Free or very cheap things to do during February Half Term in York – updated for 2024
Get ready for February half-term in York! We’ve listed all the brilliant free and cheap things to do in and around York. Plus a few other fun ideas to make the chilly winter days at home a bit more fun!
We also stay up to date with all the events happening in York over February half term so you don’t have to – all you have to do is look at our daily events calendar.
In this post, we’ve listed lots of free and cheap ideas to keep you all entertained in York during February half term.
JORVIK Viking Festival 2024, York🛡
The Vikings will be pitching their tents in York City Centre this February Half Term, so you can enjoy the largest Viking Festival in Europe! Discover nine days of family-friendly events & living history with lots of FREE events happening!
ℹ️ See our blog for more information
💷 Cost? The festival is a mix of free and paid-for content – make sure you get your tickets booked early for highlight events!
📅 When? Sat 12 Feb – Sun 18 Feb 2024
📍 Where? Various locations in York City Centre
Dark Skies Festival 2024, North York Moors 🌌
The Dark Skies Festival is an annual event, which offers a range of activities for all ages under the dark skies of the North York Moors.
Events range from stargazing and walks to arts and crafts for adults, children and families.
ℹ️ See our blog for more information
💷 Cost? Some events are free and charges/pre-booking apply for others – see website for more details
📅 When? Fri 9 Feb – Sun 25 Feb 2024
📍 Where? North York Moors National Park & various other locations
‘Colour and Light’ at York Art Gallery ✨
‘Colour & Light’ returns to provide a fabulous projection experience for the whole family, illuminating York Art Gallery during the dark evenings of winter!
This year, York BID is working with York Museums Trust to illuminate the façade of York Art Gallery.
✨The projection will play every 10 minutes, between 6-9pm daily and viewers are invited to stay for as many showings as they wish.
✨ No booking is required – this is non-ticketed, free event
ℹ️ See our blog for more information
💷 Cost? Free
📅 When? 7 – 25 February from 6 – 9pm
📍 Where? York Art Gallery
National Railway Museum, York 🚂
Big News: Flying Scotsman is back!
The most famous locomotive in the world returns to the museum. See the much-loved locomotive for FREE, with access to the footplate and entry to the cab. Book free museum admission tickets here.
ℹ️ See the National Railway Museum website for more information
💷 Cost? Entry to the museum is free (charges apply for Wonderlab)
📅 When? Open 7 days a week
📍 Where? National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
Visit your local Explore Library 📚
There are always plenty of great (and often free) events going on at your local library.
Story Craft Theatre’s The Big Pirate Party! Two performances on Thur 15 Feb at Tang Hall Explore Library
Kids’ Art Workshop to support for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2024. Fri 16 Feb 10.30-11.30am at Tang Hall Explore Library
There are plenty of FREE storytime sessions, crafting and LEGO clubs running as usual throughout the week at many of the libraries.
ℹ️ For more information see the York Explore Events section
💷 Cost? Free, unless otherwise stated
📅 When? Various dates over February half term
📍 Where? Various Explore Libraries
Free sessions with York RLFC Foundation
Suitable for children 5+ and with no booking required – just turn up! See here for more details.
Mon 12 Feb: Orchard Park, Huntington, YO31 9EA, 2-4pm
York Minster is FREE for York Residents (proof of address including a YorkCard, driving licence or utility bill required) and there are loads of brilliant activities for kids year-round and this half term!
‘P’ is for Pilgrim Trail: Saturday 10 – Sunday 18 February 2024
Follow a special trail inspired by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell’s new book P is for Pilgrim. Spot Christian symbols and concepts as you explore the Minster and learn more about faith.
Look for shapes, patterns and colours as you journey around York Minster with our new STEM trails: Maths Quest, Light Quest and Nature Quest. Perfect to keep little brains busy!
Little Explorer Backpacks
Our Little Explorer Backpacks are filled with gadgets including maps, binoculars, and a magnifying glass to help your young adventurer discover the medieval Minster.
Follow in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and discover 2000 years of history in our state-of-the-art Undercroft Museum.
ℹ️ For more information see the York Minster website
💷 Cost? Free for York Residents
📅 When? Open Mon to Sat: 9.30am – 4pm, Sun: 12.45pm – 2.15pm/Undercroft Musuem Mon to Sat: 10:30am – 4.45pm
Sun: 1:15pm – 2:45pm
📍 Where? Deangate, York, YO1 7HH
Visit York Art Gallery 🖼
York Art Gallery is very family-friendly and there are some brilliant fact sheets and colouring sheets you can download and print for free before you visit to keep the kids engaged and entertained on the way round.
