Party planning at child friendly attractions throughout Yorkshire

So my firstborn’s fourth Birthday is fast approaching and we have been going round the houses thinking about how we deliver a truly unique party on his big day. Why you ask?... well we have been to so many children’s Birthday parties this year already and we just fancy doing something a little bit different.

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Plus I hate planning parties, I find them boring and arduous. Don't get me wrong, i love sorting out the cake and eating it! Searching for alternative party types and venues kinda got me a little bit more excited about what potential adventures could await us come December time across Yorkshire.

Firstly we considered transport options to each of locations listed below. For me, the idea of jumping on and off public transport is a bloody nightmare with littles ones. So hiring a mini bus or coach seems like the easiest and most reliable transport method for us to travel with 15+ kids and their parents.

In the past I used the services of SMC Coach Hire for a weekend away to Scarborough for my friend’s stag-do at Pinewood Park Caravan site. I highly recommend them for their honesty, reliability services and punctuality.

So happy in the knowledge that a coach is simple and easy enough to hire we got our heads together a considered hosting a party at one of the following places:

Lightwater Valley
Based in Ripon, the theme park boasts over 40 rides and attractions for thrill seekers of all ages.

Whilst our 4 year old won’t be able to enjoy all of those rides due to height restrictions him and his friends can enjoy their Mini adventures activities. Perfect for those between 1-5 years it offers fantastic family fun and include; the UK's largest indoor and outdoor Angry Birds Activity Park, the Lightwater Express train ride around the park, Eagle's Creek Farm tractor ride with animals a selection of fairground and water rides, Adventure Playground and Mini Sand Diggers. 


Children Under 1.0m in height get in for £5.00 and if you book in advance you can get tickets for £15. I have even seen voucher codes online that could potential save us money on group bookings as well.

Whilst the cost of entry fees for everyone might be more than your average soft-play based party, remember that you are providing an entire day of fun. To save on money I think it would be wise to ask the kid’s parents to back a lunch box and snacks for the day.

National Railway Museum
In the heart of York, the museum is home to over 300 years of history and over a million wonderful objects, including almost 300 trains. Kids can marvel at iconic locomotives, watch engineering work in progress in the Workshop, browse our object-filled Warehouse, and let off steam in the outdoor play area.

The great thing about the National Railway Museum is that is free to get in. But you can book parties at the museum, where you will be given exclusive access to the front or centre gallery space in Locomotion's Collection Building from 5.30pm until 7pm, including access to selected vehicle cabs and a fun party trail.

You can add a range of delicious catering or add an extra dash of excitement to the occasion by hiring out their diesel train (subject to availability) to really bring the party to life.
The cost of a party booking is £200, with additional charges for catering, party bags and train hire.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park
The wildlife park located in Doncaster, priding it’s self on being the UK's No.1 Walk-through Wildlife Park Adventure, with over 300 different animals! We have visited before when the birthday boy was very young, but we loved it and we jump at the chance to go back.


Under threes get in for free, 3-15 get in for £12.59 and adults are £14.50.  If you have a large booking I am sure they would offer a discount”

One of the unique things about throwing a party at the wildlife park is that they also offer special experiences like their Carnivore, Otter and Polar Bear Experiences, which is basically a behind the scenes look and feeding of the animals. Depending is on the experience and the number of people, it can be a tad expensive, some packages come out at £150! I have found the mini Meerkats, mini-beats and Lemur gift experience for £30 each!

There are plenty of places to sit and eat a packed-lunch, so if you don’t fancy forking-out meals for everyone ask them to bring along their own treats. You can even consider asking everyone to rock-up in animal themed fancy dress!

There were some other great potential venues, but we felt that we had visited these ones too many times in recent months for it to be special enough for the four year old:
·         Eureka
·         The Deep
·         Camp Hill Estate
·         X-scape Castleford


We have truly been inspired by the great venues we have on our doorstep and whilst we have not yet decided on where we will plan his party, I am sure we will pick a venue soon. If you have any ideas please do feel free to pass them on in the comments below:

Yorkshire Dad

Part-time daddy and lifestyle blogger. Father of 2 boys under 2. Golfer, scare-fan, tea-lover, traveller, squash and poker player. I write on the @HuffPostUK http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/karl-young/

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