With half term quickly looming upon us, I have been more aware of the local things here in East Yorkshire that there are to entertain the kids. I am all for spending as little as possible in the school holidays and trying to stay local (if you’re not heading away for the week) to make the most of where we live. I also don’t like to see families feeling pressure to spend a lot to be able to entertain their kids/have fun, and whilst we do enjoy the odd paid for trip out, we usually try to avoid too many pricey places as I resent half terms being a reason to have to drain the bank account. I also find that kids clubs (whilst great for keeping them busy and learning) pricey when you have 3+ kids to pay for. So I have been thinking of FREE things!

In half term breaks and the school holidays, I want to be able to spend time with my little ones – I love spending time with the kids and look forward to our slower mornings, giving them time to play or watch something, followed by an adventure out somewhere. I am all for getting them out and giving them variation, adventure, imagination, and when it comes to our days out in the holiday’s,  I usually want cheap or FREE and something we can all enjoy together.

Over the years our themed weeks have been a hit for accomplishing these goals of mine, and I still stand by it as an excellent tool that works – especially for Easter and Summer! But this half term I have come up with 5 free ideas (one for each day!) that would be fun and includes varied places (along with ideas of things to do once there), from across East Yorkshire, to help you have a relatively Free, mixed and hopefully fun half term with your kiddies this October!

Street Life Museum/Museum Quarter – Hull

The street life museum in Hull has been a favourite of ours since the kids were little and so is always the first choice for a museum day out to Hull! It is filled with things to explore and smells and sounds of the past (some very potent smells I may add!). You begin on an old street with double decker buses, trams, a plane overhead and little old shops to nosey in. Upstairs you can have a ride in an old spooky carriage, see horses (fakes obvs!) and bikes throughout the years. If you have some change then there is a lot of fun to have downstairs with the old arcade and penny games!

As I say, our focus is always the Street life museum and we can often spend  a couple of hours there playing imaginative games, looking at interesting things and generally exploring the past! But just across from it is the Museum of Hull & East Riding – this again (like all of the Hull museums) is free and kid friendly. I haven’t been recently but they usually have drawing and things for the kids to do – especially during school holidays. Outside of these museums there are picnic tables and a little garden/maze area with ponds the kids love to run in and have lunch. Alternatively just around the corner is the Arctic Corsair – an old museum ship. We haven’t ever had the chance to check this one out as I always have a pram with me, but we do have it on our “to do” for early next year and I have heard it is fun for the kids too.

If you are not completely done in and and ready to head home to play and chill, then there is also Wilberforce house (slavery museum) and a little ways in to town, you will find an old school house museum. This one again is a favourite with the kids, with many opportunities to role play and dress up, as well as several spooky things to see (think a real mummy!).

Museums are such a fun day out – They are almost always free and they are great whatever the weather.

Walk (scoot or bike) The Humber Bridge/Country Park 

Just last Saturday we enjoyed a lovely walk across the Humber Bridge! It reminded me what a great adventure it is to take the kids on (provided its not windy!). We usually park at the Humber Bridge Country Park (purely because we live this side of the bridge), then the kids can get on their bikes, scooters or just walk, and head up on to the bridge for a good stroll across to the other side ad back again. There is so much to see and as I say, it is a real adventure!

Around the Country park, you will find picnic tables for lunch and various lovely nature walks. You can walk down to the riverside and find a park (its a but naff but the kids love it) or wander through the woods to discover lots of exciting and beautiful Autumnal scenes. With days like this I often like to pack the kids a little treat and then give them a scavenger hunt to do to find things that will “earn” them the treat – it passes time and they love it (I will attach an idea to the bottom of the post that you can use for this day out, or Danes Dyke)!

If the weather is dry, then this will be a great Free day out to blow away the cobwebs and burn some energy. It is sure to have them feeling adventurous!

Ferens Art Gallery 

Art Gallery’s are such peaceful and interesting places (at least until my kids descend). I suppose on the surface they are not an obvious place to take kids during half term, and for some they may even seem “boring”! But Ferens Art Gallery is both interesting and very kid friendly too. I have been reserving this one for a rainy day activity – basically my idea is to head to there with a list of things for them to find (a painting of a lady/a model of a person/a painting with food..a boat etc) – helping them to look and take note of the art there. After this we would explore the kids section where they have lots for kids to explore, create and play with. And then finally they will have a dabble in “Still Life” drawing and find something they especially loved in the gallery to sit and copy/draw…it may be a painting, or perhaps a sculpture. Either way I want them to think about it and talk about what they like then draw their own picture of it to remember and to get some creative vibes flowing!

