Don’t give in to the temptation to hibernate this February half term (18th to 26th February 2017). There’s loads happening in and around York during the holidays for kids, from the JORVIK Viking Festival to the drive-in cinema and fun book-related activities at Nunnington Hall. Here’s our pick of the best, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see what we get up to!
JORVIK Viking Festival
There’s loads to enjoy at this year’s JORVIK Viking Festival (20th to 26th February 2017), from archery to animals, storytelling to swords and, of course, the infamous ‘poo day’. Lots of it’s free, and it’s all great fun. Take a look at our feature for some of the highlights of this year’s festival.
Catch a movie at the drive-in
The UK’s largest drive-in cinema is coming to York this February half term, with a packed programme of family films to enjoy including Finding Dory, Back to the Future and The Little Mermaid. Head to the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, park up and tune in! Take a look at the full family programme here.
Explore Beningbrough Hall
Embark on one of the two special trails themed around finding your way with a map and compass (put that phone away!). Eden from Stories Alive will visit on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th February for free storytelling sessions throughout the day, bringing history and art to life.
18th to 26th February (closed Mondays) – 11am to 3.30pm – nationaltrust.org.uk/beningbrough-hall-gallery-and-gardens
Learn to code with York Maker Hub
York Maker Hub will be holding their popular holiday sessions for 8 to 18 year olds again this February half term. Code, create and build something you never thought possible. Build and program a LEGO Mindstorm EV3 robot; use motors to get Mr Pumpkin Man to give you a wave, create your own solar system LED light show with a crumble micro controller and lots more. All equipment is provided.
York Maker Hub sessions will take place at Huntington School from 20th to 24th February 2017, 9am to 3.45pm (free drop-off from 8.15am). Choose from morning, afternoon or full-day sessions. For more info, visit the York Maker Hub website or call Catherine on 07821841040
PS. Win a free day’s tuition with York Maker Hub during Feb half term! Look out for a big York Maker Hub poster somewhere in town, take a photo and post to Facebook tagging in York Maker Hub. Winner will be chosen at random on 17th Feb.
Weather detectives at Harlow Carr Gardens
Do the daily weather trail and find out how different types of weather systems affect the planet, have a go at weather-related crafts, enjoy stormy storytelling and try weather tracking.
18th to 26th February (check website for dates and times of the various activities) – 9.30am to 6pm – rhs.org.uk
Vikings at the Yorkshire Museum
Help the Yorkshire Museum and their resident Viking prepare for the brand new exhibition, Viking: Rediscover the Legend (which opens in May) with hands-on opportunities, a trail and ‘curator’s corner’.
18th to 26th February – 10am to 5pm – yorkshiremuseum.org.uk
Winter Zoo at Flamingo Land
Flamingo Land’s Winter Zoo is open daily, and includes Keeper Talks and walkthrough enclosures for unrestricted views of lemurs and wallabies. During the weekends and school holidays (11th to 26th February), there’ll be extra entertainment on offer in the form of five rides for young children and a sea lion show. Read more here.
Have a sweet time at York Castle Museum
Head to York Castle Museum this February half term to enjoy delicious demos, do some scrumptious sweet-decorating and produce some pretty packaging. More info here.
Climb aboard the Flying Scotsman at the National Railway Museum
There’s loads of fun activities at the National Railway Museum including science shows, storytelling, a Victorian funfair, crafts, the miniature railway and even the chance to jump aboard the legendary Flying Scotsman. Free admission to the museum but charges apply for some activities. More info here.
Go space trekking at Eureka!
Head over to Halifax to join Eureka’s Space Trek event, with lots of activities that are out of this world!
11th to 26th February – 10am to 4pm – eureka.org.uk
Fun activities at Fenwick (including meeting Peppa Pig!)
Everyone will enjoy the legends of Bloodaxe’s world through traditional family storytelling at Fenwick’s toy department. Other activities run all week, including appearances from Peppa Pig on Saturday 18th February. Check out the Fenwick website for exact details.
Thursday 23rd – Storytelling sessions at 10am, 11.30am, 2pm & 3.30pm – Fenwick, Coppergate – FREE – more details here
Brilliant books at Nunnington Hall
Enjoy a literature-inspired week of activities as World Book Day looms (2nd March). Write a tale of your own, listen to stories and try the children’s trail. On February 25th & 26th, dress up as your favourite children’s book character and swap your book for another. There’ll also be a book cover-inspired exhibition to enjoy.
Nunnington Hall, York – Saturday 18th February to Sunday 26th February – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nunnington
Trust your animal instincts at York Art Gallery
Climb aboard a steam train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Wrap up warm and enjoy a day out along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Explore the market town of Pickering, see Hogsmeade Station (from the first Harry Potter film) and see the engine sheds at Grosmont station.
18th to 26th February – visit the website for timetable details and prices (nymr.co.uk)
Get stuck into science at Stockeld Park’s Mad Science Week
<a href=”https://i0.wp.com/little-vikings.co see here now.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Stockeld-Park-for-website.jpg?ssl=1″>There’s always lots of outdoor fun to be had at Stockeld Park, and this half term there are indoor science activities too, with Sublime Science. Watch and join in with some exciting experiments, make your own slime and lots more.
Stockeld Park, Wetherby – 18th to 25th February – 10.30am to 6pm – stockeldpark.co.uk
Visit the Lagoon of Light at The Deep
Check out the new Lagoon of Light at Hull’s magnificent aquarium The Deep this February half term. More details here.
Bird Bonanza at Lotherton Hall
Head over to Lotherton Hall for their big bird bonanza, with two weeks of activities to celebrate our feathered friends. Half term activities include bird keeper talks, feeder making and feathery arts and crafts.
Saturday 11th to Sunday 26th February – 11am to 3pm – normal admission prices – more details on the Lotherton Hall website