10 family friendly Yorkshire museums you need to visit
Museums in Yorkshire are brilliant! The word ‘museum’ always seems to put people off. But Yorkshire museums are not the boring, ‘don’t touch’ places we remember from our childhood. No! They are vibrant, interactive, drawing you fully in and immersing you in the subject. You won’t even know you are learning as you will be having so much fun,
Museums are great places to spend a day as a family as they appeal to all ages. They are the best place on a rainy day, and even on a sunny day as you will avoid the heat and the crowds!
Here are our 10 family friendly Yorkshire museums that you need to visit!!
Eureka! The National Children's Museum
Located in Halifax, West Yorkshire, Eureka! is the ultimate in family friendly fun. It is a total must if you are in Yorkshire which is why it is Girl About Yorkshire’s top recommendation.
This extraordinary fun packed place has 6 separate zones including a role play mini world exploring our day to day lives, a section around the body / staying healthy and a digital & technology area.
Little ones can immerse themselves, pretending to be a mechanic, a bank clerk or a supermarket worker. They can learn all about the different parts of the body. Plus they can get involved with technology from how sounds are made to how to create digital content. Not only are the exhibits interactive but there are specific areas for younger ones to play and also a creative room where kids can craft and draw. All of this really allows their curious minds to explore the word around them in a fun, educational and exciting way.
Facilities include a café, gift shop and plenty of outdoor space with a playground and a train carriage to explore.
Tickets are £14.95 from age 3. Age 1-2 is £6.45 and under 1s are free. However, once purchased this ticket becomes a pass for the year for unlimited free re-entry.
National Science and Media Museum
This Yorkshire museum in the heart of Bradford city centre showcases millions of items that depict the history of sound and image and how this developed through the years. There is so much to do for all ages with continually changing exhibitions to entice return visits. Little ones can explore the ‘Wonderlab’ where live experiments and extraordinary experiences will change how you see the world around you. They have temporary exhibitions on and also special events so check out their website to see what is currently on. There is also a video game area where you can play retro games. Why not add on a trip to the IMax cinema whilst you are there? You really can make a full day of it.
Entry is free but you do need to pre-book. There are additional extras which are paid for including the cinema and games arcade.
Please note that the museum is closing in June 2023 for a year long ‘radical once in a lifetime’ revamp ahead of the City of Culture celebrations of 2025.
Eden Camp Modern History Museum
This Yorkshire museum in Malton, is set within an original World War 2 prisoner of war camp. You can explore the camp, fully experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of life within the camp as well as what life was like for the soldiers in battle on the front line. There are an array of army vehicles including weaponry used to fight on display. There is even a prisoner exercise assault course that you can compete in. This is the complete World War 2 experience from entering to leaving.
Facilities include a café, picnic areas and different play areas suited for big kids and little ones. There is a new playground for 2023! This sustainable playground is made from recycled plastic which makes it more durable and reduces the carbon footprint – win win!
Tickets are £15 adults (£13 online), £12 kids (£11 online), under 5s go free.
National Emergency Services Museum
Set in the original historical combined Emergency Services building in Sheffield, this museum houses exhibits from throughout the 20th century. Spread across 3 floors there is so much to immerse yourself in, from vintage vehicles to historical treasures such as uniforms, badges and medical equipment. Transport lovers will enjoy the large fleet of vehicles that are on display of which you can climb on board or there is also the optional extra of having a ride in a fire engine!
Tickets are adults £9.50, kids age 3+ £7.50, under 3s free. Family tickets available. This ticket becomes an annual pass for unlimited free re-entry.
National Coal Mining Museum
At the National Coal Mining museum in Wakefield, you can discover over 180 years of mining history, seeing how the miners and their families lived, what they enjoyed to do and what mining was really like. You can travel deep underground and see where the miners worked and what was involved. There is plenty of ground to explore seeing how the landscape has been rejuvenated after the mining industry including a nature walk. Especially for the kids is an epic outdoor adventure playground as well as indoor soft play, a café and a shop.
Entry is free to visit the museum facilities at ground level but tickets are £5 to go on the underground tour (under 5s are not permitted).
Jorvik Viking Centre
Our Girl About York recommends Jorvik in York city centre. Here you can discover York’s Viking legacy and travel back in time. This is a must see attraction, discovering what Viking life was like in 10th century York. You can get up close to some exciting Viking artefacts and take a journey through a reconstruction of the city experiencing the sights, sounds and even the smells of the Viking age.
Tickers are £15 per adult, £10.50 child (5+) with under 5s free. Family tickets available. The York passport is available which includes 3 other attractions which then becomes an annual pass.
National Railway Museum
All aboard for fun-time central! The National Railway Museum (NRM) in York is perfect if you are looking for a day out with the kids. It’s super accessible, lots of space, inside and out. The locomotives themselves are spectacular (check out the ‘Royals on Rails’ exhibition – wow!) but they are just part of the attraction, believe it or not! The miniature garden railway is so much fun and there is a large outdoor play and picnic area. It’s a ferroequinologist’s (trainspotters) dream!
NRM is in the middle of a six-year project to transform the museum by the year 2025, so watch this space for further developments.
Entry is free, but booking is recommended and some activities incur extra charge.
Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum is right in the heart of the city, just off Millennium Square. They have a jam-packed programme of events such as Rory’s Club on a Saturday for under 5’s who enjoy crafting, and regular Board Games session with Cards or Die for the bigger kids among us! Alongside the regular events, there are many activities over the school holidays and a wide range of exhibits throughout this beautiful building.
Entry is free, and, as with all of Leeds City Council’s Museums and Galleries, the museum is closed on Mondays.
Streetlife Museum of Transport
At the Streetlife museum in Hull, there are over 200 years worth of transport history showcased. You can experience what a 1940’s High street was like including playing on the old slot machines, climb on baord a tram and take in all the 20th century transport from the early motor cars to bicycles to rail carriages.
Entry to this Yorkshire museum is free!
Thackray Museum of Medicine
Our Girl About Leeds highly recommends Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds! If you’re also a fan of guts, gore and gruesome goings on, then this might be just the place for you! Join the team at Thackray for a walk through the history of medicine and it’s wider impact on the world. If your kids like Horrible Histories they will love this place. ‘Disease Street’ is particularly gross, and the Victorian style operating theatre is absolutely chilling. You will leave feeling thankful to live in the 21st century! For the under 5’s who might be looking for a less grisly approach to medicine there is a super-cute medically themed play area.
Adult ticket is £11.95, child £8.95, under 5’s are free. The entry ticket entitles you to return visits for 12 months from the purchase date, and if you live locally in Harehills, Mondays are free entry.