As schools finish and many families are set for a staycation this Summer, MediaCityUK is supporting the national ‘Summer of Play’ campaign to get children outside, working with partners including the RHS, Lancashire Cricket Ground and The Lowry to play to bring a host of free activities for families throughout August.

There will be a variety of workshops including; planting sessions with the RHS, circus skills classes with The Lowry, while the Science and Industry Museum will deliver STEM workshops with a lively twist.

Lancashire Cricket Foundation is set to install its inflatable bowling range and for fans of the childhood classic Elmer, Andersen Press will host Elmer story times over Pride weekend.

Throughout August, local artists will turn the MediaCity Piazza into a colourful world of art and play. Scoot along rainbow road, run through a field of daisies or grab some chalk from the Box on the Docks outdoor bar to draw your own artwork on the Piazza floor.

Half of the tickets will be ring fenced for families from local Salford post codes to ensure they benefit from the programme of free activities.

While children enjoy the activities, there will be additional seating in MediaCity’s award-winning gardens and Piazza where parents can relax and enjoy refreshments from new pop-ups including ‘Bada Bing’ sandwiches and Penelope’s Deli rainbow ice-cream tricycle.

The award-winning Box on the Docks dining concept will also continue to operate throughout the summer with the popular Spinn residency run by ex-Emmerdale and I’m a Celebrity star Adam Thomas and partner Scott Graham serving up their famous burgers and Cajun fries.

Josie Cahill, MediaCityUK Place Director said, “After a year of minimal social interaction and disruption, it’s more important than ever to give children the space to be imaginative, have fun and play in a safe environment. That’s why we’ve been passionate about embracing the national Summer of Play campaign, along with our partners, to deliver a programme of fun and free activities for local children of all ages and their families to enjoy.

It has also given us the opportunity to work with our Box on the Docks artists again to transform the piazza into a colourful, uplifting place to play.”

Dr Amy Bidgood, Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at The University of Salford commented, “Play is vital for child development, including social skills, language development, emotional regulation and creativity. Recent research has also shown that outdoor play in nature is particularly beneficial, especially for language development, as the way children interact with others in outdoor environments is particularly beneficial for learning.

In addition, both spending time in nature and doing exercise have been shown to have a positive influence on children’s mental health. So, as we’re approaching the summer holidays, now is the perfect time for children to play outdoors and experience nature – hopefully they’ll be happier, healthier and might even learn something!”

As well as the Summer of Play activity there is a raft of things to do at MediaCity this summer, including a visit to the Quayside which is home to the new, £7 million immersive ‘I’m a celebrity jungle challenge’ which opens on Friday, 30 July. The ‘I’m a Celebrity trail’ throughout MediaCityUK is free to take part in. Quayside will also be hosting its popular Makers’ Market the last weekend of every month.

Quays Festival launches a bold programme of performances and events set to transform Salford Quays across the weekend of Sat 14 & Sun 15 August. The family friendly and suitable for all ages programme includes: a spectacular new aerial performance created by specialists Scarabeus Aerial Theatre; a playful Colour Swim event in partnership with Uswim and the launch of a new prismatic sculptural installation ‘Through No.4’ by Liz West.

For a full ‘Summer at MediaCity’ listing click here and to book the Summer of Play activities click here.


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