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)

10.00am – 11.00am on Thursdays

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


12th September

Play with traditional toys, look at toys from the collection and make a sock puppet toy.

Emergency Services

19th September

Play with the emergency service cars, find the toys that Burglar Bill has stolen and make a burglar mask.


26th September

Make the water wheel turn, play with flour to make gloop and make a wind mill.


3rd October

Build a castle, dress as a knight and make a shield.

Victorian & Edwardian Entertainment

10th October

Play with the Punch and Judy set and make a cardboard model of an Edwardian beach hut.

Museum Baby (under 2s)

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!

Seasons & Weather

13th September

Play the weather game, paint a rainbow and make the ducks splash in the water.


20th September

Make a Roman arch way and dress up as a Roman Solider.

Minibeasts & Gardens

27th September

Find the minibeasts in the sand and help the squirrel find the acorns.


4th October

Make a prehistoric cave painting, dress up as cave people, and hunt the wild animals.


11th October

 Wrap the mummy, build a pyramid and listen to the story of Egyptians.



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

Please Note: If you are unable to attend please cancel your booking to allow others to participate.

Upcoming Sessions

Click here to visit our Events section and select ‘Early Years & Families’ in the category list, or select the link below to download a document listing our upcoming sessions.


Museum Monkeys May 2019

Museum Monkeys June 2019



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.

Click here to book on our Eventbrite page.



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