‘No winter wonderland is complete without sparkling ice.’
I happen to agree with the brains over at Stockeld Park on this one.
This New Year’s Eve, while people all across the region are preparing for a big night of partying, I’ll be packing up my little family and heading over to Stockeld, in West Yorkshire, for some midday celebrations of our own.
The Christmas adventure doesn’t end there until January 3 so there’s plenty of opportunity to get your stir-crazy small people out of the house, after days of being cooped up eating far too many Quality Streets - to burn off some energy this week.
After a slope around the rink, complete with toddler-friendly penguins and skate rental - we’re planning on trying out everything else the park’s Adventure Zone has to offer - including the Nordic Ski Trail, which takes a 1.2km path through the park’s magical immuniated Enchanted Forest. The journey through the forest is said to be breathtakingly beautiful as it meanders past fantastical illuminated sculptures and around the stunning lake, brought to life by colour-changing light effects, a dancing illuminated fountain and mysterious characters, including a stranded mermaid, a crocodile, and Russell the talking tree!
Stockeld Park recommend the skiing for anyone aged six and over, although they do warn it can be pretty tiring for particularly little legs. The gentle trail is designed to give novices an introduction to the sport, using authentic Nordic ski equipment, and because the track is artificial, there is no reliance on the white stuff.
There are also four large adventure playgrounds spread out throughout the forest and plenty to do to keep children of all ages entertained and inspired, including the ‘Spider’s Lair’ - a wonderful web of climbing nets, tunnels, jungle brides, slides and zip wires.
Next head over to the Illuminated Maze which comes to life after dark with a thousand twinkling lights. There are over two miles of path in the eight-foot high giant yew tree maze, whichi is filled with surprises at every turn, including musical instruments and some unexpected obstacles.
When you’re ready for a warm-up, visit the park’s Woodland Cafe for some homemade fare and hot chocolate.
All minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult and entry is free for children under 2 years old.
The park closes at 7pm on New Years Eve and will open at 1pm on New Years Day. Otherwise the park is open from 10.30am to 8.30pm every day.
Visit www.stockeldpark.co.uk for prices and to book your tickets in advance.