Days Out York

Free activities

Free things to do with Kids in York


Last Updated: 20/08/20

The National Railway Museum is now reopen. We have been working hard to provide a safe, clean space for you to enjoy.

We have introduced free, timed ticketing to manage visitor numbers, guided routes around the museum to ensure you have a relaxed visit and can maintain social distancing, so please make sure you book online in advance.

Home to iconic locomotives and an unrivalled collection of engineering firsts, the National Railway Museum celebrates the past, present and future of innovation on the railways.

Get up close to icons of the rails including Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive. Discover how high-speed rail travel began and journey back in time to experience the working life of a station. Explore over 200 years of history and find out how railways shaped our world. We have now reopened Station Hall, South Yard and our outdoor play area.

For more information about opening times, facilities and guidance on planning your visit, go to railwaymuseum.org.uk/visit

Opening Times:

Week commencing 17 August
Open 11.00–17.00 on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Week commencing 24 August and onwards
Open 10.00–17.00 every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday


03330161010
info@railwaymuseum.org.uk
www.railwaymuseum.org.uk/visit

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Why not walk from Rowntree park to Homestead park?

Download the map here: Childrens Walking Map which has things for children to spot on the way.

The walk takes approximately 1 ½ hours. The last section is not suitable for wheelchairs or large buggies, but an alternative route is suggested.


01904 552 828
contact@exploreyork.org.uk
www.exploreyork.org.uk/park-to-park-walking-trail-and-childrens-activity-map/

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Last Updated: 22/07/20

Summer 2020

York Art Gallery is inviting people to visit for free when it reopens its doors on August 1.

The charity York Museums Trust, which runs the gallery, hope that by removing admission charges there will be a higher number and increased diversity of visitors who will help support the gallery through donations and buying tickets for special exhibitions.

If successful, this new way of opening the gallery will allow the Trust to continue to offer free entry to its permanent collections, Centre of Ceramic Art and Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition throughout the year.

Initially the gallery will be free in support of the citywide Our Heroes Welcome Campaign.

From August 20, the permanent collections Centre of Ceramic Art and Aesthetica Art Prize will be free to all, while two new exhibitions, Views of York & Yorkshire and Your Art Gallery: Paintings Chosen By You will introduce a new paying concept of ‘pay as you feel’ with suggested amounts.

Spot the L.S. Lowry, Turner and Hockney and surround yourself with some of the best ceramic art in the world at York Art Gallery. With a programme of changing exhibitions and events for all ages, there is always something new to see and do.

Our Heroes
Opens August 1
York artist Karen Winship pays tribute to the tireless and selfless work of NHS workers in this moving exhibition of portraits created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Views of York & Yorkshire
Opens August 20
Much-loved paintings and works on paper depicting York and the surrounding countryside will go on show in a new exhibition..

From August 1 the gallery will be open 11am-4pm, five days a week from Wednesdays to Sundays.

Visitors will need to book their free timed tickets online at www.yorkartgallery.org.uk where they can also find out about the new exhibitions and the changes we have made to ensure a safe and relaxing visit.

Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EW


01904 687687
enquiries@ymt.org.uk
www.yorkartgallery.org.uk

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Last Updated: 10/08/20

Summer 2020

Kirkgate and Cell Tour: £12 per person
Step back in time and take a stroll through Victorian York this summer as York Castle Museum invites you to join us on a guided tour of its world-famous recreated street Kirkgate. See the shops, sample the wares and hear all about its fascinating history from one of our experts. A second tour offers you a glimpse into life in the cells of York Castle Prison.

Family Tour: £8 per person
Calling all families! This summer, let our costumed guide whisk you back more than 100 years to walk the streets of Victorian York as you explore what life was like for both rich and poor in our new family tour.

Fashion and Textiles Tour: £18 per person
From caps to corsets, and from gowns to children’s clogs, every object has a story. Join Dr Faye Prior from York Castle Museum, as she introduces you to some of these fascinating stories while on a journey through 400 years of fashion.

