Coming to York for half term with 3,9,and 10 yr old - what should we do?

(26 Posts)
littlebellsmum Tue 11-Feb-14 11:20:25

Certainly plan the Yorvik, Castle museum, chocolate museum and DIG but what else? Any funky creative places or gallerys that cater for children? I need the insider knowledge grin

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Bunbaker Tue 11-Feb-14 19:53:52

There is lots to see and do in York. I haven't heard many good reviews about the chocolate museum so I reserve judgement on that. York Minster is awesome and they do activity sheets for the children. Be prepared to queue for Jorvik and also be prepared for the three year old to find it rather dull.

The castle museum is excellent and you can't not go to the National Railway Museum. It is free and the children can run around.

Just a word of warning, if it carries on raining like this parts of York will be under the Ouse. There is a flood alert in place for some areas.

BikeRunSki Tue 11-Feb-14 19:57:54

My ds (5) loves Clifford's Tower, old castle kept next to Castle Museum. There is usually something on for children at York Art Gallery in school holidays.

City walls

York Minster

Rowntree Park is nice

ineedanexcuse Tue 11-Feb-14 19:58:17

Join one of the forty thousand plus drivers who have been fined for driving on a poorly signposted road that is impossible to avoid if you are a visitor.

local newspaper here

Bitter ? Moi?

BikeRunSki Tue 11-Feb-14 19:59:01

And check out flooding. The city centre us partially flooded at the moment.


Kneedeepinshittynappies Tue 11-Feb-14 20:00:13

Rail museum is fab way to spend a few hours. Would also recommend open top bus, if it ever stops raining.

Bunbaker Tue 11-Feb-14 20:04:46

And a visit to the Fudge Kitchen is not to be missed

iseenodust Tue 11-Feb-14 20:08:33

Don't forget to walk the walls. A different perspective for the DC to be higher than the pavements. I totally undervalued them until I recently saw the few bricks the Museum of London flaunts as its Roman wall.

Bunbaker Tue 11-Feb-14 20:13:04

York in April is so pretty. All the banks by the walls are covered in daffodils.

Not really relevant for half term, but you might want to go back.

littlebellsmum Tue 11-Feb-14 21:50:22

Thank you - the flooding may be a challenge but as the train is booked as is the apartment and the builders will be in our house, we are coming and will be bringing wellies smile

Will look into the gallery and yes, Bunbaker, we always have a challenge keeping all three kids happy - normally have something in my bag for the little one or one of us makes a sharp exit with her!

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TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 11-Feb-14 21:52:28

To be fair, you'd need to be quite knowingly driving in a bus lane to accidentally drive over Lendal Bridge: the signs are such that it's actually harder to be sure you're ok to drive on it at the times when you are! If you take notice of signs and road markings, it's not a problem.

NorthernLurker Tue 11-Feb-14 22:04:53

Afaik the city centre is fine - and I live here! Bits of the riverside walk will be under water but no worse than that. Same as every winter grin

If a nice clear day you get a great view from the top of Cliffords Tower and it's doable for a 3 yr old.
The Art Gallery is closed atm.
My youngest loves the Yorkshire Museum in the Museum Gardens. there's quite a good history of York film and some dinosaurs and so on grin
Barley Hall is fun too and they have a horrible histories exhibition atm.
It's not just Lendal Bridge that is a 'bus lane'. Coppergate is too and the restrictions there are 7am to 7pm. Loads of tourists have been caught there in the evenings.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Tue 11-Feb-14 22:09:11

Is it flooded at the moment? I live here and haven't heard anything beyond the usual slight overspill on the flood plains? But could be wrong!

pearlgirl Tue 11-Feb-14 22:15:14

There is some water on the riverside walks but not as much as sometimes. As others have suggested you could walk the walls, Clifford's Tower, the castle museum and the Railway museum are fab. We won a trip to Jorvik and I enjoyed it but was glad I hadn't paid for it. It is the Viking Festival next week so there are extra activities on in Dig and around the city - if you search on line you should find a program.

