Family Theatre Events This Summer in York

York’s theatres have a vibrant variety of shows for the whole family this summer. In this article, we’ll cover the best shows that York has to offer. They’ll be sure to keep the kids and grownups entertained!

Swallows and Amazons at the York Theatre Royal (Friday 26th July to Saturday 24th August)

You’ll be able to join John, Susan, Titty and Roger aboard their ship the Swallow as they sail the seas to Wildcat Island. It is here that they meet Nancy and Peggy who call themselves the Amazon Pirates, along with Captain Flint in this adventure where the action never stops.

This children’s classic written by Arthur Ransome comes alive in the brilliant adaptation by Helen Edmundson that is fully of imagination and features original music by Neil Hannon.

Following in the footsteps of The Secret Garden, Swallows and Amazons is yet another feel good products with songs that will have everyone singing along and plenty of sword-buckling entertainment that will have the whole family captured.

In addition, every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday between 1pm and 2pm starting on the 31st July there is a workshop for 7-11 year olds.

In these workshops, you can pit your wits, skill and creativity against each other to see who come out on top after a series of challenges to finally decide who is the best! They’ll be dressing up, games and a chance to learn more about the Swallows and Amazons story.

For more information visit:

Billy Shakes – Wonder Boy at the York Theatre Royal (from Tuesday 23rd July to Saturday 24th August)

This show imagines the childhood of the great bard, William Shakespeare and is great for ages 4+. It will be performed inside the replica Elizabethan theatre, the Shakespeare’s Rose which is being assembled next to Clifford’s Tower.

In Billy Shakes you can follow Billy and his two friends on a journey where he discovers his ability to tell stories that have captivated the whole world.

The show is full of live music, puppetry and a multitude of historical mistakes in this 50 minute tale. For more information, go to:

Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine at the York Theatre Royal (from Wednesday 19th June to Saturday 22nd June)

Yoshi and Hani are very different to each other. Where one is noisy, the other is quiet. Where one is big, the other is small.

They play together by the sea and race through green fields in the bright yellow sunshine. However, one day the sky turns grey and their world begins to change. They wonder if they’ll ever see the sun again.

Yellow is the colour of sunshine is told through words, sign, colours, music and movement. It is about feeling, emotions, empathy and communication.

For more information, go to:

The summer season is hotting up with an array of events that will ensure fun for travellers of all ages.

Fossgate Festival

As one of York’s oldest streets, Fossgate comes alive over the summer months. The street itself is a popular favourite with residents and tourists alike. It has a range of independent shops and an array of cafes and bars. The street is also home to the historic and elegant Merchant Adventurers’ Hall making an area that is a delight to explore.

Fossgate Festival 2019 will see the street come alive with live music in a family-friendly atmosphere. The street will be closed to traffic allowing to explore one of the many cafes or bars, enjoy some good food and have fun with the kids.

The festival runs from 12pm to 7pm on the dates below. Bars and restaurants will remain open till later. The Fossgate Festival runs on the following dates:

Sunday 2nd June
Sunday 7th July
Sunday 4th August
Sunday 1st September

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre

This excellent cultural experience hit York for the first time last year where it played to an audience of nearly 80,000 people across all shows. In addition, it has won an array of awards including the “Best Attraction” and “Best Cultural Experience”. This show has it all, with a mix of betrayal and revenge, magic and mischief and more in the various plays scheduled this year.

During their heyday 400 years ago, Shakespeare’s audiences enjoyed an intimate experience in the specially designed Rose Theatre right in the centre of London. The design allowed the audience to experience the theatre in a way that was more immersive and exciting and this is what the modern version in York hopes to emulate. Set beside the 13th Century Cliffords Tower the Rose Theatre construction allows for an audience of 900. There are three-tiered balconies that sit around an open roof courtyard and standing room for a further 340 people.

Set outside the theatre, Shakespeare’s village will have an array of wagon performances and medieval music for free. Why not get a drink and something to eat at the Bear Arms tavern?

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre runs from the 25th 2019 June until the 1st September 2019. Tickets can be purchased from the onsite box office from 11am until 7.45pm or from Ticketmaster. Shows are at 2pm and 7pm or go to their website at

York Early Music Festival

5 – 13 July 2019

The York Early Music Festival is the largest festival of classical music written before 1750. For 2019, it takes the theme of Innovation. Opening with a new production of the world’s first truly great opera – Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, the festival closes 10 days later with the biennial International Young Artists Competition. Taking the festival’s usual magical mix of music and historic venues together with illustrated lectures, talks and opportunities to meet new friends.

To find out more about the York Early Music festival, email [email protected]

Eboracum Roman Festival

Don’t forget that the York Roman Festival is being held in June!

