Press Release

York Residents’ Festival is returning this January with over 70 attractions, events and offers. Taking place predominantly over the weekend of 29th – 30th January, some offers are extended for up to a week exclusively for York residents. 

Major attractions in the city will be offering free entry to York residents, including York Minster, JORVIK Viking Centre, York Castle Museum and Merchant Adventurer’s Hall. For theatre lovers, there’ll be exclusive behind the scenes tour available to book at York Theatre Royal, Grand Opera House and Joseph Rowntree Theatre. 

There’ll also be exclusive food and drink offers at some of York’s most popular bars and eateries, including Ambiente Tapas, The Rise Restaurant at The Grand, York and Plush Café. For the chocolate lovers, there are free tours on offer at York’s Chocolate Story and York Cocoa House, plus tasty discounts at Cocoa Joe’s and Heavenly Desserts.  

For those wanting to explore outside of the city walls, Yorkshire Air Museum are offering free admission, Yorkshire Heart Vineyard and Brewery are offering free wine tours and there’s free admission to Beningbrough Hall. 

For those who prefer to explore the city on foot, there are complimentary walking tours with Anne Lister in York Walking Tour, York Historic Pub Walks, Yorkshire Appetite’s York Food Tour and more.  

There’ll also be a chance for York residents to get their hands on one of the 350 £5 York Gift Cards from York BID, in their Great Gift Card giveaway. As a thank you to residents for supporting local businesses, gift cards will be given on a first come, first served basis at the Visitor Information Centre at 1 Museum Street from 10am on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th January. 

York Residents’ Festival is open to all York Residents who have a valid YorkCard or student ID card. YorkCards are available from all of York’s Explore libraries, with a £6 administration charge for adults (free for under 18s). YorkCard entitles users to discounts at a range of leisure facilities and attractions throughout the year.  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York said: “York Residents’ Festival is our way of saying thank you to residents for sharing their beautiful city with tourists throughout the year. We’re so pleased to be able to offer over 70 special offers this year, with huge savings. It’s a brilliant opportunity to rediscover corners of the city and support our local businesses. Some of the venues do require pre-booking this year to ensure social distancing, so make sure you book your place as soon as you can!”  

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council said:  “I’m delighted that York Residents’ Festival is once again back this year. After the challenging time we have all had over the last two years, the Festival promises to be a great way for residents to safely celebrate the many wonderful attractions on offer throughout York and support our local businesses. 

“As always, our thanks go to all the partners around the city who have come together to make this event such a success. 

“There is so much to explore and discover locally, with something for everyone on offer during this fun-packed weekend of activities. I hope residents take part, enjoy and celebrate our city!” 

Find out more about the offers for York Residents’ Festival at Please note, some venues require pre-booking.  

York Residents’ Festival is organised by Make It York, supported by City of York Council.  


Barley Hall 

Sat 29 Jan- Fri 4 Feb. Free entry after 2pm. Pre-booking required.  

Bedern Hall 

Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan, 10.30am to 3.30pm. Free entry. Pre booking not required. 

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens 

Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 3.30pm. Free entry (The hall and gallery are closed for ongoing conservation work.) Pre booking not required. 

Black Swan Folk Club 

Sun 30 Jan, 2pm – 5.30pm and 7.30pm – 10.30pm. An afternoon and evening of live folk music entertainment from locally based singers and musicians. Pre-booking not required.  

City Cruises 

Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan; 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Free cruise. Pre booking not required (First-come, first-serve basis). 

DIG: An Archaeological Adventure 

Sat 29 Jan – Fri 4 Feb. Free entry after 3pm. Pre-book online, numbers are limited.  

Fairfax House 

Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan, 11am – 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). Free entry for the first 100 people. Pre book online. 

Fishergate Postern Tower 

Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 10am to 4pm. Free entry. Pre-booking not required. 

Get Cycling 

Fri 28 Jan 08.30am – 5.30pm & Sat 29 Jan 10am – 4pm. Hire a bike for free for 4 hours. Pre-booking required. 

Grand Opera House York 

Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 3pm. Behind the scenes tour. Pre-booking not required. 

Holgate Windmill 

Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 11am to 4pm. Tour of York’s only surviving windmill. Pre-booking not required.  

JORVIK Viking Centre 

Sat 29 Jan – Fri 4 Feb. Free entry after 3pm. Pre-book online. 

Joseph Rowntree Theatre 

Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 3:30pm. Behind the scenes tour. Pre-booking not required. 

