Top 5 places to visit in Yorkshire with under 5’s when you are solo parenting
*Guest Post* Thanks to Kathryn from A Mum Like Me for this guest post! -Kate & Em
I love days out and everything that goes with them. I love researching them, planning them, packing for them and get all excited at the prospect of getting to do something as a family. When Sunday comes round I’m usually armed with a schedule under one arm and a picnic under the other (get a life, I know!)
As a Family we have enjoyed visiting many places in beautiful Yorkshire and beyond. However when Saturday (my partner works) or the dreaded School holidays arrive, I get seriously stuck for places I can go to on my own with the boys that don’t hit maximum stress levels and result in ‘mum-mares’ the minute we get there. I simply cannot keep an eye on Henry who is 4, fast and adventurous whilst wrestling younger brother Leo out of the puddles he loves so much.
So recently I have taken to researching and visiting places in Yorkshire that I feel are suitable for solo parenting trips with kids under 5. Whether you’re a loner on Saturday like me or a single parent on any day of the week then this may be the post for you!
Even if you don’t live in Yorkshire I hope it will give you a bit of inspiration to find places like this near you and have to courage to face a day out when you are outnumbered.
As a family we love any trip involving animals and fresh air but most of the time the places we love like Yorkshire Wildlife Park are just too big to tackle alone.
When I discovered Ponderosa I fell in love with it immediately. I mean whats not to love? Ponderosa is a zoo specialising in rare breeds which has also got soft play, small outdoor parks, cafes and a restaurant and it is so cheap at £5.00 per person! For an extra £1.50 there is also horse riding available too.
As an added bonus Ponderosa, which was set up to bridge the gap between the disabled and able bodied has a wonderful team of disabled staff who have a vast amount of animal knowledge. Im in support of all businesses that are diversity friendly so it got a big thumbs up from me and the boys.
Grasshoppers at Tong Garden Centre
This is one of my favourite spring/summer places to go with the boys. It seems to have become more popular over the years and they have recently extended but it is still manageable and really good fun.
Grasshoppers is a secure adventure playground with bouncing pillows, ziplines, go karts, wendy houses and more. This is the type of place where you need a towel and spare clothes as it involves A LOT of sand and water play too.
Tip: If you are not from Yorkshire try searching for local garden centres, at the very least they usually have a pet section with fish and a café. Easy and free.
These trampoline parks seem to be popping up all over so where ever you are from there will be one in your local area. Tramp2lean is perfect to us as unlike some of other bigger trampoline parks it is quite abit smaller meaning the teenagers tend to stay away. Plus because its smaller if you need to bounce off to feed your smaller one or get a drink you cant loose sight of them.
Basketball nets line the walls of the trampolines here too so we had a lot of laughs trying to shoot the balls through the hoops. Great for a rainy day and a parent and toddler bounce is only £5.00 too.
Tip: The larger centres usually have specific toddler bounce sessions where the upper age limit is 5 so they are worth checking out if you don’t want to be crushed by teenagers on a rampage. Don’t forget to keep your special trampoline socks too and use them again when you return to save a few quid.
Kids love trains we all know that but these are steam trains just like Thomas The Tank Engine, The most exciting kind of train to a child! The boys love to get their ticket punched and board the steam train which stops at several small Pennine villages along the way. We like to spot sheep out the window and wave when the train stops at the stations. We usually get off at the end of the line and right round the corner is a small chip shop that we call into for a bag of chips before boarding the train again for the return journey. We then head into the gift shop for a small souvenir to take home. I always hope they will choose a lovely wooden toy train but they usually get a pot of green slime that makes trump noises. Typical!
We love national trust days out and this one in particular is a favourite of mine. East Riddlesden Hall is really easy to navigate on your own and has a Park, Café, mud kitchen, really pretty grounds, a house plus a pond with ducks. Duck food can be purchased in the entrance and there are certain things to look for in the house too so it’s like a mini treasure hunt for them in there. They often have craft and making sessions on during the School holidays too.
I hope you will come and visit Yorkshire soon! We rarely bite!
We would love to hear about the places you discover in your local area suitable for solo trips with under 5’s – let us know on Instagram or in the comments below.
Cheers to conquering solo trips!
Love Kathryn, A Mum Like Me xxx