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Activities for children and families at Gibside

Visitors in the play area at Gibside
Visitors in the play area at Gibside | © National Trust Images/John Millar

From seasonal events, exploring the nature playscape and to being king or queen of Strawberry Castle play area, there are plenty of ways for kids (and big kids) to stay entertained all day at Gibside.

Planning your family visit – in a nutshell

Here's some information about the facilities at Gibside, to make the most of your family day out:

  • Four outdoor play areas.
  • Seasonal family-fun events.
  • Children’s meals available at the cafe, kiosk selling sweet treats and picnic areas.
  • Baby-changing facilities.
  • Gibside is an outdoor property. You’ll find covered areas along pushchair-friendly walking trails.

February half term at Gibside

A National Trust spider has lost their 8 wellies. Go on a welly-teering adventure around Gibside to find them. Splash in puddles and learn about animals and insects along the way. Find out more here.

From Thursday 15 February to Sunday 25 February.

Plant a snowdrop

This February the gardeners are hard at work planting out snowdrops to turn Gibside into winter wonderland. Drop in to have a go at planting your very own snowdrop and learn a bit more about the work we do. Find out more here.

From Tuesday 20 February to Thursday 22 February.

Easter egg hunt at Gibside

Hop, skip and jump your way along the Gibside Easter trail, with games for the whole family to enjoy. The trail will take you on a fun-filled adventure around the sights of Gibside. Get stuck into nature, bring out your competitive side and collect a chocolate treat at the end. Find out more here.

From Saturday 23 March to Tuesday 2 April.

Spring nature trail

This Easter holidays let us take you on a sensory journey around Gibside, learning about the nature on your doorstep along the way. Find out more here.

From Wednesday 3 April to Sunday 14 April.

Visitors in the adventure play area at Gibside
Visitors in the adventure play area at Gibside | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Every way to play at Gibside

Play at Gibside is intergenerational - the entire family can have fun on an outdoor adventure. Activities at Gibside are spread across a family-friendly walk called the Explorer Trail. Discover adventure play areas, green open space and a 600-acre woodland. The trail covers 2.2 miles on varying terrain, with toilet and eating facilities on the route.

Two young children in Strawberry Castle play area
Playing in Strawberry Castle play area | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Strawberry Castle adventure play area

Zoom along the zip-wire, pump the Archimedes screw and conquer the fortress climbing frame. Kids will spend hours getting ‘happy-tired’ as they fly through the air on bucket swings and Tarzan swings.

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Into the West Wood

Fun starts in the forest, find activities for every age:

Birthdays at Gibside

Celebrate your child's birthday with a party hosted by B Outdoors. Packed full of discovery and adventure, Gibside is the perfect venue for a nature filled day.

A guided expert will teach the children exciting new skills, to make their special day a little different. Try archery, bush craft, axe throwing, orienteering and more. Contact Andy at for more information.


Stomping Grounds kindergarten, a fully outdoor play-based learning environment for children aged 2-7 years. Phone 07736 990 489 or email to find out more.

Visitors in the stable yard at Gibside

Discover more at Gibside

Find out when Gibside is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Discovering mini beasts

Educational visits to Gibside 

Gibside is the perfect place to bring a group of young people from schools, universities, Brownies and Scouts. Spark their creativity, build confidence, develop problem solving skills and enjoy nature.

Three adults and two children in raincoats walk through the woods.

Explorer family-friendly trail at Gibside 

Enjoy a circular walk in Gibside's 600-acre woodland that's fun for the whole family, getting active in natural play areas and exploring the best of the estate.

DistanceMiles: 2.2 (km: 3.52)
Dog on a walk

Visiting Gibside with your dog 

Gibside is a three pawprint rated place. There are 15 miles of paths for you and your dog to explore, lots of facilities and they’re even welcome inside the coffee shop.