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Fantastic Half Term Activities in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Family

Take the kids on an adventure the whole family will enjoy this half term.

Glowing Ghosts at Thwaite Mills

Wondering how you’ll keep the kids entertained during the school holidays? Fear not, because there are loads of family activities in Leeds this half term…

The February half term is nearly here, and there are oodles of events and activities in Leeds that will help keep the little ones entertained during the school holidays. From family-friendly theatre to baby raves, gunpowder plots and dog shows, there’s absolutely loads to do. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your half term adventures.

Ice Cube 2019

Ice Cube

Credit: Sarah Zagni

Every year, Ice Cube takes over Millennium Square just in time for the February half term. This pop-up ice rink is the perfect place to teach the kids to skate with lessons and penguin skating aids to help you do it. There are winter themed rides too, so you can turn it into a real day out, and if you need to warm up, grab a coffee at their on-site case. It’s now indoors, so you can hit the ice come rain or shine.

Ice Cube 2019 takes over Millennium Square from Friday 1st to Sunday 24th February 2019.

Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories

Michael Morpurgo's King Arthur

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best loved children’s authors and this family-friendly exhibition from Seven Stories gives you the chance to see his work in a new way during the school holidays. You can learn about the imagination and story-telling skills of the War Horse writer, with original manuscripts on display and immersive experiences for the little ones to try.

Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories takes over Leeds City Museum from Friday 8th February to Sunday 16th June 2019.

War Games

The Royal Armouries

© Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Ali Turner

The Royal Armouries is one of the best places to go to in Leeds for half term, and in February they’re focussing on War Games. You can explore the museum and then try your hand at a series of war games, both old and new. They will have high tech on-screen battles, as well as more traditional dice and counter games. You can look forward to the wonderful combat demonstrations and dramatic performances too.

War Games takes over the Royal Armouries from Wednesday 13th to Sunday 24th February 2019.

Heart Dissection Workshops

Heart dissection at Thackray Medical Museum

Credit: Danny Hirst

They’re back! The Heart Dissection Workshops are one of Thackray Medical Museum’s most popular events and you can give them a whirl during the school holidays. They’re great for kids who like to get hands-on, as experts from St James Hospital show them what the heart does, how it does it and why it does it. You’ll get your own animal heart to dissect and learn why it’s so important to eat and live healthily.

Heart Dissection Workshops comes to Thackray Medical Museum from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd February 2019.

February Family Festival: Art, Dance, Movement and Music

Art workshops in Leeds

Head to The Tetley this half term for their February Family Festival. It’s a week-long series of events inspired by their New North South Partnership, which brings together arts organisations from across Northern England and South Asia. You can look forward to Bollywood dance workshops, Bhangra drumming sessions, traditional art classes and a Rangoli tiles lesson.

February Family Festival: Art, Dance, Movement and Music comes to The Tetley from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd February 2019.

Puppet Making


Leeds City Museum has taken inspiration from its Michael Morpurgo exhibition to create a special Puppet Making Workshop during the school holidays. You’ll see the amazing animals he creates in his books, then join Diana, an expert puppeteer, to make and play with a string puppet made using everyday materials, before you take it home with you.

Puppet Making comes to Leeds City Museum on Tuesday 19th February 2019.

Bird’s Nest Billy

Fidget Theatre is making its way to Leeds this half term with new show, Bird’s Nest Billy. It’s an adventurous drama for three to seven year olds that brings Billy’s fantastical wishes to life using imaginative storytelling, puppetry and audience interaction. When his big brother goes to school, Billy has no-one to play with, but then he finds a magical bird in his curly hair, he discovers that wishes can come true.

Bird’s Nest Billy comes to Carriageworks Theatre on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th February 2019 and Otley Courthouse on Saturday 23rd February 2019.

Step into the Stories

Temple Newsam Story Time

The kids can spend an afternoon exploring the magical world of literature at Step into the Stories. Head to Leeds City Museum to meet their expert team of creative storytellers. They’ll help you create your own imaginary characters inspired by Joey the War Horse, The Butterfly Lion and Flamingo Boy.

Step into the Stories comes to Leeds City Museum from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd February 2019.

Nick Sharratt’s Right Royal Drawalong

Nick Sharratt is a famed children’s author and illustrator, known for bringing characters like Tracy Beaker and Timothy Pope to life. This half-term he’s coming to Carriageworks Theatre to show you how to sketch his characters and your own. In honour of his new book ‘Nice Work for the Cat and the King’, everything you do will have a royal twist. Just bring, pencils, paper and something to lean on – he’ll do the rest.

Nick Sharratt’s Right Royal Drawalong comes to Carriageworks Theatre on Thursday 21st February 2019.

The Art of Tinkering

Art workshops in Leeds

Head to Leeds Central Library for The Art of Tinkering, an afternoon inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci. He was an early pioneer of science, technology, engineering, art and maths, what we now call S.T.E.A.M subjects. This family workshop will celebrate his 500th birthday by teaching you to code, craft and construct your own Da Vinci-inspired inventions.

The Art of Tinkering comes to Leeds Central Library on Thursday 21st February 2019.

Bushcraft Day

Skelton Grange

Introduce the little ones to nature at Skelton Grange this half term in Leeds. The Bushcraft Day will see you set up camp in the woods with one of their wild living experts. Each session is different, so you can try something new on every visit. Expect everything from shelter building, fire lighting and campfire cooking to field games, hammock making and wild food walks.

Bushcraft Day comes to Skelton Grange on Thursday 21st February 2019.

The Magical Music of Harry Potter

Halle Orchestra, Swaledale Festival

Credit: Russell Hart

Head to Leeds Town Hall for a concert the whole family can enjoy this February. The Magical Music of Harry Potter will see Manchester’s world famous Hallé Orchestra celebrate the story of the world’s most famous wizard. Led by conductor Stephen Bell with presenter Sarah Day-Smith, you’ll hear the iconic music of the films, with everything from Aunt Marge’s Waltz to The Weasley Stomp and Hedwig’s Theme.

The Magical Music of Harry Potter comes to Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 23rd February 2019.

A Rainbow of Stories

The Leeds Playhouse Youth Theatre Ensemble will host a one-off family-friendly event at Leeds Central Library to mark LGBT+ History Month during the school holidays. A Rainbow of Stories is your chance to see LGBT+ children’s stories come to life through the theatre group’s dramatic storytelling. The show will be followed by a host of craft activities.

A Rainbow of Stories comes to Leeds Central Library on Saturday 23rd February 2019.

Jack and the Beanstalk

A Lyngo Theatre will put their own spin on a classic this half term as Jack and the Beanstalk comes to Carriageworks Theatre. Expect lots of surprises and beautiful images on a screen as CBeebies’ Patrick Lynch tells the incredible story of Jack who swaps his cow for five magic beans which end up taking him up above the clouds. Expect everything from enormous shoes to tiny houses, showers of silver and gold and a big, leafy explosion.

Jack and the Beanstalk comes to Carriageworks Theatre on Sunday 24th February 2019.