Often considered the friendliest county of the UK, North Yorkshire is a great place to live and visit. With a huge handful of cities providing superb family attractions, nestled neatly in amongst the stunning Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, it offers the best of both worlds. Enjoy contemporary, yet cultured fun at some of the area’s most-loved family days out, before enjoying peaceful picnics in the countryside.
If you are heading up to holiday around these northern parts, or you’re looking for somewhere near home to keep the kids entertained over the school holidays, here are just five of the best family days out in North Yorkshire.
Family days out in North Yorkshire
SEA LIFE Scarborough
Everyone’s favourite family day out, SEA LIFE Scarborough definitely doesn’t disappoint. Entirely child-friendly and family-orientated, the accessible marine life exhibit has a huge variety of sea creatures on show, including sharks, clownfish and sea turtles.
As well as immersive exhibitions such as Penguin Island and the centre’s Interactive Rockpool, there are also frequent talks and feeding times to get your family’s sea life knowledge up to speed.
Check out Adventures of a Yorkshire Mum’s review of the Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary
The Forbidden Corner
Located in Leyburn, The Forbidden Corner is a unique tourist attraction, that sparks creative imagination in all ages. Brimming with curious brick builds and odd statues, the gardens of The Forbidden Corner, are perfectly weird and wonderful.
Make of the enchanted paths what you will but be prepared for unexpected surprises, jumps, and startles along the way. This is, after all, ‘The Strangest Place in the World’.
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum is an incredible, accessible, inclusive day out for families with school-aged children. Sitting neatly next to Halifax Railway Station, this is one of North Yorkshire’s greats that can be reached easily on public transport.
The entirely hands-on museum encourages children to learn through playing, touching, becoming part of the science that surrounds us in everyday life. If your children have found other museums a bore-fest, prepare to catch their attention with the museum that’s like no other. Fun and educational, children aged 0-11 can discover all about life in exhibitions including Living & Working Together, SoundSpace, All About Me, and the Spark Gallery.
The best bit? Pay for entry once and become an annual member, meaning you can come back for free with the family, whenever you fancy.
The York Dungeon
Great for families with older tweens and teens, The York Dungeon is the funniest and scariest visitor attraction in the city. Take a tour through York’s terrifying past, as 2000 years of history is brought to life through ten live shows and countless immersive, sense-thrilling sets. From the Vikings and the Plague to devout creepy Catholic Margaret Clitherow, and all that’s in between, it’s a shriek-inducing 75 minutes amongst the Shambles.
York’s Chocolate Story
York’s answer to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, the York’s Chocolate Story sits just to the top of the historic Shambles in Kings Square. It is a fascinating, fully-guided tour through the history of the city’s most famous chocolatiers and their most loved, creamy creations.
A half-day attraction that thrills all the senses, families will smell, taste, and touch the journey of the cocoa bean, from its rich Mayan history right up to our contemporary sweet treats. Of course, no child will go home empty handed, with chocolate tasters and chocolate lolly workshops to finish the tour. Yummy!