Free Things to Do in Sheffield City Centre with Children
Sheffield is quite a big city with lots of things for families to do. Lots of the popular attractions are based outside the city centre – like Meadowhall shopping centre, Valley Centertainment, Jump Inc, Air Haus, Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park Resort, lots of parks, farms, and playgrounds, to mention just a few.
Luckily, there are lots of things to do in Sheffield City Centre with children too and that’s what this article is all about. The ideas in this article are things that you can do with the kids in Sheffield when popping into the town centre for a few hours or for a full day – there are enough ideas here to keep little ones occupied for a full day in Sheffield City Centre. As a nice bonus, all the ideas in this article are free too!
Read on for fun and free things to do in Sheffield City Centre with children:
- Weston Park Museum
Weston Park Museum is Sheffield’s largest museum. You’ll find it in a beautiful listed building in Weston Park. It’s completely free to visit and there’s even an upstairs area where you can eat your packed lunch. When the weather is nice, I recommend eating your packed lunch outside in Weston Park. There’s also a cafeteria inside the museum with reasonable prices and a nice gift shop with toys and books for children – usually themed according to the museum’s current exhibitions which is fun.
Among other things, Weston Park Museum features exhibitions about Sheffield, history, art and plenty of nature and science themes too. There are changing exhibitions too, so there’s usually something new to discover every time you visit. The actual park itself, Weston Park, is lovely to stroll through too, and the adjoining park – Crookes Valley Park – has a playground as well. To avoid disappointment, please note that Weston Park Museum is closed on Mondays.
- Sheffield Botanical Gardens
The Sheffield Botanical Gardens are beautiful botanical gardens in Sheffield, situated off Ecclesall Road, and not far from Weston Park Museum if you fancy a little stroll. The gardens have 5,000 species of plants in 19 acres of land. It’s a lovely place for walking around and exploring in. Of course, there are plenty of picnic spots where you can sit down for a rest, a play or a bit of lunch while enjoying the peaceful and gorgeous surroundings.
- Sheffield Winter Garden
Sheffield Winter Garden is a wonderful place that let’s you enjoy greenery all year round. It’s one of the largest temperate glasshouses in the UK and it has lots of interesting plants and flowers as well as art. There is a café as well as plenty of benches to use if you want to sit down. We often stop here to eat a snack or a lunch sandwich and then go for a wander around the 2,500+ plants from around the world. The kids love it and so do I! It’s the ideal place to visit for enjoying nature even when it’s cold or raining since you’re fully sheltered inside.
Just outside Sheffield Winter Garden you’ll find the Peace Gardens and you can reach the Millennium Galleries from inside too. More about those attractions below.
- The Peace Gardens
The Peace Gardens are an inner city square just outside the Winter Gardens in Sheffield. The area is next to Sheffield Town Hall and on the other side is the top of the Moor. It’s a beautiful space where you can sit and admire the surrounding architecture or enjoy a packed lunch. There are also plenty of coffee shops and restaurants there, with outdoor seating in the Peace Gardens.
Sometimes there are seasonal events on in the Peace Gardens such as markets and ice skating in the winter and music concerts in the summer. On hot days, children can enjoy playing in the floor-level fountains (that you can see above to the right) to cool down.
- Millennium Gallery
The Millennium Gallery is an art gallery and museum in the centre of Sheffield. If you have travelled to Sheffield by train, you’ll spot it on the way from the train station. The museum is attached to the Winter Gardens. In the museum, you’ll find Sheffield’s Metalwork Collection which is an important part of the city’s history. You’ll also find other interesting exhibitions with regularly changing displays. There’s a café and toilets too which is always handy! The gift shop is brilliant too with lots of Sheffield themed items. Just like Weston Park Museum, the Millennium Gallery is closed on Mondays.
- Sheffield Children’s Library
Sheffield Children’s Library is a great place for children to play and to read books of course. The library is based at the bottom of Sheffield Central Library with a pram/pushchair accessible entrance available on the side of the building (below the purple sign that you can see in the above photo). There are toilets available too.
- Pound’s Park Playground
For some outdoorsy fun, visit Pounds Park which is a brand new playground in Sheffield City Centre. It’s a lovely playground with equipment made from wood and metal instead of the usual plastic that you find in most playgrounds. It features a climbing boulder (like a mini version of the rock-faces you can find in the Peak District), two large pyramid towers, stainless steel slides, climbing structures, playhouses, a seesaw, plenty of sand to play with, musical play areas, wheelchair-accessible play equipment and more. It’s a great playground to have right in the heart of the city.
Free Entertainment for Kids in Sheffield
As you can see, there are plenty of free things to do in Sheffield City Centre with children. There’s plenty more to discover too. Another thing that we love to do is to visit the bookshop Waterstones in the city centre. The shop has a great children’s section with lots of children’s books and toys and there are often free activities such as colouring sheets and pens available for little ones to enjoy too. Sheffield Cathedral is another place that’s free to visit as well.