Home » Destinations » Fun things to do in Liverpool for kids: from Penny Lane to the River Mersey

Fun things to do in Liverpool for kids: from Penny Lane to the River Mersey

Grab your ticket to ride as we dive into the ultimate kid-friendly guide to Liverpool!

When we headed overseas on our family gap year, we started our England adventures in London. While we had lots of fun activities planned there, I knew I wasn’t going to travel that far without visiting the birthplace of the Beatles: Liverpool!

After five weeks of exploring London, including many Beatles landmarks in the capital city, our family of six boarded a bus and made our way north to Liverpool. We had a fantastic week in the city, seeing the sights and finding fun activities for the kids. Read on for all the best things to do in Liverpool with kids!

Things to do in Liverpool for kids - Magical Mystery Tour

Short on time? Here’s our top 3 Liverpool activities:

  • Magical Mystery Tour
  • Liverpool FC Stadium Tour
  • Mersey River Cruise

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Imagine a place where you can follow in the footsteps of The Beatles, explore interactive museums, and sail across the iconic River Mersey — all in one day!

Our family embarked on this adventure in October 2021, with our own band of explorers aged 13, 10, 8, and 5. Our home base? A Beatles-themed Airbnb right on Penny Lane, which set the stage for a magical mystery tour of Liverpool’s best family attractions.

Beatles-themed Airbnb
Inside our Beatles-themed Airbnb!

Things to do in Liverpool for kids

Liverpool is a vibrant city with lots of attractions to keep families busy. The city center offers great shopping, restaurants, museums, and boat cruises, and you’ll find plenty of hidden gems in the adjacent neighborhoods.

Here’s a rundown of our top activities that your family won’t want to miss!

1. Magical Mystery Tour

Like I mentioned, we were definitely on a bit of a pilgrimage in Liverpool, to see all of the Beatles sites. And the best way to do that is by hopping aboard the Magical Mystery Tour!

It doesn’t get much more iconic than riding the Magical Mystery Tour bus around Liverpool, visiting places like the barbershop on Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and the Cavern Club.

Family in front of Strawberry Field in Liverpool

While we rode along, the tour guide told us stories about the Beatles’ childhoods and how they met and got their start as a band. And of course we had plenty of singalongs!

The kids loved seeing the places they’d only heard about in songs, and I was thrilled to stand in the spot where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met!

2. The Cavern Club

Your Magical Mystery Tour ticket includes entry to the Cavern Club, the Liverpool spot where the Beatles played their earliest performances. Walking into the club is a bit like entering sacred ground, and once you’re down there, there are lots of memorabilia displays to browse.

Things to do in Liverpool for kids - Cavern Club

The Cavern is once again a popular spot for live music, so you might catch a show while you’re there! We got to enjoy a performer singing “Here Comes the Sun,” which made the experience even better.

Be sure to visit the statue of John Lennon, outside the Cavern Club on Mathew Street!

Kids by John Lennon statue on Mathew Street in Liverpool

Read more about our family travels in England:
📌 Experience the best of London in 5 days
📌 23 things to do in Penzance Cornwall

3. The Beatles Story Museum

Down by the Royal Albert Dock, you can visit The Beatles Story Museum. A great companion activity to the Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles Story takes you on a journey through the Beatles’ history, from their childhoods in Liverpool, to the early days of playing the Cavern, to making hit records at Abbey Road Studios, and beyond.

The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool

The museum takes care to recreate several iconic Beatles locations, like the Cavern Club and Abbey Road, and each room is immersive in a different way. You’ll find yourself exploring a yellow submarine, posing alongside the characters on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and admiring John’s white piano.

The audio tour is a must when you visit The Beatles Story, as each stop throughout the museum gives details about different moments in their history. You’ll also get to see many artifacts, like George Harrison’s first guitar and Ringo Starr’s drumsticks (my mom wanted me to steal these for her, but we settled for a picture)!

Ringo's drumsticks at Beatles Story

The Beatles Story Museum is a particularly great place for kids, because there is a whole Discovery Zone where they can actually play instruments, singalong to Beatles songs, and color pictures.

Things to do in Liverpool for kids - Beatles Story museum
Kids at The Beatles Story Discovery Zone

4. The British Music Experience

If you haven’t gotten your fill of music-themed activities yet, head over to the British Music Experience, nearby on the waterfront. This interactive museum takes you through decades of British music history and celebrates the other bands who were part of the British Invasion in the 60s, as well as those artists who came after them like David Bowie, Queen, and the Spice Girls.

Kids will love learning by doing at the British Music Experience. In The Gibson Brands Interactive Studio, you can try your hand at playing a range of musical instruments, and at the Dance The Decades Experience, you can learn the moves from 12 iconic dance styles from a live teacher!

Check out the British Music Experience website to see what activities and exhibits they have going on right now.

5. Mersey River Cruise

While you’re down by the river, we highly recommend taking a Mersey River Cruise. Like the song says, “So ferry cross the Mersey!”

From the boat, you’ll enjoy stunning views of Liverpool’s waterfront, including the Royal Liver Building and the Albert Docks. The commentary offers great mix of historical insights and fun facts, making it educational and entertaining for the whole family!

It’s a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, with plenty of photo ops and sea breezes to enjoy.

6. Royal Albert Dock

Several of the attractions on this list are located at the Royal Albert Dock, and we also recommend taking time to just wander along the docks, taking in the atmosphere, and exploring the waterfront.

You’ll find plenty of museums to browse, like the Tate Liverpool, cafes to enjoy a bite to eat, and green areas for the kids to run and play. Go for a spin on the Wheel of Liverpool, take a picture with the Beatles Statue, and visit the Titanic Memorial.

Kids with the Beatles statues on the Liverpool waterfront

7. Liverpool Football Club Tour

If you’re not headed to Liverpool for the music history, chances are good you’re a football fan! 

Liverpudlians divide their football loyalty between two local clubs: Liverpool FC and Everton FC. The rivalry between these two clubs is known as the “Merseyside Derby,” and both clubs have a rich history and passionate fan bases.

Liverpool FC plays their home matches at Anfield, while Everton FC plays their home matches at Goodison Park, situated in Walton, Liverpool. Both stadiums hold a significant place in the hearts of their respective clubs and fans. 

Sports fan or not, everyone is sure to enjoy a tour of Anfield, home of Liverpool FC. The museum offers an in-depth look at the club’s history, and you get to walk through the players’ tunnel and step out onto the pitch — an awe-inspiring experience!

8. Sefton Park

Kids will appreciate a break from museums and tours to just run and play, and Liverpool has lots of parks in which to do just that.

Sefton Park, with its acres of beautiful green space and fun playgrounds, is the great place to have a family picnic and a relaxing afternoon. Kids will love the boating lake and exploring the Palm House, a stunning Victorian glasshouse filled with exotic plants.

We also visited nearby Greenbank Park and found a painted rock that had been hidden there to promote a new children’s book. Since we found the rock and posted it on Instagram, we were sent a free copy of the book!

Kids at Greenbank Park in Liverpool

9. World Museum

Head to the Liverpool World Museum for a fun day of exploring exhibits on natural history, world cultures, space exploration, and more! The aquarium and planetarium sections are big hits with kids.

Many of the museums in Liverpool are free entry, which is amazingly helpful for large families! You can, of course, offer a donation to help keep these museum running and free to enjoy.

Here are some of other free venues families can enjoy in Liverpool:

  • Museum of Liverpool
  • International Slavery Museum
  • Maritime Museum
  • Walker Art Gallery
  • Sudley House
  • Lady Lever Art Gallery

Check the National Museums Liverpool website for opening times and more information.

10. Royal Liver Building

Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building stands overlooking the River Mersey as a beacon of the city’s maritime legacy. With its iconic clock towers and the famed Liver Birds, it’s a must-see on any Liverpool itinerary.

You can visit the building and take in 360 degree views of the city. You’ll also enjoy a 4D projection show at the top, showcasing the building’s history. As long as the kids aren’t afraid of heights, this can be a fun activity for the whole family with plenty of photo ops!

11. Knowsley Safari

Animal lovers should definitely plan to spend a day at nearby Knowsley Safari! Just a short drive from Liverpool, in Prescot, Knowsley Safari will bring you face-to-face with lots of exotic creatures!

There are two paths to choose (and you can do both!): the Safari Drive and the Foot Safari.

On the Safari Drive, you’ll drive your own vehicle around a 5-mile loop where you’ll encounter camels, yaks, white rhinos, and ostriches! Then, it’s time to face the baboons. You can choose to drive up close or take the “car-friendly” route and look from a distance!

Then, take a leisurely walk along the Foot Safari, where you can visit tigers, meerkats, giraffes, and other fun animals. Kids will also love the play areas along the walk.

12. Bubbles World of Play

Got little ones? Head to Bubbles World of Play in New Brighton for a day of indoor play! Bubbles is one of the largest soft play areas in the UK, with different zones and themed areas for kids to explore.

Parents will be happy to know that Bubbles has a great cafe, so you can sit and enjoy a bite to eat while the young ones play!

Where to eat in Liverpool with kids

Speaking of eating, you’re sure to be hungry after a day full of fun activities! I recommend booking ahead where you can, so you don’t end up enduring a long wait with hungry kids.

Let’s take a look at some of the best family-friendly restaurants in central Liverpool. Bon appétit! Or as they say in Liverpool, “Scran up!”


