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Dreading the inevitable cries of “I’m bored” but stuck for ideas for family days out? Read our half term survival guide to help you plan the week and turn bored into brilliant. The best part is, getting the train means no stress trying to find parking spaces – we take you right into the heart of the city.
Monday – a day out with kids in Manchester
Start the day at the Manchester National Football Museum. With free entry and 6 levels filled with footie-related interactive exhibitions, your kids will love spending hours learning about the Beautiful Game.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Dough in the Northern Quarter, where “The Dinky Dough” menu allows kids to create the pizza they want the chef to make them. 6-inch pizzas start at £3.95, or get a drink, main course and ice cream for just £6.
After lunch, transform yourself into a spy as you complete the Manchester Spy Mission Treasure Trail, following clues to help you see the best landmarks and sights of the city. It’s self-guided and takes around 2 hours to fully complete, so your little ones are sure to be tired out by the end of the day – success!
Tuesday – a day out with kids in York
Begin the day at Dig for their chance to be trainee archaeologists. With four special indoor excavation pits, all based on real-life digs in the city and filled with replica Roman, Viking, medieval and Victorian finds, children can grab a trowel and explore!
Hungry? Head to Bella Italia where the kid’s menu gives you great value for money with 3 courses, drinks and nibbles starting from just £5.95.
Save some room for dessert though, as your afternoon will be spent following the York chocolate and sweet trail! As York's sweet story unfolds, you will see a grand selection of the city's architecture and historic attractions, ending at the chocolate museum. The self-guided tour takes an hour and a half to complete – after you’ve had your fill, head back to the station for a well-deserved rest and relax on the train home.
Wednesday – a day out with kids in Liverpool
Spend the day exploring Liverpool’s treasure trove of fascinating museums. Start at the World Museum and let your little ones discover the planetarium, aquarium, bug house and dinosaur gallery – with so much to see, you could easily spend the entire day here.
Take a break for lunch at the Interesting Eating Company, where you can get something for even the fussiest of eats – their kids menu includes half a toastie, banana on toast and poached egg and soldiers.
Finish your day at the Merseyside Maritime Musuem where boats, paintings, ship models, ship wrecked objects, uniforms and more bring Liverpool’s nautical history to life. Throughout the museum, plenty of exhibits, trails and free events make Merseyside Maritime Museum the perfect place to visit with the kids.
Thursday – a day out with kids in Leeds
Begin your day out in Leeds by exploring gruesome, grizzly medical history at Thackray Medical Museum. With nine family friendly interactive galleries to explore, Thackray Medical Museum will take you on a journey of discovery to explore the incredible world of medicine.
For lunch, head to Revolution De Cuba. Their “Little Pirates” menu is only £5.95 for a main, drink and dessert, and includes family favourites such as chicken goujons, chicken fillets or ham and cheese croquettes.
Tire out the kids for the train home with an afternoon of bowling – take your pick from MFA Bowl Leeds or Hollywood Bowl. Hollywood Bowl boasts 32 state-of-the-art bowling lanes and a family friendly environment for all ages.
Friday – a day out with kids in Newcastle
Start your day out in Newcastle by visiting Seven Stories, the first museum in the UK wholly dedicated to British children's books. Their unique exhibitions, lively events and playful activities bring children's books to life. Check to see what’s on, as the museum regularly holds storytelling, author events and live shows.
Stop for lunch at The Botanist and enjoy their quirky children’s menu, then spend the rest of the day marvelling at the stars at the Life Science Centre Planetarium. Your ticket includes interactive exhibitions, a range of films and live events, live shows and demos in the Science Theatre and the region's only 4D Motion Ride with a changing programme of 4D adventures.
Did you use any of our suggestions? Got a better idea we haven’t included? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.