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Things to do in Bristol this Summer with Kids

The Golden Unicorn - part of Bristol summer 2023 Unicornfest. Designed by Bo Lanyon, this unicorn is covered in gold from hoof to horn, echoing the similar unicorns on the roof of City Hall

Looking for fun ways to amuse the kids during the Bristol summer holidays? Need to keep the family entertained without breaking the bank? Cue my bumper roundup of what’s on in Bristol this summer. This fab guide brings together a mahoosive selection of the best family events Bristol has to offer: from special Bristol Bank Holiday events and free craft activities to music festivals and play sessions.

We all know that summer holidays can be hideously expensive, so I’ve included a bunch of summer events and activities which will cost you nothing.

Check out the Unicorn Trail, Old City Sounds Music Festival (new for 2023) and giant hopscotch. They’re all free, as is our world-famous Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

Looking for other money-saving family outings?
Then check out this article next:-
Fab FREE Things to do in Bristol & North Somerset

I’ve packed this article with summer activities and handy what’s on information. Whether you’re looking to entertain the kids throughout the school holidays or you just want to know what’s on in Bristol this weekend, you’re in the right place.

Transparency disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something, I could earn a few spondoolies at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

To make it easier to find details of events you’re interested in, I’ve divided the Bristol Summer Guide. Just click to skip straight to the relevant section.

Enjoy the 2023 guide!


2023 is a special year, as it marks 650 years since Bristol became an independent city and county.

Bristol 650 logo painted onto a wall in the centre. Marking 650 years from 1373 to 2023 since Bristol became a city and a county.

Included in the anniversary celebrations is the Unicornfest art trail. Painted by local artists, sixty unicorns, have been placed at attractions and other points of interest in Bristol and the southwest.

Giant hopscotch games have also been marked out on some of the city’s parks and green spaces as another fun free activity for families to enjoy.


Multiple Bristol & Southwest Locations
Summer holidays until early Sep 2023

Unicorn Trail

The family-friendly unicornfest trail is part of Bristol’s 650th-anniversary celebrations.

Follow the free trail and see how many colourful unicorns you can spot. Many are located at iconic Bristol and southwest locations. If you’re lucky, you might even come across a unicorn which speaks.

Some of the “blessing” of unicorns have headed out of the city to North Somerset destinations in Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare. A couple have even made it down into Somerset, so remember to look out for those if you’re heading to Chew Valley Lake or Cheddar Gorge!

Can’t wait to see the selfies!

After the trail ends in September, the unicorns will be auctioned off to raise money for Leukaemia Care.

Unicornfest App

There’s a free app to complement the trail and it’s available for both Android and IOS devices. A voluntary donation to Leukaemia Care would be welcomed if you enjoy the app.

If you’d prefer to go old-school, you can buy a map or download one from the website.

Educational Foals

40 smaller foals have also been decorated by local schools, colleges, nurseries and community groups. You can also find these on the Unicornfest trail map.

Visit the Unicornfest website for more details, to download the app or to make a donation to Leukaemia Care.

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Various city locations
Throughout the Bristol school holidays

A hopscotch trail celebrating Bristol’s 650th anniversary as a city will act as a free activity for families throughout the school summer holidays. 

Three giant hopscotch games are set to be sprayed onto the grass at Queen Square, Castle Park and College Green in Bristol. Each will incorporate 650 individual tiles and also be brought to life in the shape of the numbers: 6-5-0. 


Tours run between Easter and October each year

If you’re after an adventure, you could join one of the Clifton Suspension Bridge Vaults Tours. The underground vaults visit and hard-hat tour offer the unique opportunity to climb down under the bridge’s tower!

Underground Vaults Visit – Adults 18+ £10, Children 7+ £8

One-Hour Historical Hard Hat Tour General Admission – £15

Two-Hour Historical Hard Hat Tour General Admission – £20

Children must be aged 7+ and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. There’s a minimum height limit of 1.2m.

