Fancy a day out, but not sure where to go?  Check out some of the ideas below, whether you fancy something indoors or outdoors, a trip to a nature reserve, park, playground, museum or trains, we’ve got you covered.

Soft Play, Bounce and Bowl

logo for old holly farm

Farm/Soft Play/Farm Shop/cafe

Cabus Nook Lane, Garstang, Preston, PR3 1AA
Tel: 01524 791200

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Old Holly Farm boasts a fantastic farmyard themed indoor soft Playbarn, offering a safe environment for "rough and tumble". The system has been designed to encourage children to play, solve problems and to have fun with others - helping children to explore and develop new skills. The Playbarn is perfect for ages 0-9 (a height limit of 144cm applies), and has a Parent & Toddler group every Monday (term-time only), kids party packages and discounts for childminders, and groups of 3 children or more, plus a loyalty scheme for regular visitors.

It is also an open farm with lots to see and do in the courtyard and paddocks, as well as a farm shop and a very good cafe.  You can watch the cows being milked at 4.30pm each day, and special events and activities take place throughout the year.

Open 9am - 5pm every day, all year round (closing Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 27th December and New Years Day only), and is easy to find on the main A6 just 5 minutes south of J33 at Galgate.

logo for energy soft play at salt ayre leisure centre
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, Doris Henderson Way, Lancaster LA1 5JS
Tel: 01524 847 540.  At Salt Ayre there is also climbing, swimming, outdoor playground, bike and didi car track, mini-golf.  See our full details for salt ayre here.
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Monday to Saturday: 9am - 7pm
Sunday: 9am - 5.30pm

£4 per child (adults free)
Babies (under 1 year) who do not use the main play area and are happy to stay in the baby section are free.

Jump, climb, slide, swing and explore at Energy, the latest (and most exciting) indoor soft play centre to arrive in the Lancaster district at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre. Suitable for children aged 0 - 12 years* there is something for all ages, abilities and adventure levels, including a dedicated toddlers and babies section.

No need to book, just turn up and play!
All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.

Giggles Play and Adventure
Lancaster Leisure Park, LA1 3LA

Greenlands Farm
Tewitfield, Carnforth, LA6 1JH

The Fun Factory
Bowness, LA23 3HE

Jump Rush Trampoline Park
21 Northumberland St, Morecambe LA4 4AY

Soul Bowl (Restaurant and Bowling Alley)
Central Promenade, Morecambe LA4 4BU

Nature Reserves

image of children taking part in a family activity at heyham nature reserve
Heysham Nature Reserve

Heysham Nature Reserve comprises a mosaic of habitats from reedbed and open water to grassland, lowland heath, scrub and developing woodland. The reserve runs down to the edge of Morecambe Bay at Red Nab. The Bay is internationally important feeding ground for wintering wildfowl and waders. Flocks of curlew, knot, oystercatchers and redshank can be seen feeding or roosting during the winter months.
The inland northern end of the reserve is designated as a Biological Heritage Site (BHS). In spring and summer the grasslands are carpeted with wildflowers from early cowslips to bee and commons spotted orchid. Twenty species of butterfly are regularly recorded here, including small skipper, small copper and common blue.
Whether you want to take a stroll around the reserve, come along to our wildlife events or learn a new skill, we hope you will find something to enjoy. You can also explore electricity at the Heysham Visitor Centre.
Contact:, 01524 855030 or 07717 366812.
There are events run throughout the year for families, including Nature Tot sessions which alternate between Wednesdays and Fridays once a month.
Restrictions:  Children should be accompanied by an adult at all events.
Dogs: There is a No Dogs Policy (except registered assistance dogs) within the main area of the nature reserve.
Disabled Access:  We regret disabled access is limited in the nature reserve as paths can be uneven.
For upcoming events at Heysham Nature reserve, see the Babymaze events page.

Leighton Moss Nature Reserve (RSPB)
Myers Farm, Silverdale, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 0SW
01524 701601 - reduced entry fee if you travel by train, and it hosts a nature tots group once a month (alternating between Wed, Thurs and Fri)

Fairfield Orchard and Nature Reserve
This hidden gem in Lancaster is a community area, run by volunteers and open to all.  Popular for walking, playing, and more.  It can be accessed at the end of Sunnyside Lane, LA1 and paths run all the way through to the canal.  Find out more here.

Cinemas & Theatres

Vue Cinema, Lancaster and Barrow
in addition to the standard films, Vue does a 'mini morning' screening at the weekends for just £2.49 per ticket.

Reel Cinema, Morecambe
Kids Club does special showings on weekend morning and every day in school holidays at £2 per ticket (or £3 for 3d films)

The Dukes, Lancaster
regular parent and baby screenings in the cinema, so you can see a film you want to see.  Lights stay on, and the sound is quieter than usual.  £6.50 per adult.  Regular family shows in the theatre - see all upcoming ones here.

