Just eight miles north of York, around a 45 minute drive from Harrogate is beautiful Beningbrough with its glorious gardens, sprawling parkland and hands-on art galleries.
Whether it’s swinging from heights or climbing the wall up the pyramid tower in the popular wilderness play area, fun and games on the lawn, borrowing a bike to ride around the gardens or dressing up as royalty in the hall, Beningbrough is a fantastic family day out.
Pick up a free explorer backpack and go hunting for bugs, bird watching or navigating the gardens with a compass. Or, head inside. The hall can be enjoyed all year round. Get creative in the interactive galleries or let your littlest one amuse themselves in the pre-school playroom.
During school holidays, there are plenty of organised activities to enjoy from the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ playlist as well as artrageous workshops and interactive trails.
Children’s picnic boxes and delicious meals made from home grown and locally sourced produce are available from the restaurant. Plus ice creams, sandwiches, snacks and drinks from the Brew House during school holidays and on weekends.
“We had a fantastic day at Beningbrough this week. They now let dogs into most of the gardens (just not in the childrens play area and walled garden bit) and there is a place you can sit and have a coffee just close to the adventure playground. My girls loved building the dens and climbing the trees. A fabulous day out. And the for was lovely too!”
Mumbler EP, Jul 18
“My 2 love the adventure play area.”
Mumbler JC, Jan 18
Beningbrough, York, North Yorkshire, YO30 1DD
Tropical World at Roundhay Park is one of the most loved family attractions in Leeds and is the perfect day out during these colder months.
You can escape the cold while also experiencing an unforgettable journey through Tropical World’s various exotic and interesting zones. Take a trek through the rainforest, desert, aquarium and waterfall areas and see some fascinating animals and creatures along the way including butterflies, crocodiles, rare birds, meerkats and many many more!
The fun doesn’t stop there as you can also unwind and bask in the heat with snakes, lizards and iguanas in the creature corner as well as discovering some of the more peculiar animals that roam the world while we sleep in the nocturnal zone.
One of Tropical World’s most loved zones is the butterfly house where you are able to witness first-hand their fascinating life cycle from caterpillar to butterfly. There are between 20 and 30 species of butterflies at Tropical World including Owl Butterflies which can grow up to 20cm – the same size as a large dinner plate!
You can really get up close and personal with all the inhabitants of Tropical World which makes it a fantastic immersive experience. With such a large variety of exciting and exotic animals to discover and learn about, Tropical World is a fun and educational day out for all the family.
Entry to the attraction is very reasonably priced and children under five go free! There is plenty of free roadside parking opposite the attraction and disabled parking available on Princes Avenue just outside the entrance. You can also easily reach Tropical World from the city centre via public transport, with buses 2 and 12 stopping right outside.
Once you have finished exploring all there is on offer at Tropical World, you can grab a bite to eat and drink in the café which has a variety of hot and cold refreshments on offer. With a unique view of the canal gardens, the café is the perfect place to sit back and relax.
There is also plenty on offer outside of Tropical World in the popular Roundhay Park where it is located. Roundhay Park covers over 700 acres of rolling parkland, lakes, woodlands, formal gardens and playgrounds. With lots to see and do at Tropical World and Roundhay Park, you really can have a fantastic day out!
Address: Tropical World, Princes Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, LS8 2ER
Winter Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 4pm (last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Tickets: You can book tickets online or on the day from the Tropical World shop
Access: Tropical World is wheelchair accessible and allows free admission for carers on a 1:1 basis
Within historic woodland along the River Nidd is Mother Shipton’s Cave, the birthplace of Yorkshire’s famous prophetess. It is situated next to the Petrifying Well, England’s oldest visitor attraction. The attraction tells the story of Mother Shipton and the water which turns objects to stone.
Who was Mother Shipton?
Mother Shipton was born in 1488, in a cave on the banks of the River Nidd and grew up around Knaresborough. She was a strange child, both in looks and in nature. Her nose was large and crooked, her back bent and her legs twisted. Just like a witch. As she grew older, her prophecies became known throughout England. She foretold the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and the Great Fire of London in 1666. She made her living telling the future and warning those who asked of what was to come.
Historic Woodland Walk
Mother Shipton’s Cave is situated next to the Petrifying Well, a unique geological phenomenon. Over hundreds of years curiosity has drawn millions of visitors to the well to see cascading water turn everyday objects to stone – as if by magic.