(The tours include climbing a vertical ladder and passing through a low corridor, make sure your party is willing and able before booking tickets and participants will need to dress appropriately. Check out the website for further guidance and restrictions.)

Weekend Bridge Tours – Free plus £1 admin fee if you book in advance

Free weekend tours are a great way to explore the history of this amazing structure

They run during the school summer holidays (and all year round).

Join the knowledgeable volunteer tour guides as they talk you through the history, construction and maintenance of the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge! Weekend tours last between 45 minutes and one hour and are running on weekends and bank holidays throughout the summer.

Summer tours begin at 3 pm from the Clifton Toll Booth on the Bristol side of the bridge, crossing over the bridge and finishing at the Visitor Centre. Everyone is welcome and the content is family-friendly.

Pre-booking is advised to secure a place (£1 admin fee), but it may be possible to join the tour on the day if spaces are available. After 10 am on the day of the tour, call our Visitor Centre on 0117 974 4664 to add your name to the list, or speak to the guide at the Clifton Hub just before the tour begins.

Keep an eye out for the explainers in orange high-vis jackets who will be more than happy to answer questions and tell you about the history of Brunel’s famous bridge.

Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge Vaults Tour, Bristol

The exhibition at Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre and the shop are also both open.

Click through to book Clifton Suspension Bridge Vaults Tours


The St Nicholas Market and Air Raid Shelter Walking Tour offers an insight into how Bristol has developed into the city we see today. In addition to oodles of information about historical Bristol, you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to explore a network of underground rooms where Bristolians would have sought safety from the perils of the wartime bombing above ground.

Our fourteen-year-old son joined the husband and me on this amusing and informative walking tour. (It takes around two hours, so I wouldn’t recommend it for younger children.)

History Brought to Life

Our guide offered oodles of information about historical Bristol. Standing in the exact spot he was referring to really helped me picture how Bristol would have looked prior to the devastation of WWII.

And again, entering the air raid shelter decked out with wartime artefacts and memorabilia, gave a flavour of how it would have been for the occupants.

During the tour, you’ll:-

  • Explore Bristol’s largest public Air Raid Shelter, explore the historic Old Town, and soak in the atmosphere of St Nicholas Market.
  • Be taken on a tour of Bristol’s rich history, the iconic swinging 60s, and the vibrant present-day city.
  • Get exclusive access to underground passageways, rooftop views, World War II air raid shelters, and hidden rooms that once hosted some of the world’s greatest bands.

The opportunity to climb to the top of the Corn Exchange and to look around the air raid shelter were absolute highlights for us!

Click here to book the St Nicholas Market and Air Raid Shelter Walking Tour
Please note: This tour is not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs


The Blackbeard to Banksy guided tour combines centuries of Bristol’s history with vibrant street art.

Learn about the city’s chequered past, including Blackbeard, the notorious pirate and Edward Colston, the slave trader whose statue was toppled during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.

A tour of Banksy’s street art brings us to the modern-day.

  • Explore Bristol on a guided street art walking tour
  • See originals by Banksy, the world’s number-one street artist
  • Discover the city’s complex history, from ruined churches to toppled statues
  • Hear tips and insights from your guide

Click here to book the Blackbeard to Banksy Walking Tour

Bristol Harbour

Hop aboard a Bristol Ferry and explore Bristol Harbour and beyond from a different perspective. Doesn’t travelling by boat make you feel like you’re on holiday? And a ferry cruise is the perfect way to cool down on a summer’s day.

While you’re near the harbour, have you tried out any of the Places to eat and drink at Bristol’s Wapping Wharf? If not, check out our guide for some interesting restaurants on Bristol harbourside.



Ashton Court, Long Ashton, Bristol
Thurs 10th – Sun 13th August

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta takes place over four days in the beautiful setting of Ashton Court Estate. This balloon festival is one of the standout highlights of Bristol’s summer calendar. It’s a great event for the whole family to enjoy, and it’s free – well, apart from the parking charge if you go by car.

