Keeping the kids entertained can sometimes seem like an endless task. When another trip to the park doesn’t suffice, it can be tricky to come up with new and fun ways to entertain toddlers, without straying too far from home before nap time!
To give you some inspiration, SoGlos has collated our favourite toddler-friendly days out in Gloucestershire, from visiting farmyard animals to exploring incredible indoor playgrounds, for when you're at a loss for what to do with your little ones.
Toddler-friendly days out at Slimbridge Wetland Centre
Start the day at Slimbridge Wetland Centre by feeding ducks, geese and swans, who’ll happily eat right out of the palm of visitors’ hands!
Explore the watery world of Toad Hall, getting up close to frogs, newts, salamanders and other pond life, before heading to visit the flamingos and Hawaiian geese. Then let off some energy with a splash around at Welly Boot Land and an indoor soft play session! Children under four can visit for free with a paying adult, too.
Toddler-friendly days out at Dean Heritage Centre
Toddle back in time at Dean Heritage Centre, where visitors can discover the forester’s cottage, Victorian school classroom and replica free mine, as well as enjoying a picnic in the beautiful grounds.
Explore the walking trails around the centre to spot the resident wildlife, as well as Gruffalo sculptures nestled in amongst the trees. Under threes go free and there’s even the opportunity to return if it’s too wet to enjoy all the attractions.
Toddler-friendly days out at Cotswold Farm Park
Enjoy a fun-filled day out at Adam Henson’s farm, starting off in the Discovery Barn where children can say hello to chicks, rabbits and smaller residents, before heading to the Animal Barn where they may get the chance to bottle feed some new arrivals.
There's plenty of space to run around, with a mud kitchen to get messy at; flower fields to frolic through in the summer; potato picking and a pumpkin patch in autumn; and illuminated light trails in the run-up to Christmas. Cotswold Farm Park even hosts dedicated Messy Play sessions, where youngsters can splash, squeeze, crunch and squelch in a whole load of mucky materials on selected dates.
Toddler-friendly days out at Warehouse Climbing Centre
Warehouse Climbing Centre in Gloucester allows little ones to reach new heights with its Mini-Mice toddler sessions. The hour-long sessions give toddlers a chance to climb up to 6.5 metres and have a go on the touch-sensitive DigiWall, with lights, sounds and interactive games.
Overseen by qualified climbing instructors, the sessions help kids develop fitness, co-ordination and confidence. There’s also a pushchair parking area and siblings under 18-months-old can come along as spectators for free!
Toddler-friendly days out at Cattle Country Farm Park
A trip to the farmyard with children is always a hit, and at Cattle Country Farm Park in Berkeley, visitors get to meet calves, pigs and even alpacas.
Take a change of clothes, or swimmers in the summer, and let the kids loose in the waterplay area and covered beach. There’s also fantastic outdoor toddler areas where little ones can play on rope bridges, tractors and seesaws, all specifically designed for small children.
Toddler-friendly days out at Westonbirt Arboretum
Providing a colourful backdrop for a day out at any time of the year, Westonbirt is a great place to take toddlers – especially as under fives can visit for free and the incredible STIHL treetop walkway is pushchair friendly.
Wander through the wood and meet the Gruffalo sculptures, build a den out of sticks, cross the troll bridge and crawl through tyre tunnels on the outdoor adventure trail for a thoroughly outdoorsy day out.
Toddler-friendly days out at Dinky Street in Cheltenham
There’s nothing quite like a child’s imagination and they can run wild at Dinky Street’s role play centre in Bishop’s Cleeve.
Kids can be anything from a doctor to policeman, beautician to builder – or all of the above – for an educational and playful day out that’s great fun for children and grown-ups, too.
Toddler-friendly days out at Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean
Start the day by wandering through the forest and spotting the magnificent sculptures, inspired by their surroundings; recharge with a bite to eat at the café before taking the kids to the play area, which is full of exciting activities such as a giant bird’s nest swing!
Toddler-friendly days out at Sudeley Castle
Toddle over to Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, which puts on lots of fun activities for families throughout the year and is surrounded by gorgeous Gloucestershire countryside. Adults can soak up the fascinating history of the castle while children have a fun day exploring the grounds and meeting the resident pheasants.
A day out with the little ones wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the playground, and the one at Sudeley Castle won’t disappoint, with plenty of opportunities for kids to play king of the castle and burn off some of their boundless energy.
Toddler-friendly days out at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
Visit animals from all over the world without leaving the Cotswolds. From zebras and lions to giraffes and camels, toddlers will love meeting animals of all different shapes and sizes at Cotswold Wildlife Park – with 160 acres of parkland to run around in as well.
Take the kids to see penguins, lemurs or lions being fed; pay a visit to the animals in the children’s farmyard; and from April to October, hop on the narrow-gauge railway, which takes passengers on a trip around the park, too. Plus, children under two can visit Cotswold Wildlife Park for free.
Toddler-friendly days out at Leisure at Cheltenham
If the kids are feeling especially energetic, spend a day at Leisure at Cheltenham – with soft play sessions giving little ones the chance to burn off some energy by clambering over obstacles and enjoying an array of sensory activities.
Or head to a Splash and Swim session where they can have a ball in the teaching pool with plenty to play with, ideal for children under six and suitable for non-swimmers.
Toddler-friendly days out at Cotswold Clubhouse
Cotswold Clubhouse provides plenty of fun for kids, as well as helping to stimulate children’s learning and development, with toddler play sessions designed specifically for children aged three and under.
Giving little tykes free rein of the gymnasium, they can crawl, walk, run, jump and roll around on trampolines, foam shapes and balance beams, before coming together for a singalong with bubbles and a soft play session, with toddler play taking place every Monday and Friday mornings.