Based in the Fashion gallery of Shaping the Body, the talk will reveal the hidden histories of some of the gorgeous garments on show. Although social distancing means we can’t handle the objects, you will be able to view some up close. There will be seating provided so you can choose whether to sit or stand.

The tours will take place from August 1 and then on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, between 11am and 3:30pm. To visit, book online.

York Castle Museum, Eye of York, YO1 9RY


01904 687687
enquiries@ymt.org.uk
www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk

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Last Updated: 20/07/20

As a York Resident you can take in one of the world’s most-magnificent cathedrals – with stunning stained glass and architecture dating back nearly 2,000 years – for FREE with proof of address.

The wide open areas of the Minster offer a great chance to explore and learn on your day out and you can feel safe in the knowledge that they have the Visit England ‘Good To Go’ stamp of approval, showing they are following all health guidelines correctly.

Booking slots online is required for all at the moment – even with free admission. Please visit YorkMinster.org to select your day and timed slot now. Remember to have your proof of address with you on the day (this includes YorkCard, Drivers ID, Council Tax bill, York Student Card).

Charges for non-York residents are £11.50 for Adults/Seniors and £9 for students. All under 16s are free of charge all year round.

The building is currently open for sightseeing Mon-Sat: 11am-4pm, Sun: 12.30pm-2.30pm

All are welcome to daily services held at the Minster for free. See YorkMinster.org/Whats-On for service times.

York Minster, Deangate, York, YO1 7HH


01904 557200
info@yorkminster.org
yorkminster.org

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Last Updated: 07/07/20

From prehistory to Romans, Vikings and the city’s medieval splendour; see some of the finest collections of archaeological and geological finds in Europe.

Don’t miss our ground-breaking exhibition Yorkshire’s Jurassic World, opened by Sir David Attenborough. Take an epic journey back through 150 million years of Yorkshire to discover lost giants and the changing worlds they inhabited in.

Adult £8, Child (0-16) free with paying adult, YMT Cardholder – Free.
Open 10am-5pm.

Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR


01904 687687
enquiries@ymt.org.uk
www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk

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10 Brilliant Parks & Playgrounds in York

We’ve compiled a list of ten great parks and play areas in York so you can add some variety to your days out and enjoy even more of the many beautiful green spaces that York has hidden away.

Fruit & Veg Picking

There are some great groups in York such as Edible York who map out edibles around the city and you can join in with Abundance York who pick and distribute surplus fruit growing on common land & private gardens. Both links will take you to other fruity projects like Friends of Dormouse OrchardFulford Community Orchard (loads more if these aren’t local to you).

Lots of free treats if you know where to look!

(Thanks to LC for the tip!)

Solar Way – Cycle Ride

Last Updated: 15/07/20

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.
https://www.york.ac.uk/solar/index.html for more information.

St Nicks Nature Reserve

Last Updated: 27/07/20

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 reserve is good…its a cycle track but lots of bits to look at too…you can head left and come out at Morrisons Foss Islands or right to Tanghall/osbaldwick & dewenthorpe.”

LT, Jan 19

St Nicks, St Nicks Environment Centre (formerly York Environment Centre), Rawdon Avenue, York, YO10 3FW
T: 01904 411821

York’s Lucky Cat Trail

Last Updated: 23/07/20

York Glass is the home of York Lucky Cats where we celebrate the York Cat story. You can pick up a leaflet from the shop on the Shambles.

34 Shambles, City Centre, York, YO1 7LX
T: 01904 541122

The Squirrel’s Trail

Last Updated: 22/07/20

Explore some of the hidden treasures of York Museum Gardens. Follow The Squirrel’s Trail of 10 fascinating fact points!

