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YorkFamily-friendly activities

Our most recommended York Family-friendly activities

York: Self-Steer Boat Rental

1. York: Self-Steer Boat Rental

Enjoy a leisurely one hour hire, exploring York from the helm of your own self-steer motorboat. Become a captain and explore the sites of York’s riverside in style. Your private boat can accommodate up to 8 people and will provide plenty of room for you all to head out on your own aquatic adventure, exploring the same river that brought the Vikings to this beautiful city. You will receive full instructions on how to operate your motor boat along with safety and river rules, whilst life jackets will be provided for any children. Your boat operating area is along a route that will along you to take in the whole city from the river within the one hour. Additionally, on a half hour hire you can operate within this area and will be able to take in most of the built up section of the Ouse, or make your way down stream to the Millennium Bridge and back to the moorings again. Please note that the boats cannot be taken past Clifton Bridge or the Millennium Bridge. You are not allowed to moor the boat up and disembark at any point on the river other than at the at King’s Staith (where your hire first began).

York's Chocolate Story: Guided Tour

2. York's Chocolate Story: Guided Tour

Make your way to York’s Chocolate Story in the historic heart of York. Meet the guide and spend 1 hour and 15 minutes on an entertaining tour of the attraction. Discover the secrets of making delicious chocolate as you explore the facility’s 3 floors filled with interactive exhibitions. Join a guided tour to explore the history of chocolate, from the discovery of the cocoa bean thousands of years ago to the world famous chocolate-making families of York. Listen as your knowledgeable guide brings the process to life, and hands out the occasional taster, of course. Towards the end of your visit you’ll have a chance to make your own chocolate creation and watch a chocolatier at work, perfect for adults and children alike. At the end of the guided tour, visit the cafe and gift shop, bursting with artisan chocolate and other delicious creations.

York: Chocolate Bar Making Workshop at York Cocoa Works

3. York: Chocolate Bar Making Workshop at York Cocoa Works

York is home to the world's most famous chocolate bars and brands, and there is a lot of love here in the chocolate city for all things cocoa. Join us in our academy and learn how to create your very own chocolate bar. You will discover our cocoa origins, we will show you how to work with tempered chocolate, and you will experiment with different flavours to perfect your masterpiece! Once the bars have set, you will be able to enjoy your beautifully wrapped creations at home. During this workshop you will: Discover where cocoa comes from and its origins Learn we manufacture our chocolate here on site Try a selection of our own white, milk and dark chocolate Then work with your chosen chocolate to mould and design a chocolate bar Flavour & Decorate your chocolate bar

York: Castle Howard Gardens and Grounds Entry Ticket

4. York: Castle Howard Gardens and Grounds Entry Ticket

Explore Castle Howard's 18th-century gardens and discover the backdrop to many iconic films and TV shows, such as Bridgerton and The Great. Look out for wildlife on scenic trails and swing from the trees at the award-winning adventure playground, Skelf Island. After presenting your voucher, explore Castle Howard's 18th-century gardens with around 9,000 acres of the beautiful Howardian Hills. As you wander around the historic parkland, look out for the monuments, pyramids, obelisks, and statues that surround the estate. Get to know the location where many films and television shows were filmed, including Brideshead Revisited, Victoria, The Great, and Bridgerton. Admire familiar sights that have become known across the world as the backdrop to some of the most iconic on-screen moments. Enjoy over 1000 acres of gardens and woodland with picturesque trails and wildlife to look out for, including birds of prey and wild otters. Feel free to take a break in one of the cafes, where you can order food and drinks. Make your way to Skelf Island and mess around in the award-winning adventure playground. Spark your adrenaline as you swing through the trees and make memories with your friends and family.

York City Chronicles - History walking tour

5. York City Chronicles - History walking tour

Immerse your self in the real history of York! We'll take you in the footsteps of Roman Emperors who shaped the mightiest of Empires, regale you in tales of Viking invasion, follow the route of Monarchs, the infamous, the saintly and see how we all shaped the story of this amazing city. From the rise of Gothic Cathedrals, to medieval walled defences see what shaped a city once second only to London. Discover the Guilds and their economic influence on the rise of this city and our democracy. Through the history, myths and legends you'll discover the story of York and all those who went before you. Our tour concludes at All Saints Pavement Church with it's famous lantern tower and insight into one of the more unique church services in Britain. Welcome to the Sceptred Isle walking tour- The story of Britain!

