East Hull Community Farm

 

 

East Hull community farm is the east of the city’s best kept secret.

Nestled between a housing estate and Andrew Marvell School is the farm within the city, with pigs, sheep, calves, ducks, rabbits and guinea pigs to name a few.

I say “nestled between”, and not “wedged between” because the farm has a surprising amount of open space, considering its location.

And this time of year, you will also see baby lambs as we did – and even got to stroke one!

Registered as a charity and run by Hull City Council, it’s free to get in – for everyone.

INFO: The farm is NOT open on weekends or bank holidays.

Primarily, the farm provides education and learning opportunities in agriculture, crafts and country life for people with learning difficulties.

It offers the chance to study for recognised qualifications for Working Life, ITQ and Vocational Studies.

However, it’s also a community farm, so five days a week it’s open to the public for a visit.

It’s not going to be a full day out – you might spend about an hour there – but if you’re in the area it’s well worth a visit.

I went with my two-year-old daughter and my Nanna and we had a lovely morning seeing the animals.

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The farm is incredibly friendly. We met Chris, who has worked there for 20 years and very kindly told us all about the farm and the animals and gave us a carrot to feed Neville the donkey.

She also said it was OK for my daughter Jasmine to go inside the pen to stroke the rabbits and we were warned of any animals that may bite.

Jasmine loved running up and down and seeing all the animals and asking questions.

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There’s also a shop where you can buy farm produce. It’s very small but I came away with a dozen free-range eggs for £2, and pork and leek sausages for £2.20, which were an absolute bargain.

All of the produce is from the farm. A local abattoir and butcher is used so you can be sure none of the products have travelled very far.

Also on offer are burgers, outdoor reared lamb, which is available to order fresh and, when available, a half pig or leg of pork or pork chops.

Although the farm is free to visit, donations are gratefully accepted.

Our visit made a lovely change and I’m sure we will be back.

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NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION: Barham Road, Bilton Grange, east Hull, HU9 4EE.

OPEN: Monday to Friday, 9am until 4pm. Closed on weekends and bank holidays.

PRICES: Free for individuals and families. Small charges for groups.

CALL: 01482 783990

VISIT: www.easthullcommunityfarm.co.uk

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Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway

THEY SAY: The No. 1 tourist attraction in North East Lincolnshire as voted by visitors on TripAdvisor.

WE SAY: The kids will love the four mile return journey along the Humberside coast on one of Britain’s oldest seaside miniature railways.

KIDS love trains, and my two children loved being able to hop on themselves into the little carriages on the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway.

Operating between three stations, you can join the railway at either the Kingsway, Lakeside or North Sea Lane stations and it is a great way to see the coastline.

Each station is about 15 minutes apart, with a full round trip between the three taking about 45 minutes.

Cleethorpes Kingsway

Adjacent to Cleethorpes Leisure Centre and the Southern Promenade, this terminus station is home to a gift shop selling a wide range of railway souvenirs. Also on offer are snacks and light refreshments.

Lakeside Station

Lakeside is the hub of the railway, found halfway along the line. It is home to the smallest pub on the planet – The Signal Box Inn. It’s just 8×8 square feet and seating four people at a time.

Platform One Cafe is also at Lakeside Station, a new addition for 2015, and sells breakfasts, lunches and refreshments.

The Griffin Hall Museum  tells the story of the Sutton Miniature Railway and includes on display ‘Mighty Atom’ – one of the oldest 15 inch gauge steam locomotives in the world. At this station, Oliver and Jasmine loved playing on the empty carriages.

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Humberston

The other terminus station was added as part of the railways extension in 2007 and is near Thorpe Park and Pleasure Island Theme Park.

INFO: A Full Line Return ticket allows travel on the complete railway, a return trip taking approximately 40 – 45 minutes long. This ticket can be purchased at any of the three stations.

If it’s cold you will need to wrap up as the train has open sides! We ate our picnic as we travelled and the kids enjoyed waving to everyone as we passed down the coast.

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The railway also hosts driver experience days where you can take the controls and learn to drive the train for £150.We were happy to just be passengers, though.

