Summer in Leeds brings a delightful transformation to the cityscape that is easily felt among the busy streets. The vibrant energy is amplified as adults and kids alike embrace the fleeting warmth and sunshine. While the summer months tend to have fewer rainy days, we can never be too prepared for the frequent rain showers. Particularly with children, who are bursting with joy and energy and want to enjoy the school holiday, it’s always a good idea to have a balance of outdoor events and indoor activities planned out.
Whether it’s going to the park to soak up the sun and get in touch with nature, or paying a visit to the good old Arcade Club and the city’s many museums, there are endless opportunities for memorable experiences on your next family day. Here’s a brief overview of fun and exciting things to do with kids in Leeds this summer.
Roundhay Park is perhaps the most cherished recreational area in Leeds. It’s beloved by adults and kids alike due to its combination of natural beauty, cultural attractions and outdoor activities. It’s a popular park among locals and hosts a fair share of festivals and events throughout the year. The park is such a versatile and inviting space that is perfect for a family day out in the summer.
Roundhay covers over 700 acres of parkland, lakes, playgrounds and woodlands. You can get some fresh air, bring a picnic, a football, a kite or board games for a fun outing with the kids in one of the biggest city parks in Europe. Parking is free and there are five car parks nearby.
📍 Mansion Ln, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2HH
Located in Halifax, curious minds will be thrilled to discover the six unique zones of Eureka!, all filled with immersive exhibits, where you can learn more about the world that surrounds us. Families with kids aged 0-11 can spend the day finding out more about our bodies, the latest interactive technology from around the world, get scribbling in the Creativity Space, discover the sounds and smells of the desert, and much more! All visits must be booked in advance and you can also reserve the Home Educator days, where no other educational groups are booked in.
📍 Discovery Rd, Halifax HX1 2NE
Take your kids to the Arcade Club and you’ll travel back in time to the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, when coin-operated, arcade games were IT! No matter what generation you’re from, it’s always fun shooting lasers at the screen with a plastic gun as you defend against the Cosmo Gang baddies, go Berzerk and navigate around a maze-like building, or speeding through sun-drenched streets of the city as you play Crazy Taxi.
Arcade Club games are all on free play. You simply need to purchase the pass beforehand and you can play whichever of the 300 classic and modern arcades. The adult pass costs £17.00 and the child pass is £9.00 for kids under 16. If you’re a family of four, you can get the family pass, which costs £43.00 for two adults and two children. What’s more, if you’re an avid gamer, you can buy the monthly pass and get unlimited access to the arcade across all venues.
📍 Abbey Retail Park, Savins Mill Way, Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3RP
Particularly for rainy days in Leeds, there’s nothing better than chilling out in front of the big screen with your kids. Luckily, Fever has a great deal for you, where you can get Vue tickets at a discounted Fever price. All you need to do is check the film listings and film times at Leeds Kirkstall Cinema or Leeds The Light Cinema, and then grab your Fever E-code. You can redeem your Vue E-code online or at the Box Office in your chosen Vue in Leeds. This amazing deal is valid for any 2D movie.
📍 Cardigan Fields, Kirkstall Rd, Burley, Leeds LS4 2DG and No. 22, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 8TL
Founded in 1758, the Middleton Railway is the world’s oldest continuously working railway. If your kid’s a trainspotter, a visit to the Middleton Railway is a must. At the Display Hall, you can visit the beautifully colourful locomotives and the cutaway boiler that explains how a steam engine works, as well as climb onboard two engine cabs and pretend to be a train driver yourself. The fun doesn’t stop there. Head to Moor Road platform and board one of the hand-built carriages (either steam or diesel) that will take you to Park Halt.
📍 Railway Trust Ltd, The Middleton, Moor Rd, Hunslet, Leeds LS10 2JQ
Located 1.5 miles from Leeds right next to the famous Elland Road stadium, this 50,000 sq ft space is the thrill seeker’s idea of heaven. There’s a 6,000 sq ft area that includes huge slides, jelly mountain, an obstacle course, cannon jump, a toddler area aaand a climbing wall.
And that’s just the inflatable section. At Jump Inc. you’ll also find tumble tracks, Olympic sized trampolines, battle baskets, bounce blocks and air tracks. The opening hours during the school holidays are from 9am – 8pm. Bounce around the incredible facilities for an electrifying day out with the family!
📍 1 Benyon Park Way, Holbeck, Leeds LS12 6DP
Journey through the rainforest, mangroves and desert at the popular Tropical World, located within Roundhay Park. This unique indoor facility offers children the opportunity to explore a variety of exotic plants, animals and habitats in a controlled tropical environment. Your little ones will learn more about the beauty of different ecosystems around the world. Check out various species of animals, including butterflies, birds, reptiles, fish and small mammals, as well as the Desert House, featuring the Cacti Garden.
