Spring and summer may still be a long way away but don’t let that stop you from having some great family days out this winter.
With so many fun-packed places waiting to be discovered in and around South Yorkshire, there’s always something exciting to do and memories to be made come rain or shine. So wrap up, head out and make the most of the region’s top attractions whatever the weather.
If you thought Sheffield’s Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre was all about sleepy insects at this time of year then think again. As well as a spectacular array of the delicate winged creatures, albeit less active in winter, there’s also a whole host of other wildlife to discover ranging from the familiar to the exotic.
Animal antics are guaranteed to entertain all the family so be sure not to miss the attraction’s Amazing Animal Encounters for an up close experience with anything from a mischievous meerkat to a lively lemur. You can also see a wealth of insects and reptiles, a playful pair of otters and might even glimpse a skakeboarding parrot among many other things. Don’t forget to chat to the keepers who can tell you all about the animals’ habits, behaviour and favourite foods – or anything else you want to know – so you’ll learn some fascinating facts too.
Staying on an animal theme you can head over to The Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster and, for a truly seasonal experience, meet the magnificent polar bears Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby. As well as looking like they’ve stepped straight off the Polar Express, the bears represent a flagship project at the park which works closely with Polar Bears International to save and improve the welfare of this iconic species.
Not to steal the limelight, the bears are in the company of plenty of other creatures big and small including tigers, lions and monkeys to name just a few. Guaranteed to keep everyone entertained, the animals number around 400 and include more than 70 species
Rotherham’s Magna Science and Adventure Centre re-opened their doors on January 8th after a few weeks’ closure to carry out maintenance work. Set in the former Templeborough Steelworks, it offers inquisitive young minds a journey of discovery through science, technology and design in an awesome hands-on environment.
The breath-taking Big Melt pyrotechnic and audio display brings the steel-making process to life and the overall interactive experience at Magna features more than 100 exhibits in various galleries based on air, earth, fire and water – all the elements in fact for a very memorable visit.
You can also blow off the cobwebs with an excursion to the award-winning Calypso Cove Waterpark at Barnsley Metrodome Leisure Complex. This island paradise has proved a hit with visitors of all ages and certainly puts the splash into swimming.
Home to fantastic flumes, sensational slides and wonderful waves, people can take the plunge, hitch a ride, explore the imaginative water features or retreat to the poolside Hideout to refuel. There’s even an interactive splash zone for toddlers and children aged under eight so everyone can get a piece of the action.
With so much family fun to be had and a wide choice of places to see, there’s no excuse to stay indoors this winter. Just remember to check individual opening hours and activities at each venue online or by phone, then get your skates on and head out and about for a seasonal adventure. In true Wallace and Gromit style, visitor attractions in and around South Yorkshire certainly make for a grand day out.