From football to communism, Manchester's museums have everything covered
Whether you want to check out Costa Rican frogs or test your football skills, you can indulge yourself at one of Manchester's museums. Offering events, tours, walks and special exhibitions, and with many completely free of charge, visitors can explore, discover, learn and have fun without breaking the bank.
The UK's leading university museum, the Manchester Museum began life as the Manchester Natural History Society, set up from the collections of John Leigh Philips in 1821. Fast forward nearly two centuries, and the museum now houses more than six million items in collections including botany, zoology, Egyptology, palaeontology, and live specimens. Check out the large collection of Costa Rican frogs in the Vivarium, or explore the living cultures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania to learn more about the history and heritage of different societies across the world. Until Sun 20 Aug, visitors can check out the exhibition on George Loudon, a chance to discover the natural world through the eyes of a Victorian scientist. The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL, free admission.
What would a visit to Manchester be without acknowledging the city's footballing heritage? The National Football Museum is six storeys unabashedly celebrating the beautiful game. Visitors can check out the Hall of Fame – an area dedicated to the great players, managers and teams in England, learn more about the history of the game, lift some famous silverware, test (and show off) their skills, and enjoy the 1966 World Cup exhibit. A special exhibition commemorating the life and career of Pelé runs until Sun 4 Mar, 2018. Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, M4 3BG, free admission (donations welcome).
Situated in a former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, Manchester Jewish Museum is the only Jewish Museum outside of London. Telling the story of Jewish people of the local area, the museum showcases the influence and contribution they've made on Manchester throughout the years via a collection of documents, items, photographs, and oral histories. This summer, there are regular heritage walks around the city's Jewish quarter, and an exhibition of paintings by Tony Raynes, which documents his memories of Manchester in the 1950s (Sun 2 Jul–Fri 29 Sep). 190 Cheetham Hill Road, M8 8LW, £4.50 (£3.50).
The Museum of Science and Industry shines a light on the inventions and innovations created in Manchester that have gone on to benefit the world. With a collection that spans 250 years, there are plenty of objects and stories to explore. Check out the models used by John Dalton to demonstrate atomic theory that laid the foundations of modern chemistry, or discover the parts making up the first ever commercially-available computer, the Ferranti Mark 1. Some events to look forward to in the future are Power Up (Fri 11–Mon 28 Aug) – a collection of more than 160 consoles for gamers to play some of the most popular games from the last 40 years, and the annual MakeFest (Sun 19 & Sun 20 Aug), a weekend of artists and makers taking over the museum to demonstrate their skills and encourage visitors to get into creating. Liverpool Road, M3 4FP, free admission (donations welcome).
The national museum of democracy, the People's History Museum documents the social history of Britain. Two floors cover revolution, reformers, workers, voters, citizens, time off and banners through cleverly-curated lights and colours, objects and items, and interactive exhibitions. Catch Queer Noise (Sat 1 Jul–Sun 10 Sep), an LGBT+ history of music and club culture in Manchester, or British Communism's Culture Wars (until Mon 28 Aug), an exploration of communism's cultural works. Left Bank, Spinningfields, M3 3ER, free admission.
Science and Industry Museum
The Museum of Science and Industry shines a light on the inventions and innovations created in Manchester that have gone on to benefit the world. With a collection that spans 250 years, there are plenty of objects and stories to explore.
People's History Museum
The national museum of democracy, the People's History Museum explores the social history of the country over the course of two floors showcasing displays, objects, items, and interactive exhibitions.
National Football Museum
Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens,
Six storeys dedicated to the beautiful game, taking in footballing greats, the history of the game, the chance to lift some trophies, games and football challenges, an exhibition about the 1966 World Cup and a learning zone. Guided tours are available…
Manchester Jewish Museum
190 Cheetham Hill Road,
You'll find Manchester Jewish Museum in a former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue. The museum tells the stories, history and heritage of Jewish people of the area, via a collection of items. Located in the city centre, Manchester Jewish Museum is a…
The Manchester Museum
The University Of Manchester, Oxford Road,
Around since 1821, the Manchester Museum has about six million items for perusal, focusing on botany, zoology, Egyptology, palaeontolog, and live specimens. Handily a 15-minute walk from the city centre, the museum is part of the University of…
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