It’s been a whole mixed bag this school holiday with everything from much needed down time, museums, nature, sickness bugs (ugh) and so many busy times! But, a highlight was most definitely this week when we let go of everything, ignored the laundry, packed a picnic, and headed up to North Yorkshire where we had a really fun packed and lovely family day out to Lightwater Valley.
Located just outside of Ripon in North Yorkshire, Lightwater Valley is a theme park/adventure park with an array of vintage fairground rides as well as bigger rides and some other lovely attractions too, that all come together to make it an excellent choice for a great family day out (which appeals to all ages). It has had a bit of a revamp this Winter and looks great with the new additions, as well as now including the tree top nets as part of your ticket (SO.MUCH.FUN!). In addition to its classics and the tree top nets (did I mention how much fun they were?) there’s an amusement arcade filled with a range of games designed to appeal to visitors of all ages; from classic fairground coin pushers to state of the art Virtual Reality Experiences. We didn’t spend much time in this part of the park, but it seemed popular. You can also immerse yourself in the new Hall of Mirrors (a room full of distortions that will have you giggling all day) or ride some of the new rides – the Twist and Turn as well as the Dodgems ride.
What we did and What we loved…
Our kids are pretty daring and the level/array of rides really kept them going, excited and engrossed all day. We were super excited that when you enter the park there are some new massive life like dinosaurs as part of the new golf experience to the left (you pay extra for this part if you want a game) – for our dino-loving 5 year old, she was completely blown away and in her element!
From there we began the action on the carousel where Oscar experienced his first fairground ride – it was so lovely to all be on a ride together and a special memory to make. The kids then hopped off their carousel horses and raced to the swings, onto the train and hopped off, had a quick picnic lunch, and then onto a mini roller-coaster (which was such a laugh and not too intense – we rode it 3x). They then did a few loops repeatedly riding the raft drop ride and so many more over this side of the park too. Time was flying by and they had had their sights firmly on the claw ride all day (Eagles Claw) and the Dragon Drop and we reached this mid afternoon where due to there been minimal ques, they again rode these a few times too!
Lightwater Valley according to my kids has “the best park ever” – complete with a bouncy pillow! It then became one of their favourite days out when later in the day we discovered that the tree top nets were also part of our ticket too! We were SO excited that we raced over there and spent a good hour or so gallivanting over the nets in the trees! It was just as much fun as I thought it would be, and so different and exciting to anything we have done before together – it had us all giggling even more so and sparks so much curiosity and connection to nature (a VERY good work out too)!
We wrapped up our lovely day with some of the little rides located near the playground, which enabled Oscar a little bit more of the action too (which his poker face didn’t indicate whether he was thrilled or not, but lets pretend he was!).
We thoroughly enjoyed taking the kids to Lightwater Valley this week – it is a chilled adventure park with a lovely vibe and smallish (if any) ques this time of year. We loved that it has a lot of ways to connect kids to nature too – with the tree top nets, swan boats and their new ‘Discovery Woods’, which is an interactive outdoor experience featuring a lakeside nature trail, mud kitchen and bug hotels, as well as pond dipping and cloud gazing. The train also takes you around the park, where you can enjoy lakeside views, woodland scenes and more views of the park itself. Its such a treat to have the best of both – calm picturesque nature scenes, fun rides and then active experiences up in the trees!
Whether you have wild kids like mine that love the outdoors and the adrenaline of rides, or little ones (like our 13month and upwards), you too will discover that Lightwater Valley ticks all the boxes for fun, play, imagination, and even some chilled down time in the woods! We were thrilled to have visited this week and had a lot of fun there together making memories, letting go and filling a day with fun and smiles! And, we are especially thankful that the sun shone the whole time!
Lightwater Valley are just coming to the end of their Easter events and attractions – which if you are thinking of going this weekend, you can still have fun doing (egg hunt, disco etc). But check out their website or follow them on social media, because they have plenty of other exciting events coming up too that will enhance your visit even more.
*Thanks to Lightwater Valley for having us, and for giving us a complimentary visit in return for our thoughts!