There are so many days out for families in Yorkshire, but we thought it was time to do a round up with the older children in mind! After asking local bloggers and members of the Yorkshire Tots Facebook community for their suggestions, I am happy to report that we’ve found over 50 days out that come recommended for teens and tweens.
Table of Contents
Yorkshire museums for teens & tweens
National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield
Visitors over five years old can venture 140m underground to discover the harsh realities of coal mining through the centuries at the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield. There is also a free indoor museum and adventure playground outdoors.
Calderdale Industrial Museum, Halifax
The Calderdale Industrial Museum is home to working, original machines as well as many special and rare artefacts relating to the industrial heritage of Calderdale.
“This amazing museum is right next to the Piece Hall in Halifax and contains a large variety of historic machinery. Tots and teens will love talking to the knowledgeable volunteers, and there’s a popular picture quiz for the younger ones. Popular highlights include the toffee-wrapping machine and the moquette loom,” says Chairman Tim Kirker.
Science and Media Museum, Bradford
With over 8 floors of free galleries to visit, the National Science and Media Museum is full of hands on activities and world-famous collections of photography, film and television.
Royal Armouries, Leeds
The Royal Armouries has no fewer than five galleries across five floors to explore The galleries include: War, Tournament, Oriental, Self-defence, and Hunting with over 8,500 objects on display. 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 Yorkshire Air Museum, York
The Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial is on the site of the former RAF Elvington airfield. Their exhibits span almost the entire history of flight with more 60 historic aircraft and vehicles.
The Yorkshire Air Museum is dog friendly as well.
The Hepworth, Wakefield
The Hepworth is named after Barbara Hepworth, a world renowned artist born and raised in Wakefield.
“The Hepworth Wakefield has lots of activities on for all ages including teens in their art club events and there’s also Wakefield Art Walk,” says Sophie Mei Lan Hale. “I also run Vlogging workshops for teens and my husband runs cooking classes for all ages.”
Jorvik Viking Centre, York
The Jorvik Viking Centre lets visitors experience Viking life with lifelike mannequins and life-size dioramas.
York Railway Museum, York
The National Railway Museum is a great option for a free, indoor day out for any train fans. There is over 300 years of railway history to explore. You can read Travelling With Our Kids post about the National Railway Museum.
Eden Camp, Malton
Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum is a large Second World War-related museum. It occupies a former Second World War prisoner-of-war camp of 33 huts.
Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
Travel back to the dirty streets of Leeds to explore life among the grime and the bedbugs on a visit to Thackray Medical Museum. Learn about the frightening world of surgery before the discovery of pain relief and explore scientific discoveries and innovations that have made our lives easier!
Yorkshire outdoor fun for teens & tweens
Canal cruise along the Calderdale Valley
“Take a canal cruise along the Calderdale Valley. You’ll be treated to scones and a cup of tea – very sophisticated!” says Samantha Rickleton of North East Family Fun.
Bolton Castle, North Yorkshire
Bolton Castle is a 14th-century castle located in Wensleydale. Visitors can enjoy birds of prey displays, archery demonstrations and wild boar feeding!
Sewerby Hall and Gardens, near Bridlington, East Yorkshire
Sadie Farren of Life with the Woodheads recommends a visit to Sewerby Hall and Gardens near Bridlington. She says, “(It is) free in the winter months but a cheap family day out in summer. It has a museum, crafts, different events weekly such as jousting. It has a zoo so something for all ages its also easy access to the beach too! “
Stockeld Park, Wetherby
Stockeld Park has lots of activities on for older children including a covered ice skating rink in the winter months, adventure playgrounds, a maze, go-karts and electric scooter trail.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
Walk into a wold of giant statues, human/rabbit hybrids and new exhibits at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Set on 500 acres of beautiful Yorkshire countryside, it’s a place where imaginations can run wild.
Walk the walls of York
Jo Boyne of A Rose Tinted World says, “No trip to York is complete without a walk around the walls. Or at least a section of the walls. York has the most intact walls of any city in England. Most of them date from 1200-1400, but some of the foundations are Roman (when York was called Eboracum) and when the Danes took over in the 10th Century AD they made the defences their own.” A full walk took Jo and her family around two hours.
Leeds Urban Bike Park, Leeds
“The Leeds Urban Bike Park opened in late 2017 is already a magnet for cyclists of all ages. Located next to Middleton Park in South Leeds it provides something for all abilities. With cross country mountain bike trails suitable for all levels of cyclist; jump zone, a BMX track and a mini pump track; café, toilets and bike repair centre, ” says Emma Young, Yorkshire mum and founder of the Child Friendly Bike Rides in Yorkshire .
Harewood House, Leeds
Harewood House, built in the 18th century, is one of the Treasure Houses of England. Visitors can tour the home, rare Bird Garden, watch penguin feeding, enjoy the adventure playground and explore over 100 acres of gardens.
Fairburn Ings, Castleford
For teens and tweens interested in ecology, Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve makes a great day out. The reserve has recorded around 280 bird species, and there are pond dipping kits to kids who want to get hands on!
Scarborough North Bay
Samantha Rickleton of North East Family Fun says a visit to Scarborough North Bay is great for older kids. “You can catch a live show in the amphitheatre (we watched wrestling a few years ago and it was fab), feed the squirrels in Peasholm Park and watch the naval warfare show and you’re never too old for a ride on the vintage water chute .”
Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire
With over 80 miles of footpaths to explore, the beautiful River Wharf, Priory ruins and a fantastic Welly Walk, Bolton Abbey is a fantastic day out for the entire family.
Whitby Abbey, Whitby
Samantha Rickleton of North East Family Fun recommends that families “climb the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey and learn more about Dracula. The views are pretty spectacular and they often have live theatre in the grounds.”
Bridlingon, Yorkshire Coast
Suzie McCullough of Our Bucket List Lives says, “Bridlington is a great day out on the east coast of Yorkshire. A visit between Spring and summer means that the rides will be open. There’s some really fun rides and some are quite extreme. If the weather isn’t too great there is an indoor bowling alley with a cinema. Not only that but they are surrounded by amusements. Next door there is an indoor 9 hole crazy golf, do you dare to walk the haunted pirate ship? You can even go on a pirate ship out to sea or go on a speed boat from the harbour.”
Oakwell Hall Mountain Bike Trail, Birstall
The Mountain Bike Trail at Oakwell Hall “is blue graded, which means it has some technical features like berms (banked corners) rock gardens and some moderate gradients, but it was designed so that it allows any one of any ability to experience mountain biking and progress and develop,” says Gordon McMinn, Chair of RIDE Kirklees.
Newby Hall, Ripon
“We love Newby Hall as there’s lots to do. The playground is fantastic, the grounds are beautiful to walk in, there’s the little train, & a nice cafe too,” says Frances Dine.
National Trust days for teens & tweens in Yorkshire
Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire
“Brimham rocks is a natural rock playground with easy scrambles and good views. It’s impossible to resist a bit of climbing but the paths between the rocks lead to a nice ice-cream shack at the end,” says Janet of Falcondale Life.
Nostel Priory, Wakefield
Nostell is one of the great treasure houses of the north of England. Visitors can explore the house and gardens as well as cycle or jog around the park land.
Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire, Ripon
Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. Explore water gardens an Elizabethan hall, Cistercian mill and medieval deer park set on over 800 acres.
National Trust Beningbrough Hall, Beningbrough
“Beningbrough Hall is stunning place set in beautiful grounds. We loved wandering around the gardens and playing in the playground,” says Emma Lewis of Hip 2 Trek.
Yorkshire adventure days out for tweens & teens
Go Ape! Dalby Forest & Temple Newsam, Leeds
Go Ape! have two different outdoor adventure-activity locations in Yorkshire where you can explore the forest canopy via a treetop rope course.
Raven Tree Top Adventure, Skipton
Raven Tree Top Adventure is a family run high ropes course suitable for family and adult groups. Children 7 years and older (anyone under 10 must be accompanied by an adult in the trees) can try a variety of obstacles including zip lines, plank bridges, high wire walkways and more.
Camp Hill Adventure Park, Bedale
Camp Hill Adventure Park is a Woodland Kingdom full of dens, playhouses and shelter building as well as low ropes course, a mini assault course, Woodland Trail, climbing walls, swings and zip wire!
Quad biking at Thornton Hall Farm, Skipton
Want an action packed adventure to remember? Your thrilling trek will take you over 160 acres of woodland, quarry land, grassland, dirt track and more! Suitable for the individual ride, families and for parties of all ages and occasions at Thornton Hall Country Park.
Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire Moors
“Dalby Forest is one of my favourite days out. It’s filled with beautiful walks, activity trails, a number of different parks and so many activities like biking, Go ape, paintballing and orienteering,” says Sadie Farren of Life with the Woodheads
Forbidden Corner, Leyburn
Catherine Williams of Rock and Roll Pussycat says “Forbidden Corner is fab for any age. Perfect for a summer day out.”
Indoor fun for teens & tweens in Yorkshire
Climbing works, Sheffield
“I recommend the climbing walls in Sheffield (the UK city of climbing) for bouldering and abseiling. There’s The Foundry and The Climbing Works and The Cliffhanger festival for climbing and outdoors fans,” says Sophie Mei Lan Hale of Yorkshirefamilies.co.uk
Rokt Activity Centre, Brighouse
Rokt has the UK’s highest man-made outdoor climbing wall as well as indoor climbing, a Nerf arena and escape rooms!
Calypso Cove Waterpark, Barnsley
Calypso Cove Waterpark is a pirate themed water park with sensational slides, wonderful waves and plenty of pools!
Airtime is a large indoor trampoline park with wall to wall trampolines!
York Chocolate Story, York
Learn about the history of chocoalte in York before making your very own chocolate bar in a visit to the York Chocolate Story.
The York Dungeon, York
The York Dungeon lets visitors explore the history of the dungeon using actor led shows, special effects and displays of models and objects.
