What to do in York this half term: May 25-June 2, 2013

24 May 2013 @ 10.19 am
| Entertainment

An escapologist, a robot – not sure what the act on the left is doing… Buskival 2013
An escapologist, a robot – not sure what the act on the left is doing… Buskival 2013

School’s out for a week, and York has plenty to keep everyone entertained. From a massive new Minster exhibition to the best of the buskers, there’s something for all ages and wallets. So what are you waiting for: ready, steady – chill! Full listings in our What’s On guide.


The great outdoors

buskival-robotOur city is serenaded all year round by those hardy street entertainers. And over the first two days of the Bank Holiday Weekend, the very finest take part in Buskival. Expect stilts, unicycles, musicians and, well, oddballs, all battling it out to be named the best busker. More details here.

More outdoor fun


Brand new history

revealing-minster-mix-sixYork Minster has just become that bit more awesome. Its new exhibition in the Undercroft is combines marvellous multi-media and ancient artefacts to tell the story of the site, from Roman times on. Here’s our sneak preview of Revealing York Minster, which opens on Saturday, May 25, and entry is free to York residents. More details here.

Other stuff for history buffs

  • After The Ice – a new exhibition at the Yorkshire brings together remarkable Stone Age finds. From Friday, May 24
  • Meet The Servants – Barley Hall volunteers bring to life a servant’s day in Master Snawell’s home, on Wednesday, May 29


Marvellous music

down-with-the-kidzAre you Down With The Kidz? You can be at the Grand Opera House on Friday, May 24, at this showcase for young York bands. Musicians aged from nine to 18 take part in the fundraising concert, competing for a chance to perform at the York Rocks Against Cancer show in June. Full details here.

More for musos

  • Holiday Tear Up – a chance to party by the Ouse on Sunday night, May 27, with a host of guest DJs, and it’s free
  • Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show – fresh from his stint covering for Jo Whiley on Radio 2, Craig mans the decks at the Duchess on Sunday, May 26


Family fun

animalsandtherailwayWhat links spiders, horses, piglets and a miniature railway? They’re all part of the National Railway Museum’s holiday event, Animals And The Railways. Learn about the animals which worked on the railways, meet some cuddly youngsters from Riggmoor Farm and take part in various activities. Free entry, some activities have a small charge. Steam along here for more details.

More for families


Theatre and drama

whistleWhistle Down The Wind was a classic Sixties British film – you remember, the one where Hayley Mills thinks she’s found Jesus in a barn. More recently it was turned into a musical by some bod called Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it’s being staged by York Stage Musicals at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre all week. Details here.

More theatricals

  • May Play In A Day – let’s get together and put on a show – about Mother Shipton. Drama workshop for 11 – 14 year olds at the Theatre Royal on Thursday, May 30
  • Shadow Stories – five- to seven-year-olds are invited to come and perform at the Theatre Royal on Tuesday, May 28
  • Words And Whippets – spoken word artists from across Yorkshire entertain with dynamic performance poetry at the Theatre Royal on Saturday, May 25


Super shopping

handmade-vintage-market-mix-sixVintage is so now. The latest event to celebrate all things retro is the Pop Up Vintage Market, where designers, crafters and vintage vendors will share their wares at the City Screen Basement on Sunday, May 26. More here.

Other events for shopaholics


Cracking comedy

sean-lock-mix-sixSean Lock has been around for ever on the comedy scene, and to do that takes true talent. His latest show, Purple Van Man, hits the Barbican on Tuesday, May 28, a glorious chance to catch the man The Independent describes as “one of the finest and most original comedians around”. Full details here.

More laughs