Community events

Exploring Utopian York

In this guided podcast trail, Sarah Lohmann of Durham University and Adam Stock of York St John University discuss utopian visions, science fiction and the imagination in locations while exploring the city centre of York.

Behind the Scenes of Science

Weekdays throughout the Festival

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at world-leading research centres at the University of York? Here is your chance to find out. As part of the Festival they are throwing open their doors for guided tours, demonstrations and talks. From air quality to energy, and next generation electronic materials to cancer therapies, find out how research carried out in York is improving the world we live in.

York’s Sweet Past: A taste of success - the Inspirational Mary Ann Craven

Weekdays throughout the Festival, 11.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Delve into York’s sweet past and meet our costumed confectioner Mary Ann Craven on York Castle Museum’s Victorian cobbled street, Kirkgate. Find out how Mary – famous for her French almonds and boiled sweets – became a successful businesswoman in a male orientated Victorian world. Then join us as we bring history to life through your taste buds with confectionery demonstrations in the Castle kitchen.  You may even get to sample some delicious sweet treats!

Fri
1
Jun

Discovery Zone

Find out about some of the exciting research being carried out in York. With lots of hands-on, interactive activities, this fun event – held right in the heart of the city - is suitable for all the family.

Sat
2
Jun

Discovery Zone

Find out about some of the exciting research being carried out in York. With lots of hands-on, interactive activities, this fun event – held right in the heart of the city - is suitable for all the family.

Wed
6
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for children

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV. Come along to one of our tailor-made Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) workshops, all run by professional actress Rachel Watkinson.

Wed
6
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for teenagers

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV. Come along to one of our tailor-made Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) workshops, all run by professional actress Rachel Watkinson.

Wed
6
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for adults

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV. Come along to one of our tailor-made Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) workshops, all run by professional actress Rachel Watkinson.

Thu
7
Jun

Archives Blitz-It!

Did you know Explore York Archives holds over 1.5 miles of archives if you placed them end to end? Join archivists for this hands-on workshop, helping them to process some of these archives before they are made available to the public.

Thu
7
Jun

Behind the Scenes with York Archaeological Trust

Join York Archaeological Trust curators for a guided tour behind the scenes at YAT’s Archaeological Resource Centre. Learn what happens to the amazing artefacts that aren’t on public display and how they continue to be put to work to enhance our understanding of the past.

Thu
7
Jun

Reinventing the North: From Rome to Rowntree

Join historical tour guide Peter Edwards for a walking tour as he challenges some of the stereotypes of Yorkshire and the North. Find out why Yorkshire deserves a more prominent role in the national historical narrative and why the county’s experience of the ‘story of Britain’ is very different to that of the narrative promoted by popular history.

Fri
8
Jun

Fish ‘n’ Ships: Fishing through time

What can old fish bones tell us? Lots! Everything from the diet of our ancestors to what the oceans looked like in the past. Join us at King's Manor where archaeologists, ecologists and historians from the University of York will explain how people throughout history caught, farmed, prepared, cooked, traded and disposed of fish.

Sat
9
Jun

York’s Dark Past: Crime, punishment and justice

Delve into York’s dark past as we investigate the city’s hidden secrets and reveal the history of crime, justice and punishment. Take a tour of the Debtors’ Prison at York Castle Museum or join us for a guided crime walk. Of if you prefer to take things at your own pace, be among the first to try out a new self-guided podcast walking tour.

Sat
9
Jun

The Historic Yorkshire Word Hunt

George loves collecting old Yorkshire words, but unfortunately some have gone astray! Collect a map and help George put the words back into his dictionary where they belong. Suitable for all the family, this short walk through York city centre reintroduces lost or forgotten words from Yorkshire’s history and provides a new outlook on York’s heritage.

Sat
9
Jun

Cornstarch Decorated Paper Workshop

Come along and create your own decorative papers using cornstarch paste. This simple and versatile method was developed by bookbinders as an easy and inexpensive way to create unique covers and end papers. Find out why it’s also a great way of making greeting cards, wrapping paper, decorative boxes and more.

