School holiday tips

With the cost of living increasing, we’ve pulled together a guide to help you through the school holidays. This page is full of financial help and support as well as free activities for all the family to enjoy.

Financial support

Happy Healthy Holidays

WF Happy Healthy Holidays aims to keep children and young people active during school holidays. The scheme offers free enriching activities and healthy food for children in Reception class to Year 11. Children are eligible if they receive benefits-related free school meals.

Our next activities will be running soon. To see more about the programme, visit the WF Healthy Happy Holidays page. You can also find information on free school meals and how to claim if you think you might be eligible.

Helping you to save money

Managing your finances can be difficult. We can support you with things like:

  • sticking to a budget
  • help with debts
  • paying your rent and Council Tax on time
  • claiming all the help you’re entitled to

Visit our Cost of Living support pages. You will find advice, tips and contact details for:

  • help with budgeting or debt problems
  • claiming free school meals
  • saving energy and reducing your gas and electricity bills
  • switching energy providers to save money
  • housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
  • help for anyone struggling with their rent, mortgage, or Council Tax payments
  • how to claim Universal Credit or other available benefits

Help at the Hub

Help at the Hub was created to help people deal with the impact of COVID-19 on things like jobs, money and wellbeing. It's free to access for residents in the Wakefield district. The service puts you in touch with a range of organisations who can help you.

The Help at the Hubs have food banks and access to financial support, Citizens Advice (CAB) amongst other services. There are nine Hubs across the Wakefield district.

At the Hub venues you will also be able to access the internet. If you need some help to use email or the web, the staff at the Hub will assist you.

There are many local organisations available at the hubs to offer help and advice to anyone worried about money, jobs, housing or health. New organisations are being added all the time and the friendly advisors there will do their best to help you.

For all the details about the services available, locations and opening times visit our Help at the Hub webpage.

Food pantries

For those who need support with their food shopping, there are three weekly food pantries across the district at:

Once the request to join has been approved, there is a small membership and weekly fee. Members can shop for the items they need, including fresh produce, and will receive a free cool bag, ice block, and bag for life.

Food banks

If you are in need of food aid help, please call the Welfare Team on 0345 8 506 506. They can signpost you to the right services for your needs, including food banks, home energy issues and other support services.

Welcoming Spaces

Across the district we have several welcoming spaces. These are warm places where people can gather, take part in activities, and meet new people. Often, they will offer free warm drinks, Wi-Fi and support. Visit our Welcoming Spaces webpage for your nearest venue.

School holiday fun

From trails in the woods to castles and museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the district.  


Gnome Roam at Newmillerdam

Take a trip to Newmillerdam Country Park, where you can help Gnome Tony find his friends. Be careful – they’ve hidden from the bear!

Find the sculptures, complete the activities and smash the challenges as you go. Don’t forget to take in the beautiful scenery.
The trail is suitable for all ages and is accessible for most pushchairs and wheelchairs. Please note there are some slopes on the route.

Room on the Broom adventure trail at Anglers Country Park

Follow the Room on the Broom trail at Anglers Country Park. Discover sculptures, animal footprints, and many more activities!
Suitable for all ages, the trail is also accessible for buggies, wheelchairs and bicycles.

Blown Away adventure trail at Pugneys Country Park

The Blown Away adventure trail is based on a story written by local author Conrad Burdekin and illustrated by Lilian Fitchett. The trail features a zip line, puzzle boards, and even some wind hunting.
The trail is a circular route around the lake and is accessible by foot, cycle, buggy or wheelchair.

Visit the Story Trails page for more information about our three adventures.


Thornes Park

There are so many free things to do at Thornes Park including:

  • stroll around the duck pond and aviary
  • follow the outdoor gym trail
  • swing and slide at the play area
  • grab your skateboard and head to the skate park

If you prefer something quieter, try the two-mile circular path around the boundary of the park.
Find out more information on the Thornes Park and Clarence Park page.

Walton Colliery Nature Park

If you want to connect with nature, visit Walton Colliery Nature Park. During the summer months, you might be able to spot some wild orchids, or even a Grass Snake basking in the summer sunshine.
For more information, please visit our Walton Colliery page.

