Events and activities at Bradford Council venues across the district for the half-term holiday

Article dated Friday Oct 13, 2023 at 03:36 PM

Bradford Council venues across the district will have a host of fun activities and events for children, young people and families throughout the October half term holiday.

There’ll be lots of appley fun when Cliffe Castle, in Keighley celebrates Apple Day on Saturday 21 October. Visitors can expect activities including fruit tastings, crafts and entertainment in honour of this favourite seasonal fruit.

Cliffe Castle will host to a talented group of palaeontologists on Tuesday 24 October for Fossils in t’Hills. They’ll be exploring a range of local fossils and tell the story of Pholiderperton, the first creature to come out of the water, whose fossil was found in a colliery in Bradford and is on display at the museum. There’ll also be dinosaur activities, arts and crafts for early years.

Theatre in a box also comes to Cliffe Castle on Thursday 26 October with their production “The Banana Club and Me” – the story of Jane Goodhall – environmentalist, conservationist and animal behaviourist.

For visitors to Bolling Hall on Sunday 22 October there’ll be storytelling with the Bradford Stories Bus, bulb-planting with the volunteer gardeners, decorate a pot in a spooky style to take home. There’ll also be a Faries Wardrobe with face-paint for children to dress up and transform themselves into little witches and warlocks. Look out for magical book characters will also be visiting too and a Garden Gazebo of magic. Finish the day off by meeting Frances Tempest who will take people on a tour of the museum which was her home.

Astronomical Activities will be at Bolling Hall on Thursday 26 October where children and families can learn about historic Bradford astronomer Abraham Sharpe as well as modern-day astronomer Maggie Aderin Pocock as well as activities with poet Natalie Davies. For early years children there’ll be astronomical fun in ‘baby space’ with planet and star toys and story-time.

Young children and families are invited to an Early Years Halloween Event on Sunday, 29 October at Bolling Hall. Come in your spooky costumes and join in with fun Halloween art and craft activities, biscuit decorating, spooky storytelling and a ghost trail.

Renowned authors and illustrators Richard O’Neill and Michelle Russell will be at Cartwright Hall on Wednesday 25 October telling the story of Broad Ford to Bradford, with a drawing workshop for children aged 5-11 and storytelling and craft activities for early years children.

This year’s Big Draw at Cartwright Hall on Thursday 26 October invites people to draw with their senses as well as create a lantern with arts and crafts volunteers.

There’ll be lantern making workshops throughout the day on 27 October making lanterns ready for the annual breathtaking Lister’s Lantern Parade later in the evening (5pm – 9pm).

The Oastler Market will have an afternoon of crafting and creating with knitting, crochet and textile arts on Wednesday 25 October as well as a film for young children and food from Oastler Market stall Frikasse.

The Oastler Market will have a Hocus Pocus Show on 26 October delivered by the National Science and Media Museum as part of their community outreach activities for Halloween and half term. Join the 30-minute Halloween science shows and try your hand at finding spooky toys in oozing oobleck. There’ll be shows at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm inside the Pop-Up Cinema and activities on the Market Event Space with free face painting 11am-3pm.

Local arts group Keighley Creative will be delivering a Halloween workshop in Keighley Market on Saturday 28 October 11am-3pm with arts and crafts as well as free face painting. Kirkgate Market in Bradford will also have free face painting on 28 October. The Joke Shop in the market has a huge range of Halloween costumes, décor, masks and accessories for sale.

Bradford Libraries have various activities during the half term holidays as part of Bradford’s Family Learning Festival.

3,2,1 … BLAST OFF - join best-selling author and illustrator Kate Pankhurst to meet the star of her latest book We Are All Astronauts – young astronaut in training, Luna Scope on Saturday 21 October at Keighley Library 11am and at Shipley Library 2pm. Dive into the Milky Way with Luna as she discovers what it takes to become a space explorer. A session fizzing with space facts, female space travelling pioneers, dressing up and drawing. Suitable for 4 to 10-year-olds. Booking is essential – contact the library direct.

