Mother Shipton’s Cave is England’s oldest visitor attraction, open since 1630. Millions of visitors from all over the world have been enchanted by the park’s natural beauty, mesmerised by the Petrifying Well and enthralled by Mother Shipton’s amazing story. She lived some 500 years ago in the times of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. She was born in a cave next to the river Nidd, delivered as lightning crackled in a violent storm. As she grew older, her prophetic visions became known and feared. She foretold the invasion and defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1488; and Samuel Pepys’ diary grimly records that Mother Shipton gave forewarning of the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Beside the Cave is the Petrifying Well, a unique geological phenomenon. Curiosity has drawn millions of visitors over hundreds of years, to see cascading water turn everyday objects to stone.
The park has several scenic picnic areas, adventure playground and museum and gift shop. Themed events run during school holidays, with a FREE children’s trail sheet.
Open weekends in March then every day from 1st April to 29th October, 10am – 4.30pm. There is parking on site (£2 all day in addition to admission).
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
Photos by Chris Lacey
Tropical World offers a unique opportunity to explore the jungle, desert, nocturnal and aquatic habitats with plants and animals such as crocodiles, butterflies, bats, snakes and a gorgeous family of meerkats!
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.
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.
FEBRUARY HALF TERM: 18th -24th February 2019, 10am-4pm
This February half term and Valentines, show your love and appreciation of the rainforest at Tropical World.
Explore our tropical habitats and the animals that live in them. Learn how you can help the rainforest with fun and educational activities for children of all ages.
There is no additional cost for this event. Usual entry prices apply.
Winter Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 4pm (last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Princes Ave, Roundhay Park, Leeds LS8 2ER. Tel: 0113 237 0754
Abbey House Museum has a huge range of activities, from dressing up to special tours and much more! Take a break in the cafe and then step outside to use the children’s play area or wander over to Kirkstall Abbey and explore the abbey grounds.
Muddy Monkeys – under 5s craft activities: Tuesdays, 10am-11am. In the Visitor Centre.
Fun, free messy and imaginative craft play activities
Abbey Walk, Kirkstall, Leeds, LS5 3EH Tel: 0113 3784079
Large country park that is great for walking, children’s biking and picnics. It also has a children’s adventure playground and The Room on the Broom trail. The park also has a Visitor Centre, a cafe, free car parking. Open Tues – Sunday (except Bank Holidays)
Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 2EB. Tel: 01924 303980
Whether it’s swinging from the heights of the wilderness play area you fancy or practicing your angles for one of the digital portraits in the house there is everything you need for the perfect family day out at Beningbrough.
Beningbrough, York YO30 1DD Tel: 01904 472027
Enjoy a picnic, build sandcastles have a little paddle in the river or simply relax and take in the view of the Priory. The 60 stepping stones offer a fun and challenging experience, but there is a bridge offering a safe and dry passage. There is a large beach area popular with visiting families. Seasonal events take place throughout the year.
£8 per car to park
Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD236EX. Tel: 01756 718000
Dramatic moorland rock formations. Explore Brimham Rocks and have a great day out at nature’s playground. This amazing collection of weird and wonderful rock formations makes a great day out for families, climbers and those wanting to enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air and magnificent views over Nidderdale.
There’s no admission charge at Brimham Rocks. Parking is free for National Trust members.
Non National Trust members, car parking charges are as follows: £4 up to three hours, £5 thereafter
Clifton Park in the heart of Rotherham is a wonderful place for the whole family. With parks, gardens and sport, rides and games and even an amazing museum, Clifton Park has everything you could need for the perfect day out!
Clifton Park has 2 car parks:
Dalby Forest, managed by the Forestry Commission, offers over 8,000 acres of woodland to explore, enjoy and discover, including the Grand Father Oak play area for children, family BBQ and picnic areas, adrenalin activities for the thrill seekers and walking and cycling trails for all.
Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire, YO18 7LT. Tel: 01751 460295.
DIG is a hands-on archaeological adventure allowing kids the chance to become trainee ‘diggers’ & discover the most exciting artefacts from 2000 years of York’s history!
