Five Family Things to Do in Bradford this Autumn - 10/10/17

The nights are drawing in, the orange leaves are falling from the trees and sales of hot chocolate are receiving their annual boost. However, that doesn’t mean you need to hibernate, because there are plenty of family things to do in Bradford and the surrounding area before Christmas.  Take a look at five of the best


1)   Ilkley Literature Festival (until 15th October) 

For a small town, Ilkey bats way above its league when it comes to booking famous names for its annual celebration of books and authors. TV’s Pointless guru Richard Osman,  comedian Sarah Millican and tennis coach and mum to Andy, Judy Murray are among the celebs gracing the spa town’s stages as part of the main festival this autumn, but there is also a family-friendly children’s festival that runs alongside and it’s just as action-packed.

Radio 1’s Greg James and Chris Smith are at the King’s Hall on Saturday 14th October with a show about a normal child attending a school for superheroes and there are a wide variety of readings, workshops and shows for all ages and price brackets before the festivities come to an end on Sunday 15th October.  


2)   Major Tim Peake’s Spacecraft (until 19th November)

 Space Station

If you have a space-obsessed child (or you are a space-obsessed parent) then you simply HAVE to visit the Science and Media Museum before 19th November. In the foyer, you’ll be able to see the spacecraft on which UK astronaut Major Tim Peake returned to Earth following six months on board the International Space Station. 

The Soyuz TMA-19M module still bears the burns from when it plunged through the atmosphere and is a fascinating piece of living history, right here in Bradford. Tim Peake himself visited the museum to launch the exhibit and this is the cherry on top of what is already a cracking family day out in Bradford.


3)   Grease (9th – 14th October)


Okay, so some of the content is a little ‘adult’ if you look very closely, but Grease has always been a family favourite and this hit musical comes to the Alhambra in Bradford in mid-October. Featuring Tom Parker from boyband The Wanted and EastEnders and Strictly’s Louisa Lytton, there are (older) child-friendly matinees on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th.


4)   Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Santa Specials (weekends 25th November to 24th December)

The Keighley and Worth Valley steam railway is a real gem at any time of year, but Christmas is even more special. Boarding at Keighley, Oxenhope or Haworth, excited families take a ten-mile return journey through the stunning countryside of the Worth Valley, singing Christmas songs, booing Ebenezer Scrooge, chatting with Santa and consuming the complementary mince pies and sherry (adults only, of course). There are gifts for the kids included in the Santa Specials ticket price and it is guaranteed to get even the biggest festive cynic right into the Christmas spirit. 

5)   Saltaire Living Advent Calendar (throughout December)

Many people look forward to December purely for the excuse to eat a small amount of vaguely festive-shaped chocolate every day. But Saltaire takes the advent calendar concept to a different level.

The Saltaire Living Advent Calendar has been an annual feature since 2006, with a new window in the village displaying an illuminated Christmassy scene every day between the 1st and 24th December. A number of businesses in the village join in the fun with their own additional displays and adds to a fascinating day out, walking round this UNESCO World Heritage site and taking in the other sights and sounds that make this such a popular tourist destination.


What family things are you looking forward to in Bradford this autumn? Let us know.