10 types of days out for when you really don’t know what to do

Those days where you really don’t know what to do, huh?! Perhaps you’ve got a family day out coming up and no destination yet, a special occasion and no idea where to take everyone… or you just want to get out of the house. When I get uninspired and stuck for ideas sometimes I don’t know where I want to go I just know I want to go somewhere! And so this post was born!

These ideas are no particular theme or type. They’re suitable for anywhere, for everyone… any budget and lots of different ideas. You might want to grab a cup of tea (and bookmark this for later!)

10 types of days out for when you really don’t know what to do


aston springs farm What’s on this weekend in and around Sheffield for kids January 5/6
Aston Springs Farm Rotherham

There’s loads of places to go to see furry friends. Or fishy friends! From free small local farms like Heeley City Farm, to bigger farms with more things to do there. A day out at a farm can range from a big place with lots to do and adventure playgrounds (like Chatsworth or Temple Newsam) to small community or working farms like Whirlow Hall Farm.

For Sea life, The Deep in Hull is incredibly popular and many families love a day out at Sealife Centres on a rainy day at Scarborough, Manchester or Birmingham (and many others). Big zoos (Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Twycross Zoo) can entertain the entire family, there’s even ones in theme parks like Drayton manor or Flamingo Land.



Thinktank Museum in Birmingham: prices, review & best things to see with a toddler
Thinktank Museum, Birmingham

We love a day out at a fun, interactive museum and can’t recommend them enough. Museums are a fantastic option for something to do that’s educational and great for a rainy/cold day. I would much rather spend the day at a museum than a busy, stuffy soft play centre! Museums do not have to be boring there are so many toddler-friendly, historical, interesting and hands on museums for you to explore. What’s more, even some of the very best are FREE. Close to home, Weston Park Museum in Sheffield is very popular (and free) great for kids, there’s Kelham Island Museum, South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, South Yorkshire Transport Museum, Clifton Park Museum to name a few.

Eureka! is probably the most popular interactive kids museum in Yorkshire, I would also recommend Thinktank Museum in Birmingham and Life! Museum in Newcastle. For engines and machines, Museum of Science & industry in Manchester in fantastic and National Railway Museum in York, both are free. See aircrafts, trains and vehicles at places like South Yorkshire Transport Museum in Rotherham, Streetlife Museum in Hull or London Transport Museum. Historical or animal museums like Natural History Museum in London, Manchester Museum, Royal Armouries in Leeds and World Museum in Liverpool are all fantastic and worth a visit.


Indoor soft play centres

Best Things To Do in Sheffield City Centre With Kids Medieval Mayhem Soft Play Centre, Sheffield WIN Free Unlimited Summer Play Pass for Medieval Mayhem
Medieval Mayhem, Sheffield

South Yorkshire is home to a huge variety of indoor play centres… we have big slides, small play cafes and everything in-between.

If you have under 5’s and want something specifically small, try Kiddy Winx Cafe in Rotherham, Jolly Tots in Penistone, Jungle Monkeys in Deepcar or Rattle & Roll centre. Playmania at Handsworth is a small play centre with a garage and play supermarket.

For big play frames, Medieval Mayhem in Sheffield is fantastic. Big Apple Play Centre in Rotherham is huge, bright and has something for babies up to teens. Monkey Bizness in Centertainment is popular, and Playmania in Barnsley is colourful and clean.

There’s even more… find them all in the South Yorkshire indoor play centre list here.

Indoor fun…. which isn’t soft play!

What’s on this weekend in and around Sheffield for kids March 16/17 Review: Air Haus Inflatable Park, Meadowhall
Review: Air Haus Inflatable Park, Meadowhall

Swimming is a good indoor activity and there’s plenty of good places in/close to Sheffield. Try Hillsborough Leisure Centre which has slides, baby area and “beach”. Ponds Forge has a lazy river, slides and baby area. I was very impressed with Doncaster Dome which has 7 areas, slides and outdoor pool. Calypso Cove water park in Barnsley is the most popular family water park in Yorkshire.

Trampolining, cinema, rock climbing and inflatable parks like Air Haus are a few more ideas for indoor fun. You could also try crazy golf, arcades, bowling, galleries (such as Hepworth Wakefield) and theatre.


Pretty gardens

RHS Garden Harlow Carr Review
RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate

A day out at historical and pretty gardens make a picnic really special. These types of days out are one of my ultimate favourites. Gardens can be very magical and a great place for fairy spotting and story telling. Just let your imagination come to life and gardens can be a truly wonderful place for a day out.

