What’s On in Leeds - May/June 2013

Harewood Medieval Faire Jousting, Harewood House - Photo by Red Zebra Photography

Harewood Medieval Faire Jousting, Harewood House - Photo by Red Zebra Photography - Credit: Red Zebra Photography

Your guide to key events in May and June in Leeds. For more information go to www.visitleeds.co.uk or keep up to date by following @VisitLeeds on Twitter

Family Friendly

Steam Days, Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley Mills, 25th – 27th May

Those with a keen interest in steam power and engineering can enjoy exhibitions presenting the museum’s collection of large and small engines, machine tools and road vehicles galleries and a collection of locomotives including the well-known and loved working engine, ‘Jack’.

Free entry.

A Festival of Play, Harewood House and Gardens, 5th& 6th May

The whole family can get out and about and immerse themselves in all things ‘play’ at Harewood’s spring festival. With a range of displays, performances and activities there’s something for all ages and bags of opportunity to re-discover your inner child.

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You’ll be able to see and take part in a variety of workshops and activities including high ropes, adrenaline zorbing, face painting, circus activities and freerunning,

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester are also bringing a thrilling assortment of LEGO activities for young and old alike.

Tickets: £10 adults, £9 senior citizens, £6 children and £30 family.

Kite Festival, Harewood House, 18th – 19th May

Cast your eyes to the skies above Harewood for kites and inflatables, striking colours, shapes, tricks and remarkable aerial displays at the annual Kite Festival of one of England’s finest treasure houses.

A myriad of family friendly activities will also take place on the ground.

Tickets: £10 adults, £6 children and £30 family (two adults, two children).

Spring Gift Fair, The Corn Exchange, 25th May

Shop in stunning surroundings at the Gift Fair. As well as the fabulous boutique shops, you will find up to 30 stalls selling a wide variety of quality products not available on the high street.

Free entry.

Leeds Vintage Fair, Leeds Town Hall, 26th May

A vintage fashion fair held in the beautiful Town Hall in the centre of Leeds. Up to 60 of the UK’s best traders selling men’s and women’s vintage clothing from the 1940s to 1980s including accessories, cupcakes, jewellery, art, home ware and gift ideas. This year’s fair also includes a vintage hair salon and a vintage tea party with cakes.

Free entry.

Harewood Medieval Faire, Harewood House and Gardens, 26th - 27th May

Following the success of last year’s Medieval Faire, Harewood House again hosts this spectacular festival. More than 500 enactors take you back to 15th century in a fun-packed family weekend of jousting, mock battles, cooking, clothing and a real archaeological dig, among other fun and informative events.

Tuck into a veritable feast overlooking the battlefield, or indulge in the hearty menu of game pie or roasted hog and apple pie, washed down with plenty of locally-sourced ale. Camp overnight for the full medieval experience.

Day ticket: Adult £15, Senior/Child/Student £10, Family £43

Weekend ticket: Adult £25, Senior/Child/Student £15, Family £75

Camping: £10 per night, Senior/Child/Student £7 per night, Family N/A

Banquet ticket: £49.95 per person, Group of 8 for the price of 7

Magical Half-Term, Thackray Medical Museum, 27th – 31st May

Drop into Thackray Medical Museum throughout half-term and join in with themed family activities. From 1-4pm Monday to Friday, work with your family to make your own juggling balls in celebration of Juggling and Street Magic month.

Tickets: £7 adults, £5 children.

Rumpelstiltskin, West Yorkshire Playhouse, 30th May – 1st June, 10.30am

Follow the troubled Miller’s daughter as she tries to outwit the greatest trickster of them all – Rumpelstiltskin. Straw turns to gold and magic and mayhem are in the air. Will the brave heroine be able to solve the riddle and save the day before the sun rises or will rotten Rumpel double cross her once and for all?

With live music, puppetry and mischievous storytelling, this is a golden new version of this classic fairytale by award-winning writer, Mike Kenny.

Tickets: £8.

Family Fun Day, Headingley Carnegie Stadium, 9th June, 10.30am – 4pm

A fantastic free event at the city’s Headingley Stadium, giving you and your children the chance to try a vast range of activities.

The family can enjoy sports, creative arts workshops, crafts, pony rides, a bouncy castle, face painting, stadium tours and the opportunity to meet the Leeds Rhinos!

This year as a new addition, a picnic area will be introduced with giant blankets to sit back and watch your little ones broaden their experience in all areas!

Free entry.

Foodie events

Leeds Food Festival, 24th May – 9th June

Perfect for foodies, Leeds Food Festival returns bigger and better than ever. Last year’s weekend-long festival saw 50,000 visitors descend on Millennium Square, the traditional festival location - but this year it has been extended to a full fortnight including three weekends of foodie heaven, spread over 50 venues across the compact city centre.


