Museum Monkeys - Activities for Under 5's at York Museums Trust

Museum Monkeys: Under 5s Activities

York Museums Trust provides a range of activities and events for children under 5 to help them engage with the collections and exhibitions.

We currently offer two types of Museum Monkeys sessions – Museum Baby for under 2s and Early Years Explorers for ages 2-5. All sessions run during local school term times.

Sessions are now FREE! Museum admission applies for adults. (Free admission for under 5s) Booking Essential

Get 12 months unlimited access to York Art Gallery, York Castle Museum and Yorkshire Museum with a YMT Card.

Sessions run term time only.

Early Year Explorers (2-5 years old)

10.00am – 11.00am on Thursdays

Activities for children aged two to five years old which include songs, stories, games and craft activities. Sessions are based on familiar preschool play areas, which are enhanced to help children learn about the museum’ collections and exhibitions through play. Sessions are a mixture of free flow and adult led activities which all relate to the Early Years curriculum.

Early Year Explorers / York Art Gallery


16th January

Make a bark rubbing & play with the bark textured blocks.


23rd January

Discover the different texture cloth, play with rag dolls and make a den with the fabrics.

Fur & Feathers

30th January

Make a parrot with feathers, play in the fur feely area and make a feather collage. 


6th February

Make a thumb pot, paint with clay slip & listen to the story of the clay boy.


13th February

Decorate paper dolls with paper collage & listen to the paper story.



Museum Baby (under 2 years old)

10:00am – 11:00am on Fridays

Special baby sessions linked to exhibitions, including storytelling, songs and sensory activities for babies and their carers. Sessions are a mixture of free flow and adult led activities which all relate to the Early Years curriculum. A perfect introduction to museums!

Museum Babies / Yorkshire Museum

Museum Baby

Yorkshire Museum


17th January

Play with the Viking ship in the water and play with the wooden Viking shield.


24th January

Find Medusa’s eye in the ball pool & ancient Greek dress up.

Flowers and Fairies

31st January

Decorate a flower Fairy and investigate the flower toys.

Treasure Hunt

7th February

Use the metal detector to find treasure in the sand.


14th February

Look at the planets in the dark den and play with the inflatable planets.


How to Book

Please book sessions using our Eventbrite page, follow this link:

Booking is essential for Museum Monkeys. Please remove your bookings if you cannot make the session to allow others to attend. York Museums Trust reserve the right to cancel any events if there are insufficient bookings.

Upcoming Sessions

Click here to visit our Events section and select ‘under 5s’ in the category list, or select the link below to download a document listing our upcoming sessions.



Our sessions are now FREE! (Museum admission applies for adults, free entry with a YMT Card.)

The YMT Card gives 12 months of unlimited access to all of York Museums Trust’s attractions – York Art Gallery, York Castle Museum and the Yorkshire Museum – plus other benefits for just £25. An Access YMT Card is also available for anyone aged 17-24 or in receipt of benefits. Click here to find out more.



York Castle Museum, York Art Gallery and the Yorkshire Museum have baby changing facilities and disabled access toilets. There are accessible cafés at York Castle Museum and York Art Gallery.


More information

Museum Monkeys Risk Assessment