The Best Place in Leeds…

Even though I have written about loads of different places in Leeds, I have not done a “Best Place in Leeds” blog post before. As a result, here are a few things which are some age appropriate selections for you!

Best Place in Leeds - splash image

Best Place in Leeds for Crawlers

Boomchikkaboom hosts one-off events all over West Yorkshire, but quite a few are held in Leeds, with most being in Mothercare at the Crown Point Shopping Centre. You have to pre-book (and make sure you do well in advance) but their Mini Raves are a mix of upbeat music, dancing and songs which brilliant for smaller children who love sensory overload!

Boomchikkaboom take some brilliant pictures and share on Facebook

Boomchikkaboom also do messy play sessions for the younger kids, but during school holidays, they do sessions specifically for school aged children as well.

Loving a Boomchikkaboom rave!

You can read a full blog post on Boomchikkaboom here.

Best Place in Leeds for Pre-Schoolers

If your child is into creative play and imagination, the Rainbow Factory based in Farsley will be absolutely perfect. Keep your eye out for their special events during certain weekends and school holidays.  However, during term-time, they have specific sessions for pre-schoolers.

Best Place in Leeds - Rainbow Factory

We are HUGE fans of the Rainbow Factory and whilst it can seem a bit strange concept, the work that they do really does bring children out of their shell and boost their imagination. If your child is a bit shy, it does help to join in the sessions, but you’ll enjoy it just as much as your little one.

Kids are free to be as creative as possible at the Rainbow Factory

You can read Rainbow Factory posts here and here.

Best Place in Leeds for Primary School Children

Opened in 2017, the Leeds Urban Bike Park is a really safe space for children (and grown-ups) to ride their bike. Set on the old council golf course in Middleton, it is a free venue where there are trails for cyclists of all ages to explore. The site is completely vehicle free which means that riders are so much safer than on the roads and your child can ride, and develop accordingly.

Best Place in Leeds - Leeds Urban Bike Park
One of the trails at the Leeds Urban Bike Park

There are even bumpy trails for young and old to experience proper BMX-ing, which I am reliably told is a “pump track” (who knew?!)

Best Place in Leeds for Older Children

The Royal Armouries is a free attraction at the south east of the City Centre which gives an insight into the history of battles through the ages. Some of the artefacts are a reminder as to how deadly war can be, but it can act as a thought provoking visit for the older children. It would work really well if your child was into history and/or was learning about a relevant topic in school.

Royal Armouries
Exhibit at Royal Armouries

To make the trip more of an experience, get the free water taxi from Granary Wharf (near the train station) to the Armouries.  You get to see parts of Leeds which you would never see before although the queues can be big on hot summer weekends.  If you have not done it before, it is worth the wait.

You can read a full blog post on the Royal Armouries here.

Best Place in Leeds for Adults

Why should the children get all the fun?! Hotel Chocolat, just off Boar Lane, do chocolate making sessions for children and adults. Whilst there is some learning about the science behind chocolate, there is also the opportunity to decorate chocolate. You also get a decent discount in the shop at the end of the session, which is ideal if you’re going to do a bulk buy purchase at Easter or Christmas!!

Hotel Chocolat
Welcome to the Hotel Chocolat!

You do have to book well in advance for this. However, if you know you’re going to be child free, you’re probably counting down the days already!!

You can read a full blog post on Hotel Chocolat here.

Overall

All in all, there are loads of things to do in this brilliant city. I’d love to hear what your recommendations are, which will probably lead to a follow-up blog post!!

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Royal Armouries

Opened in 1996, the Royal Armouries is one of the jewels in the crown of Leeds. I remember when it was opened, how it was such a big thing for Leeds to have such a national treasure. However, being from Leeds, perhaps it is taken for granted somewhat.

We have visited the Royal Armouries a couple of times now and felt that it needed a blog post doing!!

Royal Armouries splash image

What is at the Royal Armouries?

The Royal Armouries is the home of arms and armour from all over the world, both historical and modern day, held over 5 floors.

I am in no way an expert in any of these areas, and so I’ll let the pictures to the talking, but as you can see, there are lots of artefacts to view.

Royal Armouries armour

The most visual displays, particularly for younger children, are the animal exhibits, showing how animals were used in battles. Depending on the age of your child, they may just see them as dressed up animals, which isn’t a bad thing at all!!

