WHAT’S ON THIS CHRISTMAS IN BRISTOL AND NORTH SOMERSET?
Are you feeling Christmassy?! Read on for a bonanza of festive things to do with the family and places to visit this Christmas and New Year in Bristol and North Somerset. I’ve also included a few special attractions which I think are well worth making a trip farther afield for in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire!
Looking for things to do after Christmas? Quite a few of these continue into January 2020 so there’s still plenty to do throughout the Christmas holidays!
(If you’re looking for the perfect Father Christmas to visit, check out our guide to The Best Santa’s Grottos in Bristol and North Somerset!)
CHRISTMAS IN BRISTOL
WE THE CURIOUS
Millenium Square, Bristol
Until 5th January 2019
Take the family for a fun, stimulating day out, with 250 exhibits, planetarium shows and a chance to get creative in Santa’s eco invention workshop.
BUMP ROLLER DISCO
Until 5th Jan 2020
Bristol’s Millenium Square
Come and join in with the eco-friendly roller disco!
Until 5th January 2020
Bristol’s Millennium Square
While you’re there, why not pop into Aprés Bar next door to the skating rink for drinks, food and music? 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.
SAIL WITH SANTA
Bristol Ferry Boats, Bristol
Selected dates until 24th December 2019
Join the ferry elves on a decorated ferry boat and join the hunt for Santa on the dockside.
TWILIGHT BUS TOUR & ILLUMINATIONS
Bristol Insights Bus Tours
Selected dates until 21st December 2019
See the sights and lights on a festive guided tour of Bristol.
A GEORGIAN CHRISTMAS AT CHARLES WESLEY’S HOUSE
Charles Wesley’s Home
Selected dates from 28th November
Find out how Christmas was celebrated in the 18th Century during a festive tour of the home of Charles Wesley, writer of the popular carol, ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. Enjoy traditional festivities including floral displays, a mince pie and carols in the music room!
CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT
The New Room
18th December 2019
Join in with traditional carols in John Wesley’s 18th Century candle-lit chapel
Until 25th December 2019
Visit Bristol Cathedral and choose from its full Christmas and Advent programme which runs throughout December, right up to Christmas Day. Popular family Christmas celebrations include an Advent Procession, Carol Service and Blessing of the Crib, Shoppers Carols, Toddlers’ Carols by Candlelight.
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
College Green, Bristol
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.
21st December – 5th January 2020
Festive fishy fun, from feeding the fish with brussel sprouts to learning about reefs in the Christmas reef workshop.
CHRISTMAS AT THE SPIEGELTENT
28th November – 21st December 2019
Christmas parties, food, theatre and family events.
SANTA SPECIAL STEAM TRAIN RIDES AT AVON VALLEY RAILWAY
Avon Valley Railway, Bitton, Bristol
Selected dates from 24th November – 24th December 2019
Enjoy a festive ride on a steam train with a visit from Father Christmas.
JOURNEY TO THE NORTH POLE
Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park
Selected dates to 24th December
Immersive festive theatrical journey to meet Father Christmas!
WINTER WONDERLAND AT THE MALL, CRIBBS CAUSEWAY
Until 5th January 2020
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway boasts the second biggest outdoor ice rink in the UK! Visit Santa’s and his team for a magical grotto experience,
While you’re there, why not enjoy a festive drink at the Tipi bar? (Mine’s a Bailey’s hot chocolate, by the way!)
CHRISTMAS AT AEROSPACE BRISTOL
21st December 2019 – 5th January 2020
Aerospace Museum is running different ‘make-and-take’ activities each day over the Christmas holidays. Make a festive Concorde inspired badge, tree or table decoration. Try your hand at origami and create your own Santa Alfie Fox or get ready for the New Year celebrations by making your own party hat.
Apart from making your own badge which costs £1, all activity sessions are free to join with a valid admission ticket.
JOIN ALFIE FOX ON HIS FESTIVE TRAIL
See if you can find all the Alfie Foxes hiding around the museum and uncover the magic word!
SUPERSONIC SANTA: MEET FATHER CHRISTMAS
Saturday 21st December 12-3pm
Father Christmas will be stopping by for one day only and children will have the chance to sit next to him in the concorde flight deck exhibit. You’ll be able to take photos as your child shares their Christmas wishlist and receives a small gift from Father Christmas.
Tickets for santa visit and gift cost £5 per child (in additional to the normal entrance fee). Advance booking is recommended.
CHRISTMAS IN SOMERSET
GREEN CHRISTMAS AT NOAH’S ARK ZOO FARM, WRAXALL
Wraxall, North Somerset
30th November to 21st December 2019
Get ready for Christmas at Noah’s Ark with music, Nativities and a fun winter wildlife trail.
A VERY VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS AT TYNTESFIELD NATIONAL TRUST
Wraxall, North Somerset
Until 5th January 2020
Get into the Christmas spirit by stepping back into a traditional Victorian Christmas at Tyntesfield and make the most of the late opening hours this December.
With stockings full of festive family fun, decked halls, 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
CHRISTMAS IN WILTSHIRE
ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS AT WESTONBIRT
Westonbirt Arboretum, Wiltshire
Selected dates from 29th November to 22nd December 2019
Follow the trail between the beautifully illuminated trees and discover all sorts of surprises along the way including fairies, talking trees and a very magestic Father Christmas!
TWAS THE TRAIL BEFORE CHRISTMAS
American Museum, Bath
Until 22nd December 2019
Journey along the Winding Way to find out who’s making the noise in the garden on this festive family fun trail.
LONGLEAT FESTIVAL OF LIGHT, WILTSHIRE
Longleat Estate in Wiltshire
Selected dates from 9th November until 5th January 2020
Head out to Wiltshire to see the new Myths and Legends theme along with santa’s train and an enchanted Christmas Tree show!
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.
CHRISTMAS IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE
SPECTACLE OF LIGHT AT SUDELY CASTLE
Sudely Castle & Gardens
Selected dates to 30th December 2019
Follow Peter Pan and Wendy and see the castle, gardens and ruin under the stars.
If you want to arrange a visit to see Father Christmas, remember to check out our guide to The Best Santa’s Grottos in Bristol and North Somerset!
Thank you to our Christmas in Bristol and North Somerset 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.
Email me on jane @ practicallyperfectmums.co.uk if you’d like to be involved in one of our features.
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 2019!
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 or error.
DISCLOSURE: We were offered entry to some of the places featured in exchange for inclusion in this guide.