WHAT’S ON THIS CHRISTMAS IN BRISTOL AND NORTH SOMERSET 2018?
Bristol Harbourside Christmas market is in full festive swing, skaters are taking to the ice in Millenium Square and spectacular Christmas lights have been switched on all around the city from Portishead to Park Street. All this activity means it MUST be time to publish our 2018 festive guide. Read on for a bonanza of things to do and places to visit this Christmas in Bristol and North Somerset!
CHRISTMAS IN BRISTOL 2018
WINTER FAIR AND ICE RINK IN MILLENNIUM SQUARE
ICE SKATING IN BRISTOL
Until 6th January 2019
Lots of fun for kids and grown ups. Penguins and bananas available to hire for little ones.
Admire the Christmas lights and fair from above during a five minute ride on the Skyview Wheel in Millennium Square.
WATCH A CHRISTMAS FILM OUTDOORS!
Times and screenings TBC
While you’re there, why not pop into Aprés Bar next door to the skating rink where the grown ups can enjoy a selection of draught beers, mulled wine and hot cider in the container bar this winter. Seating is outside but heaters, rugs and fairy lights make it feel festive and seriously snug.
WINTER WONDERLAND AT THE MALL, CRIBBS CAUSEWAY
Get your skates on this Christmas and head to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway for the South West’s largest outdoor ice rink (over 1,000 sq. metres), Santa’s Enchanted Ice Castle, a magical Christmas train ride inside The Mall and a selection of festive foodie treats at the Winter Wonderland.
SS GREAT BRITAIN VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS WEEKEND
8th & 9th December
Visit the SS Great Britain which is open virtually every day of the year. On the Victorian Christmas weekend you can step into a Dickensian winter scene with Victorian characters and snow falling around the decorated dockside at Bristol’s SS Great Britain.
SS GREAT BRITAIN CHRISTMAS TRAIL
10 am – 4.30pm, 1 – 31 December
Find out how the Victorians engineered Christmas this December with our festive trail. Follow the trail of festive firsts to discover how today’s holiday traditions began. This activity is included in your ticket price and free to pick up with your Dockyard Companion throughout December.
MAKE YOUR OWN VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS CARD
11am – 4pm, Saturday 8 – Sunday 9 December
Included in the price of admission
Join the family craft workshop and make your own traditional Victorian Christmas cards.
SS GREAT BRITAIN CAROL SINGING
12.30pm & 2pm, Saturday 8 December – Sunday 9 December
Included in the price of admission
Local choirs will be singing traditional Christmas Carols in various locations around the ship and Dockyard.
SS GREAT BRITAIN FESTIVE FOOD AND DRINK
9.30am – 4.30pm, Saturday 8 – Sunday 9 December
Head to Harbourside Kitchen for festive flavours including minced pies and mulled wine!
Have a look at SS Great Britain website for other forthcoming events.
Visit Bristol Cathedral and choose from its full Christmas and Advent programme. Christmas celebrations include:-
- Sunday 2nd December 2018 at 6:00 pm – Advent Procession
- Friday 14th & Saturday 15th December 2018 at 7:30 pm – Carols by Candlelight
- Sunday 16th December 2018 at 3:30 pm – Carol Service and Blessing of the Crib
- Tuesday 18th December 2018 at 5:15 pm – Shoppers Carols
- Wednesday 19th December 2018 at 10:00 am – Toddler Carols
Don’t worry if you can’t make one of these special dates as families are always welcome and can visit free 365 days a year! Click through to read more about Bristol Cathedral.
FESTIVE GELATO AT SWOON
For a special family treat, you could walk across College Green to visit to Swoon and enjoy one of their festive flavoured, award-winning gelati which they make from scratch.
Want to know more about gelato? Watch our behind-the-scenes video at Swoon for an insight into how to make gelato.
CHRISTMAS MARKETS 2018
BRISTOL CHRISTMAS MARKET, BROADMEAD
Until 23rd December
While you’re doing your Christmas shopping, why not browse around Bristol’s markets for some unique gifts?
We had a wander around Bristol Shopping Quarter Market in Broadmead and spotted little treasures like hand-made Christmas decorations and these Bristol blue glass baubles.
There’s plenty of street food on offer and as we browsed, the tempting aromas of griddled German sausages and warm donuts vied for our attention. A street performer juggling fire offered colourful casual entertainment and the giant Christmas tree in front of the entrance to Cabot Circus shopping centre completed the scene.