The largest event of its kind in Europe, mass ascents of over 100 hot air balloons are scheduled for 6 am each morning and from 6 pm each evening.

At 9 pm on Thursday and Saturday evenings, a collection of up to 25 balloons tether and light up in time to music.

As well as the balloons, visitors can enjoy fairground rides, entertainment, live music and aerial displays.


Clifton Observatory 360 Rooftop Café
11th, 12th and 13th August

Witness the breathtaking morning ascent at Clifton Observatory! Our 360 Cafe will be open early from 5:30 am when we’ll be serving breakfast pastries and coffees for you to enjoy alongside the morning ascents of 2023’s International Balloon Fiesta. Witness the event from the very best vantage point in Bristol: on the rooftop terrace atop Clifton Observatory!

Please note that this is a free, unticketed event. Space on the Rooftop Terrace is limited on a first-come, first-served basis.


Clifton Downs
Fri 1st to Sat 2nd Sep 2023

Forwards Festival returns for its second year this September with a weekend of music, debates and family-fun entertainment. The whole family can collectively chill out and enjoy the Forwards Festival vibes with a jam-packed programme for the young and young at heart,

R&B legend Erikah Badu and electronic icon Aphex Twin are headlining the weekend, along with Munroe Bergdorf, Liv Little and Goldie leading discussions on the Information Stage.

For little festival goers, there will be performances throughout the day on the Bandstand including a children’s performance from Kid Carpet and an immersive adventure show from The Adventure Team.

Apart from the musical performances, children can have a go at crafting a tambourine, hit the soft play area, listen to interactive story-telling from Bristol Libraries or join an immersive science show from Explorer Dome.

To check out the full line-up of performances and activities, head to the Forwards website


Bristol Old City
Sat 26th August

Old City Sounds is a FREE, day-long music festival taking place in central Bristol over the late August Bank Holiday weekend.

New for 2023, the family-friendly event will take place at King Street, St Stephen’s Church, St Nicholas Street and St Nicholas Market.

Each location will feature a different genre of music with zones including Old City Jazz, Old City Acoustics and Old City Eclectics.

At St Stephen’s Church garden, “Old City Kids” will offer plenty of entertainment for little ones with storytelling, bubble artists, jugglers, circus performers and giant garden games.


In this section, you’ll find lots of attractions in and around Bristol which are hosting special summer events.

Read on for all sorts of things to do, including craft workshops, storytelling, performances and exhibitions.


Wake the Tiger, 127 Albert Rd, Bristol BS2 0YA
22 July – 3 Sep 2023

This Summer we’re welcoming all ages to bring along junk and upcycle into works of art!

The Re-Creation Station is an arts and crafts area within The Guildhall café, where visitors can come and get those creative minds active, using inspiration from the world of Meridia.

The Re-Creation station activity is included in your general ticket price and will be running throughout the Summer holidays from 22nd July – 3rd September.



Aerospace Bristol, Hayes Way, Patchway, Bristol BS34 5BZ
22 July – 3 September 2023

Join Aerospace Bristol for a summer of art! Make, draw and explore your creative side throughout the summer holidays, with an array of artistic activities that celebrate The Art of Flight.

All activities are included with museum admission and Aerospace tickets include free returns for a whole year.

Draw Aircraft & Display Your Artwork

Daily, throughout the summer holidays

Discover sketching stations throughout the Aerospace Bristol galleries and try your hand at drawing magnificent aeroplanes and amazing engines as you journey through a century of aviation history.

Once you’ve finished your drawing, we’ll put it on display in our Aerospace Art Gallery, located in the museum cafe.

Chalks Away! Aeroplane Colouring

Daily, throughout the summer holidays

Get creative in Aerospace Bristol’s outdoor chalk drawing space. Grab some chalk and colour in the aeroplane shapes!

Daily Art Activity

There will be a different art activity taking place each day, including learning how to make your own kaleidoscope and Superhero Shapes workshops – where children aged 4-6 can design superheroes using 2D and 3D shapes.

See Concorde made of chocolate AND a Unicorn!!

