Days Out Doncaster

Free activities

Featured Listing
Featured Listing

Lakeside Trail

Did you know that there is a FREE trail to do at Doncaster Lakeside with the kids?

Find out more 


Anglers Country Park

Within easy reach of Doncaster – huge lake to walk around (2 mile lakeside trail suitable for walkers, joggers and cyclists), Woodland walk and bird hides. plus adventure playground, picnic areas and a cafe.

There is also a Room on the Broom Adventure Trail. Activity packs can be purchased from the visitor centre for £2. Follow the trail, find sculptures, look for animal footprints, trace rubbings and have fun doing activities along the way. Accessible for pushchairs or wheelchairs.

Anglers Country Park, Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, Wakefield, WF4 2EB

 


Bawtry Forest

If you fancy a quiet walk in gorgeous woodland then Bawtry Forest is a great place to explore. Perfect for dog walking too but make sure you have your wellies on in winter!

Bawtry Forest, Doncaster, DN10 6DA


Brimham Rocks

Dramatic moorland rock formations. Explore Brimham Rocks, and have a great day out at nature’s playground.

This amazing collection of weird and wonderful rock formations makes a great day out for families, climbers and those wanting to enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air and magnificent views over Nidderdale.

We visited recently (August 2020). It’s a wonderful place, the kids loved climbing (my heart was in my mouth a few times as they climbed bigger rocks) but we all loved exploring. The toilets were open and social distancing measures in place.

There’s no admission charge at Brimham Rocks. Parking is free for National Trust members.
Non National Trust members, our car parking charges are as follows: £4 up to three hours, £5 thereafter

Brimham Rocks Summerbridge, Harrogate, HG3 4DW, Telephone: 01423 780688

 


Central Park, Scunthorpe

The main car park is accessed from the Kingsway on the A18. There is also a secondary car par park accessible from Ashby Road, the A159. Car parking here is free of charge. It is about a 30 minute drive from Doncaster. Central Park is a great place for a picnic, a walk or a bike ride.

Play Facilities at Central Park

At the centre of the park there is an excellent play facility with lots to offer for children of all ages. Featuring the Nutshell Café, this central hub is a vibrant area easily accessed from the car parks via the adjoining footpaths and the boulevard. Picnic tables are available for use in this area.

There is also a fully accessible Splashpad, suitable for accompanied children from three to 12 years old, which operates throughout the summer season. No dogs are allowed in this area.

There is a secure, fully accessible play area split into three zones for children of all ages with seating and grassed picnic areas:

  • The centre zone features a wet play area, a sand pit and a junior play area with a variety of equipment suitable for children from two to six years old.
  • Close by is a junior to teens zone with an impressive embankment slide and challenging climbing frame with monkey bars.
  • The third zone is also suitable for juniors and teens featuring a zip wire and space nets on bark safety surfacing.

No dogs are allowed in these areas.

Central Park, Kingsway, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN17 1BJ


Clifton Park

This is a fabulous park, free to get in aside from parking. There are then optional extras (such as the splash pool in summer or the fairground rides).

Have to say, we have been loads of times and not had to spend a penny – there is loads to keep the children entertained without spending a penny. Play areas for big and little children, sand pit and lots of space to run around and picnic.

Clifton Park, Doncaster Road, Rotherham, S65 2BH

 


Creswell Crags Museum & Heritage Centre

Walk in the footsteps of the Ice Age hunter and enter a world of fire and flint.
Discover a legacy etched in stone with cave art 10,000 years older than the pyramids.
Explore life on the edge of the Ice Age world.

There is no charge to visit the Creswell Crags site or to walk around the lake and gorge. It is also free to visit the shop and coffee shop.

There is a £3 charge for all day parking (the ticket machines require exact change – change is available from reception).

Creswell Crags Museum & Heritage Centre

Crags Road, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LH

 


Cusworth Hall (Museum and Park)

Cusworth Hall Museum

The museum collections reflect the daily lives of people in Doncaster from the 18th century to the present day. There is no charge for entry into the Museum but donations are welcome.

Cusworth Park  Toilet facilities available 10.30am-4pm. 

The historic parkland surrounding Cusworth Hall is open to the public every day of the year.  It’s the perfect location for picnics, walks with the dog, or family days out.

Children’s play areas and a playing field are also located within the park and a variety of walking trails are available from the Hall reception.  Admission to the park is free but car parking charges apply. The park also features a gorgeous river, alongside three lakes that have stunning decorative scenery.

Toilet facilities are open from 10:30- 4pm.

Food & Drink

Situated in Cusworth Hall’s former stable and coach house, Butlers Tea Room and Bistro serves meals, snacks and drinks.