York: York Cocoa Works Guided Tour and Tasting

6. York: York Cocoa Works Guided Tour and Tasting

Learn how chocolate is made at York Cocoa Works with the Chocolate Manufactory Tasting Journey. During your visit, you will be show around the Chocolate Manufactory by a team of chocolate lovers who will share the secrets of cocoa and the transformation into chocolate. You will discover cocoa origins from around the world, learn the rich history of chocolate making in York before taking a peek into the manufactory and watch the chocolate being made. This session concludes with a special tasting conducted by a cocoa connoisseur, sampling chocolate crafted on site with different cocoa flavour notes and strengths to explore the full chocolate tasting experience. Following the journey, you are invited to join us in our Chocolate Cafe where you can use your ticket to enjoy further discounts across our whole product range.

York: Vikings, Romans and Normans Walking Tour

7. York: Vikings, Romans and Normans Walking Tour

- Marvel at the grandeur of York Minster Stand tall with the Roman Column Visit the Multangular Tower, a masterclass in Roman architecture - Walk along the formidable City Walls - Visit King's Manor - Admire the ruins of one of the wealthiest monasteries in England - Stand above the remnants of a Viking city - Trace the footsteps of the Vikings in Coppergate ±±±Inclusions - Expert guide with extensive knowledge of York's history - Interactive elements, including a fun quiz - A memorable journey through time, perfect for all ages ±±±Important Info - Duration: Approximately 2 hours - Starting point: By the Constantine the Great Statue, 4 Minster Yard, York - Ending point: Coppergate - The tour operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately - Comfortable walking shoes are recommended Unearth the stories of York's greatest invaders and discover why this city is a historical treasure trove. Book your spot now!

York: Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride and Afternoon Tea

8. York: Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride and Afternoon Tea

Embark on an unforgettable journey with a horse-drawn carriage ride in a private country Estate nearYork. Complete your private experience with a traditional English afternoon cream tea in the woods either during the ride or afterward in the village. On the outskirts of the Escrick Park Estate in Skipwith Village, climb aboard your carriage and prepare to take in the views. Sit back and relax as the horses take you on a tour of the woodland tracks and country lanes within the estate. The Estate has been privately owned for over 300 years and has a long-term plan of conservation to ensure Escrick Park remains the beautiful natural sanctuary it is today. You may even be lucky enough to spot a glimpse of deer or buzzards while meandering through the trees. Served in or out of your carriage under the beautiful trees in ancient woodland, indulge your tastebuds with a classic English tradition of afternoon cream tea. Enjoy cream cakes, and fresh fruit scones, along with a pot of Yorkshire tea, fruit tea, or coffee. If you prefer, you can take afternoon tea with you and enjoy a picnic at the village green after your ride. Lasting approximately one hour, the carriage is open-top during summer months and closed during winter with windows to ensure you still get the most out of your ride.

York: City Exploration Game

9. York: City Exploration Game

A playful experience to discover the secrets of York, a mystery walk similar to an escape room but outdoors! Your team will receive clues on their phones that, once deciphered, will guide them around a route that showcases it's secret sights and great pubs/bars/cafes. The routes are all walking distance and clues get you working together and interacting with the city surroundings to find the answers, no prior knowledge required. Discover fascinating and amusing facts about York's past and present as you weave your way through the city. Make the day your own as you solve clues and challenges as a team; with friends, family or colleagues. Get competitive - race to the finish and set a leader board time, or simply go at your own pace and soak it all in. With recommended refreshment stops at top-rated pubs/cafes/bars that you can choose to indulge and refresh along the way. There are two stops on this route; - Half way; Cosy and candle-lit, 2-storey bar serving artisan beers in 16th-century, half-timbered townhouse. Fantastic cafe option also available - Finish location; Traditional pub with flock wallpaper, wooden boards and a fire, for cask ales and comfort food. Monthly challenges are available for teams to submit pictures/videos of their experience to win cash prizes each month. Links sent in the welcome message and information available on our website. For larger group bookings we recommend splitting up into teams of up to 5-8 people - this helps keep everyone in the team immersed and interacting with the game. Corporate bookings and packages are available, please email us at for more information. Tickets can be used on any day and we have a 'love it or your money back' guarantee, we aim to provide a fantastic day for you! The Secret City awaits.

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What people are saying about York

Brilliant tour from start to finish. Tour guide was very knowledgeable about the subject and history. My daughter & I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend to others.

Fun way to spend an hour. We were a group of 7 including my 13 year old niece, and we all enjoyed creating our own chocolate bar

Had a super fun tour of beautiful York, with a guide with a lot of knowledge and love for the city. Top tour!

Very informative with a lovely interactive tour and a few cheeky tasters along the way

Was a fun tour. Richard the tour guide was excellent, funny and informative.