Children in Chester
Our own children have discovered lots of things to see and do in and around
Chester. Here are some of their favourites.
- Grosvenor Park has a
playground (currently being rebuilt and due to re-open in Spring 2014) and
runs most weekends and holidays.
- The riverside Groves - you can feed the ducks and swans
on the river Dee, buy delicious Cheshire ice cream and take a boat trip.
- The city walls provide
a unique circular walkway, mostly separated from traffic. There are plenty
of access points into the city centre.
Please note that some sections have steps and are not suitable for prams,
although we have been around with a lightweight buggy and carried it up
and down the steps without too much difficulty. If you come down the steps
on the North West corner of the walls you will find the pleasant
Water Tower Gardens with a small playground.
- The Chester rows - unique two tier shops and cafes
in historic half timbered buildings. Although most of the access to
the rows is by steps there are some wheelchair / buggy access points, for
example, through the Grosvenor Shopping Centre. Older children might appreciate
the model shop in Bridge Street Row.
- Bus tours - the
hop on hop off open top bus tour can help to stop small legs from getting
too tired. You can also
get a combined ticket for the bus and riverboat cruise.
- Chester Zoo - definitely
worth a visit (although it’s
not cheap at around £45
to £60 for a family of 4, so it’s worth checking the
Visitor Centre for leaflets with discounts). You can drive there
or walk in to
the city centre and take a bus from the bus station located next
to the Town hall.
Allow a full day for a trip to the zoo.
- The Grosvenor Museum runs regular hands-on activities for children during
the school holidays. These can be very popular and some may need booking
in advance. Contact the museum for details on 01244 402033.
- Favourite restaurants and cafes include La
Fattoria (our children
like watching the pizza chef spinning the dough). Brown
Sugar cafe in Handbridge does yummy milk shakes and cakes. See
out' page for more details.
- Geocaching is a great way to encourage older children
to get out and about and there are several caches hidden around the city.
can be anything
from a tiny magnetic box not much bigger than a screw head to the size of
a lunch box. The bigger caches contain items to swap and they all have some
sort of log book where you can record your visit. The geocaching
web site has a
list of nearby caches with co-ordinates that you can use with a GPS as well
as clues and geocaching etiquette. There is also an app that will work with
a smart phone.
Some options for wet days:
Younger children can burn off some excess energy at soft play centres - there
are several in Chester:
- 'Fun4All' soft
play centre was recommended by one of our guests. It is at Unit
8 Hartford Way, Sealand Industrial Estate, (CH1 4NT) not far from the large
tel: 01244 379458.
Town soft play and, in the evenings, laser tag centre, is in
the north of the city. Address - unit 5 Grange Park, Grange Road, CH2
2AN, tel, 01244 377229.
- Runaround soft
play is on the city outskirts on the road to Broughton. Address The
Warehouse, Chester Road CH4 0DH, tel: 01244 661754.
We haven't any
experience of these but they get good reviews
on Netmums and Eat
Older children might enjoy the laser tag sessions at Funky Town (see above).
Sadly Chester is without a cinema at the moment, the nearest is at Cheshire
Oaks which is about 8 miles away by car. You can also find Tenpin
bowling there too.
Don't rule out the zoo on wet days - there are lots of shelters and indoor
animal houses, just take waterproofs for the bits in between.
- North Wales coastline is easily accessible
by car and train. There are sandy and pebble beaches all along the
drive from Chester. Prestatyn and Rhyl are commercial seaside towns;
Llandudno is a classic Victorian
with pier. The beaches do tend to shrink dramatically at high
tide so it may be worth checking the tide times with the visitor
centre before you
day trip. There are also several ruined castles to explore in this
- Llangollen has a steam railway and horse drawn
canal boat trips. Not to mention the option of a breath taking drive
over a (small) mountain pass to get there!
- Thurstaston and West Kirby on the
Wirral, about 30 minutes by car. There are long sandy beaches, great
flying, with an island at West Kirby that you can
walk out to at low
tide. There are also various water sports available here.
- The Blue Planet Aquarium is
a great day out - make sure that you catch one of the shows with
scuba divers swimming with the sharks.
- The Crocky Trail in
Waverton is a an outdoor adventure park where you can slide, climb
and scramble around the trail and possibly
get quite muddy in the process. Best suited to school age children
(although adults seem to enjoy it too). Telephone 01244 336161 for
More about Chester for children
Check out the Tourist Information
Centre in Town Hall Square (not far
from the cathedral) for information on other child friendly attractions
and events. Telephone 0845 647 7868.