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26 Fun Things To Do in York for Adults 2024

The historic city of York has great heritage attractions, but there are also lots of exciting activities for grown-ups looking for fun.

Here are 26 of our favourite fun activities:

Guided Historic Pub Tour

York is an ancient city with a long and varied past, and it's no surprise that pubs have played an important role in the city's history.

© York Pub Walks

If you'd like to visit some of York's oldest and most historic pubs and learn their fascinating stories, then why not take a guided pub tour?

© York Pub Walks

Your knowledgeable guide will show you York's best historic pubs and tell you lots of fascinating stories from their past.


York's Chocolate Story

Take a guided tour through the history of chocolate and discover how three families made York into a giant of the chocolate world.

© Yorks Chocolate Story

You'll travel back in time to 1200 BC to see how chocolate was discovered by ancient tribes in the forests of Central America.

Along the way, you'll see how the cocoa bean is transformed into the delicious chocolate treats we know and love.

You'll learn how to taste chocolate like a professional, and see a live demo of chocolate making - with lots of samples to try!

© Yorks Chocolate Story

Look out for special hands-on events where you'll get a chance to try chocolate-making for yourself.

There's also a café where you can order the best hot chocolate in York, and a shop selling chocolates handmade by the on-site chocolatiers.

If you love chocolate, this is one experience you won't want to miss!


York Dungeon

Experience a terrifying journey through 2000 years of York's bloody history at York Dungeon.

© York Dungeon

Live actor-led experiences with immersive sets and thrilling special effects bring the real stories of York to life, including:

  • York Plague House - It's 1551 and the plague is in town. Dare you enter the plague house?
  • City Ghosts - You're walking through Shambles one dark night when you have a terrifying encounter.
  • The Torture Chamber - Meet the torturer of York Castle.
  • The Execution - It's 1405 and you're about to experience an execution at Micklegate Bar - be thankful it's not your own.

There are many more gruesome scenes and characters to meet on your visit to York Dungeon.


Party Night Afloat

Get into the party mood with a cruise on board York's floating party.

© Party Night Afloat / City Experiences

You'll be welcomed aboard with a glass of fizz, and your party will have a reserved table for when you're not dancing to the non-stop hits played by the resident DJ.

There's plenty of delicious party food on offer with a two-course buffet, and a well-stocked bar.

© Party Night Afloat / City Experiences

Party Night Cruises last 2 1/2 hours and are ideal for hen parties, birthday celebrations or just a fun and memorable night out with colleagues or friends.


The Deathly Dark Tours York Ghost Walk

Explore the dark past of the most haunted city in England on a multi-award-winning Deathly Dark Ghost Walk.

© The Deathly Dark Tours

In this comedy-horror storytelling experience, your expert guide will tell you all about the hauntings, foul deeds and grim history of York.

© Emma+Rich / The Deathy Dark Tours

Tours run every night at 8 pm with additional tours on Saturdays and at peak times.


Take a "Tours in a Dish" Food Tour

If you're passionate about food and you want to sample the best culinary delights that York has to offer, then the Hidden Gems Food Tour is for you.

© Tours in a Dish

Visit five independent foodie destinations, find out about the best in local produce and try some of the most delicious food this lovely city has to offer.

© Tours in a Dish

Tours in a Dish offers other food tours of York including:

  • Breakfast Tour - Visit York's best-kept breakfast secrets before the crowds arrive.
  • Eco Food Tour - Discover five foodie hotspots and taste state-of-the-art aeroponic crops.
  • Private Food Tour - Customised to your group's tastes and interests.
  • Corporate Tour - Bond over food on this team-building day out with a difference.


Bish Bash Pot

Unleash your creative side with a 2-hour pottery painting session at Bish Bash Pot.

© Bish Bash Pot

They also run adult evenings where you can bring your own drinks and enjoy two and a half hours of relaxing painting in the company of like-minded people.

If you fancy having a go at making the pottery, there are Wheel Experiences, Wheel Nights and even multi-week Wheel Courses where you can learn about this fascinating craft.

© Bish Bash Pot

Bish Bash Pot are also happy to host your group event or Hen Party.


York Cold War Bunker

For something completely different, why not visit the York Cold War Bunker?

© English Heritage

Enter the bunker through the blast-proof doors and find out more about Britain's Cold War secrets.

After a short introductory film, you'll go on a guided tour of the bunker which will last about an hour. Pre-booking online is required as only 15 people can go on each tour.

© English Heritage

The bunker, active in the 1960s - 1990s, was designed as a nerve centre to monitor fallout in the event of a nuclear attack.

It is English Heritage's most modern and probably its most spine-chilling property.


The Hilt

For a suitably Viking-themed activity in York, why not try your hand at axe throwing?

