With the gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions, this coming half-term holiday will feel a lot more like business as usual than recent school holidays.
No more relying solely on craft projects and a bit of football on the field, there’s now a range of activities on offer and day-trips to be enjoyed.
Alongside all the opportunities for outdoor activities that we’ve enjoyed since 12th April, easing on 17th May saw the reopening of indoor venues such as cinemas, theatres and museums, as well as children’s play areas, indoor sport and exercise classes.
Whether you’re desperate to get the kids outside to run off some excess energy, or you’re eager to experience the novelty of an indoor activity after all this time (especially if the weather isn’t being kind), we’ve come up with a list of boredom-busting outings in and around Rotherham to keep the whole family entertained.
As ever these days, it pays to book most places in advance, as many are still restricting numbers to ensure social distancing.
Take a dive
Fancy diving back into some family fun? Family swimming sessions are back up and running at Rotherham Leisure Complex, Wath Upon Dearne Leisure Centre and Aston-cum-Aughton Leisure Centre, with various sessions available throughout the day. Better still, if you’re a MaxCard holder, you can receive concessionary rates. Check their social media accounts for the latest updates and contact them directly to make a booking.
Have an adventure day
Feel the need for speed? Get yourselves to TeamSport Sheffield for an adrenaline fuelled family go-karting experience and see if you’ve got a future Lewis Hamilton in your midst. £5 off standard ticket prices for MaxCard holders. Alternatively, reach dizzying heights at the newly reopened Awesome Walls climbing wall. Whether you’re an experienced climber or a nervous newbie, the people at Awesome Walls promise a fun-packed adventure. 10% off taster sessions for MaxCard holders.
Learn about South Yorkshire’s history
Find out all about Sheffield’s famous steel industry at Kelham Island Museum, or get the full picture of Sheffield’s past, from prehistory to the present day, at Weston Park Museum.
Both venues have various children’s activities arranged for half-term, including designing your own badges. Admission to both museums is now free for everyone, but booking is advised.
Step back in time
Aspiring knights can practise their parries at English Heritage’s 12th century Conisborough Castle. The indoor areas have now reopened, so you can explore the keep and get a real feel for what it was like to live there in the Middle Ages, with animated representations of Lord Hamelin and Lady Isabel de Warenne projected on the castle walls. The extensive grounds are the perfect place for a picnic. Entry is free for members of English Heritage, booking is essential.
Gardens and giggles
If you’re looking for something for all ages, Clifton Park is a great choice. The play area is the biggest free play park in Yorkshire with areas for teenagers, such as the skate park, as well as younger children. Some facilities, like the water splash and the Clifton Express land train, are sadly still closed but there are still loads of great things to do including the excellent mini-golf course and the fun park.
Admire the view
Many of us developed a taste for the great outdoors during lockdown and that doesn’t have to stop now. We’re rightly proud of the beautiful countryside here in South Yorkshire, so why not get out for a bit of an adventure?
For the sheer range of activities on offer, it’s hard to beat Rother Valley Country Park. Always a popular destination for families keen to get some fresh air and exercise, here you can hire a bike (including adapted accessibility bikes) and do a bit of exploring, or learn a new skill like archery. If water sports are your thing then why not hire one of the rowing boats or canoes? Younger children are well catered for with the miniature railway and children’s play area.
Talk with the animals
Always a favourite with children of all ages and perfect for a spur of the moment outing as there’s no need to book, Aston Springs Farm is a great opportunity to learn more about farming and caring for animals. Kids will love feeding the animals, including baby goats and lambs and even alpacas! Picnics areas are available so you can take lunch and make a day of it.
Ready to experience the fun of the fair? Gullivers Valley Resort on Mansfield Road, Sheffield, has now reopened and over half term there will be special appearances from Lampo and Milady, stars of the children’s show ‘44 Cats’. Don’t forget to book!
Go see the stars
There’s nothing like seeing movies on a big screen. Cinemas opened their doors again on 17th May and this half term there are some new family-friendly releases such as Tom and Jerry The Movie and Peter Rabbit 2.
Having said that, going to the cinema isn’t for everyone, and there’s definitely something to be said for a movie night at home. There are plenty of ways to get the cinema experience in your own living room: making your own popcorn or milkshakes is a fun activity for everyone in the family, especially if you experiment with new flavours.
Visit the library
Libraries have reopened! J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter books, once said, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”
If you feel like that might be true for the children in your care, then what better way to explore a wide range of books than to get yourselves along to your local library, where a library card can open up a whole new world of ideas and adventures. The following council libraries are currently open in the Rotherham area: Aston, Kiveton Park, Thurcroft, Thorpe Hesley, Maltby, Brinsworth, Rawmarsh, Swinton, Mowbray, Greasbrough and Dinnington.
However you decide to spend this half term, we hope you have a lovely time.
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