Doncaster Dome, Doncaster
Doncaster Dome has over 50 activities taking place under one roof, a magical 7-pool water world, the Lagoons, and the UK’s only split level ice rink, Ice Caps.
“We’ve been to Doncaster dome plenty of times, handy that skating and swimming is in the same place, and they do a cheaper ticket to combine the both,” says Emma Gould.
Fusion Skate, Wakefield
How about some roller disco? Fusion Skate in Wakefield has both open family skating and popular events.
Xscape Yorkshire, Castleford
Xcape Castleford a variety of activities for teens and tweens including LaserZone, 30 minute laser tag set in an alien jungle-themed arena, Gravity Aerial Adventures – Skycoaster, Leap of Faith & Free Fall, Volcano Falls Adventure Golf , Cineworld and more!
Bradford Ice Arena, Bradford
You can enjoy ice skating all year round at Bradford Ice Arena. There are both Family and Disco skating sessions too!
Clip n Climb, Ilkley and Leeds
“We visited (Clip ‘n Climb) with 5 children between ages 6-13 every single one of them loved it. There is a selection of walls and challenges for all abilities and everybody reached the top on at at least one climb. Also the controlled climbing group sizes means even in school holidays it’s enjoyable,” says Rebecca Cowling.
“We were at Clip n Climb for a party at the weekend. It is a great place for anyone older than about 4 – climbing challenges range from fairly easy to virtually impossible, so there’s something for everyone. The cafe is excellent as well for those non-climbers – the food is reasonably priced and excellent quality,” says Amanda Mahoney.
InflataNation is a double decker inflatable theme park with giant inflatables, activities and a huge ball pool filled with 200,000 balls!
Lady Betty’s Afternoon Tea, York
Kirstie Pelling of The Family adventure project recommends a Yorkshire tradition for a teen treat:
‘You might imagine something called a ‘Lady Betty afternoon tea’ could be a tired experience for switched on teens. In fact it prove to be a fun bonding experience for our whole family and getting uplugged was part of the joy of it. But anyone who has been to Betty’s won’t be surprised that the most memorable thing was the cakes.
To say Betty’s is an institution in Yorkshire is something of an understatement. Every knows the tearooms in Harrogate and York. The original Betty’s was created exactly a century ago by Swiss confectioner Frederick Belmont. The fourth generation family business also owns Yorkshire Tea and Taylors of Harrogate. A Lady Betty afternoon tea in the Imperial room involves live piano music, a glass of champagne if you want it, lashings of sandwiches, and of course those cakes. On our visit a silver rack loaded with chocolate and passion fruit cube, gooseberry macaroon, miniature Battenberg, lemon religieuse and a pistachio and chocolate dacquoise slice.
“What are the kids having then?” I asked. ‘
Theme parks for teens & tweens in Yorkshire
Diggerland has over 20 digger themed rides. Visitors can ride diggers, soar high into the air, have digger challenges, drive digger themed go-karts, and even get a chance to drive diggers themselves.
York Maze, York
The York Maze summer maze is suitable for all ages with over 20 rides, shows and attractions The older kids love the challenge of the maze, and the wide range of exciting activities and challenges, especially the “house of cornfusion” illusion house and the “Hallowscream” event in October that has a minimum age rating of 14.
“We loved York maze last year, there’s enough to keep even the sulkiest teenager entertained and a gran aged 74!! We were there until closing time,” says Tracey Swales.
Read We’re Going on an Adventure blog’s day out at York Maze.
Flamingo Land, Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire
“Flamingo Land was fab for all the 7 kids we took from age 1-10! And a great split between animals and rides to be enjoyed by all,” says Louise Hodkinson.
Read We’re Going on an Adventure blog’s day out at Flamingo Land.
Lightwater Valley, Ripon
Lightwater Valley has over 35 rides and attractions for all the family to enjoy. From Europe’s longest rollercoaster, and the thrilling Eagle’s Claw, to Wet N Wild Water Rapids and The Flying Cutlass there are adventures for Teens and Tweens alike!
Days out with animals
Tropical world, Leeds
Need a bit of tropical in your life on a rainy day? Tropical World Leeds provides the chance to see exotic animals and fish while you enjoy a walk through waterfalls and plant life!
Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster
Yorkshire Wildlife Park provides a walk through wildlife adventure where you can meet a variety of amazing animals including polar bears, lions, tigers, black rhino and more!
ABC Wildlife Park, Askham Bryan, York
The Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park is a brand new visitor attraction at Askham Bryan College. The aim of the park is to “provide a truly inspirational and educational visitor experience to raise awareness of wildlife and habitats.”
Tropical Butterfly House, Sheffield
Meet lemurs, meerkats, owls, otters, snakes, lizards and even a tarantula at Tropical Butterfly House.
The National Centre for Birds of Prey, Helmsley
The National Centre for Birds of Prey is home to the largest collection of birds of prey in the north of England. You can watch flying demonstrations, learn about the birds and conservation efforts and see a large variety of birds of prey around the centre.