Big Garden Birdwatch Trail at Fairburn Ings
Given half a chance, most kids will spend their entire Christmas holiday glued to the TV, either playing video games or watching films. It wouldn’t be Christmas without new games to play and, of course, we all love a good movie to while away a chilly afternoon. So, it can be tough getting kids wrapped up in hats and coats to go out for some fresh air.
Happily, we found a fun way for the whole family to get outside and walk off some of the turkey and chocolate excesses.
A Wintery Wonderland
The fabulous Fairburn Ings is hosting Big Garden Birdwatch Trail that runs right through until 27th January 2019. It’s a totally free, fun activity that all the family can get involved in. Opening times are from 9 AM until 4 PM.
We took the kids down there for some much-needed fresh air and a walk, and spent a fun couple of hours wandering around the nature trail finding the answers the quiz questions. It’s a lot like a treasure hunt where you’re given clues and go looking for answers, and the surroundings are wonderful even at this time of year.
There’s plenty of nature and wildlife to enjoy during the winter months, as lots of wintering ducks like to come to the reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for goosanders, goldeneyes, and smews on the Main Lake. And don’t forget your camera if you’re into a bit of wildlife photography or just want some happy snaps of the kids that are a bit different from the normal indoor ones.
Swings and Hot Chocolate
We managed to find answers to all the quiz questions and thoroughly enjoyed the hunt regardless of the chilled noses and toes. Armed with our completed answer sheets we headed back to the shop and visitor centre for a very welcome cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit. The kids were rewarded with stickers for finishing the trail and getting all the answers in the quiz.
Refreshed and rewarded, there was just time to visit the play area before the sun went down. With climbing frames and curious wooden structures of all kinds for the kids to explore, along with unusual swings in bright primary colours, the play area is a bit of a highlight in itself.
You will find Fairburn Ings on Newton Lane in Castleford, postcode WF10 2BH if you’re using satnav to get directions in the car.
Dog owners will be happy to hear that dogs are allowed on the trails, but they must be kept on a lead and they’re not allowed in the visitor centre unless they are assistance dogs. The Family Trail, Lin Dike trail and the Visitor Centre are all accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs, making it a good place for everyone to visit over the festive season.