Horse and soldier

There are talks and demonstrations as well throughout the day, and on the top floor, there is a paid-for activity, using a cross-bow to shoot balls. We didn’t have chance to give it a go, but it did look fun and decent value for money (2019 price: £3 for 8 balls)

The Royal Armouries also do special events as well, particularly in the summer and bank holidays, so keep an eye out for upcoming events, especially as they tend to get quite busy!

Is Royal Armouries child friendly?

It depends on how old your child is. If your child understands war and has a historical understanding of certain events, then the Royal Armouries will be very, very educational.  However, if your child is more hands-on or doesn’t understand the concept of war, then the attraction may not be for them.

Elephant going into battle

However, there is lots of space for children to explore and as such, they can find what appeals to them.

There are really good baby changing facilities, with separate toilet facilities, was well as changing facilities in the men’s toilets.

Is the Royal Armouries just about War?

Pretty much. However, there is a small “Peace” section hidden away on one of the upper floors. Whilst it is important to know about the past, it would have been good to see how we can avoid wars going forward.

It's not all about war at the Royal Armouries
It’s not all about war

How can I get to the Royal Armouries?

Probably the best way to get to the Royal Armouries is via the free water taxi service from Granary Wharf. It gives a view of Leeds that you wouldn’t normally see and is very interesting. There can often be a large queue in summer, but if you can take the trip, do so.

There is a large multi-story car park about 300 yards away, which charges city centre prices (understandably), but is very convenient.

Perhaps the best way would be to get a bus/coach into the bus station and do the 10 minute walk down. This is especially true if you have older children.

To read about our experience of getting a National Express coach, check out this blog post.

How much is admission to the Royal Armouries?

Entry into the Royal Armouries is free. There are places to make a donation throughout, as it is a registered charity.

Overall

The Royal Armouries may not be ideal for your child, depending on their age and level of understanding. However, it is a national treasure and its quality is amazing. With everything undercover and free entry, it is well worth a trip and see for yourself!

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Abbey House Museum

A cold, wet late January weekend took us to Abbey House Museum in Leeds. Heidi had been with school a couple of weeks before and so was enthusiastic to go back and show what she enjoyed!

Abbey House Museum

What is at Abbey House Museum?

Abbey House Museum has 2 floors full of historic exhibits. The ground floor has a Victorian street/village with houses, shops, and a school to look in. Think of it as an indoor, smaller version of Beamish. There is nothing to “do” in the village except look around, but it is very interesting to look around.

Upstairs are more modern exhibits, which change over time. In late January 2019, there was an historical toy exhibit, which the child loved to look around. There was also the “Danger Zone” exhibit, which highlighted household items through the last 200 years which were dangerouss. There were also exhibits as how those dangers were managed and how we prevent danger in the house.

What did the children enjoy?

The children loved the space to run out in the Victorian street and I would like to think that they learned a little too!!  They also liked the dressing up section as part of the “Danger Zone” section.  They also enjoyed the toy section, especially with the chance to play with a couple of the toys.

It might sound daft, but because Abbey House Museum isn’t too big, it meant that they were able to enjoy it all, rather than be too tired from walking!

There is also the chance to dress up!

The free playground next to the car park was also a chance for the children to get some fresh air and tire themselves out a little bit more!

What did the children not enjoy?

The fact that a lot of the toys were on display, but not able to be played with, didn’t go down well! Also, a lot of the displays are perhaps for older children/adults, so they didn’t get as much out of it as other visitors would do.

What are the facilities like?

The toilets are really good and roomy, which is perfect for talking a child. Abbey House Museum also has a cafe, but it’s safe to say that the children were far too excited to go in there. However, the food looked good!

There are lifts to all floors, so if you want to take a pushchair, you can. However, as the Vicotrian street is cobbled, then it is a bit tricky. Abbey House Museum isn’t took big, therefore you might be able to get away with not taking one.

How do I get to Abbey House Museum?

Abbey House Museum is located opposite Kirkstall Abbey and there is a free car park just over the road. As Kirstall Abbey is popular in the summer, then car parking could be a problem. However, in late January, it was fine!

