The top summer days out for the family in Yorkshire

Clifford's Tower in York Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian

Clifford's Tower in York Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian - Credit: Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian

Not sure where to take the kids for a great day out? Let us enlighten you

Go Ape

Who doesn’t like to Go Ape every once in a while? Well, if you want to release your inner chest-beater, Dalby Forest (goape.co.uk/days-out/dalby) is the place to hit those trees swinging.

Children from the age of ten are welcome to join the kings of swing (that’ll be their usually mild-mannered, cardigan-wearing parents) as they enjoy hill-to-hill zip wires with stunning views of the Vale of Pickering.

A truly adventurous way to get out and about in the great outdoors, this treetop treat is not for the fainthearted; you’ll be 35 metres above the forest floor at one point and screaming at speed on a 250-metre zip wire at another.

But if you really don’t have a head for heights, you can always opt for the down-to-earth Forest Segway Trail instead, which will take you off the beaten track on a unique set of wheels.

In deep

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There’ll soon be yet another reason to head to The Deep in Hull (thedeep.co.uk) when a colony of eccentrically loveable Gentoo penguins p-p-p-pick up the keys to their new home.

The Deep will be the only English aquarium outside London to have this beautiful species, which is not endangered but is experiencing a serious decline in numbers due to habitat loss, pollution and human disturbance.These very special newcomers will be housed in a very special new home, which covers three floors and allows visitors to see them from all different angles.

A large viewing window, just past the Lagoon of Light, will overlook the enclosure so you’ll be able to see them gliding through the water in their very own diving pool.

Who dunit?

They go a bit wild in York on Wednesdays apparently. Throwing all caution to the wind, families are invited to run amok in Museum Gardens (yorkshiremuseum.org.uk) on Wild Wednesdays throughout August in a series of free fun activities, including searching for the biggest, ugliest bugs known to man.

And when you’ve finely honed your bug detection skills, why not head across the city to York Castle Museum (yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk) to search for the Lord Mayor’s cat?

Young detectives are needed to team up with the bobbies on Victorian Kirkgate to find the cat-napped moggy, Ginger, who has been whiskered away by a feline felon. Suspects need questioning, evidence needs collecting and clues need following to discover whodunit.

King for a day

Become king for a day. This is when children have the chance to dress up as medieval nobles in splendid costumes and hats, including a medieval crown. Step forward and discover medieval etiquette and sit on the throne – parents bring your camera. This is happening at Clifford’s Tower, York from July 20th to September 1st from 11am – 5pm. Go to english-heritage.org.uk to find out more.

Summer school

A family day out is great, but how would you like to send your kids back to school this summer instead? Okay, calm down – it’s really not very discreet to jump up and down on the sofa like that. Sheffield Theatres’ Summer School (sheffieldtheatres.co.uk) gives youngsters from the age of five to 16+ the chance to take part in two weeks of playing, making, sharing and performing with experienced professional theatre artists, culminating in the public premiere of new short plays in the Studio.

Talented directors, voice and movement artists and technical experts will run sessions in Sheffield Theatres’ professional rehearsal rooms and students will also have access to the backstage areas of the famous Crucible, Studio and Lyceum Theatres.

Meet Count Dracula

Bram Stoker’s classic Victorian gothic tale of Dracula begins with Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, journeying from England to the count’s crumbling, remote castle. From here the story reveals a shipwreck, a large black dog and vampires. The story is told as a promenade performance within the ruins of Whitby Abbey, itself the author’s inspiration for the setting of this tale. These performances are suitable for children aged eight and above. Performed weekends from July 20th to August 26th at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. More information at english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events.

Gristhorpe Man

The Rotunda Museum (rotundamuseum.org.uk) in Scarborough is holding a series of Family Fun Days throughout the summer with no booking required (so handy for when you’re at a loose end on a wet Wednesday).

The sessions allow children to become immersed in the fascinating geological collections and try out a range of fun hands-on activities which explore 180 years of history.

Combining craft and science, the family-friendly activities bring visitors up close and personal with the Rotunda’s most famous residents, Gristhorpe Man (he’s friendlier than he looks) and Scarborough’s Lost Dinosaurs (be careful they don’t pinch your egg and cress sarnies).