Keep your kids busy with these rainy day or indoor activities in and around Harrogate & Knaresborough.
I find this time of year really difficult to amuse the kids. When spring time rolls around we are SPOILT for choice with all the brilliant outdoor activities for families that start becoming available in and around Harrogate & Knaresborough. But until then, I’m constantly looking for rainy day activities and things to do with kids indoors. So we’ve had our thinking caps on and come up with some great indoor activities available in Harrogate. Valley Gardens – we’ll see you when it stops raining!
Firstly – indoor play areas and soft play areas and we’re spoilt for choice in Harrogate.
A great shout, especially if you’ve got younger children is Kidzplay and Winkies in Harrogate, a bit further a field is our favourite soft play, it is the brilliant and HUGE Crazy Tykes. (around 20mins drive from Harrogate at Thorpe Arch) There is also Goose on Hornbeam Park- which is great if you have older children too. We love it here and often go with friends with children of all ages – the babies love the little swings, the toddlers love building towers in the blue room and the older kids have plenty to keep them amused – the table football is a huge hit. The food they serve at Goose is divine – i’m in cake heaven! There is also the brilliant World of Their Own that have just moved to Hornbeam Park, suitable for babies to up to about 8 year olds – a great immersive Wild West Space that my daughter absolutely loves! They are open Tuesday- Friday with some great play experiences, they are sometimes open at the weekend – but they’re usually busy with their private parties, so always check their website before you head down!
The cinema has saved us so many times on a wet Sunday morning! And with two to choose from in the centre of town you can always find something to watch! Everyman Cinema is a family favourite for us, the bar area is great – very spacious and lots of room for buggies! They always have family friendly films showing, with super comfy chairs and they even serve food to your seat. The menu is full of family favourites, including burgers, pizzas and some awesome milkshakes and sundaes. If you have really tiny little people with you then check out their website for their special Baby Club screenings. Around the corner is The Odeon – my daughter gets taken here quite a lot by her Granny for the Odeon Kids screenings. They run them every morning on Saturday and Sunday and on every day during school holidays. They also do special autism screenings – check out their website for more details.
Stump Cross Caverns might not be your first thought for a rainy day activity, but they are proving very popular – especially in the rain! The caves are covered, but granted still wet and cold. But after you’ve been down there why not take advantage of their brilliant on site cafe and warm up with a hot chocolate and some delicious food. If thats not enough then theres also a cinema on site! Yep – you heard me correctly! They usually show family favourites at the weekend – give them a call to find out what they are planning to show that week.
The library is another place I forget about – until I’m in town and on my way home and the heavens open! Last time this happened to us was just before Christmas, we ended up staying there for hours and got involved with one of the many workshops they run – we made an Olaf and some Christmas decorations. But even if there are no events on that day, they’re are plenty of comfy seats and books to read to your little ones – as well as colouring to keep them amused! If you can make it to Musical Story Time with Elizabeth and Leonard the do – it’s brilliant.
Another good shout if the weather isn’t on your side is to go swimming. It’s our go-to activity when hubby has a weekend off. There are plenty of council-run swimming pools in the area – our favourite is the Hydro. The teaching pool is always lovely and warm, so great for babies too. Most of the weekend is timetabled for general swim, with their fun sessions (when all the inflatables come out!) running in the afternoons. Check out our mumbler “Swimming Pools”“Swimming Pools” page for the current swim timetable.
Harrogate Muesums and Galleries are another gem for these colder months. In Harrogate you’ve got the Royal Pump Room Museum and The Mercer Art Gallery. We can often be found in the family room on a wet day in The Mercer Art Gallery, taking full advantage of the fancy dress box! There is also Knaresborough Castle and Museum. Check out their website as they often have family friendly events on, especially over the summer.
If you’re looking for something crafty to do then again you’re spoilt for choice! You have Painting Pots in Castlegate, run by the lovely Laura Dudley. It’s located in a beautiful quirky 4 floored building where you can come and paint pots. There’s also Pots 2 Go in Harrogate, where you can get creative by painting pottery. Another favourite in our family is Bead – my niece and I have spent hours in this shop. The Bead Bar is brilliant if you’ve got any little budding jewellery designers.
For older children (around 10yrs +) – check out Clue HQ Harrogate. It’s a live escape game, where teams of two-to-six people are locked in a room and given 60 minutes to find clues, solve puzzles and use the items you find to try to work out a way to escape. We went before Christmas and LOVED it!
The Harrogate Climbing Centre and Harrogate Gymnastics at The Zone on Hornbeam park are great for the colder months, and they’ve got things going on for all age groups. We often head over to the pre-school drop in sessions at Harrogate Gymnastics – a great way for the little one to run off some energy when its too wet and cold for the park!
There are lots more indoor activities a bit further a field too – if you’re looking for a day out then we’d recommend the National Railway Museum, Tropical World and Eureka, all within an hours drive from Harrogate. Hopefully those recommendations should keep the Mini Mumblers amused – and you guys warm through the next few months. Before you know it we’ll be queuing for the swings at Valley Gardens again!