Visiting the Jorvik Viking Centre with kids

Erin stood near the entrance to the Jorvik Viking Centre in York

The O'Hallorans

The OHallorans

We’re made up of Lyndsey, John and Erin, who all love a new adventure. We try to get away as much as possible, especially during school holidays and variety is a must for us. That means staying anywhere from a luxury hotel to a hostel and it’s not often we go to the same place twice. 

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If you’re visiting the city of York as a family you’ll be glad to know there are lots of fun places to go. For those interested in history or archaeology, the Jorvik Viking Centre is a must-do attraction. Read on for tips for visiting the Jorvik Viking Centre with kids!

Address and contact information

The Jorvik Viking Centre is easy to get to from anywhere in York’s city centre. It’s close to 

Coppergate Shopping Centre,
19 Coppergate,

Phone number: +44 01904 615505

Opening times

The Jorvik Viking Centre is open most days from 10am until either 4pm or 5pm, depending on the time of year. 

Ticket prices

FREE admission for 12 months is included with tickets. It’s a good idea to book tickets in advance to ensure you can visit on the day of your choice. You may have to queue to get in if you haven’t booked a ticket. You can book online ahead of your visit.

Jorvik Pastport
*Child (5-16)£11.00£18.00
**Family 4£46.00£68.00
**Family 5£53.00£79.00
Under 5FreeFree

The Pastport includes entry to 4 different attractions; Jorvik, DIG, Barley Hall and the City Walls Experience. 

Visiting the Jorvik Viking Centre with kids

Discover 10th century York

The first thing you’ll do at the Jorvik Viking Centre is to ride back in time, on a time machine, to discover Viking life. The carriage seats 6 people, 3 in the front and 3 in the back so you might share with another family. Some families had the option to spread out though and have the carriage to themselves. 

A scene from 10th century York at Jorvik

As you go around, you’ll see streets from Viking-age York, which are based on results from an excavation on Coppergate. The dig site uncovered so many Viking artefacts, which helped archaeologists to find out more about the past. There are lots of animatronics, helping you to understand what life in York, people and animals would have been like in Viking York.

Discover how the Vikings would have lived in 10th-century York with a mix of audio information, and looking at the displays. Take in the sounds and smells around the Viking village, think about what the Viking age would have been like to live in and see if you can find anything similar to what we use now. The ride doesn’t take too long so it’s very family-friendly. 

A scene from 10th century York at Jorvik

Explore the artefact gallery

After you have finished on the ride, you will have the opportunity to explore the artefact gallery. During the dig on Coppergate, archaeologists discovered thousands of artefacts. 

Viking bones on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre

This area isn’t massive and you won’t spend too long here, unless you read every single piece of information. There are a few interactive elements, with touch screens, which are great for children. Also in this area, staff are around to talk about some of the items. 

Erin really enjoyed listening to someone talking about a range of artefacts, such as stones, coins and Viking poo! Depending on what you like looking at, the skeleton of Viking remains are really interesting, as not many of these have ever been found. There is also a world-famous sock, which is the only known example of historical nalebinding. 

Items on display in the artefact gallery at Jorvik

How long should you plan to spend at the Jorvik Viking Centre?

Without counting the half an hour in the queue, we spent around 1 hour here. This was plenty of time to go through the ride and then look around the artefact gallery. Erin sat and listened to a talk for a while before looking around the different displays. 

Useful information for families 

Something I always like to know when I visit somewhere like this is ‘are there any toilets?’ The short answer here is yes! There are toilets close to the main entrance just before you start the ride. You can also access the toilets easily through a door from the gallery. 

It can get quite busy during the school holidays, so booking a ticket online in advance is the best idea. This way you won’t have to queue for too long to get in. Children can end up getting bored in queues like this and no one wants that!

Books in the Jorvik gift shop

Overall thoughts

We had such a wonderful time and the whole experience was a good one. We didn’t know about the ride in advance so that was a nice surprise. This is a great attraction for children aged 4 or 5+, as it’s not somewhere you have to spend a long time. There are some fun items to buy in the shop too, such as small wooden instruments. If you’re visiting York and you can only squeeze in a few attractions in York, the Jorvik Viking Centre is one to put at the top of your list. It’s one of York’s best attractions for families. 

Other great things to do with kids in York:

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