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

 

 

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)

THE CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE: Lotherton Hall in Leeds #Review

THE CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE: Lotherton Hall in Leeds #Review

I’ve heard great things about Lotherton Hall which is a country house on the outskirts of Leeds, West Yorkshire. So when we were invited to review the Christmas Experience, we jumped at the chance.

As I was busy finishing off work on my other blog and vlog, my Mother in Law Janet and Sister in Law Jen took the girls on The Christmas Experience.

Janet writes…

Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience

The entry fee included entrance to the Hall and the Christmas Experience. The Christmas experience included an elf village, a 12 days of Christmas walk and a fairy dell.

We went into the  Elf Village first which included a food and drink van selling limited snacks which unfortunately were not really suitable for the children I had with me aged 6 and 4 years. The activities were very good decorating plates, decorations ceramic tree decorations and one other which was too busy for us to see what it was. You had to purchase tokens for these £10 for 4 tokens but I felt these were very good value.

Unfortunately although it was the Saturday before Christmas there was no Santa there. The playground was very good. We did not see the Fairy Dell and the children did not want to do the walk.

I personally would have preferred to have paid less just to go to the Christmas Experience with small children and as we didn’t want to see the house but it was included in the entry fee.

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The official lowdown

Steeped in Christmas magic and excitement. Enjoy a magical Twelve Days of Christmas Walk through the Captains Wood around the estate, make the turtle doves fly, walk through the five gold rings and be one of our drummers drumming! Uncover a secret fairy hideaway in our rock garden. Visit Santa in the North Pole and meet our elves helping in their workshop. Marvel in the splendor of the Edwardian House with the rooms dressed in all their festive finery. Wander down to the Elf Village where young ones can join the elves in making craft activities or listen to stories, and everyone can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or warm snack under our twinkling canopy.

DISCLAIMER: We received an entry pass but paid for everything else for the purpose of this review. All views are that of the author.

FREE FAMILY FRIENDLY DAY IN LEEDS: Festive activities at Leeds Corn Exchange

FREE FAMILY FRIENDLY DAY IN LEEDS: Festive activities at Leeds Corn Exchange

Leeds Playhouse and Leeds Corn Exchange have joined forces to host a free family friendly takeover day.

Running on Saturday December 15, the takeover will see the Corn Exchange filled with free activities and workshops for young people aged 5 – 16 and their families.

The packed programme of free events will include story dens, festive choirs and singing groups, craft activities and workshops, all inspired by Leeds Playhouse’s current yuletide offering A Christmas Carol, playing now in the Playhouse’s Pop-Up theatre. The day will be delivered by the theatre’s award-winning Creative Engagement programme. There will also be an exciting opportunity to dress up as your favourite character in a pop-up photo booth, with beautiful outfits from the theatre’s Costume Hire.

Seb Smallwood as Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol. Photography by Andrew Billington (2)

Leeds Playhouse’s Head of Young People Gaby Paradis said: “This is the first collaboration between the two Leeds organisations and we are thrilled that this free family friendly day will happen in the iconic surroundings of the Corn Exchange – it will be fantastic to see the inspiring venue filled with amazing activities the whole family can get involved in. At Leeds Playhouse we aim to make theatre as exciting and as accessible as possible and being able to host the event in the centre of Leeds and in partnership with the Corn Exchange demonstrates our commitment to opening up creative possibilities for everyone whilst showcasing some of the fantastic organisations within the city.”

Leeds Playhouse and Leeds Corn Exchange Takeover. Photography by Anthony Robling (2)

Leeds Corn Exchange Centre Manager Adam Warner said: “We’re really excited to welcome Leeds Playhouse to Leeds Corn Exchange on the 15th December. It’s really important for us to create valuable relationships with key city centre partners and we feel that this partnership is a perfect fit. Leeds Corn Exchange has long been a hub of creative activity in the city and we are looking forward to welcoming their team for a unique day of workshops, live music, performances and more.”

Leeds Playhouse offers a regular dedicated programme of work for young people aged 5 – 25 consisting of creative projects, workshops and productions. Over 350 young people take part in Playhouse Youth activities each week both within the theatre building and its dedicated creative space for young people, First Floor.

