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14 Alternative Things To Do In Leeds

Explore a side to Leeds you never knew existed.

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1. Bollywood Dance Lessons

Yorkshire Dance / Via Facebook: YorkshireDance

Yorkshire Dance is a fantastic school in a trendy barebrick mill conversion opposite the BBC building. Guest teacher Zoobin welcomes all ages and abilities so you don't need to be a dancer, you just need an open mind. Over the 14 week course you will learn some moves whilst getting fit as the class involves a combination of yoga, Indian dance, contempororary dance and, of course Bollywood moves. If you want to get fit but don't fancy joining the gym this is a great way to have fun and burn some calories.

2. Dine at a Secret Supper Club

Dinner at the Manor / Via dinneratthemanor.wordpress.com

Leeds is a foodie's playground so it makes sense that an underground supper club scene emerged a few years ago. Dinner at the Manor was one of the first and has played host to themed parties based on different cookbooks each month since 2011. The six-course dinners are prepared by amateur cooks and shared with fellow foodies in an informal, friendly environment. Places get booked up months in advance but there are plenty of other supper clubs to be found around the city.

Dinner at the Manor is currently sold out up to March but it's worth letting them know you're interested in case anyone drops out.

3. Pop-Up Cinema

Sneaky Experience / Via Facebook: sneakyexp

Sneaky Experience run 'adventurous pop-up cinema screenings' in unique locations around Leeds. Recent events included screening John Carpenter's Halloween at Kirkstall Abbey (complete with a spooky tour of the grounds), and Pulp Fiction, shown in a diner styled to look like Jack Rabbit Slim's with waitresses on rollerskates. Possibly the most genius of all the events is annoyingly sold out: Quote-a-long Elf featuring spaghetti syrup eating contests and snowflake making in a winter wonderland setting. Fear not though, their Sing-a-Long Frozen event was so wildly popular that they are back for more dates just in time for Christmas.

4. Tea Tasting

Le Chalet / Via Facebook: lechaletuk

Did you know that if you take your tea bag out 15 seconds after brewing begins, discard the water and pour fresh water back in you lose the caffeine and keep the flavour? Learn this and other cool stuff about tea at a tasting session hosted at new tea room on the block Le Chalet. If you just fancy a brew, you can choose from 18 different blends on their tea menu.

5. The Wood Beneath the World

David Lindsay / Via thewoodbeneaththeworld.co.uk

Something has been silently growing in the depths of Leeds Town Hall...

The Wood beneath the World is a unique installation created by art directors Lord Whitney who have hidden this magical and creepy world below Leeds Town Hall. Visitors are taken on a spooky journey through the underground experience by 'storytellers'. The installation is in place for Christmas and offers a choice of a visit to Father Christmas for the kids or 'A Feast of Fools' for grown ups which entails a night of 'dining, drinking, dancing, and debauchery'. There's a pop-up bar for the rest of us for which entry is free...if you dare.

6. Pottery Workshop

Jack Rabbit's Pottery / Via jackrabbitspottery.com

Pottery studios aren't just for kids (though they will have loads of fun here) as Jack Rabbit's Pottery hosts ladies nights involving pizza and pottery painting (you can bring wine but it could go downhill quite quickly) and 'not just for kids' parties for hen dos or a team night out. You can also capture little baby footprints in clay. Awww.

7. Horse Riding Lessons

You don't have to be an athlete or a 9-year-old girl to take up horse riding. It's a great way to get a bit of exercise and learn a new skill. There's so much gorgeous countryside in Leeds and it doesn't get much better than viewing it atop a horse. Watch out for achy thighs afterwards though.

Try horse riding at Acres Hall in Pudsey, Royds Hall Riding School in Oulton and if you have kids take them to the riding school with the best name ever: Think Like a Pony in Bramhope

Lessons start at around £13 per hour and kit is usually provided.

8. Cheese Worship

Homage 2 Fromage / Via Facebook: Homage2Fromage

Yorkshire foodie folk are very proud of their county's contribution to the cheese world, but more importantly they know how to consume it. Want to know your Wensleydale from your Swaledale? Homage 2 Fromage meet every month at The Adelphi pub on Dock street to celebrate the dairy treat without snobbery. You get to taste lots of cheese, learn about the cheese and listen to guest speakers talk about you guessed it - cheese (Alex James turned up to present at their first event). If that's not surreal enough just you wait until you have wacky cheese dreams afterwards.

9. Make Your Own Lingerie

The Sewing Sessions / Via Facebook: thesewingsessions

This day course at The Sewing Sessions will teach you how to make yourself a beautiful, delicate two-piece lingerie set with your own two hands. You need to have had a little practise in sewing before taking this class, so if you're new to using a sewing machine you can try a beginner's evening class to get started.

The lingerie class takes place on 14th February 2015 and costs £49.

10. Fencing

Royal Armouries / Via Facebook: royalarmouries

Anyone can have a go at fencing, no matter your age or ability. And who better to coach you than Roy Elvin from the British Fencing Assocation? The Royal Armouries is a really cool setting to learn too. It's not the elitist sport many assume and it's just £5 for a session.

The club meets at the museum every Friday.

11. Flying Lessons

Multiflight / Via multiflight.com

It doesn't get more exhillarating than flying a plane over the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. At Multiflight you can try a one-off flying lesson in either an aeroplane or a helicopter just for the experience, or why not go for a complete life change and train to be a pilot? If that's not up your street then you can always watch the planes taking off at the Multiflight cafe which does a cracking jacket potato.

12. Cooking Lessons

Betty's Cookery School / Via bettyscookeryschool.co.uk

Whether you're an aspiring chef, fancy learning some new techniques or a total non-cook one more takeaway from scurvy, there's a class for you at Betty's Cookery School. The school is a spin-off of much-loved Betty's Tearooms so you can expect high quality ingredients, well-equipped kitchens and the best bit - Betty's goodies for breakfast and lunch.

13. Go Karting

PPIK / Via ppik.net

Go karting is a serious business at PPIK. The package options use phrases such as 'iron man' and 'endurance' so be prepared to take it seriously. On the flipside, open races are available to anyone over 16 and they're great for those on a budget. Every Sunday morning the track is open to mini racers so kids can get involved too or even join the junior league if they fancy themselves as the next Jenson Button.

14. Chocolate Making

Roast & Conch Leeds / Via Facebook: RoastandConch

Learn about the origins of chocolate whilst you sip prosecco then make your very own chocolate bar from scratch at Roast & Conch's in-house Chocolat Lab. After your chocolate has been tempered, piped and set you have your very own souvenir of the day (or if you're most human beings something to chomp on the train home).

Know of any cool events or happenings in Leeds that we've missed? Add to the list in the comments below!

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