York Easter guide 2017 – What’s on where for the school holidays

5 Apr 2017 @ 9.32 am
| Entertainment

So much to do, see and eat this Easter holiday – including lots of chocolate.

Here’s what’s what and what’s where…

Return of the Vikings!

He’s pleased… Photograph: Antony Chappel-Ross

Coppergate Centre, York

From Sat Apr 8


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They’re big, they’re bushy, and they’re back! Jorvik Viking Centre reopens after its post-flood refit, and to celebrate Coppergate Square will be transformed for a Viking party. Look out for special combat demonstrations, experience dramatic retellings of the sagas, and join the games. Oh, and tour the all-new Jorvik centre of course.

Video and pix: Inside the all-new Jorvik Viking Centre

Family fun

York Easter Family Festival

York city centre

Fri Apr 14-Mon Apr 17


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Have some fun in the spring sunshine – and all for free, courtesy of the York Easter Family Festival. There’s the Little Vikings activity tent, funfair, petting zoo and Drax Dome on Parliament Street, and a Bunny Trail round Shambles Market.

York Minster activities

York Minster

Apr 8-23

From £2.50

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Lots of family fun at the Minster over the next two weeks. Find fun facts on a discovery tour, or make chicks and flowers at the craft workshops in the Chapter House.

Crafty fun at York Minster

Explore York libraries

Various locations

April 8-29

Library events

Easter stories, sales and crafts are all taking place at various libraries in York for the holidays.

Murton Park’s Easter Extravaganza

Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton, York, YO19 5UF

Sat Apr 15-Mon Apr 17


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Lots to see and do at Murton Park this holiday. Look out for the Easter bunny, dispensing chocolate eggs, there are Viking reenactors on site and a chance to ride the light railway.

Castle Museum’s Easter Eggstravaganza

York Castle Museum, Eye of York

Sat Apr 8-Sun Apr 23

£10, children free with an adult

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See how Easter Eggs are made and try a sample in The Chocolate Factory, then make your own Easter basket to take home as part of the new experience Chocolate: York’s Sweet Past.

Fun at Beningbrough Hall

Easter at Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough, near York

Apr 11-20


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Beningbrough’s the place to be for exploring the outdoors. There’s a tiny things trek, where you look for the buds and bugs, planting and digging fun in the walled garden and the Easter weekend trail where you can explore and find a Cadbury chocolate prize.

Cadbury Easter weekend at Treasurer’s House

Minster Yard, York

April 14-17


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Climb the stairs to follow the indoor trail for a Cadbury sweet treat, and then head in to the garden for games on the lawn.

Make your own bunny ears and nose to wear at Holy Trinity Church

Medieval Marvels at Yorkshire Museum

Museum Gardens, York

April 8-23

Adults £6.81

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Lots to do! Meet a medieval character to learn about life behind the walls of St Mary’s Abbey, create stunning ‘stained glass windows’ and discover the history behind medieval feasts.

Family fun at Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate

April 14-17


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The beautiful Holy Trinity Church is the setting for these family activities. Go on an egg hunt round the churchyard – and then make your own bunny ears and nose to wear.

Picture Perfect at York Art Gallery

Exhibition Square, York

April 8-23

Adult £6.81, children free

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If you’re a fan of dressing up, hit the art gallery. Here you can dress as your favourite character from one of the artworks and follow a trail to win a sticker.

Trains and planes

Going loco at the NRM. Photograph: visityork.org

Easter Family Fun at the NRM

National Railway Museum, Leeman Road

Daily till April 23

Entry is free, charge for some activities

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Loads of fun activities for the whole family this Easter, including steam rides and The Missing Passenger, Case Files and the Rogues Gallery as part of the museum’s new Mystery on the Rails season.

The White Rabbit Trail

Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington

Sun Apr 16-Mon April 17


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Explore the Easter trail at the air museum. Follow the white rabbit trail around the museum then collect your white chocolate rabbit at the end.

