It can be really hard to find ways to keep the kids entertained during the Easter break – especially when activities can be costly. Nottingham has a number of different activities and venues that offer free and exciting things for everyone from toddlers to teenagers this half term.
While it can be increasingly difficult to find free entertainment, there are still some options on offer. Here are some of our favourite free things to do around Nottingham for Easter holidays including libraries, badge-making and more.
Become a scientist
The Science Center at Green’s Mill in Sneinton allows children to discover the magic of science through interactive displays. It tells the story of mathematical genius, George Green, and his experiments with light, electricity and magnetism that led to the invention of MRI scanning machines.
There are several interactive yet educational displays at the centre designed to get children immersed in the world of science. This also includes fun and engaging exhibits on how the weather can power the windmill.
If the Science Centre doesn’t catch your kid’s attention then why not check out the surrounding windmill and community gardens on site. The windmill that was built in 1807, is one of few traditional yet still working ones in the UK. It also has a playground to the front of the centre which features swings and two incredibly tall slides.
The Science Centre can be easily reached from the city centre as it takes just a fifteen-minute walk or a few minutes on the no.43 bus.
Read more: Inexpensive ways to entertain children this half-term
Visit Batman’s house
While it may cost money to enter the Grade one listed Wollaton hall, the grounds are free to walk around. It’s easy to spot large deer – from a distance as it’s not advisable to get too close to the animals – in the surrounding park area. The house grounds also feature the oldest cast-iron-framed glasshouse in Europe.
The beautiful grounds are perfect for a picnic too providing the weather holds up so make sure you pack a blanket to sit on. There is a nearby cafe if you do decide to stop for a treat or forget anything.
Reaching Wollaton House is easy as it is very accessible by bus, tram, or even by car. Parking at the house is £3 for three hours so you have lots of time to explore. There are a variety of different habitats including grassland, wetland and woodland that are home to many different species of birds or animals. The seated areas make it a great spot for bird-watching and recording how many you find on your visit.
Feed the birds
Why not go for a river walk following the Trent which is home to swans, ducks and geese. It’s a great place to stop and feed the birds or have a picnic.
The first walk is the canal trail from the city centre starting outside the courthouse or by the Trent Navigation bar before heading towards Beeston following the river. The trail is level and well-paved so perfect for buggies or wheelchair users although it pays to be aware of any local cyclists that may come whizzing past.
The swans and ducks will also walk up the banks occasionally so you can sit safely out of the way of passers-by on benches while you bird-watch. There is also a swing attached to trees almost halfway between Beeston and the city centre as well as pretty canal boats parked to one side.
Another trail where you can feed the birds is the Trent river walk which starts by the X before following the river bends. It is up to you how far you follow the trail although it can over an hour to walk the whole way.
The grassy banks are perfect for stopping to have a sandwich or two while you watch the birds go by so why not pack a few seeds to feed the birds too?
Support your local library
There is no better time to support our libraries than now. Nottingham is currently fighting to save several local library locations with many under threat of closures.
It can be really fun to browse the books, select a story and pull up a chair to get lost in your favourite fairytale. Some of the libraries around Nottingham are running children’s events for Easter including badge-making at Gedling library.
Mansfield City Library is also holding events with an Easter bunting workshop on Wednesday, April 13 from 11 am until 1 pm and a flipbook animal workshop on Thursday, April 14 from 11 am until 1 pm. There is no need to book and both workshops are free.
Sutton in Ashfield library has also hidden several chicks and eggs throughout the library for children to find to be entered into a prize draw. The chicks and eggs need to be found before Saturday, April 16 to enter.
There are more events taking place but it is worth checking to see what is happening and where. Some libraries may also have different opening hours over the Easter break.
Visit farm animals
Stonebridge City Farm is a great shout for any child who loves animals. While it is free, donations are encouraged to help the farm stay open. There is no need to book and the farm is open from 10 am until 3 pm every day.
The farm has a wide selection of animals including cows, sheep, ponies and bunnies. Although it’s the family of Meerkats that are the biggest fan favourite. Kids can explore the aviary, paddocks and a barn that is home to a 15-year-old tortoise called Kevin.
It’s just about the animals as the farm also has a functional fruit and vegetable garden that features polytunnels, sheds and greenhouses to explore. The produce created by the beds is then sold in the farm shop or used on-site in the cafe. The barn and meerkat enclosures have been closed for two years during Covid and have only just re-opened for visitors.