Are you looking for family-friendly places and fun activities to try with your toddler in York? The beautiful, historic York city centre has something for kids of all ages to enjoy, making it the perfect destination for a weekend break.
From full days out to hour-long activities, free or for a fee, there’s a huge amount of things to do with toddlers in York.
Whether you’re a local or just visiting, here’s a list of the 10 best toddler days out in York to enjoy over the weekend or school holidays.
Best Things to do in York with Toddlers
York’s Chocolate Story
Does your toddler have a sweet tooth? Let’s face it, they most likely do, so visit York’s Chocolate Story for a chocolate-filled and family-friendly experience.
All the trains lead to York’s city centre where you will find the UK’s chocolate kingdom!
York with toddlers will never be sweeter than the immersive and entertaining guided tour that York’s Chocolate Story offers. Get an understanding of the history of generations of skilled chocolate-making families in York through the lens of a knowledgeable tour guide.
Enjoy chocolate samples with your kids, make a chocolate lollipop, and learn how to make sustainable chocolate from master chocolatiers. Enjoy toddler sessions in the Chocolate Kitchen, and watch in-depth chocolate-making tutorials by world-class chocolatiers. And the best part is that you get a chocolate-making kit to test your new skill at home!
If you want a fun, family-friendly experience and learn about York’s chocolate history, then book a trip to York’s Chocolate Story. They also have a great play area.
Little Skipwith Carriage Rides
Little Skipwith Carriage Rides promise a fun-filled and adventurous experience for the entire family. Have an hour-long ride on the private riding grounds of the Esrick Park Estate for a unique experience you and your toddler have probably never had before!
The friendly guide George and the carriage horses will show you and the whole family through the picture-perfect country routes and forests of the Esrick Park Estate.
Little Skipwith Carriage Rides run throughout the seasons, so feel free to visit on a sunny or rainy day (blankets and hot water bottles are provided during the winter!). Visit their website to book a horse-drawn carriage experience with all the family.
York Maze offers an adventurous experience for the whole family. York is home to the biggest maze in Europe, making it a go-to place when visiting the city with kids.
If that’s not impressive enough, York Maze has plenty of immersive attractions, thrilling rides, and entertaining shows for all the family.
The Maze offers plenty of seasonal events for all age groups. The Hallowscream nights are ideal for older kids, and the messy play areas are perfect for hands-on fun with your toddler.
For even more of an adventure, find a bike hire in the city centre, and enjoy a 10-minute ride to explore the attraction.
Piglets Adventure Farm
Piglets Adventure Farm has so much to offer regarding family-friendly things to do in York with toddlers.
This venue is perfect for a family of animal lovers. The Farmyard Trail will allow you and the kiddies to meet cows, goats, donkeys, and, as the name might suggest, the cutest piggies ever! You can also find more piglets and pregnant pigs at the farm’s Piglet Maternity Ward. You and the kids won’t want to leave – the piglets are simply out of this world adorable.
The farm is an adventure playground, offering a handful of safe play areas. Activities include pig racing, mini golf, tower climbing, rock splashing, and seasonal events such as the Pumpkin Festival. You can relax on the beach in a hammock while the fairy wings amuse your toddler in the farm’s fairy homes.
Piglets Adventure Farm is a go-to place for York residents for a family-friendly outing. Book your ticket to an action-packed adventure filled with cute animals and tasty treats on the Piglets Adventure Farm website.
Beetle Bank Open Farm
Beetle Bank Open Farm is another great destination for families who adore animals. This family-friendly farm is full of fun things to do and cute animals to hug!
Have a peaceful day in York and meet the farm’s animals, including rare breeds such as rheas, pygmy hedgehogs, energetic turkeys, fluffy rabbits, and curious calves. The family-friendly farm is a wildlife sanctuary that will teach your kiddies much about animal care, and your toddler can even bottle-feed calves; a precious sight indeed.
The farm’s bouncy castle is the perfect soft play area for your toddler when the sun’s out.
Enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake while strolling through the beautiful gardens, farmlands, and fresh air of North Yorkshire at the farm. Your toddlers will enjoy the kids’ menu, especially after a long morning of having fun on the zip wire and riding in the toy tractors.
You can order a pass on the Beetle Bank Open Farm if you want to learn more about this Murton Park-based family-friendly farm. Kiddies under 2 get free entry.
York Castle Museum
The York Castle Museum is a must-see place if you visit York with kids. The Yorkshire museum is one of York’s foremost history museums as it holds artefacts that tell the history of York over the past 100 years.
York Museum depicts York’s history interestingly and innovatively. The museum’s exhibitions, such as the Kirkgate: Victorian Street display, the Toy Stories room, the Mechanical Marvels exhibit, and more, will keep you and your toddler captivated and entertained.
Travel to the Yorkshire Museum from the York train station is approximately 15 minutes. You can hire a bike or give your toddler a chance to stretch their little legs on your way to Tower Street in York.
Take a journey through York’s history by booking a family-friendly experience at one of England’s most renowned museums, the York Castle Museum.
York Museum Gardens
York Museum Gardens is a haven for a wide variety of flora and fauna. The museum’s beautiful garden is a picturesque hub for wildlife and rich history, nestled on Museum Street.
The York Museum Gardens is the perfect family-friendly outing destination on a sunny day. You can enjoy a peaceful day in the gardens with your family and even your pet whilst surrounded by the medieval ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey.
The gardens are free to the public and have on-site cafes and hands-on volunteers. If you want to know about the latest events on the property, visit the York Museum Gardens website for more information and updates.
North York Moors Railway National Railway Museum
The North York Moors Railway offers a world-renowned railway experience for the entire family.
One of the most popular things to do at the North York Moors Railway is a ride on their historical diesel trains or opt for a 24-mile ride in a steam train.
Not only will you and your family enjoy a piece of history, but the railway ride is also very scenic as you experience idyllic views of Yorkshire.
This railway museum has much to see, including famous streets and themed stations such as the Pickering Station, which takes on the 1930s aesthetic. Other attractions include Levisham Station, close to the North Yorkshire National Park, and Grosmont Station, at the heart of keeping the engines churning across the Railway. And, of course, the Goathland Station of Harry Potter fame.
Visiting the National Railway Museum is a bucket list item and one for any little train-lovers! For more information on events, times, and prices, visit their website.
York Minster Learning Centre
York Minster has been the centre of Christianity in North England since the 7th century.
The 800-year-old cathedral is a medieval masterpiece that depicts the story of Jesus Christ. The York Minster is a sacred treasure that promises to enlighten young minds, as the cathedral offers a tour through its world-renowned Learning Centre.
Enjoy an engaging tour of the historic York Minster with your toddler and take in all the cathedral has to offer, including the artistic stained glass collection, ancient architecture and the finest historical sculptures.
The Minster is open for general visits throughout the week, and worship is available on Saturday and Sunday.
Castle Howard is a huge, stunning palace located just outside of York. You might be thinking your toddler will find such a place boring, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! They’ll love to have a picnic by the lake, burn off some energy in the adventure playground, or try and spot some wildlife that calls the Walled Garden home.
The castle hosts regular family friendly events throughout the year, especially over the Summer holidays and near all the big festivals like Halloween, Christmas and Easter.
You may recognise the magnificent building and grounds from Granada’s production of Brideshead Revisited.
Looking for another location? Check out our Days Out section for more ideas.