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21 Best Things To Do In Durham For Families With Kids

Heading to Durham with the kids? Brilliant choice! Whether you’re looking for a dash of history, a splash of adventure, or just some good old family fun, your in the right place. Here’s our guide to the top 21 things to do in Durham for families – there’s something for everyone. Let’s dive right in.

Top 21 Family Activities in Durham: Quick Nav

Explore Family Activities In Durham

Parking Info: check out our Durham City parking guide if you need to park in and around the city.

1. Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral isn’t just another old church – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped in nearly a millennium of history. Perched grandly on the River Wear in Durham, England, this cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Durham and a prime example of Norman architecture. It’s as much a beacon of religious significance as it is a magnet for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts. The cloisters here are famous for their appearances in various Harry Potter films – hence the Cathedral’s place at the top of our things to do in Durham for families list.

Activities and Features:

  • Tower Climb: Scale the 325 steps for stunning views over historic Durham and the surrounding countryside.
  • Open Treasure Exhibition: A must-visit for a closer look at some of the cathedral’s priceless collections and artifacts.
  • Daily Services and Prayer: Join in the daily rhythms of worship or simply soak in the serene atmosphere.
  • Events & Installations: Participate in seasonal installations like the ‘Peace Doves’ or attend one of the many concerts held throughout the year.
  • Guided Tours: Opt for a guided tour to uncover hidden stories and architectural secrets of this ancient structure.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open daily; visiting hours generally from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, but check ahead for service times and events.

Cost of Entry: Free entry; donations welcomed. Charges may apply for certain tours and exhibitions.

Location: Durham City, DH1 3EH, nestled alongside the River Wear.

Parking: No on-site parking; nearest is the Prince Bishops Shopping Center car park.

Accessibility: Accessible to wheelchair users with some areas restricted; hearing loop available during services.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham Cathedral Official Website

2. Durham University Botanic Garden

Botanic Gardens

Nestled on the southern outskirts of Durham city, Durham University Botanic Garden spans 10 hectares of mature woodlands and is a delightful escape for nature lovers of all ages. Whether you’re into botany, art, or just a peaceful stroll, this spot has a little something for everyone, wrapped up in a lush, leafy package. If you’re looking for things to do in Durham for toddlers then the gardens are a must visit as they can run free while you sit on one of the many pic nic benches with a cup of coffee!

Activities and Features:

  • Glasshouses: Explore diverse climates from tropical rainforests to arid deserts, housing exotic plant species.
  • Sculpture Trail: Discover artistic works dotted along pathways, adding an element of surprise as you wander.
  • Educational Programs: Engage with the garden’s educational offerings, perfect for school trips or curious visitors.
  • Seasonal Events: Enjoy a variety of events throughout the year, such as the Teddy Bear’s Picnic and interactive exhibits.
  • Wildlife Watching: The garden is home to a range of birds and small mammals, ideal for budding naturalists.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open year-round, with seasonal variations; typically from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the winter months.

Cost of Entry: Adult tickets around £4.50, with discounts for children, students, and seniors.

Location: South Road, Durham, DH1 3TN, just a short drive or bus ride from Durham city center.

Parking: Available on-site for a small fee, with additional parking nearby.

Accessibility: The garden is largely accessible, with paths suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham University Botanic Garden Official Website.

3. Wharton Park

Wharton Park

Tucked away just behind Durham’s bustling city center, Wharton Park is a lovely little gem that on a sunny day is by far one of the best free familiy activities in Durham (if you’re on a buget you might also like our list of 22 free things to do in Durham.) This revamped park offers stunning views over Durham, plenty of space to play, and a slice of tranquility with modern amenities incuding a cafe. It’s an ideal spot whether you’re looking to unwind or let the kids burn off some energy.

Activities and Features:

  • Play Areas: Several themed play areas keep the little ones entertained, from toddlers to older kids.
  • Miniature Car Track: Zoom around on the park’s miniature car track, a hit with kids who love a bit of speed.
  • Putting Green: Practice your putt or introduce the kids to golf at the well-maintained putting green.
  • Scenic Views: Enjoy expansive views of Durham Cathedral and the surrounding city from various vantage points.
  • Café: Stop by the café for a range of snacks and drinks—perfect for a picnic or a quick refresh.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open 24 hours, though specific facilities like the café may have different hours.

