Days out in Leeds
Create works of art, explore tropical worlds and arm yourself with knowledge of the city’s history on a fun-packed family day out in Leeds.
Leeds offers much more than shops and restaurants, it’s also the perfect city for an action-packed day out with the kids. Here’s our step by step guide to a family day out in Leeds.
Breakfast at The Greedy Pig
Your greedy piglets will need full bellies if they’re going to enjoy a day out in Leeds, so start your adventure with a trip to The Greedy Pig for a filling breakfast. This local favourite has a relaxed atmosphere, making it the perfect place to take the kids and you’ll all be squealing with delight once you try one of their tasty breakfast sandwiches or even the full English. Our personal pick from the menu is the breakfast burger which includes eggs, black pudding and bacon jam.
The Greedy Pig is just a five minute walk from the station, on North Street, and puts you right in the heart of the city centre.
Art attack at Leeds Art Gallery
Once you’ve got full bellies, why not take a 10 minute stroll along the Headrow to inject a bit of culture into your day with a trip to Leeds Art Gallery. As well as the ever-rotating exhibitions, the gallery boasts an impressive children’s area which aims to encourage youngsters to come up with their own works of art. There are watercolour sets, tissue paper, card and everything else you could need to create mini masterpieces.
Get to know a bit more about Leeds
Just a hop skip and a jump from the gallery (well a five minute walk to be precise) is the Leeds City Museum, offering four floors of interactive and exciting galleries covering the history of Leeds and the wider world. Highlights include ‘Little Leeds’ where children can use their imaginations to make miniature models of Leeds and the Life on Earth exhibition which gives visitors the chance to experience the sights and sounds of the rainforest and even dig for fossils.
If you are heading to Leeds on a Saturday, the museum hosts monthly craft events, presided over by Rory, the Leeds City Museum tiger.
If you don’t fancy being cooped up indoors all morning, you can learn more about Leeds on the move with the Curious About Leeds tour. You simply pick from two treasure hunt-style walking routes after downloading the booklet. You’ll then be guided on a leisurely stroll around the city taking in sights such as the neo-Gothic cathedral, city square and sprawling indoor market. The booklets contain enough fun facts and activities to keep little ones entertained as you go.
Enjoy a taste of Italy at Casa Mia
After all that walking around museums in the morning, you’ll be ready for some food and we’d certainly recommend refuelling at Casa Mia, a friendly Italian eatery in Millennium Square. The relaxed atmosphere and speedy service makes it the perfect place to dine with little ones and the kids’ menu is certain to go down a treat. After feasting on dough balls to start, children can then create their own pasta dish by choosing which shapes and sauce they want, or opt for a pizza or tasty lasagne, followed by a scoop of real Italian ice cream. All for just £7.95 with a soft drink thrown in. Adults will be equally impressed by the normal menu.
Get back to nature at Roundhay Park
Once you’ve enjoyed lunch and a well earned rest, why not escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre by heading out to Roundhay Park, which is just a 20 minute bus ride from the city centre (First Leeds services 2 and 12 from the city centre).
There’s plenty do see and do at this expansive park, including the Monet and Alhambra Gardens, some castle ruins and of course a huge play area. Check out the events calendar to see what is going on at the park during your visit.
Explore Tropical World
Just across the road from Roundhay Park lies Tropical World, home to the largest collection of tropical plants in the UK outside Kew Gardens as well as a host of exotic creatures.
Highlights include the Butterfly House, which is home to as many as 40 varieties of the winged creatures, the Desert House, which houses plants, animals and birds from the arid areas of the Americas and South Africa as well as the ever-popular meerkat enclosure. There is also the Amazon Tank, where you can see exotic fish including the Tiger-skinned Shovel-nosed Catfish, the Red-tailed Catfish and even a Giraffe Fish
Enjoy a cuppa by the lake
Before making the return journey to Leeds city centre, why not head back into Roundhay Park for a well-deserved cuppa at the Lakeside Café. Kids will love the extravagant ice-cream milkshakes and sundaes and there’s an array of tasty sweet treats on offer to accompany your hot beverage. We highly recommend the Belgian truffle cake, although you may need to take a brisk stroll around the lake after indulging!
Arm yourself with information at the Royal Armouries
If you’ve got time, a trip to the Royal Armouries back in Leeds city centre will round off your day perfectly. Plus entry is free so it doesn’t matter if you haven’t got time to explore all five galleries and 8,500 objects in detail.
As well as exploring the history of weaponry you can try out your crossbow skills at the specially-designed shooting gallery and younger visitors can play in the Jester’s Yard, where they can dress up as princesses and knights, learn to juggle and even make their own swords, shields and crowns to take home.
Once you’ve finished it’s just a 20 minute walk back to the station to catch your train home.
Have a great day out with the family in Leeds.