- Kids can explore six different themed play areas, from the Indoor Play Town to the Maize Maze.
- Plan an Adventure Valley party for the kids, with over eight different themed package options.
- Meet the farm animals and the world's fastest tortoise at Creature Corner.
- Try your hand at crazy golf or go-karting.
If you're looking for family-friendly fun things to do, North East England is filled with great options that the whole family will love. Adventure Valley Durham, owned by Marco and Janine Calzini, is one spot you shouldn't miss, with play areas, animals and activities galore. Located in the outskirts of Durham, a trip to this fantastic world of play is easy to tie in with a trip to the historic city, or just for a day out on its own. Just a 25-minute drive from Newcastle, or eight minutes from Durham, Adventure Valley is easy to get to and is certainly true to its name. There are over 50 different attractions to explore at this huge venue, with six indoor and outdoor areas to discover.
When you first arrive, the entrance building itself is already buzzing with activities. Once you've entered, you will first find the gift shop and Day Nursery & Pre-School, where children aged from six weeks- five years can stay. With supervised farm visits, private woodland and lunchtime menus created by a nutritionist, this is a great spot if you're looking for childcare around Durham. Following on to the right and into the main building, you can begin your adventure. First, you'll come across the Wild West Playbarn and Cannon Saloon. With a cowboy-themed area for shooting cannons, as well as rope swings, interactive games and a wheel of fortune, cowboys and girls will have the time of their lives exploring this Wild West play area. You can also find the Busy Bees Barn nearby, where kids can learn all about the animals in Creature Corner, and family shows are on during the school holidays. Here you can also meet Bertie, who holds the Guinness World record for the world’s fastest tortoise, as well as geckos, spiders and snakes. If you're lucky, you might meet Bertie's girlfriend Shelly, and their three babies. Next, you will find the Indoor Play Town, with over 18,000 square feet of space to play! With soft play, slides, climbing frames and much much more, this fantastic play zone is the perfect place for kids to let loose.
But that's not all! Once you head outside, you will find another huge area for exploring. At Action Creek, on your right, as you leave the building, you will find a Go Karting area, the Dragon Slide, the Big Play area and much more. Here, you can also have a go on the jumping pillows, and tackle the largest jumping pillow in the UK. Kids and grown-ups are both welcome to try their hand at taking on this challenge, making this much more than just a children's day out. There are also dedicated areas to cater to under 5's if you have smaller adventurers with you. To explore some more, Action Creek is also the spot to hop on a tractor ride to see the River Wear.
Continuing on, you'll reach the Runaway Ranch, where kids and grown-ups can race each other down the slide on big inflatable rings. There's also a goat racking track, maze, sandpit and of course the Forty Towers Play Fort. More play areas including Noah’s Adventure Park (with an ark-themed climbing area), the Pirate Galleon and the Peacock Playground can all be found in this area of Adventure Valley.
If you have some animal lovers in the family, you'll be pleased to hear that Adventure Valley Durham is all about making your child's day extra special by allowing them to meet some fabulous furry (and feathered), friends. As well as the previously mentioned Creature Corner, there is also an Undercover Farmyard area, where kids can pet small animals such as rabbits, meet some adorable micro pigs, and even have a go at brushing a pony. For more animal activities, head outside to the Sweet Tweets aviary, home to lots of unusual birds. If you come at the right time, you can also catch a Bird of Prey show at Adventure Valley. In the paddocks surrounding the outside of the plot, you can meet Nibbles, the resident donkey, and feed the goats at Goat Mountain. On your way around, check out the Water Wildlife pond, and see if you can spot any fish.
Another attraction at Adventure Valley Durham that's a firm favourite with families is the 18-hole cowboy-themed crazy golf course. Adventure Golf is packed with challenges and is a great way to spend an afternoon. With a discounted ticket price for Adventure Valley ticket holders, you can also book just to come and play the golf course itself.
For something to eat on your visit, head to Café Italia inside the main building for lots of great Italian-inspired food options that kids and grown-ups will both appreciate, including pizzas, paninis, pasta and of course, some delicious coffee. Outdoors, the Round Table Café is the place to go for refreshments while the kids take a rest from their play-filled day. You can also bring picnics with you, with both outdoor and indoor seating areas available.
If you think that an Adventure Valley party could be on the cards, there are many options to choose from for kids of all interests. The Roller Disco Marquee is available for private hire, or you can go for a Hosted Play Party. With 8 different themed packages to choose from, which each include a themed party cabin, a party host, party bags and a pizza buffet amongst many other things, Adventure Valley Durham is the perfect spot for a birthday to remember.
There are often events on at Adventure Valley throughout the year, including the Pumpkin Festival in October, complete with a pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving a corn cob catapult and 'Spooky Trail'. An Adventure Valley Christmas is also not to be missed. At Christmas time, the building transforms into a Winter Wonderland kids, and grown-ups will love, where kids can meet Santa and his elves, some real reindeer and decorate their own gingerbread men!
If you and the kids had a great time at Adventure Valley, make sure to check out the fantastic train museum Locomotion in Shildon, or meet more animals at Wetheriggs Zoo & Animal Sanctuary in Barnard Castle.
What to know before you go
- Adventure Valley opening times are from 10am-5pm.
- Adventure Valley prices vary, depending on the age of the visitors and if you are planning on using the play area, or just playing golf for the day.
- There are on-site toilets and baby changing facilities available, near the Round Table Café and the Indoor PlayTown. There are also microwaves in Café Italia for you to heat baby food or bottles.
- Unfortunately, dogs cannot be brought onsite, except Assistance Dogs.
- There are different levels of accessibility on site, with the indoor play areas all fully accessible, and the outdoor areas on a hill. However, the paths have been tarmacked so are smooth for wheelchairs and buggies. Unfortunately, the Adventure Golf Course is not suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
- To get to Adventure Valley, which is located just outside Durham, travel to Union Hall Farm. There is free parking available on site.
- If travelling by public transport, the Arriva 62 Bus from Durham to Brasside stops at Adventure Valley.
- You can also take the train to Durham and get the 62 Bus, which will take you to the entrance of Adventure Valley.