Top Activities to Tick Off this Half Term
There’s so much going on across the North East and Yorkshire at half term that it’s hard to choose what to do
Castle Farm, Wold Hill HU15 2LS
February half term is all about shaking off those winter blues and what better way to enjoy some fresh air and fitness than taking part in the Winter Olympics at William’s Den? Whether you get your little ones following in the footsteps of Eddie the Eagle on the ski jump, or you’re the next pioneers to reach Mount Everest without getting snowballed, there are activities to keep kids of all ages on their toes. In true competition style there will of course be the chance to win a gold medal and take pride of place on William’s podium, as well as an Arctic award for the frosty fancy dress contest. There’s also a variety of food offerings so you can refuel after a fun-filled day.
Sledmere, Driffield YO25 3XG
Sledmere brings the best mix of art, history, architecture and gardens to life, and this holiday you’ve been invited to enjoy a special nature trail. Follow the trail to find footprints and learn all about the different animals that roam around Sledmere’s grounds. The farm park is full of fluffy faces that can’t wait to meet you, while the adventure playground is a fantastic place to let off some steam. If you’re visiting at the end of half term, you may also have the opportunity meet newborn lambs, and help out at feeding time.
Tower Street, Hull HU1 4DP
This half term, deep-dive into the history of life on earth by exploring ‘Extinction’ at The Deep. Perfect for families, you will leave no stone unturned when looking at the history and development of life in the oceans and on land. Activities include everything from hatching dinosaur eggs and using your palaeontology skills to identify the species, to exploring the history, evolution and diversity of sharks, and even witnessing the eruption of a volcano with the use of some clever science. Combine this with the usual sealife attractions at The Deep and you’ll have a jam-packed day out.
30 Lime Street, Ouseburn NE1 2PQ
0300 330 1095
For half term, Seven Stories is celebrating the wonderful world of Judith Kerr, and you’re invited to join them for a storytime adventure with Mog the Cat – who is very, very forgetful. It’s your job to help Mog and her friends to remember and join in with activities to get you moving. This event is recommended for pre-school children who love books, but if your kids are a bit older there are Judith Kerr-inspired activities for all ages, including ‘Adventure Through Time’ an interactive storytime theatre performance which is perfect for key stage one and two children. Finish your visit at the Level 3 cafe and bookshop where you can treat yourself to a brew and traybake with a view of Ouseburn.
Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate HG3 1QB
Unearth the hidden world ‘under your feet’ at RHS Garden Harlow Carr this half term. From mind-boggling creatures to tree roots that talk to each other, discover the diverse wonders as you wander. Uncover the secrets of the soil on a family-friendly garden trail, finding out just how important soil is for plants, mini beasts and the planet; or get stuck in with forest school and planting workshops, learning the science behind plant growth before sowing a seed in a test tube filled with nutrient-rich gel, ready to take home and watch the roots appear within days. You can even boost your family wellbeing with adventure walks and story yoga.
Belsay, Northumberland NE20 0DX
0370 333 1181
Get the kids out of the house and embrace the first signs of spring at Belsay Hall as many plants begin to flower. This half term, you can also get fit for history on a fun-filled outdoor explorer quest. Roam around the grounds and gardens to find games and activities inspired by knights, soldiers and ancient Olympians. Discover quirky facts, tackle playful puzzles and see if you’ve got what it takes to get moving like people from the past. Then when you’ve worked up an appetite from all of that exploring make your way to the Victorian tearoom in the hall’s original kitchen.
Staindrop, Darlington DL2 3AH
Raby’s half term trail is relocating! It usually takes place in the beautiful Walled Gardens, but Nevill the Dragon and eight of his friends have landed on the terrace and are guarding the keys to the Castle. Families will be welcomed to see the medieval walls up close and enjoy stunning views across the Deer Park as you search for clues that will be scattered around the castle terrace. Complete the quest to unlock the secrets and find out what they are protecting. If that wasn’t enough, Raby are also recruiting new students for Zog’s Dragon School, inspired by one of Julia Donaldson’s much-loved books. You must be keen to learn new skills such as breathing fire, understanding the science of flying, wild roaring, capturing a princess, and of course the very useful Dragon First Aid.
Washington Wetland Centre
Barmston Lane, Pattinson NE38 8LE
0191 416 5454
Early spring is a great time to explore nature, and at Washington Wetland Centre they sure have a lot to see, from seeing the world's rarest goose – the nene – to bird spotting in their popular Hawthorn hide or even meeting Mimi, Musa and Buster (their Asian short-clawed otter family). One of our favourite things to do when we visit though is puddle jumping. Encouraging you to get absorbed into the fun and make huge splashes (they literally have a splash-o-meter), prepare to get soaked. With warm-up stations, welly shy and obstacle course with a big puddle finale, it’s a guaranteed laugh. It’s not just for the kids either, grown ups can join in too!