Lost Earth Adventures, Brimham Rocks 

Sat 29 Jan – Sun 30 Jan, 9am – 6.30pm. 2-hour climbing & abseiling session. Maximum 2 people per booking. Pre booking required by email or telephone. 

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall 

Sat 29 Jan, 10am to 4.30pm (last admission 4pm). Pre-booking not required. 

Merchant Taylors’ Hall  

Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 4pm. Pre-booking not required. 

National Centre for Early Music 

Sat 29 Jan, 2pm-4pm. Special taster session of the NCEM’s monthly singing session. Pre-booking required. 

St Denys Church 

Sat 29 Jan, 2-4pm. Free entry. Poetry, film, photography, and discussion. Pre-booking required. 

The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre 

Sat 29 Jan, 10am- 5 pm (last admission 4pm). Exhibition entry: 50p. Pre-booking not required. 

Touch Tuina 

Sat 29 Jan-Sun 6 Feb. Free Tuina testers available from 11am until 4pm. Pre-booking required. 

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience 

Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 5pm and 6pm. Pre-booking required. 

York Army Museum 

Sat 29 Jan, 10am-4pm & Sun 30 Jan, 10am-1pm. Free entry and talk. Pre-booking required.  

York Art Gallery 

Sat 29 Jan- Sun 30 Jan, 11 am – 4pm. Free admission to Young Gainsborough exhibition. Pre-booking required. 

York Astronomical Society 

Sat 29 Jan -Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 4pm. Observatory tour and free stargazing event. Pre-booking required. 

York Castle Museum 

Sat 29 Jan- Sun 30 Jan, 11am – 4pm. Pre-booking required. 

York Cemetery 

Sun 30 Jan, 10am to 4pm. History walks. Pre-booking not required. 

York Cocoa House (at York Cocoa Works) 

Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 9am – 4pm. Tasting trail and Chocolate Lollipop workshop. Pre-book by clicking here

York Explore Library, Map Attack! – Lego City of Wonder  

Sat 29 Jan, 10am – 2pm. Pre-booking not required. 

York Mansion House 

Sat 29 Jan-Sun 30 Jan, 10.30am to 5pm (last admission 4.30pm). Pre-booking not required. 

York Minster 

Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan. Free entry. Pre-booking required. 

York Theatre Royal 

Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan (Tours will be available at half hour intervals from 6 pm until 8 pm on both days). Pre-booking is required. 

York’s Chocolate Story 

Sat 29 Jan &, Sun 30 Jan, first five tours are free between 09.00 – 10.00. Also 1/3 off additional admissions and 20% off café and retail throughout the whole weekend. Pre booking not required. 

York Stadium Leisure Centre 

Sat 29 Jan, 10am to 3pm. Pre-booking not required. 

Yorkshire Air Museum 

Sat 29 Jan & Sun 30 Jan, 10am to 4pm. Pre-booking required. 

Yorkshire Heart Vineyard and Brewery 

Sun 30 Jan, 10am – 3pm. Free entry and a complimentary drink on arrival. Enjoy a wine tasting and talk with one of the winemakers. On the hour of 11am, 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm, free short tour of the vineyard and winery. Pre booking not required. 


Anne Lister in York Walking Tours 

Sat 29th Jan, 10.30am and 2.30pm. Monday 31st 2.30pm. Two-hour guided walking tour. Pre-booking required. 

Mountain Goat Tours 

Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jan, 9.15am. 50% off scheduled day tours for Yorkshire Dales or North York Moors & Whitby tour, departing from Duncombe Place, York at 9.15am. Pre-booking required. 

York Historic Pub Walks 

Sat 29 Jan, 3pm – 5pm. 1.5-2 hour walking tour covering 12 pubs. Pre-booking is required. 

York’s Hidden History Walks 

Sat 29 Jan, 10am York Air Walk, 2pm York Fire Walk. Sun 30 Jan, 10am York Earth Walk, 2pm York Water Walk. Pre-booking required. 

Yorkshire Appetite’s York Food Tour 

Sun 30 Jan, 12pm – 3pm. Taste food at five of York’s great independents. Pre booking required.  


All Saints North Street 

Sat 29 Jan, 10.15am & 2pm Stained Glass, 11.30am & 3pm- Slide show including recent archaeology. Pre-booking not required. 

Central Methodist Church 

Sat 29 Jan, 11am – 4pm. Pre-booking not required 

Drumming the Psalms: workshop 

Sat 29 Jan, 11am-12pm and 2:30-3:30pm. Practical workshop. Pre-booking is essential. 

Jacob’s Well 

Sat 29 Jan, 10am-5pm. Pre-booking not required. 

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