52 BEST Things To Do In Yorkshire With Toddlers

Sutton Bank National Park Centre

Discover the best things to do with toddlers in Yorkshire including amazing days out, train rides, world class museums and theme parks which are perfect for toddlers!

Read More 25 Awesome Baby And Toddler Friendly Places To Stay In Yorkshire

#1. Whistlestop Valley 

toddler friendly day out yorkshire

Little railway, BIG adventures!  At Whistlestop Valley, you’ll find real-life narrow-gauge steam engines, outdoor playgrounds, a large jumping pillow, an indoor toy area in The Shed, The Firebox café, The Clayton Flyer miniature ride-on railway, The Turntable dessert cream parlour, gift/toy shop and loads of good old fashioned family fun.  On selected term-time Mondays and Fridays, bring your mini-me along for the Young Engineers days: a scaled-down version of a standard day aimed exclusively at toddlers and pre-schoolers.

toddler friendly day out yorkshire

toddler friendly day out yorkshire

Whistlestop Valley has a host of special events throughout the year to keep you entertained: from Dinosaur Ranger Adventure to Halloween events and not forgetting the sell-out Santa Specials in November/December.  There is a large free car park at Clayton West Station. Please check the website for the most up-to-date opening times.

Learn More – Whistlestop Valley Railway

#2. The Studfold Adventure Trail

baby and toddler friendly day out in yorkshire

The Studfold Adventure Trail in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire is a 1.5 mile farmland trail packed full of activities to interest and excite toddlers. There are clues, fairy houses, sensory boxes, go karts, den building, bird hides and a brand new playground along the trail. The trail is very reasonably priced and picnics can be ordered and delivered to the end of trail – plus there is a Cafe onsite.  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

Learn More – The Studfold Trail

#3. Eden Camp

toddler friendly day out yorkshire

Housed in a former Prisoner of War camp, Eden Camp is an award winning museum which incorporates the sounds, smells and lights to transport you back to World War 2.  Families can learn about rationing, explore the inside of a U-Boat and see loads of vehicles from World War 2 including tanks, aircraft and mini submarines.  There’s also a new playground just for Under 5’s including a huge basket swing and a Watchover Tower in full Eden Camp spirit!

Learn More – Eden Camp

#4. Birchfield Ice Cream Parlour, Harrogate

This family run farm combines two things toddlers love; cute animals and ice cream. The farm make their own ice cream, and serve amazing milkshakes, waffles and sandwiches and snacks in their café. The farm is also open to the public and has pigs, sheep, cows and guinea pigs to see as well as a straw bale mountain, woodland walk and den building. You may even be lucky enough to bottle feed some lambs!

Harrogate with a toddler

Harrogate with a toddler

Learn More – Birchfield Ice Cream

#5. Mother Shipton’s

Mother Shipton’s is a famous Yorkshire attraction which tells the story of Mother Shipton and the Petrifying Well.  Families can follow the woodland trail to see the Petrifying Well, Wishing Well and Cave where Mother Shipton was born before having a play in the adventure playground. There are themed events in the school holidays and plenty of picnic benches with scenic views of the ancient forest and River Nidd. Dogs on a lead are welcome in all areas except the adventure playground, and there are two vintage style refreshment kiosks which serve scooped ice cream, artisanal coffee, freshly made sandwiches and light refreshments.  Please note there are 3 sets of steps to get to the Cave, Well and Museum, so pushchairs can’t get past this point. There is a shelter to park pushchairs and a sling is recommended for babies.

toddler friendly days out in yorkshire

toddler friendly days out in yorkshire

Learn More – Mother Shiptons

#6. 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

#7. 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 from the outside and the NAAFI system café is worth a visit. A great day out for toddlers who like planes and ‘big things’. Make sure you pick up a copy of the ‘Future Pilot’ Treasure Trail!

Yorkshire Air Museum

Learn More – Yorkshire Air Museum

#8. 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

#9. 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

Read More Discovering York With Toddlers: Where To Stay, What To Do & Where To Eat

#10. 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

#11. 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 highlights of a visit to RHS Harlow Carr is the breath taking gardens

#12. The Yorkshire Arboretum

The Yorkshire Arboretum is set in 120 acres and a is a showcase of an extraordinary tree collection in a stunning landscape, with a woodland playground, shop, café and busy events programme. There aren’t many paths so it is the perfect place to just run around and explore. The café is well worth a visit too!