The postcode to find Abbey House Museum is LS5 3EH.

Is Abbey House Museum good value for money?

We paid £11 for a family ticket (as at January 2019) which covers 2 adults and 2 children. We spent about an hour and a half running about and trying to do our best to get the children to learn. As a result, it is one of the better value for money places in the region.

Verdict

All in all, Abbey House Museum is a lovely hidden gem in Leeds. It doesn’t get the publicity of the other Leeds museums, but if youre wanting to go somewhere for a couple of hours, and want your child to learn, then this could be a place for you to go.

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Anything Could Happen

Over the last couple of months, we have discovered another hidden gem of the amazing creative scene in Leeds – Anything Could Happen. Before Heidi came along, it’s safe to say that I wasn’t into creative arts, but after going to the Rainbow Factory for the past few years, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world!!

Anything Could Happen

What happens?

Well, anything (obviously!!)

On a serious note, there are two adult (I was going to say grown-up, but they have to be a bit childish!) performers on stage, loosely controlled by the fabulous stage director, Carla. They start off with an idea, and then get ideas from the children in the audience. The children then develop the story as it goes, with random ideas being thrown in from all the children.  After the story has reached a somewhat natural conclusion, which often resulted from mild chaos, the stage is reset and a new idea kicks off more carnage!!

As Anything Could Happen takes place in a real-life, intimate theatre, the children get experience of a professional environment and as they sit on the floor of the stage, they feel part of the action.

Every child is asked to input into the performance over the hour and a bit it is on, and whilst Heidi can feel a bit lost in the number of children and ideas, it does help her understand sharing (does that count as a swear word?!) and being patient.

There is very few opportunities for the children to be on stage themselves, so if you’re looking for a stage school this isn’t for you. However, think of it as giving your child the chance for a front row seat to a brilliant comedy show that they can help create.

However, if your child does go up on stage, get your cameras out, as it is a brilliant memory to have. In January, Heidi was “interviewed” on stage and pretended to explain why crocodiles were coming into houses through toilets. Yes, you did read that right! The best thing was that the atmosphere was so supportive that she was able to go out of her comfort zone and do it!

What age is appropriate?

This is a difficult one, but I wouldn’t expect a child younger than 5 would be able to concentrate for the whole show. It is quite fast paced, but so is the humour and so younger children might not get the jokes.

Also, as the children tend to sit at the front amongst themselves (but not every child does) younger children might feel a little overwhelmed by it all.

How do you prepare?

It might sound a really daft thing to say, but don’t wear too many clothes!! Anything Could Happen takes place in a real theatre, and as such, all the stage lights are on. This means that it does get warm quickly and whilst it never gets uncomfortable, you won’t need a thick jumper on!!

Apart from that, you can encourage your child to be creative in play, but generally, they will become immersed in the experience and develop as they take part.

What Do Adults do?

It sounds strange, but there is very little to do for the adults! You sit back in the audience and enjoy the show.  It is that simple!!!

I do think that the adults enjoy the show just as much as the children, and because the humour is so quick and well put together, there is a layer of comedy that is just for adults!

What about First Timers?

This is a note of caution. Regardless of how confident or old your child is, they are likely to be unsure about Anything Could Happen during the first visit. This is because it is quite intense on their sensors – lights, visual and oral comedy, a different environment etc. My advice would be to go with how they feel and perhaps take some sweets with you to relax them.

However, after the first visit, you’ll have made up your mind whether it is right for your child and so don’t let their first impression put you off coming back. Heidi was restless during her first visit, but I knew she would enjoy it, and on the morning of the second show, she woke up with a huge smile, realising that it was Anything Could Happen Day!!

Heidi being interviewed on stage about crocodiles

Overall

Finding Anything Could Happen has been amazing and has sparked Heidi’s creativity at home even more. However, with these kinds of activities, it is the people running it that make it so special. Without their creativity, passion and a little bit of silliness, the children would not benefit and enjoy the shows. I really hope that Heidi will enjoy the shows for a long time, as I know she will learn so much from them!

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Go Ape Temple Newsam

We were invited by Go Ape Temple Newsam to swing by and test out their relatively new attraction and we had a fantastic time monkey-ing around!! Ok, that’s enough of the puns, I promise!

