10 family activities to try in and around York - Gorgeous Cottages
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10 family activities to try in and around York

You’ll find plenty to keep children of all ages entertained on a visit to this Yorkshire city. Take a look at these 10 family activities to try in and around York.

#01 Jorvik Viking Centre

Jorvik Viking Centre, York Attractions

The Jorvik Viking Centre re-opened last year and is now bigger and better than ever before. The main attraction is the ride itself. The ‘time capsules’ that you travel in take you around a realistic Viking village complete with inhabitants (and smells) of the time. You can also see the original dig thanks to a glass floor and learn more about archaeology via some interactive display screens.

#02 York’s Chocolate Story

York's chocolate story is a great option for a family day out in York

Who doesn’t love chocolate? York has a long history of chocolate making which you can learn more about at York’s Chocolate Story. You’ll find out how chocolate first came to York, how it is made and even get to sample some fabulous hand-made chocolates.

#03 York Dungeon

This is one for the older children in the family. York Dungeon delves into the darker history of this medieval city. Kids will love being scared by some of the frightful characters but it’s all done in a fun, tongue in cheek way. Shows include The Plague Doctor, Vengeance of the Vikings and ghostly The Golden Fleece.

#04 Yorkshire’s Jurassic World

Yorkshire’s Jurassic World is brand new for 2018. It’s part of the Yorkshire Museum and we think it will be a big hit with families visiting York. Life-sized dinosaur, fossilised remains and state of the art special effects all combine to make Yorkshire’s Jurassic World rather spectacular.

#05 National Railway Museum

This is the largest railway museum in the UK where you can get up close to a range of trains and other railway memorabilia. Hunt various items around the museum with an interactive treasure hunters app and there’s also a variety of interactive science shows.

#06 York Maze

York Maze - a family attraction near York

York Maze is open for summer each year (from July to September) and families can enjoy variety of shows, rides and attractions. The giant Maize Maze is one of the biggest in Europe. It’s created with a different theme each year. Previous themes have included Roald Dahl, Star Wars, Doctor Who and Yorkshire Legend.

#07 Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall is a National Trust site that’s about 10 miles from York City Centre. There’s woodland trails to explore, a wilderness play den and bikes to borrow. It’s a great day out where kids can burn off some energy and make the most of the great outdoors. Inside the Hall are Interactive Galleries where you can dress-up and try your hand at sculpting.

#08 York Cat Trail

Did you know there are a number of cat statues on various buildings across York? They were originally placed there to scare off mice. See how many you can find by downloading a Lucky Cat Trail.

It’s a great way to explore York (there are 22 cats to discover) and you can purchase your own glass cat afterwards at the York Lucky Cats Shop.

#09 York Minster

York Minster

A trip to the impressive York Minster is a must on any visit to York. It’s a good option for kids as there are a variety of Family Discovery Trails to try.  These include a Dragon Hunt, Monty the Monkey discovery trail and a Regal Creature’s Trail.

Kids can borrow a free Explorer Backpack for the duration of your visit which includes items such as a magnifying glass, torch and I-spy challenge.

#10 DIG

Kids will love this hands on archaeological experience as they can hunt for replica artefacts in four special indoor excavation pits.

The soil is synthetic which means kids can dig as much as they like without getting messy. It’s educational too – an expert is on hand to provide information on the objects found and answer any questions.

Where to stay

The private and sheltered patio garden. Such a luxury in York to have your own outdoor space.

Gorgeous Cottages are the booking agents for holiday cottages in and around York. Properties include Pear Tree House which is a great base for families looking to explore the city.

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