What’s On December | Visit #SparklingBradford


Wrap up warm, it’s December and there’s a packed calendar of events in Bradford & District. Time to have fun!

Our Hotpick!  Illuminate Bradford returns til Sunday 2 December.  A kaleidoscope of colour will transform the city centre, with a dazzling digital animation beamed onto the facade of City Hall.  The Imaginarium will take you on a magical journey under the sea, into space and through a mysterious fantasy land.

December is the most magical month to visit Bradford & District, with lots of festive things to do. Feel the Christmas spirit in Saltaire with the village becoming a “Living Advent Calendar”. In the run up to the big day, 24+ window displays will be lit up on consecutive evenings throughout the village.

Visit beautiful Haworth at Christmas in the heart of Brontë Country every weekend in December until Christmas Eve to experience magical Christmas festivities. The picturesque cobbled Main Street is adorned with fairy lights and pretty shop windows. Whether you’re searching for less ordinary Christmas gifts or unique decorations for your tree or home, you’ll discover something special here.

Bolling Hall is a striking backdrop for the ‘Winter Wonderland’ on Saturday 1 December.  Come along and enjoy the festive season.  Experience the Hall at Christmas, meet Santa in the surroundings of this historic hall and visit the market stalls in the grounds.

Have a Dickens of a good time at Clayton’s Dickensian Market on Saturday 1 December.  This popular market returns on Saturday 1 December enjoy the market stalls, live music and a jolly street organ, a wealth of festive fayre, traditional sweets and hot spiced drinks.

For a magical, thrilling, uplifting Christmas time experience visit Thornton Christmas Tree Festival at St. James Parish Church (1 – 8 December).  See a wonderful display of over 50 trees decorated by local groups!  Whilst you relax in the surroundings and admire the beautifully decorated church, the younger ones may like to visit our spectacular Santa’s Grotto.

A Steampunk Market is taking place at Bradford Industrial Museum (2 & 3 December). At the market, there will be a selection of traders, artists, and stalls. There will also be steam powered mill engines, vintage vehicles, birds of prey and a vintage tea room.

Discover ghostly goings on after hours this December on a Christmas Ghost Tour of  Bradford City Hall. Bradford Civic Society invite you to discover the spooky secrets of Bradford’s beautiful city hall at this special nocturnal tour of the Victorian police cells and law courts.  The evening will culminate with mince pies, mulled wine on Wednesday 5 December.

Gather your favourite people, dust off your Christmas jumpers and join us at Ilkley Christmas Teepees for festive family fun, toast some marshmallows on the fire pit, check in with Father Christmas, slurp some mulled wine and grab some festive grub.

Youngsters are in for a magical treat at Shipley Glen Tramway this Christmas with rides up and down a decorated winter wonderland.  Meet Santa and receive a gift, plus a trip on the tram, every weekend in December leading up to Christmas.

Hop aboard a magical carpet and fly to Old Peking in this year’s must-see festive show Aladdin at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford.  This year’s panto will be packed with a lamp full of laughter, stunning music and dancing, plenty of audience participation and jaw dropping special effects.

Discover beautiful and special gifts at Ilkley Arts Christmas Fair at the historic Ilkley Manor House (30 November til 2 December).  From gorgeous jewellery and ceramics to the loveliest glass ware, textiles, hand turned wood, metal work sculptures and of course paintings, prints and Christmas cards, there will be something to tempt everyone.

Experience Christmas at the Castle, Cliffe Castle Museum and Park will be decked with Christmas decorations and cheer with entertainment inside and out for all to enjoy on Sunday 9 December.

Celebrate the festive season with Christmas movies on the big-screen, at the National Science & Media Museum, Picturehouse. All aboard! The Polar Express is back in Bradford on 22 to 24 December. The Nutcracker sweeps the Bolshoi stage (23 December) for two hours of enchantment and magic. The Nutcracker remains a treasure not to be missed! On Christmas Eve, one of the most popular and enduring films ever made, Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is presented in a stunning restoration.

After Christmas join the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, sit back and relax on the ‘Mince Pie Special’ and enjoy a leisurely journey through the winter countryside. See the stunning stations transformed with an amazing Christmas display, real coal fires and gas lights, creating a magical glow as your train rolls in.

For the full listing of things to do in December in Bradford & District take a look at our events calendar. Find the best Sparkling Bradford & district Christmas events and festive activities including, pantos and Santa visits.