30 Great Days Out for All the Family (Including Granny)
Whether you’ve got the whole family (and granny) in tow, or are just looking for something to entertain your toddler
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum
Discovery Road, Halifax HX1 2NE
Not like other museums Eureka! is an extraordinary fun-packed day out for kids aged 0-11. With six unique zones to discover, each filled with hundreds of interactive exhibits designed to inspire enquiring minds to find out about themselves and the world around them. A talented team of enablers are also on hand throughout the museum to help you get the most out of your visit.
Studfold Adventure and Fairy Trail
Studfold, Lofthouse HG3 5SG
This 1.5-mile farmland trail is packed full of activities to interest and excite toddlers. There are clues to unravel, sensory boxes, go-karts, den building and lots more, as well as magical new fairy houses and a spectacular new adventure play area. With the amazing backdrop of Nidderdale, finish your day with a picnic basket delivered direct to you on the trail.
The Pottery Loft
High Grange Avenue, Stockton TS23 3XR
This arts and crafts studio is the perfect family day out – it is therapeutic for you, while letting your little ones get creative. In addition to pottery painting, baby prints, personalised gifts, music sessions and teddy bear making, they also have a soft play area for the kids to enjoy in between their artistic endeavours. Their café and afternoon tea really is the cherry on the cake.
9 Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay NE26 1LY
0191 389 6434
Perfect for pre-school and early-years children this role-play activity centre allows parents to relax with a good cuppa and tasty treat, while their children learn through play in a coastal-themed environment. Inspired by the local area, a play-sized Co-op, Di Meos ice cream parlour, and St. Mary’s lighthouse are just a few of the places where your little ones’ imagination can come to life.
Bedburn, Hamsterley DL13 3NL
With multiple walking trails, play areas and picnic spots, Hamsterley Forest is a pre-schoolers’ paradise. They will especially love the Gruffalo Spotters trail – a fun activity pack, app and trail will allow them to interact with their favourite characters while going in search of the Gruffalo himself in the deep dark wood, not to mention sticks-a-plenty to build the perfect den.
30 Lime Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle NE1 2PQ
0300 330 1095
Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, comprises seven floors of children’s literature, houses original storybook artwork, hosts exciting exhibitions, has comfy spaces for reading and is an all-round celebration of literature for little ones. With magical reading time in the attic, and craft activities at the Creation Station, there is enough to keep you busy all day.
Castle Farm, Wold Hill HU15 2LS
William’s Den was born out of a childhood love of playing in the great outdoors, and offers an environment which will cater for families whatever the weather. Set in 15 acres overlooking the Yorkshire Wolds, kids of all ages can run wild here. With a den that houses an indoor tree house, forest glade, eagle’s nest and rainmaker, this is a perfect way to let off some steam when the bad weather rolls in, and there are outdoor areas for those sunny days.
Roundhay Road, Leeds LS8 4BA
0113 318 9315
If you’re looking for creative ideas for your little ones, Tots & Pots sessions at Jackrabbits Pottery are a must. Pre-school children can come in for a morning of singing, a story and snack, then a fun session painting a piece of pottery. Not only will they have oodles of fun, you will also have a souvenir of the day to take home with you.
DIG: An Archeological Adventure
St Saviourgate, York YO1 8NN
Although DIG is great for the whole family, they have now created sessions designed exclusively for babies and toddlers. Tiny Diggers group is a chance to play in a safe, tactile environment which uses textures found in archaeology to introduce touch-based play. With separate sessions for those who have not yet learned to walk, and another for mobile youngsters, it will be great fun for little ones, and you too!
Aln Valley Railway
Lionheart Railway Station, Alnwick NE66 2EZ
0300 030 3311
The dream of the Aln Valley Railway trust is to link castle to coast, through the restoration of the railway line between Alnwick and Alnmouth. This heritage railway attraction offers both pacer and steam train services, and although the whole length of track is not yet finished, visitors can so-far enjoy from Lionheart Station to Greenrigg Bridge. With traditional locomotives, a café, shop and playground, it’s the perfect family day out.