Cost of Entry: Free! Enjoy the park without spending a penny.

Location: 10 Princes St, Durham DH1 4FJ, easily accessible from the city center.

Parking: Available on-site with reasonable rates; check for current pricing.

Accessibility: Fully accessible for wheelchair users and those with strollers.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham County Council’s Wharton Park Page.

4. Bowling at Lane7


Ready for a knock-out night? Lane7 in Durham isn’t just your average bowling alley—it’s a full-on entertainment palace. Decked out with not only bowling lanes but also darts, arcades, and a bar, this place is perfect for those looking to roll a few strikes and have a good time with friends.

Activities and Features:

  • Bowling: Shine up your bowling shoes and hit one of the top-quality lanes.
  • Darts and Arcades: Challenge your mates to a game of darts or arcade games for some old-school fun.
  • Shuffleboard and Pool: Mix it up with some shuffleboard or rack up for a game of pool.
  • Food and Drinks: Grab a bite or a drink at the bar, serving a variety of snacks and cocktails.
  • Cricket Batting Cages: Test your batting skills in the cricket cages for something a little different.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open daily, but check the website as closing times may vary.

Cost of Entry: Bowling starts at around £8.95 per person.

Location: Located at 10 Princes St, Durham DH1 4FJ.

Parking: No on-site parking available, so public transport or nearby parking facilities are recommended.

Age Restrictions: No under 18s after 7pm; under 14s must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

For more info and bookings please visit: Lane7 Durham.

5. Swimming at Freeman’s Quay

Freeman's Quay

Looking for a splash? Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre in Durham is your go-to spot whether you’re aiming to lap it up in serious swim sessions or just want some fun time with the family. With its well-maintained pools and variety of water-based activities, it’s no wonder this place is a hit with locals and visitors alike.

Activities and Features:

  • General Swimming and Lap Pools: Dive into the main pool for general swimming or focused lap sessions.
  • Aqua Classes: Join in on aqua aerobics for fitness that’s gentle on the joints.
  • Learn to Swim Programs: From toddlers to adults, enroll in their aqualearn programs to improve your swimming skills.
  • Family Fun Sessions: Splash around with the kids during special family-oriented sessions.
  • Special Events: Keep an eye out for fun swimming events and competitions hosted throughout the year.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open daily with varying session times, so best to check online for the schedule.

Cost of Entry: Memberships available which include swimming, or pay-per-visit options starting from around £19 per month for swim lessons and unlimited pool access.

Location: Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre, Walkergate, Durham, County Durham, DH1 1SW.

Parking: Available on site, with different rates during the day.

Accessibility: Fully accessible for wheelchairs, with specific sessions available for those with additional needs.

For more info and bookings please visit: Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre Official Website.

6. Odeon Cinema

Durham Odeon

If you’re up for a movie night in Durham, Odeon Luxe is the place to be. Tucked right in the heart of the city, this cinema isn’t just about catching the latest flicks—it’s about doing it in style. Expect top-notch visuals and sound, comfy recliner seats, and a selection of snacks that go way beyond your standard popcorn and soda.

Activities and Features:

Recliner Seats: Kick back in plush, reclining seats that redefine comfort in cinema-going.

State-of-the-Art Audiovisuals: Experience films with cutting-edge screen technology and Dolby Atmos sound that pulls you right into the movie.

Varied Film Selection: From blockbuster hits to indie gems and live broadcasts, there’s something for everyone.

Food and Drink: Enjoy an upscale concession menu including alcoholic beverages for a night out vibe.

Special Screenings: Tailored screenings for kids, seniors, and film aficionados looking for sneak peeks of upcoming releases.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Doors open from early morning to late night, but check specific showtimes on their website.

Cost of Entry: Prices vary depending on time of day and screening type, with premium experiences like 3D and IMAX costing a bit more.

Location: Found in the bustling center of Durham, easily accessible by public transport and car.

Parking: Available nearby; some charges may apply depending on location and time.

Booking Options: Tickets can be purchased online to skip the queue or at the cinema for those last-minute plans.

For more info and bookings please visit: Odeon Luxe Durham.

7. Beamish, The Living Museum of the North


Ready to step back in time? Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, is not your typical museum. Spread across 350 acres in beautiful Durham, this open-air museum transports you straight to the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s, and 1950s. It’s a hands-on history lesson where you can truly walk, talk, and even eat like the past was your present.

