Free & cheap things to do in York


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

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsVisit one of the country’s finest museums for nothing. There’s a changing programme of activities and lots for kids to enjoy.

Visit the website

Just pay for parking at Dalby Forest

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsOne 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.

Visit the website

Walk the Walls

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsWhy 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

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsYork 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. We’re very fond of Homestead Park, too, with its outdoor gym equipment and pop-up Reading Cafe during the spring and summer months.

Climbing Under Canopy

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsIf 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

Visit the website

Stroll Through the Streets

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsWandering 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

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsAnother 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).

Visit the website

Just pay for your fruit at The Balloon Tree

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsA popular spot for strawberry picking, there’s no admission price for this farm shop with its small play area and animal viewing area.

Visit the website

Kids go free at lots of York museums

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsLucky under 17s can visit York Art Gallery, the Yorkshire Museum and York Castle Museum in 2018 for free with full-paying adults. Consider a YMT Card which gives unlimited access to all three museums for a year.

Visit the website

Free entry at The Royal Armouries

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsOne 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.

Visit the website

Head to the libraries

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsYork libraries are running activities all summer which are free or inexpensive. These are an absolute sanity-saver, keeping little bookworms occupied during the holidays.

Visit the website

Go outdoors

Free & cheap things to do in York Little VikingsTrips 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.

Spread the love

Comments are closed.