Things to do this Summer in Child Friendly Leeds

Summer in Leeds - What to do with the kids

Summer in the city – fun for all the family across Leeds!

Where do we begin? 2020-21 has been a tough period for many people, but children and young people have been especially hard hit by the pandemic. As life begins to return to a ‘new normal’ and as restrictions slowly relax, we wanted to share with you some of the exciting activities taking place in Leeds for families.

There is so much going on in Leeds and there are so many places that you can visit or sites you can follow on social media that will help you plan fun family activities over the school holidays. We have included some of our key dates and events below as well as shared a few websites with everything you need to know this summer!

Leeds Jurassic Trail

This summer the full-size dinosaurs are back in twelve locations across Leeds City Centre. The whole family can have a ‘monster’ day out, hunting down the large animatronic dinosaurs and even bring them to life using the augmented reality app. This year we have a special appearance from the Yorkshiresaurus, designed by a young girl who won the Child Friendly Leeds competition in 2020, which will be located in Kirkgate Market.

#ReDiscover Leeds City Centre

#ReDiscover Leeds this summer with a whole range of FREE fun family activities. There will be lots to do, from arts and crafts to sports and music. Come and join in the fun! Events will be shared via Leeds Inspired and posted on our Child Friendly Leeds social media channels. There will be weekly family friendly activities at Bond Court, Cookridge Street, Merrion Gardens and Birggate including:

Bond Court

  • Wednesdays 10am – 12pm | Free Pop Up Tennis with Rackets Cubed
  • Thursdays 12pm – 3pm | Free Pop Up Cycling/BMX activity and art demonstrations with LS-TEN

Cookridge Street

  • Wednesdays 11am – 3pm
    • (28/7, 11/8, 18/8, 1/9) Breeze Busks – a chance to see some of Leeds’ best musical talent                   
    • (25/8) Free Garden Games with Breeze
  • Fridays 11am – 3pm | Free play activity with Pop Up and Play. Humbl Coffee will be on Cookridge Street serving refreshments.
  • Sundays 11am – 3pm | A variety of free activities for young people with Breeze

You can also take part in our fantastic family friendly city centre trail, and uncover unknown stories and hidden wonders of Leeds! Pick up a paper map at Leeds Kirkgate Market Information Centre or view on the Love Exploring app (coming soon).

Explore Leeds with the new Love Exploring app

Love Exploring is a NEW, FREE fun way to encourage families to be active together and inspire people of all ages to explore their local parks and discover some of the city’s cultural treasures.

Love Exploring Leeds with new app

From the start of the school summer holidays, Love Exploring Dinosaur Safaris, games and trails will be available in the following Leeds Parks:

  • Roundhay Park
  • Middleton Park
  • Cross Flats Park
  • Bramley Falls
  • Gotts Park
  • Temple Newsam
  • Meanwood
  • and along Leeds Waterfront

Available to download to your smartphone from 20 July, the app lets you join our Dinosaur Safari, through an augmented reality (AR) game. Follow the trail on your smartphone and encounter life-like AR Dinosaurs along the route – each safari features 7 – 9 characters that roar and swish their tails so users can take and share photos of themselves interacting with them. 

Simply download the Love Exploring app at the Google Store or the Apple Store and select Leeds; then just click on the local trail or game you want to start and you’re off … The app and all the activities are also FREE to download from Love Exploring. Find out more at Visit Leeds and plan your adventure today.

Leeds Libraries – Summer Reading Challenge

There is lots going on at Leeds Libraries – central but also in localities. There are story times, lego and code clubs, as well as the Summer Reading Challenge and their FREE ‘Sign Up Saturday’ event on 10 July at libraries across Leeds or follow them on Facebook to see regular events. Borrow some brilliant books (physical or digital), collect your Summer Reading Challenge starter pack from your local library, sign-up at  and begin your nature inspired adventure.

This year, the challenge is back with a very special nature theme which has been developed in partnership with the Reading Agency and WWF. Six fictional ‘Wild World Heroes’ will guide children through the challenge, helping them to solve problems and learn about the environment as they go. Imaginations will run wild as they explore the neighbourhood of ‘Wilderville’ and its diverse habitats.

By taking part, children and their families are encouraged to read or listen to six or more story books, audiobooks or fact books whilst completing a fun activity pack. All books in the Wild World Heroes collection can be borrowed for free from your local library. Children can unlock special rewards along the journey, and everyone that completes the challenge will be awarded a certificate and gold medal.

Love Exploring with Leeds Libraries: If you’re enjoying the Dinosaur Safari, then we’ve got a list of some T-Rexcellent reads to get you started on your Wild World reading journey. All available through Leeds Libraries, click on any that you like the look of to get through to the catalogue!

Family friendly websites with everything you need to know for Summer 2021 in Leeds by our ambassadors.

Mumbler has the ultimate guide for families this Summer, with holiday camps and places to visit and discounts!
Visit Leeds shares what’s on this Summer with Family Adventures!

Yorkshire Tots shares what’s on this Summer across Yorkshire, sharing many hidden gems.

#GoOrange on 4 August!

On 4 August (National Day for Play in UK) Child Friendly Leeds Live promoted the #SummerOfPlay! We invited the city to #GoOrange with Child Friendly Leeds on the day and think about all things playful! Visit our social media to view the LIVE clips from around the city, the winners and you can still take part in the activities and resources available from our free pack. We want to support play and playful activities in our city and help children and young people to have fun whilst growing up!

Leeds Parks & Countryside

Leeds is home to a number of parks, including Golden Acre Park, Temple Newsam and Middleton Park. From playgrounds to ice-cream this summer to pop-up events and activities, why not make a day of it. Roundhay Park just 10 minutes from the city centre is one of the biggest city parks in Europe with over 700 acres of parkland. Enjoy scenic walks around the lakes and woodlands, then visit the more formal but equally beautiful Canal Gardens.

Visit the Museums & Galleries in Leeds

Leeds City Museum and the other museum sites across the city have numerous events and exhibitions taking place suitable for all the family. They also have free resources inspired by Leeds Museums & Galleries objects and collections to support your recovery curriculum at home and in school.

Abbey House Museum
Leeds Art Gallery
Leeds City Museum
Leeds Discovery Centre
Leeds Industrial Museum
Kirkstall Abbey
Temple Newsam
Thwaite Watermill


Pop-up Christmas coming soon …

For many people, Christmas is about spending time with the people they love and giving gifts to one another, a tradition which has its origins in the Christmas story or nativity. We wanted to share with you, a rather special Christmas giving opportunity … Students with special educational need and disabilities (SEND) from West, East […]

Christmas Caring

“I was scared to come today. I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s been a great Christmas … chilled. I’ve not had a Christmas like this before, it’s been a family Christmas.” (Quotation from a young person who attended the Leeds Christmas Dinner, 2019). Christmas can be a lonely and challenging time for many […]

The art of happiness & looking after your well-being (according to children from Leeds)

During the pandemic, we know many children, young people and families had a difficult time. We wanted to ensure happiness and well-being were a top priority and launched the The Happy Project wit the Merrion Centre, owners Town Centre Securities PLC. Poetry submissions on the theme of ‘Happiness & Wellbeing’ were received by poets aged 5-12 years […]

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