FAMILY FITNESS IN YORKSHIRE: How to keep active with the kids

FAMILY FITNESS IN YORKSHIRE: How to keep active with the kids

There are so many active family days out to be had in Yorkshire, we’ve tested out a fair few of them this Summer from free activities to climbing and fitness challenges. Here are our child-friendly highlights…

Canal and River Walks 

We kicked off the Summer with a Leeds Cares Charity Canal Challenge which saw the kids and I walking along the Leeds – Liverpool Canal. 

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A lot of people will have a story to tell about their hospital and for us it’s @leedshospitals who helped save my daughter Arianna when she was a baby (as you may know) as we had to resuscitate her and then the Doctors and nurses cared for her and brought her back to life at #leedsgeneralinfirmary #lgi #intensivecareunit so when we were invited to promote the charity which supports the hospital at their canal challenge event, we jumped at the chance 💕💕💕It was a long but fun & scenic day walking along #leedsliverpoolcanal supporting the charity close to our hearts @leeds_cares in their #conquerthecanal challenge 💕❤️💕 Quite proud of myself for taking the two little ones on my own without a pushchair and completing the challenge! We had a few tantrums, some pit stops and bear crawling moments BUT we had such a lovely time together doing the #scavengerhunt, being active and making the most of the stunning outdoors @canalrivertrust @yorkshirefamilies @blogupnorth 👌👌👌

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The event was in aid of a great charity Leeds Cares which funds Leeds Teaching Hospitals work, something we as a family are grateful for as a family as they cared for my youngest Arianna when she nearly died as a baby. 

The day also gave us a chance to explore the Canal side which is simply stunning and free to walk our cycle along. We set off from Kirkstall Forge (we got the train there from Wakefield to Leeds station to Kirkstall Forge) and walked to Granary Wharf. It was a challenge taking the two kids on my own with no buggy or bike but it was well worth it and so scenic. We will definitely be exploring more walks with the Canal and River Trust as we haven’t been making the most of the canals near us. 

It was a free day out (other than the train journey) and we had a picnic along the way too. You can get straight back to the train station from Granary Wharf too. 

 

Travel To Tokyo 

 

It felt good to start the summer with an active challenge like the Canal Walk and we continued it with doing a series of free activities as part of the Travel to Tokyo Challenge to get families active in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics. 

By joining athletes on a virtual journey from London to Tokyo, participants will be in with the chance to win some fantastic prizes as young people work together to reach the December 2020 finish line. You can find out how to join here: https://yorkshirefamilies.co.uk/2019/06/28/families-and-children-wanted-to-join-olympic-and-paralympic-gold-medallists-in-travel-to-tokyo-in-the-run-up-to-tokyo-2020/

Swimming and Climbing 

My youngest daughter’s highlight of the summer was swimming at Disney-inspired sessions at Heeley Baths in Sheffield every Sunday. 

And my eldest loved going climbing at the Climbing Works – Mini Works centre where you can boulder and learn how to climb. 

Whilst in Sheffield, I also enjoyed some adult time going to Hot Yoga classes which are great for core strength and flexibility. 

 

Go Ape at Temple Newsam in Leeds 

I also really enjoyed going to Go Ape with my younger brother and step dad. It was so much fun swinging through the treetops and pretending to be Tarzan. We did the advanced course, but I will return with the kids to go back and do the mini course. 

Tough Mudder and Lidl Mudder 

I then took my step dad and my friend Katy to Tough Mudder which is an 8-10 mile course with 25 obstacles. We went to the one in North Yorkshire at Boughton Hall. My step brother cheered us along as spectators can come and watch for £10. We had so much fun and there was such a great feeling of camaraderie between everyone. 

I also saw that they now do a Lidl Mudder course for kids to take part… which I am sure would make the perfectly muddy family day out. 

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Have you taken on @tough_mudder challenge?! 🧗‍♀️💃🏃‍♀️ I’ve just completed my first #toughmudder experience and it was completely different than I expected… yes I guessed there’d be mud 😂😂😂 (and there was lots of that!) but rather than being a fierce competitive race… the camaraderie was just awesome. The obstacles were challenging but everyone was so friendly and cheered each other on. And somehow people managed to help me and my hips get over some huge walls, under some barbed wire and through a lot of muddy water 💦 I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. It was the best way to spend a Sunday… with great friends old and new @mrleefurness @katypadam … who’s up for joining my team for the next one?! @blogupnorth @yorkshirefamilies 😜😜😜Plus it all finished in Mudder Village with coffees, food, protein shakes and beers 🍺 👌🥤@jimmysicedcoffee @arladairyuk @snickers @brewdogofficial @lidlgb 💕💕💕 Now for a cup @yorkshiretea & a hot bath (the ice bath obstacle didn’t do it for me 😂) Thanks so much #toughmudder2019 – it’s been epic 💋💋💋 #GIFTED #yorkshire

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Community Health 

To finish off on a high… have you checked out what’s on in your local community? Whether it be council run activities in your local park or community open days.. We’ve been making the most of what’s on in our local area. 

