Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in York, NE

  • Published 2023/04/11

Established in 1869, the city of York, Nebraska, draws customers from nearby towns.

York is home to plenty of fun, relaxing, and unique attractions to satisfy people’s preferences.

Whether you want to play, explore, relax, or shop, York might have the destination to give you what you’re looking for.

Here are the best things to do in York, NE:

Browse Lee’s Legendary Marbles & Collectibles

This peculiar museum at South Lincoln Avenue pins the spotlight on a childhood staple—marbles!

What started as a simple personal collection in 1954 transformed into a public museum for Lee Batterton, who founded the venue in 2001.

See jars filled with marbles of different colors and sizes on wooden shelves, tables, and display cabinets.

Besides marbles, you’ll also find other collectibles like cars, vases, and toys.

It’s a charming place where you can relive your childhood.

You can also purchase a few marbles as souvenirs.

The common ones are inexpensive, but there are also rare items on sale for collectors.

Bring Your Kids to the York Area Children’s Museum

The York Area Children’s Museum is a fun, creative destination that can bring smiles to the little ones.

Just pay a dollar to see costumes, toys, interactive games, and even a slide.

Let your kids play make-believe and explore some of the museum’s colorful masterpieces, like its ocean-inspired wall and a painted pond-like floor area.

There are also mini facilities like the animal clinic, treehouse, general store, and blue truck for an immersive role-playing experience.

Kids will surely enjoy the offerings at York Area Children’s Museum.

Enjoy the York Community Center

York’s local community center is a prime recreation destination.

Both kids and adults can enjoy tailored facilities.

The community center houses a gym, weight room, and basketball courts that are great for active guests.

For kids, the center’s recently added fun city includes a giant ball pit, sand table, music rooms, and art boards.

A public swimming pool and a hot tub allow leisure water recreation in York Community Center.

Explore the Clayton Museum of Ancient History

This museum at Mayhew Avenue has two central themes: religious faith and ancient history.

The museum began with its founder’s fascination with collecting Bible-related artifacts.

He donated his collection to the museum because he wanted to share his findings with the public.

As a result, you’ll find authentic manuscripts like the 1599 Geneva Bible and the 1612 King James Bible.

The other side of the museum highlights ancient history.

Check out exhibits about Rome and Mesopotamia, with detailed guides and historical summaries.

You can also find replicas of old homes, tools, and equipment.

The museum also recently opened an interactive mini kingdom for children, decorated in the style and decor of ancient Rome.

Watch Local Talents at Yorkshire Playhouse

The Yorkshire Playhouse is a small community theater that stages classic performances featuring local talents.

Some of their past productions include Charlotte’s Web, Little Women, and Murder on the Orient Express.

The shows in Yorkshire Playhouse feature modern and classical plays to musicals and original works.

It also gives you a glimpse of the local talents in York.

Actors and actresses volunteer their time for a chance to showcase their craft before an audience.

Alongside great seats, available snacks, and a cozy atmosphere, seeing a show in this local venue is well worth your time.

Cool Off at the York Family Aquatic Center

This local center is one of York’s top destinations for the summer.

In 2005, York Family Aquatic Center added several water-related amenities for its guests.

It features a mix of fun facilities, including a 50-meter lap pool, water slides, deck geysers, and a zero-depth area with water sprays.

They also have a concession stand selling nachos, pretzels, candy, and a mix of frozen treats and bottled beverages.

Head to York Family Aquatic Center if you need a break from the hot weather!

Explore Wessels Living History Farm

In Wessels Living History Farm, you’ll experience farm life yourself by actively joining farm operations.

Whether you want to pluck some fruits, rake fallen leaves, gather eggs, or use their old-fashioned machines, the Wessels Living History Farm lets you experience authentic farm life.

The farm started with David Wessels, a man who just wanted to live a simple life as a Nebraska farmer.

As you experience the lives of a 20th-century farmer, you’ll discover why farm life was so important to David Wessels.

It’s no wonder they’ve won several awards since 2009!

Skate at York Skating Rink

York Skating Rink is a flashback to one of the coolest hangouts in the past: skating!

Skate under vibrant, colorful lights while listening to groovy disco music.

You can also play classic limbo and have a friendly race with people in the area.

You can rent roller skates and walking tools to help if you’re a beginner.

York Skating Rink offers a great way to keep the skating tradition alive.

Shop at Mr. Dukes Mercantile

This local store features assorted items from rare finds and common trinkets to vintage items and brand-new products.

Mr. Dukes Mercantile has no strict theme for the things they have on display.

Browsing the shelves for rare antiques can be calming and exciting.

If all you’re looking for are great finds, Mr. Dukes Mercantile has plenty of household items you might enjoy.

You can buy essential oils, lanterns, clothes, and gifts.

See a Movie at Sun Theatre

Sun Theatre presents a premium way of seeing movies in York.

With comfortable seats, a high-tech sound system, and a cool temperature, Sun Theatre is a lovely place to catch the latest blockbusters.

It also has a concession stand, selling beverages and bite-sized snacks like popcorn and candy.

Every Tuesday, Sun Theatre offers discounted deals for movie tickets, which is great for travelers on a budget.

