What’s on?

The Park opening times: the park is open by 8am (9am at weekends), and closes at dusk. In the winter, the park closes at 3.45pm. The cafe is normally open from 9am, and closes by 4.30pm (sometimes earlier).

The park is managed by the council. During office hours, you can contact them on the main council number: 01904 551550. The out-of-hours contact number is 01904 625751.

Friends activities

Friends’ meetings for 2019 are January 17th, April 11th, June 13th and October 17th (AGM). Meetings start at 7pm at the Park cafe. During the winter, when the park is closed by 7pm, entry will be via Richardson St, where the gates will be open from 6.50pm to 7pm; if you arrive after this time, phone the cafe (01904 551489) for entry.

In previous years, the Friends have organised the Birthday Party (aka Summer Fair =  stalls run by community groups, food stalls, music activities and entertainments), on the second weekend in July. However, in 2016, the Party was so successful and well-attended, we realised that any future events of this nature needed to be supported with a much larger organising team, and a substantial investment in practical items such as portaloos, PA system and security guards. Hence the Friends don’t anticipate running the Birthday Party over the next couple of years (although another group may wish to step forward with an offer?); we do have our eye on 2021 (the park’s centenary) though. Please contact us here, or via the Facebook site if you wish to offer your help in organising the centenary party.

Friends events for 2019

Volunteer Gardening-  every Tuesday (weather permitting), from 9.30 to 11.30 (followed by a cuppa!) and often on Saturday mornings. For more gardening information, please email gardening@rowntreepark.org.uk

Informal summer-time music sessions are being co-ordinated by Caroline music@rowntreepark.org.uk. Last year, the ukeleles got rained off (twice!), but we had groups and bands of all sorts, children’s groups, and a choir, so after a such a successful first summer, we’re interested in all sorts of music for this year; if it’s suitable for all, and suitable for outdoors, please get in touch with your musical offering.

Crafting Mondays – Monday afternoons host a craft session for adults interested in knitting/crochet.  The meet up is 1-3pm in the cafe.  The current project is ‘Tree Leaves’ with HippyStitch for an art installation in the park.

The Friends are curating a series of exhibitions by local artists, in the Reading Cafe. So far in 2019, we have had:

  • Jan- May: Mister Dills – Quirky illustrations of the park
  • May- June: Elliot Harrison – Images of York places and spaces
  • July-August: Brian Hughes – photographs of wildlife, many taken in the park

Contact art@rowntreepark.org.uk for more information. Preference will be given to members of the Friends.

The Very Young Friends (0-5-year-olds and their parents/carers) meet the first Thursday of each month 10am-11.30am at the log circle in the woods (omitting August).

 Events for 2019 

Please see Facebook for up-to-date events and details on our events.  The events in Italics are run by outsider providers, so please contact them for further details.

Date Event Extra Info
Thursday 6th June The Very Young Friends Meetup 10-11am 10-11am

Meet at the Story circle in the woods for forest school style activities. (Free to members and £1 otherwise – no booking required)

Sunday 9th June Family Wildlife Day 12pm-3pm
Sunday June 16th LIVE MUSIC

Little Sing, Andy Nath

Sat 29th and Sun 30th June Scarecrow Trail Weekend 10-4pm
Sat 29th June York College Music showcase – Summer Sounds (Theatre area) PM
Sunday 30th June LIVE MUSIC

Jonny and the Longwaves

Thursday 4th July The Very Young Friends Meet up  (1-5 year olds) 10-11am

Meet at the Story circle in the woods for forest school style activities.

(Free to members and £1 otherwise – no booking required)

Saturday 6th July York Baptist Church summer event 1-5pm TBC
Sunday 7th July LIVE MUSIC

Ukelele Sunshine Band

Saturday  13th July LIVE MUSIC

Generation Groove

Sunday 14th July LIVE MUSIC

Leather O’

20th July Irish Association Family Day (To meet others from the Irish community in York)
Sunday July 21st LIVE MUSIC

Paula Ryan

Havin’ the Craic



Saturday 27th July LIVE MUSIC

String Quartet

Sunday 28th July 28th LIVE MUSIC

Ken Stamper Band

Sunday 4th August   LIVE MUSIC

Zagreb – gypsy  and Balkan music

Thurs 5th August The Very Young Friends meet up 10-11am

Meet at the Story circle in the woods for forest school style activities.

(Free to members and £1 otherwise – no booking required)

30th July – 3rd Aug Lord of Misrule (theatre production)

University of York

Saturday 17th August LIVE MUSIC

Tenko Drummers

Sunday 25th August LIVE MUSIC

Pen and Stu


Sunday 1st Sept LIVE MUSIC

Sax Forte – saxophone group

Sunday1st Sept Festival of Cycling TBC
Saturday 7th Sept Pond Dipping  (Young Friends) TBC
Sunday 8th September Rachel Davies PM
15th Sept Norweigian Band
21st Sept Den Building (Young Friends) TBC
Sunday Sept 15th LIVE MUSIC

Norwegian Band

Saturday 17th August LIVE MUSIC

Tenko Drummers

Sunday 25th August LIVE MUSIC

Pen and Stu


Thurs 3rd Oct The Very Young Friends Meet up 10-11am

Meet at the Story circle in the woods for forest school style activities.

(Free to members and £1 otherwise – no booking required)

19th Oct Autumn Art (Young Friends) TBC
26th Oct Spooky Saturday (Young Friends) TBC
28th Oct Autumn Art (Young Friends) TBC
Fri 1st and Sa 2nd Nov Autumn Lights  

(Fireworks event – ticketed)

TBC (Evening)
Thurs 7th Nov The Very Young Friends Meet up 10-11am

Meet at the Story circle in the woods for forest school style activities.

