If the weekend has caught you by surprise and you still don’t have plans, fear not, because we’ve rounded up what’s going on this weekend in Leeds.
There’s always something to do in Leeds, so if you find yourself at a loose end this weekend, or any other for that matter, just whack Leeds-List in your search bar and find our guide to what’s on in Leeds. From the latest shows to club nights and one-off events, we’ve got it covered.
Friday 9th December 2022
Chow Down. Everyone’s favourite outdoor venue is back for the winter with a whole host of hand-warming events taking place over the weekend. Make your way to the Chow Down Winter Village for entertainment from Danielle Moore on Friday, World Cup screenings on Saturday and Santa’s Breakfast on Sunday. Grub comes from The Middle Feast, The Savvy Baker and more weekly traders.
Leeds Corn Exchange Christmas Market. The festive season is firmly underway at Leeds Corn Exchange as their Christmas market continues right through the weekend. Expect all manner of gifts, decorations and festive food from local indie traders – there’s even Christmas spirit tasting experiences, plus a bar selling hot cocktails, mulled wine, craft beers and fizz.
Ice Cube. Up for a spot of ice skating this weekend? You’re in luck because Ice Cube is back in Millennium Square for Christmas. This 400-square-metre ice rink is complete with bars and street food. It’s open all weekend to the public and, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the ’Penguin Club’ gives the kids a chance to get comfortable on the ice.
Les Misérables. After nearly a decade since its last UK tour, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables will take to Leeds Grand Theatre on Friday and Saturday. With a set inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the magnificent score includes heart-wrenching ballads ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, ‘On My Own’ and ‘Bring Him Home’.
Dick Whittington. The original rock ’n’ roll panto is back at Leeds City Varieties just in time for Christmas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and this time it’s taking on the classic Dick Whittington. Prepare to be wowed by all the traditional panto elements of audience participation and corny gags, with a load of classic rock anthems and a few surprises here and there.
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s a chance of a lifetime. But is everything as sweet as it seems? On its first ever UK tour, this dazzling new production will take you to a world of pure imagination on Friday and Saturday at Leeds Playhouse.
Occupational Hazard. Independent theatre company Slung Low are hosting Leeds-based dance theatre duo, ACCA, on Friday at The Holbeck. Their first full-length performance, Occupational Hazard fuses comedy, clowning and cabaret for an aviation-themed show that raises questions about navigating consent as a female in the service industry.
Cinderella. Can Buttons and her magical forest friends help Cinderella to achieve her dreams and prove that she has a choice, worth and a voice in this world? Combining fairy-tale enchantment with side-splitting comedy, this year’s panto will leave the whole family entertained and enchanted! Catch Cinderella at Armley’s Interplay Theatre on Friday evening.
Christmas Wreath Making. ’Tis the season to be jolly! So why not head to North Brewing Co this weekend and enjoy a hot mince pie and a wintery drink while learning how to make your own festive wreath? All the materials, seasonal snacks and the first drink are included, plus you can take home your final creation to hang on your front door!
Saturday 10th December 2022
Comedy Club. Established in 2001 and featuring four stand up comedians, HiFi’s Comedy Club is Leeds’ finest independent stand-up comedy night and has been the launchpad for many a stand-up comedian over the years. This Saturday, the club will see comics Martin Mor, Roger Monkhouse, Hayley Ellis and Mandy McCarthy take to its iconic stage.
Stick Man. A family-friendly puppet show that’s filled with all manner of festive fun for all ages, Freckle Productions’ Stick Man comes to life at Leeds Playhouse this weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Watch as Stick Man’s ordinary morning jog turns into an extraordinary adventure packed full of songs and funky moves. Will he make it back to the family tree?
Christmas Mystery Matinees. Did you know that Leeds is home to one of the UK’s smallest cinemas? With just 24 seats, you can visit Leeds Industrial Museum to check out its beautiful 1920’s Palace Picture House for family favourite Christmas classics daily at 2pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Film screenings are included in the museum admission charge.
World Cup: Quarter Finals. This Saturday will see England take on France in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Quarter Finals. If you’re looking for somewhere to catch the momentous match outside of the house, there are countless Leeds venues opening their doors to football fans with non-stop pints and grub. Check out our guide to the best places in Leeds to watch the game.
