5 August 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I had last week off work to enjoy spending some summer holiday time with my little ones. I had the best week and was very sad to have to go back to work, but the good news is I have some more time off in a few week - wooo!

Here's a few snaps from our weeks adventures! 

We went to Bolton Abbey for a picnic. Bolton Abbey is one of my absolute favourite family days out - the place is beautiful. The kids can entertain themselves climbing trees or paddling in the river or hiding in the Abbey Ruins, but with plenty of scope for kicking back with an ice cream. Unfortunately the weather betrayed us a wee bit on this latest visit so it wasn't a full day out, but a grand time was had by all nonetheless! 

places to visit in yorkshire

The next day we headed on down the road to Rotherham to check out the Magna Science Adventure Centre. Having gone a couple of years ago I remembered that as well as having one of the most kick-ass playgrounds I'd ever come across, they have this ace 'Aqua-Tek' play area - so I luckily remembered to take the swimming gear so the monkeys could get splashed and soaked to their hearts content before drying off in the sunshine!

Once the novelty of that had worn off we managed to make it inside the attraction, where we attended a really fun 'Rockets and Balloons Workshop' where things were genuinely set on fire or shot across the room with barely a mention of H&S regulations.

The museum itself was a little worrying to Little Miss - set inside a former steelworks, the place is huge, and dark, and eerie in the way that only these old industrial work places can be, so Madam was slightly on edge walking between the attractions, but found plenty to entertain her at each 'element' section.

We didn't investigate the whole place as it seemed a waste of the lovely weather but we get free returns for 12 months with our entrance ticket so we will definitely be returning!

family days out in yorkshire

magna sheffield

On the Tuesday we headed to Ponderosa to go see some cute animals. We were all quite taken with the adorable Marmosets, and the kids got to hold Guinea Pigs and stroke a Bearded Dragon. As well as hanging out with the cute critters, there's a couple of different play areas at Ponderosa including a huge sand pit and a good time was had by all.

Ponderosa Yorkshire

ponderosa animals

Wednesday was crazy golf day. A whole lot of golf! We headed over to Xscape to check out the 4D golf - they have a couple of UV golf courses, to be played in the dark while wearing 3D glasses, it's quite disorientating but really good fun!

After dinner we went for a little wander round the outlet shopping village over the road and spotted they had a new pirate themed crazy golf course. Everyone knows 'pirates' is the best theme for golf, and the young 'uns weren't feeling golfed-out yet, so we had a go on that one too.

xscape things to do

golf buddies

Our next destination was Lightwater Valley - I don't know why I like theme parks as much as I do considering big rides terrify me! Thankfully, my kids are as wimpy as me and I got to avoid anything too terrifying!

Despite not being that far away, I never visited Lightwater Valley (we always went to either Flamingo Land or the sadly now closed Camelot), and for some reason always had the impression it was predominantly a water-ride park - I either got that completely wrong or someone realised that North Yorkshire is not the place for a lot of watery rides and they've had a shift over the years, but there wasn't a higher than usual proportion of wet ones (two, I think?). Still, plenty of 'dry' rides to keep everyone entertained!

I did end up feeling a bit bad for Miss Emily, who wasn't big enough to go on any of the 'medium' sized rides (despite being on similar things at other parks in the past) but has outgrown the really little ones she was allowed on. She didn't seem too fussed though, and there was plenty other things to entertain her. She liked visiting the owls at the falconry centre, and we got to see some of the glorious birds fly.

Despite all the exciting rides and attractions, it was the new Angry Birds activity park that the young 'uns seemed to enjoy most - where a few bits of the park were looking a touch worse for wear, this was brand new, brilliantly designed and very much loved by the hyperactive little terrors!

I am coming to an end, I promise! Our last day out of the week was to Mother Shipton's Cave. On the way in we were given 'treasure hunt' sheets for all the little ones - if they solved all the clues they were rewarded with a little chocolatey treat - which was a great move as it kept them interested along the walk to the cave, making sure they were paying attention to their surroundings! 

The cave itself isn't exactly huge, but there's also a teeny museum, a decent play ground, and the wishing well and petrifying well to look out for. The petrifying well is where you can see the strings of teddy bears hung up - the dripping water takes just three months to turn them to stone (due to the high mineral content of the water). 

things to do knaresborough

mother shiptons cave

family day out north yorkshire

I'm looking at trips out for my next week off so if you have any good Yorkshire based suggestions, I'd love to hear them! 


  1. My youngest would love all those places. We've never taken him up your way but it looks like there's plenty to do.


  2. Looks fun :D I like the look of Bolton Abby! It looks quite interesting. I would like to visit someday!

  3. Oh so many memories of Bolton Abbey - there's a great number of walk around there too - excellent for a nice sunny day!

  4. The science adventure centre looks fab, I'd have loved that as a kid - probably still would to be fair! Your wee ones are so cute!

    Jess xo

  5. Looks like a great place for day out :) you all look like you had a great time.



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