Great free & low cost things to do in the summer holidays in York – updated for 2020
Whilst it’s lovely for everyone to have a break from school (and for many of us a break from ‘homeschooling’), many weeks stretching ahead can seem like a long and potentially expensive time.
It is possible to have plenty of fun out and about in the summer holidays in York without spending lots of money. We’ve pulled together a list of ideas that are free (or very cheap) to keep everyone entertained over the summer holidays.
York Mumbler is the place to come to find out everything going on in York for families. This summer our website is packed full of information to help make your life easier. If you are looking for holiday clubs & childcare or inspiration for a fantastic day out in the summer holidays, then you’ve come to the right place.
We also stay up to date with all the events happening in York so you don’t have to – all you have to do is look at our daily events calendar.
1. Yorkshire Museum Trust – York Art Gallery & Castle Museum
For only £12 per adult (if you’re a York resident). Having a YMT card is really handy, especially on a rainy day in town. Please note the Yorkshire Museum remains closed, but the Museum Gardens (free) are open.
ℹ️ See YMT website for more information 💷 Cost: £12 per adult, valid for a year, children are free. Pre-booking is now required. 📅 When: York Art Gallery is open Wed-Sun 11am-4pm and York Castle Museum is open for specialist tour events only Thursday – Sunday.
2. Go paddling or swim outside
When the weather is warm it’s the perfect excuse to go paddling, splashing or swimming outside to cool off. From streams to stepping stones and splash areas to outside swimming pools, we’ve rounded up all the places near York that you can cool down this summer.
Reopening on Tuesday 4 August, staff across the Science Museum Group have been working hard to provide safe, clean spaces for you to enjoy the museum you know and love. Free, timed ticketing to manage visitor numbers, in addition to guided routes around the museum to ensure you have a relaxed visit and can maintain social distancing.
6. Take a picnic to a different park – various locations around York
Another summer holiday essential is a trip (or twenty) to your local park. Why not ring the changes and visit a park in York you might not have been to before? Make a day of it and take a picnic. We’ve listed 10 brilliant parks with play areas in York guaranteed to keep everyone happy.
7. The Squirrel’s Trail Quiz – Museum Gardens, York
If you find yourself in town when the kids need a run around the Museum Gardens is the place to go. There is a free trail (access via a smartphone) to make sure you explore every corner of these beautiful gardens.
The City Walls are back open to walk around but operating a one-way system for safety. Also, entrance and exit points have been made at each bar so check the website first to plan and follow the route.
10. 50 ideas to entertain your kids this summer at home
If you are wanting to make the summer holidays feel a bit different to these last few weeks, to have some fun and create summer holiday memories then we’ve have got you covered. We’ve come up with 50 ideas using resources you will already have at home, or could easily get your hands on…so no excuses not to get involved!
This summer Silly Squad, the Summer Reading Challenge 2020, which is produced by the Reading Agency, is going digital so that children can still take part even if libraries are not fully open! Children will be able to set how many books they wish to read for the challenge themselves and will get prizes as they go along. As well as this there will be games to play and activities to download. Best of all it is free to take part. The theme is fun, laughter and silliness.
That’s the end of our list of free (or very nearly free!) ideas to do in and around York this summer. Do let us know if you hear about any other great free or cheap activities to do over summer so we can share them with all the other Mumblers.
☀️☀️☀️We hope you all have a fantastic summer holiday!☀️☀️☀️