Get summer sorted – holiday activities for Bradford district families

Article dated Friday Jul 21, 2023 at 11:01 AM

As the school summer holiday arrives Bradford Council is reminding families that there are lots of free and low cost things to do across the district to keep their children active and entertained.

Events are due to take place in parks, libraries, museums and galleries and numerous other venues across the district to help families have fun and make memories during the six-week school break.

More than 100 free children’s events and activities are planned for the district’s libraries alone as part of the Summer Reading Challenge 2023. The theme this year is Sports – Ready, Set, Read! The Summer Reading Challenge aims to help children keep reading during the summer holidays. The events range from teddy bear picnics for younger children to the popular ZooLab workshops which feature live animals including stick insects, a tarantula, giant African land snail and tree frog. There are 15 ZooLab events and whilst free, places need to be booked direct with the relevant library. See the brochure of all the events in libraries.  

The district’s museums and galleries also have lots of free fun events and activities including Festival of Archaeology events on Tuesday July 25 at Cliffe Castle and Wednesday July 26 at Bolling Hall. Bradford Industrial Museum will host a Yorkshire Day event on Tuesday, August 1. Lister Park and Cartwright Hall will mark National Play Day on Wednesday August 2 and on Wednesday August 16 at Cliffe Castle there is a Fairy Festival.

The district’s parks and greenspaces are hosting a series of fun days with inflatables, sports and play equipment. Between them, the HAF Summer of Fun and the Play in Parks schemes will deliver more than 80 park events over the summer – all free. The HAF Summer of Fun events also include a free packed lunch for children on benefits-related free school meals. There are 30 dates for the HAF Summer of Fun events and even more for the Play in Parks events.

There are a series of not-to-be-missed festivals taking place across the district too, starting with two this Saturday, July 22 – with Shipley by the Sea and HWD Fest:23 in Holme Wood.

Shipley by the Sea will feature free shows and walkabout entertainment, workshops, games and more all in the town centre.

HWD Fest:23 takes place in Knowles Park and promises live performances, music, dance, art, sport and lots of fun. Tickets are free.

The following weekend, July 28 and 29, sees the BD:Festival bring family fun to Bradford city centre with street theatre, immersive cultural installations, hip-hop hippo routines and edible exhibitions on the programme plus the world premiere of Balbir Singh’s Cricket Green; a theatrical game with live music and dance exploring cricket and climate change. The two-day event is free.

The BD4 Community Trust’s summer community celebration is scheduled for Wednesday August 30 at St John’s Bowling Hub and includes face painting, football coaching, balloon modelling, games and forest school activities.

Doe Park Water Activities Centre - situated on Doe Park reservoir in Denholme – offers various activities for children aged five and over on Tuesdays and Saturdays with sessions starting from £6.

Nell Bank is holding four Discovery Days where families can explore the grounds including a new safari trail, adventure playground and water play. The Discover Days are on Thursday August 3, Friday August 4, Thursday August 10 and Friday August 11 and cost £5 per person but free for under twos.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “We know that it can be tough for families to keep their children entertained during the long summer break from school. The current cost of living crisis makes it particularly important that there are free and low cost activities for families to enjoy. All children deserve a fun and active summer holiday after working hard at school all year and so I am delighted that we are able to offer so many free events to delight and entertain children and young people all over our district whatever their age or ability.

“I encourage all parents and carers to visit the FYI website, to help plan varied, interesting and fun activities for the family this summer.”    

Underline image

Recent stories