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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.

The Scarecrow's Wedding

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 summer half term is nearly here, and there are a host of family-friendly events taking place all across Leeds that will help keep the little ones entertained during the holidays. From family-friendly theatre to revolting bodies, arty workshops and circus fun, there’s absolutely loads to do. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your half term adventures.

Spring Into Action

Royal Armouries

It’s not a half term if Royal Armouries aren’t getting in on the fun – and of course, they are. Spring Into Action is a week-long series of events that will see the kids watching live combat demonstrations, taking part in special assault courses or having a go at the warrior workshops. And if that’s not enough, there’s a whole museum to explore, full of grisly weapons from the past.

Spring Into Action is at Royal Armouries from Saturday 27th May until Sunday 4th June 2017.

Animal Island

Glowing Ghosts at Thwaite Mills

Credit: Leeds Museums & Galleries

Thwaite Mills aren’t going to miss out on the half term fun either. They’ve organised Animal Island, a series of activities that make the most of the mill’s own island. The little ones will get hands on with animal and insect life, with loads to do, and you can even bring your dogs along to some of their events. They’ll also get nature packs and art kits, so the kids can make their own butterflies and dragonflies.

Animal Island is at Thwaite Mills from Saturday 27th May until Sunday 4th June 2017.

Revolting Body Lab

Heart dissection at Thackray Medical Museum

Credit: Danny Hirst

Thackray Medical Museum is the place to be during the half term with a week-long Revolting Body Lab. The kids will have a ball messing around with the things they’d usually get shouted at for playing with. The museum’s experts will lead them on a journey of discovery as they learn the purpose of everything from snot to scabs, and take part in a workshop where they get to make their own – fake versions, of course.

Revolting Body Lab is at Thackray Medical Museum on Monday 29th May 2017 until Friday 2nd June 2017.

A Taste of Carnival Family Workshop

Leeds West Indian Carnival

Credit: Guy Farrar

2017 is the 50th anniversary of Leeds West Indian Carnival and you can show the little ones what it’s all about at A Taste of Carnival Family Workshop. Leeds West Indian Centre are welcoming parents and kids under 16 for an evening making your own spectacular headpiece. You can also create your own carnival-style t-shirt and learn how to soca dance with the best of them.

A Taste of Carnival Family Workshop is at Leeds West Indian Centre on Monday 29th May 2017.

A Tale to Tell

Why not spend an afternoon with Blah Blah Blah Theatre Company this half term? They’re coming to Leeds Central Library during the school holidays with A Tale to Tell. Featuring storytelling and shadow play, it’s a production based upon Arabian Nights and takes place in an incredible tent at a secret location in the Palace Gardens where you can meet Queen Scheherazade and help her to finish her final story.

A Tale to Tell is at Leeds Central Library on Tuesday 30th May 2017.

Comic Art Photography Teen Workshop


Got arty teens who love comics? Send them to Abbey House Museum this half term. The Comic Art Photography Teen Workshop will give them a chance to work with acclaimed contemporary photographer Sophie Lee to explore the Comics Unmasked Exhibition and use it for inspiration in their own artwork. They’ll need their own camera or camera phone to take part, so make sure they’ve got the right kit.

Comic Art Photography Teen Workshop is at Abbey House Museum on Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st May 2017.

The Tetley’s Half Term Family Art Workshops

Art Workshops in Leeds

There are two Family Art Workshops to try during the half term at The Tetley. The first is One Big Sculpture, inspired by their current exhibition, Refinding: Jessie Flood-Paddock and Kenneth Armitage, where the kids will try to build a huge installation in just one day. The second is titled Drawing Energy, a collaborative workshop that will see the kids drawing friends’ and families’ bodies, overlaying outlines and then decorating them.

Half Term Family Art Workshops is at The Tetley on Tuesday 30th May and Saturday 3rd June 2017.

Half Term at The Donkey Sanctuary


Why not head to The Donkey Sanctuary during the half term? On the Tuesday, their ‘I Love Donkeys’ Day will give you a chance to learn about the donkeys before grooming them and leading them on an interactive walk. Then on the following Sunday, The Donkey Sanctuary Leeds Fun Dog Show will feature 12 dog classes with prizes for the top three in each, a Fun Dog Agility Course and Wharfedale Terrier Racing. There’s also a barbecue and food hall with proceeds going to the sanctuary’s upkeep.

Half Term at The Donkey Sanctuary on Tuesday 30th May and Sunday 4th June 2017.