As part of the celebrations from the 1st to the 3rd June there is a line-up of events across the city.
On 2 June, 12.45pm and 3 June, 12.30pm see the Roman Parades.

Six Roman Legions and Roman civilians will march through the centre of York. The route each day will start from York Museum Gardens and the march will go via Lendal, St Helen’s Square, Davygate, Church Street, Petergate, Deangate, York Minster, Duncombe Place, Blake Street and Lendal. This is completely free so find your spot for this spectacle.

On 2nd June you can experience the following:

11.00am – Festival opening within the Living History Camp
12 noon – Gun salute
12.30pm – Inspection of the Roman troops by Garrison Sergeant Major Brian Kiernan
12.45pm – Roman Parade through York
1.30pm – Birds of Prey demonstrations with Owl Adventures
2.00pm – Social history demonstration
3.00pm – Military Display
3.30pm – Kids Army
4.00pm – Arena closes
On the Sunday 3rd June the program will consist of:
11.00am – Civilian Display
11.30am – Social history demonstration
12.15pm – Muster of the Legions
12.30pm – Roman Parade through York
1.00pm – Birds of prey demonstrations with Owl Adventures
1.30pm – Roman cookery demonstration
2.15pm – Military display
2.45pm – Kids Army
3.15pm – Military display
3.45pm – Birds of prey demonstrations with Owl Adventures
4.15pm – Arena closes

For those who are more interested in a detailed history of the Romans in York, you can attend lectures being held at the TA Hall at the Yorkshire Museum.

On the 3rd June, at 11am join Dr Rob Collins as he talks about the Dux Britanniarum, a Gerneral responsible for the frontier units of northern Britannia. But what do we know about this office? Was he based at York, as is often assumed? This talk will consider the evidence for the office of this powerful late Roman general.

Later on at 3pm, Alex Croom talks about Roman Housework. Nowadays we have water at the turn of a tap and light by the flick of a switch. How did the Romans get water, light their houses, heat rooms, wash dishes or get rid of their rubbish? This talk looks at the real everyday life of a Roman.

If you’re looking for something to keep the kids entertained, why not try the Eboracum trail on the Saturday and Sunday. Pick up a free trail at the Archaeology Zone, the Hospitium or the Yorkshire Museum reception which takes you around the highlights of the Festival. Collect stamps and autographs along the way to make sure you take in the whole festival.

On Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm you can be through your paces to see if you are the right calibre for the Roman Army. You can learn about Lucius, Standard Bearer for the Ninth Legion. Try your hand at making your own Eagle of the Ninth standard and take part in sword and shield drill.

The Eboracum festival promises to be an amazing few days for people of all ages. We expect accommodation to be booked up fast so don’t hesitate and get in touch!

Events in York for March and April 2019

In this blog, we run down on some of the best events happening in York this March and April. There are an array of exciting things to do no matter what your taste. Why not book one of our apartments and enjoy everything that York has to offer?

See Wise Children at York Theatre Royal

Set on 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday the play focuses on Nora and Dora Chance who are two chorus girls living in Brixton, born and bred in South London. They are celebrating their 75th birthday. In Chelsea meanwhile, their actor father Melchior Hazard has also turned 100 on that same day, along with his twin brother Peregrine. However, is Peregrine still alive and is Mechior Nora and Dora’s real father?

This show presents a theatrical mix of happiness and heartbreak. The show centres on a celebration of business, family, hope and forgiveness.

Tickets are £17 and can be obtained from the York Theatre Royal website:

It runs across various dates in March and April.

The Duchess of Malfi at York Theatre Royal

Also featuring at the York Theatre Royal is the Duchess of Malfi.

The play features the story of two siblings who are compelled to take steps that become increasingly desperate to prevent their sister from marrying the man she loves. Intent in her downfall, the play follows the siblings obsession, passion, bloodlust and the theme of revenge in this production by the York Settlement Community Players.
The play runs from the 6th to 16th March and tickets are £12 available online:

York Bunny Search

With Easter fast approaching, the York Bunny Search is a great way of keeping the kids entertained.
Following a trail around the system the aim is to find all 26 hidden bunny sculptures. The bunnies like to hide everywhere but we’ve heard their favourite place is in a window.

This year’s event is sponsored by the York Chocolate Story so head over to seem them on Kings’ Square to find out more about York’s heritage in chocolate. Each of the 25 bunny sculptures have their own quirky design
The event runs from the 2nd to the 23 April so head over to for the map when it becomes available!

Something for the Foodies – York Restaurant Week

York Restaurant Week is held celebrate York’s vibrant food and drinks scene, offering great savings on some of the city’s best dining experiences. This is a great opportunity to sample some great food with friends and loved ones, support local and independent businesses, and try a variety of restaurants at great prices!
The event runs from 1st April to 17th April – check restaurant websites for offers.

