59 Things To Do In Yorkshire With Toddlers

things to do in yorkshire with toddlers

Yorkshire is a great place to go on holiday with a toddler. I’m probably biased, because I’ve lived here for most of my life, but I’m constantly amazed about all the things to do in Yorkshire with toddlers. There are world class museums like the National Railway Museum in York, quaint seaside resorts dotted along the east coast, and of course you have the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Dalby Forest on your doorstep. Read on for the definitive list of things to do in Yorkshire with a toddler.

Things To Do In Yorkshire With Toddlers

Museums for Toddlers In Yorkshire

1. Eureka, Halifax

We love days out at the Eureka!, which is the National Children’s Museum in Halifax. Toddlers will love pushing their trolley around the pretend M&S Simply Foods shop, getting arty in the Creativity Space or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Plus, you can eat your picnic lunch in a train carriage outside in the grounds – what could be better?

Eureka

Eureka

2. National Coal Mining Museum

High up on the hills outside of Wakefield is the National Coal Mining Museum, which tells visitors about the fascinating history of coal mining in Yorkshire. Children aged 5 and over can go on an underground pit tour, but toddlers will love seeing the pit ponies, the outdoor nature trail and playground and the Little Diggers indoor soft play.

Little Diggers Play Area at National Coal Mining Museum

3. National Railway Museum

One of our favourite days out – a must for train fans. See famous engines like the Mallard and Japanese Bullet train in this wonderful free museum right next to York Railway station. There is also regular storytelling sessions and a small under 5’s soft play area. Plus, you can get the land train into York city centre afterwards.

National Railway Museum

Places To Take Toddlers On A Sunny Day In Yorkshire

4. Dalby Forest

The Dalby Forest is located on the south side of the North York Moors. There are family friendly cycle rides, an adventure play area, and currently there is a Gruffalo Orienteering course

5. York Maze

A fantastic day out in the summer. More than just a Maze, the York Maze has an amazing sand and water playground, slides, painting, tractor rides and much more. Read all about the York Maze for toddlers here

The Sand and Water Play at the York Maze

Daniel playing in the sand and water play at the York Maze

6. Bolton Abbey

For just £10 per car, the whole family can have a day out exploring the Bolton Abbey estate on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Toddlers will love the woodland walks, playing on the river beach and paddling in the river – don’t forget your wellies! Seasonal events like the Welly Walk adventure trail and the Easter Egg hunt are loads of fun too. Finish your day off with a trip to Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour!

Bolton Abbey

7. Room On The Broom Trail

Julia Donaldson fans will love the Room On The Broom Trail at Anglers Park in Wakefield. Grab an activity pack (£2) and go on the trail round the lake looking for clues and taking part in the activities. Read about taking a 2 year old and a 4 year old on the Room and the Broom Trail here

8. RHS Harlow Carr

Don’t be nervous about taking toddlers to the RHS Harlow Carr gardens in Harrogate! These gardens are really family friendly with a treehouse playground, I Spy trails and a fantastic hill for rolling down. Take a look at these pictures of a day out at Harlow Carr with a toddler to see why it is such a good idea!

Harlow Carr

One of the main hightlights of a visit to RHS Harlow Carr is the breath taking gardens

9. The Valley Gardens

The Valley Gardens are English Heritage Grade II listed gardens in the spa town of Harrogate. There are 17 acres of woodland and parkland to explore along with a children’s playground, boating pool and paddling pool – perfect for a summer day out.

10. Newby Hall

This is one of Britain’s finest Adam Houses, but also has loads of outdoor activities for toddlers. Newby Hall doesn’t just have an adventure playground– it has an Adventure Garden with toddler swings, climbing frames, and pedalo boats. There is also a miniature train ride and a Tarantella dancing water play area which toddlers will love playing in on a hot day.

Newby Hall

Newby Hall

11. Wentworth Castle Gardens

Wentworth Castle Gardens near Barnsley has a castle, adventure playground, woodland and parkland. The adventure playground is great for little ones as it is all sand based. There is a café and ice cream shop too.

