Branch out this autumn with the best of outdoor activities
With the good old British weather to contend with it’s no wonder us parents are sometimes inclined to spend at least part of the holidays or weekends tucked up with the TV and Tesco deliveries on speed dial.
But with the right pair of wellies and decent waterproofs, Yorkshire has a treasure trove of outdoor venues we should all be enjoying, no matter what the weather. Someone famous once said there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing – and he (or she) was right.
Take Yorkshire Sculpture Park for instance, this amazing attraction has 500 acres to explore which is made up of parkland, woodlands, lakes and pathways. The landscape is the perfect backdrop for the most amazing art works, but that’s only part of what this special place has to offer – and it’s on our doorstep!
For example, this half term for the first time, YSP has created an Owl-O-Ween walking trail, all designed to keep the kids entertained for hours. They will racing around trying to find the mysterious stone owl that once sat on top of Lady Eglington’s Well but its location is a mystery. Just follow the clues that are hidden around the grounds, with the help of unusual and mythical creatures. Other outdoor fun includes sculpture adventures and family afternoons in the Hidden Forest, as well as family-friendly seasonal walks where you can take in the breathtaking autumn colours and look out for the foraging wildlife as they prepare for winter.
If the weather isn’t looking too promising then YSP has a range of indoor family-friendly activities. One that’s proving really popular is the dressing up and one minute sculpture sessions in the Erwin Wurm Project Space. Wurm is an artist known for his quirky sense of humour and use of everyday objects and clothes in his work. Children (and adults) are encouraged to use all the props put at their disposal to come up with their very own one-minute sculptures. Everyone comes up with something different and it’s so good to see the children using their imaginations and dressing up skills to the full!
If you venture down to YSP’s Chapel there you will find the Light Organ, an interactive light and sound show, funded by Wakefield Council as part of its district-wide Light Up celebrations. It’s perfect for any age so families can really express themselves. Using microphones to activate a series of 40 pipes, the noises are transformed into an array of coloured lights. You can sing, talk or clap and the installation aims to produce a different light show each time, so everyone can make something fun and unique.
A day out wouldn’t be complete without some snack breaks but if it’s too wet to enjoy food on the go outside, then YSP has several indoor options available. There’s the lovely Visitor Centre café which has a range of hot & cold meals and snacks on offer, along with children’s favourites, and an amazing array of homemade cakes, scones and puds. If you wanted something a little different then you can head down to The Weston restaurant for its tasty menu and table service. Whilst you are there you should pop into the Weston Gallery, for free, where the “Touch Wood” exhibition by Jonathan Baldock has just opened. Inspired, by nature, medieval folklore, carvings and family, this is the perfect introduction to playful contemporary art made in vibrant colours, textures and fabrics. It will also be hard not to wander into the Weston gift shop at the same time, particularly if you are on the look out for a few early Christmas presents?
To finish off, one of the best things about YSP is the price. Anyone under the age of 25 enjoys free admission, and with adults at just £9 and concessions £6 it will be the best value family day out you can possibly hope for!