27 FREE rainy days out in Yorkshire for families

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27 FREE rainy days out in Yorkshire for families

FREE family friendly museums, galleries & more

FREE rainy days out in Yorkshire for families

Rainy days can get expensive.  It’s easy to feel like you have to spend money to get everyone out of the house, but here in Yorkshire that doesn’t have to be the case.  With the help of the Yorkshire Family Events and Activities Facebook Group, we’ve rounded up 27 indoor places the family can have a day out that won’t cost you a penny!

FREE rainy days out in Wakefield

1. Wakefield Library, Burton St, Wakefield WF1 2EB

  • Open days: Monday – Saturday
  • Wakefield Library Website
  • Wakefield Library runs regular story times, has plenty of play space for kids and even has a nice little cafe on premises.
  • Wakefeild Library works very hard to be family friendly.  They say, “At Wakefield Library babies can join from birth. Library membership is free and each child can borrow a dozen books at a time and we don’t charge fines on children’s books or for occasional accidental damage. We stock board books, storybooks, picture books and audio books (ideal for long car journeys).”
  • “For under 5s we offer twice weekly storytimes throughout the year and the Bookstart Bear Club, where tots can earn paw prints in their passports for sharing books and coming to the library. For school age children we offer a code club where children can learn simple computer coding, and during the long summer holiday we offer the national Summer Reading Challenge to encourage a love of reading. For the whole family we offer activities during school holidays for a range of ages and a weekly family board games session on a Saturday morning.”

Wakefield Museum, Burton St, Wakefield WF1 2EB

  • Open days: Monday – Saturday
  • Wakefield Museum Website
  • Wakefield Museum covers the history of the city of Wakefield and the local area from prehistoric times onwards.  There are plenty of interactive exhibits including the chance to ride the Rhubarb express, stand on the back of a ferocious caiman, try on some hats and wigs and identify if World War 2 planes are friend or foe.  The front room is a special area dedicated to families having fun! The space contains dressing up, activity and creative sheets, toys, and a child sized 1950s play kitchen.
  • Wakefield Museum is located in Wakefield One.  This building has baby change facilities, lifts, a café (with a great kids lunch offer).
  • “Seeing the crocodile and play in the kitchen never fails to excite my 3 year old,” says Jennifer Townend.

The Hepworth, Gallery Walk, Wakefield WF1 5AW

  • Open daily
  • The Hepworth Website
  • The Hepworth is named after Barbara Hepworth, a world renowned artist born and raised in Wakefield.  It is a very family friendly art museum with explore and draw cabinets throughout the museum for kids to use.  There is also a family friendly cafe, picnic area and outdoor play area.  The Hepworth holds family art sessions, many of which are free.  Read about our visit to The Hepworth.

National Coal Mining Museum, New Rd, Overton WF4 4RH

  • Open daily
  • NCM Website
  • Although it has an amazing adventure playground, the National Coal Mining Museum is a great day out even in bad weather.  Older children can go on an underground pit tour (for a fee) and visiting the museum is free of charge including the Little Diggers indoor soft play.  Read about our visit to the National Coal Mining Museum.

FREE rainy days out in Keighley & BradfordCliffe Castle Great Drawing Room

Cliffe Castle Museum, Spring Gardens Ln, Keighley BD20 6LH

  • Open days: Tuesday  – Sunday (and Bank Holiday Mondays)
  • Cliffe Castle Museum Website
  • Cliffe Castle was originally the home of a Victorian millionaire and textile manufacturer.  It is now a local heritage museum which includes galleries dedicated to the exploration or the geology of rocks and minerals as well as natural history.  There is plenty of family fun to be had as well.
  • Lindsay Dowling says, “There is a fabulous park outside, fields for picnics, running and games and an outdoor aviary and a few rabbits and guinea pigs and displays inside.  There are loads of minerals on display and smaller kids can “build” with large soft blocks dress up with hard hats and hi viz jackets. There are lots of things on display from times past and rooms set out as they would have been back in the day and a small gallery of paintings.  There is an ancient Egypt section with a mummy and other artefacts and lots of other curios. Lots of old farm equipment and some interactive activities to keep the kids busy. It’s wonderful and it’s free.”