12. Harewood House

Harewood House near Leeds has a Bird Garden with penguins, flamingos and parrots. There is also an adventure playground with a pirate ship and castle. Inside the house, toddlers can dress up as servants using clothes from the dressing up box.

13. Yorkshire Sculpture Park

There are 500 acres of parkland to run around at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and toddlers are encouraged to touch the sculptures. This is a great article about a family walk around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Train Rides for Train Mad Toddlers

14. Kirklees Light Railway

The Kirklees Light Railway has 5 friendly engines (Hawk, Owl, Fox, Badger and Katie) which puff along the South Pennines to Clayton West. There is an outdoor play area and café too.

15. The North York Moors Railway

We loved our day out on the North York Moors Railway. Catch the train from the market town of Pickering in North Yorkshire and ride in style across the North York Moors to the seaside town of Whitby. Alternatively, you can hope off in Grosmont and have lunch at the fabulously family friendly Old School Coffee Shop.

The North York Moors Railway

The North York Moors Railway

16. Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Train

For toddlers with a short attention span, a 15 minute ride on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey steam train is the perfect way for them to get their train fix. Park at Embsay (free parking) and take the train to Bolton Abbey Train Station which is about a 1 mile walk from the Bolton Abbey estate itself. The walk is on little footpaths so baby carriers are recommended instead of buggies.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Train

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Train

17. The Worth Valley Railway

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire runs steam trains 5-miles up the Worth Valley to Haworth and Oxenhope. You can relive memories of the 1970’s film, The Railway Children, see where it was filmed and even see five of the carriages which were used in the film.

18. The Middleton Railway

Ride on the world’s oldest working railway in South Leeds. Take this historic train on a 15 minute train ride to Middleton Park where you can have an ice cream and a run around before catching the train back to Middleton.

19. The North Bay Mini Railway in Scarborough

The NBR was built in 1931 and runs for aprox 1.4km in Scarborough between Peasholm Park and Scalby Mills, which is the station for the Scarborough Sealife Centre.

Places To Take Toddlers Swimming In Yorkshire

20. Ilkley Lido

I can’t think of a better place to take a dip on a hot summer’s day than Ilkley Lido. This outdoor swimming pool overlooks Ilkley Moor, and is the perfect place for a swim and a picnic. The lido is only open in the summer months – check website / Facebook page for more details.

Ilkley Lido

Ilkley Lido

21. Calypso Cove (Barnsley)

This indoor pirate themed water park is full of slides, flumes and a wave pool. You can also have a game of ten pin bowling after your swim!

22. Alpamare (Scarborough)

Opened in 2016, Alpamare is a brand new waterpark in Scarborough with an indoor wave pool, splash and water area and outdoor infinity pool and garden pool heated to a toasty 35 degrees. An adult ticket is £19 and under 6’s are free.

23. Filey Beach

This sheltered bay is a great place for a toddler to go for a paddle and splash if you can cope with the cold of the North Sea!

Filey Brigg

Filey Brigg

24. Splish Splosh at Flamingoland

You will be lucky to stay dry at this water park at Flamingoland where you can play in fountains, water jets and even water canons.

25. Seaside Paddling Pools

If paddling pools are more your toddler’s thing, check out the free paddling pools at Filey and on West Cliff Bay at Whitby.

National Trusts For Toddlers In Yorkshire

We are big fans of the National Trust, and there is no shortage of fantastic National Trusts to visit with your toddler in Yorkshire. These are some of our favourites.

26. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

This is a World Heritage Site near Ripon in North Yorkshire. There is so much to do here that you will be lucky to fit it all into one day. Toddlers will love the new adventure playground, seeing the deer park and exploring the woodland and parkland in this vast estate. There are plenty of cafes and tea rooms dotted around too!

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey

27. Nostell Priory

Another great National Trust with a new cycle path and woodland adventure playground.

Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory

28. East Riddlesden Hall

East Riddlesden Hall near Bradford is smaller than its larger National Trust neighbours but has a Mud Kitchen which is a hit with toddlers. There is also a duck pond with hungry ducks to feed.