The railway holds regular events throughout the year including music festivals, Days out with Thomas, folk and cider festivals, Halloween and the ever popular Santa Specials.

INFO: Dogs are allowed on the trains, for £1.50 per dog

The Jungle Zoo is within walking distance from Lakeside Station, so a ride on the trains, coupled together with the zoo make for a good day out – especially if you then go to the seafront for fish and chips too!

Both share the same, huge pay and display car park where you can park all day for £5.

  • Reviewed March 2014

 

NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION: Lakeside Station: Kings Road, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, DN35 0AG.

OPEN: Winter: Weekends only. After March 25: Open daily

PRICES: Adult Full Line: £3.50 single or £4 return.  Child Full Line: £3 single or £3.50 return.  Adult Half Line: £2.50  single or £3 return.  Child Half Line £2 single or £2.50 return.

A child ticket includes anyone between the age of three and 16 years old.

CALL: 01472 604657

E-MAIL: info@cclr.co.uk

VISIT: www.cclr.co.uk

The Jungle Zoo, Cleethorpes

THEY SAY: The Jungle Zoo are proud to be one of the newest interactive zoo attractions to be found anywhere within the UK, aiming to be the best small family zoo in the country!

WE SAY: Small friendly zoo, and very hands-on.

As we walked through the Jungle Zoo with all the animals safely behind glass, my three-year-old son bent down to stroke a big plastic Iguana – then it moved!

Oliver nearly shot out of his skin – we had all thought it was a pretend one, but, as the website promises – this is a place where you can get up close and personal with the animals.

After the initial shock, Oliver slowly went back towards it and really enjoyed stroking it and watching its long tongue slither along the floor.

My mum joked she half expected an announcement to come over the loud speaker about a wild animal having escaped – but it was fine, the iguana is free to roam around, acting like it owns the place.

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Before that we had spent a while chatting to the talking parrots on the way in.

The zoo is home to a large variety of animals from around the world. It is one of the newest interactive zoo attractions in the UK, aiming to be the best small family zoo in the country.

The indoor area is home to everything from pythons and bearded dragons to lizards and birds, with a pond for the frogs.

Outside is where you will find the monkeys, meerkats and a goat. We also saw the resident pig, but only because a member of staff had told us to shout “PD” at it – to make it come out of its hut and run at us for food.

The zoo’s owners feel passionately about children having physical access to animals in order to foster a better understanding of wildlife and the natural world around them.

The zoo employs well-trained and highly qualified keepers with a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise.

There are also daily scheduled keeper talks, feeding sessions and demonstrations.

Come rain or shine – whatever the weather and whatever your age – there is always something for you to see, learn, discover and do at the Jungle Zoo.

There is also a small shop, should you wish to buy any souvenirs before leaving.

It does not take long to get around the zoo as it is only small, I’d say about an hour is all you really need, and there isn’t anywhere to have a picnic.

Team it with a visit to the beach and have a go on the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway to make a day of it.

The Jungle Zoo and Lakeside Station where you catch the mini train from are within walking distance of each other, so coupled together make for a good day out, especially if you then go to the seafront for fish and chips.

Both share the same, huge pay and display car park where you can park all day for £5.

NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION:  Kings Road, Cleethorpes, DN35 0AG

OPEN: Zoo: 10am to 3.30pm daily. Railway: Check online timetable for operating days.

PRICES: Zoo: adults £4.80, children £4, under-twos: Free. Railway: Fares range from £2.50 to £4 depending on length of journey. Under-threes are free.

CALL: Zoo: 01472 291998. Railway: 01472 604657.

VISIT: www.thejunglezoo.co.uk 

Lightwater Valley, Ripon, North Yorks

THEY SAY: One of the finest theme parks in the UK.

WE SAY: A great day out with a fab Angry Birds adventure playground, falconry centre and Eurpoe’s longest rollercoaster – to name a few.

All my four-year-old son has talked about since returning from Lightwater Valley is Henry the owl and the snake.

