From a Wizard Academy to a Silent Island Disco - this lot will keep 'em busy

And just like that summer rolls around again and us parents start desperately trying to fill up the calendar with festivals, fairs and events designed to make the most of the longer days and keep the kids happy (or, at the very least, out of trouble).

Whatever your budget or whether you’re dealing with a dribbling toddler or the surly teen, we’ve got you covered with our top ten family-friendly events coming this summer.

Brookside Old Time Family Fun Fair

Sat 23rd & Sun 24th June - Brookside Garden Centre, Poynton

Give something traditional a try – Keeling's Vintage Family Fun Fair will be rattling into Brookside Garden Centre for the weekend with their classic (but mercifully well-maintained) rides, some of which date back as far as the 1930s. This is also a chance to take a last trip on the much-loved Brookside Miniature Railway, which closes for good in September. Suitable for all ages. Rides £1 per person,

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Keeling's Vintage Family Fun Fair

National Trust Children’s Book Festival

Sat 23rd and Sun 24th June - Quarry Bank, Styal

The National Trust Children’s Book Festival gives your little bookworm the chance to meet real-life wordsmiths, get creative with costumes and crafts, and see their favourite stories brought to life. Advance booking is essential if you want to get into any of the author and illustrator workshops. Recommended for age 3+ (see listing for the recommended ages for individual events). Tickets to ‘meet the author and illustrators’ workshops £5; other activities covered in Quarry Bank entry fee,

180622 Things To Do Kids Summer Childrens Book Day
National Trust Children’s Book Festival

HSBC UK Let’s Ride

Sunday 1st July - Manchester city centre

Climb aboard your bikes and, for one day only, take to the car-free city centre streets. As you ride around wherever you please, there’ll be fun and games, demos, giveaways, activities and challenges so you can make a proper day of it. Little ones unsteady on their wheels – and nervy parents –are sure to revel in the lack of traffic. Suitable for all ages. Free (registration required),

180622 Things To Do Kids Summer Hsbc Uk Let’S Ride
Let’s Ride

Trafford Live

Sun 8th July - Trafford Town Hall, Stretford

There’s tons going on at this special festival designed to celebrate “the best of our Borough” – let them loose on the ubiquitous bouncy castle, take them along to learn bush craft skills with the National Trust, or head to the Sunken Garden for activities and performances from Sale Waterside. Suitable for all ages. Free,

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Trafford Town Hall

Our Kid Social Silent Island Disco

Sun 22nd July - Brockholes, Preston

Our Kid Social been putting on fab family discos all around Manchester for the last couple of years, and now they’re heading to the stunning setting of Brockholes for a very special end-of-term celebration. You and your tots can take a dive into the fancy dress box, get stuck into some arts and crafts or simply pop on your headphones and dance the afternoon away. Suitable for all ages. £6 (pre-walkers go free),  

180622 Things To Do Kids Summer Our Kids Silent Disco
Our Kid Social Silent Island Disco

Wizard Academy

Thurs 26th July, Thurs 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th August - Bury Bolton Street Station, East Lancashire Railway, Bury

If you’ve got yourself a Harry Potter wannabe, head over to Bury for a steam train ride to a wizarding masterclass where they can help a cast of quirky characters work out how to recapture artefacts stolen by evil sorcerers. Pure magic. Recommended for age 5+. Adult tickets £13, child’s ticket £8.50 (under 2’s go free),

180622 Things To Do Kids Summer Wizard Academy East Lancs Railway
East Lancs Railway's Wizard Academy

MCM Manchester Comic Con

Sat 28th & Sun 29th July - Manchester Central, city centre

What could be better for a comic book kid or video game nut than to see your heroes come to life? And if it’s actually you that’s into your comics and the family are just coming along for the ride, there’s a dedicated KidZone for those too young to appreciate the panels and meet and greets that make up the bulk of the programme. Suitable for all ages. Tickets from £11 (kids go free during certain hours),

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Comic Con, Manchester Central

Power UP

Fri 3rd - Sun 19th August - Museum of Science and Industry, city centre

Joysticks and fast thumbs at the ready… There’ll be over 160 consoles for you to try out at this year’s Power UP, and plenty of classic games so you can introduce your kids to your own childhood faves. Depending on your kid’s patience levels you can either book in for a 90-minute session or a half-day here. Recommended for age 5+. Tickets from £7 (under 3’s go free),

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Power UP at MSIM

Paw Patrol Live!

Sat 11th & Sun 12th August - Manchester Arena, city centre

We can’t pretend that this one will be much fun for the grown-ups, but the joy on their faces when they see Chase and the gang in the flesh should hopefully cancel out the more taxing elements of this pup-themed, all-singing-all-dancing live extravaganza. Suitable for all ages. Tickets from £15,

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Paw Patrol Live!

Just So Festival

Fri 17th, Sat 18th and Sun 19th August - Rode Hall, Cheshire

This weekend-long festival of wonder, whimsy, and just a sprinkle of fairy dust lets the kids get wellied-up and run wild for a bit in a beautiful countryside setting. With a couple of different ticket options to choose from, you can either camp over or just pitch up for the day. Check out our review of last year’s Just So Festival for more on what to expect. Suitable for all ages. Tickets from £20 (under 3’s go free),