Leeds Playhouse and Leeds Corn Exchange Takeover. Photography by Anthony Robling (4)

Free Festive Takeover Day, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BR

Sat 15 Dec, 10am – 6pm

HALLOWEEN, AUTUMN & OCTOBER HALF-TERM: Where to go and what to do in Yorkshire?

HALLOWEEN, AUTUMN & OCTOBER HALF-TERM: Where to go and what to do in Yorkshire?

From pumpkin picking and autumnal crafts to spooky events and slime workshops, there is so much on offer this Autumn and Halloween in Yorkshire.

Now the Mid-Autumn Mooncake Festival is over (we celebrate the Chinese festival in our household), we have been on the hunt for things to do locally in our beloved county of Yorkshire.

One of our favourite places to go is Farmer Copley’s  in West Yorkshire who boast the UK’s largest Pumpkin Festival. But we’ve never actually visited during the Pumpkin season, so that’s on our to-do list this year. And fellow northern blogger Cora Harrison highly recommends the farm in Pontefract and said that they picked a blue pumpkin last year at Farmer Copley’s!

Not too far from there is the fabulous Yorkshire Sculpture Park who are putting on a family-friendly Autumnal Bushcraft Day. We went to one of their family days over summer and loved it!

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The Hepworth Wakefield also has crafts on throughout the weekends and Wakefield School Holidays such as Art Pods and Craft tote bags to borrow on Saturdays, Mondays and Fridays.

crafts free family activities at the hepworth gallery wakefield art pods

Wakefield Museums are always free and most of their family-friendly workshops are free too (including Wakefield Museum, Pontefract Museum and Castleford Museum). To find out What’s On check out their leaflet here.

Don’t miss a super spooky event for older children (advised 12 plus) on Hell Lane in Wakefield… it’s Yorkshire Scare Grounds Scream Park, combining special effects and actors in an immersive experience as well as a pop-up bar in the severed head!

Also close by for the whole family and scare-free is a Light Party happening on Halloween, 31st October at Portobello Community Centre in Wakefield.

Or you can jump on a ghost train with special Halloween-inspired story-telling at Kirklees Light Railway with their ‘Half Term Horrors’ event.

There’s also plenty of free activities on at the National Coal Mining Museum this half-term.

Up in North Yorkshire, we always enjoy a visit to Stockeld Park who have a special Halloween Adventure on from 25th-31st October during the Autumn October half-term. They’ll be transforming the maze each night into something spooky as well as their Woodland Trail with Nordic Ski, the Illuminated Enchanted Forest and a real ice rink.  I would recommend their Christmas Experience too.

Blogger Amy Downes recommends York for the slightly older kids.

She said: “York is amazing for ghost walks on Halloween – everybody goes dressed up and the people who lead them are really lovely and entertaining. We actually booked a night over there last year at the Holiday Inn which is a 40 minutes walk into the city centre and after the walk Mummy and Daddy had a quick pint afterwards while our toddler was sleeping – recommend Valhalla the Viking Bar which isn’t very well known or the Guy Fawkes pub close to York Minster to get you in the mood for Bonfire Night (Fawkes was born in the house which is now a pub).”

Europe’s largest maize maze, York Maze, reopens on 27th October until 4th November for a special Hallowscream event.

Then if we journey to South Yorkshire, Trips with a Tot recommends Halloween at Whirlow Hall Farm with their Witches in the Wood event on 27th October, a free Spooktacular at Conisbrough Castle or Slime Workshops at Medieval Mayhem, a play centre in Sheffield.

Museums Sheffield (which includes Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery and Weston Park Museum) always have a variety of free family activities on rom Craft and Art Clubs to Fridays for Under 5s. Make sure you check what’s on here.

museums sheffield free family activities millenium gallery

Then drive over to Barnsley for Cannon Hall Farm’s Halloween event… The Pumpkin Festival where young witches and wizards can complete challenges to graduate from the Wizardry School.

So whatever you get up to this Autumn, please let us know below or if you have any recommendations… we’d love to hear about them!

Don’t forget we’re on twitter @YorkshireFams and Yorkshire Families on Facebook.