There’s loads happening in and around York this May half term, and you’ll find our top pick in this handy guide. Make sure you don’t miss anything by signing up for our new weekly e-newsletter – subscribe through our homepage for the very latest things in York for kids to your inbox every week!
See how the First World War changed fashion with demos on the new catwalk as part of the new exhibition, Shaping the Body. That’s on top of all the usual fun and fascinating stuff at this award-winning museum (Best Attraction in the Little Vikings Awards 2016).
28th May to 5th June 2016 – 9.30am to 5pm – Eye of York, York YO1 9RY – from £9.09/under 16s and YMT Card holders free – visit the Castle Museum website
Explore the natural world in the gardens of Nunnington Hall. Join the bug hunt, place your bets on a snail race and head to the wildlife hide for bird watching. Normal admission prices apply.
Saturday 28th May to Monday 30th May – 11am to 4pm – Nunnington, York YO62 5UY – from £7.50/£3.75 – visit the Nunnington Hall website
Head to York’s favourite farm park for circus-themed fun in the countryside. Enjoy upside-down juggling, death-defying stunts, amazing acrobatics and more in the giant pink big top. It’s included in the price, as is all the usual Piglets outdoor fun.
28th May to 5th June – 10am to 5.30pm – from £5.95/£6.95 – visit the Piglets website
Make model aircraft and memory moths in drop-in workshops in the studio to commemorate the centenary of WW2. No booking necessary.
28th May to 5th June – 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm – Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW – from £6.81/under 16s free – visit the York Art Gallery website
There’s lots on at the NRM during May half term, including the Need for Speed family science show (daily 12.15pm and 2.15pm), storytelling, warehouse tours and lots of talks to shed light on the locomotives.
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York – 28th May to 5th June 2016 – Free – visit the NRM website
Everyone’s (well, our) favourite aquarium is celebrating local wildlife this half term: learn to make a bird feeder, bee hotel, butterfly feeder or hedgehog house (11am to 4pm daily). There’ll also be experts on hand throughout the week from the likes of the RSPB and Hull Hedgehog Hospital to share their experiences and answer questions. Want to hear from someone in particular? Check the website for exact times and dates. And don’t miss the penguins while you’re there.
The Deep, Tower Street, Hull HU9 1TU – 28th May to 5th June – family of 4 from £35.55 (online price; more to buy on the day); under 3s free – parking £2 – visit The Deep website
If it’s an active day out in the fresh air you’re after but your kids are allergic to the idea of going for a walk, Stockeld Park’s a good option. Lots of adventure zones mean that they’ll run, jump and climb off loads of energy without noticing. There’ll be the outdoor roller rink, maze, go karts, inflatables and more. It’s best on a decent weather day, but there are some indoor activities and crafts too.
Stockeld Park, Wetherby, LS22 4AN – 28th May to 5th June, 10am to 6pm – family of 4 £46 (under 2s free) – visit the Stockeld Park website
One of our favourite York attractions, DIG – An Archaeological Adventure – is turning 10 and there’ll be celebrations indoors and out, with games, crafts, presents, balloons and cake.
DIG – An Archaeological Adventure, St Saviourgate, York YO1 8NN – 4th June 2016 – 10am to 5pm – £6.50/£6/under 5s free – visit the DIG website
Have a go at some really fun outdoor adventures to start ticking stuff off from the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4’. There are some special led activities including raft-building and a big bug hunt. Daily activities vary, see website for details. Normal admission charges apply.
Sat 28th May to Sun 5th June – 10.30am to 5pm – Beningbrough, York, North Yorkshire YO30 1DD – from £10.80/£5.40 – visit the Beningbrough Hall website
There’s a scouting theme to May half term activities at RHS Harlow Carr, with loads of hands-on outdoor fun. Make a catapult, learn to tie knots and much more. Pay a visit to the Bettys kiosk while you’re there for some tasty treats. Read more about it here.
RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate HG3 1QB – family (2+2) £25.50 – visit the Harlow Carr website for more details
Based in the Museum Gardens between June 1st and 5th, there’ll be fight displays and children’s army drills from members of six Roman legions, a Roman camp showing domestic Roman life and stalls selling themed goods.
1st to 5th June 2016 – Yorkshire Museum Gardens, York – yorkshiremuseum.org.uk