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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HUDDERSFIELD PANTOMIME: Sleeping Beauty at the Lawrence Batley Theatre – Review

HUDDERSFIELD PANTOMIME: Sleeping Beauty at the Lawrence Batley Theatre – Review

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a trip to the Pantomime… and Huddersfields’ favourite Panto is back at the Lawrence Batley Theatre for the 4th year running. This year’s Christmas panto is Sleeping Beauty, Oh yes it is and, they just keep getting bigger and better with sumptuous costumes, brilliant foot-stomping tunes and an outrageous Dame, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Blogger Amy Downes went to review the show for Yorkshire Families… 

With just a week left until Christmas, things are really getting busy and between the school plays, festive parties and gift shopping it’s easy to forget to have some fun with your family!

So, I was grateful for the opportunity to attend the Lawrence Batley Theatre’s production of Sleeping Beauty last week. My little boy is 3 years old, so I wasn’t sure if he is old enough yet for the evening performances and much-loved storyline, but there really was something for all of us to enjoy.

Harry was engrossed by the songs and the dragon, 3-month-old James by the lights and colours and Mummy and Daddy couldn’t help but chuckle at ‘Nanny Fanny’ (Robin Simpson). When my other half laughs at a joke, you know you’ve hit the nail on the head with the Dad jokes.

sleeping beauty lawrence batley theatre huddersfield

Director Joyce Branagh has written four pantomimes and lives in West Yorkshire, while playwright Andrew Pollard specialises in writing for families (he also appeared as John Bune in Emmerdale!). Henry Filoux-Bennett, Chief Executive and Artistic Director oat the theatre said of the duo:

‘I’ve heard so much about our audiences’ fantastic reaction to previous productions and this is set to build and excel upon their previous triumphs.’

The opening performance from the cast of Sleeping Beauty was stunning.

From the moment the curtain lifted there was a proud Yorkshire theme which helps set this story apart from the huge offering of pantos that we have on offer every year. From Hester the Jester (Nicola Jayne Ingram) with her thick local accent to the references of nearby towns and suburbs.

The songs too made this a high-quality show, from amazing routines choreographed around well-known hits like Robbie Williams’ ‘Let Me Entertain You’, to originals by like ‘When We Grow Up’ and ‘I’m Stuck on You.’

Nanny Fanny’s ‘Yorkshire Haka was the highlight of the show for me!

Finally, pantos are known for their corny jokes, but my inner feminist is all too often prickled by the uncomfortable stereotyping of larger women, the transgender community and ‘damsels in distress’. Happily, Sleeping Beauty defied this with a cast of strong female leads who stole the show and a challenge to typical parenting roles.

Nanny Fanny’s ‘Yorkshire Haka was the highlight of the show for me!

King Herbert the Hesitant (Richard Hand), who was left as Princess Aurora’s primary caregiver after her mother passed away, was dishing out parenting jokes, Aurora (Alyce Liburd) was seen practicing football in between her lessons, and Hayley Russell was sensational and strong as the evil Belladonna Bile.

Luke, Harry, Baby James and I had a wonderful family evening which got our Christmas celebrations off to a fun start.

We walked out into the rain with smiles on our faces and festive cheer in our hearts, chuffed to have made memories to add to our first Christmas as a family of four. Nanny Fanny will always be a part of that!

Luke, Harry, Baby James and I had a wonderful family evening which got our Christmas celebrations off to a fun start.

So, if you’re looking for something to do with your kids over the next few weeks, this panto is on until Sunday 5th January. The perfect Christmas gift for you all to share is some time together to remember forever.

With thanks to The Lawrence Batley Theatre and Bonner and Hindley for the gifted family ticket.

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.

WIN A family ticket for The Night Before Christmas in the Courtyard at Leeds Playhouse, West Yorkshire

WIN A family ticket for The Night Before Christmas in the Courtyard at Leeds Playhouse, West Yorkshire

The Night Before Christmas at Leeds Playhouse – a magical festive adventure for all the family… and you can win four tickets with Yorkshire Families! 

 The Night Before Christmas is the fabulously festive family show that will be lighting up the Courtyard Theatre at Leeds Playhouse from 30 November – 28 December.

