Top things to do in Nottingham for kids
Discover the stories behind the legend of Robin Hood, see Batman’s haven with your own eyes, and explore the culture and plethora of outdoor activities. Get ready because we’ve got a local parent’s guide to the best things to do in Nottingham with kids for your next holiday to England.
With so much on offer, we garnered the help of Nottingham local and family travel blogger Alex from My Life Long Holiday, who together with her 12-year-old son, is showing us what to do, where to eat and drink, and what surprises are in store for those visiting Nottingham with kids.
What do you love most about living in Nottingham?
It’s vibrant and multicultural and you definitely get a feel of that when you visit. The city does very well promoting the arts. Outside of London it probably has the biggest music scene, some very well supported art galleries and studios, and so many connections to famous authors and creatives. I love the fact that our kids get to grow up in a place where the arts are pushed and it’s normal to leave school and do something creative.
What are your favourite things to do in Nottingham for kids?
We have several big parks in Nottingham, and Wollaton Park and Rushcliffe Park are the favourites with my son as he can take his BMX and use the trails for free. There are also some great geocaches hidden at these two parks. We also have three excellent climb centres, so you can take your pick, depending on whether you’re in the mood for free climbing or getting harnessed up.
What is your region famous for?
Historically it’s famous for lace which boosted the country’s economy massively in Victorian times, but you will also probably associate Nottingham with Robin Hood too. The nearby Sherwood Forest was supposedly his home, and nowadays you can visit and see the Broad Oak, the oldest Oak in the country, apparently a meeting place for Robin and his merry men. It’s also a great place to try out archery, mountain biking and ‘Go Ape’ at the nearby Sherwood Pines. Nottingham has the most amount of underground caves in the country and several of them are still accessible at various places, including in the ‘Trip To Jerusalem’ – the oldest inn in Britain.
Where are your favourite places to eat in Nottingham?
- Breakfast: Wetherspoons at the famous Trent Bridge Inn in West Bridgford
- Coffee: We have lots of amazing coffee shops. Nottingham does coffee very well but my absolute favourite is 200 degrees, partly because they started the Nottingham coffee revolution several years ago and partly because the building is 600 years old!
- Lunch: Barburito’s as our kids LOVE Mexican food!
- Dinner: Annie’s Burger Shack – a lively joint boasting 30-odd variations on a burger. My son loves The Elvis – a burger with peanut butter and jam. I’ve had a bite and I’ve got to say, it’s much better than it sounds! Looking for more burgers?
- Dessert: Dessert places are opening up all over the place in Nottingham these days. It’s the new craze, but our family favourite is Creams for good old gelato.
What is the must-see attraction in Nottingham for families?
If I had to narrow it down then I would say Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, I mean – it is Batman’s house in Dark Knight after all! (check it out in the photo at the very top). But kids like to get physical, so there’s also the many energetic options I’ve already mentioned, plus a few others like the High Ropes at Holme Pierrepont or Karting.
If it’s raining, where is the best place to go?
My son LOVES Jump Giants near Wymeswold, it’s like the TV program Wipe Out and boy do they sleep well after a few hours there! Second choice would probably be the National Video Arcade in Hockley, and I don’t mind spending a couple of hours playing Jet Set Willy and pretending I’m 12 again! Up for a minibreak?
What accommodation in Nottingham would you tell your friends with kids to stay at?
Roomz is a great chain and so cheap that even if there are more than 3 of you and you have to book two rooms, it still won’t break the bank! A really nice modern simple hotel but with some lovely extras thrown in.
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Where is your favourite location for a family day-trip from Nottingham?
We are surrounded by some amazing National Trust properties, in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, all within half an hours drive.
Author: Alex from My Life Long Holiday
Travel makes my heart sing and I always strive to find the life and soul of the places we visit. This goes for my home town of Nottingham too. You’ll catch me hiding behind things as I try to capture life on film, secretly, because they’re always the best shots. More often than not though, you’ll find me on the floor, nickers showing, because I reversed into a lamppost and catching my camera became more important than saving my ass! Follow Alex’s travels on Instagram and Facebook.