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Great Days Out for the Family Across Yorkshire Clockwise from top left; Royal Armouries Museum, Go Ape, The Deep, Eden Camp, York Bird of Prey Centre
April 2024
Reading time 4 Minutes

The essential family guide to where to go, what to see and what to do this spring and beyond

Whether you're looking for some real outdoor adventure or want to catch up on some culture, we've gathered together the very best of Yorkshire for you to explore.
Royal Armouries Museum Royal Armouries Museum

Royal Armouries Museum

Charge down to Royal Armouries Museum to explore their world-famous collection of arms and armour. Open every day of the Easter holidays, admission is free, and there’ll be plenty of performances and demonstrations to keep the whole family entertained including special Medieval-themed activities (23rd–28th March and 2nd–14th April) with have-a-go activities in the second week of the holidays. The Museum will also be welcoming international teams of knights from France and Italy, as well as their home-grown Royal Armouries team, all competing in the International Jousting Tournament (29th March–1st April). Expect lots of thrills and spills, plus plenty of pomp and pageantry. There will also be a packed programme of combat demonstrations, dramatic performances and activities throughout the weekend.
Armouries Drive, Leeds LS10 1LT
0113 220 1999


From skiing on real snow and rock climbing to playing a round of golf in the dark, it’s all possible at Xscape. Go to war in LaserZone with state-of-the-art laser packs and phasers, join the dinosaurs at Volcano Falls Adventure Golf, let the little ones run free at Xplore soft play and don’t miss Snozone – the UK’s leading snow centre for indoor skiing and snowboarding on real snow.
Colorado Way, Glasshoughton, Castleford WF10 4TA
01977 664794

The Brönte Parsonage Museum 

The Brontë Parsonage Museum is one of the most visited and best-preserved literary houses in the country, and is the former home of the country’s most famous literary family, the Bröntes. Here visitors can see the world’s largest collection of personal items once belonging to the Brontë sisters. Their Contemporary Arts Programme includes literary events, exhibitions, a competition and festivals. The museum’s new exhibition for 2024, The Brontës Web of Childhood, features sketches based on the imaginary worlds created by the siblings, as well as a diary extract from the young Emily and tiny books they ‘published’ together.
Church Street, Haworth BD22 8DR
01535 642323

York’s Chocolate Story

Indulge your senses this Easter at York’s Chocolate Story. Join them for an enchanting guided tour through York’s rich chocolate history, where expert guides reveal the secrets behind the city’s sweet heritage. Plus, enjoy exclusive Easter experiences like chocolate-making masterclasses and truffle rolling. Don’t miss out on early-bird guided tours with a special 20 percent discount so book now for an unforgettable adventure.
King’s Square, York YO1 7LD

Yorkshire Wildlife Park © Hayley Roberts

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

With more than 400 animals and 60 different species, the UK’s number one walk-through wildlife experience is your chance to see a whole host of exotic animals. Take a walk on the wild side as you wander around the park meeting amazing animals including tigers, polar bears, giraffes, red pandas, leopards and spotted hyenas. You’ll also learn about the vital work the park does with charities to help the conservation of the many endangered species found in the wild (and in the park). Your children won’t want to miss the Let’s Go Easter Family Festival (5th–7th April) where they can get stuck into to all sorts of fun including fairground rides, circus skills workshops, a live panto and interactive baking demonstrations.
Hurst Lane, Auckley, Doncaster DN9 3QY
01302 535057

Calypso Cove Waterpark

Make a splash at Calypso Cove Waterpark where you’ll find some of the UK’s fastest flumes. Terror Torrent is ideal for adrenaline junkies, or try Eruption, a slide that takes you through the belly of a volcano. Kraken is more family-friendly and children can choose their own music before sliding down. Whether they’re walking the plank, racing down the four-lane slide or firing at their friends from the ship’s water canons, your children will have plenty of fun here. Happy Hour runs for 60 minutes at the end of weekend sessions, offering a shorter burst of fun at a lower price.
Metrodome Leisure Complex, Queens Ground, Queens Road, Barnsley S71 1AN
01226 730060

Bawtry Paintball and Laser Fields

Spend the day at one of the biggest paintball and outdoor activity centres in the UK. Set in 365 acres of natural woodland, challenge yourself and your friends and family to 16 game zones to see who will be victorious. Feel the pressure as the Predator enters the game, a seven-foot-tall hunter who stalks the woods. For the younger kids, there is low-impact paintball to be enjoyed as well as laser combat, archery and a treetop tree trek. After a day of fun, head to Kim’s Kitchen for a bite to eat, from giant hot dogs and burgers, to ice cream and warming tea and coffee.
Bawtry Forest, Doncaster DN10 6DG
01302 868841

