What To Do With Boys In Nottingham

Robin Hood in Nottingham, just underneath Nottingham Castle, one of the places you should take the kids, a stellar Nottingham attraction


Keeping any child entertained through the Summer Holidays will always be a challenge but keeping a boy entertained is another level altogether. What is it with their restless souls and their endless desire to be doing something? There are only so many times you can get him to mow the lawn or send him to the shops and, it takes brain power on my part to set him tasks to do that will occupy him for more than half an hour. I have him on Pinterest designing his bedroom for a future date, I get him to make us music playlists for certain events, design and build assault courses in the garden that we’ll all have to compete in later, etc. etc. But a lot of the time, a day with my son inevitably involves a trip out somewhere – a chance to run off some energy, use the grey matter exploring new things and raising the levels of excitement so that at the end of the day his soul is replete and inspired. Rinse and Repeat 12 hours later.

I have lived in this fair city of Nottingham for 20 years now, 14 of them with kids and I was recently asked by my friend Nicci over at TravelWithBoys.com what there is to do here. Thing is, my answers even surprised me! There is just so much to do with kids in Nottingham, so I thought I’d share some of my answers with you here.

slab square is a good place to start your walking tour of Nottingham

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 boys then I don’t know where is!

It’s also the home of Ibuprofen and lace but most boys 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.

us in front of Wollaton Hall
No boys in this picture – I think Cam was possibly taking it!

What Is there To Do With Boys 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 : 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 for some.

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.

For more information check out my post about Nottingham’s best parks here.

Rushcliffe Country Park is the perfect place to take boys. They can watch the steam trains, play table tennis or use the skate park

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 science museum inside of the shop, 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.

Just wandering around Nottingham is a pleasure in itself, imaginative graffiti is popping up all over the place these days and another good app is the Nottingham Cave Trail app which takes you on a tour of the city centre showing you 3d moveable images of the caves below your feet. Pop into the Contemporary while you’re out too – 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.

Green's Windmill - Nottingham

What Are Some Of Nottingham’s Attractions?

Nottingham Castle

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, wake boarding, high ropes trail, crazy golf, segways.


lake view at Clumber park Nottingham
Clumber Park
The high ropes at Holmepierre Pont country park are one of the fun things to do with boys in nottingham - what to do with boys in Nottingham
The highropes at Holmepierre Pont Country Park

What To Do With Boys In Nottingham When It’s Raining?

Quite a lot actually. I’ve already mentioned Wollaton Hall Natural History museum and Greens Windmill but if the rain has stopped play for over a day and the boys are climbing the wall 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.

Nottingham Climb Centre and The Climbing Depot – not a lot of explanation needed, one’s in own, the other is in Sherwood and they both have their merits. From £10.

Where Do Boys Want To Eat In Nottingham?

My son 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 – my son loves The Elvis : peanut butter and jelly! It’s actually not as bad as it sounds.

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.

For more ideas on where to eat have a read of my Top 5 Burger list

Where To Stay With Kids In Nottingham?

I can not recommend Roomz Aparthotel highly enough. Breakfast is free, the rooms are great with a cooking area and fridge, the bathrooms are so lovely and there’s even a pop up TV at the end of the bed! For the best hotel deals click here.

More reading : A Mini Break With Kids in Nottingham

You can read the original post over at www.travelwithboys.com

This post contains affiliate links.

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Where to go with kids in Nottingham. What to do with kids in Nottingham. Lots of tips and ideas on places to take the kids in Nottingham


27 Comments Add yours

  1. Really nice photos. If we ever end up in that part of the country I will remember your post – thanks. #KCACOLS

  2. Definitely looks worthy of a mini break, some of my son’s friends have gone to University there this year and they all love the city too. #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      It is a great city!

  3. Cassie says:

    Some good ideas for all here.

    Thanks for linking up.

  4. it sounds like Nottingham has loads going for it. ive never been. We love Geocaching tho and anyone with kids should def check it out ! #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      It’s fab isn’t it! I’ve found myself in a few strange places with it (geocaching)

  5. Mel Butler says:

    You have some great ideas here and even though I am an adult, I would definitely still try some of these out for myself.

  6. Arianne says:

    Great ideas! Lovely article

  7. Jurga says:

    After reading your food and coffee posts I was already saying we should come visit, but now you definitely put Nottingham on our radar for a family trip as well. Great tips that would definitely keep my three boys entertained!

  8. keepmum says:

    I Lived in Nottingham for a brief time a few years ago. My eldest was born there, we never did any. of this though!! We did see the major oak though and wander vic centre haha! great post, #kcacols

  9. Liza says:

    Lovely locations! I’m sure they loved it!

  10. Thank you, Nottingham, for ibuprofen! 😉

  11. Fantastic ideas! There seems to be a lot more to do there than when I was at uni down the road (Loughborough). The ‘jump Giants’ would have been popular that’s for sure! All these would be fab for girls too – and adults. Thanks for linking #citytripping

    1. Alex says:

      Jump giants is cool – we were there tonight actually and couldn’t pull the kids away. They’ll sleep tonight!

  12. Sounds like you have it nailed Alex in terms of keeping your son busy and entertained. Boys are like dogs they need to exercised and stimulated constantly. My 18 yr old was never happy to just hang out whereas my daughter is far more chilled and is just as happy hanging out with friends as she is anywhere else. Nottingham is one of my son’s University choices! Great area. Thanks for joining us. #TweensTeensBeyond

    1. Alex says:

      That’s boys. My girls are totally different too. Nottingham’s a great choice of uni though!

  13. Sounds as though there’s tons to do! I have to say, though, I’m impressed that you managed to get your son to do so many useful tasks – mowing hte lawn, creating playlists etc. I hope mine will be as handy when he’s older! #citytripping

    1. Alex says:

      Start training him now Nell 😉

  14. I’ve never been to Nottingham… but my son loves Robin Hood so it’s on our list of potential places to visit. Sounds like there is loads to do. I love the windmill! #citytripping

    1. Alex says:

      Well if he loves Robin Hood you’ve got to come. We have our own real life Robin Hood that does tours, if you come you should check him out!

  15. Bread says:

    I love Nottingham – haven’t been since I moved back to Wales though. i used to live in Leicester and my best friend lived in Nottingham so we’d have dinner at least once a week. #kcacols

    1. Alex says:

      It may look a little different now, it’s changing every week!! Thanks for commenting.

  16. I am loving the way you lured me in with the title!! I was expecting a bit of a shocker from the lovely Alex – only to find that you are a bit of trooper with the parenting malarkey, a Nottingham expert and a very creative lass who, from where I sit seems to be oozing all kinds of skills in the parenting department. You seem to have this nailed. I have never been to Nottingham but between you and the lovely Jane, you have certainly made me want to visit one day. Thanks for joining us at #tweensteensbeyond

    1. Alex says:

      Oh I don’t know about nailed. Maybe held together with bungees and duct tape. Well if you ever were to visit there’d sure be a little party between the 3 of us! 😉

  17. Sharon Parry says:

    What a useful list! I have never been myself and this makes me want to visit. I have three girls but most of this would appeal I’m sure. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  18. As someone living just down the road in Derby, I’m a bit surprised how many of things things we’ve never done! My only thought of what to do over summer in Nottingham was head to Market Square’s ‘beach’! #tweensteensbeyond

    1. Alex says:

      Oo you’re close! You should definitely hang out in Nottingham then – it’s a no brainer!

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