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, 623 and 626 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.
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. Very excitingly from 28th June-9th November a Julia Donaldson (author of the Gruffalo) exhibition will be filling the rooms with all her wonderful characters. Which means lots more activities and amazing treats over the summer for all your little Gruffalos! 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, 623, 625 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
- Esholt Farm
- 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