Summer in York 2018: Our Guide

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Fancy meeting a dinosaur this summer? Or how about making your own LEGO creations, having a chat with a Victorian, pretending to be a knight or princess in a real castle or trying the new Volcorno at York Maze? There’s loads going on in and around York this summer for families, and this is our pick of the best. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the holidays so you don’t miss a thing (and if you haven’t signed up to our handy weekly email yet, what are you waiting for? Subscribe via our website or Facebook page and you’ll always be in the know).

This summer’s family show at York Theatre Royal is The Secret Garden, and it promises to be blooming lovely. It’s 1910 and spoilt, lonely Mary Lennox lives a life of luxury in India with her aristocratic parents. But when an unexpected twist of fate suddenly leaves her orphaned, she’s sent to live with an unknown uncle
York Theatre Royal, St Leonard's Place, York
27th July to 25th August 2018
Family ticket £50
The Pick Your Own Trail is now open at The Balloon Tree with lots of juicy fruit and vegetables to pick. The multi-award winning Balloon Tree Farmshop and Cafe have been growing soft fruit and vegetables for over 20 years so they know how to get the best fruit possible. Head out to Stamford Bridge
The Balloon Tree, Stamford Bridge Road, York YO41 1NB
Throughout the summer
Visit this new exhibition at Barley Hall, a hidden gem in the heart of York. Explore the often fine line between science, religion and magic in medieval society at this lovely attraction. There are lots of hands-on activities for children that make this a great family destination – it might not be the biggest of
Barley Hall, 2 Coffee Yard, York YO1 8AR
23rd June to 5th September 2018, 10am to 5pm
Family of four £15; under 5s free
If like us, you’re always treading on LEGO bricks, the chances are that someone in your family will love the new LEGO exhibition coming to Nunnington Hall this summer. Brick Flicks LEGO arrives at Nunnington on Saturday 21st July and runs right through to 16th September, giving you plenty of time to head to the
Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, York YO62 5UY
21st July to 16th September 2018
Dive into the deep with SEA LIFE Scarborough’s new LEGO® adventure, Ocean Explorers. Discover new depths of the ocean whilst helping the LEGO® deep sea diver track down his missing equipment. Discover curious creatures of the deep as you navigate a trail to find hidden LEGO® pieces in the mystery tanks. Successfully solve the challenge
SEA LIFE Scarborough, Scalby Mills Rd, Scarborough YO12 6RP
21st July to 3rd September 2018
If you’ve not yet visited the multi-award-winning Askham Bryan Wildlife Park, what’s keeping you? Head over this summer for daily talks, animal crafts and the chance to see some exotic and seriously cute creatures. Book online before you visit. It’s open all of July and August.
Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park, Askham Bryan College, Askham Bryan, York, YO23 3FR
There’s a whole host of summer fun coming up at Brodsworth Hall & Gardens near Doncaster: enjoy bands-on family activities, listening to Yorkshire bands on Sundays, a Victorian weekend, a weekend discovering life during wartime and more. Various dates from 21st July to 2nd September 2018. 
