Get out and about this Christmas

Feeding the deer at Wentworth Castle park.
Feeding the deer at Wentworth Castle park.

When the presents are opened, the dinner is eaten and the big day is behind you, it’s time to think about how to enjoy the remainder of the festive break.

Wentworth Castle Gardens, near Barnsley, is just the place to blow away those cobwebs and enjoy a winter wonderland that includes watching the herds of deer that roam the picturesque grounds being fed every day at 1pm.

The gardens, complete with folly castle, glasshouse, adventure playground, visitor centre and cafe, are open 10am-4pm throughout the holidays, apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Other special events over the festive period include one of the popular Winter Wander walks, on Tuesday, December 29. Get the kids wrapped up ready for a 10.30am start from the Visitor Centre for the Welly Wander across the park to track down the deer herd.

In the afternoon, parents can burn off the calories with a 3.5 mile walk around the Capability Brown-created park’s historic monuments.

Participants should meet at the Visitor Centre at 1pm. Both walks are included in the price of the garden admission.

Wentworth Castle is situated in Stainborough, just off junction 37 of the M1. Use postcode S75 3EN for SatNav.Winter opening hours are 11am-3pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday. Admission prices, without donation, are £6.25 for adults, £3.15 for three to 16-year-olds and under twos go free. There’s a £3 car parking charge for visitors to the deer park only.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster is a huge draw at any time of year, offering a fabulous family day out.

At Christmas, it’s an extra special fun-filled day out - and there’s a chance to do some last-minute Christmas shopping.

Santa’s Grotto is open this weekend, as well as on December 21,22, and 23. Don’t forget to book online to avoid disappointment as visits to the man himself were sold out last year.

The park’s Safari Village shopping area has hundreds of gift ideas for animal loving kids - and their parents.

As well as cuddly toys aplenty, why not treat your family to an annual pass, adopt an animal or try a VIP animal experience?

The park is offering ten per cent off animal passes and adoptions until December 31. And don’t forget the January sale too.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, in Branton, is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Full details at www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com. YWP boasts a unique collection of animals, including the country’s only three polar bears, giraffes, lions, meerkats and the critically-endangered Amur tiger and leopard cubs.

Children’s fascination with the emergency services is never-ending so a trip to Sheffield’s Emergency Services Museum is always a treat.

The museum is the largest volunteer-run museum of its kind in the UK.

The former Victorian fire and police station is now home to a vast range of exhibits, including 30 vehicles, that put you in the thick of the 999 action.

The museum relies on donations, sponsors and income from its gift shop and cafe, and is always grateful for any help. Contact the museum, which is in West Bar, Sheffield, if you can help in any way.

The museum is closed between December 21- January 6.

There’s still time to book a festive treat. Manor Operatic Society is staging Cinderalla at the City Hall from December 27-January 3.

Visit www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk for tickets or call 01709 365108 or 01142789789.

If you feel like a change of scenery over the holidays, Maxwells Coaches offers trips to suit all tastes as well as private hire.