Things to do with the family
How do you keep the whole family entertained? It can be time consuming thinking of new ideas to fill your leisure time whilst keeping all family members happy.
But there are plenty of places to visit as a family in Chesterfield. Whether you have kids with lots of energy to burn or curious minds to feed, you will find something for everyone to explore and experience.
You will find parks and great outdoor spaces where you can relax together and enjoy a picnic. There are sports facilities to keep you active. And entertainment and culture to inspire you and leave you craving more. In fact, you will probably find there are too many ideas for you to try during one weekend – so we hope you will keep coming back for more.
When you’re out and about, please do share your favourite pictures with us on social media using #lovechesterfield so we can spread the word about all of the town’s fantastic family friendly places to visit. And do let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you have a new idea to share.
(Note: Please check ahead with any places you intend to visit for restrictions and opening times.)
Explore the great outdoors as a family
With playgrounds and a miniature railway, Queen’s Park is the perfect place for families to relax on a sunny day. Queen’s Park is also well known for its picturesque cricket ground and its bandstand with brass band concerts in the summer. A great place to learn to ride your bike, there are cycling programmes during the year – from adapted cycling to family friendly routes led by experienced riders.
The view from the famous ‘Crooked Spire’
All families should visit the famous ‘Crooked Spire’ at least once. Why not count your way up all 152 steps to reveal wonderful views over Chesterfield? Tower tours take place regularly. They are run by St Mary and All Saints and attract visitors from around the world – so booking is recommended. There are plenty of reasons to return throughout the year. The Christmas Tree Festival and the annual Well Dressing Festival are popular as well as concerts, recitals and services. And of course there is the gift shop for those Spire souvenirs.
Chesterfield Canal is a peaceful, family friendly space with beautiful countryside and plenty of wildlife to enjoy. You will find an exciting events programme running throughout the year – from the Tapton Lock Festival to the Walking Festival. You can walk, cycle or enjoy a boat trip. Choose from the Madeline, which runs from Hollingwood Hub or the John Varley II from Tapton Lock.
Holmebrook Valley Park
Visit Holmebrook Valley Park for plenty of outdoor space and views over Chesterfield. Enjoy a moment of peace by the lake. Explore the many paths by foot, bike or horse. And encourage the kids to use up their energy at one of the many play areas. You can also enjoy homemade food in the cafe from Tuesday to Sunday.
Next door to Holmebrook Valley Park, Linacre Reservoir is another example of the many family friendly, green spaces in and around Chesterfield. Built between 1855 and 1904, the three reservoirs hold more than 240 million gallons of water. You will feel peaceful in the surrounding beautiful fields and woods.
Kids will love taking on the obstacle courses in the woodland at Hardwick and exploring the house’s beautiful garden. And there is plenty to learn about the history of Hardwick Hall by getting hands on with quizzes, puzzles and dressing up boxes. Hardwick Hall was built in the late 1500s for the Bess of Hardwick and the building is full of architectural and artistic delights from Elizabethan tapestries to Forties furnishings.
Poolsbrook Country Park
Spend the day at Poolsbrook Country Park with 180 acres of space, four miles of cycle trails, horse riding routes and lakes for angling. If you still have energy there are children’s play areas and no visit is complete without an ice cream from the cafe.
In Hasland, you will discover fun family events at Eastwood Park, especially during the school holidays. There are two play areas to enjoy, an outdoor gym, football and cricket pitches, rose garden and wildlife area.
Let Chesterfield entertain you
Cheer on the Spireites
What could be better than supporting your local team on their home ground? Start them early and combine with a visit to Chester’s Den soft play centre. There’s also the opportunity to book a behind the scenes tour.
For rainy play dates
Chester’s Den soft play centre is great for young children. Based in Chesterfield Football Club’s SMH Group Stadium, the popular activity centre holds Toddler Time sessions for under 5s and also offers birthday party packages. If you’re hungry, you can grab a drink or a light meal or snack at The Hub Cafe.
Escape the Crazy Cat Lady
Opened in May 2021, Chesterfield’s Escape Rooms is a fun way to spend time together as a family, solving the puzzles before time runs out! The Crazy Cat Lady room has been designed for everyone six and above. There are also two more games to try for ages eight and up – so something to challenge all curious minds.
It’s behind you!
The Winding Wheel Theatre and the Pomegranate Theatre are two very popular venues next to the Donut car park in Chesterfield town centre. Pantomimes are performed every Easter and Christmas and you will find a variety of fun shows and the latest films taking place throughout the year.