 National Science and Media Museum, Pictureville, Bradford BD1 1NQ

  • Open days: Monday – Sunday
  •  National Science and Media Museum Website
  • The National Science and Media Museum has over 8 floors of free galleries to visit with ever changing exhibits.  There are many hands on activities for kids including the fantastic Wonderlab.   There is a family friendly cafe as well as picnic area if you prefer to bring your own lunch.  You can read our recent review of the National Science and Media Museum when we went to see a temporary display of Tim Peak’s Space Craft.

Bradford Industrial Museum
Bradford Industrial Museum, 235 Moorside Rd, Bradford BD2 3HP

  • Open days: Tuesday – Sunday
  • Bradford Industrial Museum Website
  • Bradford’s Industrial Museum has permanent displays of textile machinery, steam power, engineering, printing machinery and motor vehicles, along with an exciting exhibitions programme. You can see Moorside House where the Mill Manager lived, or visit the Mill-workers’ terraced houses dressed to reflect three different time periods.

FREE rainy days out in Leeds

Leeds City Museum Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 8BH

  • Open days: Tuesday – Sunday
  • Leeds City Museum Website
  • We love a day out at Leeds City Museum!  There is a Life on Earth Gallery on the bottom floor of Leeds City Museum with animals, a craft space, and interactive screens.  The museum has interactive bits throughout for the kids to explore as well as a small soft play area and even a real mummy!  They run many special events during school holidays as well as regular groups and classes especially for families.

Royal Armouries, Armouries Dr, Leeds LS10 1LT

  • Open daily
  • Royal Armouries Website
  • The Royal Armouries has plenty of space for families to explore.  Five galleries across five floors of space in fact.  The galleries include: War, Tournament, Oriental, Self-defence, and Hunting with over 8,500 objects on display.   It is very welcoming to families and interesting place to explore.  You can even take a free ride on a water taxi to get there!  There is a cafe on site as well as picnic areas if you bring your own food.  Read about our day out at The Royal Armouries in Leeds.

The Tetley, Hunslet Rd, Leeds LS10 1JQ

  • Open daily
  • The Tetley Website
  • The Tetely is an art space housed in the art deco headquarters of the former Tetley Brewery.  It is always fee to visit and often offers free family workshops and events as well as a cafe with a child’s menu.

FREE rainy days out in Kirklees

Bagshaw Museum, Wilton Park, Batley WF17 0AS

  • Open days: Every day but Monday & Friday (Open Bank Holiday Mondays)
  •  Bagshaw Museum Website
  •  The Bagshaw Museum is a quirky, hidden gem next to Wilton Park in Batley with an eclectic collection of exhibits from the Egyptology gallery to rugby paraphernalia and puppets from a British seaside past.  It’s not a large museum, but it makes a nice afternoon out for the kids with a new quiz or kids’ trail featured weekly. Read our 10 reasons to visit Bagshaw Museum.

Tolson Memorial Museum

Tolson Museum, Ravensknowle Park, Wakefield Rd, Huddersfield HD5 8DJ

  • Open days: Every day but Monday & Friday (Open Bank Holiday Mondays)
  •  Tolson Museum Website
  • Tolson Museum has exhibits of local archaeology, weaving machinery and textiles.  You can also see their natural history collection which includes a large selection of stuffed birds.  Kids will enjoy the Victorian schoolroom and can have a play at Ravensknowle Park after as well.

