Top 12 Things to do in Durham for Kids

There are lots of things to do in Durham for kids which will keep your family entertained during your holiday regardless of if you are visiting for the first time or live here all year round.  So grab a cup of tea and lets find some fun things for all your family to enjoy in Durham City and Dales.

Things to do in Durham for Kids

If your question is “are there any things to do in Durham for kids?” our answer is yes, check out the list below and you are bound to have a great time the next time you visit Durham.

1. Infinite Air

Infinite Air durhamWith over 80 trampolines, Infinite Air has 16,000 sq ft of bouncing, jumping fun to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

Learn wall running on the 3 performance trampolines, use the raised platforms, tumble track, Hangtime zone with its bounce track and box sections to develop and show off your skills and slam dunks on the basketball hoop to your friends.

The bag jump is a massive inflated air bag which cushions your landing as you jump, flip and dive off the tumble tracks, freewill podiums and angled tramps. Last but not least, the dodgeball court is great fun, just remember the 5 D’s, Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and erm, Dodge!

Address: New Ferens Park, Durham, County Durham, DH1 1GG, England
Contact: 0191 397 3066;
Prices: £11.95 per hour
Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 18:00

2. Crook Hall and Gardens

Crook Hall and Gardens mazeCrook Hall and Gardens is a lovely day out for families, couples and retired folk alike.  You will find several gardens including, Cathedral Garden, Shakespeare Garden, The Silver and White Garden and The Secret Walled Garden.

Cotoneaster meadow maze is great fun for the kids but it is not quite as easy as it looks, so keep an eye on the little ones, otherwise it can get a little frantic.

Why not enjoy a cream tea in the courtyard of Crook Hall or take a walk around the moat pool, orchard, and wildflower meadow.  There really is a lot to see and do outside.

If you head indoors you can explore the Mediaeval hall and the Jacobean Room, or simply relax by the log fire but the gardens is what most people go to Crook Hall to see, so pick a sunny day and grab the kids and go and have some fun with all the family.

Address: Frankland Lane, Sidegate, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5SZ, England
Contact: 0191 384 8028;
Prices: Adults: £7.00, Kids: £5.00, Concessions: £6.50
Opening times: Sunday to Wednesday 10:00 – 17:00, closed on 25th & 26th December.

3. The Durham Treasure Trail

The Durham Treasure TrailEveryone loves a treasure hunt and your kids will love the Durham Treasure Trail as it makes a visit to Durham City a fun experience for all the family wether you are 6 or 60.

Suitable for everyone of all ages, you will follow the circular trail as it weaves past Durham’s famous historic and modern attractions, and hunt for plaques and unusual features to find answers to the treasure hunt clues.

The trail is quite short so it is great for kids, especially smaller ones and covers 1 mile, so you can complete at your own pace during your visit to Durham, or get swept up in the fun and complete the trail in around 1 hour.

Once purchased, the Durham Treasure Trail can either be downloaded for instant access or sent to you in the post.  Don’t worry if you get stuck as you can always get some free text clues to help you out long the way.

As a bonus, if you want to win some real treasure, you can enter the monthly draw and be in with a chance to win £100 and explore more things to do in Durham.

The trail pack includes one booklet which will keep 4/5 people entertained and starts at Durham’s market place.  But if you enjoy the kids trail, there are 4 other Treasure Trails for you to enjoy the next time you visit Durham City.

Address: Market Place, Durham, County Durham, DH1 3NB, England
Contact: 01872 263692;
Prices: £6.99 per pack

4. Durham Museum and Heritage Centre

Durham Museum and Heritage CentreDurham Museum and Heritage Centre is located in the magnificent old parish church of the North Bailey which was rebuilt in the 17th century.

Inside the museum you will find displays depicting how the city of Durham began and its development over the centuries since, its impact on England and the people of the region.  Make sure you take a look at the model of the city during medieval times and see how it compares to today.  Or, have a look at the model of Durham’ marketplace from the 1830s and compare it to a photograph of it from Victorian times after it was rebuilt.

