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3 THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA

 Manningham Library

Books, books and more books! A lovely space for reading with your little one and taking time out to spend time together in a peaceful and calm setting. With a book tunnel and an egg shaped capsule, there is a wealth of choices for reading places not to mention a cosy carpet full of brightly coloured fish!

Children will love collecting their own library card so make sure you take some evidence of address/birth certificate with you if you want to borrow a book or two!

It has such a relaxed atmosphere and has a super Sunday afternoon story time at 1pm followed by an activity for children to do. After exploring the different boxes and shelves of books encourage children to use the scanning machine to borrow and return their chosen selection.

Children can take out up to 6 books at a time and they also have a good selection of DVD’s to borrow too. Once you’ve got your books go and sit outside in the lovely community garden they have created. Enjoy a snack and read a story underneath a tree, don’t fall down any rabbit holes though!

What you can do

  • Get your child a library card.
  • Let your child choose but maybe you could find a book about something they are interested in at the moment.
  • Read in a cosy corner, make sure you give the voices a go!
  • Take your little one along to story time on a Sunday.

What they can do

  • Explore the book shelves!
  • Sit in the egg capsule to read a book.
  • Talk about the pictures in the books.
  • Use their new library card and scan their books out to borrow.

Lister Park and Botanical Gardens

A well known park in Manningham but with undiscovered places, this green space has more to offer than just an amazing adventure playground and beautiful fountains. More than the well looked after tennis and baseball courts and brilliant paths for walking/cycling and running. More than the large boating lake and Pavillion cafe. Its hidden gem is the Botanical Garden full of rich plant life , secret waterfalls and babbling brooks. This area of the park is wonderful for nature trails and hide and seek fun. Children have the chance to use their imagination to create games that use the flowers and the trees in this well thought out garden. You can play pooh sticks on the bridges and search for leaves and flowers that children might recognise. It is a space for learning and exploring and good for shady picnics too! In any season the garden is full of things to look at and discover. Paddling in the shallow stream is fun, build a dam or take a few buckets, get close up to the waterfall and pretend you’re in the Amazon jungle. It’s safe and spacious and enables parents to sit and rest whilst children play but also good to explore alongside your child, looking for insects, collecting sticks and stones or just lying down in the grass soaking up the sounds of nature together.

Bus Route 662, 622, 626 and 737 all run regularly from Bradford centre to Lister Park.

What you can do

  • Encourage children to look at the different plants and flowers in the garden. Feel the leaves and talk about the different colours and textures.
  • Take a picnic to enjoy during the summer.
  • Take buckets and wellies for children to play in the shallow stream.
  • Take the children on a boat ride during the Spring/Summer months.

What your child can do

  • Play pooh sticks under the different bridges in the Botanical garden.
  • Paddle in the stream and explore the wild water fall!
  • Play around the Mughal gardens, dip your toes in during the summer!
  • Do some drawings of the Botanical Garden using bright colours.

Cartwright Hall

Another Manningham gem beautifully placed in the middle of Lister Park. A brilliant wet weather space to explore a huge variety of Art and lots for little ones to do along the way. It is free to get in to and provides loads of opportunities for learning for both you and your under 5, so much so you can always do a bit of the Gallery each time you visit. This is THE place for looking at and talking about colours, textures, size, and shape plus the pictures that tell many stories. Theres lots to do as well as talk about, have a go at some printing or try and create a beautiful stained glass window together, enjoy role play with an arab weavers dolls house or build your own mini city. All of this inside huge light spaces with walls covered with incredible paintings and pictures. So much inspiration for things to try when you get home, especially if you have a mini David Hockney in your family! Exhibitions change quite regularly so there is always something new to explore and look at and talk about. Don’t forget to take a look at the sculptures outside too and when it’s warm enough go and enjoy the cooling space of the Mughal Gardens.

Entry is free!

Free parking spaces in and around the park and bus routes 662, 622, 626 and 737 run regularly alongside the park.

What you can do

  • Talk about all the different colours/shapes/textures you can see.
  • Encourage little ones to have a go at creating their own piece of art.
  • Try and talk about how the artworks make you and your little one feel.
  • Have a go at recreating some of the art you’ve seen by using crafty bits you might have at home.

What your child can do

  • Pick out a favourite picture or painting.
  • Draw their own piece of art and put in the special Art Book!
  • Guess what is happening in some of the paintings.
  • Play I spy in some of the large gallery spaces.

