Things to do in York this half term: October 2014

24 Oct 2014 @ 10.29 am
| Entertainment

Live life like a legionary, go on a spooky trail, or check out some street art. And York is lit up again for Illuminating York. Jump into the fray with our jam-packed What’s On Guide

Travel in time


York Castle Museum and Yorkshire Museum are going back in time for half term, so get ready to Soldier On between October 25 – Nov 2.

You can join either the Roman legion or a First World War regiment. The life of Yorkshire soldier Frank Wood is recreated with performances of One Man’s War. Handle real life Roman artefacts in Living Like A Legionary or be creative with Medal Making sessions.

Elsewhere you can…

  Meet the Vicars at Bedern Hall
Monday, Oct 27 to Saturday, Nov 1 from 10.30am – 4.30pm

  Visit the historic Holgate Windmill
Saturday, Oct 25 – Sunday Oct 26, 11am – 4pm

  Or see our complete list of family events

Tricks and treats


There’s an air of mischief at York Dungeon as they launch a special Trick or Treat Tour of York specially aimed at 6-10 year olds. Grab your glowstick and meet the new characters Smythe and Smedley for the Home of Halloween, this Mon, Oct 27 – Thursday 30 at 4.30pm and Fri 31 Oct at 12.30, 2.30 and 4.30pm.

More Halloween high-jinks…

  Follow the Half Term Halloween Trail at the Treasurer’s House
Saturday Oct 25 to Sunday, Nov 2, 11am – 4.30pm

  Treat yourself to York’s Chocolate Story’s Shock-olate activities
Saturday, Oct 25 – Sunday, Nov 2, 10am – 6.30pm

  Full list of Halloween events

Crafts and creativity


Enjoy a burst of creativity with Waterstones as they celebrate popular children’s character Winnie the Witch and her cat Wilbur, Saturday Oct 25, from 1pm.

You can also meet Timmy the sheep from CBeebies show Timmy Time at Monks Cross, Saturday Nov 1 at intervals throughout the day.

Other arty activities

  The Yorkshire Museum of Farming hosts a Frightening Farmyard Big Draw event
Mon Oct 27 to Fri Oct 31, 10am – 5pm

  York Minster has a Saints and Heroes half term complete with live street art
Weds Oct 29 – Sat Nov 1, 10am – 4pm

  Find the excitement in Trainspotting with the National Railway Museum’s kids activities
Saturday, Oct 25 – Sunday, Nov 2

Illuminating York 2014


Illuminating York is back with all new shows for 2014. The theme this year is Leading Lights, bringing together the city’s impressive history with its innovative future.

Discover Hidden Worlds, the Spark Trail which showcases emerging artists and of course the National Railway Museum’s Locos in a Different Light. The festival runs from Weds, Oct 29 – Saturday Nov 1 with main events running daily from 6 – 10pm.

More bright lights

  Castle Howard illuminated
Weds Oct 29 – Friday Oct 31, 5 – 8pm

  The Wheels Of Industry at King’s Square
Weds Oct 29 to Sat Nov 1,6 – 10pm

  Full list of Illuminating York events

Get outdoors


Beningbrough Hall’s Halloween Half Term includes the “spooktacular” sound trail.

Activities run from Saturday, Oct 25 – Sunday, Nov 2 from 11am – 5pm. You can make your own lantern and then dress up for the costume parade on Friday, Oct 31 at 3.15pm.

  Have a Halloween adventure at York Maze
Saturday, Oct 25 – Saturday, Nov 1 from 10am – 4.30pm

  Enjoy an Eco-Active Day at St Nick’s Fields
Saturday, Nov 1 from 10am – 2pm

  Go on a half term trail at Castle Howard
Saturday, Oct 25 – Sunday, Nov 2 from 11am – 5pm

Live music


Don’t stop the music – there’s several acts coming to York in the next week with UB40 kicking things off at the Barbican this Friday, Oct 24 from 7.30pm.

More artists and bands

  Steve Hackett from renowned rock band Genesis is at the Barbican
Sunday, Oct 26 from 7.30pm

  Oxjam Music Festival 2014 takes over several York venues this weekend
Saturday, Oct 25 – Sunday 26 from 1pm – 3am

  York Barbican welcomes Neil Sedaka
Saturday, Oct 25 from 7.30pm

Theatre shows


It’s a De-Lovely Day for musicals, with Joseph Rowntree Theatre’s entertaining combination of comedy, classical songs and film scores from Cole Porter’s back catalogue. This de-lightful show runs from Weds, Oct 22 – Sat, Oct 25 at 7.30pm.

Other stage highlights

  The Kite Runner is a haunting tale of friendship at the Theatre Royal
Monday, Oct 27 Saturday, Nov 1 at 7.30pm

  The Small Hand is based on Susan Hill’s spooky novel
Monday, Oct 27 – Saturday, Nov 1 at 7.30pm

  Jimmy Carr is drumming up some funny business at the Grand Opera House
Friday, Oct 24 and Saturday 25

Art and shopping


Formed with the goal of promoting and encourage people to make art, the York Art Society has been going for nearly a century. This week it returns to the De Grey Rooms to celebrate its 200th exhibition. From Tuesday, October 28 to Sunday, November 2.

A spot of shopping

  Bargains are promised at York CD and Record Fair at the Basement
Saturday, Oct 25 from 10.30am

  Visit the Hearts & Crafts Yorkshire Fair at St Bede’s Pastoral Centre, Blossom Street
Saturday, Oct 25 from 11am