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Derby is a great place to take the family with many child-friendly restaurants and businesses now open for summer.
Whether you want a quiet, picturesque walk through a Derbyshire park, or an action-packed active day in the city centre there are many great experiences to be had! We have picked some of the best rated and best value experiences for cheap days out that families will love.
Read on for a selection of fun and fresh activities for children in the centre of Derby (as well as some options further out!), some great places to eat, and our top tips to make the most of your day out in Derbyshire.
Where Is Derby?
Image © Arran Bee
Derby is a vibrant city located in Derbyshire that has some of our favourite family-friendly gems. It's situated on the River Derwent, with a charming market and beautiful cathedral. The Peak District is close by for those longer, more wild walks.
There are plenty of parks, historical buildings, museums, attractions and restaurants you can explore to have a fun day out as a family. If you find yourself stuck for ideas for things to do during the long summer holidays search no more: days out in Derbyshire are well worth taking advantage of.
What Is There To Do In Derby For Kids?
For those hard-to-fill summer holidays, it can feel like a challenge to find activities and get your children excited about them. We've done some digging, and have found some of the best things to do with kids in Derby.
Oxygen Freejumping: This is a fabulous indoor trampoline park offering little toddler sessions, free jumping parties, school of trampolining lessons and free jumping parties for the public. Located near Pride Park for the football fans, it could prompt a visit to the home of Derby FC. Free jump admission costs £9.50 for adults, £4.00 for toddlers. Make sure to book online before you go.
Clip 'n' Climb Derby: Clip 'n' Climb Derby offers a climbing experience for all abilities and can be accommodating to people with disabilities. Fantastic for adventurous families who love a thrill and some healthy competition. Children's tickets cost £12.50 but there are many different options. It is currently open with distancing measures in place.
Denby Pottery Village: The pottery village has shops, a factory tour, a museum, craft studio and pottery throwing classes. A unique experience for creative families and kids interested in art and crafts.
Crich Tramway Village: Take a ride on a mile-long track in a historical tram! Crich Tramway Village is now open (except Mondays and Fridays). They advise everyone to wear face masks and remain socially distanced on the tram. After your ride on the tram, there is also a sculpture trail and museum to explore. Prices are £18.00 for adults, £11.00 for a child and there are family packages available.
Laser Quest Derby: If you are looking for a thrill, an exciting session at laser quest is a fun way to bring excitement on a rainy day. Laser Quest Derby is currently open weekday evenings and weekends (10.00am till 9.00pm). Games vary in price from £5.00 per person for one game and additional games with cheaper prices. They also have special offers for Midweek Madness which is during term time, with 3 games for £10.
Conkers: Conkers has it all, with 120 acres of adventure space, 10 different outdoor pursuits including a barefoot walk, The Warrens Underground Adventure, play areas and a new 4D Cinema. There are also several restaurants and cafes. Entry fees are £8.00 for an adult and £6.00 for a child ticket, with group options too. They have just reopened after lockdown restrictions have eased and are typically open every day of the year except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Gullivers Kingdom: Containing classic theme park attractions, play areas and restaurants, this is a fun-packed day out for the family. For a few hours or a few days, you'll find plenty of things to do here. They are asking all guests to wear face masks on rides and in their buildings. Park day tickets are £21.00 and children under 90cm tall go free.
These activities are a 30-minute drive from Derby city centre but each site offers something unique for you to make the most of Derbyshire days out.
Swadlincote Ski Slope And Snowboard Centre: Just half an hour drive out of the centre of Derby, here you can experience skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing on the dry slope mats. They have a cute Alpine bar and kitchen to grab a bite to eat after. Currently, they are only offering private lessons. Family private lessons vary in prices depending on numbers starting at £60 for one adult person, and £30 for a child.
Carsington Sports And Leisure: Hire bikes, boats or just chill out. Carsington Sports and Leisure offers British Canoeing training and is part of the Royal Yachting Association; you can rest assured that they have very high standards for instructors and excellent safety measures during COVID-19.
What Can You Do In Derby For Free?
Derby Museum And Art Gallery: With fresh exhibitions regularly, no two trips to Derby Museum are ever the same. They also have a great cafe to check out during your visit. They are open at the moment with social distancing in place.
Pickford's House: Explore how the Pickford family lived in their 16th century home and find yourself transported back in time. Whether you want to explore the servants quarters, the decadent family rooms or purchase a memento from this historical house, you won't be disappointed.
Alvaston Park: A large open park with a lake, BMX track, cafe, ice cream and pizza kiosks. This site is suitable for wheelchair access. One of the more chilled-out things to do in Derbyshire, a trip to Alvaston Park could be a great time to make memories with the family.
Places To Eat
Fun days out in Derby may tire out children, so avoid this by fuelling up. A bite to eat after fun and excitement always goes down a treat.
The Carnero Louge offers great British classics at a reasonable price. They have a brilliant vegan menu and allow dogs inside.
The Wonky Table is a brilliant restaurant with a unique menu with a selection of European food on offer. They also have vegan and gluten-free options.
NALAAS South Indian Restaurant is one of the top South Indian restaurants in the city centre. A visit to this curry house will satiate people with a preference for spice.
The Bean Cafe is a great lunch spot for the family with fresh, healthy options for anyone. They cater for vegan and gluten-free needs.
Gorgeous decor characterises The Book Cafe, which utilises local produce in its food and is suitable for families to visit.
Brownie Points Bakery is an adorable bakery with a huge range of brownies on display. They are currently open for business but with limited seating inside.
A great atmosphere is a given at BEAR Derby. They have vegan and gluten-free options. Currently, they are open with socially distanced seating and staff wear face masks at all times.
Born in San Francisco, raised in Cheshire and currently studying in Birmingham. Katie loves spending time with her 10-year-old sister, exploring new places in the UK and training with her university athletics club. She is passionate about social justice and climate change. She wants to prevent inequalities that limit young people's success, so every young person can have fair access to opportunities on the path to the future they want.