May half term in York? We’ve got it covered! This is your guide to the ultimate things to do in and around York as a family during the May holiday, with lots of lovely events and activities all handpicked by the Little Vikings team. Have a good one, and don’t forget to let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, what you get up to!
Fly your kite – or make your own – at the fabulous Scarborough Castle Kite Festival. More details of the event here.
27th May to 29th May, 11am to 5pm – Scarborough Castle, Castle Road, Scarborough YO11 1HY – Visit the website
There’ll be plenty of Roman fun for kids at this fantastic annual festival in the Museum Gardens and Yorkshire Museum. Take a look at our feature for all the details.
York Museum Gardens – 1st to 4th June – Visit the Yorkshire Museum website
With the new play barn and mini football, as well as the fantastic pizzas from the York Pizza Co (seriously – a great excuse to forget your picnic), Piglets Adventure Farm is bigger and better than ever. Visit during May half term to see Fat Matt’s circus in the giant pink top, with death-defying stunts, upside-down juggling and amazing acrobatics.
Piglets Adventure Farm, Towthorpe Moor Lane, York YO32 9ST – 24th May to 4th June – Visit the Piglets website
Make garlands, origami fans, become a poet and create new artwork in the fabulous studio space.
York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York – 27th May to 4th June – Visit the York Art Gallery website
Through storytelling, music, games and activities, you’ll be transported back to the peak of Mount Olympus at Castle Howard this May half term. This is interactive entertainment at its best – you can be part of the adventures of Apollo and even take part in a chariot race! Adventures take place at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm throughout half term and last 45 minutes. They’re buggy-friendly. Craft activities will also take place daily between 11am and 4pm. Activities are included in admission, just drop in on the day.
Myths & Monsters – Castle Howard, York – Saturday 27th to Sunday 4th June 2017 – Normal admission charges apply – visit the website for more details
Energi, York’s one and only trampoline park, has lined up seven great days of jumping fun, with some special deals thrown in.
Monday 29th May – Family jumps all day; Tuesday 30th May – Boost meals throughout the day; Wednesday 31st May – Free slush for all jumpers; Thursday 1st June – Free balloons and glitter tattoos; Friday 2nd June – Free tea and coffee; Saturday 3rd June – Bounce for a 2nd hour for just £3; Sunday 4th June – Family jumps all day
Energi Trampoline Park, 3 – 7 Rose Avenue, York YO26 6RU – Visit the Energi website
Get exploring at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens
Explore Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens by bike, trike or on your own two feet. Borrow an explorer backpack and search for bugs, birds, flora and plants and tick more things off your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ play list. Go on a barefoot walk, hunt bugs, build a raft, discover what’s in a pond or plant it, grow it, eat it. Visit the website for what’s on when.
Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens, Beningbrough, York YO30 1DD – Open every day during May half term, 10.30am to 5pm – Visit the Beningbrough website
Head to Eureka! this half term as they invite some very special 2 and 4-legged friends for a chance to stroke, feed and cuddle the visiting farm animals. Don’t forget that your ticket to Eureka! is valid for a year, making it good value if you plan a return trip or two.
Eureka, Discovery Road, Halifax HX1 2NE – 27th May to 4th June 2017 – Visit the Eureka! website
Wander through the medieval inspired garden to see what the monks of Fountains would have grown and then step into the workshop to make your own seed pouch. There’s everything you need to get crafty, including the seeds.
Swanley Grange at Fountains Abbey, Ripon HG4 3DY – 27th May to 3rd June 2017 – 11am to 4pm – Visit the Fountains Abbey website
The education team from Lion Learners will share their animal knowledge, answer your questions and give you a chance to get hands on. Will you be brave enough to hold a scary beast? From cockroaches to lizards, who’ll rise to the challenge and tick off another 50 Things activity?
Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, York YO62 5UY – Sunday 28th to Monday 29th May – 10.30am to 5pm – Normal admission prices apply – Visit the Nunnington Hall website
We love picking our own fruit and veg, and May’s the perfect time. The superfresh homegrown asparagus crop will be in full swing at The Balloon Tree (Stamford Bridge). It’s a great day out for all the family – pick something to take home for tea, feed the animals and then let the kids run off steam in the play area while you enjoy a cup of tea, cake or even breakfast or lunch. Watch out for the asparagus specialities in the cafe and on the deli in the farmshop.
Visit www.theballoontree.co.uk or call 01759 373023 for more information. Please phone to check the availability of asparagus.
Find out about the chocolate gifts sent to York soldiers in the First World War and discover how sugar mice and rock candy are made.
York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York – 27th May to 4th June – Visit York Castle Museum’s website
York Maker Hub run fantastic computer-based sessions for children aged 8+ that we’ve experienced for ourselves. Kids will get the chance to learn how to code in a fun, relaxed environment. Beginners will get to grips with Scratch or learn how to program and wire up the circuit for a line following vehicle. Those with a bit more knowledge can discover the possibilities with a BBC Micro:bit. Other activities to choose from include creating a stop motion animation, learning a new programming language, building and programming a Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot and learning Python code and building a Lava house in Raspberry Pi Minecraft environment.
Sessions run from 30th May to 2nd June 2017 at Huntington School, York YO32 9WY – 3 hour sessions (morning, afternoon or full days) – Free early drop-off from 8.15am – For more information, call Catherine on 07821841040 or visit the York Maker Hub website
Artist and designer Kathryn Richardson will be running fun crafting sessions at various Explore Libraries across York this half term.
- Make a pencil holder at Acomb Explore (Tues 30th May, 10am to 12 noon)
- Make peg dolls and animals (Weds 31st May, 10am to 12 noon)
- Decorate a trinket box (Weds 31st May, 2.30pm – 4.30pm)
Each session costs £3 for 1 adult and 1 child or £4 for 1 adult and 2 children.
From buccaneer boats to chopper go-karts, a magical maze, roller-skating, the electric scooter woodland trail and legendary Enchanted Forest, there’s a full day out of family fun at Stockeld Park this half term.
Stockeld Park, Wetherby LS22 4AN – 27th May to 4th June 2017 – Visit the Stockeld Park website
Burn off some energy with an action-packed events programme that includes hands-on and have-a-go activities as well as the chance to try the challenging military-style junior assault course. Watch amazing demonstrations of martial arts and sword skills and join in warrior workshops. Entry to the Armouries is free but there’s a charge for some activities.
The Royal Armouries, Leeds – 27th May to 4th June – Free entry – royalarmouries.org
Visit Flamingo Land over the school holidays and enjoy a great choice of family rides, like the dinosaur-themed ones in Dino-Stone Park. Our favourite thing to do is visiting the zoo, with over 140 species of reptiles, mammals and birds in the award winning zoo, including Sophie the baby Rothschild giraffe. How cute is she?! The next Party in the Park concert at the Riverside One arena is from 6pm on Saturday 3rd June and will be headlined by 5 After Midnight and Sam Lavery. Party in the Park is part of general admission to the theme park for that day. Alternatively, it’s £10 for post 5pm admission for the concert – book now at www.flamingoland.co.uk.