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What to do During February Half Term in Yorkshire

Quicker than you can say, "Hang on, wasn't it Christmas but a few weeks ago?!" it's the first half term of 2014.

Luckily, Yorkshire is at hand to help you keep the little ones entertained throughout the Half Term and this year there is loads going on.

 

South

Calypso Cove, Barnsley: Walk the Plank, brave Eruption and take on Terror Torrent, one of the fastest indoor water slides in the UK, before retreating to The Hideout on poolside to re-fuel and relax! Splash your way through three fantastic water flumes, fun slides, diving pool and the wave pool and be sure to watch out for friendly water fire from Sunken Galleon!

This year it is 150 years since the Great Sheffield Flood. Kelham Island was one of the areas of Sheffield that was affected by the powerful torrent of water on 11th March 1864. As part of National Science & Engineering Week at Kelham Island Museum you can find out more about the science of water. There will be "science on a soapbox" demonstrations and an opportunity to experiment by creating your own soap bubble art work.

Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre, Rotherham: Discover the well-kept beauty secrets of the animal world! Enjoy spectacular free-flying Bird of Prey and Parrot shows with a ‘catwalk' twist, and meet beautiful creatures from around the world in amazing Animal Encounters; including Lemurs, Meerkats, Owls, Snakes and more. Take part in themed crafts, activities and games, suitable for all ages!

Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley: Cannon Hall Farm will have lots of new arrivals over the half term holidays. Between the 22nd February and the 2nd of March, they have 200 sheep due to lamb so there's a great chance of seeing a birth. There will also be plenty of other things to do in a fun packed week of events including the ever popular sheep and ferret races, children's indoor activities with a springtime twist, small animal petting & animal feeding in the new farmyard, milking demonstrations and free tractor & trailer rides!

Brodsworth Hall, Doncaster: Alice in Wonderland - Enter the magical world of Lewis Carroll in this enchanting trail around the gardens at Brodsworth Hall. There are six characters to find along the paths that lead visitors through the gardens. There's a certificate prize for all who complete the trail.

East

The Deep, Hull: one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world is located in Hull, East Yorkshire. This award-winning visitor attraction is home to over 3,500 fish including spectacular sharks and rays - making it the perfect family day out. It is just a few minutes walk, via the footbridge, from Hull Marina, city centre shops and the Museums Quarter.

Bridlington Birds of Prey & Animal Park are a family run award winning business located near Bridlington, East Yorkshire. At the park they offer a fun filled day out you will always remember. In their wonderful woodland setting they offer the chance for adults and children of all ages, to experience being close to nature and have lots of fun with their wonderful birds of prey and all of their furry friends!

Dinostar: The Dinosaur Experience, Hull - the exciting, interactive dinosaur museum. A children's museum with dinosaurs! Highlights include a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, Triceratops bones you can touch and our unique Dinosaur Sound Box. Dinostar is Yorkshire's only dinosaur visitor attraction and can be found on Humber Street, part of Hull's Arts Quarter.

Ferens Art Gallery, Hull - Admission to the Ferens Art Gallery, including the Children's Gallery, is free. It has a magnificent collection of paintings and sculptures and you can enjoy refreshments in the popular café, La Loggia. It's a great place for children to show their creativity, with their family resource packs which keep everyone entertained.

RSPB at Bempton Cliffs, near Bridlington. A family favourite, and easily the best place in England to see, hear and smell seabirds! More than 200,000 birds make the cliffs seem alive - with adults bringing food to their nests, or young chicks making their first faltering flights. With huge numbers to watch, beginners can easily learn the difference between gannets, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars.

North

Jorvik Viking Centre, York: The exhilarating spectacular that is the Jorvik Viking Festival is coming to town for its 30th year. Taking the fantastical Norse myths & legends as inspiration, JORVIK Viking Festival has created over 80 unique events, including sword fighting workshops and dramatic combat performances, music and archaeological expert sessions. Many of the activities are free of charge.

Any day of the week during February half term you can grab your wellies and hit the trail to follow clues around the estate. You'll discover how the monks lived simply in the abbey and then be a grand guest of the Georgians in the water gardens. Wrap up warm and tag along on a wildlife wander to see what creatures you can spot, or stop by the bird hide to watch goldfinches and woodpeckers flocking to the feeders. With acres of countryside to explore, woodland play area, paths and walks, the whole family can get out and about at Fountains Abbey this February half term.

The first weekend of the half term sees the return of the fantastic Coastival Festival in Scarborough too. One of the highlights for 2014 will be the amazing Orpheus the Mariner, a fantastic outdoor event over 2 nights, with a cast of over 1000 and a world record attempt for the largest puppet (26 metres tall!).

Winter Zoo at Flamingo Land is open daily across February Half Term (15th to 23rd) from 10am to 4pm. In addition to Muddy Duck Farm, Reptile River and the Aquarium, the new Wallaby Walkway and The Lemurs walk-through provides visitors with an unrestricted view of these animals. Daily keeper talks include penguins, lemurs, hippos, giraffes and tigers, plus a sea lion show.

Holiday Fun at Ryedale Folk Museum. Each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday throughout the school holidays, Ryedale Folk Museum have themed cooking in the cottage, children's crafts and a museum trail. Running from 11am until 4pm, these days are a great way to entertain the family!

Whatever the weather this February half term, Come & Explore fully roofed Skipton Castle and experience over 900 years of history. Discover the dungeon, kitchens and banqueting hall and then visit the tearooms for a bowl of homemade soup.

Go Ape Dalby Forest re-opens its forest doors this February half-term for an adventurous 2014! Go Ape provides fun for all the family whatever the weather, so why not unleash your inner Tarzan and live life adventurously with a trip to the UK's leading forest adventure?

