School Holidays Harrogate

May Half Term

What is on for families this May half term in Harrogate & Knaresborough? 

We’ve got lots of ideas & suggestions for days out & things to do during May half term for all ages from toddlers to teens including plenty of low cost & rainy day ideas for the holidays.

As well as our special half term events don’t forget to check out our year round “Days Out” pages by clicking here

Bring your little nature explorer for a scavenger hunt around the estate this half term holiday. Stick your nature finds to your paper as you go around – we can’t wait to see your masterpiece! Zoom through the play area on the zip wire and swing as high as you can on the swings. Paint with nature, make your own fluffy spring lamb decoration and see all the colourful wool in Swanley Grange. Make sure to say hello to the chickens and see what’s growing in the medieval vegetable garden there, too.

Be sure to pack a picnic to make the most of a full day out exploring the bluebell dappled pathways through the estate. Play hide and seek in every corner of the abbey and spot nesting birds in the cellarium. Follow the river all the way down to the water garden and see if you can spot coots nesting and the new ducklings and cygnets swimming around on the moon ponds.

There are wildlife walks to join, too. Have a go at pond dipping to see what lurks beneath the water’s surface. Come to see if you can spot the deer on a guided walk through Studley Royal park and become a true wildlife detective on the Minibeasts to Mammals guided family walk.


Round it all off with a lakeside ice cream and cup of tea overlooking the deer park. Every penny you spend on your day out goes back into looking after the estate for future families to enjoy, too!


Featured Listing

Fun family swim sessions

Make a splash this half term at your local swimming pool. Family fun and general swim sessions are available for the whole family throughout the holidays at The Hydro Harrogate, Knaresborough Pool, Starbeck Baths, Ripon Spa Baths and Nidderdale Leisure Centre and Pool.

Climb giant inflatables (available at some pools), play with floats and balls, or whizz down the exhilarating slide (at Knaresborough pool only).   For details of swimming pool timetables visit

Does your child take swimming lessons with us? Don’t forget that our Learn to Swim programme still operates in the school holidays.

For other school holiday ideas including sports games in parks, playgrounds and paddling pools visit

We will be celebrating National children’s gardening week From the 25th May -2nd June 2019 here at Birchfield 🌳

Come on down to the farm where you will get chance to plant your very own peas , cress, or lettuce to take home with you .

Help us build a “bug hotel “ for the wildlife to use and learn about what creatures use a bug hotel 🐛🐝

Grab a spotters guide and head round the woodland in search of birds ,bugs and other animals who live there 🦔

Don’t forget we also have lamb feeding , goat feeding and lots of new born animals to see around the farm yard .

So grab your coats and wellies and head out for a fun filled day .


At the Royal Pump Room Museum in Harrogate there’s lots of dressing up and craft activities to enjoy during a visit to our new wedding exhibition. Pick up an activity sheet to help you explore and enjoy our new toys and games too.

Inspire your kid’s creative minds with a trip to the Mercer Art Gallery; join in with well-dressing crafts, celebrate this old English tradition and find out more about Harrogate 80+ mineral wells. Discover the art on show in Views of Harrogate and Ian Mitchell’s Linescapes and see the beautiful prints of Yorkshire landscapes for free.

There’s plenty to do at Knaresborough Castle. Join in the activities all about medieval entertainment, designed in partnership with the Young Volunteers group. Bring a picnic to enjoy the grounds and don’t forget to explore the King’s Chamber, dungeon and secret unground tunnel. Dress up and play games to discover what life was like living in the castle.

Find out more about our museums and gallery at



25 May – 2 June: ‘Get Set, Grow’ May Half Term Family Fun including the Children’s Gardening Weekend

Families are being encouraged to get, set, grow at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate during May half term. Enjoy a daily garden trail, storytelling with the Garden Detectives, indoor crafts and outdoor workshops. On Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May, a range of fun activities for children will run from 11am to 4pm during the Children’s Gardening Weekend.

Kids of all ages can make their own birdfeeders, plant tomato seedlings and watch beekeeping demonstrations under the expert guidance of the Harrogate & Ripon Beekeepers Association. The zany Garden Detectives will also put on family-friendly stage shows throughout the day. Activities vary daily so make sure you check the website for full details. Normal garden admission applies.


This Half Term trot to Mother Shipton’s for a day of Unicorn magic and have a roarsome time searching for Dinosaur footprints. Unicorns and Dinosaurs are in the park, follow the adventure trail and you never know what you might find!

The park will be transformed, creating an engaging May Half Term event for all the family. 25th May to 2nd June, 10am to 5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm).

See the Petrifying Well and Mother Shipton’s Cave. The park has scenic picnic areas alongside the popular River Nidd, an adventure playground, gift shop and museum. For discounted tickets book online




25th May – 2nd June 2019

Harewood House Food Festival

25th, 26th + 27th May 2019

The Great British Food Festival at Harewood will be situated on the lawn right in front of the house. Your ticket to the event also includes free on-site parking and FREE access to the gardens and grounds, below stairs area of the house and bird garden, home to over 30 birds from around the world. Visit, and you will see the rare Bali starling, flocks of charismatic parrots and cockatoos as well as an opportunity to feed the Humboldt penguins! Children can also enjoy the excitement and thrills of the Adventure Playground, with its slides, swings and climbing frames! All included in the price of your food festival ticket!


National Coal Mining Museum for England

25 May – 02 Jun 2019

Delve into the history of a working colliery at the National Coal Mining Museum! Travel back in time and discover the secrets of Peggy Thorpe, a 1940s miner’s wife, explore your creative side with our pony-themed paper crafting (weekdays only), experience the underground mine and even head outside for some fresh air in the adventure playground.

National Coal Mining Museum for England,

Caphouse Colliery,  New Road, Overton, Wakefield,WF4 4RH
Tel: 01924 848 806

Royal Armouries Museum

A Royal half-term 28th May – 2nd June  (Free)

This half-term week will be packed with Royal-themed activities for all ages including live combat displays, storytelling, dramatic performances, demonstrations with a chance to have a go and much more.

Royal Armouries Museum
Armouries Drive
LS10 1LT

Skipton Castle – War of Roses

Saturday 26 May to Monday 28 May

A recreation of a medieval campsite within the castle grounds.
It is June 1460. Henry VI is King of England and Lord John Clifford is master of Skipton Castle . However, the country is in the grip of a civil war between the supporters of the King, known as Lancastrians because Henry VI is also Duke of Lancaster; and his rival, Richard, Duke of York, whose supporters are known as Yorkists.

Normal entry prices apply

Skipton Castle, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 1AW

Phone: 01756 792442

Thorp Perrow Arboretum – Enchanted Wood Trail

26th May to 3rd June

Follow the trail through the enchanted wood, home to fairies, pixies and a host of other magical creatures. Fancy dress, wings and magic wands are encouraged. Boys can join in as elves too!

On Sunday 3rd June Fairy Peaseblossom will be there with some fairy magic shows and fun for all ages.

Trail sheet £1 per child. (Standard entry charges apply)

Thorp Perrow Arboretum
01677 42532

Thorton Hall Country Park – PONY WORLD


For all you Pony Mad fans – Join us for our Pony World event on Bank Holiday Monday!  Plus all the usual farm fun.  Open from 10am.

  • Pony Grooming
  • Demonstrations
  • Pony Rides
  • Leopald Equestrian Displays! Show times to follow.
  • Build a Teddy Unicorn

Thornton Hall Country Park, Thornton-in-Craven, near Skipton North Yorkshire, BD23 3TS

01282 841148T