10 ways to beat the winter blues in Leeds

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So, the festive break is well-and-truly over, you’ve trudged off back to work, and the weather continues to be a miserable onslaught of wind, rain and storms that would seem OTT in a Hammer Horror movie.

But do not despair. Help is on hand. Here at WOW247, we’ve been hard at work tracking down the very best live music, theatre, events and exhibitions around the country. First up, we look at 10 great ways to warm your cockles in Leeds over the coming days and weeks.

1. Spin records like never before with the incredible ‘Reversing Machine’

This fascinating kinetic art installation from Sam Belinfante and Simon Lewandowski is a bizarrely brilliant construction. Simply select a vinyl record from the stack alongside to play specially commissioned ‘palindromic compositions’ on its turntables. The multi-component machine also powers lights on and off and opens and closes curtains.

14 Jan – 28 Feb: The Tetley

More info on WOW247

2. Embark on belated panto fun with ‘Puss In Boots’

Missed the chance for a family panto outing over the festive season? Simply head along to this energetic kid-friendly show, which is promising plenty of magic, music and mayhem.

17 Jan – 25 Jan: The Carriageworks

More info on WOW247

3. Head to the ultra-cool ‘Ice Cube’

Ice Cube Leeds

Ideal excitement for children and overgrown kids alike, the inspired city centre attraction boasts a massive outdoor ice rink (and a smaller one for Under-8s), as well as a spectacular snowslide and other rides.

24 Jan – 23 Feb: Millennium Square 

More info

4. Watch the stars strutting their stuff at Strictly Live

Strictly LIVE

You’ve seen them throwing shapes on the telly – now watch them hitting the dancefloor in the flesh. From strapping sportsman Ben Cohen to gleefully tongue-in-cheek funnyman Mark Benton, a host of famous faces will be quick-stepping and waltzing their way across the stage. Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli will also be on hand to deliver their typically outrageous verdicts.

24 Jan – 26 Jan: First Direct Arena

More info on WOW247

5. Turn up the heat with a Flamenco Workshop

Samuel Moore

Musician and mentor Samuel Moore is offering guitarists the chance to learn the lively, upbeat and distinctly summery artform of flamenco – a rather nifty alternative to your usual folk, pop and rock, and probably one of the richest musical forms in the world.

25 Jan: Otley Courthouse

More info on WOW247

6. Witness a legendary band return

Scottish rockers Del Amitri are back for their first live tour in more than a decade, armed with a cast of original members and even the original crew. Frontman Justin Currie says fans can expect “a retrospective sweep of our entire output, from indie art-pop through folk-tinged balladry to hairy Brit-rock chuggery.” That’ll be good, then.

27 Jan: 02 Academy

More info on WOW247

7. Blow away those New Year cobwebs at the Mint Warehouse birthday bash

The legendary new Leeds night-time institution marks its second anniversary with the launch of Circular, complete with a mighty house and techno line-up headed by Ben Pearce, Hot Since 82 and Route 94. Clubbers will be in seventh heaven.

24 Jan: Mint Warehouse

More info on WOW247 

8. Take a cinematic trip to the heart of Lou Reed


Acclaimed director Julian Schnabel captured the extraordinary soul of Reed’s seminal Berlin album during a five night residency in Brooklyn, and now the fascinating film portrait of the late singer is coming to the big screen for a special one-off showing.

1 Feb: Hyde Park Picture House

More info

9. Laugh yourself silly with fast-rising comic Trevor Noah

The soon-to-be-huge South African stand-up does an outstanding line in witty, incisive observation and social commentary; with his engaging anecdotes and sharp wit bolstered by elegant charm and a rich array of formidable impersonations.

20 Jan: City Varieties

More info on WOW247

10. Enjoy a right song and dance with ‘Some Girl I Used To Know’

Starring Denise Van Outen and utilising a host of ’80s and ’90s hits from the likes of Culture Club and Soft Cell, this musical romantic comedy is a whimsical one-woman play that kicks off its eagerly-anticipated tour right here in Leeds.

30 Jan – 8 Feb: West Yorkshire Playhouse

More info on WOW247 

Mark Butler

What are your plans for beating the winter blues?

Have your say in the comments below (just register first), on Twitter with #wow247 or at our Facebook page

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Mark is the content manager for WOW247 in Leeds. When he isn't waxing lyrical about Ben Wheatley and Caravan Palace, he's landing news, assembling guides and penning features.

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