41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5

Need things to do with kids in Sheffield, South Yorkshire?! Here’s lots of fun ideas in this 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5 guide 😀

Don’t forget you can get even more quick ideas with this 57 free days out checklist!

41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5

Have fun in some cool museums

Go explore around Kelham Island Museum where you can learn all about the history of Sheffield steel industries. Kids can run around getting involved by touching, feeling and playing with exhibitions. There’s hands on things to discover in each gallery and a cute little indoor play area with a slide, ball pit and buildable steam train. Cafe, toilets and picnic area. Note: not open on Saturdays.

fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids

FREE admission to Weston Park Museum. Can you find the big polar bear? Build an igloo? Make sure to investigate all the bugs and open all the drawers! Discover the cave, open the kitchen cabinets and read a book. The museum has cafe & picnic room upstairs. Make more of your visit by going to see the ducks afterwards, just next to the museum and wander around on the bridges… great fun for a toddler. Crookes Valley Park behind it has good playground and a restaurant/cafe. Don’t forget to have fun at their FREE Friday Under 5’s sessions! Get a free trail here.

Weston Park Museum, Sheffield - 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Weston Park Museum, Sheffield

Sit in an ambulance at National Emergency Services Museum! It has annual passes if you gift aid. The outside yard is amazing interactive fun where little & big kids can sit in real emergency vehicles. There’s big galleries full of things to see and dress up. Definitely go inside an ambulance and run around hiding behind the big riot vans! Small cafe & gift shop inside and just 5 mins from city centre.

Do some dress up and lego building at Elsecar Heritage Centre Museum; FREE in Barnsley! Plus the heritage centre is a good, safe place for toddlers to run around and explore. You can see old heritage steam trains, go to a fantastic indoor play centre, to visit Elsecar Park which has a really, really great playground.

elsecar heritage centre 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Elsecar Heritage Centre Museum

Sit in the cars at Experience Barnsley Museum! Also free and very interactive.

Worsborough Mill & Country Park
Worsborough Mill & Country Park

Learn about the history of Worsborough Mill at the free museum, then have fun in the playground and do a lovely walk around the reservoir and country park after! All FREE and really lovely place for a day out.

Indoor play good for littles

Enjoy playing with the toys at Kiddy Winx Play Cafe which is great for babies & toddlers. There’s lovely role play toys, puzzles, interactive toys and and imaginary stations like shops, bakery and dress up. Great cafe with homemade treats and lovely staff. See photos of what my toddler played with here.

Good or Bad? Playmania Indoor Play Centre, Barnsley 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Playmania Indoor Play Centre, Barnsley

Have lots of fun at Playmania Barnsley, with a dedicated toddler zone and sensory equipment, plus they have a busy calendar with events, character breakfasts and much more!

Big Apple Play City is a big play centre in Rotherham suitable for up to 14 years old. It’s really fun! It’s clean, big and cafe serving hot food. There’s a separate toddler area to the side, and a baby sensory room with some real fish and bubble tank, bean bags, etc., all included in entry. It can get very busy, though!

Monkey Bizness in Centertainment is another big soft play and is in Sheffield Centertainment complex.  We really like this one! There’s good, big play frames with tunnels, ropes and slides. To the side is a separate toddler area with ball pit, small slides & walkers., etc. Toddler discounted prices available before 12 on weekdays, with craft activity!

The new Playmania Sheffield is great for little ones, especially for toddlers. This new play centre features something completely new: a big role play garage and supermarket to pretend play in with check outs, supermarket trolleys and pretend food! The play frame with slide with small so you can keep an eye on your kids, and there is a separate smaller baby area. A great food menu is available with vegan options.

playmania Sheffield
Playmania Sheffield

A popular indoor play centre is Big Tops Play Centre in Dinnington. This large play centre has lots to do with a variety of play frames, equipment and interactive play area.

Totley Library 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Totley Library 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5

Play in your local children’s library. These are lovely and free places for little ones to play, learn, read and socialise with other little ones. Most have children’s toys and story times. Park Library in S2 is one of our favourites, and Totley Library.

