Choose from 7 Fun Things to Do in Manchester
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The peaceful area around Squam Lake is best known as the setting of the classic film On Golden Pond. Set against the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the lake provides a tranquil escape into the scenic nature that surrounds it. Whether on or beside the lake, you're sure to spot native wildlife such as otters, a variety of fish, an many species of birds including loons and bald eagles.
The calm lake waters beckon for kayaking, boating, fishing, and swimming, with hiking, biking, and other outdoor recreational activities available on its shores. Encompassing both Big Squam and Little Squam lakes (both fed by spring water), it is the second largest lake in the state. Much of the land has been designated as a conversation area, to ensure the preservation of the natural beauty of the land, water, its creatures. With 28 islands and several small towns, there is much to see and explore in what is considered to be one of the most beautiful spots in New Hampshire.
Squam Lake is located about two hours driving time from Boston. There are many small inns and accommodation options located around the lake. Boat access is available from the town of Holderness, which is also where the Squam Lake Natural Science Center is located.
Hours: Facilities open during daylight hours
From $ 139
Etihad Stadium, also known as the City of Manchester Stadium or simply CoMS, is home to the Manchester City Football Club. Originally built to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the stadium has also hosted the 2008 UEFA Cup Final, numerous rugby league matches, boxing title fights and England football internationals, and will host one Rugby World Cup match in 2015. It is currently under construction to increase stadium capacity to 62,000, at which time it will be the second largest stadium in the Premier League and among the top 10 largest stadiums in the United Kingdom.
The stadium was designed to resemble a Roman gladiatorial arena, with a roof held up by a unique cable net system, three tiers of seating on the side and two tiers of seating on the ends. The design was also intended to maximize sunlight on the field, to help the grass grow. It received critical acclaim for design after the 2002 Commonwealth Games and won multiple design awards.
Etihad Stadium is one of several venues that comprise SportsCity, together with the Manchester Regional Arena, the Manchester Velodrome and the National Squash Centre. In addition to hosting sporting events, it serves as a concert venue and was the largest stadium concert venue in England before the new Wembley Stadium was built.
Etihad Stadium is located less than two miles from the Manchester city center, with a well-lit, signposted route along the way. The Metrolink tram runs from the center, stopping at the new Etihad Campus station. Multiple bus routes also run from the center to the stadium, with extra services on event days. Limited parking near the stadium is also available. Entry to the stadium is by contactless smart cards, rather than traditional turnstiles, and visitors can enjoy six themed restaurants inside. Tours are also available daily.
Address: Ashton New Rd, Manchester, England
From $ 22
Old Trafford Stadium, also known as the Manchester United Football Ground, has been home to Manchester United F.C. since 1910. With a capacity of more than 75,000, it is the second largest football stadium in the United Kingdom after Wembley Stadium and the ninth largest in all of Europe. The stadium was used by American soldiers to play baseball during World War I and was used as a depot by the military in World War II, sustaining significant damage from German bombings.
The pitch is surrounded by four stands, each with two tiers, except for the South, which has only one. The Alex Ferguson Stand, named for the longest-serving manager in Manchester United history, is where visitors will find the museum, trophy room and the Red Café. The South Stand is where the VIPs tend to be found and the West Stand is traditionally where the most diehard fans congregate.
In addition to Manchester United matches, Old Trafford has hosted FA Cup semi-finals, matches at the 1966 World Cup, the 2003 Champions League Final, the rugby league’s annual Super League Grand Final and the final of two Rugby League World Cups. It also hosted football matches during the London Summer Olympics, including the first international women’s football matches to be played at the stadium.
Old Trafford is located outside of the Manchester city center, about a half mile from the Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Adjacent to the South Stand is the Manchester United Football Ground railway station, which is only open on match days. Visitors can also reach the stadium by the Metrolink tram, stopping at either the Exchange Quay or Old Trafford stops. Buses 255, 256, 263 and X50 also run to the stadium, with bus 255 providing extra service on match days. Tours of the stadium are available on non-match days between 9:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. A basic tour costs 18 pounds and includes access to the museum. A number of other uniquely themed tours are also available.
Address: Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester, England
Admission: Tour/Museum £18
From $ 17
Both a zoo and a wilderness educational center, the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is an open air exhibit featuring the wildlife of New Hampshire. Focused largely on teaching ecological concepts, the center operates in an expansive meadow, allowing for the nature of the area to serve as the classroom. Three hiking trails, a wide walking path suitable for families, and an outdoors playground for younger children make it fun and easy to explore. The outdoor exhibits allow for maximum interaction with the local wildlife.
The science center grants the opportunity to observe the animals up close and learn more about their habitats and natural adaptations. As many of the animals have been injured, most are unsuitable for life in the wild. Everything from deer and foxes to black bears, river otters, mountain lions, and bobcats can be seen. Looking out on Squam Lake (or taking the boat cruise there) is a way to experience even more sightings of native birds.