Activity bags are also available to buy from the shop for £6.99. A reusable tote bag full of coloured pencils, an activity guide, a kaleidoscope and a colour wheel. You can take it around the gallery with you and complete all the activities.
After visiting the gallery you can walk down into the Artists Garden and the Edible Wood before exploring the rest of the beautiful York Museum Gardens.
ℹ️ For more information see the York Art Gallery website
💷 Cost? Entry to York Art Gallery is free for York Resident children aged 16 and under (from 1st February 2024, adults are charged £7/£6.30 for York Residents – YO postcodes within City of York Council).
📅 When? Open Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm.
📍 Where? Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EW
Enjoy a meal out where kids eat free or for £1
There are lots of places where kids can eat free or for £1 this half term in York! Find out more information on our blog here and below.
TESCO Stirling Road, Clifton Moor Centre & Askham Bar, Tadcaster Rd, York YO24 1LW
Kids eat free with any adult food or drink purchase from Mon 12 – Fri 23 Feb
SAINSBURYS Jockey Ln, Huntington, York YO32 9LG
Kids eat for £1 with purchase of an adult hot meal from 11.30am every day
MORRISONSFoss Islands Rd, York YO31 7UR Spend £4.50 and get one free kids meal all day every day
DOBBIES Northfield Lane, Upper Poppleton, York YO26 6QE
With every adult breakfast or lunch, kids eat free every day!
DUNLEM Clifton Moor Centre, Stirling Rd, York YO30 4WZ
Kids get 1 mini main, 2 snacks and drink free with every £4 spent, all day every day.
BEEFEATERThe Millfield Beefeater, Business Park, White Rose Cl, York YO26 6RL Two children under 16 get a free breakfast with every full paying adult
SIZZLING PUBS The Black Bull Hotel, Hull Road, York YO10 3LF
Every Mon – Fri, 3-7pm kids mains are £1 with every adult meal
HUNGRY HORSE Flying Legends, Stirling Road, York YO30 4XY
Kids eat for £1 on Mondays
YATES Church Lane, Lower Ousegate, York, YO1 9QT
Kids eat for £1, valid Monday to Friday between the hours of 12pm and 5pm. Includes a kid’s main meal for £1, with the purchase of every 1 ‘main meal’ off the full menu bought in the same transaction.
YO SUSHI 15-17 Church Street, York, YO1 8BE
Kids eat free with every £10 adult spend from Mon 12 – Fri 23 Feb
BELLA ITALIA 89 Low Petergate, York YO1 2HY & Unit 6 Clifton Moor Gate, Stirling Road, York, YO30 4XY
Children eat for £1 with any adult main between 4-6pm Mon to Thurs
BILLS 12 Coney Street, York YO1 9NA
Up to two kids can eat free all day from Mon 12 – Fri 23 Feb(excluding Saturday & Sunday), if one adult orders any main dish (breakfast, lunch, & dinner).
Please check the offer is still valid before you visit, pre-booking may be required and restaurants reserve the right to withdraw the offers at any time.
Free Viking-themed activities at Waterstones
Enjoy a Viking half-term at Waterstones this February! Free activities for children from 10th to 17th February, including Storytime (11am Monday-Friday), Solve the Viking Runes Mystery, Activity Sheets and a Viking-themed Treasure Hunt in the children’s section.
ℹ️ Find out more information here.
💷 Cost? Free
📅 When? Sat 10 – Sat 17 Feb 2024
📍 Where? 15 Coney Street, York YO1 9QL
Free activities at The Place
Lots of free activities at The Place, Acomb this half term. No need to sign up for them in advance, but you do need free membership first – see the Place website for more details.
Half-term events include:
Valentine’s Day Crafts
Viking themed activities
ℹ️ For more information see the Place website
💷 Cost? Free
📅 When? Mon 12 – Fri 16 Feb 2024
📍 Where? Sanderson Community House, Bramham Rd, Acomb, York, YO26 5AR
Half-term fun at York Designer Outlet
Free face painting session 11am-3pm Monday 12, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 February.
Find a Valentine’s Day Heart and win a McArthurGlen Gift Card – look out for the hearts from 9.30am on 14th February, if you find one simply take it to Guest Services to claim your gift card. Gift cards will be up to the value of £50!
Undercover playground and kiddie cabs to keep the little ones entertained whilst you shop!
Look out for the giant drafts game located near the Hello York mural or play a game of table tennis located outside the South entrance.
