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5 Fantastic Family Days Out in the North this February Half-Term

by Northern Life


With half-term almost upon us and spring just around the corner, it’s time to venture out, get active, get educated, and, most of all, have fun. Here are Northern Life’s favourite days out in this half-term…

1 The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is a unique 5-mile branch line railway set in the heart of West Yorkshire, running heritage steam and diesel trains from the industrial landscape of Keighley to the stunning Brontë Country of Oxenhope. Step back in time and enjoy a train ride on The Railway Children’s railway.

Family Days Out in the North

The railway was originally built to serve the local mill trade and is only about 4.5 miles long, but it still has six stations to visit, with something to see at everyone! There are two fantastic railway museums at Ingrow, the smallest ‘full size’ railway station in the UK at Damens, and Oakworth station, the site of the 1970s version of the film The Railway Children.

During the school holidays, a memorable trip along the historical line is the perfect break away; whatever the weather, trains run daily, providing plenty of opportunities to explore the Worth Valley and beyond.

Over the February Half-Term Holidays, we will run passenger services daily with a mixture of steam engines and heritage diesels. Bring the whole family (even the dog is welcome!) for an adventure through the Worth Valley and beyond. Buy a full-price Adult Day Rover, and up to two Children aged 5 to 15 travel completely FREE when travelling together on this special combined ticket; under 5 travel for free as usual. You can turn up on the day and purchase your tickets or pre-book online

A regular calendar of events throughout the year, including The Steam Gala, a four-day event packed with visiting locomotives, intensive passenger services and goods demonstrations. Throughout the spring & summer, there are Afternoon Teas, The Fish & Chip Train ‘Haworth Haddock and Vintage Trains when the rare carriages and locomotives are used. The railway is transformed into a five-mile Beer & Music Festival in October, and closing the year off is the sell-out Elf Explorer, with Santa & his elves visiting the railway with a winter wonderland.

Boasting over 800 volunteers who run & maintain the railway, from Steam Locomotive Drivers to Stationmasters, they will visit a trip to remember. More details here…The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway



2 Lakeland Wildlife Oasis

Embark on a thrilling adventure at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, proudly known as “the little zoo with lots to do.” With over 100 species spanning both aquatic and terrestrial realms, this hidden gem offers an immersive experience for nature enthusiasts of all ages.

Family Days Out in the North - Lakeland

Roam through marine and freshwater corridors, explore lush tropical hallways filled with free-flying birds and bats, and enjoy the expansive outdoor section with sheltered viewing areas for those occasional February showers.

Lakeland Wildlife Oasis goes beyond the ordinary with walk-through enclosures that bring you up close and personal with some of the world’s most threatened species and a collection of unique and unusual creatures rarely seen elsewhere. The oasis perfectly blends education and entertainment, providing a fantastic outing regardless of the weather.

Uncover the wonders of the animal kingdom from 10 am to 5 pm, with the last entry at 4 pm. For a wild experience like no other this half term, contact Lakeland Wildlife Oasis at 01539563027 or visit www.wildlifeoasis.co.uk. Don’t miss the chance to make memories with the extraordinary inhabitants of this captivating little zoo!

3 Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay offers a great day out in February half-term! If the weather’s on your side, visiting Morecambe Beach or the play areas and gardens at Happy Mount Park or Regent Park are the perfect ways to blow off some steam. Discover some weird and wonderful sights as you view Nature Up Close at Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve; meet snow leopards and marmosets at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis; or travel into Lancaster to meet some friendly mini-beasts and beautiful butterflies at Williamson Park.