With four special in-door excavation pits, all based on real-life digs in the city and filled with replica Roman, Viking, medieval and Victorian finds, children can grab a trowel and explore how people lived in these times. We also do birthday parties, perfect for children aged 4-9.
Open Mon-Sun 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)
St Saviour’s Church, St Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NN. Tel: 01904 615505
Eureka! is a unique place for families to visit, where children aged 0 to 11 are inspired to learn all about themselves and the world around them by playing, imagining, experimenting and – above all – having fun. Accessible site. Cafe, toilet facilities & shop.
Closed Monday’s Term Time, check website opening times before visiting.
Eureka, Discovery Road, Halifax, HX1 2NE. Tel: 01422 330069
Set within the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, this World Heritage Site offers a great day out for all the family. Hidden within the Skell valley, you’ll find the magnificent ruins of the once great Fountains Abbey and a Georgian pleasure ground to delight your senses. This breathtaking landscape is also home to a Jacobean Manor House, Medieval Deer Park, Victorian church and Cistercian mill.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Estate, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY
Tel: 01765 608888
This popular park is renowned for its wonderful gardens, popular tea rooms and circular lakeside walk. Ideal for a family walk, scooter/pushchair friendly (on paths) and a great place to feed the ducks, play ball games and have a picnic
Off Arthington Road, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 8BQ Tel: 0113 261 0374
Whether you want to visit the House and its wonderful collections, relax in the gardens with a picnic, play on the amazing adventure playground, meet the animals on the farm and in the bird garden or see the penguins being fed there is something for everyone at Harewood! Open March – October
Penguin Feeding Daily, 11am -11.30am
Little Carpenters Denbuilding activity (free drop-in activity for families running on weekends between 24th March and 1st July)
Boat Trips, weekends, bank holidays and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during school holidays.
Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG. Tel: 0113 218 1010. (Accesible by the No 36 bus from Leeds)
Leeds Art Gallery reopened its doors (Autumn 2017) following the extensive refurbishment of the original Victorian roof and renovation of the Central Court. For the first time in a generation, visitors can see the stunning glass ceiling that has been transformed into a new gallery.
Family friendly workshops run throughout the year.
A great family day out with 4.5 billion years of discovery. If you love Leeds history, the ancient worlds, natural sciences, there’s plenty to enjoy. Cafe & toilet facilities. Accessible site. Free admission, closed Mondays.
Join Rory, the Leeds City Museum tiger for regular craft activities at the Museum every Saturday between 11am and 12.15pm. Also offers free craft activities for children under five during Tiny Tigers sessions at 10am – 11.45am on Fridays.
Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 8BH. Tel: 0113 378 5001
Step back in time to discover the industrial history of Leeds that the city was famous for. From textiles to printing, clothing to manufacturing, engineering and locomotives. Great fun for all age groups. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Call 0113 378 3173.
Enjoy a fantastic day out at Lotherton Hall, a charming Edwardian house and country estate with extensive grounds, bird garden zoo, Red Deer Park, nature trails, gardens, café, shop and two children’s play areas. Themed events run throughout the year. Accessible site. Admission fee applies.
Lotherton Hall, Collier Lane, Aberford, LS25 3EB. Tel: 0113 378 2959.
The Science Adventure Centre is a hands-on experience, packed with interactive exhibits and fascinating displays. Explore the wonders of Science and Technology in the four pavilions – Air, Earth, Fire & Water! Splash in water, operate real JCB’s in Earth, marvel at a tornado made of fire and even explode a rock face! Magna is a coats-on experience; set in the old Templeborough steelworks, The Big Melt and Face of Steel offer an exciting journey into the world of steelmaking.
Magna Way, Rotherham, S60 1FD Tel: 01709 720 002
Discover 300 years of history and over 1 million objects that changed the world in the UK’s largest railway museum. Explore opulent carriages of the royal family including Queen Victoria and her ‘Palace on Wheels’ in Station Hall. Watch engineering work in progress in the Workshop, discover previously unseen artwork, papers, reports, photographs, and small artefacts at the Search Engine research centre and blow off some steam in both the indoor and outdoor play area.
