10 of the best family days out near Liverpool

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Liverpool family days out

Wildlife, outer space, boats and large country parks: our pick of the best things to see and do with kids in and around Liverpool

Football clubs and the Beatles are not the only reasons to visit Liverpool and its surrounding countryside. Check out these great things to do with kids in the area...

1. Explore Albert Dock

Liverpool Albert Dock

The Granada News weather map is long gone, but there are still all sorts of things to look at, including a Victorian carousel, the International Slavery Museum, the Mattel Play! area, featuring many favourite kids’ tv characters, The Beatles Story exhibition and boats aplenty.

Liverpool is a city for walking and you can wander around the Albert Dock, have lunch at one of the many restaurants or cafés, eat ice cream on the grass and the kids can entertain themselves watching the boats on the river test.

2. Take a ferry across the Mersey

Liverpool ferry trips across the Mersey

Instead of watching boats on the Mersey, you can take the actual ferry across, while singing the well-known tune as you do it – yes, they do play it! The trick with the Mersey Ferry is not to book a ‘cruise’ but to opt for a commuter ticket, which will save you money, and there will still be plenty of time for you all to enjoy the river and all it has to offer.

You can take the ferry from the Wirral side and enjoy Liverpool (including Albert Dock) when you get there, or you can start in Liverpool and head towards Spaceport.

3. See the universe at Spaceport

Liverpool Spaceport

Going to Spaceport is like taking an inspirational journey through space as you walk through several themed galleries, all featuring a large variety of interactive hands-on exhibits.

The 25-minute film that appears on the domed ceiling at regular times throughout the day is the reason for the trip. The film, about whether there is life anywhere else in the universe, is funny, informative and enjoyable. Call ahead to check show times as you would be missing out if you visited Spaceport without catching it.

4. Drive-through lions at Knowsley Safari park

Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool

The drive-through lion enclosure is usually the real highlight at Knowsley Safari park, but the baboons jumping on your car come a close second.

You can choose to save your car by taking the Baboon Bus or you can opt for the car-friendly route. The fairground rides around the park are a little tired, but the animals more than make up for it.

5. Get outdoors at Delamere Forest

Delamere Forest near Liverpool

Delamere Forest is around 40 minutes from Liverpool, east of Chester, and is a fabulous day out for all the family. It’s a better day out in the sun but don’t let any rain put you off – just dress appropriately and head out.

There are plenty of biking trails but numerous walks too, suitable for all ages. You only need to pay for parking.

6. Go wild at Chester Zoo

Family day out at Chester Zoo, near Liverpool

Chester Zoo is home to more than 15,000 endangered and exotic animals and is based in beautiful, award-winning gardens. Whether the sun is shining or the rain is falling, with 500 different species to meet, it’s a full day out.

Aim to arrive for opening at 10am, pack a picnic on busy days to avoid the queues in the restaurant areas, put on comfy shoes and take your time.

7. Family trails at Tatton Park

Tatton Park, Liverpool

Tatton Park is a really family-friendly National Trust property, less than an hour from Liverpool. With regular installations in the gardens, such as the Roald Dahl trails back in 2016, there is always something to keep the kids going back for more.

A beautiful mansion to explore, a farm and huge playgrounds complete Tatton Park, and you can find good food and coffee in their courtyard restaurant.

8. Clip ’n Climb at Awesome Walls

Liverpool Clip n Climb Awesome Walls

Climbing has gone technicoloured at Awesome Walls with the opening of Liverpool’s Clip ’n Climb. It takes climbing into another dimension, creating an immersive, fun, vibrant and adrenaline-fuelled experience.

Clip ’n Climb uses lights, colour, shapes and texture to create walls of fun and creativity to explore, no matter what your age or ability level. Instructors are on hand to talk climbers big and small through the experience of conquering artificial walls and overhangs.

9. Space and sea at the World Museum

Liverpool World Museum

The World Museum is only a five-minute walk from Liverpool Lime Street station, making it a perfect day out if you don’t have the car. There is a planetarium on the top floor (book tickets when you enter on the ground floor) an aquarium, changing exhibitions (currently a fascinating Egyptian one – and a selection of the mysterious Terracotta Warriors from China) and lots of things that you can touch and feel.

A café and a picnic area mean you can choose how you fuel up at lunchtime and spend hours there – particularly good for rainy days.

10. Liverpool’s heritage at the Maritime Museum

Liverpool Merseyside Maritime Museum

At the Merseyside Maritime Museum you can explore the nautical heritage of Liverpool. Alongside finding out about the city’s central role in the American Civil War and Battle of the Atlantic, tour a historic Liverpool pilot cutter moored in the Dock and take a trip round the adjacent Pier Master’s House.

For families, the museum recommends the Seized! Gallery in the basement, where you can follow a customs officer’s trail.