You’ll never have a dull day again with these fantastic things to do with the kids in Leeds.
Even when it’s pouring outside you won’t be stuck for things to do with your little ones. Leeds is jam-packed with fun indoor activities that’ll have the kids talking for weeks to come. From learning how to scuba dive or ice skate to becoming a ninja or meeting exotic animals, these boredom busting family-friendly things to do in Leeds are just the ticket.
LS-TEN Skate Park
Got a little skater on your hands? LS-TEN Skate Park is the perfect environment for them to build their confidence on a board, BMX, skates or scooter. There are four different areas, ranging from street set-ups with mini ramps and spines to an old-school pool and an epic cradle. They run sessions for every level of ability, with coaching available to help your kids nail the right techniques too. Mini Riders on Saturday mornings gives under-8s full access, so they can make friends while they get their skate on.
LS-TEN Skate Park, Kitson Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NT.
Heading to the White Rose Centre on a rainy day in Leeds is the obvious choice, but did you know there’s an even better indoor activity to do here than shopping? The Escapologist has everything you need for a day out with the kids away from the stormy weather. They offer a range of challenging escape games, but with a kid-friendly focus. You can immerse yourself in the worlds of Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes as you attempt to solve a host of head-scratching puzzles and get out of your chosen room within 60 minutes.
The Escapologist, White Rose Shopping Centre, Dewsbury Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8LU.
Kitty Cafe combines all your favourite things. You can sit down to a yummy meal, drink a pot of tea and stroke a cute kitty at the same time. The menu is packed full of simple but tasty delights like jacket potatoes, cheesy pizza and crispy paninis. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll have trouble choosing which of the 12 decadent slices of cake to devour. Of course, it’s the fluffy felines that you really come here to see – you could be cuddling up with Crinkle, a soft grey Scottish Fold, or playing with inquisitive ginger tom Rory!
Kitty Cafe, 8-9 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BZ.
If tearing your kids away from the console seems like an impossible task, why not tempt them with a day at Arcade Club? There are three whole floors of family-friendly games, from classics like Pac-Man and pinball machines to modern gaming set-ups complete with virtual reality. Whether you love a dance machine or first-person shooter, there’s something for everyone, big or small. You pay an entry fee, but all the games are free to play and you can stay as long as you like. There’s even a reasonably priced cafe where you can refuel!
Arcade Club, Unit 3, Abbey Retail Park, Savins Mill Way, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3RP. Adults cost £17 and under-16s cost £9. Family bundles available.
Thackray Medical Museum
Thackray Medical Museum is full of gory delights, perfect for grossing out and fascinating the kids. They tell the story of modern medicine, from the grisly beginnings in Victorian England through to the present day and the issues that affect us now. Keep an eye out for their interactive exhibitions that make learning fun. They also hold regular talks, events and temporary exhibitions too, including discussions about the futuristic potential of robots, the live dissection of body parts and special effects make-up workshops.
Thackray Museum of Medicine, 141 Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7LN.
Go karting at TeamSport is a thrill ride for the whole family. After a full safety briefing, you’ll be let loose on the longest indoor circuit in Yorkshire. You can speed along the straights, take on the hairpin turns and fly through the tunnel, all while you vie for first place. Mixed racing sessions mean that parents and siblings can all race together to find out who’s the fastest in the family! They even have lessons, so if you don’t fancy a day at the races, you can leave the kids to learn basic and advanced go kart driving techniques.
TeamSport Leeds, South Accommodation Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NQ.
Clip ‘n Climb
Clip ’n Climb is one of Leeds’ favourite indoor activities. It’s a relaxed and leisurely place to have a go at climbing, perfect for families. There are 32 different climbs, all decked out in bright colours, and anyone over 4 can take them on. They have a Birdy Hoist to enable wheelchair users to climb too. Challenges vary in difficulty, from the dramatic-looking Lightning Crack to the balance-testing Stairway to Heaven. All this climbing got you hungry? Woodpeckers is the perfect place to relax with a cuppa and a bite to eat.
Clip ‘n Climb, Unit 3, Tristam Centre, Brown Lane West, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 6BF.
One of the best things to do with the kids in Leeds, Jump Inc is a super fun trampoline park and adventure playground all rolled into one. There’s loads of stuff going on here. You and the kids could be whizzing down the huge slides, tackling the inflatable obstacle course together or doing your best and biggest jumps on the trampolines. Got even littler ones? Head to the special toddler sessions for under-5s. There’s a dedicated area, so they can explore the bouncy play park without worrying about the older kids.
