Summer School Holidays
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 Summer School Holidays


Summer Holiday Events at Leeds Museums and Galleries
26 July –  4 September 2017 


Summer 2017 starts here!

Enjoy everything from a vintage extravaganza to a pirate party at our 9 venues across Leeds during the school holidays. .

Keep little ones busy with free crafts, trails and family activities, from an enchanted forest theme at Leeds City Museum to storybook characters at Abbey House and help make a miniature Yorkshire at Leeds Industrial Museum. Discover dazzling silver centrepieces at Temple Newsam or explore our museum store, Leeds Discovery Centre at special Wednesday workshops.

Museums aren’t just for rainy days! Throughout August get creative with Leeds Art Gallery at the new Park Here and Play Festival. You’re invited to a Party on Pirate Island on 13 August, when Thwaite Mills is besieged by treasure hunters!

Try tasty street food at the monthly markets in the picturesque Kirkstall Abbey cloisters or celebrate Yorkshire Day at Lotherton with a market, amazing animals, and a special guest from The Great British Bake Off!

Whatever the weather, we have your holiday plans covered.

Browse upcoming events: View our latest What's On guide online

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Click to expandHeadline events

Park Here and Play Festival – 5 August – 3 September
Leeds Art Gallery
This summer we invite everyone to play, make and enjoy free activities on Victoria Gardens and in the foyer of Leeds Art Gallery. Work with artists and our community ambassadors to explore Leeds Art Gallery’s collection and find out how people have been involved in making their own creative responses to the collection while we have been closed.

International Youth Day – Friday 11 August, 11am-4pm 
Kirkstall Abbey
Watch live bands perform at Kirkstall Abbey. Reminisce over youthful memories as you browse nostalgic items from the museum collections, and hear how our youth group created the fantastic Comics Unmasked exhibition. We’re also hosting youth project stalls, so come along and find out more about projects in your local community.

Party on Pirate Island – Sunday 13 August, 11am-4pm
Thwaite Mills
Calling all pirates and treasure hunters — come and enjoy our pirate party on Thwaite Island, back and even bigger and better than ever. Hunt for buried treasure, build your own telescope, enjoy boat rides, face-painting and enter our competition to be crowned the best dressed pirate!

Vintage Weekend - 19–20 August, 11am–4pm
A celebration of all things vintage! Join us for a retro weekend of fun inspired by the fifties and sixties; with live music, dancing, family activities and prizes for the best vintage outfits. Relive the fun of these eras with vintage market stalls in association with Rose and Brown Co.

Leeds Classic Bus Day – Sunday 20 August, 10.30am-5pm
Leeds Industrial Museum & Thwaite Mills

Travel in vintage style, and for free, from the city centre to Leeds Industrial Museum or to Thwaite Mills Watermill on beautifully restored Leeds City Transport buses from the 1950s and 60s*. There will also be a classic car show and plenty of other transport themed activities on the day. If you visit one museum keep the ticket to also gain free entry to the other for this day only.

Click to expandFamily events

Our amazing family events are all FREE with admission, unless otherwise indicated.


Fairy Tale Family Crafts - Tuesdays – Fridays, 10am – 12pm & 2-4pm
Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell some family fun! Join us for a host of activities including a treasure trail in our Victorian Streets, magic shows, silly science inspired by Aladdin or Captain Hook and Roald Dahl family craft activities.

Under-Fives Fun – Fridays, 2-4pm
Every Friday afternoon we will be having lots of fun and games in our education room. Sometimes we will tell stories, some weeks will be messy play, other times we will have nursery rhymes. Plus every week there will be crafts, toys and instruments.

Kirkstall Abbey Markets - 29 – 30 July + 26-28 August, 12-3pm
Come along to Kirkstall Abbey, where you can try and buy some of the best produce Yorkshire has to offer markets in the picturesque abbey cloisters. We have over 40 stalls offering hand-made crafts and local produce supplied by award winning people with a passion for food. Enjoy tasting amazing street-food from across the world!

Under Fives Fun – Throughout the school holidays
Take advantage of Kirkstall Abbey’s beautiful grounds, as each Wednesday there will be games available in the cloister. On Tuesdays (10–11am) our under 5s session has a dragon theme, so come along for fun crafts and activities. Lastly on Thursdays (10.30–11.30am), bring a picnic and meet our friendly dragon Barry.


Enchanted Forest Summer Holidays – Tues-Fri during summer holidays, (10am-12pm and 1-3pm)
Let the museum transport you to an enchanted forest… Wednesday – Friday we’re running free crafts with a different theme each week from Secret Places to Wings and Wild Things. Every Tuesday there’s a new animal-themed activity, from live rainforest animals to shadow puppets, den building and wild stories!


Behind the Scenes at Leeds Discovery Centre - Every Thurs, 11am–12pm & 2pm–3pm
Did you know we have over 1 million objects in our store? We run two free drop-in tours every Thursday. Come and discover hidden treasures in our dress and textile, social history, natural science, geology, archaeology and world cultures collections.

Wednesday Discovery Workshops – Every Wednesday 2-30 August, 10am-12pm
Every Wednesday we’re running special workshops on the museum collections, combined with a chance to see inside the museum store! Incredible Insects (2 August) explores everything that creeps and crawls, while Fantastic Fossils (9 August) uncovers the secrets of our fossil collection. Discover Ancient Egyptian artefacts on 16 August or enjoy learning about old toys on 23 August. In Brilliant Birds (30 August) admire our amazing bird collection from across the world.
(Booking required. Email


Model-making: Make a Miniature Yorkshire - Tues - Fri, 10.30am-12.30pm/1.30-3.30pm
Leeds Industrial Museum
As part of our summer of art we'll be making a miniature Yorkshire model in the Millspace! Come along and make a model of your house, school, your favourite place to go on a day out. We'll be capturing all the models on camera so you can take them home with you if you like.


Summer Adventures - 28 July –3 Sept, 11am–4pm
Six weeks of themed activities from fashion, to wildlife, to all things Yorkshire. Each week of the holidays we have something to offer with themed crafts, events, outdoor games and trails.

Yorkshire Day – 1 August, 11am-4pm
A celebration of all things Yorkshire! Come and meet local groups, businesses, organizations and charities from the surrounding area. We’ll have stalls selling locally produced food and crafts – from cheese to handmade glass – a range of charities, and some amazing animals, including alpacas! Meet our special guest, a local Great British Bake-Off star and pick up baking tips.


Sparkling Summer Holidays - 25 July–Sun 3 Sept, opening hours
We are going sparkly in the house this summer! There will be a changing programme of silver themed crafts every afternoon (1.30–4.30pm); we’ll be making shields and crowns for dazzling damsels and noble knights, weaving silver thread tapestries and adding glitz to picture frames.

Amazing Animals Week - Mon 15–Fri 19 Aug (10am–4pm)
Head to the farm, where we will be greeting some special guests. See owls, snakes, mini beasts and more! On Wednesday 16 join us on the magic carpet in the house for an interactive story time.


Creative Youth Workshop – Wednesday 2nd August, 10am-2pm
A brand new youth event at Thwaite Mills for anyone aged 11 to 19. Thwaite Mills once made putty and we’ll be using this material with metallic paint to decorate canvasses. Create a unique design inspired by this amazing setting. (Book a place by emailing

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