Other places to visit with your under 5’s

  • The Media Museum
  • Heaton Woods
  • Bolling Hall Musuem
  • Bradford City Library
  • Bradford City Park
  • The Bradford Industrial Museum
  • Bolton Abbey
  • Harlow Carr Garden
  • Ilkley Riverside walk and playground
  • Cow and Calf rocks in Ilkley
  • Baildon Moor for kite flying
  • Leeds City Museum and Gallery
  • Rodley Nature Reserve
  • ACW Garden Centre, buy some seeds and have a hot chocolate
  • Kirkstall Abbey
  • Walks along the Leeds/Liverpool canal

3 THINGS TO DO IN BRADFORD

St.Ives

Hidden away on the top of a steep Hill above Bingley, this wonderful space is the perfect day out for the whole family. A woodland sculpture trail, a walk round the Coppice Pond searching for bat boxes, feeding the ducks and adventures through brightly coloured Rhododendrons (which are great for dens) are just some of the things to do and explore here. Take a walk through the woodland and try and spot the hidden wooden sculptures along the way. Try and make a den using sticks and branches lying around perfect for leaning up against each other to create a wigwam or tipee style forest home. Easy to get to and with a fabulously designed play park it has something for children of every age, even the adults! With three car park areas to enable you to get to each section of the estate it makes for easy access with wheelchairs and buggies. A small cafe for picking up refreshments and a lovely picnic area hidden away in the woods. A real recommendation to get children exploring nature through play with lots to look out for along the way.

Entry is free!

The 616 bus travels from Bradford Interchange and stops by the entrance of the St.Ives Estate and there are several free car parks.

What you can do

  • Encourage you child to look out for different types of wildlife
  • Look at different leaf shapes and plant life
  • Take food for those ducks!
  • Explore the woods and get your child to use their imagination

What your child can do

  • Make a den in the rhododendrons
  • Feed the ducks!
  • Buy an ice-cream in the cafe as a treat
  • Splash in puddles
  • Zoom down the slide and practice climbing skills

Saltaire

A gem of a place, down in the Aire Valley, Saltaire offers wonderful play spaces, woodland and canal side walks and as much coffee and cake as you can manage! Easy to get to on the train/bus from Bradford/Frizinghall there is much to explore. Visit the Mill and look at wonderful work by the Bradford artist David Hockney, children will love the bright colours and unusual shapes he uses. Visit the bookshop on the third floor where you are welcome to sit and read with little ones. Robert’s Park, reached by bridges across the canal and the River Aire, offers fabulous playground facilities including a skate park and a brilliant safe circuit for bike riding (feed the ducks on the way!). A short walk along the canal, easy for buggies and wheel chairs, leads to Hirst Wood which is definitely worth exploring. Logs to play on, trees to hide behind and squirrels to chase. Walk along the canal in the other direction towards Shipley and follow the sculpture trail, can you find the green octopus? For something different during Spring-Summer weekends take the tramway from Lower Coach Road Baildon up to Shipley Glen. Last but not least, Saltaire hosts a huge number of family friendly cafes including the reasonably priced Half Moon Cafe that sits in the centre of Robert’s Park. Perfect for tired feet and hungry children!

Bus route 662 travels from Bradford City straight through to Saltaire.

Tram fairs range from £1-£2 per adult, Under 5’s are free!

What you can do

  • Talk to your child about the art work in the mill, look at the colours and shapes, what do they remind you of?
  • Read a book or two together in the book shop.
  • Race around Roberts Park and take bikes and scooters.
  • Take a bag to collect things in on the trail in Hirst Woods. Use these at home to create a nature picture.

What your child can do

  • Count the steps in the mill, there are quite a few!
  • Practice cycling in the park.
  • Enjoy bouncing on the trampoline in the playground and attempt the obstacle course.
  • Explore Hirst wood and collect interesting things like funny shaped sticks, acorns or beautiful leaves.

East Riddlesden Hall

Bradford’s best hidden secret! Step back in time to when rich people slept in four poster beds, children played with spinning tops and servants slept with the animals in the old barn. An easy bus ride out of Manningham leads you to the gates of this beautiful old house. Feed the ducks that live by the Lake and explore the old barn. What strange things can you find? Easy access for buggies and wheelchairs and with a superb easy circular walk along the river, makes it a perfect visit for families. A wonderful cafe and playground area make it a relaxing visit for parents and a secret fairy trail leading to an exciting Discovery Garden make it an adventure for the kids. With opportunities for mud pie making in the outdoor kitchen, dressing up as children from the past or as garden bugs it’s a busy fun-packed day. The staff in the house love telling stories about the people who once lived there and you can discover some surprising tales hidden in the walls of this exciting Hall.

Entry price for a family of two adults and up to 4 children £20.40, Under 5’s go free!

662 bus route travels from Bradford directly to East Riddlesden Hall. Free Parking at the Hall

What you can do

  • Take your child to find the bee hives and the sheep.
  • Walk along the river and look out for special birds such as kingfishers!
  • Explore the wild garden and search for hidden surprises such as the Discovery Garden.
  • Look in the Hall and find old things together, what might they have been used for? How is this house and the things in it different from nowadays?

What your child can do

  • Play in the maze in the lower field and run around in the adventure playground.
  • Make mud pies and look for worms.
  • Dress up as a ladybird or like a child from the past
  • Make a den in the Discovery Garden.