East Riddlesden Hall

East Riddlesden Hall

Things Not To Miss….

29. A Boat Trip on the River Ouze

Get the York Boat from the centre of York and take 45 minute boat trip up and down the River Ouze seeing this beautiful city from the water – a wonderful thing to do on a sunny afternoon. There is a toilet and refreshments on board!

York Boat

30. The Naval Battle At Peasholm Park

Toddlers will love watching the naval battle in the historic Peasholm Park in Scarborough. Adults squeeze into 20 foot boats and manoeuvre them round the lake as they take part in a battle which also sees planes flying overhead on zip wires. The battle takes place in the summer months. See website or Facebook page for dates and times.

31. The Forbidden Corner

The award winning Forbidden Corner, near Richmond in North Yorkshire, is a 4 acre garden with a labyrinth of tunnels, follies, chambers and lots of surprises! This is probably better for older toddlers, due to the unexpected surprises in the garden.

32. Stockeld Park

Stockeld Park is a large adventure park near Wetherby, which has excellent seasonal events such as their Christmas and Summer Adventure. There is an enchanted forest, maze, roller skating, indoor soft play area and lots of outdoor activities. Well worth a visit. Read about our experience of the Summer Adventure at Stockeld Park with toddlers here

The Enchanted Forest at Stockeld Park

The Enchanted Forest at Stockeld Park

33. The Studfold Adventure Trail

One of our favourite days out in 2016 was to the Studfold Adventure Trail in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire. This 1.5 mile farmland trail is packed full of activities to interest and excite toddlers and young children. There are clues, questions, bird hides and a playground along the trail, and somehow it took us almost 3 hours to complete. It is very reasonably priced, and picnics can be ordered and delivered to the end of trail. Due to the trail passing through fields, I would recommend baby carriers rather than buggies. Pick a nice dry day to do it too.

Beautiful scenery at the Studfold Adventure Trail

Beautiful scenery at the Studfold Adventure Trail

The playground at the Studfold Adventure Trail

The playground at the Studfold Adventure Trail

Things To Do With A Toddler On A Rainy Day In Yorkshire

34. DIG

DIG is an indoor archaeological adventure in York where children can become trainee ‘diggers’ and learn about York’s 2000 year old history. You start off with an interactive briefing sessions where the children get to hold various artefacts, then it’s time to get digging in the pits to see what you can find. The soil is synthetic no mess soil so you don’t need to bring spare clothes!

DIG at York

DIG

The digging pits at DIG

35. Afternoon Tea At The Grand Hotel In York

What better way to spend a rainy afternoon than being tucked up inside having afternoon tea? The Grand Hotel at York has a daily Children’s Afternoon Tea which is perfect for a special treat. Read more about our experience of Children’s Afternoon Tea at the Grand Hotel here

Children's Afternoon Tea At the Grand Hotel

36. York Chocolate Story

Find out about the history of chocolate making in York, make your very own chocolate lollipop and sample lots of chocolate at the York Chocolate Museum. Read about the York Chocolate Story with toddlers here

York Chocolate Story

York Chocolate Story

37. Creepy Crawlies

Let off steam at Creepy Crawlies indoor adventure park in York

38. Magna Science Adventure

Find out about Air, Earth, Fire and Water at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Sheffield. This is a fantastic attraction, which I think is more suitable for older toddlers than babies. Toddlers will love seeing the fire tornado, digging in Earth pavilion and splashing about in the Water play area. The outdoor Aqua Tek water adventure playground is fantastic in Summer too. Wrap up warm though as Magna tends to be cold due to the immense size of the building!

39. Scarborough Sealife Centre

Meet penguins, rays and sharks at the Scarborough Sealife Centre

40. National Emergency Services Museum

Visit the world’s largest emergency services museum with over 50 exhibits on show and 3 floors of interactive displays (including Victorian police cells!)

Days At The Seaside Which Toddlers Will Love

I’ve done a more detailed round up about 5 toddler friendly days out at the seaside here, but this is a summary just to whet your appetite!