The Scarecrows’ Wedding

The Scarecrow's Wedding

Credit: Helen Maybanks

If the kids loved The Gruffalo, you won’t want to pass up on a chance to see the same authors’ latest work, The Scarecrows’ Wedding at West Yorkshire Playhouse this half term. You’ll see Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay fall in love and plan their wedding, but when Harry goes off to sort out some of the details, Reginald Rake takes his spot – will he take Betty too?

The Scarecrows’ Wedding is at West Yorkshire Playhouse from Tuesday 30th May until Saturday 3rd June 2017.

Don’t Dribble On The Dragon

Another favourite children’s book that’s been adapted for the stage, Don’t Dribble On the Dragon is coming to Carriageworks Theatre this half term. Perfect for kids aged 2 and above, you’ll follow toddler Little Tom who looks up to his cool, older brother. Tom, however, has a bit of a problem with drooling which really ticks off his bro and they fall out. Can the dragon help them patch up their differences?

Don’t Dribble On The Dragon is at Carriageworks Theatre on Wednesday 31st May 2017.

Family Screen Printing Workshop

Print Workshop Armley Mills

Leeds Discovery Centre is a treasure trove of all kinds of wonders, and this half term, the kids can create their own. They’ll explore the huge collection of textiles in the centre for inspiration before making everything from potato prints to screen printed t-shirts with their expert printing team – you will need to bring your own white cotton t-shirt.

Family Screen Printing Workshop is at Leeds Discovery Centre on Wednesday 31st May 2017.

Rise of the Shadow Stealers

Rise of the Shadow Stealers

Suitcase and Spectacles have adapted Daniel Ingram-Brown’s novel Rise of the Shadow Stealers for a family audience at Carriageworks Theatre this June. Using puppetry, music and mime, the kids will go on an adventure with Fletcher and Scoop who go to a school for story characters. The problem is, they can’t remember their own beginnings and need some help to find their missing memories leading them on a quest to the heart of creation with a little guidance from the Storyteller himself.

Rise of the Shadow Stealers is at Carriageworks Theatre on Thursday 1st June 2017.

Library Lab


Are the kids enthralled by science, or more likely, LEGO? Library Lab makes use of both during the school holidays. Robotic will see them spend a morning at Leeds Central Library creating robots using Little Bits and LEGO Mindstorm, before putting them to the test in a series of challenges and games.

Library Lab is at Leeds Central Library on Thursday 1st June 2017.

Love Your Zoo


Do the kids love animals? There’s one event you won’t want to miss this May half term. Love Your Zoo Week sees a whole day dedicated to wildlife at Pudsey Park. Head to the visitors centre where the kids will get to take part in a load of animal-themed arts, crafts and activities before attending keeper talks where the experts will share all their knowledge, with animals on hand too.

Love Your Zoo is at Pudsey Park on Thursday 1st June 2017.



You’ll have heard of Tarzan before – but how about Tarzanne? She’s a young girl lost to the jungle as a toddler and grows up in a family of apes. Interplay, a specialist sensory theatre company, will take you on an incredible journey that sees the girl captured and sold back to her wealthy family, but can she adapt to her old life? As you find out you’ll be able feel the raindrops flow down the trees, hear the animal calls and smell the jungle.

Tarzanne is at Carriageworks Theatre on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June 2017.

Wetherby Cycle Ride


Fancy stretching those legs before the kids head back to school? There’s no better way to do it than on the 20th annual Wetherby Cycle Ride. Starting at Wetherby High School, you can help raise money for Cancer Research UK as you and the family (it’s a 12+ event, so the little ones will need to stay at home) take on either the 20 or 30 kilometre route around this picturesque market town.

Wetherby Cycle Ride starts at Wetherby High School on Sunday 4th June 2017.

Children’s Magic and Mayhem

Middleton Park, Leeds

Copyright J3Mrs licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Cross your fingers for good weather as Middleton Park ends the school holidays in style with Children’s Magic and Mayhem. The kids can learn a medley of circus tricks with a bit of magic and mystery thrown in for good measure. Professor Fiddlesticks, The Great SI Moano and Wild Apple will lead the little ones on a day of discovery with tricks they’ll be able to show off to their pals once back at school.

Children’s Magic and Mayhem is at Middleton Park on Sunday 4th June 2017.

Horrible Histories: Best of Barmy Britain

Horrible Histories

Credit: Jane Hobson

Okay, so this one comes just after the half term, but it’s the perfect way to ease you back into the school routine. Horrible Histories are coming to Leeds for three nights at City Varieties, telling us all about Barmy Britain. The kids will love finding out about the putrid plague, battling Boudica and dastardly Dick Turpin in this history of Britain with all the gory bits left in.

Horrible Histories: Best of Barmy Britain is at City Varieties from Tuesday 6th to Thursday 8th June 2017.

Feature image copyright Helen Maybanks.