Hartsholme Country Park
I think Hartsholme must be the most popular park in the city. Tonnes of green grass, a play park, woodland areas, a lake, wildlife, a cafe and a caravan site. We’ve been here 100’s of times, as a couple for lovely summer walks, with friends for picnics and now with Theodore for the park and adventure! There is so much you could do. Depending on the age of your toddler you could perhaps make up your own nature trail, like searching for different animals around the park. If you search for the park on Facebook they regularly have special events on too!
Free admission, but if you want ice cream you’ll need to pay, and if go to Daisy Made without getting ice cream then you’re missing out. A lovely cafe with hot drinks and food, with child-friendly toilets! A decent size mini golf course, a play park, large and small animals to see and feed (cows, sheep, goats, llamas, rabbits, guinea pigs). In the summertime, there seems to be extra activities like bouncy castles and ride along cars! Ice cream flavours change daily but with around 20 flavours there’s always something you’re going to like. My personal favourites are Nikki’s Nectar and Lancaster Bomber. View their whole menu online.
What seems to be one of the only big pieces of space in the city. If you’re just looking for a large area of grass that’s not too busy for your kids to burn some energy then it’s here. There is also a gated playpark that has things for all ages. There is also a lovely secret garden off to one side with a small pond and lots of hidden benches and beautiful flowers, another great place for those who like to explore. On the grounds, there is a large pay and display car park, a Tapas bar, The Charlotte Hotel and a new Stokes cafe. The Lawn is another place that regularly has events on throughout the year. Including the main part of the Christmas Market.
The Collection is a wonderful free place, filled with things to expand your knowledge. From archaeology to art, interaction to play, there’s lots to do and touch. Nothing like a ‘do not touch’ museum, this place is made for exploring the mind through all the senses, just perfect for all aged children. Theodore prefers just looking at touching at the moment. But with lots of activities to do and things to read there is definitely something for everyone. They also have two extra exhibits which change round and have new things on every couple of months. Lately, The Moon has been in Lincoln, an absolutely breathtaking piece. There is usually some art and/or photography on display too. A tasty Stokes cafe is also currently there so you are guaranteed some decent coffee and lunch. There is also a small free children’s activity centre. With lots of toys, crafts and dressing up. Absolutely perfect for the younger ones to let off a bit of steam.
Situated right next to the Cathedral and The Lawn the Castle now has free admission to the grounds. You will need to buy a ticket if you want to walk the walls or go into the dungeons, but you can do all that online! It’s free to explore the grass area and look inside the gift shop. Again another place that has events on both for kids and adults throughout the year, so definitely take the chance to look through what they’ve got on. Lately, they’ve had a lot of Lego events on!
Another great piece of open space in the centre of the city. The Arboretum has masses of green space, a large park to play on, a maze to complete, fountains to see, hills to roll down and ducks to feed. Absolutely perfect for a picnic and definitely a hit for some lovely family photos in the brightly coloured flowers. Again another one great for all ages, with lots to explore and loads of space to run all that energy off.
Waterside Soft Play
Unfortunately what seems to be the only ‘kid friendly’ thing to do right in the centre of town. Situated in the Waterside is a very small soft play ‘boat’. We usually take Theodore here before we do some shopping so he can burn off some energy. Although it’s not brilliant, it’s something. There are no staff manning this so you need to stay with your child, I have seen the Waterside security guards keep their eyes on it and move older children on. It’s very small so I would say probably best for under 5’s. You’ll find it just outside Newlook and Superdrug on the lowest level.
Children’s Centres – Lincoln North
We have been attending classes at Lincoln North since Theodore was 7 weeks old. Me and Brad even went to antenatal classes there. It’s absolutely been our home away from home. The staff are so lovely, they remember each and every single child. You can search for any childrens centre close to you and will find a time table of different classes for different ages suitable to you. The age restriction seems to be age 5, and then siblings of age 8 in school holidays. Janet and Nicola who run the classes at North are brilliant at teaching children and parents new ways of play. Though all the senses! It’s not only a wonderful place for the kids/toddlers/babies but for the mums and dads too. It gives you chance to have some adult conversation and speak to those in the same boat as you. This place honestly kept me sain the first year.
Rubbing your feet though the soft sand or paddling them in the sea are all free things. Obviously it is going to cost you if you want to do any activities or buy some donuts. But if you’re smart enough you wont have to spend a penny. Pack up your picnic boxes and some delicious snacks, and have yourself lunch on the sand. Bring buckets and spades from home so you don’t have to buy some whilst you’re out. Day’s out don’t need to be as expensive as they seem. Search online for free activities for kids to take with you, you’ll be suprised! Skegness has loads to offer.
Bransby Home for Horses
Bransby runs on donations, but there is no pressure to make a donation when you visit. With lots of horses, ponys and donkeys too see it’s a great day out. Equipt with outside play area and a cafe that serves warm and cold food you’ll be more than happy to spend the day here. Make sure you check out online for any events that are on as theyre are chances to feed the horses, and even have face paint done! Afterwards there is a lovely gift shop with high quality pieces in. On site there is also a tack shop and a little charity shop. There is always so much on here and loads of ways you can get involved and help out.
Have you visited any of these places in Lincoln? Which are you favourites. Let me know in the comments of any other places that you love to visit with your family. We would love to go do some new things once in a while, and as Theodore gets older and older I can’t wait for the exciting things we can all go do together.