Follow the interactive trail and take part in our online quiz at the end. Find the Questions at…
http://www.yorkmuseumgardens.org.uk/squirrel/

Museum Street, York, YO1 7FR

Walks and Woods in York with Kids

There aren’t many better things to do with kids than get out into the great outdoors for a walk. York has lots of great walks and woodlands and we’ve got some of the best options listed HERE

York City Walls Walk

Last Updated: 20/07/20

Please note there is a one-way system in place.

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 Libraries – Details and children’s sessions

Explore York Libraries and Archives Regular Times and sessions.

We’ve got all of the libraries in York Listed here with their address, contact details and opening times as well as details of all the regular sessions they hold for babies, children and families in York.

 

*For lockdown specific updates regarding libraries all their digital activities please look on the library website exploreyork.org.uk. All libraries will be open 7th September however opening times will be limited.*

1. York Explore Library

Address: Library Square, York, YO17DS
Tel. 01904 552828
Email: york@exploreyork.org.uk

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

Regular Sessions
* Story and Play: Monday 10am-10.45am
* Storytimes: Tuesday 10.30-11am, Thursday 1.30-2pm
* Rhymetimes: Wednesday 1.30-2pm, Friday 10.30-11am
* Chatterbooks: Saturdays 10.30-11.30am

2.  Acomb Explore Library

Address: Front Street, York, Y024 3BZ
Tel. 01904 552651
E-mail: acomb@exploreyork.org.uk

Opening Times
Monday: 9.00am – 7.30pm
Tuesday: 9.00am – 7.30pm
Wednesday: 9.00am – 2.00pm
Thursday: 9.00am – 7.30pm
Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am – 3.00pm

Regular Sessions

* Under 5s Storytime: Thursday 10:30-11am.
* Play Morning: Wednesday 10:30-11am.
* Knits and tots: Monday 10:30am-12pm.
* Lego Club: Saturday 11am-12pm.

3. Bishopthorpe Library

Main Street, York, YO23 2RB
Tel. 01904 552678
Email: bishopthorpe@exploreyork.org.uk

Opening Times
Monday: 2.00pm -7.00pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10.00am -12.30 pm & 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Thursday: 10.00am -12.30pm & 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Friday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 12.30pm

Regular Sessions

* Under 5s Storytime: Thursday 10.30 – 11.00 am
* Fun Friday craft session (all ages): Fridays 15.30 – 16.30pm ( term-time only)

4. Clifton Explore Library

Rawcliffe Lane, York, YO30 5SJ
Tel. 01904 552662
Email: clifton@exploreyork.org.uk

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

Regular Sessions
* 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

5. Copmanthorpe Library

Village Centre, Main Street, York, YO23 3SU
Tel. 01904 552672
Email: copmanthorpe@exploreyork.org.uk

Opening Times:
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

Regular Sessions
* Under 5s Story Time: Thursday 10.30 – 11am
* Fun Fridays: Friday during term time 3.30-4.30pm
* Tech Free Time: Tuesday during term time 3.30pm
* Children’s Crafts: the first Saturday of each month 10-11.30am

6. Dringhouses Library

Tadcaster Road, York, YO24 1LR
Tel. 01904 552674
Email: dringhouses@exploreyork.org.uk

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

Regular Sessions
* Under 5s storytime: Thursday and Saturday 11-11.30am
* Lego Club on Tuesdays from 3.30-5pm free drop in
* After-school craft club: Thursday 3.30-5pm(for primary age children)
* Duplo play session every Saturday morning from 10-11am

7. Dunnington Library

The Reading Room, Church St, York, YO19 5PW
Tel. 01904 552668
Email: dunnington@exploreyork.org.uk

Opening Times:
Monday: 10.00am – 1.30pm
Tuesday: 2.00pm – 5.30pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 9.00am – 12.30pm

Regular Sessions
* Under 5s storytime:
Thursday 2.15p.m.-2.45pm (throughout the year)
Monday 9.15a.m.-9.45a.m (term-time only)

