Ultimate Guide for What’s On in Sheffield: May Bank Holiday & Half Term

Hello, hello and welcome back! How are you? We had a break last week from the roundup as we were away on our city trip (it was so fun; I’ll be writing about it very soon!). Weekend roundup is back this week as usual but not completely usual because it’s a bonus one! Half term is upon us yet again; they sure do fly by. Not only that but it’s a May Bank Holiday and the forecast looks great… so all in all, a fantastic happy roundup this will be! Whatever age children you have, are you looking for things to do in and near Sheffield for kids? Wondering what’s on, where to go and need ideas for day trips? Then yu’re in the right place – there’s over 100 ideas in this post. Please remember to share this! 🙂 Ultimate Guide for What’s On in Sheffield: May Bank Holiday & Half Term

This is a HUGE list/guide with over 120 ideas and is split into sections: events list, outdoors parks, outdoors water play, outdoors other, animals & farms, outdoor Peak District, museums, big days out/attractions and places to eat. Please scroll down for your preferred sections. 🙂

Don’t forget to save loads of money this half-term by having lots of free days out. This post has over 57 free day out ideas, most of which we have done and can recommend. This post is a quick guide to my top 5 favourite free days out in Sheffield.

Ultimate Guide for What’s On in Sheffield: May Bank Holiday & Half Term

Events list

Throughout half term holidays

Sun, sea and safety at National Emergency Services Museum, Sheffield. May 26th – 1st June, visitors will be able to climb aboard the RNLI Tyne Class Lifeboat. Activities on throughout the week. Included in museum entry.

Try free family art activities at The Hepworth Wakefield.

See huge dinosaurs at Jurassic Kingdom in Norfolk Heritage Park, Sheffield, 26th May-10th June (closed 4,5,6th June).

Free fun family activities, living history characters, adventure playground and loads more happening at National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield for Super Spring Bank @ Pit.

Explore Magic Meadow at Meadowhall, 28th May – 3th June. Free, suitable for 4-10 years.

Enchanted fairy forest every day throughout half term at Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife & Falconry Centre. Guided fairy tours, tractor rides, crafts and more.

Celebrate Sundown Adventurelands 50th birthday with free cake, daily from 26th May-3rd June.

Spring Half Term at Chatsworth House will see crafts, trailer rides, guinea pig handling and lots more throughout the holidays.

Enjoy free half-term Elmer stories and activities at Waterstones Orchard Square, Sheffield throughout half-term. Stories at 11:30am daily and crafts from 3-4pm.

Get magical at Cannon Hall Farm for the Unicorn Festival, running every day during half term until June 3rd.

It’s mega outdoors week at Medieval Mayhem with inflatables, sandpits and lots more outdoor fun all included in admission daily throughout half term starting bank holiday Monday.

Make a mighty robot with The Making Of The Man Engine at Elsecar Heritage Centre, daily 10am-4pm, free.

Wildlife Week at Heights of Abraham, Matlock Bath. Creature crafts, tours, caves, play areas and much more! Daily throughout half term.

Dress up as a superhero or princess for a visit to Wheelgate Theme Park throughout half term and get a free pass for their partner park, twin lakes.

Kirklee’s Light Railway are encouraging kids to bring their favourite toys throughout half term for train rides and offering half price childrens fares.

Bank holiday weekend

Lots of family fun going on for Sheffield Food Festival all weekend. Free activities in Winter Gardens 11-3 every day, whirlow hall farm tractor, science activities, make your own pizza and more.

Find more amazing food festivals in this guide which covers all of the May Bank Holiday.

Go dancing at Raver Tots 2-4pm at The Foundry, Sheffield Students Union… “including face painting, UV lights, bubbles, balloons, confetti and giant parachutes in a rave style atmosphere”

Tudor Open Day at Sheffield Manor Lodge, Sunday May 27th, 11-4pm. £3 per adult & kids free. Followed by holiday crafts in the discovery centre on Tuesday and Friday, with ruins, outdoor play and more.

Meet dinosaurs at Dinosaur Live! 27th & 28th at Cast in Doncaster.

Kids fun day at Champs at Malin Bridge on Sunday 26th, from 3pm. Face painting, characters, bouncy castle and lots more.

Week commencing Monday 28th May

Monday | Hop, Bobs & Rye festival at Worsborough Mill Museum & Country Park, Barnsley. Free event, “Come along and see baking demonstrations, see the Mill in action, food trucks, craft stalls, face painting, kids activities, music and MORE!”

Monday | Archaeology In The City: Woodland Heritage Festival 2018, 10am-4pm. Free event… “the woodland will play host to a working interactive iron smelt, a build-your-own-kiln exercise involving lots of mud, a Historical Hospital to cure you of your medieval diseases, interactive cave-painting and poem-writing workshops, demonstrations and displays, wood-fired pizza and craft beer vendors, and much much more.”

Monday | Hillsborough Arena Family Fun Day, 11-4pm, rides, stalls, games and more. Family tickets available.

Monday | Nick Cope’s Family Songbook peformances at The Montgomery theatre, 2-3pm.