Karting North East
Warden Law Motorsports Centre, Sunderland SR3 2PR
0191 521 4050
For an unforgettable outing, visit Karting North East in Sunderland. You’ll find an impressive 1,200-metre go-kart track which will test your driving skills to the absolute limit, as well as a 350-metre junior circuit for over eights. Kids and families are guaranteed to make the most epic memories out on the track. Or why not make a full adrenaline fuelled day of it? Take part in paintball, archery, tomahawks and buggy driving, all on the same site.
North Yorkshire Water Park
Wykeham Lakes, Long Causeway Road, Scarborough YO13 9QU
Make a splash, get fit and challenge yourself at one of the largest natural watersport lakes in North Yorkshire. Nestled in picturesque countryside, a range of fun-filled activities are on offer. Make a splash on the huge inflatable Aqua Park, kayak or stand-up paddleboard around the beautiful lake, or, for thrill seekers, the newly-installed wakeboarding line is a must-try.
Grand Parade, Tynemouth NE30 4JF
0191 258 1031
Wander through the aquarium and meet species from all over the world, including the tropical waters of the Caribbean and the UK’s native shores. From rays and coral reef fish to harbour seals and tortoises, there are oceans of amazing marine creatures to see. Don’t forget to pop into Bay & Laurel – its new sea-view restaurant, and an ideal spot from which to look for wild bottlenose dolphins.
The York Dungeon
12 Clifford Street, York YO1 9RD
Get ready for a thrilling time as you journey through York’s dreaded past! The York Dungeon offers a journey through 2,000 years of York’s darkest history, bringing together iconic characters, immersive sets and thrilling special effects in a unique and exciting actor-led experience where you can see, hear, feel and smell. Find out the real (scary) story of York!
Stable Courtyard, Temple Newsam Estate, Leeds LS15 0AD
Matfen, Newcastle NE20 0RH
If you’re above 1.2m and more than six years old, head over to the Treetop Adventure Plus at Go Ape. This course offers variety and choice, so you get to decide how far out of your comfort zone you’re willing to step. If you’re feeling brave, muster your courage and summon your strength for the Treetop Challenge course! With 17-metre-high platforms, experience the Tarzan Swing, tree-to-tree zips and the free-falling Plummet.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Warning Tongue Lane, Doncaster DN4 6TB
With around 475 animals including more than 60 different species, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a fantastic place to experience a truly breath-taking walk-through wildlife adventure! Join Animal Rangers for a host of daily talks, feeding times and shows, or we recommend the sunset safari evenings – taking place throughout summer, see the sun set behind majestic lions or watch the polar bears dive in for an evening swim. This is a truly unique opportunity to see the animals in a whole different light.
TeamSport Go Karting
Tinsley Industrial Estate, Shepcote Way, Sheffield S9 1TH
Calling all thrill seekers! Experience a state-of-the-art indoor go karting venue located just two miles from Meadowhall. There are three tracks over four levels with nail-biting bends, exhilarating long straights and jaw-dropping ramps, so it’s sure to test your driving skills to the absolute limit. With Cadet Karts for over-eights, combined with a team of trained professionals, kids and families are guaranteed to make the most epic memories out on track.
Brenda Road, Hartlepool TS25 INN
Portrack Lane, Stockton TS18 2LX
Bellway Industrial Estate, Newcastle NE12 9SW
0191 7070 360
With locations in Stockton, Hartlepool and Newcastle, no matter where you are in the North East this is the perfect day out. Volcano slides, crash mats, ninja assault courses and tumble tracks are just some of the activities you’ll find at this exciting and exhilarating indoor trampoline park. There is something to suit all ages, abilities and adventure levels, so it’s the ideal way to let off steam and have fun.
Regional Resource Centre, Beamish DH9 0RG
0191 370 4000
Beamish brings history to life – experience a day in the life of a Georgian maid, go underground at a real coal mine, take a trip back in time to a Northern pit village in the 1900s, explore a 1940s farm, eat fish and chips out of newspaper, and sample the tasty treats in Herron’s bakery and the sweetshop. This summer’s special activities also include den building, ice cream making, chalk drawing and more, as well as taking a ride on a 1950s bus or tram.
