Got some time off work over the spring break? Don’t let the kids have all fun. JLife lines up its pick of playful activities around Manchester to bring out the child in you.
The Arcade Club
What began as one man’s private collection of arcade machines in the back room of the family computer shop has now become Europe’s biggest free-play video and pinball arcade.
At the cavernous Ella Mill in Bury, The Arcade Club gives visitors the chance to try gaming technologies new and old while enjoying hot food and sinking a few bevvies.
Retro game consoles such as Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn sit alongside high end gaming PCs with the latest titles and VR devices such as Oculus Rift. If you’re limiting screen-time, an entire floor has been dedicated to the timeless simplicity of the humble pinball machine.
Strap on your harness and get ready for an aerial adventure where you can swing, climb and fly your way through Heaton Park. Grab a mate and run the gauntlet of fun challenges and zip lines while enjoying a bird’s eye view of the ancient woodland.
Not one for the faint-hearted, you’ll be weaving through the treetop canopy at dizzying heights of up to 15m, navigating 35 challenging obstacles including balance bars, swinging logs and Indiana bridges while whizzing across more zip wires than you can shake a stick at.
TeamSport Go Karting
Experience the thrill of the race at TeamSport’s latest track at Trafford Park. Set beneath the Manchester Arena car park, you’ll find 550 metres of nerve-testing bends and full-on flyovers offering guaranteed adrenaline-fuelled thrills.
Its new high-octane circuit gives you the chance to clock up speeds of 40mph as you compete to get to pole position behind the wheel of its feisty fleet of karts. Bring your work mates down and set up your very own Grand Prix tournament, or simply buckle up and put the pedal to the metal to beat your personal best.
Whistle Punks Axe Throwing
An activity for which the kids are definitely best left at home, urban axe throwing is the all-new craze sweeping the nation.
Whistle Punks have taken over the Great Northern Warehouse, giving you the chance to sling some axes side by side against your mates, cheering them on as you aim for the bullseye. With music giving the lanes a party atmosphere, it’s a great chance to socialise while unleashing your inner lumberjack.
Manchester Climbing Centre
With its introduction to the 2020 Olympics, climbing has enjoyed a recent explosion in popularity. Set in a sympathetically converted Victorian church, Manchester Climbing Centre offers a stunning backdrop to its impressive range of climbing and bouldering facilities.
With training and beginners areas to an impressive 20m lead wall bathed in the light from the adjacent stained glass window, its 75 climbing lines of all shapes and sizes offer a unique experience for all abilities. You can even limber up with a spot of Yoga for climbers!
The Crystal Maze Live Experience
Retro gameshow addicts brace yourselves, because the hit 90s TV show has been brought to life in immersive 3D. Situated next door to the Museum of Science and Industry, The Crystal Maze Live Experience gives you a fantastic excuse to run around shouting yourself hoarse while solving all manner of challenges in wacky satin bomber jackets.
The four adventure zones – Medieval, Industrial, Aztec and Futuristic test your skills to solve mysteries and overcome challenges both mental and physical against the clock. The more challenges your team wins, the more crystals you score and the more time you’ll get to grab tokens in the iconic Crystal Dome!