Things To Do This Summer In Leeds

It’s officially summer! It's time to get out, have a laugh and make memories so we can look back and say, “damn, that was unreal”. Here are the best things to do in Leeds in summer, so you can have a cracking time.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 1st Jul 2022

Looking for things to do in Leeds this summer? We’ve got you. Whether you’re a raver, a live music fanatic, a naturist, family-oriented, a foodie, a boozer, sporty, lazy, or something else, we’ve got something for you.

Check out our list of things to do in Leeds in summer and try to tell us there isn‘t one thing that intrigues you. We’ll wait. 


Stuff your face at a foodie event 


Photo: Chow Down on Facebook

With the sun boosting our mood, we might be tempted to see just how blissful we can feel. And we think most would agree that food is one of the best ways to do that. Who doesn't feel amazing when eating delicious food? So head to Chow Down with crazy golf, cocktails, and DJs. Or check out the Curry and Beer Festival this weekend. Or maybe you need something else… 


Find tickets for food events in Leeds - here



Discover your summer '22 tipple 


Photo: Leeds International Beer Festival on Facebook 

Whether you visit an alcohol festival such as the Curry and Beer fest or partake in a tasting session, they're both great ways to spend a few hours and find your new poison. 

The Leeds Tequila Festival will land in The Tetley on Friday the 22nd of July, showcasing over 12 world-class tequila brands and four-day hops celebration Leeds International Beer Festival will be back for its tenth year in September. Just remember to stock up on paracetamol beforehand. 


Find tickets for food and drink events - here



Do day drinking the proper way at brunch 


Photo: Reggae Brunch on Facebook 

Brunches have exploded recently, so there are always loads to choose from. But let us introduce you to the brunch. The one that’ll hurt to miss and the one people will see on your stories and instantly wish they were there: The Reggae Brunch

Going down on August bank holiday weekend, The Reggae Brunch, with jerk chicken and bottomless rum punch, is the place to be. But Afrobeats N Brunch in July with face painting, games, and DJs looks crazy too. Decisions… 


Find tickets for brunch events - here



Make a splash at Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre


Photo: Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre on Facebook

Summer is, of course, the best time of year to find a new watersports hobby. It’s probably one of the few types of hobbies that has benefits to being bad at. If you fall in, you cool down. If you don’t fall in, you're doing it right! The Leeds Sailing and Activities Centre teaches watersports including kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, canoeing, and windsurfing. Why not give it a go while the sun’s shining? 


Find tickets for family-friendly activities - here



Hop on the Leeds Water Taxi


Photo: Leeds Dock Water Taxis on Facebook 

One of the cheapest things to do in Leeds in the summer is hopping on the Leeds Water Taxi. It's free for kids under five and just £1 for everyone else. The service runs every 20 minutes and stops at Leeds Dock and Granary Wharf. And when you hop off, you can simply wander the area, which is full of shops, bars, and restaurants. You can’t beat a cheap and cheerful boat ride on a sunny day, can you? 



Complete the Meanwood Valley Trail


Photo: Meadwood Valley on Facebook 

As the weather’s at (or approaching) its best, completing the Meanwood Valley Trail will get you outside, exercising and breathing in the fresh air. The trail is seven miles in total, but it’s broken up into parts, so you can tackle it one bit at a time if needs be. Keep an eye out for fish, crayfish, lizards, frogs, newts, and other small animals on the way. 



Grill up some grub


Photo: Evan Wise on Unsplash

Like a flower blooming in the spring, the world spinning on its axis or a dog wagging its tail when it’s happy, Brits getting excited about a barbecue in the summer is natural. An instinct, almost. It’s what we do. And, at this point, a barbecue isn’t even really an option. It’s a must. So bust out the grill and cook up some grub!



Have a picnic in a park


Photo: Lison Zhao on Unsplash

Here’s yet another golden summer activity that’s always fun: picnics. If a picnic goes wrong, it can only really be because the weather turned or the food's a bit naff. As long as you sort a bottle of bubbly or a few cans, some tasty savoury snacks, a sweet treat to close on, and choose a day with a pleasant forecast, it’ll always be brill. 



Catch your fave flick at an open-air cinema


Photo: The Luna Cinema on Facebook 

A big bag of popcorn, your favourite film, some sweets, and your pals on a warm summer evening - sounds like a top plan to us! The Luna Cinema will be showing No Time To Die, West Side Story, Grease, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire just outside of Leeds. You can catch viewings at Bolton Abbey, Harewood House, and York Minster. 

And seeing as these events are only growing in popularity, we bet there’ll be similar events announced soon.



