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.
It’s a Mad Hatter of an Easter
Lotherton Hall always gets in on the Easter shenanigans, and this time they’ve lined up It’s a Mad Hatter of an Easter at the country house. You can follow the Mad Hatter’s Trail, hop around with the Easter Bunny and meet the Mad Hatter himself. Don’t miss their live hatching displays in the Bird Garden, where you can see the baby chicks break out of their eggs, before having a go at a series of craft activities.
It’s a Mad Hatter of an Easter takes over Lotherton Hall from Saturday 24th March to Sunday 15th April 2018.
Leeds Young Film Festival
The Leeds Young Film Festival is back during the Easter holidays and there’s loads going on. From The Jungle Book to The BFG, Reel Kids will take over Hyde Park Picture House with film favourites for all ages. Alternatively, you can visit the Dr. Seuss-themed Film House at Leeds Town Hall or take part in the Animation Central workshops at Carriageworks. Look out for the VR Zone at Leeds City Museum too – it’s full of kid-friendly virtual reality experiences including an immersive 360° Dome with a planetarium-style screen.
Leeds Young Film Festival is at various Leeds venues from Monday 26th March to Thursday 5th April 2018.
The Easter Adventure
The Easter Adventure at Stockeld Park is the perfect day out in Leeds during the school holidays. It’s on for the entire two weeks with loads to do – Doris the Dragon is hosting her Egg-Cellent Easter Show or you can explore the park on the Golden Egg Hunt – will you be able to solve all the clues to win the Giant Easter Egg? There’s also The Ugly Bug Show, an Easter Bonnet Parade and loads more.
The Easter Adventure is at Stockeld Park from Wednesday 28th March to Monday 16th April 2018.
A Peter Rabbit Easter Eggstravaganza
Step into the magical world of Beatrix Potter and help Peter Rabbit and all his friends to prepare for Easter. It’s a 50-minute theatrical adventure which will see you follow a trail around the ruins, with all sorts of encounters along the way – you can do the bunny bop with Flopsy and Mopsy, learn to sing to the animals with Jemima Puddle-Duck and even meet Mr Peter Rabbit Cottontail himself.
A Peter Rabbit Easter Eggstravaganza! takes over Kirkstall Abbey on Friday 30th March 2018.
Skelton Grange Good Friday Easter Egg Trail
The Good Friday Easter Egg Trail is a tradition at Skelton Grange. You’ll go on an adventure around the centre, following the clues to retrieve a chocolate egg at the end – even adults can have a go too. There’ll also be a chance to meet the Easter Bunny, take part in craft demonstrations and help out in the mini nature gardens.
Skelton Grange Good Friday Easter Egg Trail takes over Skelton Grange Environment Centre on Friday 30th March 2018.
Easter Tournament 2018
The Easter holidays in Leeds wouldn’t be the same without the Royal Armouries’ Easter Tournament. It’s back for 2018, so you can see their medieval jousters in action. Famous knights from England, France, Poland and Australia will battle it out in the Armouries Arena for trophies. Afterwards, why not try their knight demonstrations, tournament story time or sword combat workshops?
Easter Tournament 2018 takes over Royal Armouries from Friday 30th March to Monday 2nd April 2018.
24 Carrot Forest
Head to Swillington Organic Farm where you’ll find This Green Moon woodland adventure centre. This Easter, they’ve created 24 Carrot Forest for the little ones. They’ll be given an investigation kit and become Easter Detectives, as they set out on a mission to solve the curious case of the Mysterious Carrots of Gold. There will be music, crafts and storytelling, as well as a chance to enjoy a hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows around their campfire. For grown-ups, there’s a licensed bar.
24 Carrot Forest takes place at This Green Moon from Friday 30th March to Tuesday 3rd April 2018.
Going Easter egg shopping? Stop at the Merrion Centre for their Easter Eggs-travaganza! They’ve got two intriguing activities lined up for the kids. There’s Mini Me Time, a soft play, dance, singing and movement session, or their Easter Arts & Crafts Workshop, where the kids can make Easter-themed characters and get their Easter cards ready.
Easter Eggs-travaganza! takes over Merrion Centre from Friday 30th March to Saturday 7th April 2018.
Spring at Temple Newsam farm means one thing – new animals. Throughout the school holidays, you’ll be able to meet their newest additions, from baby chicks to tiny piglets. They’re also running craft workshops, where you can make your own little animals – and there’s an Easter trail too. You have to round-up the chicks around the house and farm, and if you succeed, there’s a chocolate reward.
Springtime Babies takes over Temple Newsam from Friday 30th March to Sunday 15th April 2018.
Easter at Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum is jam-packed with fun things to do during the Easter holidays. They have an Easter Egg Hunt running throughout the break, as well as lots of pop-up events. You can make Easter Animal Masks, try your hand at Egg Decorating or take in one of their Leeds Young Film Festival screenings.