Flamingo Land Resort and Theme Park will be opening its doors again to welcome guests for the February half term. The Winter Zoo has proven to be very popular, so they have decided to extend opening to some of the much loved Theme Park attractions. This winter our zoo will be fully open, providing access to over 140 species of reptiles, mammals and birds.

As well as school half term it is National Nest Box Week which is being celebrated at Langlands Garden Centre. Information and products will be on sale to encourage you to house and nurture the many birds, insects and mammals that visit our garden. Because children are off school, there will also be a mini treasure hunt for all the younger customers with the theme of "find the name of the Langland's Sparrow". There will also be a representative from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust who is running a colouring competition with first prize of 1 years free family membership. FANTASTIC!

Teddy Bear Week, North Yorkshire Moors Railway: Visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway this February half term and for every child that brings a full paying adult, and most importantly a teddy bear with them, travels for free during February Half Term

National Railway Museum, York:  Calling all future engineers, signallers and train announcers! Discover your dream job on the railways during the February school holidays. Build a railway line, repair a train and get your flag and whistle at the ready when you become a Station Guard. There are plenty of action-packed activities for the whole family to enjoy including safety sessions with the British Transport Police and hands on fun in the Chuggington play area.

Helmsley Arts Centre, Helmsley: It's Arts Week for Kids at the Helmsley Arts Centre. Spend a whole week involved with, or dipping into, a fun range of arts activities. Discover and explore the arts, with the option of achieving the Arts Award.

On Thursday 20 February, The Moors National Park Centre, Danby has two great events. First up is Signs of Spring (running 10:30 am - 12:00 pm): Make snowdrops and crocuses out of recycled materials to celebrate the coming spring. Brighten up branches with glorious blossom! This event is followed by A Gift for Mother's Day: Use creatures and plants from the North York Moors National Park to inspire you to design and decorate a special fabric bag to make your mother's day.

Also at The Moors National Park Centre, Danby is Nature in Spotlight, For Yorkshire-born artist Andrew Hutchinson and award-winning wildlife photographer Steve Race, the natural world is at the heart of their work. They join forces to put wildlife and nature in the spotlight, presenting images that both amaze and inspire. Their gallery is open throughout February half-term holiday, so go check out this fantastic work.

How Stean Gorge is open every day. The family friendly visitor centre set in the heart of Nidderdale, North Yorkshire. Step into nature and discover How Stean Gorge. Wander along the footpaths, negotiate the wobbly bridges and venture through caves. This isn't a walk in the park, it's the real thing! As you venture along the spectacular steep-sided gorge, water rushes over large rocks carving them into fantastic shapes. Fossils from a bygone age are there for the discovery and wildlife in in abundance throughout the seasons.

Only Smarties have the answer at York's CHOCOLATE Story. They will be paying homage to the city's most colourful sweet and one of Britain's best loved brands - Smarties! Visitors will be able to get hands on and learn more about the world famous Smarties brand, which was created in York over 70 years ago. There will be a chance to take the Smarties themed trail and discover some fascinating facts about the brand during the guided tour as well as making and decorating a chocolate bar with Smarties.

West

Skylanders SWAP Force™ Spectacular at National Media Museum, Bradford: Join the National Media Museum for a week of swappable unstoppable fun with Skylanders SWAP ForceTM. Take inspiration from your favourite Skylanders characters to make your own Swap Box and create an animation, as well as play the latest Skylanders game - Skylanders SWAP ForceTM - on PlayStation® 4 and PlayStation® 3 consoles.

Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds: February is Skeleton Science month! Beating away every second of every hour of every day, is our heart. In the month that celebrates Valentine's Day and all things romantic, what does a heart look like up close? Join them to dissect a real heart. Find out how it works, what an important role it has in your body and why it is so important to look after it.

Multi-award winning Prashad Indian vegetarian restaurant, who were the stars of Channel 4's Ramsay's Best Restaurant in 2010, offer a chilli-free menu for little curry lovers. It's the perfect family-friendly place to take the kids to try something new to eat during half term. Open weekday evenings and Friday-Sunday lunch times, the children's menu is served all the time and the team are happy to adapt any dishes on the menu that your kids want to try. There's also a wide selection of freshly made mocktails to help give them a tasty fruit boost and lots of yummy desserts for them to try!

Struggling with ideas to keep the kids entertained - without breaking the bank - this half term? Parents from the region are now being offered a solution, as The Light in Leeds launches its brand new kids' club, Little Lights. The retail and leisure centre will be holding a programme of free fun and educational events for younger visitors throughout February half term and the rest of the year.

Flow House at Xscape Yorkshire: Book on to the Kids Surf Academy where there's the a daily session from 10-11am for kids 16 years and under to come along and improve their Bodyboarding and Flowboarding skills.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton. Families are invited to make their own plaster trees and to explore what might emerge from it as we look forward to springtime. They will be using wire, plaster bandage, paint and wool.

Royal Armouries, Leeds: Mosey on down to the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds this February half term and be transported to the Wild West. Take on the role of Sheriff and search the museum for bandits, desperados, rustlers and thieves, hear tales of the most famous faces from the time, take part in themed activities and watch demonstrations of whip cracking and knife throwing.

February Fun at Stockeld Park, Wetherby. Get active in the great outdoors this February half term at Stockeld Park, in the beautiful surroundings of their Yorkshire estate. Join them for a host of activities and ‘February Fun' at Stockeld Park from 15th - 25th February 2014. With ice skating sessions for young skaters, general skating and an ice disco as well as The Enchanted Forest and the Maze to be explored, plenty to keep you busy. They are also reinstalling their indoor play for the period so you can bounce and play to your heart's content.

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. This beautiful railway, KWVR, will be running trains on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during Half Term week. So wrap up warm, head down to the tracks and experience the magic of steam in the Worth Valley.