Right up your alley
Challenge the family to bowling at Chesterfield’s 16 pin ten lane bowling alley. It’s a relaxed place to bowl and play pool and video games, before heading into town for a meal or drink. As well as special events like glow bowling, there are lots of special offers to enjoy.
Get active together
Try a new sport
Take a swim in the pool at Queen’s Park Sports Centre or Staveley Healthy Living Centre. Or try out the group fitness activities at both. Plenty to choose – from yoga to body pump. Some of the sessions created especially for kids include dancing, gymnastics and trampolining.
You could join a local club with karate, football, rugby and hockey to name just a few. Take a look at these ideas to get you started.
Get on your bike
If you would like to head out on a cycling adventure with family and friends, there are plenty of routes to try, no matter what your ability. And head over to Monkey Park’s bike workshop for services and repairs, as well as refurbished bikes for sale.
Young people are encouraged to try out golfing and develop their skills at Stanedge Golf Club. The junior group meets regular to compete and take part in coaching. The site can also cater for birthday parties, anniversaries and other special occasions. There is delicious food and drinks on site, plenty of time for socialising. And of course a fun go at the game of golf that might leave you craving more.
Eat, shop and experience
Enjoy town centre events
Events are popular across the town centre – from films and sport on the big screen at Vicar Lane Shopping Centre to family friendly exhibitions at West Studios. Chesterfield Market features many special events throughout the year. There is the Artisan Market and the Children’s Market, as well as being open every Monday, Friday and Saturday for general shopping where you can pick up a bargain.
Shop for cheese, gifts and more
Let the kids choose from more than 130 different cheeses from around the world at Chesterfield’s specialty cheese shop, The Cheese Factor. Based in Chesterfield Market Hall, it is in the heart of the bustling town centre. Try Shop Indie at Vicar Lane for colour and wash pillow cases, make your own animal puppets and more. Store your shopping in a box while you become a detective at Chesterfield Escape Rooms and try to make it out within the hour. And after all that, you will be ready for a bite to eat!
Break up a busy family day with lunch at one of Chesterfield’s many cafes, restaurants and pubs. From local food and drink at Chesterfield Market Hall Cafe to family friendly menus at the Tickled Trout and Brampton Manor, and from Spanish to Italian cuisine, there is something to suit all tastes.
Family fun on the farm
Explore Matlock Farm Park
Get out in the fresh air at Matlock Farm Park and meet lots of friendly animals from sheep to meerkats. The farm park is open everyday with toddler sessions during term time. And there is plenty to fill your day including animal handling, pony and horse riding, indoor and outdoor play and indoor and outdoor dining. Do check out Matlock Farm Park’s range of events. The annual Peak District Highland Games brings together some of the country’s strongest men to compete. And offers can be found here.
One of Britain’s best loved historic houses and estates, Chatsworth offers something for everyone. Discover fascinating stories in the house (home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire). Explore 105 acres of beautiful gardens. Or have some fun in the Farmyard and Adventure Playground. There’s always something new to see and do. And as well visiting their regular attractions, you can also enjoy a variety of exciting events.
For young artists
If your little ones love to make things, be sure to check out the arts and crafts space at StraightCurves on Saltergate in Chesterfield. There are term time activities for toddlers, as well as classes after school, at the weekends and during school holidays. Of course there are also plenty of classes for the adults to enjoy either with friends or as a family too.
And look out for family events and children’s craft activities organised by the Friends of Dronfield Hall Barn – perfect to combine with a visit to the beautiful gardens as well as a coffee and cake in the cafe.
Feed curious minds
Full steam ahead
Barrow Hill in Chesterfield is home to Britain’s last working Roundhouse. Run by Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society, this group of dedicated rail enthusiasts rescued the place from dereliction in 1991. Today, Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre houses one of the largest collections of diesel, electric and, of course, steam locomotives in the country. You can go along to several open days during the year with train rides and turntable demonstrations. And they host special events throughout the year.
Discover the story of Chesterfield
Please note: Chesterfield Museum will temporarily be shut from Tuesday 1st March in preparation for a multi-million-pound renovation project that will create an enhanced and improved customer experience.
Chesterfield Museum brings the town’s history to life with interactive exhibitions, discovery spots and behind the scenes tours. Be wowed by the large medieval builder’s wheel that was used to construct the iconic Crooked Spire. And hear from Chesterfield’s most famous Victorian resident, George Stephenson. He moved here in 1837 when he began work on the North Midland railway line. As well as permanent and temporary displays, there are plenty of events for all the family. Try arts and crafts and storytimes or traditional games and lego.
For further information about things to do with the family in Chesterfield contact: