Top ten family-friendly days out in Calderdale and Kirklees this summer

The school summer holidays are in full swing and thoughts are turning to how to keep the youngsters entertained in the weeks ahead.

By Dominic Brown
Sunday, 8th August 2021, 7:00 am
Eureka! The National Children's Museum in Halifax
Eureka! The National Children's Museum in Halifax

Here are ten suggestions for family-friendly days out in Calderdale and North Kirklees.

1 Eureka!

Want your kids to be curious about the world around them? Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax is the UK’s only fully interactive museum totally dedicated to kids aged up to 11.

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Ponderosa in Heckmondwike

There are more than 400 interactive, hands-on exhibits designed to inspire your little ones to find out about themselves and the world by asking questions and learning through play. There are six unique galleries to discover, each with a different theme to explore.


2 Manor Health Park and Jungle Experience

Make the most of Mother Nature at Manor Heath Park and Jungle Experience in Halifax. It’s an award-winning, 19-acre park where the great outdoors are open all year round.

Kirklees Light Railway in Huddersfield

Woodland walks peppered with wild flowers lead you all over the grounds into every leafy nook, before stopping off at multiple picnic spots and a water play area to cool off.


3 Ponderosa

Fun for the whole family, Ponderosa Zoo, based in Heckmondwike, is home to more than 120 animals. From exotic animals to small mammals, birds and reptiles, there’s so much to see and explore.

Manor Heath Park and Jungle Experience, Halifax

Let your little ones run wild on the specially designed outdoor adventure playground. Or head to Ponderosa’s very own year-round beach to play on the pirate ship and in the sand.


4 Charlotte’s Jersey Ice Cream

Charlotte’s Jersey Ice Cream is the tasty combination of an ice cream parlour with a rare breeds farm. Sample the home-made, award-winning Jersey ice cream and sorbet, while enjoying the stunning views over the Calder Valley.

Project Breakout, Brighouse

Down on the farm in Dewsbury, see alpacas, wallabies, giant rabbits, goats, rare breed birds, peacocks strutting their stuff and friendly farmyard favourites donkeys and cows.

Ride the Charlotte’s Express, a train that takes you all around the park, or head to the tractor buggy ride. There is crazy golf, giant inflatables with a 30ft slide and a new outdoor adventure play area with tractor and combine harvester.


5 Halifax Treasure Hunt Trail

Take on the Halifax Treasure Hunt Trail with the kids and solve the mystery of a forgotten treasure.

Get ready to discover a whole new side of the town, as each sneaky clue will not only take you closer to completing your quest, but it will also teach you interesting facts about the locations you visit. And since this is a self-guided experience, you can take as long as you like.


6 Ogden Water Country Park

This local nature reserve near Halifax has an abundance of nature viewing opportunities, overlooking beautiful views around and across the lake.

There are plenty of woodland walks where you and the family can discover local wildlife and let the sound of the trees rustling in the wind around you soothe your busy mind.

Stop for lunch on one of the picnic tables or pop into the visitor centre for a coffee and a piece of gingerbread man or flapjack.



TAG X in Batley is a real life gaming experience that will have you and the kids take on three zones, filled with a variety of Ninja Warrior-like challenges.

From scaling a spider’s web and a hexagonal tower, to balancing your way across giant bouncy balls and “beating the wall”, your skills will be truly put to the test.

The goal? Complete all eight games in each zone, find the hidden illuminated TAGs along the way, swipe your wristband and collect as many points as you can.


8 Oakwell Hall Country Park

Step back in time to the 1690s and post-English civil war at Oakwell Hall Country Park in Birstall.

The imposing, historical house is set in over 100 acres of country park and features a nature trail, visitor centre, picnic site and playground. Walk in the footsteps of those who were connected with the house, such as Charlotte Bronte, and imagine their lives thanks to the information available.

The open grounds are the ideal play space for children and dogs. Every inch is well manicured and allows for peaceful exploration at your own pace, resulting in a relaxing, informative afternoon in a very special location.


9 Kirklees Light Railway

All aboard! Step into Kirklees Light Railway in Huddersfield, the home of Yorkshire’s Great Little Steam Trains, where you can hop on and take a ride, plus loads more.

Any train enthusiasts, both big and little, will have a fantastic time on a train ride through the glorious countryside in a spectacular hand-painted carriage. Plus, don’t miss the miniature ride-on railway for your chance to zoom around the local duck pond.

There are not one but two epic outdoor adventure play areas to discover, from sandpits to climbing frames and, of course, a mini wooden train, plus one playground is train-themed.


10 Project Breakout

In Brighouse there are four escape rooms and one challenge. Your mission is simple; to escape from one of the locked rooms in less than 60 minutes.

You will be challenged, physically and mentally. You will need to work as a team if you want to escape. You’ll also need resolve, determination and a good dose of common sense with you if you want to breakout in time.

Find the clues, solve the puzzles and beat the clock to breakout.