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Advice & Guides
Family Activities

Things to Do in Bradford, West Yorkshire

Bradford, in the heart of West Yorkshire, is a city brimming with activities and attractions. Whether your family enjoy outdoor activities or cultural landmarks, Bradford offers something for everyone. Here are our top 8 picks for things to do in Bradford, West Yorkshire, for seasoned locals and those who are new to the area.
1.
Take a Stroll in Lister Park

Lister Park is a beautiful green space in the city that is ideal for a day out with the kids. Here, you can take a stroll through the stunning gardens, enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the lake, or let the little ones burn off some energy at the playground – designed to be accessible for children of all abilities. The park is also home to Cartwright Hall, which houses an impressive collection of contemporary art, including pieces from local and international artists.

2.
Experience the Alhambra Theatre

For those who would like to introduce their children to the world of theatre, the Alhambra should be top of your list. This historic venue hosts a variety of attractions, from West End musicals, to drama and comedy plays. They also put on a range of family shows and kid-friendly performances, helping children to become more engaged in different storytelling modes and artforms.

3.
Visit the Bradford Industrial Museum

Though admittedly, this might not sound like a typical day out for a family, Bradford Industrial Museum includes a variety of interactive displays that make it a perfect activity in Bradford for kids, as well as various workshops that are tailored to children. This is where you can step back in time to explore the city’s cultural heritage in manufacturing. The museum showcases beautifully restored machinery and offers fascinating insights into Bradford’s industrial past.

4.
Enjoy a Day at St. Ives Estate

Just a short drive away from the city centre is St. Ives Estate, offering a vast array of outdoor activities for families looking to spend some quality time together. Why not enjoy a walk or cycle through St Ives’ woodland, or take in the scenery by having a family picnic? The estate provides a perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts, with ample opportunities to explore nature trails and spot a variety of local wildlife.

5.
Engage with Local History at Bolling Hall

Bolling Hall is one of Bradford’s oldest buildings, dating back to the 14th century. The house offers visitors a unique glimpse into the distant past with its medieval, Georgian and Victorian rooms representing various periods of the Hall’s existence. If you’re drawn to tales of the macabre, Bolling Hall is also said to be haunted by the ‘White Lady,’ so keep an eye out for her spectral presence!

6.
Saunter Through Saltaire Village

Saltaire Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another testament to Bradford’s industrial heritage. It is a Victorian model village named after philanthropist Sir Titus Salt, who built a textile mill located at the site. Here, you can wander through the charming streets and find out more about the village’s history, making it a captivating destination for the whole family.

7.
Get Active at Bradford Ice Arena

If you’re looking for some energetic fun, pay a visit to the Bradford Ice Arena. Whether you are a seasoned skater or just getting started, the arena provides a great way to spend an active day with your friends and family. You can book ice skating lessons, enjoy a regular ice skating session, or experience the thrill of professional ice hockey matches.

8.
Explore the National Science and Media Museum

Finally, Bradford boasts an extensive media history, making it a must-visit for broadcast enthusiasts. The National Science and Media museum features a variety of interactive exhibits that will entertain both young and old. The museum is also home to Pictureville, where families can enjoy a curated selection of exciting film screenings. Please note that the museum is currently closed for refurbishment, but is set to reopen in 2025.

Join Our Compass Bradford Community

As you immerse yourself in Bradford’s attractions, it’s worth bearing in mind that not every child has the same life chances. Thankfully, fostering presents families with a remarkable opportunity to not only enrich their family’s lives, but also those of vulnerable kids. At Compass, we offer invaluable support and resources for local families fostering in Bradford, and you can also become part of our incredible community of foster carers, enjoying memorable days out together!