Wynyard Woodland Park, Thorpe Thewles - Stockton.
Wynyard Woodland Park has recently had some redevelopment work on it. The small round house display is no longer in the visitors center which has been transformed into a cafe and gift shop. The 'educational' aspect has been removed altogether from the main building and been transferred to an old railway carriage which is now their 'novel new classroom'. This was not open when we visited so I'm assuming it will only be available for booked group visits.
There is a car park, however on the day that we visited there were people parking down the narrow entrance road as the car park was full. This made it incredibly difficult for cars to get in and out. If you are lucky enough to be able to make it into the car park one of the first things you see is a fantastic woodpecker topiary.
The new children's play area is phenomenal. Set amongst the trees there is equipment suitable for differing age ranges, in fact it is the only park I've been too which has enough play equipment to keep all 5 of my children occupied at the same time (age range 18 months to 15 years at the time of writing this).
There are the more traditional types of play equipment too.
Also within the park are the planetarium, orienteering course, sculpture trail, solar walk and the regular events that they put on at weekends and during the holidays. The day we went was the Go Wild! Trail on Hedgehogs and Moles. This consisted of a walk along the path of the old railway and a quiz sheet. You had to read the information sheets that were pinned up along the path, then spot the red dots with a question on it. By placing the correct letter on the sheets we were able to figure out what Mr Mole should feed Mr Hedgehog for dinner! Not awe inspiring for the older children but nice for the smaller ones. Thankfully the Solar Walk also takes place along the walkway so it would be possible to do both simultaneously, if your little ones have strong legs.
One of the things I love about Wynyard Woodland Park is how natural it is. It is set in woodland and farmland, and they have kept this natural environment around the play areas too. Beds of wildflowers are scattered around picnic benches at the side of the play areas and these attract butterflies and insects even while the children are playing there. The only downside to this were some giant wood wasps which decided to hang around some of the equipment.
Our overall view of the day (well couple of hours) was that it was not as great as Albert Park but the play area was AWESOME!
For more information about Wynyard Woodland Park, including the history, webcams and events diary visit their website.
Posted by OneProudMomma at Wednesday, July 28, 2010 6:03 AM
Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough
When the Dorman Museum was first built in 1908 it housed a natural sciences collection. This has since expanded to include ethnographic, archaelogical and local history displays. Currently the museum is hosting an Ancient Egyptian exhibition which is due to end in November 2010.
The Dorman Museum is one of my favourite local museums to take the children to. We travel by bus to Middlesbrough town centre and then walk along Linthorpe Road to the museum, which takes approximately 30 minutes with a stroller and a 4 year old in tow.
The Dorman Museum is situated next to Albert Park which is very convenient when the weather is nice. We have developed a little habit of going around the museum in the morning, having a picnic in the park and then staying there to play for the afternoon.
The Dorman Museum website contains 8 permanent collections which are arranged over two floors. All are accessible by strollers and wheelchairs. The museum has several hands on exhibits and activity stations which engage younger children and keep their interest.
The museum is currently free and is open 6 days a week (closed Mondays). There are printable resources and activity sheets on the website, plus a couple of themed WW2 games that can be played online.
Posted by OneProudMomma at Tuesday, July 27, 2010 6:36 AM
Albert Park, Middlesbrough
Albert Park in Middlesbrough is a Grade II listed park, entered in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. It was donated to the people of Middlesbrough in 1868 by Henry Bolckow, one of the founders of the local iron and steel industry.
There is a PDF file on the Middlesbrough Council website which contains a very short history trail, pointing out 6 items of historic value in the park.
The park is host to many activities including green bowls, roller skating rink, swan peddle boats, seperate childrens and teenagers play areas, tennis courts, orienteering trail and KMX bikes.
There are also plenty of grassy areas of playing games and picnic benches for lunch. One of the picnic spots had a range of wooden animals for the children to play on, even the big kids couldn't resist mucking around on them!
We decided to visit on a special "Try It" which they were running at the beginning of the summer holidays. A £1 ticket gave the children unlimited access to bowling, tennis, KMX bikes and orienteering for the entire day (10am - 6pm, the time the activities run). Although we passed on the orienteering, having decided that a little pair of legs would find it too much after everything else, we managed to partake in the other sports. Without a doubt the favourite pasttime was the KMX bikes, which all the children have now decided they want for Christmas!
There are at least two bowling greens at the park, the public green and the club green. For the public green you can just wear your normal flat shoes and they provide the equipment.
Rackets and balls are also provided for the those people wishing to take part in the tennis.
The park also has toilets, vending machines and baby changing facilities, with an ice-cream cart turning up during the warmer weather. Be prepared to spend quite a while down there - we managed 6 hours and the children still didn't want to leave!
Posted by OneProudMomma at Tuesday, July 27, 2010 5:31 AM
The British Museum - Ancient Egyptians
The British Museum has a large collection of information online relating to Ancient Egypt. You can explore the galleries online, take online tours and view related objects.
If you are lucky enough to be in travelling distance of Great Russell Street, London you could even go for a visit.
Posted by OneProudMomma at Sunday, July 18, 2010 12:58 PM
Ancient Egyptian Museum Exhibitons
The following museums host Egyptian collections, some of which are available to view online.
The following list from Desheret's Online Museum Guide also details museums in England that contain Egyptian artifacts in their collections.
Posted by OneProudMomma at Sunday, July 18, 2010 12:49 PM
The Train Trail
The Train Trail is 10 uniquely different attractions set within the North East of England. Some of the attractions are free, others are not. When it was first introduced you were given a "passport" which was stamped at each of the attractions when you visited them, at the end of the trail you received a reward. Unfortunately I do not know if they are still doing this.
The ten attractions are the Stephenson Museum, Monkwearmouth Station Museum, Beamish, Tanfield Railway, Weardale Museum, Museum Of Hartlepool, Locomotion, Kirkleatham Museum, Darlington Railway Centre & Museum and Preston Hall.
There is an education pack which you can download from the Education Groups link, as well as activity sheets.
Posted by OneProudMomma at Sunday, July 18, 2010 7:51 AM