45 FREE Activities for EVERY day of the Summer Holidays for Families in North Leeds
Finding interesting and affordable activities to occupy the kids each day of the summer holidays can take hours of research! But in North Leeds we’re lucky to have lots of free and low cost options – and with our handy roundup of 45 (one for every day of the holiday!) FREE activity ideas to kick start your summer we have taken the hassle out of finding them!
I’ve tried to include a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities to suit all ages and interests. Some are one-off events, others running on numerous dates or throughout the summer.
Hope this helps with planning!
FREE Activities in North Leeds
1. Xplore your local park
Leeds City Council and Active Leeds have partnered up to host educational family-friendly navigation challenges so families can have fun together outdoors. Family teams can explore their local park, finding markers to complete the challenge.
East End Park on Wednesdays on 31st July, 7th,14th,21st & 28th August 2019, 10.30am-12pm
Temple Newsam on Fridays on 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th August 2019, 1-2.30pm
4. Alwoodley, Roundhay and Moortown Children’s Centre Summer Events
31st July 2019 – Messy Play Session for children 0-5 years at Alwoodley Children’s Centre
5th August 2019 – Fun at Lidgett Lane Playground
16th August 2019 – Summer Tots & Tinies (Under 12 months), Moortown Children’s Centre
21st August 2019- Fun at Cranmer Rise Playground
If you haven’t already, sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge at your local library to receive a joining pack and borrow a book. This year’s theme is Space Chase, an out of this world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Each book read and returned earns prizes and stickers. Reading six books completes the challenge and readers receive their own certificate and medal.
Pop along to our free gaming sessions at your local North Leeds library and try out a brilliant range of games. Feel free to bring your own cards and decks, share your skills and help others learn to play.
24th July 2019, 1-3pm, Chapel Allerton Library
30th July 2019, 5-7pm, Chapeltown Library
10th August 2019, 11am-12.30pm, Chapeltown Library
23rd August 2019, 2-4pm, Moor Allerton Community Hub
The popular Meanwood Olympics 2019 will take place on Wednesdays in August. Families can enjoy free family fun including games, sports, crafts, music and laughter. There is no need to book you can just drop-in!
Lark in the Park is the annual East End Park gala, featuring inflatables, donkey rides, face painting, climbing, music, arts and crafts, performers, and more.
27th July 2019
10. Cycle North – Learn to Ride Sessions
Cycle Leeds Beginners Learn to Ride sessions at Carr Manor Community School are fun, relaxed lessons for children who’d like to learn how to ride their bike without stabilisers. Open to ages 5+ years. Sessions are free and bikes can be provided.
25th & 28th July 2019. Booking required.
11. Guide Dogs at Kirkstall Abbey
The Guide Dogs are visiting Kirkstall Abbey, pop along and see them whilst learning more about their work.
1st August 2019.
12. Paint, Hide and Find Rocks!
You could also join in with rock hiding, the latest fun craze sweeping the nation! Cheap, creative and fun, it involves decorating rocks with colourful designs and messages, then hiding them for other families to find in North Leeds. It helps encourage children to get outside, craft with a purpose and share and give. There are lots of local groups including North LS Rocks, LeedsWestRocks, Roundhay Rocks
13. MOO In The Park (Golden Acre Park)
Join Moo Music Leeds to celebrate their 2nd birthday for ‘MOO In The Park.’ Bring your own picnic along with a blanket and join in the fun. There will be MOOsic playing and lots of opportunity for children to join in with the singing, instrument playing and dancing.
Aimed at 0-5 year olds but older siblings are welcome.
6th August 2019.
14. Summer Holiday Let’s Ride Pop Up Brownlee Centre
The pop-up events are ideal for the whole family to enjoy cycling together – The Brownlee Centre provides a safe and friendly space for cyclists of all abilities to ride at a pace they want, as many times as they want. Experienced HSBC UK Go-Ride coaches on hand to help improve your cycling skills.
28th August 2019. Booking required.
15. North Leeds Libraries Activities and Events
North Leeds Library Events – Lot’s of free themed activities going on at your local library this summer. Activities include Lego Club, Magic Maths, Creative Duplo, Sphero Space Chase and many more. Find out more here+(Some events may require booking)
The weekly story and rhymetime sessions continue throughout the summer at your local North Leeds library, for more details on sessions click here.
16. Horsforth Children’s Centre – Play & Learn
Exploratory play sessions for children aged 0-8 years, on the following Wednesdays – 31st July, 7th, 14th & 21st August 2019 * Small charge £1 per family
17. The Arium
Let the kids burn off some energy in the playground or giant sandpit at The Arium. Daily crafts take place within the garden centre.