Loop 1 on the bottom, loop 3 on the top

How did we get on?

From the outside, Go Ape Temple Newsam looks imposing and fun at the same time! However, once we saw a friendly face behind the reception desk, it all seemed a lot more manageable! The pre-climb safety talk really helped and we were on our way upwards after about 10 minutes of checking-in.

You get wristbands as well!

Hopefully the pictures and videos throughout will show how much we enjoyed the session. We lasted 75 minutes before we got tired and we left with massive smiles on our faces, as well as a certificate!

The best part for Heidi was the zip wire as you can clearly see. Although for me, getting us both along the second loop was good as it involved a fair bit of courage for both of us!

Levels

Go Ape Temple Newsam has 3 different levels which cost different amounts.  For younger children, you’ll have plenty of fun on Level 1. However, if you’re more adventurous, Levels 2 and 3 look amazing!

You have to be over 1m tall for any of the levels, over 1.2m for Level 2 and 1.4m for Level 3 so bear that in mind.  However, there is a height chart at the venue to help!

We did Level 1, which covered 3 “loops” and that was scary enough for both of us! Even at this level, you go quite high in the trees with no safety netting between you and the ground! It was high enough that I dare not take my phone out to take a picture!

Building trust

One of the good things about going to Go Ape Temple Newsam is that it builds additional trust between you and your child. They will be naturally scared of the height and probably the zip-wire, and you will be as well probably!! However, by helping and coaching, they can manage the situation and learn for themselves that they can do it.

As you can go on the obstacles together, if they are really struggling, you can hold their hand and take control. Also, the staff are really good and will help as much as possible.

Clothing

It is an outdoor activity and as such, wear appropriate clothing! It does get cool high up in the trees, but the activity is strenuous and so you need to match them both up. One tip is that on Level 1, there is a tunnel to crawl through, and so I wouldn’t recommend shorts!

This tunnel isn’t the best for grown-ups!

You tend to use your hands a fair bit and so you might want a pair of gloves, just in case. Also, decent trainers/outdoor shoes are a must. The last thing you want is to lose a shoe 30 feet in the air!

Safety

Let’s just put this out there – Go Ape Temple Newsam is safe. Yes, it is unnatural to be so high up. However, you wear a harness and are connected to a safety wire. As a result, it you fall off, you will just dangle in mid air and be able to get back onto the course.

You’re given safety cards to read and listen to a safety talk before you are put into harnesses which are very “snug”! If at any time you feel as though the harness is slack, or you feel unsafe, please ask a member of staff. However, safety is their highest priority!

Toilets

This is the one downside of Go Ape Temple Newsam – the toilets are a 5 minute walk away, near the Walled Garden. The toilets are not particularly pleasant either to be honest! Also, please make sure that you don’t need to go to the toilet whilst you are on the course. The staff will have to take your harness off and you’ll lose time on the course!

Staff

The Go Ape Temple Newsam staff are brilliantly friendly and helpful. You’ll come across 4 or 5 different staff during your session and each one was happy and supportive throughout. They clearly know their stuff and make sure that you’re safe.

Go Ape Temple Newsam Parking

Parking at Go Ape Temple Newsam is free and plentiful. The venue is near the playground and well sign-posted. Even on a Saturday morning, we found a spot just outside the venue. You might be lucky and have an ice cream afterwards (the certificate apparently gets you a small discount!)

Happy with her certificate!

All in all, we had a fantastic time and help Heidi and I bond even more. We will certainly be back, probably when we are both brave enough to take on the higher loops!

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Jackrabbits Pottery

We were invited to Jackrabbits Pottery in Leeds to do a Christmas bauble print, but there are things to do all year round, either with or without the children!

Bauble Print

Memories of your child in their early years should last a lifetime, and making a Christmas bauble is one of those memories! The experience will be different depending on the age of the child, but the fun will be there and the end result will be just as magical.

Making a Christmas print does rely on the help and guidance of a member of staff and so it is best to book ahead. As of Christmas 2018, they only do such a service during the week.

So, what happens…? You get to choose a bauble and then the staff will paint your child’s hand (or foot if you prefer) and gently guide the hand onto the bauble, to make the print. Sounds simple doesn’t it! However, because the staff are experts, they know what adjustments need to be made to make sure the print comes out right.

