39 things to do in York this half term holiday, October 2017

Hop aboard and have your photo taken Edwardian style at the York Castle Museum this half term. Photograph: Richard McDougall
27 Oct 2017 @ 3.27 pm
| Entertainment

Here’s a frighteningly good selection of activities for this Halloween half-term.

Don’t forget to check our full events guide, Things To Do York.


The Great York Ghost Search

Scary stuff… two of the ghosts haunting York. Photographs: Visit York

York city centre

Thu Oct 26-Tue Oct 31 @10am-9pm


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Grab a map from VisitYork on Museum Street, and see if you can find all the ghost lamps hiding in shop window. And look out for the mini-ghosts secreted in the shadows from 4pm daily…

York Maze

Elvington Lane, York YO19 5LT

Till Wed Nov 1 @ 10am-5pm


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If you’d like to ‘go large’ on Halloween, head to the York Maze where they have created the world’s biggest Jack O’Lantern. There’s also 20 themed rides, attractions and shows.

York Dungeon

12 Clifford St, York YO1 9RD

Till Oct 31 at various times

Walking tours £4-£5; Dungeon from £10.50

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Lots of spooky activity at the York Dungeon, with new Trick Or Treat walking tours, and special late night events – including on Halloween night itself.

Ghost Cruises

King’s Staith Landing, River Ouse

From Sat Oct 28-Tues Oct 31 @ 7pm & 8.30pm


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If you thought ghosts were scary enough on land, imagine them floating on a boat! City Cruises have teamed up with York Dungeon to deliver Ghost Cruises along the Ouse. Here spooky tales from Old Mother Shipton and Roman soothsayer Tiberius Fabius Bibulus.

Witchfinder General Max O’Keeffe on the ghost hunt at Barley Hall

Barley Hall

2 Coffee Yard, York YO1 8AR

Mon Oct 30 & Tues Oct 31 @ 5.30pm to 8pm


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Medieval townhouse Barley Hall opens its doors this Halloween for two nights of spooky themed events specifically aimed at little terrors. There are special guided tours starting every 30 minutes, but can your youngsters solve a spooky mystery?


York Maze, Elvington Lane, York YO19 5LT

Selected nights till Oct 31


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If being chased around a cornfield by a chainsaw weilding homicidal clown is your idea of a bracing night out, then Hallowscream is the place to be. Haunted house attractions and spooky happenings for adults only…

York’s Chocolate Story Trick or Treat

King’s Square, York

Till Nov 5


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Join ghoulish Count Fectionery for his Trick Or Treat Walking Tours round York. He’ll tell you about ghastly sweets like the KitBat and Terry’s All Ghould…

Count Fectionery… Photograph: York’s Chocolate Story

Web Adventure Park’s Halloween Ball

Wigginton Road, York, YO32 2RH

Sat Oct 28-Tues Oct 31 @ 7pm

£5.25-£7.25 per child; adults £2

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As well as the usual daytime climbing and sliding fun, the Web Adventure Park is staging evening Halloween events. There’s a torchlight trick or treat trail, disco and games.

Treasurer’s House Ghost Tours

Minster Yard, York YO1 7JL

Sat Oct 28-Tues Oct 31


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Where better to get that spooky Halloween feeling than on the site of York’s most famous ghost story? Tour the cellars where a workman saw the spirits of a Roman legion march straight past him… Then head to the top of the house for spooky stories in the attic.

Creepy Halloween at Castle Howard

Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA

Sat Oct 21-Sun Nov 5 @ 10.30am-4pm


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Explore the ‘haunted’ Burnt Out Wing of Castle Howard – uninhabited and out of bounds to visitors for many years… And for the little ones, there will be a Halloween trail, a themed sweet shop and a dressing up competition.

Ghost Stories Through The Ages

Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate

Sat Oct 28 @ 6pm


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Hosted by The Churches Conservation Trust, this is an evening of spooky stories by candlelight. Your storyteller will recall the ghostly tales of medieval times that still send a shiver through us today, all in the atmospheric interior of Holy Trinity Church.

