Parents & Carers

Choo Choo Challenge - A Trip to York Theatre Royal


On a train ride to York Theatre Royal, Rosie, our evaluation officer at 50 Things To Do and her two children see how many 50 Things activities they can tick off on their trip!

My 2 eldest children (ages 4 and 6) were given tickets to see Zog at York Theatre Royal for Christmas. Instead of going in the car, we decided to have a whole day adventure and take the train! I thought it would be a fun idea to see how many of the 50 Things activities we ended up doing throughout our trip. Now that there is a Before Five App for under 5s and a Primary App for older children, we were able to link activities from both Apps and counted 25 in total!

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The first job when we got to the station was collecting our tickets. We then had a bit of a wait on the platform, as we were miraculously early! Cue our first 50 Things activity - #45WonderfulWaitingGames - and the old classic I-Spy. The wait for the train passed fairly quickly (#12FastAndSlowNearAndFar) and both children were extremely excited by the time we sat down in our seats. My youngest was thrilled to be given his own ‘My Train Ticket’ by the train conductor. (Northern Rail has a new mascot called Whistle and a QR code on these novelty tickets, that links to different activities and games. What a brilliant idea!)

After quite an extended chat and a couple of fist bumps with the Train Conductor (#43HighFive), we had to get off and find our second train for the next leg of the journey. This journey was slightly longer, so we rummaged in our backpack for things to do. We managed to tick off #3MakeYourMark, #10SharingBooks/#46BeABookworm, #20MiniArtists/#10ArtEnthusiast; not forgetting #48NaturalArt, made with some of the obligatory #30YummyPicnic for the journey!

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Once we arrived in York, we walked past all of the daffodils planted along the city walls (#40HappyHistory/#14StrollThroughNature) and admired the boats (#41WaterFeature) and wildlife on the river (#33FromNightingaleToRobin) as we crossed the bridge (#35TripTrapTripTrap). Because the train snacks obviously weren’t enough, we had a pit stop for smoothies and biscuits, where both kids relished the responsibility of using coins to pay themselves (#41FromPenniesToPounds)! They also loved being able to nosey at what was going on out of the cafe windows and were fascinated with the different coloured buses (#28TheWheelsOnTheBus).

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The theatre show itself was absolutely brilliant (#23SeeItLive) and there were lots of giggles (#21Gigglebox) all round! There was lots of whispering (#13ShoutAndShhh) about who would be coming on next and how different bits of the set might be used (#5ExploringPerforming) in the upcoming parts of the story that both children knew were still to be acted out.

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After an impromptu street dance session from my 4 year old (#18Dance/#49PositivityRocks) as we left the theatre, we went for lunch. Whilst we waited to be served, we passed the time by playing a few tabletop games (#25RollTheDice) and taking silly selfies (#37PhotosFilmFun). Both children (and the grown ups!) were thoroughly shattered by the time we sat down on the train to go home, but lots of happy memories were made!

Now to start planning our next trip to see how many more of the 50 Things activities we can enjoy doing - there’s 100 between the two Apps so there’s plenty more fun to be had!


Written by Rosie Gasson

50 Things To Do Evaluation Officer


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