© OKKIDA Media / The Hilt

Imagine yourself as a Viking settler in York in the year 855 as you hurl your axe toward the target.

Visit the "SNAFL" street food bar for tasty ways to satisfy even a Viking-sized appetite.

© OKKIDA Media / The Hilt

After you've finished throwing, there's a fully stocked bar with wines, spirits, beers and even mead!

Axe throwing is also an exciting and memorable activity for a stag/hen do or corporate event.


York FootGolf

Just three miles from the city centre, you can try one of the UK's fastest-growing sports: Footgolf!

© York Footgolf

Footgolf is golf, played by kicking a football around the course, trying to get it into a 20-inch hole.

Footgolf is easy to play and great fun. You don't need any special equipment or football skills to play, so it's a great game for groups of all abilities.

© York Footgolf

York Footgolf has a 15-hole course that will take about 90 minutes to complete, though they recommend allowing 3 hours for the briefing, a couple of rounds and a drink in the bar afterwards.

Why not give it a try?


GR8escape York

© GR8Escape York

Everybody loves an escape room, and with three themed rooms to choose from, you're sure to find an experience you'll enjoy at GR8escape York. Their rooms include:

  • Return From Wonderland - You are trapped in a dream in Wonderland. You have 60 puzzle-filled minutes to complete the challenges and find your way out.
  • Lost Treasure of Atlantis - Complete a series of puzzles and tasks to find the treasure of Atlantis - but time is running out.
  • Ministry of Wizards - Mortals have infiltrated the ministry and you must undertake a trial of magic to prove that you're a real wizard.

© GR8Escape York

All three rooms are suitable for teams of 2-6 players.


The Hole in Wand

Billed as The World's Most Magical Golf Course, a round at The Hole in Wand is fun for wizards of any age.

© The Hole in Wand

The themed course has 9 magical holes, bubbling cauldrons, magic portals and even an enchanted picture frame where you appear in the painting.

After your round, you can visit the Wizard Tavern and enjoy potions only available to grown-up wizards.

© The Hole in Wand

Corporate packages are available on weekday evenings and include a round of Wizard Golf, a magical drink and a further cocktail for up to 30 people.


York Self-Drive Boat Hire

The Vikings rowed up the river to York, but you can take the easy option and hire a self-drive motor boat instead.

© Milner Creative/ City Experiences / York Self Drive Boat Hire

You'll be given full instructions and then you'll have an hour to explore the river and see York from a new perspective.

© Milner Creative/ City Experiences / York Self Drive Boat Hire

Boats can take up to 7 passengers and life jackets are available on request.


York Brewery Tour

Brew York makes a range of popular beers at their city centre brewery.

Stock Photo © K Graham via Flickr

If you'd like to find out more about how they're made, then why not book a brewery tour and see for yourself?

During the tour, you'll be guided through the whole brewing process and have the chance to enjoy 4 tasters of Brew York beers.

The Brew York Brewery Tour does not allow stag/hen-dos.


York Racecourse

York Racecourse hosts race meetings throughout the season, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy top-class racing.

York Racecourse © Kev Bailey via Flickr

See the magnificent thoroughbred horses close-up in the parade ring, place your bet, then head to the rails to feel the excitement as they thunder past at speed.

For a special occasion, why not book a table at one of York Racecourse's three restaurants and enjoy superb food with the spectacle of racing?

York Racecourse © alljengi via Flickr

York has been ranked in the top 10 courses for visitor experience by the Racecourse Association so you're assured of a fantastic day out.


The Bloody Tour of York

Join Mad Alice for a tour of York's streets and snickleways that you'll never forget.

Stock Photo © Chris Combe

Discover the macabre side of York's 2000-year history in this award-winning 90-minute tour.

Hear tales of the Viking invasion, York's Roman history and how the plague ravaged the city.

You'll also learn about famous characters such as Guy Fawkes - York's most famous son, Dick Turpin who was hanged in York in 1739 and many others.


York Bird of Prey Centre

Nature lovers won't want to miss a trip to the York Bird of Prey centre for one of their experience packages.

Stock Photo © tony Hisgett via Flickr

Experiences include:

  • Hawk Walk - 1.5 hour walk around the grounds with plenty of time to fly the hawk and take photos.
  • Owl Experience - A half-day experience where you spend time handling and flying a variety of owls both large and small.
  • Eagle Experience - Spend a half-day getting to know several different species of eagles including Golden Eagle, Steppe Eagle, an Eagle Owl and more.

The centre also offers photography days and falconry courses for those wanting to learn more about these magnificent birds.


York Cat Trail

Statues of cats have been placed on buildings in York for at least 100 years, though legend has it that the custom goes back to medieval times.

