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Where to escape the kids over the school holidays

Written by
Becky Wilding

The summer holidays are upon us once again and suddenly everywhere has turned family-friendly, meaning we can't move for all the children’s activities on offer.

But what is there to do if you are over eighteen with no kids and you want to spend some fun time in more mature company? Or, if you're a parent desperate from a break from your little cherubs?

Well, here are five great ideas for grownups to get you started:

Strike out at Roxy Lanes and Roxy Ball Room

Roxy LanesOllie Vision

Sister sites Roxy Lanes and Roxy Ball Room are the perfect places to have a drink, grab some food and have a whole heap of fun while you are doing so.

Roxy Lanes offers a boutique bowling alley alongside a restaurant and bar serving craft ales and cocktails. With off-peak times and great package deals, you won't even need to battle with the purse strings either: a drink, meal and a game of bowling can cost as little as £18.

At Roxy Ball Room on Boar Lane, you can have a bash at ping pong, enjoy a game of pool, or try out the Swingers Club (don't worry, it's actually miniature golf).

You also have the opportunity to book the games-packed VIP Room – perfect for your own private party. Again, it offers a tasty food and varied drinks menus too, so you can fuel up for a full-on table tennis marathon!

Better still, both venues are strictly over 18s only.

Roxy Lanes, 1st Floor, The Podium, Bond Street, Leeds, LS1 5BQ. Monday to Thursday from 4pm, Friday to Sunday from 12pm.

Roxy Ball Room, 1st Floor Trinity Square, Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6HW. Monday to Thursday from 3pm, Friday to Sunday from 12pm.

Shake it up with cocktail master classes at Harvey Nichols

Photo: Harvey Nichols

Fancy yourself as a Tom Cruise type from his 'Cocktail' days? Then how about getting creative with a shaker at Harvey Nichols instead?

Their masterclasses are held at the Fourth Floor Bar on selected Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings throughout the year. The experience includes an exploration into the world of cocktails, tips from their bartenders, how to create classic combinations, and the chance to put your newly found expertise into practice. Not forgetting some tasting too, of course...

All the classes are different and are often centred around a particular theme or ingredient. On August 8 the classes focus on European cocktails, with summer cocktail classes on August 22.

Harvey Nichols Cocktail Master class, 107-111 Briggate, Victoria Quarter, Leeds LS1 6AZ. Tickets cost £25 (or £35 for Champagne cocktail classes) and it includes a welcome glass of Prosecco.

Get your groove on at The Dance Studio Leeds

Dance Studio Leeds

Maybe you'd like to attempt something a bit more energetic? If so, head down to Mabgate Mills to visit The Dance Studio Leeds. It's a great way to improve your beach body for your summer holidays, or just enjoy some booty-shaking fun.

They specialise in adult dance and fitness and offer a huge range of styles and levels, including classes in Jazz Dance, Ballet, Lindy Hop, Tap, Dancehall, Belly Dance and Dance Fitness. Don't think it's all for the ladies either, guys!

Classes averaging at around £5, with member prices and student discounts available.

The Dance Studio Leeds: Mill 6, First Floor, Mabgate Mills, Leeds, LS9 7DZ.

Play detective at Tick Tock Unlock Leeds

Photo: Tick Tock Unlock

Now, here's something a bit different. You've got 60 minutes. Can you escape?

Tick Tock Unlock is a real life adventure experience where you have one hour to solve a series of puzzles in a bid to achieve the only goal – to escape from the room before your time runs out.

Specially designed for small groups of three to six people, you work together as a team to reveal dark secrets and crack the clues. Call upon your inner Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple and unravel the mystery that holds you trapped.

The game has no physical demands or fear factors so there is no upper age limit or fitness requirements. Okay, so it's not actually an adults-only activity, but as team members book as a group and you pick who you go with, you can leave any youngsters at home should you wish.

Tick Tock Unlock: Third Floor, Kings House, 1 King Street, Leeds, LS1 2HH. Ticket prices range from £14 per person (for six players) to £16 per person (for three players). Student discount is available for all-student groups.

Take a trip to the pub


Sometimes all you want to do is just go down the pub. Even so, we've all been to a bar that has felt more like an audience gathering for 'In the Night Garden' than a meeting place for the mature!

If the thought of sharing your space with noisy sprogs doesn't fill you with glee, you can seek out some establishments that have helpful kiddie-curfews. 

For example, The Slug and Lettuce on Park Row offers a wide range of drinks and food with some great promotions and is kid free from 6.30pm. The recently refurbished Revolution on Call Lane offers a relaxed atmosphere by day and is party central by night. Try the limited edition 'Flavours of Summer' including an ice cream flavoured shot to celebrate the 7pm child curfew.

Alternatively, head to The Aire Bar on Sparrow Wharfe after 7pm. This converted warehouse boasts a riverside terrace and fantastic views of the River Aire. They also screen live sports in HD if you fancy watching the game. Slate NQ in the Northern Quarter has pool tables, lots of outdoor seating, and a great choice of beer and ales. On Tuesdays, you can get 40% off pizzas and sandwiches and the 18+ policy kicks in at 6pm.

The Bierkeller Bavarian Bar on South Parade is an adults-only venue with Happy Hours from 4pm-7pm Tuesday to Friday, with a live Oompah band from 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. That's definitely worth raising a stein too. Or, if you prefer your music a little harder, Bad Apples on Call Lane offers a mini slice of metal heaven. This 18+ venue offers great music, good drinks, and a downstairs den for live music. 

Find more things to do in Leeds.

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