Free or very cheap things to do during February Half Term in York – updated for 2022
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.
1. National Railway Museum Half Term Events – York 🚂
As well as all the usual fun and things to see at the National Railway Museum, there are lots of special events for you to try.
Enjoy the Marble Run – think like an engineer and build your own run with recycled materials
Challenge yourself by designing a digital railway using colour as code to guide your robot
See the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Signalling School in action on Sat 18 Feb
Take part in a day of activities all about the role of rail engineers on Wed 23 Feb including Questions & Answers with a range of experts
ℹ️ See the National Railway Museum website for more information 💷 Cost? Entry to the museum is free 📅 When? Sat 19 Feb – Sun 27 Feb 2022 🗺 Where? National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
2. Explore Libraries Various Events – York 📚
There are always plenty of great (and often free) events going on at your local library. Here is just a small selection:
📚 A Journey of Invention & Discovery: York author, Stephen Münzer, takes you on a journey of invention and discovery into the world of Leonardo Da Vinci – Wed 23 Feb 2022 10:30 – 11:30am, Acomb Explore Library.
📚 Tell Me a Story: Local authors Fiona Kirkman and Dawn Treacher will read their stories, Harriet the Elepotamus and Mouse Pirate, followed by some creative crafts! – Fri 25 Feb 2022 10:30 – 11:30am, Acomb 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
3. Travel Through Time Quest – York City Centre 📱
York’s rich history is being celebrated in a free app that will take you on a tour of the city, encountering some of York’s most famous characters hidden around the historic streets.
Perfect for families, you’ll meet Anne Lister, Dick Turpin and Guy Fawkes among the cast of iconic York characters. Each one has an interactive augmented reality element, bringing history to life in front of your eyes! There are seven characters to find in all.
ℹ️ For more information see our blog on the Travel Through Time Quest 💷 Cost? Free – download the York Quest app 📅 When? Year-round, plus seasonal quests are often available 🗺 Where? York City Centre
4. York Art Gallery – Exhibition Square, York 👩🎨
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.
ℹ️ For more information see York Art Gallery 💷 Cost? Entry to York Art Gallery is free, although charges do apply for any special exhibitions. 📅 When? Wednesday to Sunday from 11am – 4pm and pre-booking is recommended. 🗺 Where? York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
5. That JORVIK Viking Thing 2022 – online🛡
The JORVIK Viking Centre is holding the world’s largest online Viking Festival this February half term, with interactive fun, video on demand and live streams you can enjoy Viking life at home! The festival is running from 19 – 27 February 2022.
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 19 Feb – Sun 27 Feb 2022 🗺 Where? Online
6. Dark Skies Festival – North York Moors 🌌
This year marks the seventh Dark Skies Festival. There are lots of events to choose from including night zips at Go Ape, stargazing at the National Park Centres and ghost walks in Robin Hood’s Bay.
There is a daytime Constellation Trail for kids at the Moors National Park Centre and Sutton Bank National Park Centre from 21 Feb – 6 Mar, 10.30am – 4pm. Drop-in anytime, no need to pre-book. £5 per child includes a prize!
ℹ️ See the Dark Skies festival programme for more information 💷 Cost? Some events are free and charges/pre-booking apply for others – see website for more details 📅 When? Fri 18 Feb – Sun 6 Mar 2022 🗺 Where? North York Moors National Park
7. 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.
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.
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.
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
🧸👚🧸 Finally, don’t forget the Mumbler Nearly New Sale this February Half Term! 🧸👚🧸
Come and grab some bargains! For pre-loved clothes, toys, games and books for babies, toddlers and children.
These sales are always very busy so please, if at all possible, bring slings to carry babies rather than pushchairs. There will, of course, be enough space to push a pram around if needed though.
ℹ️ For more information see our Nearly New Sale page 💷 Cost? £1 entry 📅 When? Sun 20th Feb, 2pm – 3.30pm 🗺Where? Poppleton Community Centre, Main Street, Poppleton, YO26 6JT
💜 We hope you enjoy some of these free or cheap activities this February half term in York 💜