Famous for football, the Fab Four and the soon-to-be host of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, Liverpool is a vibrant and exciting city well worthy of a weekend break or longer.
Liverpool is a city packed full with lots of things to do. There are art galleries, beautiful architecture and world-class museums and its musical heritage is second to none. The city has been home to more number 1 singles than any other in the UK thanks to The Beatles and other well-known names such as Gerry and The Pacemakers, Echo and The Bunnymen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Cilla Black.
Football is the city’s other great love with Everton Football Club and Liverpool FC both in the Premier League. Football fans can book tours of both Everton Stadium and Liverpool Stadium.
One thing you’ll notice immediately is that the locals are justifiably proud of their city. Scousers – named after Scouse, a fish-and-biscuit stew that was popular with sailors and is linked to the city’s port history – are more than happy to share Liverpool with visitors.
If you are looking to visit Liverpool with kids then there is plenty to keep you busy. Read on for our top picks of things to do for fun family days out.
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Liverpool with kids
Visiting Liverpool with kids is very straightforward. If travelling by train then it’s a quick day trip from London. Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Bradford, Sheffield and Leeds are also within easy reach.
If travelling by train then you arrive right in the middle of Liverpool city centre. The city is very walkable and many of the main sights and family-friendly attractions are within walking distance of the heart of the city.
The Albert Dock
Liverpool is a city that was shaped by the water. Located on the Mersey River, where the river meets the Irish Sea, the first ever commercial dock was built in Liverpool in 1715. The Albert Dock was completed in 1846 and by the late 19th century, 40 per cent of the world’s trade was passing through.
Given the part that it played in the city’s history, it makes sense to start your visit to Liverpool at the world famous Royal Albert Dock. Today the area is home to cafes and restaurants, lots of museums and galleries – including the Tate Liverpool – and myriad local and independent shops. If you do visit Tate Liverpool, make sure to pick up an activity pack for kids before exploring the collections.
Guaranteed fun for the whole family is the Merseyside Maritime Museum while you’re here too. Explore model ships, discover objects salvaged from shipwrecks, learn about the city’s role as the gateway to the new world and more!
The Beatles Story
While you’re at the Albert Dock pay a visit to the award-winning The Beatles Story, the largest permanent exhibition in the world dedicated to the lives and times of Paul, John, Ringo and George. The exhibition is the best place to understand how the group came into being and the impact that their music had around the world.
Filled with memorabilia including instruments, clothing, John Lennon’s spectacles, original handwritten lyrics and more, it’s a fascinating insight into the phenomenon that was the original Fab Four.
Kids will love the Beatles Story’s Discovery Zone, a dedicated space for children to learn about the band using interactive exhibits.
If visiting Liverpool with teens, you might want to try the Magical Mystery Tour Bus. This two-hour tour takes in the band’s childhood homes and schools as well as Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. It ends at the iconic Cavern Club.
Museum of Liverpool
Liverpool was once the second most important city in Britain owing to its enormous port and worldwide trading links but, from the mid-twentieth century onwards, the docks and industry declined, unemployment rose and the city became a byword for urban decline.
Learn all this and more about the history of the City of Liverpool in this fantastic waterfront museum which, when it was built, was the largest purpose-built museum in the UK for the last 100 years (a record it still holds).
The Museum of Liverpool is a great place to spend the day with exhibitions covering some 10,000 years of Merseyside history. Permanent exhibition highlights include the King’s Regiment collection, the social and community history collections and The Beatles collection.
There are also temporary exhibitions; at the time of writing one such exhibition focused on the life and career of the legendary Ken Dodd, one of Liverpool’s iconic comedians.
Don’t miss the Little Liverpool section, a hands-on fantasy world, filed with fun activities, aimed at children aged under 6.
If you’re looking for things to do with younger children in Liverpool then Mattel Play is the answer. This interactive, indoor play centre is based around Thomas the Tank Engine, Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder.
Explore three different zones including the Island of Sodor with Thomas and Rosie, the Welsh village of Pontypandy with Fireman Sam and join Bob and Wend on their own adventures.
Located in the Grand Hall at Albert Dock, this is a great day out for young children. Mattel Play! is aimed at children aged up to 12-years-old.
Another fun day out for younger children is Imagine That! An imaginative and interactive play centre with plenty of fun activities on offer.