Activities and Features:

  • Costumed Interpreters: Engage with history firsthand through interactions with staff dressed in period attire, demonstrating traditional crafts and daily routines.
  • Historical Buildings: Explore a variety of authentic and replicated buildings from different eras, including a school, a coal mine, and farms.
  • Tram and Bus Rides: Travel around the museum in style aboard vintage trams and buses – an experience in itself.
  • Seasonal Events: Enjoy a year-round calendar full of events, from Christmas markets to classic car shows.
  • Traditional Crafts and Trades: Witness blacksmithing, baking in a coal-fired oven, and other traditional crafts.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open daily from 10am to 5pm during main season (check the website for winter hours).

Cost of Entry: Tickets are around £20 for adults, with discounts available for seniors, students, and children. Pay once, visit all year.

Location: Beamish, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0RG.

Parking: Free on-site parking available.

Accessibility: Most areas are wheelchair accessible, and accessible transport options are provided on-site.

For more info and bookings please visit: Beamish, The Living Museum of the North.

8. Adventure Valley

Adventure Valley

Looking for a fun-filled day out with the kids in Durham? Look no further than Adventure Valley, the North East’s largest family adventure park. Whether it’s rain or shine, this place packs a punch with indoor and outdoor activities guaranteed to keep the little ones (and not so little ones!) entertained from start to finish.

Activities and Features:

  • Six Huge Play Zones: Tackle everything from indoor play towns to thrilling outdoor adventure courses.
  • Farmyard Fun: Get up close with friendly animals, perfect for little animal lovers.
  • Adventure Golf: Challenge the family to a round of mini-golf on a creatively designed course.
  • Daily Shows and Activities: Enjoy magic shows, bird displays, and hands-on animal encounters.
  • Seasonal Events: There’s always something extra going on, from Halloween spooks to Christmas magic.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open daily from 10am to 5pm, perfect for a full day of adventure.

Cost of Entry: Prices vary; check the website for details, but generally around £10-£12 per person with free entry for kids under two.

Location: Just off the A1 at Brasside, Durham DH1 5SG – easily accessible and hard to miss!

Parking: Ample free parking available, making it hassle-free right from the start.

Accessibility: Fully accessible for wheelchairs and prams, so everyone can join in the fun.

For more info and bookings please visit: Adventure Valley.

9. Diggerland


Fancy a day driving real diggers? Diggerland Durham offers just that—a truly unique theme park where kids and grown-ups alike can operate real construction machinery. It’s not every day you get to take the controls of a JCB, making this spot a bucket-list experience for any digger enthusiast or anyone looking for a fun family day out.

Activities and Features:

  • Real Digger Driving: Get behind the controls of actual diggers, dumpers, and other construction vehicles.
  • Diggerland Rides: From the Spindizzy to the Skyshuttle, experience thrilling rides that utilize real construction equipment.
  • Mini Tractors and Go-Karts: Perfect for the younger ones, these attractions let kids take the wheel in a safe environment.
  • Dig-a-Round Carousel: A construction-themed merry-go-round that’s fun for all ages.
  • Sensory Room: Catering to visitors with special needs, providing a quiet and calming space when needed.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Typically open from 10am to 5pm, but check ahead for seasonal adjustments.

Cost of Entry: Ticket prices vary; around £20-£30 depending on age and package deals. Free entry for children under 90cm.

Location: Langley Park, Durham, DH7 9TT. Just off the A1(M), making it easily accessible by car.

Parking: Ample free parking available onsite, including coach and disabled spots.

Accessibility: Facilities include disabled toilets, baby changing rooms, and easy access throughout the park.

For more info and bookings please visit: Diggerland Durham.

10. The Durham Treasure Trail

Durham Treasure Trail

Ready for a little adventure in the historic city of Durham? The Durham Treasure Trail turns a regular stroll through this charming city into an exciting puzzle-solving quest. Grab your detective hat and get ready to uncover secrets and solve clues that will lead you through winding streets and past ancient landmarks.

Activities and Features:

  • Self-Guided Treasure Hunt: Follow the clues across Durham to uncover hidden treasures and solve mysteries.
  • Explore Major Landmarks: The trail guides you through important historical sites and hidden gems.
  • Interactive Fun: Perfect for families, friends, or solo explorers looking to engage with the city in a unique way.
  • Flexible Start Times: Start whenever you like and go at your own pace, making stops along the way.
  • No Equipment Needed: Just bring your trail booklet or use the mobile app for clues and directions.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Available to start at any time, year-round.

Cost of Entry: Typically around £9.99 per trail, offering a budget-friendly adventure.

Location: Starts in the heart of Durham, covering various parts of the city easily accessible on foot.

Parking: Public parking available throughout the city; start your trail from several convenient locations.

Accessibility: Trails are generally wheelchair and stroller friendly, but check specific trail details as routes may vary.

For more info and bookings please visit: Treasure Trails Durham.

11. Oriental Museum

Oriental Museum

Fancy a trip around Asia without leaving the UK? The Oriental Museum in Durham is your ticket and one of the best things to do in Durham for families when the weather isn’t so good outside! Nestled within Durham University, this gem is devoted to the arts and archaeology of Northern Africa and Asia. It’s the only museum in the North of England dedicated exclusively to this vast and intriguing area, offering a fascinating journey from Ancient Egypt to modern China.

Activities and Features:

  • Extensive Collections: Explore ancient artifacts across several cultures, including Chinese ceramics, Egyptian mummies, and Japanese prints.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Engage with hands-on displays and educational activities that bring history to life for all ages.
  • Special Exhibitions: Enjoy rotating exhibitions that offer fresh perspectives on diverse aspects of Asian and African cultures.
  • Events and Workshops: Participate in family-friendly events and workshops that complement the exhibitions, such as craft sessions and cultural celebrations.
  • Research Opportunities: Utilize the museum’s resources for academic research or personal interest in oriental cultures.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm during term time; check the website for holiday schedules.

Cost of Entry: Adults £1.50, children and concessions £0.75, family tickets £3.50, with free entry on Fridays.

Location: Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH, just a short walk from Durham city center.

Parking: Limited on-site parking available; additional parking nearby.

Accessibility: Fully accessible for wheelchair users, with facilities including accessible toilets and baby changing.

For more info and bookings please visit: Oriental Museum Official Website.

12. Palace Green Library

Palace Green Library

Tucked between the grand Durham Cathedral and the historic Durham Castle, Palace Green Library isn’t just a library; it’s a treasure trove of knowledge and history. If you’re a fan of rare books and manuscripts or just love soaking in the ambiance of a centuries-old library, this spot in the heart of Durham’s World Heritage Site is a must-visit.

Activities and Features:

  • Rare Collections: Home to some of the most significant historical texts and artifacts, including medieval manuscripts and early printed books.
  • Exhibitions: Regularly hosts exhibitions that delve deep into various themes, from ancient cultures to modern conflicts.
  • Research Opportunities: A hub for academics and researchers, offering extensive resources and specialized collections.
  • Guided Tours: Available for those interested in learning more about the library’s history and collections.
  • Educational Programs: Offers workshops, talks, and activities that complement the academic and historical materials.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Generally open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays, but times can vary; check ahead.

Cost of Entry: Entry to the main library spaces is free; some special exhibitions and events may charge a fee.

Location: Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RN — perfectly nestled between two of Durham’s most famous landmarks.

Parking: No on-site parking; nearest public parking is a few minutes’ walk away.

Accessibility: Accessible entrances and facilities are available for visitors with disabilities.

For more info and bookings please visit: Palace Green Library.

13. Prince Bishop River Cruise

Prince Bishop River Cruise

Looking for a different view of Durham? Hop aboard the Prince Bishop River Cruiser for a scenic jaunt down the River Wear. Perfectly positioned to give you stunning views of Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, and the city’s historic bridges, this cruise offers a relaxing way to soak in the sights from a comfortable seat on the water.

Activities and Features:

  • Scenic Cruises: Enjoy a 60-minute cruise with fantastic views of major Durham landmarks.
  • Live Commentary: Engaging live commentary provides insights into Durham’s rich history and architecture.
  • Evening Cruises: Experience Durham in a different light with special evening cruises.
  • Refreshments Available: Grab a drink or snack from the onboard bar to enjoy while you cruise.
  • Accessibility: The boat is accessible, ensuring everyone can enjoy the journey.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Cruises run daily from April to October, with special winter cruises around holidays.