There is also a Crime and Punishment section where you can see what it was like to be in prison in Victorian times or do some brass rubbing in the schools section.  Lastly, are you brave enough to take a look at the “death chair”?

If you need some fresh air, head out into the museum garden and take a look at the sculptures by local artists.

Address: St Mary Le Bow, North Bailey, Durham, County Durham, DH1 3ET, England
Contact: 0191 3845589;
Prices: Adult: £2.50 Concession: £2.00 Child: 50p
Opening times: April and May: Weekends and Bank Holidays 2.00pm – 4.30pm June: Daily 2.00pm – 4.30pm July, August and September Daily 1.00pm – 4.30pm October: Weekends 2.00pm – 4.30pm

5. Durham Climbing Centre

Durham Climbing CentreMy kids love to climb and I am sure that yours are the same, so why not take them to the Durham Climbing Centre and save your home furniture.

The Durham Climbing Centre is suited for climbers of all ages and experience so if you are old, young, a novice or an expert, you will find that the Durham Climbing Centre has a climb to challenge your abilities.

Children and beginners can find suitable slopes and circuits on the junior wall where they can build confidence and climbing skills and little ones can enjoy dedicated parent and toddler sessions which are run on week day mornings and allow your little ones a chance to have a go whilst you keep a carful eye on them.

Kids aged 3 to 16 years old can join the Rock Stars Climbing Club which runs on weekends, after school and during the school holidays, just make sure to checkout the details on the website for exact times and dates.

For the more advanced climbers aged 12 and older, you can try your skills with the Advanced area which has a great selection of routes which range from nice and easy to extremely difficult.

Address: St Johns Road, Meadowfield Industrial Estate, Durham, County Durham, DH7 8TZ, England
Contact: 0191 3789555;
Prices: starting from £7.50.
Opening times: 1st May – 30th September Monday – Friday 10.00am – 10.00pm Saturday and Sunday 9.30am – 6.00pm 1st October – 30th April Monday – Friday 10.00am – 10.00pm Saturday and Sunday 9.30am – 8.00pm

6. Adventure Valley

Adventure ValleyLike most parents, I am sure that your kids have lots and lots of energy.  If that is the case for you, then you need to visit Adventure Valley, where your kids can have great fun and tire themselves out.

There is so much to do for all ages, little ones as well as older ones at Adventure Valley that they will want to stay all day, in fact, getting them to leave might be the hardest part of the day for you!

Outside you will find Action Creek, with its slides, swings, sandpits, pedal go-karts and jumping pillows and an under 5’s play area.  There is also a farmyard where you can meet micro pigs and pygmy goats and Bertie, an extremely quick tortoise!

Want more?  OK, why not try your hand at the 18 hole adventure golf course or visit the Busy Bees Barn where you will find the wild west play town with daily shows in The Showtime Theatre or if you are brave enough, Creature Corner.

If the weather is not so good, don’t worry, Adventure Valley has you covered, literally!  The Indoor Play Town has 18,000 square feet of tubes, scramble nets, slides and a roller skate disco for the kids and a lovely café for parents to relax in.

There really is so much to do at Adventure Valley, that you will be coming back time and again and never getting bored.  A wonderful kids activity for all the family in Durham.

Address: Brasside, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5SG, England
Contact: 0191 386 8291;
Prices: Adult/Child: £9.75, Senior/Disabled: £8.75, Carers: £5.75
Opening times: Monday to Friday 10:00 – 16:00 & Saturday and Sunday 10:00 – 17:00.  Please note that last entry is 45 minutes before closing time.

7. Diggerland Durham

Diggerland Durham dumper truck rideHonestly, when I first heard about Diggerland, I was a little sceptical.  Really, I thought, they created a theme park for diggers?  So I just had to take the kids and try it out for ourselves.  And you know what?  It is brilliant, total fun for boys, girls and adults.  Trust me, your whole family will have lots of fun at Diggerland in Durham, so make sure this is on your list of have to visit.