Kirkstall Market, Kirkstall Abbey, 26th May & 30th June, 12-3pm

For a great day out shopping and browsing handmade crafts and tasting local Yorkshire produce, visit two markets set in the picturesque 12th century ruins of Kirkstall Abbey. Stallholders include authentic American baker, The Yummy Yank, Really Indian, Nachos Amigos and Spanish Deli.

Free entry.

Farmer’s and Crafts Market, Briggate, Leeds City Centre, 19th May

Making food shopping a more personal experience, Farmers Markets bring together cheesemongers, bakers, butchers and greengrocers alongside a range of craft makers and artists to showcase independent producers across the city.

Held on the first and third Sunday of every month, Leeds Farmer’s and Craft Market on the city’s busiest shopping street, Briggate, combines artists, makers and crafts alongside fresh organic produce.



England v New Zealand 2nd Test, Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground, 24th – 28th May

Cricket lovers unite to watch England against the ever improving New Zealand under the leadership of Ryan Taylor in the second and final Test in the Investec Test match series. See how England get on before the upcoming Champions Trophy and more importantly, The Ashes.

Tickets: from £15.

Theatre and live music

Sherlock Holmes – The Best Kept Secret, West Yorkshire Playhouse, 18th May – 8th June, 18th May – 8th June, various times

This all-new theatrical thriller, based on the characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is written by Leeds-born Mark Catley. Passion, intrigue, deception and danger challenge legendary heroes, Holmes and Watson in a mesmerising case where Sherlock’s faith in logic seems lost to an impenetrable world of mystery and magic.

Tickets: £12 - £27.

The Hallé, Leeds Town Hall, 4 May

Manchester’s symphony orchestra, The Hallé with conductor, Cristian Mandeal.

The concert opens with Beethoven’s Overture: Egmont followed by clarinettist Lynsey Marsh performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, widely considered to be the finest piece written for clarinet and recently featured in the 2010 Colin Firth film, The King’s Speech. The programme also includes Berlioz’s spectacular and haunting Symphonie Fantastique.

Tickets: £12.50 - £31.50.

9 to 5, Leeds Grand Theatre, 27th May – 1st June, various times

9 to 5 The Musical is a new musical comedy, based on the hit movie and centres on three office workers who turn the tables on their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss. They conspire to take control of the company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do – even in a man’s world.

Outrageous, thought provoking and even a little romantic, 9 to 5 The Musical is about teaming up and taking care of business. Feisty, fun, and oh so fabulous.

The show features Dolly Parton’s original award-winning hit title, ‘9 to 5’ and 18 original numbers, including Backwoods Barbie and Shine Like the Sun, that mix Broadway and pop with Dolly’s signature witty lyrics.

Tickets: £17.50 - £36.50.

Cliff Richard Still Reelin’ & A-Rockin Midsummer Nights Tour, Harewood House, 1st June, 8.30pm

Superstar rocker Cliff Richard kicks off his first show of the tour in one of the treasure houses of England, set in the heart of Yorkshire.

Tickets: £45 - £90.

Museums at Night

A Twilight Experience, Harewood House, 16th May

Experience exclusive House and collection talks, refreshments and food on the candlelit Terrace and the noted physiognomist Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801) returns for one night only to give instruction in the noble art of Shades in our silhouette portraiture workshop.

Tickets: £5.

Torchlight Tour, Leeds Museum Discovery Centre, 18th May, 4.30 – 6.30pm

Bring your battery-powered candles and torches for the annual blackout behind the scenes tour of the store. We all know what happens in museums after the lights are switched off. Do you dare…?

Free entry.


Northern Art Prize Exhibition, Leeds Art Gallery, until 16th June

The Northern Art Prize celebrates contemporary visual artists based in the North of England.

Founded in 2007, it has established itself as a prestigious award, recognised nationally as a relevant profiler of artists working in the northern regions.

Each year the Northern Art Prize asks twelve arts professionals from across the North of England, representing both urban and rural areas to nominate two artists to be put forward for the prize. The shortlisted artists work with Sarah Brown, Curator at Leeds Art Gallery, to put together an exhibition of recent and new works before the winner is announced on 23rd May.

Free entry.

The Duffy Collection Exhibition, White Cloth Gallery, from 3rd May, 6pm

Running until August, taken from the Duffy archives, ‘The Duffy Collection’ presents David Bowie through a unique collection of photographs and never seen before ‘behind the scenes’ images.

The will coincide with the Victoria & Albert’s 2013 exhibition, ‘Bowie is’.

Tickets: £7 adults, £5 concessions.