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.
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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