From city centre museums to beautiful country house estates, Leeds has plenty for families to enjoy together, from the youngest to the oldest family member. Plan your perfect visit with our list of just some of the fantastic family-friendly attractions that Leeds has to offer.
There are lots of exciting things for families to do in the vibrant city of Leeds, situated in the heart of West Yorkshire.
Royal Armouries Museum
This vast, free museum sitting by the water at Leeds Dock is packed with things of interest to all ages, making it one of the best days out in Leeds. You’re invited to ‘explore arms and armour’ from across the world and throughout history in the museum’s six themed galleries. With over 8,500 objects in the national collection, it’s well worth a visit. Make your way through the Hall of Steel, the striking architectural centrepiece of the Armouries which boast over 2,500 pieces of armour and equipment displayed on its walls. See the five ‘Swords of Middle Earth’ as based on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and follow the development of weapons from medieval warfare to the 19th century in the War Gallery. Kids and grown-ups alike will love testing their skills in the Crossbow Range and the Jester’s Yard play area offers little ones the chance to play dress up, explore a castle and enjoy the soft play area.
This magnificent countryside mansion sits on the outskirts of Leeds among 1500 acres of pretty parkland. Complete with lakes, gardens and a farm to keep you busy, it’s a must on sunny days. A walk through the house itself offers a back in time experience as you wander between the authentically decorated rooms, from grand halls to elegant bedrooms. There’s also a large playground where younger visitors will have a great time running off steam, and a café and picnic area for when they need refuelling. A good choice if you’re looking for fun things to do in Leeds during nice weather.
Occupying a huge 700 acre plot just three miles north of Leeds city centre, Roundhay Park has lots of lovely green space to explore. Visitors can take a scenic stroll around the large Waterloo Lake or smaller Upper Lake, wander through the woodland areas and the gardens, or take a break in one of the park cafes. Kids will love the skate park, playground and land train, or you could treat them to a trip to Tropical World! This tropical sanctuary sits within the park and has tropical animals to see among the flora and fauna, including butterflies, birds, meerkats, reptiles, monkeys and more.
The Donkey Sanctuary
For something a little bit different to the usual farm or zoo visit, the Donkey Sanctuary in Leeds is a lovely place to interact with the rescued donkeys in residence, while supporting a very worthwhile local cause. A café and play area make it a perfect place for animal-loving families to spend an hour or two.
Emmerdale Locations Tour
If your family never misses an episode of Emmerdale, you won’t want to miss a tour of the Yorkshire locations used for the long-running soap. The village itself is purpose-built and set within the Harewood House estate near Leeds, which is also a popular visitor attraction in its own right. Tours run on weekends from May until November. Or, if you’d prefer to see the interior sets, the Emmerdale Studio Experience is a brand new attraction opening September 2016 which will take you behind the scenes with full scale set reconstructions, props, costumes and the secrets of stunts and special effects – a must for true Emmerdale fans!
Leeds Industrial Museum
This educational and interesting museum is housed within Armley Mills, which was once the world’s largest wool mill. Here you can see machines powered by a waterwheel, tour the wool processing and weaving rooms, and watch a black and white movie in one of the smallest working 1920s cinemas in the world! The canalside seating area is an ideal place for a picnic, and refreshments are available to purchase. Look out for special events throughout the year which include craft, science and classic vehicle exhibitions.