A Weekend in York with Teens

We have recently returned from a weekend in York with our two teenagers, and as I did lots of research before we went, I thought it would be helpful putting it all into a blog post. We have stayed in York on several occasions, and this visit was a very special trip, as we were celebrating my husband turning 50. We had originally booked flights to the South of France, but due to covid, these were sadly cancelled.

I also looked into planning a party for him, and there are some fantastic venues you can hire with Square Meal UK, including private dining which I thought would be ideal for my foodie husband. In the end we decided on a 3 night trip to York, however I’ll definitely be exploring private venue hires for my 50th in just over a years time.

Where we stayed in York

I wanted somewhere that had the WOW factor with plenty of space for us all, so we booked our very first Airbnb. It was perfect for us as it had 4 bedrooms (1 more bedroom than we actually needed), fantastic open plan kitchen and entertaining space overlooking the private garden. It was located just outside the city walls, which gave us easy access on foot to all of the attractions in York, and despite being close to the city centre, the house was in a peaceful location.

Airbnb in York - 4 bedrooms

Airbnb in York

We had a beautiful master bedroom on the top floor, with a roll top bath in our en-suite. It certainly had the wow factor, and the house had a lovely homely feel. We paid just over £1100 for our 3 night stay, so not the cheapest, but we were staying during half term which always bumps up the cost.

Master bedroom

Roll top bath

What we did in York with teens

With any city trip I think you need to be organised, especially during these covid times where the majority of attractions need to be pre-booked. This was certainly the case in York, with many attractions sold out on the day. I had planned an itinerary about a month before we went, and everything went to plan. Here’s what we got up to in York with our teens.

JORVIK Viking Centre

We have visited the JORVIK Viking Centre when the kids were little, and this visit the husband and eldest teen were booked in (I got the delight of taking the younger teen shopping). They spent around an hour in the attraction, and the tickets were £12.50 per adult. The great news is that your ticket entitles you to free entry for 12 months, which makes it great value for money.

If you would like to know more about the Jorvik Viking Centre, Donna from What The Redhead Said has a full review of her visit on her blog.

YORVIK Viking Centre

The Potions Cauldron

The Potions Cauldron is located on the Shambles, and is a magical drinks emporium with a Harry Potter theme. I booked us in to make wizard potions on the Saturday afternoon, and adults have the option of adding a secret ingredient such as vodka, gin, whisky or rum. We had great fun doing this and it lasts around 20 minutes. Pre-booking is a must, and for the 4 of us it cost £24 and we made 4 drinks, 3 of which were alcoholic.

The Potions Cauldron in York

The Potions Cauldron

Ghost Bus Tour

After a day of walking around York it was a welcome relief to be sat on the Ghost Bus Tour, which sets off from outside York railway station. We were booked on the 7.30pm tour, which takes around 75 minutes. During the tour you are treated to gory stories all about the history of York. It was a fun way to see some of the city whilst sat on a traditional 1960s Routemaster bus. The cost of the tour was just under £60 for 3 adults and 1 child.

York Ghost Bus Tour

York Minster

On the Sunday it was time to visit York Minster. I had pre-booked for the 1pm slot and the price was £33 for 2 adults, 1 student and 1 child. Like the JORVIK Viking Centre, your ticket allows you to visit as many times as you want over the next 12 months. You are free to wander around the Minster and masks must be worn. We spent a lovely hour exploring the Minster, and even the teens were in awe of this magnificent building.

York Minster

Inside York Minster

York Minster

York Dungeon

York Dungeon was our final activity on the Sunday, and again I had pre-booked. The tickets should have been £75 but because I booked through the National Lottery days out incentive, they ended up costing only £8 for us all. As you can imagine we had great fun for that price, and as always the Dungeons deliver a great experience.

Where we ate in York with teens

The Ivy York

As we were celebrating my husband turning 50, I had booked The Ivy York for his celebration meal. This was our first Ivy visit, and what a great experience we all had. We had fantastic food, delicious cocktails, and we had a lovely evening in the company of our teens at The Ivy.

The Ivy in York

The Ivy in York

Main course at The Ivy

Lucia Italian Restaurant York

Lucia restaurant had been recommended by my lovely blogging friend Colette and her sister, over at Going on an Adventure. We booked in for a leisurely Sunday afternoon meal, and I was blown away by the quality of the food and service. My main of slow cooked beef shin with saffron risotto was amazing , and even now I’m still thinking about it. They really made my husband feel special, offering him complimentary prosecco at the start of our meal, and a complimentary cocktail at the end. Fantastic service Lucia.

Lucia in York

Mushroom starter at Lucia York

Main at Lucia Restaurant

Burgsy Burger Restaurant York

I chose Burgsy in York as my husband and teen are huge burger fans, and there were consistently good reviews for this independent family run business. We had a great evening, and yes the burgers certainly lived up to its reputation. Katie also had great fun toasting marshmallows and making s’mores for her dessert, which was a very reasonable £3.75 per person.

Burgsy Burger York

As you can see we had a fantastic 3 nights in York celebrating my husband turning 50, and I hope this post has given you some inspiration on visiting York with teens.

If you would like more inspiration for your York adventures, then Donna from What The Redhead Said recently visited the National Railway Museum, and you can read her review here. 


12 thoughts on “A Weekend in York with Teens”

  1. That all sounds fabulous! So glad you had such a wonderful time. We wandered past the Potions Cauldron during our trip to York last year. It looked like great fun. We’ll be sure to try it out next time, plus some of your other recommendations.

    • Thanks Hannah, it was such a great weekend and I’m so glad everything worked out in the end. Potions Cauldron was definitely something different to do, and even the teens thought it was good fun x

  2. We were in York at the summer and it was lovely. We didn’t do any of the things you mentioned, but we will definitely be back and will keep these in mind. Thanks for sharing and glad you had the best time xxx

    • Thank you Susan. Yes I remember you going to stay in York in a lovely lodge with hot tub. It really is a beautiful city to spend a few days x

  3. Ohh! Happy birthday to your husband. It sounds like a great weekend.
    I love the sound of the Potions Cauldron and it doesn’t sound that expensive. My eldest is going to York Dungeon on a college trip soon and can’t wait. x

    • Oh what a great place to go to on a college trip, I bet she will have a great time in the dungeon. Aw thank you, he had a lovely birthday and it was great to get away. Potions Cauldron was a great experience x

  4. It looks amazing and you really filled your time! It’s so important to book stuff in advance or you end up just drifting round aimlessly (I speak from experience there).
    I hope your husband enjoyed his special birthday trip. x

    • Aw thanks Sarah and yes we are definitely the same if we don’t make plans, the eldest teen especially likes a plan. We had a great weekend celebrating his special birthday x


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