Then, the fun part! The Jackrabbits Pottery staff will help you design the rest of the bauble. You might want the child’s age, name and/or a festive message on there. As Heidi is 5, then this was left to her and in fact, it made it more personal to her. Obviously, if you’re taking a baby, the pressure is on you to make all the decisions. However, taking a slightly older child means that they can join in, and get even more out of the experience.

Once you have designed the rest of the bauble, the jackrabbits Pottery team will do all the clever artistic touches. Then they will give you a text and/or a time from which you can collect it from the shop.

Once you pick it up, it is yours forever, and you can do an unboxing video if your child is old enough!!

 

It’s not just baubles!

Jackrabbits Pottery is not just about the Christmas baubles. On a child free Sunday, we went here for date day before doing the bauble. It is such a relaxing place to visit!

The shop is full of items for you to paint, from egg cups, to clocks, to Christmas plates. At the start, you are given a little instructional talk by a member of staff. This is quite important as there is a certain knack to painting pottery!! Then, you let your creativity run wild!

At any point, ask a member of staff for guidance, because they are the experts! There is a colour chart on the wall that will help guide you and loads of tools to help you. You don’t need to bring anything with you!

After painting…

You can do this with the children as well, but it really does depend on how much you trust your child! To start with, it might be best if you let your child paint one, whilst you help, rather than both of you paint one. Heidi wants to do this sometime and so I am sure we will be down again to paint a unicorn!

The final result!

Most pottery pieces take a week to be completed, and again, you can pick them up from the shop.

You’re best to phone ahead to book a time as availability is limited!

Jackrabbits Pottery staff

The Jackrabbits Pottery staff are amazingly friendly and helpful. They want your piece of work to be as good as possible and so they will help and advise throughout.

As the bauble process is on a one-to-one basis, they really look after both you and your child, to make sure the visit is a success. Talking to Sarah, who owns Jackrabbits Pottery, you can tell how much the place means to her and her team. This shows in the friendly, open atmosphere of the shop.

Adding a little bit of magic…

Even though I was way out of my comfort zone, I felt so relaxed at the end of the visit!

Top Tips!

A few of top tips to help you with your visit:

  • If doing a bauble print, dress your child in short sleeves/short trousers. It helps get a better print and stops paint going on the clothes!
  • The paint is fully washable, so you don’t need to worry too much about splashes going on there
  • The milkshakes are amazing! They do all sorts of amazing cakes as well, but we were trying to be a little healthy-ish!
  • Give yourself enough time to do the painting and for it to come back to you in about a week’s time.

Please Note: We were given the opportunity to do a Christmas bauble for the purposes of this post. However, no influence was made on its contents.

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Escape Hunt – Leeds

As we had our first child free weekend since April, we did something a little different and went to the Escape Hunt in Leeds. We didn’t know what to expect when we booked, but we had such an amazing time!!

The Set Up

Escape Hunt is located in The Light entertainment complex on the third floor where the cinemas are. It is a little bit hidden away but this means the waiting area is very calm and relaxing. As you enter, you’re greeted by a member of staff who will take your details and check you in. Then you are free to relax until your game begins.

Here, there is a mini-bar (which only takes cards) but also in the welcome room are mini games such as Jenga, Connect 4 and Draughts. We found this really relaxing and got us nice and chilled out for was about to come!

Concentrating hard!

The Game

We played “Our Finest Hour” which was set in 1942 Germany. One of the key things with escape rooms is that you shouldn’t give away any secrets. As such, trying to write a blog post is rather difficult! However, I think it’s safe to say that you have to solve all the clues within an hour, to save Britain. As a result, there’s absolutely no pressure at all!!!

Apparently, this is the most difficult game room that Escape Hunt has to offer. Given that there was only 2 of us, this made it even more difficult! I would think that it is best with 3 or 4 people in the room, as any more than this and you’ll probably end up falling out and tripping over each other.

As mentioned, this was our first Escape Hunt room and so we did find it very difficult, especially with just two of us.  However, we did learn how the game works as we went along. The Game Master (Mary) was excellent in providing us proper instructions before we started and so we had a good chance of succeeding.

Part of the game…

Escape Hunt Top Tips!