Family Days Out in the North Morecambe Bay

Head to Salt Ayre Leisure Centre to enjoy the outdoor play area, plus indoor climbing walls and swimming pool – or go and meet the animals at Greenlands Farm Village, Carnforth – and then have fun in the Play Barn or get competitive at Laser Tag!
Rainy day fun can also be found in Morecambe at Jump Rush Trampoline Centre, bowling and dining at Soul Bowl, or watching the latest blockbusters at Reel Cinema. And if you’re looking for something to do in the evenings over the half term (15 – 17 February), bring the whole family along to the free Baylight Festival, which will see illuminated artworks and interactive installations lighting the prom from the Sailing Club to the Stone Jetty. For more information about what to see and do in Morecambe, please visit exploremorecambebay.org.uk

4 Ponderosa Zoo

Ponderosa Zoo, originally named Ponderosa Rural Therapeutic Centre, opened in 1991, and the centre aimed to ‘bridge the gap’ between disabled and able-bodied people. Whilst previously, the centre was home to a variety of domestic animals, we now care for over 100 animals ranging from tortoises to reindeer.

Although Ponderosa has grown over the years, our ‘bridge the gap’ vision still remains one of our key priorities, ensuring the Zoo is accessible to all. Dogs are not permitted in the Zoo. However, assistance dogs are welcome, except in our Lemur Walkthrough. We ask that assistance dogs in training stay at home as some of our animals get startled easily.

Family Days Out in the North - Ponderosa Zoo

Our visitors can get up close and personal with our trio of Black and White Ruffed Lemurs and our group of five Ring-tailed Lemurs in our Lemur Walkthrough exhibit, open daily from 11 am to 12 pm and 1:30 pm to 3 pm.

We have plenty of outdoor play areas, a coffee shop, a restaurant and a pizza shed! Our air bouncers are open daily but will be closed during bad weather, including wind and rain, as they become slippery and unsafe to use. In 2021, we took another step in our journey by becoming full BIAZA members.

For more information, go to: https://ponderosa-zoo.co.uk /office@ponderosa-centre.co.uk  or call 01924 235276

5 Burnley Mechanics

Embark on an enchanting family adventure this half term at Burnley Mechanics Theatre, a splendid Grade 2 listed building which promises an unforgettable experience for both young and old. Book your tickets this half-term for Sing-a-long-a-Matilda on Saturday, 17th February, at 1pm.

Family Days Out in the North - Matilda

Come and be a little naughty at Sing-a-Long-a Matilda the Musical. Now is your chance to interact with this incredible tale of a little girl making her great escape! It couldn’t be easier or more fun! The first rule of Sing-a-long-a is THERE ARE NO RULES!
Please note this is a screening of the movie, not a live stage show.

Make a day of it by indulging in a post-show meal in the Theatre’s thriving bistro. The menu showcases a delectable array of dishes, ranging from gourmet delights to family-friendly options, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Looking ahead to March, don’t forget to secure your tickets for TaylormaniaKaty Ellis sounds ‘Just like Taylor’ and has perfected her American accent and singing voice. With an incredible live band and dancers, Taylormania promises to deliver the most authentic recreation of a Taylor Swift show you will ever see.

Experience the Official UK Number 1 Tribute to Taylor Swift and get ready to ‘Shake It Off’ to all of Taylor Swift’s hits. Wednesday 20th March, 7:30 pm.

In April, the timeless story of Robin Hood appears at the Mechanics. Prepare yourself for an all-singing, all-dancing, laugh-a-minute ride through the fun and frolics of panto land with this year’s Easter pantomime… Robin Hood.

This year’s star cast includes dance sensation Louie Spence as The Sherriff of Nottingham, BGT winners Ashleigh and Pudsey as Maid Marion and Sully, BGT finalists Jamie and Chuck as Little John and Friar Chuck, and Easter Panto favourites Ryan Greaves as Wally Scarlett and Kate Salmon as the Fairy. Friday 5th April, 2 pm & 6 pm.

Perfect for families, on Monday 8th April, 11 am – 3 pm, we’re throwing open the doors for the Mechanics Family Fun Festival! From Bhangra dancing classes to storytelling performances and even a backstage tour.

Come along, try something new and make the Mechanics your home for the day!

Pop down anytime between 11 am – and 3 pm; activities will run on rotation throughout the day.