If this only takes a morning or afternoon up, then why not take a walk along the marina and look at boats, or head across the way and look at the Hull Maritime museum. Also, just 10 mins walk up to the Museum quarter in Hull you can check out the East Riding Museum, The Victorian school house or the arctic corsair I previously mentioned if you didn’t have time before! The kids will love it!

*Don’t forget your sketch pads / clipboards and paper and pencils for this day out! If in doubt hit the poundshop or B&M/Home bargains on the way! 

Danes Dyke & Flamborough Head

Danes Dyke was always a favourite when I was a kid, and I love to take my kids there now too – in all seasons. It’s great for a walk and adventure, as it has the cliff tops, a forest and the beach to explore too. There are also a few ruins there, but we usually start off from the car park and head down one of the paths into the woods. We just love to wander and explore and the kids climb on fallen trees and up bankings, generally just having fun in nature. We then make our way down to the beach (because beaches are great in all seasons too and provided the kids have their wellies on, then a little wander down to look in rock pools or search for interesting beach treasure, is a successful day) before walking back up to the car!

Following a visit to Danes Dyke, a 5 minute drive up to Flamborough head is always exciting to look at the lighthouse or have a lovely cliff top stroll! You could then have some chips in Bridlington or an ice cream if its not too freezing!!

Beverley 

I have chosen a day out to Beverley because it has several varied and interesting FREE things to do to entertain the kids quite easily for a whole day! Of course it has it’s play centres and Flemingate (with a cinema, the newly opened inflatanation and restaurants), but the historic side of Beverley is oozing with things to discover and is very pretty too.

The obvious things for a day out in Beverley would be the Minster – It is very pretty and impressive and my kids love having a look around. Or you could also have a walk over the westwood – we like to walk up to “The Black Mill” and explore the wooded areas too, to blow away the cobwebs. And then take a nosey in their free museum which is located in the Library, or if you have time, then Beverley also has a Town Trail which looks really interesting and would also take up a chunk of the day too. It had you looking for historic spots and finding out about those who once lived there (You can find details here).

Beverley is beautiful and a really cute market town!

We are actually going away this October half term now, but if we weren’t, then we most definitely would be doing these things for our school break. I wanted to share these ideas anyway as I hope they will be helpful in cutting the cost as we head towards Christmas and also to keep your half term varied and different. I will definitely be keeping them to entertain my kids in February Half term, and maybe the odd day in the Christmas Holiday too I expect!

There are many play places and pricey days out to be had, and swimming is always a firm favourite too. But why not simplify Half term this time and keep it fun, varied, adventurous and Free! Carve some pumpkins and do some Halloween baking midweek too and you will be sure to have a special and memorable half term together.

Here is an Autumn scavenger hunt for the kids – Have Fun! 

*This is not a sponsored or collaborative post – just my faves! 

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I find it so Idyllic in the Autumn and Winter to pop on our coats and boots, and ride on a steam train! The tooting of the train, the rolling green hills lined with orange leaves or winter frosts, and the smell of steam and soot hitting you as you take a sneaky peak out of the window whilst the train chugs down its track – it is both enriching and beautiful, and oh so quintessentially English!

Riding Steam trains has been a traditional adventure in our family since the kids were tiny (thanks to Grandpa Smith) and whilst this often takes place over this way on the NYMR, last weekend we spent our Saturday riding on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway over in West Yorkshire, and it was quite the adventure for us all.

The keighley and Worth Valley Railway

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway oozes with charm, British history and many a claim to fame. Opened in 1867 (and briefly closing in the 60’s), it originally served the Wool mills that towered above it. It’s scenery and spirit attracted many to use it for films like “The Railway Children”, and it has long since been the inspiration for writers such as the Bronte sisters.

Whether you are visiting for nature walks, exploring the museums, a Yorkshire treat, or generally just to embrace the love of travelling via a steam train, you will not be disappointed by the views and excitement you see and feel as you meander down the tracks of this beautiful little railway. I believe that whatever the season or weather you choose to visit, you will certainly expect to find something to charm and interest everyone, as each little station holds activities and interests to fill your day!

