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Kids' (Under 5) Itinerary

Woman and son reading library book together.

Rain or Shine, Preston delivers a wide range of activities and things to do to entertain kids under five. Enjoy some quality time together and keep their young minds engaged with the city's variety of child-friendly places. 

For more ideas of things to do in Preston see our Visit Preston Blog.

Soft play

Fun and lively, Preston's array of soft play centres are the perfect entertainment choice for kids under five. The city is home to a wide range of soft play centres, catering to all kinds of children's needs, including:

  • The Kinder Hub Cottam - A soft play mini village combining imaginative role play and catering for kids aged 0-7.
  • Mini's Play Centre - A classic soft play area with entertainment from the play centre's mascot "Mini Magee".
  • Giddy Kids - One of the North West's biggest play centres, complete with a baby and toddler zone.
  • Rascals - A classic soft play centre with a toddler go-kart track, trampolines, and game areas.
  • Monkey Magic - A vibrant soft play centre with slides, tunnels, ball pits, and two dedicated toddler play areas.
  • Wacky World - An Inflatable theme park with special jungle themed monster sessions aimed at kids under 5.
  • Jump Maniax - As well as a dedicated inflatable area for under 5s, Jump Maniax also house a soft play area and toys.

All these soft play centres provide a space for grown ups to relax with a cup of tea, a safe environment to play in, and facilities for children's parties.

Energetic activities

There are plenty activities in and around the city centre for those little ones full of juice. Let them burn off some energy at one of these many places offering kid-friendly sessions:

  • Clip 'n Climb - A fun and unique climbing centre offering toddler climbing sessions and a soft play area.
  • Fusion Trampoline Park - An energetic trampoline park with special toddler sessions where they are joined by the park's cheeky monkey mascot.
  • Flip Out Trampoline Park - A large trampoline park offering special "Mini Flippers" sessions for children under 5.

Creative activitiesYoung girl painting a smiley face on a paper plate.

For hands-on kids there are many chances to fire up their creativity. Get stuck into some arts and crafts at one of the following places:

  • Fired 4 U - A fun day out with craft sessions and pottery painting, all mixed with story time and songs.
  • Go Create! - A fantastic art studio where children can unleash their creativity with all kinds of media...it gets messy!

Animals and Wildlife

If you're looking to get up close and personal with all kinds of animals and exotic creatures, there are many opportunities in and around Preston, including: 

  • Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey - A bird of prey sanctuary with over 90 birds of prey and flying displays.
  • Bowland Wild Boar Park - A wildlife park full of a fun variety of animals to hand feed and get close to.
  • Ribby Hall's Wild Discovery - An interactive animal experience with creatures of all kinds.
  • Smithy Farm Shop - An animal park and farm shop where kids can get close to some fascinating animals and play on toy tractors.
  • Samlesbury Hall - This medieval home has animals to meet, seasonal children's entertainers, and a fantastic children's play area; not to mention a wafflery for a sweet treat at the end of the day!

Outdoor playChildren using magnifying glasses to look for bugs on the floor.

There are many fantastic places in Preston where kids can burn off some energy, whilst enjoying some fresh air and discovering nature.

Nature reserves

Preston's choice of nature reserves make a great stomp around for the whole family. Enjoy some quality outdoor time together at one of the following:

  • Brockholes Nature Reserve - A large nature reserve and visitor centre with a variety of fun walks, trails, and activities to enjoy as well as kid-friendly events and workshops.
  • Haslam Park Nature Reserve - This reserve features wildflower meadows, ponds to feed the ducks, and an outdoor play area nearby.
  • Fishwick Local Nature Reserve and Recreation Ground - An ideal reserve for spotting lots of wildlife and exploring habitats. There are also regular events at the reserve where children can spot some critters and learn all about them.
  • Grange Valley Nature Reserve - A reserve sitting by Grange Park, offering lots of space to run wild and lots of nature and wildlife to discover.
  • Hills and Hollows Nature Reserve - Hills and Hollows forms part of a linear park, making it a peaceful area to play and spot wildlife.
  • Boilton Wood - Found near Brockholes Nature Reserve, Boilton Wood makes a great addition for young explorers. Visit in spring to witness the carpet of Bluebells on the woodland floor.
  • Pope Lane Field - Making up a section of the Guild Wheel, Pope Lane Field provides an area to spot insects, birds, and mammals.

Parks and gardens

Preston's many beautiful parks and gardens house nature and play areas to be discovered. Kids have all the space and fresh air they need at the following:

  • Avenham and Miller Parks - Two joined parks with outdoor play areas, large open spaces for games, multiple picturesque walks, the perfect picnic spots, and a lovely cafĂ© with kid's lunches.
  • Moor Park - Moor Park lends itself to a great day out, with an outdoor children's play area, large open greenspace, and many paths to explore.
  • Haslam Park - As well as a nature reserve for spotting wildlife, Haslam Park also includes a children's play area and lots of fantastic greenspace for running around.
  • Ashton Park - Ashton Park boasts large amounts of greenspace and a peace garden for a more relaxed day out. 
  • Grange Park - Grange Park is home to gardens for exploring and a children's play area for burning off more energy.
  • Ribbleton Park - This large park sees lots of greenspace for games and exploring as well as a children's play area.

City trails

For curious minds that like to explore, there is the Preston Spy Mission Treasure Trail, fun and engaging for both little and big brains.

You'll also find regular navigational challenges, suitable for kids under 5, held by Xplorer. These events are a great way to have fun as a family and get their minds racing. For the latest Xplorer events in Preston see our Events Calendar.

Further exploring

Equally good for a stomp is Beacon Fell, where there are lots of sculptures to discover and many adventures to be had. With many different paths and dense woodland, Beacon Fell Country Park is the perfect place to let kids' imaginations run wild.

Indoor activities Children completing colouring and activities inside the Harris library.

If you're looking for some indoor entertainment then look no further. Preston is home to the following:

  • Red Rose Bowl - A classic ten-pin bowling venue with kid's ramps so the whole family can take part and traditional arcade machines.
  • Vue Cinema - Catch the latest in kid's entertainment at a special kid-friendly film screening.
  • Odeon Cinema - Relax and watch a film together at one of many special kid-friendly film screenings by Preston Docks.
  • Ribble Steam Railway and Museum - Enjoy an exciting ride on a steam train and a peek inside the museum.
  • Harris Museum and Art Gallery - Though temporarily closed, the Harris still host kid's activities over special weekends. See our Events Calendar for upcoming Harris events and activities.
  • South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre - The museum hosts many child-friendly events, including workshops and hands-on activities.

Multi-sensory play

Preston's Space Centre provides multi-sensory experiences for children with special needs. Their three multi-sensory rooms and flexible environments can cater for children with a wide range of disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and brain injuries.

The Space Centre helps children and their families, carers, or therapists connect and enjoy the fantastic range of facilities available to them.

For more details visit Facebook - The Space Centre.

Children's events around Preston

To see what kid-friendly events are currently taking place in and around Preston see our Events Calendar.

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