A good friend of mine went to Leeds University and from what I can gather had an amazing time there, as Leeds is such an interesting and culturally diverse city. I never got to visit her while she was there, but it’s still a city I’d like to see so when Hotel Direct asked to to write about Leeds, I jumped at the chance to research the area and see what cool things there are to do with kids while you’re there. Here’s what I found:

Tropical World

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This attraction, in Roundhay Park, is made up of seven different zones:

  • A Butterfly House along with Koi Carp ponds
  • An Atrium with fish tanks and a crocodile enclosure
  • The Australasian House with exotic birds, plants and flowers
  • Creature Corner, home to exotic reptiles and insects
  • The South American House with exotic birds, plants and flowers
  • The Desert House, which is home to our meerkats, along with birds, cacti and succulents
  • The Nocturnal Zone, which is home to egyptian fruit bats, pygmy slow lorises and tenrecs.
  • We also have cotton topped tamarins and golden lion tamarins.

Not only is Tropical World packed with things that kids would love, it’s seriously cheap to get in, too, with adult admission costing just £3.40, 5-15 year olds costing £2.30 and under fives getting in for free!

Tour de France

hplargepod1If you’re a fan of cycling, this years’ Tour de France will be starting in Leeds this year, and even if you aren’t usually cycling mad, the Tour is a sight to behold. Here’s some blurb we found about the event:

Not only will you be able to see the 190+ cyclists setting off on the 3,500km race, but from 9.10am a ‘caravan’ will lead the way with a procession of 180 floats. You may even be able to catch yourself a souvenir of Le Tour as caps, badges, and other items are thrown to the crowds as the caravan passes by.

Kids will love watching the cyclists going by and the atmosphere of such an historic event will stick with them forever.

Home Farm

3417097063If you prefer your animals less exotic and more domestic, Home Farm in Temple Newsam is a great place to take the kids.

At Home Farm you can come face-to-face with a range of characters including pigs, sheep, goats, cattle and ducks.

At the farm – home to some of the rarest breeds of farmyard animals in the country – you can explore traditional farm buildings, take part in activities; discover old crafts or just get to know the animals better. If you are really lucky you may see piglets and chicks come into the world.
Enjoy a refreshing break in the Stable Courtyard. Our tea room offers delicious cakes, light snacks and hot food. Most of our food comes from local sources, including sausages from Home Farm.
Temple Newsam Estate offers miles of paths and trails to help you explore the park and woodlands. There is also an adventure playground along with a new play area for younger children
The Works Skatepark
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If you’ve got slightly older kids, there’s a good chance they’ll love The Works, a skatepark which is actually entirely run and funded by a charity dedicated to giving kids a safe place to skate. It covers 25,000 square foot and boasts professional and bespoke ramps.The skatepark is used for BMXing, Skateboarding, Rollerblading and Scooter Riding. They have complete beginners to pro riders using the park on a daily basis.

Leeds United at Elland Road

Leeds_United-Galatasaray_match_in_20_April_2000If you’re a football fan, it doesn’t get much more historical than Leeds United and even if they aren’t your club it’s still worth taking the kids to see a game and soak in the atmosphere. Elland Road has been the home to Leeds United for almost 100 years and has also hosted concerts by the likes of The Kaiser Chiefs, Rod Stewart, U2, Queen and The Happy Mondays.

There’s tons more to do in Leeds – if you’re a regular visitor or live in the city and have any top tips, please do leave them below.