Lantern Making Workshop

POSTPONED – New date to be announced when the flood water is cleared from the park
Join the Friends of Rowntree Park for a lantern-making workshop on Saturday 29th of February from 10am. This event is aimed at children of all ages.
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The session is linked to the St Leonard’s Lights on the Lake evening on March 5th (more details on the event below).   You are welcome to be involved if you are not attending the evening and make a lantern to take home.
Places MUST be pre-booked. There are 3 start times so we can stagger people. The session will last around an hour – 10am, 10.45am, 11.30am
Children of all ages are welcome, though little ones will need a lot more help and support from parents/guardians.
The cost of the session is £2 per child for members and £3 per child for non-members. You can buy tickets here:
Member Ticket Non Member Ticket
We will be based around the cafe and clubhouse – some parts of the making may be outside. Please dress for weather and mess (glue involved!)
There will also be volunteers from St Leonard’s present for anyone who wants to write a dedication note for a lost loved. These will be on the lilies launched on the lake on the evening of March 5th. You can find out more about the suggested donation on the St Leonard’s website.
All proceeds go to charity.  There are no refunds for tickets if you cannot attend, but you are welcome to resell and pass on the names of the buyer. This event is run by volunteers and children remain the responsibility of parents/guardians at all times.
St Leonard’s Lights on the Lake 
Thursday 5th March 6.30pm

Light up the lake at Rowntree Park this spring with candles and lanterns, each one representing someone special in your life. As the sun sets hundreds of candles will be set adrift on the lake and illuminated lanterns will light the way.

To dedicate a candle or lantern, please complete the online booking form on th St Leonard’s website and make a donation. Your donation will support the work of St Leonard’s and help them to continue to provide care to those in our community who are facing a life-limiting illness. We hope you are able to join us all at this very special event.

Meet at the main entrance on Terry Avenue at 6:30pm and everyone will make their way through the lanterns together on the way to the lake.
Read more on th S Leonard’s Website

Christmas Crafts – Children’s Event

Join us to make natural Christmas decorations and generally get into the mood for Christmas!

Saturday 30th of November 10am or 10.30am start times (end by 12pm)

For children age 2-15

(Little ones will need a lot more parent/carer help)

We will be crafting on the cafe balcony this year!  Wrap up warm, get a hot chocolate from the cafe and craft until your heart is full of Christmas cheer!  Using natural materials gathered from the park and surrounding areas, you can create a range of decorations or mini wreaths.  We provide the resources/examples and you can create at your own speed.  A lovely, relaxing activity where you can learn new skills.

Tickets  – £3 Members/£4 Non-members

10am -Member Buy
10am – Non Member Buy
10.30am – Member Buy
10.30am – Non Member Buy


General Info

All money raised goes back into our volunteer work in the park.

Children remain the responsibility of their parents/carers.  Older children may be left if parents deem this appropriate.

Parents do not need a ticket, but if you do get tempted to make your own decorations (and some do), a small donation is appreciated!

Tickets cannot be refunded, but you are welcome to sell tickets on.

In case of adverse weather (park flooding very badly/torrential rain) the event may be cancelled and all money would be refunded.

This event is run by the Friends of Rowntree Park.  The cafe has agreed for us to use the venue but they are not responsible for the event and all questions should go to Abigail at



Halloween Spooktacular!

Howling Half term fun this Halloween in Rowntree Park

Calling all witches and wizards, the Young Friends of Rowntree Park would like to invite you to our Halloween Spooktacular!

Thursday 31st of October  – 10am or 10.30 am start (until 12pm)


A mix of storytelling and crafts with a magic touch!  Make your own magical clay animals, collection the ingredients to make your own potions and practise spells under the advice and guidance of our experienced potion master, and make your own broom from natural materials. All frightfully fun!

Aimed at boys and ghouls aged: 2-7 years old BUT older are welcome (the storytelling aimed at younger but crafts suits a range of ages)

There is a staggered start to the event to control the flow of people.  Choose to start at 10am or 10.30am.  There is a limit of 20 tickets for each session.

Activities last around 1-1.5 hours.

Tickets for similar events we have run have sold out quickly, so please make sure you purchase tickets in plenty of time to avoid disappointment.

If you are not already a member, join at the same time as buying your ticket – it’s only £5 fo annual membership.  You get money off at all our events, 10% off at the cafe fr the year and the warm fuzzy feeling you are helping support our volunteer work and community events in Rowntree Park – join here.


10am  Members Ticket £3 SOLD OUT
10am Non-Members Ticket £5 SOLD OUT


10.30am  Members Ticket £3 SOLD OUT
10.30am Non-Members Ticket £5 SOLD OUT

Please note: There is no actual physical ticket – once you have paid via Paypal, we have your name and will contact you to confirm within a few days.  Please be patient as we are volunteers.  Paypal should also send you confirmation of payment.


