The 15 Best Family Days Out in the UK

DraytonManor1

When it comes to family days out in the UK, you’re truly spoilt for choice. Exhilarating theme parks, real-life secret gardens, picturesque seaside towns - Britain is packed with an incredible amount of kid-friendly attractions and activities. But with such a huge range of things to see and do, it can be difficult to plan a day out that’s fun for the whole family (and that won’t break the bank).

If you’re struggling to choose your family’s next adventure, or you’re simply looking for some holiday inspiration, this list is for you!

Here are 15 of the best family days out across the UK.

Alton Towers Water Ride

1. Alton Towers Resort, Staffordshire

When it comes to legendary thrill rides, there’s nowhere else quite like Alton Towers. The UK’s favourite theme park is home to a number of gravity-defying roller coasters, including Galactica – a unique virtual reality roller coaster. There’s plenty for younger kids too: little ones will love the immersive play areas at CBeebies Land and Sharkbait Reef, the park’s pirate-themed aquarium.

Prices: On the day: Adult £55; child £48 (discounted rates available for advance online tickets)

Opening times: Vary throughout the year, but the theme park is generally open from 10am – 5pm or 6pm between late March and early November.

Blackpool Beach

2. Blackpool, Lancashire

One of England’s most iconic seaside resorts, Blackpool has plenty to keep visitors of all ages entertained. Take in the stunning panoramic views from The Blackpool Tower Eye, experience the jaw-dropping stunts at Blackpool Tower Circus, or get your adrenaline pumping on Britain’s highest roller coaster. Make the most of your day out with the Blackpool Attraction Pass, which includes entry to 6 of the town’s best attractions.

Magic Store

3. Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Hertfordshire

Explore the wonders of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. The tour offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at authentic costumes, props, and sets from the iconic Harry Potter film series. Follow in the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione and step into the Great Hall at Hogwarts or stroll along Diagon Alley. On your way out, don’t forget to grab a delicious mug of Butterbeer.

Prices: Adults £41; child: £33.

Tickets from Visit Britain Shop include return transportation from central London.

Opening times: Vary throughout the year, but the first tour generally begins at 9am. Closing times range from 6pm to 10pm depending on the date. Closed 25 and 26 December.

Getting there: Regular shuttle buses run from Watford Junction to the Studio Tour for £2.50 per person.

LEGO Royal Family

4. Legoland Windsor Resort, Berkshire

There’s so much more to this park than intricate Lego models – Legoland is filled with over 55 interactive rides, attractions, and live-action shows. Plus, it’s the perfect theme park in any season! During colder months, kids can make a splash on a magical submarine ride, test their ninja skills on the 4D Lego Ninjago ride, and relive their favourite film scenes at the Star Wars Miniland Model Display. If you’re visiting during summer, don’t miss the exciting rides at Pirate Shores or Drench Towers, the largest outdoor water play structure in the UK.

Prices: On the day price: adult £50.40; child £46.20 (discounted rates available for advance online tickets).

Opening times: Legoland is open between March and early November, along with select dates in December. (Please note: the waterpark is closed during the winter months and may not open during extreme weather conditions.) Hours vary throughout the year, but the park is typically open from 9:30am – 5pm or 6pm.

Starfish Tank

5. SEA LIFE Brighton Aquarium, East Sussex

Whether you’re after a bit of excitement or a relaxing afternoon, Brighton is a fantastic choice for a family day out in the UK. Beyond the beach and iconic pier, kids can discover a world of wonder at SEA LIFE Brighton Aquarium. Located only a stone’s throw away from the sea, this attraction features a variety of fascinating marine creatures, interactive talks and feeding times, and the UK’s first glass bottom boat.

Prices: Start from £12.50; children under 3 free

Opening times: Open 7 days a week, Monday – Sunday from 10am. Closing times vary between 4pm and 6pm depending on the time of year. Closed 24 and 25 December.

Starfish Tank

6. York Dungeon, Yorkshire

Take a journey to the York Dungeon (if you dare) for some spine-chilling fun. This live-action show brings 2,000 years of local history to life with talented actors, special effects, and immersive sets. You’ll laugh and scream as you meet some of the city’s most notorious characters, from Guy Fawkes to Dick Turpin and even a famous Viking. Once you’ve had your fill of thrills, explore more of York’s sights with the York Pass, which includes entry to 40 top attractions. Visit Castle Howard, take a chocolate factory tour, or embark on an archeological adventure at DIG – this pass has something for all ages!

Prices: Walk up price from £16.95; £13 per person when booking advanced online tickets

Opening times: Vary throughout the year, but the attraction typically opens at 10am and closes at 5pm. The dungeon is closed on 25 and 26 December.

Tiger

7. London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo attracts visitors from far and wide for one main reason: more than 17,000 animals call it home. The zoo’s incredible exhibits let you get closer to the animals than ever before: come face-to-face with the king of the jungle at Land of the Lions, observe a colony of gorillas at Gorilla Kingdom, and see endangered Sumatran tigers at Tiger Territory. Whether it’s a daily live feeding show or an educational talk, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. The only downside? You might struggle to fit it all into one day!