The park is a unique, unspoilt remnant of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough. The estate was sold by King Charles I in 1630 to a local gentleman, Sir Charles Slingsby; his family landscaped and created the park and the pathways visitors walk along today.
During a visit it is an old tradition to make a wish. The Wishing Well is fed by the same magical waters as the Petrifying Well and has been wished upon for over 300 years. Many visitors have been in touch to tell us their wishes have come true!
Family Day Out
The park has several scenic picnic areas, an adventure playground and museum and gift shop. Dogs are welcome in all areas, apart from the playground.
Themed events run during school holidays. In 2019 families can enjoy a Hoppy Easter Adventure Trail, May Half Term with Unicorns and Dinosaurs, a magical Summer Holidays of Witches and Wizards and a Spooktacular Halloween. The popular Christmas Experience will be returning for its second year! Details will be released on the website in due course. For more information about family events visit our website.
Visitors can now book online! For general admission and events, discounted tickets are available at: https://mothershipton.digitickets.co.uk/tickets
2019 Opening Times
March Weekends only 10am – 4.30pm
April 1st to November 3rd
Weekdays 10am – 4.30pm Weekends 10am – 5.30pm
Easter, May Half Term and Summer Holidays Open every day 10am – 5.30pm
Last admission 1 hour before closing.
Please check the website for special events, up-to-date opening times, and any unforeseen park closures.
Adult £9 £10
Child £7 £8
Concession £8 £9
Family £28 £30
Parking £2 £2
*Peak prices apply during school holidays and events
Parking is £2 in addition to admission, payable on entrance only. We cannot guarantee parking during busy periods.
Take part in your biggest ever game of hide and seek on your visit to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. Hide in all corners of the large abbey ruins before following the river to the water garden. Race around the moon ponds, see the swans swimming and discover the winding dark tunnel. Emerge from the tunnel to find three fun buildings called follies along this woodland path.
Be sure to have a playground adventure. There are things to wobble along, jump over and climb on…you’ll find a wooden abbey, a woodland house, scramble nets and posts, swings, fireman’s poles, a slide, a roundabout, a gigantic rope bridge and a huge zip wire for the most daring adventurers of all.
Have a well-earned sit down with a seasonal meal in the newly refurbished restaurant, tuck into tea and cake with a lakeside view at Studley tea room or a sweet treat at Mill Café.
If there’s still oodles of energy left visit the deer park. Admire the views down to Ripon Cathedral and see if you can spot the deer. There are three different types from small fallow deer to the largest of them all: red deer.
There’s lots to do but don’t worry if you can’t fit it all in this time – we’ll be here another day! Become a member on your first visit and come back for free as many times as you like. Plus, get the feel-goods about it as every time you scan your membership card, you’re contributing towards the essential conservation work we do.
Fountains, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY
Click here to visit the website.
Photos by Chris Lacey
William’s Den is a new and exciting adventure attraction, giving children the chance to connect with nature and get active as they explore a custom designed complex that brings the great outdoors inside. A unique environment, inside and out, where children can play, explore, run, climb, build dens and learn, all in an open, rural and natural setting with a range of facilities tailored to families.
Also run lots of special events, school holiday activities and have a school holiday club.
Check out the Mumbler Review here for more info and pics.
Bracken Hall Countryside Centre and museum is situated on the edge of Shipley Glen, a popular beauty spot. The Centre has displays relating to the natural history, geology, archaeology and local history of the area. The colourful interactive wildlife exhibits delve into the lives of badgers, frogs and bats. There are interactive displays about other animals and foodwebs.
The small charming garden attracts different kinds of wildlife throughout the year from tadpoles to butterflies and honeybees. The garden is designed to show how people can attract wildlife to their own gardens, and also features bee-hives and a pond.
Bracken Hall Countryside Centre, Glen Road, Baildon, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD17 5EA telephone/fax: 01274 584140
www.leeds.gov.uk/abbeyhouse (Tel: 0113 230 5492)
Messy monkeys – every Friday (term time) (2pm to 4pm)
Join us at Abbey House Museum for messy creative fun with art materials and the best bit is we clear up afterwards! Please wear suitable messy clothing as sometimes we paint and sometimes we get wet!
Arty smarties – every Sunday (2pm to 4pm)
An afternoon of relaxing craft activities for families in our Victorian Street.
