Our guide to the best 50 things for families to do in York


Day trip, weekend break or holiday, York is a city that’s ideal for children. It’s full of fantastic attractions, family-friendly places to eat, family hotels and things to do for free. Here’s our 50 top things to do with kids in York. Come and see us.

  1. York Cocoa House HogletsDig for artefacts at DIG: An archaeological adventure
  2. Make a chocolate lolly at York Cocoa House
  3. Get lost in one of the UK’s biggest mazes at York Maze (summer/October)
  4. Go wild in the adventure playground at Castle Howard
  5. Sit for a digital portrait at Beningbrough Hall
  6. Have a sugar mouse from the recreated Victorian sweet shop at York Castle Museum
  7. Borrow an Explorer Backpack from York Minster and see what you can discover
  8. things to do in York with kidsDo the cat trail – grab a free map and see how many cats you can spot on York’s buildings
  9. Be scared silly at York Dungeon (age 10+)
  10. Learn about dinosaurs at the Yorkshire Museum
  11. Do your own still life at York Art Gallery
  12. Paint a plate, mug or anything else at Rainbows Ceramics
  13. Eat a stack of pancakes at Brew & Brownie
  14. Hire a bike and embark on a family cycling adventure
  15. Have a picnic in one of the many parks
  16. Watch the horses thunder by at York Races
  17. Get stuck into all things Viking at the JORVIK Viking Festival (February)
  18. Visit the animals and play outdoors at Piglets Adventure Farm Park
  19. Have your cake and eat itChoose a cake from the cake trolley at Bettys
  20. Go on a ghost walk
  21. Take your baby to City Screen’s Big Scream screening for parents/carers with under-1s
  22. Fly a kite on the Knavesmire
  23. See the city from above at Clifford’s Tower
  24. Have an ice cream from the Two Hoots ice cream boat (summer)
  25. Count butterflies at Askham Bog Nature Reserve
  26. The Shambles YorkAmble down the Shambles, one of the prettiest streets around
  27. Eat chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate at York Chocolate Festival (Easter)
  28. Take the National Railway Museum’s road train into town
  29. Search for Roman ghosts at the Treasurer’s House
  30. Enjoy the street entertainers: musicians, escapologists and more
  31. Play games on the lawn at Goddards
  32. Walk the city walls (free!)
  33. See where Guy Fawkes was born
  34. Enjoy a week of kids’ theatre at the York Theatre Royal’s Little Feet Festival (June; bi-annual)
  35. Grab an ice cream, milk shake or fish & chips on Bishy Road, winner of the Great British High Street Awards 2015
  36. Run, climb and jump off some energy at the Web Adventure Park
  37. Cinema for kids - YorkSee a film at City Screen’s kids’ club (Saturday mornings)
  38. Play games in the medieval schoolroom at Barley Hall
  39. Laugh at the silly street names (Whip-ma-whop-ma-gate anyone?)
  40. See one of the great shows for kids at the Great Yorkshire Fringe (July)
  41. See the peacocks at Nunnington Hall
  42. Search for squirrels in the Museum Gardens
  43. Learn about and play with chocolate at York’s CHOCOLATE Story
  44. Marvel at the ice sculptures on the York Ice Trail (December)
  45. Little Vikings YorkVisit the UK’s smallest LEGO shop, Minifigs & Bricks
  46. Visit Dick Turpin’s grave
  47. Try new foods, get hands-on at workshops or do kids’ activities at York Food & Drink Festival (September)
  48. See the city lit up in original ways during Illuminating York (November; bi-annual)
  49. Take a guided boat trip or drive your own with City Cruises York
  50. Visit Father Christmas at Beningbrough Hall, Barley Hall, York Castle Museum and lots of other lovely places

And keep your eye on Little Vikings – in print, online and on social media – for the best of York for families throughout the year


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