York Residents Festival 2020: Complete guide to what’s on where

It’s that time of the year for the city of York to say thank you to its residents. Here’s how you can get involved!

Organised by Visit York, part of Make It York, and sponsored by Grand Central. the 25th York Residents Festival takes place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 January.

It’s a great opportunity to discover and explore the city’s huge range of attractions – for free!


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, £10 for people who work in York, but are not resident in the city) at York Explore – full details here.

Free fivers

The York Gift Card (not actual size. Photograph: Richard McDougall
To celebrate York Residents Festival’s 25th anniversary, York BID are giving away 400 £5 York Gift Cards during the festival weekend which can be spent in over 200 businesses around the city and participating attractions’ cafes and gift shops, as well as to spend on many of the Residents’ Festival food & drink and retail offers.

The first residents to arrive at the York Visitor Information Centre on 25 and 26 January will receive a £5 York Gift card until they run out.

Residents also have the chance to win two tickets to a night of your choice at the brand new York Festival. Lionel Richie, Madness and Westlife are headlining the festival later this year.

To be in with a chance of winning visit the York Festival website and sign up to their newsletter by Sunday 26 January 2020.

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 2020

Designs on York

A joint exhibition between York Explore and York Mansion House.

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 3.00 pm

Brew York Brewery Tour

Free Brewery tour with one free sample included

Sat Jan 25 @ 12.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Eye Project at Clifford’s Tower

Eye Project at Clifford’s Tower

Projection of a new community film by Inkblot films, projected onto Clifford’s Tower.

Sat Jan 25 @ 5.30 pm - 8.30 pm

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The big attractions

Jorvik Viking Centre

Experience life as it would have been in 10th century York

Sat Jan 25 - Sun Jan 26

York Chocolate Story Tours

Join us for five free tours of the attractions

Sat Jan 25 @ 9.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

York Minster Tower Trips

Residents can enjoy a free trip up the Minster’s Central Tower for unrivalled views of our city

Sat Jan 25 @ 9.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 3.15 pm

York Castle Museum

From a famous Victorian street to infamous criminals and cutting-edge costume collections; history comes to life at the award-winning York Castle Museum

Sat Jan 25 @ 9.30 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 5.00 pm

Clifford’s Tower

Climb the steps and enjoy spectacular 360 degree views of the city

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall Open Day

Fascinating tales, awe-inspiring architecture and intriguing artefacts...explore this stunning timber framed building free of charge

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - 4.30 pm

York Art Gallery

New commissions, Old Masters and more than 2000 ceramic works can be found at the award-winning York Art Gallery

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 5.00 pm

Yorkshire Museum

Take an epic journey back through 150 million years to discover Yorkshire’s Jurassic World and more

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 5.00 pm

Residents Festival at Fairfax House

Residents Festival at Fairfax House

Grasp this opportunity to go behind the scenes, and see Fairfax House as never normally seen during its deep-clean winter hibernation

Sat Jan 25 @ 11.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Holgate Windmill Open Day

Celebrate with Holgate Windmill in their 250th Anniversary year

Sat Jan 25 @ 11.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Road Train to National Railway Museum

Road Train to National Railway Museum

Hop on board our road train for a free ride from York Minster to The National Railway Museum

Sat Jan 25 @ 11.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

St Nick’s Environment Centre and Nature Reserve

Discover the green heart of York, home to 1000 species!

Sat Jan 25 @ 12.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Visit York Dungeons

Walk through 11 live actor shows, telling the story of 2000 years of York's dark history in 75 minutes

Sat Jan 25 @ 4.00 pm - Sun Jan 26 @ 7.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Tue, January 28 at 11.00 am

Merchant Taylors’ Hall

Merchant Taylors’ Hall

A unique opportunity to visit the beautiful Hall of the Merchant Taylors, one of the most significant medieval buildings in this architecturally rich city

Sun Jan 26 @ 11.00 am - 3.00 pm

Visit York Dungeons

Walk through 11 live actor shows, telling the story of 2000 years of York's dark history in 75 minutes

Tue Jan 28 @ 11.00 am - 4.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Tue, January 28 at 11.00 am


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History

York Cold War Bunker

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

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Barley Hall Open Day

Free entry to Barley Hall

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Dig – An Archaeological Adventure

Free entry to DIG

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 5.00 pm

Fishergate Postern Tower Open Day

Climb the spiral staircase of this early Tudor tower and more

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Henry VII Experience

Henry VII Experience

Find out about his early life as an exile Lancastrian heir to the throne, see the impact on the city of York as it continued to prosper throughout his reign and enjoy interactive experiences exploring life and death in Tudor times

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 3.00 pm

Richard III Experience Open Day

Richard III Experience Open Day

Find out about his early life as his brother, Edward IV struggled for the throne of England with Henry VI; see arms and armour from his reign and enjoy multimedia presentations about the key battles of the Wars of the Roses

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection

The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection

Come and see a selection of items from The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection and explore the history of patchwork and quilting

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

The Red Tower

A Grade I listed building from 1490, the only brick built tower on the medieval city walls

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

York Army Museum

Come and discover the story of the Yorkshire soldier at this award-winning museum

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 5.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sat, February 1 at 10.00 am

Masonic Hall Open Day

Masonic Hall Open Day

Come and visit our Masonic Hall, hear about the history of Freemasonry, sit in the lodge room and experience the atmosphere of a meeting of Freemasons

Sat Jan 25 @ 11.00 am - 4.00 pm

York Army Museum

Come and discover the story of the Yorkshire soldier at this award-winning museum

Sat Feb 1 @ 10.00 am - Sun Feb 2 @ 5.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sat, February 1 at 10.00 am


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Music, theatre, art

Right Here Right Now

Right Here Right Now

Join us for music, mayhem and muppetry in an unforgettable and absolutely unrepeatable evening of joy-filled nonsense…

Fri Jan 24 @ 7.30 pm

Grand Opera House York Open Day

See what goes on at York’s theatre of variety

Sat Jan 25 @ 9.00 am - 12.00 pm

Friargate Theatre Open Day

Friargate Theatre Open Day

Come to our open house at Friargate Theatre!