The Rat Café at the York Dungeon

The York Dungeon is hosting the Rat Café on the 4th April between 15:45 and 19:00

At the Rat Café you will experience nibbles and drinks, accompanied by their resident rats preceded by a tour of the Dungeon itself!

Booking is essential at the York Dungeon website:
Please be aware that this event is for those 16+ only

You will also receive a souvenir guidebook and a free rat handling session!

Restaurant of the Month: Oxo’s

Head over to Oxo’s restaurant in the Mount Royale hotel for a fantastic dining experience. With Russell Johnson as the Head Chef you are guaranteed a menu that is imaginative with local sourced ingredients.

The restaurant provides excellent service combined with a menu that great traditional fayre such as Rump of English Lamb, Roast Loin of Venison and Seared Fillet of Halibut.

The restaurant also has a vegetarian menu.

With an amazing accompany wine list this venue is not to be missed. Find out more at:

There are some great shows hitting York in 2019 – we run you through some of the best!

Saturday Night Fever

The new stage version of Saturday Night Fever hits York this week and it promises to have everyone rocking in the aisles. Anyone familiar with the hit movie musical will know the story of Tony Manero, who is desperate to escape his working-class Brooklyn life and turns to dance in his quest.

The stage version at the Grand Opera House in York stars Richard Winsor who has previously appeared in Streetdance The Movie and Casualty.

With the music featuring the Bee Gees greatest hits including Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than a Woman this show promises to be massive fun for fans of the movie. Contact the Grand Opera House for your tickets now!

The Chicago Blues Brothers – Motown Mission

On the 24th February the Blues Brothers are hitting York in their huge, high energy production bringing the legacy of Jake and Elwood back to life for a new generation! This time the brothers have a brand-new mission with some of the best loved Motown anthems from Aretha Franklin, Sam and Dave, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jackson 5 and The Supremes.

This show features a state-of-the-art full stage production and is backed by the CBB Band and the Sweet Soul sisters – one not to miss!

Re-Take That

Re-Take That are the UK’s best known Take That tribute band hosting an amazing party night with a live and fully interactive sing-a-long experience.

This is the first show of its type and features performances from the brilliant “Robbie Live!”

This is a high energy and high-quality production featuring the song lyrics on a large screen, so you can fully participate in the experience.

For tickets and information on all of these events head over to the website: and get your tickets booked now.

As we enter 2019, we take a look at some of the best events so you can start planning your visit!

Jorvik Viking Festival

The Jorvik Viking Festival has been recognised as the largest Viking festival in Europe. The 35th Viking Festival takes place this year from Wednesday 20th to Wednesday 27th February 2019

It has a range of family-friendly and events and includes guided walks, battle re-enactments and lectures. Travelling from all over the globe to attend, people are enthralled by the true to life stories played out by actors.

jorvik viking festival

As the Festival takes place over two calendar weeks this year, events including; 10th Century Traders, Strongest Viking Competition, March to Coppergate, Best Beard Competition, Viking Feast and evening ‘Battle Spectacular’ will take place on the weekend of 22nd to 24th February 2019.

York Races

York has the third biggest racecourse in the country in terms of prize money and attracts around 350,000 visitors per year. Famously the scene for Dick Turpin’s hanging the racecourse sits on grounds known as the Knavesmire on the outskirts of the city centre.

York Races

The Ebor Festival held in August is the highlight of the racing season at the race course. Established in 1843, this is a 4 day race meeting.

One of the great things about York racecourse is that it has something for everybody. Costing much less than a tickets for the stands, families can picnic on the course enclosure area whilst watching the racing. In September the race course even holds a Family Race Day. Under 18’s can go free on this day and there is a variety of entertainment on offer for the children.

Dragon Boat Challenge

The Dragon Boat challenge is held on the River Ouse every year and sees 36 teams battle it out in aid of charity for a variety of awards. The colourful spectacle is held every summer in July between Scarborough Railway Bridge and Lendal Bridge.

dragon boat race
This is an excellent showcase for adults and children alike in the heart of the city.


Taking place in September, the York food festival promises a variety of the best food Yorkshire has to offer from across the county. Take part in cookery classes and sample food from the very best!



There are a host of ways you can celebrate the New Year in York at the end of this month. We round up some of the best options to bring in 2019 with a bang!

New Years Party @ Brew York, Walmgate

Celebrate with local brewery Brew York as they bring in 2019 in style. Brew York make their own beers in-house including bitters and IPAs. They have 7 cask beers on rotation as well and 9 keg beer lines and 3 cider lines.
Tickets are priced at £37.50 and include:

• Drink on arrival – Prosecco, Beer (up to £5), House Spirit & Mixer, Wine or Soft Drink
• Drink at midnight – Prosecco, Beer (up to £5), House Spirit & Mixer, Wine or Soft Drink

A three-course meal will also be provided courtesy of Street Cleaver, who provide fresh and innovative street food in York.

