This week, schools across Barnsley will close for the summer. And what a summer we’ve had so far!
Whether it is the glorious sunshine we have been enjoying, or the fact that England had their best performance at a World Cup in 28 years by reaching the semi-finals, there’s been lots to celebrate.
Although England were unable to bring ‘football home’, the team’s excellent performances were due in no small part to the talent, resilience and true Yorkshire grit of the likes of our own John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker and others. In fact you could say it was Yorkshire who almost brought football home!
Having been inspired by the performances in Russia, we have now got to capture the enthusiasm of young people over the summer holidays. Barnsley FC will once again be running the annual Soccer Camps, to encourage young Reds in our community, of whatever age or ability, to give football a try.
I’m looking forward to seeing Barnsley kick off their season on August 4, at home to Oxford United.
Away from the football field, there is a whole host of activities to keep the kids entertained over the summer.
Barnsley Council will be running the ‘Healthy Holidays’ programme across the borough to promote active lifestyles and access to healthy diets.
Experience Barnsley at the Town Hall are running a variety of events across the summer – including the ‘Lego Challenge’ from 23 July to 29 August – and the museum is well worth a visit at any time of the year. The exhibits and archives that show the Barnsley of the past are always fascinating, and you cannot help but learn something new with every visit. Across the road, the Cooper Gallery will be running storytelling, puppet making and music workshops throughout the holidays. You can find out more information on their website.
The Metrodome’s Calypso Cove is always a great day out – from the slides and swimming pools and ten-pin bowling, to the cafes and restaurants in the Rigby Suite. This year, there is also a brand new toddler splash pool, Barnacle Bay, to explore. Definitely worth a visit to cool off during our hot summer!
Those who have an interest in nature will no doubt be interested in the RSPCA Old Moor nature reserve, Wigfield Farm or the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and we have a number of really well-maintained parks and gardens, including Locke Park just outside the town centre. We’re certainly not short of beautiful countryside to explore.
Pot House Hamlet at Silkstone has a free petting farm, a great plant nursery and is also a lovely spot for a picnic, as is the beautiful 500-acres of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This year, YSP are running a ‘Season of Play’, which includes outdoor sculpture building and a range of free activities to inspire children to get creative.
Personally, Cannon Hall is always a firm favourite for my kids. The beautiful gardens and interactive petting farm give them a chance to explore nature; whilst the Hall itself is an accurate recreation of a Yorkshire stately home from the Georgian era to the First World War – especially pertinent in this Armistice centenary year.
All across our region there will be activities and events that shows Yorkshire at its very best. On the sports field, in the cultural arena and amongst the spectacular countryside and natural environment that our county has to offer.
This year, let’s make our summer one of activity. Encourage your kids to leave the screens at home and embrace the wonder of our great outdoors!
I wish you a very happy summer and hope that you and your family make the most of our great town, and get the opportunity to create some happy memories here together.
This article was originally published in the Barnsley Chronicle on 27 July 2018.