There truly is something for everyone in this year's York Residents' Festival, reports MAXINE GORDON

WHETHER you want to whizz round a race track pretending to be Lewis Hamilton, travel back in time to the age of the Vikings, or enjoy a river cruise on the Ouse, this year's Residents' Festival is packed with fun ideas for all the family.

Now in its 24th year, the festival will run next weekend from Saturday, January 26 to Sunday, January 27, with a programme packed with more than 100 attractions, events and offers – all available to local people with a valid York Card or Student ID.

The aim of the festival is to say a big "thank you" to the people of York for the warm welcome they give to visitors every year.

And it gives locals a chance to visit many of York's main attractions for free, alongside many discount offers too in shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.

To date, more than 300,000 free visits have been carried out since the Residents Festival launched.

You can get a York Card (£6 for adults, free for young people up to 18) at York Explore.

Here's a flavour of just some of the events and offers available next weekend. Have fun!

For the foodies

You will be spoilt for choice by the feast of offers available during the weekend, from complimentary drinks to two-for-one dining discounts at a range of restaurants and cafes in York including Turtle Bay, Bettys, Carluccio's and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. For the full list check out:

For the petrolheads

Make tracks for York MotorSport Village for some wheely good fun:

F3 Racing (ages 4-7) 10am-12pm: free ten-minute drive experience.

F2 Racing (ages 8-12) 12pm-4pm: £5pp (15 lap timed practice; maximum track time ten minutes).

F1 Racing (13+ years) 4pm-6.30pm: £5pp (15 lap timed practice; maximum track time ten minutes).

F1 R-Factor Racing Simulator (10+ years) 10am-6pm: £5 (ten-minute session).

Katherine Avenue, Monks Cross, York, YO32 9JS (

Pre-booking is required together with payment where applicable.

Sunday at selected times (see above)

For the chocoholics

Find out all about York's history as a chocolate city on a free tour of York's Chocolate Story, available at 9am, 9.15am, 9.30am, 9.45am and 10am on both Saturday and Sunday. Discover how chocolate made history and played its part in York. Pre-booking is not required.

York's Chocolate Story, Kings Square, York, YO1 7LD (

Saturday and Sunday

For art and music lovers

Check out the new exhibition at York Art Gallery, where sound and art come together in When All is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs in Conversation with York Art Gallery. Pre-booking is not required.

York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EW (

Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm

For the flexible

Come and try a hot yoga sessions at York Yogabomb with a range of classes available over the weekend. Pre-bookings required via email (

Yogabomb, 6 Bootham Terrace, York, YO30 7DH (

Saturday 8am-4.30pm and Sunday 9am-8.30pm


For the fearless

Witness at first hand the darker side of York’s history for free, from noon onwards at York Dungeon. Be prepared to meet Vikings, Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin and more. And be on your guard for things that go bump in the dark! Pre-booking is not required.

York Dungeon, 12 Clifford Street, York, YO1 9RD (

Saturday to Wednesday, January 30, noon-5pm

For nature lovers

Explore the green heart of York in a free guided tours of the 24-acre St Nicks Environment Centre and Nature Reserve, starting at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. There will be lots of family-friendly activities too, including a treasure hunt, crafts sale and refreshments as well as information on "green living" and volunteering. Pre-booking is not required

St Nicks Environment Centre & Nature Reserve, Rawdon Avenue, York, YO10 3ST (

Saturday noon-4pm

Also, the RSPB will be based at York Cemetery teaching you how to recognise our feathered friends and how to make a bird feeder from cones, seed and lard – ideal for children. Pre-booking is not required. Meanwhile, Friends of York Cemetery will open the Pritchett Chapel at York Cemetery and be offering history and garden walks, catacomb tours and grave searches.

York Cemetery, Cemetery Road, York ( )

Sunday, 10am-4pm

For river lovers

See York from a totally different viewpoint as you sit back, relax and enjoy a 30-minute York City Cruise and listen to the captain’s live commentary. Pre-booking is not required.

City Cruises York, sailing from King’s Staith or Lendal Bridge (

Saturday and Sunday, departure times at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm.

For the energetic

Energi Tramploline Park at Nether Poppleton is jumping into the Residents' Festival for the first time, offering free one-hour sessions at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27. Available on a first-served basis, pre-booking not required (walk-ins only). Limited spaces will be available and Energi Trampoline socks must be worn (can be purchased for £1 on the night).

Energi Trampoline Park, Rose Avenue, York Business Park. York YO26 6RU (

Saturday and Sunday 5pm, 6pm,7pm

For time travellers

Journey back to the time of Viking York and take in the sights, sounds and smells of 10th-century Jorvik. Try out the new ride and check out the updated galleries full of fascinating artefacts. York residents can visit free of charge from 1pm onwards with proof of residency. A great way to visit one of the city's best-loved attractions for free. Pre-booking is not available.

Jorvik Viking Centre, Coppergate, YO1 9WT (

Saturday and Sunday from 1pm.

For the full programme check out the website: