10 affordable family friendly attractions in Gloucestershire

Entertain the kids without spending a fortune, with SoGlos’s selection of 10 affordable family-friendly attractions in Gloucestershire.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
Kids running through the forest
Keep the kids busy for less with this handy hot list of affordable Gloucestershire attractions.
In partnership with Dean Heritage Centre  |  deanheritagecentre.com
Dean Heritage Centre

Celebrating the rich culture and unique history of the Forest of Dean, Dean Heritage Centre promises affordable yet fascinating days out for the whole family, with a host of interactive indoor and outdoor exhibitions to explore. As well as hosting regular arts and crafts demonstrations and seasonal events throughout the year, the attraction also offers a rainy day guarantee – giving families the chance to return for free if rain prevents them from enjoying the whole site.

Savvy parents can keep the kids entertained without splashing the cash, thanks to SoGlos’s handy hot list of 10 affordable family-friendly attractions in Gloucestershire.

With everything from VR experiences to enchanting outdoor activities, there’s plenty of inspiration to keep the whole family happy – with entry for little ones costing no more than £10.

1. Go back in time at Dean Heritage Centre

Full of family activities for all weathers, Dean Heritage Centre promises an educational day out for little ones – costing just £5.40 for children and £7.20 for adults to visit.

Kids will love stepping inside the Victorian classroom and Forester’s Cottage, discovering what life was like for the region’s coalminers at the replica Free Mine and wandering through the woods in search of the Gruffalo – with Gruffalo Trail only tickets costing £3. Plus, if the skies are grey, head inside to uncover the Forest of Dean’s fascinating history through the museum’s five galleries.

2. Get lost in the great outdoors at Painswick Rococo Garden

The glorious Painswick Rococo Garden is bursting with things to see and do, including a magical maze and woodland play area to explore, with entry priced at just £4.60 for children and £9.60 for adults. Dogs on leads are welcome, too.

Mini explorers can muse over tree carvings and magical follies as they soak up the enchanting grounds, with just some of the Rococo Garden’s spectacular seasonal highlights including snowdrops in the winter and beautiful bluebells in the spring.

3. Run wild at Batsford Arboretum

With a play area, children’s trail and a whopping 56 acres to cover, little legs can burn off some energy during a trip to the beautiful Batsford Arboretum near Moreton-in-Marsh – with entry costing £3.50 for children and £8.95 for adults.

Open all year-round, the Cotswold attraction is a picturesque place to get some sun in the summer months, soak up the fireworks of autumn colours, and pull on wellies and coats for a winter walk, too.

4. Catch a family flick at Sherborne Cinema

Screening all the latest films, including plenty of family-friendly releases, in a unique art-deco setting, Sherborne Cinema in Gloucester invites children to enjoy a movie for as little as £5 – with no adverts or trailers to sit through either!

What’s more, with popcorn and hot drinks starting from £1, the independent cinema is the perfect destination to catch a feel-good flick for less.

5. Ride a VR roller coaster at VRXPerience

Blow the kids’ minds with an immersive VR adventure at Gloucester’s very own virtual reality arcade, VRXPerience. While the attraction’s VR escape rooms and gaming experiences are a little pricier, visitors can take a ride on a VR roller coaster for just £5.

From extreme theme park rides to encounters with undersea creatures and mythical dragons, the motion simulation pods offer a fantastically surreal experience that’s ideal for youngsters who are new to VR.

6. Explore the forest at Puzzlewood

Equally enchanting for children and grown-ups, Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean offers hours of adventure in the magical woodlands – with entry costing £7 for children and £8.50 for adults.

Explore the mystical landscape with its twisted trees, strange rock formations and secret caves; get lost in the magical willow maze; and pick up a Wizards Guide to go on a treasure hunt around the 14-acre site. Animal lovers can meet Puzzlewood’s resident donkeys, goats and ponies, too.

7. Putt a hole-in-one at Mr Mulligan’s

With two 18-hole adventure courses to choose from, little and big kids can putt their way around Mr Mulligan’s in Cheltenham, which offers an amusing wet weather activity for all ages.

Visitors will have a tee-rific time at this crazy golf attraction, encountering weird and wonderful creatures and hidden treasure as they play. Entry for an 18-hole game costs £7 for children under 12 and £9.50 for adults.

8. Reach new heights at The Warehouse

Transforming a Victorian warehouse in Gloucester into an adrenaline-fuelled climbing centre, The Warehouse boasts a 13-metre-high climbing wall, children’s auto-belay room and an incredible interactive DigiWall – while those a little wary of heights can take on a range of low-level bouldering walls.

Entry for climbing and bouldering costs £10 for children and £11 for adults, with kit hire available at a small cost.

9. Go bouncing at Funky Warehouse

Suitable for over-fives, open bounce sessions at Cheltenham’s Funky Warehouse allow energetic children and grown-ups to hop, skip and jump over 22 trampolines – costing £8 per person at off-peak times and £10 at peak times.

The one-hour session also includes access to soft play, complete with a cargo net and zip line; an indoor football pitch; and the warehouse’s exhilarating ninja warrior course, where obstacles are suspended over a foam pit.

10. See the miniatures at Bourton's Model Village

Little ones will love feeling like giants as they explore Bourton-on-the-Water’s famous Model Village, which is a tiny replica of the Cotswold village and its iconic buildings and attractions.

Entry is £3.50 for children and £4.50 for adults and while the narrow paths aren’t buggy-friendly, the exquisite attention to detail in the country’s only Grade II-listed model village is sure to delight visitors big and small.

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