Venturing into Leeds City Centre with kids at this time of year can be chaotic, so we were pleased to be able to escape the crowds and head into The Core Shopping Centre on The Headrow for a Dine with Santa Experience at Kaspa’s Dessert Bar.
The Core Leeds has a range of places to eat and drink, shop as well as a good health and fitness offering, perfect for active families like ours.
At the weekend we had been invited to review the sold-out Dine with Santa Experience which takes place at either Subway or Kaspa’s Dessert Bar depending on time slots.
We opted for the later slot at Kaspa’s Dessert Bar so we had ample time to get there as we had been staying at The Holiday Inn Leeds Bradford on Tong Lane (near Tong Garden Centre).
Immediately off the hustle and bustle of The Headrow at Christmas, we arrived at the downstairs food court with Kaspa’s being a separate outlet on the left. It’s a plush-looking pink and black decorated diner with a range of hot and cold desserts – from a tempting ice cream bar to the welcoming aroma of freshly cooked Waffles. It feels very family-friendly, stylish yet cosy at the same time as we made our way into a booth.
We were greeted by friendly ‘elves’ aka The Core Shopping Centre staff who explained that we would be served Waffles and Ice Cream then Santa would pay us a visit. As a parent, we all know how important it is to get the kids fed and watered first!
The elves gave out festive-themed goody bags which contained crafts for my daughters to do whilst they waited for their Food and Drink. My kids, aged 4 and 7, enjoyed decorating party hats and writing their list to Santa. I was surprised (and proud) to see that my 7-year-old had written “Toilet Twinning” (where you donate money to help fund a toilet being built in a poor community) at the top of her Christmas List.
The tempting hot waffles and ice-creams then arrived which were huge portions so plenty for a parent and child to share.
As the kids tucked in, they then heard Santa entering singing Carols. He was a brilliantly realistic Santa with a tuneful voice. The kids then all took it in turn to speak to Santa who Â also did a magic trick and gave them a gift.
The Father Christmas impersonator really spent a lot of time with each child and made a big fuss of them and chatted through their Christmas list which was lovely to see. I enjoyed basking in the comfort of the booth too with a nice Soya Latte.
Once the kids had unwrapped their teddy bear gifts they were ready to move around and spotted some mo-ped style seats at the front of Kaspa’s.
We then used the large family-friendly toilet facilities before venturing into the shops.
The Core Shopping Centre is nice and small perfect for family outings and a good place to grab something to eat with the kids when shopping in Leeds City Centre.
I also spotted the gym and Yoga studios as well as outdoors shops… something I’ll try when I don’t have kids tugging on me.
Kasha’s too makes a lovely family-friendly treat and would be a perfect place for a birthday party or sweet treat (and bribe) when out and about in Leeds!
How to get to The Core LeedsÂ
The post code for your sat nav is LS1 6AD
The Core is based on The Headrow and is situated in Leeds City Centre. It is easily accessible by Albion Street, Albion Place and Lands Lane. Car parking is available right by the centre and is operated by NCP.
The centre is close to Leeds train station. Upon leaving the station, make your way towards the city centre via New Station Street, and follow Albion Street, turning right at Albion Place. The Core is on your left hand side.
Leeds City Centre is easily accessible by bus. Use the map on this page to navigate your way to the centre and click here for bus timetables.
The official lowdown
The Core is in the heart of Leeds City Centre, offering a huge range of options for visitors to enjoy.
From the various shops in the centre, to the range of flavours on offer from cafes, restaurants and kiosks, there are plenty of reasons to plan your day at The Core. You can even get fit for less with our health and fitness options!
Parent & Baby Facilities
We have a dedicated parent & baby room, situated within our Public Facilities area, equipped with changing mat and bottle warmer. There is also a bottle warmerÂ available at Graveleys Fish & Chips.
Changing Places Toilet
We are proud to have an accessible Changing Places toilet at The Core Shopping Centre.
Our Changing Places toilet features:
- A height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench
- A ceiling tracking hoist system
- A privacy screen
- Adequate space for disabled person and up to 2 carers
- A large waste bin for disposable pads
- A non-slip floor
Our Changing Places toilet is available alongside 2 standalone accessible toilets and a separate baby change facility.
How can I access the Changing Places toilet?
You can use a Radar KeyÂ to access our Changing Places toilet.
If you do not have a Radar Key, please speak to a member of staff patrolling the centre who can give you immediate access.
DISCLAIMER: WE RECEIVED THIS EXPERIENCE FREE OF CHARGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS REVIEW.