Make the best of the bad weather with these amazing things to do on a rainy day in Leeds.
The clouds are grey, the wind is blowing and it’s most definitely raining. But there’s no need to worry – there are so many incredible indoor activities to get up to on rainy days in Leeds. Whether you’re looking for adventures in art, a gaming-cum-boozing experience with a difference or things to keep the little ones thoroughly entertained, you can have a fabulous day out, despite the drizzle.
Is there a better way to spend a rainy day in Leeds than at Arcade Club? It’s a gamer’s dream. Three floors packed with games, from retro arcade classics to cutting-edge virtual reality set ups on the latest consoles. Think Pac-Man, Street Fighter, SEGA Rally, Mario Kart and loads more. You can lose hours here, going head-to-head on the racing games, or just trying to beat each other’s top scores. With an entry fee of just £17 per adult, or £9 per child, you can try as many games as you like, for as long as you like.
Arcade Club, Unit 3, Abbey Retail Park, Savins Mill Way, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3RP.
Every rainy day you can be shuffling in Leeds thanks to Electric Shuffle. This is the ultimate gaming venue, a place where you can hide away from the miserable weather with your pals and compete for shuffleboard supremacy. Don’t worry about totting up the scores yourself, their state-of-the-art electric scoring system does all that for you, so you can focus on sliding those pucks to glory. While you play, hit the service button to get sharing cocktails, craft beers and signature slushies delivered to you, as well as small plates and sharing platters.
Electric Shuffle, 123 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RD.
Leeds Art Gallery
Leeds Art Gallery is home to one of the most important collections of British 20th-century art, making it the perfect way to spend a gloomy day. While the heavens open, you could be poring over a painting by Graham Sutherland or a sculpture from Barbara Hepworth. But it’s not just 20th-century art – you can see traditional oil paintings depicting historic battles in vivid colour and striking modern pieces like Damien Hirst’s ‘Black Sheep with Golden Horns’, preserved in a glass box.
Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AA.
The Park Playground
Rainy days often leave you dreaming of other worlds, so why not let The Park Playground take you there? This is an incredible free-roam VR experience, the first of its kind in the UK, that will see you don a headset, pick up a weapon and be transported to another dimension. You can play a series of games in a 9x9m indoor playing field – there’s the Mask of the Pharaoh for ages 7+, with all other games for ages 12 and above. You can enjoy a stifling scare in Don’t Scream, travel back to the 1800s in The Hallow or battle your pals in The Snitch. When you’re done, head back to the lounge for drinks.
The Park Playground, Falcon House, Waltr Street, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2BB.
For something slow-paced, creative and wholesome, it has to be an afternoon of painting ceramics at Jackrabbits Pottery. Whether you’re entertaining children, your other half or friends, this is a place to indulge your imagination and get lost in the process. Pick your pottery from the range, it could be a mug or a plate, a piggy bank or a treasure chest (they’ve got 130 different pieces to choose from!) and grab a paintbrush. Once you’re satisfied with your masterpiece, it’ll be glazed and fired in their kiln, ready to take home.
Jackrabbits Pottery, 633a Roundhay Road, Oakwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 4BA.
Rainy days in Leeds don’t disappear faster than at LaserZone. A spaceship has crash landed, and beyond the airlock lies a forgotten land you need to navigate. Think strange flashing lights, swirling smoke and an eerie soundscape. You’re well-equipped with state-of-the-art laser packs and phasers, but there’s a multi-level labyrinth full of opponents to zap and bases to take down! Choose the Epic Mission and not only do you get to play three games, but you also get a drink and a framed photo to take pride of place.
LaserZone, Cardigan Fields Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DG.
Henry Moore Institute
The Henry Moore Institute is a world-famous gallery that celebrates sculpture in all its forms. Founded by Henry Moore, whose work you’ll see here, it brings together renowned artists from across the globe and showcases their work in its beautiful space. As well as established names, you can discover little-known practitioners, unexpected materials and obscure forms. It could be anything from idealistic Greek gods cast in polished bronze, to brightly coloured inflatable shapes made from spray paint nylon and zips.
The Henry Moore Institute, 74 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AH.
One of the best indoor activities you can do in Leeds on a drizzly day is go for a swim! Bramley Baths is a truly beautiful swimming pool. It’s been open for over 100 years, and it still looks the same as it did back in Edwardian times. Now it’s a social enterprise, providing an affordable health and fitness space, as well as an exceptional pool to swim in. Take the kids during ‘Fun Swim’ hours and you’ll find the pool full of exciting floats and inflatables, just waiting to be jumped through and on top of. Grab your goggles and go!
