Things to do with kids in Yorkshire

Days out, Family, Activity

Posted by Kate Atkin on 18th July 2022

Things to do with kids in Yorkshire

Yorkshire boasts some of the best days out for families in the UK and is a wonderful place to enjoy some quality time together, creating magical memories to last a lifetime. Whether you fancy sandcastle building on a golden beach, discovering local history at one of the world-class museums, or having fun at one of the many exciting visitor attractions, there is something for kids of all ages. 

Our guide to the best days out for kids in Yorkshire highlights some of the top family-friendly experiences in this beautiful county. From underground adventures in caves and mines to thrilling escapades at theme parks and zoos, discover Yorkshire with these fun-filled activities.

And if you'd like to browse our collection of family-friendly holiday cottages in Yorkshire, just click the button below.

Yorkshire family holidays

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North Yorkshire

South Yorkshire

West Yorkshire

East Yorkshire

Family days out in North Yorkshire

Lightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley, Ripon

Experience over 40 thrilling rides and attractions for all ages in North Yorkshire at Lightwater Valley. This theme park in Ripon is split into three categories; Mini Adventures caters for the youngest guests aged between one and five, Mega Adventures for junior thrill seekers over 1m and aged between five and nine, and Ultimate Adventures for those with the nerves to take it up a notch, suitable for those over 1.2m in height and aged nine plus. 

Rides range from the Eagles Creek Farm tractor ride for little tots to wet ‘n’ wild fun on the Wild River Rapids, to the mysterious underground world of Raptor Attack, and The Ultimate, Europe’s longest roller coaster. As well as these fantastic rides, there are a wealth of other exciting attractions to explore including a falconry centre with over 35 stunning raptors, adventure golf, and a café where you can treat yourself to some hot and cold refreshments before continuing your adventures.

  • Opening hours: Open daily from 10.30am, closing times vary between 16:30 and 18:00 and will be displayed on the day at the admissions kiosk
  • Entry fee: See website as ticket prices vary throughout the year
  • Stay nearby: Skell Gardens Cottage, Ripon | sleeps 4

Filey Beach

Filey Beach, Filey

The traditional seaside town of Filey boasts one of the best beaches in Yorkshire and makes a perfect family day out with its 7-mile stretch of award-winning golden sand. Because this beach is so vast, it rarely gets crowded so is ideal for flying a kite, building a mighty sandcastle or even a fun donkey ride. 

Small children will love the funfair on the promenade and can splash to their heart’s content in the paddling pool as parents relax in the sunshine. At the other side of Filey Bay is Filey Brigg, which is brilliant for catching crabs in the rock pools and has some lovely coastal walks; if you’re lucky, you might spot some seals bobbing in the sea below.

  • Opening hours: Year-round daylight access
  • Entry fee: Free admission, local parking may charge
  • Stay nearby: South Crescent, Filey | sleeps 4 + 1 dog

The Forbidden Corner

The Forbidden Corner, Coverham

Discover a truly unique tourist attraction in Yorkshire at The Forbidden Corner, a 4-acre garden full of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises. As a family, you will need to work together to solve challenges and avoid tricks including the occasional spray of water as you complete your mission through the labyrinth of paths that lead nowhere, extraordinary statues and a huge pyramid made of translucent glass. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the secret brass plaques, which reveal mysterious markings, a hidden crypt full of scary surprises and the Eye of the Needle, where you’ll feel rather like Alice in Wonderland in the narrow passageways. When you need a break from this fantasy land, there is a lovely picnic area to relax in and enjoy the view. Voted the best children’s attraction in Yorkshire, this is a great day out for children of all ages and you will go home with some wonderful memories.

  • Opening hours: Open daily 1 April to 31 October, then Sundays until Christmas. Monday to Saturday 12pm-6pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays 10am-6pm (or dusk if earlier)
  • Entry fee: Adults £14.50, Kids (4-15) £12.50, Under 4s free (tickets must be purchased in advance via the website)
  • Stay nearby: Rose Cottage, Middleham | sleeps 5

York’s Chocolate Story

York’s Chocolate Story, York

Unwrap the mouth-watering 300-year history of chocolate in York; uncover the exotic origins of much-loved and well-known chocolate brands and best of all, learn to taste chocolate like a professional at York’s Chocolate Story. 

