5 of the best – Daddy Days Out

Blog written and researched by @petedwilson, @tom_ashurst and @richiewear13

Newby Hall

Set on the banks of the River Ure, Newby Hall has it all. Catering brilliantly for families and garden enthusiasts alike. The estate is big with so much to do, so give yourself plenty of time. Having a family we naturally gravitate to the children’s area, and it’s huge! Spread over a large area, there are zip wires, peddle boats, pully boats, a miniature railway, loads of play equipment and possibly most importantly an ice cream hut!

For garden lovers, just a short walk from the play area are some of the finest gardens in Yorkshire. With it’s impressively beautiful 140 metres herbaceous border, which is one of the longest in Europe, to it’s fun water garden, rose and rock garden to name a few.

Once you’ve worn yourself out on the zip wire and walked around the many gardens at Newby, you can also sample the impressive house. It is one of Britain’s finest Adam Houses, built in the 1690s by Sir Christopher Wren the house was later enlarged and adapted by John Carr and subsequently Robert Adam. The house is by timed entry only, so make sure you get your ticket before you go in.

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The Deep

On the banks of the River Humber sits the largest aquariums and it certainly lives up to it’s label as the UK’s most spectacular aquarium. With so much to see and do at The Deep you’ll be kept captivated for hours. It’s home to a whopping 3,500 fish including Europe’s only pair of green sawfish, spectacular sharks and rays.

The Deep’s newest additions are the very cute colony of Gentoo penguins who take up residence in The Kingdom of Ice, and will help explain to visitors about the threats to their habitat, issues surrounding climate change and ocean acidification.

It’s so much fun and educational for the kids, maybe even get a selfie with a shark?! So what are you waiting for, go see those cute penguins!

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Eureka

A day out for the kids? Look no further than The National Childrens Museum, Eureka! Based on a former derelict railway yard in the centre of Halifax, Eureka has been providing children between 0 and 11 with inspiration to learn all about themselves and the world around them by playing, imagining, experimenting and – above all – having fun, with the caring grown-ups in their lives.

This is a mantra that I can certainly vouch for myself, as I visited on a school trip back in more youthful days. The museum has grown since then and the fun is almost endless: young explorers can don hard hats and head into Boulder Mountain transporting rocks and building pyramids. Or they could break through a ginormous leaf and you’ll enter a giant garden where the flowers sing and the butterflies you paint fly off into the sky. In Eureka’s child sized town the young ones can fill up their shopping trolley and it’s up to the cashier how much they pay.

This is just the start, but don’t forget the cafe for the thirsty explorers and the gift shop for the memories. If they have energy left the outdoor play area may just tire them out! There are always new and exciting events on at Eureka and so it is advisable to check the events calendar and book in advance!

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Cannon Hall Farm

Cannon Hall Farm is something of a gem as it is jam-packed with activities for the little nippers. Obviously, as the name suggests, there’s the farm aspect which means there’s plenty of animals to have a look at from sheep, rabbits and highland cattle through to more exotic creations like llamas and rare breads like the kune kune pigs from New Zealand. This time of year is perfect to visit as you can see the spring lambs marauding around the farm too.

Cannon Hall Farm have also spent over £400,000 on some spectacular new play equipment, including a climbing forest, an innovative new tube maze and pyramid towers too. However, out of all these activities, I have a favourite… ferret racing! Pop down to the ferret racing track and watch four intrepid critters battle it out round the course.

After all that, the ice creams are on dad in the farm shop. You might have 99 problems but Cannon Hall Farm ain’t one.

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Harlow Carr

Harlow Carr is the Royal Horitcultural Society’s gem of the north! Found just outside Harrogate, it’s stunning all year round, offering a variety of beautiful gardens and borders as well as forest walks, kitchen gardens and raised beds.

However, it’s recent additions are a marvel! The stunningly crafted tree house is so much fun for the kids and it’s newly installed Log Ness Monster kept my son entertained for some time. Harlow Carr offers year round events include activities for all the family – outdoor theatre, guided walks, discovery trails, planting and wildlife workshops, displays and demonstrations.

When the day is done and you’ve exhausted yourself in the 54 acres, there’s Yorkshire’s very own Bettys Café Tea Rooms to enjoy some well earned tea and cake!

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