Bramley Baths, Broad Lane, Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 3DF.
Leeds Industrial Museum
Armley Mills is packed full of interesting stories and artefacts surrounding Leeds’ industrial heritage. It couldn’t be more ideal for keeping you entertained on those rainy days in Leeds. Learn about how the Industrial Revolution changed the way that wool and cloth were made, get up close and personal with giant spinning machines, and see a loom in action. Textiles are just one part of the museum too – they’ve got collections on the story of film, fashion and steam engines. Don’t forget to check out the Victorian home of the factory manager.
Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley Mills, Canal Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2QF.
Temple Newsam is a stunning Tudor-Jacobean country estate, and it’s one of the grandest landmarks that Leeds has to offer. Up until 1922, the house was home to various nobility, including Mary Queen of Scots’ husband, Lord Darnley. You can take a tour around 40 different interiors, all showcasing incredible historical furniture, textiles, wallpaper and ceramics. They make up one of the most important collections of fine and decorative arts in Britain, no less! Weather holding? There’s 1,500 acres of parkland and gardens to explore.
Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE.
Inject a bit of adrenaline into your slow rainy day with a go-kart race at Team Sport! They boast the longest indoor race track in Yorkshire – at 580-metres long, it’s a doozy to boot. You’ve got 270cc petrol karts to rev and rumble as you speed down the straights, take on hair-raising hairpin turns and hurtle through the tunnel. Fast ain’t the word. There’s even an elevated pitstop for that Formula One experience. Sessions vary from family karting and tuition for kids, to open-timed race sessions and 50-lap races.
Team Sport Go Karting, South Accommodation Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NQ.
Thackray Museum of Medicine
Thackray Museum of Medicine charts the grim beginnings of modern medicine. Perfect if you and your kids like a bit of gore along with your learning. There are around 3,000 items on display, ranging from books to medical instruments. You can walk through the slums of Victorian Leeds, experience what surgery was like in the 19th century, and visit a 1970’s sexual health clinic. They have ever-changing temporary exhibitions, talks and demonstrations as well, ranging from enrichment robots to the menstrual cycle.
Thackray Medical Museum, Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7LN.
Looking for a rainy day out with a little edge in Leeds? Whistle Punks is the place to go. You can unleash your inner lumberjacks and jills by trying your hand at catapulting an axe towards a wooden bullseye. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but their expert team will show you the ropes before you take aim. Once you’re done (and only when you’re done) in the axe-throwing arena, you can head to the on-site bar to quench your thirst and toast your throws. Beer lovers are well catered for, as are cocktail quaffers. Hungry? Shelter for even longer by ordering a few pizzas to feed your crew.
Whistle Punks, Millennium Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AD.
Time flies when you’re trapped in a room with only cryptic clues to help you escape. And that’s exactly what you need when it’s raining outside. Escape Hunt has four themed escape rooms to choose from. Do you fancy yourself as a 1940’s super spy, a looting pirate or a Samurai warrior? You can even immerse yourself in the world of Dr Who, where you’ve got to help defeat the dreaded Cybermen. You’ve only got an hour, so bring your A-game, solve those brain-busting riddles, and try to keep your cool as the clock ticks down.
Escape Hunt, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
Thorpe Park Spa
A relaxing spa session at Thorpe Park Spa has to be one of the best ways to spend rainy days in Leeds. You can relax in the steam room, take a dip in the whirlpool, or lounge by the pool at your leisure in your robe and slippers. Indulge in a luxury Caudalie treatment, without an inkling of guilt. Plump your skin with a facial, melt away the stress with a back, leg and foot massage, or truly treat yourself with a back, face & scalp Treatment to soothe the body and mind. You can even tuck into a delicious light two-course lunch.
Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa, 1150 Century Way, Thorpe Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 8ZB.
The Royal Armouries is a museum dedicated to charting how weapons, combat and war have shaped our lives throughout history and across the world. It’s home to the UK’s national collection of arms and armour, having once been housed in the Tower of London. With 5,000 objects and five themed galleries to discover, it’s easy to spend hours and hours here. See if you can find the cemetery guns, designed to keep grave robbers at bay, or the intimidating blood red samurai helmets and menacing moustachioed face masks.
Royal Armouries Museum, Armouries Drive, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1LT.
Need to keep the children from bouncing off the walls while it tips it down? At Monster Kidz you don’t have to! It’s a safe, secure, state-of-the-art indoor adventure play area, with multi-levels, slides and ball pools. They can run riot and have a whale of a time while you can watch from the seating area, sipping on a cup of tea and nibbling on something from the on-site cafe. They have designated play areas for specific age groups, so you don’t have to worry about the bigger kids having too much fun to look out for the littler ones.