Zeffirellis Cinema, Ambleside
independent cinema with an authentic pizzeria and jazz cafe attached

Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

Royalty Cinema, Bowness

Roxy Cinema, Ulverston

Parks & Picnic Sites

Happy Mount Park
Marine Road East, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 6AB
Tel: 01524 582845
cafe, pushchair friendly, indoor and outdoor play area, adventure playground

Williamson Park
Quernmore Road, Lancaster LA1 1UX
Tel: 01524 33318
cafe, pushchair friendly, adventure playground, butterfly house and small animals enclosure

Morecambe Promenade
Marine Road, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 4DB
The extensive promenade lends itself to a leisurely walk and whichever part of the prom you decide to tackle the views over the Bay won't disappoint. Look out for the unusual artwork of The Tern Project along the way and don't forget to take a walk along the stone jetty. You can now cycle along the promenade.  At the Battery end of the Prom, there are water fountains to run through, and there are playgrounds along the prom ranging from one with a teletubbies-like hill to climb and slide on, to a fabulous playground with big slides and a pirate ship up near Gala Bingo.

Cinderbarrow Picinc Site
by the A6 between Carnforth and Milnthorpe
A lovely picnic site, ideal for a short walk and if you visit on a Sunday during the Summer you'll be able to climb aboard a miniature railway. Entry to Cinderbarrow is FREE but donations are welcome.  No toilet facilities.

Crook O' Lune Picnic Site
Crook O' Lune, Lancashire, LA2 9NB
Tel: 01524 32878
Beautiful (and popular) picnic site on the banks of the River Lune.  Cafe and toilet facilites at the pay and display car park.  Ideal for either a walk through fields by the river, or for a stopoff whilst cycling, scooting or walking on the cycle path.

The Centre @Halton
Low Road, Halton, LA2 6NB
Tel: 01524 811316
A great venue for children and families open all year round. The outside playgrounds are spectacular and there is a state of the art skatepark in addition to a big field. Parking and play facilities are free.
Inside The Centre there is a friendly Coffee Shop open every day (with an enclosed baby play area), with longer hours in school holidays and at weekends.
The Centre also offers classes and activities for toddlers and children.

Conder Green Picnic Site
A588 south from Lancaster, turn at The Stork Hotel.  LA2 0AN

Potter along the estuary path from Conder Green to Glasson Dock (or head towards Lancaster on the cycly path)  A lovely place to while away an afternoon. Watch yachts move from the marina to the lock then out to sea and check out the local wildlife including many types of water birds. There is a new playground opposite the cafe, Lantern O'er the Lune and Glasson also has a couple of pubs offering meals a snack bar.

Fell Foot Park
Newby Bridge, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8NN
Tel: 015395 31273
Restored Victorian park. It's National Trust and you must pay for parking unless you're a member.  Access to the lakeshore of Windermere.  Cafe and outdoor play area.

Grange over Sand Duck ponds and promenade
Grange is a short train ride from Lancaster and a great day out with toddlers. Once there you can feed the ducks at the pond - they have lots of different breeds and you can collect a leaflet to tick off the breeds as you spot them.  Bags of duck food can be bought from many of the shops on the terrace next to the park.  The promenade is great for scooting or learning to ride a bike (and easy to push prams on too) and has picnic areas and good playgrounds along it.

Animals, Fish, Farm Parks

Williamsom Park
Quernmore Road, Lancaster LA1 1UX
Tel: 01524 33318
Butterfly House and Mini Zoo
Cost: Adult £4, Child £3, under 3s free, Family (2+2) £12

Lakeland Wildlife Oasis
Hale, Milnthorpe, Cumbria, LA7 7BW
Tel: 015395 63027
Fish, spiders, tortoises, meerkats, snow leopards and more.
pushchair friendly,  cafe,  baby changing, gift shop, free parking,  picnic area

Aquarium of the Lakes
Lakeside, Newby Bridge, Cumbria, LA12 8AS
Tel: 015395 30153
pushchair friendly,  cafe,  baby changing,  gift shop,  picnic area

Bowland Wild Boar Park - closed for the winter, opening date for 2019 has not yet been announced
Chipping, Preston, PR3 2QT
Tel: 01995 61554
pushchair friendly,  cafe,  baby changing, gift shop,  free parking, outdoor play area, picnic area

Lakeland Maize Farm Park
Sedgewick, Kendal, LA8 0JH
open March-October
Maize maze as well as many other mazes to go round, ride on toys, playground, indoor soft play and the farm park itself.  One price gets you access to everything.