Holly Hagg Community Farm

This not-for-profit community farm in Sheffield is a great spot to book a day out with the family. Covering three acres, call ahead to book a trek with their beautiful herd of alpacas and llama. Treks runs throughout the week and usually last for around an hour, and you can expect stunning views of Rivelin Valley. The friendly team will introduce you to the herd and show you how to feed the animals before you’re matched with a furry companion for the walk.
Long Lane, Crosspool, Sheffield S10 5PY
07779 067718

Eden Camp

Eden Camp

Award-winning Eden Camp isn’t your average World War II museum. Built on the site of a real prisoner of war camp, each hut holds its own element of history, shining a light on different areas of wartime Britain on the home front and the front line. It starts with the rise of the Nazi Party then shares stories of rationing, propaganda, women at war and The Red Cross. Visitors can explore the Blitz experience in Hut 5, or see what life was like on a German U-boat in Hut 3. For younger children, there are also two play areas – ideal for letting off some steam. Feeling peckish? Head to WinStan’s Bunker Café for some delicious, locally-sourced food.
Malton YO17 6RT
01653 919450

Stump Cross Caverns 

A magical and unique day out for the whole family in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Head underground and travel back through time as you discover a prehistoric world of wonder : at Stump Cross caverns you will find some of the best preserved prehistoric caves in the UK. The team regularly run events for you to get stuck into including regular UV experiences where the lights are switched off and the walls begin to glow! There are also regular fossil events where you can explore the fascinating collection of fossils and gems that have been unearthed.  
Greenhow Hill, Pateley Bridge HG3 5JL
01756 752780

Sewerby Hall 

Restored to its Edwardian glory, this Grade-I listed house is well worth exploring before you head out into the walled garden, pleasure garden, picnic areas and the zoo. The Georgian core of the house was built from 1714–1720 by John Graeme, with later additions in 1808, the 1830s, ‘40s, and ‘90s; Sewerby is a tour through architectural history. The rooms are furnished with impressive pieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as other important collections. Don’t miss the Amy Johnson collection where you can see memorabilia of Hull-born aviatrix Amy, who was invited to open the Hall to the public in 1936. Outside there are 50 acres of gardens and woodland and at the zoo you’ll encounter animals from various countries including Taiwanese sika deer, Cameroon sheep and a colony of Humboldt penguins.
Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington YO15 1ED
01262 673769

Flamingo Land Resort

One of the most popular attractions in Yorkshire, award-winning Flamingo Land offers visitors two very different days out (or the best of both worlds), because it’s not just a theme park, it’s a zoo too. The newest addition, Sik, is Flamingo Land’s latest high thrill rollercoaster featuring an incredible 10 inversions – including an enormous 25-metre loop, a cobra roll, a corkscrew and a dizzying five heart-line rolls. If you like that, you’ll love the UK’s first and only motorbike launch coaster (Velocity) and Mumbo Jumbo’s 112-degree vertical drop. If you’d rather keep your feet firmly on the ground, see the Bactrian camel, the laughing kookaburra and Rothschild’s giraffe in the zoo.
Malton YO17 6UX
0800 408 8840

Mother Shipton’s Cave
Dalby Forest and Go Ape

Mother Shipton’s Cave

Always an enchanting day out, Mother Shipton’s Cave is the birthplace of England’s most famous prophetess and features the Petrifying Well – England’s oldest visitor attraction where objects turn to stone (yes, really). For centuries people believed the water had miraculous healing powers because it ‘petrifies’ objects that it touches (once thought to be witchcraft). Enjoy Easter at Mother Shipton’s from 23rd March to 14th April and get stuck into including the Easter Bunny Tipi Trail.
Prophecy Lodge, High Bridge, Knaresborough HG5 8DD
01423 864600

Dalby Forest and Go Ape

With 13 walking trails, six cycling trails, four running trails, a visitor centre, café and shop, and even the chance to stargaze, it’s easy to spend the whole day here and families love to visit Dalby Forest for Go Ape. But beware, the challenging course is a high one – 35 metres up in the air in fact. The famous 50 metre-high, valley-to-valley zip wires are why daredevils return to this Go Ape site time and time again. Push yourself to the max with a Treetop Challenge, find your young adventurer’s feet with a Treetop Adventure, or explore the beauty of the forest (and its 8,000 acres) on the Forest Segways.
Low Dalby, Thornton-Le-Dale, Dalby Forest YO18 7LT
01603 895500

