The long summer can be daunting for parents. So, to give you a helping hand during these
school holidays, here are some of my favourite things to do with children in Yorkshire.
both my go-to websites and I use them all the time.
Little Vikings was set up a few years ago by the lovely Polly. Every week, they send out a
newsletter with what is going on across Yorkshire for kids. I find this so useful, especially for
last minute plans when we have a quiet weekend. It’s also great for the holidays because
you can use the calendar function and find things happening on certain days. Little Vikings is
based in York, so they are in the know about all things Yorkshire and support small and local
businesses. Fabulous all round!
The York Mumbler is another great tool. They have specific websites for other places too;
Harrogate has its own, so be sure to search and see if there is a Mumbler local to you. They
list classes, holiday clubs, activities, days out and reviews of anything and everything to do
Stockeld Park is one of our most favourite places and we will definitely make a trip here this
summer as my children love it. It is fantastic for all ages and there is so much to do including
outdoor inflatables, pedal go karts, an enchanted forest, magical maze and spider’s lair, to
name a few! There is also the brand-new Play Hive, which is one of Europe’s largest indoor
play centres. It has four incredible themed areas (space, air, jungle and sea!) so even if it’s
raining, all the kids will have the most fabulous time! It was very difficult to get my three to
leave last time we were there, and they can’t wait to go back. The new restaurant is also
excellent and has amazing pizzas.
Harewood House is great for a day out with the whole family. When my girls were little, I
had membership and we used to go all the time. For children, there is a Bird Garden and
Farm Experience, an Adventure Playground, Woodland Wonderland and the rest of the
gardens and grounds to discover. We particularly love the Walled and Himalayan gardens.
Of course, the house can be visited as well, and although I’ve never attempted that with
kids, I can highly recommend the Christmas events they hold there each year.
Another stately home with lots for kids to do is Castle Howard. Here they have Skelf Island, a
treetop adventure playground. Whilst kids absolutely love it here, I warn that this is not a
place for parents to have a relaxing coffee as your children will have a wonderful time
darting in the different areas amongst the trees and disappearing from sight! There is a
great coffee shop up by Castle Howard itself and the amazing grounds and gardens to
explore as well, which is all part of the same entrance ticket.
William’s Den is another great spot for some kiddie adventuring. The phenomenal indoor
climbing area makes is an excellent place for a rainy day, but there are also lots of activities
outside, woodland walks and even pick-your-own sunflowers. New to 2022, you can also
stay and camp at William’s Den. They have a wonderful restaurant that does fabulous pizzas
and the whole place is new, clean and just a wonderful day out!
Northwood Fairy Trail, which calls itself ‘England’s Fairy Sanctuary’, is the most magical
places for any little ones who love fairies. There is a trail around the woods where tree
fairies have their fairy doors and houses. As well as looking for the fairies’ treasure in their
tiny secret hamlets, there is also a simple natural playground with den building and a small
café. A truly lovely and memorable day out!
Piglets Farm is a great day out for little ones, and we used to go here a lot. Here you will find
all the usual animal petting and tractor rides, but also water play in the rockpools at the
beach area (where you can even hire a beach hut!), a new large indoor play area, a maize
maze, a fairy tale trail and even a daily Foam Party!
Some of these venues are quite pricey and so perhaps best for a special treat or occasion;
the the long summer holidays can quickly become expensive! For this reason, I try to get the
most of my RHS and National Trust memberships, and here are also a few free and cheaper
If you have never been to RHS Harlow Carr, then you must go! Once you have membership,
which isn’t expensive, you have unlimited visits to all the RHS sites across the country. All of
them are fabulous for kids and with Harlow Carr on our doorstep, we go regularly. My
children love all the different play areas, which you can incorporate into a walk around the
incredible gardens; in the school holidays they also do special activities like bug hunts,
discovery trails and storytelling walks. Another thing we absolutely love about Harlow Carr is
their onsite Betty’s and we always try to make enough time for tea and cake! And if that
wasn’t enough, there is also an excellent garden centre and gift shop that sells some of the
best products and plants around. Something for everyone here!
I love having National Trust membership as it gives access to literally hundreds of places
across the entire country; here are our favourite National Trust places in Yorkshire.
Beningbrough Hall is a small National Trust property, with a gorgeous garden and a brilliant
café. There is a wilderness play area for children and a lovely fish pond.
Fountains Abbey is one of my husband’s most favourite places. As well as the incredible and
historic abbey ruins, there is a beautiful walk you can do around the huge lake in the Studley
Royal Water Garden. There is also a great children’s play area and a large café, so it is a
super spot where you could easily spend the whole day.
Brimham Rocks is the most incredible place for a wonderful explore! It is a moorland rock
formation on top of a hill with the most spectacular views. You can clamber and climb over,
under and through the weird and wonderful shaped rocks, which children absolutely love.
There is a small café onsite, but it’s a great place for a picnic with lots of picnic benches near
the top. The carpark is small and it does get busy, but this is a very special location and
something more unusual.
Although not part of the National Trust, Bolton Abbey is another fabulous place for an
adventure. Again, there are ancient abbey ruins, the famous stepping stones across the
river, and a gorgeous circular walk. You need a pre-booked ticket for Bolton Abbey, but they
charge per car, rather than per person so it isn’t too expensive. From Bolton Abbey, we
always make a trip to the nearby Billy Bob’s Parlour. This classic American diner and ice
cream parlour is a real favourite of ours and we love their big burgers and milkshakes and
combining with the Bolton Abbey makes for a great day out!
Going to the seaside in the summer is a fabulous way to spend a day and of course free!
While Whitby and Scarborough are the most famous spots, the place we love best is Robin
Hood’s Bay. The walk down to the beach is amazing; I just love going down the little streets,
and past the beautiful cottages with their lovely front doors. It has so much charm and
although it is still busy here, it doesn’t feel as congested as other seaside towns. We also recently went to The Sea View restaurant in Saltburn which I highly recommend.
Strawberry picking is a favourite pursuit for my kids and a great way to spend a morning or
sure you have lots of room in the fridge for all the fruit treasure you bring home!
Hope you are all enjoying the summer break with your families. To see what I am up to with
Love Caroline xxx