Bradford District is Festive and Sparkling in Every Way

'Take a Closer Look' at some of the exciting things to do in Bradford, Haworth, Ilkley and Saltaire during the December festive season -  from fun family activities to illuminated trails and magical Santa visits, there is something for everyone.

Christmas at East Riddlesden Hall by Victoria Holland 

Festive Family Fun:

  1. Fe-fi-fo-fum, a giant of a panto your way comes! Jack sets out on a quest to climb a beanstalk of gigantic proportions at the Alhambra Theatre to cloudland in the spectacular family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.
  2. Book tickets to the Christmas event at Keighley's East Riddlesden Hall for storytelling and crafting.  See the Yule log decorated in the fireplace and find a special present for each child.
  3. Lace up your skates and glide into Christmas, join the family session or family disco at the Bradford Ice Arena where penguin/snowmen aids are available for the perfect winter experience. 
  4. The CBeebies Christmas Panto: Dick Whittington and his Cat is one of the many festive screenings at the Light Bradford & Ilkley Cinema.    It's a theatrical treat for the whole family, full of catchy songs, festive fun, and a host of CBeebies stars.
  5. A double helping of festive enchantment to delight everyone, The Snowman and The Nutcracker comes to Bradford with a live orchestral soundtrack screening of the BAFTA award-winning classic The Snowman, including the unforgettable Walking in the Air.
  6. Ride the 'Elf Explorer’, A journey of festive discovery with Santa where the magic of Christmas comes to life at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
  7. Wrap up for the perfect family day on the Shipley Glen Tramway, a great way to get into the festive spirit. Before the big day, meet Santa for a fun tram ride and take a woodland walk, followed by a visit to the Christmas Grotto.

Crafting at Tyro Studios in Shipley

Fun For Grownups:

  1. Enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle! As Christmas approaches, it’s time to enjoy a heart-warming mulled wine and mince-pie on board the Mulled Wine Special at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
  2. Get into the festive spirit with beautiful music from the voices of the Great Yorkshire Chorus at Bradford Theatres to the Black Dyke Band for an amazing Christmas concert at Bradford Cathedral.
  3. Celebrate the festive season in the city with glamorous Christmas parties and festive lunches in the surroundings of the Midland Hotel, the Great Victoria Hotel or the Nutcracker Ball at the Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley.
  4. Experience a festive afternoon tea and indulge in an array of savoury delights and sweet treats, add a glass of fizz.
  5. Relax with a seasonal workshop hosted by TYRO (studios) in Shipley, Mrs Duttons Wondrous Workshops in Ilkley and The Craft House in Bingley.  Get ready to create unique gifts at a crafting class or get stuck into a Christmas wreath workshop.
  6. Spice up a Christmas party and try Indian cuisine from Nawaab Gourmet in Bradford and Sachis Restaurant in Ilkley with a menu fused with festive spices like cinnamon and ginger for a truly memorable experience.
  7. Explore the enchanting craft fairs and Artisan Christmas Markets across the district and discover unique gifts, tasty treats and festive delights from the Real Food Ilkley and Bingley Farmers market stalls, bars and food stands. 

St James' Church Christmas Tree Festival in Thornton

Budget Days Out:

  1. Admire the illuminated ‘windows’ of the Saltaire Living Advent Calendar, which returns in 2022 with new installations.
  2. This festive season, go to a Christmas Tree Festival for some joy and sparkle.  See beautiful, creative and uniquely decorated trees with twinkling lights in Ilkley and Thornton.
  3. Go for a winter walk in the Bradford District, which offers a stunning frosty backdrop perfect for exploring. Get excited for woodland hikes, a stroll in the park, adventures canal side. Wrap up warmly, grab a flask and head outside.
  4. Every year at Christmas time, Haworth is lit by twinkling fairy lights and pretty shop windows. Its cobbled street is home to wonderful independent gift shops, tea rooms and public houses, and during the four weekends leading up to Christmas, the traders host bands, choirs, carol singers and Father Christmas for visitors to enjoy.
  5. Enjoy a festive outing to Bradford district museums and galleries.  In Ilkley, The Manor House is hosting a series of pop-up Christmas shows scheduled for the last two weekends of December before the winter break.
  6. Get involved with winter activities outside while checking off the National Trust's list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾.

Head to to plan your visit and find information about Christmas and more.




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