Got an energetic bunch of kids to entertain? Whether it’s on the weekend or during the school holidays, our list of family days out in Yorkshire will come in very handy indeed…
From getting back to nature to exploring museums, jumping on theme park rides and delving into an underground cave, you’ll find all manner of fun family days out in Yorkshire. And to make deciding what to do that little bit easier, we’ve rounded up fifty of our favourites – how many can you tick off?
1. York Dungeon
Family days out in Yorkshire don’t get much better than York Dungeon. This 75-minute adventure will take you through the city’s gory past, using actors and special effects to make history a whole lot more exciting. With 10 different shows covering everything from Guy Fawkes to the highwayman Dick Turpin and even the Vikings, the kids are sure to be entertained.
The York Dungeon, 12 Clifford Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9RD.
2. High Ropes Course
For something a little bit more active, check out one of the most fun attractions in Yorkshire – Camp Hill’s High Ropes Course. This hair-raising adventure course will see you taking on 23 different obstacles, with sky walks and zip lines alongside climbing walls, rope bridges and more – all while towering 14 metres above ground level.
High Ropes Course, The Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, Bedale, North Yorkshire, DL8 2LS.
3. Thwaite Mills
One of the most underrated museums in Leeds, Thwaite Mills has loads of things for you to do with the kids. You can explore the grounds, which include areas of water, woodland, scrub and gardens, all filled with wildlife. Or nip inside one of the last remaining examples of a water-powered mill in Britain today, where you’ll learn how solid rock can be turned into paint and putty, as well as finding out about life at the mill back in the day.
Thwaite Mills, Thwaite Lane, Stourton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1RP.
Needless to say, The National Children’s Museum is a popular choice for days out with the little ones. You won’t find anywhere else quite like it – or quite so dedicated to play. It’s jam-packed with interactive exhibitions, designed to make learning fun, covering everything from the desert to human biology, the latter of which is a £2.9 million gallery designed for (and by) kids. It’s the perfect family day out in Yorkshire.
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Discovery Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2NE.
5. York Bird of Prey Centre
Wildlife lovers should make a beeline for the York Bird of Prey Centre. They’re as passionate about their visitors as they are about the birds – which is why they’ve always been rated so highly on TripAdvisor’s list of Yorkshire attractions for so long. Not only can you see a whole host of beautiful birds here, with daily flying shows, so you can catch them at their best – but you’re also welcome to handle the birds, with the help of staff, of course.
York Bird of Prey Centre, Baston Lane, Huby, North Yorkshire, YO61 1JB.
6. Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour
It’s fair to say that some days out in Yorkshire are as much of a treat for you as they are for the kids – and a trip to Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour is one of them. This 50s style diner is like something out of Grease and the selection of ice cream on offer is simply exceptional. They have plenty of room to play too, so as well as indulging in a traditional sundae, you can let the kids run wild in their indoor and outdoor play areas.
Billy Bob’s Parlour Ltd, Calm Slate Farm, Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire, BD23 6EU.
7. Temple Newsam
The perfect spot for family days out, Temple Newsam has loads for you to do with the kids. The house is well worth exploring, with loads of history inside – and the kids will find all manner of entertainment here, including outdoor and heritage games. There’s also a farm on site, so your little ones can meet pigs, cows, sheep, goats and ducks, while you pick up a few local delicacies in the shop.
Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE.
8. Flamingo Land
Undoubtedly one of the best attractions in Yorkshire, Flamingo Land gives you two for the price of one, because it’s not just a theme park, it’s a zoo too. You can take on Mumbo Jumbo’s 112° vertical drop, have a splashing time on the Lost River Ride and even Meet a Creature as the Chief Education Officer brings out a host of creepy crawlies, snakes or frogs for you to see up close.
Flamingo Land, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 6XY.
9. Calypso Cove Waterpark
A wet and wild adventure for all the family, Calypso Cove Waterpark is great for days out with the kids. It’s one of the best pools in Yorkshire, with loads of rides and slides for the little ones to try out. From the Terror Torrent, which is one of the UK’s faster indoor flumes, to Splash Ahoy, a four lane slide perfect for racing, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
Calypso Cove Waterpark, The Metrodome, Queens Ground, Queens Road, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S71 1AN.