Forget the brilliant rides he loved going on over and over again – the highlight for Oliver was getting to hold an owl on his arm and looking at the snakes.

It was at the Falconry Centre he watched from behind the glass as the huge, white python opened its mouth and ate a rat, right before his very eyes. It was gross. I can’t think of seeing anything worse, but the children found it fascinating.

We missed the flying display as we had waited until the last show at 4pm and arrived too late to find the gate already locked, but we still got to walk round the centre, which is home to more than 35 amazing birds of prey including owls, falcons, eagles and hawks.

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TIP:  If your child is on the borderline for a particular height then pop into Visitor services office at the entrance where they can be measured and issued with a height confirmation wristband to save them being measured for every ride.

The highlight for me was something a little more tame like the swan pedalos or the big wheel.

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With more than 40 rides and attractions, Lightwater Valley has something for everyone though. Entry is based on height so it’s one price for anyone over 1m tall. Under 2s are free and those under 1m are £5 – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of rides for toddlers to go on because there is!

My daughter Jasmine is only two and measures under 1m tall, so it was only £5 entry for her, but there was still dozens of rides she could enjoy.

She particularly liked the UK’s largest Angry Birds activity park, driving one of the Eagle’s Creek Farm tractors around the farmyard and riding on the miniature railway.

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Angry Birds adventure park

TIP: Use the mini land train to get around the park – it runs approx every 20 mins

There’s also a mini pirate ship, teacups, swings, car rally track, several other smaller rides and even a mini roller coaster for the younger children. She was allowed on the carousel, but only in the carriages, not on a horse.

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Plenty for younger children to go on…

The rides are categorised by height. For those over 1m in height, (suggested age range of five to nine), there’s the carousel, wild river rapids, the little dipper, ladybird roller coaster, flying camels and the Flying Cutlass large pirate ship.

And for the even bigger kids, who measure over 1.2m, (suggested ages of 9+), there’s Whirlwind – a typhoon of screams that’ll twist even the bravest of souls, and Europe’s longest rollercoaster – The Ultimate. There’s also Raptor Attack’s abandoned mineshaft, Twister and the Eagle’s Claw spinning ride. If you like going upside down, the Black Pearl pirate ship is the one for you.

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Mummy & Oliver on the big wheel

TIP: During the Summer months the park has a number of Front of Queue Tickets for sale in a kiosk by The Conservatory at a cost of between £1.50 and £4.00 depending on the ride.

The skate karts were also a massive hit, (For those measuring over 1.3m in height) where riders clamber on-board a kart and hurtle around the downhill, twisting track.

On our second day at the park we hopped on the train straight away in the morning and started at the bottom end of the park and worked our way back up and it was far less bsy doing it that way – although it was hard getting the kids past the rides they wanted to go on!

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There currently isn’t anywhere to stay on site at Lightwater Valley, but a holiday resort is in the process of being built, so watch this space.

NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION: North Stainley, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3HT

OPEN: 10am until 6pm in summer. Parking is free.

PRICES: Online prices: £20 per person for anyone over one metre and £5 for anyone under one metre in height. Under twos are free.

FACILITIES: Two cash machines, free parking, picnic benches, wheelchair hire, irst aiders, baby change. Lightwater Valley is on the 159 bus route.

CALL: 08717 200011

VISIT: www.lightwatervalley.co.uk

Pleasure Island Family Theme Park, Cleethorpes

THEY SAY: Lincolnshire’s Theme Park for all the family, 7 amazing white knuckle rides, 5 great family shows.

WE SAY: A great day out for all the family with rides, animals and indoor fun

FotorCreatedWE like Pleasure Island so much we’ve invested in an annual pass for 2016!

With everything from rides and family shows to a farm and an indoor play area, the only problem you will have at Pleasure Island is fitting it all in.

Inside the park, you will find seven white-knuckle rides, 18 family rides, five family shows and six younger children’s rides – not to mention the kiddies cove outdoor play area and the indoor Tinkerboo Town fun houses.