Cheer for Your Team at Levitt Stadium

If you’re not sure what to do, why not watch a live casual football game?

Levitt Stadium holds all the necessities to catch a football game.

Spend some of your free time at the stadium.

Enjoy its bleachers, sound systems, and basic concession stands.

Most games are between high school and college football teams, so it’s a simple way to get a feel for the local sports scene in York.

There’s also a nearby playground for little kids to enjoy.

Show Off Your Creativity at Dragonfly Studios

Dragonfly Studios is one of the few art studios in York, Nebraska.

Besides checking out gorgeous artwork, you can also paint one yourself.

They offer walk-in open painting sessions, group paint classes, and painting classes for all types of parties.

They’ll teach you various painting styles, which might vary from time to time, often depending on their current theme.

If you’re more interested in bringing home an artwork rather than creating it, browse the studio or commission your own customized artwork.

Unwind at Recharge Lake

Recharge Lake has sandy grounds and a scenic forest backdrop that comprise a relaxing nature attraction.

You can go fishing, boating, and swimming in the tranquil lake.

There are also nearby trails and picnic shelters if you prefer to stay on land and spot the wildlife.

As its name suggests, this lake is the perfect destination to recharge your energy.

Take a break from the city and head to Recharge Lake!

Escape from the Lockbox

Put your problem-solving skills to the test and escape before the timer ends in the Lockbox.

This escape room locks you inside a themed room where you’ll have to find hints and solve puzzles to leave.

The rooms tell immersive stories featuring golf, magic, and Old Western vibes.

They also have mobile escape rooms that you can play on-site or in a location of your choice.

The Lockbox offers a heart-racing adventure that won’t end until you get yourself and your group out of the locked room.

It’s also a great way to test your friendships and family bonds.

Try Local Meat from McLean Beef Inc.

McLean Beef Inc. gives you a taste of Nebraska through their broad selection of meats, including burgers, steaks, flavored meats, and ribs.

The meats are dry-aged, hand-cut, and made from corn-fed beef raised at a small farm in Nebraska.

You can either purchase raw meats to eat for a later time or have them cooked at McLean Beef.

Try burgers, sandwiches, or steaks, depending on your tastes and preferences.

The family-owned McLean Beef Inc. has operated for over 70 years.

Browse through Historical Exhibits at Anna Palmer Museum

Your tour of York’s collection of historical buildings is not complete without Anna Palmer Museum.

This museum is open year-round, with rotating exhibits for certain seasons.

It features the progression of York County in terms of lifestyle, transportation, and agriculture.

It even houses artifacts that go all the way back to the late 1800s.

Go on a trip to the past when you visit the museum’s notable Period Rooms.

Anna Palmer Museum is on East 7th Street.

Enjoy Nature’s Best Assets at Overland Trail Recreation Area

When talking about nature retreats, Overland Trail Recreation Area is one of the hidden jewels of the city.

It is famous for its wildly-dominant nature area.

This means you can’t find boating docks or even picnic areas.

But the beauty of the place certainly makes up for this.

It features a 17-acre lake and a prairie habitat.

It’s also home to the first frontier grave in all of the county.

And you can find a gravestone to prove this on the site.

The area is also a go-to spot for cross-country skiing during the winter season.

You can start your hike along Overland Trail Recreation Area on Road O.

Swing Your Way to Victory at York Country Club

York Country Club blends in the Nebraska nature charm with a multi-faceted golf center.

One of the highlights of this attraction is its 18-hole championship layout.

Established in 1919, this country club comes with sloping greens and a driving range.

This makes it the ideal stop for golfers of every skill level.

Its spacious banquet hall is open for rentals for every event and occasion, too.

If you’d like to keep things interesting, why not sign up for a league or tournament?

York Country Club opens its doors to everyone—member or guest—on West Elm Street.

Challenge Your Loved Ones to a Friendly Game at Sunset Bowl and Lounge

Sunset Bowl and Lounge is our one-stop destination for ultimate indoor entertainment.

This ten-pin bowling alley comes with a lounge and a snack bar.

Family-owned and operated, it has offered its lanes and facility to the community since 1957.

It also has a karaoke bar, alongside cosmic bowling every Friday and Saturday night.

Come by with a friend, and compete for your way to a high score in your bowling play.

You can find Sunset Bowl and Lounge on North Lincoln Avenue.

Walk around the Fun Streets of York During Yorkfest

If you’re an avid fan of festivals when you travel to a new city, free up your time to attend Yorkfest.

This annual York event traces its roots back to 1979.

Since then, it has become a community tradition that everyone—visitors and residents in all age groups alike—can enjoy.

This multiple-day event happens every September.

It features a wide range of programs, including a farmer’s market, a Royalty Luncheon, and family movie nights and activities.

Don’t miss its eventful parade, where you can admire colorful floats and performances.

Yorkfest takes place in multiple locations in downtown York, so keep your eye out for public places and businesses that may celebrate with the whole community.

Final Thoughts

York is home to a decent mix of attractions that can help you unwind and recharge your spirit.

You can find unique local establishments, nature attractions, and engaging ventures in this relatively peaceful city.

The city of York offers a suburban lifestyle with rich and diverse attractions in the charming state of Nebraska.

Book your trip today!

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