Whilst I’m sure many of these places have scope for walks, this page houses those places we’ve visited for a proper day out, that don’t necessarily neatly fit into a walk category!
Farms, zoos and animal parks
Yorkshire Wildlife Park is my absolutely favourite day out. The annual pass is great value to return again and again (and again).
Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley has all the best bits of a day at the farm as well as great play areas and quirky activities.
Ponderosa, Heckmondwike is a great small zoo with fantastic play areas. A fab all weather choice.
Fairburn Ings, Wakefield (RSPB) provides loads of activities for wildlife-loving children. You could spend a few hours Pond-Dipping and going on a mini- beast safari, followed by a picnic and walk in the afternoon!
Wentworth Garden Centre, Rotherham is actually a lot more than a garden centre; it has a family farm as well as lots more to explore with little ones.
Home Farm in Temple Newsam, Leeds is great value, with a great range of rare breeds and good interactive learning points.
Historical houses and gardens
Beningbrough Hall (NT), York has a lovely house to explore, as well as an excellent play area and gardens. Look at their website for walks around the area too.
Harewood House, north of Leeds is another great choice for a day out with children. The highlights include the Adventure Playground and Bird Garden.
Lotherton Hall outside Leeds is amazing value and is jam- packed with things to do, including Wildlife World, entrance to the house and a play ground included in admission (reduced price for Leeds card holders). Keep your eyes open for their fantastic events.
The recently re-opened Wentworth Castle and Gardens (NT) in Barnsley is great for little explorers, and the views are superb! Other than on specific days the house isn’t open, so make sure you’ve got your waterproofs out if it’s wet.
RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate offers fantastic gardens to explore, and there are seasonal activities for children to get involved in. Plenty to keep little ones entertained!
Landmarks and monuments
Fountains Abbey (NT) near Ripon is an amazing day out. A World Heritage site, it combines perfect scenery with lots to do for children. From the Abbey, walk the easy 1 mile path to the Studley Park tea rooms.
Brimham Rocks (NT) should be top of your list for places to explore in Yorkshire. It’s simply stunning and the best type of playground for your little ones!
Bolton Abbey estate is simply wonderful, with some great walking and fantastic views.
Mother Shipton’s Cave can boast the title of England’s oldest visitor attraction. A great adventure playground and sculptures around the park adds to its natural appeal.
Other Outdoor Venues
Thorp Perrow, near Bedale, is a perfect destination for a sunny day trip out. There is so much to explore in stunning woodland surroundings, with an adventure playground, and a Birds of Prey and Mammals centre.
Stump Cross Caverns is definitely not outside (obvioulsy) BUT it’s great for families who love to explore so I’ve popped it on this list anyway!
Studfold Adventure Trails, Nidderdale has a great summer Fairy Trail for young children. If you’re in the area and want an activity that keeps them interested in the outdoors you can’t really go wrong!
Yorkshire Sculpture Park has walks around lakes and woodland, not to mention the 80 outdoor works of art to see. Visit the Families page on their website to find downloadable activities to do with children on your visit!
A day in Saltburn-by-the-Sea provides fun for everyone! There’s loads to do at this beach resort, it’s a great choice for a day at the sea!