10. National Science and Media Museum
A great choice for family days out in Yorkshire, the National Science and Media Museum promises interactive exhibitions designed to inspire and engage. They’re obsessed with light and sound technologies here, from the origins of photography to the scientific discoveries and engineering feats that will change our world in the future. Explore their famous media collection, or focus on the ‘science bit’ that made it all possible – the choice is yours. And let’s not forget the IMAX cinema, which plays all the latest blockbusters and 3D films.
National Media Museum, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ.
11. Abbey House Museum
You get two for the price of one here. First, stop off at Kirkstall Abbey, a beautiful example of Cistercian architecture and one of Yorkshire’s finest attractions, surrounded by parkland where you can have a picnic or a run around with the kids. Then head to the Abbey House Museum, which boasts a traditional Victorian street, as well regular events designed to help you entertain the little ones.
Abbey House Museum, Abbey Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS5 3EH.
12. York Maze
It’s only open for a few months of the year, but York Maze is a great day out with the kids. In the middle of the Yorkshire countryside, it boasts the biggest maze in Europe – the Giant Maize Maze. But that’s not all there is to do here. There’s also an Illusion Maze, a Mineshaft Maze and a Finger Fortune Maze, not to mention loads of play zones, including a jumping pillow (that’s a bouncy castle without the walls) and a climbing zone.
York Maze, Dunnington Lodge, Elvington Lane, York, North Yorkshire, YO19 5LT. Open from mid July through to early September.
13. The Leeds Wall
If you want to have an active day out that’s great fun too, The Leeds Wall is the perfect choice. They offer a range of family sessions and classes all year round, with a special climbing club during the school holidays. Want more? They also do a climbing camp, which promises four and a half hours of climbing, abseiling and games, all in a safe environment.
The Leeds Wall, 100a Gelderd Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 6BY.
14. Kelham Island Museum
Nestled on a man-made island that’s over 900 years old, Kelham Island Museum will give you a glimpse of Sheffield’s industrial past. With a host of interactive exhibitions that the kids will love, it tells the story of the Industrial Revolution and what it was like to work there back in the day, before leading into the changes that have since taken place. A trip to the Yorkshire museum promises a fun family day out.
Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 8RY.
15. Jorvik DIG
If it’s an archaeological adventure you’re after, Jorvik DIG is the obvious choice. Tucked away beneath the well-trodden streets of York, it has four replica excavation pits the kids can dig for themselves, discovering a host of Roman, Viking, Medieval and Victorian treasures based on real artefacts that act as clues, showing us what it was like to live in the past. Definitely one of the best family attractions in Yorkshire.
Jorvik DIG, 16 Saint Saviour Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 8NN.
16. Leeds Industrial Museum
Give your kids a glimpse of the city’s past, as they explore everything from textile manufacturing to engineering at Leeds Industrial Museum. It was once the largest woolen mill in the world, but Armley Mills has now been transformed into a family-friendly heritage site which houses all of the city’s industrial collections, including old TV cameras and locomotives. It’s nestled on the edge of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, so you can get a hit of culture, do a picnic in their outdoor space, then go for a leisurely stroll.
Leeds Industrial Museum, Canal Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2QF.
17. The Deep
For one of the best family days out in Yorkshire, a trip to The Deep is in order. This awesome aquarium tells the story of the world’s oceans, with interactive exhibitions and a whole load of sea creatures. In fact, they have over 3,500 fish, as well as turtles, rays, sharks and even Gentoo penguins. The whole tour takes two to three hours – and there’s a cafe if you want to get a bite.
The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU1 4DP.
18. SNO!zone Castleford
You don’t have to wait for winter to get your skis out, not with SNO!zone’s ever-frozen slopes. Head over for a spot of skiing or snowboarding with the kids. They offer lessons, as well as a host of activities, like sledging, ice slides and sno-play – and if you want to send the kids to a summer camp they’ll absolutely love, try their Snocamps.
SNO!zone, Colorado Way, Glasshoughton, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 4TA.
19. Harewood House
Definitely one of the best family days out in Yorkshire, Harewood House has loads to offer. As well as the house itself, which holds Renaissance masterpieces and family portraits, it boasts beautiful gardens, perfect for exploring with the kids, and even has its own bird garden. The latter of which offers the opportunity for you to feed the penguins, which is sure to be a highlight of your day.
Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 9LG.
20. White Scar Cave
The perfect day out with the kids in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, White Scar Cave will send you deep below the surface of the earth to see a natural wonder. Here, you’ll find underground waterfalls, as well as the breathtaking Battlefield Cavern and the famed Witch’s Fingers, Devil’s Tongue and the Arum Lily formations. A real underground adventure that the whole family will enjoy.
