Toddler Friendly Places in Loughborough

4 Nov 2019

As a parent, you will often find yourself wondering what on earth to do with your children to keep them entertained, especially during half term! I've spent countless hours scouring the Internet looking for things I could do with the girls, especially free or low-cost activities. Here are some of our favourite places to explore in and around Loughborough, Leicestershire.

A picture of Great Central Railway, Loughborough

Manor Farm Park & Woodlands, East Leake |
Always our first choice when it comes to a day out, I've shared the love for Manor Farm before and since then, they've had some big renovations take place, with more on the way. It's a fantastic day out for all the family, and we often arrange playdates with friends there. There's a huge array of animals for little ones to see, as well as opportunities to hold some animals and donkey rides, too. There are numerous play areas both indoors and outdoors and countless activities that children of all ages love getting stuck into. When the weather is good, there are plenty of outdoor picnic areas, as well as hot and cold food available on site in the barn cafe and new Antlers restaurant.

There are plenty of events on throughout the year, with half-term breaks always having something special planned, as well as Toddler Tuesdays during term time and special Christmas events. There's also an on-site Forest School, a snazzy new gift shop and 25 acres of land to explore.
Have you read: Manor Farm East Leake Review

Great Central Railway, Loughborough |
With a train mad toddler, I always say we are incredibly lucky to have the Great Central Railway. We have had some fabulous days out there and it has been our go-to for Willow's birthday days out for the past few years. Trains run throughout the week and weekends, the UK's only double-track main-line heritage railway, with both steam and diesel trains. There are several station stops you can get off at on the railway line, with cafes and museums available at each stop, it makes for a really lovely day out. They also have some fun events throughout the year, which something enticing for all ages.

A picture of Queen's Park Museum, Loughborough

Queens Park & Museum, Loughborough |
Loughborough has a wonderful public park in its centre which can be a perfect way to spend a day when the weather is good, with space for games, picnics and lots of exploring. On the park grounds, you can find a huge playground for all ages, an outdoor aviary, the memorial Carillion, and the Queen's Park Museum and cafe. We love popping to the museum, which has it's very own dinosaur, tons for little ones to explore, a fun playroom full of sensory activities and lots of interactive displays throughout the museum. There's also a on-site cafe, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and a little gift shop. Even better, the Loughborough Library is across the road with a lovely children's room, and the other side of the park leads to the Loughborough Leisure Centre, which has a soft play centre!

Bradgate Park Trust, Newtown Linford |
Bradgate Park can be a really magical place to visit, especially when the weather is good, as there are lots of beautiful wild deer roaming free which is just lovely for little ones to see up close. There are tons to explore, too, with numerous walking trails, a museum, on-site cafes and gift shops, acres of land to have adventures in and lovely little picnic spots. There's also a lovely bustling stream, which visitors seem to love dipping their toes in and net-fishing in with little ones. If that wasn't enough, there's also a Forest School run on-site!
Have you read: Summer Days at Bradgate Park

Tropical Birdland, Desford |
Tropical Birdland is a lovely day out for all ages, and great for anyone with a love for birds, especially as you have the chance to get really up close and personal with them. Covering 6.5 acres of land, it is a sanctuary for parrots and exotic birds, housing over 250 birds. There are enclosures to explore and an outdoor area for you to get really close to some of the exotic birds on site. There's also an on-site cafe, gift shop and super fun outdoor playground.
Have you read: Tropical Birdland Leicestershire Review

If you're local to Loughborough and know of any hidden gems I haven't included that you think might be worth a visit, please do let me know. We love exploring new places!