From festive markets to incredible Christmas trails, where would you go if you bagged a free £2 Adult Single bus ticket?
Oh me, oh my! Bus travel just got better! Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, has made good on her promise to make bus fares simpler and cheaper – and with the cost of living crisis tightening our belts, it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Mayor’s Fares capped Adult Single bus trips at £2 and reduced the unlimited-trip MCard DaySavers at £4.50, so you can get any bus, any time, anywhere in West Yorkshire for a new lower price. But where can you go this Christmas and how can you get one of those £2 bus tickets for free? Read on to find out…
Follow an illuminated trail of Saltaire & see a living advent calendar
Back by popular demand, Saltaire’s Living Advent Calendar will invite you to rediscover this picture-perfect village as you get into the festive spirit. On Thursday 1st December 2022, 15 houses, businesses and community buildings reveal will reveal their festive windows, then every day until Saturday 24th December 2022, new illuminations will be revealed. There are 56 in total, each different to the last, and they’ll remain on display until the new year. While you’re here, why not stop at the famous Salts Mill?
Saltaire’s Living Advent Calendar runs from Thursday 1st December 2022 to Sunday 1st January 2023. Catch the 60 bus on the Kirkstall line from Leeds to Bingley Road/Ferncliffe Road.
Mix world class art and Christmas shopping at The Hepworth
With the winning combination of modern architecture and contemporary art, The Hepworth is a must-visit at any time of year, but come Christmas, it gets even better. Why? Because of their Festive Market, of course. You can browse over 60 stalls, each one packed to the rafters with prints, textiles and homeware, not to mention those all-important and utterly stocking-worthy gifts. But that’s not all. Expect live performances from brass bands and all manner of workshops on everything from festive wreaths to candle making.
The Hepworth Wakefield Festive Market takes place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2022, then again on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December 2022. Catch the 110 bus on the Wakefield line from Leeds to Wakefield City Centre Bus Station – it’s a 20-minute walk from there.
Shop, ice skate and be merry in the stunning surrounds of The Piece Hall
The Piece Hall is the only remaining Georgian cloth hall in the world and boy is it a looker! It’s worth a visit for the architecture alone, but now those hallowed halls have been filled with independent traders, it’s become a Christmas shopping destination. The experience is made all the better by a spectacular festive programme that promises everything from makers markets and craft workshops to brass bands, mini raves and live gigs. Plus, this year, they’re filling the courtyard with an outdoor skate rink that’s sure to be a family favourite.
The Piece Hall Christmas Spectacular runs from Thursday 1st to Saturday 31st December 2022. Workshops and gigs are priced individually. Catch the 255 bus on the Cleckheaton line from Leeds to Halifax Bus Station – it’s a 6-minute walk from there.
Visit Santa and discover a world of play at Eureka!
Want to make Christmas even more special for the little ones? Take them to meet Santa at Eureka! You’ll find the big man in his grotto, where, with the help of his elves, he’s making a list and checking it twice. The kids can nip in to see him, tell him what their heart most desires and even get a gift while they’re there. And you? You’ll get a festive snap to immortalise the moment. Then you can all scamper off to the museum to turn the giant crank, set up shop in a child-sized town and find out what you’ll look like in the future.
Santa’s Grotto comes to Eureka! from the first weekend in November until Friday 16th December 2022 when it runs daily until Friday 23rd December 2022. Catch the 508 bus on the Kirkstall line from Leeds to Halifax Bus Station – it’s a 10-minute walk from there.
Get your skates on at the one and only Bradford Ice Arena
Ice skating. You’ll see it in just about every Christmas movie ever made, so why not have a go yourself? Bradford Ice Arena has been the go-to in Yorkshire for over 56 years. It’s the second home of the region’s figure, speed and synchronised skaters, as well as three major ice hockey teams. And if they skate there, you should too. Lessons will help you find your feet, then you can make the most of public skating sessions, which include disco sessions with the lights turned down low and the music turned up high.
Bradford Ice Arena is open throughout the festive season. Catch the 72/X6 bus on the Bradford line from Leeds to Hall Ings.
Discover a million twinkling lights in the gardens of Roundhay Park
A magical adventure awaits at Roundhay Park this Christmas. As the sun sets, the gardens will be lit up by a glittering light trail that’s guaranteed to invoke oohs, aahs and festive hurrahs. Weave your way among the giant baubles, wander through tunnels of light and take in the neon-lit trees, before stopping to toast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate in their cosy tipi. Got extra time on your hands? Take an early walk around the park, pay a visit to Tropical World or grab a quick pint at the Roundhay Fox.
Christmas at Roundhay Park runs from Thursday 8th to Saturday 24th December 2022. Catch the 12 bus on the Roundhay line from Leeds to Roundhay Park – it’s a 2-minute walk from there.
Hear The Nutcracker & The Snowman brought to life by a live orchestra
Not only can you watch two Christmas classics in one night, but the scores of both will be played live by the Orchestra of Opera North. The evening begins with a magical rendition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. This epic work is combined with pictures and storytelling to bring the story to life. Afterwards, settle in for a screening of the BAFTA award-winning movie, The Snowman. This magical tale is taken to new heights by a live soundtrack – you’ll even hear the famous ‘Walking in the Air’ sung by the Opera North Youth Ensemble.
The Nutcracker & The Snowman comes to Huddersfield Town Hall on Tuesday 13th December 2022 and Bradford Town Hall on Sunday 18th December 2022. Catch the 229 bus on the Heckmondwike line from Leeds to Huddersfield Bus Station or the 72/X6 bus on the Bradford line from Leeds to Hall Ings.
Get into the spirit of Christmas on the slopes at Snozone
You don’t need to visit the Alps to get your skis on, not with Snozone right on your doorstep. This is the stuff festive dreams are made of, so even if we don’t have a white Christmas, you can still feel the crisp crunch of real snow under your ski boots. The slope is kitted out with rails, boxes and kickers to make your run more interesting, but if you just want to whizz from the top to the bottom, that’s okay too (and more than thrilling enough for most of us). Ski and snowboarding lessons are available and a must for beginners.
Snozone is open throughout the festive season. Catch the 140/141 bus on the Castleford line from Leeds to Junction 32 Retail Outlet – it’s a 2-minute walk from there.
‘Tis the season to do good deeds at Otley Christmas Tree Festival
After a three-year hiatus, the famous Otley Christmas Tree Festival returns for 2022. It’ll be opened by Otley Bellman Terry Ford on Wednesday 7th December 2022 with a toe-tapping soundtrack from the Guiseley Brass Band, then you can expect three days of glorious festivities. Expect 40 trees, lavishly decorated by local charities, all competing for your goodwill. Donations go to each charity, giving you a little extra feel good, and the entertainment comes free, in the form of choirs and carol services. Mince pies are available too.
The Otley Christmas Tree Festival comes to Otley Parish Church from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th December 2022. Catch the X84 on the Headingley line from Leeds to Otley Bus Station – it’s a 2-minute walk from there.
Enter now for a chance to win one of 200 FREE £2 MCard Adult Single bus tickets