White Scar Cave, Ingleton, North Yorkshire, LA6 3AW.
21. Tropical World
Tropical World is perfect for family day trips, with a whole host of animals inside, and Roundhay Park just across the road. Venture through the swamp and the desert, passing crocodiles, meerkats and bats along the way. See the piranhas, the seahorses and the massive pacu fish before stepping into the dark to join a medley of nocturnal creatures.
Tropical World, Princes Avenue, Roundhay Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS8 1DF.
22. Bradford Ice Rink
Active youngsters will surely enjoy a trip to Bradford Ice Rink, where they’ll get a chance to put their skates on and whizz around the rink. They run special sessions for families and beginners, so you won’t have to worry about the pros running rings around you – and you can also book lessons, if you’re trying it out for the first time. A great family day out in Yorkshire, for sure.
Bradford Ice Rink, 19 Little Horton, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD5 0AD.
23. Stockeld Park
Surrounded by beautiful woodlands, Stockeld Park is a picturesque spot for a day out with the kids. The Yorkshire attraction has loads for you to do, with a maze, outdoor roller rink, go karts and electric scooters. It also boasts an Enchanted Forest, which has a whole host of adventure playgrounds, and an Inflatable Zone that will have you bouncing your way through the day.
Stockeld Park, Wetherby, Yorkshire, LS22 4AN.
24. Brimham Rocks
Sometimes nature’s playgrounds are the best, and that’s certainly true of Brimham Rocks. This collection of weird and wonderful rock formations makes for a great family day out – the kids can clamber around, while you make the most of stunning views across Yorkshire. Bring a picnic and look out for some familiar shapes, with The Dancing Bear, The Eagle and The Gorilla, among them.
Brimham Rocks, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW.
25. Lotherton Hall
A nice little day out for all the family, Lotherton Hall combines a beautiful outdoor space with wildlife and history. Inside the house, you’ll find decorative art and their famed Fashion Galleries, while outside, there’s an orchard and a bird garden, the latter of which has over 130 different species of birds to enthral their young audiences.
Lotherton Hall, Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 3EB.
26. JORVIK Viking Centre
JORVIK Viking Centre is one of the most popular attractions in the UK, let alone Yorkshire, and it’s perfect for days out with the kids. They’ve reconstructed Viking streets, giving you a chance to see what York would have been like 1,000 years ago. On top of that, you’ll find interactive displays that tell you all about what they found on the 5-year long dig at Coppergate – fun and educational.
Jorvik Viking Centre, Coppergate, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9WT.
27. National Emergency Services Museum
If you’ve got little ones who want to grow up to be firemen, policemen or paramedics, this is the museum to visit. The building itself was once a Victorian police and fire station, but has been transformed into a place of learning. It’s filled with ambulances, fire engines, police vans, uniforms and those oh-so realistic Victorian cells – definitely worth a try if you’re looking for fun family days out in Yorkshire.
National Emergency Services Museum, The Old Police & Fire Station, West Bar, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 8PT.
28. Lightwater Valley
There’s nothing more exciting for the kids than going to a theme park. So round up the whole family and head for Lightwater Valley. It’s got rides for big kids and small, with everything from traditional bumper cars to an Angry Birds Activity Park and The Ultimate, the UK’s longest rollercoaster, there’s something for everyone. You can even nip next door for a spot of shopping.
Lightwater Valley, North Stainley, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3HT.
29. National Coal Mining Museum
Venture 140 metres underground and explore one of Britain’s oldest working mines at the National Coal Mining Museum, learning about the lives of those who worked there. It’s not all dark tunnels though – outside you can meet the ponies, stroll around the nature reserves or check out the interactive exhibitions in the Hope Pit. All in all, it’s a great day out at a popular Yorkshire attraction.
National Coal Mining Museum, Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, Wakefield, WF4 4RH.
Are we cheating by including an entire seaside town? Hell yes, but Scarborough is a day out in itself. There are beautiful beaches to be enjoyed, lined with arcades and those all important 2p machines, but you can also visit the South Cliff Italian Gardens or the Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary. With so much to do, it’s no wonder this picturesque seaside town is one of the most popular family days out in Yorkshire.
Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
31. The Web Adventure Park
Energetic kids will feel right at home in this adventure park, where they can take on some seriously cool activities. Creepy Crawlies boasts one of the biggest four lane Astra slides in the country as well as an acre of outdoor space and adventure playgrounds, while the Wired High Ropes will see you tackle 22 nerve-testing challenges up to eight metres from the ground.
The Web Adventure Park, Wigginton Road, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 2RH.
32. Fountains Abbey
One of Yorkshire’s finest attractions, Fountains Abbey is great for day trips. As well as the remains of the Cistercian abbey, you’ll find a stunning Georgian water garden here and a medieval deer park too. There are plenty of footpaths and trails to explore, if you want to get active, and you can spot loads of local wildlife. Look out for their regular events too, which could see you building dens or stepping into the shoes of a monk.
Fountains Abbey, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY.
33. Another World Adventure Centre
This is the ultimate Yorkshire day out for the family. Your little adventurers can get involved in a whole host of activities, with everything from archery and paintball to den building, grass sledging and bumper balls, all in one place. In the holidays, they’ll take the kids for a half or full day, entertaining them with all kinds of safe and fun outdoor activities.
Another World Adventure Centre, Moss Farm, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX2 8YB.
A theme park with a difference, Diggerland is one of those attractions that adults will love as much as (if not more than) the kids. You’ll have the opportunity to ride and drive real construction machinery, from a 6-tonne digger to dumper trucks and JCBs. As well as the machinery, they have indoor and outdoor play areas, so you can kick back while the kids play.
Diggerland, Willowbridge Lane, Whitwood, West Yorkshire, WF10 5NW.
35. Thackray Medical Museum
Grown-ups will love the architecture, but there’s loads for the kids at Thackray Medical Museum too, especially if the little ones like gore. You’ll travel from 1842 Leeds, with all its old-school medical procedures, to the modern day recovery room, looking at how war drives technological advancement. A cracking day out that’s as educational as it is fun – if you’re not squeamish, look out for their dissection workshops.
Thackray Medical Museum, 141 Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS9 7LN.
36. Malham Cove & Gordale Scar
If you want to get back to nature (and take the kids with you) Malham Cove is a good shout. This limestone cliff is stunning to behold and it’s surrounded by beautiful Yorkshire countryside that’s well worth visiting. If you’re up for it, walk the circular route from Malham to the cove, past the tarn and on to Gordale Scar, with its waterfalls and scenic rock gorge. It’s the perfect choice for family days out in Yorkshire – and the kids will love it as much as you.
Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales National Park, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23.
37. Bradford Industrial Museum
If you want to find out more about one of our fine Yorkshire cities, a family day out at the Bradford Industrial Museum is just the ticket. Once a small worsted spinning mill, it’s now an intriguing museum, jam-packed with old machinery. You’ll learn about steam power, engineering, motor vehicles and a whole host of textile and printing machinery as you explore – as well as seeing what it was like in Bradford, back when the mill was in action.
Bradford Industrial Museum, Moorside Mills, Moorside Road, Eccleshill, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD2 3HP.
38. Mother Shipton’s Cave
For something a little bit different, try Mother Shipton’s Cave. Said to be England’s oldest tourist attraction, it’s been open since 1630 – giving folk the opportunity to see Mother Shipton’s Cave and the petrifying well. The woman from whom it takes its name is Ursula Sontheil, a prophetess who was raised in the cave for the first two years of her life and was said to be a witch. While you’re here, why not visit Knaresborough Castle, which is just a 10-minute walk away.
Mother Shipton’s Cave, Prophecy Lodge, High Bridge, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8DD.
39. Bolton Abbey
One of Yorkshire’s best outdoor attractions, Bolton Abbey is the perfect place to take the family. Whether you’re going exploring, enjoying one of their welly walks with all the activities they bring or just having a picnic beside the river, it’s a scenic spot that promises a great day out. And let’s not forget the ruins of the 12th century Priory, which will give you a unique glimpse into the past.
Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6EX
40. National Railway Museum
With nearly one million people flocking to the National Railway Museum every year, it’s fair to say that it’s a popular choice for family days out in Yorkshire. And it’s easy to see why – you’ll find some seriously cool trains here, including a huge Chinese locomotive that’s one foot too wide and two foot too high to run on the British mainline. You can also see engineers at work in the workshop, which is pretty impressive.
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ.