Brodsworth Hall, B6422, Brodsworth, Doncaster DN5 7XJ
21st July to 2nd September 2018
Weekends in July, visit spectacular Whitby Abbey to discover more about Captain Cook’s first expedition to the South Seas to celebrate the 250th anniversary. There’ll even be a specially commissioned play. Throughout the holidays, enjoy hands-on activities, and on August bank holiday weekend (25th – 27th Aug), meet Vikings, hear about their conquests and learn
Whitby Abbey, Abbey Ln, Whitby YO22 4JT
Enjoy family-friendly knights and princesses activities with the hands on history crew every day at this stunning castle. It’s a lovely place to visit, with spectacular views of the sea and town. Take a kite! 21st July to 2nd September 2018. Watch out for special events, including Wartime Weekend (28/29 July) and Tournament Weekend with
Scarborough Castle, Castle Rd, Scarborough YO11 1HY
21st July to 2nd September 2018
Unlock your inner engineers and conquer hands-on challenges in the activity zone every day. On Wednesdays, the brilliant Technlogy in Play will be hosting the Engineering Hub (11am to 3pm) where you can bring your own inventions to life. 21st July to 26th August 2018, 10 am to 4 pm. Free. For details of exactly
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
21st July to 26th August 2018, 10 am to 4 pm
Free entry (donations welcome)
The Web Adventure Park is launching its first Summer Camp this year, with a fun-packed programme of events throughout the summer holidays for children from 0 to 12 years. Designed to suit anyone looking for childcare, whether it’s to enjoy a few child-free shopping hours, to give grandparents a well-earned break from looking after the
The Web Adventure Park, Cliftongate Business Park, Wigginton Rd, York YO32 2RH
23rd July to 31st August 2018
Cost varies; visit the website for details
Fly a kite at Castle Howard – Catch the wind at Castle Howard this summer. Head up to Howardian Hills and enjoy spectacular kite displays from the pros. Amateurs welcome too – bring your kite from home or make your own in the kite-making tent! Activities included in admission. 28th & 29th July 2018. Watch
Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA
28th and 29th July 2018
Step back in time to the Jurassic era and meet Yorkshire’s dinosaurs. Why not have a go at dinosaur racing, create a dinosaur shadow puppet or make a two-legged dino from playdough (11am  – 1pm and 2pm to 4pm, Saturday 21st July – Sunday 12th August)? Between 13th August and 2nd September, become a dinosaur
Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR
21st July to 31st August 2018
Stroll down Kirkgate, the Victorian Street, and meet visitors from a bygone era. Who knows what secrets and gossip they’ll tell you! There are hands-on WW1 activities too: try semaphore, have a go at first aid and design your own campaign poster. 
York Castle Museum,
21st July to 2nd September 2018
Create your own boat, inspired by the exhibition, The Sea is the Limit, and imagine you’re off on a summer adventure. Drop into one of the informal workshops (21st to 31st July, 11am -1pm and 2-4pm). From 1st August to 31st August, draw one of the artworks from Friends of York Art Gallery exhibition and
York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
21st July to 31st August 2018
There’s something new at Beningbrough, and kids are going to love it: there’s a fantastic 7ft pyramid tower with climbing wall, two slides and 5m swing bridge to entertain toddlers and teenagers alike.  Head over in August (Mon and Wed) for Artrageous craft workshops inspired by the exhibition of creative women in the Hall. Meet
Beningbrough Hall, Beningbrough, York YO30 1DD
Daily from 10.30am to 5pm
Always a cracking family day out, York Maze has something for all ages. As well as the maze itself – this year with an exciting new theme to be revealed soon – there are attractions, rides and shows to please everyone. Climb aboard the Crowmania ride, have a giggle at the show and let little
York maze, Elvington Ln, York YO19 5LT
14th July to 3rd September 2018
See the lost follies of the water garden re-imagined by artists and architects, with four dazzling new artworks in this stunning World Heritage Site garden. They’re like nothing you’ve seen before. Why not do the Art in the Garden Trail, too? On selected days, look out for craft activities, from friendship bracelet making to wool
Fountains Abbey, Ripon HG4 3DY
Saturday 28 April – Sunday 4 November 2018, 10am to 5pm
It’s all about slime this summer at The Deep from 21st July to 2nd September. At 11am, 1pm and 3pm each day, enjoy The Slime Show where your little scientists can help with exciting experiments as they explore which animals use slime in their everyday lives. There are props galore, and lots of gooey green stuff
The Deep, Tower St, Hull HU9 1TU
21st July to 2nd September 2018
Take your kids to Flamingo Land this summer and they won’t believe their luck. As well as the fantastic zoo area, there’s the new Peter Rabbit adventure playground where you might even meet the bunny himself and Flamingo 1, the new family racing circuit. Look out for special character appearances (Catboy and Owelette, 21st July and
Flamingo Land, Kirby Misperton, Malton YO17 6UX
Open daily
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