Summer Holidays 2019 in York: Best Family Shows

Fancy some family entertainment this summer? There really is something for children of all ages, from the silver screen to the stage. Here’s our pick of the best shows, movies and more going on in and around York this summer.

Swallows and Amazons at York Theatre Royal

All aboard! This summer’s show at York Theatre Royal is this much-loved tale about the water-borne antics of John, Susan, Titty and Roger. It’s a classic, action-packed and wholesome adventure that should appeal to the whole family. Friday 26th July to Saturday 24th August – Visit the York Theatre Royal website

Billy Shakes at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre

We’re excited to be the Official Media Partner of Billy Shakes, a new children’s show at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre. It’s a funny and playful introduction to the Bard, ideal for fans of Horrible Histories, and the perfect way for kids to experience the stunning open air theatre. Take a look at the video here. Billy Shakes Wonderboy runs at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre on selected dates from 23rd July to 24th August 2019 at 10.30am. Visit

Countryfile Live at Castle Howard

Countryfile Live Castle Howard

See if you can spot any of the Countryfile presenters at this huge celebration of all things country, with plenty of activities for children to enjoy. It’s coming to Castle Howard for the first time and we can’t wait – 15th to 18th August 2019 –

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre

Shakespeare's Rose Theatre

One for the grown-ups and young Shakespeare enthusiasts, this fabulous pop-up theatre returns to York this summer with four new shows: Hamlet, The Tempest, Henry V and Twelfth Night. It’s a lovely place to pop in for a drink and soak up the atmosphere, even if you’re not watching anything. 25th June to 1st September 2019 –

The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Grand Opera House York

The Judith Kerr classic about the tiger who invites himself into Sophie’s house to drink all the tea in the teapot and all the water in the tap is coming to York this summer. Expect magic, songs and more. Friday 5th to Sunday 7th July 2019 –

Family Shows at the Great Yorkshire Fringe

This annual festival of comedy, music and more returns for 2019 and, as always, it’s not just for grown-ups. Highlights for kids include puppet shows, baby disco, comedy and magic galore. Thursday 18th to Sunday 28th July 2019 –

Catch a Movie at the Open Air Cinema

2019 is the summer of the outdoor cinema, with lots of lovely locations setting up a screen and inviting us to enjoy a Hollywood blockbuster al fresco. Take your pick from these great spots and don’t forget to take a coat!

  • The Luna Cinema at York Minster (27th – 29th August): Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Bohemian Rhapsody and Mamma Mia! Here we go again – Visit the website
  • Outdoor cinema at The Principal Hotel (5th, 14th & 19th July): Mamma Mia! Here we go again, A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody – Visit the website
  • The Luna Cinema at Castle Howard (26th – 28th July): The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born – Visit the website

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