41. Whitby

Spend the day exploring day the fishing town of Whitby on the east coast. As well as the beach, there is a cliff top paddling pool and the fantastic Pannett Park. Don’t leave without having a lemon top ice cream! More ideas about things to do in Whitby with a toddler here

The 199 Steps to Whitby

Down the 199 steps to Whitby

42. Scarborough

Scarborough is another famous Yorkshire seaside town with loads to do with toddlers. As well as the beach, there is the Sealife Centre, North Bay Railway and Alpamare water park. Don’t miss Peasholm Park and the naval battle display.

43. Filey

With over 7 miles of beach, Filey never feels busy. There are donkey rides, plenty of rockpools at the bottom of Filey Brigg and a free paddling pool overlooking the sea.

Donkey Rides on Filey Beach

Donkey Rides on Filey Beach

44. Bridlington

‘Brid’ as it is affectionately known has 2 beaches and a bustling harbour with lots of fishing boats going in and out. Find out about how rock is made at the John Bull Candy Kingdom. Park at Sewerby Hall and Gardens at the edge of town and catch the road train into the main resort.

Days Out With Animals

45. Yorkshire Wildlife Park

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park is the UK’s number 1 wildlife park adventure with over 400 different animals. You can see tigers, lions, leopards, polar bears and much, much more. There are also daily animal talks so you can learn more about the animals which live there

46. The Tropical Butterfly House

The Tropical Butterfly House, near Sheffield doesn’t just have butterflies! There are birds of prey, meerkats, lemurs and lots of butterflies and exotic animals.

47. The Deep

The Deep in Hull is one of the UK’s largest and best aquariums. There are over 3500 fish including rays, sharks, turtles and penguins.

48. Hesketh Farm Park

One of the best things about Hesketh Farm Park near Bolton Abbey is it stunning location on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. This family run farm has lots of animals, plus an indoor playbarn, large outdoor playground, go karts and of course the tractor rides. Another of our favourite days out in 2016.

The sandpit at Hesketh Farm Park

The sandpit at Hesketh Farm Park

Diggers at Hesketh Farm Park

Diggers at Hesketh Farm Park

This is a really good review of Hesketh Farm Park from Erin from Yorkshire Tots (including a great video).

49. Thornton Hall Country Park

Another great farm in Yorkshire is Thornton Hall Country Park near Skipton. There are lots of animals, daily feeding and petting activities, an outdoor playground and large indoor playbarn with a fantastic slide!

Thornton Hall Country Park

Thornton Hall Country Park

50. Canon Hall Farm

Canon Hall Farm near Barnsley is a large working farm with lots of pigs, sheep and cows to see. Plus there is a fantastic new indoor play area with a café which is worth a visit.

Cannon Hall Farm

Cannon Hall Farm

51. Filey Bird Garden

This small animal park just outside Filey is good if you are looking for somewhere to go for a few hours. There are animals, gardens and birds.

Places To Get Ice Cream In Yorkshire

52. The Ice Cream Boat in York

One of the highlights of a summer’s day out in York is finding the Two Hoots Ice Cream Boat and having one of their salted caramel ice creams!

Two Hoots Ice Cream Boat

Two Hoots Ice Cream Boat

53. Brymoor Ice Cream

For ice cream made in the Yorkshire Dales, check out Brymoor Ice Cream in the Yorkshire Dales. All ice cream is made on the farm!

Toddler Friendly Theme Parks In Yorkshire

54. Flamingoland

Flamingoland is a theme park and zoo all in one near Malton. There is a holiday resort onsite if you want to make a weekend of it, as well as family friendly shows and entertainment.

55. Lightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley has loads of rides for toddlers including carousels, boat rides and mini rollercoasters. Angry Birds fans will love the Angry Birds play area! Read about Lightwater Valley for toddlers here

Lightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley

56. Diggerland

Diggermad toddlers will love driving their own digger at Diggerland. Everywhere you turn there is another digger you can play on! Read about Diggerland for toddlers here

Diggerland

Diggerland

Something A Bit Different

57. Standedge Tunnel

Standedge Tunnel is Britain’s longest canal tunnel located in the Pennines. You can take a 30 minute boat tour into the tunnel and learn more about its history. There is also a café and indoor play area. This is probably suited more for older toddlers. Note – there isn’t a toilet on board!