We’re lucky to live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and there are lots of family friendly walks to be had around Angler’s Country Park, Pugney’s Country Park and Sandal Castle. Also at Pugney’s and at Thornes Park there are outdoor gyms to play with too. 

I also taught dance at a community open day held by Inspiring Communities in Portobello, Wakefield – and they had weekly activities on for the whole family. 

Or maybe organise your own game of rounders, football or some indoor dancing and playing games such as twister. 

 

What are your favourite ways to keep active as a family?

 

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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)

FREE DAYS OUT IN YORKSHIRE: Where to go and what to do with the family

FREE DAYS OUT IN YORKSHIRE: Where to go and what to do with the family

From West Yorkshire to South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire to East Yorkshire, here are some of our top free days out for families in Yorkshire.

Let’s begin our journey in…

West Yorkshire

      1. Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds: A real gem just off Kirkstall Rd in Leeds. Explore the Abbey ruins and the stunning lush grounds. There’s also a free car park and playground next to it. Abbey House Museum and Cafe is just across the road from the car park.

    2. Leeds Galleries and Museum are free to enter, for a full list, go to: https://yorkshirefamilies.co.uk/2019/03/16/easter-holidays-what-to-do-and-where-to-go-in-leeds-west-yorkshire/

    3. Leeds Dock has free water taxis: Their water taxis run everyday Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm and Sat–Sun, 10am-7pm. Twee & Drie (the boats) ferry passengers between Granary Wharf & Leeds Dock. The trip takes 12 minutes which is on a scenic canal route and all journeys are free of charge. To catch a ride on a yellow boat… Exit Leeds Train station via the New South Entrance or walk under the arches to Granary Wharf and the Doubletree by Hilton hotel. The taxis are on the lower water level, hidden out of view – just across the lock bridge in front of Bar Brasil. Hop on!

  1. The Water Taxis run every 15 minutes from either stop. Look out for a yellow flag with water taxi written on in black.

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  1. 4. West Yorkshire History Centre has a free exhibition and free family activities, check out their facebook page for the latest.
  2. 5.The Hepworth Wakefield is free to enter (although parking is £5 for the day but it is a short walk from Wakefield Kirkgate station).
  3. The Barbara Hepworth inspired gallery has a range of free crafts on during the school holidays and on weekends.There is also an outdoor playground and UK’s largest public garden is currently being built outside the gallery next to The Calder building. There’s also stunning views from the The Hepworth Cafe over the River Calder and The Chantry Chapel (which has free heritage open days on select dates).6. National Science and Media Museum in Bradford is open daily 10am-6pm. Free Entry. For more details, click here.
  4. 7. Angler’s Country Park, near Wakefield. It’s free and there is a fabulous Room on the Broom trail.Anglers Country Park is dominated by a lake, surrounded by grassland, woodland and a wetland area known as the ‘Pol’. At one time this was the deepest open cast coal mine in the country, reaching a depth of 250 feet.Anglers has been awarded Green Flag status – recognising it as one of the best parks in the country.

    8. Pontefract Castle is a hidden gem in West Yorkshire with outdoor ruins and an indoor visitor centre. Make sure you take time to visit the dungeons on a tour (these cost however, £3 per person at the time of writing).

    9. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a fabulous day out to explore “art without walls” (with some indoor galleries and creative spaces and cafes).

    Parking is £10 for the day. There’s also a new Damien Hirst Sculpture which is part of Yorkshire Sculpture International festival (which is a free festival over 100 days at YSP, Leeds Art Gallery and The Hepworth Wakefield) and a new restaurant and gallery building. Visitor and local creative Darren Johnson, said:

    1. South Yorkshire

10 . Experience Barnsley inside Barnsley Town Hall is a lovely little visitor experience-cum-museum which is free to enter and there are fountains outside.

It’s also a short walk away from Barnsley indoor market if you want to buy some cheap scran from the food court.

11. Clifton Park in Rotherham has parks, gardens and sport, rides and games and even a museum.

12. Sheffield Museums and Galleries have a whole host of free-to-enter exhibitions on from Sheffield Millenium Galleries which is connected to the tropical indoor Winter Gardens and the nearby outdoor Peace Gardens which is particularly wonderful in the warmer weather for picnics and running through the water fountains if you wish.

13. Ecclesall Woods in Sheffield is great for stunning walks and has a lovely visitor centre too.

 

14. Millhouses Park and Graves Park in Sheffield are located close to each other and well worth a visit. Millhouses has a great big play area and outdoor gym and Graves Park has a mini farm and plays host to a range of family-friendly events.

