*This is a collaborative post
After reading about The Great British Holiday & Teddy Bear's Picnic at Preston Park this summer I was so excited to be invited over October Half Term and see what the park, museum and grounds have to offer for myself.
We had actually visited Preston Park oursleves back in May 2015 for Heidi's 6th birthday (here's a cringey old post about our visit) and although we enjoyed our day, it did seem like quite a long way to travel for a day out. I was more prepared this half term however and planned our route and we were there in less than an hour. Preston Park is super easy to find - straight down the A19 and then take the second A66 turn off (signposted Darlington not Middlesbrough) and follow the signs.
After reading about the summer events, I knew that Preston Park events were fab but I wasn't prepared for just how good the theming would be! October Half Term saw the street being transformed into the North East's very own Diagon Alley with lots of Hocus Pocus themed half term activities going on.
All of the details were fantastic from all of the staff being dressed as witches and wizards to the Harry Potter theme music being piped around the Victorian Street and we were delighted to see that all of the regular shops had been given a special wizard make over.
You could buy a new broomstick from the grocers, visit the owl emporium and even choose a new wand (or does the wand choose you?) from the Police Station. Such a fab alternative to a regular gift shop and everything was soooo reasonably priced (ie 50p for a wand and £3 for a toy pet owl).
There were lots of opportunities for photographs with the street being lined with Halloween themed props. Harry and Heidi seemed to have some sort of magic spell cast on them and they learned how to fly their very own broomstick!
The staff (I think a lot of them are volunteers) inside the shops were fab, really getting into character and chatting with the kids. We had so much fun. Jack loved posing for pics in the Police Station.
There was a jam packed schedule of magical activities planned over half term including 'Meet the owls', bat box making, magic workshops and potion making.
Obviously I had to get into character too and spent the whole day walking around dressed as a witch.
Entry to Preston Park Museum is only £5 per family and this is valid for unlimited entry throughout the year (during regular opening hours). The main museum is fantastic too - especially if you are into retro and vintage items. They had everything from 60's shoes and fashion to a Victorian washing machine, vintage toys and even one of the first Apple Macs. The collections are spread over 2 floors and very interesting to both kids and grown ups. The £5 entry is worth it just for this I think.
After a lovely morning spent walking around Preston Park's Victorian Street and Museum, we headed out to the huge adventure play area where the kids were dying to get climbing (after a pit stop for toffee apples). There is a big adventure play area, smaller area for pre-schoolers, skate park, walled garden and cafe all in the grounds - all to the backdrop of beautiful autumn woodland and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. You'll also find Butterfly World in the grounds which is well worth a visit too.
The kids could have stayed in the park all day - it's fab. Next time we are definitely bringing our scooters along too.
I am honestly so excited to see what Preston Park Museum comes up with for their Christmas events - whatever the have planned, I bet their Victorian Street looks magical and we are definitely planning a visit.
With free parking, only £5 per family for an annual pass plus super friendly staff and enough to see and do to last a full day, we cannot recommend Preston Park Museum & Grounds enough.
Here's a video from our day:-
Need to know
- Check out Preston Park's upcoming events here and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up to their newsletter
- Diagon Alley is only available during October Half Term but the Victorian Street is still a fab place to visit at any time of the year
- See here for directions and opening times
Disclosure | This is a collaborative post