Keeping the whole family entertained can be hard work at times and expensive!
It doesn’t have to be!!! There’s plenty of FREE ways to keep the family busy and happy….
York Residents get free admission to York Minster. Just take some valid identification including: a YorkCard, driving licence, utility bill, or proof of York address.
There’s some fabulous discovery trails which are free to print off HERE prior to your Minster visit, including a dragon hunt and Monty the Monkey discovery trail. They also have free explorer backpacks which they loan out containing all a mini Mumbler needs to get the most out of exploring the magnificent minster.
A Mumbler favourite, it’s an amazing day out, whatever the weather. Explore the trains in the Great Hall, Station Hall and the workshop. There’s a soft play station, outdoor play area and a miniature railway (charges apply).
York University – The Astrocampus
The Astrocampus is open to the public once a fortnight throughout the winter months (October-March) and monthly throughout the summer (April-September). Visits are designed to be suitable for all ages. At each event, you will have a tour of our observatories and an introduction to the night sky. When possible, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the Moon, planets, and stars with our telescopes and binoculars. If the weather lets us down, our team will equip you with some handy hints and tips for finding your way around the night sky, so the events go ahead whatever the weather. There’s also the opportunity to find out more about space science. This can include meteorite handling, using an infra-red camera to discover how space telescopes work, and investigating spacecraft in 3D using our iPads.
FREE but booking is essential – see the website for details.
Keep an eye on the Mumbler Events Calender it is full of local events often including many FREE options. York Mumbler does a Facebook post every Thursday evening mentioning the event highlights for the upcoming weekend, this is then shared throughout the weekend. Make sure you have liked the York Mumbler News page to ensure you see these.
York Residents Weekend
An annual event, happening in January. It offers the opportunity for York Residents to gain free entry into a variety of Yorks attractions. A valid student ID or York Card is required (click HERE for York card information). The Visit York website will have more details about the attractions involved and how to book etc nearer the time HERE.
Lots of the playgroups listed on the Mumbler website are either free or very low cost. Perfect for getting out and about with your little ones. Most listings have a phone number on, its always worth phoning before visiting a group for the first time (some run term time only). Here’s just a few:
So it may be a little cold and wet out there at times, but get wrapped up warm, get the kids in wellies and there’s plenty of free fun to be had all year round. See the York Mumbler website for a list of local Parks and Playgrounds and Walks and the Great Outdoors.
This scale model of the Solar System is spread out along 6.4 miles of the old East Coast main-line railway. Along it you can find scale models of all the planets in our solar system as well as models of the Cassini and Voyager spacecraft. The track is a wonderful nature reserve with many different species of trees along the way, and an abundance of wild life to see and hear.
Route goes via Brunswick Organic Nursery & various pubs for refreshments.
On a nice day, there isn’t a much better way to see the beautiful city of York than walking around the walls. Children can enjoy following the route via the golden disks on the floor and remember to take some paper and crayons so they can complete the map rubbings at each of the bars. The walls go most of the way around the city, just having to get down to street level a couple of times. Not strictly buggy friendly but I know many who have managed it fine. Always a friendly visitor or local on hand to help!
York University Campus Tree Trail
A 1 hour walk (2.3 miles) finding 34 trees. See HERE for the trail map. Keep an eye out for the wildlife too.The campus is home to rabbits, fish, ducks, geese and squirrels.
Cats have played a part in York’s history and luck has been linked with them since records began. Cats always land on their feet and having nine lives is a piece of luck that we can all relate to. York Glass is the home of York Lucky Cats where we celebrate the York Cat story. Statues of cats have been placed on buildings in York for around two Centuries, although statues since removed or rotted are thought to date from medieval times. The original cat statues were placed on buildings to frighten away rats and mice which can carry plague and illness. They were also thought to ward off wandering evil spirits and generally to bestow good luck and good health on citizens who needed feline friends to ensure a good nights sleep in old and temptingly chewy timber framed buildings!
“If you have kids that love treasure hunts and looking for things I can highly recommend the York Cat trail. For FREE you can pick up a map from the Cat gallery shop on Petergate or download it from the internet. It has clues and a map of where cats are on buildings around the city of York. There are a few questions to answer whilst going round and when complete you hand the form in to the Cat gallery shop and child receives a little free gift. My 4 yr old and I loved it today. Highly recommended.”
