All families are welcome at Manchester Art Gallery.
We offer playful activities for all ages. Our Clore Art Studio is an interactive family space developed by artists, which you can access every day. Borrow an explorer toolbelt to help you look and connect with our collection artworks. During the school holidays, we run award-winning artist-led workshops for families – keep an eye on the website for more details. We are dedicated to being accessible to all our family audiences. Please ask a member of staff if you need any assistance.
A creative workshop especially for autistic children
Since 2014 Manchester Art Gallery has been holding monthly autism friendly sessions on a Saturday morning aimed at children with autism and their families. Features include:
- Galleries open at 9.15 so you can experience the gallery at a quieter, calmer time
- Artist led workshops and activities
- Staff trained in Autism Awareness
- A quiet room available for moments that might be a bit difficult
Next sessions are 9:15-11:15 am on:
- 21st September
- 19th October
- 16th November
Please feel free to call Katy McCall on 0161 235 8869 if you have any questions or would like to find out more.
Manchester Museum also offer Autism Friendly Early Openings on the second Saturday of every month, 9.15-10.30am. Visit their website for more information.
An interactive space for everyone to play, experiment and enjoy.
Creative thinking and art making have a transformative power, enhancing wellbeing and improving lives. In the Clore Art Studio you can try out activities for families to be creative together. Using our collections of paintings, fashion and design as inspiration you can draw, build, dress up, play or just relax and chat. The space includes:
- Dressing up area
- A giant black board
- Watch a film about Manchester made by artist-filmmaker Andrew Brooks
- Draw and making table
- Building with soft blocks
Keep your eye on our website for other free workshops for families, including our monthly workshop for autistic children; Open doors.
This space is a continuation of Speech Acts.
Creative free family sessions
During most school holidays we offer free artist led workshops for families. These sessions are suitable for all ages; we often work with 2 artists, one with an early years specialism and one who develops activities for older children. Keep an eye on this website for more details.
Don’t forget our Clore Art Studio is open daily and that you can borrow a tool belt to explore the gallery anytime. If you want to draw, just ask our VS team if you can borrow a drawing pack from the front desk.
Family friendly café
Our gallery café is great for families. Food is served throughout the day (hot dishes between 11am and 3pm). Children’s menus are available.
High chairs are available, just ask a member of our café staff.
For buggies, there’s a ramp leading to the main entrance on Mosley Street. There are lifts to all floors or you can leave your buggy in the ground floor cloakroom.
For more information about physical access to Manchester Art Gallery see our access page.
Our family explorer toolbelts are back!
This activity pack will help you and your families make connections with the artworks, exhibitions and the building in a playful way.
Pick one up from the front desk and start your journey of discovery at Manchester Art Gallery.
Baby changing and toilets
There are baby change facilities on the ground floor in both men’s and women’s toilets next to the entrance hall. We also have accessible toilets in the ground floor atrium and on the first floor.