Here’s your roundup of family friendly activities for March. I’m Helen Robinson and I run local parents’ website and community, South Leeds Mumbler: southleeds.mumbler.co.uk. Visit the website for more ideas and up to date listings of regular playgroups, classes and days out ideas.
Skelton Grange Nature Visits
Skelton Grange environment centre is open for one morning each month for families and childminders to explore the nature area independently and notice how things change throughout the year. The sessions are self guided, but simple materials such as bugs jars or pond nets can be provided if needed. No booking required, £3 donation per child payable on arrival. Donations support The Conservation Volunteers at Skelton Grange to buy equipment and manage the centre. Monday 2 March 2020, 10am, at TCV Skelton Grange, Skelton Grange Road, LS10 1RS.
Leeds Young Film Festival 2020 kicks off on 30 March. Look out for the line-up, which will be launched early March. 30 March – 13 April 2020, various venues across the city.
Leeds Lit Fest 2020
The start of March promises to be a real “page turner” as the second annual Leeds Lit Fest returns, bringing over 100 literature-themed events to 36 venues across the city. The main programme includes talks by the likes of 6Music presenter Stuart Maconie, the “Yorkshire Shepherdess” Amanda Owen, comedienne Jenny Éclair, Newsnight presenter Gavin Estler and writer Helen Taylor, described by The Sunday Times as one of “the most tempting literary prospects of 2020”. There’s even an opportunity to remininsce about the hedonistic Hacienda days with DJ Dave Haslam.
Wednesday 4 – Sunday 8 March 2020, various venues across the city.
The Leeds Lit Fest Family Friendly Programme
The majority of the children’s programme for this year’s festival helpfully takes place across one weekend. On Saturday 7 March, there are a series of family friendly workshops starting from 10am–2pm.
Activities for older children include a ‘Story Starter’ workshop with best-selling author James Nicol and a ‘Storybox’ drama workshop during which young people will create then perform a new piece of theatre in just two hours. Younger children can take part in a collage workshop exploring the simple shapes and colours that author Bethan Woollvin’s fairy tale characters and trees are built with.
And finally, I’m most excited about meeting children’s author and illustrator Kate Pankhurst – a distant relative of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and author of ‘Fantastically great women who changed the world’, which is a firm favourite on our bookshelf at home. Saturday 7 March, Leeds Central Library. Calverley Street, Leeds LS1 3AB.
Someone has gone missing but have they left messages behind? Hidden in books, written on index cards, scribbled on the back of an old photograph; there is a mystery waiting to be solved. Douglas Irvine and Cameron Hall have created an intriguing sounding trail as part of Leeds Lit Fest. ‘The Hidden’ is aimed at ages 12+ and has been described as encouraging “curiosity, disbelief and a questioning mindset”. Wednesday 4 – Friday 6 March 2020 at The Leeds Library, 18 Commercial St, LS1 6AL.
Leeds Young Archaeologists Club
Based at Middleton Park, Leeds YAC meets monthly. Open to ages 8-16 years, the group welcomes new members, offering a free taster session for those who want to check it out first before signing up. Contact the group through Facebook at Leeds YAC. Saturday 21 March 2020, 10am-12pm, Middleton Park.
Leeds Urban Bike Park
The £1.2m redevelopment of the old Middleton Park Golf Course is always free to use, with the onsite bike shop open for bike hire and advice.
Hunslet, Middleton St George’s Centre and Dewsbury Road Community Hubs
With an onsite library and free bike hire, community hubs always have lots going on for families. Regular weekly events include Story Time and Rhyme Time for under 5s are among the free weekly sessions available. Some hubs also run Code Club and others. Contact each hub direct for details or find them all listed on South Leeds Mumbler.
Leeds Discovery Centre
Free tours are held every Thursday at 11am and 2pm. These unique tours highlight interesting fascinating objects and stories behind some of our most unusual items in the centre’s over a million artefacts. The tours are one of the best ways to access and see the collections. Carlisle Road, Leeds LS10 1LB.