The space is divided into four themed areas: Imagination Village, Artbeatz Art Zone, Bright Sparks Science Zone and Slime Factory. Every one is filled with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities from making bath bombs and slime to a science show and snow workshops.
There are role play areas too where children can learn through play as they pretend to be a vet, chef or builder.
Imagine That! Is located 10 minutes from the heart of Liverpool city centre.
Eureka Science + Discovery
The multi-million pound Eureka! Science + Discovery centre opened in November 2022 with a mission to get children interested in science, arts, technology and maths.
The museum encourages learning through play and kids can learn how the body works, all about germs and how they grow, how we can harness energy from wind and tidal power, and much more.
There’s a giant kettle for learning about solar energy, and a 12-foot tall cat to climb inside; giant, interactive displays showing how the brain works; and a towering treehouse that kids can climb up for views over the entire centre.
Aimed at children up to the age of 14, it’s a very fun family attraction.
The museum is located on the Seaforth ferry terminal, a short ferry or train ride from the city centre.
Liverpool World Museum
Discover the world of ancient Egypt, journey into outer space, explore the creepy crawlies in the Bug House and much more at Liverpool’s excellent World Museum. This museum first opened in 1853, making it the oldest museum in Liverpool. Today it’s home to some 1.7 million artefacts and will keep kids – and their parents – entertained for days. The World Museum is free to visit.
The Walker Art Gallery
The excellent Walker Art Gallery houses one of the largest art collections in England outside London.
Housed within the neo-classical building is a large and impressive collection of artwork including European Renaissance paintings, masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt and Turner as well as Impressionist works by Monet and Degas.
There’s plenty of contemporary artwork on display too plus a large sculpture collection and a collection of British and European decorative art.
Temporary exhibitions are also held here.
For little artists there’s the Walker Art Gallery trail, which invites children to learn the stories behind some of the museum’s collections. The Big Art in the Gallery is a dedicated children’s gallery with time slots available between 10:15am – 4:45pm.
The Wheel of Liverpool
Get a bird’s eye view over the Liverpool docks and beyond with a spin around the Wheel of Liverpool. Located on Keel Wharf waterfront, the wheel transports families in capsules 60m above the ground offering panoramic views of Liverpool. Children of all ages are welcome on the big wheel.
Located to the south of the city is Sefton Park, 200 acres of lush gardens that explode in a riot of yellow daffodils every springtime. At the heart of the park is Palm House, a Grade II listed Victorian glass-panelled green house –
When the sun shines it’s the perfect place to spend the day and you’ll find plenty locals arriving armed with picnics. The park is also home to a boating lake, a cafe and a large playground. Keep en eye out for the replica statues of Eros and Peter Pan too.
Mersey River Cruise
For a fun family day out take a ride along the Mersey River and learn how this famous river shaped and moulded the city. Mersey Ferries run 50-minute guided cruises that explain the history of the UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront. It’s a great way to see some of the famous Liverpool landmarks and fun for kids of all ages.
For a great family day out head to this incredible Safari Park that’s home to over 700 world animals. Set over 550 acres, there are a number of ways to explore Knowsley Safari.
The safari drive allows you to see animals in as close to natural conditions as possible. The drive is broken up into different zones, including the lion enclosure where a pride of lions roam freely.
You can also choose to explore on foot, visiting sea lions (including their play areas), meerkats, giraffes and more along the way.
There are regular animal talks and displays, a number of amusement rides for children, and the always-popular Baboon Bus. This non-stop drive takes place in the safari park’s own fleet of buses every day throughout the school holidays. Another popular outing for animal encounters is Chester Zoo.
Ok, so it’s not an iconic Liverpool landmark but if you’re in Liverpool with kids for the weekend or longer then you should take skate-mad children to Rampworx Skatepark. This indoor skatepark covers over 500,000-square-foot and is the largest in the UK.
Rampworx welcomes rollerbladers, skateboarders, BMX riders and scooter riders – experts and novice skaters alike! Coaching sessions are on offer too. Perfect for children aged 5 and up.
Antony Gormley’s Another Place
Something you must do when you visit Liverpool with children is visit Antony Gormley’s Crosby Beach. Positioned seven miles north of the city centre is Crosby Beach, the site of artist Antony Gormley’s wonderful – and slightly eerie – installation. One hundred life-size cast-iron statues, each cast from Gormley’s own body, are buried at different levels in the sand. The statues all face out to sea, and become submerged as the high tide rolls in.