On the hunt to find the best things to do with your kids in York? The beautiful walled city of York has a proud history of Roman and Viking origin. York is full of ancient cobbled streets, glorious architecture, fantastic museums and galleries to discover.

Its compact centre makes it easy to explore with little ones. In addition, there are plenty of cafes and tearooms to stop in when you need a rest. Families visiting York are spoiled when it comes to outdoor activities and wonderful scenery – the beautiful city has plenty of pretty green parks, as well as being surrounded by the wild beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. Lots of fresh air and being close to nature is the perfect recipe to keep kids and parents happy.

Therefore BabyBreaks has done the hard work for you, and researched the Top Fun Things to Do in York with your Kids.


Family Hotels & Apartments in York

Child Friendly Restaurants & Cafes in York


1. JORVIK Viking Centre

✓ Tried & Tested

Step back in time at one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Discover the Viking history of York through amazingly scenes showing the life in the city, 1,000 years ago. Created by York Archaeological Trust, the JORVIK Viking Centre is built on the site of the ancient city. You will explore the site through a fantastic ride. That is to say, one of the most famous discoveries of modern archaeology. Visitors will therefore get to see the houses, workshops and backyards of the people who lived there. In conclusion, a truly immersive spectacle that needs to be pre-booked in advance.

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📍  19 Coppergate, York YO1 9WT

📞  01904 615505

Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 4/5pm (Winter / Summer)

Price: From £13.50/adult and £9/50/child aged 5-16. FREE for children under 5

fun things to do in York
Source: Jorvik Viking Centre York

2. LockedIN Escape Room

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Escape Rooms are flourishing in touristic destinations and York has a lot of them to choose from. We’ve tried one of them called LockedIN which is located in the centre of York on Museum Street. Not all games are suitable for children so make sure you ask which room is suitable for a family. We escaped successfully the Caught in the Act room in 55 min and had a such fantastic time.

Visit Website

📍  Club Chambers, Museum St, York YO1 7DN

📞   01904 801400

Opening Hours: vary depending of the time slot you book. Usually between 10am and 830pm

Price: From £17/person

things to do in york wit kids
Source: BabyBreaks

3. York’s Chocolate Story

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Learn all about York’s 300 year history of chocolate making. How it became the home of so many well-loved brands, from Kit Kat to Terry’s Chocolate Orange. The kids will certainly love the hands on exhibitions, chocolate making demonstrations and free samples, yum! Don’t forget to pick up some delicious treats in the shop on your way out too. On our last visit, the guide was such a great guy who was fun, informative and never stop asking questions to the audience, especially the kids. Loved every minute of it and you take back home a chocolate lollipop too!

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📍  3-4 Kings Square, York YO1 7LD

📞  01904 527765

Opening Hours: Open daily 10am-5pm

Price: From £15.50/adult and £12.50/child. Family packages are available. FREE for children under 4

4. York Castle Museum

Here is another museum where you can learn about 400 years of York history. The venue has recreated for instance how a Victorian Street looked like in the past. You will also visit the York Castle Prison with its famous inmates. You can also experience and touch lots of objects that bring back to live the World War 1. A lot of exhibitions are available to walk through at your own pace. Expect to spend 90min to 2 hours in the museum depending how your children will be captivated by the different exhibitions.

You can pre-book your ticket here.

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📍  Tower St, York YO1 9RY

📞  01904 687687

Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 11am until 4pm. Closed on Monday and Tuesday

Price: From £13/adult and £11.70/child. FREE for children under 5

things to do in york with kids
Source: York Castle Museum

5. National Railway Museum

This hugely popular museum is featuring loads of real and model trains. Children will love the fact they can climb into the cabin to pretend to drive a steam train, or ride on the miniature railway line.  Moreover, the Interactive Learning Centre lets them build their own model trains, control the signals and how to build a bridge. Entry is free for all ages. In short, you will be guaranteed one the nest Fun Things to do in York.

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📍  Leeman Rd, York YO26 4XJ

📞  0330 058 0058

Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm / 6 pm (winter / summer)

Price: FREE however you need to pre-book your admission tickets / Donations are more than welcome

6. The Shop That Must Not Be Named

Located in the historical street of Shambles, this shop is absolutely amazing if you are a fan on Harry Potter or Fantastic Beats. The range of artefacts and objects to bring back home is huge. Beware that your kids will want everything from this shop and that you wallet will probably be severely used too! So which wand will you pick to add to your collection?