Cost of Entry: Adult tickets are £10, children are £5, and there are family tickets for £25.

Location: The Boathouse, Elvet Bridge, Durham City, County Durham, DH1 3AF.

Parking: No on-site parking, but several public parking options nearby.

Booking: Advance booking is available and recommended, especially for evening and special cruises.

For more info and bookings please visit: Prince Bishop River Cruiser.

14. Finchale Priory

Finchale Priory

Looking for a tranquil slice of history nestled by the river? Finchale Priory, just outside Durham, is your spot. With its ruins dating back to the 13th century, this was once a retreat for monks from Durham Cathedral. Today, it offers a peaceful getaway where you can soak up both nature and history.

Activities and Features:

  • Explore Historic Ruins: Wander through the extensive remains of the priory, with signs that tell tales of its storied past.
  • Picnic by the River: Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic by the scenic River Wear.
  • Photography: A perfect location for capturing stunning photographs of historic architecture and picturesque landscapes.
  • Dog-Friendly: Bring your four-legged friends along for a day out in nature.
  • Pilgrimage Stamp: Collect a Camino Ingles pilgrimage stamp at the neighboring tea room.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open daily from 10am-5pm April to October, and 10am-4pm October to March.

Cost of Entry: Free entry, with a small charge for parking.

Location: Finchale Priory, Finchale, Durham DH1 5SH.

Parking: On-site parking available with a charge; not managed by English Heritage.

Accessibility: Be aware that parts of the site are uneven and can be muddy; some areas may be less accessible due to conservation work.

For more info and bookings please visit: Finchale Priory on English Heritage

15. The Gala Theatre & Cinema

Gala Theatre & Cinema

Heading to Durham and in the mood for some entertainment? Check out the Gala Theatre & Cinema right in the heart of the city. Whether you’re up for a live show or the latest blockbuster, this modern venue has you covered with top-notch performances and comfy cinema seats.

Activities and Features:

  • Live Performances: From thrilling dramas to hilarious comedies, the theatre hosts a wide range of live performances.
  • Cinema Screenings: Catch the latest films in a cozy, well-equipped cinema environment.
  • Family-Friendly Shows: Regular family productions and pantomimes make it a great spot for a fun family outing.
  • Workshops and Classes: Participate in various workshops and classes that cater to all ages, including the popular Gala Youth Theatre.
  • Special Events: The venue hosts a variety of special events, including talks and seasonal festivities.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Box office hours vary based on show times, typically open from 10 AM on show days.

Cost of Entry: Ticket prices vary by show and screening; check the website for specific pricing.

Location: Millennium Place, Durham, DH1 1WA, easily accessible in Durham’s vibrant city center.

Parking: No on-site parking, but several nearby public parking options are available.

Accessibility: Fully accessible with facilities for guests with disabilities, including accessible seating and restrooms.

For more info and bookings please visit: Gala Theatre & Cinema

16. Crook Hall and Gardens

Crook Hall and Gardens

Just a stone’s throw from the bustling Durham city center lies Crook Hall and Gardens, a picturesque medieval hall enveloped by enchanting gardens. Steeped in history and adorned with a blend of 13th-century architecture and lush landscapes, this spot is a perfect retreat for those looking to unwind amidst nature and history.

Activities and Features:

  • Stroll through Themed Gardens: Explore a variety of gardens each with its unique theme and design, from the Shakespeare garden to the secret walled garden.
  • Historical Hall Tours: Step back in time with a tour of the medieval Crook Hall, a fascinating journey through various architectural periods.
  • Seasonal Events: Enjoy a calendar full of events, from garden festivals to Christmas markets.
  • Photography Opportunities: Capture the perfect shot with the hall and gardens’ picturesque backdrops.
  • Relax at the Café: Treat yourself to homemade scones or a light lunch at the charming onsite café.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Generally open from 10 AM to 5 PM, but times can vary seasonally. Always check in advance.

Cost of Entry: Entry fees apply. Check the National Trust website for the most current pricing.

Location: Frankland Lane, Sidegate, Durham, DH1 5SZ.

Parking: Limited on-site parking available; additional local parking options nearby.

Accessibility: Most garden paths and the ground floor of the hall are accessible to wheelchair users.

