The Easter holidays are just around the corner, so why not plan a few fun-filled days out in Leeds?
The Easter holidays bring us two weeks of family fun, with many of the city’s museums, galleries and attractions getting in on the action. So if you want to spend some quality time with the kids, doing something a little bit different, check out our list of school holiday activities – it’s got everything from crafty workshops to kid-friendly theatre and festivals.
Leeds City Museum are drawing inspiration from their Voices of Asia exhibition for a kite painting workshop during the Easter holidays. The little ones will be able to look at all the traditional Chinese kites on display on a tour by Curator Antonia Lovelace before getting out the paint and having a go themselves – oh, and if you’re feeling creative, adults can have a go too.
Kite Painting is at Leeds City Museum on Wednesday 5th April 2017.
The Easter Adventure
Stockeld Park love to get into the Easter spirit and they’ve got loads of fun things to do during their fortnight long Easter Adventure. The kids can have a go at the Golden Egg Hunt for a chance to win a Giant Easter Egg, or they could go see Doris the Dragon’s Egg-Cellent Easter Show, which the whole family can enjoy. They can even make new friends with their pony handling sessions. And that only scratches the surface of a jam-packed two weeks.
The Easter Adventure is at Stockeld Park from Saturday 8th to Monday 24th April 2017.
Thackray Medical Museum are looking for budding young detectives to give them a hand during the school holiday in Leeds. Junior CSI will see the children exploring three different crime scenes around the museum – they’ll don a hazmat suit to take part in blood splatter analysis, fingerprint identification and facial reconstruction with the help of West Yorkshire Police.
Junior CSI is at Thackray Medical Museum from Monday 3rd to Friday 21st April 2017.
CSI Friday: Hippo Bones
It’s not just humans that are getting the CSI treatment during the Easter holidays. Leeds City Museum are hosting CSI Friday: Hippo Bones, where the kids will dress up in their lab coats and investigate 125,000 hippo bones and other cool relics from the ancient world, all while helping to solve a mysterious case.
CSI Friday: Hippo Bones is at Leeds City Museum on Friday 7th April 2017.
The First Hippo on the Moon
Hippos are a popular attraction during the school holiday, as West Yorkshire Playhouse presents The First Hippo on the Moon. It’s an adaptation of the number one bestseller by David Walliams, and it’s brought to us by Les Petits theatre company. They’ll use puppetry, music and all kinds of chaos to tell the story of two big hippos with one enormous dream – to get to the moon. But, who’ll get there first?
The First Hippo on the Moon is at West Yorkshire Playhouse from Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th April 2017.
Just because it’s Easter doesn’t mean it’s not pantomime season. Carriageworks Theatre is home to two nights of Robin Hood and the kids will love it. Starring Pop Idol runner up Gareth Gates in the title role, he’ll go on an adventure to try and win the hand of Maid Marion, with the help of Rainbow’s George and Zippy as his Merry Men. Full of laughter, singing and dancing, it’s one to watch.
Robin Hood is at Carriageworks Theatre on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th April 2017.
It’s not often you get to see a traditional marionette show in Leeds, so make a beeline for The Explorer during the Easter holidays. Puppeteer Lori Hopkins will take The Explorer on a fantastic adventure after crash-landing on an unusual island, dealing with wild beasts, rough seas and odd technologies. With original music, incredible visuals and more than a few surprises, the kids are sure to love this unusual tale told with a hand-carved string puppet.
The Explorer is at Carriageworks Theatre on Thursday 6th April 2017.
Written specially for children between the ages of 2 and 7, Christopher Nibble is a heart-warming production. He’s a special little guinea pig, who sets out to save the other guinea pigs in the town of Dandeville. Their problem is that they’re running low on their favourite food – dandelions. When there’s just one left, Nibble tries to save the day, but can he?
Christopher Nibble is at Carriageworks Theatre on Saturday 8th April 2017.
