13 Best Family-Friendly Things To Do In Rotherham

Cynthia Lawrence
Jan 29, 2024 By Cynthia Lawrence
Originally Published on Jul 06, 2020
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Rotherham may seem like a sleepy town in South Yorkshire, but it’s far from it.

Famous for its steel mining history, Rotherham is home to fascinating attractions and beautiful nature reserves and lakes. So whether it be meeting friendly alpacas or exploring old castle ruins, here are some of the fun things to do in Rotherham for the whole family to enjoy!

Please note that opening times differ for each venue due to respective lockdown easing measures. We recommend you always check before your visit.

A pin badge of Queen Mary I, also known as Bloody Mary, pictured over the Flag of England

Aston Springs Farm

Perfect for kids 2+ as a great introduction to farm animals.

Follow the beautiful Aston  Farm Trail to see exciting animals from pigs to alpacas. Or, grab a fishing net for pond dipping in the wildlife ponds. There is also a lovely restaurant to enjoy delicious farm produce.

Where is it? Mansfield Road, Aston, Rotherham S26 5PQ.

How much to budget for: Prices start from £4 for children and £5 for adults. Under 1s go free.

Nearest station: Kiveton Bridge

Don’t miss: Feeding the friendly alpacas!

Clifton Park And Museum

Perfect for kids of all ages.

If you’re looking for a fun family day out, Clifton Park is the ideal place. Set in beautiful gardens, the park is full of activities and attractions. Children will love 'The Fun Park', full of rollercoasters and bumper cars, as well as games, water splash, mini-golf and tennis courts. For a quiet retreat, you can visit the nearby Museum that explores the fascinating history of Rotherham.  

Where is it? Clifton Ln, Rotherham S65 2AA.

How much to budget for: Clifton Park is one of the biggest free parks in Yorkshire, including entry to Museum. However, rides at The Fun Park are paid for by credits starting from £1 for one credit up to £48 for 52 credits.

Nearest station: Rotherham Central.

Don’t miss: The Clifton Express land train is the best way to enjoy the sights around the park. Tickets are £1.50 per rider.  

Boston Castle Grove

Perfect for kids 4 + who loves exploring castles.

Once a hunting lodge owned by the Earl of Effingham in 1775, Boston Castle has now become Rotherham’s main attraction. Set in stunning grounds, children can learn about the Castle’s interesting history through interactive touch screens, dressing-up costumes and fun games.

Where is it? Boston Castle Grove, Rotherham S60 2BA.

How much to budget for: Free admission.

Nearest station: Rotherham Central.

Don’t miss: The rooftop viewing platform for spectacular views of Sheffield.

Thrybergh Country Park

Perfect for kids aged 7+ who enjoy the outdoors and long walks.

Walk the two-mile lake footpath around this beautiful nature reserve and woodlands located on the outskirts of Rotherham. With plenty of open space for children to run around, there is also a fun adventure playground and indoor soft play. Bring a picnic along and enjoy bird spotting!

Where is it? Doncaster Rd, Thrybergh, Rotherham S65 4NU.

How much to budget for: Free admission but all-day parking is £1.

Nearest station: Mexborough.

Don’t miss: Spot the water birds and feed the ducks.

Cannon Hall Farm

Perfect for kids of all ages from 2+ who love animals and adventure.

Cannon Hall Farm not only has a variety of animals but also filled with fun activities. Children will enjoy the Adventure Playground with its tube maze, climbing forest, sand park and exciting tower slides. There is also the Hungry Llama indoor play for younger children.

Where is it? Bark House Ln, Cawthorne, Barnsley S75 4AT

How much to budget for: Prices are £7.95 for adults and children 2 and over. Children under 2 go free.

Nearest station: Wakefield.

Don’t miss: Visit the Reptile House and get up close and personal with ‘handling’ sessions!

Magna Science Adventure Centre

Perfect for kids from 2-15 who love interactive learning.

Learning about science is made fun at the Magna Science Adventure. The centre has plenty of interactive activities and the four pavilions themed after the elements made for making steel, has over 100 hands-on exhibits.

Where is it? Magna, Sheffield Road, Templeborough, Rotherham, S60 1DX.

How much to budget for: Prices start from £4.95 for 2-3-year-olds and £10.95 for 4-15-year-olds. Adults cost £12.95. But if you buy online, it saves you £1.

Nearest station: Rotherham Central.

Don’t miss: Sci-Tek is an outdoor playground that makes learning fun through play. Children will love exploring spinning bowls, tilted roundabouts and twisted slides.