Manchesterhistorygirl Tue 11-Feb-14 22:16:46

The railway museum. My dc LOVE it there, we usually make the trip once a year over the hills.

littlebellsmum Tue 11-Feb-14 22:49:02

Thank you - I remember the castle museum from when I was a kid and thanks for the info on the gallery and lack of worry about flooding smile

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NorthernLurker Tue 11-Feb-14 23:32:30

As you're coming at 1/2 term when the city is busy I'll give you my top tip for finding somewhere to eat without queue. Near the Minster, on Blake Street there is an Ask which is in the Assembly rooms. LOADS of tables, child friendly food and a lovely Georgian ambience grin

Lifeofatortoise Tue 11-Feb-14 23:37:12

We ate at Ask, it's a beautiful room. There is also a lovely art gallery which I think is a shop in the centre, I always love York when we go.

littlebellsmum Wed 12-Feb-14 11:02:13

Thanks for the food tip - Ask was on our list of places to eat - shall now be looking for vouchers smile
Any other recommendations? Is the church cafe still open at the end of the shambles?

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HanSolo Tue 18-Feb-14 22:36:06

Bumping this to ask if anyone can recommend places to eat lunch with a v fussy 4yo? He eats very little, but would rather support local enterprises than chains IYSWIM. He's more a sausage and mash, jacket potato and beans type child. Breakfast ideas would be really, really helpful too!

pearlgirl Wed 19-Feb-14 14:07:31

Try the Spurriergate Centre in town for lunch - it is near H&M and is very child friendly - we often head in there. It is in an old church building at the end of a row of shops, just checked the address and it is on Spurriergate!

The church at the end of the Shambles is St Crux and is lent out to different groups and charities to run each day as a a way of raising funds.

Vickiyumyum Wed 19-Feb-14 14:22:21

I don't recommend the chocolate story. Its not really a museum. You will need to book tickets for a tour, its unlikely you could walk right in and get tickets straight away.

We brought tickets in the morning and couldn't get in until 3.30, luckily there is lots to do in York and we had lunch at Nando's.

You are herded into a big dark room, where the history of rowntrees is talked about, and given a chocolate drop, then into a room for a video about the history of chocolate, and given a thimble full of cocoa water.

the interactive part at the end where children can make a lollipop and there is a demonstration often gets backed up and a lot of waiting around. there are very small displays of old rowntrees/cravens/terrys packaging and some colouring in for the dc. We went in October half term and it was very busy, so I imagine this half term will be too.

The café downstairs is appalling, don't bother. The shop has some good gift items but very expensive really. I had high hopes for it as York has such a strong history of chocolate and sweets and we have strong family links with rowntrees as in generations of workers, also in terrys and cravens too.

Castle museum on the other hand is fab. we love it. Lots to see, the dc love the street and the more modern bit with the 60's street/shops.

The walls are a good walk and interesting in dry weather, miserable if wet. Shambles are good for a quick look, and a fab Italian there (bari).

Railway museum obviously, is the York wheel still there? not been for a few years to that museum.

betties is a must too, get there early for lunch with minimal queuing they have always been fab with the dc, good children's menu, the hot food there is delicious. I didn't think it was too badly priced either. approx. £80 for 5 of us.

we're there again in the summer, we have relatives living there, not far from the actual rowntrees factory. I lived there myself or a few years.

iseenodust Wed 19-Feb-14 15:37:20

Do think about Bettys - the children's fish & chips goes down a storm.
It's chain but Pizza Express overlooks the river which offers a distraction.
For a bit different try Lendal Cellars (another side of the same square as Bettys) which does large filled Yorkshire puddings.

iseenodust Wed 19-Feb-14 15:40:43

ps There is a 25% off code for Pizza Express this half-term.

HanSolo Wed 19-Feb-14 20:00:52

pearl, vicky, iseen- thanks for those suggestions.

Lendal cellars sounds great for us... but 4yo won't touch "auction puddings" grin
He'll eat pizza anytime, any place though... hmm
Bettys sounds like a good bet- was going to head there for tea and cake, but lunch might be a good idea.

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