Whether posing for photos on the quirky medieval street of The Shambles or enjoying a scenic boat cruise along the River Ouse, many of York’s top attractions appeal to the whole family. Children of all ages will enjoy walking along the ancient York city walls or climbing to the top of Clifford’s Tower for a view of the historic center, and the York Minster offers free explorer backpacks with magnifying glasses, binoculars and other investigative gadgets to entertain young visitors while they tour the cathedral. For older children, you could also take a journey into York’s dark history with a gruesome tour of the York Dungeons, where notorious villains like Dick Turpin and Guy Fawkes are brought to life, or take an eerie ghost walk around York’s most haunted spots.
York also has an abundance of excellent museums and there are plenty of ways to mix education and fun while holidaying in the city. Go back to Viking times at the Jorvik Viking Centre; explore a recreated Victorian street at the York Castle Museum; take part in a mock archaeological excavation at Jorvik Dig; or climb on board steam locomotives and Japanese Bullet trains at the National Railway Museum, where younger rail enthusiasts can also meet Thomas the Tank Engine. If you’re visiting during summer or autumn, kids of all ages will enjoy getting lost in the cornfields at the York Maze, where a series of adventure play areas and farmyard activities will keep them entertained all afternoon.