Top 5 FREE Sheffield Family Day Trips for School Holidays

Are you looking for FREE day trip ideas and wondering where the best places to grow with kids are this summer & school holidays? Here are Top 5 FREE Sheffield Family Day Trips for School Holidays. And, since we’re all about public transport as some of you may know; all of these day trips are doable by train. They’re no more than 1 hour and half from Sheffield so you won’t be traveling all day long. We love it when a day out only costs the price of the train fare! Woohoo! 🙂 Top 5 FREE Sheffield Family Day Trips for School Holidays

Top 5 FREE Sheffield Family Day Trips for School Holidays

York: National Railway Museum

Top 5 FREE Sheffield Family Day Trips for School Holidays

Getting outdoors when it’s lovely and sunny is great, right?! But don’t forget that museums are usually at their least busy when the weather is nice, so it’s best to head to National Railway Museum when the sun is shining during the school holidays to get the best experience.

We absolutely love this museum and visit a few times a year. It’s completely FREE and there’s a playground outside, miniature railway (small cost), indoor play area, cafes and shop. We take our own food and easily spend hours there. It’s always nice to walk into York (or catch the land train from the museum to York Minster) and look around the cobbled streets, too.


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Leeds is a city we visit a lot because there is so much to do totally free and it’s very quick to get to from Sheffield. Direct trains can get there just over half an hour and then, well take your pick! How about a fun and FREE water taxi ride to Royal Armouries Museum; this little yellow boat is such a novelty for kids and really fun way of getting to the free museum.

Eric loves Leeds City Museum which has lots of interactive stuff to see, play with, touch and do. There’s an indoor play area “toddler town” upstairs, animals and history downstairs, and a new special exhibition this summer: Beavers to Weavers.

Just a bus journey way from Leeds City Centre is Roundhay Park; one of Europe’s largest public parks. It’s brilliant! There’s so many different areas to the parks, playgrounds, cafes, land train, woodlands and plants, flowers, nature, old castle ruins and jungle-forest like areas to explore. I’d definitely recommend it. Take a picnic to keep it free. If you have some spare cash, Tropical World is cheap and under 5’s are free.

Top 5 FREE Sheffield Family Day Trips for School Holidays


manchester museum of science and industry

MSI Museum is one of the best free museums near Sheffield & really worth a visit. There is a lot to see, do and look at for all ages. The Experiment! gallery on the top floor is very interactive and encourages playing, there’s free family shows, activities, drop in sessions, explorer bags and huge galleries filled of things to awe at. Trains, engines, machinery, light, sound, texture and aeroplanes. I recommend the Air & Space hall, definitely a highlight and you can picnic there looking at the aeroplanes, too. Read our review here.

Easy to get there, a quick train to Manchester then a real shuttle to the museum.

Manchester Museum is definitely worth a visit, too, but would be hard to do both in a day unless you’re hardcore! It’s free and has loads of animals including a dinosaur room with a HUGE T-REX!


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There’s a lot of options for things to do for FREE in Wakefield and it’s definitely a very good option for a cheap day out on the train from Sheffield. I recommend Wakefield Museum especially for the dress up and fantastic wooden play kitchen, library and cafe. Head to The Hepworth Gallery for free art sessions/family activities for kids, a lovely cafe and playground. For more outdoors I know you’ll love the Room On The Broom adventure book trail at anglers country park; a bus journey from Wakefield.

Another fantastic outdoors day out for free in Wakefield is National Coal Mining Museum For England. There’s a new adventure playground there, nature trail, pit ponies, underground tours and indoor play at the museum. Take a picnic!

Read my guide to the top 5 things to do with kids in Wakefield here.


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Who doesn’t love the beach?! Cleethorpes is the closest seaside destination to Sheffield and by train you can get from Sheffield train station to Cleethorpes beach in just over 1 hour and 15 mins. The train station is right by the beach so it’s perfect for a day trip. The beach itself is clean, very sandy and long.

We love Cleethorpes! Head up to the nature reserve for a walk, have fun in the paddling pool, go on a train ride and don’t forget the arcades & fish and chips! 🙂

Top 5 FREE Family Sheffield Day Trips for Summer & School Holidays

Even more day trips…

  • Catch a train to Hathersage & go swimming at the outdoor pool. Don’t forget the playground behind, it’s really good!
  • Clifton Park & Museum in Rotherham is about 10-15 minute walk from the station (or catch the x1 from Sheffield which stops right outside the museum) and has the best free splash park in South Yorkshire!
  • There’s a newly renovated adventure playground in Dronfield; Cliffe Park. It’s about 10 minute (max) stroll from the station and is a FREE park with loads to do, plus cafe!
  • Elsecar is one of my favourite day trips on a train. It only takes 15 minutes to get there from Sheffield & we really love the award-winning Elsecar Park & Heritage Centre.
  • Find even more day trips in this post: 17 Day Trip Ideas From Sheffield

Check these places out for more day trip ideas with fun things to do:

London with a Toddler - 5 top tips

fun things to do in Hull
fun things to do in Hull

Wait! Don’t go yet!

Make sure to read & save this Ultimate Summer Bucket List for later:

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