May half term 2018 in York: Our Guide

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There’s lots for families to look forward to in York this May half term, from the Eboracum Roman Festival to Beatrix Potter at Castle Howard, a Kite Festival at Scarborough Castle and much more. Whether it’s a day trip into the Yorkshire countryside or city-based fun you’re after, there’s bound to be something to take your fancy. Here are our May half term highlights in York this year.

The Museum’s 80th birthday celebrations continue, with birthday crafts and games, a celebration trail (50p) and a chance to find out more about the history of party food. Happy birthday to one of our favourite museums!
York Castle Museum
Saturday 26th May to Sunday 3rd June 2018
From bug hunting and bird watching to bird box or feeder making, have a nature adventure at Nunnington Hall.  You might even meet (and hold!) a cockroach or lizard. See if you can spot a peacock, have a game of pooh sticks and lounge in the gardens. Why not get dirty at the mud pie
Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, York YO62 5UY
Sunday 27th to Monday 28th May 2018, 10.30am to 4pm
Weather gods permitting, strawberries will be ready to pick at The Balloon Tree this half term (or pick up a punnet from the shop). Why not try out the new spring cafe menu while the kids play on the new tractor in the play area? There’s a pick your own children’s trail, too.
The Balloon Tree, Stamford Bridge Road, York YO41 1NB
Daily, 9am to 4.30pm (5.30pm on Sundays)
Admission free
Pre-school heroes, Ben and Holly (26th May) and Peppa and George (6th June) will be making guest appearances at Flamingo Land this half term. While you’re there, don’t miss the Peter Rabbit Adventure, with Jeremy Fisher’s musical pond, a secret treehouse and more. Aston Merrygold also headlines Party in the Park on Saturday 2nd June.
Flamingo Land Resort, Kirby Misperton, Malton, YO17 6UX
Open daily from 9.30am; see website for dates of character appearances
Get stuck into activities from bug hunting to building a mini raft and tick them off from the National Trust ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ play list. Pick up an explorer backpack, set off on an adventure and take a closer look at what flies above and hides below.
Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens, Beningbrough, York YO30 1DD
Saturday 27 May to Sunday 3 June, 10.30am to 5pm (special led activities on selected days)
Join the ZooLab rangers for an exciting animal handling experience at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster this half term. It’s not every day that you get to meet incredible animals like snakes, scorpions and tarantulas. Tickets will be available to purchase at the site on the day.
Brodsworth Hall, Brodsworth, Doncaster DN5 7XJ
26th May to 3rd June, 11am to 5pm
As the adult colouring book trend shows, making art can improve your wellbeing. Drop-in to the Studio to paint, draw, doodle and relax. All ages welcome, included in admission and all materials provided.
York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
Saturday 26th May to Sunday 3rd June 2018 - 11am to 1pm & 2pm to 4pm
Whitby is known for its Dracula connection, but do you know the story? Watch a live performance of Bram Stoker’s gothic story in the ruins that inspired him and enjoy a trip to this spectacular site above the seaside town. Tickets for the show will be available to purchase at the site on the day.
Whitby Abbey, Abbey Lane, Whitby YO22 4JT
26th to 28th May 2018, 11am – 5pm
Be put through your paces as you take part in our recruitment process to see if you measure up to be enlisted into the Roman Army. Learn about Lucius, Standard Bearer for the Ninth Legion, and make your own Eagle of the Ninth standard. There are also special Museum Monkeys sessions on 2nd and 3rd
Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR
Saturday 26th May to Sunday 3rd June, 11am to 1pm & 2pm to 4pm
Attention all fans of Beatrix Potter: Castle Howard has a half term treat for you! There’s a host of Potter-inspired activities going on, from a live performance (tickets required) to trails and more. Gobbledigook Theatre will present ‘The Tales of Beatrix Potter,’ an interactive theatre production for all ages. With a national reputation for creating
Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA
Saturday 26th May to Sunday 3rd June 2018
Get to grips with the art of kite flying at Scarborough Castle this May bank holiday. Expert kite flyers will be there to impress, with synchronised demonstrations to music on the spectacular headland. Bring your own kite to have a go yourself or you can even make one while you’re there! Pack a picnic for
Scarborough Castle, YO11 1HY
26th May to 28th May 2018, 11am to 5pm
The festival of all things Roman is back! Head to the Yorkshire Museum and Museum Gardens for fun activities including storytelling, curator talks and hands-on workshops. Visit the website for more details.
Yorkshire Museum
Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June 2018
Head to Piglets this half term for some serious circus fun. With death defying stunts, upside-down juggling and amazing acrobatics in the big top tent, it’s unmissable fun for the entire family from 26th May to 3rd  June 2018. Take a tractor ride to the bale play Baaarn with its giant drop slides, straw bale
Piglets Adventure Farm, Towthorpe Moor Lane, York YO32 9ST
26th May to 3rd June 2018, 10am to 5.30pm
Uncover ancient fossils to become a Jurassic Ranger at SEA LIFE Scarborough! Become a Jurassic Ranger at SEA LIFE Scarborough between 26th May and 10th June. Join them at May half term to learn about the oldest creatures in our oceans in an exciting new event. Challenge yourself to find 6 hidden fossils around the
SEA LIFE Scarborough, Scarborough YO12 6RP
26th May to 10th June 2018
Book online to save
Fancy a lovely family lunch this half term? Gusto is running their popular Kids Eat Free deal all week, so children can eat free with every full paying adult. Gusto caters really well for children but has a lovely grown-up atmosphere so nobody feels that they’re missing out. Kids can even make their own pizza
Gusto, 2 to 4 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX
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