Things to do in October | Visit Bradford

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Mother's DayFind something different to do in Bradford & District in October with our guide to the month.

Get ready culture vultures: From melting glaciers to nuclear bunkers, In Search of Frankenstein reveals the present-day landscape that once inspired Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking novel.  In the bicentennial year of its publication, Impressions Gallery presents a specially-expanded version of Chloe Dewe Mathews’ acclaimed exhibition, first shown at The British Library, London.

Ilkley Literature Festival welcomes exciting names in literary fiction including Kate Mosse, Fiona Mozley and Nikesh Shukla, while poets reading their work include Imtiaz Dharker, Gillian Clarke and Andrew McMillan.  Headlining the children’s festival is Jacqueline Wilson along with Horrible Histories creator Terry Deary and there’s a feast of workshops and masterclasses with leading writers. With events on everything from Frankenstein to climate change, not to mention the Festival Fringe, there really is something for everyone!

Real Food Ilkley at South Hawksworth Street on Sunday 7 October (10am to 3pm) The open-air market celebrates the rich variety of locally produced food and drink.

Music, real cider, and great sausages – Haworth Sausage & Cider Festival takes place at the Old Brontë School Rooms (Friday 5 – Sunday 7 October.)  You’ll be spoiled for choice with a range of ciders & ales to help wash down those sizzling sausages.

Ilkley Arts weekend focuses on two locations. The Nell Bank Centre just outside Ilkley is hosting an outdoor sculpture trail with around 20 artists exhibiting work, plus demonstrations and workshops.  The new Ilkley Arts studio in the courtyard of the Manor House has an exhibition and sale of local and regional artists’ work. For details go to

Widescreen Weekend at the Picturehouse (11-14 October) is a unique festival, enjoy a long weekend of big, bold and wide cinema experiences—glorious 70mm screenings, new Cinerama restorations and great guests to remind you why going to the movies is so magical.

Peter Jackson’s ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ The First World War brought to life in colour, will be given its World Premiere as the Special Presentation at the BFI London Film Festival on 16 October. The film will be simultaneously screened to cinemas, including the Picturehouse, Bradford.

Ladies and Gentlemen step right up, come closer, you won’t believe your eyes behind this curtain! Celebrate 250 years of the circus with Big Top Burlesque – One Night Only! Acrobats, aerial performers, daredevils, jugglers, clowns, comedians, fire performers, showgirls and burlesque artistes at Bradford’s Odsal Stadium on Saturday 13 October.

This year’s Family Learning Festival #BradFamFest18 theme is “Create, Make, Build”.  The festival takes place 20 to 28 October in various venues across the Bradford district.  Full of FREE amazing activities throughout half term.  Meet stars of CBBC’s The Dengineers! Hear behind-the-scenes stories from the show and pick up some brilliant Dengineering tips at the National Science + Media Museum.

The stage is set for another excellent Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Beer & Music Festival (18-21 October) tickling the taste buds with approximately 160 beers from all over the country to choose from.  Cider and wine drinkers will also be able to have their thirst quenched with a wonderful selection of fine wines and ciders. Enjoy live music in the Exhibition Hall at Oxenhope and marquee at Ingrow.  

Northern Tour Take II, the Arcus Quartet will be making their Bradford debut in the Anglo-Saxon splendor of Bradford Cathedral (24 October). The Quartet will begin with Haydn’s String Quartet op. 33 no.2 “The Joke”.

Our Hotpick! Museums at Night lantern parade at Lister Park (Friday, October 26) Join the Cecil Green Arts Lantern Parade at 6.30pm – 7.30pm on the front steps of Cartwright Hall and light up Lister Park and the Moghul Garden with fire jugglers and wonderful musicians along the way.

Hit the theatre! non-stop, music-filled family fun as Madagascar (23 – 27 October) hits the Alhambra stage.  Join Alex (X-Factor 2016 winner Matt Terry), Marty, Melman and Gloria as they bound out of the zoo and onto the stage in this live musical spectacular.

There will be a range of events for families taking place during the October half term, including The Big Draw & Spooktacular Halloween activities.

You can browse the full What’s on listing here.