Jump Inc, 1 Benyon Park Way, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 6DP.
Believe it or not, The Middleton Railway is the oldest working railway in the entire world! And it’s just a stone’s throw away from Leeds city centre. Run entirely by volunteers, it’s an especially charming way to beat the wet weather blues. The main attraction is the tiny steam locomotive which will take you to Middleton Park and back – the kids will love this one. A visit to the adjoining museum (indoors, of course) is a must. Here, you can see all manner of artefacts, historical photos and, yep, even more steam locomotives.
Middleton Railway, Moor Road, Hunsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 2JG.
Do your kids love the water? Scuba Leeds offer a range of sessions for kids to get them comfortable diving – and it’s loads of fun to boot. The Bubblemaker sees kids aged 8 and over getting in the shallow end of the pool with scuba gear on. They’ll learn how to breathe underwater, blow bubbles and float. The Seal Team program is where young divers complete exciting aqua missions to get them learning diving fundamentals like clearing a mask or taking underwater photography. They can even get certificates too!
Scuba Leeds, Unit 2, Carlton Mills, Pickering Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2QG.
The Little Bookshop
The only independent children’s bookstore in Leeds, The Little Bookshop is a wholesome way to spend a miserable weather day. They’ve got a diverse and inclusive selection to browse, with stories from and about every walk of life. The shelves are packed with enticing colours and patterns for every age, including you! They’ve got story books and novels for the whole family, as well as non-fiction, poetry and child welfare books. Pop by on Fridays at 11am for their story-time sessions, guaranteed to keep kids enthralled.
The Little Bookshop, 47 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3PD.
Level Up Academy
Level Up Academy is one of the more unusual indoor activities Leeds has to offer. Regular sports don’t cut it here, instead your kids can get involved in more physically creative activities like parkour, cheerleading, circus skills and more. They run parkour classes for kids aged 9-15, helping them to learn basic movements and essential skills like precision jumps, wall running and rolling. Got younger children? Kids aged 6-8 can go to Mini Parkour, a set of sessions designed to teach leaping, vaulting and balancing.
Level Up Academy, Unit 4, Lockwood Court, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5TY.
Royal Armouries is a treasure trove of learning. It’s home to the UK’s national collection of arms and armouries, so we’re talking everything from swords to shields. There’s a whopping five galleries packed with thousands of objects, each one as fascinating as the next. You can discover the No.5 Mark 1 Mills grenade, the first British hand grenade to be issued on a large scale. Or perhaps the intricate ornate metalwork of the fascinating Ming sword will draw the kids in? Its hilt glitters with gold, silver and semi-precious stones.
Royal Armouries, Armouries Drive, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1LT.
A contemporary art gallery in the heart of Leeds, The Tetley has lots to ignite the imaginations of adults and children alike. With three floors of art exhibitions, you can wander the gallery spaces and consider big ideas, creative concepts and interesting materials from some of the UK’s most important artists. They hold family-friendly events and workshops here too, like children’s yoga and DIY screen printing. The Tiny Tetley series invites under-5s and their parents to make art together five days a week for free.
The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1JQ.
A day spent swimming and splashing in the water is always good fun, whether you’re a little kid or a big one. Bramley Baths is an especially beautiful swimming pool. It dates back to Edwardian times and it still retains its original period features, like the glass-roofed pool and the wrought iron railings. They have lots of different sessions, with daily general swims and regular fun sessions at the weekend. Catch the pool party on Sundays for fun inflatables, lots of splashing and infectious, riotous laughter.
Bramley Baths, Broad Lane, Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 3DF.
David Lloyd Kids Club
Kids can stay active even on rainy days with David Lloyd Kids Club. They have everything you could ask for, from a creche to keep the little ones entertained to an action-packed scooter squad for older children. Sessions are timed around the adult classes, so while you’re getting a sweat on, so are they! Whether your kids are three months or 16 years, they can enjoy various activities to keep them learning something new or develop their skills. David Lloyd offer tennis and swim coaching too.
David Lloyd Leisure Centre, Tongue Lane, Moortown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4QW.