Cool off in Ilkley Lido


Photo: Friends Of Ilkley Lido on Facebook 

We all joke about the British summer, but it can actually get pretty damn hot. So when the humidity reaches uncomfortable levels, one of the best things to do in Leeds in the summer is to cool off, have a splash, and enjoy the weather while it lasts by belly flopping into a nice, cool lido. 

Simply hop on a train to Ilkley, and after a short walk, you’ll find a lovely pool with your name on it. 



Let loose at the Leeds West Indian Carnival 



This Caribbean carnival, complete with intricate, mind blowing costumes, delicious food, Caribbean music and more, is one of Europe’s longest-running. This year, the event will take place on Monday 29th August and is probably the most fun celebration of Caribbean culture. Why not get involved this summer? 



Hit the beer gardens! 


Photo: Lamb & Flag on Facebook

Here's another summer activity that’s a must! When the condensation is sliding down the pint glass as a bead of sweat simultaneously rolls down your face, you know that first sip will elevate you to heaven. Find moments like these at the Lamb & Flag, Headrow House, Northern Monk, Granville's Beer & Gin House, Waterlane Boathouse, The Cross Keys, or The Midnight Bell.


Find tickets for pub events - here



Take the kids to Diggerland to burn off some steam


Photo: Diggerland on Facebook

If you've got kids who are obsessed with diggers and building, they're going to love this. Diggerland is exactly as it sounds. There are loads of diggers that you and the kids (or just you, we can get behind that) can drive around in. And if the novelty starts to wear off, there are also go-karts, dodgems and play areas for younger kids to keep them entertained for hours.


Find tickets for family events - here



Go to a music festival or gig 


Photo: Aranxa Esteve on Pexels

It’s summer! It’s an unspoken rule go to an outdoor festival or gig. And Leeds stays smashing it out of the park with events that look too good to be true. 

Catch those summer vibes at the Leeds Ska and Mod Festival. Or revel in nostalgia at The Popworld Festival with S Club, Peter Andre, and Cheeky Girls. Or maybe an orchestra rendition of club anthems is more your vibe?


Find tickets for festivals and gigs - here



Support The Donkey Sanctuary 


Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary Leeds on Facebook 

Every Saturday and the first Sunday of every month, The Donkey Sanctuary welcomes the public to meet their donkey, Harbin. You might find him sleeping, chilling out, grazing or playing. No matter what he may be up to, he’ll always be super cute and ready for your visit!



Learn something new at a free waterfront festival


Photo: Granary Wharf, Leeds on Facebook 

Over on Granary Wharf on Saturday the 27th of August, the Active Weekend will be letting the public try their hand at various activities for free. Bring the kids down for a go! They might find out they’re a natural at paddleboarding, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking or African drumming. And they can also get their faces painted and create something in the arts and crafts area. 



Visit Meanwood Valley Urban Farm


Registered charity Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is a city farm with a bunch of cute and cuddly animals. Expect alpacas, pigs, sheep, goats, guinea pigs, turtles, cows, chickens, and sometimes chicks and ducklings. Oh, and it might be the best cost-effective summer activity with adult tickets costing just £2.50, kids at 50p, and those under two going for free.


Find tickets for family-friendly events - here



See what’s on in Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen


Photo: Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen on Facebook

Summer is the season for events. It’s just the rules; we don’t make them. So Heading here to see what’s going down is always a shout. There are DJs every day between Wednesday and Saturday, a late-night bar, comfort food, street food events each month, a roof garden (summer vibes!), music, film, art, and more. We could honestly live there. 


Find tickets for artsy events in Leeds - here



Party at Pride 


Photo: Leeds LGBT+ Pride

Ain't no party like a Leeds Pride party! Returning on Sunday the 7th of August, Leeds Pride will be making up for two lost years. Expect over 100 floats and people dressed in costumes dancing and swaggering their way through the city, attracting around 50,000 people. Pride is always a good laugh, and there are stalls to browse too. Then finish the day by hitting some bars and making some mates. 


Find tickets for Pride events in Leeds - here



Hit the clubs


Photo: The Old Red Bus Station on Facebook

We reckon the worst bit about clubbing is walking home shivering so hard your jaw chatters like in a cartoon. Summer makes you forget this problem even existed. Leeds has banging nightlife, and it thrives in the summer. Check out Mint Warehouse, HiFi Club, Distrikt, The Old Red Bus Station, Beaver Works, and Wire for some unforgettable summer memories.


Find tickets for clubbing events - here



As such a great, bustling city, there are almost too many things to do in Leeds in the summer. But we hope our list helped you figure out how you’ll be spending these glorious sunny days and long warm nights. Now let’s go have a summer we'll never forget! 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Header: Korng Sok on Unsplash