North Yorkshire

15. Harrogate’s Valley park with an outdoor paddling pool and stunning pavilion.

16. Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs near Harrogate: “Walking, cycle pump track, barbeque picnic spots. A very beautiful place in all seasons,” recommends Janet of a Falcondale Life.

17. Sutton Bank National Park in North Yorkshire: “We would highly recommend North Yorkshire to anybody who is into cycling. The ability to find trails suitable for the children or take on a challenging ride ourselves in the same area made it the ideal place to spend a few days. We’ll definitely be back again in the future to take on some tougher trails as the children’s cycling skills improve,” said Natalie Ray who blogs at Plutonium Sox.

18. York Railway Museum: “I have fond memories of going on a trip to York Railway Museum when I was a little girl. It was free when I was a child, and so it was always a favourite place for Mum and Dad to take my brother and I when we were younger. My brother was a bit of a train spotter in his youth. But I was more into the romance than the engineering. I loved the history of some of the older trains,” says Jo Boyne of A Rose Tinted World.

York Railway Museum is open from 10am to 5pm daily in winter, and 10am to 6pm in summer.

The museum has plenty of toilets and baby changing facilities. There are picnic tables and also several places to eat, including a tea room in a restored railway carriage and an Edwardian-style restaurant. There are two shops full of railway souvenirs and gifts for enthusiasts of all ages.

19. York City Walls  http://www.yorkwalls.org.uk/?page_id=3690

20. Scarborough: “I love just wondering round from North Bay to South, Peasholme Park, paddling in the sea and playing on the beach and the view from Oliver’s Mount,” said Amy Downes from A Mum Full of Dreams.

 East Yorkshire

Kirsty Holden aka The Money Saving Mum recommends:

21. Humber Bridge foreshore

22. Museum Quarter in Hull inc Maritime Museum and Hull Minster too.

YORKSHIRE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: What to do, where to go this half-term – the ultimate guide

YORKSHIRE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: What to do, where to go this half-term – the ultimate guide

February half-term holidays is upon us and if you’re anything like me, you’re scrambling last minute for things to do and places to go, so you can have a memorable school holidays (and most importantly, prevent the kids from going stir crazy from staying indoors). Here’s some fund things to do and recommended places to go this half-term in North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire

York 

York is one of my favourite places for a day out in the centre. I recently went to review the kids menu at Star Inn the City which is located next to the Yorkshire Museum and then we spent the afternoon at York Maze which was a fun way to end the day.

We’ve also been know to do the York Park Run with the kids although it was a bit too chilly at York Racecourse when we last went before Christmas.

Kirsty Holden from The Money Saving Mum recommends York Railway Museum.

The National Railway Museum is free to enter and is open 10am-6pm.

Also in York this Half-term is Jorvik Viking Festival from  20 – 27 February 2019. It’s a family friendly festival and the largest event of its kind in Europe. There are historic encampments, talks, tours, combat displays and much more, all during half term week.

Blogger Hodge Podge who recommends the Jorvik Viking Festival said: “Thanks to my love of the TV series, The Last Kingdom, and my son learning all about Vikings at school, we’ve been reading a lot about life as a Viking.

“One way for us to learn more about Viking life is for us to visit York for the day and take in some of the JORVIK Viking Festival. The JORVIK Viking Festival happens every February, around half term and it’s a full on festival of all things Viking.”

Wensleydale, Yorkshire Dales 

Wensleydale is set in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales in North Yorkshire. If you’re a cheese fan, it is worth a visit to Wensleydale Creamery and there is a family-friendly experience too.

Blogger Raising Badgers also recommends Wensleydale. She said: “We stayed in a lovely cottage in a little village called Askrigg, in Wensleydale, not far from the slightly bigger town of Hawes. Askrigg has three pubs, a church, a village shop and café and a children’s playground and loads of fields and paths and farm animals – perfect for a bit of exploration.”

Whitby

Once you’ve had some time in the countryside, you might fancy visiting the equally stunning Yorkshire Coast. Whitby is a great place to camp and follow the history of Captain Cook at the memorial museum.

Scarborough

Or maybe you fancy a splash at Alpamare indoor and outdoor waterpark based in Scarborough near to Peasholme Park.

Ripon

There’s also plenty to do at Fountain’s Abbey and Study Royal this half-term which is located in Ripon, North Yorkshire

South Yorkshire

Sheffield

This February half-term there is a Magna Mayhem inflatable adventure on Sheffield’s Science Adventure Centre Magna. I have fond memories of a scientific school trip to Magna.

From Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February 2019, kids can bounce, boing, jump, slide, bop and boogie on the inflatable adventure zone, for a full 75 mins of high adrenaline fun. Magna’s purpose built indoor world of adventure is a safe environment for children of all ages to let off steam and be active during the school holidays.

Standard sessions at 12 and 2pm are open to all ages 0-15, but are aimed mainly at under 11s. You know better than anyone else your own child’s enjoyment levels and limitations. There is no age limit for any of the inflatable equipment, it is at the discretion of the supervising adult to deem suitability for your child/children. With the exception of the Ocean Playzone which is limited to under three year olds only.

For more details, click here.

the crucible theatre studio sheffield south yorkshire

Sheffield blogger Naomi from Trips with a Tot has shared her picks for this half-term:

Children’s School Holiday Crafts at Sheffield Manor Lodge. Starts February 18th-February 21st. Candle making, snowflake sun catcher and winter bauble crafts. Plus sandpit, labyrinth maze, ruins and outside games. Crafts 11am-3pm. £4 per crafter. Don’t forget to explore the grounds and find the slide, too.

Medieval Mayhem at Bolsover Castle, Monday 18th-Friday 22nd. Step back in time and have Medieval fun this February half-term. Listen to the stories about adventurous times past, learn some honourable fighting techniques in the sword school and make sure to take part in the other (somewhat smelly!) cheeky medieval mayhem activities.

Barnsley 

Monday 18th & Tuesday 19th: Free Crafting the Cosmos free drop in activity 11am-2pm at Cooper Gallery, Barnsley

East Yorkshire

Hull

Over to East Yorkshire and Hull-based blogger Hollie Hutchinson from money-saving blog  Thrifty Mum  recommend LEGO Brick History Exhibition at Hull History Centre…

The Hull History Centre is hosting a free exhibition which tells the story of some of the biggest moments in history…made completely out of LEGO! But its only on until 9th March 2019 so you’ll have to big quick to catch it.

If you want to catch the LEGO Brick History exhibition at the Hull History Centre, opening times are:

Monday-Friday 9:30am-5:30pm

Saturday 9am-4:30pm

Sunday (Closed)

West Yorkshire

Bradford

Attachment Mummy recommends Haworth (Bradford), the village where the Bronte sisters once lived.  This literary mecca is a top destination for grown-up tourists from around the world, but just how can you get children interested in its history?  Is Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage Museum suitable for young children?

And what of the practicalities?  Park down at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway station (£3 all day) and walk across the wooden bridge and up the hill to the bottom of Main Street.  You will pass through pretty Central Park, which has an excellent playground and lots of space to play and picnic.  (If the railway is running, a journey to Oakworth, setting of The Railway Children, is highly recommended too.)

Overton

National Coal Mining Museum of England has a plethora of activities this half-term.

Half Term @ Pit is for everyone,  learn about the history of coalmining and get hands-on with our activities with a mining twist!

Science Shows:-

From Sunday 17th to Sunday 24th February

Performances at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Join NCMME for a half term full of fun with our FREE explosive Science Show. This entertaining 30 minute show introduces you to some famous inventors and explains how the safety-flame lamp was invented and why it was so important to miners. Explosions guaranteed!

No need to book just drop in and enjoy. Suitable for all the family.

Craft Activities in the Family Learning Zone:- From Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February – 12.30 to 4pm.

Come and find out how miners kept healthy and safe.  Making pit nurses and flame safety lamps.

Wakefield

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Hop on the Free City Bus from Wakefield Westgate and Wakefield Kirkgate to find you’re way to Wakefield Museum at Wakefield One (located near Wakefield Westgate train station) which is free to enter and a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Also on the free city bus route (as well as having it’s own car park) is The Hepworth Wakefield which has a range of free craft activities on throughout the holidays as well as the normal free outdoor play area, craft packs and a new exhibition by Magdalene Odundo.

Wakefield Festival of Food and Drink aka the Rhubarb festival takes place at the end of February half-term from 22nd-24th with tons to do for the whole family.

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Ossett

Rachel Morgan on Facebook is off to Ossett in the suburbs of Wakefield. She said: “boomchikaboom are also doing a greatest showman/slime event at Ossett Town Hall on Thursday 21st.” 

Leeds 

Over in Leeds, the new home of Channel 4, there’s lots on at the city’s museums. To find out what to do at Abbey House Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds City Museum, Leeds Industrial Museum, Thwaite Watermill, Lotherton, Leeds Discovery Centre and Kirkstall Abbey – go to our dedicated blog post here.

Ice Cube looks like a fun event on at Millennium Square in Leeds – with an Ice Slide, Ice Rink and lots of activities for the whole family – a cool winter themed activity.

Also here’s a nice competition by Yorkshire-based business Ribbon of Hearts – something to do at home!

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