If you’re going on a family holiday in Chester or North Wales, it’s a good idea to have some days out in mind (or even booked) before you leave.

There are some great options on your doorstep whatever the weather, from world-renowned Chester Zoo and an abundance of outdoor activities in Chester’s local Delamere Forest, to adventures in Snowdonia and some family-focused history in North Wales’ ancient castles.

15 great days out for families in Chester and North Wales

We’ve rounded up the best days out with kids in Chester and North Wales.

Family-friendly days out in and near Chester

1. Chester Zoo

One of the UK’s largest, Chester Zoo is a real family favourite. There’s something for every age, from a treetop challenge for little ones to up close and personal wildlife experiences – and that’s before mentioning the 20,000+ animals you’ll get to see. Play trails, regular animal talks, plenty of food options and beautiful gardens make for a memorable family day out.

2. Jodrell Bank Observatory

Jodrell Bank, around a 45 minute drive from Chester, is famous for its huge radio telescopes, which can be seen for miles around. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it makes for an awe-inspiring family day out. With four indoor pavilions, plenty of outdoor exhibits and some pretty countryside to explore, the whole family can learn more about space, stars and our planet while having fun. 

And while Jodrell Bank deserves a day to itself, it’s close to Tatton Park, one of the UK’s most complete historic estates…

3. Tatton Park

Also deserving of a full day of exploration, Tatton Park is a beautiful stately home set in 50 acres of landscaped gardens and a 1,000 acre deer park, along with a 40-acre farm. All this means there’s plenty to do, from meeting new-born lambs in the spring and cycling round the park (where dogs are also welcome), to deer-spotting, picnicking and enjoying afternoon tea in one of the cafés.

4. Delamere Forest

Delamere Forest is about a 15-minute drive from Chester, and offers myriad activities for all ages. You’ll find a Go Ape Tree Top Challenge, a ‘Superworm’ trail for little ones, bike and segway hire and plenty of lovely lakeside and forest walks. There’s also a fantastic café and lots of picnic spots to choose from if you’ve packed your own lunch.
Just a couple of miles from the main visitor centre is Wild Shore, where you can get your fill of water-based action. With paddleboarding, open water swimming, an aqua park, two wakeboarding cables and Aqua Chimp, a floating ropes course, you should find something to satisfy all ages.

5. Cheshire Ice Cream Farm and the Crocky Trail

If you have younger children, combining a trip to the Cheshire Ice Cream Farm with the Crocky Trail adventure park makes for a fun family day trip.

At the Cheshire Ice Cream Farm, you’ll find a mind-blowing number of ice cream flavours – as you’d probably expect. But what you may not expect is the number of indoor and outdoor activities on offer – probably there to burn off the ice cream high. Options include mini-golf, an indoor soft play area, an interactive sand and water play area, kids’ quad bikes, mini Land Rovers and enormous outdoor pillows to bounce on (probably best timed for pre-ice cream).
The Crocky Trail, close to the ice cream farm, is an adventure trail, complete with obstacles, bridges and rides. Children of all ages are well-catered for on the trail, and there’s also a dedicated play area for little ones. Bookable activities abound during the school holidays.

6. Blue Planet Aquarium

For a good rainy family day out on Chester’s doorstep, head to Blue Planet Aquarium, where you can visit Lake Malawi and the Amazon rainforest and walk through the longest underwater shark tunnel in the UK. Once you’ve enjoyed the aquarium, the nearby Coliseum Leisure Park has bowling, mini golf and a cinema. There are also plenty of family-friendly restaurant options, and nearby Cheshire Oaks for a spot of retail outlet shopping.

7. Gulliver’s World Theme Park

Located near Warrington, Gulliver’s World is another great day out for younger families. There are plenty of rides for little ones to choose from, plus indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a climbing wall, a large sand pit, mazes and even mini diggers. You’ll find a host of extra activities during the school holidays.

8. Manley Mere

Similar to Wild Shore, Manley Mere offers water-based activities close to Chester. Along with an aqua park, paddleboarding, kayaking, open water swimming, sailing, windsurfing and powerboating, there’s also an adventure trail where you can expect to get wet and muddy.

