101 Best things to do in York with kids

We’ve handpicked 100 of the best child-friendly attractions and activities that will help make your family vacation in York truly amazing!

Don’t forget to check out our insider’s guide to the best family-friendly hotels in York which is especially helpful for big families.

  1. Ride the mini-railway at National Railway Museum and let your kids explore the play area.Trains displayed at kid-friendly National Railway Museum, York
  2. Have an ice cream by the river from the famous Two Hoots ice cream boat.
  3. Explore the ruins of a 12th-century Augustinian Monastery and view the surrounding landscapes which inspired Wordsworth.
  4. Explore the best of York on foot.
  5. Explore the art, gardens, and temples at one of Yorkshire’s finest 18th-century landscape gardens, the Rievaulx Terrace.
  6. Grab an explorer pack on entry and head out on a garden adventure and use binoculars and magnifying glass at the Mount Grace Priory.
  7. Take a religious trip and be awed at the wonderful architectural mastery & beautiful display of stained glass at Holy Trinity Goodramgate.
  8. Step into St. Mary’s Abbey, which was known as the most powerful and wealthiest monastery in the North of England at that time of William II.
  9. Admire the center of Britain’s rail network and the largest station in Europe, York Railway Station.Beautiful architectural design of York Railway Station
  10. Buy coins, pottery, collectibles, prints and posters, paintings, and other antiques at the Yorkshire Antiques.
  11. Walk on the cobbled road of Shambles, the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series.Stores at Shambles market which was the inspiration behind Diamond Alley of the Harry Potter Fame
  12. Visit Castle Howard, one of Britain’s finest historic houses, and let the kids enjoy the brilliant adventure playground.external look of Castle Howard, top places to visit in York for families
  13. Borrow Little Explorer Backpacks and let your kids enjoy activities & become young adventurers at York Minster.
  14. Grab a map and do the York Cat trail and see how many cats you can spot on York’s buildings.
  15. Runoff steam, walk a dog, kick a football or fly a kite on a windy day at Knavesmire.
  16. Play games on the garden at Goddards House and Garden.Beautiful external view of the garden at Goddards house and garden, York
  17. Run around with your kids and explore all the fun activities at the Web Adventure Park.
  18. Get a tour of the seaside town of Whitby and discover its links to Heartbeat, Dracula, and Captain Cook.
  19. Explore the huge indoor soft play and outdoor adventure playground at Creepy Crawlies.
  20. Play basketball, tennis, and have a picnic afterward at Rowntree Park.
  21. Stroll around and look for points of interest that show you where insects and birds are at the Askham Bog Nature Reserve.
  22. Engage in an amazing woodland walk filled with fairy artifacts and wonder at Northwood Trail – England’s Fairy Sanctuary.
  23. Get your pictures taken with picturesque and well-maintained windmills at Holgate Windmill.
  24. Enjoy golf with the whole family at York FootGolf Centre.
  25. Discover brilliant views an admire the picturesque area of North Yorkshire Kirkham Priory.
  26. Have a picnic around wildflowers, buy coffee and ice cream for your family while you relax at The Homestead.
  27. Watch the world go by as you relax in a beautiful tranquil area at Dean’s Park.
  28. Walk on the flowery path as you look at 7,00 different varieties of flowers at Breezy Knees Gardens.
  29. Rent a bike and let a tour guide show you the safest routes for families at Cycle Heaven at York Station.
  30. Bring York’s colorful Roman and Viking history to life through York Cycling Tours.Bicycle Wheels at York Cycling Tour
  31. Explore bridges and sights you’ll never see during walking tours with York Canoe Hire.
  32. Go on a religious trip and visit the “Mother Church of the city of York”, York Oratory.
  33. Be brave and go on a ghost walk, recommended for those who love spine-chilling ghost stories.
  34. Explore and search for Roman ghosts at the Treasurer’s House.
  35. Enjoy a Comedy Horror show for the whole family with a guided Ghost Bus tour.
  36. Hop on a River Ouse City Cruise and learn about the sights of York as you sit back and enjoy the tour guide’s commentary.River Ouse City Cruise
  37. Enjoy a guided boat trip or drive your own with City Cruises York.
  38. Spend an interesting and education time at The Yorkshire Air Museum, as kids stare in awe at fighter jets.Fighter Jet with camouflage color at Yorkshire Air Museum
  39. Ride your own boat and tour York freely at your own pace at the York Marina.
  40. Explore the walled city of York by walking at the city walls for free!York City walls that you can explore for free
  41. Enjoy York horse races with your family especially during Family Race Day in September. Kids under 18 are admitted free.
  42. Travel 150 million through time to learn more about dinosaurs at Yorkshire Museum.Arcs and architectural design at Yorkshire Museum
  43. Feed ducks, search for squirrels and have a picnic at The Museum Gardens.Beautiful ruins at Museum Gardens
  44. Follow the chocolate mice symbols on the York’s Sweet Past Trail and get to eat sugar mice at York Castle Museum.
  45. Ride the National Railway Museum’s road train into town.
  46. Enjoy museum trails and dressing up at The York Army Museum.
  47. Encourage interaction activities for youngsters and look at excellent explanatory panels at The Royal Dragoon Guards Museum.
  48. Have children enjoy the play area while you visit impressive exhibits from the early 1900s at Yorkshire Museum of Farming.
  49. See, hear, smell and feel York’s stories come to life before your eyes as frighteningly funny characters transport you through time at The York Dungeon.
  50. Be a captain for a day and enjoy the York’s riverscape at your own pace with Self-Drive Red Boats.