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📍  30 Shambles, York YO1 7LX

📞  01904 801562

Opening Hours: everyday 10am until 6pm

Price: FREE entry (it is a shop after all but expect to queue outside on busy days)

Source: The Shop That Must Not Be Named / Facebook

7. York Theatre Royal

The UK’s oldest theatre outside London has recently undergone a £6 million refurbishment. Bringing a prestigious and historic venue into the 21st century. Most importantly, it is home to one of the largest youth theatre groups in the country, and shows lots of family-friendly performances. For example,  The Secret Garden and Madagascar The Musical. The annual pantomime is legendary too. That is to say, a must-visit if you’re staying in York around Christmas time.

Visit Website

📍  St Leonard’s Pl, York YO1 7HD

📞  01904 623568

Opening Hours: Opening hours and performance times vary, check the website for up to date information

Price: vary depending of the performance

fun things to do in York
Source: York Theatre Royal

8. The York Ghost Merchants

Shambles has another souvenir shop to visit which is The York Ghost Merchants. We were quite intrigued at first to see so many people queuing outside on Saturday to enter a tiny little shop. Once you are inside, you are greeted with lovely people all dressed up that you will guide through their huge collection of ghosts to take back as a souvenir in a beautiful paper box. A little ghost will cost you £9 and the original ghost £17. Such an original shop that is unique in the world and only available in York.

Visit Website

📍  6 Shambles, York YO1 7LZ

📞  01904 896545

Opening Hours: Monday to Tuesday  and Thursday to Saturday from 10am until 5.30pm and Sunday from 10am until 4pm. CLOSED on Wednesday until further notice. CLOSED between 25th December and 3rd January.

Price: FREE entry to the shop but you buy at least one ghost for sure. Beware you might need to queue a bit outside on busy days and peak times. We didn’t queue much on Sunday morning at opening time though and it was August

Source: BabyBreaks

9. The Yorkshire Museum

Opened in 1830, this museum showcases all the treasures of the north. From geology and biology to astronomy and archaeology. Dino-mad youngsters will certainly love the current “Jurassic World” exhibition. Opened by Sir David Attenborough in March 2018, which brings the amazing creatures to life using ancient fossils alongside high tech wizardry.

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📍  Museum Gardens, Museum Street, York YO1 7FR

📞  01904 687687

Opening Hours: Currently CLOSED until Spring 2022. Usually Open daily 10am – 5pm

Price: From £8/adult and £4/child. FREE for children under 5

10. DIG

Owned by the same operator of the JORVIK Viking centre, DIG is  perfect introduction to archeology to your children. This hands on activity is one of the great family day out where you assume the role of trainee ‘diggers’. You will explore four different excavation pits from different times of York history. This is a fun thing to do in York with children over 5 for sure.

You must pre-book your tickets here.

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📍  DIG St Saviour Church, St Saviourgate, York YO1 8NN

📞  01904 615505

Opening Hours: vary depending of the month. check opening times here

Price: From £8/adult and £7.5/child. Family packages are available.

Source: DIG / Facebook

Still need some inspiration on the best things to do in York with Kids? Let’s look at the rest of our list…

11. River Ouse Cruise

✓ Tried & Tested

See the historic sights of York from a different perspective – a cruise boat on the tranquil River Ouse. Take in the city’s landmarks as your knowledgeable guide teaches you about their history – a fully stocked bar is available for drinks and snacks, plus indoor and outdoor seating. If you prefer a more private affair, choose to hire your own boat for a memorable family day out.

Book your Shared Cruise or Book your Self Drive Boat

Opening Hours: cruise lasts about 45min

Price: From £12.50/person for shared cruise and £45/private self drive boat

  • Source: BabyBreaks

  • Source: BabyBreaks

  • Source: BabyBreaks

  • Source: BabyBreaks

  • Source: BabyBreaks

12. Barley Hall

Part of the JORVIK group, this medieval townhouse was hidden behind a facade and was re-discovered in the 80s. Now this renovated house can be visited with staged rooms where you can immerse yourself as a character in the medieval age. This is a great way to learn about the history of York since Barley Hall was also home of Priors of Nostell and the Lord Mayor of York.

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📍  2 Coffee Yard, York YO1 8AR

📞  01904 615505

Opening Hours: usually 10am until 3pm but check updates here

Price: From £7.5/adult and £4.5/child. Family Packages are available and cheaper ticket if bought in conjunction with JORVIK and/or DIG admission entries

13. York Museum Gardens

✓ Tried & Tested

This is a wonderful, quiet spot to escape the hubub of the city for an hour or two, or enjoy a picnic on a sunny day. The former grounds of medieval St Mary’s Abbey, whose remains are still standing, feature beautiful botanic displays and over 40 species of birds. Kids will love the recent addition of a geocache garden too – happy hunting in York!

