Manchester Art Gallery


All families are welcome at Manchester Art Gallery.

We offer playful, innovative 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 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.

Mother and child at Open doors

Open doors

A creative workshop especially for autistic children

Open doors is a creative workshop especially for autistic children and children with other social communication issues, their families and carers. We open our doors early just for you so that you can come enjoy and explore art together as a family. We have a designated Quiet room in the gallery, a space away from everything to feel safe and calm. For children and young people aged 5-16.

Please feel free to call Katy McCall on 0161 235 8869 if you have any questions or would like to find out more.

Drop by the third Saturday of every month, 9.15am – 12.15pm

World Autism Awareness Week 2017

For Autism Awareness Week, we partnered up with Grange School; a school which serves Manchester’s autistic community.

On Thursday 30 March 5-7pm, we hosted a Thursday Late event where visitors viewed and discussed photographs that explore autism through perspectives offered by autistic people, their families and those who work with them.

The event’s aim was to raise awareness, understanding and change perceptions of autism in Manchester.


Child in the Clore Art Studio

Clore Art Studio

A space for families to be creative together.

We know that we learn more when we have fun and explore ideas actively. This studio is currently designed to be a celebration of children and play. We hope you enjoy looking at art from our collection that depict children leading their own play.

In this space you can make sculptural hideouts, using our den making blocks.
Create your own games on the games table using the counters provided.
Play hopscotch – can you see yourself projected on the gallery wall?

Please post images of your creations at #MAGfamilies

Keep your eye on our website for other free workshops for families, including our monthly workshop for autistic children; Open doors.

Our cafe now offers a pay-as-you-feel deal for children.

This space has been inspired by the photographs of Shirley Baker.



Glow in the Dark Park family workshop

Holiday Activities

October half term

Wednesday 25, Thursday 26, Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October 2017

Free, drop in, suitable for all ages
We will be working with local families to design fun and creative workshops that explore the work of Mehreen Murtaza. Murtaza explores the intersecting worlds of technology and nature, science and religion and will present a new artwork exploring plant behaviour, communication and consciousness.

To see photographs of our February half term workshop, visit our Flickr page.


Mother and toddler

Healthy Child drop in clinic


In partnership with Martenscroft Sure Start Centre and the gallery, the Manchester Health Visiting Team are offering a free Healthy Child drop in clinic for 0-5 year olds here at the gallery, every Wednesday from 6 September 2017, 1.30 – 3pm.



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.

We offer a pay-as-you-feel menu for children – delicious, healthy meals that are affordable for all families. Simply pay what you feel at the till or by using the donation box in the kitchen.

By sourcing ingredients from The Real Junk Food Project Manchester we can help make family visits that bit easier.

High chairs are available, just ask a member of our café staff.

Getting around

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.

Explorer toolbelts

Our family explorer toolbelts are back!
Carefully selected natural and manmade objects 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.