Outdoor adventures

41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5 Longshaw Estate | Best Things To Do and See in the Peak District with Kids
Longshaw Estate

Go Bogart hunting at Longshaw Estate, in the Peak District but still within Sheffield boundaries. Easy to get to by bus and is FREE. Cafe, toilets, bogart trail, things for kids to find and get dirty with! It’s a beautiful space with a variety of woodlands and open big spaces, rolling hills and Peak District views.

Enjoy all of Sheffield’s top 5 playgrounds! Can you go on ALL the slides?! Or can you find this hidden playground?!

Have a day out at Clifton Park & Museum… there’s LOTS going on and it’s ALL FREE! Adventure playgrounds, water splash and fountains, picnic, museum, woods, rock garden, and for extra cost there’s land train, funfair and mini golf.

When Abbeydale Miniature Railway is open (selected Sundays) you MUST go & ride them! Take a picnic.

41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5 10 Magical outdoor spaces for fairytale walks in Sheffield Sheffield general cemetery
Sheffield General Cemetery

It’s free to get in to Sheffield General Cemetery and explore there… definitely a great place for bug hunting and there’s an open park space for a picnic. It’s not your usual place for an adventure is what you’re probably thinking, but it’s a hidden gem.

The outside play areas at Magna Science adventure Centre are pretty amazing; you have to check out Aqua-Tek and Sci-Tek, the adventure playgrounds are some of the best.

Magna Science Adventure Centre & Christmas Family Fayre review Best Adventure Playgrounds in South Yorkshire
Magna Adventure Science Centre

Go paddling around Low Bradfield; a lovely countryside village, plus a “beach” at Damflask Reservoir!

Damflask Reservoir 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Damflask Reservoir


Find the bear pit at Botanical Gardens and find all the friendly squirrels! They’re very friendly and might jump out at you. 😛

sheffield botanical gardens glass houses
Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Go and see the boats on the canal at Sheffield Victoria Quays, and in the summer, why not take a picnic and feed the ducks? Emmaus charity shop superstore is just 10 minutes away and there’s goats there!

We’re so very close to the rest of the Peak District so why not go on a countryside adventure at Surprise view, and have a gentle climb up to mother cap with a picnic at the top. Lovely views up there. Get lost down in Bolehill Quarry where the fairies live! There’s always sheep down there who might like to join in. Or have fun in the lovely village playground in Hathersage behind the outdoor pool.

Speaking of fairies, did you know that Sheffield is a very magical place, full of mythical creatures, fairies, trolls and beasts? You can find them lurking in these lovely places.

Hathersage playground Best Things To Do and See in the Peak District with Kids
Hathersage Playground

Jump on the train to Grindleford where you can have some lovely hot chips and hot drinks from station before going off to explore in the peaks. You can walk to Padley Gorge through the woodlands and quarry, a walk I really would recommend. Take a picnic and tuck in once you finish the walk! Paddling at Padley Gorge is a MUST! Don’t forget your bucket and spade.

forge dam 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Forge Dam 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5

Find the rainbow picnic bench at Forge Dam! It’s a lovely park in Sheffield, Fulwood area S11.  Forge Dam Cafe is a must for lovely homemade food and drinks with outdoor seating and ice creams in the summer… it is very popular. I recommend buy duck food  from the cafe & go up to see the ducks up the slope in front of the cafe. There’s a playground, woodland walks, trails, mud and paddling opportunities. Kids love it. You can manage a push chair, too.

Norfolk Heritage Park Sheffield 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5 Norfolk Heritage Park

Have a woodland walk through the ancient woods “Jarvis Lum” at once of Sheffield’s older parks: Norfolk Heritage park and find the sculptures. Try out the fantastic new adventure playgrounds.

Chatsworth House in Derbyshire not far at all has a amazing adventure playgrounds with nature play, sandpits, animals & tractors. Do go for a walk in stand wood and around the estate (free) to appreciate the great outdoors!  Chatsworth gardens are amazing and really worth a visit. And, nearby in Baslow has great family friendly pubs one with a play area.

Have fun in the paddling pool at Rivelin Valley Park, FREE and fantastic day out! One of the best parks for kids in Sheffield!

