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Activities for children and families at Gibside

Children running in front of giant letters that read 'Gibside'.
Enjoying summer at Gibside | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

From seasonal events, exploring the nature playscape, 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 events.
  • Children’s meals available to purchase or outdoor picnic areas for packed lunches.
  • Baby-changing facilities.
  • Gibside is an outdoor property. You’ll find covered areas along pushchair-friendly walking trails.
  • Visit before 11am or after 2pm for a quieter experience.

Summer of Play

Visit Gibside this summer holidays to explore new ways to play. Green Close Field becomes a Play Labyrinth, with grassy paths leading to different play zones, including summer sports, Georgian garden games, and musical activities. Little legs won’t need to travel far to encounter a world of sensory play around the Walled Garden. Even grown-ups can put on a show in the puppet theatre. Summer of Play is sponsored by Starling Bank and supported by Sport England.

Saturday 20 July to Tuesday 3 September.

Family crafts

Drop by to try out a variety of nature themed crafts this summer holidays.

Every Tuesday and Thursday between Saturday 20 July and Tuesday 3 September.

Summer story time

Join us for summer story time to hear about the adventures of curious wildlife in nature.

Every Wednesday between Saturday 20 July and Tuesday 3 September.

Outdoor games with Smile Through Sport

There's fun for everyone at Gibside this summer holidays. Join in with regular games and activities sessions intended for children and young people aged 6-19 years with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Free, booking required.

Monday 22 July, Monday 29 July , Monday 5 August, Monday 12 August, Monday 19 August, Wednesday 28 August.

Keep an eye on our events page for even more family fun this summer.

Boy waving around ribbons on the grass.
Families enjoying 'Summer of Play' activities at Gibside. | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

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 children in green frog dungarees on play equipment.
Children enjoying play equipment at Strawberry Castle play area. | © National Trust Images/James Beck

Strawberry Castle adventure play area

Hide in the mushroom playhouse, crawl through the otter holt or make your own music on the giant guiros. There's so many ways to play at Stawberry Castle.

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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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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.

Woman and young boy running across grassy slope while holding hands

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)
Young girl smiling holding a small fluffy dog.

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.