Guaranteed to keep the kids entertained, these days out will wear ‘em out ready for an early bedtime.
The kids are heading back to school, but that doesn’t mean family-time is over. You’ve still got the weekends and Yorkshire is packed with fun things to do, so why not surprise your little adventurers with a big day out? You could meet a world of underwater creatures, dive right into a wet and wild expedition or find your feet on the ice – the choice is yours.
It’s the obvious choice for families – Eureka! is the national children’s museum and that means every exhibit is designed to entertain and delight your curious kids. They’ll learn all about the world around them, from the human body to the wonders of space, with hundreds of interactive exhibits across six distinctly different zones. There’s something for everyone here, with games for babies, toddlers and kids right up to the age of 11. Even better, your tickets get you in for an entire year, so you can come back whenever the heavens open.
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Discovery Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2NE. It’s free for kids under 1, £5.25 for kids ages 1-2 and £12.95 for everyone over 3.
If you’ve got budding marine biologists at home, there are few better places to go than The Deep. It’s one of Yorkshire’s finest attractions and the kids will absolutely love it. You can see 3,500 fish here, including sharks, stingrays, sawfish, groupers and more. But it’s not just fish – they have all kinds of sea creatures too, from penguins to turtles, and you can see them all up close. You can even treat the kids to a special 1:1 Experience, which will see them going behind the scenes at The Deep – they might even get a chance to feed the Grey reef sharks.
The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 4DP. It’s free for kids under 3, £11.50 for kids aged 3-15 and £13.50 for adults – but they also offer family passes.
Why not jump in head first with a trip to Calypso Cove? Dig out your swimming cossie and prepare for a day of family fun at Yorkshire’s favourite waterpark. As well as swimming, you can also make the most of the slides and rides. Play with the water cannons in the Sunken Galleon, race down the four-lane slide in Splash Ahoy or take on Terror Torrent, their pitch black water flume for the ultimate adrenaline rush. There’s loads to do here, so you’ve got a whole day of fun ahead of you.
Calypso Cove, Queens Ground, Metrodome Leisure Complex, Queens Rd, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S71 1AN. It’s £2 for kids under 3, £8.10 for juniors and £10.30 for adults – you can save money by visiting off-peak or buying a family ticket.
White Scar Cave
It’s time to go underground! White Scar Cave is the longest show cave in Britain – it’s a 1-mile route that will take you about 80 minutes and you’ll have a tour guide on-hand to tell you about all the weird and wonderful stuff you’ll see along the way. Expect waterfalls alongside oddly shaped stalagmites and stalactites – the little ones will love The Witches Fingers. This particular attraction isn’t suitable for buggies and they sometimes have to close on really rainy days because the water level rises too high, so it’s worth calling ahead.
White Scar Cave, Ingleton, Carnforth, North Yorkshire, LA6 3AW. It’s free for kids under 3, £6.35 for kids under 16 and £10.35 for adults.
No matter how picky your kids are, you’ll find something to put a smile on their faces at Xscape. It has the country’s biggest real snow slope if you fancy a spot of skiing or snowboarding, but that’s just the beginning – you can also go climbing, take on an aerial assault course or have a game of mini golf. Fancy bowling? You got it. Want to see the latest blockbuster? They have a Cineworld cinema. With so many indoor activities to choose from, you won’t have any trouble keeping the kids entertained.
Xscape, Colorado Way, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 4TA. Prices vary depending on the activity you choose.
Magna Science Adventure Centre
This isn’t your usual museum – Magna boasts over 100 interactive exhibits and mind-boggling displays that will make you think about the world in a new way. They’ve built their adventure centre around the elements, with sections dedicated to air, earth, fire and water. You can paint heat patterns, play with air cannons and dig deep with their life-size JCBs. You’ll still have to make it through the Water Pavilion, where the exhibits spray, squirt and spurt water, so there’s no guarantee you’ll stay dry. Your tickets will get you in for 12 months, so it’s great value, you just need to fill in an extra form.
Magna Science Adventure Centre, Magna Way, Templeborough, South Yorkshire, S60 1FD. It’s free for kids under 2, £4.50 for kids aged 2-3, £8.95 for kids aged 4-15 and £10.95 for adults.
National Science and Media Museum
You’ll find a wealth of indoor activities at the National Science and Media Museum, all designed to bring their collection of photography, film and television to life. They have their own Games Lounge where you can play all the classics, from Super Mario Kart to Pac-Man, or you can head to the Wonderlab, which is full of laser tunnels and mind-boggling exhibits. And if you want to see how far technology has come, check out the IMAX cinema where they show all the latest blockbusters.
National Science & Media Museum, Little Horton Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ. The museum is free to visit, but tickets to the IMAX will cost £10.50 for a child and £13 for an adult.
Jorvik Viking Centre
There’s nowhere better to explore Yorkshire’s history than Jorvik Viking Centre. It’s sat on one of the most exciting archeological discoveries of modern times, the Viking city of Jorvik. It’s been reconstructed for visitors in the very place it was found, so you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of 10th century York. Jump on board their unique ride and meet 22 animatronic characters based on meticulous research, or head into the galleries to play with their interactive exhibitions. Your ticket will give you free admission for 12 months.
Jorvik Viking Centre, Coppergate Shopping Centre, 19 Coppergate, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9WT. It’s free for kids under 5, £8 for kids aged 5-16 and £11 for adults. If you’re going to Jorvik Dig too, you can save with a joint pass.
The National Railway Museum
The little ones will love this – The National Railway Museum is home to a huge collection of trains from all over the world. From The Mallard, which broke the world speed record for steam locomotives in 1938, to The ‘Chinese Engine’, which is one of the largest single-unit locomotives ever built in the UK – there’s loads to see here. Alongside the exhibits, they have lots of activities for the kids, like science shows, story time and crafts. Be sure to try the Mallard Experience while you’re there, it’s a 12-seater simulator that will show you what it was like to travel by rail back in the day.
The National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, North Yorkshire, YO26 4XJ. The museum is free to visit, but the Mallard Experience is £3 for kids and £4 for adults.
What a day out this is! York Dungeon brings the past to life with 10 live shows from some of the most dastardly characters in history. You can meet Guy Fawkes, the man behind the gunpowder plot, and Dick Turpin, the infamous highwayman. This is a truly interactive experience, so expect jumps, scares and hilarious surprises as you set off on a journey through over 2,000 years of history. The whole experience lasts 75 minutes, and you’ll encounter immersive sets and special effects along the way as they recreate the sights, sounds and smells of York through the ages.
The York Dungeon, 12 Clifford Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9RD. It’s £11 if you book online or £16.95 if you buy your tickets on the door.
Bradford Ice Rink
How about a spot of ice skating? Bradford Ice Rink offers family sessions designed for beginners and kids, so you can teach the little ones to skate in a fun and safe environment. They have special penguin and snowman skating aids if the little ones are still finding their feet, but if you’re all experienced skaters, why not try one of their disco sessions? Expect groovy tunes, disco lights and a fun atmosphere.
Bradford Ice Arena, 19 Little Horton Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD5 0AD. It’s free for kids under 5, and for everyone else, it’s £5 off-peak or £6.50 at peak times.Cover image credit: National Railway Museum