Leeds has lots of indoor and outdoor activities for kids, including historic Edwardian Baths for water babies, a fantastic collection of arms and armour that will enthrall any young historian, and several soft play centres that are always popular on a rainy day.
Therefore, let’s discover our best things to do with kids in Leeds:
1. The Royal Armouries Museum
Marvel at five floors of arms and armour from across the world and through the ages, and even see some of them in action at this fantastic family-friendly museum. The fascinating galleries include the Swords of Middle Earth, the Hall of Steel and the Oriental Gallery. Themed activities for kids include dramatic performances, dressing up, storytelling, treasure hunts and demonstrations. On the top floor you’ll also find an indoor archery course where you can practise firing your crossbow!
Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 5pm
2. Bramley Baths
Housed in a Grade II listed Edwardian building, this historic bath house offers beautiful surroundings for a family swim. First opened in 1904, the venue is a community-led, not-for-profit centre for locals to keep fit and have fun. Child friendly activities include aqua ballet and themed family swims at weekends and during school holidays. In addition, there are fitness classes, steam rooms and a gym. There is also a pretty garden with picnic tables, if the weather decides to brighten up.
Opening Hours: Open 7 days a week. Check the website for swim and fitness timetables.
3. Emsley’s Play Barn
Emsley’s Farm is a popular family attraction in Leeds, but it’s also a great place for indoor kids activities. The Play Barn tops the lists of many local parents, offering safe and fun indoor play with a great variety of daily changing of activities, as well as home cooked food in the relaxed café. Outside there’s a garden with a vegetable patch where little ones will love to get their hands dirty, so take their wellies and raincoats and let them explore!
Opening Hours: Open daily 09:30 – 3pm. (Early close at 12pm on Sundays.)
4. The Little Bookshop
The city’s only independent bookshop dedicated to children, this charming bookstore and cafe is the perfect hangout for a rainy day. Aside from its amazing collection of books for all ages, there are special free events each Saturday, such as storytelling with visiting authors, craft workshops and seasonal fun.
No booking necessary! Activities are suitable for ages 5 years and over.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9am – 5pm
5. Tropical World
Finally, this indoor attraction is home to one of the largest collections of tropical plants anywhere in the UK, and a whole host of exotic creatures including crocodiles, butterflies, piranhas, and meerkats. The different areas will take you on a thrilling journey through mangroves, desert and rainforest, exploring the habitats of some amazing animals.
The rainforest canopy and waterfall areas are a particular highlight. Entry tickets are also really good value (£3.50 per child) and under 5’s go free.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm.
6. Harewood House
An 18th century house, home to the Earl and Countess of Harewood, with over 100 acres of stunning grounds to explore. See rare and exotic species in the Bird Garden, and delight the kids with daily feeding sessions of the penguins! Next make your way to the Adventure Playground. They can swing, climb and run to their heart’s content, before refuelling in the Courtyard Café, or relaxing with a picnic in the beautiful gardens. Additional activities include for instance wildlife trails, boat trips on the lake and seasonal school holiday events. This experience will guarantee you great days out with your Kids in Leeds.
In addition, inside the house you can marvel at the impressive State Rooms, play hide and seek in the warren of hidden spaces Below Stairs or dress-up in traditional garms in the Victorian Kitchen.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm from March to November
7. Roundhay Park
This 700-acre park is a firm favourite with local families, who flock to its open green space and two huge lakes on a sunny day. It’s the biggest park in Leeds and one of the biggest in Europe, so there’s plenty of space for outdoor activities with the kids. They can play tennis, let run wild at the playground, or enjoy a picnic in the landscaped gardens.
Opening Hours: 24/7
8. St Aidan’s Nature Reserve
Just a 20 minute drive from Leeds city centre is St Aidan’s Nature Reserve. A huge country park with abundant wildlife and over 12 kilometres of trails to walk or cycle along. Admire lakes, woodland and plenty of fresh air, as you spot roe deer, skylarks and owls. A wonderful place to escape the city hub and wear out active kids!
Opening Hours: Open 9am – 4pm / 5pm (winter / summer)
9. Kirkstall Abbey
If you’re after a unique place to soak up some sunshine, you must explore this atmospheric example of medieval architecture with the kids on your trip to Leeds. That is to say, a fantastic place for the little ones to run around, these much photographed ruins are surrounded by acres of parkland along the banks of the River Aire.
The Visitor Centre delves into the lives of the 12th century monks who lived here and in addition there are seasonal family activities and walking trails to discover too.
Across the road is Abbey House – an interactive museum where you can step back in time and wander through the enchanting streets, shops and houses of Victorian England.
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 4pm. Closed on Mondays , except bank holidays.
10. Stockeld Park
Located between Leeds and the spa town of Harrogate, Stockeld Park offers an amazing family day out. In the Spring and Summer you can enjoy go-karting, roller-skating and getting lost in the maze, while in Winter you can walk or ski around the Enchanted Illuminated Forest or skate on the ice rink.
Kids will love the themed adventure playground areas, inflatable zone and electric scooter trail! There’s all this and so much more to discover, it simply must be on your list!
Opening Hours: Opening times vary each season, check the website for more details.
11. Gravity Active Entertainment Leeds
Who doesn’t like bouncing on trampoline and have fun for an hour or so. Gravity Active offers different bouncing sessions full of fun and laughter for children and their parents. There are even toddler sessions so you little one can be introduced to trampoline and bond with others whilst still being young. These sessions are open for children between 18 months and 5 years old. Gravity Active is a perfect thing to do with kids in Leeds, especially on a rainy day.
12. The Tetley
If your little brood is interested by contemporary art, you must pay a visit to the Tetley. Formerly a brewery, The Tetley hosts many modern art works in the South of Leeds. The museum is free to enter and has a fun indoor play area called Tiny Tetley Studio where your children under 5 can play.
Address: Hunslet Rd, Leeds LS10 1JQ
13. Chevin Forest Park
Weather permitted, why not taking the children out of Leeds and go a long trail at Chevin Forest Park located on the North West of Leeds. The park is easily accessible by car but you can also take the bus from Leeds too. The park is very popular for dog walkers and trails fans. A great outdoor activity to do on your next visit to Leeds.
Address: Chevin Forest Park LS21 3DD
14. Swithens Farm
Swithens Farm is a such a beautiful place for your little ones who want to be close to animals and even feed them. Open from Tuesday until Sunday, Swithens Farm is a very much hands on attraction where you children will have a blast. There is also an indoor soft play area and other activities such as mini tractors, a bouncy castle and more.
15. The Donkey Sanctuary Leeds
We are big fan of the Donkey Sanctuary with its unique mission to rescue neglected and mistreated donkeys all around the world. The charity has a sanctuary in the North side of Leeds open to the public every Saturday and the first Sunday of the month. So if you are out of ideas on a Saturday day out with children in Leeds, make sure to visit the Donkey Sanctuary Leeds and make a donation too!
Address: Swan Ln, Eccup, Leeds LS16 8AZ
We hope this article on things to do with your Kids in Leeds, will inspire you to plan your next fun experience.
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