What? Houses a collection of 5,000 marine animals
Why should we go? An icon of Hull, The Deep is a must-visit attraction, full of weird and wonderful water-dwelling wildlife. This world-class aquarium contains everything from sharks, rays and turtles to Europe’s only pair of green sawfish, and there are plenty of interactive displays and presentations to make sure kids are having a great time (and to hopefully inspire some of the next
generation of marine scientists).
Tower Street, Hull HU1 4DP
What? A former smugglers ‘palace’, this museum has lots of hiding places to discover and there’s a smugglers train to follow too.
Why should you go? It’s the perfect place for combining a fascinating history lesson with lots of fun facts to keep the family entertained. Dating back to 1753, with a plethora of secrets built into the very fabric of the house – including a Tea Chute - a unique survivor of the days when tea smuggling made many fortunes, the house also features rooms from the main periods in its history, from original owner and smuggler extraordinaire John Nesbit to the Rev George Home. Kids can dress up and follow the rat trail, and even try and smuggle their own counterfeit tea. The house also overlooks the busting Eyemouth harbour.
Gunsgreen Quay, Eyemouth TD14 5SD
Where? Across North Yorkshire
What? A wide range of exciting outdoor activities, like rock-climbing and kayaking
Why should you go? The days are getting longer, and the weather is getting warmer, so it’s time to brave the outside world and have an adventure in North Yorkshire. Alfresco Adventures offers all sorts of outdoor activities, from learning first aid and navigation, to archery and stand-up paddle boarding. Alfresco Adventures is a great way for families to get more active, as well as inspiring a
love of the outdoors in your children – you’ve just got to hope that the weather holds up!
What? A collection of three escape rooms, each with fun themes and packed full of puzzles to solve.
Why should you go? Escape rooms are incredibly popular at the moment, and for good reason – they provide a really fun time which forces participants to use their brains and actively explore their surroundings. Escape Key are a brilliant exponent of the genre, offering three excellent rooms of varying difficulty. Located next to a witches’ burial ground and overlooking an old plague pit, Escape Key has rooms that are inspired by both of these aspects of its local history, and offer a thrilling game that educates and excites.
St Andrew’s Street, Newcastle NE1 5SF
HARROGATE INDOOR FUNFAIR
What? A funfair that provides a plethora of thrilling rides and fun games, come rain or shine, from 25th February to 3rd March
Why should you go? This funfair promises a day full of laughter andexcitement. Following on from a hugely successful debut last year, the Harrogate Indoor Funfair is back and ready to put on a show. Enjoy their classic fairground rides, like dodgems and cup and saucer, indoors at the Yorkshire Event Centre, which means that whatever the weather over half-term, you can have a great time here.
Great Yorkshire Showground HG2 8NZ
What? A museum and visitor centre dedicated to children’s literature.
Why should you go? The National Centre for Children’s Books is, rightly, a treasured part of the North East’s cultural landscape, providing a wonderful resource for young minds across the region. This year, they’re welcoming a brilliant new exhibition – ELMER and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee. Visitors will get to explore the first ever major retrospective of David McKee’s striking artwork, celebrating the 30th birthday of one of the most widely-read children’s books of all time.
Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle NE1 2PQ
What? Its house and gardens provide art and culture for grown-ups, and lots of fun activities for children
Why should you go? Sledmere House is the sort of location which can cater to all age groups. The stunning estate is full of beautiful art and architecture – including the Wagoners’ Museum and plenty of events – as well as beautiful gardens to enjoy. There’s also plenty there to keep the kids happy, whether they want to have fun in the adventure play area next to the café, or are more excited by the stables and paddock, seeing the Shire horses and rare breed animals.
Sledmere, Driffield YO25 3XG
What? A falconry business, which trains and flies around 70 birds of prey.
Why should you go? This is a unique and educational experience for children and adults. Go on a guided tour of the farm and meet the birds, before donning the gauntlet and flying a range of owls, hawks and falcons. Not only is it an exhilarating experience, but it’s also really educational, as visitors get to learn all about both native and non-native species of predatory birds, whilst getting a hands-on experience with them.
Lady Hill Farm, Simonburn, Hexham NE48 3EE
TROPICAL BUTTERFLY HOUSE
Where? North Anston
What? A zoo and indoor rainforest, full of exotic plants,
insects and animals
Why should you go? Wander among a tropical paradise, with free-flying butterflies and colourful birds. There are plenty of animals roaming around the house to be discovered, including iguanas and terrapins, as well as a couple of caimans – smaller cousins of alligators, who thankfully have their own enclosure. Outside the butterfly house is a wonderful zoo, where families can find, among other creatures, lemurs, meerkats and giant tortoises, so there’s plenty for budding zoologists to get excited about.
Woodsetts Road, North Anston S25 4EQ
What? A stunning area of woodland with walking and cycling trails, dedicated riding trails, a play area and loads of activities for all the family.
Why should you go? Find adventure play areas for all the family, from high octane mountain biking to more leisurely walks and on-site learning activities and even a Gruffalo orienteering course. When the weather permits, paddle or picnic by the river and (luckily) there’s very little mobile signal here so family fun won’t be interrupted by screen time from social media obsessed teenagers. There’s a new Zog trail now open for little ones – follow the markers through the woods to find familiar characters from the story, collect stars and complete challenges along the way. Don’t forget to pick up a Zog activity pack which includes a special lens to help you find clues and a Zog mask for picture-perfect fun.
Redford, Co Durham DL13 3NL
Where? Seaton Carew
What? Family-friendly wetlands and visitor centre, discovery zone and play centre.
Why should you go? Perfect for bird-watching beginners, the wetlands and grasslands at RSPB Saltholme are a really important habitat for wintering wildfowl and waders including golden plover, lapwing and widgeon and other birds such as water rails, reed buntings and reed warblers. It’s home to one of the largest inland breeding colonies of common tern which nest on the cockle shell-covered islands in the pools. The meadows are also home to sheep, cattle and hares amongst other animals, but alongside the wildlife there are lots of activities available at Saltholme (including indoor activities) which make it a great place for a family day out.
Seaton Carew, Middlesbrough TS2 1TU