Free and low cost things to do

In York, there are always lots of events and activities going on, but these can often be quite pricey! We've pulled together some ideas of free and low cost things to do in York for you and your family.


Find out what's on in York on our events page! As well as sports and activities, this page includes info on family fun days, fairs and other free events around the city.

York Card

A York Card is your library card, but also provides free or discounted entry into many of York's attractions. The York Card is just for residents of York and can be purchased at any York library. It's free for children and £5 for adults, and is valid for 1 year. Find out where you can use the York Card!

Museum Babies (for ages 0-2) and Early Years Explorers (for ages 2-5) are both free for children to attend with a York Card.


Shine is a magazine which contains information on lots of great activities throughout York. You can view Shine online to find out about current activities and events.


Free Shine activities:

- Fun sports games and athletics games
- City Kick About and the Conservation Volunteers summer sessions
- Playday!
- Total Sports park sessions
- York City Knights summer sessions

Walking the walls

Have you ever walked York city walls? It's a great activity to do with your family, and is completely free!


There are always lots of things going on at York's libraries. To find out more, get in touch with your local library or go to

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Social media is where things happen first! When we hear about events and activities in York, we post about them on York FIS Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to follow us for up to date information on what's on in York.


Twitter: @YorkFIS

Max Card

If your child has a disability or additional need, they will be entitled to a Max Card. This card provides free or discounted entry into many attractions across the UK. In signing up for the Max Card, you also sign up for our myFIS+ newsletter which provides enhanced information for families who have children with disabilities and additional needs. To sign up for the myFIS+ and Max Card scheme, please go to


There are a range of parks in York; you can go to the park for a summer picnic, play in the play area, feed the ducks, see what animals you can find and much more!

Wildlife Watching

No matter what the season see how many different wildlife you can spot! Whether that's baby animals in spring, bugs and insects in autumn, flowers or birds you can down load your very own list or why not create your own bespoke one!

National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum is fantastic for a day out, and is completely free! Go to the National Railway Museum website to find out about family activities and exhibitions on at the museum over the summer.

50 things to do before you're 12!

Give your children a challenge over the summer! The National Trust are running their award winning campaign ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’.

From climbing a tree to tracking wild animals, the list is great fun and will be sure to capture the imaginations of your children and inspire them to venture into the great outdoors. Visit the website to find out more See how many you can do this summer!


Geocaching is a real world, outdoor treasure hunt game. Geocaching is where you use a GPS to find hidden items. The items are usually something with little value (such as a pencil), and they are usually hidden with a notebook and pen so the finder can note when the item was found. There are geocaches all over the UK and many in York.

To get started, go to or download the geocaching app. The app and website will tell you where the nearest hidden item is!

Family Information Service!

For a tailored list of activities and events in your local area, get in touch with us on 01904 554444 or



York Family Information Service

01904 554444