Opening times: 10am – 5pm daily. Closed 24, 25, 26th December.
NRM York, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ
Explore the science and culture of light and sound technologies and their impact on our lives. The museum aims to inspire our scientists and engineers of the future to see more, hear more, think more and do more.
The galleries and exhibition spaces help illuminate world-famous collections in photography, film and television and the team of Explainers create learning activities that fuel the imagination.
Three cinema screens—including an IMAX theatre—showcase the magic of moving images
Little Horton Lane, Bradford, BD1 1NQ. Tel: 0844 856 3797
Newby Hall is a great Yorkshire family day out with plenty to do for children of all ages. The Adventure Garden has swings for toddlers through to climbing frames and bridges, an aerial slide and pedalo boats for the older children. Get wet in ‘Tarantella’ dancing water play area by William Pye! (Take swimmers & a towel!) You can ride a miniature train through the gardens for a small extra cost.
Open March- September. You can take a picnic (there is cafe as well) and there are traditional ice cream shops.
Ripon, HG4 5AE. Tel: 01423 322583
Just a short distance from Harrogate town centre, this beautiful garden makes a great family day out. As 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.
• Seasonal events and activities for children • Picnic areas within the garden and baby changing facilities • Plenty of free parking • Paths suitable for pushchairs
Crag Ln, Harrogate HG3 1QB. Tel: 01423 565418
A little known, and very scenic, route from Granary Wharf to Leeds Dock. Jump on board one of the yellow water taxis, for a 15 minute trip down the canal, from the train station to the Royal Armouries Museum. One of the best ways to travel through the city, and it’s free!
Ripley is a lovely place for a stroll around the gardens and deer park.
Within the grounds there is a small children’s play trail. Let your children release their energy and hunt for clues on an 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.
Ripley, Harrogate HG3 3AY. Tel:01423 770152
Rodley Nature Reserve is designed to bring wetland wildlife back into the Leeds area.
Lots of activities for families: quiz trail guide, pond dipping (April – Oct), mini beast hunt, bird watching, moth trapping….and if the weather should spoil itself colouring sheets and quizzes are available in the Education Room at the Visitor Centre.
The Visitor Centre is open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and most Bank Holidays from 10am until 4pm.
Rodley Nature Reserve, Moss Bridge Road, Rodley, Leeds LS13 1HP. Tel: 0113 2040441
The Royal Armouries is home to the United Kingdom’s national collection of arms, armour and artillery. Look out for special seasonal & school holiday events. Free entry. Family friendly. Accessible site. Cafe & toilet facilities.
Royal Armouries, Leeds, LS10 1LT. Tel: 0113 220 1999.
Stockeld Park is a magical seasonal attraction, opens for adventures during most school holidays (and a little extra at Christmas!)
Try Nordic Skiing, explore and interact in the Giant Yew Tree Maze and glide over the Real Ice Rink, against a beautiful Yorkshire countryside backdrop.
Wetherby Rd, Wetherby LS22 4AN. Tel:01937 586101
Explore Temple Newsam house, enjoy a picnic in the grounds, have fun in the adventure playground or meet the animals on the farm. Don’t miss the special school holiday and seasonal events throughout the year. Accessible site. Cafe & toilets facilities. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Admission charge for house & farm.
Temple Newsam Estate, Leeds, LS15 0AE. Tel: 0113 336 7461.
Through nine interactive galleries go on a journey of discovery to explore the incredible world of medicine. Travel from the Victorian age to the present day to explore the fascinating world of surgery and find out how breakthroughs in science have changed all our lives for the better.
Exciting family activities take place at weekends and during every school holiday. Car park and cafe.
Thackray Medical Museum, Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7LN. Tel: 0113 244 4343
The Forbidden Corner is a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created within a four acre garden in the heart of Tupgill Park and the Yorkshire Dales. A tourist visitor attraction unlike anywhere that you have been before, ideal for the adventurers and those young at heart!
