Make the most of those rainy days and treat the kids to some of the best indoor activities in Leeds.
Leeds is no stranger to bad weather, but what do you do when the rain is pouring and you’ve got little ones to entertain? Thankfully, our city has loads of indoor activities that will get the kids out of the house, and most importantly, keep the boredom at bay. So whether they’re budding skateboarders, climbers or jumpers, you’ll find plenty of things to do with the kids next time you’re looking for some inspiration.
If you’ve got kids who adore extreme sports, there’s only one place to visit on rainy days in Leeds. The Works in Hunslet run by local charity LS-TEN is a utopia whether you’re on a board, bike or blades, with four different areas. Big Street features driveways, flat banks, and quarter pipes, while Easy Street is designed for all skill-sets. There’s The Pool, perfect for dipping into and showing off tricks, and the Spine and Bowl, ideal for momentum-building. Adult membership costs £35, under 18’s membership costs £25 and they offer a host of family membership packages too – they will get you discount on their sessions which start at £4.
The Works, Kitson Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NT.
Clubbing isn’t always an option for parents, but what if you can take your kids along with you? That’s exactly what Raver Tots offers. They come to The Warehouse every three months to put on a family-friendly afternoon rave. For each event, they pick an era or style of dance music, from acid house to 90s classics, and while you relive the good ol’ days as top class DJs spin tunes, the kids get to dance around, play dress up, wave glowsticks and take part in craft workshops.
Raver Tots events take place at The Warehouse, 19-21 Somers Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2RG.
As soft play centres go, Jungle Kids in Armley have got it covered. The kids have plenty of things to do as they go on their own little adventure, exploring their way through crawl tubes, cargo nets, slides and dizzy discs. There are also areas specifically for younger children, featuring a kiddie kart track and a ball pool, while grown-ups can have a rest in their 130-seater cafe. Entry is a fiver for adults and big kids, £4 for kids aged between 2 and 4 and £2 for kids under 2.
Jungle Kids, 12 Whingate, Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 3BL.
TeamSport is the ultimate go-karting experience in Leeds and it’s one of the best indoor activities for the whole family. Race around their 580-metre track featuring 12 corners, with kids karts for children aged 8 to 12, or adult karts for anyone over 13. You can book on their Open Timed Race Sessions from £20 per person and their Family Madness events are £30 per person, while they also do Junior Track Days during the holidays and offer kids tuition to improve those skills.
TeamSport, South Accommodation Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NQ.
Clip n’ Climb
Clip n’ Climb is the ultimate family-friendly indoor climbing centre. You can get to grips with their brightly coloured climbing walls, which are suitable for kids as young as 4. There are 32 different climbing challenges and it’s easy to get the hang of it – the clip-on safety system retracts as you climb and then lowers you back to the ground when you’re done. Feeling brave? Try the 9-metre vertical drop slide too. It’s £12.50 for a 90-minute session.
Clip n’ Climb, Unit 3, Tristram Centre, Brown Lane West, Gelderd Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 6BF.
Why not spend those rainy days in Leeds getting creative? Jackrabbits in Oakwood is a paint-your-own pottery studio that the whole family can get involved in. Simply choose the ceramic item you’d like, then paint it, hand it back and pop in a week later to collect it once it has been glazed and fired. You can choose from plates, mugs, boxes and vases, with seasonal items throughout the year, and prices range from £2 to £36.
Jackrabbits, 633a Roundhay Road, Oakwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 4BA.
Need to tire the little ones out before bedtime? A visit to Oxygen Freejumping will do just the trick. Down at Cardigan Fields on Kirkstall Road, they have more than 100 interconnected trampolines to bounce back and forth between, making it one of the most fun indoor activities in Leeds. There’s also an obstacle course, a giant airbag and plenty more for the kids to get involved with. If you’ve got toddlers, take them along to their tailored Little O sessions for extra peace of mind.
Oxygen Freejumping, Cardigan Fields, Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DG.
Scuba Leeds offer a duo of different sessions that make getting in the water loads of fun. The Bubblemaker is for kids over the age of 8 and introduces them to scuba diving with the help of trained instructors. Alternatively, you can sign them up to the PADI Seal Team, which will see the little ones completing a series of fun-packed aqua missions, learning essential skills as they go – it will eventually lead to a series of certifications too.
Scuba Leeds, Unit 2, Carlton Mills, Pickering Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2QG.
The Little Bookshop
The Little Bookshop is a great place to take the kids if you’re looking for things to do indoors. It’s the city’s only dedicated children’s bookshop and there are loads of great reads inside – but it’s not just good for shopping. They hold traditional storytelling sessions regularly, so you can sit back and relax while their friendly staff regale the kids with stories of fairytale lands. They have a cafe here too, with fun food for the kids and delicious dishes for mum and dad.
The Little Bookshop, 47 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3PD.
Kids Club House
Kids Club House understands how important it is to keep kids active for their physical and mental wellbeing and have designed their playhouse especially to encourage the little ones to get moving. They can slide, crawl, balance, bounce and swing their way through the course, as well as having a go at hand-eye coordination challenges and testing their ball skills. It’s £4.95 for over 4s, £3.95 for 2-3 years, £2.75 for under 2s and £1 for pre-walkers, although they get in for free if you’re bringing an older child. There’s also a cafe for the adults and free wifi.
Kids Club House, 75a New Road Side, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4QD.