Leeds-based actor Lladel Bryant, as Elf 30046, is an old friend ofthe Playhouse. He was one of ten northern actors who formed Leeds Playhouse Ensemble, a dynamic repertory company who performed a series of productions during the 2018-19 Pop-Up Season. He joins Alexandra James as Carol, who is not as Christmassy as her name might suggest – at least until she meets Elf when he tumbles down her chimney.

The Night Before Christmas by Robert Alan Evans (Crumble’s Search for Christmas, Kes, Leeds Playhouse) proved a big hit with audiences of all ages when it was first staged at Leeds Playhouse in 2015. Now, director Amy Leach (A Christmas Carol, Kes, Leeds Playhouse) has added a dynamic new dimension for Christmas 2019, introducing creative use of sign language to make every performance D/deaf friendly, while giving Carol the perfect tool to communicate with Elf, who only speaks Elvish.

Amy Leach, Leeds Playhouse Associate Director, said: ‘We’re so excited to bring The Night Before Christmas back to the Playhouse. Elf and Carol’s inspiring friendship shows how learning, understanding and communicating across so-called language barriers is not only possible, but essential and enriching. Our new production is a Christmas show for all – it’s accessible and completely captivating.’

Carol and Elf set off on the festive adventure of a lifetime in a magical world created by designer Amelia Jane Hankin (Rudolph, Leeds Playhouse; The Tiger’s Bones, Lakeside Arts, Polka and Leeds Playhouse), with lighting design by James Whiteside (Sleeping Beauty, Chichester Festival), sound design by composer Dom Coyote (The Story Fishers, National Theatre), and movement by Leeds-based associate choreographer Pauline Mayers based on original choreography by Lucy Cullingford.

Expect nifty rooftop antics, eccentric dance routines, timeless tunes and fabulous festive fun. However you communicate, The Night Before Christmas is the show everyone will be talking about.

PRIZE: Win a family ticket (for four) for The Night Before Christmas in the Courtyard at Leeds Playhouse at 4.30pm on Friday 20 December.

To win a family pass just go to our Instagram post and make sure you’re following us on instagram and Leeds Playhouse.

The Night Before Christmas, Courtyard Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, 30 Nov – 28 Dec

Box office: 0113 213 7700; www.leedsplayhouse.org.uk

 

 

PONDEROSA ZOO: A family-friendly attraction in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire – Review

PONDEROSA ZOO: A family-friendly attraction in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire – Review

Ponderosa Zoo in Heckmondwike is a hidden gem housing over 120 animals from Lemurs to reindeers and reptiles. 

We went on our first trip to the West Yorkshire based Zoo, formerly known as Ponderosa Rural Therapeutic Centre, during the school holidays to experience a family day out. 

Visiting Ponderosa Zoo 

The zoo is located off Smithies Lane Liversedge, Heckmondwike WF16 0PN. I hadn’t realised it was there until recently as it is tucked away. 

 

We parked up before checking in at the wooden hut-come-gift shop. We were greeted and showed the treasure trail which was there for Halloween. As it was Halloween when we went you could also pay £3 extra to get a pumpkin carved. The zoo is very reasonably priced compared to larger zoos we have been to. 

ponderosa zoo pirate ship dand pit yorkshire heckmondwike  family blog.jpg

I hadn’t realised how much there was to do from visiting animals to an indoor playbarn, outdoor play area, zip wire and talks on animals. There’s also spaces to eat a picnic or there is plenty of food and drink available to buy on site.

The zoo is compact with lots of paths making it easy to get around. There’s also a sand pit, so it’s a good idea to wear wellies especially when the weather is cold and drizzly like it was when we visited. 

My daughters aged 4 and 7 enjoyed exploring the zoo and filling out the treasure hunt. My Step brother Oscar, who is autistic, also enjoyed the zoo which is off the beaten path and felt a lot more tranquil than other attractions we have been to. 

We sought shelter in the large Lakeside Cafe which is also an events and wedding venue. It’s a cafeteria style eaterie with hot & cold food and drink available to buy. I had a nice tomato sop whilst the kids opted for jacket potatoes. 

We then ventured back outside for a last look around at some of the animals, before picking up our pumpkin which had been specially carved for us, suing our drawings. The kids had a few last goes on the zip wire before we returned to the car. 

I hadn’t realised there was a small indoor play barn as well, so next time we will definitely try that too. 

fptbty

We had a lovely half-day at the zoo with friendly and accommodating staff. My mum and I really appreciated the emphasis on education, nature and endangered species. 

