Family-Friendly Leeds – Parks, Play Areas and Picnic Spots

10th August 2021

When you’re planning a Leeds family day out or a weekend break with the kids, hitting the great outdoors is an absolute must. Luckily, Leeds has plenty of space for kids big and small to burn some energy, explore, learn and play out in the fresh air. With over 60 local parks – including one of Europe’s largest – and all sorts of activities and play areas to discover, you could fill a whole trip with outdoor things to do in Leeds. Here are just a few…

Chilean Flamingos credit Harewood House Trust

Fly with the flamingos at Harewood House
Just a few minutes outside of the city centre, Harewood House is an 18th century estate packed with things to do both inside and out. The house itself is full of intriguing treasures, but there’s even more to do and see in the extensive landscaped grounds.
A rare bird garden, farm experience and grounds dotted with sculpture and architecture will provide entertainment for all ages – the former hosts a stunning flock of flamingos, alongside penguins, parrots and over 40 other species. The adventure playground provides a haven for kids to let their imaginations and energy run wild. Or you can set sail with a relaxing boat tour of the lake where you can enjoy views of the House and Walled Garden. Plan your visit.

Explore a magical maze at Stockeld Park
Stockeld Park is all about getting lost in the experience – for a little while at least. The enchanted forest is bound to be a hit with the kids, and there’s a magical maze to provide a puzzling pastime for the whole family – just make sure you leave enough time to take a few wrong turns!
This summer it’s all about dinosaurs too, with a host of Jurassic-themed attractions at the ready for budding paleontologists. Plan your visit.

Cute Piglets - Temple Newsam Home Farm - Credit Leeds Museums and Galleries

Find fun on the farm at Temple Newsam
It’s one of the most famous attractions in Leeds, but Temple Newsam is about much more than a Jacobean stately home – although that’s well worth the visit in itself! The big draw for kids is Home Farm, set amongst the estate’s historic buildings, where all sorts of rare breeds can be found.
Friendly farmyard finds include piglets, geese, guinea pigs and lambs. What’s more, all animals at Home Farm are native to the UK and most are classed as Rare Breeds by the Rare Breed Survival Trust. Plan your visit.

Make your own space at Roundhay Park
Heading to the great outdoors is a sure-fire way to beat the crowds, and what better place to do that than one of Europe’s largest city parks? Roundhay Park in north Leeds has loads to explore, including follies and fountains, wooded trails and a lake with plenty of hungry swans for feeding.
Don’t miss Tropical World either, a wildlife-filled attraction just across the road from Roundhay Park where you’ll find everything from meerkats to pythons. Plan your visit.

Golden Acre Bluebells - credit Thomas Tornegard Photography

Grab an ice cream at Golden Acre Park
With acres of manicured gardens and wild areas to discover, Golden Acre Park is a real gem in a city blessed by plenty of stunning outdoor locations. But maybe the best – and tastiest – way to explore the many paths and ponds, flora and fauna is with a proper ice cream in hand.
Golden Acre Park is a great option for dog walking too, so if your idea of family fun involves a four-legged friend too then feel free to bring them along. Plan your visit.

Get pulses racing at Go Ape
Over at Temple Newsam, it’s not just the farm animals and rolling landscape that bring in the visitors. For thrill seekers of all ages, Go Ape provides a high octane, high-line experience that really gets the pulse racing.
So summon your courage and hit the tree tops – anyone over 1.2m or 6 years old can join in. Plan your visit.

Wildlife World, Lotherton - credit Leeds Museums and Galleries

Feed the penguins at Lotherton
There’s no shortage of penguins in Leeds – you can find them popping up at places like Harewood House too – but Lotherton is perhaps the most renowned. Their playful flock of Humboldts have been part of the estate since the 1980s, helping conserve the birds’ natural South American habitat.
The flock is part of Lotherton’s Wildlife World, which covers a wide range of habitats and species – from Coastal to Forest. Plan your visit.

Take your pick of activities at Pudsey Park
As one of the most visited parks in Leeds, it’s no surprise that Pudsey Park has been celebrated with a Green Flag award for excellence. The facilities really help Pudsey Park shine, including a kids playground, skate park, bowling green and a cafe for much needed refreshment.
It’s only a few miles from the city centre, and easily accessible by public transport, so there’s no excuse to miss out. Plan your visit.

Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre - credit Zagni Photography

Take to the water at Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre
It’s no surprise that Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre is the place to be for… well… sailing! But you don’t have to be a professional yacht crew to take advantage of the waterborne attractions on offer.
Based at Yeadon Tarn – worth a walk in itself – the centre offers everything from kayaking and canoeing to paddle boarding and windsurfing, plus a bunch of land-borne activities like archery, abseiling and bushcraft. Plan your visit.

Enjoy a walk through the countryside
For friendly trails and incredible views, Otley Chevin Forest Park is a nature reserve overlooking the market town of Otley, perfect for an afternoon of exploring. Plan your visit.
Enjoy one of the many walking trails on Ilkley Moor to soak in the breath-taking panoramic views of the Yorkshire Dales. Plan your visit.

Love Exploring App
Gather ideas and inspiration from Love Exploring
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration – or just a little structure for your family-friendly visit – the Love Exploring app is the place to go. It’s a new, free and fun way to find ways to be active together as a family, with trails and games to engage keen youngsters across loads of places to visit in Leeds.
One big hit is the Dinosaur Safari – an augmented reality game that takes you on a Jurassic journey of discovery. Find out more.

Find even more Family Adventures here.