9 Unmissable Events & Activities in Wakefield this August Bank Holiday Weekend

There’s never been a better time to explore the Wakefield District

Known as the creative heart of West Yorkshire, the Wakefield District has something for everyone to enjoy. This year there’s even more to keep visitors entertained as our district is celebrating Our Year – Wakefield District 2024, a huge 366-day programme of cultural and creative activity.

There’s never been a better time to explore the Wakefield District than this August bank holiday with a whole host of activities, events and performances to enjoy…

The Hatchling - image (c) Dom Moore

Experience The Hatchling

Wakefield welcomes The Hatchling, an acclaimed and epic-sized flying dragon puppet from award-winning artists and producers Trigger. Hatching from an egg outside Wakefield Cathedral on Friday 23 August, watch this ground-breaking outdoor theatrical performance unfold over the course of the weekend across Wakefield City Centre. The Hatchling’s performance will finish in an extraordinary finale on Sunday 25 as The Hatchling takes flight over Pugneys Country Park as the sun sets.

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Explore the City of Sculpture

As the birthplace of 20th century artists Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, Wakefield is often referred to as the unofficial city of sculpture. Weaving throughout the streets of the city is the Wakefield Sculpture Trail, with six open air sculptures for the public to find including The Auguries (Last Calls) by Andy Holden, and Fan Construction by Halima Cassell.

Wakefield is also the only place outside London to host two Art Fund Museum of the Year Award-winning galleries. The first of which is Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a 500-acre parkland with over 100 outdoor sculptures. This summer Yorkshire Sculpture Park is exhibiting work from the world’s leading contemporary artists including from Bharti Kher’s Alchemies, Damien Hirst and Leilah Babirye.

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Be amazed by modern art at The Hepworth Wakefield

The second Art Fund Museum of the Year Award winning gallery is The Hepworth Wakefield. This striking gallery is built on the city’s waterfront, overlooking the River Calder. The gallery is home to Wakefield’s art collection – an impressive compendium of modern British art, the core of which is a significant group of works by  Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. This summer, explore Still Lives at The Hepworth Wakefield in a new exhibition which illustrates the enduring nature of the still life genre throughout different epochs in art history.

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Dig into Wakefield’s industrial heritage

Be sure to take a trip to the National Coal Mining Museum, the site of two former working coal mines. Visitors can join underground tours where they will travel 140m underground and hear stories from former coal miners about their careers and the industry’s fascinating history. Above ground, explore the National Coal Mining Museum’s galleries and its new exhibition, 84/85 – The Longest Year, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike. Whilst there, meet the ponies in the Discovery Centre, walk around the Nature Trail and visit the adventure playground – it’s a great day out for the entire family!

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Theatre Royal Wakefield

Enjoy Evita Theatre Royal Wakefield

Musical theatre lovers can rejoice, as this August bank holiday weekend Wakefield Youth Music Theatre presents the breathtaking musical, Evita at the beautiful Theatre Royal Wakefield. Performances run from Wednesday 21st to Saturday 31st August, book tickets now and prepare to be transported to Argentina to witness the rise to fame and power of María Eva Duarte de Perón.

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Wildflowers and pollinators trail

Take a stroll around Nostell, National Trust

This Palladian mansion is one of the grandest houses in the north of England and is home to an unrivalled collection of Chippendale furniture. Nostell, National Trust is also nestled in 300 acres of luscious, landscaped gardens and parkland which are glorious to explore in the summer, come rain or shine.

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Wakefield Museum

View the wonders of Wakefield Museum

A free museum dedicated to sharing the story of Wakefield’s history, Wakefield Museum is a hidden gem of the city centre. Guests can discover life as a nineteenth century prisoner in Wakefield Jail, learn about the district’s rhubarb heritage and relive the stories of the people who have worked, lived and played in the city. The museum’s latest exhibition tells the fascinating story of a local business that changed the face of men’s fashion in Seeing Double: The Story of Double Two Shirts.

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Escape the everyday at Xscape Yorkshire

The ultimate, fun-fuelled day out destination, Xscape Yorkshire has a variety of adventurous activities for people of all ages. Thrill-seekers can ski, snowboard or sledge on real snow at Snozone, take go-karts for a spin or try out wall-to-wall trampolining and urban climbing. Xscape is also home to laser tag, adventure golf, bowling and 4DX at Cineworld making it the perfect place to let off some steam on rainy days!

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Discover the house that art built

The Art House is a creative space which manages more than fifty accessible artists’ studios, hosting a wide variety of artists, makers, and creative businesses. The Art House undertakes a range of community projects designed to bring people together. See the projects for yourself this August including the local and residency artist exhibition From Our House to Yours…Artists Edition. Whilst there, discover its other exciting exhibitions, shop and coffee house.

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More Summer Inspiration

Summer Highlights

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Calder Vale Hotel

Beer Gardens in Wakefield

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