FREE FAMILY DAYS OUT IN YORKSHIRE: What’s on this Half-term School Holidays for families?

FREE FAMILY DAYS OUT IN YORKSHIRE: What’s on this Half-term School Holidays for families?

School Holidays can be a daunting time for families throughout Yorkshire when it comes to finding out what’s on for the family on a budget. You suddenly have lots more meals to make, activities to pay for and time you want to enjoy.

So we at Yorkshire Families wanted to do a round-up of some of the best free days out in Yorkshire to keep the school holidays as cheap and affordable as possible.

And most of all we want your whole family to enjoy half-term as much as possible (sorry we can’t promise no tantrums or grumpy moments, but we’re only human and as Yorkshire folk we like to do things on a shoe string!).

 

The best free family days out in Yorkshire:

 

  1. National Science and Media Museum in Bradford: “Situated right in the centre of Bradford is the National Science and Media Museum. This museum is devoted to the fascinating history and technology behind TV, film and video games. From the basics of how lenses work to displays of old sets and favourites from the past, there is something here for all the family.”
    Here’s what we got up to:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B5SR7-SFZi-/
  2. Weston Park Museum in Sheffield will have 2 NEW galleries opening at the start of half term, plus activities on every day. Half Term: Discovery Days are free drop in events, and include Incredible Egypt crafts. 
  3. Clifton Park & Museum is a “fantastic free day out in Rotherham with adventure playgrounds, big slides, sandpit and park. There is a good free museum with hands on stuff for kids. Plus there is a funfair – not free but worth mentioning,” says Naomi from Trips with a Tot blog.
  4. Grimm & Co is a magical Apothecary in the heart of Rotherham Town Centre (right next to Clifton Park). They have a range of free activities on, some you need to book in advance. There’s Portals from 18-22nd Feb:
    Explore the textures of the apothecary to create your very own portal. Once your portal is in full form, where does it lead? What’s on the other side? Complete a description of your imagined land and see if anyone would like to go through…
    This is an independent activity that you can do by yourself or with grown ups in their apothecary. Just ask the Shop Elves behind the counter for more details.
    Puzzle Poetry also 18-22nd: As spring brings new life and growth to the natural world, our apothecary begins to sprout new words! Use the leaves all around to uncover the lines of a poem. Place them in any order you want, change it, add to it, make it your own!
    This is an independent activity that you can do by yourself or with grown ups in their apothecary. Just ask the Shop Elves behind the counter for more details.
    And Bewitched Botanicals on 18th and 19th Feb 10-2.30pm,
    20th Feb 10-1pm: Join Professor G. Greenfinger as they identify the magical and mystical plants hidden within the mortal realm. Craft your newly discovered enchanted plant andrecord its features to be kept in the Bewitched Botanical Archive forever.  Call the apothecary on 01709 8296750 to book your free slot.
  5. National Coal Mining Museum of England in Overton (near Wakefield, West Yorkshire) has so much to offer from indoor galleries and a free play area and space to dress up as well as a range of outdoor play areas and places to explore England’s mining history. There’s also pit ponies you can meet and don’t miss the underground tour which goes 140m underground and is led by friendly former miners. There’s also a woodland trail and a chance to meet real life Blacksmiths creating works of art out of metal. There’s lots of extra activities this February half-term too. For more of what’s on at NCMME for families, head to our post here.

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    The underground tour at the National Coal Mining Museum is perfect for over 5s
  6. East Park in HullEast Park fully opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. This Grade II listed park recently benefited from a council assisted lottery grant totaling £10 million and has been transformed into a vibrant green space where you can enjoy modern attractions and discover historic treasures.
    East Park Bridge

    There’s something for everyone – you can take a stroll around 130 acres of parkland, brave a ride on our Wicksteed splash boat, visit the Animal Education Centre, try the new library at the Pavillion and enjoy a picnic.

  7. Aysgarth Falls in North Yorkshire: Aysgarth Falls are in Leyburn, North Yorkshire and are a set of three magnificent waterfalls on the River Ure. The falls cascade over the series of broad limestone steps which are divided into three stages; Upper Force, Middle Force and Lower Force.
    “We decided that we would walk down and see the middle and lower falls. We weren’t sure how long it would take, but we were in no rush. Following the footpath, we passed the visitors centre, crossed a road and entered the woodland through a gate. The walk through the woods is well signposted, with a nice path which is suitable for buggies. Wheelchair users will find accessing some areas a bit tricky though as there are some steps,” explains Hodge Podge Days blog.
  8. Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre is dedicated to the history and people of the borough.  It is an interesting place for all the family to visit.  There is lots of fun to be had in the interactive galleries and the Discovery Centre holds priceless treasures. We stumbled upon it in the town centre after getting a bus to the bus station to buy some food from Barnsley Market. It’s great for little ones as it is compact and has lots to to as well as a lovely gift shop.
  9. Rhubarb Festival – Wakefield’s Food and Drink Festival:If you don’t know what the Rhubarb Festival is, then where the ‘eck have you been? It’s Wakefield’s love-letter to the divisive vegetable, the first date in the Merry City’s festival calendar, and it starts the year off with a bang.In 2020 it’s a festival of Miracle-Gro proportions, running for a whole week from Monday 17 February until Sunday 23 February (the traditional food and drink market runs 21-23 February), and truly taking over the city centre. There’s lots on for families too, so head to Wakefield’s former Market Hall which is right next to Wakefield Bus Station (the festival of the Moon took place here too).

    Open Monday to Sunday, this is a real family space, with a cosy reading corner, kids’ Activity Zone (including an awesome rhubarb video game which has to be played to be believed) and storytelling workshops.

    There’s plenty for grown-ups too. Highlights include a community-led rhubarb recipe exchange, the photographic Heritage of Rhubarb exhibition, exclusive photographs from Martin Parr’s Rhubarb Triangle, and – prepare to be intrigued – the Rhubarb Shed, an immersive experience where visitors learn about the cultivation of the plucky pink vegetable, and watch (and hear!) it grow before their eyes.

    Like an enormous rhubarb crumble, Rhubarb Festival 2020 has plenty to get your teeth into. So get your pink on, and get set to eat, drink… and be merry.