It’s a down-to-earth Zoo which is affordable and perfect for the whole family. 

ALL ABOUT PONDEROSA ZOO

Ponderosa Zoo (originally Ponderosa Rural Therapeutic Centre) was created in 1991 by Maureen Cook with the aim to ‘bridge the gap’ between disabled and able bodied people through the care of animals as a form of therapy. At the time the centre held a variety of domestic animals including pigs, goats and cattle.

Since its conception Ponderosa Zoo is now home to over 120 animals from lemurs to reindeer. They are a dedicated team of hard working and passionate individuals who aim to promote animal welfare, in addition to educating the public on conservation efforts and the threats many species now face in the wild. In 2017 we took another step in journey by becoming provisional BIAZA members.

Although they are now a much bigger facility with their primary focus being on welfare, education and conservation, they still hold a ‘Bridge the Gap’ vision by ensuring our zoo is always disabled friendly and offering a variety of grounds keeping roles for disabled individuals to gain valuable work experience in a friendly and welcoming environment.

fptbty

DISCLAIMER: We received a free family pass for the purpose of this review.

 

THE WIZARD OF OZ: Land of Oz at Leeds Playhouse, West Yorkshire

THE WIZARD OF OZ: Land of Oz at Leeds Playhouse, West Yorkshire

With just a month to go, the cast of The Wizard of Oz are preparing to bring the spectacular tale of the magical land of Oz to Leeds Playhouse from 20 November 2019 until 25 January 2020.

These images give a first glimpse of the tremendous trio of Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion as they escort Dorothy and Toto through the poppy fields of Oz, ducking and diving from the terrifying Wicked Witch of the West, played by Polly Lister (The Worst Witch Live, Nimax/Northampton Theatre Royal/Kenny Wax/ Novel, Theresa Heskins; Boeing Boeing & Private Lives for Harrogate Rep).

 

When venturing into the land of Oz, Toto, Dorothy’s tiny but tenacious four-legged friend, will be magically brought to life by puppeteer Ailsa Dalling, under the direction of Rachel Leonard. Designed and created by Puppet Maker Charlie Tymms (Life of Pi, Sheffield Theatres, Running Wild, UK tour), Toto has been crafted using a plywood skeleton with elastic hinge joints with a jaunty outer-layer of dyed hessian and 1930s-style patterned fabric to create that furry exterior.

In this timeless story of adventure and friendship, young Dorothy and her little dog Toto are caught in a cyclone and whisked away to the magical Land of Oz in a technicolour production directed by James Brining (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sunshine on Leith Leeds Playhouse) and designed by Simon Higlett (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Leeds Playhouse).

The Wizard of Oz will play in Leeds Playhouse’s Quarry Theatre, which reopens this Christmas following the building’s dramatic £15.8m redevelopment. Audiences now enjoy improved access into and around the building, contemporary seating in the Quarry, new hospitality areas and a dramatic new city-facing entrance opposite Leeds City Bus Station.

 

The theatre will host a sing-along performance of The Wizard of Oz on Friday 13 December, inviting the audience to dress up, sing out and join in the fun. Relaxed and Dementia Friendly performances will also be available, and there will be a selection of bespoke wrap-around and inschool activities led by the Playhouse’s award-winning Creative Engagement team.

 

The Wizard of Oz, Leeds Playhouse’s Quarry Theatre

20 November 2019 – 25 January 2020. Press Night Tue 26 November 2019, 7pm

Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online leedsplayhouse.org.uk

OCTOBER HALF-TERM IN YORKSHIRE: WHAT TO DO WITH THE FAMILY IN LEEDS

OCTOBER HALF-TERM IN YORKSHIRE: WHAT TO DO WITH THE FAMILY IN LEEDS

From crafts to markets and holiday clubs… there is so much on in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Here is what’s on at Leeds galleries and museums this October half-term…

Abbey House Museum

Little Shoppers

Every Fri, 10am-4pm 

A fun drop in session for under 5’s in the Victorian Streets with a range of play shops, fake food and a trail or craft every week.

 

October Half Term

·         Haunted Halloween Crafts, 29 Oct, 10am-4pm

Get ready for Halloween with a day of creepy crafts in the eerie decorated streets of Victorian Leeds.

·         Spooky Silly Science, 30 Oct 10am-12pm & 2-4pm

A day of spooky science with petrifying potions, bugs, goo and bubble snakes. No scientific knowledge is necessary, only curiosity.

