Cosy Things To Do To Do In Leeds This Winter

Leeds may be full of doom and gloom during Winter but that’s not to say there aren’t some great things to do when you’re not busy at uni.

One of the best aspects about studying in Leeds is the sheer volume of activities to fill up your time and get the cosy vibes flowing.

If you’re unsure where to start then that’s where we come in handy, check out the 10 best things to do here whilst living in student accommodation.

things to do leeds

1. Watch A Theatre Show

Leeds has a buzzing theatre scene, with plenty of plays and musicals to choose between during the winter months.

If you’re wanting to book in for a night at the theatre, there’s plenty of options to choose from including the Playhouse Theatre which is one of the biggest producing theatres in the North.

There’s also the historic Leeds Grand Theatre which hosts a wide variety of shows including plays, comedies, dramas, musicals and more.

Make it a night to remember with your friends, shelter from the cold and enjoy a spectacular performance with a live event for everyone to enjoy.

It’s a great alternative to a night out so, be sure to check out the events programmes for the different theatres in Leeds!

watch a theatre show leeds

2. Get A Cultural Fix At Museums & Galleries

Leeds City Centre is brimming with cultural things to do with an abundance of museums and galleries to visit whilst studying here.

The city’s thriving arts and culture scene is not one to miss out on with the likes of Leeds Art Gallery, The Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds City Museum and Leeds Industrial Museum to name a few.

Winter is the perfect time to get a cultural fix as you can cosy up indoors and take shelter from the weather outside.

After you’re done learning more about the arts, culture and history of the city, treat yourself to a nice coffee and some lunch!

The best part is, you enjoy enjoy free days out at the different museums and galleries as most of them don’t charge an entry fee.

leeds art gallery

3. Catch A Film At The Cinema

Who doesn’t love taking a trip to the cinema? Getting together with friends, watching a new film, enjoying a Tango Ice blast, munching on some popcorn, it really is one of life’s simplest pleasures.

Lucky for you students living in Leeds you can take your pick from a variety of cinemas including the Everyman, Hyde Park Picture House, Vue Cinema and Odeon Luxe, the list goes on.

With so many amazing films out at the minute, why not plan a cosy mate date this winter to unwind after a busy day and watch something on the big screen?

Some cinemas even offer student tickets so it’s worth bringing along your student ID with you just in case.

leeds cinema

4. Chillout At A Cafe

Despite the cold, wet and windy weather during the Winter months, there’s still plenty of things to do in Leeds.

What better than spending your free time in one of the many cafes in the city?

Make the most of free Wi-Fi to get some studying done, re-fuel with a tasty coffee or treat yourself to a bite to eat.

Not to mention, you don’t need to worry about heating bills whilst sitting in a cafe, get toasty and warm!

We’d highly recommend taking a trip to the Kitty Cafe in the city centre, you can sit and chill whilst being in the company of dozens of affordable cats – need we say more?!

We’ve previously focused a whole guide on the best cafes in Leeds for students so be sure to check it out to discover the top places to visit.

leeds cafes things to do

5. Stroll Around The Green Spaces

There are many green spaces in Leeds that are perfect for getting out of your student flat and enjoying the great outdoors, even during winter!

Wrap up warm with a hat, scarf and gloves and stroll around one of the largest parks in Europe, Roundhay Park with more than 700 acres to explore.

This park is the ideal spot for a winter walk, and don’t worry, there’s several cafes inside the grounds so you can warm up with a hot brew.

It’s also home to Tropical World, which has the largest tropical plant and animal collection outside of Kew Gardens.

Another noteworthy place for a winter scroll is Kirkstall Abbey which is a ruined Cistercian monastery situated just outside of the city centre.

Now a Grade I listed building, the abbey grounds are a beautiful place to walk around no matter the weather.

There are tons of other green spaces to explore in Leeds whether you’re planning a walk with your friends, a cycle around or you just want somewhere to unwind and get some fresh air.

Roundhay park

6. Show Off Your Skills At A Gaming Bar

It may be too cold to play games outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink like a northerner and show off your skills at one of Leeds many gaming bars.