Botanical Gardens in Sheffield is a must-visit and FREE! I really recommend RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate (fantastic play areas, too). Small and wonderful is Hillsborough Park walled garden in Sheffield. Renishaw Hall has a beautiful children’s trail and is a hidden gem. Cannon Hall Museum & Gardens in Barnsley is free!

The best of the best has to be Chatsworth House, but Harewood House is lovely, too. Sewerby Hall in Scarborough is a great day out with gardens, zoo and house right next to the beach.


Wentworth historical walled garden

Hillsborough Park Walled Garden trail

Trip to the seaside

haven thorpe park

Playing on the beach is fun and free. What’s more, who doesn’t love playing in the arcades…. young or old!

We love a day trip to Cleethorpes, holidays on the Yorkshire Coast and recently LOVED the city and beach combo at Newcastle. There are lots of attractions in Blackpool to keep you busy or enjoy the quiet beaches at Filey.


2 days in Blackpool: Park, beach & attractions

Review comparison: 4 Haven holiday parks close to Sheffield

Farm parks

Family Day Out at White Post Farm Review: Farm Parks in East Midlands

Separating this from the animals section, as farm parks to me are more of a big attraction/full day out. Farm parks are a fantastic place for outdoor and indoor play and offer a variety of things to do, not just animals! Like adventure playgrounds, indoor play and shows.

Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife & Falconry Centre in Sheffield is one of the best days out with so much to do and personally one of my favourites. White Post Farm in Mansfield near Nottingham has playgrounds, indoor play, sandpits and a huge farm.

More? Try Playdale farm in Filey, Cannon Hall farm in Barnsley and Piglets Adventure Farm in York. Rand farm Park in Lincolnshire looks great, as does Ash End House farm in Tamworth, Thorton Hall Country Park in Skipton, and Folly Farm adventure park & Zoo in Wales.


What to expect at Matlock Farm Park

Review: Piglets Adventure Farm, York

Review: White Post Farm, Mansfield

Woodland adventure

Rivelin Valley Park, Nature & Heritage Trail

There’s nothing quite like a day out in the wild. Woodlands are a magical place to wander with your little ones and you can easily turn it into an adventure. Find a gruffalo, play pooh sticks, collect pieces of nature, paddle in the stream and make dens. Take a picnic, wellies and you’re off!


8 Best Woodlands in Sheffield

3 Top Wild Paddling spots

Rivelin Valley nature trail

Theme park & rides

Amazing day out at Sundown Adventureland Theme Park: Review
Sundown Adventureland

Up for a thrill? Days out at theme parks are full of fun for all ages and great for a special occasion. From seeing favourite characters at places such as Alton Towers Cbeebies Land or Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, to the best places for rides especially suited to toddlers like Sundown Adventureland. For animals and rides Flamingo Land seems to have a lot to do.

Sundown Adventureland is one of my favourite days out from 2018 and I really do rate it especially for toddlers, you can’t beat it for rides. Flamingo Land is on my list and I’d love to visit Gullivers Kingdom, too.

Something a little more affordable for last minute is the funfair at Clifton Park & Museum in Rotherham! There’s a few toddler rides at Endcliffe Park, too, and Sheffield By The Sea event always have rides on in the city centre.

Check out the ultimate Yorkshire family days out & attractions to visit bucket list for more exciting theme parks.


Review: Sundown Adventureland

Review: Thomas Land at Drayton Manor

Family walk or trail

Walking at Damflask Reservoir, Sheffield
Damflask Reservoir

Get out for some fresh air and enjoy a family walk. You could explore the Peak District, go climbing or scrambling at places like Mother Cap and Padley Gorge. Longshaw Estate is a lovely place for a family walk in the Peak District with way marked walks and a free Boggart trail. It is National Trust.

Walks don’t have to be huge, though, and you can stay close to home with a walk around a local park or reservoir. Botanical Gardens is lovely to wander around, Damflask Reservoir has a flat path walk around the water and Worsborough Mill in Barnsley offers many easy going walks.

For something a little bit different, try a character trail or walks with playgrounds to keep little ones going. Try the free room on the broom trail at Anglers Country Park in Wakefield or Sherwood Pines for many walks in the forest, a free Zog trail and playgrounds.


8 Wonderful Walks for Sheffield Families

Interesting walks & trails for Sheffield kids

Top Family Peak District walks


And if you’re still stuck for ideas after all of that… then I’m all out of advice! Haha. I joke… but there are even more here if you’d like a read:

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