We love our days out and Yorkshire has hundreds of family-friendly places to visit. As a Yorkshire based family travel and days out writer I often get asked where we would personally recommend.
In this post I have listed our favourite 16 places to enjoy a day out with kids in Yorkshire. These have been chosen from a huge number of places that we have been to. I have only included places we have loved so much that we would return to over and over again.
This is a guest post by Suzy from Yorkshire To Do With Kids. Their website and Facebook page are packed full of inspiration for having fun as a family across the four counties of Yorkshire.
Bridlington – East Riding of Yorkshire
A Bit About – Bridlington is a seaside tourist town in East Yorkshire. It has so much to do there. You can choose to do as little or as much as you like. You could start at south beach with its huge sandy beach, a paddling pool and the Bridlington Spa theatre. Or you could visit the harbour with pirate ship rides, speed boat rides plus longer boat rides on the Yorkshire Belle. The harbour is also a great place for a spot of crabbing. This is also a great area for fish and chips.
A little further on from here you will find lots of amusement arcades and fairground rides. There is a leisure centre with an excellent pool and splash area plus land train rides up to Bondville model village and Sewerby Hall and Gardens. We love to have a game of crazy golf here and the beach is sandy but with a lot of white pebbles for building sculptures on the sand.
Brimham Rocks – North Yorkshire
Address: Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, Harrogate HG3 4DW
A Bit About – Brimham Rocks is a great free day out. The site is maintained by the National Trust and only non-members have to pay to park. There is a large collection of natural rock formations that you can explore and climb. Most of the formations have been named after things that they look like such as dancing bear, eagle and the Druid’s writing desk (recently nick-named E.T.). It is a great place to challenge yourself and it will feel like a really great big adventure to the kids.
Castle Howard – North Yorkshire
Address: Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA
A Bit About – Castle Howard is a large stately home that you can look around. It is really impressive and has some of the finest rooms that I’ve ever seen. The main highlight for families is the extensive grounds and amazing adventure playgrounds. Skelf Island is a relatively new addition with a rope bridge across the water, if you dare. Plus large wooden structures and bridges that kids will love to explore. Next to this is the ‘older’ but very much up-to-date adventure playground which is also great fun. There is so much to play on and there is something for all age ranges. In the grounds there are buildings to find and a stunning fountain that looks like it could be in Rome.
Diggerland – West Yorkshire
Address: Willowbridge Ln, Castleford WF10 5NW
A Bit About – Located in Castleford near Wakefield you will find this JCB themed park. There are lots of rides most of which have height restrictions. I would say that Diggerland is mostly suited to children over 90cms (possibly a little taller). The rides are really unique and include a digger claw ride, diggers kids can drive, digger arm games and so much more. There is an indoor soft play area if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum – North Yorkshire
Address: Malton YO17 6RT
A Bit About – Housed in an old prisoner of war camp from WWII you will find one of the most intriguing and interesting museums that you will ever visit. The exhibitions are in all the old nissan huts and each is home to new and interesting surprises. You can expect moving animations, smells, special effects and sounds to take you right back to war time. Some of our favourites include a hut made to look like the inside of a submarine, an air raid shelter with a street under attack and a recreated street which smells of sweets. There is also a fun playground with towers and walkways plus a smaller playground for younger children with new wooden play equipment.
Flamborough Selwicks Bay – East Riding of Yorkshire
Address: Lighthouse Road, Flamborough, Bridlington YO15 1AP
A Bit About – There are four beaches in Flamborough and Selwicks Bay is our favourite. It sits down to the left side of Flamborough head with the ‘new’ lighthouse looking down over it. It is quite a steep walk down to the bottom which isn’t accessible especially as there are some metal steps near the bottom. I urge you to check the tide times before you visit as there is little to the beach at high tide. At low tide though the beach really comes alive with rock pools and caves that you can explore. If you head left when the tide is out there is a really lovely part of the beach you can walk to with rocky cliffs and hidden inlets. If you’re lucky you may even spot a puffin.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden – North Yorkshire
Address: Fountains, Ripon HG4 3DY
A Bit About – Fountains Abbey is owned by the National Trust and it is a really huge site to explore. There is an excellent wooden adventure playground for the kids and a few historic buildings that you can look around. The abbey itself is largely a ruin but it is an amazing place and there is more to see than first meets the eye. The Royal Water garden is really beautiful and there are follies to be found plus a pretty lake. We can spend hours and hours here exploring and still not see everything.
Forbidden Corner – North Yorkshire
Address: The Forbidden Corner, Middleham, Leyburn DL8 4TJ
A Bit About – This is our favourite, top of the list, place to visit. We love it because it’s so unique. I’ve never been anywhere quite like it. There is so much to find! It’s full of follies with a surprise at every turn. You will feel a little bit lost and disorientated but that just adds to the fun. There is a crypt like building that small children may find scary but you don’t have to go inside if you don’t want to. Our favourite folly is a building with eyes that move. When you enter you enter into its mouth – be careful it may well burp. You then move through its body and exit through its tail. There is a lovely adventure playground for the kids.