Inside the historic Sunny Bank Mills, there’s a delightful children’s soft play centre where memories are made. Kids get two hours to go absolutely wild at Jackaboos, whether they’re crawlers or walkers. They can jump on trampolines, barrel down slides into ball pools and climb to their heart’s content on the multi-level play frame. It’s not so big that you’ll lose track of them from the seating area either, where you can grab a cup of tea and refuel the kids for their next big sesh of diving in the ball pool.
Jackaboos, Sunnybank Mills, Unit 4 Old Combing, 83-85 Town St, Farsley, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.
Need to burn off some energy? There’s no better place than LaserZone’s alien crash landing site. Kids (and you, if you fancy joining in) are issued with state-of-the-art laser packs and phasers, before being let loose in the multi-level arena. It’s a labyrinth of a spaceship with weird noises, mysterious smoke and flashing lights. Creep around corners, run your absolute fastest and make sure your aim is true so you can zap some off-worlders. You’ll even get a photo as a memento of that time you battled aliens.
LazerZone, Cardigan Fields Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DG.
Glide, slide and spin your way to worn-out kids with ice skating at Planet Ice. There are a load of ice-based activities here. You can have a leisurely skate in the public skate sessions, get lessons to master the ice or watch the Leeds Knights play a game of ice hockey. If you’re newbies to the rink, they hold small group lessons where you learn the basics as a family. Kids can also get ice hockey lessons, or even enrol on a performance skating course, where they’ll learn how to spin and jump safely in a show environment.
Planet Ice, Elland Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 0EY.
If you’re looking for fun things to do with the kids in Leeds, Puttstars has everything you could need to keep them entertained. Grab your putter and choose one of three weird and wonderful nine-hole mini-golf courses. You could be putting your ball through a maze, round a loop-the-loop or over a bridge. Record your score electronically as you complete the course and crown the putting champion at the end. Need some scran to refuel? There’s a diner serving yummy delights like pizza, hot dogs and milkshakes.
Puttstars, The Springs, Century Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 8GB.
When the rain starts falling, head to Jackrabbits Pottery. You and the kids pick the ceramic pieces you want to decorate, grab a cuppa and get painting! There are 130 different things you can decorate here, from treasure chests and piggy banks to animals and plates. They have seasonal items too, so there’s always something new. Play it safe with your favourite colours or go for a wild colour combination – the choice is yours! It’s then glazed and fired by the experts, ready for pride of place on your mantlepiece.
Jackrabbits Pottery, 633A Roundhay Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 4BA.
If it’s too rainy for Roundhay Park, then Tropical World is a great day out without having to brave the weather. It’s a series of greenhouses where you can stay warm and discover exotic creatures from across the world, from desert animals to aquariums and everything in between. You could be meeting meerkats, saying hello to beautiful butterflies and learning about lizards, all in one day. They even have tropical birds here, so you can discover what life is like 20 metres above the rainforest floor.
Tropical World, Princes Avenue, Roundhay Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2ER.
You thought that you gave up raving when you became a parent? Think again! Boomchikkaboom put on family-friendly rave parties at venues across Leeds. You and your kids can be bopping and boogying away to feel good music like the Spice Girls, Disney soundtracks and Rihanna in Revolución de Cuba or Leeds City Museum. Got tiny tots? They hold mini raves for kids between 0-3 as well, set in smaller spaces with singalongs, bubbles, shakers and more. It’s definitely one of the best indoor activities for kids in Leeds.
Check out upcoming Boomchikkaboom events near you.
It’s time to hone those ninja skills with the Ninja Warrior obstacle course. Strap on your warrior headband and get started! Inspired by the hit TV programme, you can climb, balance and jump your way across various challenges, culminating in the infamous Warped Wall. It’s suitable for kids over four, with some obstacles being hard even for adults. There’s an inflatable airpark too, which kids will find easier to complete. You can book one hour or two and there’s no charge if you’re just spectating.
Ninja Warrior, Temple House, Ramshead Approach, Seacroft, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS14 1NH.
Kids Club House
Kids Club House is an epic soft play centre in Horsforth with something to entertain every age. To start with, it’s big. There’s a baby area, a toddler area and a kids area, all with lots to keep them appropriately entertained. We’re talking a tube slide, a fun wavy slide, ball pools to dive into, a kart track, a penalty zone and more. You can sit in the cafe with a cup of coffee or a bite to eat and still keep a close eye on the kids. They have wifi too so you could even get a bit of work done while the children play.
Kids Club House, 75a New Road side, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4QD.Cover image credit: McFade