Leeds Discovery Centre is packed with thousands of incredible artefacts and Eggsperiments is the perfect opportunity to see some of them. They’ve raided their Natural Science Collection for amazing eggs and egg cases that you and the kids will be able to study before you get your own egg for the egg drop challenge. Can you stop yours from smashing?
Eggsperiments is at Leeds Discovery Centre on Wednesday 5th and Wednesday 12th April 2017.
Samuel Adamson has adapted Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild for the stage, and it comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse during the school holiday. It follows Lilly, a girl who goes on holiday to Indonesia with her mum and gets the chance to ride on one elephant called Oona, but when a tsunami hits, Oona charges off into the jungle with Lilly clinging to her back. They go on all sorts of amazing adventures together, but it’s not all fun and games, as Lilly has to survive in the rainforest by herself.
Running Wild is at West Yorkshire Playhouse from Tuesday 11th to Saturday 15th April 2017.
If the kids love dancing, Fresh 2017 is the show to watch during the Easter holidays. Yorkshire Dance have brought together some of the best dancers aged between 11 and 19 for an evening of spectacular moves in an array of different styles, with top youth dance companies competing to represent Yorkshire at U.Dance 2017. Catch the show with the kids during the school holidays.
Fresh 2017 is at West Yorkshire Playhouse on Saturday 1st April 2017.
Leeds Young Film Festival
The big highlight of the Easter holidays is Leeds Young Film Festival. There’s so much to see and do. There’s a super cool exhibition from Aardman Animation, the creators of Wallace and Gromit, the UK’s first ever virtual reality experience for families, and a constant slew of amazing films on at Leeds Town Hall and Hyde Park Picture House.
Leeds Young Film Festival is at various Leeds venues from Monday 10th to Thursday 20th April 2017.
Back again after a super successful stint in 2016, Animation Central returns to Carriageworks Theatre during the Easter holidays. They’ve got a slew of world-renowned animators coming to Leeds to put on a series of workshops the kids will adore. There are a few special one-off events too, like a chance to see Disney’s Mickey and the Roadster Races and Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball before anyone else.
Animation Central is at Carriageworks Theatre from Friday 14th to Monday 17th April 2017.
Dr Seuss: Whooo’s in the House
Dr Seuss is the inspiration behind the Sneaky Experience Easter weekender, Whooo’s in the House? There’ll be a cast of Seuss’ unique characters for the kids to meet, as well as an interactive theatre show. Zing with the Spring will be there on hosting duties, while The Cheaky Sneakies, Egg With the Legs and Unicorn With a Flugelhorn will all have their own fun tasks to try out.
Dr Seuss: Who’s in the House is at Leeds Town Hall from Saturday 15th to Monday 17th April 2017.
A Mad Hatter of an Easter
Lotherton Hall always gets in on the Easter shenanigans, and this year is no different, so don’t miss A Mad Hatter of an Easter at the country house during the holidays. The kids can have a go on the Mad Hatter’s Trail, hop around with the Easter Bunny and meet the Mad Hatter himself, as well as witnessing live displays in the Bird Garden and taking part in all manner of craft activities.
A Mad Hatter of an Easter is at Lotherton Hall from Saturday 1st to Sunday 23rd April 2017.
The Royal Armouries are back with an old favourite during the school holidays. Medieval Easter returns after huge success last year. They’re promising a slew of craft activities, storytelling sessions, archery and falconry displays, as well as tours around the museum’s amazing exhibitions. Check out their live combat displays, which will bring knights and fencers together in battle.
Medieval Easter is at Royal Armouries from Saturday 8th to Sunday 23rd April 2017.
Easter Art Workshops
Make the most of the school holiday with the little ones by heading down to The Tetley. They have three special Easter Art Workshops lined up for you. The first is Recycled Letterpress, where the kids can make a decorative letter shape out of recycled materials, while the second will see them making a concertina book at Pastel Performance. The final event is a chance to create a visual story book by fusing real-life family stories with fictional characters.
Easter Art Workshops are at The Tetley on Tuesday 4th, Saturday 8th and Tuesday 11th April 2017.