We had some of the best fun on the huge Astra slide, which also gives great views of the park from the top. We grabbed a mat, climbed to the top then raced down as fast as we could. Parents, you HAVE to try this!

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My four-year-old son’s favourite was the pedalo lake boats and the tractor ride, which takes you on a journey around the farm’s paddocks on a high track which he felt like he was driving himself. He particularly loved looking over the animals below and thought it was hilarious seeing the goats standing ON the picnic tables!

TIP: Parking is free

My two-year-old daughter’s favourite was the dodgems, where she laughed out loud when they crashed and the sweet adventure water ride, which is not to be missed. While my friend’s daughter, Abigail, who is six, loved the flying chairs and the mine train.

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The highlight of the day for me was watching the sea lion show, where we saw Robert, Zac and Bonnie. We took our seats and saw them perform tricks and high-flying somersaults. It was really impressive seeing them clap and carefully follow instructions.

View the park map here.

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Other shows include a bird show, magic show and the African Acrobat show, so there really is something for everyone.

TIP: Choose your seats wisely for the sea lion show. If it’s wet on the floor where you’re sat, you will get splashed so move back!

McCormacks Restaurant and bar is where you will find live entertainment for all the family, from children’s entertainers to live bands and cabaret. It’s ideal to stop off at on your way out for an evening’s entertainment.

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Picnic Time! There’s plenty of open space to enjoy a picnic!
  • Reviewed September 2015

Pleasure Island has now closed down

The Deep aquarium, Hull

NO visit to Hull is complete without going to the Deep – one of the UK’s most spectacular aquariums, with more than 3,500 fish and stunning marine life.

We’ve been several times thanks to the fact you can pay once and get an annual pass for free, making it very cost-effective.

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I often go with my with my eight-year-old nephew, six-year-old niece, four-year-old son and one-year-old daughter and they all love it there.

At their ages, it’s all about running around in the large open spaces and pressing their faces against the glass to look at the fish, whereas when I’ve been with older children, they have really enjoyed the interactive learning zones and reading up on the sea creatures.

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From babies to adults, there is something for everyone and its hard to tear them away from watching.

The Deep is dedicated to informing visitors about the world’s oceans and the challenges they face.

TIP: There’s a car park on site which costs £2 per car for a four hour period.

It operates as an education and conservation charity, with all money made being reinvested back into pioneering research and new exhibits.

If you’ve not seen the gentoo penguins yet, that really is a must. There are several different viewing areas, so you can see them in the Kingdom of Ice and below swimming in the water.

The Lagoon of Light remains my favourite area. Here you can see the underwater reef at the tropical lagoon, teeming with hundreds of colourful fish.

Over in the Endless Ocean, trained divers carry out animal feedings at 2pm daily. We were lucky enough to catch the show and the kids were fascinated to be able to see the divers so close, feeding the sharks. You can imagine the questions that followed!

The presentation was really interesting and certainly captured their imaginations. We learned why the sharks don’t eat the other fish.

We were also lucky enough to take part in the touch pool sessions, which take place several times a day.

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The kids were really excited to see the guides handling some of the smaller species, including bumpy starfish, velvet swimmer crabs and spikey sea urchins, which they were allowed to touch.

TIP: The Deep accepts the Tesco vouchers for entry

Obviously, you can take pictures throughout, but you can’t use a flash because, unlike most animals, fish do not have eyelids and, therefore, cannot close their eyes in response to any bright lights.

TIP: There is a picnic area, so you can take your own food, or there is the Observatory Café, which is open from 10am to 5.30pm, with hot meals served until 3pm.

The Deep is also home to the Two Rivers Restaurant, which is open Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm. Diners are treated to a Mediterranean menu with a Yorkshire twist next to some of the best aquatic displays in Europe. Booking is essential.

As well as being open for a family day out, you can also get married at the Deep or hire it for business use.

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And, if you are looking for a quirky present for those with a love of marine life, The Deep offers a half-day experience to spend a morning doing some of the jobs the aquarists do.

The Deep Experience includes cleaning out tanks, preparing food and feeding some of the smaller animals, as well as a behind- the-scenes tour, taking in some of the plant rooms and quarantine. The package costs just £75.