For more info and bookings please visit: Crook Hall and Gardens

17. Infinite Air Trampoline Park

Infinite Air Trampoline Park

Looking for a high-flying fun day out in Durham? Head over to Infinite Air Trampoline Park, the first of its kind in the North East, where over 250,000 visitors have bounced their way to happiness. Whether you’re planning a family outing, a birthday bash, or just need to burn off some energy, Infinite Air has got something for everyone with its vast array of trampolines and activities.

Activities and Features:

  • Open Jump: Jump to your heart’s content across numerous trampolines.
  • Dodgeball: Add a competitive twist with a game of trampoline dodgeball.
  • Fitness Classes: Get your workout in with high-energy, low-impact fitness classes.
  • Foam Pit: Perfect your flips and jumps with a safe landing in the foam pit.
  • Party Packages: Ideal for birthdays and celebrations, offering dedicated hosts and private rooms.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Varies by day and session type, typically from early morning to late evening. Check the website for specific times.

Cost of Entry: Prices start from around £10 per person; specific costs depend on session type and duration.

Location: Infinite Air, New Ferens Park, Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham, DH1 1GG.

Parking: Ample free parking available on-site.

Accessibility: Facilities are designed to be accessible for all, with accommodations for special needs available upon request.

For more info and bookings please visit: Infinite Air Trampoline Park

18. TopGear Karting

TopGear Karting

Ready to put the pedal to the metal? TopGear Karting in Durham is your go-to spot for an adrenaline-pumping indoor karting experience. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, this 200m track offers a thrilling ride right in the heart of the North East.

Activities and Features:

  • Indoor Karting Track: Race around a challenging 200-meter track that’s perfect for all skill levels.
  • Junior and Adult Karts: Suitable for racers aged 8+ and at least 4ft 2in tall, ensuring fun for the whole family.
  • Variety of Race Packages: From individual sessions to grand prix and iron man races, there’s a race format to suit everyone’s thrill level.
  • Event Hosting: Ideal for birthdays, stag/hen parties, and corporate events with tailored packages that include food and competitive fun.
  • Safety First: TopGear Karting is an NKA-certified track, ensuring top-notch safety standards for all racers.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open daily, with specific session times available on their website.

Cost of Entry: Prices start from just £15 per person, making it an affordable option for high-speed fun.

Location: Unit 13, Rennys Lane, Gilesgate Moor, Durham, DH1 2RS.

Parking: Ample free parking available on site.

Booking: Advance booking recommended, especially for larger groups or special events.

For more info and bookings please visit: TopGear Karting

19. Durham Climbing Centre

Durham Climbing Centre

Got a knack for adventure or simply want to try something new? Head over to Durham Climbing Centre, the city’s hotspot for bouldering enthusiasts and novices alike. Nestled just a few miles from Durham City Centre, this vibrant facility offers a friendly and supportive environment where you can challenge yourself on a variety of bouldering walls designed for all skill levels.

Activities and Features:

  • Extensive Bouldering Walls: Tackle over 100 climbing routes that cater to all abilities, from beginners to advanced climbers.
  • Free Coaching Sessions: Take advantage of free coaching on specific nights to hone your skills or overcome tricky problems.
  • Youth Programs: Engaging and educational climbing programs for kids, ensuring they climb safely and have fun.
  • Regular Competitions and Events: Join the community during regular events and competitions, perfect for meeting other climbers and testing your progress.
  • Café and Relaxation Area: Chill out in the café area with a snack or a hot drink, a great spot to socialize or unwind after a climb.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Open daily; weekdays from 10 AM to 10 PM, weekends from 10 AM to 8 PM.

Cost of Entry: Entry prices start from around £8 for adults with various membership and multi-pass options available for frequent climbers.

Location: St John’s Road, Meadowfield Industrial Estate, Durham, DH7 8TZ.

Parking: Free parking available on site, making it easy for visitors to come and go.

Accessibility: Facilities are designed to be accessible, with options available for climbers of all physical abilities.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham Climbing Centre

20. East Grange Farm

East Grange Farm

Looking for a delightful day out in Durham? East Grange Farm is your go-to destination for a bit of rustic charm and natural beauty. Nestled in the picturesque surroundings of Durham, this farm is not just about agriculture; it’s a vibrant spot for family-friendly seasonal activities like sunflower gazing in the summer and pumpkin picking in the fall.