The Old Brewhouse  is a cosy microbrewery and bar built into the original brewhouse which served the Wrightson family for centuries.

Cusworth Lane, Doncaster DN67TU
01302 782342

 


Danum Gallery, Library and Museum

Image: Ben Harrison Photography

Built around the frontage of the historic Doncaster High School for Girls, the state of the art venue houses brand new libraries for adults and children, a Rail Heritage Centre, two museums and an art gallery.

Admission is free.

 

 


Hexthorpe Park

Whether it’s seeing Doncaster’s only public bird aviary, or strolling through the historic Dell gardens, there is a lot to do at Hexthorpe Park.

The park has places to play including toddler and junior play areas (we have enjoyed these in the past and there seemed to be something to suit various ages).

There are also natural play areas, a playing field and multi-games area, skate park, BMX track, tennis courts and a basketball post.

The Dell Cafe provides somewhere to sit and have something to eat and there are also picnic areas and teen sheltered seating.

We thought it was a very pretty park with lots of beautiful scenery including woodlands and the Dell. They have hosted events previously (which we have been to) including one at Halloween and they had lots of activities for the children to take part in, plus performances from local choirs etc in the bandstand. Worth looking out for as it is quite a mysterious place by night and by candlelight looked magical.

Hexthorpe Park, Bramworth Road, DN4 0HY

 


Kings Park, Retford

A well maintained, award winning park for everyone to enjoy with many facilities including open green spaces, a skate park, a great children’s play area, seating, a rose garden, a formal garden and wildlife gardens. There is a great variety of trees and a bridge takes you over the River Idle.

We enjoyed a day out a Kings Park last summer on a lovely sunny day. My mini mumblers enjoyed paddling in the river, playing on the playground and ice creams from the kiosk. There is also a splash park here which looked great but wasn’t in operation due to Covid-19.

Chancery Lane, Retford, DN22 6DF


Lakeside Village, Doncaster

There are two play areas for little explorers to enjoy at Lakeside Village, both free to use for guests.

Outside, opposite Clarks Outlet, you’ll find our jungle-themed ‘Cheeky Monkeys’ play area suitable for children aged 5 to 12. This area includes a number of inclusive benefits for all children to enjoy such as a sign language wall, quiet teepee area for children to go if they need a timeout and a wheelchair friendly level Connect 4 and tic tack toe game. In addition, there is a climbing wall and a range of exciting playground equipment all made from sustainable wood.

Inside, using the entrance next to Ernest Jones, you’ll find our indoor play area suitable for toddlers. The soft play area features a ball pit, steps and a slide – the ideal place for little ones to explore in.

Lakeside Village also has free parking, a Changing Places toilet for disabled visitors, a dedicated baby changing & feeding room, a quiet room for visitors who might need some time out, and electric vehicle charging points. We are also autism friendly and dog friendly.

White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5PJ


Local Splash Parks and Paddling Pools

When the sun comes out, Splash Parks are a great place to take the little ones to cool down. Some are free but some have a small charge.

Here are a few of the best around Doncaster.

  • Clifton Park, Rotherham has a great splash park, which is free on weekends and in the school holidays. You can take a picnic, lots of open space and there is a huge sand area, plus play areas too. No charge for anything aside from parking and also funfair rides that are optional. Plenty to do for free and it’s easy to spend a day there. Recommended by lots of Mumblers in the Doncaster Mumbler Chat Group. Visit Website

“It’s fab. So much to do there than just the water splash too” CF Facebook July 2019

  • Normanby Hall Country Park, Scunthorpe has a great enclosed splash park (farm themed). Under 5’s Play area just next to it and space to picnic. Visit Website

 

  • Kings Park, Retford was recommended by lots of Mumblers in the Doncaster Mumbler Chat Group as having a great splash park.

“Retford Kings Park is great…very much a family area” RR Facebook July 2019

“Wheelgate is amazing for older children” DD Facebook July 2019

“Magna have a splash pad next to a big playground too” DD Facebook July 2019

“Central Park has a brilliant park and splashpad. It’s Free too” RH Facebook July 2019

For days out, activities and events over the summer, head to the summer listings page 

 

 

 


Markham Grange Garden Centre & Steam Museum

There is plenty of free parking and easy disabled access. Relax and enjoy a walk around our large gardens where you will find well-stocked and competitively priced Trees, Evergreen Shrubs, Magnificent Flowers and Hanging Baskets, most of which are from our own nursery.

If you need a break then a range of food is available from our Boilerhouse Restaurant from breakfast to homemade lunches (carvery on Sunday) or just tea & scones. All freshly prepared on the premises.