On average, people tend to spend two to three hours at the Deep. It’s all indoors. There is a very small soft play area in the middle of the centre – but not big enough to describe as an attraction itself.

  • Reviewed December 2015

NEED TO KNOW..

LOCATION: The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, HU1 4DP.

OPEN: The Deep is open every day, from 10am to 6pm (last entry at 5pm), excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when it is closed.

PRICES: Tickets are cheaper online. Adults £10.80 online. £12 on the door. Child: (Three to 15) £9 online, £10 on the door. Under-threes are admitted free.

CALL: 01482 381000.

VISIT: http://www.thedeep.co.uk for more information

Pirate Adventure Golf, Hull

THEY SAY: A crazy golf style game in Hull. Our course is full of fun surprises with 9 challenging holes for all the family to enjoy.

WE SAY: Fab friendly venue, great fun, with golf and footgolf, plus a driving range.

MY son and I had an excellent morning together at Pirate Adventure Golf in Hull.

It was the week before he started  “big school”, so I wanted a fun afternoon out for just Oliver and myself as a little treat before he is in the classroom five days a week.

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Oliver loves mini-golf but his two-year-old sister Jasmine usually gets in his way, so on our Mummy and son day out, she had a play-date with Nanna and off we went to Pirate Adventure Golf.

Located within One Stop Golf in National Avenue, it’s the only crazy golf-style game currently open in Hull.

On arrival, Lee provided us with putters and balls, plus a scorecard and a pencil, and we got to work on the first hole – Captain’s Hook.

The nine-hole course is a lot of fun. It’s brightly coloured and imaginative for kids, including cannons, sharks, barrels, treasure and of course, pirates.

The course usually takes about 15 to 25 minutes to complete the nine holes, but you can opt to play a second round.

TIP: The venue recommends children should be at least five years old to play mini golf

It took us a little longer, as Oliver is only four and wanted to go around the course twice and also wanted to stop to look at everything.

He also hit his ball into the water a couple of times – I’m sure he did it so he could watch me fish it out!

We went in the morning when it was very quiet, but you can sail the pirate ship day or night, thanks to the floodlit facility.

You don’t have to book either, so if the weather is fine, you can decide to go the same day.

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There’s no need to go home straight away either, as there’s plenty to do at One Stop Golf.

There’s a target golf range, a 19-bay floodlit range and a short-game area.

Whether you’re a serious golfer looking to improve your game or a bunch of friends looking for an exciting game there is, we have something for everyone.

TIP: If you’ve had a good game, hand your scorecard in for the chance to get on the leaderboard!

There’s also a function room, so it’s the perfect place to host a party.

Oliver noticed the nine-hole Foot Golf course as soon as we arrived, so we also had a go at that, which was also great fun.

He also enjoyed watching people on the driving range on the way out.

The facility offers the very best teaching professionals, facilities, equipment and a wealth of experience.

It caters for every level of golfer, from the junior novice to the elite player.

I can see us going back and, as Oliver gets older, I can see him really enjoying the target golf and driving range.

After our visit we then went to Pizza Hut on St Andrew’s Quay for lunch, followed by doughnuts at Krispy Kreme in St Stephen’s Shopping Centre and a quick visit to Treat Box sweet shop in Carr Lane, Hull city centre = perfect day out! #spoilt

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  • Reviewed August 2015

 

NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION: National Avenue, west Hull, HU5 4JB.

OPEN: Daily from 9am. Last round is at 8pm weekdays and 5.15pm on weekends.

PRICES: Adults £4. Under-16s: £3

CALL: 01482 494948

VISIT: www.pirateadventuregolf.co.uk

Dinostar Museum, Hull

THEY SAY: The exciting, interactive dinosaur museum. A children’s museum with dinosaurs!

WE SAY: If you’re in the Marina area, pop in. Very small and won’t take long to get round, but prices reflect this.

IT’S the place you can see, touch, hear and smell dinosaurs in a unique exhibition of dinosaurs and fossils.

