Whether you live in Yorkshire, or are planning a visit, one thing you’ll have to take into consideration is the weather. The county is blessed by miles of green countryside, but this comes at a price; plenty of rain. So if you’re wondering what to do with the children on a rainy day in Yorkshire, visit one of these great museums and enjoy yourself as much as the kids do.
Eureka, Halifax, West Yorkshire
Eureka, in Halifax, is a hands-on museum created especially for children. It’s designed to stimulate all five senses and there’s something for kids of all ages. The Eureka experience is centred on different galleries, including Sound Garden and Me and My Body. There is a separate playroom for very young children with specially trained staff on hand to help them make the best of their visit.
Eureka! The Museum for Children, Discovery Road, Halifax, HX1 2NE
Tel 01422 330069, open daily 10am-5pm.
Admission : £7.25 per adult and child over age 3, £2.25 per toddler age 1-2.
Ilkley Toy Museum, Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Ilkley Toy Museum is located in the town centre, minutes from the train and bus stations. It holds one of the finest collection of toys in the North of England. The exhibits date back literally thousands of years, with a doll dating back to 350BC. Families will enjoy discovering two floors packed with toys, games, dolls houses and teddy bears. This is a museum all ages can enjoy, as there will be toys here that almost everyone can remember seeing or owning.
Ilkley Toy Museum, Whitton Croft Road, Ilkley, LS29 9HR
Tel 01943 603855, open weekends 12am-4pm, weekdays by arrangement.
Admission: £3 adult, £2 child age 5-16.
Royal Armouries, Leeds, West Yorkshire
The Royal Armouries is a free-entry museum just outside Leeds City Centre. There are indoor displays including war, peace, self-defence and tournaments. Probably of more interest to children are the outdoor features. The museum offers a tiltyard, where there are regular displays of jousting, an armourers workshop and the menagerie court, where visitors can meet the horses and birds of prey which take part in the displays.
Royal Armouries Museum, Armouries Drive, Leeds, LS10 1LT
Tel 08700 344344, open daily 10am-5pm, admission free.
National Railway Museum, York, North Yorkshire
The world’s largest railway museum is located in the historic city of York. The museum, which is free entry, is ideal for children as there are dozens of trains and carriages to climb on and explore inside, as well as a miniature railway and railway themed play area. The trains date back 300 years and there are steps up to see inside some of the renovated carriages, including a carriage used by Queen Victoria.
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ
Tel 08448 153139, open daily 10am-6pm, admission free.
National Coal Mining Museum, Near Wakefield, West Yorkshire
The National Coal Mining Museum is halfway between the towns of Wakefield and Huddersfield. The museum is located at a former pit which offers children age five and above the chance to go underground when accompanied by an adult. Former miners show visitors around below the surface and everyone wears a hard hat with light, to show what life was really like for a miner. The museum offers a play area for children too young to take the pit tour.
National Coal Mining Museum, Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, Wakefield, WF4 4RH
Tel 01924 848806, open daily 10am-5pm, admission free
All of these museums organise special events during the year and these are advertised on their websites. There’s so much to do in Yorkshire for all ages, give your child a visit to remember at one of these museums.