  51. Enjoy the kid’s theme park & try to escape from the largest maze in Europe at York Maze.Jungle animals maze at York Maze
  52. Create your own still life at York Art Gallery.
  53. Enjoy a fun historical experience at Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar.Kinght with Sword at Henry VII Experience at Nickelgate Bar Museum in York
  54. Escape reality and ride a fully immersive Virtual Reality racing simulation called VRX Racing at York Motorsports Village.
  55. Experience York’s magical festive experience via outdoor ice skating during winter at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland.
  56. Use your detective skills & hone your kid’s observation skills at Can You Escape?
  57. Use your inner detective to solve plenty of challenging puzzles and escape within the hour at Locked In Games York.
  58. Visit York Barbican, the largest music, and arts venue in York, and catch the biggest touring acts in the country.
  59. Solve puzzles and codes with your family at GR8escape York.Escap Room Lights at GR8escape York
  60. Explore the witchcraft exhibition and let kids do lots of hands-on activities at Barley Hall.
  61. Sample chocolate in every room at York’s Chocolate Story and learn about the city’s rich chocolate history.Storefront of York's Chocolate Story
  62. Get your family’s digital portrait at Beningbrough Hall.
  63. Let your family explore their creative side and paint ceramics like plates, mugs, and piggy banks at Rainbows Ceramics.
  64. Indulge in chocolate and take part in the 5-day celebration of the York Chocolate Festival which takes place annually.
  65. Enjoy children’s shows at the York Theatre Royal.An inside look of the York Theatre Royal
  66. Buy unique items from numerous stores at the Shambles Market.People shopping for trinkets and memorabilia at Shambles Market at York
  67. Relax and enjoy your family tour without the hassle of driving & looking for a parking space by riding the York Park & Ride.
  68. Enjoy premium musical performances at the Grand Opera House.
  69. Destress and relax at Bannatyne Health Club & Spa – York.
  70. Sample chocolates from different parts of the world at York Cocoa Work.
  71. Get your photo taken by a professional photographer while doing a photo tour with your family in York at York Photo Trek Tours.
  72. Walk on the glass floor where you can see the foundations of an actual Viking house at Jorvik Viking Centre.Viking villagers at Jorvik Viking Centre
  73. Be amazed at the stunning panoramic views over Old York from the top of Clifford’s Tower.
  74. Jump on the trampoline, do wall climbing, and let your kids slide down inflatables at Energi Trampoline Park.
  75. Discover the fun side of archaeology with DIG: An Archaeological Adventure & let your kids play and dig around fake dirt.Kids having fun at DIG York
  76. Grab an epicurean gluten-free sandwich made with local artisan bread at Brew & Brownie.
  77. Visit the famous Betty’s Café Tea Rooms with interiors inspired by the Queen Mary ocean liner.
  78. Relax and do some book reading and get served hot food by the cafe at Explore York Libraries and Archives.
  79. Order quiche, homemade soup, and a Sunday Roast at The Balloon Tree.
  80. Sample great food while doing a culinary and cultural adventure at Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours.
  81. Eat your way through History with the Hidden Gems Foodie & History Tour in York at Tours in a Dish.
  82. Visit the Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Parks and let your kids encounter small exotic animals.
  83. Enjoy meeting pigs & other farmyard animals with lots of outdoor fun and theatrical entertainment at Piglets Adventure Farm.Kids happily riding a pink train at Piglets Adventure Farm
  84. See 40 species of birds and a vast botanical collection at Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire’s oldest working observatory.
  85. Have fun in the sandpit, ride on the tractors, or play with the inflatables at the Beetle Bank Farm.Alpaca and goats at Kid-friendly Beetle Bank Open Farm, York
  86. Go on a flowery road and explore Yorkshire’s Premier Triple Award-Winning Lavender Farm at Yorkshire Lavender.Yorkshire Lavender field
  87. Enjoy one of the great shows for kids at the Great Yorkshire Fringe every July.
  88. Visit Father Christmas at Beningbrough Hall, Barley Hall, York Castle Museum, and lots of other lovely places during the Christmas season.
  89. Take part in Illuminating York‘s annual flagship digital arts and lighting festival every October.
  90. View amazing ice sculptures on the York Ice Trail in February.
  91. Try new foods, get hands-on at workshops, or do kids’ activities at York Food & Drink Festival every September.
  92. Buy amazing cat-themed gift items at UK’s premier cat-themed shop, The Cat Gallery.
  93. Buy fantastic and unique conversations starters and memorabilia at the quirkiest shop in York, The Imaginarium.
  94. Grab some food & shop at stores at Bishy Road, winner of the Great British High Street Awards.
  95. Visit the UK’s famous LEGO shop specializing in customized lego Minifigures.
  96. Walk along the cobbled road brimmed with small shops, pubs, bars, and eateries at Stonegate.
  97. Shop for officially licensed Harry Potter merchandise at The Shop That Must Not Be Named.Store fron of The Shop That Must Not be Named in York, inspired by Harry Potter series
  98. Explore the shop for retro toys and gaming fanatics at Sore Thumb Retro Games.Star Wars and other figures and retro games at Sore Thumb Retro Games
  99. Introduce your toddler to the experience of the cinema with Toddler Time at the City Screen Picture House.
  100. Watch actors bring famous novels and plays of William Shakespeare to life at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.Stage at Shakespeare Rose Theatre
  101. Let the guide do the storytelling to your kids as they tell about life of Richard III, the last king of the Plantagenet dynasty at Monk Bar.

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