Nottingham For Kids!
Keeping children entertained throughout the Summer Holidays will always be a challenge, with their restless souls and their endless desire to be doing something. There are only so many times you can get them to mow the lawn or send them to the shops. It takes brainpower on any parents behalf to come up with new things to do and places they can run off some energy so that at the end of the day their souls are replete and inspired. Then rinse and Repeat 12 hours later.
I have lived in this fair city of Nottingham for 23 years now, 16 of them with my little family and I was recently asked by my friend Nicci over at TravelWithBoys.com what there is to do here for kids. Thing is, my answers even surprised me – there is just so much going on here in Nottingham, so I thought I’d share some of my answers in a handy blog post.
Q; What is Nottingham famous for?
Are you kidding? Erm, Robin Hood, the oldest surviving football club (Notts County), Nottingham Forest football club (home to legends like Brian Clough, Frank Clark and Stuart Pearce), Trent Bridge cricket ground, and, Wayne Manor (Wollaton Hall). So if it’s not a town to inspire children, then I don’t know where is!
It’s also the home of Ibuprofen and lace but most kids wouldn’t raise an eyebrow at such. Well, not until they hit 18 at least! Oh, and I can’t forget mushy peas with mint sauce.
Q; What Is There To Do With Kids For Free In Nottingham?
Nottingham has some great parks, several with quite a history too. For instance, Wollaton Hall has it’s very own Natural History Museum (free mid-week) with quite a collection of animals and insects. The Hall itself was used as Wayne Manor in Batman – Dark Knight Rises so most boys would relish a visit. The grounds themselves have some great GeoCaches too: if you’ve never tried GeoCaching before then just download the app and take yourself on a worldwide treasure hunt. Some are much better than others and Wollaton Park has some clever hiding places.
Alternatively, Rushcliffe Country Park in the village of Ruddington has a great BMX track and table tennis stations, alongside an excellent adventure play park too.
Green’s Windmill is a stones throw from the city centre, even considered walking distance if you’ve got good legs, and free to the public from Wednesday – Sunday 10 – 4pm. It’s a working windmill and very impressive when the sails are going. There’s also a little adjoining science museum, admittedly it’s a bit dated but there are some interesting puzzles for the kids to play with which will keep them entertained for half an hour. You can also climb right to the top of the mill and watch the cogs and mechanics of this old flour house.
Take my Self-Guided Walking Tour to learn some of Nottingham’s history, take in some landmarks and discover a few secrets and hidden gems. Just wandering around Nottingham is a pleasure in itself, imaginative graffiti is popping up all over the place these days and you could take the family to the Contemporary Museum en route – a modern art museum with a nod to the crazy : last time we were there we were chased by something resembling cousin it from the Adams Family, the kids found it rather hilarious!
Q; What Are Some Of Nottingham’s Attractions?
Nottingham Castle (currently closed for refurbishment but keep an eye on the website for news updates)
City Of Caves, Broadmarsh Centre – A guided cave tour under some of Nottingham
Go Ape – Sherwood Forest
Sherwood Pines cycle trail – cycle tracks for all abilities
Clumber Park – A National Trust property half an hour north of the city centre.
Holme Pierrepont Country Park : Canoeing, white water rafting, wakeboarding, high ropes trail, crazy golf, segways.
Q; Are There Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Nottingham?
Quite a lot actually. I’ve already mentioned Wollaton Hall Natural History Museum and Greens Windmill but if the rain has stopped play and the kids are climbing the walls then I can highly recommend the following…
Planet Bounce – a trampoline centre with basketball hoops, vertical bounce pads and dodge ball. Admission starts at £9.99 and boy will they need a shower afterwards!
Jump Giants – a similar place near Wymeswold on the way to Loughborough but with the added element of a half pipe, foam zone and a Wipe Out platform – just like the TV show. From £11.
The Lost City Adventure Golf in the Cornerhouse – indoor crazy golf.
The Ludorati Cafe – an opportunity for the adults to have a coffee whilst the kids play a board game. And next door to one of Nottingham’s dessert stops, Kaspa’s.
There are a few Escape Rooms for kids in Nottingham too – try Logilock (9 years and above), SI5 (from 6 years old), and Cryptology. That’s if you want to be locked in a room with your children for an hour!
Q; Where Do Kids Want To Eat In Nottingham?
My kids loves Southbank City because the burgers are gooood and you can combine it with a game of pool, FIFA, darts or table football, all to the tune of whatever sports game is on the TV.
Another burger favourite is Annie’s Burger Shack in the Lace Market – the kids absolutely love choosing from the myriads of burger combo’s. Like The Elvis Burger (peanut butter and jam!) or The Sunday Dinner Burger (complete with Yorkshire pudding!)
Barburito’s – our kids LOVE Mexican food!
Pudding anyone? Places have been opening up left right an centre lately but our favourites are Creams (a gelateria) and The Pudding Pantry, both just off Trinity Square.
Nottingham also has a fair share of quirky restaurants too which always get the kids excited – I mean, who doesn’t want to eat their dinner in a tuk-tuk or off a swing!? Check out our recent blog post for some ideas here.
Q; Does Nottingham Have Any Hotels With Family Rooms?
A few. The Hilton Hotel and The Mercure Hotel have ‘family rooms’ which include a sofa bed. However, if you’re looking for a bit more space you should consider The Contemporary Lace Market Apartments. This trendy accommodation in the city centre gets 10 out of 10 for location yet manages to still remain peaceful and quiet unlike some other very central appartments. It’s very modern with a fully functional kitchen and 2 bedrooms for that extra bit of leg room if the kids are a bit older. It’s very reasonably priced too.
The above post was an interview over on another family travel blog, you can read the original post over at www.travelwithboys.com
*This post contains affiliate links.
Pin For Later…