The school summer holidays are with us and weeks of leisure stretch out before us. Whilst this is great for children, it can be a headache for parents.
There is a common misconception that “there’s nothing to do round here.” South Leeds Life has set out to prove the doubters wrong and pull together details of as many activities as we could find going on locally.
Many are free; some charge a fee, although this is often subsidised; some have age limits; some need parents to stay; some have limits on numbers; many require you to book in advance; some may be fully booked up already; ALL have Covid safety measures in place.
Take a look through the details on this page, follow up the contacts if you have more questions. But most of all go out and enjoy this summer with your children.
Details of all the events listed here are on our What’s On pages
Paddington’s family day at Slung Low
His heart-warming exploits and kind and caring nature have made Paddington one of the world’s most loved bears for more than 60 years. Now fans, both big and small, can join the British Library for a very special Paddington family day in South Leeds.
Join the Library at Slung Low in Holbeck on Saturday 7 August for immersive storytelling for all the family. There is a morning and an afternoon session, each full of the same creative activities. Sessions run 10:30am-12pm and 1:30-3pm.
Places are free, but limited so book in advance on the British Library website www.bl.uk/events/family-day-paddington-the-story-of-a-bear-leeds or by calling 01937 546 546.
Hunslet Club Summer Activity Camp
The Hunslet Club will be running its Summer Activity Camp Monday to Friday from 26 July to 27 August from 9am to 3pm. Activities include football, dance, baking, games, arts, crafts and much more, all for £10 per day.
Places must be pre-booked and paid in advance. Contact email@example.com
Regular classes and activities will continue through the summer holidays. Find out more at hunsletclub.org.uk/activities/youth-activities/
LS-TEN skateboarding and rollerskating
LS-TEN will be hosting their Get Active Extreme Camp at the skatepark on Kitson Road, Hunslet. Sessions run 9am-4pm Monday to Friday between 28 July and 3 September and cost £27.50 per day.
A typical day includes: As much Skating and riding as you can handle, games, arts and crafts, time for lunch, coached session FreeRide time and much more. Book at ls-ten.org
LS-TEN will also be running free rollerskating sessions in Cross Flatts Park on Saturday mornings 10am-12pm and on Holbeck Moor every Tuesday 10am-12pm. The sessions include coaching and equipment and are free but you must book at ls-ten.org
Breeze In The Park
Get caught up in sun, fun, chills and thrills for under 19s. There will be a new interactive play system, revamped arts zone, fun fair, food and, of course, our classic inflatables. All of this at a Breeze In The Park near you:
- Cross Flatts Park, Beeston – Saturday 7 August
- Blenkinsop Field, Middleton – Friday 20 August
- Parkside, Belle Isle – Tuesday 24 August
There are some changes to previous year to keep everyone Covid safe. Each event will be split into two sessions to manage numbers: 12-2:30pm or 3-5:30pm.
Booking is essential. You must book your tickets in advance at bit.ly/BreezeInThePark. Admission is still free, but there is a £1.50 booking fee per group.
As well as the Breeze in The Park events, there will be three extra Mini Breeze events:
- Blenkinsop Fields, next to Middleton Community Centre – Tuesday 3 August
- Parkside, by Windmill Primary, Belle Isle – Tuesday 10 August
- Hunslet Moor, off Dewsbury Road – Wednesday 11 August
These events each run from 12-3pm. Please book your free tickets via facebook.cm/youthservice123
Free play sessions with Friends of Middleton Park
Once again the Friends of Middleton Park have organised free play sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon through the school holidays. there’s no need to book, but it is first come, first served. Sessions include den building with Chris Harman; pond dipping with a Leeds City Parks and Countryside Ranger; outdoor games and sports with ACE from Health For All; dance for boys and girls with DAZL; arts and crafts with Megan Jowett from Make the Paint Dance and Megan Smith; and bug hunting with a Leeds City Parks and Countryside Ranger. Meet at the Visitor Centre by the lake. Check our What’s On pages for times and dates.
