41 Fun & Budget things to do with Sheffield kids

It can be hard trying to think up of things to do with kids in Sheffield. I’m with you… sometimes I feel like I exhaust all the options and go around in circles. And if you’re feeling the same…well, don’t worry, because I’m here to help you! With these 41 fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids, you’lll be spoilt for choice rather than stuck for inspiration. 😀

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

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.

FREE admission to Weston Park Museum and really great for kids. 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.

National Emergency Services Museum has annual passes if you gift aid. Kids love being able to go in big emergency vehicles and pretend to drive them. Big galleries full of things to see with the best thing being the outside yard with the big real emergency vehicles; 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.

Further afield… why not hop on a bus or train and have an adventure?!

FREE admission to National Railway Museum for everyone & this fantastic museum is just behind the train station. 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. 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 and find interesting things, a cafe, picnic areas & a play area (Jester’s Yard) with building blocks, castle, dress up, puppets, colouring etc.

You (and your kids) will love Eureka! The National Children’s Museum Discovery Road 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.

Indoor play good for littles

Try Kiddy Winx Play Cafe which 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.

Big Apple Play City is a big play centre in Rotherham suitable for up to 14 years old. 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.

big apple best for indoor play 41 fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
Big Apple Play City

Monkey Bizness in Centertainment is another big soft play and is in Sheffield Centertainment complex.  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.

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.

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.

Outdoor adventures

Why not go for a walk and explore 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.

The area around Longshaw has lots of nice walks for families. Try Surprise view, a gentle climb up to mother cap with a picnic at the top, getting lost down in Bolehill Quarry or visit Hathersage which is a nice village. There you’ll find lots of country pubs, walks, train station and an outdoor heated pool which has a good playground behind it.

family walk from Grindleford to Bolehill Quarry via Upper Padley 41 fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
Hathersage

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!

Forge Dam is a lovely park in Sheffield, Fulwood area S11. It feels like you have escaped Sheffield but don’t be fooled, it’s very much still in the city! 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.

Chatsworth House 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.

Animals

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.

Aston Springs Farm 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.

Sheffield’s top attraction, Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre 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.

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.

Good places to eat with kids

the cabin Sheffield 41 fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
The Cabin

The Cabin is cozy and great fun for kids… you’ll be spoilt with tasty pancakes, waffles, coffee, and treats. It has kids menu & shelves with toys, colouring, and it’s an informal atmosphere.  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.

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.

Sports

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.

JUMP INC UK Trampoline Parks in Rotherham and Sheffield is the ultimate trampoline park and really loads of fun, adults love it too. Or try the new 99 Jump | Sheffield on Bramall Lane.

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.

Extras

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.

sheffield manor lodge and farm 41 fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
Sheffield Manor Lodge and Farm

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.

Fancy an adventure? National Science and Media Museum in Bradford is FREE. You can get the train via Leeds and in the summer, go wild in the fountains opposite. Lots to see in the museum and wonderlab is interactive and science-y for kids. Cafe, imax cinema and lots of space for toddlers to wander.

It’s FREE in Barnsley at Experience Barnsley: Museum & Discovery Centre which has things for kids to play with, cars to climb in, dress up and a cafe and; then visit The Cooper Gallery opposite and grab a free explorer art kit. Cute!

The Cooper Gallery explorer bag 41 fun and budget ideas for things to do with Sheffield kids
The Cooper Gallery

I hope you enjoy your fun family days out and please join our community group to tell us all about it!

Did you enjoy this list? If you did, you should read more of my day out recommendations; there’s lots to browse! Why not have a look in the days out, reviews, museums or family walks? 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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4 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

top 6 Peak District family walks

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