While you’re there, look out for Luke Jerram’s chocolate Concorde (one of five artworks that form the Bristol artist’s Edible Histories project), along with Harry Uni-Kane, a unicorn artwork that is part of the unicornfest trail.

More information and a full list of daily activities on the website
Buy Aerospace tickets to include free return visits for a whole year!


Propyard, 39-46 Feeder Rd, Bristol BS2 0SE
July to September 2023

Former missile warehouse Propyard has its vast 20,000sq ft space transformed this summer into a world-first immersive art exhibition, curated by Cheltenham-based award-winning collective, Squidsoup. Five of the collective’s largest art pieces have been brought together for the first time in the exhibit, “Beyond Submergence”, with mind-bending use of light, space, sound, scale, movement and technology creating an immersive and inclusive experience.

I haven’t been for a proper visit yet, but when we popped in to look at one of the exhibits, it was very calming. People were sitting around or lying on cushions on the floor watching the shifting light patterns overhead.

People relaxing on the floor watching the light patterns above them at Squidshow's Beyond Submergence Exhibition at Propyard. 
Check out the rest of the guide for loads more info about what's on in Bristol this summer!

The grown-ups seemed utterly relaxed, while the toddlers were mesmerised by the pretty lights dancing in time to gentle music.


Henbury Road, Bristol, BS10 7QS
Every Thursday from 3rd – 24th August 2023

Join us for family-friendly stories, trails, crafting and more as you explore Blaise Museum and Estate this summer.

Museum open for summer 2023: Thursday to Sunday 11 am – 4 pm
Free entry – donations welcome


Exhibitions, workshops and family events this summer at Bristol Museum include:-

2—23 August 2023

Sketch and Draw – FREE

Enjoy some mindful moments sketching and drawing specimens from our collections.

Free drop-in. Donations are always welcome.

Suitable for all ages.

15 August 2023

Egypt Explorers

A hands-on session exploring ancient Egyptian life, pharaohs and mummification. all inspired by our fantastic Egypt gallery.

Tickets £10 per child

Advance booking essential

1 April—10 September 2023

The Cave Art of Lascaux: a Virtual Reality Experience

EXHIBITION: Step back in time 21,000 years and visit the incredible Stone Age cave art of Lascaux in immersive 3D. The suggested age guidance for this Virtual Reality experience is age 10+. Charges apply.

Visit Bristol Museum‘s website for opening hours, special events and to book.

Fancy a posh treat? No problem! Read this article to find out
Where to Enjoy the Best Afternoon Tea in and Around Bristol.


Bristol Cathedral
9 – 11 August, 10.00am – 12.00pm

These summer holidays come to Bristol Cathedral and make and create summer crafts with us. Activities will be different on each day so be sure to come along every day!

FREE activity. Best suited to under 11s.


Bristol Harbourside

Holiday activity: Building Bristol in Lego

2—9 August 2023

Unleash your creativity by taking inspiration from the views at M Shed, to construct some of the city’s iconic buildings.

Free but donations are welcome. Advance booking is essential.

Train rides

5 August—29 October 2023

TRAIN: Take a train trip on Britain’s only dockside steam railway behind one of our Bristol-built locomotives.

Holiday activity: Romans

8 August 2023

Find out about the Romans in Bristol in this hands-on creative workshop.

Crane visits

12 August—15 October 2023

Experience a working crane on the dockside with visits inside the electric cranes, M Shed’s biggest exhibits!

Holiday activity: Introduction to puppetry

16—29 August 2023

Come along and try out some new skills in this interactive family workshop delivered by professional puppeteers.

Holiday activity: Medieval merriment

22 August 2023

Learn about heraldry, try brass rubbing, handle objects and make medieval-themed crafts.


The Galleries, Bristol
Every weekend from 22 Jul to 27 Aug 2023

The Galleries shopping centre is thrilled to be a proud sponsor of The Unicornfest Art Trail, taking place in Bristol from 1st July to early September.

