10 Fantastic Family Days Out In Leeds
A stately home may not seem a great option for children, but there is loads to see and do at Harewood House! Let your little ones run off steam in the adventure playground, visit the impressive array of feathered friends in the Bird Garden or stroll around the gardens and grounds. Older children will enjoy viewing the art work and furniture in The House, or more hands-on fun is available Below Stairs. There are seasonal events in school holidays so check the website to make the most of your visit.
Read more about Harewood House here.
THE RAINBOW FACTORY
If your child likes stories they’ll love the Rainbow Factory! Walk into a storybook with models recreating well-loved tales, crafts in Goldilocks’ Creative Kitchen, a theatre where children can tread the boards as their favourite character, and of course an area for reading and hearing stories, with storytellers on hand at various times of day. There is also a Secret Garden with games, Wendy houses and tunnels to keep your bookworms busy, and if all the fairytale fun works up an appetite then get a bite to eat at the Hansel and Gretel Café!
Visit the Rainbow Factory website for more details
TROPICAL WORLD & ROUNDHAY PARK
Tropical World is an absolute must for families! Recently renovated and boasting an incredible variety of plants, butterflies, birds, fish and reptiles, there is always something new to see. That’s not including the ever-popular meerkats! After exploring the wildlife and lunch in the café you can step outside to explore 700 acres of open space (including a playground) at Roundhay Park.
LEEDS CITY MUSEUM
If you’re heading into the city centre, make sure you visit the Leeds City Museum, which has something to offer for all ages. The galleriescover topics such as local history, ancient civilisations, life on earth (from prehistory to today) and Asian culture. Children will especially love checking out the fossils, spotting different animals including the Leeds Tiger, trying out Asian clothes and musical instruments and learning about the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. There is also a small play area for the youngest visitors.
Read more about Leeds City Museum
If your little ones have been learning about the Victorian era at school, then Abbey House Museum will definitely capture their interest. Here they can wander Victorian streets, learn about the lives of the rich and the poor, and look at games and toys of the time. There are often special events in school holidays as well. After exploring the museum, you can pop over to Kirkstall Abbey and wander around the ruins or enjoy the large playground.
Abbey House Museum & Kirkstall Abbey
Got a ‘Horrible Histories’ fan in the family? Royal Armouries would be a perfect day out for them! View armour and weaponry from many countries and centuries, including the impressive elephant armour in the Oriental Gallery. You can also learn about tournaments and watch films and live re-enactments, and there is a play area for under 10’s with dressing up and crafts in Jester’s Yard. If it all gets a bit too war-like the children can go to the Peace Gallery to learn about the pacifist movement.
Read more about the Royal Armouries.
Speaking of ‘Horrible Histories’, if your youngsters love a bit of gore then Thackray Medical Museum is the place to be! The galleries show medicine through the ages and pull no punches so some areas may be upsetting for very young visitors, but staff are on hand to advise on suitable routes through the museum. Children of all ages and dispositions will love the Life Zone, where they can learn about their bodies in a hands-on way, looking at X-rays, exploring the intestines and even climbing into a giant set of teeth!
Read more about Thackray Medical Museum
Children and trains are a winning combination, and Middleton Railway is a great day out for train lovers. Aside from the train ride there is an Engine House and Display Hall where you can learn about the history of the railway and the local area, and children can play at train drivers with two steam locomotive cabs to explore! Return tickets are usually valid all day so you can have as many rides as you like, or you could visit nearby Middleton Park before your return trip.
Read more about Middleton Railway
Sometimes nature is the only entertainment you need, and it doesn’t get much better than Chevin Forest Park. Spot different flora and fauna, play hide and seek amongst the trees, or even have a splash in a stream! You can find self-guided walks and orienteering routes on the Friends of Chevin Forest website (see below). If you get peckish then The Cheerful Chilli Tea Room, The Royalty pub and White House Café are all within easy reach.
And of course, the beauty of the great outdoors is that it is free entry any time you like! Although you may want to check opening times for your eatery of choice online.
Read more about Chevin Forest Park
So there's my list of 10 fantastic family days out in Leeds, it would be great to hear your suggestions!
Guest author: Richard Barker is the Marketing Manager at Harrison Mann, a Leeds based Web Design, SEO, PPC and Digital Marketing Agency. He loves Leeds and all that it has to offer. Connect with him on Twitter.