Now we're a few weeks into the long, long school summer holidays, parents are under continuing pressure to find cheap and worthwhile entertainment to keep the kids happy.
So far, we’ve had a whole lot of dreary drizzle in Leeds and it looks like we're in for some mixed conditions for the foreseeable future too. Still, come rain or shine there are still plenty of things to do, without having to resort to a soulless softplay centre.
Here is a collection of our favourite, quirkier places that should keep you and your kids sane until September rolls around:
This enchanting hidden gem only recently opened – with the backing of Sir Branson, no less. The Rainbow Factory merges marionettes with performance, storytelling and arts and crafts.
Harking back to nostalgic times where kids read books without electronic tablets, and would spend their days devising plays and crafting to their hearts content. It’s a much-needed creative haven for us all.
With live shows and interactive drama workshops on all day, literature truly comes to life at this most magical of places. Unmissable.
Rainbow Factory, Gate 3, Springfield Commercial Centre, Bagley Lane, Farsley, LS28 5LY.
Famous for its summer (and Christmas) adventures, it’s impossible to be bored at Stockeld Park.
With an outdoor roller rink, winding maze, go karts, and the Enchanted Forest bursting with splendid sculptures and wooden houses just waiting to be explored, this is the place to be when the sun comes out to play.
Fear not though, with indoor play areas, games, crafts and creativity hubs, Stockeld Park has got it covered whatever the weather.
Stockeld Park, Harrogate Road, Wetherby, LS22 4AN.
A fun-filled interactive museum, Abbey House Museum was once a finalist for the Kids in Museums 'Family Friendly Award’ and this is no surprise considering how much it has to offer kids of all ages.
When it comes to days out, this is a historical must see in the city centre. Immersing you in a world of 19th century Leeds, performers dressed in Victorian fare are usually on hand to guide you round the cobbled streets.
Plus, this summer you’ll find history workshops, dress-up and arts & crafts activities to keep you entertained.
Abbey House Museum, Abbey Walk, Kirkstall, Leeds, LS5 3EH.
A Tudor Jacobean house set in picturesque gardens, go explore this grandiose house or head to their much loved farm and moo at the many cows, where kids can observe feeding times with glee. Last time we went, we witnessed a pig in labour. Quite the biology lesson.
The tea rooms are pretty special too, with afternoon tea and healthy lunches kids will love available every day.
Temple Newsam Road Off Selby Road Leeds LS15 0AE.
West Yorkshire Playhouse
Not many people know this but, in addition to an interesting programme of theatre performances, the West Yorkshire Playhouse also caters well for families.
The story den is a small but perfectly formed area adjacent to the restaurant dedicated to kids, with toys, books, games and, most importantly, food and drink on hand.
With free storytelling sessions every Saturday on at the venue and of course child focused theatre all year round, you should pay a visit now.
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UP.
Looking for more places where you can keep the kids amused? Take a look at some suggestions where Leeds can make learning fun.