School Holidays Ryedale and Thirsk

After Christmas Fun

Before we know it, winter will be here and Castle Howard is all set to help make magical memories this Christmas. The entire Estate will be transformed into a winter wonderland as Tinkerbell sprinkles fairy dust over the Castle and Grounds, creating a Christmas day out like no other. The main House will be transformed into a Peter Pan-themed odyssey, with beautiful decorations, installations, and projections.


Christmas in Neverland

Take the second star to the right, and straight on to Castle Howard! This Christmas, get lost on a magical adventure in Neverland as we invite you to a Christmas experience like no other.


Father Christmas in the Castle – House Show

Make magical memories, and meet Father Christmas, Mrs Claus and jolly WonderPhil at Castle Howard this Christmas. Watch a joyful performance bursting with jingle bells and Christmas spirit, sing Christmas songs together, and enjoy a special, individual moment with Father Christmas himself.


Santa’s Grotto – in the Courtyard

Share a laugh and photograph with Santa in our Courtyard Grotto this Christmas. Enjoy a short show bursting with puppetry, energy, and Christmas joy, before that all-important meeting with the man himself.

Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA

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With over 8,000 acres of forest to explore, Dalby Forest is the perfect place to spend some quality family time in the great outdoors. The team at Dalby have put together some fun-filled activities to keep the whole family entertained.

So, pack up your picnic and enjoy a low-cost day in nature!

  1. Easter Scavenger Hunt – Collect your sheet from the Visitor Centre information point, then head into the play area to see how many eggs the Easter Bunny has hidden around the forest. Return your sheet for an Easter treat!
  2. Easter Egg Ornament Craft – Pop into our Visitor Centre, visit the crafting table and follow our handy guide to make your very own Easter Egg Ornament.
  3. Women in Forestry Exhibition – Learn about the history of Women in Forestry and how their efforts shaped the future of our forests. Entry to the exhibition is free. Find the art space in the Courtyard, Low Dalby. Open daily from 8am – 4pm
  4. Gruffalo Party Trail – Join in the celebrations! The Gruffalo is celebrating his 25th birthday this year. Can you us help find his missing party items? Pick up your pack for just £4 from our Visitor Centre information point, packed with fun things to do on your party adventure. Inside you’ll find:
    • kraft bag to colour in
    • party headband to wear
    • party trail activity leaflet
    • stickers
    • pencil and crayon
    • keepsake sew-on Gruffalo Party patch
  5. Gruffalo orienteering trail – try our fun, navigational challenge at Dalby Forest using a simple map to find twelve Gruffalo markers hidden in the deep, dark wood. Bonus if you spot the Gruffalo hiding in the trees!
  6. Grandfather Oak playground – Swing, climb, hide and spark their imaginations at the Grandfather Oak playground! Test your climbing skills on this fun playground with so much for the mind to explore. Hide away in our wooden teepees, clamber on the climbing frame or make your way round the playground and find your joy in the wildplay area.
  7. Go Ape Treetop Adventure – Built for the whole family, this is the ultimate tree top experience of wobbly bridges, intricate crossings and an awesome zip wire finale in Dalby Forest. The perfect high ropes course for kids as well as mum, dad and the grandparents!
  8. Life on two wheels – Get started or tune up those cycling skills with training courses for little legs, hosted by our Bike Hire partner, Dalby Forest Cycle Hub!

With themed trails, adventure play areas, natural play, safe off-road cycling and lots of space to create your own woodland palace, your local woods and forests are the perfect place for a family day out, fit for a king!

Please note that barbeques and fires are not currently allowed anywhere in the forest.

Dalby Forest, YO18 7LT

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Merry Mouse Christmas Trail – Saturday 11 November 2023 to Friday 5 January 2024

Join us for our annual Merry Mouse Children’s Christmas Trail. The creatures of the wood are feeling sleepy as it is time for them to hibernate through the winter. Help Merry Mouse discover the story that will put the woodland to sleep.

No booking required, please check visitor centre opening hours.
Children to be accompanied by an adult.
Sorry no dogs, wheelchair accessible.

£5 per child
Danby Lodge National Park Centre, YO21 2NB
01439 772737

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The highly-anticipated Harrogate Ice Rink returns to Crescent Gardens for the second year in a row; running alongside the Harrogate Christmas Fayre from 1st December and remaining open until 7th January 2024.

This festive favourite will be bigger and better than ever before, hosting not only a bigger ice rink, but an outdoor bar, a cosy sheltered tipi, funfair rides including a carousel and bungee trampolines, and a Yorkshire Wrap food stall – vegetarian and vegan options available.

Immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas with this family-friendly and affordable attraction coming to the centre of Harrogate from December to January.