  10.  National Railway Museum in York not only has it’s normal exhibition offering but also Decoded themed activities this half-term. So this February school holidays, let the NRM show you how we needn’t be scared of words like “data” and “coding” with fun hands-on activities that break down these concepts and build confidence:

    TECH ON THE TRACKS

    Get to grips with high-tech toys in this introduction to the basics of tangible coding on the train tracks, run by Technology in Play.

    FLUX DANCE

    Create code through movement in this dance workshop which teaches you the 10 key words of coding.

    ROBOT RAILWAYS

    Take charge of a small robot to find out how technology can be used to change and improve our railways.

    HOW TO BEAT THE SYSTEM

    Enjoy a screening of a Royal Institute lecture exploring how algorithms relate to our lives. More info and tickets.

    STORYTELLING

    Technology in Play are taking over story time with their Code-a-pillar. Use code to tell this clever critter where it needs to go, bringing a new twist on well-known early-years stories.

    PASSENGER GO

    Think like a train in this interactive game, where a roll of the dice throws up problems to solve.

    MORE FUN—AND FOOD, TOO

    Head out to South Yard for a Steam Ride or a rumble along our Miniature Railway. There’s also the super-speedy Mallard Experience and the Road Train to take you to and from York Minster.

    You’re bound to work up an appetite exploring our big museum. Pop over to our family-friendly cafés in Station Hall and Great Hall to refuel, where you’ll also find irresistible coffee and cakes.

  11. Leeds Galleries and Museums: There are so many free things to do across West Yorkshire this half-term and in the Easter Holidays, go to our full post here.
    Leeds art gallery art space

 

More free ideas for family days out in Yorkshire wherever you are:

 

  • Canals and River Walks: Check out Canal and River Trust for nice walks near you. We loved a charity walk with Leeds Cares along the Leeds and Liverpool canal. It was great for picnics and lovely paths for buggies and bikes too. We caught the train to Kirkstall Forge Station and walked along the path to Leeds Dock.
  • Museums, Galleries and Libraries near you: Check out your local council website for a list of venues that are open near you and many of them will also have free activities on during the half-term holidays.
  • Local Parks and outdoor spaces:  From woodland to playgrounds and community allotments. Why not wrap up warm (sorry I am assuming the weather will be bad!) and get outside even if it is just for a short walk or a bit of fresh air.
    FAMILY WALKS TOP 10: Where to go Walking in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and win a spa day
  • Organise a meet-up or playdate either outdoors or in your own home: We often have playdates at our house which gives the kids chance to play and us adults chance to chat.

 

What’s your favourite free day out in Yorkshire?

 

Happy Exploring God’s Own County!

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NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM OF ENGLAND: Spend a night shift down the pit to help local families

NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM OF ENGLAND: Spend a night shift down the pit to help local families

Pop on a hard hat, a lamp and go an adventure 140 m underground into England’s last deep coalmine. Chat to charismatic former-miners as they tell the tales of their mining careers and the men, women, children, animals and equipment that worked the coal mines for centuries before them. Hear how mining lingo, hardships and dangers shape how we live our lives today…

PLUS FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY… You can experience a night shift down the pit in to raise funds to go directly to provide emergency winter fuel grants for local families suffering the harsh effects of the cold weather.

Community Foundation Wakefield District are looking for teams of people to Spend a Night Shift down the Pit with BBC Look North’s Harry Gration.

Your team will go underground at 11.00pm on Wednesday 5th February before resurfacing at 1.00am.

Nightshift (rev)

Following a successful launch of this year’s Winter Fuel Challenge, where £16,600 was raised, you’re invited to join us and Yorkshire Families to go on this adventure in aid of a great cause!

Screenshot 2020-02-01 at 18.00.22

This unique event has already received support from Chadwick Lawrence, Direct Marketing, OE Electrical, Jolliffe Cork and the National Coal Mining Museum. You will be going underground with TV presenter, Harry Gration and others who are happy to start the New Year helping keep local families warm this Winter.

If you and your friends/family/colleagues are interested in taking part in the event please contact: jon.ingham@wakefieldcf.org.uk. Alternatively, it is easy to sign up or donate via: https://www.justgiving.com/team/NightShift

Spend a Night Shift down the Pit  Wednesday 5th February 2020  11.00pm – 1.00am at National Coal Mining Museum of England. 

 

What’s on for families at National Coal Mining Museum of England?

 

The National Coal Mining Museum for England provides a unique day out filled with grit and charm:

  • Go 140m Underground to experience England’s last deep coal mine. This is free although a voluntary donation of £5 is recommended per person.
  • Explore 14 galleries and buildings for free.
  • A free soft play area for younger children.
  • An outdoor adventure playground.
  • Meet the Pit Ponies!
  • Watch and chat to real life Blacksmiths doing metal work.
  • Go on the woodland trail.
  • There’s also a cafe, shop and picnic area too.

It’s all free to enter and a full day out for the whole family!

For more information, go to: https://www.ncm.org.uk

Where do you love going for a free family day out?

We’ve been eyeing up some activities and free things to do in York, from the Museum Gardens to the National Railway Museum.

 

FEBRUARY HALF TERM & EASTER HOLIDAYS: What to do in the school holidays in Leeds, West Yorkshire?

FEBRUARY HALF TERM & EASTER HOLIDAYS: What to do in the school holidays in Leeds, West Yorkshire?

Before you know it February half term and the Easter Holidays will be upon us, so what is there to do for the family in Yorkshire? Here Leeds Galleries and Museums share a range of events from free days out to paid for experiences across Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Abbey House Museum

February Half Term

18-21 February

 

During February half term celebrate the Leeds Year of Reading with selection days inspired by family favourites. On 18 February there’s Alice in Wonderland creative crafts and silly science inspired by the wonderful world of Roald Dahl on 19 February. Say ahoy to another classic on Wednesday with Treasure Island themed crafts and murky murder mysteries in the Victorian streets. Round off the week with tropical fun inspired by the Jungle Book on Friday 21 February too!