8. Fulford Library

St Oswald’s CE School, Heslington Lane, YO10 4LX
Tel. 01904 555444
Email fulford@exploreyork.org.uk

Opening Times:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Friday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 12.30pm

Regular Sessions
* Lego Club: Tuesday 3.15-4.30pm
* Under 5 storytime:
Tuesday 2.10 – 2.40 pm
Saturday 11:00-11:30am

9. Haxby Explore Library

Station Road, York, YO32 3LT
Tel. 01904 552660
Email: haxby@exploreyork.org.uk

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

Regular Sessions

* Under 5 Storytime at The Memorial Hall: Tuesdays 10.30-11am
* Explore & Play mornings at Oaken Grove: Fridays 2-3pm

10. Huntington Library

Garth Road, York, YO32 9QJ
Tel. 01904 552669
Email: huntington@exploreyork.org.uk

Opening Times
Monday: 9.30am – 12 noon & 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Tuesday: 9.30am – 12 noon & 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 9.30am – 12 noon & 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Friday: 9.30am – 12 noon & 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Saturday: 9.30am – 12.30pm

Regular Sessions

* Explore Play Sessions: Tuesday 10.30-11.30am
* Thursdays from 2.15-2.45pm
* Lego club: Saturday 10.30am-12pm

11. New Earswick Library

Folk Hall, Hawthorn Terrace, York, YO32 4AQ
Tel. 01904 552629
Email: newearswick@exploreyork.org.uk

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

Regular Sessions
* Under-5s Rhymetime: Tuesday 10-10:30am

12. Poppleton Library

The Village, York, YO26 6JT
Tel. 01904 552680
Email: poppleton@exploreyork.org.uk

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

Regular Sessions
* Under 5 storytime: Wednesday 2.15-2.45pm

13. Rowntree Park Reading Cafe

Rowntree Park Lodge, Richardson Street, York, YO23 1JU
Tel. 01904 551489

Opening Times
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

14. Strensall Library

19 The Village, York, YO32 5XS
Tel. 01904 552677
Email: strensall@exploreyork.org.uk

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

Regular Sessions
* Under 5 story time: Thursday 11-11.30am
* Lego Club: Tuesday & Saturday 10am-12pm

15. The Centre @ Burnholme

Tang Hall Explore Library, Mossdale Avenue, York, YO31 0HA
Tel. 01904 552655
Email: tanghall@exploreyork.org.uk

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

Regular Sessions
* Play Time: Tuesdays 10.30-11am
* Story & Rhyme time for under 5s: Wednesday 10.30-11am
* Young Adults Book Club: Thursdays 5-6.30pm.
* Chatterbooks: alternate Fridays 3.45 – 4.45pm (Term time)
* Lego cafe: Saturday & Sundays 10am-2pm

16. Hungate Reading Cafe

Hungate Reading Cafe, Ground Floor, Bellerby Court, Hungate, York YO1 7AF
Email: hungate@exploreyork.org.uk

Opening Times
Tuesday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Wednesday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Thursday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Friday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Please visit https://www.exploreyork.org.uk for details of other special events and information about York Explore Libraries

Please check all listings before visiting as can be subject to change.

York University – AstroCampus

Currently closed due to COVID

The Astrocampus is open to the public once a fortnight throughout the winter months (October-March) and monthly throughout the summer (April-September). Our visits are designed to be suitable for all ages, with the earlier session timed for those with younger children. At each event, you will have a tour of our observatories and an introduction to the night sky.

University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD
T: 01904 322209

YorkCard

Local Residents can qualify for discounted or free entry to a number of local places if they have a York Card. You can get them from the libraries for a small fee (or free for under 18’s)

Every member of the family needs a card but they get you discounts in lots of attractions such as the Yorkshire Museum, York Castle Museum, York Chocolate Story and York Sport swimming. You also get free entry to the Minster.

Find out more HERE