York Residents Festival 2019: Complete guide to what’s on where

Photograph: Visit York

It’s the time when York puts its residents first – and here’s how we can all join in.

Organised by Make It York the 24th York Residents Festival takes place on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 January.

It’s a great chance to explore the city’s attractions at the best possible price – free!

This year’s event is sponsored by Grand Central, which is marked by a four-metre Lego train going on display during the weekend at York Explore.

The festival is open to York residents and York students who have a valid YorkCard or student ID – you’ll need one card per person.

You can get a YorkCard (£6 adults, free for young people up to 18) at York Explore – full details here.

There are also special food and drink offers and shopping discounts for residents too.

Here are all this year’s Resident Festival events. Click on the button to go to a section, or just scroll through. And enjoy!

New for 2019

The Grand Tour

Enjoy an exclusive guided tour of the former North Eastern Railway HQ

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

Mindlock Escape Games

To celebrate being part of York, Mindlock are gifting residents and students a free game for two players

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 10.00 pm

Quilters’ Guild

Explore patchwork and quilted treasures from The Quilters' Guild Collection, showing the creativity and beauty of these two crafts from the last three centuries

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Energi Trampoline Park

Free one hour jumps at Energi Trampoline Park. Available on a first served basis

Sat Jan 26 @ 5.00 pm - Sun Jan 27 @ 7.00 pm

Friends of York Cemetery

History and garden walks, catacomb tours, grave searches, self-guided Walks, bird recognition with the RSPB

Sun Jan 27 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

The Wizard Quest

Discover the magic in the streets of York, with potion making, magical creatures and hopefully no dementors…

Sun Jan 27 @ 5.45 pm - 6.30 pm

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The big attractions

York Minster Tower Trips

Experience unbeatable, panoramic views of York from the highest point in the city – York Minster’s Central Tower

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

York’s Chocolate Story

Join us for five free tours of the attraction at 9am, 9:15am, 9:30am, 9:45am and 10am on both Saturday and Sunday

Sat Jan 26 @ 9.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 5.00 pm

York Castle Museum

Famous for its Victorian street, Kirkgate, and collections of costumes, textiles, military and social history

Sat Jan 26 @ 9.30 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 5.00 pm

York Dungeon

Meet Vikings, Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin and more. Don’t think you’ll sit back and watch though, you might be their next victim!

Sat Jan 26 @ 12.00 pm - Wed Jan 30 @ 5.00 pm

Jorvik Viking Centre

Journey back to the Viking Age and experience the sights, sounds and smells of 10th century York

Sat Jan 26 @ 1.00 pm - Sun Jan 27 @ 1.00 pm

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Explore York – On The Drawing Board

Come and see unique plans of your city up close at our archives open day

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

Fairfax House

Unlock the splendour within one of England's finest Georgian townhouses and let Fairfax House transport you to the glory days of city living

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

York Army Museum – Exhibition and Film

Explore some of the most significant regimental collections in the UK

Sat Jan 26 - Mon Jan 28

Barley Hall

Explore this beautifully restored medieval townhouse, learn about its 15th century inhabitants and discover the Magic & Mystery exhibition

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

Bar Convent Heritage Centre

Explore 300 years of danger, bravery and history at England’s oldest living convent

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Clifford’s Tower

There’s plenty to discover at Clifford’s Tower, standing proud on its high mound, raised by William the Conqueror

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

DIG: An archaeological Adventure

Giving kids the chance to become trainee 'diggers' and discover the most exciting artefacts from 2,000 years of York's history

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 5.00 pm

Explore York – Map Attack

Join us as we attempt to recreate old York from Lego and Duplo using some of our historic archive maps and plans

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Fishergate Postern Tower

Come and see the internal rooms of this 500 year old tower, climb the narrow spiral staircase, find the garderobe, look for masons' marks, operate the model portcullis

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

Henry VII Experience

Explore stories of power and conflict in the medieval period, and the impact upon York of the first Tudor king

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 5.00 pm

Jacobs Well

Jacobs Well is a medieval building in the centre of York which was originally the home of the Chantry priests of Holy Trinity Priory

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall

Fascinating tales, awe-inspiring architecture and intriguing, rare artefacts

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 4.30 pm

Richard III Experience

Explore the impact the last Plantagenet monarch had on York when you visit the Richard III experience at Monk Bar