DJ Workshop

20 February, 12-3pm

Calling all aspiring young DJ’s aged from 11–15. Come along and meet Melodies Music and DJ Academy, take over the decks, cue your track and get spinning in an introductory session to DJing.

Entry is included in museum admission, all equipment is included and no experience needed. Advance booking required via youth.curator@leeds.gov.uk

 

 

Easter Holidays

7-17 April

 

Bounce into Easter with adorable animal crafts in the Victorian streets. On 10 April from 10am–4pm hop along to meet the Easter Bunny. Choose a treat from his basket, pick up a trail and find the golden eggs hidden around the streets. Don’t miss amazing real life animals from Lion Learners each Wednesday too, including creepy crawlies and fluffy Easter bunnies!

 

Leeds Art Gallery

School Holiday Arts and Crafts

Selected dates, 11am-4pm

Between 18 & 20 February come along and make space-shifting sculptures in Artspace. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the Easter school holidays, Leeds Art Gallery will be joined by their artist in residence for painting, drawing, crafting and collage! On 21 February and 17 April check out their family friendly pop-up event looking at art in 3D with the Henry Moore Institute.

Leeds Young Film Festival

7, 8, 9 & 11 April

 

Experience Leeds Young Film Festival at Leeds Art Gallery this Easter for the UK’s largest family film event! It features premieres and special film screenings for the whole family to enjoy and explores the world of film through workshops at pocket-money prices.

For more information visit www.leedsfilm.com  

Leeds City Museum

February Half Term: Clever Clothes & Fabulous Fashions

18-21 February, 10am-12pm & 1-3pm

Reuse and recycle craft materials to design funky fashions for your favourite toy and parade them down the table catwalk. Create a rainbow using plate weaving and take the textile trail around the museum to discover how clothes have been used, recycled and made here in Leeds!

Sensory Room for Families with Additional Needs

20 February & 9 April, 10.30-11.30am

For those who may find a trip to the museum a little overwhelming, Leeds City Museum will be hosting a pop-up sensory room with bubble tube, dark tents and tactile toys for a calmer moment on your museum trip.

Booking essential via Eventbrite

Recycle Runway

15 April, 10.30-11.30pm

Get crafty with activities inspired by the new exhibition, Fast x Slow Fashion. Create a brand new outfit from old clothes and recycled materials and learn all about reusing, recycling and reducing material waste.

Easter Holidays: Patterns & Prints

7-19 April

There’s a whole load of activities on offer during the Easter holidays with workshops and drop-in sessions suitable for visitors of all ages. Create patterns and prints from 14 – 17 April, try your hand at embroidery for children on 7 April and take the daily trail through the museum. Explore patterns through the museum collections from textiles to tiles and animals to Ancient Egyptian jewellery.

Leeds Industrial Museum

Mystery Matinees

Every day in school holidays, 2pm

Watch a classic film in one of the UK’s smallest cinemas. The Art Deco Palace Picture House will be screening family favourites and vintage classics every day during the holidays. Grab a family ticket for just £9 which includes entry into the museum and the Leeds to Innovation exhibition.

Build: Code: Create: Innovate with Programmable Lego

18-20 February, 12.30-3pm

 

Come get hands on with the collection! See cogs, wheels and engines up close before building your own innovative creation from Lego. Add a motor, get coding and the make your creation move, bleep, bloop and trigger images! No coding experience is necessary, just come down and learn something new.

Armley Print Fest

21 March, 11am-4pm

Armley Print Fest is back by popular demand! Celebrate a little bit of local Leeds heritage with family fun activities, beginner workshops, a local craft fair and live demonstrations to suit every age, interest and ability!

Necessity

7, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16 April, 12.30–3pm

 

“Necessity is the mother of invention” Follow in the footsteps of Leeds innovators and ask what you could design in order to solve a problem that’s been bugging your brain! Get hands on and design and build a model inspired by the Leeds to Innovation exhibition.

See the Mill Engine in Steam

10 & 13 April

 

Did you know that Armley Mills was powered by engines as well as by waterwheels? A marvel of Victorian engineering, the 1887 steam engine is still in working order. Experience the museum’s mill engine in full steam and discover fascinating facts from the expert engineer. Learn about its history and the mechanics behind this ground-breaking machine.

 

Thwaite Watermill

Crafts & Experiments

Tuesdays & Thursdays during the school holidays

During February half term and the Easter holidays, there’s a whole load of family fun with Crafty Tuesdays and Experimental Thursdays in Thwaite House. Show off your scientific side and get messy with paper, glue, stickers and sparkles! Don’t forget to grab an explorers pack from reception during your visit and hit the nature trail by the canal. What wildlife will you spot by the waterfront?

Thwaite Easter Fayre

12 April, 12-4pm

Hop along to the annual Easter event with tea dances, pop-up cake stalls, traditional fete related games and a whole load of springtime fun! This year there’s new farmyard friends so come along and pet some animal pals or take a trip on one of the bright and beautiful canal boats!

Lotherton

Love Birds

15-23 February

 

Love Birds returns to Wildlife World for February Half Term. See the Humboldt penguins being fed at 11am and 3pm daily. Take part in feathery crafts and follow the Love Birds trail to learn more about your feathery friends. Make a nest box for new baby birds on 16, 19 and 23 February too.

Really Wild Spring

4-19 April

 

A wild spring to make your heart sing! Enjoy Easter at Lotherton with zany zoo animals, hidden house creatures and fantastic flowery gardens. Follow the Wildlife trail, take part in crazy animal crafts, try out seed planting and keep an eye out for special family days too!

 

St George’s Weekend

25-26 April

Head to Lotherton for St George’s Weekend with a dragon trail to conquer, dressing up, medieval crafts, mythical beast activities and explosive experiments. Sit back in the formal gardens and enjoy the sounds of a brass band each afternoon.

Temple Newsam

February Half Term Fun

15-23 February

Design, decorate and take home your very own treasure or trinket box fit for a mansion. Follow the trail through the house and discover other weird and wonderful treasures from the past along the way. There’s springtime sunflower planting on 19 February too. Get stuck in and see your tiny creation grow into a bright and beautiful flower!

