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York Residents Festival 2022 – Explore your city for less!

Things to do in york with kid

York Residents Festival is the annual opportunity for York residents to explore their city for free (or a lot less) and it’s back for 2022! Taking place on 29th and 30th January 2022, it’s just what we need to look forward to at the end of the bleakest time of the year. As usual, there’s plenty for families to enjoy, from free entry at JORVIK Viking Centre and York Castle Museum to behind the scenes tours of York Theatre Royal. You can even climb aboard a river cruise with City Cruises York or go on a family-friendly walking tour with York Dungeon! Beyond the walls, there’s free admission to Yorkshire Air Museum and Beningbrough Hall, both of which get the Little Vikings seal of approval.

There are also lots of offers on eating out at lovely places like Ambiente Tapas, Plush Cafe and Cocoa Joe’s. Visit the Visit York website for the latest offers. What’s more, there are offers at some great local shops, too

How it works

– York Residents’ Festival is open to all York Residents who have a valid YorkCard – you’ll need one card per person to gain free admission to attractions and benefit from the special offers.

– Pre-booking is required for some attractions, tours and events

– Some venues have limited free tickets and operate on a first come first serve basis

– Students studying in the city can also take part with a valid York student ID card.

York attractions taking part in this year’s Residents’ Festival

Barley Hall – Sat 29 Jan- Fri 4 Feb. Free entry after 2pm. Pre-booking required. 

Bedern Hall – Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan, 10.30am to 3.30pm. Free entry. Pre-booking not required.

– Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens – Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 3.30pm. Free entry (The hall and gallery are closed for ongoing conservation work.) Pre-booking not required.

City Cruises York - River cruise

City Cruises – Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan; 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Free cruise. Pre-booking not required (first-come, first-served basis).

DIG: An Archaeological Adventure – Sat 29 Jan – Fri 4 Feb. Free entry after 3pm. Pre-book online, numbers are limited. 

Fairfax House – Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan, 11am – 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). Free entry for the first 100 people. Pre-book online.

Fishergate Postern Tower – Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. Pre-booking not required.

Get Cycling – Fri 28 Jan 08.30am – 5.30pm & Sat 29 Jan 10am – 4pm. Hire a bike for free for 4 hours. Pre-booking required.

Cycling York kids

Grand Opera House York – Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 3pm. Behind the scenes tour. Pre-booking not required.

Holgate Windmill – Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 11am to 4pm. Tour of York’s only surviving windmill. Pre-booking not required. 

JORVIK Viking Centre – Sat 29 Jan – Fri 4 Feb. Free entry after 3pm. Pre-book online.

Joseph Rowntree Theatre – Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 3:30pm. Behind the scenes tour. Pre-booking not required.

Brimham Rocks

Lost Earth Adventures, Brimham Rocks – Sat 29 Jan – Sun 30 Jan, 9am – 6.30pm. 2-hour climbing & abseiling session. Maximum 2 people per booking. Pre-booking required by email or telephone.

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall – Sat 29 Jan, 10am to 4.30pm (last admission 4pm). Pre-booking not required.

Merchant Taylors’ Hall  – Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 4pm. Pre-booking not required.

The Bar Convent York

The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre – Sat 29 Jan, 10am- 5 pm (last admission 4pm). Exhibition entry: 50p. Pre-booking not required.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience – Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 5pm and 6pm. Pre-booking required.

York Army Museum - Museums in York for families

York Army Museum – Sat 29 Jan, 10am-4pm & Sun 30 Jan, 10am-1pm. Free entry and talk. Pre-booking required. 

York Art Gallery – Sat 29 Jan- Sun 30 Jan, 11 am – 4pm. Free admission to Young Gainsborough exhibition. Pre-booking required.

York Astronomical Society – Sat 29 Jan – Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 4pm. Observatory tour and free stargazing event. Pre-booking required.

York Castle Museum – Sat 29 Jan- Sun 30 Jan, 11am – 4pm. Pre-booking required.

York Cocoa House (at York Cocoa Works) – Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 9am – 4pm. Tasting trail and Chocolate Lollipop workshop. Pre-booking required – here’s the link

– York Dungeon – Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 10am to 12.30pm – Get ready for a thrilling time as you journey through 2000 years of York’s darkest history. There’s a set number of tickets available with free entry from 10am to 12.30pm for York residents. Tickets must be collected from the Visit York Information Centre from 15th January while stocks last. The Dungeon will also be running its popular family-friendly walking tours on Saturday 29th.

York Explore Library, Map Attack! – Lego City of Wonder – Sat 29 Jan, 10am – 2pm. Pre-booking not required.

York Mansion House – Sat 29 Jan-Sun 30 Jan, 10.30am to 5pm (last admission 4.30pm). Pre-booking not required.

– York Minster – Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan. Free entry. Pre-booking required.

York Theatre Royal – Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan (Tours will be available at half hour intervals from 6 pm until 8 pm on both days). Pre-booking is required.

York's Chocolate Story

York’s Chocolate Story – Sat 29 Jan &, Sun 30 Jan, first five tours are free between 09.00 – 10.00. Also 1/3 off additional admissions and 20% off café and retail throughout the whole weekend. Pre-booking not required.

York Stadium Leisure Centre – Sat 29 Jan, 10am to 3pm. Pre-booking not required.

Yorkshire Air Museum – Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 10am to 4pm. Pre-booking required.

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