The Deep

The Deep 

Attracting visitors from far and wide, The Deep is one of the best aquariums in the UK and aims to create a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the ocean through stunning marine life, interactive displays and presentations – perfect for a family day out. As well as being home to plenty of marine wildlife, the aquarium goes the extra step in offering a unique experience for visitors – discover The Deep after dark with a sleepover in the iconic venue and spend the night illuminated by incredible sea-life.
Tower Street, Hull HU1 4DP
01482 381000

Leeds City Museum

There are four floors and six unique galleries to explore here, and collections include finds from architectural digs, and the Collectors Cabinet which tells the story of collecting in Leeds from 1700, but make sure you set enough time aside to squeeze in a quick visit to the infamous Leeds Tiger. Curators once wanted to throw out this oddly-shaped, beguilingly cross-eyed piece of 19th century taxidermy, but the people of Leeds campaigned for it to stay. It really is quite something (although no one is entirely sure what). The refurbished Life on Earth gallery, home to a remarkable 800,000 animals, vegetables and minerals, is definitely worth checking out too.
Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 8BH 
0113 378 5001

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

There’s magic in the air at Bempton Cliffs this spring. Between March and August around half a million birds make their home here to raise their families on the huge chalk cliffs. Expect to see stunning seabirds, spectacular views and enjoy dramatic walks with the family. For a longer day out, enjoy the Cliff Top Trail which is two miles long and takes you through stunning habitats and to six great viewpoints along the way. After your walk, be sure to stop in at the café and gift shop.
Cliff Lane, Bridlington YO15 1JF
01262 422212

Ingleborough Cave 

Fancy following in the footsteps of Victorian explorers? Step inside Ingleborough Cave and go on a journey through 450 million years of geology and history. The cave was once the outflow for the streams that flow through the world-famous 17-kilometre Gaping Gill cave system, but now a concrete path allows you to travel over half a kilometre into the hillside. This is one of the country’s natural wonders and the gateway to the UK’s finest limestone scenery so don’t forget your camera.
Clapham LA2 8EE
01524 251242

Thirsk Racecourse

Head to the races with the family for a fun-filled day of activities. As well as the expected racing fixtures, Thirsk Racecourse has gone above and beyond to offer a jam-packed schedule of events that everyone can enjoy. The season begins on Tuesday 9th April and finishes on Monday 16th September and during that time you can expect a special Father’s Day racing event (Sunday 16th June) which will include bouncy castles, balloon modelling and face painting; a Circus Family Day (Friday 9th August) with a classic big top and plenty of fairground stalls; and the All Creatures Great and Small Family Day (Friday 30th August) which includes a wonderful miniature petting farm and a visit from the famous Yorkshire Vet, James Herriot.
Station Road, Thirsk YO7 1QL
01845 522276

Jorvik Viking Centre

Jorvik Viking Centre

With state-of-the-art galleries, a collection of more than 1,000 artefacts, innovative touch-screen displays, and a fantastic moving capsule ride with updated animatronics, the world famous Jorvik Viking Centre brings York’s Viking past back to life. Everything you can see here is based on actual archaeological evidence found during the Coppergate excavation, with an emphasis on accurately recreating every detail. Make sure to stop in at the state-of-the-art gallery which displays significant Viking artefacts from across the UK.
Coppergate, York YO1 9WT
01904 615505

National Railway Museum 

Explore the past, present and future of the railways in Yorkshire with the family this spring. Wander through the halls and explore iconic locomotives and the engineering marvels behind them. Experience groundbreaking inventions like the Japanese bullet train and the world’s fastest steam locomotive, Mallard. Best of all, arguably the most famous steam locomotive in the world, Flying Scotsman, is on display at the museum. Step into the cab and explore its fascinating story this spring with the family. Want to get closer? Give the immersive Flying Scotsman VR experience a try.
Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
0330 058 0058

Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife Conservation Park 

Get your tropical adventure off to a great start here. Whether you want to take a walk on the wild side with the animals, blow off some steam at the great play parks or relax with a coffee at Lottie’s Coffee Lounge, there’s something here for all. The venue boasts more than 142 species, from tropical lizards and butterflies to lemurs and bats. Make sure you take the time to explore the Dino Trail, or hunt for mini-beasts on a wildlife nature trail. The team are very friendly and knowledgeable so be sure to stop in for a keeper talk and help them feed the animals.
Woodsetts Road, North Alston, Sheffield S25 4EQ
01909 569416