Potty Pots

21-22 March, 10.30am-4pm

Follow the Mad Hatter’s trail and take inspiration from the unique designs of teapots from the past to make a teatime card for someone special. Become a butler, maid, master or mistress of the house and prepare afternoon tea for important guests.

Easter Holidays & Majestic Eggs

4–19 April

 

Get involved with family fun crafts, take on the majestic Easter egg hunt and visit new born farmyard friends at Home Farm. Head to the Walled Garden on 8 April for some pumpkin sowing. Plant your seeds and come back to carve them in October, just in time for Halloween!

Anything Could Happen

8 April, 1.30-2.30pm

Join in with giggles in the gallery! The most unpredictable kids performance is returning to Temple Newsam after a series of hit shows. This improvised children’s performance is suitable for anyone over the age of 5 with a wild imagination and a wicked sense of humour!

Kirkstall Abbey

Make a bird feeder and bird crafts

20 February, 2-3pm

Make a natural bird feeder to help out our feathered friends who might be struggling at this time of year. Be prepared to get messy with creative fun for the whole family to enjoy!

Easter Holidays Bunny Fun

7-19 April

 

The Tuesday under 5s session will be getting a fluffy makeover with lots of creative Easter themed fun. Fancy bagging yourself a sweet treat during your visit? The bunnies have gone hopping mad and hidden all over the abbey! Hunt them down and earn yourself an Easter treat!

Kirkstall Abbey Markets

28–29 March, 25–26 April

Don’t miss out on the fantastic monthly markets and be sure to stock-up on treats from local suppliers. With over 40 stalls, it’s the perfect place to find quality Yorkshire produce, handmade crafts, collectables and grab freshly cooked food from around the globe.

Leeds Discovery Centre

Behind the Scenes Tour

Every Thursday, 11am & 2pm

A Leeds hidden gem, the artefact store is filled with over one million objects from across the world and millennia. Join knowledgeable guides for a free tour to see everything from fabulous costume to vacuum cleaners, African masks and taxidermy. Don’t forget to look up and see the giant squid hanging from the ceiling as you enter!

Minibeasts & Crawly Critters

19 February, 10am-12pm

Explore the huge collection of insects and creepy crawlies, with some critter themed crafts and a tour of the amazing store which is crammed full of beastly bugs and other weird and wonderful findings!

Booking required. Call 0113 378 2100 or email discovery.centre@leeds.gov.uk

 

Easter Holidays

8 & 15 April, 10am-12pm

 

On 8 April bring along your tired old t-shirt for a tie dye refresh! This activity ‘ties’ in with the new exhibition Fast x Slow Fashion at LeedsCity Museum. On 18 April come along and take inspiration from the ceramic collections to create your own masterpiece in a messy play session for creative kids of all ages!

LEEDS CITY MUSEUM AND LEEDS ART GALLERY: A cultural day out in Leeds City Centre for all the family – Review

LEEDS CITY MUSEUM AND LEEDS ART GALLERY: A cultural day out in Leeds City Centre for all the family – Review

We rushed around early Saturday morning to purchase the last item on our shopping list before the crowds flocked to Leeds City Centre, we then felt smug with shopping bag in hand as we made our way in to Leeds Art Gallery for a bit of respite before heading on to Leeds City Museum. 

Leeds Art Gallery

I’m ashamed to say that despite growing up in Yorkshire, I had never looked around the gallery which is based on The Headrow, just a 10 minute walk from Leeds Train Station.

As soon as we entered the hustle and bustle of the City Centre was behind us and we spotted the stunning Tile Hall Cafe which is on the left as you enter. 

I clocked it as the aim of finishing off a busy morning. The next striking feature of the entrance hall was the stunning stair case with a colourful wall. 

leeds art gallery galleries and museums city centre yorkshire families

Enter the light filled entrance hall and take in the bright and beautiful work of Lothar Götz.

The entrance hall is home to important works from the collection including Alexander Calder and Antony Gormley.

Götz’s stunning wall painting Xanadu links the lower and upper galleries, leading up to the light-filled space above. Both colourful and contemporary it is juxtaposed against the Victorian architecture of the gallery.

 

Ironically (after a busy morning shopping), the current exhibition is entitled Slow Painting as it includes works of art from artists “who take their time” and the gallery encourages visitors to do the same. 

art space at leeds art gallery exhibition galleries and museums city centre yorkshire families

It was fascinating looking around the different themed galleries and I loved the break out Artspace where families can play, draw and create. It was a decent sized space catered for all ages to stop and get creative. 

A world of art in the heart of the city.

Leeds Art Gallery presents a dynamic exhibition programme and holds a significant collection of modern and contemporary British art.

leeds art gallery exhibition galleries and museums city centre yorkshire families

I then headed up the staircase to see the Upper Galleries. The most striking gallery was the Central Court which was commissioned as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International. You can walk under the structure in the light airy space or you can sit and look at it. 

 Unveiled during the restoration project of 2016, the Central Court forms a large light filled space in the upper galleries.

Ayse Erkmen’s Three of Four (2019) was commissioned as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International in response to the historical architecture of the gallery. This is the first time a work has been specifically created for the space, responding to its hidden history and architectural changes throughout the life of the building.

leeds art gallery exhibition galleries and museums city centre yorkshire families sculpture ysi

It’s a brilliant space to stop, think, ponder and be mindful. 

After exploring the other galleries, we were then keen to head back down to try the Tiled Hall Cafe. 

It felt as if we were in a movie setting with the stunning blue and green tiles adourning the walls with marble columns and even a grand piano. We opted for a quick coffee and drink and enjoyed basking in the atmosphere the large cafe creates as we sat on a comfortable leather sofa. 

tile hall cafe at leeds art gallery

Once replenished, we made our way on to Leeds City Museum which is a real family-friendly treat.  

Leeds City Museum

Six galleries and a programme of family friendly exhibitions in the heart of Leeds

Leeds City Museum is based at Millenium Square in Leeds so just a short 5 minute walk from Leeds Art Gallery. 

Again, we hadn’t visited Leeds City Museum, which is also free to enter, before.  