18. Storytime at The Little Bookshop, Chapel Allerton
Daily, interactive storytime at 11am, running throughout the holidays.
19. South Parade Baptist Church, Summer Picnics
Every Monday from 22nd July- 19th August over the summer holidays the Playgroup Team will be meeting for picnics in Meanwood Park by the swings. Aimed at 0-5 years, however, older children and friends are welcome to join for the picnics too.
20. Brackenwood Community Association Centre, Stay & Play
Every Friday throughout the school holidays there will be stay and play session for children 0-11 years. There is lots of outdoor space to run around and if the weather is not as kind, there is plenty of space inside with lots of toys for children to play with and craft activities too. *Small charge for non-members.
21. Farsley and Calverley Children’s Centre Summer Activities
Monday 29th July 2019: 11:30-12:30pm – Picnic in the park on the grassed area next to the playground adjacent to the Farsley Farfield infant building. Fun activities for children aged 2-5 years and their siblings.
FREE Activities in Leeds City Centre
22. Leeds City Beach, Victoria Gardens
Adults can sit back and relax on deckchairs whilst children enjoy the free real sand beach (don’t forget your buckets and spade!). Access to the beach is free but there is a charge for the beach side entertainment.
10th August – 1st September 2019.
23. Leeds City Centre ‘Pop up Parks’
Find a ‘pop up park’ on Cookridge Street and in front of Leeds Town Hall in Leeds City Centre during the Summer holidays.
24. Leeds City Centre Summer Holiday Jurassic Trail
Full size dinosaurs are coming to life all over Leeds this summer and the whole family can have a monster day hunting them down in Leeds City Centre!
This fantastic FREE child-friendly event, bought to you by LeedsBid will take families on a trail through Victoria Leeds, Leeds Kirkgate Market, The Merrion Centre and Trinity Leeds. Making it perfect for dino spotting whatever the weather!
27th July – 1st September 2019
25. Create: Sculpt: Play
As part of Yorkshire Sculpture International festival, Create: Sculpt: Play will take over the area outside Leeds Art Gallery for a fortnight of free family friendly creative activities, re-imagining the space with a focus on sculpture.
20 July – 4 Aug, daily.
26. Child Friendly Sundays in Leeds City Centre
Sunday is fun day for families in Leeds City Centre this summer!
Pick up a Family Trail from Leeds Central Library every Sunday 11-3pm and find out about the amazing FREE events and special offers that are happening in Leeds City Centre and beyond.
There will be activities ranging from arts and crafts, Lego building, climbing walls, circus skills, roller disco in St Johns Centre, Peace Garden, Jurassic Trail, Wonderdome, LS-ten skate and scoot day to name just a few!
21st July – 1st September 2019, Sunday Only.
27. Leeds City Museum – Musical Museum
Discover the musical side of the collections by following a Strange Sounds trail, and make and decorate a different musical instrument each week. Drop in for families, all ages.
24th July – 1st September 2019. Closed Mondays.
28. Chris Mould Drawing Workshop at Leeds Central Library
Join Award-Winning children’s author and illustrator, Chris Mould, in this exciting drawing workshop as part of the Child Friendly Leeds LIVE celebrations.
Suitable for children 7-12 years.
7th August 2019. Booking required.
29. CHaOS! Science Day at Leeds Central Library
The University of Cambridge Hands-On Science team take over the Children’s Library for an exciting day of science. Have a go, have fun and learn how things work with a wide variety of experiments.
13th August 2019.
30. Royal Armouries Museum – Monarchs
This summer enjoy a royal family day out packed with regal entertainment, including live combat demonstrations, dramatic performances, the opportunity to get your hands on history and a museum full of spectacular treasures to explore. Plus do not miss the chance to ‘Meet the Monarchs’ at themed weekend events.
27th July – 1st September 2019.
31. Vintage Bus Day
Travel for free on beautifully restored 1950s/60s vintage buses between Leeds City Centre, Middleton Railway, Leeds Industrial Museum and Thwaite Mills. And visit both the Leeds industrial museums for the price of one.
18th August 2019.
32. Summer Fun Days at St John’s Centre, Leeds
Have fun at the indoor seaside scene in St Johns Centre. Test your reflexes by playing “dress up” in the giant suitcase – fastest person will win £1000 towards a holiday! Daily crafts.
15th-24th August 2019.
33. The Tetley – Family Art Workshops
Work with an artist to undertake themed family craft sessions using a variety of materials and techniques.
28th July, 11th August and 25th August 2019.