York Model Railway Show

York Racecourse

Sat Apr 15-Mon Apr 17


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There will around 40 working model railway layouts at this, the premier show of its kind in the north, plus more than 100 trade stands.

MG Car Club Daffodil Run

Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington

Sun Apr 16


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Each year, the MG Car Club enjoy their annual Daffodil Run across the Yorkshire countryside, finishing at the museum on Easter Sunday afternoon.

History fun

WWII Living History Bank Holiday Weekend

Eden Camp, near Malton

Sat Apr 15-Sun Apr 16


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Re-enactment groups gather at the modern history theme museum to portray both Second World War troops and civilian life in the Forties.

Living History At The Hall

Barley Hall, Coffee Yard, York

Apr 12 and 19


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Volunteers at the medieval town house Barley Hall take you back in time, showcasing the life of servants from the late-medieval period.

Holgate Mill Open Day

Windmill Rise, Holgate, York

Mon Apr 17


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See inside this fascinating piece of our nation’s heritage – and follow the clues on the Easter Trail to win a prize.

Chocolatey fun

The sweet life at York Chocolate Festival

York Chocolate Festival

Parliament Street

Sat Apr 15-Mon Apr 17

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It’s time to indulge yourself in a long weekend of chocolate this Easter. The city’s annual chocolate Festival returns with events across the city and a specialist Chocolate Market on St Sampson’s Square.

Easter: A Cracking Chocolate Adventure

York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square

April 8-9 and 13-17

£7.95 per child, one free adult with each booking

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Taking place in the beautiful surroundings of the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall; children will join Egbert on a quest to find his lost Easter eggs and defeat Sheldon the wicked stoat who is on a mission to steal Easter…

A very Terry Easter

Goddards, Tadcaster Road, york

April 15-23 (except April 18)


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Goddards, the former home of the Terry family, has some very chocolatey fun lined up including blindfold taste tests, chocolate box making and some chocolate orange cake in the dining room.

Terry & The Chocolate Orange

Fairfax House, Castlegate, York

Fri April 14 @ 5pm


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Head to Fairfax House for the story of chocolate and the Terry family in York. Find out how chocolate became popular in the 18th century and how chocolate is made.


Easter Makers’ Market

Shambles Market, York

April 16-17

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This spring craft fair in Shambles Market will be selling unique works from local artists and crafters.

York Designer Outlet

St Nicholas Avenue, York, YO19 4TA

Apr 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

Combine shopping with some family fun. Join Betsy bunny at the outlet’s south entrance for a host of free Easter craft activities.

Film time

Children’s films in Easter

City Screen, Coney Street

April 7-20 @ 10.45am


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City Screen’s family film season includes Trolls, Ballerina, Moana and Hop – a fun way to spend a morning.

Further afield

Easter Adventure at Stockeld Park

Harrogate Road, Wetherby



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Stockeld Park’s adventure features an outdoor roller rink, maze, go karts and buccaneer boats, as well as chocolate and egg hunts.

Meet a donkey at Castle Howard this Easter. Photograph: Richard Doughty

Easter Farm Fun at Castle Howard

Castle Howard, York

April 14-17


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Castle Howard is bringing a pop-up petting farm to the estate, giving visitors of all ages the chance to get up close to their favourite farmyard friends.

Easter fun at Nunnington Hall

Nunnington, near York, North Yorkshire, YO62 5UY

April 14-23

Adult £8.50, child £4.50

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Over Easter weekend there’s a chance to build your own scarecrow, and the hall hosts an Easter egg hunt over the rest of the holiday.

Easter fun at Scampston Hall

Scampston Hall, Scampston, Malton, York YO17 8NG

April 11-23


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Crafts, walks, an Easter market and a chance to meet Scamp’s fairy friends – it’s all going on at Scampston.

Brocken Spectre at Rievaulx Abbey

April 12-15

Adult £10, child £6


Over four nights Rievaulx Abbey will be transformed by artist Charles Monkhouse, to bring a unique sound and light spectacle to the ancient ruins.