Monday | Half term fun at Aston Springs Farm, with bouncy castle, animal handling and games. Tuesday 29th animal encounter with tour.

Monday | Wigfield Farm’s Sheepfest, 10-4pm, Barnsley. Live sheep sheering, arts and crafts and family treasure hunt included in admission.

Tuesday | Tinsley’s Canals and River Family Arts Day, free, with boat races, dragon crafts, community art pieces, stalls and more.

Tuesday | Discovery Day “If I Could Change The World” at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield, 12-3pm, free. On Wednesday and Thursday the Discovery Day theme is “Carnival”.

Tuesday | 4D animal sculptures at Clifton Park & Museum, 11-12:30.

Wednesday | Outdoor Treasure Hunt at Worsborough Museum & Mill, Barnsley. 11-12:30pm, £3 per child.

Sunday | TotFest at Moor Sheffield, free family event perfect for toddlers. Lots of free activities and entertainment throughout the day plus LEGO, dance, art, music, sport, storytelling, face painting, giveaways, children’s rides, hands on activities.

Sunday | Family Open Hour – Pond Dipping & Alpacas at Holly Hagg, 3pm-4pm.

Outdoors; Local Free Good Parks for Kids


Chatsworth House Farmyard and amazing adventure playground
Eric’s favourite part, the swings.

Ruskin Park, S6 3JQ has a sandpit and good playground

Graves Park S8 9FL & Woodseats Playground, S8 so much to do plus a cafe and free animal farm.

High Hazels Park, S9 4PE large playground with sandpits.

Forge Dam S10 4GL, a wonderful day out with a lovely cafe, woodlands, playground and walking trails. One of our favourites: read this!

Endcliffe Park, S11 7AB, good park for families with funfair, nice cafe, parkour and large playground. Plus woodlands and open fields for running around!

Rother Valley Country Park, S26 5PQ, sporting facilities, cafes, walks around the water, playgrounds and some animals.

Rivelin Valley Park, S6 5GL wonderful park with free water park, nature trails, woodlands, cafe, good big playground.

Norfolk Heritage Park, S2 2PL large park with ancient woodlands, cafe and community centre. Be aware the playgrounds being renovated currently if you’re thinking of going and Jurassic Kingdom event is on during half term.

Crookes Valley Park, S10 1DJ just behind Weston Park Museum, small playground but has all you need for lots of fun, plus family pub and a walk around the water.

Hillsborough Park and Hillsborough Park Walled Garden S6 2AS, a wonderful park with duck pond, library, beautiful walled garden (a must visit) and playground with new climbing frame/slide, plus fields for games/running around. Get your free trail here.

Bole Hill Recreation Ground S10 1QH, lovely playground high up in the hills with fantastic views over the city, rocks to climb, BMX track and picnic areas.

Heeley People’s Park S2 3DJ, combine this with a visit to Heeley City Farm to make a really good, all round free day out. The park has great equipment plus little bike track and paths winding around.

Highfield Adventure Playground – Commuunity run and staffed adventure playground with mud kitchens, slides, ropes, sand pits and cafe. Check opening times.


Queen’s Park, Chesterfield has sand, lots of play equipment and a little train.

Elsecar Park, Barnsley is an award winning park with a reservoir, lovely playgrounds with sandpits for the kids, cafe, little bike track, mini golf and just across from Elsecar Heritage Centre.

Cliffe Park in Dronfield has a new adventure playground, all free, with large play areas, cafe, sandpits and is proving to be very popular! Right near the train station, too.


All About Weston Park Museum, Sheffield For Kids
What On Earth All About Weston Park Museum, Sheffield For Kids

Weston Park Museum in Sheffield is fantastic for kids and always free! Plus there’s a cafe/picnic area upstairs, park and Crookes Valley Park behind it. Don’t forget this free trail.

Kelham Island Museum has a little soft play area for kids, cafe and loads to see and do.

Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax is an absolute must-visit, so much interactive fun for little ones, plus annual passes!

We recently discovered Wakefield Museum and it’s free, very fun and has lots to play with.

National Science & Media Museum in Bradford has free entry and it’s a very big museum with an imax cinema and a sensory Wonderlab exhibition which is very fun for little ones.

MSI museum in Manchester is free and really, really good for all ages. Totally recommend that one.

Check out this guide for the best toddler friendly museums in Yorkshire

Top 12 Yorkshire Toddler Friendly Museums

Outdoors; Water/splash parks open

Rivelin Valley Park, Sheffield S6 5GL will have the free splash park open daily from May 26th. Free!

Langold Country Park, S81 9QW is open every day with a free splash park and good playgrounds.

Clifton Park & Museum in Barnsley has a fantastic free water splash area, great playgrounds and funfair. Water splash on daily during Rotherham half term holidays. Here’s just a few reasons why I know you’ll love it!

Millhouses Park, S7 2QQ has a small water play area perfect for toddlers and is open every day, plus cafe, boating lake and playgrounds.

Aqua-Tek at Magna adventure Science Park in Rotherham reopens for half term and water fun is on daily, annual passes available. See our review here.

Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife & Falconry centre has a good water splash area with lots of sand, toys, diggers and adventure playground. Included in admission (plus has half term event on).