Rivelin Valley Park in Sheffield 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Rivelin Valley Park

Sheffield Manor Lodge and farm is a hidden gem and really lovely. It’s free, but if the manor lodge is open there is just a small admission fee of a couple of quid, which gets you into the visitors centre, then out into the ruins to explore… it’s a big space where you can just let lose and have fun in the maze, sand pit and old ruins. It’s a nice space for outdoor play right in the city, just a stones throw away from the city centre. A stroll down from the lodge will take you to Manor Farm; a small farm (Free) to explore plus fantastic cafe at The Rhubarb Shed Cafe... the best this is that there’s lots of outdoor seating and a toy shed so you can enjoy a hot drink whilst kids play.

41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5


There’s so much to do at Cannon Hall Farm in Barnsley. To keep you occupied there’s the farm, outside playgrounds and play areas, cafe, restaurant & large inside play, which is very popular. Big events all year for all the seasonal fun.

Feed the animals at Aston Springs Farm– it  has a woodland farm trail where you can walk around, finding and feeding animals on the way. Do wear wellies to enjoy the mud! After the trail, see the small inside animal barn with rabbits, guinea pigs, Meer Kats and more. There’s two options for food with FRESH pizza and indoor play corner at The Tack Barn or large menu at the Aston Springs Restaurant. Also has farm shop & paint a pot studio.

aston springs farm 41 fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
Aston Springs Farm

Out in the fields, take a stroll around Mayfield Alpacas Animal Park which is near Forge dam and has an animal trail… with, of course, alpacas! A cafe, indoor animal centre and beautiful walking opportunities out near the peaks.

Have a FREE day out Graves Park Animal Farm. Decent sized farm so kids to see animals at their own pace with open spaces, and then a large playground with sandpits for fun, woohoo. Cafe, ducks, parking and woodland walks. Psssst, there’s even a hidden playground.

Have loaaaads of fun at Sheffield’s top attraction, Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre, it has everything to keep kids happy. You’ll find a nice wooden playground, go karts, under 5’s little tikes play areas and sand, water play zone for summer, indoor tropical butterfly house with reptiles and small animals, farm animal barn, lemur house, Dino trail, and lots more animals to see! 2 places to eat or take your own.

sheffield tropical butterfly house water area
Tropical Butterfly House Splash Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster is a big zoo, lots of wild animals to see like giraffe’s, monkeys, tigers and polar bears. For food, there’s kiosks and cafes/restaurants and plenty of picnic benches. You can shop, too, in the gift shop village which has a licensed restaurant and outdoor seating. There’s an indoor play area themed like adventure play and multiple outdoor playgrounds.

FREE visit to Heeley City Farm in Sheffield. This is good to kill an hour or so seeing some animals & having a wander round. Food at the cafe is a must & cafe very child friendly (it has toys and a tractor ride). Good park opposite with Heeley People’s Park; great playgrounds.

Wentworth Garden Centre in Rotherham is really good for family day out. You can’t go wrong with it for all ages. You can shop, eat, visit family farm which has 2 playgrounds and tractors and sandpit, explore the beautiful walled gardens, ride the carousel and enjoy the atmosphere.

Wentworth garden centre 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Wentworth Garden Centre 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5

41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You’re 5

Good places to eat with kids

The Cabin Sheffield 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
The Cabin

Get kiddy pancakes at The Cabin! It’s lovely &  cozy and great fun for kids… you’ll be spoilt with tasty pancakes, waffles, coffee, and treats. It has kids “cub” menu only £2.50 for huge portion of pancakes! There’s some toys, colouring, informal atmosphere, comfy chairs…  Plus by the tills is a large bear… 😀 Read about our visit here!

How about Proove pizza for some yummy pizza!? It’s up in Fulwood serving delicious dough, child friendly and they even do kids pizza parties.

Gerry’s bakery and coffee house is popular with families who love their fresh treats & coffee. Kids are very welcome and the staff are very friendly.

For chains in Sheffield, there’s loads to choose from, such as… Pizza Express, Zizzi, Wagamama, Wetherspoon and Bill’s. All of these are family friendly, kids menus, changing facilities and high chairs.