Harrogate Ice Rink is open from 11am every day until 19:30 on weekdays and 20:45 on weekends. You can book a one-hour session for a reduced price of £10 per ticket (plus booking fee) this year, and each ticket purchased will also grant 50% off any hot drink at the bar on site; including mulled wine and hot chocolate.

Adults and children aged 4+ are welcome at Harrogate Ice Rink. Free skate hire is available on site and there are skate aids available on a first come first served basis, these are available for £5 per user.

During your visit to Crescent Gardens, be sure to visit the Harrogate Christmas Fayre, ride on the Candy Cane Express road train, or experience the open top bus, which stops at the Ice Rink too!

For  20% discount code for Mumblers use discount code: mumbler20

More details about session times, bar opening hours, and terms and conditions can be found online

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Book Tickets

Dick Whittington

20th to 27th January 2024

A wonderful family pantomime full of colour, lots of laughter, music and dancing performed by a superb set of talented principals and chorus. Plus of course fantastic dancers by courtesy of Kirkham Henry Performing Arts. Musical Direction Chris Hocking.

Milton Rooms, Market Place, Malton. YO17 7LX

07729 559934
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High-energy bouncing, ball sports and battles have finally landed at Oxygen Activeplay, York. Bringing the latest in jump fun, ideal for the whole family.

Oxygen Activeplay is more than just trampolines. It’s a high-thrills universe where the experience comes first – whether you’re a parent or child. Come for the state-of-the art facilities and stay for the party vibes, featuring interactive sessions with our hero team.

Not only that, but we’re the place to be if you want to host the birthday party of a lifetime! With four different party options; Classic, Jumptastic, Ultimate and Toddler, there’s something for everyone.

A brand new facility with so much to offer, including:
Open Bounce Trampolines
Parkour Area
Inflatable Park
Interactive Sports Pitch with AirTrack
Airbag Jump & Trapeze
Baby and Toddler Soft Play
Climbing Features including cargo, ladder & totem poles
Strike Arena

Going to a standard Activeplay session can be a challenge for jumpers on the autism spectrum, or with sensory or learning disabilities. With this in mind, our weekly Peaceful Play sessions are specially designed to be all the fun of Activeplay, specially catered to those who need a calmer environment.

And last, but certainly not least, on the first Friday of every month it’s Neon Night at Oxygen Activeplay. Join us for an illuminating evening filled with jumping, games, dancing to a live DJ, unlimited squash and a hotdog, competitions and glow sticks to take home from 6.00pm – 8.00pm, for jumpers aged 5 and over.

Look out for special themed nights too, sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about events and offers. We can’t wait to see you there!

Clifton Moor Centre, Hurricane Way, Rawcliffe, York, YO30 4XU

Clifton Moor Centre, Hurricane Way, Rawcliffe, York, YO30 4XU

020 8050 1315
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booking link here

Sledmere, Driffield, Yorkshire YO25 3XG. 01377 236637

Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5.00pm (also open Bank Holiday Mondays)

Come and spend a day at Sledmere House and Gardens this May half term!

Explore the Grounds and Walled Garden, before heading off to the Adventure Play Area! We have a Rare Breed Farm Park with lots of animals to see – including a new foal and piglets too!

The House is open for Free-Flow self-led tours on Sunday 4th June (11.30am–3pm) – spend as long or as little time as you like looking inside the house which is steeped in history, with guides and stewards on hand to answer any questions!

Picnics are welcome, and we also have a state of the art Coach House Café, Farm Shop plus The Pantry for that all-important ice cream!

Dogs are always welcome, we just ask they are kept on leads.
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18th November 2023- 8th January 2024

Stockeld Park’s Christmas Adventure is back this Winter, and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever before! ☃️

Experience the magic this festive season and see the park transform into a magical Christmas wonderland – the perfect day out for the whole family over the Winter months! ✨

Make magical memories with their incredible festive attractions, including:

✨ Winter Illuminations in the Enchanted Forest
🎅 Santa’s Grotto
⛸ Ice Skating Rink
🎭 Grinchilocks & the three elves show at the Stockeld Theatre
❄️ Illuminated Snowflake Maze

Stockeld Park, off the A661 Wetherby Road, LS22 4AN.

01937 586333
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Book Tickets Now

Merry Mouse Christmas Trail – Saturday 11 November 2023 to Friday 5 January 2024

Join us for our annual Merry Mouse Children’s Christmas Trail. The creatures of the wood are feeling sleepy as it is time for them to hibernate through the winter. Help Merry Mouse discover the story that will put the woodland to sleep.

No booking required, please check visitor centre opening hours.
Children to be accompanied by an adult.
Sorry no dogs, wheelchair accessible.

