Find summer holiday fun and games for your family

The school summer holiday is in full swing, so our what’s on selection this issue offers some ideas to keep the family entertained.

There is plenty to do in your local parks, for example Valley Gardens in Harrogate, Ripon Spa Gardens, Knaresborough Castle and Peasholm Park, Scarborough, are all free to enter and enjoy. Take a picnic and soak in the scenery or get stuck in with some of the activities on offer.

Valley Gardens are open from 10am to 6pm, selling ice creams, drinks and snacks. There are games including crazy golf, pitch and putt, tennis, table tennis and disc golf, plus paddling pools. 

Customers can get equipment for crazy golf, disc golf, table tennis and pitch and putt through the games pavilion. You need to provide your own tennis equipment and book online. 

Peasholm Park is open from 10am to 5pm and has plenty to enjoy, including dragon boats, rowing boats, a putting green and an 18-hole pitch and a putt course. Dragon boat cost £3.50 for one person, £6.50 for two or three, and £10 for four or five. The putting green costs £3.

Find more information about what’s on offer and find parks and play areas near you.

In addition to the usual park activities, we and Rascals Entertainment are bringing back the fun-filled free pop-up parties in our beautiful parks this July and August. They're perfect for younger children and their parents with a mix of entertainment and activities, including magic shows, circus tricks shows and character mini discos and more. There will be a party in Knaresborough Castle Grounds on Wednesday, August 16, and Ripon Spa Gardens on Thursday, August 24.

Peasholm Park is hosting a Summer Festival of Fun every Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 3pm during the summer holidays. 

Food festivals

A food festival with sea views – what is not to like about that? Filey International Food Festival is based within the Evron Centre gardens and the beautiful Crescent Gardens. It will host more than 70 stalls showcasing the best of Yorkshire foods as well as fantastic produce from outside the region offering choice, quality and great value.

The seafood offer includes lobster, crab and caviar served with prosecco, there will be Cretan olives and olive oil, gourmet Scotch eggs and a wide variety of cheeses. In addition, enjoy home-made cakes, curry sauces, chutney and jams, artisan chocolates and many, including street food from Greece, Thailand, Germany, Italy, South Africa and the Caribbean. A Yorkshire Real Ale Star bar will be based in Crescent Gardens plus stalls offering a wide variety of wine, gin, vodka and rum.

The festival takes place on Saturday, August 12, and Sunday, August 13, and opens from 10am to 5pm. Admission is free.

Malton Food Lovers Festival takes place on Saturday, August 26, and Sunday, August 27. Set across the streets of the town, it is a celebration of Yorkshire’s finest produce and cooking. Expect artisan stalls, delicious street food, talks, tastings, celebrity chefs, demonstrations, music and more. Entry is free.

Filey food festival

 Filey food festival

Skipton Now

Skipton Now Festival is a celebration of the investment being made into Skipton’s rich heritage and cultural activities. This festival, which runs throughout August, is a chance for the community and visitors to experience the amazing projects being delivered across our town as well as discovering more about the history of the Skipton and how it is being preserved for future generations. Read the full festival programme. 

Whitby Regatta

Whitby Regatta, from Saturday, August 12, to Monday, August 14, offers a weekend of entertainment embracing yacht and rowing races plus free entertainment, include air displays – with the Red Arrows scheduled for Sunday – and a spectacular firework display.

Whitby Folk Week

Whitby Folk Week runs from Saturday, August 19, to Friday, August 25, with concerts by Maddy Prior and Spud Sinclair, Granny's Attic, The McCarthy Family, Huw Williams, Bryony Griffith and Alice Jones and Pressgang Mutiny among many others, ceilidhs and dances, workshops, dance displays and more.

Harrogate Carnival

A reminder that Harrogate Carnival takes place on Sunday, July 30. Leeds West Indian Carnival will headline the parade at 11am, with jaw-dropping costumes and tropical rhythms, Caribbean culture and entertainment. An amazing line-up of performers will make their way to Harrogate’s Valley Gardens for performances on the gardens’ main stage. The day continues with dance and craft workshops, international food, music and family-friendly entertainment. Entry is free.

