BEST YORKSHIRE DAYS OUT USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Leeds by bus, train and water!

BEST YORKSHIRE DAYS OUT USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Leeds by bus, train and water!

A lot of families want to explore the best Yorkshire has to offer but without a car… so we thought at Yorkshire Families that we would start to share some of our favourite days out using public transport… beginning with Leeds, West Yorkshire.

I myself (Sophie Mei Lan) have a driver’s licence but no vehicle and I am determined to do what I can using public transport or by walking. Not only can it save money but it is better for the environment too and at times, I have found, it is less stressful than driving a car (YES I have been stuck on Leeds Ring Road a number of times!). So what is there to do in Leeds via public transport?

There are so many but here are some of the recent places we have visited and loved in Leeds City Centre!

Train  

As we live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, we often get the train into Leeds if I have the energy to face the busyness of Leeds Train Station (that said the kids love it and it looks super pretty after its recent makeover). The train station itself is equipped with a few shops and lots of eateries from coffee shops to McDonald’s (the children’s favourite along with Subway), Pret a Manger (great for an affordable filter coffee), Wetherspoons (cheeps and cheerful but not child-friendly), Leon (my absolute favourite) and a Sainsbury’s (perfect if you forget picnics and snacks like I always do).

From Leeds Train Station main entrance you can easily access the city centre shops and Trinity Leeds and it is just a 10 minute walk to Millennium Square where you will find the brilliant Leeds City Museum (such a great free day out for little ones) as well as Leeds Art Gallery. Nearby there is also The Core Shopping Centre where we like to grab a slightly quieter bite to eat, The Merrion Centre and for a treat we love The Light Leeds.

Or if you come out of Leeds Train Station’s South Entrance you can easily access the city’s waterfront (River Aire).

The entrance has two escalators up to the concourse which provides access to either side of the river for passengers to get to Granary Wharf and Little Neville Street, or Holbeck.

Granary Wharf has lots of places to eat but the children’s favourite are Leeds Water Taxis. The boats (called Twee and Drie) ferry passengers from Granary Wharf to Leeds Dock. At Leeds Dock you will find Royal Armouries Museum which is well worth a visit.

Bus 

My favourite way to get to Leeds is via bus although it does take a lot longer this way (approximately one hour on the 110 Arriva bus from where we live in Wakefield to Leeds City Bus Station, which is only 20-30 minutes on the train).

Once arriving in Leeds City Bus station, there are lots of places to visit locally.

The bus station itself is nothing to shout about but at least it is quieter that Leeds Train Station and it has a Greggs and corner shop as well as vending machines.

Leeds City Bus station is literally next door to Leeds Kirkgate Market which has a huge array of fruit and vegetable stalls as well as an accessible food court with lots of independent food and drink vendors (you can get delicious fresh food cooked for you at an affordable price).

The bus station is also across the road from Victoria Leeds which is home to John Lewis and some higher end shops and eateries. It’s great with a pushchair or with older children.

Not only that, Leeds Playhouse theatre is also across the road with a new city facing entrance which makes it even more accessible (previously West Yorkshire Playhouse). We love going to the theatre to see family friendly shows such as The Bear which was on during half-term.

Yorkshire Families review of The Bear at Leeds Playhouse: 

“Charming and captivating! My 5 & 8 year old daughters were so engrossed, they forgot to ask for the sweets I’d brought them. I’m not sure I could give higher praise!?

This production is everything children’s theatre should be: beautifully made, witty, charming and light-hearted.

The Bear is adapted from the picture book by Raymond Briggs, the same writer behind The Snowman. Here, a relatable and enchanting little girl, Tilly is delighted when a polar bear climbs through her bedroom window. Despite the bear making trouble, in every toon in the house, her parents remain blissfully unaware and assume the ‘bear’ Tilly constantly charters about is part of her imagination. Which my girls found hilarious, as the bear is huge!

