It might feel like you’ve only just taken down the Christmas decorations, but February half term is fast approaching. There’s loads going on in York for kids as always, and here’s our guide to the best bits. And we don’t want to panic you, but Easter is next month! Don’t worry though – our guide to the best things to do in York during the Easter holidays is coming soon.
The JORVIK Viking Festival is the annual celebration of all things Viking, and it’s great for kids. That’s probably why it won the Best Festival Little Vikings Award! There are loads of events and activities for children to get stuck into all week long – don’t miss it. Check out our guide to the best bits of the JORVIK Viking Festival 2016 for kids.
Step back in time this February half term at Nunnington Hall and discover a life in service where you have to remember your place and mind your manners. It’s 1922 and the renovations at Nunnington Hall are nearly complete. The time has come for the Fife family to move in, and they’re looking for hard working, reliable and honest staff to run the house. Apply to the butler and turn your hand to common household chores to prove your worth and secure your future employment.
Saturday 20 February & Sunday 21 February 2016, 11am – 4pm, normal admission charges apply – visit the website for more information
It’s all about Edwardian entertainment this February half term at York Castle Museum (winner of the Best Attraction Little Vikings Award), with Punch & Judy shows, fun photos and Edwardian crafts. Make your own model beach hut or donkey puppet, do the entertainment trail or have an Edwardian style photo taken (small extra charge).
13th to 21st February 2016, 9.30am to 5pm – normal admission charges (free for children and YMT Card holders) – more info on the website
Lots of lovely things are happening at York Art Gallery this half term. Discover more about the characters in the gallery through storytelling (13th and 14th February), make puppets inspired by the paintings on display (15th – 18th February, 11am to 1pm, 2pm to 4pm, drop-in) or enjoy the ‘billions of buttons’ family workshop with local potter Karen Thompson (20th February, 11am to 1pm, 2pm to 4pm, book on 01904 697979).
Normal admission charges apply (YMT Card holders and children free) – visit the York Art Gallery website for more information
Journey into the Viking world, listening to stories from the Viking giant, learning about their adventures and writing your own exciting Viking saga. Perfect timing with the JORVIK Viking Festival also going on – have a real Viking family day out.
13th to 21st February 2016 – normal admission charges (free for children and YMT Card holders) – check the Yorkshire Museum website for more details
Happy birthday Beningbrough Hall! You don’t look a day over….300. Yes, one of our favourite family day trip destinations, is 300 years young this year (finished in 1716). During February half term, Saturday 13th to Sunday 21st February (closed Monday), you’re invited to join the first event for the year-long celebrations. They’re going to try to plant 300,000 spring bulbs in a new walk along the ha-ha to mark the anniversary and they’d love your help. They’ll provide snowdrops ‘in the green’, gloves for big and little hands and any tools you might need. Bring family and friends and leave your mark for the next 300 years. If the weather turns northern, head into the house for indoor activities like dressing up and sitting for your very own digital portrait.
For full details visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beningbrough – normal admission charges (free for National Trust members)
Stockeld Park is always a bit hit with young children and there’s plenty for bigger kids too. This February half term there’ll be ice skating as well as all the fun of the Enchanted Forest with its many play areas. It’s a great day in the Yorkshire countryside, and if the weather’s unkind there’s indoor play and crafts. Parking’s free, the hot chocolate’s tasty and we’ve always had a good time.
Open daily from Saturday 13th to Sunday 21st February 2016, 10.30am to 6pm – Family pass without skating £28/with skating £46 – more details on the Stockeld Park website
There are birthday celebrations for York’s most famous chocolate bar at York’s Chocolate Story this half term. Read our feature for more details.
York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York, YO1 7LD – visit the website for more information on times and prices
There’s a space theme at Halifax children’s museum Eureka! this half term. As well as loads of space science experiments, you’ll be able to meet an astronaut in a sokol space suit just like the one British astronaut Tim Peake will wear on his journey in space. To make your day into a real adventure, take the train from York (the museum is right next to Halifax station). Space stuff aside, there’s loads to do at Eureka for 0-11 year olds. The restaurant gets really busy during holidays, so it pays to be organised and take your own sandwiches.
Saturday 6th to Sunday 21st February 2016 – £11.95 child/adult, child 1-2 £4.25, under 12 months free – Visit the Eureka! website for more details