There will also be entertainment throughout the night for those who want to party well into 2019.

To get your tickets go to:

York Minster

For something more traditional why not head over to York Minster to listen to the bells chime in the New Year.
It is a York tradition to gather around The Minster at midnight to listen to the bells chime in the New Year. It’s lovely to be with so many people all celebrating the same thing in front of our magnificent Minster.
Be prepared for busy crowds at this event!

York Fairfield Manor

For something more refined, head over to York Fairfield Manor for their Gala Ball with live entertainment. You will receive a glass of Prosecco on arrival and then be able to take your seat for a sumptuous five course meal.

The resident DJ will keep you all entertained and then at midnight you will be able to see in the New Year with a complimentary Scottish dram.

Arrival is at 7pm with the bar and disco open until 1am.

For booking go to:

If you need accommodation over the New Year period check out our amazing properties!

Christmas at York Castle Museum

Christmas is nearly upon us and York has a plethora of festive events planned. In the article, we detail some of the best events that are sure to be loved by the whole family.

You can try the Father Christmas Experience at York Castle Museum. Here, you will explore the special Christmas Trail and take part in a range of festive activities with gingerbread making and craft activities. The culmination of the event is a visit to Father Christmas himself.

You can join Father Christmas in his elf school where he will await you with a gift.

Tickets are available online or on the day. The event runs from 17 Nov 2018 – 23 Dec 2018.


An Evening Of Eric & Ernie At Christmas

This show is brought to you by the Olivier nominated duo who produced the highly acclaimed West End hit Eric & Little Em.

This show pays tribute to the famous sketches by Morecambe and Wise. It includes Grieg’s Piano Concerto to Mr. Memory! They include the best-loved song, sketched and routines. This show will bring back those memories from times when the whole family would cram around the TV to watch this pair in action!

This is for one night only at the York Theatre Royal on Saturday 1st December. Tickets are £22.

Christmas at Treasurers House

Experience the magic of Christmas at Treasurer’s House. Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands will fill each room and everything is rounded off with twinkling lights, glittering decorations and Christmas cheer. Leave the hustle and bustle of the street and step into an Edwardian Christmas.

We will cater for the whole family – make a wish for the tree, search the house for the naughty gnomes and create your own decorations.

Weekends from the 24 November to 16 December, you can climb the stairs to the attic and find Father Christmas in his grotto ready for you with stories and gifts.

Treasurer’s House festive opening is every Thursday to Sunday, 11 am – 4.30pm from Thursday 15 November to Sunday 16 December.

For any activities in the house, normal admission charges apply, but all the crafts activities are free.

To meet Father Christmas in his grotto it’s £7.50 per child with a free adult place. Booking ahead is recommended on 01904 624247 or drop in and grab a space.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

As winter approaches, York has a full line up of events throughout November. We look at the best events over the coming month.

York Stage Musicals return to the theatre with a new production of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber classic.

York Stage celebrates the 50th anniversary of the show and have brought together 50 of the city’s youngest shining stars to tell the tale of a dreamer like you.

The musical features songs such as Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door To Me and Go Go Go Joseph this show promises to bring you all of the energy, excitement and quality York Stage have their unrivalled reputation. Get your tickets to avoid missing out on this amazing show!

Santa Fun Run

Get Christmas going with the Wilberforce Trust Santa Fun Run, a fun filled race, which is raising money towards a new purpose built Sensory Room for babies, children and adults with sensory loss which will be situated in the new Living and Learning Zone near York College.

On the 1st December 2018 at 12pm there will be a warm up session with an exercise teacher from 11.45.
The run is taking place at the Knavesmire in York along a 3.2km route. Starting at the green pin, the runners follow the service road anti-clockwise for one complete lap. Once back at the start point, runners continue anti-clockwise for just over half a lap to finish at the red pin.

Costs are £12 for adults and £5 for children, the cost includes race fees, card charges and admin. Each participant will receive a Santa suit, a running number and a medal when you finish the race!

Christmas GIn Tasting

In the run up to Christmas enjoy an evening sampling some of the delicious tipples the York Gin Company has to offer all in the opulent surroundings of medieval Barley Hall.

On the 1st December from 7pm to 9pm, you can taste a variety gins to get you in the festive mood; including York Gin’s signature recipe, with notes of black pepper and cardamom as well as Barley Hall’s Magic & Mystery infusion, which takes inspiration from the herbs, spices and fruits that were employed in medieval charms and potions.

At the end of the sampling, there will be an opportunity to purchase the perfect gift for your family and friends, or even treat yourself to your favourite gin!
Tickets are £25 and available from the Barley Hall website.