The summer school holidays are tough on parents; most families I know tend to do all the exciting things at the start of the holidays, and then end up with way too much holiday left at the end of the money. So, what can you do with the kids in Yorkshire when you’re on a tight budget? Are there fun things to do that don’t cost a small fortune? Surprisingly, yes. Below I’ve listed details of 8 of these, to get you started.
National Media Museum – Bradford (10am-6pm daily)
The National Media Museum in Bradford is always a good choice for some free, indoor fun. The general museum is great, and they have really interesting exhibitions throughout the year there. The Light Fantastic: Adventures in The Science of Light exhibition is currently there, and runs until 1st November, so if you miss it over the holidays, you’ve still got plenty of time to catch it. There are also several free activities for kids happening throughout August and into September.
If you don’t mind spending a little bit of money whilst there, there is a brilliant IMAX cinema on site which kids will love – especially the 3D screenings.
City Beach, Millennium Square – Leeds City Centre (10:30am-7pm daily)
The urban beach is in Leeds until 31st August, and combines sand with a variety of rides for kids, Punch & Judy shows on Saturdays and Sundays, food and drink, and music. Entry to the beach is free, although rides and food, etc. will incur a charge. Perhaps take a picnic to eat on the beach, and make it a free trip… if you can keep your kids off the rides, that is!
Hope Pastures – Leeds (10am-3pm daily)
For the horse, pony or donkey lover in your life, Hope Pastures is a lovely sanctuary which had resident four legged friends, and others who they rescue and look after, so you never know who you’re going to meet there. For a small donation, they also offer grooming opportunities for the kids.
Leeds City Museum (10am-5pm Tues-Fri, 11am-5pm Sat & Sun. Closed Mon, unless a bank holiday)
Admission to the Leeds City Museum is free, and there are many themes inside, which are great for kids of various ages. The taxidermy animal floor seems to be a winner with the whole family.
National Railway Museum – York (10am-6pm daily)
Do your little ones love trains? Look no further! Even if they don’t, they would probably enjoy a trip to York’s number one free attraction – the National Railway Museum. There’s plenty to see and do throughout the holidays, including a simulator and a miniature railway. There are also many extra events happening, but some will involve a fee. Check the website for full details.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Wakefield (10am-5pm daily)
Entry is free to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, although there is a charge for parking – if you live nearby, why not walk? Kids tend to enjoy the Park, as it is a big open space where they can run and play, and be hands on with the outdoor sculptures. YSP are also running workshops for children throughout the holidays – full details can be found on their website.
York Cat Trail – York City Centre (anytime)
If your kids love all things cat, why not try out the free York Cat Trail, which takes you around the beautiful streets of York. Just collect your leaflet / map from the York Glass shop on the Shambles to get started. You’ll find cat statues hidden on and around some of the most historic buildings in York. Great fun!
Owl Trail – Leeds City Centre (anytime)
Owls are part of the Leeds coat of arms, and because of that the city loves them. Why not spend a day out in the city centre with the kids tracking owls down on the Owl Trail, and learning about the local area at the same time? Just download your map from the website, and get going!