One issue we did have was that my partner is hard of hearing. As such, I had to use the telephone at all times to receive clues from the Game Master. However, once Mary knew about this, she quickly stopped using a telephone and used the speaker system instead and this really helped. It would be best to let the staff know of any disabilities that your team has, so that they can make necessary arrangements.

The Game Master phones through on this

Also, if you’re thinking about inviting older relatives to a game (hint: Christmas presents!), the game isn’t particularly physically strenuous. As a result, if you can stand for an hour you should be able to play the game relatively easily. Once you are enclosed in the room, it didn’t feel that you were trapped at any time. This is especially true as you were in regular contact with the Game Master.

Child Appropriate?

Escape Hunt is targeted for groups of adults as well as for children over the age of 10. This feels just about right. Children younger than 10 would probably lack the concentration and would probably get frustrated at the number of clues that need to be solved.

If you have to take a child in to Escape Hunt, you need to have enough people in the group to interact and involve for child whilst trying to complete the puzzle. As such, I wouldn’t recommend taking a child under the age of 10. However, the fabulous Noel did say that they had younger children in for a birthday party. They also make a really big effort to open the game up to younger children.

The Outcome

So, how did we get on?! Seeing as though we were playing the hardest game, there’s just two of us and one of those was hard of hearing, I feel so he did remarkably well!!

We managed to do with puzzle in 59 minutes and 30 seconds!! One of the great things about Escape Hunt is that they give you a really good debrief afterwards. They tell you what you did well and what you had difficulties with and so you can feel better about things afterwards.

Success!!

One thing to be aware of is that at the end of the game you are probably emotionally drained.  As a result, reserve judgement until the morning after because you’ll either be on a real high, a real low, or mentally exhausted!

The Verdict

Going to Escape Hunt is a real challenge, both in terms of the game but also for relationships of the people you play with! It is quite eye opening as to how you interact with other people and how you learn. It would be a great team building exercise at work and probably something I will talk to my manager at work about!

For a child free evening, Escape Hunt provides something really, really different to anything else out there. Another good thing is the fact it is in Leeds City Centre so you can carry on your evening afterwards. I really hope that we could go back again at some point to play the other games!

Escape Hunt

IMPORTANT! We played the Escape Hunt room free of charge for the purposes of this blog post. However, no attempts have been made to influence this post.

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Leeds Golf Centre

I was invited to Leeds Golf Centre in North Leeds to check out their facilities, especially their signature course, Wike Ridge. This was one time when I was “Matthew” and not “dad” and as weird as it sounds, it was a nice change. Anyway, less about me and more about Leeds Golf Centre!

Wike Ridge

The signature course is a fully-fledged championship standard course, ranging from 5472 yards to 6535 yards, depending on tee choice. As a result, it isn’t for complete novices!!

The course is of very high quality, with smooth quick greens and well presented fairways. As you can see, the bunkers are of decent condition (including rake!) which makes you feel as though you’re a professional!

This certainly isn’t a “standard” course with the water hazards and amazing views over North Leeds and the views and walk was almost as good as the course itself!

My personal favourite hole was the 9th. Mainly because it was the hole I got a par on!! Although it is a par 4, you can almost drive the green. I landed the tee shot into the greenside bunker before getting out and two-putting. I felt like I won a title!

What a view!

This was the first time I had played since being a dad (5+ years!) and so the length of the course does take it out of you. As a result, don’t be afraid to call it a day early before it stops being fun!!

One note is that it can be difficult to find the next tee, but the best way is to follow the gravel track following the fairway round. However, after the 1st green, you need to double back on you to the right to get to the 2nd tee!

The facilities

When you enter the Leeds Golf Centre complex, there is a decent sized free car park, and you walk round the back to check-in at the golf shop. Here you can rent a set of clubs, trolley or even a buggy (maybe next time!).

You can buy golf balls and tees too!

Within the clubhouse are changing rooms, a restaurant serving snacks, drinks and meals, as well as toilets. Yes, I am that person who takes pictures of the toilets!

There is also a cafe and toilet at the end of the 9th hole of the Wike Ridge course. Please note that this is the only toilet on the course.

