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!

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.