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Explore the history of Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Needlework, Quilting and Jewellery making at the Viking Loom

Needlework, Quilting and Jewellery making at the Viking Loom

Come and join our jewellery making workshop

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Map Attack – Future City

Map Attack – Future City

Inspired by plans from the archive, create your vision in Lego of how York should look in 20, 50, or 100 years!

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

York’s Winter Folk Day

York’s Winter Folk Day

Fourteen different folk music artists, solo, duos and groups will be performing at the award winning Black Swan Folkclub

Sun Jan 26 @ 2.00 pm - 10.30 pm

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Sport & leisure

Mindlock Escape Games York

Mindlock Escape Games York

Can your team crack the codes and solve the game before the time runs out?

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 10.00 pm

Touch Tuina, Chinese Medical Massage Treatment Centre

Touch Tuina, Chinese Medical Massage Treatment Centre

Free taster sessions running all day for all York residents and free talks

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Wed Jan 29 @ 5.00 pm

York Residents Festival at York MotorSports Village

York MotorSports Village is excited to offer York Card holders the opportunity to sample our superb facilities for just a fraction of the cost

Sun Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 6.30 pm

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Trips & tours

Conflux – A journey through York’s oldest site of stronghold, power and resistance

Conflux – A journey through York’s oldest site of stronghold, power and resistance

Part podcast, part poem, part accidental carpark.

Sat Jan 25 - Sun Jan 26

Mountain Goat tours

Mountain Goat tours

Enjoy a 50% discount at Yorkshires finest landscapes with Mountain Goat tours

Sat Jan 25 - Sun Feb 2

York Medical Society

See our collection of old medical instruments, Tempest Anderson memorabilia and beautiful hidden garden

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 3.00 pm

Gentleman Jack Walking Tour – In Anne Lister’s Footsteps

Gentleman Jack Walking Tour – In Anne Lister’s Footsteps

Let us guide you through her footsteps in Georgian York, brought to life by her incredible diaries.

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.30 am - 1.30 pm

City Cruises York

Enjoy a different view of York on board a 30 minute city cruise, with a captain’s live commentary

Sat Jan 25 @ 11.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 3.00 pm

York Terror Trail

York Terror Trail

Experience the city like never before and join us to explore the darker side of history

Sat Jan 25 @ 6.45 pm - Sun Jan 26 @ 6.45 pm

York Food Tour by Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours

York Food Tour by Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours

In the spirit of the Festival, taste your way around the centre of York. We will take you for five top tastings at York's great independents

Sun Jan 26 - Sun Feb 2

Visit York Cemetery

The Friends of York Cemetery open the Pritchett Chapel for History and garden Walks, Catacomb Tours, Grave Searches, Self-Guided Trails, and free tea, coffee and cake

Sun Jan 26 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

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Churches

All Saints Church North Street Open Day

Visit York's Finest Medieval Church

Sat Jan 25 @ 9.30 am - 5.30 pm

St Anthony’s Hall

St Anthony’s Hall

A warm welcome with short talks on the history of St Anthony’s Hall, Christianity in York, Medieval Medicine and Medieval Archaeology

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 6.00 pm

Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church

Once a large and important monastery in York, the building is now a parish church

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Jacob’s Well

Jacob’s 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 25 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

St Denys Church

Offering tea, tours, talks and entertainment

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

St Michael Le Belfrey Church

St Michael Le Belfrey Church is a peaceful, free attraction in the heart of York Minster Quarter, with ancient stained glass, and evidence of Guy Fawkes’ Baptism

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 8.00 pm

Then and Now

Then and Now

“Then and Now” an exhibition of York Unitarians over the centuries in our Grade 2* listed 17th century chapel

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Central Methodist Church

Come and listen to the organ, it is one of the finest in York!

Sat Jan 25 @ 11.00 am - 4.00 pm

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Out of town

York Residents Festival at Castle Howard

York Residents Festival at Castle Howard

Explore our 1,000 acres of parkland and garden, with an 18th century walled garden, woodland trails, lakeside paths, statues and temples as well as our adventure playground and variety of shops and cafés

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Lost Earth Adventures

Lost Earth Adventures

Our canoeing sessions take you off the beaten path to a truly remarkable hidden gem at Eavestone Lake.

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 5.00 pm

Visit the National Centre for Birds of Prey

The largest collections of these wonderful birds in the North of England

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.15 pm

William’s Den

William’s Den

William’s Den is an indoor and outdoor adventure attraction that gives families the freedom to play whatever the weather

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 5.00 pm

Meet the astronomers

York Astronomical Society is on site to show off their refurbished Observatory, with information on the night sky and telescopes with safe viewing of the sun weather permitting

Sat Jan 25 @ 10.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 4.00 pm

Visit Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens

The leaves have fallen, and the flowers long gone, but the gardens of Beningbrough Hall are still bustling with life with Gerard Hobson’s artwork in the latest indoor and outdoor exhibition

Sat Jan 25 @ 11.00 am - Sun Jan 26 @ 3.30 pm

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