Yorkshire Arboretum

Train Rides for Train Mad Toddlers

#13. 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.

#14. 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

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.

#15. 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.

#16. 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

#17. 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

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!

#18. Helmsley Open Air Heated Swimming Pool

There is also a heated outdoor swimming pool in the gorgeous market town of Helmsley. Have a dip and then grab some cake afterwards!

Helmsley Open Air Swimming Pool

#19. 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.

#20. 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.

#21. 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

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

Nostell Priory

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

Things Not To Miss….

#22. 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

Buy Tickets – York River Ouse City Cruise

#23. 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.

Naval Display

#24. 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.

#25. 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.

The Enchanted Forest at Stockeld Park

















#26. Harewood House

Harewood House near Leeds is a fantastic day out for babies and toddlers!  There is bags of outdoor space for little ones to explore as well as a massive adventure playground and a Bird Garden with penguins, flamingos and parrots. Inside the impressive Georgian house, toddlers can dress up as servants using clothes from the dressing up box and learn about life Below Stairs!

Learn More – Harewood House

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

#27. 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

#28. 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

#29. Creepy Crawlies

Let off steam at Creepy Crawlies indoor adventure park in York

#30. 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!

#31. Scarborough Sealife Centre

Meet penguins, rays and sharks at the Scarborough Sealife Centre

Get Tickets – Scarborough Sealife Centre

#32. 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!

#33. 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

#34. 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.

Read More 5 Secret Places To Go On The Yorkshire Coast With Toddlers

#35. 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

#36. Runswick Bay

Close to the former fishing village of Staithes (of Cbeebies Old Jack’s Boat fame) is Runswick Bay. This picture perfect village teeters on the cliffs overlooking a sheltered bay where you can enjoy the simple things in life – sandcastle building, splashing about in the sea and having a picnic. There are public toilets up in the village along with lots of cafes and ice cream shops. After beach time, make sure you explore the village and get lost in the narrow streets and lanes which run past quaint cottages.

Parking is available at the top of the hill. There is a Tea Garden at the top of the hill too which serves amazing cakes!

Runswick Bay

Days Out With Animals

#37. 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

#38. 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.

#39. 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

Diggers at Hesketh Farm Park

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

#40. 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

#41. RSPB Bempton Cliffs

RSPB Bempton Cliffs is the home to over 250 000 sea birds depending on the time of year that you visit. There are 6 viewing platforms where you can look down and see the sea birds such as puffins, ganets and kittiwakes flying about. There is easy parking, friendly staff, and activities for younger children to take part in. The viewing platforms aren’t too far from the entrance so little legs don’t have to walk far – a great morning / afternoon out if you’d like to inspire your little one to enjoy nature.

Bempton Cliffs

Places To Get Ice Cream In Yorkshire

#42. 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

Toddler Friendly Theme Parks In Yorkshire

#43. 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.

Lightwater Valley

#44. 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



#45. 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

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 toddlers will love the Gruffalo Spotters Trail.

Download The Gruffalo Spotter app at home, then visit Dalby Forest. Along the trail look out for clues which lead to footprint marker posts – point the app at these and watch Mouse, Fox, Owl, Snake and the Gruffalo appear before your eyes! You can also buy a Gruffalo Activity Kit from the shop for just £3 which includes an evidence collection bag, 5 fact and activity cards, stickers of the Gruffalo characters, a special magnifying glass, ruler and a pencil!

#46. 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

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

best things to do in yorkshire with babies and toddlers


  • 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

    3rd February 2017
  • 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.

    5th February 2017
  • 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

    13th February 2017
  • Great round-up! We love the sculpture park #mondayescapes

    13th February 2017
  • Wow, what a great list! Going to bookmark this in case we head to Yorkshire in the future! #MondayEscapes

    13th February 2017
  • 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

    13th February 2017
  • 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

    14th February 2017
  • this is amazing, incredibly comprehensive! #Mondayescapes

    15th February 2017
  • 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.

    16th February 2017
  • This is such a brilliant list, thank you! I hadn’t heard of the Emergency Services Museum, will definitely be taking my boys there.

    16th February 2017
  • 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

    18th February 2017
  • Sarah Potter

    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!

    23rd February 2017
  • Wow this is a fab list! I am bookmarking this post! #yorkshirefamily

    23rd February 2017
  • How is Greenhead Park Huddersfield not on this list

    20th April 2017
  • Great selection I’ve shared on 100 Days Out in Yorkshire

    29th August 2017

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