The Woodland Kingdom is open on 10am-5pm weekends and school holidays until November at Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, Bedale, North Yorkshire, DL8 2LS
Fun family days out in our adventure park with Quad Biking, Segways and Footgolf. Enjoy a Picnic in our Woodland Kingdom with slides, swings, assault course, treehouse fort and more! £5 per car and then £15 per car from 27th May. Free entry to the Woodland Kingdom with pre-booked activities.
Contact Emma on 01845 567788
Discovery Road Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1 2NE 01422 330069, Approx 1h 5mins from Harrogate
This museum is a fantastic day out and is really highly recommended for children up to about 11. There are specific areas for the under 5’s and even a couple of special non-walker areas.
The concept of the museum is that you learn through play and everything there is hand-on. I visited with my 18month old and 4 year old and they were both devastated when we had to leave after 4 hours and have been begging me to go back since!
There is a mini M& S shop for the children to work and shop in, a bank and post office. There is a car garage where you can do a MOT, the sound garden, the desert area and so much more.
There is a cafe and gift shop on site although there are indoor and outdoor picnic benches if you want to take your own. Best of all, the cost of the admission gives you for free entry for 12 months. Parking costs around £3
Please note, they are usually closed on MONDAYS during term time and the new All About Me Gallery is now open.
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum
Discovery Road, Halifax, HX1 2NE
01422 330 069
Prices from 1 April 2014
Free with Standard Admission/Annual Pass. Pay once and come back as many times as you want for a year:
Adult/Child (age 3+): £11.95 each, Toddlers (age 1-2 years): £4.25, Babies (under 1 year): FREE
*Additional charge may apply on some events
Weekends, half-terms, holidays and bank holidays open daily 10am -5pm.
Term-time weekdays open 10am -4pm. Closed Mondays during school terms, 24th-26th December and 1 January.
Harewood, Leeds, LS17 9LG.
The large adventure playground is a big hit with children as are the penguins and the bird garden. There is a café and gift shop and usually some sort of seasonal activity in the eco-pods.
www.leeds.gov.uk/kirkstallabbey (Tel: 0113 230 5492)
Muddy monkeys messy play – every Tuesday (term time) (10am to 11am)
Join us at Kirkstall Abbey for messy creative fun with natural and art materials. Please wear suitable messing clothing as sometimes we paint, sometimes we get muddy and if the weather is nice we go outside in the ruins!
Knights, dragons and princesses activities – second Thursday of the month (10am to 11am)
Is your under 5 a budding knight, lovely princess or little dragon? Then come along and join us for fun at the abbey. Come dressed up but remember we may get messy!
Fairy fun activities – third Thursday of the month (10am to 11am)
For all under 5s fairies and their carers! Join us for creative fairy fun. There are things to make, dressing up and things to play with. Feel free to come in your fairy outfits, but please be aware that sometimes we use paint and glue.
Multi monkeys stay and play – last Wednesday of the month (10am to 11am)
A monthly stay and play session for parents and preschool multiple births children. Please wear suitable messy clothing as sometimes we paint and sometimes we get muddy and if the weather is nice, we go outside in the ruins!
SatARTday Club – First Saturday of the month (11am to 4pm)
Drop-in workshop for families who want to have fun being imaginative and creative together. Booking is essential for large groups, contact (0113) 247 8254.
Leeds Art Gallery
Monday closed. Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-4pm. Closed on bank holidays.
The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA.
Tel: 0113 247 8256. Email: email@example.com
www.leeds.gov.uk/leedscitymuseum Tel: 0113 224 3732
Rory’s Saturday Club – every Saturday (11am to 12:15pm)
Family arts and craft activities relating to the museum displays.
Tiny tigers toddler group – first Friday of the month (10am to 11:45am)
Come along and make your own historical mess, suitable clothing advised. Suitable for the under fives and their carers.
Leeds City Museum
Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays 11am-5pm), Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat and Sun 11am-5pm.
Millennium Square, Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 8BH.
Tel: 0113 224 3732. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall Tel: 0113 281 3259
Little Lotherton – first Tuesday of every month (term time) (10am to 11am)
Under 5’s art sessions for parents, carers and little ones.
Make and create – every second and third Saturday of the month (1pm to 3pm)
Drop-in ‘making and creating’ aimed at all the family. Take part in various activities no matter what your age!
Craftiness – every Friday in school holidays (1pm to 3pm)
Drop-in children’s crafts and play.