Keighley and Worth
The Railway Station, Haworth BD22 8NJ
Step back in time on The Railway Children’s railway in the heart of Brontë Country and enjoy a steam-filled, action packed day out! Much more than just a railway, expect to take in breath-taking landscapes of heathers and wild moors, travel back in time at The Carriage Works (where restored carriages and vintage artefacts are waiting to be discovered) or go to the Engine Shed which boasts several locomotives, as well as displays, exhibits and archive film.
Tower Street, Hull HU1 4DP
The dramatic building of The Deep overlooks the Humber estuary and was designed by world-class architects. Inside you’ll find yourself face-to-face with fearsome sharks and stingrays, as well as less scary creatures including penguins and fish. There are so many ways to explore the seas at The Deep and more than 4 billion years of ocean history awaits you – from giant fossils to Megalodon shark teeth.
Flatts Farm, Bishop Auckland DL14 7SF
0333 300 3028
For the history buffs, Kynren is an unmissable experience – 2,000 years of history, myth and legend rush by in this 90 minute outdoor-theatre spectacular. From Boudica’s battles with the Romans to two world wars, via Vikings, Tudors and the fate of Charles I, you will experience thrills, shocks, tears, laughs, goosebumps and gasps on a truly cinematic scale.
Cannon Hall Farm
Bark House Lane, Barnsley S75 4AT
Cannon Hall Farm has something to delight all age groups. There are a huge variety of animals to see here – watch cow and goat milking demonstrations, place a bet on sheep and ferret racing, join the farmers as they feed the meerkats, and (if you’re brave enough) join the handling sessions in the reptile house. Take a look in the farm shop for cookware, baked goods, ready meals and more, while the kids let off steam in the adventure playground. And of course, you can’t visit without taking the daily tractor ride!
Denwick Lane, Alnwick NE66 1YU
The brainchild of The Duchess of Northumberland, The Alnwick Garden is a must-visit when you’re in the area. With 12 acres of meandering and magnificent gardens, it is home to the world’s largest Tai Haku Cherry Orchard, a Grande Cascade compromising 120 water jets, and the world’s largest Treehouse Restaurant. Children can run freely throughout the garden playing on mini diggers, while for their grandparents it is a peaceful and tranquil haven to spend hour after hour wandering amongst the roses or taking it all in on one of 50 swinging benches.
Life Science Centre
Times Square, Newcastle NE1 4EP
0191 243 8210
Join the Life Science Centre this summer to celebrate their 21st birthday! There’s so much to see and do, with activities and exhibits for all ages. For under 10s specifically, there is a chance to carry out real experiments, as well as watch a live show full of exciting bangs and explosions. Or why not take part in the Brick Legends Contest? Build a LEGO model of iconic North East people, places or things, and you could win a one-on-one workshop with local LEGO artist Steve Mayes.
Summerhill Country Park
Summerhill Lane, Hartlepool TS25 4LL
Explore this 100-acre country park and nature reserve on your own, or join in with their many bookable activities. With sculptures, ponds and viewing platforms, two children’s play areas, a BMX track, eight large climbing boulders, as well as mobility scooters to hire if needed, there is something for all ages here. Make sure to get there early though, because the kids won’t want to leave!
The Bailey, Skipton BD23 1AW
One of the best preserved medieval castles in England, this is a must-visit. Explore the Banqueting Hall, Kitchen, Bedchamber and Privy, or take a tour into the depths of the dungeons. The surrounding woods are also a great place to see a range of wildlife, as well as a variety of flowers, plants and trees.
Sledmere House and Gardens
Sledmere, Driffield YO25 3XG
With a Wagoners’ Museum, Rare Breed Conservation Farm Park, Spotty Pig Adventure Playground, large walled garden and fine country home, there is something for all ages at Sledmere. We think both granny and kids will especially love the Circular walk – a route taking you around the perimeter of the deer park and then straight across it to see these special animals – or to get lost in the maize maze, which is open throughout summer.