Tropical Butterfly House

Perfect for all ages who love wildlife.

Tropical Butterfly House is home to a multitude of exciting wildlife and attractions. From meerkats to minibeasts, children will enjoy touring the park and spotting their favourite animals. There is also a playground, splash and play zone and picnic areas, making it a fun day out for the whole family.

Where is it? Woodsetts Road, North Anston, South Yorkshire, S25 4EQ.

How much to budget for: Prices start from £12.50 for children (under 2’s are free), and adults are £13.75.

Nearest station: Kiveton Park.

Don’t miss: The amazing animal encounters and shows.

Roche Abbey

Perfect for kids aged 10+ who love Gothic history.

Once a 12-century church, the ruins of Roche Abbey still remain in a stunning wooded valley. Families can enjoy exploring the excavated grounds and beautiful views.

Where is it? A634, Maltby, Rotherham S66 8NW.

How much to budget for: Prices start from £3 for children aged 5-17. Adults are £5.50.

Nearest station: Canisbrough.

Don’t miss: A picnic in the ruins by the stream!

Awesome Walls Climbing Centre

Perfect for kids aged 5-12 who enjoy a physical challenge.

Once lockdown is lifted, test your endurance skills at Awesome Walls indoor climbing centre. With lots of climbing variety for first-time or seasoned climbers, beginners can have a 60 or 90-minute taster session with an instructor. A fun activity the whole family can enjoy.

Where is it? Garter Street, Sheffield, S4 7QX.

How much to budget for: Admission starts from £8 for juniors and £9 for adults. Taster sessions are from £18.00.

Nearest station: Attercliffe Road.

Don’t miss: Make sure to attempt the three separate bouldering areas!

South Yorkshire Transport Museum

Perfect for kids of all ages who are excited about vehicles.

Once re-opened, go back into time and learn about the transport history at  South Yorkshire Transport Museum. Have fun boarding some of the 50 varied displays of restored vehicles from cars, buses and trucks to milk floats.

Where is it? 9 Waddington Way, Aldwarke, Rotherham S65 3SH.

How much to budget for: Prices start from £2.50 for children aged 6+ and £6 for adults.

Nearest station: Rotherham Central.

Don’t miss: Board the lower deck of a former Sheffield Tramway tramcar.

Waterloo Pottery Kiln And Pottery Ponds

Perfect for kids aged 8+ who love history.

Built in 1815, during the Battle of Waterloo, this site is one of the few surviving parts of the Swinton. Once used to produce the famous Rockingham porcelain, explore the pottery ponds, kilns, a flint mill, china warehouses and cottages on site.

Where is it? Strawberry Cottage, Rotherham, S64 8UX.

How much to budget for: Free.

Nearest station: Swinton.

Don’t miss: Visit the kiln and be sure to look up from inside at the skylight!

Wentworth Garden Centre

Perfect for kids under-10 who love outdoor adventures.

Known as the ‘jewel of the crown’ of South Yorkshire, Wentworth Garden Centre sits in 16 acres of beautiful historic walled and landscaped gardens. With a fun adventure playground, family farm, pet shop and little craft shops to browse, this has something for everyone.

Where is it? Hague Lane Wentworth, Rotherham, Rotherham S62 7TF.

How much to budget for: Farm admission for children and senior citizens is £2.75 and children under 2 go free. Adult prices are £2.95.

Nearest station: Elsecar.

Don’t miss: Viewing all the beautiful tropical fish at the Pets & Aquatics Centre.

Winter Gardens

Perfect for kids of all ages who love nature!

One of the largest temperate glasshouses in the UK, Winter Gardens is home to more than 2,500 plants from around the world. Enjoy looking at the giant tropical palm trees or visit the several retail units, Millennium Galleries or refreshments in the Gallery Café.

Where is it? Sheffield Winter Garden, Surrey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 2HH.

How much to budget for: Free.

Nearest station: Sheffield.

Don’t miss: The temporary art installations that add to the exciting displays.

Main image credit: alice-photo / Shutterstock.com

Second image credit: chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Cynthia Lawrence

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Media and Cultural Studies

Cynthia Lawrence picture

Cynthia LawrenceBachelor of Arts specializing in Media and Cultural Studies

A lifestyle journalist for national magazines, Cynthia resides in London with her son and husband. With an unhealthy obsession for homes and interiors, Cynthia takes inspiration from her fabulous family travels and exciting adventures. She has a Bachelor's degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Middlesex University.

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