Highlights include a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, Triceratops bones you can touch, and a unique dinosaur sound box.

It’s probably the smallest museum I’ve ever been to, but the children, aged six, four and two had a good time.

The entry price (£1.50 for children) perhaps represents the fact the museum won’t provide you with a full day out, or even a full afternoon. However,  if you’re out and about on Hull’s Marina, the Dinostar museum is somewhere you could pop into.

Based in Humber Street – Hull’s developing arts quarter – the attraction is close to The Deep, in the revamping Fruit Market area of Hull’s Old Town.

It’s billed as a dinosaur and fossil shop with an interactive exhibition, which is about right – we were there for just over an hour.

By far the best part for our children was collecting the dinosaur stamps as we made our way through the museum.

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They also loved the play area upstairs, where they could dig in sand to find a dinosaur skeleton and play on the computer. Here, we rested our feet and had a gossip whilst the children played. Would have been nice if we could have got a coffee there actually!

They also enjoyed practising drawing dinosaurs with the stencils provided.

All the way around, children are encouraged to read and learn. We learned very few genuine dinosaur bones are actually on public exhibition. The rarity of fossil remains means that most museums display casts or replicas of excavated specimens.

We also learned that, despite the Tyrannosaurus Rex being the most famous dinosaur, very few have actually been found.

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The museum also offers workshops that feature hands-on sessions, illustrated with some of Dinostar’s fascinating collection of dinosaur exhibits.

School visits to Dinostar are welcomed, even when Dinostar is not open to the public, and groups of up to 60 can be accommodated.

Pre-booked groups are charged £1 for each member of the party and teachers are invited to make free familiarisation visits whenever Dinostar is open to the public.

There is free parking with a three- hour limit in the surrounding area of the attraction, including directly outside Dinostar.

  • Reviewed May 2015

NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION: 28-29 Humber Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 1TH

OPEN: Every Sunday, 11am to 5pm.

PRICES: Adults £3, children and senior citizens £1.50.

CALL: 01482 320424.

VISIT: www.dinostar.co.uk

Piglets Adventure Farm, York

WE’VE been to Piglets a few times over the past couple of years and there is always plenty to do and improvements seem to be made year on year.

It’s a great day out, but it’s mainly outdoors with little places to shelter, so definitely best to go when it’s not raining!

Once you’ve paid, all activities are included, so you can put your purse away and not have to worry about the nagging for extra pennies.

On our most recent visit, we saw the indoor circus for the first time, which my children laughed out loud at. I think this is only on site during school holidays.

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The indoor circus!

The “grandad” was performing gymnastic tricks high in the air, which had my four-year-old and two-year-old amazed.

Another of my children’s favourites at the park is the barrel train, where they get to sit in one of the barrels and get pulled around the field by a tractor.

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The giant cushion bouncing pillow is always a hit, too, as is the outdoor sandpit, where my children could spend hours playing with the toys.

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There’s also crazy golf and ride-on tractors, plus a football area. There’s also a maize maze to explore, as well as the farmyard trail, where you can see all the animals and handle the smaller ones.

A visit to Piglets wouldn’t be complete though without watching the pig racing and cheering on your chosen team.

We also love the pedal go karts, where all three of us can fit on one – though it’s always me who has to do the pedalling!

There’s enough there to keep the little ones entertained for a full day, which is why we go at least once a year. I think the icing on the cake would be some sort of indoor play centre so you can take cover if the heavens open.

INFO: Facilities include toilets with disabled access, a café, baby changing facilities, and free coach and car parking.

There’s outside picnic benches for sunny days, and undercover eating areas for less accommodating weather.

Piglets is open seven months of the year, but it also opens in December for a Christmas event which looks good with a sleigh ride to Santa’s woodland village.

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  • Reviewed August 2015

NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION:  The Farmer’s Cart, Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Lane,  York, YO32 9ST.

OPEN: The farm is open daily 7 months of the year from March to November, from 10am to 5.30pm.

