Days Out York

Free activities

Free things to do with Kids in York

Homestead Park in York is recommended by Mumblers for outdoor adventures.

Wild meadows, ornamental trees, colourful flower beds and a themed summer bedding display. This well-maintained park is popular for picnics. There is a large play area and a pop-up cafe and plant sales.

Managed by Joseph Rowntree Foundation it has entrances on Water End (YO30 6WP) and Shipton Road (YO30 5RE).

Here’s what Mumblers say:

“Awesome morning at Homestead Park, such a lovely space! Had a lovely morning reading library books on the grass and watching their new display taking shape.”

FH, June 2019

“I took my son to the homestead and practiced [cycling without stabilisers] at the very end where the kids normally play football it’s on a slight slope downwards so helped to get started”

AW, May 2020

40 Water End, York YO30 6WP

01904 629241
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Are you free range at heart? We love to welcome free range kids to our farm – with acres of space and lots of animals to see, the whole family will have fun.  Come and see our hens, pigs, pygmy goats and alpacas, climb our straw bale mountain and explore the vegetable garden – all for free during opening hours!

Yolk Farm is the UK’s best spot to experience amazing eggs. The restaurant features fun swing seats and brightly painted crate light shades. The farm shop offers a wide selection of fruit and veg, locally made goods and has a zero waste station. Eggs, freshly collected from the farm each morning, are the stars of the breakfast menu and you can find them in a selection of goodies including beetroot and potato croquettes, sweetcorn fritters and pancake hay stacks!

Baby change and high chairs are available, Pre-booking for food is essential.

Minskip Farm Shop, Boroughbridge, YO51 9HY

01423 329063
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Escape the day-to-day at National Railway Museum. Hop aboard the miniature railway for a little taste of train travel and unleash your curiosity (on during school holidays). Indoor and outdoor play areas should keep children of all ages busy, while you recharge with a warm drink and some cake from one of the onsite cafés.

Discover the world-changing stories of the railway through star objects like Stephenson’s Rocket and the world’s fastest steam locomotive, Mallard. Admire the splendour of royal travel including Queen Victoria’s ‘palace on wheels’, and marvel at the power and innovation of the Japanese Bullet Train.

National Railway Museum is open 10.00-17.00, Wednesday – Sunday during term time and every day during selected holiday dates.

The museum is free to enter but booking ahead online is encouraged and can even be done on the day (capacity allowing). There may be a few additional safety measures in place since your last visit, so check the National Railway Museum website before your visit.

Visit our website for tickets and information.

033 0058 0058
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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
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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. Perhaps you’ve walked past some of them before and never even noticed them? Once you find each creature you’ll need to unscramble the clues to uncover the magical Mumbler password!

Download your Mumbler Mythical Creature Quest map for FREE here or pick up your FREE quest map from Visit York Information Centre.

Watch our Mythical Creature Quest video on our York Mumbler You Tube channel.

📸 We’d love to see you out and about on our Mumbler Quest, so if you do take some photos, don’t forget to use the hashtag #MumblerMCQ so we can share the fun you are having! 📸

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Come and enjoy brilliant art for free at York Art Gallery!

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.

Visit our families page to download activities to do on your visit, such as our Art Heroes Fact Sheets, and the Curious Create Colour Export colouring sheets.

Or why not pick up one of our YAG Activity bags, full of ideas and activities to try while at the gallery and souvenirs to take home afterwards!  The bags are priced at £7:50.

Visitors will need to book their free timed tickets online at 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
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Visit the award-winning York Castle Museum and immerse yourself in over 400 years of York’s past! Discover hundreds of years of York’s social history in one place – from a recreated Victorian street to Dick Turpin’s prison, it’s the perfect family day out!

Our galleries hold thousands of historic objects that bring the past to life through fascinating displays and immersive experiences.

To find out more please visit

01904 687687
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Booking Link

All our libraries and cafes have returned to normal opening hours and libraries are open in the evening again. You can find all opening hours on the individual library pages of our website.
Story and rhyme times are returning too. Some will still have restricted numbers, so please ask at your local library for times and booking arrangements.
We want everyone to enjoy our libraries again and feel confident when using them, so when you visit us please remember:
• Respect other people’s need for space.
• Protect each other: Sanitise your hands and choose to wear a face covering in busy spaces.
• Please avoid visiting us if you are feeling unwell
And, above all, be kind to each other and our staff.

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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 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 general visiting Mon to Sat: 9.30am – 3.45pm, Sun: 12.45pm – 2.45pm.

All are welcome to daily services held at the Minster for free. See for service times.

York Minster, Deangate, York, YO1 7HH

01904 557200
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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.

NEW! – The world-famous late 16th century portrait of Richard III is on display at the Yorkshire Museum as part of a new display.
The painting, which has become synonymous with the depiction of Richard III, is on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London, and will be displayed alongside the museum’s outstanding collections associated with the King such as the magnificent Middleham Jewel, The Ryther Hoard and the Stillingfleet Boar Badge worn by one of his supporters.

Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR

01904 687687
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Fairfax House

Fairfax House transports you to the world of 1760s townhouse living, revealing the domestic interiors in which the Georgians would have walked, and the tastes and fashions of the day for architecture, interior design, food  and entertainments. The house boasts a beautiful collection of eighteenth-century furniture and is famed for its stunning plasterwork ceilings.

Open 7 days a week, 11-4pm
Pre-booking is recommended via the website however walk-ins are welcome.

Admission is £7.50 and children under 16 go FREE.

T: 01904 655543

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 Fulford 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!)

Rowntree Park

Rowntree Park has a river-side location to the south of the city centre. The fantastic park offers a great Reading Cafe, children’s play areas and sporting facilities such as bowling, mini-golf, tennis courts, basketball court and skateboarding area as well as a duck pond (often filled with geese!) Because of the low-lying nature of the land, when the Ouse floods, Rowntree Park fills up with water, and Park users have to wait for the Park to drain, partly by gravity (through one-way valves in the flood walls) and partly by pumps. The Friends aim to keep the public aware of this, as much as possible, via their Facebook page.

See the Park Website for more details.
Terry Ave, York YO23 1JQ

Solar Way – Cycle Ride

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. for more information.

St Nicks Nature Reserve

Open all year.

Come and explore 24 acres of unique green space. Many birds live on or visit the nature reserve. There is a great variety of plant species, insects like butterflies, trees and shrubs.

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

York’s Lucky Cat Trail

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

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…

Museum Street, York, YO1 7FR

York City Walls Walk

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 – 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