Tupgill Park Estate, Coverham, Middleham, Leyburn, DL8 4TJ Tel: 01969 640638
The gallery brings together work from Wakefield’s art collection, exhibitions by contemporary artists and rarely seen works by Barbara Hepworth. Regular special events & kids art sessions. Cafe, shop, outdoor play area. Free. Closed Mondays.
The Rainbow Factory specialises in storytelling through the creative arts, including theatre, crafts and games that inspire and delight children aged 10 and under.
Activities are run by a talented team of performers and include learning hieroglyphs, model-making, robot-building, superhero-training, CSI workshops, treasure hunts, crafts, silly science and more.
Gate 3, Springfield Commercial Centre, Bagley Lane, Farsley, LS28 5LY. Tel: 0113 257 5750
Contemporary art centre with galleries, learning studio, workspaces for creative industries, restaurant and bar, in the heart of Leeds’ South Bank. Special events and school holiday activities.
The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ. Tel: 0113 320 2323
Yorkshire’s first and the biggest in the UK, designed to offer an amazing and adventurous new way for both children and adults to play in the high trees. You are completely surrounded by 3m high walls of netting which means you are always safe. Includes 2000m2 of giant trampolines, walkways, slides and tunnels all made out of netting, fun for young and old!
Signs towards Lightwater Valley, Ripon, North Stainley, HG4 3HT. Tel: 01539 447186
The premier play park in Harrogate! The equipment is fantastic here with loads to do for all ages including a zip wire, fortress, plane, paddling pool as well as the usual slides, swings etc. There is also the recently completed skate park for the older kids.
There is a kiosk selling ice creams and light refreshments in the play area and further down the gardens there is a café which sells Ripley ice-cream as well as a boating pond and bandstand.
The park also offers pitch and put, crazy golf, Frisbee gold and tennis courts.
At the top of the Gardens lie the Pine Woods.
Valley Gardens, Harrogate HG1 2SZ
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. 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.
Special events and activities in the school holidays.
William’s Den, Castle Farm, Wold Hill, North Cave, HU15 2LS. Tel: 01430 47223
On a nice day, there isn’t a much better way to see the beautiful city of York than walking around the walls.
Children can enjoy following the route via the golden disks on the floor and remember to take some paper and crayons so they can complete the map rubbings at each of the bars.
The walls go most of the way around the city, just having to get down to street level a couple of times. Not strictly buggy friendly but I know many who have managed it fine. Always a friendly visitor or local on hand to help!
York Maze is not just the largest maze in the UK it’s an award winning fun filled, day out in the country.
With over 20 different rides, attractions and shows to enjoy York Maze offers an amazing fun-filled full family day out. Opens mid July, check website for exact timings
Dunnington Lodge, Elvington Lane, York, North Yorkshire, YO19 5LT. Tel: 01904 607 341
Bring your family to Visit England’s quality assured visitor attraction, and discover the stories behind the greatest names in chocolate. Unwrap the secrets of chocolate making, and even learn the art of the chocolatier for yourself.
King’s Square, York, YO1 7LD. Tel:01905-541441
This place has a great (free) outdoor play area with wooden structures and indoor barn area for those having the full dining experience. Separated out into under and over 7 year olds, and just £1.00 per child entry, the bigger kids can enjoy high adventure, whilst the little ones can take it more gently in their own play space. Brilliant 1950’s style parlour serving sundaes, breakfasts, burgers and hotdogs, coffees, cakes & all sorts!
Calm Slate Farm, Halton East, Bolton Abbey, BD23 6EU. Tel: 01756 711826
The Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton, a thriving 16 acre site with events and activities throughout the year. Also Danelaw Living History, Derwent Valley Light Railway, Nature Trail, Livestock, Playground.
CLOSED FROM 1ST NOVEMBER UNTIL EASTER(Except for Santa Specials)
York YO19 5GH Tel.01904 489966
The only one of its kind, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an international centre for modern and contemporary art, experienced and enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.
West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG. Tel: 01924 832631