Free & cheap things to do in York

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Kids are easily pleased, so you really don’t need to spend a fortune to have a good time. Luckily there are lots of free and fairly purse-friendly ways to have fun in and around York. Here’s our pick of the best things to do in the city and beyond that don’t cost the earth.


Admission’s free at the National Railway Museum

train-col-1Visit one of the country’s finest museums for nothing. There’s a changing programme of activities and lots for kids to enjoy.

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Just pay for parking at Dalby Forest

Little Vikings York for kidsOne of Yorkshire’s most stunning spots is accessible for just the price of parking (£8 a day). Head out on one of the many trails on foot or by bike and don’t miss the epic adventure play area.

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Walk the Walls

running-colWhy not take a walk around the City Walls? There’s almost 3.5km of medieval wall to choose from, all with fantastic views, and it’s totally free. If little feet aren’t up to a big hike, just choose a small section. It’s easy to hop off once you’ve had enough.

 

 


Larks in the Parks

Little Vikings York for kidsYork is full of fantastic parks and open spaces, available to everyone at no cost. Take a picnic if you’re peckish. For squirrel-spotting and balancing along the ruins (where permitted!), try the Museum Gardens. There’s no play equipment as such, but plenty of history, nature and open space to appeal. For swings, slides, ducks and more, try Rowntree Park.

 


Climbing Under Canopy

Little Vikings York for kidsIf it’s raining and your children need to run off some steam, there’s a free, covered outdoor children’s play area at York Designer Outlet. McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, St Nicholas Avenue, York YO19 4TA

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Stroll Through the Streets

shambles-colWandering around the city streets is one of the best things you can do in York and it costs nothing. There’s plenty to interest everyone, from fantastic street entertainers to genuinely talented buskers to tiny alleyways and secret passages, cobbled streets and grand squares. Marvel at the Minster, take a turn around the bottom of Clifford’s Tower, skip along Whipmawhopmagate and amble through The Shambles.

 


Parking charges only at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Girl-with-Ice-Cream-colAnother cracking day out is yours for the price of a parking ticket. YSP is a fantastic outdoor day out that inspires (and tires little legs).

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Just pay for your fruit at The Balloon Tree

A popular spot for strawberry picking, there’s no admission price for this farm shop with its small play area and animal viewing area.

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Kids go free at lots of York museums

tickets-colLucky under 16s can visit York Art Gallery, the Yorkshire Museum and York Castle Museum in 2016 for free with full-paying adults. Consider a YMT Card which gives unlimited access to all three museums for a year.

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Free entry at The Royal Armouries

BOY-head-colOne of Leeds’ top attractions, and the national museum of arms and armour, is free to enter. There’s always something new to see at the Royal Armouries, with lots of special holiday activities.

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Head to the libraries

dancingFI-colYork libraries are running activities all summer which are free or inexpensive. There’s a Roald Dahl theme this year, to celebrate 100 years of the legendary children’s author.

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Go outdoors

Litltle Vikings York for kidsTrips to the great Yorkshire countryside needn’t cost much – pack a picnic, find a free parking space and let the kids run wild. The Yorkshire Dales and Moors and our glorious coast are all great options. Closer to York, grab or hire your bikes and take a trip along the river or out of town on the family-friendly cycle routes.

 

 


 

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