From chowing down to cosying up, things are starting to get sparkly in Leeds
Despite it being summer approximately five seconds ago, I’m pleased to inform you that autumn is now well and truly upon us. As much as we love to complain about the shorter days and gleefully inform each other of the first time we turned on the dreaded heating, there’s so much more to this time of year than conversations about temperature and light levels. Really? You say. Well, YES. Hopefully this list is about to prove it.
Read on for the best things to keep you busy in November.
Tim Minchin: BACK Encore Tour | First Direct Arena | 2 November
Love a bit of irony-drenched, musically-set comedy? Tim Minchin is back with BACK (sounds confusing, just the name of his tour) and in Leeds' greenest arena at the start of the month. Tim’s donating half the ticket sales profits to Barnardo’s and Samaritans, so you can even feel good about yourself as you chuckle along. It’s a win-win.
Leeds First Direct Arena, Arena Way, Leeds LS2 8BY (tickets from £41.10 at ticketmaster.co.uk)
Bonfire at the Bridge | Kirkstall Bridge Inn | 5 November
The long-awaited (because let’s face it, what’s not this year?) return of Kirkstall Bridge’s iconic bonfire night is here, promising autumnal loveliness by the boatload. There’ll be food, drinks, and the obligatory pyrotechnics to get you ooh-ing and ah-ing to your heart's content.
Kirkstall Bridge Inn, 12 Bridge Road, Kirkstall, LS5 3BW (7pm; tickets £5 at eventbrite.co.uk)
Chase & Status | O2 Academy | 5 November
Get ready for an all-night, all-out party with drum and bass legends, Chase and Status, who’ll be back in Leeds lighting up the O2 for all those too cool for firework-watching. Original tickets from May will still be valid.
O2 Academy Leeds, 55 Cookridge St, Leeds LS2 3AW (doors 7pm; tickets from £37.20 at ticketmaster.co.uk)
Northern Ballet’s Merlin | Leeds Grand Theatre | 9 - 20 November
Classical ballet? Check. Dramatic storytelling? Check. World’s most famous (arguably) wizard waiting in the wings for an epic adventure of magic and more? Check. Sounds like a recipe for wonder as the season begins to turn festive and the stage gets its sparkle on once more.
Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU (8pm; tickets £20-55 at leedsheritagetheatres.com)
Chow Down Winter Village | Temple Arches | 11 November - 30 December
Ready for next level cosiness, festive boozy creations, a range of new permanent food vendors and a bit of friendly competitive curling? If you’re wondering how I got inside your head and found out your perfect winter’s day/night, it’s time to buy yourself a ticket for Chow Down’s festive edition, pronto.
Temple Arches, Leeds LS11 5QG (tickets various prices at winter.chowdownevents.co.uk)
Great Yorkshire Vegan Market| Leeds Kirkgate Market | 14 November
Another long-awaited delight is ready to bring Kirkgate to life this November, as the Great Yorkshire Vegan market sets up shop. Promising more than 60 stalls offering everything from sweet treats to main meals, make up to pet food – and all the profits donated to animal welfare charities – this is another great chance to indulge in some self-righteous fun (the best kind).
Kirkgate Market, 34 George Street, Leeds, LS2 7HY (10.30am-4pm; tickets £5 at eventbrite.co.uk)
Candle Making | The Bowery | 14 November
Be prepared for the next power cut by taking this therapeutic masterclass in the art of wax. You’ll make two of your very own soy wax candles, complete with essential oils, amber glass jars and personalised messages. Everything is provided – no candle experience required.
The Bowery, 54 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds LS6 2AL (10.30am-12.30pm; tickets £37.91 at eventbrite.co.uk)
Wendy and Peter Pan | Leeds Playhouse | 18 November - 22 January
Wendy is finally getting the recognition she deserves, and it’s going to feel great. Journey to Neverland with Leeds Playhouse this festive season in this powerful reimagining of JM Barrie’s classic tale.
Leeds Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UP (various times; tickets £14-£45 at leedsplayhouse.org.uk)
Peakes | Hyde Park Book Club | 30 November
The unique sound of Leeds-based three-piece, Peakes, is here to transport you to a new plane. Soothing, ambient and full of dreamy vocals and surging melodies, you can expect to enjoy an evening of homegrown talent at its best.
Hyde Park Book Club, 27-29 Headingley Lane, Headingley, Leeds LS6 1BL tickets £7 at jumborecords.co.uk)
Ghost Road Fest | Belgrave Music Hall | 6 - 7 November
Brand new two-day music spectacular, Ghost Fest is heading to Leeds and London for the first time this year, and it’s on a mission to promote inclusivity, creativity, opportunity and… well, you get it, all the good stuff. Expect music from a range of local legends, upcoming stars and alternative talent.
Belgrave Music Hall, Cross Belgrave St, Leeds LS2 8JP (tickets £25-40 at ghostroadfest.bigcartel.com)
Leeds Gin & Fizz Festival | New Craven Hall | 13 November
Nothing says millennial like a festival dedicated to gin and prosecco, and if you’re ready to embrace that unashamedly, good on you. Leeds Gin and Fizz Festival brings your chance to sample a range of booze from across the UK, meet the distillers behind the magic, and document it all at the Instagram selfie station.
New Craven Hall, 2 Fairfield House, New Craven Gate, Leeds LS11 5NF (1pm-11pm; tickets from £15 at tickettailor.com)
Leeds International Film Festival | Various venues and online | 3 - 18 November
Did you know that the world’s first films were made in Leeds? That might have been back in 1888, but the spirit of film-making talent and appreciation is still strong – and this year’s LIFF is set to bring it to life once more. With a packed programme of indies, classics, docs and so much more, this is an iconic Leeds experience you shouldn’t miss.
Various venues (tickets various prices at leedsfilm.com)
Read next: 'Appears to specialise in slow and cold' - Pizza Punks, reviewed
Read again: The best things to eat in Leeds (and beyond) - October 2021
Don't miss out
Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email.