Explore Fun Things To Do in Leeds

The city of Leeds offers a variety of fun things to do from contemporary art exhibits to fine dining, shopping and exciting nightlife options. Stroll through our city centre for spectacular views of the Victoria Quarter, Leeds Town Hall and other fine architectural specimens. Entertainment venues offer diverse experiences that will appeal to visitors of all ages, including sporting events, theatre, and first-rate galleries and museums, including the City Museum, Art Gallery and Royal Armouries Museum. Many of these attractions offer free admission allowing you to spend the day exploring the city on a limited budget. Festivals and special events throughout the year offer non-stop entertainment with exciting options such as the West Indian Carnival and Festival and Light Night. Everyone will find something fun to do in Leeds.

Family Friendly Activities
Get to know more about our city from its medieval past to its industrial present through attractions that bring our history to life. With free admission to many of our award-winning attractions, you will enjoy exploring every facet of our city without spending a small fortune.

History of Leeds

City Museum

The Leeds City Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into our past and present, with interactive exhibits that will appeal to all ages. Visit six different galleries and get to know Leeds better. Explore the Life on Earth Gallery and witness the Leeds Tiger or try camouflaging yourself. The Ancient Worlds Gallery features the Nesyammun mummy and the wildly entertaining Greek Gods and Goddesses Top Trumps game. The Leeds Story Gallery allows you to delve more into our fascinating history with archaeological relics and a variety of ever-changing displays showing how modern people from different communities live their lives. The museum’s Collectors Cabinet Gallery contains multiple exhibits. Adults and children alike will find fun displays to explore. Look at the museum’s website to learn more about the latest exhibits and what they have to offer.
Hours of Operation:
This museum closes on Mondays except on bank holidays
10 am until 5 pm – Tuesday through Friday
11 am until 5 pm – Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays
Admission to the museum is free.
*Some exhibits require an admission fee – advertised separately.

Royal Armouries

This spectacular museum contains a collection featuring more than 75,000 items, including the country’s collection of armour and arms. This attraction opened in late March 1996. Architect Derek Walker designed the new building, which contains most of the collections and serves as the Royal Armouries main headquarters.

Here you will find the armour and weapons used by British warriors throughout the years dating back to the medieval times and all the way through to the nation’s modern soldiers. You can witness treasure from all around the world, including those from India, Europe, Japan, the Wild West and the Ottoman Empire. Take in the spectacular armour and arms used by Japanese shoguns as well as relics preserved from royal European houses and England’s many kings such as Henry VIII, who featured in the recently renovated Tournament Gallery.
This museum houses the Hall of Steel with its huge staircase featuring approximately 2,500 relics and trophies hanging on the walls. The display is similar to the trophy displays kept in the Tower Armouries dating back to the 1600s, in addition to five separate galleries with more than 5,000 relics housed in permanent displays.
The interactive Hands on History exhibit puts you right in the middle of all the action and is a fascinating place to explore for the day and admission is free for everyone in the family.
Hours of Operation
This museum is open year round and costs nothing to visit.
Closed on Boxing Day, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve

The Industrial Museum

The Industrial Museum houses various exhibits from modern times all the way back to the 1700s and chronicles manufacturing history in the city, including engineering, printing, textiles and clothing.
The museum’s collections and galleries offer detailed information about the various industries that made the city what it is today, from the waterwheel to charming Victorian cottages. The facility’s milling room and textile gallery contain collections that teach visitors about the cloth and wool industries in Leeds through the years. The city’s strong connection to the wool trade and its reputation as the hub of cloth trade shaped its history. The industry grew as a direct result of the creation of various waterways. The main canals, including the Leeds/Liverpool canal, helped establish a line between American, Australian and European suppliers, consumers and the city of Leeds. Catch a variety of short films in the Industrial Museum’s authentic 1920s cinema. Visit the media gallery to discover a wide variety of printing presses, projectors and cameras. You will love exploring the manufacturing industry and the various trades that contributed to the city’s fascinating history in the Industrial Museum.
Hours of Operation
Closed on Mondays, except for bank holidays when the hours of operation are from 10 am to 5 pm (final admission is at 4 pm)
Tues – 10 am to 5 pm (with final admission at 4 pm)
Wed – 10 am to 5 pm (with final admission at 4 pm)
Thurs – 10 am to 5 pm (with final admission at 4 pm)
Fri – 10 am to 5 pm (with final admission at 4 pm)
Sat – 10 am to 5 pm (with final admission at 4 pm)
Sun – 1 pm until 5 pm (with final admission at 4 pm)

Thackray Medical Museum

The Thackray Medical Museum is one of the most interesting and unique museums in all of Northern England and is found housed in several impressive buildings of Victorian design. This museum opened its doors in 1997, and it offers visitors the rare opportunity to explore the region’s medical past with interesting exhibits. The many annual visitors include thousands of children from area schools who have learned about the medical industry’s history through its unique displays. The museum features nine galleries and offers an extensive list of events and activities that all members of the family will enjoy exploring.

Step back in time to the mid-1800s as you discover all aspects of Victorian life in those times. You can meet the people who lived here and learn what it was like living in the grimy streets with bedbugs, fleas and rats. Marvel at the advancements in science that changed lives forever, discover breakthroughs in surgical techniques, explore the history of childbirth, and learn more about your body in the fascinating Life Zone Gallery.
Hours of Operation
Daily – 10 am to 5 pm
The museum is closed from the 24th through the 26th of December, on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
The attraction stays open until 8:30 pm on the third Thursday of each month

Tropical World

This attraction is at Roundhay Park and is the city’s most popular attraction for families. See what exotic places and tropical habitats are like all over the planet, including night zones, water zones, deserts and jungles.
Galleries contain snakes, butterflies, bats, lemurs, crocodiles and meerkat families, including their young ones. Everyone will enjoy visiting Roundhay Park.
Tropical World offers the following attractions for people of all ages:
– Animals
– Botanical specimens from around the world
– A cafĂ©
-The Visitors’ Gift Shop
Hours of Operation
Tropical World is open year round, except on New Year’s Day, Boxing Day and Christmas
Summer Hours (BST) – 10 am to 6 pm, with final admission at 5:30 pm
Winter Hours (GMT) – 10 am to 4 pm, with final admission at 3:30 pm

Harewood House

Harewood is a wonderful place to explore in Leeds. The attraction contains exhibits dedicated to heritage, culture and art with ongoing development even today.
This Treasure House of England and the Georgian property is surrounded by carefully designed “Capability” Brown landscaping with breathtaking views from its many terraces. Inside its wall, you will find the stunning State Rooms with a gorgeous interior decor and rare examples of Chippendale furniture. Do not forget to take in the Below Stairs corridors while you are there as this is where visitors can don costumes and see what life was like as a servant. You can also take in the contemporary art pieces housed in the facility’s Terrace Gallery.
The massive playground features parrots, flamingos and penguins.
Yorkshire in Bloom
Hours of Operation
This attraction is open from April through November, 10 am to 4 pm daily. Visit their website for more details.