Kids & Families in Durham
|| Whether you’re
going for an hour, a day or a week, there are plenty of
things to keep the kids occupied during a family holiday
From museums and parks to cinema and swimming, this city has something for everyone –
even activities that parents will enjoy.
If your kids are interested in history, then they’ll
be spoilt for choice in the ancient city of Durham as
the place has plenty of museums to visit.
For starters there’s the Durham University Museum
of Archaeology [map], which is home to archaeological
displays from excavations in and around the city of Durham.
Situated on the banks of the River Wear below the historic
Durham Cathedral, this is where you’ll find the city's ancient hidden past. The majority of the
archaeological material in the museum is from North East
England, but there are also relics from the Swiss Lakes,
Greece and Rome.
Not far from here is the Durham Light Infantry Museum [map], which traces the proud history of the county’s
regiment. Here you’ll discover a superb collection
of more than 3,000 medals awarded to more than 1,000 men
who served in one of the finest County Regiments – The Durham Light Infantry.
Some of the medals date back 200 years when the regiment
fought in the Peninsular War against Napoleon, while others
are from the last campaign in Borneo in 1966. Alongside
the medals there are many other artefacts on display,
such as uniforms, regimental record books and a memorial
book, which you can write in.
Next up is the Durham Heritage Centre and Museum [map], which is Durham's only local history museum telling
the story of the city from Medieval times to the 20th
century. Exhibits here include the ‘Death Chair’ that was used to take sick boys from Durham School to
the Infirmary, a cell from Durham Jail and displays
on the pilgrimage to the shrine of St Cuthbert.
One not to be missed if you’re travelling by car
is the famous Beamish Open Air Museum [map],
which is located about eight miles North West of Durham.
This is a living, breathing, working museum that makes
a great day out for all the family. Parts of north-eastern
life are reconstructed as they were in the 19th and early
Here you can go underground and explore the mines, or
see what life was like on a working farm, take a lesson
in an old schoolroom, and even sit in the dentist’s
For a more relaxing family break why not head to the scenic Wharton Park [map],
with its breathtaking views of Durham, impressive floral
displays, Victorian style conservatory, tennis courts,
putting green, and children’s play area.
Water babies on the other hand may prefer to make the
most of the city’s only swimming venue, Durham
Swimming Baths [map] on Elvet Waterside, which
consists of a large 23m pool and a smaller 17m
pool for kids and learners.
For more indoor fun, you could take a trip out of the
city centre to Metroland [map],
the largest indoor funfair in Europe. This attraction,
which is situated on the MetroCentre site in Gateshead,
has all the usual fun fair favourites including a rollercoaster
and swinging pirate ship. Tickets are available for a
single turn on an individual ride or as a pass for all
After all that fun, you’ll just want to chill out
in the evening, so why not take the little ones to the
cinema to see the latest children’s film. There
is only one cinema in the heart of Durham, the Gala
Giant Screen Cinema [map] on Millennium Place, which has one screen showing the
But there is plenty more choice out of a town at the UCI
Cinema [map] at the MetroCentre in Gateshead or the UGC Cinema [map] on Boldon Leisure Park in nearby Boldon.
If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere,
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