Leicester is a vibrant city with no shortage of entertainment options, especially if you have kids.
From buzzing leisure centres, eclectic art galleries, and lush outdoor spaces, Leicester has a wide range of child-friendly activities that the whole family can enjoy.
Because deciding on what exactly to do can be a bit difficult, we’ve created a list of some of the most highly-rated activities on offer. To ensure there’s something for everyone, this list varies greatly in terms of price range and the nature of the activities.
If you or your tiny tot knows a spot that should be on this list but isn’t, let us know in the comments!
- Fun Things To Do In Leicester With Toddlers
- King Richard III Visitor Centre
- Hollywood Bowl
- National Space Centre
- The Newarke Houses Museum
- Leicester Museum & Art Gallery
- Meridian Leisure Park
- Abbey Park
- Tropical Birdland
- King Power Stadium
- Leicester Cathedral
- Abbey Pumping Station
- Showcase Cinema de Lux Leicester
- Gorse Hill City Farm
- Treetop Adventure Golf
Fun Things To Do In Leicester With Toddlers
King Richard III Visitor Centre
This award-winning historical site is located in the city centre, just opposite Leicester Cathedral. The centre was built around the location where King Richard III was buried over 500 years ago.
If you decide to pay the centre a visit, you and your toddler can use 21st-century technology to discover the moving story of the King’s life and death. Visitors spend an average of 90 minutes on the tour, so that’ll mean that your toddler will more than likely be captivated by King Richard III’s epic story for most of that time.
Children aged 4 and below and their carers are allowed free entry and can obtain a ticket upon arrival.
Bowling has been a staple family activity for a number of years, and for good reason. It provides the ideal opportunity for families to bond with each other while enjoying the thrills and laughable moments that the game brings.
Hollywood Bowl is equipped with 26 lanes, an American-themed diner, bar, and amusements area filled to the brim with games for all ages. Each lane has an access ramp, so little ones won’t feel left out.
The amusements area, in particular, is a fun and safe place for your child to have a good time while you get some much-needed respite. Another option that Hollywood Bowl provides is for you to have an event there, so it could make a good alternative to hosting your toddler’s birthday party at home.
National Space Centre
Leicester is home to the largest planetarium in the UK. The 360° dome is specifically designed to give visitors an unforgettable interstellar experience or, to be more specific, over 150 interactive experiences.
The National Space Centre is one of the top family attractions in Leicester, largely because it can be enjoyed in all weather conditions. In addition to having a restaurant and shop, the Space Centre regularly hosts Star Wars, LEGO, and Time Lord-themed events which are sure to keep your toddler entertained!
Children under 5 can enter the National Space Centre for free, but do be wary as tickets for adults tend to sell out fast, so be sure to book yours quickly.
The Newarke Houses Museum
The Newarke museum contains two historic houses, which are considered to be among the most fascinating in Leicester.
For the kids, the museum has a toy gallery that allows children to dress up and discover toys that were played with throughout the centuries. The museum also features a 6-foot teddy bear which is pretty much guaranteed to leave your toddler asking for their own.
Leicester Museum & Art Gallery
Leicester Museum & Art Gallery is one of the city’s top art galleries. It boasts an extensive collection of pieces from the natural and cultural world that can pique many different interests. In the museum, you and your child can expect to find pieces from ancient Egypt, wild space, and the Mesozoic era, in addition to an array of temporary exhibitions.
General entry to the museum is free for visitors, and it occasionally hosts events such as curator talks and lunchtime concerts. If these sorts of events don’t do a good job of keeping your toddler’s mind captivated, then you can always pay a visit to the cafe to get something to eat or pick up a souvenir from the museum shop.
Meridian Leisure Park
Meridian Leisure Park pretty much has it all. State-of-the-art cinemas, theatres, indoor and soft play areas, you name it, it has it.
In addition to the many entertainment options, Meridian Leisure Park has a wide selection of restaurants that are guaranteed to tantalise your toddler’s tastebuds after a long day of play.
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. This is why spending a day relaxing in Leicester’s biggest park should be high up on your list of things to do with your toddler. Located a short drive north of the city centre, Abbey Park has 36 hectares of space and a long list of activities for you and your little one to check off.
At Abbey Park, you’ll find a miniature railway, lavender maze, paddling pool, pet corner, tennis courts, and more. If you go at the right time, you could also encounter special seasonal events.
Besides being a place of family fun, Abbey Park is also a site of great history, given that it contains the archaeological ruins of the Abbey of St Mary’s and the ruins of Cavendish House, so it’s definitely a must-see.
Taking in the many wonders of the natural world can be a fun and enriching way to entertain your toddler. At Tropical Birdland, you and your child can expect to see a number of bird species, including macaws, owls, hornbills, and toucans.
One of Tropical Birdland’s most noteworthy features is the ‘Parrot Path’, which gives you a chance to get an up-close look at and interact with the birds. There is also a ‘Chick Room,’ in which you’ll be able to see newly born chicks, a restaurant, a picnic area, and an adventure play area for kids to run around in after they’re done looking at all the birds.
King Power Stadium
Whether or not you or your kids are football fans, a trip to the King Power Stadium is a must when in Leicester. The stadium is the home of the football club, Leicester City and is a key part of the city’s history.
If you aren’t lucky enough to get tickets to see the first eleven play, then you can always take a guided tour of the stadium that will take you through the player and director’s lounges, the press room, changing rooms, and the iconic Filbert Way tunnel.
Leicester Cathedral is the final resting place of King Richard III and has been considered the heart of Leicestershire since medieval times.
Apart from providing interesting details on the King’s life, Leicester Cathedral hosts family-oriented Christmas services and events. This may not be on the top of your toddler’s to-do list, but it still makes for a good experience.
Abbey Pumping Station
Located adjacent to the National Space Centre, this museum is a testament to Leicester’s industrial, technological, and scientific heritage. The Victorian-era building contains rare examples of early engineering, which can be seen in operation during special events.
Although your toddler might not necessarily be interested in scientific heritage or Victorian architecture, a tour of the pumping station is a good educational experience that also serves as a good change of pace when looking to entertain your child.
Admission to the museum is free except for on days with special events.
Showcase Cinema de Lux Leicester
Going to see a movie can make a decent change from being subjected to your toddler’s favourite cartoons at home. Showcase Cinema de Lux does a good job of giving you and your little one the ultimate cinema experience.
The cinema showcases some of the biggest and most family-friendly movies on 12 amazing wall-to-wall screens that are coupled with immersive sound systems. Be sure to add this to your list of things to do with your toddler.
Gorse Hill City Farm
This is a charity, working farm, and community project that is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of animals and providing a fun educational experience for people of all ages.
They are open throughout the year and have over 100 animals for visitors to meet and interact with. For people with kids, Gorse Hill City Farm is the ideal venue for a fun family day or to host a birthday party.
Be sure to check their website beforehand to confirm ticket pricing.
Treetop Adventure Golf
Also located in the city centre, Treetop Adventure Golf has two 18-hole, themed golf courses that can provide hours of family fun all year round. For kids, popular features at Treetops are the singing frog’s barbershop and cascading river. You could also consider hosting your child’s birthday party at Treetop.
In addition to being fun in general, the adventure golf course is also a good way to help your growing toddler with fine-tuning their motor skills.
Looking for another location? Check out our Days Out section for more ideas.