The UK’s county of Cheshire is located in the northwest of England. A beautiful county that is famous for its rolling countryside, historic towns and cities, charming villages, medieval delights, cheese, and the fictional Cheshire Cat, you might be pleased to know that there are many cool things to do with kids in the area.
Here are some of the best places for a fun-filled family day out in Cheshire:
1. Chester Zoo
One of the UK’s premier zoos, and a major tourist attraction in Cheshire’s county town of Chester, Chester Zoo is home to a vast assortment of creatures from all over the globe. Enter the gloom of Fruit Bat Forest, marvel at the exotic Latin American creatures at Spirit of the Jaguar, be awed by mighty elephants in the Asian Forest, discover the habitats and animals of Southeast Asia at the Islands at Chester Zoo, and feel like you’re on an adventure in Borneo at the Realm of the Red Ape. And that’s just a small selection of what you can expect from a day at the amazing Chester Zoo!
Leading the way in conservation and education, Chester Zoo lets you observe around 500 animal species in large habitats that closely resemble how they would live in the wild.
Open from 10 am every day (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day, when the zoo is closed), closing times vary according to the season. The discounted online admission costs around 22 GBP (approximately 27 USD) for adults and 18 GBP (approximately 22 USD) for children. The exact price, however, can vary according to the season, the day of the week, and time of entry. Further details on pricing and opening hours can be obtained from the zoo’s website.
2. Dewa Roman Experience
The Dewa Roman Experience, located in Chester, is a top place for children to learn more about the city’s Roman past. With heaps of fun activities and exhibits, history really isn’t boring at all!
The entry fee is 5.50 GBP (approximately 7.30 USD) for adults and 3.95 GBP (approximately 5.20 USD) for children. Family tickets are also available. Dewa Roman Experience is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm in December and January, the February to November opening times are between 9 am and 5 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays.
3. Cheshire Workshops
Sometimes referred to as the Candle Factory, Cheshire Workshops is located in Tattenhall. Selling an assortment of crafts and interesting decorative items, as well as artisan jams and other food items, it offers a great selection of activities to keep the young and young at heart to unleash their inner creative.
From candle making and painting candle holders to painting plaster models, making badges and key rings, and filling sand bottles, little ones are sure to be entertained for hours. There’s also an onsite café to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Activity packages cost between 11 and 13 GBP (approximately 13.40 to 15.80 USD), and the workshops are open seven days of the week. Regular opening hours are between 10 am and 4.15 pm, though reduced opening hours apply in the winter (check the website for more details).
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4. The Ice Cream Farm
Also located in Tattenhall, the Ice Cream Farm sells more than 50 tantalising flavours of Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, including inventive concoctions, such as sticky toffee pudding, jelly bear, cotton candy, Ferrer'o, and cherry cola. You’ll also find firm favourites, like mint choc chip, raspberry ripple, and rum and raison, as well as plain varieties, such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
Free to enter, the Ice Cream Farm is open every day of the year, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The opening hours are between 10 am and 5.30 pm.
As well as enjoying a wide array of ice creams, there are cool play areas and other attractions and activities for kids to enjoy. Some are free, whilst others incur a small charge; check the website for full pricing details.
One of the biggest indoor sand and water play areas in Europe, children can have some messy fun at Honeycomb Canyon. Daisy’s Garden, an outdoor play area, is great for active kids, whilst Strawberry Falls adventure golf course offers giggles for the whole family on a beautiful and whimsical course. Meet the animals in Fudge Farm, race quad bikes, let older kids and teenagers have fun in the Loft, and more.
5. Beeston Castle
Perched on top of a craggy hill, the medieval Beeston Castle offers spectacular views, excellent ruins that are sure to spark any child’s imagination, and nearby woodland walks with plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities.
Open from 10 am to 5 pm each day of the week, admission costs 6.30 GBP (approximately 9.30 USD) for adults and 3.80 GBP (approximately 5.60 USD) for children under 15.
6. Anderton Boat Lift
Sitting at the edge of the River Weaver, close to the village of Anderton, the Anderton Boat Lift is a fabulous attraction for budding engineers, young scientists, and fans of the waterways.
It was designed to lift and move canal boats between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the Weaver Navigation. It’s certainly impressive, especially when you consider that it dates back to the 1870s.
As well as being able to see the awesome piece of gleaming mechanical mastery, there is also a visitor centre where you can learn more about its construction and use, and the option to take boat rides along the waterways.
Seeing the Anderton Boat Lift and visiting the exhibition are free. A lift and river trip ticket costs 12 GBP (approximately 14.60 USD) for adults and 9 GBP (approximately 11 USD) for children. Family discount tickets are also available.
The general high season (March to December) opening times are between 10 am and 5 pm daily, with the low season times being between 11 am and 4 pm from Thursday to Sunday. Check the website for more details.
7. National Waterways Museum
Located near the town of Ellesmere Port, the National Waterways Museum is another great place for children and adults who love boats and water. Sometimes referred to by its former name of the Boat Museum, it is home to a wide array of boats. Your family can learn more about the past importance of boat transportation within the UK, the logistics of such a method of transport, and step onto different types of interesting vessels. From colourful canal barges to large cargo boats, the various boats really are quite fascinating.
You can also take a trip on a canal boat (additional fees apply), relax in the tea rooms, see how canal locks work, discover old warehouses, and visit period homes.
Admission costs 6.50 GBP (approximately 9.60 USD) for adults and 4.50 GBP (approximately 6.70 USD) for children under the age of 16. It is not open during the winter (November to February).
8. Blue Planet Aquarium
Another Ellesmere Port attraction, the Blue Planet Aquarium houses a large selection of fish and other aquatic animals from all over the world. One of the largest aquariums in the UK, walk through a long underwater tunnel, watch divers swimming with sharks and rays, get close to wildlife at the rock pools, let kids loose at Pirate Playground, chill out in the café, and more.
Open daily, the Blue Planet Aquarium is open on weekdays between 10 am and 5 pm, and between 10 am and 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is 17 GBP (approximately 25 USD) for adults and 12.25 GBP (approximately 18 USD) for children under the age of 12.
9. Crocky Trail
Situated in Waverton, the Crocky Trail has a long walking route of around a mile (1.6 kilometres), leading through fields and patches of mud, past trees and bushes, and over the Crocky Stream. To cross the stream you can try your luck on the fallen log, the wobbly bridge, or the swinging chain bridge. There are several fun obstacles along the way.
There are also great rides and activities, including slides, a see saw, a hamster wheel, basket ball hoops, a climbing tower, a tight rope, and a spinning wheel. Kids (and adults!) can have lots of active fun and giggles whilst getting plenty of exercise and fresh air and testing skills like balancing and climbing.
Whilst everyone can enjoy the trail, some of the rides are restricted to kids. Admission is 13 GBP (approximately 15.85 USD) for children over the age of 5 and 9 GBP (approximately 11 USD) for adults. Those holding an adult ticket have restricted access to rides; adults can, if they wish, pay extra for a kid’s ticket and enjoy the rides, as long as they give priority to younger visitors. Children under five years old are free, although ride access is restricted unless you upgrade and pay for a children’s ticket.
Make sure that everyone wears suitable closed-toe footwear and clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty!
The Crocky Trail is open every day between Easter and Halloween, from 10 am to 5 pm (last admission to the trail is at 4 pm).
Other great family-friendly attractions in Cheshire
Cheshire really does offer so much for families! Gullivers World theme park, Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Go Ape at Delamere Forest, Walton Gardens, Tatton, Park, Norton Priory, Stockley Farm, the Catalyst Museum, Lyme Park, Runcorn Ski Centre, and Bridgemere Garden Centre are just a few other cool places to take the kids in Cheshire. Have fun!
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