34. Leeds Kirkgate Market Summer Holiday Events
Leeds Kirkgate Market with have a whole host of activities centred around the Leeds Jurassic Trail running over the summer holidays including;
Discovery Dino Trail, around the market – 27th July – 31st August 2019
Carnta”Drawus”Colour and drawing Station – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11am- 4pm and Thursday 2-4pm
Dino Crafty Fridays – 2nd-30th August 2019
Fossil Salt Dough & Crafts – Every Wednesday & Friday, 11am-2pm
Interactive Large Scale Game – 4 large scale games, Scaletrix, Operation, Buzz wire, Penalty Shoot out. 19th -23rd August 2019.
Kidz Film Club – Enjoy the magic of the movies in the Event Space @ Kirkgate Market. All movies start at 11am and are FREE. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult – 27th July & 31st August 2019.
It’s a Young World – A drop in craft session for children using recycled items. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from the 29th July 2019.
Free discovery sessions with a different theme each week for children to find out more about the world around us through the objects in our collections.
31 July 2019 – Money, Money, Money
7 August 2019 – A Day at the Seaside
14 August 2019– Indian Summer
21 August 2019 – Marvellous Minerals
28 August 2019 – Magnetic Toys and Games
36. Leeds Owl Trail
Enjoy a walk around Leeds City centre taking in the landmarks and heritage whilst also spotting some unique owl’s. Each owl informs you of why it is there and gives you a brief snapshot of what it has seen in its lifetime. Download and print your free map (or you can buy one for £1 from the art gallery shop). Read more+
37. My Pet Pals Activity Club at Pets at Home
The free workshop helps teach children how rewarding pets can be and how to care for them. They also offer a fun filled set of activities that include products and pets for a hands-on approach to pet care. Suitable for ages 5-11 years.
38. Artspace: Sculpture Experiences at Leeds City Art Gallery
Join the team at Artspace every Wednesday in the school holidays for themed pop-up sculpture making activities, inspired by the artists and artworks on display as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International.
39. Bricktastic Animal Heroes at White Rose Shopping Centre
Meet and learn about some of the earth’s most endangered species, life-sized and brilliant in bricks! The numbers are awesome in this family must-see – 15 species, 4 climate zones and 100,000s of bricks!
23rd July – 7th August 2019.
40. Belgrave Summer Feast
A whole day featuring street food, art market, kids’ craft activities and pizza making class. Free entry, all the family welcome and super dog friendly.
10th August 2019, Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen.
41. Summer Bands in the Park
Live bands will be performing open-air gigs in local parks across Leeds throughout the summer. Pack a picnic, some sunglasses (hopefully) and an umbrella (to be on the safe side) and head over to your local park for a relaxed afternoon of live music – and maybe dancing too! Concerts take place 2.30-4.30pm in Canal Gardens, Roundhay, Victoria Park, Calverley, Horsforth Hall Park, Alwoodley Village Green. Golden Acre, Lotherton Hall and Meanwood Park. Full listings can be found here.
July & August, various dates.
Activities that are FREE for Under 5’s
42. Abbey House Museum
Take part in roarsome crafts and swashbuckling trails at Abbey House Museum this summer. Daily activities include crafts, animal encounters, silly science sessions, trails around the Victorian streets and lots more!
23rd July – 30th August 2019. Activities vary daily. Closed on a Monday.
Let children discover their inner explorer and embark on an unforgettable journey through rainforests, mangroves, deserts and the nocturnal world. There will be lots to see and do including the little explorer trail and learning about lots of different butterfly spices as part of the big butterfly count. Enjoy weekly themed activities and keeper talks.
20th July – 1st September 2019. Activities vary daily.
This summer, Lotherton is celebrating 50 years, and to mark the big birthday the attraction is taking visitors back to the swinging sixties! With Flower Power trails, sixties-inspired crafts, and specialist artist workshops on selected dates, there’s plenty to keep all ages entertained.
24th July – 1st September 2019. Activities vary daily.
Take a trip to Temple Newsam House, grab a monster pack and follow the monster map, uncovering beastly creatures! Hear fantastical stories, get creative making your own unicorn, dragon or griffin and design a marvellous monster mask to take home.
You can also meet animals from all over the globe at Home Farm including rare breed farmyard friends, tropical species and beautiful birdlife.
20th July – 1st September 2019. Activities vary daily.
For ideas of FREE activities and events over the summer in South Leeds click hereand Wharfedale click here.
Summer Holiday Activity Sheet
Our Mumbler Summer Holiday Activity Sheet has lots of other ideas for FREE activities both at home and out and about. Download by clicking on the link above and colour in as you complete an activity or fill in with your own ideas.
We also have lots of ideas for other free activities on the website, including: