Whether it's the weekend, the school holidays, or an inset day, it’s great to keep the kids active all year round. But getting out of the house and doing something new can be done without breaking the bank, with plenty of wonderful free family days out all around the UK.
You might be looking for ways to help them to let off some steam, trying to keep them learning even when schools are out, or helping them connect with nature. Whatever you’re looking for, here are some of the best free days out with kids.
Leeds City Museum
If you're looking for a fun and educational family day out, look no further than Leeds City Museum. The museum includes everything from natural history to facts on the ancient world; you and the kids will be leaving much more knowledgeable. To keep things new and exciting, there's an engaging range of temporary exhibitions sure to amaze and inspire all age groups, so even regular visitors will find something new to learn. Younger children may enjoy the weekly crafts club held in the museum and family activities run throughout the school holidays. If your little ones love art, you might also want to visit the Leeds Art Gallery just around the corner and add in a café stop for drinks and cake.
It’s easy to reach Leeds City Museum, just a short 10-minute walk from Leeds station.
Windmill Hill City Farm, Bristol
Windmill Hill City Farm is a fantastic local community project in Bristol with plenty to see and do to keep everyone's attention occupied for the whole day. The stars of the show are the farm animals who live at Windmill Hill, where the little ones can meet the goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, and more. With plenty of opportunities to feed and play with the animals while being supervised by the expert farm staff. Exploring the gardens is a great way to experience this urban oasis right in the centre of Bristol. After visiting the animals, kids of all ages can burn any excess energy at the onsite adventure playground. Be sure to check the website to see when organised activities are available in this area, so you don't miss out. The farm is free but relies on support, so donations will be greatly appreciated.
The farm is uniquely situated in the centre and is only a 20-minute walk from Bristol Temple Meads.
With plenty of kids' activities available throughout the year and more books than you could read in a lifetime, this is a perfect day out for your little bookworms. Whether you're planning a day out with the kids over the summer or winter, the weather can always be unpredictable, but the library is the perfect solution for days when the weather isn't on your side. Being spread across ten levels, the stunning building is one of the largest public libraries in the UK, a treasure trove of literature, learning, and fun. Entry to the library is free, and there are various free kids' events, too - to make the most of the day, check online before visiting.
The library is just a 10-minute walk from Birmingham New Street Station.
Abbey Park, Leicester
Hugging the banks of the River Soar in the north of the city is Abbey Park – a stunning green space to relax, play ball games, and enjoy Leicester's riverside scenery. However, this isn't a standard park, you will find a boating lake, where you can rent both rowing and pedal boats for a small fee, a miniature railway that loops the park, and there's even a pet's corner, which is free to enter and has a selection of birds and other animals. Those families looking to get active will be excited to hear that the park has plenty of sporting facilities. There's a bowling green, five hard surface tennis courts, orienteering courses, a lavender maze, and table tennis tables, so you and the kids have plenty to choose from.
You can walk to Abbey Park in around 30 minutes from Leicester Train Station. If little legs don't make the walk, you can jump on the number 54 or 54A from Stand EG outside the station.
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
While smaller in size than its London counterpart, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History is no less extraordinary. From dinosaur displays to a massive whale's jawbone, there are tonnes of spectacular exhibitions to marvel at. Housed in an equally impressive building, these exhibits combine education with pure fun, making it easier for children to absorb what they learn. The museum regularly runs different sessions, events, and exhibitions, ranging from arts and crafts to educational tours. The sessions are for everyone, but some are targeted towards different age groups, so it's well worth planning your trip. Entry is free to the museum, but you'll need to book if you're going in groups.
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is only a 15-minute walk from Oxford station.
If you're planning a trip to one of the best free days out with kids, don't forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.
The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you're visiting one of the best places to find fossils in the UK, the most famous landmarks in the UK, or the best indoor ski slopes in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.