While you’re there, warm up with a mulled wine at the German Christmas themed Jägerbarn Bar in the middle of Broadmead.
CHRISTMAS AT ST NICHOLAS MARKET
In the heart of the old City of Bristol, St Nicholas traditional indoor and outdoor markets are open right up until Christmas offering gifts, records, handmade crafts and street food.
HARBOURSIDE CHRISTMAS MARKET
The covered walkway outside the Watershed is home to Bristol’s Harbourside Christmas Market which offers an independent alternative to high street shopping. The Christmas market is now open 11am until 5pm every weekend until December 16th offering everything from artisan chocolates to hand crafted wallets from some of Bristol’s most creative small businesses.
Feeling peckish? Then head to the new street food square outside the Hippodrome and sample world food served up with seasonal ingredients from the south-west or sip on a warming spiced Somerset cider!
CHRISTMAS IN NORTH SOMERSET 2018
GREEN CHRISTMAS AT NOAH’S ARK ZOO FARM, WRAXALL
Until 22nd December
Last Christmas at Noah’s Ark we were invited to spend a day at the extensive rural site: We had a fabulous time enjoying the variety of animals from meerkats to tigers, hours of fresh air and talking to the knowledgeable staff who seemed to be able to answer every question an inquisitive nine year old could throw at them! In addition to the normal activities, this is what was on offer during our Christmas visit.
- Follow the lights and complete the trail around the zoo on your mission to find St Nick and claim a delicious reward! The trail, lit with hundreds of Christmas lights, finishes in the N-Shed where St Nick is hiding. (Entry to the History and Mystery tour and illuminated trail is included in the day ticket price.)
- See the elephants working out ways to eat the Christmas trees which are suspended from the rafters above them. The zoo looks at forms of enrichment for the animals so seasonal props like these Christmas trees can help to keep the elephants stimulated.
- Find the Christmas trees decorated by the keepers and join in with the fun while helping them raise money for charity. Emma and Julie from the African department were telling me about the work of their chosen charity, The Giraffe Conservation Foundation. As well as a collection box, they’re coming up with creative ways to raise money such as charging £1 to let the public feed the giraffes which will go towards helping giraffes which are endangered in the wild through habitat loss as well as being hunted for meat, clothing and jewellery.
Noah’s Ark are committed to protecting the local environment and teaching the next generation how to care for the natural world and become more sustainable.
This Christmas they’re going Green to show that Christmas needn’t cost the Earth. The zoo will be decorated with elaborate recycled Christmas decorations. The animals will be joining in too as the keepers will continue to make special recycled animal enrichment. All the while you’ll be guided around the zoo by the energy efficient Christmas light trail.
TYNTESFIELD NATIONAL TRUST, WRAXALL
A Very Victorian Christmas
Until 22nd December
Get Christmas off to a magical start by stepping back into a Christmas past at Tyntesfield with an immersive Victorian experience.
With stockings full of festive family fun, storytelling, dancing and games, soak up the atmosphere as the family and their servants prepare for the festivities.
- Christmas Concerts in the Chapel
- Festive Food and Craft Market
- Christmas shopping in the Cow Barn Shop
LONGLEAT FESTIVAL OF LIGHT, WILTSHIRE
Until 1st January 2019
A little farther afield at Longleat’s Festival of Light, hundreds of illuminated characters and scenes will transform the estate into a winter wonderland. For Christmas 2018 join explorers, Harry and Bea, a plucky brother and sister, and their fearless terrier companion, Monty, on a thrilling expedition around the world, journeying through time and space. Feature scenes include the awe-inspiring Great Pyramid towering 20 metres into the sky, a dazzling solar system, gargantuan dinosaurs, a medieval castle and much more – as well as the ever-popular Enchanted Christmas Tree Show.
Thank you to our Christmas in Bristol and North Somerset 2018 Sponsor
Many thanks once again to my husband’s independent accountancy practice Coben Associates for kindly sponsoring our Christmas in Bristol and North Somerset Guide. If you need help with your accounts or would like a free consultation, click the logo below for Coben’s contact details.
If your organisation would like to be involved in supporting this or any of our community features please email jane @ practicallyperfectmums.co.uk.
If you have any other information or updates about local Christmas events, then please comment below or email me on the address above.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS 2018!
P.S. Details of these and more events will be on the Special Events Calendar.
Always check with the organiser before you travel as times and prices may be subject to change.