If you’re planning a family trip to York, or you’re a local looking for something fun to do with your kids, you might be tempted to follow the sweet scent of cocoa all the way to York’s Chocolate Story. A treasure trove of chocolate history, interactive experiences and sweet treats, York’s top chocolate attraction has a lot to tempt. But is it worth a trip? We went along with our three kids (13, 11 and 8) to check it out and all gave it a sweet 10/10. Here’s why we’d recommend it to other families in York.
1. Dive into York’s chocolate history
Don’t tell your kids, but York’s Chocolate Story is popular with school trips because you’ll actually learn something as well as have fun. The enthusiastic tour guide took us on a whistle-stop tour of the history of chocolate itself, bringing to life the link between York and chocolate and introducing us to York’s chocolate families. We journeyed through the captivating story of chocolate, from its ancient Mayan origins right through to the many (slightly crazy) Japanese KitKat flavours of today. Our tour guide was funny and engaging, and there was a good mix of video and real-life content as we moved through the rooms, so there was little risk of boredom. The facts and figures may be lost on younger visitors, but the little bag of treats handed out at the start of the tour is a great idea for keeping them occupied.
2. Channel your inner Willy Wonka
After hearing all about the chocolatiers of the past, as well as learning how to taste, smell and even listen to chocolate (!), it was time to get hands-on. The lolly-making was the highlight of the tour for our kids, because who doesn’t love the challenge of trying to get as much topping as possible onto a circle of melted chocolate?! They polished their lollies off before we even left the building, so we’re guessing they were happy with them. It’s worth keeping an eye out for special chocolate workshops and events at York’s Chocolate Story, too, like truffle rolling and adults-only evenings.
3. You’ll watch a chocolatier at work
While our chocolate lollies set in the fridge, we watched a real-life chocolatier at work and found out all about the art of turning chocolate into chocolates. The kids loved the ‘chocolate rain’ part of the process and were all keen to try the delicious passion fruit chocolates at the end of the demo (but still had plenty of appetite for their chocolate lollies of course).
4. It’s good for all ages
One of the great things about chocolate is that everyone loves it. Granted, there’s the odd exception (who are these people?!) but on the whole, chocolate is a crowd-pleaser and as such, York’s Chocolate Story has universal appeal. Whether you’re travelling with young children, teenagers, or grandparents, there’s something for everyone except the smallest of babies. The blend of history, interactive displays, and scrumptious treats caters to diverse interests and age groups, ensuring that nobody feels left out.
5. Delicious hot chocolates and a tempting gift shop
If you’re a parent who likes to try to avoid the gift shop for fear of bankruptcy, bad news: the exit’s through the gift shop and you’ll need an iron grip or unusually compliant kids to avoid a little mooch around. In fairness, it’s a good one, with an array of chocolate-themed souvenirs, nostalgic sweets and cute gifts with plenty of things at pocket money prices. We went away with a huge gold chocolate coin that we didn’t need but couldn’t resist (and after all, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate). We also – don’t judge – tucked into a hot chocolate from the cafe. It’s one of the best hot chocolates in York (trust us – we’ve done a lot of research) and we didn’t feel any shame in knocking it back on a hot summer’s day. Try it and you’ll see why. Vegetables can wait…
Good to know
- – York’s Chocolate Story is open daily
- – Booking online is advisable but walk-ins are accepted if there’s space on the tour
- – The tour lasts around an hour
- – There’s a lift for buggy/wheelchair access
- – Loos are available in the cafe
- – You can save 20% on your admission ticket with your Little Vikings Family Card
York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York YO1 7LD