After a long winter, York is finally waking up to a brand-new season, with warmer weather welcoming café tables back onto the pavements, and nature blossoming in the city’s green spaces. With all this excitement in the air, we’ve been itching to get out and about to explore some of the great entertainment the city has to offer this spring. And with the Easter Holidays just around the corner, there’s no better time to check out some of the city’s most exciting attractions.
To celebrate the beginning of spring, we’ve been busy creating this guide to our favourite entertainment spots in the city, from uncovering Viking secrets at the Jorvik Centre, to celebrating the latest culture and drama at The Barbican. So, whatever you’re into, we’re sure the city will have something great to offer you this spring…
NATIONAL RAILWAY MUSEUM
The National Railway Museum is always a highlight site to visit in York, whether to entertain the kids or to treat the inner trainspotter. This spring, as well as the permanent attractions such as the world’s most famous locomotive The Flying Scotsman, there are currently even more reasons to go. How about experiencing the world’s fastest steam locomotive Mallard? And explore the fabulous free exhibition Young Railway Photographer of the Year, where the winning images from the 2022 competition on the theme of ‘the Railway Seen’ are displayed to impress.
THE YORK DUNGEON
This famous and unique York attraction continues to be as popular as ever due to its ongoing eccentric quality. Go in the day with all the family to be thrilled by live actor shows telling the story of 2000 years of York’s dark history, with stunning special effects to laugh and scream through. Or for even darker fun, make it your over 18s Saturday night out, when Dungeon Late opens for the finest scary and saucy adult fun.
York has a couple of exceptional live theatre venues and a couple of excellent live music venues hosting shows and gigs every night of every week, and nowhere is better at combining the best of it all than The Barbican. All year round their line-up is a mix of magnificent music, comedy and theatre, and this spring is as inviting and eclectic as ever. From The Unthanks and Paul Weller, through Test Match Special and Champions of Magic, to Sandi Toksvig and Romesh Ranganathan, there is surely a show for everyone to enjoy at this handsome 1900 capacity arts space.
YORK THEATRE ROYAL
The beautiful building of York Theatre Royal dates back to 1744 and is a wonderful place to visit even before the entertainment hits the stage. But when it does there’s plenty of culture to enjoy every evening, and this spring is no exception. There are one-night stands from the likes of musical extravaganza Rave On, a short run of shows from comedy legend Stewart Lee, a week of a theatre masterpiece in The Homecoming, amongst a what’s on of grown up shows and classes for kids at this delightful York venue.
JORVIK VIKING CENTRE
Arguably one of the most famous attractions in the city, the Jorvik Centre has been attracting visitors from far and wide since 1984, but the incredible history on display here goes back much, much further. Take the chance to learn all about the history of our incredible city, with the interactive exhibits that capture just what life was like all those years ago. The Vikings will also be making a visit to central York for five days from the 28th of May to celebrate the Jorvik Viking Festival. There’s bound to be plenty of hands-on fun and lots of interactive history to explore – you can even grab tickets to an authentic Viking Feast and Battle Spectacular!
YORK ART GALLERY
Located just a five-minute walk away from the Minster, this cultural hotspot is filled with an amazing collection of artworks from all over the world. York Art Gallery has a jam-packed season ahead with some incredible exhibitions lined up over the next few months. With plenty of free collections to explore, you can easily lose track of time amidst the grand halls and galleries of this historic building. Make sure to visit before the 5th of June to enjoy the wonderful works of the Bloomsbury Group, including the pioneering author Virginia Woolf, and her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell.
Get there by bus! Download the First Bus App to plan your bus journey and buy your ticket.
Images: National Railway Museum, Barbican, York Dungeon, York Theatre Royal