Visit Website

📍  Museum Street, York YO1 7FR

📞  01904 687687

Opening Hours: Open daily 7:30 am – 6pm / 8pm (winter / summer)

Price: FREE but donations are very much welcome

14. Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park

Part of the Askham Bryan College, this wildlife animal park is an educational attraction that will please both adults and children. Visitors usually spent 2 to 3 hours in the park to see different animals such as otters, goats or wallabies. There is also a café where you can have a quick lunch or tea/coffee break with snacks.

Visit Website

📍  Askham Bryan, York YO23 3FR

📞  01904 772270

Opening Hours: weekends and UK school holidays. Now until February 27th 2022: 10am until 4pm (last entry is 3pm) then 10am until 5pm (last entry is 4pm) until October 31st 2022

Price: From £6.95/adult and £5.95/child. FREE for children under 3. Family packages are available

Source: Askham Bryan Wildlife / Facebook

15. Walk the City Walls

✓ Tried & Tested

Walking the city walls must be on your list to do when visiting York. Stretching for 3.5 km, these are the longest medieval town walls in England, and offer amazing views of the city and beyond. The entire walk should take around two hours and some parts are quite steep, but there are plenty of places to stop along the way for refreshments if you get tired.

Visit Website

📍  Unnamed Road, York YO1 7LJ

Opening Hours: usually open at 8am and closing time vary in the year. Check updates here

Price: FREE

16. Piglets Adventure Farm

If you are looking for a fun day out outside the busy streets of York, head out to Piglets Adventure Farm. You will enjoy watching your kids playing in different areas of the farm such as rides, Go Karts, Mini Golf among other activities you can do there. The prime attraction is of course the Piglet Maternity Ward where some of you might be lucky enough to see newborn piggies. One of the best outdoor things to do in York with kids for sure.

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📍  Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Ln, Towthorpe, York YO32 9ST

📞  01904 499183

Opening Hours: re-open on 27th March 2022. Monday to Friday 10.30am until 5.30pm and weekends + school holidays 9.30am until 5.30pm

Price: vary depending of the day

17. York Maze

This huge maze attracts thousands of visitors each year, when each summer it reveals a different design, created from over one million living, growing maize plants. Past themes include Star Wars, Doctor Who and Thunderbirds… what will it be this year? As well as getting lost in the maze, kids can enjoy a funhouse, adventure activities and pig racing. A ‘must do- on your trip to York with kids!

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📍  Elvington Lane, York YO19 5LT

📞  01904 607341

Opening Hours: currently CLOSED and re-open on 16th July 2022 until 5th September 2022

Price: TBA

18. Beetle Bank Open Farm

Here is another idea to spend a day out near York in a farm with plenty of space to let your kids go wild. But also learn about animals such as sheeps, turkeys or goats. There is an adventure playground too with slides, tractors, sand pits and more. Last but not least, you can have a lunch or snack at the café and maybe get some local produces from the shop to bring back home or your holiday letting.

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📍  Moor Ln, Murton, York YO19 5XD

📞  01904 488796

Opening Hours: Re-open in February 2022

Price: From £7.5/person. FREE for children under 2. Family packages available.

things to do in York with kids
Source: Beetle Bank Open Farm

19. Castle Howard

One of the UK’s finest stately homes, Castle Howard lies just 15 miles north of York and is well worth a day trip. The magnificent estate encompasses meticulously landscaped gardens, woodland trails and an Adventure Playground complete with swings, slides, towers and bridges. Enjoy lunch at the Boathouse Café or bring your own picnic to enjoy in the grounds.

*Please note: Pushchairs are not allowed inside the House but can be stored and exchanged for ‘hip-seats’ to assist in carrying children.

Visit Website

📍  Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA

📞  01653 648333

Opening Hours: Opening hours for the house and gardens vary according to the season, check the website for more details.

Price:

Source: Castle Howard / Facebook

20. The Ghost Bus Tour

Why not spending 1h15 on a Bus with a great guide that will take you on a original tour of York. You will pass York Minster, The Shambles, Clifford’s Tower and many more sights. The tour starts just outside York train station. Beware, you host might be a bit cheesy and definitely funny. If you are looking for a serious and exhaustive tour of York, it might not be it!