FREE rainy days out in Halifax

Bankfield Museum, Akroyd Park, Boothtown Rd, Halifax HX3 6HG

  • Open days: Tuesday – Saturday
  • Bankfield Museum Website
  • Bankfield Museum covers local history, costume, art, toys, military history, jewellery and textiles from around the world. There are often family friendly events and activities on although some do have a small fee.  Bankfield Museum also has a shop with refreshments for sale.  The museum is located close to the centre of Halifax, with free parking and close to public transport links.

FREE rainy days out in Hull

Street Life Museum, High St, Hull HU1 1PS

Maritime Museum - Poppies: Weeping Window
Hull & East Riding Museum, 36 High St, Hull HU1 1NQ

  • Open daily
  •  Hull & East Riding Museum Website
  • Come face to face with a wooly mammoth at the Hull & East Riding Museum! You can also see wooden warriors, discover a unique Iron Age sword, and see  what life was like and how people used to live.

Wilberforce House, 23-25 High St, Hull HU1 1NQ

  • Open daily
  •  Wilberforce House Website 
  • Wilberforce House is the birthplace of William Wilberforce, Hull MP and slavery abolitionist whose campaign made the establishment of Freetown (Sierra Leone) possible. The story behind William Wilberforce’s campaign is told through fascinating items including his journal, plantation records and personal stories.

Maritime Museum, Queen Victoria Square, Hull HU1 3DX

Ferens Art Gallery
Ferens Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Square, Carr Ln, Hull HU1 3RA

  • Open daily
  • Ferens Art Gallery Website
  • Line, shape, texture and colour are the building blocks of art ‘Explore Art’ is a new gallery on the ground floor designed for children aged 0 to five years and their families.  Play, create and explore in this stimulating environment which is packed with hands on activities to help young children investigate works of art.

The Treasure House, Champney Rd, Beverley HU17 8HE

FREE rainy days out in York

National Railway Museum - I
National Railway Museum, Leeman Rd, York YO26 4XJ

York Designer Outlet, St. Nicholas Avenue, York YO19 4TA

  • Open daily
  • York Designer Outlet Website
  • The kids can play undercover at York Designer Outlet on a rainy day.  With an over 6’s and an under 6’s section, there is plenty of space to run off steam.  Read about our day out at York Designer Outlet during one of their free family summer events.

FREE rainy days out in Sheffield

Weston Park Museum facade
Weston Park Museum, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TP

  • Open daily
  • Weston Park Museum Website
  • Weston Park is an award-winning, family-friendly museum with lots of interactive exhibits for children as well as a cafe on site.

Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
Millennium Gallery, 48 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PP

  • Open daily
  • Millennium Gallery Website
  • The Millennium Gallery is an art gallery and museum in the centre of Sheffield. The gallery has two permanent collections, two temporary exhibition spaces as well as a cafe and a shop.

Bishops House
Bishops’ House,  Norton Lees Ln, Sheffield S8 9BE

  • Open weekends
  • Bishops’ House Website
  • Bishops’ House is a half-timbered house built around 1500.  There are trails for children to follow as well as dress up clothes.  It is located in Meersbrook Park where children can play after a visit.

Winter Gardens
Sheffield Winter Gardens, 90 Surrey St, Sheffield S1 2LH 

  • Open daily
  • Sheffield Winter Gardens Website
  • Sheffield Winter Gardens is among the largest temperate glasshouses to be built in the UK.  You can discover more than 2,500 plants from around the world on a day out!

FREE rainy days out in Doncaster & Barnsley

Cunsworth Hall, Cusworth Ln, Doncaster DN5 7TU

  • Open days: Saturday – Wednesday
  • Cunsworth Hall Website
  • Cunsworth Hall offers wildlife and exhibitions, events and activities as well as a tea room and shop.

Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre, Town Hall, Church St, Barnsley S70 2TA

Looking for more ideas?  Why not try…

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27 FREE rainy days out in Yorkshire for families

About Erin at Yorkshiretots

I'm an American mum of two Yorkshire tots who love adventures! I run www.yorkshiretots.com, a website for events, news & fun for families in West Yorkshire.

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