Queuing in the rain outside Creepy Crawlies is a rite of passage for lots of York parents. The National Railway Museum – or ‘York’s umbrella’ as it’s otherwise known – is a popular destination with kids in York when the heavens open, but Creepy Crawlies must be a close second. With its huge indoor climbing frames/slides/ball pools and numerous other play areas, it’s a good dry option for kids under 10ish. I guess that’s why I rarely think to go there if the weather’s good.
But this week we visited on a dry day – thanks to an open day held by our friends at Welcome to Yorkshire – to check out the new outdoor water play area. I wasn’t exactly relishing the idea of everyone getting completely soaked and had, as usual, left the house in such a rush that we had no spare clothes or towels (note to self: be more organised). But as soon as I saw how much the kids enjoyed themselves, I was sold. The 5 year-old and 3 year-old spent ages (and I mean AGES) pottering about in the shallow water and playing with the various features. It’s been thoughtfully done so that it appeals to a range of ages – there were younger and much older children there at the same time. Some of the younger ones didn’t enjoy being splashed by the older ones nearby, but that’s one of the reasons that parents need to stay near and keep a close eye on things. It’s not the place to settle down with the magazine you optimistically bought when you went in (I’ve never done that – I know I won’t get a minute to myself!). Definitely take a change of clothes and a towel if you can face carrying yet more stuff around with you – it’ll save complaints about soggy trousers. While you’re outside, why not visit the animals and have a play in the sandpit or let older ones have a go on the high roped climbing frames or quad bikes? There’s a lot more to Creepy Crawlies than indoor slides and kids’ parties.
Creepy Crawlies at The Web Adventure Park, Cliftongate Business Park, Wigginton Road, York YO32 2RH – Sunday to Thursday 9.30am to 7.00pm; Friday to Saturday 9.30am to 8.00pm – visit the website for more info.