South Lakes Safari Zoo
Lindal in Furness, nr Ulverson, LA12 0LU

Farmer Parrs Animal World
Wyrefield Farm, Rossall Lane, Fleetwood. FY7 8JP
Tel:(01253) 874389 / 770484
pushchair friendly,  cafe, baby changing, gift shop, free parking,  indoor and outdoor play area, picnic area

Blackpool Zoo and Dinosaur Safari
East Park Drive, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY3 8PP
Tel: 01253 830830
pushchair friendly,  cafe,  baby changing,  gift shop,  free parking, outdoor play area

Sealife Centre, Blackpool
Central Promenade, Blackpool, FY1 5AA
Tel: 01253 622445
pushchair friendly,  cafe,  baby changing,  gift shop,  indoor play area
Pay and display car parks nearby.

Museums, Castles, Historic Halls

Lancaster Maritime Museum
Custom House, St George's Quay, Lancaster LA1 1RB
Tel: 01524 382264
great for a rainy day, with lots of space indoors and young children are fascinated by the picket boat in the warehouse, that they can walk through and keep doing laps of.
Free entry for locals (LA1-LA6), otherwise adults £3, concessions £2, accompanied children free.
cafe,  baby changing,  gift shop
April-October, open daily 10am-4pm
November-March, open daily 12pm-4pm

Lancaster City Museum
Market Square, Lancaster, LA1 1HT
Tel: 01524 32808
gift shop, seasonal trails/quizzes, plus find the toy owl that moves around the museum and fill in your owl-spotters card on each visit.
Open 10am-5pm, Tues-Sun.

Judges Lodging
Church Street, Lancaster, LA1 1YS
Tel: 01524 32808
This reopened in March 2019, and is open to public 11am-4pm on Fri, Sat, Sun

The Museum of Lancashire
Stanley Street, Preston, PR1 4YP
Tel: 01772 534075
baby changing,  gift shop,  free parking

Kendal Museum
Station Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6BT
Tel: 015397 21374

Museum of Lakeland Life
Abbot Hall, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 5AL
Tel: 015397 22464
cafe,  free parking,  picnic area

Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 5AL
Tel: 015397 22464
cafe,  free parking, outdoor play area, picnic area
In the park next to the gallery you'll find a great adventure playground.

Holker Hall & Gardens plus Lakeland Motor Museum
Cark-in-Cartmel, Nr Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, LA11 7PL
Tel: 015395 58328
cafe,  baby changing,  gift shop,  free parking, outdoor play area, picnic area
Pushchair access in the Hall is completely restricted due to space limitations, however we do have the facility for you to leave the chairs in the Hall in clear view of our guides.

Lancaster Castle
Castle Parade, Lancaster LA1 1JY
Tel: 01524 64998
Entry to the courtyard is free.  Paid tours take of the whole castle take place daily.  In school holidays, there are sometimes special children's tours.

Levens Hall and Topiary Garden
Kendal, LA8 0PD
Tel: 015395 60321
cafe,  baby changing,  gift shop
Partial pushchair access

Leighton Hall
Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 9ST
Tel: 01524 734474

Sizergh Castle
Sizergh, nr Kendal, Cumbria LA8 8AE
Tel: 015395 60951
cafe, baby changing, gift shop, free parking
If you exit the car park on foot at the opposite end to the building, you will see the start of the wild trail, an exciting trail through the woods where children crawl through a tunnel, balance on logs and follow clues.

Wray Castle
Low Wray, LA22 0JA
This National Trust property on the shore of Windermere is a firm favourite with many families.  Although they have a car park, many people prefer to get the ferry over on a Windermere Lake Cruise to make it more of an event.  The grounds are extensive and feature trails and fantastic play equipment.  Inside the castle there are lots of activities for young children to do.  The castle itself closes for a few months over the winter, but grounds remain open on weekends, so do check their opening times.

Trains, Boats and Transport

Windermere Lake Cruises
depart from Ambleside, Bowness, Brockhole or Lakeside
People with a LA or CA postcode qualify for a local resident discount scheme, with 20% off fares in peak season, and 50% off from 1st Oct-1st May.  Apply online or take a recent bill to one of their ticket offices.
Under 5s travel free.

Ullswater Steamers
depart from Pooley Bridge, Glenridding, Howton and Airaforce
Under 5s travel free

Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
Haverthwaite Station, Nr Newby Bridge, LA12 8AL
Steam trains run from Newby Bridge to Lakeside (3.5 miles) from April to October, and it hosts special events too, such as Santa train, and A Day Out With Thomas.  Can easily be combined with a visit to Lakes Aquarium.

Cinderbarrow Miniature Railway
Cinderbarrow picnic site, Tarn Lane, by the A6 between Carnforth and Milnthorpe
A group of rail enthusiasts run this miniature railway which uses both steam and diesel engines, on Sundays throughout the summer.  Rides are free but donations are welcome.  Check their fb page for updates on opening dates and special events.