Standedge Tunnel

Standedge Tunnel

58. The Yorkshire Air Museum

This independent air museum has loads of beautiful aircraft from World War 2 and before. You can’t go in many of the planes, but they are impressive to see, and the NAAFI system café is worth a visit. A great day out for toddlers who like planes and ‘big things’

Yorkshire Air Museum

Yorkshire Air Museum

59. Hire A Boat At Knaresborough

The pretty market town of Knaresborough is situated on the River Nidd. One of the most popular activities in the summer is to hire a boat and have a paddle about on the Nidd followed by an ice cream at one of the waterside café’s and restaurants. There are plenty of boat hire companies and life jackets are provided.

Knaresborough Boat Rides

Knaresborough Boat Rides

Phew – that’s it! I’d love to know if you have any more ideas about things to do in Yorkshire with toddlers!

Things to do in yorkshire with a toddler

About Jo Addison

Mother of 2 little boys. Passionate about holidays and days out with babies and toddlers.

15 Comments

  1. Wow!! What an amazing list! I am so impressed and will be using this for planning. There are so many places we haven’t been! Love your photos too. #Yorkshirefamily
    Erin Ek Rush recently posted…#YorkshireFamily – February 2017My Profile

  2. This is such a brilliant list! I’m really impressed with how many things you managed to think of and squeeze on. Proof that Yorkshire really is such a good place to visit with kids.

  3. Wow I take my hat off to you this is an absolutely brilliant guide! We go to Yorkshire often and have done some of these but now are armed with so many more brilliant ideas. Thanks so much for sharing such a detailed post with so many suggestions. #Mondayescapes

  4. Great round-up! We love the sculpture park #mondayescapes
    Wandermust mummy recently posted…European City Breaks with Babies Part Two, N-ZMy Profile

  5. Wow, what a great list! Going to bookmark this in case we head to Yorkshire in the future! #MondayEscapes

  6. What a list of things to do!! so many wonderful days out – The outdoor pool Ilkley Lido looks beautiful, and the room on the broom trail – my little ones love room on the broom!! will pin this for later thank you for sharing! #MondayEscapes

  7. This is quite a list! I love the abbeys and seaside towns. I have not visited but based on your descriptions and photos, it looks like a very exciting area. #MondayEscapes

  8. this is amazing, incredibly comprehensive! #Mondayescapes

  9. This post is very nice, I appreciate for the post “59 Things To Do In Yorkshire With Toddlers” and I really like the Valley Gardens which very amazing garden, kids also love to visit and fun.
    http://10elite.com/category/computer-technology/…The best computer technology.

  10. This is such a brilliant list, thank you! I hadn’t heard of the Emergency Services Museum, will definitely be taking my boys there.

  11. Wow there is a lot to do, I keep meaning to see if there is a eureka near us or how far I am from your. We are Lancashire x #daysoutwithatoddler

  12. Love this list thank you! I would like to add The Hepworth In Wakefield, it’s a modern art gallery with great family activities and whilst much of it is beyond my 3yr old she will often recall the day we had a picnic at the art gallery, made Christmas decorations from clay there and the day we became explorers with backpacks full of interesting objects like magnifying glasses and prisms and crayons with activities to do. Just the space itself is eye opening for little ones. The car park is reasonably priced and the walk over the suspension bridge to enter is fascinating. You’re welcome to take your own picnic although there is also a lovely cafe and most importantly (for us and I’m sure others) entry and all the activities are FREE, making this a must do thing if you are local to Wakefield and have a morning or afternoon to fill!

  13. Wow this is a fab list! I am bookmarking this post! #yorkshirefamily

  14. How is Greenhead Park Huddersfield not on this list

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge