DECORATING a Viking longboat is just one of the challenges being issued to children this half-term.

Friday sees the start of this year's Jorvik Viking Festival, which runs until February 22.

The Yorkshire Museum has invited children to come along during the festival and help decorate a Viking boat and create a huge patchwork sail.

Visitors will also be able to design their own shields and swords and meet Thorgrim, the museum's Viking hunter, who will tell tales of old Jorvik. The museum, where admission costs £4 for adults and £2.50 for concessions, is open between 10am and 5pm.

The streets of York will be buzzing with historic activity all week, including a traditional Viking wedding at Clifford's Tower, a Viking market at Barley Hall and a lesson in Viking battle tactics in Coppergate.

The festival will end in majestic style with the coronation of Erik Bloodaxe at York Minster.

Updated: 09:25 Wednesday, February 11, 2004