They have a range of events on from Etsy Craft Markets to regular art sessions… it’s a stunning versatile venue which has much more to it than I had realised. 

leeds city museum galleries and museums city centre yorkshire families hall venue hire

We didn’t have long so first off we headed into the Voices of Asia exhibition. This is a rich colourful exhibition celebrating dance, music and culture from across Asia and Leeds’ connection to the continent.

leeds city museum galleries and museums city centre yorkshire families voices of asia

On the same floor there is also The Collector’s Cabinet which is home to a huge Moa skeleton (one of the world’s largest birds). 

Upstairs is The Leeds Story and then on the third floor is Ancient Worlds 

Discover the fascinating history of Leeds including our surprising inventions, sporting accolades and incredible textile heritage.

From the first archaeological finds to changing displays reflecting people’s lives in the city today, Leeds is a city of stories. Find out how Leeds has shaped, and been shaped by, its landscape and people.

Find out how the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks lived their lives and paved the way for the world as we know it in the Ancient Worlds gallery.

Visit the final resting place of Nesyamun, the 3000 year old Leeds Mummy, and the only known mummy known to hail from the 20th Dynasty. Discover clues to the past in art and architecture, objects in the earth, ancient writing and burials.

Also on the third floor is a City and It’s Welcome…

Many people have come to Leeds to start a new life, including those escaping famine in Ireland in the 1800s, those seeking work opportunities, and today’s refugees arriving in our City of Sanctuary.

A City & its Welcome tells the stories and experiences of those who have made a home in Leeds over the past three centuries and how they have helped shape the city that we recognise today. Come on a journey with us to see the differences between their hopes and expectations and the realities of life in a new place, plus treasured objects brought from afar.

We then ventured to Life on Earth exhibition… 

The story of how the natural world is more astonishing than you ever thought.

Life on Earth is home to some of the most remarkable specimens in Leeds’s collection of 800,000 animals, vegetables and minerals. From fearsome tigers to prehistoric beasts, rainbow-feathered birds and fascinating fossils, there’s so much to discover.

We could have spent a good hour in here or more as the open plan exhibition is a feast for the senses. There’s so much for the whole family to interact with from children’s dressing up to exploring fossils and animals. This alone is worth a visit and it is right next to the cafe if you need refreshments. 

leeds city museum galleries and museums city centre yorkshire families millennium square

Cafe and play area at Leeds City Museum

The Corner Cafe at Leeds City Museum is lovely and light with windows overlooking Millennium Square. There is also a small play area which is perfect for little ones as well as space for buggies. 

There’s a range of hot and cold food and drinks on offer as well as sweet treats. 

 

Verdict: Leeds City Museum and Leeds Art Gallery

Both Leeds City Museum and Leeds Art Gallery warrant a day out to Leeds in their own right. We’d say Leeds Art Gallery is perfect for families with older children or for adults and Leeds City Museum is perfect for little ones. But they are both so different and we would recommend seeing both places in one day. They are right in the heart of the city centre too so can act as good places to have some respite. They’re free to enter and have a range of free crafts and family events. 

For more information, go to: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk

 

THE CORE LEEDS: Dining with Santa at Kaspa’s Dessert Bar and Subway – Review

THE CORE LEEDS: Dining with Santa at Kaspa’s Dessert Bar and Subway – Review

Venturing into Leeds City Centre with kids at this time of year can be chaotic, so we were pleased to be able to escape the crowds and head into The Core Shopping Centre on The Headrow for a Dine with Santa Experience at Kaspa’s Dessert Bar.

The Core Leeds has a range of places to eat and drink, shop as well as a good health and fitness offering, perfect for active families like ours.

the core leeds eat drink shop city centre

At the weekend we had been invited to review the sold-out Dine with Santa Experience which takes place at either Subway or Kaspa’s Dessert Bar depending on time slots.

We opted for the later slot at Kaspa’s Dessert Bar so we had ample time to get there as we had been staying at The Holiday Inn Leeds Bradford on Tong Lane (near Tong Garden Centre).

Immediately off the hustle and bustle of The Headrow at Christmas, we arrived at the downstairs food court with Kaspa’s being a separate outlet on the left. It’s a plush-looking pink and black decorated diner with a range of hot and cold desserts – from a tempting ice cream bar to the welcoming aroma of freshly cooked Waffles. It feels very family-friendly, stylish yet cosy at the same time as we made our way into a booth.

We were greeted by friendly ‘elves’ aka The Core Shopping Centre staff who explained that we would be served Waffles and Ice Cream then Santa would pay us a visit. As a parent, we all know how important it is to get the kids fed and watered first!

The elves gave out festive-themed goody bags which contained crafts for my daughters to do whilst they waited for their Food and Drink. My kids, aged 4 and 7, enjoyed decorating party hats and writing their list to Santa. I was surprised (and proud) to see that my 7-year-old had written “Toilet Twinning” (where you donate money to help fund a toilet being built in a poor community) at the top of her Christmas List.

The tempting hot waffles and ice-creams then arrived which were huge portions so plenty for a parent and child to share.

As the kids tucked in, they then heard Santa entering singing Carols. He was a brilliantly realistic Santa with a tuneful voice. The kids then all took it in turn to speak to Santa who  also did a magic trick and gave them a gift.

The Father Christmas impersonator really spent a lot of time with each child and made a big fuss of them and chatted through their Christmas list which was lovely to see. I enjoyed basking in the comfort of the booth too with a nice Soya Latte.

the core leeds eat drink shop city centre yorkshire families

Once the kids had unwrapped their teddy bear gifts they were ready to move around and spotted some mo-ped style seats at the front of Kaspa’s.

We then used the large family-friendly toilet facilities before venturing into the shops.

 

The Core Shopping Centre is nice and small perfect for family outings and a good place to grab something to eat with the kids when shopping in Leeds City Centre.

I also spotted the gym and Yoga studios as well as outdoors shops… something I’ll try when I don’t have kids tugging on me.

Kasha’s too makes a lovely family-friendly treat and would be a perfect place for a birthday party or sweet treat (and bribe) when out and about in Leeds!

