Leeds Dads
Leeds Dads is a charitable organisation which brings together a diverse community of fathers for social interaction and support.
3 mins read

Leeds Dads host the biggest free Father’s Day party in the UK

This Father’s Day, Leeds Dads will be hosting a free ‘Dadtastic’ event to support dads to engage with their children.

Dadtastic Day takes place on Sunday 16 June 2019 from 11am – 3pm at Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, LS2 8BH. In 2017, Dadstastic saw over 1500 people attending and enjoying the free fun activities.

The event is organised by Leeds Dads, in partnership with Child Friendly Leeds, Leeds City Museum, Leeds Inspired and LCCT (Leeds Christian Community Trust). The day is for babies, toddlers and children up to 11 years old and offers a great opportunity for parents, carers and grandparents to interact with their children.

Councillor Fiona Venner, executive member for children and families said:

“This is a great opportunity for families to join together in the city centre, have fun and be creative. Leeds Dads is one of our Child Friendly Leeds ambassador organisations and they do important work in supporting fathers (in particular) to actively engage with their children and to build strong and lasting relationships. The event has proved popular in the past and I am delighted that Leeds City Museum has agreed to host it again and support it alongside Child Friendly Leeds and Leeds Inspired.”

Anyone wishing to attend this FREE event should pre-book and register at www.dadstastic.eventbrite.co.uk.

The day’s activities will include music, dance, science, storytelling, arts and crafts, and sport. Children can learn to dance with Phoenix Dance, upcycle vinyl and turn old records into art, jump and shout at the BoomChikkaBoom baby rave, and meet their favourite fairy tale story characters. There will also be fun outdoors with Pop-Up Sport and inclusive sports such as Wheelchair Tennis and Boccia on Millennium Square and Leeds Mobile Library will be running story sessions and creating giant bubbles.

Artistic youngsters can create crazy carnival headpieces, get into a play fight with Lego dad-bots or learn how to create hair fashion with Leeds’ White Rose Beauty College. For children into tech, learn how to build ‘Squishy Circuits’, send and receive secret messages and explore Litcraft and Sphero tech.

Some sessions are bookable on the day (loose clothing and trainers should be worn):

  • Rise and Shine’s Family Story Time Singalong Session ‘A Musical Day with Dad’
  • Phoenix Dance – Movement, Balance and Taking Space classes

Other sessions are drop-in and do not need to be booked. These are:

  • Breeze Stop Motion – use scrap to make digital animations
  • Leeds West Indian Collective/Valentina’s Collective – create crazy carnival headpieces
  • Zulu King Monk – upcycle vinyl and turn records into art
  • Iz Wiz Robotics – program and fight with Lego dad-bots!
  • Scraptastic – invent musical instruments using scrap
  • Lit Craft and Leeds Libraries – send secret messages using a BBC Micro: bit
  • Cyclops Pedal Power – use play dough to bring squishy circuits to life!
  • Gaming Manatee – create your own board game
  • Leeds Jewish Welfare Board – face painting
  • Leeds Children’s Theatre – meet your favourite fairy tale characters
  • BoomChikkaBoom – enjoy the baby rave with balloons, dancing, shakers and pom poms
  • Leeds Pop-Up Sport and Active Leeds – fun and engaging activity session to get your heart pumping and your face smiling. Please wear loose clothing and trainers.
  • Mr Bubbles – make giant bubbles float over Leeds Civic Hall
  • Leeds Mobile Library – storytime and giant games
  • Leeds Museum Family Trail – find out more about dads in the Life on Earth Gallery – from the sensational seahorse to the perfect penguin.

In April 2011 a group of dads looking for ways to spend more time with their young babies set up their own playgroup in a café in Leeds City Centre. Now they’re opening their doors to hundreds of other dads in the city.

Leeds Dads is a charitable organisation which brings together a diverse community of fathers for social interaction and support. They host playgroups for dads and kids, organise social events, and signpost towards expert parenting support. Leeds Dads is unique in their key aim of supporting fathers to actively engage with their children and build lasting relationships.

Leeds Dads were commended as an asset to the city in Leeds Beckett University’s report ‘The State of Men’s Health in Leeds (2016)’. It highlights their work supporting the wellbeing of fathers in Leeds, providing a service for fathers and toddlers, and also for lone fathers who wish to maintain contact with children when separation occurs.

They receive regular referrals from family outreach workers at Leeds Children’s Centres regarding families where dads are isolated and seeking involvement in a dads’ group to make friends and share activities with children.

Leeds Dads meet up on a monthly basis (third Sunday of each month) at The Tetley Arts Centre, Leeds and this meeting is for dads and children. The children get involved in arts and craft, and if the weather is good they have games, a sing-a-long and story time outside.

They also host annual events like a Christmas Party, an Easter Egg Hunt and a summer picnic, which are family events welcoming mums and grandparents too. Leeds Dads have been recognised as winners in both the Child Friendly Leeds Awards and the Compassionate City Awards.

For more information about Leeds Dads and Dadstastic, please visit: www.leedsdads.org

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