Peace Gardens in Sheffield City Centre is a great place to splash around in the fountains, they are on daily however please note will not be on during Sheffield Food Festival (Bank Holiday weekend).

Bakewell Park is a good day out in the lovely historical village and in the playground has a free water play area.

Splashtastic! Where To Go For Water Play & Splash Parks in and around Sheffield

Outdoors; Peak District Days Out

Longshaw Estate | Best Things To Do and See in the Peak District with Kids
Longshaw Estate | Best Things To Do and See in the Peak District with Kids

Hunt for boggarts at Longshaw Estate, National Trust on the edge of Sheffield. It’s free! Plus you must go down for a picnic at Padley Gorge. This is one of our most favourite days out in the countryside, near Sheffield, that costs zero!

Explore the lovely village of Castleton and visit Perevil Castle.

There’s an outdoor swimming pool and fantastic playground in Hathersage; very worth a visit!

We love a walk around Ladybower Reservoir.

I really recommend finding Bamford Mill; it’s truly a hidden paradise, and there’s a new playground in Buxton, too!

Fancy a long walk but close to Sheffield? Try walking from Grindleford to Hathersage via Bolehill Quarry; I love this walk!

Buxton has a fantastic park in the Pavilion Gardens. It’s a lovely day out plus there’s a cafe, lots of nice shops, caves, museum and walks.

Tissington Trail is a wonderful flat path running all the way from Ashbourne to Buxton. You can cycle, scoot, walk or run! We did a few miles from Ashbourne and highly recommend it. Dovedale and Ilam Park are close by and wonderful.


Animals and farms

15+ Best Days Out with Animals: Farms & Zoos near Sheffield

Wentworth Garden Centre, Rotherham – Lovely garden centre with shops, historic walled garden, aquatic centre, cafe and family farm. The family farm has 2 playgrounds and a sandpit, plus is opening a water/sand play area very soon. Here’s 5 reasons why kids love it.

Graves Park has a free animal farm and very good playgrounds; the largest park in Sheffield.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster is a popular zoo for families. Lots of animals to see, play areas both indoor and outdoor, shopping village and places to eat make this a very popular attraction.

Heeley City Farm – one of our favourite free days out in Sheffield and has a fantastic vegan/vegetarian cafe.

Aston Springs Farm, Rotherham – Enjoy a woodland trail seeing the animals, picnic areas, wildlife pond and places to eat, drink and shop down at the main centre. There’s a pizza restaurant with indoor play, farm shop and even a paint a pot studio.

More places to see animals:

Outdoors; Other

Sheffield Manor Lodge has historical ruins, discovery centre, outdoor play (maze, sandpit) plus crafts during half term.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens is free to visit, open daily and really worth a visit. it’s beautiful and has a good cafe, lovely toy shop and little areas to explore.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield is a free day out. Open air gallery with cafes and picnic areas.

Renishaw Hall & Gardens, S21 3WB a stunning country estate with private house. Award winning gardens with trails, children’s garden, sculptures, water features and cafe.

We love at day out at Low Bradfield & walks around Damflask Reservoir – not far from north Sheffield, with playground, places to eat, bowling green and countryside walks.

10 Magical outdoor spaces for fairytale walks in Sheffield

More outdoor days out

Big Days Out / Attractions

haven blue dolphin

National Coal Mining Museum for England in Wakefield is a FREE day out and has adventure playgrounds, nature trail, museum with indoor play area, pit ponies and half term activities.

Meet the characters from Room on the broom on the FREE adventure trail at Anglers country park, Wakefield.

Heading down to the seaside when it’s good weather is an absolute must! I love Cleethorpes and there’s so much to do there for kids, it’s all close together and easy to get to by train from sheffield. Scarborough and Bridlington are also good seaside places near Sheffield.

Explore the large and wonderful Roundhay Park in Leeds for a free day out. Cafe, play areas, land train, old castle ruins, lakes and near to Tropical World (under 5’s free).

Ultimate Guide for What’s On in Sheffield: May Bank Holiday & Half Term

Have lots of fun at Markeaton Park, Derby and free entry.

We really liked Wheelgate theme park near Nottingham, a great attraction for toddlers with loads to do; indoor and outdoor, animals, trains, water park, adventure playground, maze, rides, etc.,

LegoLand Discovery Centre

Fancy a trip to London? Here’s my guide to the best things to see and do for kids.

More attractions

And here’s even more ideas for you…

English Heritage & National Trust

Ultimate Guide for What’s On in Sheffield: May Bank Holiday & Half Term

Looking for family friendly places to eat and drink in Sheffield?

10 best family friendly pubs with playgrounds and beer gardens

Family Friendly Places To Eat in Sheffield City Centre

And if you’re looking for yet even MORE ideas for day trips, days out and things to do with kids in Sheffield then you’ll be sorted with these guides:

Sheffield day trips and days out with kids

places for Peak District family walks near Sheffield

Don’t forget to follow trips with a tot on Facebook for daily ideas, day trip reviews, inspiration for things to do and lots, lots more!

Ultimate Guide for What’s On in Sheffield: May Bank Holiday & Half Term

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