41. The Forbidden Corner
A mystery of an attraction, The Forbidden Corner is home to a labyrinth of underground tunnels and chambers that are just waiting to be explored. As you wander around, you’ll encounter unusual statues, inexplicable follies and more than a few dead ends – it’s all rather unusual but undoubtedly one of the best days out in Yorkshire, especially with the stunning views.
The Forbidden Corner, The Tupgill Park Estate, Coverham, Middleham, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4TJ.
42. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Get back to nature with a family day out to one of Yorkshire’s best attractions – the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail. There’s more than enough to keep you entertained as you wander along a 4-mile route that will see you stumbling upon five waterfalls, as well as gorges, old Roman roads and glens. Along the way, you can treat yourself to a cuppa and the kids to an ice cream – fingers crossed for sunshine.
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Broadwood Entrance, Ingleton, Carnforth, LA6 3ET.
43. Yorkshire Wildlife Park
A must-do, Yorkshire Wildlife Park will see you and the kids getting right up close to a whole host of exotic animals. As you walk around the park, you’ll meet lions, polar bears, tigers, giraffes, meerkats, zebras and more – with the chance to learn a thing or two at one of the many talks that take place throughout the day. It’s one of Yorkshire’s best family days out, for sure.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Brockholes Lane, Branton, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN3 3NH.
44. Ilkley Pool & Lido
If you’ve got a brood of water babies on your hands, a trip to Ilkley Pool & Lido will be practically irresistible. Nestled in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, it’s great for sunny days out with the kids, as you cool off (and splash around) in their open air pool. They also offer tennis, bowling and have a putting green for you to take advantage of.
Ilkley Pool & Lido, Denton Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 0BZ.
45. Aysgarth Falls
Another amazing Yorkshire destination when it comes to walking, why not take the kids to a natural treasure that’s been featured in a Hollywood movie? Aysgarth Falls was where they filmed the famed scene where Robin Hood fights Little John in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It makes for a lovely day out, with plenty to keep you entertained as you walk.
Aysgarth Falls, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3SR.
46. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Of course Yorkshire Sculpture Park deserves a place on this list. It combines two of our favourite things – a massive (and beautiful) outdoor space with new and intriguing exhibitions of modern art. As well as its two main attractions, Yorkshire Sculpture Park also offers a series of events for families, letting you get involved in the art itself.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG.
47. Thornton Hall Farm Country Park
Wowza, Thornton Hall Farm Country Park is going to become an instant favourite with the kids. Not only is it a working farm where the little ones can meet and feed their favourite farmyard animals, but they also offer a range of activities for children of all ages to get involved in. From lawnmower racing to pony trekking, 4×4 adventures and toddler sessions, there’s a little something for everyone. Plus, the kids can burn off some energy in the Wizzick Play Barn, before you all take a well-deserved break in the tearoom.
Thornton Hall Farm Country Park, Thornton-in-Craven, near Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 3TS
48. Dalby Forest
This is an absolute blinder of a day out for families, especially if you like cycling. Dalby Forest has oodles of cycles routes, giving you a chance to explore the beautiful woodlands on two wheels. Try the 6-mile Green Cycle Route which circles the high plateau around Adderstone or have a crack at the Green Ellerburn Family Cycle Route, a 2-mile trail that’s great for kids that are just learning to ride a bike. You’ll also find an adventure playground, tearoom and the famous Gruffalo Spotters Trail here.
Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire, YO18 7LT
49. St Aiden’s Nature Park
Managed by the RSPB, St Aiden’s Nature Park is a real treasure. It’s a 400-hectare country park with 12 kilometres of trails for you to explore, whether you’re walking, cycling or even horse riding. There’s absolutely loads to see here, including lakes, woodland and grassland – which of course attracts a variety of wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might spot a roe deer, a brown hare or a marsh harrier. Stop for a picnic before you head home and you’ve got one of the best days out in Yorkshire.
St Aiden’s Nature Park, Allerton Bywater, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 8DD.
50. Magna Science Adventure Centre
Once the Templeborough steelworks, it closed in 1993, but in its heydey Steel, Peech and Tozer employed 10,000 people and produced 2 million tonnes of steel every year. You can learn all about it at the Magna Science Adventure Centre which has now taken over the building. At over 500 kilometres long and 45 metres high, it’s a vast building that will keep the kids entertained with over 100 hands-on exhibits that explore the elements used to make steel – water, fire, earth and air.
Magna Science Adventure Centre, Magna Way, Templeborough, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S60 1FD.Cover image credit: Peppermint Creative