Cheap or free events & activities for kids in York
Acomb Parish Church Pancake Party on Mon 12 Feb from 10am – 12 noon. First pancake free! Find out more here!
Nature Adventures Holiday Club at St Nicks on Tues 13 Feb, £7.50 per child. Find out more here!
Holy Trinity Heworth Pancake Party on Tues 13 Feb from 10 – 11.30am. Free of charge, find out more here!
Crafty Fox Kids Club with Tuesday Tots Extra at St James the Deacon Church on Tues 13 Feb from 9.30a – 12.30pm. Pancake Day special! Free and open to pre-schoolers and older children – all must be accompanied by an adult. Find out more here!
Valentine’s Day Cards craft session at Clifton Children’s Centre on Wed 14 Feb from 9am – 12pm.
Valentine’s Day Cards craft session at Hob Moor Children’s Centre on Thur 15 Feb from 9am – 12pm.
Dunnington Library craft session on Thur 15 Feb from 2.30 – 3.30pm. Design your own cardboard house, find out more here!
Free Art Class at Tang Hall Explore of Fri 16 Feb from 10.30-11.30am! Kids FREE art workshop to support for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2024. Find out more here!
Rapunzel – a FREE panto at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, West Bank, Acomb. Various dates, find out more here!
Craft sessions at Hobbycraft York, on various dates from £5 per child. Find out more here!
Discover Askham Bryan Wildlife Park – kids go free
Kids go FREE this half term! The week will be dedicated to raising the awareness and money for the Asian Turtle Conservation and will include turtle themed crafts, Asian animal quizzes, raffles to raise awareness of plastic pollution and some competitive memory and animal ID games.
The keeper talks go on throughout the park for an array of different animals. Some behind the scenes areas will also be open, including ‘Reptile & Aquatic rooms’ – showing where students practice their skills for life in the animal industry. The keepers are happy to share their knowledge and answer all your weird and wonderful questions!
ℹ️ For more information here
💷 Cost? Kids go free in half term/Adults £8.50.
📅 When? Sart 10 – Sun 18 Feb 2024
📍Where? Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park, Askham Bryan College, Askham Bryan, York, YO23 3FR
Enjoy York Mumbler’s Mythical Creature Quest 🐉
Our Mumbler Mythical Creature Quest takes you on a short but magical walk around York to seek out eight mythical creatures that are hiding in the city. Once you find each creature you’ll need to unscramble the clues to uncover the magical Mumbler password!
Nothing beats getting out in the fresh air! We’ve got loads of walking ideas for you! We have over 50 walks in York City Centre and further afield. We also got some Circular Walks in York which are perfect with kids, as there is no opportunity to moan about walking back!
If you fancy treating everyone, how about a walk with a cafe nearby, enjoy a hot drink and cake and a walk! We’ve also highlighted some great Woodland Walks near York, perfect for adding in a few more activities to keep the kids entertained like den building or leaf collecting. Also if nature is your thing, how about visiting one of the Nature Reserves near York. We’ve also created some fab scavenger hunts for you to download, there’s one for each season.
Homestead Park, York – a large park with lots of trees, plants and flowers. Also a very large play area with a good range of equipment and toilets!
Poppleton Community Centre Play Area, York – this play area has a good range of equipment & zip wire. You can also treat yourself to refreshments from the Poppleton Community Centre which has a cafe.
Ethel Ward Playing Field, Haxby – this large playground has equipment for young and older children and is located next to a large playing field. You can combine it with a visit to the shops and cafes in Haxby or a visit to the duck pond.
Rowntree Park, York – just a short walk from the city centre this is a huge 30-acre park with plenty of space to run around, a large play area and toilets. (Update 9 Feb 2024: The park is currently still closed due to the impact of flooding, and is unlikely to open this half term. Do check the up-to-date status of the park on the Friends of Rowntree Park facebook page ).
It’s always trickier to think of easy ideas to keep everyone entertained when it’s cold and wet outside and that doesn’t cost a fortune. Here are some ideas to help give you a bit of inspiration!
💜 Who says picnics are just for summer? Try an indoor picnic and pretend the sun is shining!
💜 Play board games and do puzzles. Have a family competition and see who gets the highest score!
💜 Have a film marathon with your favourite snacks and turn your lounge into a mini cinema with lots of cushions and blankets
💜 Invite friends over for brunch or afternoon tea, share the cooking and enjoy a relaxing few hours
💜 We hope you enjoy some of these free or cheap activities this February half term in York 💜