How to get to The Core Leeds 

 

The post code for your sat nav is LS1 6AD

The Core is based on The Headrow and is situated in Leeds City Centre. It is easily accessible by Albion Street, Albion Place and Lands Lane. Car parking is available right by the centre and is operated by NCP.

By Car

Car parking is available for more than 300 cars. Use LS1 6AD as the post code. For more information on car parking, including charges, please click here.

By Train

The centre is close to Leeds train station. Upon leaving the station, make your way towards the city centre via New Station Street, and follow Albion Street, turning right at Albion Place. The Core is on your left hand side.

By Bus

Leeds City Centre is easily accessible by bus. Use the map on this page to navigate your way to the centre and click here for bus timetables.

 

The official lowdown

The Core is in the heart of Leeds City Centre, offering a huge range of options for visitors to enjoy.

From the various shops in the centre, to the range of flavours on offer from cafes, restaurants and kiosks, there are plenty of reasons to plan your day at The Core. You can even get fit for less with our health and fitness options!

Parent & Baby Facilities

We have a dedicated parent & baby room, situated within our Public Facilities area, equipped with changing mat and bottle warmer. There is also a bottle warmer available at Graveleys Fish & Chips.

Changing Places Toilet

We are proud to have an accessible Changing Places toilet at The Core Shopping Centre.

Our Changing Places toilet features:

  • A height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench
  • A ceiling tracking hoist system
  • A privacy screen
  • Adequate space for disabled person and up to 2 carers
  • A large waste bin for disposable pads
  • A non-slip floor

Our Changing Places toilet is available alongside 2 standalone accessible toilets and a separate baby change facility.

How can I access the Changing Places toilet?

You can use a Radar Key to access our Changing Places toilet.

If you do not have a Radar Key, please speak to a member of staff patrolling the centre who can give you immediate access.

 

DISCLAIMER: WE RECEIVED THIS EXPERIENCE FREE OF CHARGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS REVIEW.

CHRISTMAS FAMILY ACTIVITIES: What to do in Leeds, West Yorkshire during the holidays

CHRISTMAS FAMILY ACTIVITIES: What to do in Leeds, West Yorkshire during the holidays

Christmas is coming and we are suddenly on a countdown to the holidays… so if you’re in Yorkshire, here are lots to things to do in Leeds alone, you can read Yorkshire Families for things to do all over the region too.

What’s on this Christmas in Leeds?

Abbey House Museum

 Visit Father Christmas

1, 7, 8, 14, 15 & 12 & 22 December, 10am-12pm & 2-4pm

A Christmas treat for all the family. Wander through the decorated Victorian Streets, listen to the carols, get creative with your Christmas list and visit Father Christmas in his winter wonderland grotto. Dress up, decorate a Christmas ornament and have a go at the Christmas trail. Make family memories to treasure forever and don’t forget to bring along your camera.

On 7 December from 9.30-11.30am there’s relaxed Santa visits for those who might find a trip to the museum a little daunting.

Please note that all grotto visits are priced at £4.50 + general admission.

 

Santa’s Little Helpers

19-20 Dec, 10am-12pm & 2-4pm

Join in with festive fun crafts and activities around the museum.

 

Twixtmas: Splat a Sprout!

27, 28, 29 & 31 Dec, 10am-4pm

Are you sick of Christmas already? Bored of board games? Well come along and take it out on the sprout! Join in with a series of sprout related family challenges in the Victorian Streets.

 

Kirkstall Abbey

 

Abbey Christmas

2 Dec-3 Jan

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Carol singers will be filling the abbey with festive sounds on 8 December from 2-3pm. The Heritage Singers will be joined by members of the Abbeylands parish, adding a spiritual note to the proceedings. After Christmas there’s more festive fun with a trail to track down Santa and his reindeer taking a nap in the abbey from 27 December-3 January.

 

Leeds Art Gallery

 

Baubilize

14 December, 11am-4pm

Head to Leeds Art Galleries family friendly Artspace and take part in festive fun activities inspired by the collections. Mash-up contemporary art and tradition and make festive decorations to take away and hang up at home.

 

Leeds City Museum

 

A Winters Trail

19 Dec-3 Jan

Jack Frost has been causing chaos around the museum so pop along and help them to track him down! Follow the clues on a merry museum trail to find out where he’s been and stop him from making any more mess.

 

Etsy Made Local Market

30 Nov-1 Dec, 11am-4pm

Etsy Made Local is back in Leeds for a 5th year. Spread across 5 days with 35 different makers and designers, this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better than ever. The Leeds Christmas Market will showcase the best creative talent and carefully curated products from sellers based in and around the Leeds area. This year it’s expanded to include a creative fun day on 29 November between 11am-4pm too.

 

Lotherton

 

The Christmas Experience

22 Nov-23 Dec

Wander along the magical 12 days of Christmas woodland walk and marvel in the winter wonderland at the North Pole with Santa and his elves. Make Christmas crafts and gifts in the Elf Village and enjoy the splendour of the house dressed in all its festive finery. New for this year will be the Lotherton Ice Rink, so skate along and don’t miss out on a magical Christmas at Lotherton!

For an extra special treat, the 12 Days of Christmas walk will be open until 5 January too!

Visit to thechristmasexperience.co.uk for further information

 

Temple Newsam

 

Christmas at Temple Newsam

7, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22 Dec

Throughout December you can discover how everyone gets ready for Christmas at Temple Newsam. Delight in the splendour of the festive preparations and see how the Tudors, Georgians and Victorians celebrated Christmas. Take part in Christmas crafts including wreath making in the Joiners Shop and pay a visit to Santa in his workshop to receive a free gift! Don’t forget to book a timeslot to avoid disappointment.

Santa visits are priced at £5 (under 1s are free). Please call 0113 336 7460 to book.

WILLIAM’S DEN: Indoor-meets-outdoor adventure attraction creates home-made ice cream for visitors

WILLIAM’S DEN: Indoor-meets-outdoor adventure attraction creates home-made ice cream for visitors

Indoor-meets-outdoor adventure attraction William’s Den has launched a brand-new sundae and shakes menu using their home-made William’s Den ice cream. Den Millionaire, Raspberry River and Mud Pie are just a few of the new and exciting scrumptious ice cream sundaes that are now available. Visitors can enjoy Marvellous Mint, Muddy Chocolate and Award-winning Vanilla shakes too.

