create a casual play environment for children (and adults) of all ages.

A child playing on tyre swings, part of the trim trail at Cragside.

Crow Wood playscape at Lyme 

Let off some steam and have fun with your family in the Crow Wood play area. It’s the perfect place to run, skip and slide. Get closer to nature on a walk through Crow Wood and see what winter wildlife you can spot in the mill pond.

child playing in the natural play area

Playground at Quarry Bank 

You can find the playground just beyond the Mill Yard. It's small but perfectly formed, giving little ones the chance to jump, balance and climb obstacles. And with picnic benches are close by, it's perfect for parents to take a break with a warm coffee.

A small child dressed in blue holding their mother's hand walking over a log covered in snow

Woodland play at Alderley Edge 

Test your balance on giant logs and pretend the mud is water or strike your best tree pose on a tree stump in the natural play area at Alderley Edge. Look around to see birds flit from branch to branch amongst ancient trees and the woodland floor.

Children playing in Wolf's Den, Erddig

Natural play area at Hare Hill 

In spring, summer and autumn little ones can escape to the hidden natural play area at Hare Hill and discover the magic amongst the nature that lives there. Make a secret den and create some look out points to spot wildlife. Cook up a storm in the mini-mud kitchen – you’ll find all the ingredients you need on the woodland floor beneath.

Christmas days out in Cheshire and Greater Manchester

A visitor holding a small child poses for a selfie in front of an illuminated Christmas tree in the hall at Lyme

Christmas days out 

Celebrate Christmas in Cheshire and Greater Manchester on a festive day out with events and activities to enjoy with family and friends. From houses dressed for the season to Father Christmas and winter light events.

Things to do when it rains

When it’s raining this winter (and we're expecting a lot of that) you have two options: find somewhere indoors to explore or grab your waterproofs and get stuck in! Luckily we have loads of suggestions for both…

Child in a pink hooded jacket, pink trousers and turquoise wellies jumping in a muddy puddle, Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey

Embrace the rain at Dunham Massey 

Don’t let the rain keep you at home – there’s plenty of activities that you can get up to no matter the weather at Dunham Massey. Put on your wellies and splash in muddy puddles, or create a modern art masterpiece from squishy mud – you can find inspiration with ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities.

Four visitors looking at the water wheel at Quarry Bank, Cheshire

Explore inside the mill at Quarry Bank 

Shelter from the rain inside the mill and feel the floors shake beneath your feet as the historic machinery whirrs and clatters into action. See one of the most powerful water wheels in the country spinning as the river flows beneath it.

A close up of a girl in a recency style sun hat.

Step back in time at Lyme 

Sometimes even the best laid plans can be ruined by a sudden downpour. Never fear, from dressing up in recency dress to playing billiards, there’s plenty of indoor activities for you to try inside the house at Lyme.

Family looking through the windows of the Long Gallery at Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire.

Enter the unique house at Little Moreton Hall 

Step inside the topsy-turvy house to wander over wibbly-wobbly floors, up spiral staircases – and you’ll even find a Tudor toilet! No wet weather visit is complete without treating yourself to a delicious snack in the tea room.

Family adventures further afield

Discover more family days out in the North of England and Wales with plenty of places to play, explore, and create memories.

A female toddler in a blue woolly hat and white raincoat handling leaves

Family-friendly places in Liverpool and Lancashire 

Plan your next family day out in Liverpool and Lancashire. From the beauty of the great outdoors and amazing histories to play areas, balance bikes and even a maze, there's something for the whole family to enjoy this winter, rain or shine.

A family enjoying a winter walk along the lakeshore at Fell Foot in the Lake District

Family-friendly places in the Lake District 

Plan your next family day out in the Lake District – seek out natural play areas, scramble over rocks and spot wildlife on your way.

Girls playing in the garden of East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire

Family-friendly places in Yorkshire 

Plan an autumn adventure in Yorkshire this autumn, with play areas, activities for kids, autumn wildlife to spot and plenty of things to do when it rain. There's something for the whole family.

Family playing pooh sticks on a stone bridge at Erddig in Wales

Family days out in Wales 

With fun-filled activities and exciting events, there are plenty of great family days out to be had in Wales. Explore vast Welsh castles, tick off some ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities, or let off steam in natural play areas.

Sunlight shining through the trees in Beeches woodland at Alderley Edge and Cheshire Countryside

Discover more in Cheshire and Greater Manchester

Great houses and glorious gardens, moorland landscapes and medieval deer parks around Cheshire and Greater Manchester.