In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II will become the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years on the throne. To mark this special occasion, parties are being planned across the country with a four day bank holiday weekend for all to enjoy between the 2nd-5th June. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in York, or just want some family-friendly things to do in the city this summer, we’ve put together a list of events and activities to provide you with some inspiration.
Soak up the sun in a Beer Garden
If the weather is good, there may be no better way to spend the bank holiday weekend than drinking and relaxing with friends in a beer garden of your choosing. Many of York’s pubs and restaurants have great garden spaces to discover and enjoy – some of our favourites can be found at the Eagle & Child, The Whippet Inn, Golden Ball, The Phoenix Inn, Keystones, The Habit and Spark CIC.
Experience the fun of the fair at York Spring Fair & Food Festival
Held at York Racecourse from the 27th May – 5th June, the York Spring Fair combines a vintage funfair with a fantastic food festival. You’ll be able to sample delicious food and drink produced by local artisans, or shop for gifts including scented candles, stationery, books and even gourmet dog food. At the funfair, you can rediscover classic rides and games such as dodgems, the octopus, hook-a-duck and the rifle range. There will be children’s entertainment throughout the day with live music or a DJ in the evening, guaranteeing a fun day out for all. Tickets: £5-£7.50 for adults + free admission for those aged 12 and under.
Help the planet and plant a tree for the Jubilee
Created to mark the occasion of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, the Queen’s Green Canopy is a tree planting initiative that aims to make our country that little bit greener. Everyone in the UK is invited to plant a tree, with free trees being given to schools and community groups. Once you have found your tree, you’ll be able to purchase a commemorative plaque for it and add it to the official QGC map.
Support a good cause with St Leonard’s Hospice Jubilee Walk
Stay fit while raising money for St Leonard’s Hospice with their night-time Jubilee Walk. This seven mile walk on the 18th June is sure to be a great summer social event. People are encouraged to get dressed up, bring flags along, glow sticks, tiaras or any other Jubilee-themed accessories you might have. Walkers can gather from 7:30pm to enjoy a royal welcome with entertainment and some great British ice cream to try. The walk will then officially start at 9pm, with Ben Fry from York Mix and ‘Sir’ Thomas Clubbercise helping you to stay motivated along the way. The Jubilee walk is open to everyone, so bring all of your friends and family for an unforgettable night out. Tickets: £17 (adult)/£12 (under 16s).
Enjoy a sporty day out at Wiggyfest
Held on Wigginton playing fields on the 4th June is Wiggyfest, a community event that aims to raise much-needed funds for local causes. A great day out for sports fans, the festival provides an opportunity to watch tennis, football and squash matches. There is also a chance to get involved yourself where you can join in with inflatable games or try to beat the goalkeeper. Music will be provided by YO1 radio and live bands and there will be plenty of activities to keep children and toddlers entertained too. Tickets: £8 (adult)/£4 (child)/£20 (family).
Indulge in an afternoon tea at Betty’s
Celebrate as the Queen herself might with a tempting selection of sandwiches, dainty cakes and perhaps even a glass of bubbly at Betty’s famous tea rooms. Situated in St Helen’s Square, Betty’s has been serving afternoon teas in York since 1937. You can take in your surroundings in the beautiful, art deco-inspired building and enjoy being serenaded by a pianist as you eat. Particularly fitting for the occasion, Betty’s pink Champagne afternoon tea includes four types of sandwich, including Bleiker’s tea-smoked salmon with prawns and Yorkshire chicken with tarragon and lemon mayonnaise. These will be accompanied by cakes and scones, as well as a glass of Collet Rosé Champagne – all for £38.95. You’ll also find a delightful range of Jubilee-themed gifts here to buy and take away, including corgi biscuits, soft iced fruit cake and fondant fancies.
Go to a street party at Murton Park
York’s living history museum has an exciting series of events planned to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, with something new happening every day over the bank holiday weekend. On the 5th June they will be hosting a street party and everyone is welcome to attend. Order a ready-made hamper from the Yorkshire Barn Café or bring your own picnic along instead. Magician Professor Dan will be providing entertainment with his impressive magic tricks and all of the usual attractions will be open for you to explore. Admission is free for annual ticket holders.
….or host your own
Alternatively, why not bring your neighbours together by hosting a street party of your own? You can apply for your road to be closed without a fee as long as you’re not charging people to attend the party. You can also get a TV Licence Dispensation, allowing you to screen TV programmes within your local community without a TV licence for the duration of the bank holiday weekend.
Light up the night at your local Beacon
On Thursday 2nd June, a trail of fire will light up the sky as thousands of beacons are lit across the country to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Beacons can be found in many of North Yorkshire’s towns and villages with those closest to York located in Knavesmire, Nether Poppleton and Acaster Malbis. There is also one at Askham Bryan college and another on the Wilberfoss playing fields. All of the beacons will be lit at 9:45pm.
Images: Spark, Eagle and Child, The Queen’s Green Canopy, York Spring Fair, Betty’s, Murton Park