The UK is blessed with an abundance of amazing days out for families, from educational sessions at museums to wild-and-free days getting muddy in an enchanted woods. Some UK attractions for families are so magical, they deserve to be seen through a child's eyes. Here are 20 unmissable places to take the kids before they hit those pesky teen years!
Hobbledown calls itself a ‘mysterical adventure’ and it has more than enough for a packed day out with little ones. A huge indoor play barn makes it an ideal venue for rainy days, while farm animals, an aerial adventure course and gigantic jumping pillows are just a small selection of the outdoor activities on offer. If you want to get up close and personal with the animals, meet and greet 17 magnificent birds of prey at the Raptor Centre.
Price: £15.20 for a child, £14.25 for a adult
This haven of lush greenery and nature is perfect for a day of digital detox. Walk through the largest indoor rainforest in the world with over 1000 species of plants, enjoy the canopy walkway and even see how rubber is tapped from trees to make wellie boots. For the thrill seekers, soar above the Eden Project on the zip wire or the high flying giant swing.
Price: £65 for a Family ticket
This unique gem in the heart of Wales offers an incredible insight into traditional Welsh life hundreds of years ago. Walk through the recreated rural village and try your hand at pottery on the outdoor wheel at Wales’ most popular heritage attraction. Local craftsmen demonstrate their trade around the museum and the grounds of the beautiful Grade I listed castle is the perfect place for a picnic.
Price: Free entry
Nestled at the base of historic Corfe Castle, the model village gives visitors a to-scale idea of what the fort would have looked like before its ruin. Kids will love the lawn games and enchanted fairy garden, willow shelters and even a tipi. The Dorset apple cake is not to be missed!
Price: £12 Family ticket, two adults and up to three children
The largest family theme park in England has everything you need for a fantastic day out. Little ones will love the zoo farm and water slides, while older kids can get their thrills on the theme park rides. Every spring, look out for their Easter Eggstravaganza where there are thousands of chocolatey treats to be discovered.
Price: From £30 for a Family ticket
What kid doesn’t love a huge pile of Lego to play with? Take them on the ultimate brick adventure with themed rides, an around-the-world Lego experience featuring iconic buildings from around the globe (complete with marching guards at Buckingham Palace) and epic splash park for sunny days. If you're feeling brave enough, you can accept Lord Vampyre's invitation to the Haunted House Monster Party...
Price: From £29
Knockhatch is a farm, softplay, waterpark and small theme park rolled into one. Visit the owl sanctuary, take part in a hands-on little critters show or ride on the carousel when the weather is fine. Grab some lunch at the cafe before the kids burn off steam at not one but two indoor play centres, while the parents kick back with a coffee.
Price: From £12.99 2yrs+
Immerse yourself in optical illusions at Edinburgh's historic Camera Obscura. The museum has been attracting visitors for over 150 years, with its mind-blowing effects, tricks and puzzles. The five floors hold interactive exhibits where your kids will enter an altered visual reality. A great blend of art and history, you and your kids can also learn all about the intriguing history of the camera's invention.
Price: £12 for a child, £16 for a adult
Image credit: Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, Edinburgh
This science museum is perfectly set up for children to enjoy hands-on experiments all day long. Test your reflexes, try and make a hot air balloon float and get messy with giant bubbles in the light and airy museum. There are Teddy Bears’ Picnic days for toddlers and a Planetarium for budding outer-space buffs.
Price: Family ticket, 2 adults 2 children, £28
The childhood home of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating and fun-filled visit for children and parents. See where Henry VIII slept, explore a miniature medieval village, get lost in the wooden playground or try to avoid the jets in the water maze. If the suns out, hire a rowing boat and take in the beautiful surroundings from the lake. Jousting displays are also on in the summer.
Price: £9.95 for a child, £17.75 for a adult
Located next to the iconic Brighton Pier, the Sea Life Centre is an underwater world of fun and adventure. Walk through a glass tunnel underneath sharks, watch huge sea turtles having their dinner or enjoy an ice cream in the cafe surrounded by tanks of exotic marine life. Pay a little extra for a magical glass-bottomed boat ride with the turtles!
Price: £16 for a child, £19 for a adult
This character-themed play centre is 13,000 square feet of wonder. Kids will love playing in the different zones, with Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank themed play equipment in each one. Bring a camera so your little one can have their photo snapped with their favourite character. Maximum age limit: six years.
Price: £12 for a child, £3 for a adult
This is the ultimate playground for the child who wants to be a doctor/chef/ballerina when they grow up. This indoor city is created to scale for children, with job roles for them to try out, including fire fighter, photographer and journalist with international sponsors giving the zones an extra sense of reality.
Price: From £19 for a child, from £16 for a adult
Although Dippy the Diplodocus has been relocated from its iconic position in the great hall, the Natural History Museum is still the place to come for a day of dino fun and historic adventures. See the amazing collection of animals and pick up fun facts about the ancient Egyptians in this English gem. A great educational day out and a chance for children to see that learning is fun!
Price: Free entry
If you have a budding Einstein in the family, the Science Museum in London is the perfect place to encourage their interests. Think like a scientist at the Museums Wonderlab, where you can immerse yourself in practical scientific experiments. Explore flight engineering, dive into outer space and even check out the iMax cinema for a fun-filled day of hands-on educational thrills.
Price: Free entry
With a ride-on Thomas the Tank Engine and a pink Hello Kitty World, Drusillas is ideal for pre-teens. An extensive zoo will keep kids entertained for ages before they hit the banana boat swings, gigantic outdoor play area, indoor soft-play and rides.
Price: From £70 for a Family ticket
Discover moments in history immortalised in Lego bricks, enjoy a 4D motion ride, try out some real science experiments and learn all about constellations at this dynamic science centre for under-12s. In the winter months enjoy a slippin’ good time at the Life Centre ice rink.
Price: £6.50 for a child, £11 for a adult
Hailed as the anti-theme-park, Bewilderwood offers an unplugged experience full of fantasy and adventure. Explore treehouses, zip-wires, rickety bridges and meet some of the mystical creatures who inhabit the woods. Parents are encouraged to find their inner child and get stuck into the adventure too!
Price: £14.95 for a child, £16.95 for a adult
Located just a 30 minute drive from Glasgow, Loch Lomond Centre offers visitors the chance to see some rare birds of prey in an up-close and personal setting. There are 35 species of birds and plenty of opportunities to meet them and enjoy a hands-on educational experience.
Price: £4 for a child, £8 for a adult
Divided into seven fun-tastic areas of exploration and learning, the W5 Science centre has something for everyone. Whether it’s paddling in a virtual rock pool, scrambling through the Spacebase climbing rocket or racing your own K’Nex car there is a world of discovery awaiting your little ones. There's even amazing augmented reality technology that transports families to exotic locations to meet incredible (virtual!) animals.
Price: £7.50 for a child, £9.80 for a adult