Our event will be taking place outside in the woods, so please dress appropriately.  Costumes are welcomed to help get into the spirit (but not essential).

Important info:

We are a small charity who run events for the community as volunteers, so the following hopefully addresses things you need to know. If not, please contact abigail

Children remain the responsibility of parents/carers at all times.

Tickets are only purchased for children, no accompanying adults. As many adults as you like can accompany (more help the better!)

Babies in arms are welcome free of charge if coming with a sibling.  As are children up to the age of 18 months BUT they would not be able to participate/use resources without purchasing a ticket.

We do not offer a sibling/childminder discount because the member’s ticket price is heavily discounted already to make our events affordable (which is important to us).  We would recommend buying this and benefiting from the discounts for the year.  A childminder may bring as many children as their ratio allows, and tickets are valid under their membership.

Tickets cannot be refunded but you can sell your ticket on, just please contact us with the names of people attending.  If you can no longer come please let us know asap and we will *try* to help sell on.

Be aware that clothing may get dirty as we are outside and using clay.

The event takes place in the woods.  On the map, this is shown as the near the ‘woodland walk’ behind the ‘events space’.

Location – Rowntree Park, Terry Avenue, YO23 1JQ.  There is a car park on-site or bus routes along Bishopthorpe Rd.  Easy to reach via bike and walking from the town centre and Fulford.

NewRowntreePark colour Plan


Forest School comes to Rowntree Park

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We are excited to announce that Forest School sessions for children are coming to Rowntree Park this Autumn, starting on Friday 13th of September. Places are strictly limited and must be booked in advance.

Magical moments being nurtured in nature

It is so important for children, and adults, to spend time outdoors in nature. Forest school is more than just sessions outdoors.  It is a specialised approach that is learner centred and aims to promote the holistic development of the child.  Through hands-on practical learning, Forest school fosters resilience, confidence, self-esteem, independence and creativity and encourages children to take risks within a supportive learning environment set within nature.

Sessions will include: Den building, foraging, campfire cooking, mini-beast hunts, fire lighting, woodland crafts, storytelling and natural paint making and more – all run by  Christine, our Very Young Friends group leader, who has taken her official training to be able to offer these amazing sessions that are exceptional value for money.

Rowntree Park Forest School will be themed around a nature topic but essentially child-led so they will evolve naturally according to individual children’s interests and abilities.  There will be lots of time for free play and exploration of the individual’s interests as well as focused activities.

Time to develop, connect and grow

Forest School’s ethos recommends a range of continuous sessions rather than one-off ad hoc sessions, therefore we are offering a six-week course aimed at preschoolers (2-5 year olds).  Homeschoolers are also welcome.  The six-week block begins on Friday 13th of September and lasts session is Friday 25th of October (see note below). Each session runs from 10am-12pm.

Due to the nature of the activities, places are strictly limited and must be booked in advance. Parents stay and engage with their children and learning at the sessions – fun, relaxing, mindfulness for all!

UPDATE – this first set of sessions sold out in just a week.  Therefore if you are interested in hearing about future sessions, please email us and you will be the first to hear about any future dates.  Contact our volunteer abigail at  who handles admin/bookings.

Members – £36 Non Members – £42
Forest School 6 week sessions – 13/9, 20/9, 4/10,11/10, 18/10, 25/10

(note no session on 27/9)


Save money on the sessions AND help your local park?

You can become a member of Friends of Rowntree Park for just £5 a year per household.  For this, you get discounts at our events, monthly newsletters, 10% off in the cafe for the year whilst helping support our volunteer work in maintaining and improving Rowntree Park.  You can join here:

If you would like further details about membership or Forest School sessions then please get in contact with Abigail at





Wild Life Day

We care about our local wildlife and know you do too!  The park has a vibrant mix of birds, animals and insects and we love them all!  Come along to our Wild Life Day in Rowntree Park to find out more about the types of wildlife we have in the park and engage with our range of family-friendly activities.

