If you’re looking for an exciting family friendly event on this month, you won’t want to miss Light Night Leeds which takes place on October 13 and 14 in Leeds City Centre. It is a colourful, exciting, free event, but it can also be quite busy so here are our top tips for enjoying this fantastic event with kids!
Top Tips for Enjoying Light Night Leeds with Kids
To make things a bit easier for myself and any other families planning to visit, I asked the seasoned pros from the Yorkshire Families Facebook Group for their top tips for enjoying the event with kids. Here is a round-up of some very helpful advice!
- “We’ve been twice and when (our son) gets tired we jump on the free Light Night bus instead of walking through the crowds. Good for if it’s a cold night too.” -Wendy Brooke
- “Grab a brochure before you go and map out a circular route. I like to park at Tetley Leeds Brewery as they had a discount for Light Night last year. Its central and has ample parking. Make sure to pay particular attention to timed performances as your plan should flow around these. The issue for the past 2 years has been its popularity and so I find the street performances and some of the more interactive exhibits will attract queues. Either skip (which is a shame) or arrive early to avoid disappointment (which will eat up precious time). Queens Hotel and Civic building in Millennium Square usually has projections which are my personal favourites. The library always has multiple interactive exhibits. In addition, there tends to be craft workshops throughout the day at various locations. These tend to be for a wider collaborative exhibit which gets showcased on the night! FYI All this is based upon previous experiences, I haven’t seen this year’s brochure yet.” -Matthew Smethurst
- “I guess this is cheating, but now that it’s over 2 nights my husband usually goes to the first night and scopes out the bits which are going to appeal to kids. Another tip is to choose where you park wisely if you’re driving in. Light Night is spread right across the city, so park close to the things you really must see. It’s hard work trotting through town with an exhausted pre-schooler hours after their bedtime! Don’t try and see everything and don’t be afraid to stay off the beaten track. We had a great time at the last live event just by staying around Leeds Docks and the Royal Armouries.” -Ruth Smethurst
- “I think the key is not to do too much! Child Friendly Leeds often have bits and bobs going on and they tend to be the best bits. Also, take food with you as most places are packed!” -Matthew Bancroft of Leeds Dad.
- My own personal tip is to bring along any light-up toys if you have them. There are vendors selling them everywhere and although the kids love them on the night, they’re just bits of plastic junk the rest of the year. Save a bit of cash (and the environment) by bringing some along with you!
- There are either printed brochures of a Light Night App, which are both available to buy for £2 to help you plan.
Family Trail at Light Night Leeds
The Light Night Leeds website offers a few different trail options including this family-friendly trail.
- Hackspace Cubed, Kirkgate Market
- Illumaphonium, Briggate
- SPARK!, Trinity Leeds
- LUX, Millennium Square
- Various, Leeds Central Library
More Light Night Leeds 2022 Highlights
This year’s theme is Playful City! Families will Leeds’s most recognisable landmarks and locations hosting spellbinding installations aimed at encouraging visitors to engage and interact with the city in new, fun and innovative ways.
Highlights at the highly-anticipated, free two-night festival will include a thrilling, large-scale projection on The Queen’s Hotel, which will take the people of Leeds on a futuristic, digital rollercoaster ride.
At Leeds Civic Hall, a homage to the classic video games of the 1980s will see visitors take control of a high tech augmented reality experience, played out across the historic building’s impressive façade.
At Leeds Art Gallery, local artists Akeelah Bertram and Adam Glatherine’s installation will turn sounds into a cascade of colour and light across a network of eight-foot tall pipes, while at the Leeds Playhouse, a giant, luminous slinky will tumble end over end from the rooftops around the city’s famous theatre.
The popular Spark drummers will also be back with a unique performance at Trinity Leeds, while the historic lifting tower on Wellington Place will be the backdrop for a projection that will give a modern twist to the tale of Rapunzel.
This year, Light Night events will also take place outside the city centre, with an illuminated swim at Bramley Baths and a special light-themed play session at Left Bank.
You can find a full list of events at whatson.leeds.gov.uk/lightnight or follow @LightNightLeeds on Twitter.
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