Family Activities and Events during Festival of the Earth in Wakefield
Festival of the Earth is an exciting collection of events, activities, workshops and more taking place from July to October 2021 across the Wakefield district.
If you like your art and culture, from incredible installations to inviting exhibitions, there’s certainly something for you to enjoy as part of the festival.
Most events require pre-booking due to Covid restrictions on numbers so make sure you check out the full event details and timetable here.
We have a done a summary of the main family events and activities running over the summer holidays below.
Eco Open Day, 31st July
Eco Open Day will mark the launch of Wakefield’s first Bike Station at The Art House – making it easier and more fun to cycle to, from and between Wakefield’s cultural gems. As well as more bike parking and a public bike repair stand, we’ll also be launching a new 10% discount in our Coffee House and Shop for anyone who cycles to The Art House.
Plus, you can pick up a brand new Creative and Cultural Cycle Map of the best routes to cycle between places like The Art House, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield Cathedral and more.
Gaia comes to Wakefield Cathedral, 20th -30th August
Between Friday 20 August – Monday 30 August 2021, visitors to Wakefield Cathedral will have the opportunity to engage with a stunning seven-metre replica of Earth, created by artist Luke Jerram, featuring detailed NASA imagery, with each centimetre of the internally-lit sculpture representing 18 kilometres of Earth’s surface.
Earth Rise, 20th -22nd August 2021
Wakefield’s Cathedral Precinct will be host to various performance acts, shows and workshops across the three day weekend launch event for Festival of the Earth.
Friday: Seaside and environmental themed walkabout acts ‘Cali & Mari’ (two octopuses!) and ‘What the Tortoise Taught Us’ (an animatronic tortoise). 3D chalking street artists will be creating a sea themed environmental piece on the Cathedral steps.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: The Bull Ring will be host to an 18 metre inflatable whale! Audiences will be invited to gather in front of ‘The Whale’ to watch a show called ‘Plastic Ocean’.
Sand art workshops and sculpture making will take place on the Cathedral steps alongside the 3D chalking street art.
Science Lab, 21st August – 3rd September
As part of the Festival of the Earth, Wakefield Former Food hall will be transformed into a science lab for families to take part in. The free one hour workshops will engage families in a fun way and highlight environmental issues and the impact of climate change. The hands-on workshops and stunning visuals, combined with enthusiastic workshop facilitators bring the spark that will inspire and engage the next generation of scientists. Suitable for ages 5+.
Toller’s Neighbours by Fettle and Fable Theatre, 30th July
Discover a magical world within an old suitcase. A charming and heart-warming puppetry and story experience for all the family. An enchanting traditional Scandinavian folk-tale of friendship, community, the environment and change.
Explore the wild, abandoned heath, far from towns and villages as we meet Toller and his family… but who are Toller’s neighbours?
To book a free ticket contact Sandal Library on 01924 303355.
Wednesday Creative Nature Labs at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 4th -25th August
Each Wednesday this August we will explore a different making skill and get curious about nature, inspired by thought-provoking sculpture. Get art thinking and art making together, while connecting to the natural world.
For ages 7+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
There will be two sessions each Wednesday.
Session one: 10:30am–1pm | Session two: 2pm–4pm
Thursday Tales from Nature at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 29th July – 2nd september
Enchanting stories under the trees every Thursday.
Be captivated by spellbinding storytellers as they take you on a journey of imagination and wonder. Every week a different story will unfold, inspired by nature’s treasures. Join us in the Hidden Forest as the stories take root amongst the trees and awaken our curiosity.
Story Telling under Gaia at Wakefield Cathedral, 23rd – 25th August
Come along and enjoy a wonderful experience as we bring story time to you from beneath the seven-metre replica of earth!
As well as story telling there will be plenty of opportunity for you to get involved with clapping along and reading as well as rhymes and actions.
Family Film Happy Feet at Wakefield Cathedral, 26th August
Join us for family film time as we show Happy Feet on the big screen!
Set in the strange and beautiful world of penguins, George Miller’s HAPPY FEET tells the story of Mumble (Elijah Wood), a tone-deaf Emperor Penguin who is unable to sing his ‘heart song’, the ritual required to win a mate (in this case, his beloved Gloria, voiced by Brittany Murphy). Watch as Mumble encounters friends, foes and places he never even knew existed in this heart-warming family favourite.
Start time will be 13:15, with guests advised to arrive for 13:00 so they can get seated under Gaia.
We will have refreshments on offer to purchase on the day, no food or drink is to be brought into the cathedral.
Christopher’s Caterpillars at Wakefield Libraries, 30th July – 5th August
Christopher Nibble is visiting libraries again this summer!
Written especially for children aged 2-7 (and their big people too) and told with Topsy Turvy Theatre’s own blend of energetic storytelling, handmade puppets, original music and stunning scenery, Christopher Nibble and his friend Posie have been busy growing plants whilst taking care of their six hairy pet caterpillars.
Saturday Sculpture Adventures in the Hidden Forest, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 24th July – 28th August
Bring your under-5s to get creative and enjoy relaxing under a canopy of trees in our magical Hidden Forest, a space where imaginations can grow while hands and minds are kept busy.
Every Saturday during the summer school holidays. Suitable for children under 5.
Two sessions each Saturday: 11am–12:30pm and 2pm–3:30pm
Froglife Activity Day at Anglers Country Park, 28th July & 31st July
Join Froglife Yorkshire TOAD’S team for a fun day of family activities at Anglers Country Park!
There’ll be loads of family fun activities to take part in, including pond-dipping, minibast hunts, making seedbombs to take home and a whole host of amphibian-related arts and crafts.
While having fun, you can learn about the threats to toads, frogs and other wildlife, as well as how to become an eco-warrior and help them in your garden