Kids will be in sweet heaven watching the chocolatiers make their delicious treats, and of course, tasting them, and there are some lovely exhibitions which take you on a journey through the city where chocolate made history. There is even a café where you can enjoy more chocolatey delights, and a shop to pick up some tasty mementoes for the way home.

  • Opening hours: Open daily 10am-4pm
  • Entry fee: Adults £15.95, Kids (4-15) £10.95, Under 4s free
  • Stay nearby: Green Cottage, York | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

White Scar Cave

White Scar Cave, Ingleton

Enjoy a fun family day out in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and visit White Scar Cave, the longest show cave in Britain. Set off with your guide on an 80-minute journey underground, passing streams, waterfalls and thousands of magical stalactites. The trek covers 1 mile with highlights including the massive Battlefield Cavern and a quirky stalagmite which is growing upwards, resembling the aptly named ‘Judge’s Head’. 

The breathtaking scenery within the atmospheric caves is guaranteed to capture the imagination of excited children, and there are project sheets available, graded for age, which kids can take around the caves on their journey. Plus, this is a great option if you're looking for things to do with kids on a rainy day in Yorkshire, as it's all underground! It is, however, important to note that due to the natural shape of the cave passages, pushchairs cannot be taken underground. 

  • Opening hours: February to October open daily from 10am, November to January open weekends only from 10am (excluding school holidays)
  • Entry fee: Adults (aged 16 years and over) £14, Kids £10, Under 3s free
  • Stay nearby: Pear Tree Cottage, Kirkby Lonsdale | sleeps 5 + 1 dog

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Family days out in West Yorkshire

National Coal Mining Museum for England

National Coal Mining Museum for England, Overton

Delve 140 metres underground and have a fascinating adventure, discovering the hidden world of mining through the centuries at the National Coal Mining Museum. This is a brilliant free attraction in Yorkshire for families, set in 45 acres of spectacular countryside with a nature trail, friendly ponies, an adventure playground, a train ride to Hope Pit, and special craft events throughout the year.

Kids will love donning a hard hat and lamp as they descend into the depths of the underground mines on a tour led by ex-miners. They will see how miners lived, worked and relaxed from the Victorian era right up to the modern day, and learn how coal was extracted. This is a brilliant interactive attraction for kids that gives families the chance to see a century-old tradition usually hidden from the public.

  • Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10am-5pm (summer), 10am-4pm (winter)
  • Entry fee: Free admission
  • Stay nearby: Emley View Cottage, Holmfirth | sleeps 4

Harewood House

Harewood House, Leeds

Combining history and adventure, it’s no surprise that Harewood House is one of the best family days out in Yorkshire. Inside this 18th-century stately home, kids can dress up as servants, while adults admire an astounding collection of paintings, furniture and ceramics.

Outside, there’s an enormous adventure playground with slides, swings and aerial walkways, a magical bird garden with penguins, flamingos and parrots, and a myriad of nature trails and picnic spots to enjoy.

  • Opening hours: Open daily, please see the website for opening times of individual areas
  • Entry fee: Adults from £13.50, Kids from £7.50, Under 4s free (when ordered online)
  • Stay nearby: Newby Farm Cottage, Huby | Sleeps 5 + 2 dogs


Diggerland, Whitwood

If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Yorkshire that adults will love just as much as the little ones, then Diggerland should be at the top of your list. A theme park with a difference, there is all manner of diggers, dumpers and full-sized construction machinery that all ages can have fun with.

Daring drivers can experience 20 action-packed rides: take a head-reeling turn or two on the Spindizzy or experience the adrenaline-pumping Skyshuttle where you’re thrown 50 feet into the air. There is also an indoor go-karting course, dodgems and a JCB Robots course.

  • Opening hours: July to October, see the website for specific dates and times
  • Entry fee: Adults and kids 90cm or over £25.95, Kids under 90cm free
  • Stay nearby: Robins Nest | Sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Haworth

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway has been voted one of the best train rides in the UK and is a fun day out in Yorkshire for the whole family. Step back in time and experience the magic of a steam railway as you travel through the heart of Brontë Country, passing through a windswept land of heather and wild moors. There are six stations to visit along the route, with something exciting to see at every stop, including two award-winning transport museums at Ingrow West station, and a beautiful Pennine village at Oxenhope. 

For those wanting to get out into the fresh Yorkshire air and explore the great outdoors, there are plenty of picturesque walks and nature trails at each stop, from moorland walks where you can explore the landscape that inspired the Brontë sisters, to one of The Railway Children walks. Throughout the year the railway offers a fantastic range of events, so be sure to check online before you visit to see what’s on.

