Looking for things to do in Leeds today, this week or during the holidays? Great news, you are in the right place as we have all of the best attractions and events to keep you and your family entertained.
As with all of our guides, the things to do in Leeds guide is broken down into easy to use sections which provide useful information and links to pages with more details or direct to attractions and event websites.
So sit back, grab your favourite drink and lets find some fun things to do in Leeds.
Things to do in Leeds
Leeds consistently ranks as one of the most visited cities in the U.K., and it’s easy to see why. For the tourist, there are all the necessary amenities: designer shops, a thriving nightlife, and a rich history to explore during the daytime. Leeds is also a top business hub, and it accommodates travelers with a fast rail link to London and an international airport located just 11 miles outside of the city.
Other popular reasons for traveling to Leeds include the extensive art galleries, theaters, and festivals. For the foodie, Leeds has great cafes as well as fine dining restaurants.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular shopping, nightlife, and attraction experiences to fill your itinerary.
Shopping in Leeds
For the fashion lover, Leeds provides one of the best shopping experiences in the U.K. As you wander the various quarters of the city you’ll find unique boutiques, designer stores, and shops in every price range. Each section of the city has it’s own unique style and offers fashion from around the world.
The Trinity Leeds shopping center offers one of the biggest selection of stores under one roof in the U.K. Many of the most famous brands from around the world can be found here, including Adidas, Victoria’s Secret, Nike, and Asics. In total, there are 120 different shops at Trinity Leeds. Another great thing about shopping here is the wide range of restaurants available; over 40 in all. There’s also coffee shops and bars. The ‘Trinity Kitchen’ provides a street style, food truck atmosphere that is fun and vibrant. If a day of shopping is in your plans, Trinity Leeds is a great place to consider.
Victoria Leeds is a new shopping center located in the heart of the city. It primarily consists of premium boutiques and designer brands. It also has funky menu of dining options including restaurants and cafes. A nice touch of Victoria Leeds is the indoor car park that makes getting in and out of the center easy and painless. Located in the Victoria quarter, it’s in proximity to many other shopping and attractions as well.
What to do in Leeds tonight
Leeds is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun night out on the town. There’s lively bars, live music venues, and wonderful theaters if you fancy a show. Leeds is ‘Purple Flag’ accredited, meaning it promotes a diverse and safe experience for all.
Call Lane is one of the most popular spots in Leeds for a night out. It has many different bars and live music venues to check out, and is frequented by students, professionals, and everyone in between. Call Lane is home to some of a few of the more renowned bars in Leeds, including Jake’s Bar and Blackswan. For a late night snack, most establishments have unique menus to compliment their beverages. Call Lane is a great spot if you are a fan of ‘pub crawls’, frequenting multiple establishments in one night. If you want a fun atmosphere with multiple lively locations, Call Lane may be your best bet.
Walking down the streets of Briggate is like taking a trip back in time. The cobblestone roads and traditional pubs haven’t changed much since 1886, giving Briggate a unique and cozy feel inside of this large city. And although the roads and buildings are historical, the bars and restaurants inside of them are very diverse and exciting for travelers. For example, the restaurant Smokestack brings classic New Orleans cuisine and a soundtrack to match. There’s also the famous North Bar, which has one of the largest drink menus in the city. Whether you are a fan of beer, cocktails, or liquor, make sure you check out Briggate.
What’s on in Leeds
Leeds is full of adventures for the daytime, too. There are historical houses and buildings throughout the city, famous art galleries, and beautiful theaters to watch live shows.
Leeds Grand Theatre
The Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, built in 1878, is one of the most visited places in Leeds. It was originally designed to feature shows for the higher end, ‘polite society,’ who had a disdain for the pub-humour entertainment of the times. Now, the theater features many different shows, artists, comedians and more. Make sure to check out the calendar on their website for show dates and times for upcoming events. You can also take guided tours to get an in-depth look at the craftsmanship and architecture of this famous theatre.
Tropical World showcases an extensive collection of tropical plants and animals. Some of the most popular exhibits include a butterfly house, large aquariums, and a crocodile enclosure. There’s also a nocturnal house that features bats and other creatures who are active at night. One of the newest features – the Aztec zone – has unique species like salamanders and piranhas.
In addition to the beautiful nature displays, there is also a great gift shop and cafe on the grounds. A trip to Tropical World can be a fun-filled day for the whole family.