One of the best gaming bars in Leeds is Roxy Ball Room with three venues in the city centre offering different games for you to enjoy such as shuffleboard, mini golf, beer pong, American pool tables and much more.

Don’t fancy a trip down to Roxy’s? There’s also the buzzing neon-lit Pixel Bar which is dedicated to the best video games you can play with your pals.

There are several other gaming bars in the city for you to visit, show off your competitive streak, enjoy some drinks with your mates and sing along to a lively soundtrack.

Go out there and find the array of gaming bars for yourself!

If you don’t fancy playing, there’s plenty of cocktail bars in the city for chatting with friends.

gaming bar leeds

7. Get A Taste Of The Foodie Capital Of The North

Another rain-friendly activity to do in Leeds is going for a meal with your pals.

After all, Leeds has been dubbed the foodie capital of the North so you’ve simply got to see if it lives up to its name and try out some of the amazing restaurants!

There’s Michelin-star restaurants, street food traders, cheap eats and an abundance of different cuisine to be found on every corner of this city, so if you’re a foodie you’ll be in heaven!

Be sure to cosy up for a nice meal with your friends and try some of the different foods available in this city, you won’t regret it.

We’d suggest trying out Trinity Kitchen if you’re looking for somewhere unique, this place is home to a variety of global street food restaurants and pop-up food vendors so you’ll always find something tasty to eat.

Plus, it’s right in the heart of the city inside Trinity Shopping Centre so you won’t have to mooch far!

eating out with friends

8. Book A Relaxing Spa Day

Is there a better way to spend a winter day than relaxing at a spa? We don’t reckon so!

Whilst living in Leeds, you’ll have access to a variety of different spa experiences if you’re looking for somewhere to unwind and take your mind off studying for a day.

Each spa offers different facilities but you can expect to feel refreshed and enjoy a range of spa treatments.

The climate inside the spa will warm you up and make you feel super chilled too, it can’t get much cosier than this!

Although, spa days do tend to be on the pricier side so it’s worth thinking about your student budget before booking this activity.

Want to experience a spa day this winter? Head to the SpaSeekers website to find nearby spas in West Yorkshire.

relaxing spa day friends

9. Have Fun At A Gig

If you love live music then you’ll be buzzing with the music scene in Leeds – let’s be real, who doesn’t love a gig?

There are so many different venues in the city hosting a huge variety of live music concerts so you need not worry about finding a stomping ground for listening to your favourite artists, or discovering some new local talent.

If you’re on the hunt for the best venues to head to, the city’s major entertainment venue the First Direct Arena is a great place to experience a gig.

Or, for a more intimate vibe, Brudenell Social Club is a smaller scale music venue in the student area of Hyde Park.

That’s not all either, there’s so many music venues that you’ll be spoilt for choice with the likes of Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, O2 Academy, The Wardrobe and The Key Club to name a few.

Be sure to take a look at the Winter events programme for these venues and see what gigs you can grab a ticket to!

live music leeds

10. Shop For Winter Fits

If you’re wanting to fill your winter wardrobe then you’re in luck as Leeds is one of the biggest shopping destinations outside of London, with so many shops to browse.

There’s nothing worse than shopping in the rain, we all dread that dripping wet Primark bag!

Thankfully, Trinity Leeds has over 100 shops for you to explore all under one roof so you can shop for those all-important winter fits.

If you’re after more of an independent store kinda vibe then there’s the likes of Leeds Corn Exchange which is full of quirky stores and situated in Kirkgate.

For more of a luxurious shopping experience, Victoria Leeds is the place to go with big brands for you to mooch around – shop till you drop!

leeds trinity

As you’ve discovered, winter in Leeds is far from boring with so many things to do and see to suit everyone.

Whether it’s experiencing a cultural fix at the array of museums and galleries, going for a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, watching a theatre show, the possibilities are endless in this city. Chilling at one of the many pubs ain’t half bad either, eh?

If you have a recommendation for things to do in Leeds we’d love to hear from you, let us know @urbanstudentlife.