 

We started our journey from Keighley as we had to be back there in the late afternoon for a family event! We rode 20 minutes up to Haworth, where we spent a couple of hours wandering its picturesque main street and eating lunch from a rustic yorkshire bakery! I love Haworth because it has a reet good yorkshire feel to it!

Haworth does have a rather steep trek uphill from the train station, but it is very much worth it, as here you will find the Bronte Museum, panoramic views over the hills, little cafes and tea rooms, an array of independent gift shops to peruse and a lovely little park.

We each enjoyed its charm (and baked goods!).

From Haworth we hopped back on the line for about 10 minutes before jumping off at Ingrow West station where we explored the engine shed museum and the museum of rail travel. These were small, but interesting nonetheless, and whilst they have tried to be child friendly, they are not the most interactive for kids!

A small train table and a host of carriages to explore, saw that the kids were entertained and their imaginations ignited whilst we were there, but our visit was sort lived (unfortunately)!

I did however (when I could) enjoyed reading about all of the films that the engines and carriages were used in. It was rather exciting to be sat in a carriage where film stars have been and cameras captured!

Before we knew it we had reached the end of our adventure, and as the steam train appeared out of the tunnel at Ingrow West, we hopped aboard and made our way back down the line to keighley station, where we watched them swapping engines and breathed in that smell of the steam train one last time!

We had a lovely family day out, and Keighley and worth Valley railway is a great Yorkshire adventure for any family this October half term (or any weekend really). It can quite easily fill a day with history, nature and adventure, and whether you visit for the sheer joy of a steam train experience, or as a means to access a world of nature walks and film set exploration, the railway is sure to be a real treat for all – opening up a world of curiosity!

They also have a Halloween Special and Santa experience coming up too which is always popular. So whatever your reason or motivation, there is certainly plenty of magic and adventure awaiting you as you hop aboard these exciting and beautiful steam engines!

I personally would love to take a walk in the Summer around the areas featured in “The Railway Children” (I loved it as a kid), and pass on this classic to my kids, but for now we have loved creating such special and beautiful memories to kick of Autumn on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – (amidst the mayhem of family life of course!).

Things to Note…

For unlimited travel and access to the museums, then you will want to consider a Rover Ticket:
Adults: £18
Concessions: £15
Children 5 to 15 inclusive: £9

If you are travelling as ONE adult and ONE kid, then you can qualify for a “Small Family Ticket”, which has the same benefits as a Rover Ticket  – This is £22

Finally, when purchasing two ‘Small Family Tickets’ for 2 adults and 2 children, a third child can travel free. A family of 5 can take advantage of 1 free children’s rover ticket to add to their ‘Small Family’ rover ticket purchase.

Make sure you check the website to see which timetable they are using, as it changes depending on the day and season! 

*Thank you to KWVR for our complimentary tickets in return for an honest review. All thoughts and images are my own!

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This Summer has been wonderful, and great for the days we’ve been able to spend with our friends from the village! Our lifestyle is very different these days and we spend a lot more time with the people we live around (which is lovely). I love that the our neighbours and the kids my kids go to school with are not only our friends now, but also the people we socialise with and go on adventures with!

I have loved having the time to talk and laugh with my new pals whilst the kids spend all day playing and getting along.

On Monday we walked 4 miles locally (it took all morning) and the week before that we spent a whole day on the beach in Hunmanby. Then Thursday we had a day out to Scarborough! These trips have been pretty nuts, but a lot of fun too, and they have made Summer more memorable. The great part is that they have also all been FREE!!

Whilst there is still a good week or so of the summer holidays left, I thought I’d share with my Yorkshire readers especially, a few free ideas we have enjoyed with our friends in big groups – just in case you have hit desperation mode and need a couple more ideas to see you through til September!

1. A beach day 

2 weeks ago we went to Hunmanby Gap which lies between Bempton and Filey on East Yorkshire Coast. The day wasn’t super warm, but dry and sunny enough to be able to spend a good 6 hours on the beach digging with friends and chasing the tide (and a seal!). There were about 8 families that came and we built a little base on the beach, where the kids played non stop around us all day and we enjoyed banter and picnics!

