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Nine ideas for free family fun in Leeds this August

Written by
Erin Ek Rush

Looking to keep the kids happy during the summer holidays without spending much money?  Happily Leeds is full of free family fun this summer. From sandy beaches to a den building festival, we bring you nine ways to have free fun in Leeds during the month of August.

1. Visit Kirkstall Abbey 


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Kirkstall Abbey has free parking and free entry every day of the summer, but on Tuesdays and Wednesdays there is extra fun to be had. On Tuesdays under fives can get messy at the weekly messy craft session, Mini Dragons. On Wednesdays, children can bring a lunch to enjoy a picnic with the friendly dragon Barry.

Kirkstall Abbey, Tuesdays 10am-midday, Wednesdays midday-1pm, Abbey Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS5 3EH.

2. Have fun in the sand at the Merrion Centre 

The Merrion Centre

Don't let the rain keep you from playing on the beach this summer. Rain or shine, you can play in the sand at the Summer Sandpit at the Merrion Centre.

The Merrion Centre, every day, 13 Merrion Way, Leeds LS2 8BT.

3. Look for hidden treasure 


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All you need for a treasure hunt around Leeds is a free app from There are thousands of hidden caches across West Yorkshire and over two million worldwide. Just download the app and join six million other geocachers in a real-world treasure hunt. 

4. Have an art attack at Leeds Museum


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Young adults from ages 13-24 can learn urban art skills at the Urban Art Workshop at Leeds City Museum this summer. The drop-in workshops will be lead by artist Elliot Wigzell and young adults will be create their own piece of artwork.

Leeds City Museum, August 13, 11am-3pm, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 8BH.

5. Explore the Leeds Owl Trail 


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Download an owl trail map and explore the city by following the Leeds Owl Trail. The owls are in over 25 locations across Leeds and each comes with its own story which includes a snapshot of Leeds' history.

Leeds Owl Trail, daily, locations vary. 

6. Go to the beach


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No need to leave the city for a day at the beach – Leeds City Beach brings the seaside to you. 'Beach goers' can expect a real sand beach complete with deck chairs. Entry to the beach is free and there will be seaside themed rides and stalls for a fee as well as plenty of food and drink to purchase.

Leeds City Beach, from August 8, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS1 1UR.

7. Head to the armouries 

Erin Ek Rush

Pay a visit to The Royal Armouries for free exhibits, activities and combat demonstrations involving history's heroes and villains this summer. The Royal Armouries has five floors of exhibits and plenty of space for kids to explore.  

The Royal Armouries, daily, 10am-5pm, Armouries Drive, Leeds LS10 1LT.

8. Zoom along to Temple Newsam


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Children can meet Lightning McQueen and 'Frozen's' Olaf at the Family Fun Day and Classic Car Show at Temple Newsam Park August 15th.

The Classic Car Club will be displaying classic cars and there will be plenty of family fun including bouncy castles, rides, an obstacle course and games to raise funds for St Gemma's Hospice. 

Temple Newsam, August 15, 10am-4pm, Temple Newsam Park, Leeds, LS15 0AE.

9.  Build a den at the Tetley


Win a prize for your den building skills at the second annual Den Building Festival at The Tetley. Last year's events saw trains, pirate ships and castles so expect to have some competition!

The Tetley, August 22, 11am-6pm, Hunslet Road, Leeds, LS10 1JQ.

Looking for more ideas to entertain the family. Here are five quirky suggestions.

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