Holidaying with kids and finding things to keep them entertained can be challenging. Here are 14 things to do in Whitby with kids to help you out.
Whitby is one of our favourite places to visit as a family. There are many fantastic things to do there with children of all ages. Here are 14 things to do in Whitby with kids to give you some ideas for your next trip.
1. Explore Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey is a captivating and magical place for adults to visit, so imagine how exciting it is for kids! We love visiting Whitby Abbey, especially when they have children’s themed events.
This is the perfect place if you’re looking for great views of Whitby Harbour and the town. They offer year-round events and an interactive Visitor Centre featuring an audiovisual exhibition. Keep an eye out for the fascinating finds from Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods. There is also a cosy coffee shop near the entrance to the Abbey. Book tickets to Whitby Abbey online here.
2. Play on the beach
Like many children, my little boy loves playing in the sand, collecting shells and paddling in the sea. He never tires of it, even though we live minutes away from the beach. It proves that fun days out don’t have to break the bank.
Take a few towels, a bucket and a spade and let children run and play freely. Whitby West Cliff Beach, with the beach huts, is excellent for children as it is sandy and has plenty of space to play. Find our guide to Whitby Beaches here.
3. Try some crabbing
One of our favourite things to do with little ones in Whitby is crabbing, which reminds us of our childhood outings to the seaside. Crabbing is a simple but fun activity where you use a single fishing line with a small weight to sink the bait.
Next to the swing bridge, you will spot a designated harbour fishing area where you can pick your spot and have hours of fun. You can’t eat the harbour crabs, so please put them back carefully. Read our full guide to crabbing in Whitby here.
4. Visit Whitby Museum and play in Pannett Park
Whitby Museum might be small but don’t underestimate this little but mighty museum. It’s fun to explore with children of all ages. Their collections are fascinating. They have all sorts to see, from narwhal horns and fossils to model ships and dinosaur bones.
Whitby Museum is situated in Pannett Park, a beautifully maintained park with stunning views over the town. The whole park offers enormous family appeal, and there are many different areas to explore, including a children’s play area and a Jurassic garden. It’s a peaceful place to picnic and spend quality time together.
5. Or visit one of these child-friendly museums
In addition to the Whitby Museum, other museums in Whitby are suitable for children to visit, including the Captain Cook Memorial Museum and the RNLI Whitby Lifeboat Museum and Shop. Both are great ways to teach children about the history of the area.
6. Try your luck at Whitby Amusements
Every seaside town has amusements, and Whitby is no different. (We secretly love them as much as the kids.) Fun City and Funland Amusements are located along the harbour, and they are a great way to entertain little ones and win a few teddies. There is a fantastic pirate-themed indoor crazy golf course and indoor ten-pin bowling alley. You will find plenty of arcade-type games too. Grab an ice cream afterwards and wander along the pier. Just watch out for seagulls!
7. Try a little fossil hunting
While you are in Whitby, fossil hunting is a must! It’s a great way to excite and tire kids out. Even young toddlers will have fun playing on the beach and collecting treasures. If you’re taking small children, be mindful of which beach you try, as some areas can be rocky and slippy.
The beaches to the North and South of Whitby are full of prehistoric finds. Ammonites, reptile remains, and shells are easy to find while walking. Whitby is also famous for Jet, which is easy to find if you know where to look.
8. Tire out the toddlers at Mini Monsterz
Mini Monsterz is a great play area for kids to participate in different activities and run off some energy. This is an excellent option for those windy, rainy coastal days. Kids can climb up the rock climbing wall or enjoy a game of laser tag. This is always an option when looking for things to do in Whitby with young children, especially if you need to escape colder weather for an hour or two!
9. Visit Flamingo Land
Flamingo Land is just 40 minutes from Whitby and is great to visit if you have children of various ages. It’s a zoo and a theme park, perfect for kids of varying ages.
The Flamingo Land Zoo features multiple birds, mammals, and reptiles. You can get food there or bring your picnic; there are themed days throughout the year to enjoy. The park now offers accommodation if you wish to stay overnight.
10. Explore Falling Foss and stop for a snack at the Tea Garden
Falling Foss is a stunning waterfall not far from Whitby. The children can explore the forest and let their imaginations run wild as they explore the outdoors. There are plenty of streams and becks to play in.
We suggest visiting in Autumn as the colours are so beautiful and the waterfall looks impressive after rainy spells. The Falling Foss Tea Garden is lovely to enjoy tea and a cake.
11. Climb and count the 199 steps
The first known record of the steps dates back to 1340, although some believe they were constructed even earlier. Legend has it that St. Hilda used the steps to test the faith of her followers, making it a crucial part of the Christian worship in St. Mary’s Church.
Despite the name, the exact number of steps is disputed, with some claiming 198 and others saying 200. However, every 10th and last step is now marked with Roman numerals. We always climb the 199 steps in Whitby and try to count them! This is lots of fun with kids. Learn more about the 199 steps here.
12. Take a boat trip!
Spending time on the water along the coast is a great way to have fun and make memories. If you want to explore Whitby from a unique perspective, you might enjoy a 20-minute sea trip with Whitby Coastal Cruises. Children under five can board for free, and you can quickly board at Brewery Steps on the harbourside without booking.
Going on the Black Pearl Pirate Boat trip is a blast for families who enjoy a fun Pirate theme. The pirate crew makes it an exciting adventure from beginning to end. Many photo opportunities are available on board or with Pirates on shore. The trip typically lasts around 20-25 minutes, and everyone can get in character thanks to the abundance of costumes and props provided. Learn more about Whitby boat trips here.
13. Play mini golf
Some of our best memories are beating Grandad at mini golf at the seaside. Mini golf is a great way to get competitive and have fun with all the family. The Arnold Palmer Putting Course is located on Whitby’s West Cliff. This nine-hole course is suitable for individuals of all ages and abilities, and if you’re fortunate enough, you might even win a free game! Learn more about Whitby Mini Golf courses here.
14. For older children, try a Ghost Walk!
Whitby lends itself to spooky tales, and a ghost walk is a great way to explore the town and learn about the ghosts that roam it. For children, the Red Hat Ghost Walk is a great option.
Gill will tell you tales of ghosts, witches, headless horsemen, severed hands and hobgoblins! She has written all the stories in rhyme, and the walk suits all ages and fitness levels. Learn more about Whitby Ghost Walks here.
We hope this article inspired and encouraged you to visit Whitby with your children. Let us know if we missed your favourite place to visit in Whitby with your kids in the comments.