Located in Holderness, New Hampshire, the Squam Lakes Science Center is easily accessible from I-93, about one hour of driving time from nearby Manchester. The center’s live animal exhibit trail is open daily from May to October, from 9:30am-5pm. Admission is $19 for adults and $14 for children. Tours are self-guided, or given by docents (Thursdays only.) Two hours is a good window of time to allow for a full visit. Picnic facilities are located beside the center, allowing for a scenic lunch in combination with a visit.
Address: 23 Science Center Rd, Holderness, New Hampshire, USA
Admission: $19 for adults, $14 for children
From $ 139
Visitors can delve into Manchester’s inventive and industrial heritage at the Science and Industry Museum. Housed in a building that served as the world’s first passenger railway station, the museum includes a wide collection of vintage vehicles, historical machinery, hands-on exhibitions, and other engaging offerings.
Manchester played a pivotal role during the Industrial Revolution, and it’s been known as a hub of innovation ever since. The Science and Industry Museum contains five exhibition areas: the 1830 Station, the 1830 Warehouse, the Power Hall, the New Warehouse, and the Air and Space Hall. The collection chronicles the city’s best-known breakthroughs and inventions, including everything from a replica steam locomotive to “Baby,” the world’s first stored-program computer and arguably the very start of modern computing.
Free to enter and open to the public daily, the museum is an excellent stop on city walking tours and cultural ventures, and can also be seen during hop-on hop-off bus tours of Manchester.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Science and Industry Museum is a must for families and those interested in the history of innovation.
- The museum is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities, and it also offers stroller parking.
- Interactive exhibitions are designed to appeal to visitors of all ages, while the museum’s Treasure Hunter app, complete with games and activities, keeps kids entertained.
- The Warehouse Café is a good place to grab a bite or a quick drink.
How to Get There
Located in the city center, the Science and Industry Museum can be accessed by multiple forms of public transportation. The free Metroshuttle stops nearby at Byrom Street, and the nearest Metrolink tram stop is Deansgate–Castlefield. The museum is within walking distance of Deansgate railway station; Oxford Road station is also nearby. Bicycle storage is available on-site.
When to Get There
In addition to permanent displays, the Science and Industry Museum hosts numerous temporary exhibitions as well as creative classes and events for families, so it’s worth checking the calendar before you visit to see what’s on. Engaging exhibits and an extensive collection mean families can easily spend half a day here. The museum is open daily 10am–5pm.
Liverpool Road Station
The Science and Industry Museum is as much a destination for its setting as for its exhibitions. After all, the museum is housed in a famed heritage site: the now-shuttered Liverpool Road Station, which first opened in 1830. The station was the original terminus for the first intercity railway in the world, and its original features have been carefully preserved.
Address: Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4FP, England
From $ 16
Welcome to the home of the prestigious Manchester United Football Club! Arguably England’s favorite, the 75,000 seat “Old Tafford” stadium has hosted FA Cup semi-finals, 1966 World Cup matches, Euro 96 matches and 2003 Champions League Final matches, as well as rugby league's annual Super League Grand Final and the final of two Rugby League World Cups. It also hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics football matches, including women's international football for the first time in its history.
The ‘Theater of Dreams’, as nicknamed by English football star player Bobby Charlton, is the second-largest football stadium in the United Kingdom after Wembley Stadium and the ninth-largest in Europe. Aside from sporting uses, the stadium is regularly used for private functions and has hosted several concerts, like Bon Jovi, Genesis and Bruce Springsteen. It was even requisitioned by the British military during World War II and used as a depot; it was later on heavily bombed and partially destroyed by the Nazis in 1940 and 1941.
The Manchester United Museum and Stadium is located in south-western Manchester and easily accessible via transit by tram (Old Trafford stop) and by bus (routes 255, 256 and 263). It is also accessible by train via the Manchester United Football Ground railway station. 80-minute long guided tours are available every day of the week from 9:40AM to 4:30PM (except on match days), during which it is possible to visit the player’s changing rooms and admire the dizzying view from the Sir Alex Ferguson stand. Entry costs £18 per adult and £12 per children aged less than 16 years old.
Address: Manchester, England
Hours: Daily, 9:40AM to 4:30PM
Admission: Adult: £18, Children (under 16) £12.
From $ 115
The grand New Hampshire State House is the ideal place to visit to learn about the state’s history, government, and state agencies. Built just after the close of the War of 1812, the Concord landmark is steeped in American history. Made of granite in a Greek Revival style, the capitol is topped with a stately gold dome. The State House is the oldest capitol building in the country in which both houses of legislature still meet in their original chambers.
With both permanent and rotating exhibits, there is much to see and do to immerse yourself in New Hampshire’s past and present. The main entrance through the Hall of Flags is impressive, as are the many portraits and statues of historic figures including Daniel Webster, John Stark, and President Pierce (who was from New Hampshire.) The capitol building furthermore houses the New Hampshire Governor’s Office, General Court, and Executive Council.
Located on Main Street in Concord, the New Hampshire State House is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. As you approach, the State House will be on the left hand side with the legislative office building is on the right. Guided tours of the grounds are given daily, with advance reservations required.
Address: 107 N Main St., Concord, New Hampshire 03301, USA
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 am - 4 pm
From $ 129