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.
1. JORVIK Viking Centre
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. 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.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 4/5pm (Winter / Summer)
2. York’s Chocolate Story
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.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am-5pm
3. 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.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm / 6 pm (winter / summer)
4. 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.
Opening Hours: Opening hours and performance times vary, check the website for up to date information
5. 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.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm
6. River Ouse Cruise
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
7. York Museum Gardens
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!
Address: Museum Street, York YO1 7FR
Opening Hours: Open daily 7:30 am – 6pm / 8pm (winter / summer)
8. Walk the City Walls
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.
9. 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!
Address: Elvington Lane, York YO19 5LT
Opening Hours: Open daily from July to September, 10am – 6:30pm
10. 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.
Address: Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA
Opening Hours: Opening hours for the house and gardens vary according to the season, check the website for more details.
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.
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