Also on-site, we have other outlets including a Pet Centre, Ladies Fashion Boutique, Large Men’s Clothing Outlet & Steam Museum which is free to visit.

The museum has an impressive collection of restored stationary steam engines. In total around 18 steam engines & pumps are on display, the majority of which can be run on  steaming days.

Housed in a purpose built building they have been lovingly restored , rebuilt and maintained by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are always willing to show you around and explain things to you.

Please note that the museum closes from November to March each year.

Longlands Lane, Brodsworth, Doncaster, DN5 7XD


National Media Museum, Bradford

With nine floors of galleries to explore, three cinemas including Yorkshire’s biggest IMAX screen, and a packed programme of events, you’re sure to find something to inspire you.

National Media Museum, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ

Open Daily 10-6pm (Museum and Shop)

Free entry to museum.

Website


Newmillerdam Country Park

Newmillerdam Country Park has a central lake, surrounded by a surfaced path. It is around a 50 minute drive from Doncaster.

Help Gnome Tony find his gnome friends and the bear that has scared them all away! Enjoy a scenic walk, find the sculptures and complete activities and challenges as you go. Pick up a leaflet from the dispensers in the car park. Suitable for all ages and accessible for pushchairs and most wheelchairs (there are some slopes on the route).

This is free activity but car park charges apply if parking in the car park for more than two hours.

Barnsley Road, WF2 6QQ (USe Post code WF2 6QP)


North Yorkshire Moors National Park

The North York Moors National Park is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, spectacular coast, ancient woodland and historic sites.

Find out what there is to see and do and discover how the National Park Authority works with the people who live here to care for this beautiful place.

Website


Parks and Playgrounds in Doncaster

We have so many parks and playgrounds to enjoy in and around Doncaster. Here are are a few that we’d recommend and you can find the full list here in our Parks & Playgrounds area.

Sandall Park and Cafe.

One of the largest parks in Doncaster, there is lots of open space and lots to keep children entertained, including toddler and junior play areas, with zipwire and climbing frame, plus a brilliant new woodland adventure play area (which is left of the car park and cafe, hidden from view a bit, but follow the path and go through the hedge). Worth noting that it is ALL FREE, even car parking. They also have a sensory trail, which you can see as you go towards the woodland adventure play area. This is an inclusive outdoor experience suitable for families whose children have special educational needs and disabilities. For more information, take a look at the Sandall Park website.

A range of sports facilities are available including outdoor gym equipment, basketball post and 3 football pitches.

We have enjoyed a picnic many times at Sandall Park, but there is also a cafe.

If you’re looking to get fit, there are Fit and Fun Walks, plus the Doncaster Parkrun here. See our adult fitness pages for more information.

We have also hidden a Doncaster Mumbler Geocache here as part of the #100ThingsDN campaign. Can you find it? 

Sandall Park, Thorne Road (opposite KFC). DN2 5DW

Cusworth Hall (Museum and Park)

The historic parkland surrounding Cusworth Hall is open to the public every day of the year.  It’s the perfect location for picnics, walks with the dog, or family days out.

Children’s play areas and a playing field are also located within the Park and a variety of walking trails are available from the Hall reception.  Admission to the Park is free, but there are car parking charges. Have some change with you or you can pay by card.

Cusworth Hall, Cusworth Lane, Doncaster, DN6 7TU

Askern Boating Lake 

Askern Boating Lake has beautiful scenery, various spots and play facilities and a cafe with a view of the lake.

There are toddler and junior play areas, playing fields for the kids to have a good run around, sports pitches (football and cricket), plus places to eat (cafe and picnic areas).

If you fancy a walk, there are various walking routes.

Askern Boating Lake, Off Station Road, DN6 0JB

Hexthorpe Park

We stumbled across Hexthorpe Park when attending an event a few years ago.

The park has places to play including toddler and junior play areas (there seems to be something to suit various ages).

There are also natural play areas, a playing field and multi-games area, skate park, BMX track, tennis courts and a basketball post.

The Dell Cafe provides somewhere to sit and have something to eat and there are also picnic areas and teen sheltered seating.

We thought it was a very pretty park with lots of beautiful scenery including woodlands and the Dell and the public bird aviary. They have hosted events previously, which we have been to, including one at Halloween and they had lots of activities for the children to take part in, plus performances from local choirs etc in the bandstand. Worth looking out for as it is quite a mysterious place by night and by candlelight looked magical.

Hexthorpe Park, Bramworth Road, DN4 0HY

Clifton Park 

This is a fabulous park, free to get in aside from parking. There are then optional extras (such as the splash pool in summer or the fairground rides).

