Hands-on fun and learning

The Discovery Zone is always popular
The Discovery Zone is always popular
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One of the most popular areas with visitors both young, and old, is the Discovery Zone, sponsored by Harrogate Ladies College. This year the Yorkshire Agricultural Society has a host of exciting new attractions.

Divided into three sections, the emphasis is very much on fun, but it also carries a serious message about healthy living, the environment, farming and the countryside.

Each year, have-a-go sessions are featured and this year there are more than ever.

If you’ve ever fancied trying juggling, plate spinning or throwing a diabalo, then make a bee-line for Mark Taylor, who runs Marko’s Circus Workshop.

Mark will be promoting the benefits of circus skills – which are not only fun but help with fitness, agility, concentration and co-ordination. He’s bringing a wide range of circus props.

Hazel Baker, Education Adviser at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society said: “The Discovery Zone is a hugely popular area which is always extremely busy. Our aim is to give visitors a broader understanding of rural life as well as having fun, and the circus skills will certainly add to that!”

Fitness classes are all the rage – and for those wanting to try zumba, then here’s your chance. The Upstage Academy will be running classes throughout the three days – try cheerleading, or even hip hop dancing.

Thirsk-based Mountain Bike Coaching UK and Harrogate-based Pro-Ride Guides have teamed up to offer visitors the chance to get on their bikes and test their skills and agility on a specially-designed short off-road course.

After moving from the Healthy Living area, it might be time to sit down and try some rural crafts in the Countryside area – willow weave, create a dry stone wall and even learn the traditional art of hedgelaying.

And as if that isn’t enough, there’s still the Environment area to explore, where you can find out how to make the best of your pond and learn about saving energy with Yorkshire Energy. Children can explore a school garden, and see what can be done with a small plot.