·         Happy Halloween, 31 Oct 10am-4pm

Spooky fun with Halloween themed crafts and trails. 

·         Monster Mash Up, 1 Nov 10am-4pm

Make a variety of monsters from paper, pom-poms and plasticine.

 

Discovery Centre

 

Behind the Scenes Tour

Every Thurs, 11am & 2pm

One of the best ways to access and see the Leeds Museums & Galleries collections is to hop onto a free store tour! From toucans and telephones to meteorites and masks, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

 

Beastly Beasts & Spooky Tour

30 Oct 10am-12pm and 1-3pm

Bring your battery powered candles for the Halloween spook-fest. Discover the weird and wonderful world of the museum monsters hidden behind closed doors! This is a free event but must be booked in advance by calling 0113 378 2100.

 

Kirkstall Abbey

 

Muddy Monkeys

Every Tues, 10-11am

A friendly free session for under 5s and their carers. Each week there’s a range of crafts, toys, books and instruments and if the weather’s nice then there’s games outside too.

 

Kirkstall Abbey Markets

26-27 Oct, 12-3pm

Come along to Kirkstall Abbey where you can try and buy some of the best produce Yorkshire has to offer. All products are locally sourced and are produced and supplied by award winning people with a passion for food. You will also find Jewellery, fashion and collectables on offer too.

 

October Half Term

·         Mini Owls, 29 Oct, 10-11am

The Tuesday under 5’s session gets a feathery make over for half term.

·         Not So Scary Scarecrow Trail, 29 Oct-3 Nov 10am-3pm

A hunt around the abbey featuring some not so scary Halloween scarecrows!

 

Leeds Art Gallery

 

Big Draw Campaign

26 Oct, 11am-4pm

Big Draw family fun using cartoon drawing skills and collage to make pictures that say something inspired by the New Contemporaries exhibition.

 

Slow Making in Artspace

29-31 Oct, 11-4pm

During the half term holiday’s artist Lou Samray will be leading family friendly activities in Artspace to keep your creative juices flowing!

 

Leeds City Museum

 

Tiny Tigers

Every Friday, 10-11.45am

Free craft activities every Friday for under 5s and their carers. 

 

Rory’s Tiger Club

Every Saturday, 11am-12.15pm

Head down on Saturday mornings for different free craft activities. 

 

Under The Sea

26 Oct-1 Nov

Have a whale of a time this half term with underwater-themed family crafts. Create a mini whale, junk jellyfish and other sea life creatures to take home.  Make a splash on the free museum Whale Trail too!

·         Whale Weekend, 26 Oct, 11am-1pm

Come and celebrate the return of the Pilot Whale skeleton. After decades in store, Leeds City Museum are putting this awesome animal back on display. There’s family crafts, hands-on activities and whale talks on offer too. 

·         Whale Tales, 29 Oct, 10.30am & 2.30pm

Find out more about the Leeds Pilot Whale at informal public talks with Rebecca Machin, Curator of Natural Science. Meet under the whale.

·         Tiny Tigers Under 5s Club, 1 Nov, 10-11.45am

Meet under the whale skeleton for a special Whale-themed craft activity.

Sensory Room for Families with Additional needs

31 Oct, 10.30-11.30am

A pop up sensory room with dark dens and tactile toys, for a calmer moment on your museum trip during the holidays

 

Leeds Industrial Museum

 

Mystery Matinees

Daily during school holidays, 2pm

Every Wednesday & Saturday catch a family flick in the art deco surroundings of the 1920s Palace Picture House.  There’s family friendly scary movies every afternoon during the October Halloween half term holidays! Family tickets are priced at £9.

 

Half Term Holidays

29-31 Oct, 12.30-3pm

Discover the real stories of Halloween with 21st century witches from the Leodis Pagan Circle. Family craft sessions will include the old favourite jack-o-lanterns and willow wand making. There’s also the chance to make your own luxury oat milk bath-bombs using herbs from the autumn harvest of the colour garden.

 

Lotherton

 

Weekend Crafts

Every Sat & Sun 

Come rain or shine Lotherton has something for all the family. Take a break and get crafty during your visit with activities in both the hall and Wildlife World on Saturdays and Sundays. Themes change weekly so there’s always something new to get stuck into.