Explore some of the hidden treasures of York Museum Gardens. Follow The Squirrel’s Trail of 10 fascinating fact points! Follow the interactive trail by clicking the points on the map above and take part in our online quiz at the end. Find the Questions at…
The Nature Reserve is open all year round, just come and wander round. Come and explore 24 acres of unique green space on the site of a former rubbish tip. Many birds live on or visit the nature reserve and just under 20 species of butterflies have been recorded. There are all kinds of other insects and some mammals too. There is a great variety of plant species, trees and shrubs. St Nicks Environment Centre is open: Mondays – Fridays 9am-4pm and during our on-site events
St Nicks, St Nicks Environment Centre (formerly York Environment Centre), Rawdon Avenue, York, YO10 3ST T: 01904 411821
Coffee for you, fun for them….
It’s asked so often on the Mumbler chat group “Where can I go for a coffee where there’s a bit of space for the kids to play?” Whether it’s just you and the kids, or you are meeting someone for a natter, it’s nice to have something for the kiddies to do so there’s a chance you can actually enjoy your drink while its hot! Ok so it’s not free, but for the price of a cuppa (or 2 or 3). All the places below have a lovely little area indoors for the children to play:
Of course, we can’t miss the libraries off this list. Acomb Library, Rowntree’s Reading Cafe and York Central Library all have Café facilities and a wonderful choice of books for the little ones to enjoy.
Explore York Libraries and Archives Regular Times and sessions
Clifton Explore Library Rawcliffe Lane, York, YO30 5SJ Tel. (01904) 552662 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening Times Monday: 2.30pm – 5.30pm Tuesday: 10.00am -1.00pm & 2.00pm – 5.30pm Wednesday: 10.00am -1.00pm & 2.00pm – 5.30pm Thursday: 2.30pm – 7.00pm Friday: 10.00am – 1.00pm & 2.00pm -5.30pm Saturday: 10.00am – 1.00pm * Under 5’s stories & rhyme time: Tuesdays & Fridays 10.30-11am * Play morning: Wednesdays 10-11am * Yorky Dads Lego: The last Saturday of the month 11.00am-12.30pm * Code club: Tuesdays fortnightly 4-5pm (next one 13/11)
Copmanthorpe Library Village Centre, Main Street, York, YO23 3SU Tel. (01904) 552672 Email: email@example.com Monday: 9.00am – 1.00pm & 2.00pm – 5.30pm Tuesday: 2.00pm – 6.30pm Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 9.00am – 1.00pm Friday: 2.00pm – 5.30pm Saturday: 9.00am – 1.00pm * Under 5s Story Time: Thursday 10.30 – 11am * Fun Fridays: Friday during term time 3.30pm * Tech Free Time: Tuesday during term time 3.30pm * Children’s Crafts: the first Saturday of each month 10am
Dringhouses Library, Tadcaster Road, York, YO24 1LR Tel. (01904) 552674 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening Times Monday: 2.00pm – 6.00pm Tuesday: 9.30am – 12.30pm & 2.00pm – 5.30pm Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 9.30am – 12.30pm & 2.00pm – 5.30pm Friday: 2.00pm – 5.30pm Saturday: 9.30am – 1.00pm * Under 5s storytime: Thursday and Saturday 11-11.30am * Lego Club on Tuesdays from 3.30-4.30pm free drop in * After-school craft club: Thursday 3.30-5pm(for primary age children)
Dunnington Library The Reading Room, Church St, York, YO19 5PW Tel. (01904) 552668 Email: email@example.com Monday: 10.00am – 1.30pm Tuesday: 2.00pm – 5.30pm Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm Friday: Closed Saturday: 9.00am – 12.30pm * Under 5s storytime: o Thursday 2.15p.m.-2.45pm throughout the year, o Monday 9.15a.m.-9.45a.m. term-time only.
