Under 5s informal science learning directory, Northwest England

 Please note that this list is not exhaustive and details are subject to change. Science from the Start is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Northwest England

Catalyst Discovery Centre

Mersey Road

0151 420 1121


Catalyst is an interactive science centre and museum devoted to chemistry and how the products of chemistry are used in everyday life. Their backpacks are free to borrow and suitable for children aged 3-7 years.


Delamere Forest


01606 882167


Delamere Forest hosts a Forest School for 2-5 year olds and accompanying parents/carers – please see the website and links within it for further details such as current times and costs.


Dobbies Garden Centres

Dobbies Garden Centres run free-to-join Little Seedlings gardening clubs on the first Sunday of each month, which can be attended from the age of 4. Local centres can be found here.


Forest Schools

Some Forest Schools run parent and toddler groups – Forest Schools can be found by region here.


Forestry Commission England


At various times family activities, such as themed trails, which are suitable for under 5s may be available in forests – please check the website for details.


Grizedale Forest

LA22 0QJ


Grizedale Forest has events throughout the year, some of which are suitable for under 5s, including Forest Felt & Stories in the summer holidays which has sessions for 3-5 year olds. At various times, other activities, such as themed trails, which are suitable for under 5s may be available (check the Forestry Commission website for details).

Grosvenor Garden Centre

Wrexham Road

01244 625200


Little Acorns Children’s Gardening Club runs every Tuesday morning and afternoon for children aged 0-4 (and up to age 8 in school holidays). Gardening and nature are introduced with a different theme each week. Cost is £5 per child which includes and drink and cookie for children, a hot drink for adults and something to take home. Call 01244 625200 to book.


Hulme Community Garden Centre

28 Old Birley Street
M15 5RG

0161 227 8198


The Garden Centre Parent and Toddler Club runs on Thursdays between 11:00 and 12:00 and offer a chance to explore nature with your children in a fun, stimulating and beautiful environment. See the page for further details including cost.

Martin Mere Wetland Centre

Fish Lane
L40 0TA

01704 895181


Wetland Centres have a range of activities suitable for children – check their events pages for daily and one-off events (please be aware that some activities are listed as not suitable for children or for under 2s – they should be checked individually).



Museum of Science & Industry
Liverpool Road
M3 4FP


MOSI’s mission is to explore where science met industry and the modern world began, and to understand the impact that Manchester science, technology and innovation continues to have on all our lives.

Experitots creative activity sessions for under 6s use puppets and storytelling to help toddlers get the most out of the hands on science gallery, Experiment! In My Den, little ones can immerse themselves in fabrics and cushions connected to the gallery space and create their very own den.


Science from the Start




Science-based play learning activities using free and low cost materials, aimed at children aged 0-5 and their parents/carers and also available to older children. All activities are accompanied by accessible scientific background information to support adults in facilitating their children’s science learning. Most public events are free of charge; hosting venues may charge a small entry fee to cover their costs. Private sessions (e.g. in pre-schools, at home and for parties) and workshops for adults are also available.


Whinlatter Forest

CA12 5TW

Whinlatter Forest is listed as one of Forestry Commission England’s Top Ten Natural Play Areas. At various times, other activities, such as themed trails, which are suitable for under 5s may be available (check the Forestry Commission website for details).


World Museum Liverpool

William Brown Street
L3 8EN

0151 478 4393


The Planetarium has shows that are suitable for under fives, such as the Sunshine show which shows how night happens, what stars are and includes basic counting and colour naming along with singing. Entry to the museum is free, as are tickets to shows which can be picked up on the day.


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