Book Now

📍  Station Rd, Bus stop RE, York YO24 1AA

📞  0844 567 8666

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday. CLOSED on Monday. Tours usually start at 6pm or 7.30pm

Price: From £18/person Family packages are available

Source: GetYourGuide

…7 more things to do in York with Kids…we nearly come to the end of our list

21. The Hole in Wand

Fancy a game of golf on a rainy day in York? No problem. The Hole in Wand is an indoor mini golf with 9 holes. This attraction is very popular with families. A group of 6 ‘wizards’ can play together a round of golf (minimum age is 3 years old). Make sure you pre-book your playing slot, especially on the weekend.

Visit Website

📍  14-16 Coppergate Walk, York YO1 9NT

📞  01904 623505

Opening Hours: vary depending of the day. Usually booking slots start at 9am and finish around  6pm

Price: From £6.99/person/round of golf

Source: BabyBreaks

22. Rowntree Park

Rowntree Park is a 30 acres park located south of the city centre. It has different playgrounds, a basketball court, 6 tennis courts, a beautiful lake with geese and swans and even a skate park. A good outdoor option on a sunny day in York. And you can also have a snack or coffee/tea at the Rowntree Park Readying Cafe.

Visit Website

📍  Terry Ave, York YO23 1JQ

Opening Hours: 9am until 9.30pm

Price: FREE

Source: The Friends of Rowntree Park

So there you have it. Let’s hope that this guide of the best things to do in York with kids would be usually to plan your next holiday. You might obviously find this list useful whilst you are already there too. Feel free to share the list to your friends and family. We hope you will spend a fantastic time in York with your family and enjoy our great selection of Fun Things to Do with your Kids in York.

23. York FootGolf Centre

Here is an alternative way to play gold and be outdoor on your visit to York. York FootGolf Centre allows you play holes with your footballs and requires no traditional golf equipment. You just need your foot and your competitive mindset to get the ball in the hole! A fun activity for every member of the family to do in York!

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📍 Skelton Park Golf Course, Shipton Rd, York YO30 1XW

Source: York FootGolf / Facebook

24. The Derwent Valley Light Railway

If you are a train aficionado, don’t miss out on visiting the Derwent Valley Light Railway. This family friendly attraction allows you to see old trains and locomotives that usually run on Sundays and certain bank holidays. The Railway can be accessed through Murton Park or the Yorkshire Museum of Farming.

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📍 Murton Ln, Murton, York YO19 5UF

A fun activity to do in York with the family
Source: Derwent Valley Light Railway / Facebook

25. The Web Adventure Park

If you are a looking for a fun day out during your family friendly holiday in York, you can’t go wrong by spending a day at The Web Adventure Park. This theme park will please every member of your family with rides suitable across all ages. You can find a massive indoor soft play area for young children and also a nice café to get your favourite hot drink and snacks. Outdoor activities include a climbing web, a sandpit, a splash water zone. And there is animal little farm where your little ones can get close to ponies, goats or rabbits. The Web Adventure Park is a fantastic site for families looking for things to do in York with kids.

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📍  Clifton Gate Business Park, Wigginton Rd, York YO32 2RH

26. Mindlock Escape Rooms

Running out of ideas to keep your children entertained during your visit in York? Why not booking one of the escape rooms available at Mindlock. Games can be played from 2 players and the recommended starting age is 8 years old. Our favourite room is around the ‘Cluedo’ game so we wonder if you would win it under 1-hour to solve all the mysteries inside the room.

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📍 9 & 10 Tower St, York Y01 9SA

Source: Pixabay

27. Murton Park

Last but not least, Murton Park is a great place to visit if you want to educate your children on agriculture, livestock and more. The park has a very nice playground where your kids can ride tractors and play with swings, climbing wall and slides. There is also a picnic area close by so pefect if you have brought your lunch with you on sunny day in York. Check their website to explore the different events happening during the year.

Visit Website

📍 Murton Ln, York YO19 5UF

A fun outdoor thing to do in York with children
Source: Murton Park

27 Things to Do in York with Kids

1. JORVIK Viking Centre
2. LOCKEDIN
3. York’s Chocolate Story
4. York Castle Museum
5. National Railway Museum
6. The Shop That Must Not Be Named
7. York Theatre Royal
8. The York Ghost Merchants
9. The Yorkshire Museum
10. DIG
11. River Ouse Cruise
12. Barley Hall
13. York Museum Gardens
14. Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park
15. Wak the City Walls
16. Piglets Adventure Farm
17. York Maze
18. Beetle Bank Open Farm
19. Castle Howard
20. The Ghost Bus Tour
21. The Hotel in Wand
22. Rowntree Park
23. York FootGolf Centre
24. The Derwent Valley Light Railway
25. The Web Adventure Park
26. Mindlock Escape Rooms
27. Murton Park

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