Look out a zombie’s about. Ste Dunn / Prince Wor photography

Zombies In York

York Explore library, Museum Street, York

Mon Oct 30 @ 5.30pm


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Scientists have discovered that a mystery virus is turning people into zombies. Children aged 8-12 are needed to help them to work out how to stop the virus spreading and infecting everyone in York…

Door 84’s Halloween Event

Door 84 Youth Centre, Lowther Street, York YO31 7LX

Mon Oct 30 @ 1pm-3pm

Free entry

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A community event with lots of fun events, from pumpkin carving to fancy dress. Plus they have cakes!

Pumpplefest at Brunswick Nursery

Brunswick Organic Nursery and Craft Workshop, Appleton Road, Bishopthorpe, York, YO23 2RF

Sun Oct 29 @ 11am

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Lots of Halloween fun, including a trick or treat trail, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, stalls and games.

Haunted happenings at Nunnington Hall

Nunnington, North Yorkshire, YO62 5UY

Fri Oct 27-Sun Oct 29


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Are you brave enough to follow the haunted family trail? Go along for special family ghost tours.

Pumpkin Festival at Piglets Adventure Farm

Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Lane, Towthorpe YO32 9ST

Sat Oct 21-Sun Nov 5 @ 10am-5.30pm


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Lots of spooky attractions and a free pumpkin for every child. There’s Mischief Manor, a mysterious maze and the Magic Hatter.

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Magical Beasts for Halloween

Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park, Askham Bryan, York YO23 3FR

Sat Oct 21-Sun Nov 5 @ 10am-4pm


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Among the events at Askham Bryan Wildlife Park are creepy crafts, spooky storytime and behind-the-scenes tours.

Death at the Dig

York Explore library, Museum Street, York

Tues Oct 31 @ 6.30pm


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Crime writer Kate Ellis presents a 1920s murder mystery in which the audience must play detective to discover who murdered distinguished archaeologist Professor Digson.

Stories, art and tech

Some pumpkin carving opportunities await… Photograph © Public Domain Pictures on Pixabay

York Minster animation

Deangate, York YO1 7HH

Mon Oct 30-Fri Nov 3 @10am-4pm

Free with normal admission; York residents free admission

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Budding artists are invited to help create a giant sketch of York Minster as part of the cathedral’s special animation week. Sketch your favourite part of the Minster beneath the 13th century Five Sisters Window, and it will be added to a huge floor plan with the progress being captured by a time-lapse video.

Art&York 2017

York Racecourse, Knavesmire

Fri Oct 27-Sun Oct 29 @ 10am-4pm

£5.50 – £12

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If you love art, head to York Racecourse. The Art&York show features more than 120 artists, art for sale from £10, workshops and demonstrations.

Halloween Sand Art Pictures and Crafts

Acomb Explore, Front Street

Tue Oct 31 @ 10am


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Get crafty in Acomb and make spooky sand art pictures and crafts.

Magnus Chase Comes to Jorvik

Jorvik Viking Centre, Coppergate Centre

Fri Oct 20-Sun Nov 5 @ 10am


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To celebrate the publication of the third and final instalment in the Magnus Chase trilogy, Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead, visit Jorvik Viking Centre this half term for your chance to pick up exclusive ‘Magnus Chase’ merchandise.

The DigiFamilies Workshop at York Explore

Rowntree Park Rocks!

Rowntree Park, York

Sun Oct 29-Sat Nov 4 @ 9am-4pm


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Painted rocks will be hidden all over the park. Some of the rocks will have a golden underside and a number written on them, which wins you a prize.

Half Term Spooky Science at Huntington

Orchard Park Community Centre, Badger Paddock, Huntington, York YO31 9EH

Fri Nov 3 @ 10am


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Gooey pumpkins, pop up ghosts, spidery slime and lots of other truly gross experiments to keep your 5-11 year olds happy.

DigiFamilies Workshop

York Explore, Museum Street, York

Tues Oct 31 @ 1pm


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A team of techies, coders, digital makers and artists are tooled up with 3D printers, robots, arduinos and invention kits. And they’re ready for your whole family to drop in to play, code, game and create.

Halloween Stories and Crafts

Clifton Explore Library, Rawcliffe Lane, York

Tues Oct 31 @ 2.30pm


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There will be a ghostly ghoul hunt around the library and various spooky crafts to make. For 5-11 year-olds – bring a pumpkin to carve.