Grim Up Nerf
Nerf, or nerfing, is a modern craze that comes from the name of foam dart blasters, which look like guns but are completely safe for kids. They’re so popular that Leeds has its own club, Grim Up Nerf, and they arrange Nerf Wars in Headingley or Farsley, as well as holding events in Bradford. They run about, tagging other gamers with their darts (think of it like a game of laser tag that kids can do anywhere) – it’s just £1 to take part, and if the kids are into it, it’s one of the most fun indoor activities they can do in Leeds.
Grim Up Nerf takes place in venues across Leeds every month.
The Guest House
Escape rooms aren’t generally family-friendly, but The Guest House bucks the trend, which is why it’s one of the best indoor activities in Leeds. Their complex above Kirkgate Market is designed for people aged 12+, so it’s a great day out for bored teens. Just because youngsters can play doesn’t mean it’s any easier though – you’ve got 60 minutes to crack the codes and unravel the mysteries to escape the room. Prices start from £16 per person, but vary depending on the size of your group.
The Guest House, The Leeming Building, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HZ.
In the heart of Guiseley, Tumble Town is without a doubt one of the best indoor activities in Leeds for the little ones. The soft play centre has loads of going on – you can dress up as a shopkeeper, serve tea and cake in the cafe or fix the tiny cars in the garage. They even have a ball pool and slides on the second floor. Entry is just £1 for babies, £2.50 for crawlers and £3.50 for walkers, with meal deal options too.
Tumble Town Adventure Play, South View Business Centre, Ghyll Royd, Guiseley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS20 9PP.
Emsley’s Play Barn
Emsley’s is well known for their farm full of animals, but it also has The Barn, a soft play and activity centre for all the family. There are different things to do every day, with Tiny Tales and Tunes, Creation Station and more – but if your little ones like to roam free, they can just let off some steam in their play area while you have a break in the cafe. It’s £4 for over 18 months or £2 for under 18 months, while adults go free.
Emsley’s Play Barn, Emsley’s Farm, Warm Lane, Yeadon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 7DW.
You can introduce the little ones to the world of ballet from as young as six months with Babyballet. They run regular ballet, dance and tap classes at various venues across the city. Start them with their Tots classics, where the little ones will learn the basics while having loads of fun, before moving up through the Tinies, Tappers, Movers and Groovers classes as they get older. You can get three introductory classes for £15, then each session will cost £5.50.
Babyballet, 59 Vesper Gate Mount, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3NL.
The Royal Armouries is more than just a museum. Once you’ve had a whale of a time exploring the incredible National Collection of Arms and Armour, head to the fifth floor where you’ll find their special indoor archery course. Kids over 4 foot can learn the ropes with a qualified instructor. You’ll get eight crossbow bolts to fire at the target for £3 a go, but once you get the hang of it, don’t be surprised if you might want a few more goes.
Royal Armouries, Armouries Drive, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1LT.
Sensory Space Leeds
It’s now widely recognised that sensory rooms have a huge impact on a child’s progression and that’s exactly what Sensory Space offers. Their sensory room is designed for young children, babies and people with additional needs, with a sensory tree with fibre optic lights, a touchy-feely sensory box, a bubble machine and a vibrating bubble tube. There’s also the UV Active Room, which uses ultraviolet lights and gives the kids an interactive space to play in. It’s £3.50 per person, whatever your age.
Sensory Space Leeds, 1a Haddon Hall, Backfield Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2JT.
Head out to Horsforth for fun family activities at Firefly Pottery. The main activity here is pottery painting, which means the kids can pick a piece of poetry from £3.50, get a tutorial on how to paint it, and then actually do it, before collecting it a week later. That’s not all though, as they put on specially tailored pottery wheel throwing lessons for £18 and clay hand building sessions for £12.50. It also doubles up as a cafe, so grown-ups can treat themselves to a brew and some cake if they don’t want to join in.
Firefly Pottery, 116 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4AH.
Go for a dip in Bramley Baths instead of getting caught out in the rain when it’s pouring down. This isn’t your average swimming pool – it’s the only lasting example of a Victorian bathhouse left in Leeds, and the kids can have a ball here. They put on special under-5s and baby sessions during the week, or you can visit on Saturdays or Sundays for their Family Fun Swim. It’s £4.50 for adults, £2.50 for kids or £10 for families.
Bramley Baths, Broad Lane, Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 3DF.
Why not use those rainy days in Leeds to keep the kids active? The David Lloyd Leisure Centre has an almost endless list of activities that will get the whole family moving. DL Kids matches up with their group exercise classes, so you can enjoy the club while they try out a sport, play some games or have fun in an arts and crafts session. They also have Toddlers to Teens sessions where they can try their hand at a range of activities and DLicious which features a toddlers area, play frames and a cafe.
David Lloyd Leisure Centre, Tongue Lane, Moortown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4QW.
Popular London soft play centre Eddie Catz is now a favourite in Leeds and it’s definitely something the kids can enjoy on rainy days. Situated inside the Mothercare at Crown Point, it offers up a 3-tier play frame for children up to 5 with a crawler’s zone and a studio. There’s also a community space that runs a series of pre-school, toddler and pre-natal classes, as well as half-term workshops, and while you’re there, you can pop into the cafe next door to take five. Prices start from £2.50.
Eddie Catz, Mothercare, Crown Point Shopping Park, 8 Junction Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1EW.Cover image copyright McFade.