20 of the best FREE days out with the kids in Yorkshire
Top picks for FREE family fun in Yorkshire
There are so many places to explore in God’s own county and happily you don’t need to spend much to see the best that Yorkshire have to offer. From the Dales to the Yorkshire coast, we’ve round up 20 of the best FREE days out with the kids in Yorkshire!
The Royal Armouries in Leeds is a great place for children to explore if they are interested in history. There are an impressive 8,500 object on display. They often run special events on the weekends and during school holidays. You can even take a free ride on a water taxito 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 extensive grounds of Temple Newsam are a great place to explore for a free family day out.
There is a nice playground and plenty of paved pathways for biking or scooters. It is also perfect place for a walk to the walled rose gardens or even a stroll around the three lakes (or Menagerie Ponds as they are technically known).
If you have a bit of cash to spend, there is also the chance to see a variety of rare breed animals at the small on-site farm, Home Farm, try some climbing fun at Go Ape, or take a tour of Temple Newsam itself, the birth palce of Lord Darnley, notorious husband of Mary Queen of Scots.
The Leeds Urban Bike Park offers a chance for cyclists of all abilities to get out on their bikes. There are cross country mountain bike trails, a jump zone, a BMX track as well as a mini pump track.
According to Emma Young, Yorkshire mum and founder of the Child Friendly Bike Rides in Yorkshire Facebook group, “The trails are set into three zones – green for beginners, blue for intermediate mountain bikers and red for more proficient riders with good off-road skills and fitness. The mini pump track is ideal for the little ones on balance bikes or just learning to pedal as well as more experienced. Every time we have been everyone has been very considerate of the kids, even when they want to go on the BMX track or try the red mountain bike route. If you don’t have a bike you can always hire one from the centre.”
Read more ideas for family friendly bike rides in Yorkshire.
A day out at Leeds City Museum gives your the chance to explore this history of Leeds with plenty of child friendly spaces and activities. Children are invited to touch, smell and listen to the exhibits. Leeds City Museum often hosts special events and activities for families as well.
For a truly quirky day out, take a walk to a Druid’s Temple in the Yorkshire Dales. Built in the late 1700’s, the temple is dubbed as ‘one of Yorkshire’s quirkiest follies’. It is just a short walk from the lovely Swinton Biovouac,a glamping site with a family friendly cafe, The Loft. There is a small play area outside The Loft as well.
A visit to Brimham Rocks is a one of a kind experience. Comprised of balancing rock formations on Brimham Moor in North Yorkshire, Brihman Rocks is owned and operated by the National Trust. Before you go, make sure you check out this downloadable guided walk to help you to identify formations like the Druid’s Profile and the Rabbit. There are also plenty of Geocaches are hidden around the rocks, moorland, you can find more about Brimham geocaches here.
Please note that while entry is free parking charges do apply.
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 Museumwhen we went to see a temporary display of Tim Peak’s Space Craft.
If you’re looking for a great place to cool off on a hot day, head to City Park in Bradford. The mirror pool at the centre of the park is the largest urban water feature in the UK. On warm days you can find the square filled with families pinicing and swimming. At night the mirror pool turns into an illuminated light, laser and water display. Follow City Park on Facebook to keep up to date with their events, many of which are both family friendly and free.
Saltaire Village just outside of Bradford is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic place to spend the day. Saltaire is named after Sir Titus Salt who built Salts Mill along the River Aire. He also commissioned architects to design a nearby village for his workers which is now the village of Saltaire. The village itself is full of interesting architecture and well worth a walk around.
The mill is now Salts Mill, full of books, art and cafes and is free to visit. There is also a nice pram friendly walkalong the canal, a chance to ride bikes or play in Roberts park which has both a skate park and zip wire.
Cliffe Castle is a local heritage museum with galleries dedicated the geology of rocks and minerals as well as natural history. Entry to Cliffe Castle is free and activities include a fantastic playground, an outdoor aviary, small animals, interactive exhibits, dress up, building blocs and an ancient Egypt section complete with a mummy.
The Cow and Calf Rocks are a large rock formations near Ilkely consisting of an outcrop and boulder which make up the ‘cow’ and ‘calf’. Legend says the Calf was split from the Cow when the giant Rombald was fleeing an enemy, and stamped on the rock as he leapt across the valley.
Kids love a chance to climb the rocks and spot the rock carvings, some of which date back to the bronze age. The climbs offers spectacular views of Ilkley and there is a cafe at the foot of the outcrop for a bite to eat.
Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire is comprised of over 30,000 acres of stunning landscape with riverside, woodland and moorland paths. On a visit to Bolton Abbey families can explore the ruins of the Priory, enjoy the fantastic Welly Walk, or have picnic and paddle at the edge of River Wharfe. There are tea rooms, ice cream and cafes onsite as well. While entry is free, there is a £10 car parking charge.
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.
With an amazing adventure playground, a free museum, Little Diggers soft play and many family friendly events, the National Coal Mining Museum is a great day out. Older children can go on an underground pit tour (for a fee). Read about our visit to the National Coal Mining Museum.
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery in near Wakefield with works by both British and international artists, including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. There is plenty of space for kids to explore and enjoy ‘art without walls.’ There is an onsite cafe and YSP also often hosts family friendly workshops and events.
Please note that while entry is free parking fees do apply.
The Rivelin Valley nature and heritage trail is a collaboration between the Rivelin Valley Conservation Group and Ruskin in Sheffield. The trail is home to a variety of plants and wildlife as well as the remains watermills and mill dams dating from as early as the 16th century. This trail introduces walkers to the history, heritage, and nature of Rivelin Valley. There is a cafe and children’s play area you can find marked along this map.
The Sheffield Botanical Gardens have over 5,000 species of plants on display over 19 acres. There is plenty of space for picnics. In the summer months you can also enjoy concerts in the stunning surroundings. There is also a pond to visit as well as a Victorian Glass House and a treasure hunt trail.
Step back in time when you pay a visit to The Streetlife Museum of Transport in Hull. There you can explore over 200 years of transport history, enjoy a walk down a 1940s high street, board a tram, or take a carriage ride. Kids Days Out Reviews share their visit in this post.