The Summer holidays are just around the corner, that time of year where keeping your little ones entertained and spending some good old-fashioned quality time with the family for six weeks is bumped up the list of things to do. Whether it’s an adventurous day out, a delicious lunch/dinner or some retail therapy, we’ve gathered a list of independents here in the city that are family friendly and guaranteed to make for a fun-filled time!
A world of discovery and history spanning the natural and cultural world, Leicester Museum and Art Gallery is the perfect cultural and educational visit and an added bonus is that general admission is free to all visitors. Explore the lost words in the Dinosaur Gallery which shows what Jurassic life was like in Great Britain many millions of years ago and Head to the Wild Space Gallery and take a journey through the animal kingdom with amazing animals to discover and tunnels for children to explore. And that’s not all! In the Life and Death in Ancient Egypt galleries you’ll find he most important collection of ancient Egyptian objects in the East Midlands. They also have a selection of activity sheets, resources, and games for you to download prior to your visit and bring along to keep them entertained.
Enter a labyrinth of colour, shapes and winding tunnels that will be an awe-inspiring experience for both adults and kids when Architects of Air’s Luminarium by Alan Parkinson comes to the city’s Green Dragon Square from 21st – 25th July. The immersive art installation is a giant inflatable maze called Katena, where previous visitors have reported that entering the structure is like being transported to another world. Suitable for all ages and accessible for wheelchair users, the event in Leicester has been adapted to ensure it is covid safe for visitors.
For tickets, opening times and more information visit https://bidleicester.co.uk/luminarium/
For big kids and little kids alike, Boost Trampoline Parks is fun for all. Choose from a one- or two-hour slot and bounce your way around the fifty interconnected trampolines, battle gladiator style with the battle beam, slam dunk in the basketball hoops and drive into the massive foam pit. Exclusive to the Leicester location are the interactive climbing and cardio walls so there’s even more for you and the kids to enjoy. For families with a child under four, Boost Minis explore allows the little ones to experience the whole park during an inclusive play class with their parents/guardians.
Experience the magic of theatre at Curve and immerse yourself in the arts by taking your seat to watch shows from west-end musicals to adaptations of children’s classics. Keep your eye on their What’s On page to find the perfect show for your family, whether it’s for little ones who’ll love the live music, puppetry and farmyard of fun of What the Ladybird Heard, the stage adaptation of the bestselling picture book (30th September – 3rd October) or for the slightly older kids (11+) marvel at the hilarious new show, Magic Goes Wrong with their dare-devil stunts, jaw-dropping feats and irresistible comedy genius (20th – 24th July). The theatre has recently reopened with COVID 19 safety measures and social distancing in place, so you can be rest assured of your safety.
Bons bons, humbugs and pear drops aplenty! Treat the kids by taking them to Leicester’s one and only traditional sweet shop where they’ll be mesmerised by the sheer choice on offer. When they’ve finally nestled down their sweet of choice from the colourful and vibrant selection, dependent on the choice they’ll weigh out your sweets the old-fashioned way. It’s impossible to leave without treating yourself too to an old-time favourite so you can give your tastebuds a nostalgic trip back to your youth. What will you choose?
For those all important play-dates, adventure days and special occasions, Jellyrolls Kidswar will have you child dressed to the nines with their stylish designer clothing, accessories and footwear.
Be the coolest kid on the block and shop designers including Hugo Boss, Armani, DKNY, Stone Island, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger to name but a few. There’s two floors of clothing and accessories for ages 0–16-year-old, as well as a full shoe fitting service and one-to-one shopping advice. Be sure to keep an eye out on their socials for any sales or offers!
Stocking an amazing range of toys that your kids are guaranteed to treasure forever, Just Fair Trade has a wonderful three floors of Fairtrade, ethical and sustainable products for you to shop. Find stunning felt mobiles to jazz up a nursery, cute wooden animals for the playroom and so much more. With a basement floor of homeware and the top floor featuring women’s clothing there’s something for Mum, Dad, Grandma or Grandad as well!
After a long day out in the city centre, take a visit to St Martin’s Square and pop into Fox Books, Leicester’s very own independent bookstore. With a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and children titles available, it’s the perfect place to find your new bedtime story. They have a great selection of stories by local authors to including Sparrowlegs by Anupa Roper, the story of a sparrow who embraces her amazing body and thinks that you should embrace your body too! Can’t find what you’re looking for? Fox Books can order in almost any book in print, so pop on over to their website and fill out their form.
Home to the taste of South America, Bodega is the perfect pit stop after a long day with the family. Enjoy a range of small plates and authentic street food such as Burritos, Enchiladas and Quesadillas and more importantly, for the kids, they have a specialist kids menu offering a two course meal including a soft drink for £5.95. They can choose from a selection of mains including Ninos Nachos, Pizzadilla and a Mini Halloumi Burger and follow up with ice cream for dessert while sipping on their soft drink. No need to worry about keeping the little ones entertained while you wait as there’s a word search on all kids menus to them occupied.
Open from Wednesday-Sunday, create a smile on your little ones faces at Peter Pizzeria, tuck into a tasty slice of pizza in the Grade II listed building which is a treat for the eyes as the surroundings are filled with original features as well as colourful and unique décor. On the menu, you’ll find the “small humans” section where they can choose from a classic Margarita for £4.00 or choose two topping from a variety of choices including roasted peppers and ham for £5.00.
As the sunny weather starts to make an appearance, a visit to Gelato Village is a must. With plenty of sensational flavours of gelato on offer as well as sorbetto and waffles, it’s a dreamland of dessert for the little ones. If you’re not sure what flavour to go for or feeling overwhelmed by the flavours available, fear not as the friendly team will steer you in the right direction with the opportunity to taste the flavours that take your fancy. Once you’ve decided they’ll scoop up your fresh sweet treat into your choice of a cup or cone.