Leeds Christmas Trails. Looking for things to do in Leeds with all the family this weekend? Leeds’ historic estates and beloved parks are all dressed up for Christmas. With lit-up trails to wander through at Roundhay Park, Lotherton Hall and Harewood House, plus a few sightings of Santa himself, there’s plenty to get the grown-ups and the little ones into the festive spirit.
Stockeld Christmas Pantos. Christmas is here and that can only mean one thing – it’s panto season! This weekend, grab the whole family and make your way to the stunning Stockeld Park for their joy-filled Christmas in Oz Panto on Friday and Saturday, and Santa’s Christmas Panto Breakfast on Saturday morning only. You can even check out the Winter Illuminations while you’re there.
Nick Harper. Nick Harper is back at Hyde Park Book Club with old favourites, a few forgotten gems from his extensive back catalogue and a taster or two from his forthcoming new album. With extended studio time in the planner, this may be your last chance to see the English singer-songwriter up close and personal for a while.
World Championship Boxing. Josh Warrington returns to Leeds first direct arena to defend his IBF World Featherweight title against Luis Alberto Lopez in what promises to be another memorable celebration of boxing in his home city. The bout on Saturday will be Warrington’s 12th appearance at the arena and the atmosphere will be just as electric as the last.
Belgrave Feast. Want to try the best of Leeds’ food scene but don’t know where to start? The Belgrave Feast is the best shout. Head to Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen on Saturday for endless foodie choices from some of the city’s finest in street food, alongside live music. You can even pick up some small biz jewellery or art prints too – they make perfect Crimbo prezzies!
Sunday 11th December 2022
Bongo’s Bingo. You can head to the O2 Academy Leeds on Sunday night for Bongo’s Bingo. It’s bingo made cool again (was it ever?). Get ready for absolutely bonkers games of luck, complete with rave interludes, inexplicable prizes, confetti cannons and fancy dress galore. Just remember to call off Monday morning plans – they’re done for!
Treasure Hunt Leeds. Want to see the city through a whole new lens this weekend? Starting at Leeds Art Gallery, you’ll head off on a treasure hunt around the city, seeking out the Victorian arcades, the magnificent Corn Exchange, the famous Kirkgate Market and more as you go. You may even spot something you never knew was there!
Leeds Winter Market. If you’re looking for a Christmas market to scour this weekend, make a beeline for the Royal Armouries on Sunday, where 200 square metres will be filled with indie businesses for the Leeds Winter Market. This one-stop shop for buying locally and more sustainably this Christmas is the perfect opportunity to pick up something for everyone on your list.
Fury Fest. Tyson Fury AKA The Gypsy King is heading to the Royal Armouries on Sunday for one night only as part of the Official After Party Tour. This is your chance to meet the two-time world heavyweight boxing champion in person, as well as other featured fighters. Special guests include Tyson’s own father, the legend himself, John Fury.
Brudenell Piano Sessions. The final Brudenell Piano Sessions of the year presents another chance to experience a set of amazing intimate concerts. This Sunday’s show sees performances from Imogen, a singer-songwriter and pianist from Newcastle, JP Coimbra, a Portuguese composer, and Jessie Marcella, an ambient/electronic producer and composer based in Leeds.
Christmas Cinema Club. The festive season isn’t complete without watching all your favourite films and Springwell Cinema Club is back with a family favourite, Home Alone! Join North Brewing Co on Sunday for drinks, snacks and a Christmas cracker of a film, with North beers on tap and street food from Little Bao Boy and Kerbside Kids – all brought to your seats.
Christmas Winter Market. The North Brewing Co Winter Market returns to Springwell for 2022 on Saturday and Sunday, featuring some of the best independent traders from Leeds and further afield. Whether you’re looking for the perfect present or even a treat for yourself, they’ve got you covered. There’ll be hot drinks from North Star, as well as mulled cider and festive cocktails.
Paint Christmas. Fancy brushing up on your art skills this weekend? Join PopUp Painting at Malmaison on Sunday for a festive painting party, where you can paint your own take on Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night – paint brush in one hand, glass of wine in the other. No experience is required and all the supplies you’ll need are provided.
Left Bank Christmas. Looking for somewhere to take the little ones to meet the big guy this weekend? You’re in luck as Santa’s Grotto comes to Left Bank Leeds on Saturday and Sunday. They can get that Christmas wish in order while you can enjoy all that’s on offer at the Left Bank Christmas Market on Sunday, with over 40 makers and artists, you’re sure to find the perfect gift.