It might be officially still winter, but there’s lots going on outdoors in and around Sheffield this half term. Wrap up warm and share your photos @theoutdoorcity on Twitter or Instagram so we can share in the fun!
One of the advantages of living in the outdoor city is our 80 parks and 1000 green and open spaces, meaning you’re never far from the great outdoors. Many of the places listed here are easily accessible by public transport: have a look at this travel guide to parks before you get started.
Here are our top eight things to do this half term:
1. Play in the mud
There’s nothing like wild play in the woods to ignite the imagination! Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has wild play sessions running in Greno and Ecclesall woods (Monday 20th and Wednesday 22nd at Ecclesall, and Thursday 23rd at Greno – booking essential). If you can’t make those, Longshaw has the ever reliable Bogart holes and houses, and plenty of half-term activities.
2. Go sledging
Snow is threatening and the jury’s still out as to whether we’ll be battling weather extremes this half term. Unsurprisingly, in a city built on seven hills, there’s no shortage of great sledging venues. Particular favourites include Meersbrook Park, Chelsea Park and Herdings Park.
3. Go for a run
Sheffield now boasts its very own Junior Parkrun at 9am every Sunday morning at Graves Park. Free to enter, this 2k run is a great start to the morning (and parents don’t have to run either… though running alongside is a great entry to running if you’re not at the 5k stage yet). For the rest of the week, Sheffield’s marked Run Routes across the city include some great routes for a family run, including brand new routes at Shirebrook, Firth Park and High Hazels.
4. Get creative
Manor Lodge are running craft sessions around a Day of the Dead theme, or at the weekends you can make an early start on building lanterns for the Sharrow Lantern Carnival (held in Sharrow on 9th April and finishing at the General Cemetery) at Creative Action’s workshops.
5. Climb the walls
Sheffield has arguably the best climbing opportunities for children (as well as adults) in the country. See our articles on climbing for kids and for some of the options both indoors and outdoors. Climbing for All runs sessions for disabled children at The Foundry climbing centre.
6. It's never too cold for ice-cream
The kids might be wrapped up in scarves and gloves, but ice cream’s still a winner in the holidays and award-winning farm Our Cow Molly’s ice cream parlour is open for business every day. What better way to end a walk or bike ride around Damflask?
7. Meet a creature
If looking after, or looking at furry creatures gets your kids excited, why not visit one of the city’s farms? Whirlow Hall Farm’s fun day on Thursday 23rd sees spiders, snakes and other creepy crawlies making an appearance and, if you’re very lucky, the season’s first newborn lambs. You can learn about otters with the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust at Weston Park Museum on Tuesday. Longshaw has a special trail for National Nest Box Week, and if you want to plan your own walk, the Wildlife Trusts helps you to plan a wild walk, where you’re encouraged to spot and report sightings of wildlife.
8. Muck in and help out
Kids love a job so how about helping out in the outdoors? Many organisations rely on volunteers to help keep them at their best. You can help out as a family or sometimes even drop older kids off while you enjoy a walk (check with the organisation before). The Eastern Moors Partnership run monthly muck-in days at Longshaw which are suitable for the whole family as well as junior and youth ranger sessions suitable for 11-18 year olds. Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust run regular work days which are suitable for families with teenagers (there’s one on Friday 24th).