York Castle Museum are family-friendly and we aim to be as inclusive as possible.
Younger visitors can enjoy our hands-on activities that are as educational as they are fun. We also offer a variety of activities, events and workshops available throughout the year with extra special offerings at Christmas time. Please click on the links below for further information.
And don’t forget, kids go FREE! (Up to four children free per one paying adult. Additional children aged 5-16 will be charged at £4.50 per child. Under 5s are free.)
The YMT Card gives unlimited free entry to York Castle Museum, York Art Gallery and the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens. With just one visit to each site you can save up to £5, and the more you visit the more you save. Our ‘kids go free’ offer applies to cards too, so they’re great value for families. Find out more here.
UPDATE 22 SEPTEMBER 2017 – Please note that the lift at York Castle Museum is out of order. The lift provides access to the upper floors of the right-hand side of the building, which includes access to the 1914: When the World Changed Forever exhibition. We hope to have the lift repaired as soon as possible and apologise for the inconvenience caused to our visitors.
Facilities for Families
- Baby carriers provided free of charge with an area to store pushchairs (please see below for details)
- Indoor and outdoor spaces, most are wheelchair accessible (please find details here)
- Visual stories for autistic children and their carers provided online here and during your visit
- Openings for autistic children and their carers with adjusted audio and visual levels, trained staff, and printed guidance (also suitable for blind and partially-sighted visitors, details here)
- Activity areas to encourage playful and sensory learning, open daily
- Volunteers offering ‘Hands on Here!’ opportunities to get closer to our objects
- Online events listings so you can plan ahead, with Fun for Families and Fun for Under 5s categories
- Baby changing facilities in both the accessible toilets
- Family-friendly cafe with highchairs available (please see below)
- A sensory basket available to borrow particularly suitable for visitors with visual impairments or autism (please ask a member of staff for assistance during your visit)
- Free under 5s museum trail available (please ask a member of staff)
Our Family-Friendly Cafe
Cafe 68 at the Castle Museum welcomes families and caters for children. It is open daily until 4.30pm. The cafe offers:
- Ground floor access with movable chairs and tables
- Baby changing facilities in the ground floor toilet
- Free highchairs
- Daily kids boxes with healthy options
- Catering for special diets
- Outside seating during warmer weather
Please note that pushchairs cannot be taken into galleries. A ‘buggy park’ and a choice of baby carriers are available free of charge. We ask that pushchairs are folded in order to allow more space for other visitors’ pushchairs. Bags and coats should not be left with pushchairs.
We offer a variety of opportunities for Pre-School, Primary, Secondary and Further Education.
- Under 5s can explore our exhibitions and collections with our term-time Museum Monkey sessions – please see below for more information.
- We offer school workshops designed for Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two pupils – please click here for more information.
- Find free educational downloadable resources on our website here, designed for school groups, though anyone is welcome to use them to enhance their visit.
York Museums Trust provides a range of activities and events for children under 5s to help them engage with the collections and exhibitions. Sessions take place during term time at York Castle Museum, the Yorkshire Museum, or York Art Gallery.
Museum Baby (under two years old) – Fridays, 10am – 11am
Special baby sessions linked to exhibitions, including songs and sensory activities for babies and their carers. Sessions are a mixture of free flow and adult led activities which all relate to the early years Curriculum. A perfect introduction to museums!
Early Years Explorers (two – five years old) – Thursdays, 10am – 11am
Activities for children aged two to five years old which include songs, stories, games and craft activities. Sessions are based on familiar preschool play areas, which are enhanced to help children learn about the museum’s collections and exhibitions through play. Sessions are a mixture of free flow and adult led activities which all relate to the Early Years curriculum.
Charges and advance booking apply. Please click here to visit the Events page on our website for full listings.
Genesis is an ongoing project that involves York Museums Trust working with young people aged 16 to 24 to encourage engagement with museum and gallery sites and collections.
In 2015, young people were invited to work with experts from Biomation to write, create, film and direct a stop frame animation about Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton’s explorations with inspiration from some of the objects in the York Castle Museum. The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
- York Castle Museum Lift Out of Order from 22 September
- York Castle Museum Lift Out of Order from 29 August 2017
- York Castle Museum Lift Operational as of 25 August 2017
- York Castle Museum Lift Out of Order from 19 August 2017
- Write a Play for York Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre to be Performed at York Castle Museum
Keep in Touch
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