Summer holidays in York 2017: Fun Classes, Clubs & Activities


If there’s one thing we know, it’s that getting out of the house during the summer holidays is a must. Pottering around inside sounds relaxing, but by lunchtime everyone’s climbing the walls. Here are some great activities, workshops and sessions coming up in York over the summer holidays that will keep the kids occupied. Some need pre-booking, so be quick!

Wild Things Family Forest School (pre-booking required)

Wild Things is a forest school for children and parents in and around York. The sessions are about getting children and parents outdoors to explore, develop their imagination, and be creative. Summer holidays sessions are as follows:

  • Wednesday 2nd August (10 – 11.30am) – Millthorpe School – Bug hunting & campfire (hunt the woodland for bugs, find out what they are and discover more about their habitat)
  • Friday 4th August (10 – 11.30am) – Millthorpe School – Campfire cooking (help collect the fire wood, prep the food and enjoy tasting the campfire delights)
  • Monday 7th August (10 – 11.30am) – Homestead Park – Den building and campfire (build large dens from sticks and tarps or small ones using twigs and rope for woodland creatures and Lego characters!)
  • Monday 14th August  (10 – 11.30am) – Millthorpe School – Fairies and elves – Find the fairies and elves in the woodland, help make new furniture for them and create your own mini fairy garden

Visit the Wild Things Website

Summer Dance Projects with York Dance Space (pre-booking required)

Dance for 4 to 7 year olds at St Nicks

York Dance Space has teamed up with St Nicks Centre for Nature and Green Living to offer children aged 4 to 7 the opportunity to take part in a three day dance summer school. Over the three days, children will work with professional dance artists to create, learn and respond to the St Nicks Nature Reserve. At the end of the three days children will perform a site specific dance trail around St Nicks Fields. Wednesday 2nd August to Friday 4th August – 10am to 2pm – £20 per person

Dance for 8 to 13 and 14 to 18 year olds with York Theatre Royal

York Dance Space in partnership with Yorkshire Dance and York Theatre Royal is inviting young people to work with professional dance artists intensively for one week during the summer break. The project will culminate in a performance at York Theatre Royal’s main stage part of ‘Dance It Up North’ an event by The North Yorkshire Dance Hub.

Monday 28th August to Friday lst September – 8 to l3 years: 9.30am to l.30pm; l4 to l 8 years: 2.30pm to 6.00pm – £20 per person (both projects are subsidised by York Dance Space)

For more information, or to book, email

Visit the York Dance Space website

Pottery painting activities with Rainbows Ceramics (pre-booking required)

Rainbows Ceramics are running fun activities throughout the summer, starting on July 17th. Booking’s required, so be quick if you’re interested. Here’s what’s happening:

  • Mondays: Bubble painting bowl (10.30am – 11.30am; age 6+; £10)
  • Tuesdays: Decopatch fun with party animals (10.30am – 12 noon; age 6+; £12)
  • Wednesdays: Make your own clay coil flower pot (10.30am – 12.30pm; age 6+; £12)
  • Thursdays: Silkscreen stencils on a bowl, plate or mug (10.30am – 12.30pm; age 8+; £12)
  • Fridays: Make your own name plaque (10.30-12.30; age 6+; £10)

Maximum of 1 parent per child. Call 01904 675533 to book.

Visit the Rainbows Ceramics website

Dance Around the World with Derwent Danceworks (pre-booking required)

Join a fun global-themed workshop for 5 to 12 year olds. The two day workshop include dance, drama, musical theatre and theatre crafts with a perfornamce on day two. Choose from the following dates and locations:

  • 31st July & 1st August (9.30am to 3.30pm): Thorganby Village Hall (near Wheldrake and North Duffield)
  • 3rd & 4th August (9.30am to 3.30pm): Knavesmire Primary School

£35 per child; sibling discount available. Contact Miss Kate on 07985 687 807 or visit the website for more details.

Visit the Derwent Danceworks website

Dig, Delve and Discover at Little Diggers (pre-booking required)

Dig, play and learn at a Little Diggers session at DIG, St Saviourgate on Saturday mornings (10am to 11am,  for 2-5 year olds). The sessions are themed as follows: Saturday 29th July – Norse Myths and Stories; Saturday 12th August – Archaeology of the future; Saturday 26th August – Garden explorers. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. DIG, St Saviour’s Church St Saviourgate York YO1 8NN

Visit the Little Diggers website

Nature Explorers at St Nicks (free; pre-booking required for first session)

St Nicks Environment Centre is running free activities for 4 to 12 year olds during the summer. Discover nature through hands-on activities like pond-dipping and minibeast hunts, starting on 25th July.

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1pm to 4pm at St Nicks, Rawdon Avenue, York YO10 4ST
  • Wednesdays 2pm – 5pm at Derwenthorpe, Osbaldwick, York YO10 3NP

Contact St Nicks before the first session, and then you can go to as many sessions as you like.

Visit the St Nicks website for more details

Get Crafty at The York Makery

There are some lovely drop-in and pre-bookable sessions at The York Makery, the craft shop on Gillygate, this summer.

Drop-in sessions (no need to book; £6 each)

  • Friday 4th August (1pm to 4pm) – silk clay modelling
  • Friday 11th August (1pm to 4pm) – metal stamping
  • Friday 18th August (1pm to 4pm) – beaded bracelet making
  • Friday 25th August (1pm to 4pm) – decomache

Summer holiday workshops

  • Wednesday 9th August – Introduction to weaving
  • Wednesday 16th August – Introduction to sewing machines
  • Wednesday 23rd August – pompom headbands
  • Wednesday 30th August – silk clay fairy jars

Visit The York Makery website

 Crafting at York Minster every Wednesday

Enjoy hands-on animal craft activities at York Minster on Wednesdays throughout the summer (27th July to 3rd September; 10am to 3pm). There will also be special storytelling sessions and fun family-friendly tours of the cathedral on each of these activity days. Take part in a craft activity and earn a sticker towards your Arts Award Discover certificate, in partnership with York Theatre Royal, Explore York, York Army Museum and York Museums Trust. Crafts suitable for 4+ and are £2.50 per participant (standard admission charges apply).

  • 2nd August: Sculpt a clay grotesque
  • 9th August: Make a beautiful butterfly mobile
  • 16th August: Make a fish streamer
  • 23rd August: Design a dazzling dragon puppet
  • 30th August: Make a fierce lion mask

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