yellow submarine
Made it - kids

Days out with the kids

So, we’ve nearly come the end of the Summer holidays – those last few precious days … if the kids are bored and you’ve run out ideas for where to go and what to do, here are a few ideas for days out with the kids. These are places that our family has visited this Summer and enjoyed. We live in Derbyshire which is in the Midlands.

Days out with the kids – Historic sites

Newstead Abbey – Nottingham

newstead abbey exterior



We visited Newstead Abbey on a wet Sunday a couple of weeks ago. This was our first visit to Newstead Abbey and we all really enjoyed it.

We arrived at about 10.30 and paid for parking – £6. We worried about not having cash, but the attendant on the gate was very helpful and said that we could use a card machine. He told us where to park and gave us a map of the grounds.

The gardens

newstead abbey japanese garden   newstead abbey water liliesThe gardens were beautiful. There was a lot of water at Newstead Abbey. We loved climbing behind the waterfall and the stepping stones in the Japanese garden. Our picnic lunch  was eaten on a bench over-looking a lake with water lilies. On days out we often take sandwiches with us as feeding a family of five can be expensive! There is also a cafe where you can get sandwiches, cakes and hot food.

Through the walled garden there was a playground where the children had a happy half an hour. After that, we explored the rest of the garden.

newstead abbey waterfall

The house.

We didn’t know anything about the history of the house. The volunteers in the house were knowledgeable and enthusiastic and shared lots of great information. The house had been owned by the poet Byron. There were lots of interesting insights into his life at the house. There was also a fantastic ‘hands-on room’ where there were puzzles, games and dressing up costumes. John rebuilt a 3D skull jigsaw.

This was our first visit to Newstead Abbey – but I am sure that it won’t be our last.


For more details on visiting Newstead Abbey, click the link below.

Days out with the kids – Parks

millhouses trim trail

Millhouses Park – Sheffield

We love  Millhouses Park and were regular visitors when our children were smaller, when we lived in Sheffield. This park just gets better every time we go. We still visit at least three or four times a year.

What can you do at Millhouses?

There are tons of facilities at the park. We enjoy the outdoor gym equipment. There is a skate park for older children and a little ramp course with smaller ramps for younger children.

millhouses outdoor gym

As you walk to the main park where the swings are there is a wooden fitness and balance trail. There are plenty of swings – which my children  always spend a lot of time on and some climbing frames and a climbing wall.

Further on is a water play area just before you come to the boating pond. There are often people with remote control boats and you can take a spin on Swanboat with your family. Next to the pond is the cafe – we have had many a chip butty on wet days in the park!

millhouses swan boats



There are tennis courts and plenty of open areas for riding bikes, playing with a ball or flying a kite. This is all by the side of a beautiful river. We usually manage to have a little ice cream as well.

How much does it cost to visit Millhouses?

You can have a great visit to  Millhouses without it costing the earth – there are lots of places to sit and eat a picnic.

I am sure that if you go to Millhouses Park you will have a great time. For more details,  visit their website by clicking the link below.


Days out with the kids – City visit


museum of liverpool

We visited Liverpool, for the first time, earlier this Summer and enjoyed it so much that we have booked an overnight stay. We also booked tickets for Chester Zoo for the next day as it is only about 40 minutes from Liverpool.

Our visit.

We arrived late in the morning and parked across from the Albert Dock.

sgt pepper suits

We decided to visit the Beatles Story exhibition first. This is great for Beatles fans. We bought a family ticket which was quite expensive at just over £50. We were all given headsets for the audio tour. I’m not a great fan of audio tours though as I think they stop people talking to each other. The headsets did have interesting extra information about the exhibits and videos.

We really liked the reconstruction of streets and the Cavern club and the children liked the Yellow submarine. I think that if you didn’t have the audio tour, then your visit would be much shorter.

yellow submarine

After The Beatles Story, we had lunch. There are lots of bars and restaurants all round the Albert Dock area. You are spoiled for choice really.


What else is there to do in Liverpool?

Also on the Albert Dock is the Liverpool Tate Art gallery with lots of free and some paid exhibitions to view. We liked the modern art and reading the stories behind the art works, but our children are a bit older and they like galleries. There are some great pieces of art outside on the Dock too – like the Ship’s cat and some huge rats!

liverpool art

If you like ships, then there were boats that you could go on and see what it was like on a modern sailing ship below decks.

Our final destination on this visit was to the Liverpool Museum on Albert Dock, where we were greeted by a local brass band playing in the large entrance hall.

It was a beautiful building and we enjoyed looking at the exhibits documenting Liverpool’s history. They had an excellent Beatles section, where Phil stunned everyone with his karaoke version of Imagine. A small boy stood next to me with his mouth wide open! It must have been amazing! 😂

We had great fun in the hands-on toys exhibition playing Mastermind ( a game from the 70s) and Etch-a-sketch. In the picture, John and Kate are attempting to play chess with an all white chess set.

We felt like we had only scratched the surface of what Liverpool had to offer and can’t wait to go back.

If you would like more information about visiting Liverpool, please click on the Liverpool tourist information link below.


Where else might you like to visit?

These are just a few of the visits that we have made as a family of five this year. We like to go out somewhere every couple of days in the holidays and most weekends with our children. I am currently writing an e-book with lots of great places that we have visited as a family. This beautiful picture was taken in the church at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Coming soon …

places to visit with kids