I can’t tell you how many times we ate at Nando’s while in the UK, but it was more than a few. We couldn’t get enough of their PERi-PERi chicken, pita sandwiches, and sweet potato fries with perinaise.


Nando’s is super family-friendly, with a kids menu and free refills (a rarity in Europe)! There are two locations in Liverpool — one at Liverpool ONE and the other near St. John’s Gardens.

Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana

What’s more family-friendly than pizza? At Rudy’s Pizza, you’ll enjoy a friendly, upbeat atmosphere and some of the best pizza you’ll ever eat. They make their dough onsite and have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

Stay and eat, or take and bake your own pizza at home. Either way, you’ll enjoy the best pizza north of old Napoli!

What’s Cooking

If you’ve got a craving for some Tex-Mex, head to What’s Cooking bar & grill on Royal Albert Dock. Meat-lovers will be happy here, as their specialties include burgers, ribs, and steak.

Kids can order off the kids menu, and if they’ve been really good all day, you might reward them with one of the “Freak Shakes” for dessert!

Yanni’s Traditional Fish & Chips

Make sure to indulge in fish and chips while in England — you’re truly missing out if you don’t! You’ll find some of the freshest fish right by the waterfront in Liverpool, at Yanni’s. Eat there or get takeaway and enjoy a walk by the water while you savor your salty, fried meal!

Where to stay in Liverpool with kids

Kids by Penny Lane sign

You’ll want a comfortable, clean, and hopefully spacious place to stay while visiting Liverpool with the family. Luckily, the city offers a wide range of hotels and apartments to rent for your stay.

Staying right in the city center will be ideal for easy access to all the attractions, but if you have a rental car, you might want to look further out for a quieter stay. Liverpool also offers Uber, so you can easily get from place to place!

Here are our picks for the best places to stay in Liverpool with kids, for a cozy retreat after a day of exploration!

Print Works Apartments (Budget)

Book a family room at Print Works Apartments for a budget-friendly but high-quality stay in a fantastic location. You’ll be close to all the attractions in Liverpool’s city center and enjoy a clean, comfortable stay!

Staycity Aparthotels (mid-range)

Staycity Aparthotels combine the convenience of hotel services with the comfort of apartment living, and you’ll be in an ideal location right near the Liverpool ONE shopping center. There’s also a Tesco Superstore nearby, so you’ll be able to pick up any essentials for your stay.

With 1-2 bedroom apartments and 2-3 bedroom penthouses equipped with full kitchens and living areas, Staycity Aparthotels is an excellent choice for families!

The Municipal Hotel Liverpool – MGallery (Luxury)

For a truly luxurious stay in Liverpool, book The Municipal Hotel, an iconic historic building located in the heart of the city. Just walking into this architectural beauty is a memorable experience, which will be complemented by the pristine interior and high-end amenities.

Beatles-themed stays in Liverpool

We couldn’t help ourselves — when visiting Liverpool, we had to book a completely Beatles-themed stay, right on the iconic Penny Lane!

Kids room in our Beatles-themed Airbnb in Liverpool

You’ll find several Beatle-themed stays in various locations throughout the city. Here are a few to choose from:

FAQs about visiting Liverpool with kids

Q: What’s the best time to visit Liverpool with kids?
A: Liverpool is a year-round destination, but visiting during the school holidays can be particularly enjoyable as many attractions host special events for families. Keep in mind that Liverpool gets pretty chilly in the winter, so dress accordingly!

Q: Are there any kid-friendly cafes or restaurants in Liverpool?
A: Absolutely! Liverpool has a variety of family-friendly dining options, with cafes and restaurants offering special menus for children. The waterfront and Liverpool city centre are especially good areas to find them.

Q: Can I buy tickets for attractions in advance?
A: Yes, and we highly recommended doing so for popular attractions like the Magical Mystery Tour and Liverpool FC tours. Buying tickets in advance can save time and sometimes money.

Q: Are there any free activities for kids in Liverpool?
A: Definitely! Many of Liverpool’s museums, including the World Museum and Merseyside Maritime Museum, offer free entry. The city’s parks, like Sefton Park, also provide acres of space for outdoor fun at no cost.

Q: What’s the easiest way to get around Liverpool with kids?
A: Liverpool is well-served by public transport, including buses and trains. The city centre is also quite walkable. For attractions further out, like Knowsley Safari, renting a car or taking a taxi might be more convenient.

Final thoughts on our week in Liverpool

Our time in Liverpool was a blast, and I’m so glad we took the time to travel up there from London. From walking along historic Penny Lane (while singing the song) to exploring the attractions in the city center, we filled our week in Liverpool with fun!

Whether you’re following in the footsteps of The Beatles, wandering the museums, or enjoying the great outdoors, Liverpool promises an unforgettable family getaway. Trust us, it’s going to be fab!

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