Haxby Explore Library, Station Road, York, YO32 3LT Tel. (01904) 552660 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening Times Ethel Ward Playing Field: Monday 9.30am – 6.30pm Haxby Memorial Hall: Tuesday 9.30am – 5.00pm Wigginton Recreation Hall: Wednesday 9.30am – 5.00pm Thursday Closed Oaken Grove Community Centre: Friday 9.30am –5.00pm Oaken Grove Community Centre: Saturday 9.30am – 12.30pm * Under 5 Storytime at Oaken Grove: Fridays 2.30pm-3.00pm * Play mornings at The Memorial Hall: Tuesdays 10-11am, * Youth team monthly drop in: Ethel Ward Playing fields: Mondays 5-6pm * Coding Club fortnightly at Oaken Grove: Saturdays 10-12 noon
New Earswick Library Folk Hall, Hawthorn Terrace, York, YO32 4AQ Tel. (01904) 552629 Email: email@example.com Opening Times Monday: 9am – 12.30pm Tuesday : 9am – 12.30pm and 2pm – 4.30pm Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 1.30pm – 5pm Friday: 1.30pm – 5pm Saturday : 10am – 12 noon * Under-5s Rhymetime: Tuesday 10 – 10:30am followed by refreshments and chat.
Poppleton Library, The Village, York, YO26 6JT Tel. (01904) 552680 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening Times Monday: 10.00am – 12.30pm & 2.00pm – 5.00pm Tuesday: Closed Wednesday: 10.00am – 12.30pm & 2.00pm – 5.00pm Thursday: 10.00am – 12.30pm Friday: 10.00am – 12.30pm & 2.00pm – 5.00pm * Under 5 story tim:e Fridays 2.30 – 3.00pm.
Rowntree Park Reading Cafe Rowntree Park Lodge, Richardson Street, York, YO23 1JU Tel. (01904) 551489 The opening hours change throughout the year according to the seasons & the opening hours of the park itself. Roughly: Summer 10.00am – 7.00pm, Autumn & Spring 10.00am – 5.00pm Winter 10.00am – 3.00pm. See Explore Library webpage for precise dates and times * Lego drop in sessions: Friday 3.30 – 4.40 pm every week until 14th December.
Strensall Library, 19 The Village, York, YO32 5XS Tel. (01904) 552677 Email: email@example.com Opening Times Monday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm Tuesday: 10.30am – 12.30pm & 2.00pm – 5.00pm Wednesday: closed Thursday: 9.30am – 12.30pm & 2.00pm – 4.00pm Friday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm Saturday: 10.00am – 12.30pm * Under 5 story time: Thursday 11-11.30
The Centre @ Burnholme, Tang Hall Explore Library, Mossdale Avenue, York, YO31 0HA Tel. (01904) 552655 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening Times Monday: 9.00am – 8.00pm Tuesday: 9.00am – 8.00pm Wednesday: 9.00am – 8.00pm Thursday: 9.00am – 8.00pm Friday: 9.00am – 6.00pm Saturday: 9.00am – 4.00pm Sunday: 10.00am – 4.00pm * Story/Rhyme time for under 5s: o Weekdays 10 am and on Thursday there is a play session afterward. o Saturdays 10.30 * Chatterbooks: alternate Fridays 3.45 – 4.45pm * Lego sessions: Last Sunday of the month 11 am – 3 pm drop in. * Minecraft sessions: 3rd Thursday in the month at 3.30 pm * Young Adults Book Club: ages 11-14. Thursdays 5-6pm.
York Explore Library, Library Square, York, YO17DS Tel. 01904) 552828 Email: email@example.com Opening Times Mondays: 9.00am – 8.00pm Tuesday: 9.00am – 8.00pm Wednesday: 9.00am – 8.00pm Thursday: 9.00am – 8.00pm Friday: 9.00am – 6.00pm Saturday: 9.00am – 5.00pm Sunday: 11.00am – 4.00pm * Story and Play: Monday 10am-10.45am Storytimes: Tuesday 10.30am-11am, Thursday 1.30pm-2pm Rhymetimes: Wednesday 1.30pm-2pm, Friday 10.30am-11am. * Explore a story: ages 2-5 every 4th Thursday (The next is November 29th ) * Code club: Saturdays 2.30pm * Chatterbooks: Saturdays 10.30-11.30am
Slightly further afield
If you are able to get slightly further afield there’s even more great days out to be had:
Yorkshire sculpture park – Wakefield – Free Entry but parking charges apply Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 8BH – Free Entry Royal Armouries – Leeds – Free Entry Aeroplane spotting at Leeds Street life Museum – Hull – Free Entry Hope pastures donkey sanctuary – Leeds – Free entry The National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, BD1 1NQ – 8 floors to explore! Free entry
That should keep us all busy for a while, and hopefully save some pennies too!
Do you know of any FREE activities in York that we haven’t mentioned? Do tell!!! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we can let other Mumbler’s know too!