3 THINGS TO DO IN WEST YORKSHIRE

Haworth

The home of the Brontes, wild moors and quirky shops and one of the best places to re-live the past in Bradford. A great place for children of every age, Haworth offers opportunities to learn more about the History, Geography and Literature of Bradford. Energetic families can go for walks up on the dramatic Moors and visit the setting of famous books by the Brontes like Wuthering Heights at Top Withens. Children can enjoy painting pottery in ‘Cobbles and Clay’ cafe and History lovers can visit The Bronte’s Parsonage where the sisters lived and discover what it was like to live during those times. For treats, after a busy day of discovery, you can visit the Old Sweet shop in the centre of Haworth and choose amazing old fashioned sweets from glass jars. Haworth also has a lovely little park and playground down at the bottom of the cobbled hill with picnic spaces for the summer. Christmas time in this Victorian village is magical with special Winter rides on the magnificent steam train that travels from Keighley to Haworth, definitely worth a journey for children who love trains!

Buses B1, B2, B3, K15 leave from Keighley Bus station and there are several pay and display car parks in the centre of Haworth.

Bronte Parsonage Family ticket costs £24 for 2 adults and up to 4 children. Steam Trains run daily and Under 5’s free!

What you can do

  • For a treat book a trip on the steam train. Santa may be traveling on the train too during Christmas!
  • Talk to your children about who the Brontes were, that they wrote books stories a long long time age. Show them the house they lived in.
  • Take you child for a short walk up to moors and maybe take a kite on windy days.
  • Potter around Haworth looking in the unusual shops.

What your child can do

  • Run around on the moors and collect some heather to take home.
  • Buy a small bag of old fashioned sweets.
  • Explore the Bronte’s old house.

Cliffe Castle

This is the perfect place to visit after a steam train journey from Haworth as it’s a 5 minute drive from Keighley train station. A lovely old house set within a large park area, good for cycling and with a stunning backdrop of the hills. Once inside it’s difficult to know where to start as it’s packed full of things to look at and talk about. Explore their vast selection of fossils and beautiful mineral rocks. See how they sparkle! Children can pop on a yellow hard hat and build using rubber bricks piled high in two boxes ready to be played with. Another huge room is full of stuffed birds, creatures and skeletons. Slightly unusual but really fascinating for children and it allows you to be close up to animals you wouldn’t easily see in the wild. Make sure you listen to the different bird calls and see if you recognise any! The round gallery space is full of artwork to look at and talk about. Children enjoy walking along the balcony on the first floor and looking down at the gallery below. Climb the grand staircase to the next floor and gaze at the beautiful stained glass windows on display, what can the children find in each one? Find the space full of the history of Keighley and enjoy looking at the old toys exhibited. Children will enjoy playing with the dolls house, with two comfy seats either side for a grown up rest! After a quick visit to the tiny gift shop head outside to stretch those legs and explore the newly designed play area which has equipment for all ages. A great afternoon full of history and nature and more fresh air!

Entry is free!

12-25 minutes walk from Keighley railway station, 6-15 minutes walk from the bus station. Buses from Bradford pass the lower main gates. The 903 bus service operates from Keighley Bus Station and serves Cliffe Castle on a limited basis

What you can do

  • Encourage children to feel the different rocks on display. Are they smooth? Rough?
  • What different types of creatures and birds can children name?
  • Play I spy in the stained glass window gallery, what can they see hidden in each window?
  • Talk about the past with your child. What was it like when you were young?

What they can do

  • Watch the rocks and minerals as they glow in the dark when the light dims
  • Make the sounds of the animals and birds they see
  • Play with the dolls house
  • Whizz down the silver slide and play with the alphabet snail in the playground

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A place to explore BIG art in the beautiful surroundings of green park space with lakeside views. Although you have to pay to park this place is free to visit and is a truly fantastic day out for the whole family. Spend time in the large gallery spaces where new art is regularly exhibited and great for talking about with texture, materials and colour with little ones. Enjoy a delicious lunch in the spacious cafe area and play hide and seek behind the huge sculptures scattered around the park. There are lots of different areas to walk around. A formal garden with a pond and woodland area. Try and discover where the spaceship and eggs are hidden! A huge open green space where you can run down hills and climb over and through stone statues. There are a series of lovely lakeside walks you can do further into the park if you’re feeling energetic! On warm days, save some money and enjoy a family picnic and soak up the views with picnic benches placed in great spots. The shop is filled with artistic treats and beautiful crafts, all quite pricey but the card selection is stunning and you could always take one home to frame as a special memory of a fabulous day. They also run regular family workshop activities during school holidays so do check their website before you visit.

Entry is £6 for adults and under 18’s are free

What you can do

  • Talk to your child about the shapes and colours and textures of the sculptures and art work found in the gallery and the Park.
  • Take a picnic to have in the woodland picnic area.
  • Take some paper and crayons to do some tree bark rubbings.
  • Walk along the Lake playing I spy games on the way.

What your child can do

  • Climb on and hide behind the sculptures in the Park.
  • Run down the grassy hills of the park.
  • Pretend to catch fish in the lake and pond.
  • Play hide and seek in the formal gardens.