There’s comfy seats at Couch Campo Lane, tucked away behind Sheffield Cathedral. Kids are welcome and there’s a relaxed atmosphere, with space around tables so it’s fine for wandering little feet. There’s a variety of food and drink with main meals, freak shakes, healthy snacks and hot drinks.

One of our favourites is Heeley City Farm; it has kids toys and this very attractive tractor!

Family Friendly Places To Eat in Sheffield City Centre
Heeley City Farm Cafe

Graze Inn Restaurant & Cowshed Bar is one always a good option for kids. Kids eat free and there’s highchairs, nice friendly staff and good choice of food. Variety of seating with booths or high tables means theres something to suit everyone and the bar area is separate next door for a comfy sofa seat after your meal.


Try climbing at The Mini Climbing Works, the baby splash pool which is great for toddlers at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in the city centre. Another great place for kids to swim in Sheffield is at Hillsborough Leisure Centre with flumes and a “Beach” plus a cafe next to the pool.

Go jumping! It’s so muh fun at JUMP INC UK Trampoline Parks in Rotherham and Sheffield. The trampolines are amazing and adults love it too. There’s toddler only sessions during weekday mornings, which are very good value for money. Or try the new 99 Jump | Sheffield on Bramall Lane.

Jump INC Sheffield 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Jump INC Sheffield

Xscape Yorkshire near Leeds is a huge place with tons to do for children of all ages like cinema, soft play, adventure golf, trampolining, arcades and more. It’s all indoors and fun so perfect for a rainy day.

Go on an exciting day trip!

Go on a train ride from Sheffield City Centre! Why not hop on a bus or train and have an adventure?! It’s FREE admission to National Railway Museum for everyone & this fantastic museum is just behind the train station in York, under a hour away from Sheffield. Loads of trains to see in huge, spacious rooms with tons of space to run around and just enjoy being surrounded by trains. Kids will love the play area. Cafes & picnic spaces available, and don’t forget to ride on the land train to York Minster.

Top Tips for making the most out of your visit to National Railway Museum, York 41 fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
National Railway Museum, York

FREE entry at Clifton Park and Museum all year round in Rotherham. The museum has a little play room on the to the left when you enter, with buttons to press, little cave to crawl through, a rocking horse and colouring table. There’s a museum trail available, cafe & more than enough to do outside with rides, mini golf & and fantastic free adventure playgrounds.

Royal Armouries is FREE in Leeds and you can catch a FREE boat taxi from the station to the museum (so fun). The museum has loads of space in the galleries to wander around after the taxi, plus in Leeds city centre you have to visit Leeds city museum which is just so fun for little ones and won family friendly museum of the year 2018!

Leeds Water Taxi 58 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Leeds water taxi

Have the most fun ever at Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax. Trust me, everyone loves Eureka, from toddlers to adults, it’s amazing with everything is hands on and fun! You can get real stuck in and kids just love being able to run riot and touch everything. This is the best museum for kids and children really are in their own little world learning through play. Read the full review here to see what you’ll get up to.

There’s so much to do in Wakefield from free museums with toys, room on the broom trail, Hepworth Gallery (free) and Nostell Priory. Check out all the things to do in Wakefield here.

Sheffield City Centre

In Sheffield City Centre, take a wander around inside The Millennium Gallery and Sheffield Winter Garden… Sheffield’s own giant greenhouse. It’s really relaxing and great place for a pit stop or indoor picnic. You must discover more of what Sheffield city centre has for kids, too, try this guide to find all the hidden gems including this fantastic playground.

41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5 City Centre Playground 41 Things To Do In South Yorkshire Before You're 5
Gell Street City Centre Playground


Did you enjoy this list?

If you did, you should read more of my day out recommendations; there’s lots to browse! Why not Make your way through the South Yorkshire For Kids Awards winners!? Don’t miss out on any of my posts by subscribing to my blog; where you’ll always be notified, for free, about my new blog posts so you get a first read.

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3 Posts you have to read before you go:

50 things to do in Sheffield with kids

day out and family travel essentials list

ultimate guide to top toddler museums in Yorkshire

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