Join Robin Simpson for an amazing storytelling show on Monday 23 October at Laisterdyke Library 10am and Clayton Library 1pm, and on Tuesday 24 October at Keighley Library 10am and Manningham Library 1pm. This inspirational journey from the Big-Bang to the present day stops off from time to time to learn mind blowing facts sparking curiosity about our wonderful world. This show full of family-friendly fun, quirky quizzes and lots of audience interaction is suitable for children aged 4 to 8. Booking is essential – contact the library direct.

Interactive storytelling session based on Wangari’s Trees of Peace, a beautiful book by Jeanette Winters on Wednesday 25 October take place at Ilkley Library 10am and Bingley Library 1pm and on Thursday 26 October at Shipley Library 10am and at Eccleshill Library 1pm. Learn about the many ways trees help us, try your hand at leaf identification and take a seed home. Suitable for children aged 5 to 11 (not suitable for under-fives). Booking essential - contact library direct.

Storytelling of "We Are All Astronauts" by the inspiring author and illustrator Kate Pankhurst and rocket decorating workshops will take place at libraries across the district. Saturday 21 October City Library 11am, Monday 23 October Eccleshill Library 2pm, Bingley Library 2.15pm, Manningham Library 4.30pm, Tuesday 24 October Shipley Library 2pm and on Thursday 26 October Clayton Library 10am, Ilkley Library 10.45am, Laisterdyke Library 2pm. Suitable for children aged 0 to 8. Booking essential – contact the library direct.

Visit Wibsey Library on Saturday 21 at 11am for a reading of Olympic champion Mo Farrah's book "Ready Steady Mo" and crafty activities. Suitable for children aged 0-8. Booking essential – contact library direct.

Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones will be read for story time there will be rocket activity and space themed crafts on Wednesday 25 October at Silsden Library 10.30am. Suitable for all and no booking is required. The same session but suitable for children aged 0-8 will be at Great Horton Library on Thursday 26 October 12noon. Booking is essential - contact the library direct.

Story time at Wyke Library on Friday 27 October 10.30am will be a reading of Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders written by the author and illustrator Kate Pankhurst. Take part in a volcano making workshop and make shadow puppets. Suitable for children 0-8. Booking is essential - contact the library direct.

There are events taking place in parks across the district including a Halloween Trail organised by the Friends of Prince of Wales Park, Bingley between 23 and 31 October. Participants should start at the Eldwick entrance to the park and bring a torch if coming after dark.

The Friends of Peel Park have organised a Scarecrow Trail on Thursday 26 October 11am-3pm. Trail maps will be available from Peel Park Y&C Hub.

The Friends of Harold Park have organised a Halloween Ghost Hunt on 28 October. There’ll be a fancy-dress competition (judging 4pm), games and stalls, refreshments and a barbeque and DJ.

For those looking for an outdoor adventure this half term, the council’s Water Activities Centre and Adventure Development Unit have some exciting courses on offer.

At Doe Park there’ll be full day Swing and Splash sessions for ages 9-16, with half a day on the water, kayaking and raft building and half a day on the high ropes.

Half-day Mountain Bike Adventure sessions for ages 9-16, start at Baildon Recreation Centre and along some fantastic routes in the surrounding Shipley Glen area.

At the Adventure Development Archery Introduction sessions for ages 9-16 learn basic techniques, gain tips improving your aim, then take part in a friendly competition with other participants.

Children aged 5-8 can go on a Mini Adventure experiencing the outdoors from an early age. All activities are tailored for the age group and weather conditions. Activities could include climbing tower, archery, biking, bushcraft and orienteering.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “This is such an exciting and extensive programme of events being offered to children and families this October half term. There is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.”

To stay up to date with events and activities you can sign up to receive a regular newsletter delivered direct to your email inbox visit:

For information about events in Bradford Council Libraries visit

For information about events at Bradford Council Museums and Galleries over the half term holidays visit:

For information about events at Bradford Markets visit

For information about activities at Doe Park Water Activities Centre and by Bradford Council’s Adventure Development Unit visit:

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