Pontefract Park

If you want a leisurely stroll or a quick jog around the park, then Pontefract Park is an ideal place to visit. The park has an enclosed play area, sports pitches, and is also home to Pontefract Racecourse.
You can read more information on the Pontefract Park page.

Find your local park

Looking for a green space closer to your home? Take a look at our Parks page, where you can find more information about the parks across the district.

Love Exploring App

Your local park just received a BIG upgrade with the Love Exploring App! Using Augmented Reality and GEO-Location, the app provides fun, games and guided tours in some of our local parks and green spaces.

Become dinosaur hunters with the Dinosaur Safari trail, travel through space with the spacewalk trail or visit the magical world of mythical creatures with our fairy trail. All this and so much more is waiting for you on the Love Exploring App!

The app is available at the following parks:

  • Haw Hill Park, Normanton
  • Pugneys Country Park
  • Southern Washlands, Eastmoor
  • Illingworth Park, Ossett
  • Carr Lodge Park, Horbury
  • Walton Nature Reserve
  • Newmillerdam County Park
  • Betty Eastwood, Crigglestone
  • Green Park, Ossett
  • Lofthouse Nature Reserve
  • Anglers Country Park
  • Fitzwilliam Country Park
  • Purston Park, Featherstone
  • Smawthorne Park, Castleford
  • Valley Gardens, Pontefract
  • South Kirby Green

Discover more about the Love Exploring app here.


Sandal Castle

Transport yourself back to the Battle of Wakefield with a visit to Sandal Castle. Explore the castle ruins, learn more about the history of Wakefield, and check out the brilliant views of the Calder Valley.
For more details including accessibility and facilities, read the Sandal Castle page.

Pontefract Castle

Learn more about the history of Pontefract with a trip to Pontefract Castle. As well as the castle ruins, you can read stories of Kings and Queens, visit the herb gardens, and even swing, slide and climb in the play area!

Visit the Pontefract Castle page for more details.

Museums and galleries

Wakefield Museum

Learn more about our history and our famous figures at Wakefield Museum. You can visit the Wakefield Museum page for more information.

Pontefract Museum

Take a trip to Pontefract Museum and discover the history and heritage of Pontefract, from liquorice to glass making.
For more information on current exhibitions, see the Pontefract Castle page.

Castleford Museum

Did you know that Castleford was originally a Roman fort and settlement? Discover more about the Romans, as well as famous artist Henry Moore, at Castleford Museum.

To find out more about the museum, including a sensory map of the building and opening times, view the Castleford Museum page.

National Coal Mining Museum

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a miner? Take a trip to the National Coal Mining Museum and explore the different aspects of their fascinating lives.

Entrance to the overground museum is free, but there is a charge to visit the underground mine. Visit the National Coal Mining Museum website for more information.

The Hepworth

The Hepworth Wakefield is an award-winning art gallery overlooking the River Calder. Discover stunning sculptures and beautiful paintings, and see if you can count all the flowers in the garden!
The Free City Bus stops at The Hepworth Wakefield. Click here to view the timetable and more information.

The Hepworth is free for residents of Wakefield. Please take proof of address with you when you visit. Find out more on The Hepworth’s website.

Chantry Chapel

This 14th century chapel is one of only three of its kind in England and is located opposite The Hepworth Wakefield. During bank holidays, the chapel is open for you to explore and learn about the history of the building.

The Free City Bus has a stop near The Hepworth Wakefield, a short walk from Chantry Chapel.

Find out more on the Experience Wakefield website.

Walks in Wakefield

Did you know that Wakefield has lots of walks that highlight both the rich heritage and also the beautiful nature of the city? The team at Experience Wakefield have put together a series of walking guides, including:


Library workshops and events

Libraries across the district run lots of events for all the family to enjoy, including craft workshops, gaming, and storytime sessions.
Discover the full list of events at your local library. 

Events across the district

Check out the Experience Wakefield website. It’s full of free and low-cost events and guides to get the most out of the district.


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