 

Spooky Scarecrow Trail

26 Oct-3 Nov

The Scarecrow trail is back with more haunts than ever before, including our spooky trail through the haunted woods! Visit the Scarecrow Skeletown and experience the scary side of the Wild West, but only if you dare! With creepy crafts and activities every day, there will be plenty to entertain your little terrors at Lotherton this Halloween!

 

Temple Newsam

 

Temple Newsam Tours

·         Hidden Temple Newsam, Tues & Sat, 11am

Take a journey under the House and learn how the servants got around unseen. It involves some steep steps and uneven surfaces and is suitable for ages 7+.

·         Discovery Tour, Thurs, 11am

A 45 minute tour of the house taking in the main highlights as chosen by Temple Newsam tour guides.

·         Through the Ages for All Ages, Sat & Sun, 2.30pm

A tour for younger visitors with a chance to handle items from the Temple Newsam collection and hear stories of people who lived and worked on the estate.

 

October Half Term

·         Beastly Creepy Crawlies, 26-3 Nov

Spiders, bed bugs, carpet beetles and moths all want to set up home in Temple Newsam house but they have other ideas! Find out how to spot them and what they do to stop them during a bug busting half term. Get crafty and make your own spooky spider or bed bug to take home.

·         Halloween at Home Farm, 26 Oct-3 Nov, 10am-4pm

Home Farm will be dressed up in its spookiest finery throughout the half term holidays. Take part in Halloween themed crafts in the Joiner’s Shop from 10am-4pm each day.

·         Meet The Artist: Kevin Blenkinsop, 30 Oct, 11.30-12.30pm

Kevin makes weird and wonderful creatures from found and recycled materials. He is back this half term to show off his brilliant beasts up close and personal.

·         Pumpkin Carving, 30 Oct, 1-3pm

Bring your own pumpkin to carve in the Walled Garden (or collect the pumpkin you planted if you went to the planting activity earlier in the year!)

·         Spooky Spooktacular, 31 Oct, 5-8pm

Scare yourselves silly with a visit to the darkened house and fiendish farm! Take a tour of the house complete with tales of spooky past residents who creep through the corridors at night. Try your hand at spooky crafts, collect some terrifying treats along the way and don’t forget to dress up for the occasion, the scarier the better!

Thwaite Watermill

 

October Half Term

Keep active during the half term holidays, grab a nature pack from reception and hit the eco trail along the canal.

·         Crafty Tuesday, 29 Oct, 1-3pm

Get involved with creepy crafty fun and make your own ghoulish ghosty.

·         Experimental Thursday, 31 Oct, 1-3pm

Design and make a dancing Halloween robot, ready for a jitterbug boogie at the Monster Mash this Halloween!

Orchard Explorers

30 Oct, 1-3pm

Head to the historic orchard for some apple related family fun! Taste the fruit from the trees that the old mill owner planted, make freshly pressed apple juice, and as it is almost Halloween enjoy making some spooky fruity art!

SHEFFIELD ABSEIL: British Red Cross’ Steel City Abseil down Hallam university – Join us!

SHEFFIELD ABSEIL: British Red Cross’ Steel City Abseil down Hallam university – Join us!
Can you remember back to the beginning of the year when you were thinking about your New Year’s resolutions and you said that you wanted to try new things and step out of your comfort zone? Well, this is your chance to do so! 

The British Red Cross in Sheffield is organising the annual Steel City Abseil down the Owen Building (Hallam University) on Saturday 26th of October. It’s only £10 to enter with a goal of £100 or more to raise for the Red Cross. You can sign up here: www.redcross.org.uk/steel.

This Abseil is for everyone: for those who already abseil and for those who have never tried it before. It’s not only one of the best ways to challenge yourself (which is a great thing!) but it’s also a chance to support the Red Cross and help us to make a difference to each and every one of our service users’ lives.  So, there’s definitely no excuse for you not to sign up!

The British Red Cross supports people in any kind of crisis across Sheffield and Yorkshire: we run advice sessions and integration workshops for refugees and asylum seekers in our city centres, we loan out wheelchairs to residents, we send out volunteers in special “campervans” to people who have had housefires or floods, and we teach first aid and crisis education to young people. So, by doing the abseil you’ll be keeping all these services running.

And if you’re thinking that you have better ways to spend your Saturday, let me tell you that you don’t! This is a great activity for you to do with your family and friends and it’s also a great opportunity for the kids to learn a little bit more about the British Red Cross and the importance of its work. What better reason to step out of your comfort zone and conquer your fears!