We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the experience, from the welcome at Leeds playhouse, the wonderful acting on show, the seamless scene changes to the perfect duration and atmosphere for my girls. I’d thoroughly recommend for a family trip!”

Also nearby you have Yorkshire Dance and Northern Ballet who both run classes for children and adults. We recently attended a free family festival at Yorkshire Dance where we did a Bollywood Dance Workshop.

 

So whether you’re visiting Leeds by bus, foot, train or even boat… there are so many things to do! Let us know your favourite day out on social media @yorkshirefamilies on instagram/facebook and @yorkshirefams on twitter.

CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH: How to help your child deal with worries and anxiety

CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH: How to help your child deal with worries and anxiety

We understand that children need physical education and but what about helping a child’s mental health such as how to deal with worries and anxiety? 

As someone who has had mental health problems since I was at school and now being a mum myself and running Yorkshire Families (which aims to get all families exploring Yorkshire regardless of barriers such as mental health problems), I understand the importance of supporting young people and preventing more mental health issues in the future and enabling them to have the ‘best’ start possible. 

I recently went to a workshop on “How to help your child overcome worries and anxiety” by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust. 

Here are the tips on helping a child with worries and anxiety… 

 

  • Ask your child what they are worried about when you notice they are worried or soon after. Don’t assume you know what is worrying them. Use open questions such as what, when and why?
  • Try to encourage the child to think of solutions to their worry. Ask things like ‘Has that ever happened before?’ Has it happened to someone else? How likely is it that this will happen? If this does happen could there be other reasons for it? Ask if (event) happened to a friend what do they think the friend would do?
  • For children who find it difficult to verbalise their worries encourage them to write or draw their worry. Make a worry box or monster to put the worries in. Go through the worries with the child at a set time each day, not too near to bed time. This limits the amount of time a child worries each day as they know they will have set time to talk and think about their worries.
  • If children find it difficult to recognise anxiety draw a body outline and encourage them to draw physical feelings i.e. butterflies in stomach, shaky legs, you can draw your own physical feelings on a body outline.
  • Some younger children like to draw their worries and tear them up or make them into comical characters. For older children encourage them to write feelings and emotions down in a journal.
  • Encourage children to ‘have a go’ at something they are worried about, give praise if they achieve even a small part of their worry. Set child doable goals using visual pictures, make small steps they can achieve to reach their goals, expect setbacks.
  • Make sure your child can identify activities, places and people they can talk to which help to make them feel relaxed.
  • Teach them simple breathing and distraction techniques e.g. counting rectangles in a room, use a rectangle to slow breathing down i.e. breath in for a count of 2, pause, breath out for 3, pause and repeat.
  • Make sure child can identify someone at home and at school who they can talk to.  
  • Use positive self- talk, children learn from example, encourage them to use phrases like ‘I can do this, I am good at…, I like myself because….

 

To recap: 

ASK open questions (don’t assume)

ENCOURAGE THEM TO SPEAK, WRITE OR DRAW their worries 

CREATE a worry box or monster to put their worries in 

SET SMALL GOALS to overcome their worry 

BREATHE mindfulness and distraction techniques 

USE POSITIVE SELF-TALK Children learn from example 

SUPPORT Make sure a child has someone at home and/or school to talk to 

 

 

Some useful books and resources on helping a Child with worries or anxiety:

‘What to do when you worry too much’ by Dawn Huebner

‘Little Miss Shy’ Roger Hargreaves

Overcoming Your Child’s Fear and Worries, Cathy Creswell and Lucy Willetts.

Websites:

Childline

Anxiety-Young Minds http://www.youngminds.org.uk

Anxiety in Children NHS.UK

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/…/anxiety-and-panic-attacks

Older children and young people:

Moodjuice self- help resources http://www.moodjuice

Kooth online counselling http://www.kooth.com

Young minds

There are many apps and meditation websites that help children build up a ‘tool box’ of coping strategies to help then deal with situations they find stressful.

e.g. Headspace

 

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.

 

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.

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

 

 

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!

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?