Prices:

10 February 2018 - 28 October:

  • Adult: £24.30
  • Child: £18.00 (Under 3s free)
  • Concession: £21.90
  • Family (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children): £75.80

29 October 2018 - 15 February:

  • Adult: £20.45
  • Child: £15.95 (Under 3s free)
  • Concession: £18.40
  • Family (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children): £66

Opening times: ZSL London Zoo is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. The park opens at 10am and closes between 5pm and 6pm depending on the date.

Drayton Park's Wheel

8. Drayton Manor Park, Staffordshire

Drayton Manor Park has all the necessary elements of a fun day out: a captivating zoo, exhilarating rides, and tons of family-friendly activities. There are more than 100 rides and attractions to explore, along with a number of options suitable for younger children – including the ever-popular Thomas The Tank Engine Land.

Prices:

  • Adult: £25.00
  • Child: £20.00
  • Toddler: £7.00 (Under 2s free)

Opening times: The park typically opens at 9:30am (with rides starting at 10:30am) and closes at 5pm.

Heligan Bridge

9. The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

If your kids are keen adventurers and explorers, plan a visit to Heligan – a real-life “lost” garden. Rediscovered and restored after years of neglect, the landscape is like something out of a fairytale. With everything from walled gardens to wildflower meadows and a diverse collection of native wildlife, it’s the perfect place for children to play and learn about nature. Heligan is also home to Cornwall’s only outdoor jungle, complete with a Burmese rope bridge that sits high above the tropical ferns and leafy palms.

Prices:

  • Adult: £11.30
  • Child: £5.30 (Under 5s free)
  • Student: £6.80
  • Family (2 adults + up to 3 children): £29.40

Opening times:

  • 26th March to 30th September: 10am – 6pm
  • 1st October to 26th March: 10am – 5pm
Chessington Tiger Bridge

10.  Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Surrey

With so much to see and do included in your ticket price, Chessington World of Adventures makes for a brilliant day out. Where else can you see endangered Amur tigers, hop on a high-speed roller coaster, come face-to-face with sharks and rays, and groove with the Gruffalo all in one place? This theme park has loads of exciting attractions that will delight and stimulate children of any age.

Prices:

  • Adult: £29
  • Child: £29

Opening times: The park is usually open from 10am, however, opening dates and closing times vary throughout the year.

Kidzania Hotel

11. KidZania London

Do your kids dream of becoming a doctor or firefighter when they grow up? KidZania allows them to live out their wildest dreams in realistic role-play activities. Watch the excitement on their faces as they learn how to save a life in the operating theatre, join the police force, or transform into a leading news reporter. Not only will they have loads of fun, they’ll also develop essential life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and more!

Prices from: Adult: £15; child: £38 (discounted rates available for advanced afternoon tickets).

Opening times: KidZania opens between 9:30am and 10am, however, closing times vary depending on the date. Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

12. The World of Beatrix Potter, Cumbria

Discover a fairytale world in the heart of the Lake District at The World of Beatrix Potter. Featuring beloved characters from the famous children’s books, this enchanting attraction brings all 23 stories to life. Kids can take a virtual walk through Beatrix Potter's beloved countryside, visit Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen, and explore the outdoor Peter Rabbit Garden.

Prices:

  • Adult: £7.95
  • Child: £3.95 (Under 3s free)
  • Student: £6.95
  • Family (2 adults + 2 children): £22

Opening times: Open every day from 10am, last entry 5.30pm.

Kew Gardens Pavillion

13. Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey

If your youngster is a budding Indiana Jones or Dora the Explorer, they’ll love Kew Gardens. This lush expanse is a natural playground, offering kids a chance to learn about conservation as they burn off some energy. Must-see spots for little ones include the Treetop Walkway, the Log Trail, and the life-sized badger’s den. There are also dozens of family-friendly events and activities taking place throughout the year.

Prices:

·         1 April 2018 - 31 October 2018: Adult: £17; concession: £15; child: £5 (under 4s free)

  • 1 November 2018 - 31 December 2018: Adult: £12.50; concession: £11; child: £4.50 (under 4s free)

Opening times: Gardens open at 10am every day. Closing times change throughout the year and may vary from week to week to accommodate seasonal changes and events in the gardens. Closed 24 and 25 December.

Zip World Cavern

14. Zip World Caverns, Gwynedd

Get ready for the experience of a lifetime at Zip World Caverns, an otherworldly attraction nestled amongst the scenic mountains of North Wales. Set within a vast series of mine chambers, this unique subterranean playground consists of an underground adventure course along with massive trampolines and slides. If that’s not enough of an adrenaline rush, head back above ground to take flight on Titan, Europe’s largest zipping zone. It’s an action-packed adventure the entire family can get involved in!

Prices: £65 per person (minimum age 10 years).

Opening times: Opening times and dates vary.

Merlin Magical Pass

15. London Sightseeing

If you think sightseeing in London is just for adults, these family attractions will have you thinking otherwise! There’s endless fun to be had around the city: snap candid photos with A-list celebrities at Madame Tussauds, embark on an immersive 4D experience at Shrek’s Adventure, or attempt to brave the London Dungeon. Can’t choose just one? Save money and visit five top attractions with Merlin’s Magical London Pass.


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