25 things to do in Barnsley this summer

9th August 2021

We have compiled a list of 25 things to do in Barnsley this summer, ranging from activities to places of interest, all right on your doorstep, in Barnsley.

  1. Can you find our magical wishing tree at Cannon Hall?  Head to the museum shop, where you will find ribbons to tie to the tree whilst making your wish.
Wishing Tree

2. Ride a white swan on the lake at Cannon Hall courtesy and you will be rewarded with a fabulous view of the hall. You can feed the ducks and geese whilst you are there too.  Visit The Little Boat Company – Home | Facebook for further information and opening times.

Swan boat moored at Cannon Hall

3. If you didn’t get a chance to see the Fantastical Beasts in Barnsley Town Centre earlier in the year, head to Elsecar Heritage Centre where some of them have found a new home.  They will be there to discover until 5th September and you can download an activity sheet from Elsecar – Official website – Barnsley’s Fantastical Beasts come to Elsecar ( FREE ACTIVITY

Fantastical Beasts in Barnsley Town Centre

4. Enjoy a fascinating history tour with our expert guides. Discover how the Earls Fitzwilliam created a new model village, with bustling workshops, mighty ironworks, and deep dark collieries. Find out what it was like to work here, and what happened when Royalty and aristocrats came to visit.

Tours start at the Visitor Centre at 2 pm, every Saturday and Sunday. They are socially distanced, cost £5 per person, and last around 90 minutes. Tours should be booked and paid for in advance, by popping into the Visitor Centre or calling 01226 740203.

Elsecar Heritage Centre, Guided History Tours

5. Invasive Species is an exhibition of contemporary sculptures by members of the Yorkshire Sculptors Group and can be found in the Walled Garden at Cannon Hall until 31st October. It’s free to enter, and there is a map available in the museum to help you find them.

6. Whilst it was quiet during the lockdown, a family of mice have moved into Cannon Hall Museum. Can you find them all? FREE ENTRY to the museum, donations welcome.     

7. Unique Gift Fairs are back with a Bank Holiday spectacular Craft and Gift Fair on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 August. There will be 90 stalls inside the Ironworks selling a wide variety of products and gifts, from Jewellery, clothing, glassware, handcrafted goods, homewares, candles, beauty, babywear, books, food and much more. The event is Free Entry 10 am to 4 pm each day. 

Craft fair Elsecar

8. Field of Dreams – Delightful Dandelions. To mark the end of the Parks for People Project, Cannon Hall will be asking people young and old to create their own Delightful Dandelions pom-poms to plant in the parkland. FREE drop-in sessions on 10th, 16th, 19th, 23rd and 26th August. 

Field of Dreams – Delightful Dandelions

9. Follow the Fairy Trail in the De Morgan Gallery in Cannon Hall Museum. How many will you find? Free entry to the museum, donations welcome.

Fairy Trail in the De Morgan Gallery in Cannon Hall Museum

10. On Tuesday 17th August, storyteller extraordinaire Chris Cade will take you on a magical journey as Biram, Barnsley’s brilliant inventor with his interactive tale. Suitable for 7-11-year-olds and their families. Travel back in time and meet fascinating characters of the past in the wonderful setting of Elsecar Heritage Centre. Free drop-in activity at 10.15 am, 11.30 am and 1 pm. 

arnsley’s brilliant inventor with his interactive tale

11. Follow the Worsbrough Mill mouse trail.  The mischievous mice are hiding waiting for you to find them. Can you spot them as you wander through the country park? FREE family activity until 5th September.

Mill Mouse Trail

12. Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee. This exciting exhibition at the Cooper Gallery takes you on a journey into the imagination of the creator of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Mr Benn and Not Now, Bernard. FREE ENTRY.

Elmer exhibition

13. Super Friday Story |time at the Cooper Gallery. Hide and Seek for Elmer on August 13th. 10.30 am is a relaxed story session and at 12 noon there is a lunchtime story picnic (take your own lunch). Suitable for Under 5’s and their families and costs £3 per family, to pay on arrival. Booking is essential via  Super Friday Storytime Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Super Friday

14. Worsbrough Mill Story Telling Trail is on throughout the summer. Pick up a FREE trail at the Mill or download one here  Story Telling Trail | WEBSITE TITLE (

Story telling trail

15. Get Set Go! At Wentworth Castle Gardens every day until 31st August. Pick up your Get Set Go! card on arrival and see how many activities you can try. There’s archery at the castle and table tennis in the Union Jack gardens plus much more. Activities are free, normal gardens admission applies/

16. Toller’s Neighbours – Elsecar Heritage Centre Wednesday 11th August at 10 am, 10.45 am, 11.30 am, 1 pm, 1.45 pm and 2.30 pm. Discover a magical world within an old suitcase. A charming and heart-warming puppetry show for 5–11-year-olds and their families. FREE drop-in sessions.


17. Pick up a free hide and seek family trail from Elsecar Heritage Centre.

Elsecar visitor centre

18. Fired Up family dance performance at Experience Barnsley 18th August at 10 am, 11 am and 1 pm. Join Tara the fearless firefighter in creating a world full of magical movement, music and a host of imaginative props.  Suitable for Under 5’s and their families and costs £3 per family, to pay on arrival. Booking is essential via  Fired up! Family Dance performance Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Fired up

19. All modern fire-fighting appliances owe their origins to Joseph Bramah. The Fire Pump is one of Barnsley’s most historic treasures, a fine example of an early fire engine and believed to be the only one made by Bramah still in existence. The Fire Pump is on display at Experience Barnsley throughout the summer. FREE entry.

Joseph Bramah- The Fire Pump

20. Eldon Street History hunt in the Town Centre. Can you spot all the fascinating historical landmarks on Eldon Street? Pick up a leaflet and quiz from the Library@thelightbox or download here   Eldon Street History Hunt quiz (


21. Barnsley Libraries are inviting children to join in with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Children of all ages are encouraged to get involved and read six books of their choice during the holiday. There are lots of special stickers and rewards to collect along the way and plenty of stories to enjoy. This year’s theme, Animal Agents illustrated by Tony Ross, features a whole host of clever creatures, ready to solve all kinds of crimes. Join the band of furry, slippery and feathered friends as they use their skills and natural instincts to unravel mysteries! There are lots of fun activities for children of all ages at Barnsley Libraries this summer, find more information about reading and rhyme time sessions, arts and crafts and a full list of activities at

Barnsley Libraries Summer Reading Challenge

22. Try out the Jungle Move and Groove online dance workshops aimed at the Under 5’s. There’s Jungle Jiggle Wiggle or Shake, Shimmy & Stomp! Bot of which are inspired by the Elmer the Elephant exhibition at the Cooper Gallery. Find them at

Jungle Move and Groove online dance workshops

23. Visit the Hogarth to Hitchins exhibition at Cannon Hall Museum until 7th November 2021. The exhibition brings together works by local and national artists ranging from the 18th to the 20th centuries, including Shipwreck off a Rocky Coast by George Morland, recently conserved with the help of donations from supporters of the Trust.

Shipwreck off a Rocky Coast by George Morland

24. Sit in a massive deckchair by the lake at Cannon Hall.


25. Visit Cannon Hall Museum and imagine what the lives of the people who lived there would be like. Look for clues that tell you about John Spence who owned Cannon Hall in 1765, his sister Ann and nephew Walter as well as Hetty the housemaid. FREE ENTRY, donations welcome.

CH history trail
25 things to do in Barnsley this summer