Having kids either ages you dramatically or, if you're lucky, regresses you to your youth. And even if you don’t have kids you might still want to be one, so why deny yourself the elemental pleasure of getting messy and noisy and seeking adventure?
Now that the weekend is done and dusted and half-term is just a distant memory, indulge in these stress-relieving, thrill-inducing and, okay, potentially injury-aggravating activities and nobody will even bat an eyelid or question your maturity. Probably.
The Leeds Wall on Gelderd Road is a safe environment where you can unleash your energy and relive those primal urges to simply climb something and conquer it. Satisfaction is guaranteed and ropes and tuition is provided to guide you through a climb appropriate to your ability, thus preventing the catastrophic realisation that you’re not as nimble as you once were. A smaller, low-level bouldering course is also available, which is cheaper, less taxing and will perhaps help recreate the childhood exhilaration of returning home with dirty knees.
Give a toddler a drum, or pretty much anything, and they will hit it. Give an adult a drum and they will not only hit it, they will unleash a weeks’ worth of nagging tension and feel like a five-year-old on a sugar rush. The Leeds Drum Studio in Farsley caters for all, from beginner to experts, and you can play with bands or one-to-one. Being allowed to make noise with no restrictions is a rare and simple joy – maybe even shout while you’re doing it. The neighbours won’t complain.
Not all pubs are wise to the fact that a board game can evolve into a fiercely competitive battle, and therefore quite often equates to many more beers being downed than were otherwise planned. But Calls Landing, Crowd of Favours and Outlaws Yacht Club are among those that do, and the latter also has a graffiti wall for those who throw a tantrum when they lose at Connect 4. Again.
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An idyllic walk through a forest glade next to a gently flowing river may seem terribly grown up, but chuck a game of pooh sticks into the hat and we’re nine years old again on a family holiday. Leeds is rife with waterside walks in which to indulge in the forgotten art of throwing small twigs into a river and seeing whose is fastest. The route from Kirkstall Abbey into the city centre has four uninterrupted miles of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, upon which you and your partner can chase lollipop sticks with renewed vigour. Or take a break from shopping to relive youthful rivalry along the city centre’s Leeds Waterfront Walk – there are plenty of bars along the way too if that helps.
There’s something about being elbow-deep in cake mix and generally playing about in the kitchen that tends to unleash those deeply hidden childhood tendencies. The Clandestine Cake Club have three groups based in Leeds and have regular events for combining baking and fun activities, such as an 80s Night, where groups dress up and bake. It’s a serious business, but rewarding in a ‘look darling, I’ve made a cake’ kind-of-way.
Cops versus robbers, space cowboys versus scary aliens, lawyers versus internet marketing executives. Yeah, you’ve spotted the odd one out, but it can really happen at Battlefield Leeds, an outdoor laser combat site on the southeastern outskirts of Leeds near the M62. Safe, interactive and bringing to mind that first coming-of-age hunt expedition, this will have birthday groups, stags, hens, whoever, hollering, cursing and celebrating like pop-fuelled teens.