Gulliver’s Valley – South Yorkshire
Address: Mansfield Rd, Sheffield S26 5QW
A Bit About – Opened in July 2020 is the latest Gullivers theme park. It’s a great day out for toddlers to children of around the age of 10. There are around 23 rides most of which are outdoors with plenty of family rides and a few thrill rides. Indoors there is a huge play area including climbing walls, crazy golf, caves, 3 rides and more. The park has different themed areas with dinosaurs, pirates and cowboys. They have plans to expand the park over the next few years and you can even stay on-site.
Monk Park Farm – North Yorkshire
Address: Green Ln, Thirsk YO7 2AG
A Bit About – This is our favourite farm park in Yorkshire. We love it because it allows you to get as close as possible to their animals. We can’t wait to return as they’ve upgraded the play equipment since we were last there and added some more accessible paths. We can never buy enough animal food! There are always plenty of eager mouths to feed and most of their animals also love to be stroked. A lot of their animals also wander around freely which is lovely for the kids to be able to see them without a fence in between. A big favourite of ours is when you can help feed the guinea pigs. It’s a great place for kids to stretch their legs.
Newby Hall and Gardens – North Yorkshire
Address: Newby Hall, Skelton-on-Ure, Ripon HG4 5AE
A Bit About – Newby Hall is an elegant Georgian House with spectacular interiors and with 25 acres of award winning gardens. The playground is one of our favourites in Yorkshire as it’s really unique. The main highlight are the mini pedalos for kids which they peddle around a moat using their hands (adults unless very small and light can’t take part). The island in the middle has a really wobbly bridge and there’s a play turret, zip wire and more. Another highlight is the chain ferry which kids can move themselves along the water’s edge. There is a cute bear’s house museum plus a museum full of dolls houses. You can also purchase tickets for a miniature train ride or a boat ride on the water. The house is sometimes open to the public although we haven’t been around it as yet.
Scarborough – North Yorkshire
There are lots of seaside resorts and beaches on the Yorkshire coastline but Scarborough and Bridlington are always my favourite places when it comes to a busy family day out with a choice of things to do. Scarborough south beach has the smaller of the two beaches but it’s where you will find all the amusements and most of the restaurants. There is a big wheel with pirate crazy golf then further up there is a harbour with boat rides, crabbing and a few fairground rides. You can take the cliff lift up into town where the shops are or walk the hill up to Scarborough Castle.
The south beach in Scarborough is the largest although can be almost covered at high tide. There is another crazy golf course, rock pooling at low tide plus the pretty Peasholm Park with an oriental theme and boating. You can take the steam train to the Scarborough Sea Life centre or further up the coast there is Alpamare which is one of the UK’s biggest water parks.
Stockeld Park – North Yorkshire
Address: Wetherby Rd, Wetherby LS22 4AN
A Bit About – If your kids love to play then Stockeld Park is the place for them. It has a circular trail through the woods which is full of magic and fairy tales. Along the way there are lots of excellent play areas and all sorts of intriguing things to find. The park also has a huge hedge maze which is great fun. Plus a cute wooden tractor themed play area, go-karts and in the summer they usually have a large inflatable assault course.
Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife and Falconry Centre – South Yorkshire
Address: Woodsetts Rd, North Anston, Sheffield S25 4EQ
A Bit About – We have been here every year as we love it so much. It’s not a massive place but we can spend hours there. It has some really lovely aspects to it such as dinosaurs hidden in the woods which kids can press buttons to make come alive, a wallaby walk-through, a witches house and lots of water fun. I can recommend buying their mixed food box as you get to feed lots of different animals. One of the highlights is feeding the lorikeets in the butterfly house. I also love the lemur talks as you get to go into their enclosure. They also sometimes have tractor rides and their bird and animal displays are worth a watch. Make sure you take a change of clothes as there is a fun sand and water play area plus other smaller play areas.
York Maze – North Yorkshire
Address: York maze, Elvington Ln, York YO19 5LT
A Bit About – This is a seasonal attraction which I probably shouldn’t have included but it is such a great day out I can’t not include it. It opens from mid July until early September and there is a great variety of things to do. There is always a huge maize maze plus other smaller mazes. They have over 20 rides and attractions. Other things to do include sand play, big slides, obstacle course, crazy golf, bouncy pillow and so much more. If you are looking for a really fun day out then this place is a must.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park – West Yorkshire
Address: West Bretton, Wakefield WF43 4LG
A Bit About – This is a vast parkland with art sculptures dotted around the landscape. The park covers 500 acres and the sculptures are spread out far and wide. You will never manage to see everything in one day so it may be an idea to consult a map before you start walking. There is a large lake with a long walk that has follies to find along the way. Some of the sculptures do change throughout the year but you should be able to see sculptures by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.
Thanks for reading. I hope you will find some inspiration for your next family day out in Yorkshire.