Family-friendly days out in North Wales

1. Adventure Parc Snowdonia & Surf Snowdonia

North Wales offers an array of outdoor activities to satisfy every age and interest. But they don’t come much bigger than Adventure Park Snowdonia, which not only offers guaranteed great surf at Surf Snowdonia, but also entertains non-surfers with indoor and outdoor climbing walls, a ninja assault course, zip lines and free falls, caving, a pump track and a soft play centre for the littlest legs. They’ll even organise gorge walks, mountain biking and coasteering for a real outdoor adventure.

2. Climbing Snowdon

If you’re in North Wales, Snowdon is pretty unmissable. Depending on your children’s ages and how much they like walking, you’ll find a way up to suit you – whether that’s on the Snowdon Mountain Railway (pre-booking is essential), the Llanberis Path (the easiest and longest route up) or on one of the more tricky tracks.

If you opt to walk, give yourselves plenty of time. The scenery is beautiful and you’ll want to take a lot of photos, but the weather is changeable so make sure you’ve taken all the proper mountain safety precautions.

3. Ffestiniog Railway

Right in the heart of Snowdonia, the Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow gauge railway. Jump aboard at the harbour in pretty Porthmadog, and enjoy just over 13 miles of beautiful Welsh countryside as you travel from the sea into the mountains. For a touch of luxury, book a first class cabin and an on-train premium picnic hamper.

4. Llandudno and Conwy Castle

Combine historic Conwy Castle with a trip to Llandudno for a throwback to a typical Victorian seaside town. 

Conwy Castle is a 700-year-old mediaeval fortress overlooking Conwy harbour, with Snowdonia’s mountains as a backdrop. A World Heritage Site, you can walk the castle walls, climb its steep spiral staircases and enjoy family activities, such as archery and jesters, during the school holidays.

After this slice of history, drive the five miles to Llandudno, a typical seaside town that’s fun for the whole family. Climb (or take the tram or cable car) up Great Orme and don’t miss the Victorian pier, the longest in Wales, which offers all the typical fairground rides, games and sweet treats. Bodafon Farm Park and the Alice in Wonderland town trail will complete your day – prior to fish and chips on the beach, of course.

5. Anglesey

If you’re not staying on the island of Anglesey when you visit North Wales, it’s well worth a day trip with the kids. There are myriad things to see and do, including sandy beaches (our favourites are Llanddwyn Island and Trearddur Bay) and visiting Beaumaris for its shops, crabbing off the pier and the famous Beaumaris Castle

Watersports are pretty much on tap; we like RibRide Adventure Boat Tours, which offer both exhilarating RIB rides and puffin and seal watching. There’s also windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking and paddleboarding galore – try Funsport Rhosneigr for both rentals and tuition.

Want something more? You can also climb South Stack lighthouse, spot red squirrels in Newborough Forest and indulge in delicious afternoon teas and ice creams just about anywhere.

6. Bala

Bala is a historic market town in Snowdonia, most famous for its lake, outdoor activities, white water sports and the Bala Lake Railway. 

The lake – the largest natural lake in Wales – is the heart of Bala, and you can paddle board, canoe, fish and sail. There are also family walking and cycling trails around the lake. For the more adventurous or older families, there’s the Bala Adventure and Watersports Centre, where you can windsurf, kayak, hire boats, try power boating, go white water rafting, and abseil, walk gorges and build rafts.

The Bala Lake Railway takes you along Bala lake through Snowdonia National Park and some lovely scenery. They also organise special events throughout the year, including family-friendly activities in the school holidays.

7. Zip World (or five)

With Zip Worlds at multiple locations in North Wales, you won’t be far from action and adventure – in fact, you could easily spend a family day out at each one.
We like the Zip World Slate Caverns which offers five different activities, including underground trampolining, a deep mine tour and a challenging underground ‘Caverns’ course; Zip World Penrhyn Quarry for karting and the fastest zip line in the world; and Zip World Fforest for treetop adventures and an exhilarating sky ride.

Looking for a luxury family holiday in Chester or North Wales? Take a look at Edgar House, Chester, and Menai Hall in Anglesey, both perfect for extended families.

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