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12 Fun Half Term Activities across the North East and Yorkshire

Collage of featured events
May 2023
Reading time 4 Minutes

Half term holidays are here!

Here's how to keep everyone busy during the half term break.
Alnwick Playhouse

Alnwick Playhouse

27th May
Kick off the holidays with a trip to the theatre. I Spy With My Little Eye – The Party! Is at Alnwick Playhouse. Based on the picture book by Steven Lee, Molly and Bingo the puppy are having a birthday party and you’re invited! There’ll be a terrific treasure hunt, all your favourite sing-along songs and lots of fantastic games to play – including Molly’s favourite, I Spy With My Little Eye. So put your party clothes on and enjoy a day full of fun and laughter.

Discovery Museum

27th May–4th June
The industries on the River Tyne have shaped Tyneside over the centuries, and the Discovery Museum is home to a whole range of both life-size and intricate models of ships and boats to show for it. This half term you can row, sail and steam around the museum galleries to complete the self-led shipbuilding trail and earn yourself a chance to win a boat-themed prize. Having learned more about these vessels, you can then make your own with the option to decorate a sail boat magnet or create your own wooden ship.

Durham Cathedral Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

27th May–4th June
Bring the whole family along for an adventure at Durham Cathedral this May half term. With activities for all ages, try your hand at a range of seed planting and flower pressing activities, make natural colour pigments reusing the flowers that have been on display, curl up with a book in the reading nook or follow the Bede the Bear trail. If they’ve still got energy left, kids can let off steam in the woodlands and riverbank surrounding the cathedral (or kids over eight can climb the 325 steps to the top of the tower).

Souter Lighthouse

29th–30th May
Take a trip to Souter Lighthouse this half term as they have lots going on. Join a ranger for a seashore safari, search the rock pools along Souter’s shore and discover salty sea creatures galore. Once you’ve learnt how to tell your winkles from your whelks, have a go at outdoor games and mini-sports for all the family including archery, football, tennis and basketball. Finally, build a kite using sustainable materials, before taking it for a test flight on The Leas.

Souter Lighthouse Souter Lighthouse

The Shipley Art Gallery

30th May–1st June
Creative kids look no further! This summer half term take part in The Shipley Art Gallery’s Family Arts Festival. Over two days you’ll create beautiful artwork, taking inspiration from the floral still life paintings on display, and make something fabulous to take home. On the Tuesday you’ll make a floral wreath and flower picture using folded paper and card, before the next day creating a watercolour painting and pastel drawing – two contrasting ways to depict flowers in your artwork.

Raby Castle

1st June
This half term take part in the Children’s Wildlife Walk at Raby Castle. Join Raby’s resident deer herd manager for a morning walk through the 200-acre deer park surrounding the castle and learn about the wildlife that make Raby their home. Did you know Raby has two species of deer: red deer, the largest British wild land mammal, and the smaller fallow deer? Or that deer antlers are the fastest-growing tissue on earth?

Bempton Cliffs Bempton Cliffs


27th May–4th June
This half term explore all things STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) at Eureka. With different activities taking place all week, ranging from building a LEGO robot or speed racer, to a dance workshop exploring the planets in our solar system, as well as a KAPLA wooden construction session, there is something for every child to take part in and learn something new.

The National Centre for Early Music

27th–28th May
As part of Beverley Early Music Festival, children aged three to six, and their families, can take part in The King's Animals interactive workshop. King Louis XIV of France had one of the most impressive collections of animals in Europe and children will be led on a musical journey around 18th century Versailles to meet everything from the household pets of the grand palace to the farm and zoo animals.

Kelham Island Museum Kelham Island Museum

Bempton Cliffs

30th May
This half term discover some of the amazing wildlife that call Bempton Cliffs home! Nature Tots sessions include outdoor play, storytelling, music and games, making them perfect for young explorers aged 18 months to five years. They’re designed to be as hands-on and sensory as possible, encouraging child-led exploration and natural play, with each session focusing on a different theme, from wiggly worms to hedgehogs and hibernation.

Kelham Island Museum

30th May
From master craftsmen to mass production, Kelham Island Museum explores the story of making in Sheffield city. Much of the machinery in the museum operates by connecting cogs to make gears and this half term you’re invited to a free family session where you can find out how these machines work by making your own gears. While you’re there, hear the roar and feel the rumble of the mighty 425 ton 12,000hp visitor-favourite River Don Engine.

Sewerby Hall & Gardens

Leeds Playhouse

31st May–3rd June
Football Freddie is a warm and witty new show for children and their grown ups about football, teamwork and the joy of joining in, and you can see what it’s all about as it kicks off at Leeds Playhouse this half term. The production features playful storytelling, friendly audience participation and integrated audio description alongside original sound design and vibrant set and costumes.

Sewerby Hall & Gardens

3rd June
The zoo at Sewerby Hall is home to an exciting world of mammals and birds from countries across the world. Meet the so-called Hoof Stock of the zoo with the chance to get up close and personal with donkeys, llamas and goats. Meeting at the zoo’s educational hub, children will learn interesting facts about the animals before getting the chance to stroke them.

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