BRADFORD blogger Shannon Palmer checks out family fun on offer this festive season:

With Christmas fast approaching, I’m on the lookout for exciting festive things to do in Bradford and surrounding areas. Whether it’s family fun, a works do or a get together with friends, there’s something for everyone to make magical Christmas memories.

* I’m starting off with something a bit different. Last weekend I headed up to Queensbury to the Halifax Ski and Snowboard Centre. I didn’t know what to expect, only that we were taking the kids snow tubing. Kitted out with a snow flex surface, the daily snow tube sessions offer lots of fun on the snowy mountain. My young step lad, Theo, and his friend Ryan had the best time, I had a go too and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Being on top of a mountain in sunset was magical. I highly recommend booking a snow tubing session at

* Every year I take a trip to Haworth for the Festive Torchlight Procession. It’s really magical being out in a winter evening, with twinkling lights adorning the cobbled main street. Crowds gather, carrying torches, and children wave twinkling wands. Be sure to arrive early to gather around the Christmas tree before the procession starts at 4pm; there’s plenty of festive cheer with a brass band throughout the weekend and the village’s independent shops open late to buy those Christmas gifts. This year’s event is on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10. Visit

* Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is running its Festive Flyer and Elf Explorer train rides, with Santa, reindeer, Christmas music and a winter wonderland market. A fabulous festive occasion for all ages. Visit

* It’s panto season, and there are lots of local productions over the coming weeks. My favourite is the Alhambra panto, which this year is Cinderella, starring Billy Pearce, Strictly Come Dancing finalist John Whaite and Samantha Giles from Emmerdale. The Bradford Playhouse panto is Peter Pan and at Halifax’s Viaduct Theatre it’s Jack and the Beanstalk.

Tickles Music Hall in Bradford has a fabulous festive line-up of gigs on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and a children’s Christmas party with Santa and a brass band on Friday, December 22. Visit

* If you fancy heading further afield this festive season, the first direct Bradford to London train service takes just over three hours to reach the Capital. I headed to London recently on Grand Central’s new Bradford to London service, calling at Low Moor, Halifax, Brighouse, Mirfield, Wakefield, Pontefract, Doncaster and Kings Cross. I arrived in London at 11am explored 11 tourist attractions, including the London Eye, in just one day, returning to Low Moor at 11pm. Visit