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Summer holidays in Yorkshire: things to do with the kids!

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

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.

Two great places to start are the websites for York Mumbler and Little Vikings. These are

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

with children.

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

afternoon. We love going to The Balloon Tree and Spilman’s. It is best to book and make

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

my children, don’t forget to check my Instagram and Youtube.

Love Caroline xxx

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