  • Opening hours: Selected dates throughout the year, please check the website
  • Entry fee: Adults £17, Kids £8.50, Under 5s free (if tickets are purchased online in advance)
  • Stay nearby: Chapel Of Art, near Haworth | sleeps 10 + 2 dogs

Mother and daughter at a museum together

Eureka! The National Children's Museum, Halifax

Immerse your little ones in a world of interactive learning and activities at Eureka! The National Children's Museum, where fun and education come together. Spend the day at this popular attraction to discover engaging exhibits and learning zones, live workshops, outdoor play areas and special events.

Vibrant and stimulating, and also perfect for birthday parties, make sure to check out their busy calendar of events to find something that all the family will love. To round off your visit, a colourful cafe and giftshop await, so don’t forget to take a little memento home to remind you of your visit!

  • Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm, Weekends and School Holidays 10am-5pm
  • Entry fee: Adults £15.95, Kids (1-2) £6.95, Under 1s free
  • Stay nearby: Prospect House, Halifax | sleeps 6 + 1 dog

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Family days out in South Yorkshire

Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre

Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre, Sheffield

Immerse the whole family in nature and enjoy a unique encounter with a menagerie of amazing animals including meerkats, lemurs, parrots, snakes and more at the Tropical Butterfly House in Sheffield. Head to the tropical climate of the indoor rainforest and watch little faces light up as exotic birds and butterflies fly freely over their heads, watch a spectacular bird of prey show in the aviary, and get up closer than ever before to some of their favourite animals in the Wilderness Walk-through; there’s even the chance to get a selfie with a dinosaur! 

If you’re feeling particularly brave, there are snakes, crocodiles and spiders to see and an exciting timetable of animal encounters, talks and handling opportunities every day. There is even an outdoor and indoor adventure play area with zip wires, ride-on tractors, crafts, puzzles and games to burn off any last bouts of energy as the adults enjoy a relaxing cup of tea in the café.

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday 11am-3.30pm, Weekends, School and Bank Holidays 10am-5.00pm
  • Entry fee: Adults from £14.99, Kids (2-15) from £13.99, Under 2s free
  • Stay nearby: Hills Cottage, Holmesfield | sleeps 4

Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park

Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park, Rotherham

From toddlers to teens, Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park is sure to tick all the boxes on your hunt for the best days out for the kids in Yorkshire. Bursting with epic rides, attractions and entertainment, there is plenty to keep the whole family occupied.

Younger children can enjoy swashbuckling adventures in Smugglers Wharf or take part in a dramatic heist in the Western World, while older thrill-seekers can don their waterproofs for the mega waterslide known as T-Rex Tower or brace themselves for a 360-degree drop tower ride on the Gyrosaur.

  • Opening hours: See website for opening times as they vary throughout the year
  • Entry fee: Adults and kids over 90cm £20, Kids under 90cm free (if booked online more than 2 days in advance)
  • Stay nearby: Penny Pot Cottage At Revell Grange, near Sheffield | Sleeps 6

Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens

Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens, Barnsley

Be transported back to a time of Georgian splendour at Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens. With its children’s activities inside and 70 acres of parklands, gardens and play areas outside, this magnificent country house is one of the most revered places to visit in Yorkshire for families.

Wander opulent rooms filled with art and head below stairs to see where all the hard work happened. Trails, crafts and even baking sessions in the Victorian kitchen are on offer for mini historians.

  • Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11am-4pm and daily during the school holidays
  • Entry fee: Entry to the museum, park and gardens is free, however, there is a charge for parking (2 hours £1, all day £5)
  • Stay nearby: Folly Farm Cottage, Penistone | Sleeps 2

Kelham Island Museum

Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield

Standing on a man-made island that’s over 900 years old, Kelham Island Museum’s interactive galleries tell the story of Sheffield’s illustrious industrial past. Street scenes, workshops and on-site craftsmen bring history to life.

Kids will be amazed as they learn what it was like to live and work in Sheffield during the Industrial Revolution, discovering how steelmaking forged both the city of today and the world. You’ll also find the UK’s largest working steam engine here, which still operates twice a day.

  • Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-4pm
  • Entry fee: Free for all visitors
  • Stay nearby: Elder Cottage, near Sheffield | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster

Take a walk on the wild side at one of the best kids' days out in Yorkshire for budding young zookeepers. The Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s amazing walkthrough enclosures allow you to get closer to the animals than ever before, from Lion Country and Land of the Tigers to Wallaby Walkabout and Lemur Woods.

There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the 700 animals that live here, with ranger talks and feeding demonstrations, and it’s the only place in England where you can see polar bears! And as if that wasn’t enough, there are several themed play areas to enjoy too.

  • Opening hours: See website for opening times as they vary throughout the year
  • Entry fee: Adults from £22, Kids (aged 3-15 years) from £20, Under 2s free (if purchased in advance online)
  • Stay nearby: River Cottage – Howden, Howden | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

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Family days out in East Yorkshire

Streetlife Museum

Streetlife Museum, Hull

Looking for free family attractions in Yorkshire? Then be sure to visit the Streetlife Museum in Hull. Here, you can discover over 200 years of transport history, spread across six fascinating galleries. Stroll down a 1940s high street complete with a sweet shop and arcade, board a tram or enjoy the pleasures of a carriage ride.

As well as the incredible displays of bicycles, carriages, motorcars, railways and street life through the years, there is also a myriad of family-friendly events happening throughout the year.

  • Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-4.30pm, Sunday 11am-4pm
  • Entry fee: Free for all visitors
  • Stay nearby: Wishing Well Lodge, Hedon | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Bugtopia Hornsea Zoo

Bugtopia Hornsea Zoo, Hornsea

Journey deep into a tropical rainforest at Bugtopia Hornsea Zoo, one of the top family attractions in East Yorkshire. As you venture along the Jungle Trail, keep your eyes peeled for incredible invertebrates and fascinating flora and fauna from around the world.

There are regular Animal Encounters where kids can discover more about some of their favourite residents, with the chance to handle some if they’re feeling brave.

  • Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
  • Entry fee: Adults £6, Kids (under 14) £5, Under 2s free
  • Stay nearby: Wortley Cottage, Hornsea | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Bridlington

Watch nearly half a million seabirds flock to Bempton Cliffs, one of the country’s top wildlife spectacles. This RSPB reserve on the Yorkshire coast is home to the UK’s largest seabird colony, and between March and October, you can see gannets, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, herring gulls, fulmars and shags swooping and soaring above the towering chalk cliffs.

There are six clifftop viewing platforms where families can safely see the action, with volunteers on hand to help identify the different species of birds. Plus, a nature trail winds its way around the reserve, dotted with picnic areas and activities for kids. You might even catch sight of a puffin between April and July.

  • Opening hours: Nature reserve is open daily dawn-dusk, Visitor Centre is open daily 9.30am-5pm (November-February 9.30am-4pm)
  • Entry fee: Adults £6 (March-October) / £3 (November-February), Kids £3 (March-October) / £1.50 (November-February), RSPB members free
  • Stay nearby: Rock Lobster, Flamborough | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog

William’s Den

William’s Den, Wold Hill

A place where children can be creative, curious and free, William’s Den in East Riding is a one-of-a-kind outdoor playground. Impressive natural play structures have been created that kids can explore, climb and hide away in.

There are zip wires, water and sand play, and a woodland area where they can spend hours building dens. If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned family fun, then this is the place.

  • Opening hours: See website as they vary throughout the year
  • Entry fee: See website as ticket prices vary throughout the year
  • Stay nearby: Hedera Lodge, Gilberdyke | Sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

Sewerby Hall and Gardens

Sewerby Hall and Gardens, Bridlington

Set within 50 acres of beautiful parkland in Bridlington, Sewerby Hall and Gardens has plenty to offer visitors of all ages, including the house itself with its exhibitions and interactive elements for kids. There is even a playroom with toys from the past, including a magnificent doll’s house.

Outside, there are flower-filled garden to explore, a woodland walk to navigate and an adventure playground to burn off any remaining energy. Challenge your family to a few games on the pitch and putt golf course, and discover the zoo, home to over 60 mammals and birds, including Humboldt penguins and the Eclectus parrot, who is always keen to chat to little visitors.

Browse our family cottages in East Yorkshire

Map of family-friendly attractions in Yorkshire

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Family-friendly holidays in Yorkshire

If you’re looking to stay close by and explore these attractions and the rest of Yorkshire, take a look at our full collection of self-catering accommodation in Yorkshire for families, for some inspiration on where to base your next staycation.

Family-friendly cottages in Yorkshire

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.