Monster Kidz, Unit B5, St Catherine’s Business Complex, Broad Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 2TD and Monster Kidz, 6 Matrix Court, Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WB.
Roxy Lanes is one of the best indoor activities in Leeds. Why? Because not only can you thrash your mates at bowling, but you can have a yummy pizza and a cocktail to celebrate at the same time. It doesn’t just have to be bowling though, you can try your hand at a few games in this industrial-chic bar. There are pool tables, shuffleboard and beer pong available to play too. Why not have a whole tournament to see who comes out on top? If you tire yourself out, you can watch other people play live sport on the HD screens.
Roxy Lanes, The Light, 44-48 The Headrow, Leeds. West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum has got four floors, six galleries, and thousands of objects on display. It’s packed with interesting objects to learn about, making a rainy day much more exciting. If you’re a natural history buff, take a look at the Life on Earth and The Collector’s Cabinet collections. They’ve got everything from the famous Leeds taxidermy tiger, to an impressive skeleton of a heavy-footed moa. The Leeds Story Gallery explores the history of the city, including the textile industry and sporting accolades, as well as stories of the people.
Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8HB.
Particularly popular with families, Tropical World is home to a host of exotic animals that you can say hello to. There are seven different habitats to explore, along with the animals that live in each one – they’ll easily captivate big and little ones alike. You can meet frogs in the waterfalls, fish in the aquarium and meerkats in the desert. Head to the Butterfly House to experience their fascinating life cycle, from pupae to caterpillar to beautiful butterfly. Catch them on the right day and the whole place will be aflutter with bugs.
Tropical World, Princes Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2ER.
LS-Ten Skate Park
LS-Ten Skate Park has to be on your list of things to do on rainy days in Leeds. Not only is it one of the best skateparks in the city, but it’s also a charity, so you’ll do some good as well. Whether your sport of choice is skateboarding, BMXing or rollerblading, they’ve got a spot for you here. There’s lots to try your hand at, from quarter pipes and rails, to bowls and pools. Just starting out? They hold loads of sessions, ranging from beginner nights and social skates, to kids’ hours and women-and-girls-only skateboarding.
LS-Ten Skate Park, Kitson Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NT.
Gravity Active Entertainment
Trampoline parks are the ultimate rainy day venue for all ages and Gravity ticks all the boxes in Leeds. If you’ve got kids and want to plan a fun, rainy day out (or just want to tire them out), they’ll have a blast at their open jump sessions, bouncing from battle beams to airbags, basketball challenges to dodgeball games. Looking for a different activity for your pals? They have a bunch of trampoline-based fitness sessions, as well as the After Dark Sessions which sees them turn the lights down low and the speakers up high for a bouncing rave until 10pm every Friday.
Gravity Active Entertainment, Cardigan Fields Leisure Park, Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DG.
Lotherton Hall is a grand Edwardian House, perfect for exploring when the clouds are threatening rain. It’s home to several collections, including paintings, furniture, silver and ceramics. You can see impressive portraits of the former owners, as well as notable impressionist paintings and landscapes. Don’t miss the Neolithic Chinese funerary vessels and the stunning detail on the Ming dynasty wine jar. There’s also a modern pottery collection, with work from significant artists, like Alison Britton and Bernard Leach.
Lotherton Hall, Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 3EB.
Think of darts, you might think of smoky pubs and old folks, but Flight Club’s changed the game – in fact, it’s dragged this pub game right into the 21st century with its own dedicated bar. This is a place made for groups who can experience ‘social darts’ – there’s electronic scoring, so you don’t have to think about it, a host of fun, accessible games and different oche lengths to level the playing field. Need to lubricate your throwing arm? Classic cocktails and craft beers sit alongside pizzas and sharing boards. Still raining outside? Play another game and order another round!
Flight Club, Sovereign House, 1-2 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QL.
Clip ‘n Climb
Clip ‘n Climb is a fun, safe space for the whole family to have a go at climbing. It’s colourful, challenging and suitable for all ages and abilities. You can have a go at Dry Ice, an Arctic-themed wall where you use pegs to make your way to the top. Or, you can brave Stairway to Heaven, perhaps the scariest of all the challenges. Even toddlers can have a go in their Climb, Rhyme ’n Story Time session, where they get to rescue a cuddly toy while you watch from below. Once the harness is off, refuel with a yummy stone-baked pizza.
Clip ‘n Climb, Unit 3, Tristam Centre, Brown Lane West, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 6BF.