The dress code

This is one thing that can cause issues, especially for newbies to golf courses. There is a specific page on the Leeds Golf Centre website about the dress code and the fact that they are relaxed about things. This is such a good thing! For the Wike Ridge course, they only ask that you don’t wear jeans or tracksuit bottoms, as well as a polo collared shirt.

For the rest of the facilities, there is no dress code at all. Result!

The other activities

As well as the Wike Ridge course, there are other facilities at Leeds Golf Centre to entertain. If a full course isn’t for you and/or you want to bring your child along, the 12 hole, par 3 “The Oaks” course would be ideal for you. There is also the increasingly popular Footgolf, where there are 6 specially designed holes from 39 to 90 yards long. This would be ideal to bring a teenage son who had little interest in golf!

All in all, Leeds Golf Centre has loads on offer, even if you’re not a proficient golfer. The course was busy on a Sunday morning, so make sure you pre-book online. If you’re a solo player, it can be slow at times, but the other players were very good in allowing me to play through.

Will I be back? Absolutely! I had forgotten how good the game was and I felt like my own person as opposed to being “dad” for a few hours. I just need to find my golf balls in all the trees!!

Full disclosure: I received a free round for the purposes of this blog post. This was provided by www.onlinegolf.co.uk who also send me some merchandise, including some golf balls. They had no editing influence on this post.

Look at my balls!

From onlinegolf.co.uk

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Wallace and Gromit Trail

When can you go to a shopping centre, have a great time and not go in any shops or spend any money?! Well, the White Rose Shopping Centre has you covered this summer with a Wallace and Gromit sculpture trail throughout the centre.

UPDATE: This event has finished!

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For only £2, you can buy a map from Customer Services and the map shows you exactly where the Wallace and Gromit characters are. Also, Customer Services have a limited range of merchandise. The merchandise is hidden away a bit on the counter so the little ones don’t realise that they are there!!

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All the proceeds from the sales of the maps and merchandise go to the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal charity.

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There is nothing majorly complex about the trail, but you will need a map for 2 of the sculptures. This is because they aren’t in the main of the shopping centre, but I’m not going to give any clues!!

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The Wallace and Gromit trail is a nice bit of light hearted entertainment as you walk around the shopping centre. I’m sure that it will make the kids walk quicker, knowing that there is something to find just ahead.

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If you were to do the trail without looking in any of the shops it will probably take you about half an hour. However, I guess that it depends on how quickly you walk. Also, it depends on how easily you find the 2 which are hidden away a little.

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I know how much effort goes into these events, given that I helped put together the Herd of Sheffield sculpture trail. As such, please remember that it is for charity and support it as much as you can! You can read about the Herd of Sheffield event here.

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If you feel a little hungry after all the Wallace and Gromit hunting, there are loads of places to eat. One of the restaurants is Wagamamas and you can read about how child friendly it is here.

Continue reading Wallace and Gromit Trail

Junior Kitchen – Morley, Leeds

A last minute Heidi Sunday with snow in the air took us to Junior Kitchen in Morley for an impromptu cupcake session. I had been tipped off about Junior Kitchen from a school mum and with the weather looking dodgy, I booked on early in the morning for an afternoon session.

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The one thing that struck me as we were in was how fresh, modern and clean the facilities looked. It was bright and funky and just a nice atmosphere to spend time with your child.

Junior Kitchen

Whilst Junior Kitchen do lots of different classes for all sorts of age ranges, we did the cupcake decorating session. The session was £15 (per child!) and lasted around 75 minutes.

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To start with, we were given set designs to follow, but as we all started to get used to the icing and get a bit more confident, we were given free play to design cupcakes and towards the end, we got butter cream icing to design a few more cupcakes!

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All in all, we got to decorate 14 cupcakes and so you can see, it was tremendous value for money! (Just make sure you have space for the food you bring home!)

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Talking to one of the teachers afterwards, they do tailor the session for the age range of the children. However, with parental support, you could take a 3 year old to this with no problem. I would say that there is no upper age range as the adults were having just as much fun as the children! The staff are super friendly so if you’re unsure, just ask before you book on.

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The box was completely filled at the end!!

As you can see, we had a brilliant time and as the session also included complimentary tea/coffee/juice, they have really thought of everything.

There is bound to be something for everyone at some point, given the number of different sessions on offer.  I’m sure we will be back to experience more!


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