32 things to do in York this half term holiday, February 2018

Viking warriors Kjartan and Knutr prepare for the Jorvik Viking Festival invasion of York. Photograph: Charlotte Graham
9 Feb 2018 @ 3.52 pm
| Entertainment

Wrap up and head out this half term – there’s Viking fun, arts and crafts, shows and sport to enjoy.

See every event in York’s best what’s on guide here.

The Vikings!

Jorvik Viking Festival

Across York

Feb 12-18

From free

More details

York is bracing itself for its annual invasion of Vikings, which this year celebrates the arrival of the Norse invaders in 866AD, when the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Eoforic was reborn as the Viking city of Jorvik. Sword fight at the Parliament Street encampment, meet the storytellers in Coppergate and watch the crafts people in St Sampson’s Square.

Modelling the Vikings

Yorkshire Museum

Feb 10-18, 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm

Included in museum admission

More details

Create your own Viking peg doll as you re-use and re-cycle your way to creating a model masterpiece.

Poo Day!

Barley Hall

Feb 12-14 @ 10am-4pm

Included in admission

More details

Ah, York’s annual poo day. A moment when families can unite to enjoy the messier side of history. This year – make your very own replica Lloyds Bank Turd.

Arrow making is one of the activities at the festival. Jim Glazzard pictured at work. Photograph: Jorvik

Viking Animal Steading: Birds of Prey

DIG, St Saviourgate

Feb 12-17 @ 10am-4pm

Included in admission

More details

New for the 2018 festival – get up-close to the magnificent birds of prey the Vikings would have reared at this special event.

Meet the Vikings @ York Minster

York Minster

Thu Feb 15

£2.50 + admission

More details

Make your own Viking-style decoration to take home in the stunning surroundings of the Chapter House inside York Minster.

Murton Park Viking Experience

Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton Park

Feb 12-16

Included in admission

More details

Visit the reconstructed Viking village, and take part in a multiple award winning Viking experience which is usually only available to school groups.

2,000 Years of History in 2,000 Steps

Richard III Experience, Monk Bar

Feb 12-15 @ 11am and 2pm


More details

Learn about York’s historic streets and buildings from a different point of view. Starting from the city’s famous fortifications join your guide as they take you on a journey through history.

Family fun

Three astronauts travelled 400km in this… Now it’s at the National Railway Museum

Mission: Space

National Railway Museum

Feb 10-18 @ 10am-5pm


More details

With Tim Peake’s spacecraft landed at the NRM, there’s a whole universe of space themed fun to be had. Try the astronaut training school, code a rocket launch and experience space descent courtesy of virtual reality (£6).

February Frolics

Piglets Adventure Farm, Towthorpe Grange

Feb 10-18 @ 10am-5pm


More details

Piglets reopens for half term with Lambing Live, lots of activities in the play barn and dancing sheep on stage.

Votes For Women!

York Castle Museum

Feb 10-18 @ 10am-4pm

Included in admission

More details

Discover the history of the fight for women’s right to vote at the museum this half term. Put on a sash (or opt for a policeman’s helmet!) and join the suffragettes on Kirkgate, the museum’s Victorian Street.

BMX Night at The Zoo Skatepark

The Zoo Skatepark, Fossbank

Sat Feb 10 @ 6pm


More details

This is currently a one-off event – but if there’s enough interest it could become a regular night. Age 11+

Woodland Wanders: Mammal Detectives

St Nicks Environment Centre

Wed Feb 14 @ 10am-1pm


More details

Join a wander through the woods, looking for field signs to find out which mammals roam our woodland. Learn all about the mammals that live in the woodland, why this is an important habitat and what you can do to help look after it.

Behind the scenes tour

Nunnington Hall

Tue Feb 13 @ 2pm

Admission +£3

More details

Join the conservation team on a rare tour to see what goes on behind closed doors at the historic hall.

Half term spy trail

Eden Camp, Malton

Feb 9-18 @ 10am-5pm

Included in museum admission

More details

Throughout the holiday budding secret agents can take part in the Eden Camp Spy Trail and be in with the chance of winning some special prizes.