Our abseilers all talk about feeling a sense of mission accomplished and, one of the highlights for a British Red Cross staff member who took part last year was, the look on people’s faces when I told them what I was doing, and the feeling when I looked back up at what I had abseiled down! “The hardest part was getting over the edge”, but the adrenaline, pride and accomplishment as a result was well worth the split-second of fear. 

The challenge of the year – and this one’s for YOU!

 

Written by Barbara Rocha (British Red Cross)

SHEFFIELD ABSEIL: British Red Cross’ Steel City Abseil down Hallam university – Join us!

SHEFFIELD ABSEIL: British Red Cross’ Steel City Abseil down Hallam university – Join us!
Can you remember back to the beginning of the year when you were thinking about your New Year’s resolutions and you said that you wanted to try new things and step out of your comfort zone? Well, this is your chance to do so! 

The British Red Cross in Sheffield is organising the annual Steel City Abseil down the Owen Building (Hallam University) on Saturday 26th of October. It’s only £10 to enter with a goal of £100 or more to raise for the Red Cross. You can sign up here: www.redcross.org.uk/steel.

This Abseil is for everyone: for those who already abseil and for those who have never tried it before. It’s not only one of the best ways to challenge yourself (which is a great thing!) but it’s also a chance to support the Red Cross and help us to make a difference to each and every one of our service users’ lives.  So, there’s definitely no excuse for you not to sign up!

The British Red Cross supports people in any kind of crisis across Sheffield and Yorkshire: we run advice sessions and integration workshops for refugees and asylum seekers in our city centres, we loan out wheelchairs to residents, we send out volunteers in special “campervans” to people who have had housefires or floods, and we teach first aid and crisis education to young people. So, by doing the abseil you’ll be keeping all these services running.

And if you’re thinking that you have better ways to spend your Saturday, let me tell you that you don’t! This is a great activity for you to do with your family and friends and it’s also a great opportunity for the kids to learn a little bit more about the British Red Cross and the importance of its work. What better reason to step out of your comfort zone and conquer your fears!

Our abseilers all talk about feeling a sense of mission accomplished and, one of the highlights for a British Red Cross staff member who took part last year was, the look on people’s faces when I told them what I was doing, and the feeling when I looked back up at what I had abseiled down! “The hardest part was getting over the edge”, but the adrenaline, pride and accomplishment as a result was well worth the split-second of fear. 

The challenge of the year – and this one’s for YOU!

 

Written by Barbara Rocha (British Red Cross)

Summer Family Day Out: Charity Canal Challenge

Summer Family Day Out: Charity Canal Challenge

Everyone’s welcome at local health charity, Leeds Cares’ Charity Canal Challenge on Sunday 14th July!.The event, in partnership with Canal & River Trust is encouraging people of all ages across Yorkshire to lead healthy and active lifestyles in support of a great cause. 

river and canal trust Leeds cares charity challenge

Who are Leeds Cares?

As charity partner of Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds Cares brings caring people together to inspire change. Our vision is a healthier world where everyone can access exceptional healthcare – here in Leeds, across Yorkshire and beyond.

Our collaborative approach with the NHS focuses on prevention, treatment and recovery, encouraging people to be healthy and active throughout their lives but ensuring exceptional healthcare is always there when needed.

river and canal trust Leeds cares charity challenge

The Family Track

Leeds Cares is all about helping children get a healthy start in life and encouraging local communities to lead active and fulfilling lives. For the littlest legs, strollers and wheelchairs, the ‘Family Track’ is the most accessible route, a 4-mile fun family stroll from Kirkstall Forge to Leeds.This wheelchair and buggy friendly route is perfect for families with children of all ages, and there’s even a ‘Challenge Pack’ for under 12s with activities along the way!

river and canal trust Leeds cares charity challenge

Get your walking boots on!

Registration is now open and tickets for a family of four cost just £22. All participants will be encouraged to fundraise for Leeds Cares, helping to raise as much as possible to support the work of our hospitals right here in Yorkshire.

Northern Rail is supporting the event with 50% off rail travel via their app, allowing participants to take the train one way, either before or after the event.

Sign up now at www.leeds-cares.org/canal-challenge

 

For more information about Canal & River Trust and to download a free guide to the waterways on your doorstep visit: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/local-to-you