I swam in the sea with one of my friends and we all generally just chilled and had fun with one another. I realised on this day that seemingly ordinary days, and things we would usually do over the Summer anyway, were enhanced 10 fold by being in a big group of great friends!

  

Just up the coast is filey brigg and we have also been there twice this Summer for rock pooling with family and extended family. If you want another idea then know that it makes for a real adventurous free day too even with wellies and raincoats on!

2. A country walk 

As we live in a village now, we are fortunate enough to be able to walk 5 minutes out of our door and be in beautiful fields and open countryside. We took advantage of this on Monday and had a spontaneous group trek with dogs and kids! We did just shy of 4 miles on a circular walk that brought us home again. The weather was dry and I enjoyed the exercise and chat with my friends. It always makes me smile to see my kids running through fields and embracing nature – especially when surrounded by their best friends from school (or cousins too).

You may not live as close as us, but a local nature walk of any description with friends, makes for easy exercise and a lovely time!

3. Scarborough open air theatre 

On Thursday a group of us headed to Scarborough in convoy and had a walk around peasholm park and a picnic overlooking the lake.

From there we walked over the road to the open air theatre where they had a 2 hour family friendly show. This was a free event that runs throughout the summer and was so feel good and chilled. There was singing, dancing, “Double Trouble”, magic, puppets and laugh out loud Comedy! The kids absolutely loved it and it was nice to sit in the sun and be entertained together. I was really impressed with what a great day it was and will certainly be keeping it on my radar for next Summer!

Sadly on this trip some of the mums were working but it was great to be with the ones that could come!

 

These little outings and local adventures have made our summer holidays extra special, more fun and adventurous, and they have meant we have spent less whilst still making lots of lovely memories! I love our new friends… they make the ordinary extraordinary!

 I love that we have found wonderful friends amongst our neighbours and that we have found people with like minded interests and outlooks on life. I enjoy hanging out with them, not just because they are lovely people and friends but because there is a high chance our kids are all going to grow up together and end up in the same high school too, and that makes me a little bit excited (and scared) that these potentially could be more than neighbours and school mates – but friends for life!!

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I am a little later than usual with my weekly round up of joyful moments from this last week – mainly because it has been such a busy and fantastic weekend I haven’t really had much time to sit and collect my thoughts. This week overall has been an incredibly hard one for me and in time I will go into more depth on that, but for now I am more than grateful that it ended on such a high, so many lovely moments shared together. We have enjoyed the kids sports day, football and a beach adventure!

The highlight this weekend (aside from our victory over Sweeden to qualify us for the Semi’s – how mint!) most certainly was our family expedition through the caves on Saturday evening. Kitted out in wetsuits, our little family joined my sisters family and our parents up at Thornwick Bay and together had a whole lot of fun swimming in the sea. We were seen climbing through the caves and “cliff jumping”, and It was a whole lot of fun/a rather epic moment!

Grateful For 

The beach makes me so happy, so to have the opportunity on Saturday to get into my wetsuit was a joyful moment I felt grateful to have. We went in the evening at low tide so the waters were calm and blue and the evening sun looked and felt lush. I felt truly grateful for Summer, for brave kids that were up for the adventure and for fun times with some of our family.

This week I have also been grateful for mum friends at school that get me and took time to chat about life! I am also very grateful for sisters and having a fab time on Thursday with 2 of them carbooting and ice cream eating. It was such a lovely day out and I am once again grateful to live close by them and the coast – so much more spontaneity in life as a result!

Succeeded At 

This week I succeeded at getting into my wetsuit after 2 years (too long) and loved it! Last year we never really took the opportunity to go caving and really missed the fun we have together up in the caves! I also succeeded at doing a tonne of laundry thanks to the glorious weather and succeeded at hitting up the car boot sale and finding some mega deals.

Found Beauty In 

A boat full of kids eagerly floating through the caves with us. My kids playing with Russian dolls whilst sat in their England tops watching the world cup! And, seeing the little kiddies at sports day running their little socks off – so cute!

I also found great joy and beauty in the continuously sunny days we’ve had, the beautiful coastline in the evening sun and seeing the Puffins line the cliffs!

This gorgeous weather has brought so many wonderful moments and I am feeling so happy that we are having a proper Summer – long may it continue.

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