What to do in Leeds
Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum is a free museum featuring various displays from around the world. It’s a modestly sized, kid-friendly museum that showcases a history of Leeds in conjunction with its various worldwide displays. One of the most popular displays is the Leeds Tiger, which was originally a tiger skin rug given to the museum in the 19th century. It has become somewhat of a cult favorite for citizens of Leeds, who have fought to keep the display alive when curators had planned on removing it. For many, the Leeds Tiger display serves as the unofficial centerpiece of the Leeds City Museum.
If you are going further afield, perhaps up North, take a look at our things to do in Durham, things to do in York or things to do in Newcastle guides, or a little further South in our things to do in Chesterfield and things to do in Leicester guides where you will find new and exciting activities and events.
Kids Activities in Leeds
There are plenty of activities for kids young and old to enjoy in Leeds and we have chosen a few to give you some ideas of things to do in Leeds with your kids.
However, if you are looking to visit the city with your kids in the future or you currently live here but are looking for new things to do to keep the kids entertained at the weekend or during the holidays, be sure to checkout our kids activities in Leeds guide which has lots of suggestions and all the information you will need.
Oxygen Freejumping in Leeds has more than 100 connected trampolines for your kids to enjoy and get rid of all their energy on. A 60 minute session gives your little tearaways access to the obstacle course, bouncy runways, airbag and huge foam pit.
Wether they want to bounce/run up walls or play dodgeball, both adults and kids alike will love the fun to be had at Oxygen Freejumping and don’t worry if you have little ones as under fives can have a great time too in the toddler paradise.
Address: Cardigan Fields Leisure Park, Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DG, England
Contact: 02038 461386; http://oxygenfreejumping.co.uk/locations/leeds
Prices: Peak freejumping £10.50; Off-peak freejumping £9.50; Little Os £4.00
Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 21:00
Royal Armouries Museum
With 6 galleries and more than 2,500 objects on display, the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds is a fascinating and fun place to take your kids to play and learn about weapons and armour from around the world and through the ages.
And if you love Lord of the Rings or any of Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories, you will love the Middle Earth inspired swords beautifully crafted by fans.
The only problem with looking at all these weapons is that you don’t get to play with them. Or do you? Make sure you head over to the shooting gallery where you can try out a crossbow and see if you are any good!
Or perhaps the kids fancy dressing up, making swords, shields and crowns which they get to take home and exploring the play castle area. If you have little ones, there is also a soft play area, just for them, safe from the bigger kids.
During the summer make sure you do not miss the jousting, falconry and horsemanship displays over in Tiltyard where 1200+ people can watch the tournaments and demonstrations.
Address: Armouries Drive, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1LT, England
Contact: 0113 220 1999; https://royalarmouries.org/visit-us/leeds
Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00, Closed 24th – 26th December, Last admission at 16:30
TeamSport Indoor Karting
With both adult and child karts, Teamsport Indoor Karting in Leeds is a great day out for all the petrol heads in the family.
The indoor go karting track is the longest indoor circuit in Yorkshire, giving you a 580m circuit to find overtaking opportunities and with tuition and family karting sessions available, everyone can have fun and hone their skills, just watch out for the 12 corners!
Kids aged 8-12 can use the junior karts and over 13’s use the adult karts, depending on the size of the child of course and don’t worry about if you just want to watch the action as spectators can cheer on the family in the comfort of the cafe and bar which serves food and drinks, including alcohol, just make sure you are not driving if going for the latter!
You do not need to bring anything with you, except your skills and nerves of steel. Full race gear is provided including race helmet, overalls and gloves.
Are you faster than your dad? Or is mum the girl racer of the family? Race on!
Address: South Accomodation Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NQ, England
Contact: 0844 9980 000; https://www.team-sport.co.uk/go-karting-leeds
Prices: From £30.00 per person
Opening times: Opening hours are subject to change, so call to get exact details.
Traveling to Leeds
Listed above are only a few of the wonderful attractions that await you on your journey to Leeds. See for yourself why Leeds is one of the most visited cities in the UK as well as Europe. The combination of fantastic daytime things to do and a bustling nightlife makes this city well worth a visit.
If you would like additional ideas for things to do in Leeds, why not take a look at more of the attractions and events in our other Leeds guides:
- What’s on in Leeds
- Local guide of historic Kirkstall Abbey
- Take a family day out to Harewood House
- Take the family on a day out to Roundhay Park
- Night out at the Howard Assembly Room
- Local guide of historic Kirkstall Abbey
- Ideas for a family fun Christmas in Leeds
- Days out with the kids near Leeds