Activities and Features:

  • Pick-Your-Own Sunflowers: Wander through fields of blooming sunflowers, with over 2.5 million flowers creating a sea of yellow.
  • Pumpkin Patch: Choose the perfect pumpkin from a selection of over 70,000 across 17 different varieties during October.
  • Photo Opportunities: From a blue paddle boat set among sunflowers to charming farm tractors, the farm offers countless picturesque spots.
  • Seasonal Events: Enjoy special event days with themed food, live music, and family activities.
  • Sustainability and Education: Learn about sustainable farming practices and the lifecycle of plants through engaging, educational farm tours.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Seasonal opening for sunflowers in summer and pumpkins in October; check the website for exact dates and times.

Cost of Entry: Tickets typically £5, redeemable against purchases like pumpkins.

Location: High Shincliffe, Durham, DH1 2TB – just a short drive from Durham city center.

Parking: Ample free parking available on-site.

Accessibility: Most areas are accessible, but the natural terrain can be challenging; appropriate footwear is recommended.

For more info and bookings please visit: East Grange Farm

21. Holmside Park

Holmside Park

Looking for a day packed with action and fun in Durham? Zip over to Holmside Park, a family adventure park that’s got more than just swings and slides. Whether it’s climbing, bouncing, or racing, this place has a little something to keep everyone from toddlers to grandparents entertained and active, all set in the beautiful surroundings of Edmondsley. Last but by no means least on our list of things to do in Durham with kids!

Activities and Features:

Indoor and Outdoor Play: From giant inflatable courses and soft play areas to outdoor adventures with pedal karts and archery.

Seasonal Events: Special events like Dino experiences and festive activities that make each visit unique.

Educational Workshops: Engage with nature and learn new skills with varied educational programs.

Family-Friendly: Perfect for all ages with activities designed to entertain both kids and adults alike.

Cafe and Picnic Areas: Refuel with tasty treats from the cafe or bring your own picnic to enjoy in designated areas.

Practical Information:

Opening Times: Varies seasonally, generally from 10 AM to 6 PM during school holidays and weekends. Check online for specific times.

Cost of Entry: Entry prices start from around £9.95 per person, with special rates for families and groups.

Location: Holmside Park, Edmondsley, Chester le Street, Durham, DH7 6EY.

Parking: Free parking available on-site, ample space for all visitors.

Accessibility: Designed to be accessible for visitors of all abilities, with specific activities available for different needs.

For more info and bookings please visit: Holmside Park


What is on in Durham for kids?

Durham offers numerous kid-friendly attractions including the Durham Treasure Trail, Adventure Valley, and the Oriental Museum. Seasonal events like pumpkin picking at East Grange Farm and special family-friendly performances at The Gala Theatre are also worth looking out for.

Is Durham good for kids?

Yes, Durham is excellent for kids with its variety of interactive and educational attractions that cater to different age groups, ensuring a fun and informative experience.

What’s in Durham city centre?

Durham city centre is home to historic sites like Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, alongside modern amenities such as The Gala Theatre, charming cafes, and boutique shops.

Is Durham England expensive?

Durham, when compared to most capital cities, is relatively cheap to visit. The North of England is notoriously cheaper than the south and this is evident across Durham with good prices on activities, attractions and food and drink.

Is Durham a walking city?

Yes, Durham is very walkable, with most major attractions like Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, and the city centre’s historic streets within easy walking distance of each other.

Can you walk around Durham Castle?

Yes, you can walk around Durham Castle. It is open to the public through guided tours, which provide a detailed look at the castle’s history and architecture.

How do I spend my day in Durham with children?

Start with a visit to Adventure Valley for outdoor fun, followed by interactive learning at the Oriental Museum. Enjoy a scenic walk and picnic by the River Wear, and if time allows, end the day with a child-friendly show at The Gala Theatre or a movie at Odeon Cinema.

What are the best indoor familiy activities in Durham?

The top indoor family activities in Durham include a walk around Durham Cathedral, going bowling at Lane7, Swimming at Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre and a trip to the Oden Cinema.

What are the best outdoor familiy activities in Durham?

The best outdoor famility activities in Durham are a trip to the Botanic Gardens (must see), playing in Wharton Park (great views of the city), the National Trust Crook Hall & Gardens and a day out to Beamish.