Things to do

As February arrives, bringing with it romance and valentines there is also an abundance of amazing events that will make you fall in love with God’s Own County.

Dark Skies Festival 2018

For 17 days of stunning discovery head over to two of Yorkshire’s three National Parks. The North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales have teamed up to hold their third annual Dark Skies Festival from 9 to 25 February and it promises to be another stellar event.

Thanks to limited light pollution, National Parks remain some of the darkest places in the country, offering unrivalled views of the cosmos that are sure to take your breath away.

Working with local astronomy clubs and other star loving organisations, this event has something for everyone and will help visitors to discover the wonders of the night skies.

34th JORVIK Viking Festival

Invasion: The Dawn of Viking York

The annual JORVIK Viking Festival in York is a city-wide celebration of the area’s Norse heritage and is recognised as the largest event of its kind in Europe.

This year transports York back to AD 866 for a week-long commemoration of a seminal moment in British history, the arrival and conquest of England by the Great Viking Army in AD 866.

Between 12 and 18 February there will be an exciting programme of events that will explore the impact of the Viking invasion on Anglo-Saxon England with walks, tours and of course, dramatic combat performances.

BANFF Mountain Film Festival 2018

The world’s most prestigious mountain film festival is making its way into Leeds this month showing off an extraordinary collection of short films following the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers.

This year offers two evenings that promise to ignite your passion for adventure, action and travel with amazing footage of adrenaline packed action sports and inspirational thought-provoking pieces shot all over the globe.

Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb

The city of Wakefield is part of the Rhubarb Triangle, an area of West Yorkshire that has grown the best quality forced rhubarb for hundreds of years. It is so good in fact, that Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb has received protected name status alongside other famous delicacies such as Parma Ham and Champagne.

Every February, rhubarb becomes the ‘stalk’ of the town as the city comes alive with a vibrant celebration of the pink vegetable.

There will be demonstrations going on inside the cosy marquee, where superbly talented chefs will be creating delectable rhubarb dishes and lively street entertainment and guided walks will further provide the recipe for a wonderful day out for all the family.


Watch the extinct come back to life this February half term at the Tropical Butterfly House, Sheffield.

As part of the normal admission price, visitors will be able to meet a T-Rex, an impressive animatronic dinosaur, as well as an adorable baby Triceratops. They can follow the dinosaur trail, take a free tractor trailer ride (watch out for escaped dinosaurs!), take part in dinosaur crafts and games, and get involved in a full day of animal encounters.

This is a day that of dinosaur delights that is sure to have little ones roaring with excitement.

Tim Peake’s Spacecraft

On 15 December 2015, Major Tim Peake embarked on the Principia mission to the International Space Station, where he spent six months orbiting Earth. You can come face-to-face with the historic piece of engineering that transported him safely back to Earth.

On 18 June 2016 he returned to Earth in the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module, which is on display at the National Railway Museum, York, until 8 March 2018.

Ages 13+ can also enjoy Space Descent VR, an out-of-this-world virtual reality experience narrated by Tim Peake himself. Use Samsung Gear VR to enjoy a 360⁰ look inside the Soyuz capsule and experience the thrill of being an astronaut as you retrace Tim’s 400km journey back to Earth from the ISS.

Ilkley Beer Festival

Supported by the Ilkley Round Table and raising money for a host of local causes, the Ilkley Beer Festival will once again take place – for the 11th year – from the Kings Hall. The event always sees thousands of real ale aficionados descend upon the market town to try out new and excited beers brewed around Yorkshire.  

25th Paul Roggeman European Open Beach Championships

The European Open Beach Championship is an annual three day beach fishing competition held on the East Riding of Yorkshire Coast. Named after the late Paul Roggeman, the competition casts off on the Friday with the Flattie Bash, a measure and return event, and the main championship is held on the Saturday and Sunday. Prizes are awarded each day and overall for the Saturday and Sunday. There are also options to enter as pairs and in teams of four for separate competitions.

Electric Spring Festival

A five-day exploration of electronic music takes place at the university on an annual basis. This year all the concerts are free and take place in the Phipps Hall from 7.30pm each evening.

Bradford Beer Festival

Bradford Beer Festival will be returning to the famous Victoria Hall, Saltaire for the 21st successive year. With over 130 beers, 20 ciders, perries & fruit wines plus a wide selection of draught and bottled international beers, there is guaranteed to be something for every taste.  In addition, there will be hot and cold food at all sessions, great live entertainment, the beer festival’s famous tombola and several stalls.

The Big Picture

Fifteen young writers from Grimm and Co in Rotherham will see their stories brought to life on the big screen this month (February 24). The Big Picture, which celebrates the young people’s scripts, will take place at a special event at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield.