York Art Gallery is family-friendly and we aim to be as inclusive as possible.
There are activities, events and workshops available throughout the year. Please click on the links below for further information.
When visiting York Art Gallery
We have activity bags for families to purchase from our shop for £6.99. These reusable tote bags contain; coloured pencils, drawing pencil, illustrated activity guide, wooden kaleidoscope, colour paddles and a colourwheel interactive. Families can take them round the gallery with them to complete the activities and get to keep them at the end!
Activities to download, print and use on your visit;
Arts Heroes Fact Sheets
Help younger visitors to find out more about artists whose work is on display in the gallery, with activity suggestions to extend experience and research skills. Why not print out these sheets, bring them with you and use them on a family gallery visit? They can also be used in the classroom to support the delivery of Arts Award Discover, Explore or Bronze.
Sir Anthony van Dyck (please note there are currently no works by Sir Anthony van Dyck on display)
Explore York Art Gallery Worksheet
This activity, although developed to support schools delivering Arts Award Explore or Bronze, can be used by families on their visit to help younger visitors find out about what the gallery does as an arts organisation, enabling room to write and draw. Download it here.
At York Art Gallery, we actively encourage curiosity, creativity and getting hands on. Pre-print any, or all of the below to use as part of your visit to get things started. Just try not to forget them-or your pencil! We suggest you also bring your colour pencils too if you have them. It’s good to live life in colour. Unfortunately felt tips are discouraged as we have to take extra care of our collections, so pencils are preferred.
York Art Gallery colouring page
York Art Gallery how to fold a Zine instructions
York Art Gallery Colour Zine
York Art Gallery Black and White Zine
Facilities for Families
- Fully accessible indoor and outdoor spaces (please find details here)
- Online events listings so you can plan ahead
- Baby changing facilities in the accessible toilets on both the ground and first floor
- Spacious lockers for visitors to use on the first-floor
The Studio is a practical workshop space where you can get hands on with art materials under the gentle guidance of our trained staff. You can check whether the Studio will be open on any particular day on our Events page or by contacting us.
We want everyone to feel welcome and inspired by the gallery. We offer opportunities for older children and teenagers to get involved and discover their creative abilities.
- Older children with an interest in art will find plenty of opportunities to engage with our exhibitions and collections, from our Vanitas drawing unit to our digital interactives (currently closed due to COVID-19 regulations).
- Teenage Art School – held annually during the summer, the art school offers young people aged 11 to 17 the chance to work with artists to create their own work and exhibition.Find out more and book here.
Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award 2016
York Art Gallery were awarded the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award for 2016. Kids in Museums is an independent charity, working UK-wide to support museums to better welcome and include children, young people and families – in particular those who haven’t visited before.
Dea Birkett, Creative Director of Kids in Museums, said:
“We’re thrilled to announce York Art Gallery as the winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award. It was a tough year – with a ten-strong shortlist – so to shine out to families and children as the most welcoming is a great achievement.
“Our undercover family judges were particularly impressed at how the gallery aimed to make all ages feel welcome – from tiny babies to teenagers. There’s no typical family, so museums need to include all of them, whatever ages, whatever sizes. York Art Gallery excels at this.”
- Staff health and wellbeing shown to be at the heart of York Museums Trust. All staff to benefit from a week’s holiday in early January and encouraged to rest and recuperate
- York Art Gallery selected as finalists for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Visit York Awards 2022
- W.A. Ismay’s remarkable ceramics collection to go on display in new exhibition at York Art Gallery’s Centre of Ceramic Art
- Young Gainsborough: Rediscovered Landscape Drawings - Twenty-five recently attributed Gainsborough drawings go on show for the first time alongside major works
- Clay, Peat and Cage - UK premiere of work by Yorkshire-based artists at York Art Gallery