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By Elaine Richmond on

Bradford Science Festival 2021: Suggested itineraries

Bradford Science Festival is back with amazing events across the city. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our suggested itineraries to help you make the most of the packed programme.

Bradford Science Festival takes place this October half term, 23–31 October 2021. In this post we’ve put together some suggestions for ways you might want to explore festival events and activities at the museum and at venues across Bradford.

For the full festival programme, including all event dates and times, locations and ticket details, check out our Bradford Science Festival pages.


Saturday 23 October: For families with younger children

Children watching a Bradford Science Festival show

This is the first day of the festival and there’s lots to see and do, including plenty of activities for under-7s!

At the National Science and Media Museum

Start at the museum—don’t forget you’ll need to book a free admission ticket in advance. Explore our galleries, including the interactive Wonderlab and our fun family exhibition Boom: Experiments in Sound. Join a drop-in activity to enjoy some creative junk music, then see a show that explores science with puppets and storytelling.

  • Creative Junk Sounds Like…, 10.00–16.00
    Join 50 Things to Do Before You’re Five to discover what creative junk sounds like. Quiet or loud, slow or fast, come make a noise with us!
  • Superscientist Stories, 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00 and 15.00
    Learn about the work of an amazing female scientist through puppets, dance and experiments.

If you need to recharge your batteries, take a break in our Café where we’re serving kids’ lunch bags, hot and cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches and delicious cake.

In City Park

At 15.00, head across the road to City Park to experience light and sound sculptures you can play, and get your bubbles refilled by 50 Things to Do Before You’re Five.

  • Bubble Refill Station, 15.00–18.00
    Bring along your empty bubble container for a free refill using 50 Things to Do Before You’re Five’s ‘Big Bubble’ recipe!
  • Illumaphonium, 15.00–20.00
    Come and play the Illumaphonium—combining sound and light, this is a musical instrument like no other.
  • Luminosi Tree, 15.00–20.00
    See the amazing Luminosi Tree, stand in its shade and be enveloped by sound.

Saturday 23 October: A walk around the city

At the National Science and Media Museum

Start your day at the museum—don’t forget you’ll need to book a free admission ticket in advance. Relax with a Kids’ Club screening of the family favourite film Ice Age, then try some free drop-in activities where you can explore the science of sound through fun experiments.

  • Kids’ Club: Ice Age (U), 10.30
    Journey back to the Ice Age for a thrilling adventure on the big screen. See it for just £3 per ticket at this Kids’ Club screening, exclusively for families.
  • The Science of Sound drop-in activities, 10.00–16.00
    From ‘Houdini’s Guide to Acoustics’ to ‘How Big is Sound?’, there are plenty of sound experiments to explore, all for free.

At The Broadway Bradford

Next, head to The Broadway Bradford on Hall Ings, a 10-minute walk from the museum. Discover the Incredible Oceans Lab and find out about the new biomaterials that can replace plastic.

  • Incredible Oceans Lab, 10.00–16.00
    Visit the OceanDome Lab—complete with a life-sized inflatable orca—and meet marine experts who’ll guide you through experiments, show you real-life whale bones and shark teeth, and show you how big a dolphin skull really is!
  • Engineer a Green Future, 10.00–16.00
    Meet the University of Bradford STEM team for some fun hands-on activities and demos that show how science can help create a greener future for the planet.
  • Born in Bradford Data Visualisation, 10.00–16.00
    Come and immerse yourself in data about people and places in Bradford, then talk to the scientists who are finding meaning in it.

At Kirkgate Shopping Centre

Next stop is Kirkgate Shopping Centre, a 7-minute walk from The Broadway, where you can get involved with some creative crafts.

  • Busy Bees Crafting, 10.00–16.00
    Get creative with our recycled, green materials and make your very own bug garden!
  • World in a Jar, 10.00–16.00
    What do ecosystems need to stay healthy? Come and find out, then create a world in a jar and make a terrarium to take home.

In City Park

End your day in City Park in the heart of Bradford, a 4-minute walk from Kirkgate Shopping Centre. You can immerse yourself in our spectacular interactive light and sound sculptures from 15.00 onwards, and enjoy a fabulous carnival performance at 18.00.

  • Illumaphonium, 15.00–20.00
    Come and play the Illumaphonium—combining sound and light, this is a musical instrument like no other.
  • Luminosi Tree, 15.00–20.00
    See the amazing Luminosi Tree, stand in its shade and be enveloped by sound.
  • Global Grooves, 18.00 (other times and locations also available)
    Get ready to party with giant puppets, dancing robots and fantastic carnival music!

Saturday 30 October: Pumpkin Trail

Boy and girl holding pumpkins

Halloween weekend is the perfect time to discover the Bradford pumpkin trail and enjoy some science fun along the way!

At the National Science and Media Museum

Start your day at the museum—don’t forget you’ll need to book a free admission ticket in advance. Settle down to watch a classic family film at our Kids’ Club screening of WALL-E, then create a storm with the Thunder Station, watch sound create patterns and take part in our LEGO® Technic™ Let’s Move It! challenge.

  • Kids’ Club: WALL-E (U), 10.30
    In the distant future, a robot embarks on a journey that will decide the fate of mankind. See this enchanting animation on the big screen for just £3 per ticket, exclusively for families.
  • Patterns in Sound, 10.00–16.00
    What patterns can sound make? Join this activity and see for yourself as soundwaves create beautiful shapes.
  • Thunder Station, 10.00–16.00
    Experience the power of thunder! Explore sound vibrations and have a go at creating an indoor thunderstorm.
  • Let’s Move It!, 10.00–16.00
    Is it possible to move a full-size truck using LEGO® Technic™? Join us to find out!

Before you leave the museum, make sure to pick up a leaflet for the Pumpkin Trail, which you can follow across the city centre all weekend.

At The Broadway Bradford

You might spot more pumpkins on the way to The Broadway Bradford; when you get there, take the chance to discover maths in music and don’t miss a spectacular performance from Global Grooves at 12.00.

  • Maths in Music, 10.00–16.00
    Discover how you can use fractions to understand musical notes, then write your own piece of music.
  • Global Grooves, 12.00 (other times and locations also available)
    Get ready to party with giant puppets, dancing robots and fantastic carnival music!

At Kirkgate Shopping Centre

The pumpkin trail continues in Kirkgate Shopping Centre, where you can also make your own buzzing bee and add a leaf to our special tree of growth.

  • Busy Bees Crafting, 10.00–16.00
    Get creative with our recycled, green materials and make your very own bug garden!
  • What Makes You Grow?, 10.00–16.00
    What makes you grow? Add your answer to our tree and watch it blossom with positivity, ideas and inspiration.

That’s just a taster of what you can expect during Bradford Science Festival 2021. The museum is open every day during half term from 10.00–17.00 and we’ve got loads of science-based fun, including The XX Factor (Monday 25 October) and The Funky Junk Orchestra (Tuesday 26 October). We’d love to see any other plans you create—tag us in your adventures on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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