Come rain or shine games and activities – every Wednesday in the school holidays (10am to 4pm)
Self-led trails, arts, dressing up and play whatever the weather.
Ripon, HG4 5AE
Open March- September. You can take a picnic and we’d recommend swimmers (for the water fountain bit!), there is adventure play and a great little train ride.
Peasholm Park Scarborough, North Yorkshire is open for everyone to enjoy all year round, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Entrance to the Park, which is never closed, is FREE.
Just a short distance from Harrogate town centre, this beautiful garden makes a great family day out. Enjoy some fresh air, catch up with friends and entertain the children all year round.
s well as beautiful planting displays, the garden also homes many fun natural play areas for adventurous children, including the Craggle Top Tree House, Log Maze, Logness Monster and the giant Woodland instruments.
After spending some time in the garden, why not relax and enjoy coffee or lunch at the famous Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms? Children are well catered for and Betty’s delicious organic breads, cakes and gifts are available to take away.
There are many entertaining and educational events for all the family throughout the year, including half-term activities, outdoor theatre, wildlife discovery days, and guided walks. For more information and to find out what’s on visit the Harlow Carr website.
• Seasonal events and activities for children • Picnic areas within the garden and baby changing facilities • Plenty of free parking • Paths suitable for pushchairs
Ripley is a lovely place for a stroll around the gardens and deer park.
Within the pleasure grounds there is a small children’s play trail. Let your children release their energy and hunt for clues on our informative Treasure Hunt whilst you wander around.
There is a small outdoor play area in the grounds and they do run tours of the castle specifically aimed at children over 5yrs.
Normal adult admission is £6 and lids under 5 are free. Season tickets are just £20 per adult and RHS card holders are admitted for free (exclusions apply)
Daily 10am – 5pm The museum is closed 24-26 December.
Free: some events may be chargeable.
Royal Armouries Museum Armouries Drive Leeds LS10 1LT
Where magic is made and adventures begin.
Nestled in woodland within 30 minutes of Leeds, York & Harrogate.
The award winning Halloween and Christmas Adventure opens on 22nd October until 6th January, when visitors can experience our Enchanted Forest, fun-filled by day, illuminated at night.
Try Nordic Skiing, explore and interact in our Giant Yew Tree Maze and glide over the Real Ice Rink, against a beautiful Yorkshire countryside backdrop.
Temple Newsam House
• March to Sunday 1 November 2015; Tues to Sun 10:30 to 17:00
• November 2015 to February 2016; Pre-booked visits and tours
Don’t miss us…The House will be restricted to pre-booked visits from November to February with the exception of our headline Christmas event. Call us to book one of our tours or special interest days now on 0113 336 7460.
Temple Newsam House, Off Selby Road, Leeds, LS15 OAE.
Tel House: 0113 336 7461. Tel Estate: 0113 336 7560
Temple Newsam Park and Home Farm opening times remain the same please see the website for further information.
Tower Street, Hull, HU9 4DP (Sat Nav HU9 1TU) 01482 381000.
Open daily 10am – 6pm (last entry 5pm), closed 24th/25th December.
Located in Hull, The Deep is an award-winning aquarium home to 3,500 fish including green sawfish, spectacular sharks, rays and a colony of Gentoo penguins. Journey through the story of the world’s oceans travelling through a unique blend of spectacular marine life from warm tropical waters to the cold Antarctic seas. Highlights include daily dive shows, animal presentations, touch pool sessions, the amazing glass tunnel and a ride in the glass lift through the 10m Endless Oceans exhibit.
Discover the power of stories at the Rainbow Factory, with theatre, crafts and games for children up to 10 yrs.
Activities can include model-making, crafts, treasure hunts, silly science, puppetry & the chance to perform on their outdoor stage.
Rainbow Factory, Springfield Commercial Centre, Bagley Lane, Farsley. LS28 5LY. Approximately a 25 minute drive from Harrogate
T.0113 257 5750.
Princes’ Avenue, Roundhay Park, Leeds LS8 1DF.
This is a lovely tropical garden with plenty to keep kids entertained (particularly on a cold or rainy day as it is very warm in this tropical greenhouse!) There are reptiles, spiders and insects to see as well as snakes and bats. The butterflies fly around freely and the Meer cats are fantastic. Admission (2012) is free for under 5’s, 5-15yrs is £2.20 and over 15yrs £3.30.