Harrogate Carnival parade

Harrogate Carnival Parade

Easingwold Summer of Music

Easingwold Summer of Music continues with free weekend performances in the marketplace during August. These include:

  • York singer Simon Snaize on Saturday, August 5.
  • York singer Holly Tamar on Saturday, August 19.
  • Dan Webster, missing folk and country, on Saturday, August 26.
  • Singer Edwina Hayes on Sunday, August 27.
  • York singer Emily Lawler on Monday, August 28.

Sense and Sensibility

Pull up a chair or picnic blanket and join the Chapterhouse Theatre Company at Knaresborough Castle Grounds at 7pm on Friday, August 18, as they invite you to take a step back in time to 1810, and lose yourself in this magical story of romance, recklessness and restraint.

Sense and Sensibility follows the trials and triumphs of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood as they make their first tentative forays into Regency Society – a world where the parties are tremendous, emotions always run high, and every woman is on the lookout for a husband.

The Importance of Being Earnest

Chapterhouse Theatre Company will present Oscar Wilde’s best-loved romantic comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, at Ripon Spa Gardens at 7pm on Saturday, August 19. With a cast of larger-than-life characters, the delightful Cecily, the roguish Algernon and the formidable Lady Bracknell are sure to keep you entertained. Picnic in Ripon Spa Gardens with friends and family and enjoy this exquisite new production of Wilde’s hilarious tale of doubles lives and mistaken identities presented in full period costume.

The importance of being earnest

The Importance Of Being Earnest

Agricultural shows

We are reaching the height of the agricultural show season in North Yorkshire, so here is a quick guide to the family-friendly events coming up during August. You can find more details at the Yorkshire Agricultural Shows Guide.

Tuesday, August 1, sees Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show, the oldest surviving gooseberry show in the country. Held by the Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society, visitors can see the time-honoured tradition of finding the heaviest gooseberry in one of four classes: red, yellow, green and white. The heaviest gooseberry is determined by an apothecary scale, measured in drams and grains.

Shows through the rest of the month include:

Ryedale Folk Museum

Ryedale Folk Museum at Hutton Le Hole is holding free family activities with summer. As well as a new activity trail for younger visitors, every Tuesday of the summer holidays textile artist Serena Partridge will help visitors to get creative with artwork inspired by our stunning wedding exhibition, Something Old, Something New.  Make wedding guest peg dolls on August 1, 8 and 22 and make folklore badges on August 15 and 29.

Every Wednesday of the summer holidays there are hands-on activities to discover life for a Victorian child. This includes experiencing washdays and other chores and trying calligraphy in the schoolroom.

There is more family fun with the launch of a family-friendly game, Hutton To Do, for visitors to play around the village. Until Monday, September 4, the museum is celebrating the pub with photographs of pubs, past and present, from Ryedale and the North York Moors.

Thirsk and Sowerby Festival

Thirsk and Sowerby Festival on the flatts is an event full of family fun and music running from 10am to 4pm on Sunday, August 6.

Filey Emergency Services Family Fun Day on Sunday, August 20, from 10am to 4pm at Filey Playing Fields is a free event that sees each of the emergency services come together to give the public a chance to meet to them and chat with them about their work.

Staithes RNLI Lifeboat Weekend

Staithes RNLI Lifeboat Weekend in Staithes and Runswick Bay starts with the nightgown parade at 7pm on Friday, August 18, and closes with a service in front of the lifeboat house on the Sunday evening. Demonstrations offer a chance to see the volunteer lifeboat crew and search and rescue partners in action. The weekend is also an opportunity to contribute to Staithes and Runswick RNLI lifeboat, raising funds to help it continue its work. 

Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta

Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta, a weekend of music, family entertainment and hot air balloons, takes place at Castle Howard from Friday, August 25, to Monday, August 28, 10am to 10.30pm each day.

Find about more events and activities around the county on these council-supported websites:

Colburn Community Sports Centre

Takes place on Sunday 13 August between 11am and 3pm. The day will include vintage buses, BBQ, funfair, childrens entertainment, craft stalls and much more. 

Are you organising an event?

If you want to tell us about a major event you are organising for possible inclusion in Your North Yorkshire, email