Last Updated on September 24, 2013 by Jody Halsted
Just because the summer’s over, doesn't mean the fun is too. There are hundreds of family-friendly places around Britain that stay open through the cooler months, and even better, many of them are completely weather-proof!
From theme parks to historical experiences, there’s sure to be something to thrill your family. So don’t let a September shower spoil your day – treat your kids to one of these fantastic indoor attractions this autumn.
The Royal Armouries, Leeds'
Also known as the National Museum of Arms and Armour, the Royal Armouries is the oldest museum in Britain, and thrills even the youngest visitors with its dazzling displays of swords, shields, cannons, and so much more. There are over 70,000 pieces on display, some of which date back many centuries, and if you visit on a weekend you’ll be able to catch a jousting display in the courtyard, as well as many other activities. Best of all, entrance to the Royal Armouries is completely free.
JORVIK Viking Centre, York
Take a trip back in time to the days of the Vikings at JORVIK! Here in the heart of York is where you can get a unique snapshot of Viking life in all of its sword-wielding glory, as the museum itself is built over excavated Viking-Age streets. Beneath your feet you’ll see the remains of 1000-year old houses, workshops and backyards, as well as objects discovered during the digs, plus if you’re lucky you may even get to meet a Viking in the flesh. Whether young or old, nobody forgets their day at JORVIK Viking Centre.
The Deep, Hull
Within this magnificent structure is some of the most beautiful sea creatures in the world – and you won’t have to get wet to meet them. The Deep, located just five minutes from Hull Marina is the world’s only ‘submarium’, as you can take a trip in its underwater lift to see life in the ocean from a whole new perspective. As you travel you’ll see thousands of fish, as well as sharks and rays, and learn more than you ever thought possible about these aquatic characters.
Cadbury World, Birmingham
A day out, that’s all about chocolate? It’s a no-brainer if you have kids – or even if you don’t! Cadbury World could be Britain’s most fun and tasty learning experience, as you take a trip around the colourful factory while the story of chocolate unfolds. From the Aztec Jungle to the supermarket shelves, you’ll find out how chocolate was discovered and came to be the much-loved treat that it is today, and yes, there are plenty of free samples to enjoy too!
Eden Project, Cornwall
Instantly recognisable by its giant ‘biomes’, Cornwall’s Eden Project houses the world’s largest indoor rainforest (complete with waterfalls and humid jungles) as well as a Mediterranean forest, vibrant outdoor gardens, and an enormous education centre in which you can discover the world around you like never before. At the Eden Project, you’ll soon realise why this one-of-a-kind attraction has scooped multiple awards for being Britain’s Top Visitor Attraction – and as you won’t be able to see everything in one day, take a look at Parkdean caravan park holidays in Cornwall to stay close by.
Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset
When it’s pouring outside, it’s time to go underground – and Somerset’s Wookey Hole Caves are a truly magical place to shelter. The limestone caves were eroded over thousands of years by the River Axe, and they’re now lit up by colourful lights that enable visitors to see them in all their glory. Remind your kids to look out for the Wookey Hole Witch too, a rock outcrop that vaguely resembles a woman, who according to legend was turned to stone by a monk. Don’t forget warm clothes for your visit, as well as comfortable shoes!
National Space Centre, Leicester
Do your little ones dream of visiting space? Keep their ambitions alive with a trip to the National Space Centre, where they can learn all about the science of space and even partake in a spot of star-gazing in the UK’s largest planetarium. Before you enter you’ll catch a glimpse of the iconic 42m high rocket tower, which houses real rockets that have been used on space missions, but there’s so much more to see including interactive exhibitions, an astronaut experience, and the chance to see real space robots being controlled.