Site logo

York Residents Festival 2024 – 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 2024! Taking place on 27th and 28th January, 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, with over 100 attractions, events and offers to take advantage of, from free wizard golf at The Hole in Wand to free river cruises with City Cruises York (CANCELLEDfind out more) and even free entry to JORVIK Viking Centre! You could even enjoy a free family-friendly walking tour with The Wizard Walk of York! Beyond the walls, there’s free admission to Yorkshire Air Museum and Beningbrough Hall, both of which get the Little Vikings seal of approval. BUT you need to be organised as lots of things do need pre-booking. Also worth knowing: visit the Railway Museum’s new Wonderlab and you’ll get a free upgrade to an annual pass (check the terms and conditions).

There are also many offers on eating out at lovely places like Ambiente Tapas, Explore York cafes, The Grand, York, The Principal York and Loopy Scoops. Visit the Visit York website for the latest offers. What’s more, there are offers at some great local shops like The Potions Cauldron and Rafi’s Spicebox, 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 but please check entry requirements for each attraction.

– 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 – Saturday and Sunday. No need to book.

– Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens – Saturday and Sunday. Pre-booking not required but you need to show proof of address.

Barley Hall

City Cruises – Saturday and Sunday; 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Free cruise. Pre-booking not required (first-come, first-served basis). Show proof of residence. CANCELLED – Find out more

– Clifford’s Tower – Saturday and Sunday – The site will be free as part of York Residents’ Festival, but there is a limit on capacity inside the tower so queues are expected. The queue may be closed off before our advertised closing time.

DIG: An Archaeological Adventure – Saturday and Sunday. Free entry after 2pm. First-come, first-served; no pre-booking.

Dig York birthday party

JORVIK Viking Centre – Saturday and Sunday. Free entry after 2pm. First-come, first-served; no booking.

Brimham Rocks

Lost Earth Adventures, Brimham Rocks – Saturday and Sunday. 3-hour climbing & abseiling session. Maximum 2 people per booking. Pre-booking required by email or telephone.

The Hole in Wand – Saturday and Sunday – There are 750 tickets available for York residents over the weekend. Pre-booking required; email with your preferred time slot. **NOW SOLD OUT**

– Wizard Walk of York – Saturday – Places limited and allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Book early by sending an ‘owl’ (email) to info@wizardwalkofyork.com with your name, number of adults and children and any optional Wizard Wand Kits (£5 each, cash brought to the tour).

Wizard Walk of York

York Art Gallery – Saturday and Sunday – Pre-booking not required

York Castle Museum – Saturday and Sunday – Pre-booking preferred

York Minster York with kids

York Explore Library, Map Attack! – Lego City of Wonder – Saturday – 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 – Climb the tower! Saturday and Sunday. Free entry. Pre-booking required on the day.

York Theatre Royal – Saturday tours of the building. Pre-booking is required.

York's chocolate story - a family-friendly visitor attraction in york

York’s Chocolate Story – Saturday and Sunday – First 100 visitors go free. Also 20% off additional admissions throughout the whole weekend. Simply join the queue outside and receive your FREE printed ticket at the door! It’s first-come, first-served, so be there early to ensure you don’t miss out on this scrumptious opportunity.

– Yorkshire Air Museum – Saturday and Sunday – No pre-booking required

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter


The best of York and beyond for families, Straight to your inbox every week.

Subscribe now