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21 Awesome Summer Events in Leeds to Keep the Kids Entertained Over the Holidays

· Emma Cooke · Family

Keep the kids entertained all summer long with these events.

Mr Magnolia, Folksy Theatre

From beatboxing workshops to open-air theatre shows, there’s loads to keep the kids busy during the summer holidays.

Looking to keep the little ones entertained during the holidays? No worries, there’s absolutely loads going on in Leeds. We’re talking child-friendly concerts, outdoor theatre shows and dinosaur-themed swimming sessions right on your doorstep. You can even take a trip to the beach, right in the middle of the city. So get planning for a summer break you’ll never want to end.

The Summer Adventure at Stockeld Park

Stockeld Park will be rammed full of activities for The Summer Adventure, so you’re spoilt for choice. You can watch jaw-dropping bike stunts, join CBBC duo Sam and Mark for a huge summer party and even tackle an inflatable assault course at the Family Sports Challenge. And that’s on top of popular activities like buccaneer boats and a huge maze, which you can enjoy throughout.

The Summer Adventure comes to Stockeld Park from Saturday 20th July to Monday 2nd September 2019.

Summer at The Rainbow Factory

The Rainbow Factory

The Rainbow Factory has a jam-packed summer schedule, making it a must for the holidays. Choose from eight different theatre experiences, which range from Moana’s Beach Party to The Big Gruffalo Hunt or go for a full-day activity. Will it be the Factory of Magic, filled with magicians and unicorns, or Heroes Assemble, where you can train to be a real superhero?

Summer at The Rainbow Factory takes place from Monday 22nd July to Friday 30th August 2019.

Danger Zone and Workshops

Abbey House Museum

© Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Daria Wszolek

Danger Zone is an exhibition filled with hazardous everyday objects from the Victorian era, and this summer, Abbey House Museum are putting on special workshops to explore it further. One week you can follow a pirate trail and another you can make insect and bug crafts. Each will be inspired by the outrageously dangerous objects in the exhibition.

Danger Zone and Workshops takes place at Abbey House Museum from Tuesday 23rd July to Wednesday 28th August 2019.

Bushcraft Day

Bushcraft Day, Skelton Grange

Ever wanted to spend a day in the woods? Bushcraft Day at Skelton Grange is the perfect chance to do just that. You could be doing anything from shelter building, fire lighting and hammock making to creating your own bow and arrow. Not forgetting the all-important campfire cooking! It’s a great way to get back to nature in a woodland setting that will make you feel like a true adventurer.

Bushcraft Day comes to Skelton Grange on Tuesday 23rd July, Wednesday 24th July and Thursday 25th July 2019.

A Sixties Summer of Fun

Lotherton Hall, 50th Birthday

You can dive into six weeks’ worth of summer fun in the run-up to Lotherton Hall’s 50th birthday. Each week will have a new theme, from Groovy Zoo to Summer Sixties. Expect live music, retro games and dressing up, which will keep you going back for more. Remember to pack up a picnic to refuel in their stunning grounds.

A Sixties Summer of Fun takes place at Lotherton Hall from Saturday 24th July to Sunday 1st September 2019.

Introduction to Beatbox Theatre

Introduction to Beatbox, Leeds Playhouse

Join professional beatbox artist Renegrade for an in-depth introduction to beatbox theatre aimed at kids aged between 9 and 13. Using microphones, you’ll learn how to make intriguing sounds with your mouth to create loops and beats. You’ll get to dabble in nifty technology as you go and by the end of the session you’ll have made your very own musical rhythms.

Introduction to Beatbox Theatre comes to Leeds Playhouse on Thursday 25th July 2019.

Musical Museum

Deer at leeds City Museum

This summer, Leeds City Museum will have a slew of music-related activities for little ones. You can rediscover the museum’s collections by following their Strange Sounds trail. What will you discover along the way? And if you want to get crafty, you can drop into their art sessions, where you can make and decorate a new musical instrument each week.

