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How to survive the Easter Holidays with the kids, in and around Bedale!

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So.. We had one week of glorious weather, the summer wardrobes came out and for a few days we even started to get a sun tan!! Then the Schools’ Easter Holidays start and in a heartbeat it’s all gone!!! Now it’s snow, sleet and rain in North Yorkshire and we’re all trying to keep the kids happy..

If you’re stuck for ideas of how to amuse your kids this Easter, here is our blog to remind you of what we have right on our doorstep!..

Some ideas and events are FREE, some are indoors for when it’s raining and (yes, we’re being optimistic now..) some are outdoors – just in case we get a glimpse of that gorgeous sunshine again!!

Take the kids swimming!

Bedale Leisure Centre have a Family Fun Session with rafts, floats and toys on a Sunday morning and a fabulous Wet and Wild Session, with organised games and an activities leader for competent swimmers on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday’s during the Easter Holidays. They also have general swimming sessions throughout the holiday period.

Yes.. It may be a bit cold when you first get in, but you know the kids will love every minute of it! You can find Bedale Lesiure Centre’s swimming timetable here.


Visit York Chocolate Festival!

York is famous for its confectionery and chocolate industry, and today the Nestle Chocolate Factory still creates a million Kit Kats a day!

The Chocolate Festival takes place at various venues throughout York, and let’s face it, most of us don’t need our arms twisted to go on a day out that revolves around chocolate!

You can find out more about the York Chocolate Festival at


Visit The National Railway Museum, York!

As it’s Easter Half Term, The Railway Museum have a range of activities for families ranging from egg decorating, to treasure hunts and steam train rides which are taking place each day during the holiday period (The steam rides do carry a small charge).

The team at BedaleOnline love York Railway Museum; it’s local, it’s FREE entry and the kids always have a great time!.. Plus, you can also take your own picnic to eat in their picnic area, so spending can be kept to a minimum! Find the post code and phone number for The National Railway Museum here.


Visit an indoor play centre!

We know sometimes it’s not the most fun to sit in a play centre full of screaming children, but let’s face it the kids ALWAYS enjoy it and anything that keeps the kids happy and gets you out of the house on a rainy day can’t be that bad!!

We have a list of all the local play centres here, with post codes and phone numbers if you want to check how busy they are before you set off!


Okay, now here’s the optimistic bit!.. (We’re hoping for some sunshine!)

Go for a walk at Hackfall Wood!

Hackfall Wood near Masham is completely FREE fun and the perfect place to take the kids to let off some steam! The scenery is breathtaking; including follies, grotto’s, surprise views, a fountain and even a waterfall!

We recommend taking wellies and waterproofs if,  like recently the weather has been wet, but we guarantee the whole family will have great fun walking  up and down the trails.. just don’t forget your camera for the spectacular views!

You can view pictures of Hackfall Wood and find the car park post code here.


Visit a local Play Park!

The kids love them, they are completely FREE and if you include a picnic, you can while away hours as a family having fun!

We have a list of local play parks, with descriptions of what you can find at the park and post codes to find them. We bet there’s at least one you didn’t know of! Our favourite is the little-known park at Harmby, near Leyburn! Find out more about this park and other local parks here.


Feed the ducks and visit the ‘waterfall’!

We’re lucky in Bedale as we have the wonderful Beck right on our doorstep, where the ducks are almost always ravenous and just a short walk down from Bedale Bridge where the ducks gather you have Bedale ‘Waterfall’ which the kids always love to see!

It won’t fill your whole day, but if you want to fill just half an hour, and the sun is shining, then we’re sure the kids won’t complain!

Why not visit the fantastic Bridge Gallery & Tea Room for a snack or lunch while you’re there? Recently refurbished to a high standard and extremely welcoming of children and families, The Bridge Gallery offer light lunches, delicious coffee and a fabulous range of cakes and scones! Find out more about The Bridge Gallery and view their menu here.


Take a look at our list of local Easter Events!

We've looked around for local Easter Events so you don't have to and have a large list which offers everything from Easter Trails & egg hunts to a day trip on Thomas the Tank Engine’s Coaches! You’ll be spoilt for choice!! Find our Easter Events page here.


As if that wasn’t enough, you can view lots of other ideas for days out on our Things to do with Children page and our Things to do in the Dales page!

Phew!... We love Bedale and its surrounding areas! Once you start looking, you realise there really is plenty to keep the whole family amused, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth, in fact a lot of it can be FREE!!

Do you like our ideas? Can you think of any other ideas to keep families occupied during this Easter half term? Let us know by commenting below!

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  1. Mrs Brown

    What a fantastic blog and a great read! I love all these free ideas for days out! Keep up the good work Bedale On-line!

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