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The event will run between 12-3pm on Sunday 9th of June and is free to attend.  We have a range of groups coming with information and activities including:

  • Owl adventures who will run some displays
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
  • Butterfly conservation trust 
  • St Nicks 
  • Bumblebee conservation trust
  • The conservation volunteers [TCV]
  • RSPB
  • East Yorkshire Bat Group 
  • Askham Bryan wildlife and conservation park
  • Hedgehog group
  • King of the Birds Trail
  • More TBC

There will be a range of ‘drop-in’ children’s activities including (minimal charges may apply):

  • Wild Art
  • Bee finger puppets
  • Bee walk
  • Bird feeder making
  • More TBC

In addition, we are running Pond Dipping sessions*.  The Pond Dipping sessions need booking in advance as numbers are strictly limited for this popular event:


Members Ticket – £2 Non Members ticket – £3
12pm-12.45pm SOLD OUT SOLD OUT
1pm-1.45pm SOLD OUT BUY

*Parents/careers are expected to stay with their children at all times, but tickets are only needed for the children involved in the event.  Most suited to 2-13-year-olds (approx)

There is no physical ticket.  You have your Paypal receipt and we have a list of names.  We will email you a few days before the event with details on where and when to meet.

The main event will take place on the large field near the playparks.   This event has been organised by Friend of Rowntree Park.  We are a group of volunteers who care about the park and community.  The event is non-profit making and any money made/donated goes back into the park.  We appreciate your support and know you share our love of the park and its wildlife.

Please see our Facebook events page for updates.

Important information

Park location – YO23 1JQ

There is a cafe on site run by York Explore (with toilets) and also a toilet block near our location.  It is advised to bring a picnic as the cafe may be very busy.  Alternatively, Bishopthorpe Rd shops are nearby for food and Cycle Heaven cafe (across the Millenium Bridge) – all within 5 mins walk.

The carpark at the park is small and there are council parking charges.  You can walk to the park from town (15 mins) or get a Bus to Bishopthorpe Rd.  You can access the park from Bishopthorpe road via Clementhorpe, Vine Street, Charlton Street, Richardson Street, Cameron Grove, and Butcher Terrace.  In addition, across the Millennium Bridge from Fulford.

If any other wildlife-related groups are interested in being involved, or you require further information – contact Ruth:


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Spooky Saturday!

Join the Young Friends for a very Spooky Saturday on October 27th 2018 1-3pm in Rowntree Park.  There will be potion making, broomstick creating, a terrifying trail (actually not really terrifying in case you are worried about your little ones!) and some Halloween crafts.


This event was very popular last year, therefore we are selling tickets in advance so we can know the numbers and make sure we have enough resources for everyone that wants to come.

It is £3 per child for non-members and £2 for Friends of Rowntree Park members.  You can join the Friends of Rowntree Park for only £5 a year.  Not only does this give you discount/free entry/priority booking to our events – you also get 10% off in the cafe for the year, monthly newsletters and a warm fuzzy feeling that you are helping support our volunteer work in maintaining and improving the park we all love! You can join online by clicking here or pick up a form in the cafe.  Join before buying your tickets and select ‘members tickets’ and save money.

No ticket is needed for children under 1-year-old who won’t be involved in the activities.  Parents don’ need tickets.  you can bring as many adults as you like – more hands to help, the better!

Dress up, dress down, but do dress for the weather as some activities will take place outside!  Meet outside the Young friends Club House under Rowntree Park Reading Cafe.

Spooky Saturday 27th Oct 1-3pm Members SOLD OUT
Spooky Saturday 27th Oct 1-3pm Non Members SOLD OUT

All events are run by volunteers and children remain the responsibility of their parents/careers at all times.  The Friends of Rowntree Park are a non-profit organisation, all money raised from the even goes to cover the resources and the rest goes to help out work in maintaining and improving the park.

Events will take place in whatever the weather.  No refunds can be issued but you are welcome to sell your tickets on, just make sure we know the names of the new owners!

Any questions or queries then email abigail at

Who’s the King of the Birds?


noah looking in a bird box

Look inside the bird box to see the clue

The little explorers and I are always keen to tackle a new adventure so we were very excited to test out the new park trail.  We love birds, we love stories and we love looking for hidden things so it seemed like a perfect afternoon adventure.  The trail map from the park café (suggested donation £1) only added to the excitement with its beautiful illustrations by Gerard Hobson.

The trail takes you on an imaginative adventure, following the story of the little sparrow who wanted to find out who should be king.  We followed the sparrow on his journey to meet all the different birds in the park, each telling him about their special quality which would make them the best king.  We loved spotting and identifying the wooden birds in the trees and the littlest explorer had a great time peeking in the bird boxes to find the clues.

There are some steps on the trail so it’s not ideal for pushchairs (though you can avoid that part of the route) but even my little 2 year old managed the walk without any problems – in fact most of the time he was running to get to the bird box before his older brother!  The paths are good and the trail takes you through some of the lesser visited areas of the park which only adds to the fun.

Trail complete, we headed back to the café where the lovely staff gave both children a beautiful bird badge (which they are still wearing proudly) and a colouring sheet.

Who was king of the birds?  You’ll have to try it out for yourself to find out!

Guest post by Christine, and the little explorers