The half term holiday’s here! Hooray (if you’re a child or teacher). The half term holiday’s here! Oh no (if you’re a parent). But there’s so much to keep kids occupied in York this time, they’ll probably want to hurry back to school for a rest.
Here’s our six pick…
Bright lights, small city
A firm favourite with residents over the last few years, Illuminating York is back to brighten up the dark autumnal nights. To many people’s disappointment, what was the city’s only free communal event now comes at a price. On the bright side the main event sounds like fun, with regular York visitor Vic Reeves transforming Museum Gardens into his own Wonderland. The St Marys Abbey ruins, the Yorkshire Museum and part of the City Walls provide the backgrounds to three large scale lighting projections. There are lots of side events to enjoy too.
- Where: Across the city, including the Museum Gardens
- When: From Wednesday, October 31 to Saturday, November 3, with timed tickets available for 6.30pm-7.30pm, 7.30pm-8.30pm, 8.30pm-9.30pm and 9.30pm-10.30pm
- Tickets: £5 per person for over 16s, £1 per child for 6-16 year olds and children five and under are free. Book at the Theatre Royal website
- More details: Check out the Illuminating York website
Forget Calpol and Night Nurse. If you were feeling a bit under the weather in Victorian times, the quack doctor would dish out potions like the Cure All Ills Mixture and Improved Harmless Arsenic Complexion Wafers. Yum. For this week’s Kill Or Cure programme, the Castle Museum’s very own quack doctor will be seeking out the sick while there are different medical-related activities in the hands-on studios.
- Where: York Castle Museum, Eye of York
- When: Saturday, October 27 to Sunday, November 4, 9.30am-5pm
- Tickets: Museum admission price: adults £8.50, concessions £7.50, children under 16 free, residents with a valid York Card free
- More details: On the Castle Museum website
A glass act
Ten metres high, three metres wide, The Orb is a dome installed below the Great East Window in York Minster. Visitors can walk inside The Orb to see displays of five newly-conserved panels take from that window – four permanently on display and one which will change every month during the Orb’s three years in place. To celebrate the opening, the Minster will be bathed in light as kaleidoscopes of shadow and light, candles and colour create a “Window On Heaven” for four nights in an event called Illuminating York Minster.
- Where: York Minster
- When: The Orb can be see during normal York Minster opening hours, 9.30am-5pm, from Saturday, October 27. Illuminating York is staged from Wednesday, October 31 to Saturday, November 3
- Tickets: The Orb comes in the price of admission to York Minster: prices start at £9 for adults, £3.50 for children. Illuminating York costs £5 for adults, £2.50 for those aged 8-18 and under sevens are free
- More details: Go here for The Orb or go here for Illuminating York
Sticky buns and marmalade
His floppy hat and duffle coat influenced a generation of fashionistas, and his hard stare has turned many an authority figure into a quivering wreck. Now the world’s most famous Peruvian marmalade lover, Paddington Bear, is at the National Railway Museum. You can come and see him, dress up like him, listen to stories and go on a treasure hunt.
- Where: National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York
- When: Saturday, October 27 to Sunday, November 4, 9.30am-6pm
- Tickets: Free
- More details: On the National Railway Museum website
On Monday, October 29, a group of artisan arts, crafts and fashion producers called Artsmix will set out their stalls alongside traders from Newgate Market on Parliament Street for a bumper edition of the Monday market which will include jewellery makers, soap producers and frame makers. It’s late night shopping, as the event won’t finish till 8pm. And it will be followed, from Thursday, November 1 to Sunday, November 4, by the Big Green Market, selling ethical goodies.
- Where: Parliament Street, York
- When: Monday, October 29, 10am-8pm
Clydebuilt Puppets bring those marauding pillagers to a younger audience in their Myths Of The Vikings show. Taking place at DIG, the show ties in with its new Valhalla: In Search Of The Viking Dead exhibition. Each child’s ticket includes a snack-bag.
- Where: DIG, St Saviour’s Church, York
- When: Thursday, November 1, 3.30pm
- Tickets: £7, pre-booking essential on 01904 615505
- More details: From the DIG website