Sat
9
Jun

Buildings of Impossible Things

Explore some of York’s beautiful and unique parish churches on a walking tour with the Churches Conservation Trust. Join us and learn how the supernatural and the impossible were imagined in the medieval mind and how this is beautifully reflected in the art, architecture and appearance of parish churches.

Sat
9
Jun

Fish ‘n’ Ships: Fishing through time

What can old fish bones tell us? Lots! Everything from the diet of our ancestors to what the oceans looked like in the past. Join us at King's Manor where archaeologists, ecologists and historians from the University of York will explain how people throughout history caught, farmed, prepared, cooked, traded and disposed of fish.

Sat
9
Jun

Explore the Impossible!

Drop into York Explore Library and build the impossible with Lego. Take a journey into the past or construct a York of the future - you decide.

Sat
9
Jun

Soapbox Science

Come and listen to top female scientists as they take science to the streets of York – standing on a soapbox! Now in its eighth year, Soapbox Science promises a summer of excitement, fun and fantastic science with events across the world.

Sat
9
Jun

Festival Fringe Family Fun Afternoon

Join us for an afternoon of energetic, crafty, puzzling, scientific and historical fun with University of York postgraduate students and staff at this year’s Festival Fringe Family Fun Afternoon. No ticket needed – just come along!

Sat
9
Jun

Book Making for Families

Could you be a bookmaker? Join staff from York Minster and York Explore Library and find out about early printing and handwritten books.

Sun
10
Jun

Witchcraft and Wizardry

Muggles and would-be witches and wizards are invited to join a celebration of all things magical at our Harry Potter-inspired day. Prepare to be spellbound by divination, stupefied by potions, enchanted by magical creatures and mesmerised by parseltongue as you enter our magical realm.

Sun
10
Jun

The Historic Yorkshire Word Hunt

George loves collecting old Yorkshire words, but unfortunately some have gone astray! Collect a map and help George put the words back into his dictionary where they belong. Suitable for all the family, this short walk through York city centre reintroduces lost or forgotten words from Yorkshire’s history and provides a new outlook on York’s heritage.

Sun
10
Jun

From Railway to Greenway: The making of the Solar System Greenway

Join us for a guided walk or cycle ride - or make your own way – and discover the stories behind the Solar System Greenway.

Mon
11
Jun

Zombies in York

Zombies have taken over York and brought the city to a standstill – but we were quick enough to catch one! Come along and get involved as University of York scientists dissect the captured zombie in front of a live audience. This gruesome interactive event has hands-on opportunities to study the infectious agent causing the outbreak.

Tue
12
Jun

Tomorrow’s Leaders: Imagining our future

Students on the University of York’s Laidlaw scholarship programme present their ideas for tackling global challenges and shaping the future of health, education and the arts. The ResearchBites exhibition showcases cutting edge postgraduate research from the Universities of York and York St John, and there's a chance to watch the final round of the North Yorkshire Coast Higher Education Collaboration’s Give me Five competition.

Tue
12
Jun

Paradise Found: How one place can work for everybody

York is known as a great place to live, work and visit, with a thriving economy, strong community and healthy environment. We know healthy places make healthy people, but how can we ensure the city continues to support and enhance people’s health, wellbeing and prosperity?

Tue
12
Jun

Zombies in York

Zombies have taken over York and brought the city to a standstill – but we were quick enough to catch one! Come along and get involved as University of York scientists dissect the captured zombie in front of a live audience. This gruesome interactive event has hands-on opportunities to study the infectious agent causing the outbreak.

Wed
13
Jun

Buildings of Impossible Things

Explore some of York’s beautiful and unique parish churches on a walking tour with the Churches Conservation Trust. Join us and learn how the supernatural and the impossible were imagined in the medieval mind and how this is beautifully reflected in the art, architecture and appearance of parish churches.

Wed
13
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for children

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV. Come along to one of our tailor-made Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) workshops, all run by professional actress Rachel Watkinson.

Wed
13
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for teenagers

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV. Come along to one of our tailor-made Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) workshops, all run by professional actress Rachel Watkinson.