Have to say, we have been loads of times and not had to spend a penny – there is loads to keep the children entertained and it is a great place to picnic. Play areas for big and little children, sand pit and lots of space to run around and picnic.

Clifton Park, Doncaster Road, Rotherham, S65 2BH

See more parks and playgrounds here.

Remember too that there is a free Lakeside Trail that is a great idea for school holidays. See more about the Lakeside Trail here. 

 

 


Peasholm Park Scarborough

Peasholm Park Scarborough, North Yorkshire is open for everyone to enjoy all year round, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Entrance to the Park, which is never closed, is FREE.

Website


Quarry Park (Nature Reserve), Dunsville

A former quarrying site is now an award-winning park and local nature reserve, with a wide range of things to see and do.

There is a toddler play area, with slide, swings, a rope net pyramid and sand pit, plus a junior play area with climbing frame, tightrope walk, a hammock and zipwire. There is also a playing field and sports facilities including a multi-use games area and outdoor gym equipment.

Enjoy one of the walking routes and nature walks, along with an orienteering course if you want to do some exploring.

As a nature reserve, you will be able to see a variety or wildlife, so it’s a great place for a nature trail.

Quarry Park is just over 5 miles outside Doncaster town centre on the A18 to Dunsville. Parking facilities are available near to the Post Office on the High Street, Dunsville.

 


Rother Valley Country Park

The Park has fantastic facilities for families to enjoy a brilliant day out in the fresh air. We currently have a take away service at the Stables Café located at the Park Courtyard Area, Ice Cream Vans are located in the park daily and you can bring your own picnic.

The park has plenty of open spaces to play your own outdoor games, walk, cycle visit the play areas, ride on the miniature train, feed the birds and animals at station farm.

The activity centre is located on the main lake and has pedal boats for 4 people, rowing boats for four people and canoes for 1, 2 and 3 people for leisure hire. Water zorbing is popular with children and 5 minutes in one of these will tire out the most active of children.

For families who want to learn something together the Activity Centre offers lessons and courses that you as a family can take part together, taster sessions in canoeing and sailing, level 1 and 2 in sailing, 1 star and 2 star canoeing. You can even have an instructor for Archery for your family. Lessons and courses are to be booked in advance.

Mansfield Road, Wales Bar, Sheffield, S26 5PQ


Sandall Beat Wood

A great place to enjoy the outdoors in woodland, enjoying a picnic, walking and playing.

There is a play area, sensory area and car parking.

Covill’s Trail is a 2km circular path through the wood, suitable for pushchairs.

The postcode for Sandall Beat Road is DN2 6JP and there is free parking.

 


Sandall Park and Cafe

One of the largest parks in Doncaster, Sandall Park is home to beautiful scenery and a variety of facilities.

There is lots of open space and lots to keep children entertained, including toddler and junior play areas, with zipwire and climbing frame, plus a brilliant new woodland adventure play area.  They also have a sensory trail, which is an inclusive outdoor experience suitable for families whose children have special educational needs and disabilities.

A range of sports facilities are available including outdoor gym equipment, basketball post and 3 football pitches.

We have enjoyed a picnic many times at Sandall Park, but there is also a cafe.

If you’re looking to get fit, there are Fit and Fun Walks, plus the Doncaster Parkrun here. See our adult fitness pages for more information.

Sandall Park, Thorne Road (opposite KFC). DN2 5DW

 


Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve

Picturesque Sprotbrough Flash is one of the richest wildlife sites in South Yorkshire. A mosaic of open water, wetland, woodland and limestone grassland, the site offers a year-round treat for wildlife enthusiasts.

Sprotbrough Flash is half a mile south of Sprotbrough village. You can park just off the road on Nursery Lane next to the river – please note that this can get very busy. From here it is a two minute walk along the towpath to the nature reserve. A footpath follows the Don, taking you past a screen and two bird hides, and you can walk back through the woods.

Access

The woodland is not suitable for wheelchair users or pushchairs. The towpath along the river Don is level and accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs, although it is a fair distance to the bird hides. Both hides are wheelchair-accessible. Dogs can be walked here on leads.


Wentworth Garden Centre and Family Farm

Wentworth Garden Centre is a lovely place to visit with free car parking.

There is a family friendly cafe, a lovely garden centre and pet shop to look around and a free children’s play area.

For an additional fee you can enter the family farm where you can feed the animals and also enjoy more play areas! There is also a walled garden which you can take a stroll around for a small fee.

Wentworth Garden Centre Hague Lane, Wentworth Rotherham, South Yorkshire
S62 7TF Phone: 01226 744842

Website


×