Both kids and adults get to drive real diggers, dumper trucks and other full sized construction machinery (I know, right!) in a safe environment.  With 18 different rides to choose from, including riding dumper trucks around a track and digging for buried treasure with mini diggers, this is another of those days where you will find it hard to not just get the kids to go home but prise yourself away as well.

Diggerland DurhamBut that is not the end of the excitement, other rides include the Spindizzy which hoists you up and tosses you around, the Groundshuttle which is sure to rattle your bones and the Skyshuttle which takes you high up in the air for great views of the Durham Dales and countryside.

With an indoor soft play area and free parking, you are bound to have a great day out at Diggerland Durham with or without your kids!

Address: Riverside Industrial Estate, Langley Park, Durham, County Durham, DH7 9TT, England
Contact: 0871 22 77 007;
Prices: £19.95 per person over 90cm tall, Seniors: £9.99
Opening times: Please call or see website for details.

8. Planet Leisure

Planet LeisureAnother of our favourites is Planet Leisure in Newton Aycliffe, which has a whole host of activities to keep you and your kids entertained for hours.

At Planet Leisure your kids will enjoy the huge multi level adventure soft play area and if that does not tire them out, then there is tenpin bowling, an artificial ice skating rink, an aerial trekking course, trampoline park, karaoke rooms and laser quest for all the family to enjoy.

If you get a little peckish, the award winning Smokin’ Burritos restaurant will help you refuel.  This Tex Mex restaurant serves full meals and if you check the website you will find family friendly offers so you can get something to eat and enjoy the fun whilst saving yourself a little money.

All activities are indoors so even if it is raining, the wet weather will not spoil your fun.

Address: Maple Way, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, DL5 6BF, England
Contact: 01325 310989;
Prices: Bowling from £3.70 Skating from £3.95 Laser Quest from £5.70, Trampoline Park from £4.45
Opening times: daily from 10am but be sure to check the website for time tables of specific activities.

9. Broom House Farm and Forest

Broom House Farm and ForestThe first thing to know about Broom House Farm is that it can be a little windy but then again it is located 750 feet above sea level, so with the chance of wind comes some incredible views across Durham Dales and countryside. The farm itself is home to the Gray family and their sheep, Aberdeen Angus cattle, Saddleback pigs, a flock of sheep and hens and the farm stretches down the valley towards to the forest.

Kids will love the Forest Adventure with its climbing towers, nature trails, slides, zips wires and tunnels to explore if they are brave enough. There are also woodland trails to discover and ducks, a Shetland pony, lambs (in spring) and goats to meet.

If you need a little break, try the cafe which serves delicious hot and cold food or the farm shop where you can but fresh meat and other local produce.

Address: Broom House Farm, Near Witton Gilbert, Durham, County Durham, DH7 6TR, England
Contact: 01913 718382;
Prices: ages 2 and up: £5, family of 4: £18
Opening times: Forest Adventure Trail – 10:30 – 16:00, Monday to Sunday (school holidays, bank holidays).  Farm Shop – 08:00 – 17:00, Monday to Saturday & 10:00 – 16:30 Sunday.  Coffee Shop 09:30 – 17:00, Monday to Sunday

Things to do for kids in Yorkshire

If you are going further afield, perhaps down to Yorkshire, take a look at our things to do in York guide, where you will find new and exciting things to do for Kids which are not too far away, just a short train journey of 30 minutes.

The BBC wrote a guide on free things to do in Durham Dales which you might find helpful, they also have the latest news as to what is happening in the city and surrounding area, so be sure to check this out if you get a chance.

Top 12 Things to do in Durham for Kids Conclusion

We hope that you have found this guide useful and that there are a lot of great things to do in Durham for kids, no matter what the weather outside is like or time of year.  The above suggestions are some of the activities that we have enjoyed with our children but there is lots more for you to discover.  If you have a favourite, why not use our contact page to share with them with us and be sure to tell us what you like about them.  Your opinion matters to us.

More Information

If you would like additional ideas for kids activities in Durham, why not take a look at more of the attractions and events in our other Durham guides.