Musical Museum comes to Leeds City Museum from Thursday 25th July to Friday 30th August 2019.

Musical Storytelling Workshop

Musical Storytelling Workshop, Leeds Playhouse

Credit: Rob Freeman

Head to the Musical Storytelling Workshop to give your storytelling skills that extra bit of oomph. It’s a two-hour drama workshop designed to help little ones express themselves and build their confidence. You’ll learn the art of using your voice as an instrument to tell stories in creative and entertaining ways.

Musical Storytelling Workshop comes to Leeds Playhouse on Thursday 25th July 2019.

Gangsta Granny

Heartbreak Productions will takeover Roundhay Park with an open-air production of Gangsta Granny. It’s a fun-filled adaption of the best-selling children book by David Walliams. What would you do if you found out your Granny was an international jewel thief? That’s exactly the predicament that 11 year old Ben finds himself in. Picnics and blankets are all encouraged, so come prepared.

Gangsta Granny comes to Roundhay Park from Friday 26th July, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July 2019.

Leeds Jurassic Trail

Trinity Leeds Dinosaur

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Contakt Photography

Dinosaurs are taking over Leeds! From Saturday 27th July to Sunday 1st September 2019, you can see five ginormous animatronic dinos. If it’s pre-historic predators you’re after, make a beeline for Trinity Leeds where you’ll find an 18-metre long T-Rex and a caged raptor. There’s a carnotaurus in Kirkgate Market, where they’re putting on a host of dino-tastic activities, or you can hunt out the herbivores in Victoria Leeds and The Merrion Centre.

Leeds Jurassic Trail comes to the city centre from Saturday 27th July to Sunday 1st September 2019.

Royal Family Days

The Royal Armouries

Credit: The Royal Armouries

The Royal Armouries is prepped for a jam-packed summer. Look out for their Monarchs weekends, which feature everything from horse shows to dramatic performances dedicated to an almighty ruler in history. You can also check out live combat demonstrations, craft activities and object-handling sessions all summer long.

Royal Family Days takes place at the Royal Armouries from Saturday 27th July 2019 to Sunday 1st September 2019.

Art Monsters Kids Club

Inkwell Arts, Chapel Allerton

Credit: Corvin Pamp

This summer, the kids can get creative at two different Art Monsters Kids Clubs. But, which session will take your fancy? The first will see you making your own felt finger puppets, complete with googly eyes, before bringing them to life in a show. Or you can prep to go back to school with a brand new bookmark, which you’ll design and make yourself using anything from lolly sticks to felt.

Art Monsters Kids Club comes to Inkwell Arts on Saturday 27th July and Saturday 31st August 2019.

Jurassic Park Live

Jurassic Park, Opera North

Credit: ™ & © Universal Studios

Dinosaur lovers, this is right up your street. You can see 90’s blockbuster Jurassic Park on a huge screen in Millennium Square for a very special open-air screening. And that’s not all, as the 60-piece Orchestra of Opera North will perform John Williams’ award-winning score live as the film plays. It’s an awe-inspiring way to introduce the kids to orchestral music.

Jurassic Park Live comes to Millennium Square on Sunday 28th July 2019.

Adventure Swims

Bramley Baths

Credit: Lizzie Coombes

This summer, the kids can go on a wild adventure in the Grade II-listed Bramley Baths. The Edwardian pool will be transformed into a Jurassic world, filled with inflatable dinosaurs that only you, the dinosaur hunter, can tackle. Or head down for their superhero-themed swims with equally awesome inflatables and a blockbuster movie soundtrack fit for any adventure.

Adventure Swims comes to Bramley Baths every Monday from 29th July to 26th August 2019.