Go wild with the Summer Reading Challenge
Leeds Libraries, in partnership with the Reading Agency, is encouraging more families than ever to get involved with reading over the summer holidays through the Summer Reading Challenge.
The theme of this year’s challenge is ‘Wild World Heroes’, which has been developed in partnership with WWF and gets children thinking about the importance of the environment. By taking part in the challenge, children will be guided by six fictional Wild World Heroes that will help them discuss environmental issues and learn about nature along the way.
As part of the Summer Reading Challenge, children aged 4-11 and their families are encouraged to read or listen to six or more story books, fact books or poetry books, and complete a fun activity pack as they go. All books from the Wild World Heroes book collection can be borrowed for free from the library and children can collect a Wild World Heroes reward for each book they read. Every child that completes the challenge will be awarded a certificate and a gold medal.
To take part, families can sign up for free at their local library.
Middleton Railway will be running steam trains every Sunday, 10:30am-3:30pm from Moor Road station in Hunslet up to Park Halt in Middleton Park. A deisel service will also run every Wednesday from 28 July to 1 September and every Saturday in August.
As well as the trains make sure you visit the free museum at Moor Road which covers the history of the railway from 1758 and engine building in Hunslet. The museum is open 10am-4pm on days that trains run. Over the bank holiday weekend steam trains will run on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (28-30 August). Full details at: middletonrailway.org.uk
Youth Services activity programme
The Council’s Youth Services team have put on a packed programme of summer holiday activities. Ranging from horse riding and cookery, to go-karting and climbing plus trips to Flamingo Land and Blackpool. Plus free teatime picnic and games sessions at Hunslet Lake, Middleton Park and South Leeds Youth Hub. Check our What’s On pages for dates and times.
Due to the funding – from the Inner South Community Committee – young people must live in Belle Isle, Hunslet, Middleton or Beeston Hill to take part in these activities. For more information please call Allison Dixon on 07891 277407
Tennis Coaching Camps
Active Leeds are running Tennis Coaching camps at the Tennis Centre, John Charles Centre for Sport from 10-13 August. The sessions are for children aged 4-18 years and run 10am-12pm for under 8s and 10am-3pm for ages 9+. Prices are from £15. For more information call (0113) 378 8233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Holbeck Kids Together
Holbeck Together have a terrific line up of activities and outings planned throughout August for local 4-13 year olds. There will be weekly table tennis at St Matthew’s and multi sports mornings on the Moor plus trips to York Maze, Temple Newam, Tropical world and Scarborough.
Check our What’s On pages for dates and times and call (0113) 245 5553 to book free places.
Walking with dinosaurs
Leeds City Council has launched the Love Exploring app just in time for the summer holidays. The app uses augmented reality to bring parks and locations across the city alive, populating them with interactive dinosaurs and walking trails. The app is already live in Cross Flatts Park and Middleton Park. All you need is a smartphone or a tablet. Download the Love Exploring app from Google Store or Apple Store and select Leeds. For more information go to bit.ly/LoveExploringLeeds.
Turn your street into a play street and let the children play outside your house. Leeds City Council encourages residents to apply for a temporary road closure on their street to allow children to play together in the streets.
If you are interested in learning more and getting some support in getting something going on your street, please email email@example.com or go to bit.ly/PlayStreetsLeeds.
If you haven’t been, the museum, set in a former mill on an island in the River Aire at the end of Thwaite Lane in Stourton, is well worth a visit. They are hosting a Mini-beast Week 10-15 August with Spider storytelling and puppet crafts, mini-beast charms and bugs from the collection. Then on 24-29 August it’s Green Week with nature trails, windmills and willow weaving; plus Rainbow Crow storytelling and green man mask making. Activities are free, but there is an admission charge to the museum. For more information go to bit.ly/ThwaiteWatermill
Myths and Teddies at Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum in Millennium Square has a couple of exhibitions that our on throughout August. Bring your teddy to the Museum and earch around the Life on Earth gallery for teddies and bears of all shapes and sizes. Or pick up or download a trail to explore marvellous magical myth stories from different cultures around the world. Entrance to the museum is free, for more information go to bit.ly/CityMuseumLeeds
Bike Fixing Classes
The Big Bike Fix community project, based in Beeston and Belle Isle, are running free all-age sessions for local people to learn how to fix and service their bicycles. These sessions will happen on Saturdays through the summer holidays (7 August – 4 September), at different times, throughout LS10-LS11.
They will run for 2 hours, and will enable participants to learn how to tackle a range of entry-level skills: wheels and punctures, brakes, basic adjustments and mechanics, etc. They are suitable for all ages, but under 16s need to be accompanied. Check out The Big Bike Fix Leeds on Facebook for more information, or call 07738 921277. Pre-booking is essential.
Family Friendly Cycling Festival
Cross Flatts Park in Beeston will be hosting a Family Friendly Cycling Festival on Tuesday 17 August 1-4pm. Get Set Leeds Local will be joined by partners to provide a variety of fun activities. Cycle North will be doing a balance bike zone for the little ones; British Cycling have an area for junior riders; community partners will be delivering some local led rides; Hamara will be sharing a stall on the history of the bike; there will be bike fixing with Big Bike Fix and bike security tagging by the LCC Travel Behaviour Team and police to help recover your bike if it was ever stolen. Pop a long and find out more about what activities happen in your local area, and join in some free activities on the day. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 07891 274130
As part of British Cycling’s Summer of Cycling there will be 2 balance bike / children learn to ride sessions on Tuesday 3 and Monday 16 August. Drop in anytime between 10am–12noon.
These will be ‘parent led’ sessions using the British Cycling Ready Set Ride learning tools. The session will be suitable for both balance bikes and pedal bikes. Balance bikes will be available to hire for free. There will be a chance to try out the new balance bike ramps to add an extra element of fun!
Children’s litter pick
Hunslet Tenants & Residents Association are holding a special litter pick for children to take part in. Meet at the Church of the Nazarene, Grove Road on Tuesday 3 August, 10am-12pm. Equipment and refreshments will be provided, just bring an adult!
Eco arts and crafts in the park
Beeston Climate Hub are running free, family eco arts and crafts sessions at the Bridge Cafe in Cross Flatts Park with a theme of Eco Beeston. They will be making banners and posters for Beeston Festival’s sustainability area, doing fun crafts with scrap, upcycling containers into funky plant pots, trying some healthy food, and doing a bit of wombling in the park. Sessions take place each Wednesday 10:30am-1:30pm.
School Uniform Swap Shop
Do you have school uniform that your children have grown out of? Or maybe you need the next size up? LS11 School Uniform Swap Shop will be continuing wth pop up stalls at the Watsonian Pavilion (Bridge Cafe) in Cross Flatts Park each Wednesday 10am-1pm.
Bring any items of school uniform you no longer need (washed please) and see if you can find what you need for September.
Music studio open day
Eiger Studios are throwing their doors open for a family friendly open day on Tuesday 31 August 2021, 11am-4pm. Have a go at making and mixing music, film-making, creating a band name and a logo, and more creative activities. Eiger is on New Craven Gate, Leeds LS11 5NF, at the very bottom (city centre end) of Dewsbury Road, overlooking the M621.
Howzat for cricket?
Hunslet Nelson Cricket Club will be celebrating Yorkshire Enjoy Cricket Week with an activity camp running from Monday 2 August to Friday 6 August, 10am-3pm for children 6-15 years. £8 per day, food and refeshment provided. Book via Facebook or call 07795 061182. Hunslet Nelson Cricket Club is based on Gipsy Lane, Beeston, opposite Cockburn School.
The Beeston Climate Hub team are hosting a Mini Olympics event in Cross Flatts Park, for kids, with 7 different sports, and prizes for winners. It all takes place on Wednesday 1 September 2021, 12:30-2:30pm. Full information will be posted in due course on their Facebook page.