January can feel like such a bummer after the decadence of December. Budgets. Healthy Diets. Exercise. It's hardly twinkly lights and champagne, is it? But it doesn't have to be all bad - here's some fun things you can do in Leeds that will fit with your New Year budget and help you explore this amazing city we live in!
Take a Walk
If we're lucky, January will throw us some sunshine - and I'm not sure there's anything better than bundling up in cosy layers and enjoying the crisp air on a sunny winter's day. There are plenty of places to take a scenic walk in Leeds; my personal favourite is Roundhay Park for the excellent puppy-watching opportunities (so cute!) but I also love the dramatic ruins of Kirkstall Abbey. You can also saunter along the canal for more of an urban landscape, or take a visit to Rodley Nature Reserve to discover Leeds' wildlife. Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is also a great day out if you've got kids - it's a couple of quid but totally worth it to feed the animals and explore their gardens.
Enjoy Some Culture
Leeds is chock-full of museums and galleries, and I've barely stepped foot in any of them - much to my shame. If you're at a loss one afternoon then there are plenty of options - Leeds City Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, The Royal Armouries to name but a few. My favourite is the Gallery at Munro House, which is attached the Café 164 so you can grab a cup of coffee and a slice of cake (their apple flapjack is amazing) whilst you enjoy the art. The Tetley is also worth a look and they often have free events on.
Grab a Bite
Whilst eating out can get pricey, there are plenty of places to grab a cheap meal in the city - and you might find a new favourite! The obvious choice is Trinity Kitchen, where you can sample some of the best street food for under a tenner, but venture further afield and you'll find some other great eats like Café Moor, Fuji Hiro, or Dough Boys pizza at Belgrave Music Hall, which is half-price if you know what time to go. If you've got a little more money to spend, both Shear's Yard and Blackhouse have 50% off food in January if you book in advance - a total bargain.
Test Your Knowledge
Any pub worth its salt has a good pub quiz, and if you don't go overboard on the booze then it can be a cheap night out. Plus, if you play well you could go home richer than you started out - some of the jackpots are pretty hefty! I like the pub quizzes at The Mustard Pot, Outlaws Yacht Club and The Pour House but you'll find one local to you with no problem. If you're really feeling the pinch, the pub quiz at The Hop is free and comes with a complimentary supper. You can't say fairer than that!
See a Show
The Brudenell Social Club is one of the coolest places in town, and one of the cheapest. They have a full programme of live music and tickets are rarely more than a fiver, so if you fancy something a bit different then head over to Hyde Park and relive your student days.
What are your favourite cheap and free things to do in Leeds?