If you’d like to explore music alongside your children, why not come to one of many family concerts, workshops and events throughout the year? Family friendly activities have included arts and crafts, rhythm and music workshops, and vast onstage guitar jams. Many opportunities are open to all age groups, offering a space for the whole family to share an interest and learn together. Many of our activities take place here at The Bridgewater Hall, but we also run projects across Greater Manchester.
If you’re visiting The Bridgewater Hall, why not use our free resources to help you explore the building and the sounds of the orchestra? Our Treasure Trail introduces children to the building’s secrets from the Touchstone on the piazza to the springs beneath the floor. The Guide to the Orchestra helps you to spot the different instruments you can see onstage. And we’ve got links to loads of other free and online music resources to help you explore classical music with your family. More Info
Monthly sensory, discovery and play sessions designed for babies and toddlers. Each session is inspired by a much-loved piece of music, with live musicians to play and interact with you and your child. More Info
Be Hear Now
Monthly musical discovery sessions for children and young people with special educational needs and their families, with live music, movement and participation. More Info
Journey Through Music
Regular event from the BBC Philharmonic. Aimed at families with children aged 8-16 years old. As part of the BBC Philharmonic’s Bridgewater Hall concert season, families are offered pre-concert workshops with hints on what to look and listen out for, plus specially created programme notes and the chance to meet players from the orchestra, they are a ‘one-stop’ shop for families going to a concert for the first time. Please see individual BBC Philharmonic event pages on What’s On section for up to date information.
Regularly check the Family Events section of our What’s On section for one off concerts suitable for families and children.
Guide to visiting with families
If you’re thinking of bringing younger members of your family to The Bridgewater Hall, you may find some of the following information useful. If you’re unsure as to what’s available on the day of your visit, call Box Office on 0161 907 9000.
Firstly, some guidance on bringing children to mainstream concerts: The Bridgewater Hall welcomes families with small children to family-friendly concerts and events, and for these events family tickets or discounts for children are usually available. Please note all persons attending a ticketed event must have a ticket, regardless of age. For more information about the full range of family-friendly concerts and events at the Hall, please see the What’s On listings. Families are also welcome to enjoy our informal free concerts such as the A Little Bite Music series and occasional performances in the Stalls Café Bar.
Our formal classical concerts demand high levels of concentration from the audience and performers, and are not suitable for babies and young children. We do not allow pre-school aged children in the Auditorium for these events. Older children attending formal classical concerts must be able to concentrate for the duration of the performance without disturbing other members of the audience.
Please note that anyone who has to leave the Auditorium during a performance may not be able to re-enter except at the interval, at the discretion of the concert promoter.
For all performances, under 14s must be accompanied by an adult (18+). Where an event has a specific age restriction (eg over 18s only) then this regulation takes precedence.
If you are unsure about the suitability of a concert for children, or need any further information about family visits to the Hall, please ask when booking your tickets.
Once you’ve decided that an event is suitable for your family, the following facilities are available to make your visit more comfortable.
Whilst the statement above makes it clear that audience members leaving the auditorium for mainstream concerts may not be readmitted until the interval, this guidance will usually be relaxed for family events. Please check in advance if you expect you will need to leave during the performance.
All levels of The Bridgewater Hall are accessible by lift, and disabled toilets are available on every level. For further details of access provision, including an infrared loop system, ticket discounts and space for support animals, please visit the Access section of our website.
If you are booking for a workshop or non-auditorium event, it would aid our planning if you would let us know of any specific access requirements in advance.
For most family events we offer guidance on suitable age ranges. However, these are not compulsory – if you and your child think you’ll enjoy an event, then you are welcome to attend. A compulsory minimum age will only apply when children will be directly supervised by The Bridgewater Hall for all or part of an event.
Baby changing facilities are available. Please ask a member of staff for directions. For events aimed at babies, we try our best to provide changing facilities which are easily accessible.
You are welcome to breast feed in public areas of the building. For events aimed at babies, we will do our best to provide a suitable area to make your experience more comfortable.
All levels of The Bridgewater Hall are accessible by lift. For auditorium events, buggies can be parked between the exterior and interior doors of the auditorium; for other events, please ask a steward for guidance.
We’re unable to heat up baby food in our microwaves, but can provide hot water in which to warm milk or baby meals.
We do not allow food or drink purchased externally to be eaten inside The Bridgewater Hall. We will make an exception for very young children, or those with special dietary needs.
Fresh tap water is available free of charge from all bars.
If you lose your child at The Bridgewater Hall, please make your way to the Information Desk on Stalls Foyer and inform a staff member.
Bridgewater Hall stewards are easily identifiable in grey, logoed shirts with blue ties. If you need any assistance during your visit, please ask any steward. We recommend pointing stewards out to your child/children on arrival, so that they can seek assistance if they do become lost.
All events which we feel might attract younger members of your family can be found by selecting Family Events under our What’s On listings.
All family events promoted by The Bridgewater Hall are offered at a subsidised price, which we keep as low as possible to allow all families to attend. Further discounts are usually available for families and unwaged adults, and ticket income is invested back into future Bridgewater for All events.
Not all family events taking place at The Bridgewater Hall are directly promoted by the venue, and whilst we will promote best practice we have little or no control over ticket pricing for these events.
Toilets, including accessible toilets, are available in the foyers on all levels.
Please see the Travel & Parking section of our website for full details.