📍 Princes Ave, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2ER
The historic Leeds Central Library is so much more than a keeper of books, stories and knowledge. Officially opened in 1884 by Princess Louise, the Duchess of Argyll, this important Leeds landmark also offers author talks, poetry slams, story time sessions like the Story Book Sports event, embroidery workshops, art groups—you name it!
Don’t miss their monthly Lego Club, where you can build creations based on famous children’s books. If you’re visiting the library with a baby or newborn, you can join the Baby Days celebrations or the Bounce & Rhyme sessions, where you can meet other parents and caretakes, share songs and rhymes in a fun and friendly setting.
📍 Calverley St, Leeds LS1 3AB
A visit to Stockeld Park is always a reliable and foolproof plan that your kids are guaranteed to enjoy. Perhaps best known for their Christmas Adventure and light shows, Stockeld Park is a beautiful Georgian Mansion, surrounded by a breathtaking Yorkshire parkland designed in 1763 by notable architect James Paine.
Today, the all-weather family attraction is packed with interactive fun. The Enchanted Forest houses five themed adventure playgrounds with a go kart track and large inflatable play. For rainy days, you can enjoy the indoor play area and the Summer Adventure. This season, you can embark on an aquatic-themed adventure, where you’ll encounter magical sea creatures, Maritime Mazes with riddles and the beloved park mascot, Scout.
📍 Wetherby Rd, Wetherby LS22 4AN
Situated in the heart of the city, Leeds City Museum is perfect for anyone who wishes to gain more knowledge on the history of Leeds, the natural world and buried archaeological treasures. Leeds City Museum is home to an incredible collection of 800,000 animals, vegetables and minerals, as well as over 6,000 objects and artefacts from Asia.
Discover centuries-old fossils, extinct animal bones and the 3000-year old mummy of Nesyamun. From Ancient writing and burials in the Ancient Worlds gallery to incredible inventions, there’s something to explore on each floor. The museum also has a relaxing Herbarium café serving a range of drinks, cakes and snacks, a perfect spot to sit back and relax after a few hours of strolling.
📍 Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 8BH
Another city centre gem, this is not your typical family day out plan—although it should be. Enjoy some of the best touring performances on the national and international scene at Carriageworks Theatre. Located in a beautiful, red-brick Victorian building, the theatre has plenty of family-friendly shows hosted throughout the year.
Boasting two incredible stages, The Main Auditorium for large-scale, new and classic shows, and The Studio, for more intimate productions. What’s more, children shows include a pre-show activity hour for the little artists. Don’t forget to check out their online brochure for up-to-date info on the programme.
📍 Millennium Square, Electric Press 3
If you have a goth kid, they’ll definitely love this next museum. However, any curious child can enjoy its thrilling exhibits on the history of medicine. Walk through the grimy streets of Victorian Leeds and watch gruesome operations at the 19th-century operating theatre.
You can discover groundbreaking medical inventions that changed the world for the better and so much more! From interactive exhibitions to fun social events, these creative displays that house a collection of over 47,000 medical objects are definitely educational and entertaining for the adults as well.
📍 141 Beckett St, Harehills, Leeds LS9 7LN
Now, for a bit of peaceful time away from the bursting streets of Leeds, visit the green Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. Founded in 1980 to bring a rural experience to urban residents, the farm offers 24 acres of flourishing gardens, sculptures scattered across the land, market gardens and a range of animals, from alpacas and sheep to turtles and cows. Meanwood Valley Urban Farm opens seven days a week and you can bring your doggo friends, too, as long as they’re kept on a lead.
📍 Sugar Well Rd, Meanwood, Leeds LS7 2QG
Young adrenaline junkies can also suit up and get out onto the track at TeamSport Go Karting in Leeds. A national phenomenon, every child (8+ years) can enjoy 580m of racing tarmac at the longest indoor circuit in Yorkshire.
Kids need to be at least eight years old to use the junior karts that reach a maximum speed of 25mph. Over 12-year-old children can use adult go-karts that go as fast as 40mph. What’s more, there’s no previous experience required, because every racer will get a safety briefing prior to hitting the tracks.
📍 S Accommodation Rd, Leeds LS10 1NQ
Last on our list is Leeds Discovery Centre. It’s home to more than one million objects in climate-controlled conditions, from natural science specimens to textiles. The museum offers learning workshops, online learning resources, as well as state-of-the-art facilities for researchers and students that are working on their thesis. This summer, you can take the Behind the Scenes Tour to discover the famed collection, including taxidermy animals, skeletons, furniture and toys from Yorkshire and around the world.
📍 Carlisle Rd, Leeds LS10 1LB