I’m really lucky to be one of the bloggers working with Stockeld Park and after last year’s wonderful Christmas Adventure visit, I have been itching to return for the 2015 Halloween Adventure. I had a feeling that Gabriel and Willow would love the attraction as much as I do and with Richard accompanying us too, I knew we’d have a fabulous day out gaining some really great photographs along the way. (In fact, most of the photographs in this post were taken by him and I’m really pleased with them!)
If you have not heard, Stockeld Park is a magical place nestled in beautiful woodland in between Leeds and Harrogate, in Yorkshire. Their tagline of ‘Where magic is made and adventures begin’ is perfect for the family attraction, because as soon as you arrive you are immersed deep in woodland, surrounded by the most endearing atmosphere! Stockeld Park have the balance just right, pretty and enchanting without overcrowding or with tacky decoration.
The Halloween Adventure at Stockeld Park currently includes a wonderful Enchanted Forest Walk, a scenic Nordic Ski trail, a real ice skating rink, a huge yew tree maze and a magical gift emporium. There are lots of activities to do and the best thing about the attraction is that it suits all ages, including adults visiting even without little ones.
When we arrived the kids were very excited! After wrapping up warm and collecting our wrist bands we decided to head to the Enchanted Forest Walk. This really is a lovely experience that stirs with enchantment and fun. The best time to visit is late afternoon just as it’s beginning to become dark. This way, you can enjoy the play areas whilst it’s light but also appreciate the illuminated fairytale creatures lurking in the woods once dusk falls, because as the darkness begins- so does the magic and the site becomes rather flamboyant! The illuminations are tasteful and nostalgic, the walk actually resembles something out of Narnia- you will see unicorns, rabbits, foxes, deer and witches! There are also singing trees, interactive games, musical instruments and lots of activities to engage children the whole way round, there will not be a bored child in sight!
We all really liked the characters nestled in the woods too, such as Little Red Riding Hood, lots of different fairies, Rapunzel, the troll under the bridge and Cinderella’s carriage (including pumpkins!) It was fun pointing the stories out and looking for the next instalment. The Halloween Adventure also includes lots of dragons, which actually look pretty realistic- we were really impressed!
Stockeld have several outdoor adventure play areas too, each with a different theme. Gabriel and Willow loved exploring them all, and there was something to do for most ages, even big kids at each. Themed slides, swings, assault courses, sandpits, ropes and climbing apparatus. You name it, Stockeld probably have it. I especially liked the pirate ships area and the wonderful tea cup slide! Gabriel and Willow mostly ran around with excitement in the play areas, it felt safe and secure too which is reassuring and calming for parents!I particularly love the outdoor ice rink at Stockeld, it seems to have a welcoming, safe and fun atmosphere. There aren’t lots of fast skating teens and it welcomes families with little ones by housing penguin skating weights on the ice! These super cute assistants will help your children skate along without the worry of falling over! Sadly there is not that insurance for the grown ups..
For refreshments, the yummy Woodland Cafe is large and comfortable enough for visitors to sit for a while to warm up whilst the kids play in the indoor play area. The restaurant makes and serves hot food made from locally sourced ingredients and whilst we did not eat there, the food options looked really good with children’s options of course, available. There are also two refreshment cabins (aptly named Hansel and Gretel) situated amongst the grounds. Not only are these super cute, but they also sell delicious coffee, sweet treats and lovely warming mulled wine, just simply follow the trail of breadcrumbs to locate…
Over the next week or so, Stockeld Park will hold some fabulous half term and beyond events, these include firework displays, wizard and witch training, pumpkin picking and carving and for the super brave, fright nights! Once the Christmas adventure begins on the 14th November, Santa will make an appearance via a special arrival parade, into his grotto, so we are very excited to return for that! From the 25th November, Stockeld Park will also be selling Christmas trees, hosting carol singers and also holding several festive events including camel rides and breakfast with Santa! Stockeld really have got all the Christmas ground covered! You can see their website for more information, online booking and current prices/offers.
Stockeld Park is open daily from 1030am until 830pm, until the 4th January 2016 (excluding 25th and 26th December) The park is closed on Tuesdays throughout November.
*Disclaimer: We were given complimentary passes for Stockeld Park’s Halloween Adventure in exchange for a review, all words and opinions are my own*