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Ancient ruins and an awe-inspiring water garden make this a great place for a family day out. Founded in 1132 by Benedictine monks, and now a World Heritage Site, the beautifully preserved Fountains Abbey, disbanded by King Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries, remains one of the largest and best preserved Cistercian monasteries in England, and the garden is one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden in England. The estate, which you can explore under your own steam or on one of the free daily tours, is also home to Fountains Mill, built by the monks in the 12th century. Spend the day here exploring the vast spaces and discovering more about the rigours of life in the abbey.
Ripon HG4 3DY 
01765 608888

Puffin watching in Yorkshire
York Minster

Yorkshire Puffin Festival 

This June (1st–2nd), head to Flamborough Cliffs Nature Reserve for the fabulous Yorkshire Puffin Festival. The event will include expert-led guided walks, boat trips and of course plenty of puffins! If you’re not sure of your sea-legs, don’t worry – Yorkshire’s Flamborough Headland is one of the best places in the country to see puffins from the land, as well as plenty of other local seabirds like kittiwakes and razorbills. Previous festivals have included puffin-themed craft stations, wildlife cruises, puffin-watching and a stunning twilight walks along Flamborough Cliffs.
North Marine Road, Bridlington YO15 1BJ
01904 659670

York Minster

York Minster, one of the UK’s most magnificent cathedrals, is still a key place of worship for many, and its exhibitions and events attract visitors from around the world. The museum, the library and the archives at York Minster hold around 300,000 items, some of which date back almost 2,000 years, including such treasures as the York Gospels and The Horn of Ulf. Visiting with the kids? Little Explorer Backpacks can be borrowed for free, and they’re packed with helpful gadgets for exploring the Minster including an I-Spy challenge, a compass and map and a magnifying glass to take a closer look at the hidden details. Don’t miss out on the Hidden Minster tours where you’ll discover the Minster’s hidden architectural gems.
Deangate, York YO1 7HH
01904 557200

York Bird of Prey Centre

York Bird of Prey Centre

A day out like no other, the centre (which is based in the walled garden of Burn Hall Hotel) is home to more than 100 birds from 45 different species. Each day they host two dazzling flying displays as well as giving visitors the chance to meet and handle the birds throughout the day. Get stuck into their Hawk Walks, Owl Experiences and Falconry Courses which are available throughout the year, and come with questions ready for their expert team who are always happy to chat.
Burn Hall, Tollerton Road, Huby YO61 1JB
01347 833214

Swaledale Festival

Swaledale Festival, the award-winning annual celebration of music and arts across the region, returns for 2024 and runs for two weeks beginning on 25th May. Head here for highlights such as jazz guitarist Martin Taylor, US comedian Rich Hall, the London Tango Quintet, folk trio The Young’uns, Emma Johnson’s Orchestra of the Environment and AKA Trio featuring Antonio Forcione. There are plenty of workshops and exhibitions to take part in too, like ink and stick drawing, guided walks and foraging tours to keep everyone entertained.
01748 880018

York Cold War Bunker

At one of English Heritage’s most modern sites, spend a day uncovering the secret history of Britain’s Cold War. In active service from the 1960s to the 1990s, the bunker was designed to monitor the fall-out of a potential nuclear attack. Learn more about the nail-biting history of the Cold War era, and Britain’s role in it, with a guided tour and make sure to visit the decontamination room, an essential part of any Cold War Bunker.
Monument Close, York YO24 4HT
0370 333 1181

Brimham Rocks

This collection of weird and wonderful rock formations, on a site of special biological and scientific interest covering more than 180 hectares, makes for a great day out for lovers of the great outdoors. The rocks, sculpted by hundreds of thousands of years of ice, rain and wind, now resemble creatures so look out for some familiar shapes, with the Dancing Bear, the Eagle and the Gorilla among them. The more nimble can crawl through the Smartie Tube and balance on the Rocking Stones. Some of the most iconic rock formations can be seen just a 10-minute walk from the car park, but we suggest you take your time to roam this amazing site, taking in the breathing views of the surrounding countryside. Brimham Rocks is also home to 70 bird boxes so keep an eye out for spotted flycatchers, treecreepers and owls, or join one of the special guided walks to learn more about the site and its wildlife.
Summerbridge, Harrogate HG3 4DW 
01423 780688

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