Winter is a great time to plan a city break and there are a plethora of things to do in York that are ideal indoor activities for winter days and evenings. Whether you live in York, are visiting as a family or on a romantic winter getaway, you’ll find this historic city is full of fun indoor activities in winter suitable for all ages. Check out these favourite things to do:
Winter Indoor Activities In York
1. Axe throwing
Anyone over the age of 13 can limber up and try their hand at axe-throwing at The Hilt. Harking back to Viking times, this ancient skill is definitely fun to master, especially when you have your own personal axe-throwing coach to show you various different one-handed and two-handed techniques. After an hour of laughter and competitive axe-throwing, head into the restaurant and bar where Nordic bites, saucy meatballs and tasty snacks will replenish your reserves, all washed down with some original mocktails.
2. Visit the York Army Museum
Anyone with an interest in the Armed Forces and British military history will enjoy a day in the bright warm space of the York Army Museum. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, this well-laid-out museum celebrates the British Army over the last 300 years with interactive exhibits and displays focusing on the Royal Dragoon Guards, the Yorkshire Regiment and the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire. At £5.00 adult admission this has to be one of the best value things to do in York that won’t break the bank.
3. Walking Tour of York Minster
York Minster is open daily all year round. It’s a great place to pop into if it starts to rain while browsing the shops in the heart of York city centre. Located on Deangate, the magnificent 700-year-old cathedral is filled with artifacts, artworks, a grand organ and priceless stained glass windows. The best way to appreciate this mediaeval building is on a guided tour of the Chapter House and Mason’s Loft. It takes visitors into hidden spaces not open for general public access. Hear fascinating stories of the people who built the Minster and see original drawings and plans on the tracing floor. This unique and informative tour makes this a top indoor activity in York for winter days.
4. Make a Fun Dessert at York’s Chocolate Story
Take a tour of York’s famous Chocolate Story and learn how KitKat, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Smarties and other sweet treats are made in Britain’s home of chocolate. Inspired by the tempting samples, book a place at a Chocolate Masterclass and make yourself an edible souvenir. Artisan chocolatiers teach you the tricks of perfect chocolate-making and the class includes an alcoholic choctail - surely the perfect end to any winter indoor activity in York!
5. Ride a steam train at the National Railway Museum York
Fun things to do in York include the National Railway Museum which has something to capture the interest of every visitor, from young to old. Railway enthusiasts and history lovers will appreciate the iconic locomotives on display including the original Rocket while young visitors can enjoy a ride aboard a restored steam train. As well as free admission, the Railway Museum offers free tours around the Collections Store where a guide will introduce you to a plethora of fascinating and obscure items from signals to footwarmers.
6. Treat yourself to a cozy, warm bath
After a busy day enjoying the diverse attractions and things to do in York in winter, head back home or to your hotel and run yourself a steamy bubbly bath. Throw in a nice bath soaking product to rehydrate dry winter skin and settle down with a good book and some soft music. It makes you look forward to chilly damp weather as an excuse to indulge in some decadent pampering as part of your winter indoor activities bucket list.
7. Enjoy a bevvie at Brew York
There’s lots to see and do in York’s top brewery store which is open daily from noon. Located in the heart of York on Walkgate, this craft brewery welcomes beer aficionados to wallow in the amazing choice of ales and drinks. There’s something for everyone from Grapetini Peach Bellini to Gluten free malts such as Cereal Killa and more familiar hoppy ales such as Jarsa. Book ahead for a guided tour of the brewery or just pop in for a pint of one of the cask beers or ciders served in the riverside Tap Room and Beer Hall. Finish this fun indoor activity in York with some gift shopping in the store which sells everything from novelty T-shirts to bottles and cans.
8. Taste test different spirits in your home
Why not plan your own winter indoor event by hosting a spirit tasting, wine tasting or even a cocktail tasting party? Blind tastings are always fun - just cover 5 bottles of spirits or wine with a brown paper bag (or decant the drinks to outwit cheats!) then gather around the home bar or kitchen table and taste and critique each one. It’s a great way to develop a discerning palette for quality and inspires witty conversation.
9. Play a board game with your mates
More fun can be had indoors on a winter’s evening by inviting friends round and playing a board game. Some of the best new board games on the market include the role-playing Spyfall (suitable for 4-8 players). Every player gets a card telling them where they are (on a submarine perhaps?) and what their role is (captain?). One card identifies the “Spy” who has to work out where they are through careful questioning while everyone else tries to uncover who the spy is. Very engrossing entertainment to enjoy on a stormy night!
10. Read a thrilling book
No mates around? There’s nothing better to do on an inclement day than curl up in front of the fire with a good book. Log onto Goodreads, pick your favourite genre or author and download for an instant indoor activity on a winter’s day.
Whatever winter indoor activities you find to enjoy in York, you can always end up at The Hilt enjoying some tasty light eats and drinks in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.