York castle museum – Step back in time, family day out

York castle museum is consistently one of the best things to do in York according to TripAdvisor. I was especially keen to take Jamie not just for that reason but because there’s so much to see and do there. The museum is open most days from 9:30am-5pm. We were there for approximately two hours. We paid £9.09 (without gift aid) for an adult and Jamie was free to enter. (children under 16 are free with a paying adult). This is my review of our visit to the York Castle Museum

Review York Castle Museum

There is a café onsite serving homemade cakes, sandwiches, hot lunches, snacks, hot and cold drinks and children’s sandwich boxes. We stopped off before we left for a refreshing rose lemonade.

York castle museum - Step back in time, family day out

We started to the left of the reception desk and followed the signs to Toy stories and Kirkgate the Victorian street. The first displays are various rooms laid out how they would have looked many years ago. Jamie was especially interested to look at these and was asking lots of questions about the rooms. He also caught a glimpse of the Victorian street through a window and wanted to be there asap.

York castle museum - Step back in time, family day out

Toy stories didn’t really capture his attention as much as Mum and I’s. It was lovely looking at the different bedrooms with old familiar toys. In this area, there is a small play area for younger kids. There’s a rocking horse that smaller and careful children are allowed on, a castle and a play mat with cars. Plus other toys and books. We spent quite a while here chilling while Jamie played. He clearly wanted to find this street he’d spotted though so on we went.

The Victorian street was my main reason for bringing him. It’s so incredibly authentic. They have people walking around in Victorian dress and ‘working’ in the shops too. There’s authentic sounds playing and back alleys and shops to wander in and down. Jamie was especially taken by the horse and cart and must have taken about 10 photos of it. He had great fun locking both Mum and myself in the Victorian police cell but refused to go in himself, no matter how much we told him he wouldn’t really get locked in.

York castle museum - Step back in time, family day out

Over on the other side of the café, you enter a series of exhibitions focusing on World War One. Living in Lincolnshire I’m very used to seeing exhibits for World war two so it made for a very interesting change to be seeing exhibits for WWI. There is a large map of the world and how it looked in 1914. Plus a tunnel to run through….and bash your head badly and get very upset about for a few minutes. Jamie can be very accident prone! There are quite a few other exhibits but to be honest we just weren’t allowed to stand still long enough to read them all.

There is also a 1960’s exhibition. This is also set out like a street. Jamie loved looking at the Vespa and wandering about. Mum was very nostalgic. We found our visit very quiet to the museum. We didn’t see anyone at all in this part while we were in there.

The final part of our visit was down in the prison. It reminded me a little of the prison in Lincoln castle as most of the cells had films playing on the walls. The films were actors portraying prisoners and their stories. It was rather spooky and Jamie loved going from cell to cell. It felt rather haunting being down there.

I truly hope Jamie learnt something from his visit. The exhibitions are very interesting and varied. He enjoyed exploring and wanted to know what there was still left to see when actually we’d seen everything. He clearly didn’t want to leave.

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If you enjoyed my blog review please comment below, or like or share over on social media. You can also pin this post for later over at Pinterest. Just click on the photo below to take you over to Pinterest. For more days out ideas in York please check out – National railway museum York and 30 hours in York – Just how much can you do with kids.

York castle museum - Step back in time, family day out

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