William's Den Ice Cream - William scoops ice cream for visitors

EVERYDAY IS A SUNDAE FUN DAY AT WILLIAM’S DEN!

Produced with locally sourced, Yorkshire ingredients, the ice cream is made on site at William’s Den with delicious ingredients to create the delectable array of flavours on offer. The milk and cream used to make the ice-cream come from just down the road – the only creamery in East Yorkshire, St Quintin’s Creamery – meaning William’s Den have met the very cows who are helping to deliver their newest venture!

William's Den Ice Cream - Banana Split 

Creating homemade ice cream was a given for co-owner Tor Carver, who believes food memories are a huge part of childhood and family experiences. Channelling her own fond reminiscences of summer days gone by with her siblings and cousins, Tor knew from the inception of the attraction two years ago, that ice cream would be an integral part of the offer.

William's Den Ice Cream - counter shot

Tor said: “I have wonderful childhood memories of running down our lane on Sunday mornings to meet the ice cream van. For me, food memories are an important part of childhood, so it is because of this that we made sure the food offering at William’s Den can provide those memories and experiences for families who want a great day out to remember.

William's Den Ice Cream - visitors enjoying ice cream

I was also adamant that we needed to be able to use local ingredients where we can. When I realised that there is only one creamery in East Yorkshire – St Quintin’s Creamery. William and I visited Pete & Sarah Burdass’s much loved Fresian cows at their creamery and it is a fantastic feeling knowing which cows produced the milk, where they live and how well they are looked after.

William's Den Ice Cream - Tor and Christian owners of William's Den, with son William

So, after two years of testing and tasting, creating and perfecting the science of making ice cream, we are proud to announce that we make ice cream and to celebrate we decided to launch a new sundae and shakes menu. I hope our visitors enjoy our ice cream and can feel the love that went in to creating it.”

 What is William’s Den?

William’s Den is an award-winning indoor-meets-outdoor adventure attraction that gives families the freedom to play and experience a day out, whatever the weather.

William’s Den was created to enable big and little kids alike to play together in a unique indoor and outdoor space that has all the delights you would expect in a wild landscape such as mud kitchens, water play, den making, tyre swings, and zip lines. The Den has been designed and handcrafted by a team of highly skilled play experts. From the Tree House to the Forest Glade and the Eagles Nest to the Rainmaker, it is sure to thrill!

Families can also stop by to refuel at The Kitchen Table. A beautifully restored stone and brick barn offering something scrumptious to eat for the whole family. Free to enter, visitors to William’s Den do not have to buy a ticket to enjoy the restaurant. Families can expect wholesome and delicious food including wood-fired pizzas, award-winning home-made ice cream or a cup of coffee served by fully-trained baristas.

William’s Den is set on a hill in the Yorkshire Wolds, within easy reach of the M62. www.williamsden.co.uk / @williamsdenplay #williamsden #wdplay

Ice Cream time

The new ice cream sundaes and shakes menu is available at The Kitchen Table in William’s Den now and will be available all year round with new flavours and seasonal specials every month. For more information about William’s Den and their ice cream visit www.williamsden.co.uk.

William's Den Ice Cream - Counter shot (2)

CITY VARIETIES IN LEEDS: Backstage Pass for young people this Summer

CITY VARIETIES IN LEEDS: Backstage Pass for young people this Summer

Children aged seven to 17 are invited to participate in a wide range of activities this August at the world-famous City Varieties Music Hall (CVMH).

Backstage Pass is two weeks of fun-filled activities, including junk percussion, script writing, improvisation, directing, dance and performance workshops.

With the opportunity to meet new people, work with industry professionals, gain new skills and back stage access there’s something for everyone to get involved in. No experience necessary!

Catherine Hayward, Education Manager, said: “Backstage Pass offers children of all ages and abilities, first-timers or regular attendees, the chance to make friends, have fun and learn new skills.

“We hope that by opening our doors throughout the summer, that some, if not all of the children, will want to get involved year-round through our Youth Theatre, projects or workshops.”

Yorkshire Challenge Image (Rachel Lythe - Leeds Grand Theatre)

Run in collaboration with industry professionals, the programme runs as follows:

MONDAY 12 AUGUST: YOUTH THEATRE TASTER DAY (ages 7-17)

Ever wanted to know what goes on at City Varieties Youth Theatre? Come join our incredible creative team for a full day of acting, voice work and movement across our two fantastic venues; City Varieties Music Hall and Leeds Grand Theatre.

TUESDAY 13 AUGUST: RIGHT DIRECTION (ages 12-17)

Want to make a scene? Then let this workshop take you in the Right Direction. Learn the skills of instantly creating theatre through improvisation and then be given the directing tools from award-winning director Paul Birch that will help you turn your ideas into drama that makes a lasting impact.

Learning 6

TUESDAY 13 AUGUST: JAMMIN AND JUNK’ MUSIC WORKSHOP (ages 7-11)

There is nothing professional musician Alex Cromarty can’t make music from! With a studio full of drums, ukuleles and even dustbins, spend a day creating rhythms and music, filling the room with a cacophony of sounds as one big band. No prior musical experience required.

WEDNESDAY 14 – FRIDAY 16 AUGUST: YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS (ages 12-17)

Three days to create characters, make monologues and write a whole new script from scratch! Your script will then be performed on the main stage by a group the following week.

Learning 5

MONDAY 19 – FRIDAY 23 AUGUST: PLAY IN A WEEK (ages 7-11)

Working on an original script, written especially for this project, spend a full week on The Varieties stage to create and perform a full play in just five days!

Places for each activity are limited. For more information and to book call Box Office on 0113 243 0808 or visitwww.cityvarieties.co.uk.

Costs range from £25 to £100 depending on activity

GO APE: Win four tickets to the Treetop Adventure + Temple Newsam – Review

GO APE: Win four tickets to the Treetop Adventure + Temple Newsam – Review

 

Swinging around the treetops, zip wiring and belly laughing, was the perfect way to spend a Tuesday afternoon in Leeds. 