PRICES: Weekends, School and holidays: Adults: £6.95, Children: £7.95. Term time (Mon to Fri):  Adult £3.25. Child: £4.75.

CALL: 01904 499700

VISIT: www.pigletsfarmpark.co.uk

Eureka! National Children’s Museum, Halifax

THERE’S one big difference between traditional museums and Eureka the Children’s museum. Here, they are encouraged to touch and play with everything!

From astronauts, doctors and bankers to chefs, car mechanics and postmen – Eureka! is a magical land where children can become whatever they like – for a day at least.

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Aimed at kids aged up to 11 years old, it’s a place they are inspired to learn all about themselves and the world around them by playing, imagining, experimenting and, above all, having fun.

One minute my son, Oliver, was playing postman, complete with the Royal Mail uniform, parcels and letters, and the next he had his hard hat on and was working in a Transco gas pit.

It is 100 per cent hands-on, so, as you can imagine, you can literally let them go wild and be whoever they want to be.

I think it best described as a large and varied hands-on activity centre, which provides something for children of all ages to get involved with.

Without a doubt, it was the Halifax bank that was the most popular place for my children and niece and nephew the last time we visited.

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After changing into the bankers uniform, my eight-year-old nephew, Lewis, got himself sat in the bankers chair and was enjoying paying out money to other children. It was lovely to see him playing, but clearly learning and building his confidence with others he didn’t know.

It’s also the one place you can let the kids loose on a “real” cash point as it doesn’t matter which numbers are pressed – money is dispensed.

The garage was also a great hit. “Let’s get to work” my son shouted as we got nearer.

They pulled on their overalls and changed tyres, sat in cars and put petrol in – what’s not to like?

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My two-year-old daughter loved the Marks & Spencer shop, where she could take a little trolley around and choose the products she wanted before going to the tills to “pay”. She was scanning, pressing the till buttons and choosing food. It was brilliant.

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The first time we went she was only ten-months-old, but she had a brilliant time cruising around feeling and touching different displays, using her senses to explore her natural curiosity.

Throughout the staff were excellent. Each one we saw was energetic, fun, friendly and helpful.

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The show which was on during school hols

Upstairs, the highlight is the All About Me gallery, which is designed to get you thinking about how your bodies work and how to look after them.

TIP: Visit on a sunny day because that’s when it’s quietest!

There is also a health centre setting, where children can play doctors and learn about everything from scanning pregnant women to what makes us sneeze.

Despite going on several days out already this year, I can say the Eureka! is easily the best family day out we’ve had in a long time.

We visited on a sunny afternoon, so it was fairly quiet as a lot of people save the indoor attraction for rainy days. It was great though as it meant we could eat our picnic outside, enjoy the huge sandpit, donkey rides (£2 a go), and there was also a pop-up farm in the grounds.

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INFO: There’s indoor and outdoor picnic tables if you want to avoid the food queues in the café and take a pack-up. There’s even a train carriage outside you can sit in to have lunch.

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The train carriage is a great place to eat your picnic!

INFO: The admission price includes an annual pass, which enables you to visit as many times as you like for the next 12 months.

Any profits from the entrance fees, gift shop, café, nursery and corporate activities go towards staffing and general upkeep of the museum.

INFO: Take plenty of change for the car parking because it’s £6 per day.

During the school holidays there’s a full programme of events. We went to shows, talks and even visited a pop-up mini-beast room where we held a tarantula!

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Still can’t believe I got that close to that!

One thing I don’t understand is the fact it has bad reviews on Trip Advisor. There seems to be quite a few, but don’t let these put you off, how anyone can’t enjoy it is beyond me.

  • Reviewed August 2015

 

NEED TO KNOW….

LOCATION: Discovery Road, Halifax, HX1 2NE

OPEN: Usually closed on Mondays, but open on a Monday in school holidays. Open 10am until 4pm and 5pm on weekends and school holls.

PRICES: Children aged aged 1-2 years: £5.25. Anyone aged 3 and over: £12.95. Children under 11 months old enter free.

CALL: 01422 330069

VISIT: www.eureka.org.uk