Jubilee fun: what to do in York this holiday weekend

1 Jun 2012 @ 6.04 pm
| Entertainment

Time to celebrate: there's lots to do in York this jubilee weekend. Official Queen Diamond Jubilee portrait by John Swannell
We’ve a beautiful city and an extra day or two to enjoy. And there’s plenty on, so check out our six spectacular suggestions of fab things to do for all the family.

Missing from this list is street performer fest Buskival and the York Grand Tour of science images around the city, as we’ve posted separate stories on both. Click on the names to find out more.

So here are some other things to do for everyone from tots to seniors this jubilee Bank Holiday. God bless you ma’am…


It’s back and it’s on track to be the biggest celebration of trains ever. Railfest will be officially opened on Saturday June 2 by Carol ‘Consonant Vowel Vowel’ Vorderman on Saturday, June 2 and runs until June 10. Carol will officially rename East Coast No.91110 ‘Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’ before a flypast by, you’ve guessed it, the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. During the event you can standard gauge, narrow gauge and miniature railways, climb inside the drivers’ cabs, stand on the footplates. Little ones will love the Chuggington activity area.

Shakespeare In The Park

York Shakespeare Project presents one of the Bard’s best-loved and most entertaining comedies, The Merry Wives of Windsor, in Rowntree Park – quite fitting when we’re celebrating another Windsor wife. This is the one where Mistress Ford and Mistress Page take revenge on the scheming Falstaff. Runs till June 5 with matinee and evening performances over the weekend. Go here for tickets.

1950s Jubilee Weekend

Travel down memory lane at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton Park. It has a 1950s theme this weekend with traditional games for children, Fifties music, a themed menu, and the chance to watch the 1952 coronation! If you want to get really in to the spirit, get kitted out in Fifties costume.

Clifford’s Tower Royal Trail

There’s many a monarch hiding in York’s castle – but can you find them? Young visitors taking part in the trail will receive a sheet as they enter and will try to find all the model kings and queens hidden around the courtyard and wall walk. Clifford’s Tower is running the special royal event from Saturday June 2 until June 10.

Archbishop’s Party in the Palace

Unfortunately all the tickets are sold out for Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu’s royal garden party in the evening of Saturday, June 2. But there’s still the family gala to go to that afternoon from noon-4pm, with lots of stalls, food and a licensed bar. “Like many others, I am looking forward to her Diamond Jubilee and wanted to make the grounds available to local people to mark this occasion,” said the Archbishop.

Diamond Jubilee Beacon

York is one of the cities lighting a beacon to mark the occasion of the Queen’s 60th year as monarch. Ours will be lit by the new Lord Mayor of York Keith Hyman at Bachelor Hill at 10.15pm on Monday, June 5. Residents are welcome to watch this simple ceremony and can if they wish bring food and drink to toast the Queen on her jubilee.

Jubilee Wildlife Party

It was only a few weeks ago that the Queen was in Museum Gardens, and the Jubilee Wildlife Party is the city centre park’s contribution to the celebrations. Children can take a closer look at nature and join in craft activities and games all themed around regal and royal species throughout the animal kingdom. And it’s all free. There will also be cup cakes on sale at the event which runs from 10.30am to 3pm on Sunday.

YO1 Inside Out Festival

Music lovers should check out the YO1 Inside Out Festival on Saturday. With four stages of live music at Askham Bryan College, including Craig Charles’ DJ set and bands like Young Knives (pictured) and The Crookes, this is an exciting new event for the York calendar. There’s more than music, too: York Does Vintage will be hosting a vintage event for all ages, while the Best of British Jubilee tent has a selection of locally-sourced real ales & a Pimms bar. The event starts at noon and runs till 3am.