Local children and their families took advantage of a rare dry day earlier this month to head to Harrogate’s Valley Gardens to celebrate National Playday (5 August).
As well as a celebration of children’s right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives. The event in Valley Gardens was aimed at encouraging children, parents, childcare workers and families to spend time together enjoying the great outdoors and having a fun time.
Throughout the day there were fairground rides, bouncy castles, free arts and craft sessions, tree climbing, a North Yorkshire Police exhibition and many more activities to give children, young people and their families an enjoyable experience.
This year’s National Playday proved to be very popular with over 18,000 people passing through the Valley Gardens between 11am and 4pm – 8,000 more people than over the same period the week before.
Cllr Stanley Lumley is the Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport at Harrogate Borough Council, which organised the event. He said:
Play is an absolutely essential part of the emotional, social, and physical development of children and young people, but it is something that can all too easily be forgotten about or left out of our busy modern lives.
Events like National Playday are a reminder of these benefits, and also help us to remind residents of all ages of the opportunities to get out and play that there are around the district.
Garry Atkins is Harrogate Borough Council’s Community Leisure Manager. He said:
Everyone at the National Playday event seemed to really enjoy the day. One local resident passing through Valley Gardens remarked that they had never seen the place so busy and said how uplifting it was to see the children and young people so obviously having such a great time.