Easter at Leeds City Museum runs from Friday 30th March to Monday 15th April 2018.
Raver Tots 90s Family Rave
This is the perfect excuse to go clubbing, although it might be a little different to what you used to do. You can relive the best nights of your life with the little ones in tow at Raver Tots 90s Family Rave. It’s a family-friendly club experience with DJ Slipmatt spinning classic dance tunes, while the little ones get their faces painted, enjoy balloon modelling and play with bubbles.
Raver Tots 90s Family Rave comes to The Warehouse on Saturday 31st March 2018.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Sneaky Experience has a treat lined up for the school holidays. They’re putting on a special showing of the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in Leeds. There’s a 30-minute warm-up before the show and you’ll get interactive prop-pack to make things interesting – expect vocal exercises, barmy games and a fancy dress competition.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory takes over City Varieties on Saturday 31st March 2018.
Head to Thwaite MIlls during the school holidays for a traditional Easter fete. They’ve got an impressive day lined up, full of fun and games. You can have a go at hooking a duck, take a boat or donkey ride, meet the Easter bunny and enter their Easter bonnet competition. If you get hungry, they’ve also got street food.
Thwaite Fete takes over Thwaite Mills on Sunday 1st April 2018.
Leeds Rhinos vs Salford Red Devils Family Day
Why not take the kids for a day at the rugby during the Easter holidays? Leeds Rhinos will take on Salford Red Devils in a massive Super League clash at the Emerald Stadium – and they’ve got a whole day of family fun lined up. Get down early to catch their falconry demonstrations or visit the pony enclosure. Feeling brave? They’ll have a creatures corner with snakes, spiders and lizards. There will also be face painting, balloon modelling and live music.
Leeds Rhinos vs Salford Red Devils takes place at Headingley Stadium on Monday 2nd April 2018.
If the kids are interested in biology, Extreme Medicine is a great shout. You’ll learn about how bodies survive in the most extreme situations – you can head to Everest Basecamp to see the equipment used on mountain expeditions and join the RNLI out at sea as they save lives. There’s even a chance to go into space to see what happens to your body in zero gravity.
Extreme Medicine takes over Thackray Medical Museum on weekdays from Monday 2nd to Friday 13th April 2018.
The Gingerbread Man
Run, run as fast as you can – because The Gingerbread Man is coming to Leeds. Stuff and Nonsense will bring their brilliant mix of puppetry, music, comedy and live action to this classic tale. The Gingerbread Man is born in an oven and his first encounter is with someone who wants to dunk him in their tea. He escapes though, and goes on an incredible adventure encountering geese, foxes and trains along the way.
The Gingerbread Man takes place at Carriageworks Theatre on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th April 2018.
What the Moon Saw
2Faced Dance Company are bringing their new family-friendly dance and circus performance to Leeds during the Easter holidays. What the Moon Saw is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s age-old story. It follows Jack, a young boy whose world comes to life when he looks out of the window at the moon. It’s an interactive show full of music, circus skills and dance. You’re even invited to come dressed in your pyjamas.
What the Moon Saw takes place at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th April 2018.
Christopher’s Caterpillars is one of the most popular children’s stories of recent times and you can see it in Leeds this school holiday. Join Christopher Nibble as he becomes a detective with his best friend Posie. Their prize caterpillars, which they take care of in their growing garden, have gone missing. Will they be able to find them?
Christopher’s Caterpillars takes place at Carriageworks Theatre on Saturday 7th April 2018.
Wars of the Roses Weekend
During the second weekend of the Easter holidays, Royal Armouries will take you back to the Wars of the Roses. This is your chance to find out more about the 30 year period of intermittent war from 1455 to 1485 as the House of Lancaster and House of York battle it out for supremacy. There’ll be re-enactments of the Battle of Towton and a chance to explore a 15th-century military encampment the night before battle – you can even watch combat demos and have a go at archery.
Wars of the Roses Weekend takes over Royal Armouries on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th April 2018.
Lempen Puppet Theatre Company is bringing its unique Cardboard Carnival to Leeds and all they need is your imagination. You’ll get to meet their genius lions, birds, elephants and more, each of which has been created out of just a cardboard box. It’s a purely visual show, one that’s full of amazing adventures and wonderful puppets.
Cardboard Carnival takes over Carriageworks Theatre on Monday 9th April 2018.
Anatomical – The Doodle Dance Show
The Doodle Dance Show does exactly what the title suggests – it will get you doodling and dancing during the school holidays in Leeds. Anatomical will take you on a magical adventure of friendship. It’s an interactive story that will see you creating worlds populated by birds, pirates and weird underwater creatures, all while getting to strut your stuff.
Anatomical – The Doodle Dance Show comes to The Riley Theatre on Friday 13th April 2018.