Events this month
As February half-term approaches, you'll find many attractions opening their doors again for the 2017 season. Find more ideas and which attractions are open at this time of year on our Winter page.
Heavenly highlights at Dark Skies Festival (18 - 26 February)
Once again we're teaming up with the Yorkshire Dales National Park to hold a joint Dark Skies Festival during half-term. Thanks to low light pollution in both National Parks, our skies are ideal for spotting constellations, shooting stars and other cosmic happenings. The programme of family-friendly activities in the North York Moors includes a state-of-the-art, multimedia, indoor planetarium pop up at Danby Castle, rocket building, night vision wildlife walks, ghost walks, Dark Skies Run, bike rides, stargazing evenings, and craft activities throughout the week.
There's also a chance to join Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society (SARAS) earlier in the month (3 February) for their regular stargazing event in Dalby Forest from 8 - 10pm; free to attend, although charitable donations welcome.
Half-term fun for children (18 - 26 February)
You'll find plenty of family-based Dark Skies activities going on at our two National Park Centres this week during the daytime. Find out fascinating facts about our planets (21 February), create sparkly stars, balloon rockets and glittering galaxies at our Star Party (22 February) or launch a rocket and make a telescope (both 23 February). Drop in any time to Sutton Bank all week for a galaxy of activities from themed crafts, trails, treasure hunts, walks and talks. As well as their stargazing evenings, Hidden Horizons will be running their Fossil Hunting Trips from Cayton Bay (20 February).
Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum will be open this week too (except Sundays); craft your own garden creatures (20 February) or make crafty miner’s lanterns (23 February). Donations are very welcome! The museum will open for the new season on 13 March.
Beck Isle Museum has plenty on, starting with Visionary Victorians (21 February) and Fossil Hunters (24 February) where you'll learn all about dinosaurs, and hunt for clues in the grounds, while its Rural Craft Day (22 February) is always popular. See traditional skills such as printing on the beautiful Columbian letterpress, butter making, and rag rugging. Over at Ryedale Folk Museum, there's a chance to Make a Victorian Toy (22 February).
Get creative with a puppet-making workshop at Helmsley Arts Centre (24 February) or head to Dalby Forest and plot your way through the trees on the Gruffalo themed orienteering course - there's 12 Gruffalo markers to find! Purchase the trail for £1.50 from the Dalby Forest Visitor Centre or Dalby Activity Centre.
Other great events and exhibitions
The Redcar and Cleveland’s Winter Walking Festival continues until 5 February, with plenty of walks to pick, from 3 to 12 miles, plus a chance to have a go at Nordic walking.
A welcome sight heralding the end of winter is the 'white carpet' of snowdrops on Burton Agnes' woodland walk. Their annual Snowdrop Spectacular runs from 4 February to 5 March. There's also a stunning display at Mount Grace Priory, where an estimated million-plus bulbs will be bursting into life throughout the grounds and woodland (open weekends only).
We celebrate the Inspired by... gallery's 10th anniversary in 2017 beginning with Past and Present, a blockbuster of a show featuring many local and regional artists, which runs from 12 February through to 12 March. Join us on 12 February too for a special event Love in the Air – a Valentine’s Weekend in the Gallery, a chance to meet some of the artists, browse our special selection of jewellery from selected makers, hear harpist Sarah Dean playing a special repertoire of romantic music, enjoy free chocolates and a glass of wine on arrival.
Well-known for its friendliness, the Sinnington Hunt hosts its annual point to point within the grounds of Duncombe Park (12 February). The card kicks off at 12.30pm.
Expect the unexpected at Scarborough's Coastival, a two-day mini-festival (18 - 19 February) from music to visual and performing arts, you're bound to find something of interest.
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