Owl-themed activities

Beningbrough Hall

Feb 10-18 (closed Monday) @ 11am-3.30pm

Included in admission

More details

Everyone can enjoy the ‘oh wise owl’ art trail, a series of 14 sculptures in unexpected places and a further 20 artworks indoors. Search for the spring snowdrops. And on selected days, children can enjoy an owl story, plus make your own origami owl.

Searching for spring at Beningbrough Hall. Photograph: National Trust Images / James Dobson

Feathery February

Nunnington Hall

Feb 12-18 @ 12pm-3pm

Included in admission

More details

It’s all about birds at Nunnington, with a feathery friends’ garden trail to fat feeder and bird box making.

Windmill Open Day

Holgate Windmill

Sat Feb 10 @ 11am-4pm


More details

Go visit to see inside this fascinating piece of our nation’s heritage – a working windmill.

WW2 Living History Weekend

Eden Camp Museum, Malton

Sat Feb 17-Sun Feb 18

Included in admission

More details

The Axis-Allied group will be portraying the German and Italian Prisoners of War who were held at Eden Camp and across the country.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

NYMR, Pickering

Feb 10-18


More details

Take a journey along the 18-mile heritage line, explore one of the world’s greatest heritage railway experiences.

Stockeld Park

Stockeld Adventure Park, Wetherby

Feb 10-18 @ 10am-5pm


More details

Half term activities include an outdoor skating rink, the enchanted forest, adventure playgrounds and a kids comedy show.

Arts, crafts and books

Lots of suffragette activities at York Castle Museum

Women Artists Trail

York Art Gallery

Feb 10-18 @ 10am-5pm

Included in gallery admission

More details

Follow a trail to find works of art by leading female artists to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Create at the Castle

York Castle Museum

Feb 10-18 @ 10am-4pm

Included in museum admission

More details

Family art, craft and cooking activities tying in with the museum’s suffragette exhibition.

A fun storytime session

York Explore

Sat Feb 10 @ 3pm


More details

Children’s author Sue Ellis will be reading from her new publication Proud Patrick Peacock & Other Stories.

Shadow puppet show and craft session

Explore libraries

Mon Feb 12, Wed Feb 14 & Thu Feb 15 at various times

£2 per child

More details

Hoglets Drama go on tour of York’s libraries with their shadow puppet show Wow Said the Owl. After each performance Mama Hoglet will be leading a craft session and teaching little ones to make their own shadow puppets and shows.

Reading with Jonnie Wild

Waterstones, Coney Street

Wed Feb 14 @ 1pm


More details

Jonnie Wild will read from his lovely picture book, The Carnivorous Crocodile – can those clever flamingos outsmart the croc?

Little Diggers

DIG, St Saviourgate

Feb 12-17 @ 10am-11.30am

Included in admission

More details

Aimed at 2 – 5 year olds, these play and learn sessions have been designed specially for children to delve and discover the past in a fun way. Lots of Viking themed events this week.


Uh-oh, Awful Auntie’s in town… Photograph: Grand Opera House

Awful Auntie

Grand Opera House

Wed Feb 14-Sat Feb 17 @ various times


More details

From the award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny comes the world premiere of David Walliams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie…

Grandad’s Island

York Theatre Royal

Tues Feb 13-Sat Feb 17, various times


More details

Benji Davies’s award winning book is brought magically and sensitively to life by the team behind Flat Stanley and Red Riding Hood.

Sister Act

Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Thu Feb 15-Sat Feb 17


More details

Come and share your fabulous devotion and get ready to Raise Your Voice as we join disco queen of angels, Deloris Van Cartier, as she transforms from nightclub diva to full-time believer!


These are waiting for you at York Tennis Academy

Diddikicks pre-school football coaching

Tang Hall Community Centre

Sat 10 & 17 @ 9.30am

Free trial

More details

Football coaching for children aged 18 months to five years.

York City football coaching

Various venues

Sat Feb 10 @ 9am


More details

York City coach the tots (2-4 years old), the kickers (4-7), the juniors (7-12) and the wildcats (girls only 5-11). Learn new skills and play with others who love the game.

Half Term Tennis Camp

York Tennis Academy, Shipton Road

Feb 12-16 @ 9am-4.30pm

£35 a day

More details

Sporting fun with the YTA. The camp focuses on athletic development as well as the technical, tactical and mental aspects of tennis training.