With a week to go, Hull’s flagship festival of culture and the arts is almost here! Freedom Festival attracts visitors to the UK’s city of culture from far and wide, of all different ages. If you’re bringing the family from out of town, you may be wondering if there is anything else in Hull for kids. Noah and I thought we’d share our favourite things to do and find out what else is on.
If you’ve seen our Instagram stories, you might have seen our recent visit to East Park (HU8 8JU). It boasts a large playground, cafe, animal centre, splash boat ride, land train and swan boats on the lake.
Actually Hull has a number of notable parks with activities, including Pickering Park (HU4 7AB), Haltemprice (HU10 6QJ), Pearson (HU5 2TQ) and West (HU3 6HU).
Spot the Humber Bridge
The Humber Bridge is the enormous suspension bridge that can be seen on the approach to Hull from the M62. We love spotting it if we’re in the car or travelling by train direct from London, Leeds or Sheffield. Visit the Humber Bridge country park (HU13 0HB) for nature walks. Nearby Hessle Foreshore (HU13 0HE) has amazing views. Walk along the river looking for interesting rocks and fossils then if you’re feeling particularly active, walk across the bridge itself.
Watch divers at The Deep
One of the best known attractions in Hull for kids, The Deep (HU9 1TU) is an enormous not for profit aquarium that houses approximately 5,000 creatures.
In addition to some out of this world displays, there are daily dives to watch, touch and feel sessions and a soft play area for younger children.
This summer, The Deep has been encouraging children to learn about the role ‘slime’ plays in the ecosystem. Did you know that clown-fish (think Nemo) have a layer of slime around them that protects them from the stinging tentacles of anemones? Find out other fun facts at The Deep’s Slime Time Show and make your own slime until 2nd September 2018.
Pretend to drive Trams
Did you know that Hull is home to an entirely free museums quarter? Consisting of four free museums, you can even take a land train (at £2.50 per person) to and from The Deep if you’d like to combine the two in one day. We always like visiting the Streetlife Museum to see what the old trams were like. Now that Noah is a little older, he also enjoys making discoveries at the Hull and East Riding Museum. On our recent visit he was enthralled by the museum’s life size woolly mammoth and we learned all about mosaics.
Hurry! Catch a free tour of Hull’s trawler museum, the Arctic Corsair, before it’s moved into storage in September. It will be two years before you’ll get the chance again!
There are several other free museums dotted around the city centre including the Hands on History, Hull Maritime Museum and the Ferens Art Gallery.
A relatively new experience for us, Gravity, a trampoline park, is located in St Stephen’s shopping centre (HU2 8LN), next to Hull’s railway station. A great way to get the whole family active, we recommend taking a bottle of water with you, it’s a real test of fitness.
If you love exercise, why not up the amp and try Rock Up! A ’clip and climb’ style rock-climbing centre also in St Stephens.
Walk around the Marina
On sunny days, we love to walk around the marina (HU1 2DQ), looking at all the different boats. Then we head down Humber Street into the historic Fruit Market section where disused warehouses have been transformed into hip bars, restaurants, vintage shops & art galleries. We thoroughly recommend sampling the velvety gelato at Bert’s (just a little further on from Humber Street). From here, it’s possible to walk to The Deep over a footbridge.
Have a splashtastic time
Relatively new, the water feature (77 programmed water jets) in Queen Victoria Square (HU1 3RA) have a popular activity in Hull for kids during this Summer’s heatwave. Bring a towel for this activity as the kids are guaranteed to be soaked.
The attraction is also right by the Maritime Museum and Ferens Art Gallery.
What else to look out for
Princes Quay shopping centre (HU1 2PQ) in the middle of town is currently hosting a Jurassic Maze until 9th September. Each participant gets sweets at the end.
Peppa Pig’s Adventures will be taking place at Hull New Theatre (HU1 3HF) , on the 1st and 2nd September 2018.
On the 1st September, a new retro games centre, Arcade Hub, is set to open in the historic Trinity Market (HU1 2JH). Pay once on entry to play classic games on arcades and consoles. Trinity Market, which was recently refurbished, is also a fantastic place to pick up food on the move, featuring pizza cones, Indian street food, a falafel kiosk and Yorkshire pudding wraps!
Noah has visited William’s Den (HU15 2LS), which features outstanding indoor and outdoor play areas. It is just outside of Hull, near Beverley. There is so much to do there including building dens, sand pit, tunnels, zip lines, mud kitchens and multiple play structures to climb. There is an entrance fee, but we feel that for such high quality facilities it’s totally worth it. A little tip: order pizza for lunch, it’s freshly made and gorgeous!
There are lots of lovely places to eat and drink in Hull. One of our all time favourites is McCoy’s Coffee just next to Princes Quay. Noah felt like a grown up with his mini hot chocolate in a child size take out cup.
As you can see, there are so many things to explore in Hull for kids. You’re gonna need longer than the three days of Freedom Festival in the city!
Freedom Festival is a (mostly free) family friendly event that runs across locations in the city centre from 31st August 2018 – 2nd September 2018. See the event’s website for more details.
If you liked our article about things to do in Hull for kids, please check out our other articles about UK based family travel.