Keeping the kids entertained all summer can be tough, not to mention expensive. Taking them for a day trip or weekend away can act like a mini holiday and doesn’t need to break the bank. We’ve got many amazing cities right here in the UK, that are easily accessible by train, cities like Peterborough.
Travelling with young children can be a daunting experience but one way to ease your journey is to travel by train. It’s convenient, hassle-free and means you can focus on your kids instead of the road. Children find travelling by train exciting, and you can all enjoy the views out of the train window, play games together, or even eat your breakfast onboard. Book Advance tickets online for great savings. We’ve created our own I-spy game, which you can print out and bring on the train for you to play.
From heritage attractions to country walks, adventure playgrounds and even a heated open-air pool, there are lots of things to do with kids in Peterborough – continue reading and thank us later.
1. Discover Peterborough at the Museum and Art Gallery
Located in one of the city’s most historic buildings, Peterborough Museum has a wealth of stories to fascinate the whole family. Explore the historic building and its story, from private house, to hospital and museum. Discover over 200,000 objects tracing the archaeology, history and geography of Peterborough. Exhibits range from Jurassic fossil remains to Roman Pottery, so there’s something to interest any age.
Where is it? Priestgate, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England, PE1 1LF.
How to get there: From Peterborough Station, it’s a quick 5-minute walk to the museum.
2. Discover ‘whodunit’ on Peterborough’s Murder Mystery Trail
Whodunit? And where? And most importantly, why? There are more than a few riddles to crack on the Peterborough Murder Mystery Trail, and you and your team are the ones who need to get to the bottom of things.
The non-circular trail takes you through the key attractions of central Peterborough. Enjoy the green spaces, the river and the historic streets of the city centre before finishing at the doorstep of Peterborough Cathedral. At around 2 hours long, the trail should leave you plenty of time to explore.
Where is it? Car Haven Bishop's Road Peterborough PE1 1YX.
How to get there: The trail begins at the Car Haven Car Park, a 10-minute walk from Peterborough Station.
Price: Purchase the £6.99 trail booklet online and either download as a pdf or print to take with you.
3. Monkey around at New Ark Adventure Playground
The New Ark Adventure playground is run by an independent charity encouraging children to take part in adventurous outdoor play. You’ll find an eco-garden, a city farm and the traditional adventure playground here.
Your kids can run riot with the playground’s professional play workers who also love to play; so, it’s up to you whether you get involved or sit back and relax. The Eco centre has play structures, as well as a sensory garden, a woodland area and a small orchard to enjoy. At the City Farm families are encouraged to volunteer for feeding and caring duties, which is always popular with the kids.
Where is it? New Ark Play Association, Rear of Hill Close, Off Reeves Way, Peterborough, PE1 5LZ
How to get there: From Peterborough Station, there are several buses that take you to the adventure playground in around 15 minutes.
Price: Prices vary, so check the website before you go.
4. Escape the city at Ferry Meadows Country Park
A haven set 3 miles away from Peterborough’s busy city centre, Ferry Meadows Country Park is jam-packed full of fun activities for the whole family. Walk, cycle, play, horse ride, go fishing, rent a boat, or simply explore the endless meadows, lakes and woodland. Jump on the Ferry Meadows Railway from Ham Lane Station to ride around the park and admire the nature and wildlife around you. There are three play areas catering for different ages and an events programme throughout the year.
After all that running around, everyone’s sure to be hungry. You will find cafés, picnic spots and even BBQ stands should you fancy firing one up.
Where is it? Nene Park Trust, Ham Farm House Ham Lane, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 5UU, England.
How to get there: From Peterborough Station, the park is a 30-minute bus ride away.
Price: Free admission, charges applicable to certain activities.
If you're visiting on the 24th July 2021, you can take the kids to the Teddy Bear's Picnic, a special children's theatre show with props, puppets, well-known songs and dancing. It will even have an educational show where children can learn about numbers, colours, and shapes. All you need to do is bring along your child's favourite teddy bear and they can all join in on the fun, exciting picnic adventure.
Teddy Bear's Picnic is aimed at children aged 2-6, costs £10 for anyone aged 2 and above (under 2s are free and don't require a ticket), and runs on 24th July between 11am and 2.30pm. Enquire here for more details.
5. Make a splash at Peterborough lido
This fantastic outdoor swimming complex is the perfect activity for a summer’s day. Even if the temperature is a bit nippy outside, all three pools are heated so you can visit whatever the weather.
There’s a main 50m pool, a teaching pool for children and a paddling pool for toddlers, so everyone can get involved. The 3 large sun-bathing terraces, a large grass lawn and play area for the kids make the Lido the perfect venue for a fun family day out. Pack a picnic or visit the onsite café, which serves hot and cold food as well as ice-cream and refreshments.
Where is it? Lido, Bishop's Rd, Peterborough PE1 1YY.
How to get there: Peterborough Lido is a 15-minute walk from Peterborough Station. Alternatively, you could jump on a bus outside the station.
Price: £5.90 (adults), £4.20 (children under 16), £1.00 (children under 5), £18.00 (family ticket).
6. Learn and play at Big Sky Adventure Play
Get their adrenaline pumping when you visit Peterborough’s Big Sky soft play and party centre. You’ll find a fun, varied play area including the ‘Around the World’ themed main play frame, the toddler and the baby area. Children can learn and play as they climb and take in interesting facts along the way. They can also attempt to become the top scorer in the large indoor football pitch.
You will find a King Kong climbing wall that adults can have a go on too, if they dare. If not, there’s an onsite café for you to sit and have a cuppa whilst the children play.
Where is it? 24 Wainman Road, Orton Longueville, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 7BU.
How to get there: Take a 15-minute bus ride from Peterborough Station to the play area.
Price: See website for prices.
What to pack for a day out with the kids?
Taking the kids out can at times seem like a daunting ‘task’ but with our packing list, you’ll feel organised and ready for anything:
- Suitable clothing for the activities you have planned for the day (layers and a raincoat if the weather is unpredictable, swimming gear if you’re visiting the lido, etc.)
- Print out our I-spy game to take on the train with you
- Snacks – we don’t want anyone getting hangry on our family day out. Packing some fruit is a great choice for a quick snack, or we have an at-seat service on our trains, so you could grab something onboard if you like
- Wet wipes and tissues
- Water to keep everyone hydrated
- Camera – for selfies and pictures of your wonderful family day out together
For more travel tips with children, check out our Train Ride Survival Guide.
Child-friendly restaurants in Peterborough
Dog in a Doublet – A classic family-run English pub with outdoor catering that promises a special, nutritious kids’ menu ‘that will keep them smiling’. With some great ales available at this great little gastro pub, you’ll be kept smiling too.
Wildwood Restaurant – A bright and airy restaurant serving a great selection of pizza and pasta, grills and seasonal specials. There’s even a kids’ play area to keep them entertained whilst they’re waiting for their meal.
Bill’s – For everyone’s favourite chain, why not head to Bill’s? Serving a children’s menu for breakfast lunch and dinner, you’ll be catered for whatever time you visit.
It you want to make the most of your city break, we advise spending the night in Peterborough, and there are plenty of choices of where to stay. Whether you choose the luxury of one of the city’s boutique hotels or opt for comfort and value, you’ll be spoilt for choice with Peterborough’s selection of hotels.
Want to know what else there is to do in Peterborough? Read our Peterborough destination guide. Make sure you take advantage of great savings with CrossCountry Advance train tickets and you download our mobile app to buy your tickets.
Written by Seb