Saturday 14 April 2012

Nessy, the Leeds Mummy

With rain on the cards again as has been the case for much of the Easter holidays, Leeds was our destination. The plan was Leeds Art Gallery for us grown ups with its Victorian Tiled Cafe as an added temptation, and for the boys, Leeds City Museum. Disappointingly, the art gallery was closed on arrival - an odd decision to close on a bank holiday Monday when it's open every other Monday. So we diverted to the city museum which turned out to be a great find with lots to see. Highlights of the museum are Leeds' own 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy, Nesyamum, a fantastic exhibit for young and old alike and the Life on Earth gallery which houses a whole array of stuffed animals from around the world. The day opened our eyes to what Leeds has to offer and we've got plans to return, certainly to the art gallery, but also to the city's other attractions.

Monday 30 January 2012

Visting the Hepworth Gallery

I recommend a visit to the fairly newly opened Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. We spent an afternoon there on Sunday and were all hugely impressed with what this award-winning place had on offer. Primarily housing the work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth whose tactile works of art feature throughout, there were also paintings, illustrations and a changing exhibition to admire.

The museum is located on the banks of the River Calder in a gritty part of the city with boarded up brick warehouses, boats and barges as its neighbours.

As much as we enjoyed our visit the kids came back saying what a great day they had had. The space is big enough for them to explore and there has been a lot of thought put in as to how to keep families interested. The boys participated in the art pod in the gallery where friendly staff guided through some creative activities that linked in with the current exhibition. They also spent time in the sculpture workshop playing with newplast clay and play dough. There is a very spacious and clean picnic area where we had our lunch with tea and cake in the cafe later in the afternoon. Outside there is a lovely adventure playground for the kids.

We spent more than four hours there and I still feel I'd like to go back soon for a visit. The gallery pays homage to this part of Yorkshire with its varied landscape and industrial past.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Art for Youth North

Next week sees the return of Art for Youth North, a bi-annual selling exhibition of contemporary, affordable art from established artists that also raises money for a very worthy cause.

With more than 600 of works on sale, there will be plenty to choose from including paintings, etchings, ceramics and sculpture. Prices range from £100 to £2000 but there is also a mystery sale where you purchase a postcard size artwork for £30 with the artist only being disclosed once you've bought your art. It's a chance to own a piece of art for a fraction of its real value.

Artists exhibiting this year include Emily Sutton, whose work I love. Others include Malcolm Ludvigsen, Julia Burns, Bridget Gillespie, Sue Moffit, Christine Pybus amongst others.

The charity UK Youth will receive 30% from the art sold.

Monday 11 October 2010

Cycling the Solar System

Although we live in such a great place for walking with kids, it's not always easy to find safe cycle paths where they can really take off without the worry of traffic. There is Dalby Forest which has a good family cycle trail plus a lovely cafe to have refreshments in afterwards.

A couple of  weekends ago we tried out the Solar System Cycle Ride in York which runs along the old East Coast mainline railway. The ride is a 12-mile round trip and starts at the sun, ending at Pluto. The distances between the planets is to scale so the gap between some is smaller than others. The boys really enjoyed it. There is a bit of information at each planet too.

We parked our car at Askham Bar park and ride and there is a cycle lane just across the road that leads you to the cycle trail. There are pubs on route for refreshments and there is also a little cafe at Naburn although you would need to check for opening times in the autumn and winter months.

Friday 20 August 2010

Catching up with a few more ideas

I am back with a quick update before we head off again to North Norfolk for a bit of beach life. But before I go here's a quick roundup of what's on in the next week:

The North York Moors Chamber Music Festival has already started and continues until August 28th. I am really sorry to be missing this as there are some wonderful performances at various churches in the North York Moors area. The Finale concert at St Hilda's Church, Westcliffe, Whitby, includes Widor's Toccata and Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals.

The Dutch House in Crayke is running a Summer Day Camp until September 2nd where kids can get involved in a range of creative activities. You need to book ahead on 01347 889431. We went along here just after it opened so a few things weren't yet established such as the wildlife garden. The cafe is nice, light, airy and child-friendly. My only small gripe was that I thought it was a little on the pricey side for drinks and cakes. If you are in that area though it is worth checking out and I would like to go back to see how it is developing.

Scarborough Art Gallery is continuing with its Mog-themed events with Mog's Birthday Party on Monday, August 30th from 11am-4pm. There will be plenty of activities and the promise of a slice of cake. Have a look at their website for lots of other events over the holidays.

There are fossil hunts and dinosaur discovery days in and around Whitby from Monday, August 23rd-Friday, Aug 27th. Have a look at the Scarborough Museum Trust website for details. There are also family fun days at the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough. The next one is August 25th, then September 1st.

There's a Little Boots Safari on August 21st and 22nd where accompanied kids can go on a guided trail. Meet at Rievaulx Abbey car park. Book on 01439 772738. There are lots of other events including archaeology activities, forest exploration, walks, family mountain bike rides.

Scarborough Castle has a medieval knight and princess academy until August 20th and Whitby Abbey has a pirate academy until August 27th.

Over Bank Holiday weekend there is a Fighting Knights activity at Scarborough Castle and a pirate weekend at Whitby Abbey.

Oscar Wilde's classic comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, is being performed at Mount Grace Priory on August 22nd.

If you haven't ever been to the York Maze then it's worth a visit. My husband, David,  took the boys last year and they had a great day there. Entry in isn't terribly cheap at £8.95 for adults and £7.95 for kids with under 3s going free but if you allow a full day there, it's value for money as there is so much more than the maze to see including play areas, huge sandpit, a giant inflatable trampoline, a pyramid of bales to climb, a quad bike circuit, crazy golf and animals to feed. On August 28th they are staying open until 10pm so you can see the maze by torchlight for a different experience.

There's a medieval re-enactment at the Ryedale Folk Museum on August 29th and 30th and this coming week they are holding a cottage cooking week where you can sample cooking from medieval to Victorian times.

The Yorkshire Museum in York opened at the beginning of this month. Until the end of August they have an event called Summer Fun in the Labs running. Next week they have a making fossil cast event on.

Thursday 22 July 2010

Scarborough Open Air Theatre

The Scarborough Open Air Theatre, which is impressively the largest open air theatre in Europe, has reopened. They have a spectacular opening gala tomorrow (July 23rd) with two major stars, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras. I think if you are very lucky you might grab a ticket, otherwise they've got a varied programme of events coming up, including Justin from CBeebies! That is something of a contrast of styles if you ask me! The theatre is situated in Peasholme Park, right on the coast in Scarborough and the stage is set on an island in the middle of a lake with fixed seating for the audience opposite.

And if it is raining...there's always a good film and a bucket of popcorn

A friend mentioned that Vue cinema in York has a good offer on for morning films at weekends where it costs just 95p per child's ticket. This also seems to apply to half term holidays but I can't work out if it is for summer too. There's also an offer where you buy a family ticket and everyone pays child's prices. Anyway, check out the offers on Vue's website.

Meanwhile at Malton Cinema films showing are Shrek Forever, Twilight Saga Eclipse, The A Team, Toy Story 3 and The Reader in the lounge.