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

York Cold War Bunker

Enter the blast proof doors and experience the more unusual side of York’s heritage

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 11.00 am

Bedern Hall

Tucked away behind bustling Goodramgate stands Bedern Hall – the 14th century dining hall of the Vicars Choral of York Minster

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.30 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 3.30 pm

Merchant Taylors’ Hall

Meet our members, learn about our history, our role in the city today and engage with the exhibitors

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.30 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 3.30 pm

York Mansion House

An inspiring, interactive environment where you can discover how every Lord Mayor of York since 1732 has danced, dined and entertained

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.30 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 5.00 pm

Holgate Windmill

Come and see York’s only surviving windmill, restored and in full working order

Sat Jan 26 @ 11.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

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Music, theatre, art

National Centre for Early Music

Play music and share stories with two days of free family events

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

Friargate Theatre

Try on costumes and face-painting, and find out more about our work. Why not bring a pack-up and have an indoor picnic with a free hot drink?

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Regular tours including insights led by our knowledgeable team. Plus, see a show rehearsed on Sunday afternoon

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

York Art Gallery

This year, come and explore where sound and art meet in the major new exhibition – When All is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs in Conversation

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 5.00 pm

York Theatre Royal

Backstage theatre tours every half an hour from 10am until 2.30pm

Sun Jan 27

Black Swan Folk Club

Afternoon and evening concerts featuring many of the talented local singers and bands associated with York’s award winning Black Swan Folk Club

Sun Jan 27 @ 2.00 pm

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Sport & leisure


Find your flow at Yogabomb with a range of classes available

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

York MotorSport Village

Free and discounted racing – but you need to book in advance

Sun Jan 27

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Trips & tours

York City Sightseeing

Come and see York from a unique perspective on an open top bus ride

Sat Jan 26 @ 9.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 3.00 pm

City Cruises York

Sit back, relax and enjoy a 30 minute York City Cruise. Listen to our captain’s live commentary as you cruise along the Ouse

Sat Jan 26 @ 11.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 3.00 pm

St Nicks Environment Centre & Nature Reserve

Free guided tours plus family-friendly activities, treasure hunt, crafts sale, refreshments, info on green living and volunteering

Sat Jan 26 @ 12.00 pm - 4.00 pm


This 90 minute walking tour will open your eyes to things you may have walked past a thousand times but never really seen before

Sat Jan 26 @ 2.00 pm - Sun Jan 27 @ 2.00 pm

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St Lawrence Parish Church

Discover the fifteenth century front and art deco WW1 memorial window

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

St Michael le Belfrey Church

With notable collection of sixteenth-century stained glass, evidence of Guy Fawkes’ baptism and a vibrant church life today, the Belfrey extends a warm welcome to visitors of all faiths and none

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel

This is the earliest load-bearing brick building and oldest surviving nonconformist chapel in York

Sat Jan 26

Trinity Church York, St Anthony’s Hall

Explore this beautiful medieval guildhall and find out about our church

Sat Jan 26 - Sun Jan 27

St Denys Church, Walmgate

A warm community welcome is extended to all-comers in our newly renovated church

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Central Methodist Church

This Grade II listed building, built in 1840 to seat 1500 people, is one of the few chapels of its period still intact

Sat Jan 26 @ 11.00 am - 4.00 pm

St Helen’s Church

The York & District Organists’ Association invites members of the public to come and play the pipe organ in St Helen's Church

Sat Jan 26 @ 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm

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Out of town

Lost Earth Adventures

Go deep below the surface and experience a labyrinth of underground passageways, follow a stream way, clamber over boulders and wade through crystal clear water

Sat Jan 26 @ 9.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 6.30 pm

Castle Howard

Come and enjoy the Castle Howard gardens, adventure playground and woodland walks for free. The House is not open

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

National Centre for Birds of Prey

Come and visit the largest collection of birds of prey in the north of England

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

There’s hours of exploring to be had at this World Heritage Site with its towering abbey ruins and sweeping water garden

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 4.00 pm

William’s Den

Under an hour’s drive from York, William’s Den is an award winning indoor-meets-outdoor attraction that gives families the freedom to play and experience the best day ever

Sat Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 6.00 pm

Beningbrough Hall

Wrap up warm and take in some of the lesser known gardens and buildings on this first ever sound trail

Sat Jan 26 @ 11.00 am - Sun Jan 27 @ 3.30 pm

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