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

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 place where all of the family can play and create together

Please note: During May we’ll be upgrading the lighting system across our gallery spaces which will mean some unavoidable closures. From 5 – 9 June the Clore Art Studio will be closed.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers, Sarah Marsh and Jessica Wild have designed a space to celebrate ‘you’. Explore yourself and your identity, share stories with others and spend time viewing yourself and your surroundings in a different way.


Child at a holiday workshop

Holiday Activities

Daring dens: May half term workshop

Wednesday 31 May – Saturday 3 June 2017


Free, drop in event suitable for all ages.
Test out your den making skills at our family workshop; Daring dens.
Discover and develop your creativity by working together to build sculptural hideouts in our Clore Art Studio.
Free drop in event, suitable for all ages.

This activity links to our fascinating photography exhibition Shirley Baker: Women, Children and Loitering Men.

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



Family friendly cafe

Our gallery cafe is great for families. Food is served throughout the day (hot dishes between 11am and 3pm).

We offer children’s lunch boxes and a children’s menu that includes homemade salmon fish fingers, macaroni cheese and local sausages with mash. High chairs are available, just ask a member of our cafe 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.