11 Fun Things To Do in Nottingham with Toddlers
If you're planning a trip to Nottingham with your toddler, I think you'll enjoy these exciting things that we've found.
We've concentrated on the places that are specifically for toddlers - ones that are family-friendly and which have really thought about the things your toddler will enjoy.
Tiny Town Adventures
Tiny Town Adventures is an amazing child-sized role-play centre where toddlers can learn through imaginative play.
There is a cafe on site, with hot and cold refreshments, and a seating area that overlooks the play area, so you can keep an eye on your little ones whilst they play. You're welcome to join your toddlers in the play area as well.
Booking is easy via the Tiny Town Adventures website - you book a 90 minute session (there are three a day to choose from - morning, lunch and afternoon) when you want to visit. The centre is open 5 days a week in term time (closed Tuesday and Friday), and 7 days a week in school holidays.
Bean Block Play Cafe
This is a great place to take the family if you want a relaxing time eating your lunch whilst keeping the toddlers entertained.
With custom-designed play areas, there's loads for your toddler to do whilst you enjoy your coffee. If you are staying for breakfast or lunch there's lots of delicious healthy food prepared in-house which is suitable for all the family.
There are also treats of course, such as cakes, wine and an ice cream factory. You can even have afternoon tea if you order it in advance!
Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre
If your toddler is into superheroes, Sherwood Forest, home of the legendary Robin Hood, is the place to visit.
The Robin Hood-themed play area is surrounded by trees, giving a real impression of playing in the forest just like the man himself!
There's a cafe serving hot dishes and light refreshments for refuelling your kids (and yourself) after you've followed one of the many woodland trails available, including the Giants Trail, which takes you to visit the oldest trees in the area.
During the school holidays, there are guides in traditional medieval clothing in the forest to tell you all about the forest and the exciting legend that is Robin Hood.
The Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre is open every day except Christmas Day. Admission is free and car parking costs £5 (free to RSPB members).
Robyn's World is an innovative play centre experience with role-playing scenes and toys (which are set up at toddler height of course), where your toddler can pretend to be whoever they want to be - a vet, a hairdresser, a digger driver and more.
Nottingham Castle is right at the heart of Nottingham city centre - a haven of peaceful gardens and play areas, and castle displays telling the fascinating history of Nottingham and Robin Hood.
Robin Hood Adventures is an immersive, interactive digital experience including games where kids can aim a bow and arrow and a staff to really get into the Robin Hood role. Also, there's a 360-degree video (shown in an indoor imaginary forest clearing) which tells the story of the life and times of Robin Hood.
If the family needs to take a break after all this activity, you can choose from one of the two cafes in the castle to rest and refuel!
Admission to the castle costs £12 per adult and kids under the age of 15 go free. This gives you an annual pass to the castle for a whole year!
Razzle Dazzle Pots
Razzle Dazzle Pots is a paint-your-own pottery studio where you can create great mementoes with your toddler - you choose and paint your own pottery and have it glazed and fired for collection later.
Razzle Dazzle also have a great facility to capture your toddler's hand- and foot-prints on all manner of pottery items.
The studio has a cafe serving light refreshments such as coffee and hot chocolate, but if you need something more substantial there is a KFC across the road!
Mugs are priced from £10.00 - £20.00 and plates (including novelty shapes) range from £12 to £22. Figurines and money boxes range from £10 to £26.
Wollaton Hall, Deer Park and Adventure Playground
Wollaton Hall, in the suburbs of Nottingham, is a gorgeous Elizabethan building which houses the Natural History Museum and the Nottingham Industrial Museum.
Your toddler will probably prefer the deer park (where you can watch the red and fallow deer) and the Adventure Playgrounds that Wollaton Park is famous for. There are two playgrounds - one near the 508 Cafe and one near Sutton Passey Crescent.
There are outdoor family activity and trail sheets available from the hall, cafes and museum shop, which you can follow around the lovely park whilst hunting for clues (with prizes at the end!).
Entry to the Hall, Museums and Park is free, with a £5 all day parking charge.
Sundown Adventureland is a huge theme park specially created for the under 10s. It's a little way out of the city, near Retford, but it's well worth the trip. There are loads of different themed activity areas and rides that will keep your toddlers occupied all day!
Our favourites are the Angry Birds activity area, the Night Before Christmas ride and the Giddy Piggies ride.
The train rides are perfect for toddlers, as they don't have sudden drops or inclines.
The cafes are right next to play areas, and the food is freshly prepared locally or onsite by the Sundown team. They say they are aiming for tasty, filling and wholesome rather than gourmet and are proud that their food is sensibly priced.
Sundown Adventureland is open from February half term to Christmas Eve (with a short closure in November) - check their website for opening times.
Sherwood Pines Forest Park
There are lots of toddler activities deep in the heart of Sherwood Forest, at Sherwood Pines.
Gruffalo Orienteering Trail
Pick up a leaflet for £1.50 at the visitor centre and you can follow the forest trail featuring 12 different Gruffalo characters carved in wood. Your toddler will be very excited to spot them hiding amongst the trees - starting with the Gruffalo himself at the visitor centre. They'll also be able to spot the wildlife that lives in the forest too!
There are two main play areas at Sherwood Pines which are linked with a walking trail. You'll find Robin Hood's hideout and a climbing frame with two tree houses to play in, if you venture further into the woods!
Sherwood Pines Cafe & Visitor Centre
The cafe is open 7 days a week for hot and cold refreshments, and the visitor centre has lots of information about the trails and activities in the forest, and houses accessible toilets.
Go Ape Nets Adventure (minimum age 1 year)
This is a family-friendly adventure run by Go Ape - there is no minimum age as you are safe inside the nets at all times. You and your toddlers can jump, bounce and climb your way around the Nets Adventure course.
Stonebridge City Farm
Which toddler doesn't love a city farm? With all manner of farmyard animals to get up close to, and an aviary and gardens to explore, your toddler is bound to have a great time here.
Their cafe is ideal for re-fuelling your toddler, with lunch options such as a jacket potato or chilli, and lots of treats such as traybakes and cupcakes.
There's a shop if you want to take home a memento of your visit. You can also buy plants, flowers and produce from the Farm's gardens.
Admission to the farm is free, but the farm relies heavily on donations from visitors to keep it running.
Red Kangaroo Trampoline Park
They've sussed that it's good to have special toddler-only times at Red Kangaroo Nottingham. In the holidays and at weekends there are special "Tots Hour" sessions, where only kids aged 1 to 5 years are allowed in the park (plus one free adult) for £7.95.
There is a great cafe (called Cafe Roo!) on the mezzanine area where you can watch the action happening all over the park whilst refuelling your toddler!
I hope you've enjoyed finding out about these special toddler activities and places to visit in Nottingham. I'm sure they will help you plan your next trip to the city with your little one.
When you first visit a new city, it's always reassuring to know in advance that there are lots of fun places to visit with your toddler.