Indoors thing to do when it’s raining in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Nottingham and more

things to do inside sheffield, yorkshire, leeds, york

Things to do inside and ideas for family days out when it’s raining. Good indoors ideas for families in Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham, York and Manchester. These days out are suitable for wet and cold weather, or when you just don’t feel like going outside!


The Climbing Works & Mini Climbing Works – Indoor climbing walls. The Mini Works is especially for children and they have rock tots and kids clubs. Open daily, check the website to see the activities.

Weston Park Museum – This museum is free and perfect for kids. Facilities are good with a cafe and large picnic area upstairs. Regular activities on Fridays and Saturdays so check the website.

The Glass Houses at Botanical Gardens – You could have breakfast/lunch at the Curators tea room cafe in the park which is family friendly then little ones can explore inside the glass houses which is all covered. See photos and a video we took there with our toddler before you go.

the glass houses at sheffield botanical gardens
Inside the glass houses

Meadow Farm – A family pub with a good free children’s play area, all open plan so you can sit next to them while they play. Good variety of toys and games.

Central Children’s Library & Graves Art Gallery – the children’s library has an area with toys, comfy seating and a singing time on Friday mornings. Worth a visit as it is free and can entertain children for a while!  They also have a table and chairs with colouring sheets sometimes. The graves art gallery upstairs is free, so worth a look for a wander around.

The National Emergency Services Museum – 3 floors of transport and emergency services equipment to see, cafe and very close to city centre.

Play cafe 851 – Hunters Bar, this play cafe is an independently owned child friendly place to eat, drink and catch up with friends and has a small play area.

Tropical butterfly house, South Anston – You could assume this attraction is only for good weather but there are a few good, indoors thing to do here. If you have an annual pass I would make the most of it and head here on a cold/rainy day. You can spend a good hour inside the butterfly house, lots of animals to see, and there is an indoor craft centre too.

tropical butterfly house sheffield
Toddling around the butterfly house

Centertainment – Restaurants, cinema, bowling, arcades, laser tag, golf, soft play and all inside. Lots of places for your little one to explore for full or half day. Just down the road at Carbrook retail park is a Pets At Home with fish, bunnies, hamsters, etc so worth going to see those. Always a hit for the little ones.

Meadowhall – Shops, lots of places to eat,  cinema and a small soft play outside marks and Spencer’s; Tiger Play.

Millenium Galleries and Winter Gardens – Completely covered and in the city centre, the winter gardens is a good alternative to an outdoors park. Lots of space to run and toddle around, good cafe and a variety of galleries, all free. My son loves running around inside here and the coffee is great!

Swimming – Check sitv website for family swim, swim-a-song and £1 family swim sessions across Sheffield

Heeley – Two soft plays to check out; Play time and Play arena. Both close to Heeley retail park for a coffee and cake, and Pets At Home to see the fish/bunnies.


Cannon Hall Farm and Museum – Big farm with lots of covered barns, good soft play, cafes and farm shop, and don’t forget the museum which is free.

Elsecar Heritage Centre – gift shops, museum and Soft play centre. Lots of activities at Play Mania all week so check the website.


Yorkshire Wildlife Park Soft Play – if you have an annual pass, it is definitely worth going to the YWP just for the monkey playhouse.

Walkers nurseries – Garden centre with family activities, fish, animals, cafe.

Doncaster Dome – Leisure centre with swimming, soft play and food. Check their website for toddler groups and activities.

Brodsworth Hall – Extensive gardens to explore but lots to see inside the house museum, too.

Jump INC – Trampoling park near park gate, toddler prices all week with adults going free.
Big Apple play city – Toddler activities throughout the week, sensory room, toddler area and large play frames suitable for all ages. See my videos and photos here before you go.

Big Apple play city soft play rotherham ball pit

Aston Springs – Aston springs has a great farm trail but can be enjoyed without. Visit the paint pot studio Fired Up & Painting, eat at Aston springs restaurant or the tack barn for good pizza and soft play. Click here for videos and photos when we went with our toddler to see before you go.

aston springs farm pizza
Yum! Stone baked pizza in the Tack Barn

Magna Science Adventure Park – An old steel works building so it is an outdoors experience but completely covered for wet days.. 4 galleries to see, large picnic area, cafe on weekends. Lots of sensory experiments for children and regular festivals. Annual passes.



Tropical World – This is situated just next to Roundhay park and has aquatics, meerkats, birds, small animals. It cna be enjoyed by all ages and there is lots of space for toddlers to wander around. Really worth a visit, it is great value for money.

inside tropical world at leeds
Waterfalls at Tropical World


The Hepworth – a family friendly art gallery in Wakefield with lots of toddler and children activities throughout the week, all week.

Rainbow Factory – A story telling wonderland, creative arts play centre.

Royal Armouries – Large free national museum of arms and armour with tons to see, cafes, picnic areas and a play room. You must get the free water taxi from Leeds dock to the museum!

Leeds city museum – Large free museum with a national history gallery which is fantastic for kids, regular activities and a really good play area.


National Railway museum – Free. Full of railway transport, steam trains, huge museum, good facilities, great play area and just next to the train station.

national railway museum in york
The play area in the museum is great!

Web adventure park – Big soft play entertainment centre with “Creepy Crawlies” next door (farm and playgrounds). If wet and cold, the web adventure park is all inside and has role play areas (pretend shops and kitchens), indoor football pitches, toddler areas and large soft play frames, lots of activities.


Wollaton hall – A must see for all ages, includes lots of natural history and taxidermy, a huge giraffe and gorilla, birds, lots of interactive crafts and displays, and all free.

wollaton hall for kids in nottingham

The Kitty Cafe – Sit and eat/drink while you play with kitties! My son loves this.

the kitty cafe in nottingham with a toddler


Manchester Sealife / Trafford – Trafford centre has lots to offer but my favourite is Sealife. There is also legoland and chill factore soft play for kids. See our videos and photos here.

Sealife centre at trafford manchester

MSI Museum, Manchester – Really big, fantastic free museum with a floor that replicas Eureka! called experiment, perfect for children. Regular activities, workshops, transport gallery and good cafe. See our videos and photos here.


Eureka! childrens museum in halifax
Pretend m&s!

17. Eureka! National Children’s Museum  – Probably the best museum for children! Offers an annual pass and has lots of see, do, touch, feel and experiment with. Watch our video to see what it is like before you go!


The Deep – Large aquarium, has some toddler activities during weekday. Offers annual pass.

Hull Museums Quarter – 4 museums to see!

Matlock Bath

matlock aquarium hologram
Hologram museum

Matlock Bath Aquarium, Cromford Mill, museums – see my post all about Matlock here. The aquarium is small but only £2.50 and there is a hologram museum, arcades, the Heritage Cromford Mill has a museum, soft play in Masson Mills and Peak District Lead mining museum is free. Little monkey’s Soft play at Darwin Forest is just down the road.

A bonus tip… Get a Yorkshire museums card and explore!

Do you think there are any good ones I’ve missed out?

Hope this helps!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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