The Vikings are back! This February, the JORVIK Viking Festival returns to York with an exciting programme of events and activities, many of which are perfect for children. Voyages of the Vikings is the theme for this year, so expect to hear incredible tales of Viking adventures. Between Sunday 15th February to Sunday 23rd February 2020 there are over 80 events across York and these are our highlights for children (and yes, it does include Poo Day!).
Viking Crafting for Kids – Channel your inner Viking with some creative crafting, from pottery to wool-braiding, beard making, coin pouch making and flag painting.
Magical Menagerie at Barley Hall – The Vikings told stories about many fantastical beasts and you can meet some of their more ordinary cousins at the Festival! Get up close to lizards, snakes, chickens and more, before learning about the Vikings’ beliefs at Magic & Mystery: Seafaring Sagas and Spells.
Magic & Mystery: Seafaring Sagas and Spells – Explore Norse beliefs about crossing perilous seas and discovering new shores through this special addition to the Magic & Mystery exhibition at Barley Hall, only for the JORVIK Viking Festival. Find out how Vikings sought protection from the elements on voyages and told tales of encounters with sorcerers, shapeshifters and sea monsters.
Little Diggers – These Viking-themed activity sessions for two to five-year-olds at DIG: An Archaeological Adventure are always fun and good value. There are four themed sessions for the festival: Gudrird’s Viking Voyages, Ibn Fadlan’s Middle Eastern Treasure, Ingvar’s Golden Quest and Bjorn’s Sea Stories. As well as storytelling and activities, there’ll be the chance to dig in the archaeological dig pits too.
Family City Tour: Viking Riddle Challenge! – Kids will love exploring York via genuine Viking and Saxon riddles, led by a Viking guide. With riddles, historical sites and glimpses of famous figures like King Arthur, Eric Bloodaxe and even a mermaid, this will be fun for all the family, with a small prize for the wisest group.
Poo Day – 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! From 12 noon.
Annual Best Beard Competition – Men, women, children and dogs welcome to create and don an award-winning beard (or show off a home-grown one!). You might just take home the trophy for the Best Beard of 2020.
March to Coppergate – A sight to behold, head into town on Saturday 22nd February to see hundreds of Viking warriors march through the city.
Battle Spectacular in the Land of Darkness – Head to the Eye of York for this year’s grand finale where you’ll see the tale of Ibn Fadlan, the Arabic witness to the might of the Vikings. His vivid account of their strength, rituals and ferocity will be brought to life with a cast of legendary Norsemen, spectacular fire displays and soundscapes to recreate their historic encounter in ‘the land of darkness’. Pre-booking required.
JORVIK Viking Festival runs from 15th to 23rd February 2020 – Visit the JORVIK Viking Festival website for all the dates and timings.