What do giant angels, footy, alpacas, dinosaurs & science all have in common?


Answer: They are all free attractions, easy to reach by car, that you can take advantage of this summer

The summer holidays are well and truly upon us and so is the parental pressure of filling 6 weeks with fun. As always, it’s helpful if those weeks can be filled with as much free stuff as possible! So…why not take up to 3 kids to the UK for free with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Summer special?!

If you’re considering hopping off the rock for a few days, then you might like to try some of these free attractions, all located in the North of England, just a short drive from Liverpool or Heysham.

#1 Check out the Dinosaurs at the World Museum in Liverpool

Like most islanders, we bloody love Liverpool.

It’s really upped its game in recent years and now we’re spoilt for choice,  many of the museums and galleries are free to attend and have great interactive sessions and areas for kids.

It helps that you can literally roll off the boat at pier head in Liverpool and reach most of them within minutes.

The World Museum is a favourite of ours, you can spend hours checking the various exhibitions including a planetarium and ancient Egyptian gallery.

Dinosaurs never go out of fashion, but are more popular than ever, thanks to the new Jurassic film, ‘Fallen Kingdom’. Dino fans will love the full-sized cast of a Megalosaurus in the dinosaur gallery!

Although it’s not free, you could tie in a trip to the pictures on the same day to build the hype. Odeon in Liverpool One is a great experience for kids, and you can book in advance for good deals.

Dinosaurs ‘In the Flesh’ in the AM and then on the big screen in the afternoon!

#2 Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to the Angel of the North

If you’re travelling by ferry, then you might as well take advantage of the freedom to explore the North, and while on your adventure, drop in on the Angel of North to say Happy Birthday!

The iconic landmark celebrates its 20th birthday this year and there are various celebratory events scheduled in and around Gateshead.

Drive time from Heysham to the Angel of the North is around two hours and there are some beautiful towns and villages to stop in at along the way, including Durham.

The Angel of the North is a must-see and great for an insta-worthy family snap.

#3 Get your Football Geek on at the National Football Museum

With the new football season fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to consider taking your little ones to a game.

If it’s the first time you’re planning a family footy match trip, then why not turn it into a full weekend of football and stop by the National Football Museum in Manchester. Whether you’re a blue or a red, it’s worth checking it out.

A free and super fun filled day with plenty of interesting facts to learn and interactive experiences.

A car journey from Pier Head to the National Football Museum in Manchester takes around one hour.

#4 Have a moment with the Alpacas

Forget unicorns (we know they’re not real btw), alpacas are the animals of the moment.

The charismatic creatures are as soft as cashmere, with tremendous haircuts and sassy attitudes.

Rather than forking out to pay for zoo entry, you can head on down to Smithy Farm shop to spend some time with the alpacas for free.

Smithy Farm Shop is located near Preston, just an hour drive from Liverpool or Heysham.

While you’re near Preston, you might want to also check out Brockholes, a 250-acre nature reserve, and floating visitor village. Activities and events aren’t free here, but they are excellent value. Pond dipping costs just £2 and creative sessions are just £3.

#5 Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

This great free museum has loads on offer for families, and fun for all ages.

The museum website is worth checking out if you would like plan your day in advance.

Attractions and activities include the EXPERIMENT! Zone with hands-on and interactive experiments, perfectly designed to keep kids amused for hours.

The museum is also running a series of free Summer Holiday events inspired by Engineering. Events include; Terrific Towers, Soapy Scientists, Weaving, Game On and Early Years Engineers.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s Kids Go Free Summer Special is available on midweek sailings. Find out more and book here