My step dad, step brother and I had been invited to review Go Ape at Temple Newsam, the first high ropes experience in West Yorkshire.

I had wanted to try Go Ape for a while as I love being outdoors and better still this one is based in estate grounds with a 500-year-old country mansion, beautiful woodlands and, a Georgian Walled Garden just next to the course. 

There are three challenges to suit different ages and abilities. As a group of three adults we opened for the treetop challenge. 

Our Go Ape experience 

As we drove into the Temple Newsam estate, just a few miles from Leeds City Centre, you are immediately immersed into lush greenland and long paths which lead us to Go Ape (which is tucked away near the walled Garden).

We had booked to go on one of the hottest days of the year so the trees acted as a perfect shade for the scorching sun. There is free parking too right next to the experience. 

go ape temple newsam

First, we checked in at the Go Ape log cabin, before our induction. 

Once signed in, we were given our harnesses and clips and instructed on how to use them. 

I thought it sounded complicated as I am not the most practical person, but once we were ready there is a test run so you get used to attaching your clips and using the zip lines on your own. 

Treetop Challenge Course 

There are three challenges to choose from – Treetop Adventure (for all ages), Treetop Adventure + (over 1.2m tall and for adult beginners) and then the Treetop Challenge Course (over 1.4m tall). 

We went for the latter as we were three adults who were all up for a challenge in the treetops. 

With 15-metre-high platforms, you’ll need to engage both your mind and body as you scale the tree to tree crossings that make up this high ropes course. The 11-metre Plummet is not for the fainthearted, but it is the quickest way back down to earth! If we said some thrill seekers use this as a bungee warm up, we think you’ll get the picture!

16+ regular price: £33

Under 15 regular price: £28

My brother is Autistic and sometimes struggles with new experiences and new people. But the course felt fairly tranquil and the instructions were clear and simple. 

Before we knew it my brother Oscar was off climbing and zip wiring on his own as my step dad and I scaled a parallel course. 

It’s been a while since I have squealed and belly laughed so much. It was high enough (up to 15m) and long enough (the longest zip is 60m) to get our adrenaline going and some of the crossings were challenging such as the hoops which you use as foot holes. 

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It was lovely to be under the treetops and distracted from the outside world so we could truly relax and enjoy the experience. 

To finish off we went on the Tarzan swing. This is where you jump off a station and go zip lining into a rope net. After the second time of swinging towards the net you have to climb up it and on to the platform. 

We all felt nerves as we first stepped off the platform and were catapulted towards the net. But it was so much fun! And you really did feel like Tarzan. 

The experience lasts around 2-3 hours and we had completed all of the courses that were open within this time.  We felt like we had had a real workout as well as some quality time together. 

We will definitely be returning for another escape away and I will be bringing my kids for the Treetop Adventure. 

To book and for further information, go to: https://goape.co.uk/locations/temple-newsam/tree-top-challenge 

WIN A TICKET FOR FOUR PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCE GO APE TEMPLE NEWSAM 

Whether it’s team building, a group of friends or a family group, Go Ape is the perfect place to swing around the trees, get active and escape the busyness of everyday life. 

To win a pass for four just enter via Rafflecopter or like our facebook page: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ccd41f1f16/?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway closes at midnight (GMT) on 11th August.

DISCLAIMER: We received tickets free of charge for the purpose of this review. All views are our own. 

GRIMM & CO: Apothecary to the magical… in Rotherham, South Yorkshire

GRIMM & CO: Apothecary to the magical… in Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Tucked away from a busy Rotherham high street is a place where magic, creative imaginings and fairytales come to life inside Grimm & Co. 

We were invited to Graham Grimm’s Apothecary on Doncaster Gate in Rotherham’s town centre – nestled between the shops and Clifton Park and, just a 10 minute walk from the train station. 

My kids, step-brother (who’s autistic) and I weren’t sure what to expect from the family blogging event held inside the magical shop – cum – learning/event space. 

My eldest Jasmine nervously knocked at the door and rang the bell.

As the door creaked open we were greeted by one of Graham Grimm’s team who welcomed us inside the enchanted venue. Immediately it felt as if we had been transported from a bustling town centre and into a magical storybook. 

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The team led us mortals around the shop showcasing all the magical things before helping us to discover a secret door. 

Once through the door, we well and truly had arrived into today’s magical adventure. The team were all so friendly and fully remained in character as they showed us up the storybook staircase and into the room which was at the top of Jack’s Beanstalk. 

The workshop area was lush with greenery, extracts from stories and other magical instruments. 

This is where Grimm & Co, who are a charity, host workshops for groups of young people and schools. And if there was ever a place that could inspire a love of literature, creative writing and inspire a child’s imagination, it is here. 

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Not only that the team were also well equipped to engage with my brother who has special needs too. And for me as someone who is dyslexic, I loved how such a welcome environment made reading, drawing and writing so accessible. 

As a family we went around the different craft tables, writing letters, creating fairy doors, drawing and finishing story books with our own imagination and writing. 

It was great to see staff who are so well versed in children and their needs and this kept the magic flowing. After some drinks and snacks, it was time to go back downstairs to the little library where the kids could pick a book. But it wasn’t a case of going back down the staircase, this time my daughters could slide down the beanstalk to return to where we had started.

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The kids and I enjoyed rummaging through the many books in the little library /reading area. It was great to see how enthused they had become over picking a book (I’ll admit I had been having to force them to have a bedtime story of late). 

I then got distracted by all the weird and wonderful concoctions on offer in the shop and I couldn’t help but buy several gifts, also it was great to know that the money goes to support such a fabulous charity. 

In the end I had to prize my daughters away from the library and shop as we had to get to the train station to catch the new tram between Rotherham and Sheffield. 

Once, we had left Grimm & Co it was a surprise back to reality and into the town centre. 

We would definitely visit again when they run workshops during the school holidays. We may even tie it in with a trip to Clifton Park as that is so close and such a fun place if the weather is nice. 

We travelled from Wakefield, West Yorkshire to Rotherham by train. Then we returned to see my family so caught the new tram between Rotherham and Sheffield, South Yorkshire which made the trip super easy and affordable.