Wed
13
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for adults

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV. Come along to one of our tailor-made Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) workshops, all run by professional actress Rachel Watkinson.

Thu
14
Jun

Puzzles in the Pub

Join mathematician and biologist Rosalyn Leaman of the University of York as she introduces the puzzles at an informal session in the ancient and medieval arithmetical gymnasium. Come along and sharpen your wits over a glass of specially brewed Eoforwic Ale.

Thu
14
Jun

Reinventing the North: From Rome to Rowntree

Join historical tour guide Peter Edwards for a walking tour as he challenges some of the stereotypes of Yorkshire and the North. Find out why Yorkshire deserves a more prominent role in the national historical narrative and why the county’s experience of the ‘story of Britain’ is very different to that of the narrative promoted by popular history.

Fri
15
Jun

York Design Awards Walking Trail

Join us for a unique opportunity to visit York Design Award-winning buildings from the first 11 years of the scheme. The Walking Trail of Award Winners and other standout schemes will take place in and around the City centre, led by Peter Brown, former Director of the York Civic Trust, with architects from the York Architectural Association.

Sat
16
Jun

York Design Awards Walking Trail

Join us for a unique opportunity to visit York Design Award-winning buildings from the first 11 years of the scheme. The Walking Trail of Award Winners and other standout schemes will take place in and around the City centre, led by Peter Brown, former Director of the York Civic Trust, with architects from the York Architectural Association.

Sat
16
Jun

Psych!York: Interactive family fun

Come along to Psych!York and enjoy brain colouring and crafts, illusions and interactive exhibits. Each exhibit should only take around five to 10 minutes to try out – so with around 15 different interactive exhibits, you can spend as much time with us as you like!

Sat
16
Jun

Talking Portraits!

Imagine if portraits could talk - what stories would they tell? Join University of York students as they unlock the secrets of the paintings of the Lord Mayors of York displayed in the historic Mansion House. Taking place in the beautiful State Room, this interactive family storytelling event is particularly suitable for children aged nine to 13.

Sat
16
Jun

‘Have a Go’ Bell Ringing at St Martin

Come along to St Martin Coney Street and try your hand at bell ringing under the guidance of the church’s skilled team of bell ringers. Watch demonstrations on the peal of eight bells before having a go yourself.

Sat
16
Jun

Church Conservation: An impossible task?

What does it take to care for a building that has been standing for a millennium? The Churches Conservation Trust has saved over 350 historic church buildings across England, including the hidden medieval gem of Holy Trinity in York, whose recorded origins go back to 1082.

Sat
16
Jun

Thinking: Destination Unknown…

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is not just to think outside the box, but outside this world. ComplexCity is a colony in space designed to become an alternative home for humans after the breakdown of the Earth’s ecosystem. Join our simulation sessions as you attempt to govern ComplexCity using some of the tools of complex thinking and find out…

Sat
16
Jun

Reading Science Futures: Lock in

What might our bodies be like in the future? What kinds of health crises are looming – and what solutions does medical science promise? What would it feel like if human brains and minds operated independently from bodies: who might we be, and how might we act with others? Join our book group, led by researchers at Newcastle University to discuss John Scalzi’s 2014 novel Lock In and the way it envisions the future of human bodies, medical science, and social interaction.

Sat
16
Jun

Medic! A sense of First World War battlefield medicine

Have you ever wondered what battlefield surgery in the First World War was like? Can you imagine how it looked and smelled, and how it might have felt to perform operations and nurse the wounded? Come along to this sensory workshop, showcasing (simulated) medical treatments and conditions. You might even be able to try your hand at a procedure or two!

Mon
25
Jun

York Design Awards: Winners presentation

Join us as the winners are announced of the 12th annual York Design Awards. Entries to the awards are in categories covering residential, community and commercial schemes, large or small, and open spaces. This flagship event includes the presentation of plaques to the winning schemes chosen by a distinguished panel of independent judges, with a special Lord Mayor’s Award. The accompanying exhibition showcases all the 2018 entries.

Past events