(Free to members and £1 otherwise – no booking required)

Saturday 1st  December Wreath Making (adults)

Children’s Christmas Crafts (Young Friends)


If you’d like to run an event in conjunction with us please feel free to drop us a line:membership@rowntreepark.org.uk       For music specifically – music@rowntreepark.org.uk

Other Groups
Rowntree Park tennis club
is a private club that manages the tennis courts, and that welcomes new members. The club now offers an on-line booking system, which lets the public book and pay for the courts. There is also a local tennis league which players can join.  There ar a number of sessions for adults and children that you can book onto.

Run York
have a regular Thursday evening meet-up at the Millennium Bridge corner of the park, using 3k, 2k and 1k routes which are described on a notice at the meet-up point.

Ready Steady Mums – are a group of parents who meet each Monday at 10am at the Butcher Terrace Gates.  They walk, chat and then get coffee!

There is a permanent orienteering course set up in the park by Eborienteers.  Maps can be borrowed from the cafe or you can download the maps for the three routes here

Other groups in the park

York Volleyball Club run an open session on Thursday evenings during the summer, either in Butcher Terrace Field or just outside the park, near Millennium Bridge.

Nordic walkers also use the park as their starting and finishing point on Mondays and Fridays.

This is just for information; the Friends do not endorse (or otherwise!) these activities.

Please contact Make it York to find out about running an event in the Park that is not linked to the Friends of Rowntree Park (though we’d love to run events in conjunction with other groups, where possible and we appreciate knowing of any events you plan so we can help publicise and spread the word!)

In previous years, the Friends have run a variety of events and activities:

  • Very Young Friends monthly meet ups
  • Regular gardening sessions
  • ‘King of the Birds’ woodland trail with artist Gerard Hobson
  • Spring Plant Sale
  • Clothes swop (recycling)
  • An International Picnic in conjunction with YUMI
  • Rock painting session
  • A half-term Rock hunt
  • Halloween activities (Spooky Saturday and a craft morning)
  • Christmas Wreath Making
  • Artist’s workshops
  • A festive story-telling session for children
  • “Decorate a tree for Christmas” activity through December

19 Comments on “What’s on?”

  1. Ann Harris says:

    Could you add the times to your events please.

  2. cathmortimer says:

    Hi Ann, I’ve put in the times for the Friends’ events, and links or contacts for on-going events/activities which other groups organise. ‘This year’s events’ is the list as provided by Liz Topi, CYC, so you can get more information via the contacts for each event, or via Liz herself (01904 554253). Hope this helps.

  3. john jones says:

    What have you got planned to celebrate the Queens Jubilee?

    • cathmortimer says:

      Hi John – The Friends have not got anything specific planned for the Jubilee, although the Very Young Friends will be out and about, as usual on Tuesday the 5th, and the Shakespeare production runs until the 5th. We’re just hoping the weather will be splendid; have a fantastic extended weekend.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Hello. I was just wondering if the miniature golf is still running on the weekends? Thank you

  5. David says:

    Hi Cath,
    Just wanted to thank you for organising the Christmas craft sessions run by Liz Collier which we thought were a great success and lots of fun. My daughter and her friends had such a lovely time and our christmas decorations took centre stage on our tree! Just wondered if there were any plans to repeat the events – perhaps with an on-going seasonal theme?
    Many thanks and a very happy new year to all FORP!

    • cathmortimer says:

      Hi there, so glad you all had a good time at the workshops. We would love to do more, but we cannot justify the expenditure – we were rather under-subscribed. We will certainly be looking for other opportunities like this, perhaps at school holiday time, rather than Saturday mornings. All the best for the new year.

  6. Gemma Holloway says:

    I was wondering if you know if it would be possible to get married in the park. A humanist ceremony ?
    Just think it would be a unquie place to hold a wedding .

    • cathmortimer says:

      That sounds lovely, and I know that other people have asked this, but I’m not sure what the answer was! And I’m not sure you can legally get married outdoors yet, although it has been discussed. You’ll need to contact the council 551550 and ask for what used to be the Parks and Open Spaces team – I think they have a different title now. Good luck!

  7. Gemma Holloway says:

    I will let you what they say .

  8. stephanie says:

    Hi is the park open on easter Sunday
    Please let ne know

  9. Angela Adams says:

    Summer fair

    • cathmortimer says:

      Hi Angela, the Birthday Party is our Summer Fair, this year on July 16th. Friends’ meetings dates are on this page in brief, with more information on our Newsletters (see Newsletters tab), when events get nearer.

  10. Charlotte says:

    Hi, any details on what time pramtastic starts?

  11. DCN says:

    Can’t find info re music 2-4 tomorrow 24th music jazz in Pk except on Fb. So can’t forward to none Fb friend! Is it on? Can you pop a copyable link here or even better to czecho30@hotmail.com thanks DCN

    • cathmortimer says:

      Hi there, so much going on, we’re finding it hard to keep up! Sorry! Just posted this on Twitter:

      Nerves can’t stand watching the match? Chill out with some music instead: White Sail at 12 to 1.30 (by café) Sax Forte at 2-4 (by café or in picnic area). Bring a seat for maximum comfort

      I can’t work out if Sax Forte are going to by the cafe or in the picnic garden – but I guess that you’ll be able to track them down!

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