£5 per child

Sutton Bank National Park Centre, Sutton Bank YO7 2EH

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Thursday 18th to Sunday 28th January at 7.15pm with matinee performances on weekends at 2.15pm.

One of the most popular pantomimes of all, the thrilling story of a boy, a lamp and a genie has kept people spell-bound for generations.

Families visiting the Kirk Theatre this January can look forward to a fun-packed performance full of side-splitting comedy, singing, dancing, slapstick, dazzling special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of audience participation.

Pickering Musical Society is excited to announce that their 2024 annual pantomime will be Aladdin written by Ron Hall and directed by Luke Arnold.

In the bustling streets of Old Peking, a cast of characters unfolds, including Wishee Washee, the offspring of the town’s laundry proprietor, and the fair Princess Lotus Blossom. Aladdin, son of a local tradesman, finds himself hopelessly enamored with the princess. However, her caretaker One Long Pong and domineering mother forbid their love. In a bid to win her heart, Aladdin embarks on a journey with his uncle Abanazar, only to be locked away in a cavernous tomb. But a stroke of luck befalls him as the Slave of the Ring hears his plea and offers a path to freedom. Meanwhile, Abanazar abducts Lotus and takes her to the arid dunes of Sahara. With the help of his kin, Aladdin rescues his love and defeats Abanazar. The tale concludes with a joyous feast, a testament to the triumph of love and the indomitable human spirit.

Aladdin opens at the Kirk Theatre, Pickering on Thursday 18th to Sunday 28th January at 7.15pm with matinee performances on weekends at 2.15pm. Tickets are priced from £13 and are available by phone 01751 474833 or via the theatre website

The Kirk Theatre, Hungate, Pickering,YO18 7DL

01751 474833
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8 December 2023 – 7 January 2024
Starring Nina Wadia as Fairy Sugarsnap (EastEnders, Citizen Khan, Still Open All Hours, Goodness Gracious Me), James Mackenzie as the villainous Luke Backinanger (CBBC’s adventure game show Raven and CBeebies’ Molly and Mack) and York favourite Robin Simpson (Mrs Smee in All New Adventures of Peter Pan and Manky in Cinderella), as the hilarious Dame Trott!
Once again the show will be written by Paul Hendy and directed by Juliet Forster – the same fantastic team who brought you last year’s sensational All New Adventures of Peter Pan. With stunning sets, hilarious comedy and breath-taking special effects, Jack and the Beanstalk promises to be our most spectacular pantomime ever! This fun-filled extravaganza is guaranteed to delight the whole family… So don’t miss this GIANT of a pantomime! Get your tickets early and book today!

01904 623568
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Friday 17th November 2023 to Sunday 7th January 2024

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland will be returning to McArthurGlen Designer Outlet York.

The Ice Factor – the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink at 975 sq m – will have a 30ft high sparkling Christmas tree as its centrepiece, surrounded by illuminated trees, log cabins, the rink side cafe and a viewing platform.

This year the funfair will be bigger and better, with new modern rides including an exciting Twist and Waltzer.  There will be 5 children’s rides and game stalls offering prizes every time.

Also new this year is a terrace overlooking the ice rink.  Inside the alpine-themed café, tasty food and drinks will be available to purchase, and private parties can be arranged.

The Winter Garden with its heated covered picnic tables offers an alternative outdoor eating area, with The Dog Haus cabin selling a range of hot dogs and festive drinks.

Christmas would not be the same without a visit to Santa and his elves, and this year visitors can enjoy an extended snowy woodland walk to his cosy log cabin grotto where a warm welcome and a special gift for children awaits.

07985 331802
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Book Santa

North Yorkshire Moors Whitby Winter Excursions

If you’re planning things to do between Christmas and New Year, why not take a special steam-hauled excursion to Whitby!

Daily from Thursday 28 December 2023 to Sunday 7 January 2024. 11:10 am (10:15 am Sundays) departure from Pickering and 2:30 pm departure from Whitby.

Adult: £45, Child: Free

Pickering Station, Pickering, YO18 7AJ

Tel. 01751 472508

Winter Opening at The Splash Zone, Flamingo Land

The Lesiure Complex and Splash Zone is open for guests outside the Holiday Village from 6th November 2023.

Flamingo Land Resort, Malton, YO17 6UX

0800 40 888 40

York Leisure Centre

For swimming there’s a 6 lane, 25 metre swimming pool, as well as a shallow learner pool and toddlers splash pool perfect for gaining water confidence and swimming lessons.
Alternatively why not have a game badminton in our Sports Hall, or challenge yourself in the Clip N Climb arena. 
Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross, York YO32 9AF
01904 403900