JORVIK Viking Festival 2019: Best Bits for Families

The JORVIK Viking Festival is back, and it’s better than ever! It’s Europe’s largest (and best!) celebration of all things Viking and, as always, there’s a great selection of activities for children to enjoy. Top of our list is the Best Beard Competition, Little Diggers and, of course, Poo Day! What’s not to love? If you haven’t already visited the JORVIK Viking Centre, now’s a great time to step back in time and visit the Viking town (pre-book to avoid queues). Here are our best bits of the JORVIK Viking Festival 2019 for families.

March to Coppergate 23rd February 13:30 | Starts at Dean’s Park, York Minster | FREE

Jorvik Viking Festival 2019 March

As storm clouds gather, the Viking armies muster, brandishing their weapons and showing off their fighting skills. Get closer to the soldiers and get an idea of what it would have been like to be a warrior, 1000 years ago. Enjoy the drama and excitement as the armies set forth and once again march through the city of Jorvik.

Battle Spectacular at Fólkvangr Fields 23rd February 18:45 (gates open at 18:00) | Eye of York (near Clifford’s Tower) |Adult £15, Conc. £11, Family of four £44.50, Family of five £53.50

A brave settler, leading her people into an unknown land… a political player with a fiery temper… a vengeful and scheming royal, intent on the destruction of her enemy… a mysterious fortune-teller, revered for her wisdom and knowledge of the Gods… and three noble Shieldmaidens, skilled in the art of war and feared by their foes. Watch these forgotten Sagas come to life, as the Eye of York is transformed into Freya’s Hall at Fólkvangr Fields, and see the Viking world through the eyes of those whom history has long neglected. With a cast of legendary Vikings, spectacular fire displays and soundscapes to capture the imagination, take a journey into the past and rediscover what has long been forgotten. Find more details here: https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/battle-spectacular-at-folkvangr-fields/

10th Century Traders 22nd, 23rd and 24th February 10:00-16:00 | Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and York Stained Glass Centre | Adult £3, Conc. £2, Family of Four £8

Transport yourself back in time with our authentic 10th century markets, hosting traders from far and wide who bring you hand-crafted weapons, jewellery, costumes, drinking ware and much more. Your ticket grants entry to both venues, for all three days of the markets! Visit the website for more details. https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/10th-century-traders-markets/

Histronauts: A Viking Adventure – 25th February 2pm – 3pm | York Explore Library | £6

Join the creators of the amazing Histronauts series of historical adventures to find out exactly how author Frances Durkin and illustrator Grace Cooke create the time-travelling adventures of Luna, Nani, Newton and a cat named Hero. Celebrate the arrival of A Viking Adventure by imagining a story of your own, and even trying your hand at historical illustration! Suitable for ages 8 and over. Pre-booking essential. Find more details here https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/histronauts-a-viking-adventure/

Viking Encampment 20th – 27th February 10:00- 16:00 | Parliament Street | FREE

Jorvik Viking Festival

Join the hustle and bustle of Viking life at a special living history experience, right in the centre of the modern city. Discover how the Norsemen and women of the period lived, what they traded and what they wore. This is your chance to get up close and personal with the Vikings; ask them questions, pose for selfies and hear a saga or two from these fierce warriors turned traders. Visit the JORVIK website for more details of the encampment – https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/viking-encampment/

Annual Strongest Viking Competition 23rd February 11:00- 12:00 | St Sampson’s Square | FREE

Known for their prowess on the battlefield and ability to tame the seas, the strength of the Viking people was integral to their identity. But in 2019, who is the strongest Viking of them all? Enjoy the drama, hilarity and spectacle of Vikings doing their utmost to win the coveted title of ‘Strongest Viking’. Axes will be balanced, logs will be lifted and fighting will ensue – don’t miss it! You’ll find more details about the competition here – https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/annual-strongest-viking-competition-3/

Annual Best Beard Competition 23rd February 15:00 -16:00 | St Sampson’s Square | FREE

Men, women and children welcome – we’re looking for the most glorious beard in York, whether it’s natural or homemade! In one of the most popular festival events, we’ll put those whiskers to the test and award the trophy for the Best Beard of 2019. Here’s what you need to know – https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/annual-best-beard-competition/

Little Diggers 20th – 27th February 10.00 – 11.00 | DIG- An Archaeological Adventure| For ages 3-7 |£5 per child; 1 accompanying adult goes free

Exciting activities for children with a different theme each day, including treasures, food, fashion, Norse magic, Shieldmaidens and Swordsmen. Check the website for more information on each day’s theme – https://digyork.com

Have a Go Sword 20th-27th February 10:00 – 16:00 | Spark | £5 per child

Viking Festival 2019 sword

Little Vikings can prepare for adventure with our fun battle workshops, led by JORVIK’s expert instructors. Suitable for ages 5-12 only, pre-booking advised. Find out more here – https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/have-a-go-sword/

Poo Day! 20th February – 10:00 – 16:00 | DIG | Included in entry

It’s smelly, it’s squelchy – but it tells us lots about the past! Bring the kids to find out why archaeologists love poo, and get hands on making your own replica poo fossil. Don’t forget to go and see the famous Lloyds Bank Turd at JORVIK Viking Centre! Here’s what you need to know about Poo Day – https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/poo-day/

Viking Age Crafting 20th – 27th February – 11:00-16:00 | St Sampson’s Square | £3 for one activity, £5 for two

Make your own Viking replica artefact with our fun crafting activities – make pots, flags and beards, have a go at wool-braiding and coin-stamping, and more! Kids will love learning about the Vikings’ highly-skilled craft techniques, and how they used their crafts in everyday life. Find out more about the crafting here – https://www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/event/viking-age-crafting/

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