Discover New, Inexpensive & Low Cost Activities in Harrogate

The Harrogate pump rooms museum in the sunshine

Welcome to the third blog in my ‘Harrogate on a Budget’ series. There are plenty of websites to visit for suggestions of what to do in Harrogate when money is no object (there are even some on here!) but not so many places that point you in the right direction if you are wanting to take it easy on your bank account. So below are my top low cost activities in Harrogate.

My Harrogate on a Budget Series:

  1. How to visit Harrogate on a Budget
  2. 30+ Totally Free Activities in Harrogate
  3. Low Cost Activities in Harrogate (you are here!)

You don’t always have to have kids in tow to enjoy the activities listed below but as a Mum I know how hard it can be to keep them entertained without spending a fortune. After all, the summer holidays are 6-7 weeks long and we can’t all go splashing the cash for 49 days straight! I like to mix it up a bit with some big days out but lots of little low cost activities in Harrogate sprinkled in.

Most of this list will cost you around £10 to £20 per group of 4. I’m purposely not calling it per family because Izzy and I are a family of 2, some of you out there are way more than a ‘typical’ family of 4 and the luckiest of you might be just two adults wanting to make the most of what Harrogate has to offer.

So just for clarity and any Karen’s out there; if there are two of you it may work out even cheaper, if there’s 6 it may be more expensive!!

Let’s start at one of the go to places for cheap kids activities in Harrogate:

The Valley Gardens

The Valley gardens are well known for being a go-to, free day out in Harrogate but did you know that it’s a hub for low cost activities the kids are sure to love?

  • Pitch & Putt – £5.50 per adult | £3.50 per child
  • Crazy Golf (18 holes) – £3.20 per adult | £2.50 per child
  • Table tennis (30 mins) – £3.20 per adult | £2.50 per child
  • Disc Golf (9 holes) – £3.20 per adult | £2.50 per child
  • Tennis court (1 hour) – £7.50

Combine some of these with a visit to the huge play park, a paddle in the pool and a walk through the pinewoods and you have yourself a cheap day out that you and the kids will enjoy.

Knaresborough Castle

We loved our visit to Knaresborough Castle and I don’t need much persuading to visit as the view from the grounds over the viaduct is my absolute favourite.

Admission to the castle is: £3.80 per adult | £2.20 per child | Family (2 adults and 3 children) £11.10 or you can get an annual family pass for £33.00.

You can also play on the putting and bowling green while you’re there.

Bowling is £4 per adult and £2.60 per child | Putting is £2.90 per adult and £2.30 per child

The Pump Room Museum

Izzy always turns her nose up when I mention ‘museum’ but surprisingly wherever we have gone she always has a great time!

Admission to the museum is: £3.80 per adult | £2.20 per child | Family (2 adults and 3 children) £11.10 or you can get an annual family pass for £33.00.

I loved learning about the history of my hometown and it’s small links to ancient Egypt of all places. She loved the kids area by the Ancient Egyptian display. There are draws which are full of activity sheets and interactive props designed for kids but they are not very well signposted.

Read more about the Pump Room Museum in my blogs – The Best Rainy Day Activities for kids in Harrogate and How to visit Harrogate on a budget.

Rudding Park Outdoor Heated Pool

Not to be confused with the pool at Rudding Park Spa….these are two VERY different experiences!

Now this is the sort of activity I like to book the kids into; I can sit on the side-lines with a book and a coffee, close my eyes and pretend I’m abroad. However, at £5.50 per person, I’d probably book myself a ticket too just in case I changed my mind and wanted to join them.

You need to book online before you go so just make sure to check the weather or you might be sitting reading that book under a brolly because you know the kids won’t care if its raining.

Ilkley Lido

Sticking with the swimming pool theme, Ilkley Lido is HUGE and great if you have water babies. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool as well as tennis courts and nice picnic areas. You can easily spend a whole day at Ilkley Lido. When we went recently they were in there about 4 hours even though it was a cloudy day. (And yes, this isn’t quite in Harrogate but it should take under 30 mins to get there).

Peak Prices – Adults £9.50 | Children £4.90

Off Peak Prices – Adults £5.60 | Children £2.90

There’s a reasonably priced on site café too offering hot and cold food and drinks.

Creative Capers

If you’ve visited the blog before you’ll l know that we love Creative Capers on Tower Street. They offer all sorts of crafting activities that suit all ages. This is great if you have a varied age of kids, there will be something to suit them all. Prices start from as little as £3-£4! Check their website out in the school holidays because there’s always some good crafting clubs on offer.

Harrogate Ghost Tour

Another firm favourite of ours that’s featured in the blogs Romantic Dates in Harrogate and Ideas for Teens & Tweens is the Harrogate Ghost Tour. He also deserves a place on this one too!

Prices for the tour: Adults £8 | Children £5

It’s not too scary so will be suitable for older ones, but you know your kids, best so I’ll let you decide if they will have nightmares about ghosts or not.

Ripon Scenic Cruises

We’ve recently discovered this little gem on the canal in Ripon.
Take an half hour boat ride along the canal with Ripon Scenic Cruises. Their staff are so knowledgeable and tell you all about the canal and its history, plus nature lovers will be in their element here with chances to see dragonflies, fish and ducks. Could you be one of the lucky ones and manage to spot kingfishers or otters which have also been seen here?

Adult fares are £5.50, children are £2.00, under 5s are free.

Brimham Rocks

Places that charge per car sometimes work out at great value, sometimes when there’s only two of us…maybe not. But at Brimham Rocks you only pay for parking – 4 Hours £6.50 | All Day £10.00

Perfect if you want to blow the cobwebs away, exploring these dramatic rock formations in the moors is a day out we always enjoy, especially with a picnic and the sun’s out.

Ripley Castle Gardens

Grab a coffee, take a walk round the lake and spot the deer in Ripley Castle Gardens and Grounds. Tickets are £8 for adults and children are FREE! There is a small playground on the walk around the lake too. Somewhere with animals and somewhere to play is always a hit in our house.

Bolton Abbey

Another venue that charges per car rather than per person. Car park tickets can be bought in advance for £12.50 or £15.00 on the day.

There are so many things to do at Bolton Abbey including the family cycle zone, in summer 2023 there is a welly walk and pop up beach as well as the Abbey itself and the infamous stepping stone IYKYK!

Harrogate Odeon

Ok so I don’t like promoting big plc’s on here, I much prefer local indies but if you are looking for low cost activities in Harrogate…and you have kids…and it’s raining then I swear by the Kids showings at the Odeon. They are only £3.25 per ticket whether your an adult or child and they show the latest films only a few weeks after they would have cost you over £10 each. Films screen Saturday’s, Sunday’s and every weekday in the holidays.

So that’s at least 12 ideas that are cost effective and don’t forget to check out my 30+ totally free activities for even more ideas! Thanks, as always,