Creative Tuesdays and Experimental Thursdays

Glowing Ghosts at Thwaite Mills

Credit: Leeds Museums & Galleries

A trip to Thwaite Mills is always a great day out, but this summer you can get stuck into a range of special activities. Got a budding artist on your hands? Head down on a Tuesday to create anything you want with a range of craft materials. Or you can take part in crazy science experiments that take you from explosive volcanoes to colour-changing potions on a Thursday.

Creative Tuesdays and Experimental Thursdays takes place at Thwaite Mills from Tuesday 30th July to Thursday 29th August 2019.

Big Family Fun Day and Classic Car Show

Family Fun Day St Gemma's Hospice, Lotherton Hall

Temple Newsam will once again host their epic Big Family Fun Day in aid of St Gemma’s Hospice this summer. We’re talking fun fair rides, assault courses and inflatables in the stunning grounds. Classic Car Club will be there too, with a huge array of swanky vintage vehicles to check out. And if you’re feeling peckish, you can grab treats from the street food stalls.

Big Family Fun Day and Classic Car Show comes to Temple Newsam on Saturday 3rd August 2019.

Child Friendly Leeds Live

Child Friendly Leeds will return to Millennium Square for its second year, with CBeebies’ presenter Alex Winters taking you through the day. Mr Bloom & His Band will give a special performance and you can even see a circus act inspired by ‘The Greatest Showman’. There are oodles of activities all over the place, from face-painting to trampolines, and you can even join a family rave with Boomchikkaboom.

Child Friendly Leeds Live comes to Millennium Square on Wednesday 7th August 2019.

City Beach

City Beach Millennium Square

This summer you can head to the seaside without leaving the city, as Victoria Gardens once again becomes an urban beach. With its smattering of deckchairs, City Beach is the perfect pitstop while you’re in the centre, and it’s bound to go down a treat with the kids as they play in the sand. You can even snaffle icy slushes and seaside sweets or get stuck into a range of activities like the Bamboo Trampolines.

City Beach comes to Victoria Gardens from Saturday 10th August to Sunday 1st September 2019.

Make Musical Magic

Make Musical Magic, Carriageworks

This is the perfect activity for any musical theatre enthusiasts. The week-long Make Musical Magic consists of daily workshops that uncover your potential on the stage, with the help of industry professionals. You’ll spend the week singing, dancing and acting while creating your very own musical, which will be performed in a final show for friends and family.

Make Musical Magic comes to Carriageworks Theatre from Monday 12th August to Friday 16th August 2019.

Kids Summer Art Club

The Bowery

If you have a budding artist on your hands, the Kids Summer Art Club at The Bowery is a must. They’re running two three-day sessions, each with a different theme. Head to the Storytelling sessions to create pop-up books and puppets to take home. Or make a beeline for their Nature series, which focuses on creepy crawlies, sea life and plants.

Kids Summer Art Club comes to The Bowery from Tuesday 13th August to Thursday 15th August and Tuesday 27th August to Thursday 29th August 2019.

Mr Magnolia Outdoor Theatre

Mr Magnolia, Folksy Theatre

Credit: Lee Hardwicke

Folksy Theatre will bring Quentin Blake’s beloved children’s book to life with an open-air production at Harewood House. The show will use puppetry, live music and audience interaction to tell the tale of Mr Magnolia and his wacky adventures. He owns many weird and wonderful objects, from a trumpet to a big purple dinosaur, and you can find out how he got them and what they do.

Mr Magnolia Outdoor Theatre comes to Harewood House on Sunday 18th August 2019.

The Luna Cinema Presents Mary Poppins Returns

You can indulge in a proper outdoor cinema experience thanks to The Luna Cinema, who will show 2018 favourite Mary Poppins Returns at Millennium Square. Grab yourself a chair or picnic blanket and settle down in a spot in the city centre. You will dive into the fantastical world of everyone’s favourite nanny, with plenty of singalongs throughout.

The Luna Cinema Presents Mary Poppins Returns comes to Millennium Square on Sunday 18th August 2019.

Cover image credit: Lee Hardwicke