Cat on Low Ousegate © Kev Bailey via Flickr

In honour of this tradition, there is now a Cat Trail around the city, with 26 cats to spot as you explore.

It's a great fun way to get to know York, and it's free!


Yorkshire Heart Vineyard and Brewery

If you enjoy a glass of wine and you'd like to find out how it's made, then you'll love a tour of the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard.

Stock Photo © Derek Thomas via Flickr

Hosted by the friendly owners Chris and Gillian, your tour will start with a glass of the vineyard's own sparkling wine before you look round the vineyard and the winery.

You'll learn all about how the wine is made and taste 3 delicious still wines to accompany a plate of nibbles.

You can choose a vineyard tour only, or you can add a light lunch or afternoon tea to the experience.

Whatever you choose, you'll have a memorable day.


Mindlock Escape Rooms

Stock Photo © Chris Fithall via Flickr

York's Mindlock Escape Rooms has 4 different games to choose from:

  • Viking Valhalla - Complete the tricky tasks to escape from limbo and earn your place beside the gods in Valhalla.
  • V90 - A deadly virus has been created. Can your team get into the lab and secure the antidote before the virus is released?
  • The Dark Arts - In a magical world, you must uncover the formula for a powerful spell before the Master of The Dark Arts returns and catches you.
  • Cluedo - Your team is trapped in the office of a large mansion and a killer is on the loose. Use your detective skills to narrow down the suspects and catch the killer before they finish you off.

There are two identical Cluedo rooms so larger groups can split into 2 teams, book both rooms and race to see who can escape first!


Yorkshire Activity Centre

There's a great range of exciting activities to try, across two sites at the Yorkshire Activity Centre.

Stock Photo © andy rogers via Flickr

Choose from:

  • Air Rifles
  • Archery
  • Axe Throwing
  • Crossbow
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting
  • Quad Biking

There's free parking and a café on-site. Stag / Hen Dos and corporate events are also welcome.


The Cat's Whiskers Cat Café

If you love cats then you won't be able to resist visiting The Cat's Whiskers cat café in York.

Stock Photo © leighklotz via Flickr

With more than 20 cats on the team, you certainly won't be short of feline company.

The menu contains a mouth-watering selection of sweet treats, handmade in a local bakery using locally sourced ingredients, served with a full range of coffees and teas.

The café is beautifully situated in a Grade II listed building with views of York Minster.


Agility York

With more than 30 obstacles including monkey bars, rings, slopes and a rope swing, Agility obstacle park is such fun that the adults wanted to have a go too!

Stock Photo © gstockstudio via Depositphotos

So Agility now has "After Hours" evening sessions where grown-ups can take on all the challenges that Agility has to offer, with help from the park's friendly coaches.

Once your session is over you can find refreshments in The Shack licensed bar and restaurant.

Packages are also available for adult team and group events including stags and hens.


The Red Goat Climbing Company

Red Goat is a bouldering venue in the heart of York that welcomes climbers of all abilities and experience levels.

Stock Photo © Daniel Bago via Flickr

If you haven't climbed before then you'll need to do a 45-60 minute induction session covering the basics of climbing safely. Once that's complete you'll be a signed-up member able to use the bouldering walls whenever you want.

You don't need a team or a climbing partner to go bouldering, just some chalk and a pair of climbing shoes, which you can hire from Red Goat.

When you've finished climbing, you can visit the Pizza Kitchen, for delicious artisan Italian-style pizzas made on the premises.


Ghost Quest

A walking puzzle game that will see you and your team exploring York and using strategy, creativity and logic to solve the clues.

Stock Photo © Allan Harris via Flickr

Each correct answer unlocks the next ghost story and the next stage of your quest.

It's a great way to get to know York, as playing the game makes you really look carefully at your surroundings.

The game works with your smartphone, so you can set your own pace and stop for coffee or lunch whenever you want. Playing the game usually takes about 2 hours plus any stops.

Teams of 2-8 people work best in Ghost Quest, and your purchase is valid for a whole year.


LockedIn Games York

Stock Photo © Sander van der Wel via Flickr

LockedIn Games is home to three themed escape rooms that will test your team's puzzle-solving skills to the limit:

  • The Boneyard Cemetery - A man is hanged at the gallows - but was he innocent? Uncover the truth before you become a victim too.
  • Rags to Riches - You've just inherited a great fortune with one catch - you only have an hour to find the money before the property is demolished.
  • Caught in the Act - It's your big moment and you're ready for your performance but you're locked in your dressing room. Can you escape and take the stage before it's too late?



As you can see, there are lots of fun things to do in York for adults, so whatever you choose to do, we hope you have a great time!


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