Family fun

Future engineers at the NRM

The engineers of the future at the National Railway Museum. Photograph: NRM / Simon Dewhurst

National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York

Sat Oct 21-Sun Nov 5 @ 10am – 4pm


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Fun and fascinating live shows and workshops for the whole family as the Future Engineers project returns for a second year. Includes dance workshops and science turned into rap!

Trip Trap Troll at the Yorkshire Museum

Museum Gardens, York

Sat Oct 28-Sun Nov 5 @ 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm

Children free admission, adults £7.50

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Help your Vikings escape from the evil trolls this October half term as you make and play the traditional Viking game, Trip Trap Troll. During the final week of the exhibition, Viking: Rediscover the Legend use clay to mould your own miniature Viking warriors and terrifying Trolls along with your own game board to play this traditional game from the time of the Vikings.

York Castle Museum activities

Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY

Sat Oct 29-Sun Nov 5 @ 9.30am-5pm

Children free, adults £10

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Have your picture taken with Edwardian photographer Professor Lenskapp and his fantasy car, go on an entertainment trail and make Yorkshire Parkin at the Castle Museum.

Half term fun at Beningbrough

A wise owl on the Beningbrough trail

Beningbrough, York YO30 1DD

Sat Oct 28-Sun Nov 5


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Half-term will be a real hoot as they celebrate all things owl at Beningbrough. Join a nature walk, pick up a family trail, explore the gardens for hidden sculptures or meet the real thing.

Fairfax House After Dark

Fairfax House, 27 Castlegate, York YO1 9RN

Thu Oct 26 and Fri Oct 27 @ 7.30pm


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Fairfax House opens its doors after dark for a candlelit performance by the mansion’s ‘original Georgian inhabitants’. You will be taken through the House by Lord Fairfax and members of his household staff by candlelight and given an unvarnished insight into 18th-century life.

Half-term fun at Goddards

27 Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1GG

Wed Nov 1-Sun Nov 5 @ 10.30am-5pm

£3.15 – £7

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Get cosy by the fireside or follow the Terry’s trail. Find out more about the Terry’s family and their chocolate business and have a go at making a chocolate box.

Cockleshell Heroes at York Army Museum

3 Tower Street, York YO1 9SB

Fri Nov 3 to Sat Nov 4 @ 10am-4pm


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The Black Faced Villains head to York Army Museum to share the story of the Cockleshell Heroes. Come along and view their pop-up exhibition.

Further afield

The Halloween Adventure At Stockeld Park

A witch and her friends at Stockeld Park

Stockeld Park, off the A661 Wetherby Road, Yorkshire

Daily till October 31 @ 10.30am-8.30pm


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There’s a woodland trail, enchanted forest, maze and ice rink. Plus special spooky events, including eerie science and witches in the forest.

Have-a-go holidays at North York Moors National Park

Sutton Bank National Park Centre, North Yorkshire YO7 2EH

Sat Oct 21-Sun Oct 29 @ 11am-4pm

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Themed crafts, trails, treasure hunts, walks and talks, tasting sessions and more. There are strange things happening at Sutton Bank – help shed light on some favourite myths and legends.

Halloween at Flamingo Land

Kirby Misperton, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 6UX

Daily till Sun Oct 29 @ 10am-4pm


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As well as the theme park rides and zoo, there are a whole host of themed tricks and treats on offer. Hop aboard for a spooky indoor train ride at Mischief Mansion or visit the Black Heart Galleon.

Frightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley, Water Lane, North Stainley, Ripon HG4 3HT

Thu Oct 26-Sun Oct 29 @ 10am-4.30pm


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Ghastly ghouls and beasties lurk around every corner this Shocktober….as once again Lightwater Valley becomes Frightwater Valley.

Gruffalo Spotters Trail at Dalby Forest

North York Moors National Park

Daily till Nov 30. Visitor Centre 10am-4.30pm

Parking £4

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Download The Gruffalo Spotter app at home, then visit Dalby Forest. Along the trail look out for clues which lead to footprint marker posts – point the app at these and watch Mouse, Fox, Owl, Snake and the Gruffalo appear before your eyes!

Illuminated Whitby Abbey

Abbey Lane, Whitby YO22 4JT

Wed Oct 25-Tue Oct 31 @ 6pm


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See Bram Stoker’s inspiration in a new light as Whitby Abbey is bathed in dramatic illuminations. Plus see the story of Dracula brought to life before your very eyes within the abbey ruins all aglow at 8pm.