There will be free family fun in the sun at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum no matter what the whether next weekend at their Sun Playground.

Running 17-18 August, the Science and Industry Museum’s Sun Playground will give kids and grownups the chance to make their own magic rainbow diffraction sunglasses, build a virtual reality solar system, get up close with exotic animals and more.

Manchester Astronomical Society will be sharing solar imagery, and crafty kids can use real solar science to make pop-up cards and bookmarks to take home.

Plus Mirror Divas Glimmer and Glamour will bring the super shiny stilt walking act, scientists will be trying to make mini suns here on Earth and the inflatable Wonderdome planetarium will take visitors out of this world.

All these activities and more will be taking place alongside the new blockbuster exhibition at the Science and Industry Museum, The Sun, which explores humanity’s exciting, mythical and sometimes dangerous relationship with our nearest star.

Alongside the Sun Playground, Manchester Museum of Science and Industry will also host a series of other activities including Power Up, the ever-popular retro-to-modern gaming festival, the incredible working machinery of the Textiles Gallery, and Stephenson’s Rocket back in Manchester after 180 years.

What’s coming up at the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester?

The Sun Playground
Saturday, 17 August and Sunday, 18 August
Free admission, some activities require a free ticket to be booked in advance.
Make magic rainbow diffraction sunglasses, build a virtual reality solar system and get up close with exotic animals who use the Sun in many different ways.

Pi: Platform for Investigation – Powered by Siemens
10 August, 21 September
Free admission
Hands-on science fun plus the opportunity to meet real-life scientists and find out about the latest discoveries.

Science Showdown: The Sun
20 July – 1 September
Join us at this interactive show where we’ll try to answer your burning questions about the sun. There’ll be spinning science, big bubbles and even bigger decisions to make as you get to vote for the coolest fact about our sun.
Free admission

Plant Power
20 July – 1 September
Light or dark? Warm or cold? Whatever the environment we’ve got a seed for you. Get your green fingers twitching for our workshop, where you’ll discover the science of seeds, find out how the sun powers your plant or flower and plant your own mystery seed to take home.
Free admission

Sun Detectors
20 July – 1 September
Brighten up your summer outfits with a colour changing band or bracelet. Make your own must-have accessory then watch it transform in the UV light of the sun.
Free admission

A Star is Born Storytelling
20 July – 1 September
Join us on a journey of a lifetime – the lifetime of a star, from stellar nurseries to glittering galaxies. This free storytelling event will fill little ones with wonder.
Free admission


The Sun
Until 5 January 2020
£8 adults/£6 concessions/children under 16 free
Joyously fun, visually stunning and utterly fascinating exploration of the awesome power, incredible beauty and dangerous dark side of our nearest star.

Power UP
Until 1 September
£7–12 (family discounts and early bird offers available)
Return of the retro gaming festival, this year featuring handheld consoles for the first time.