As well as hosting two glorious Unicorns (find them on the ground & top floors), The Galleries will also be running a UnicornFest Roller Disco on the top floor every weekend from 22 July through until 27 August from 10 am to 5 pm.

Skating sessions will run every half an hour, with a suggested £2 donation going to Leukemia Care. Skate hire (plus knee pads & helmets) is included.

Simply turn up 10 mins before each half session to allow time to get your skates on – no booking needed.


The Georgian House Museum
12th June – 2nd September 2023

EXHIBITION: New interventions and sound installations by Peter Brathwaite reveal the Black presence hidden at the heart of our spaces and objects.

Visit the website for Georgian House opening hours and special events this summer.


John Wesley’s The New Room, Broadmead
Various dates until 17th August 2023

Wonderful World of Books

This summer, stories will be jumping off the pages into the New Room. Exploring some of our favourite children’s books with a different story read each week followed by a fun craft activity and then a trip to explore the museum. Plus, a museum trail is available throughout the summer holidays.

Includes: A story reading, craft activity and entry to the museum.

£4 per child, plus PARENTS GO FREE

One Thousand Origami Cranes Exhibition

On display in the chapel
1-31 August (Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm)

An exhibition of one thousand origami cranes, made by Bristol children attending out-of-school play schemes, will be on display in the chapel throughout August. This exhibition is in partnership with BAND (Bristol Association for Neighbourhood Daycare) and is free to enter.

Origami workshops

Tuesdays 8 & 15 August 11 am-12 pm

BAND will also be hosting two free origami workshops, so come along and have a go.

Follow the link for more information, opening hours and special events at The New Room Museum, Bristol.


Bristol Harbourside
Wed 19th July – Sun 3rd Sep 2023 inclusive

2023 marks Brunel’s SS Great Britain’s 180th birthday and there’s so much planned to celebrate this summer. There’s a new cricket display to discover, AR binoculars and a brand new family food trail.

Visit the SS Great Britain this summer and included in the admission price you’ll be able to visit:-

  • Brunel’s famous ship
  • Historic dockyard
  • Dry Dock
  • Being Brunel Museum
  • Dockyard Museum

There’s also the opportunity to climb the rigging with Go Aloft (additional charge applies).
Kids go free this summer (from Wednesday 19th July – Sunday 3rd September 2023 inclusive.)


Various summer holiday dates and locations around Bristol

Whilst our building is closed, we’ll be bringing the fun out to you this summer holidays! Our team will be setting up on Anchor Square and at venues across the city to create spaces for everyone to experiment, play and get creative.

Keep an eye out for us as we’ll be running a whole range of activities this summer from exploring robots and how they interact with the world to creating your own constellations and stories.

Find summer of play sessions at: 

Play Session: Hilfields Library 

8 August: 2-3:30 pm

Explore the Summer Triangle constellations, learn about different star types, and unleash your creativity by crafting your own constellations. Come along and be captivated by the wonders of the universe!

Please contact the library ahead of time to book your free place on 0117 9038576

Play Session: Brentry & Henbury Children’s Centres

9 August 10am – 12:30pm 

Create the tallest tower, strongest structure, or weirdest shape using huge straws and creative art materials.

And Come Rain, Come Shine: What shapes can you see in the clouds? Come and experiment with rain, clouds, wind, and leaves.  

Please contact the Children’s Centre ahead of time to book your free place on 0117 9593800

Play Session: St George Community Centre’s ToddleFest

20th August, St George’s Bristol

We’re bringing 10 Ways to Play to St George Community Centre’s ToddleFest. You’ll have heaps of fun with hula hoops (the plastic hoops, not the snacks!), skipping ropes, balls, chalks and more, and we’ll throw in some simple ideas to get you started on your adventures.

Interactive Performances: Boxville Adventure at Millenium Square

9 & 10th of September 11-4 pm
Rolling drop-interactive performances – 11 am & 2 pm

Boxville is a very special adventure where you can step inside a land made entirely of cardboard where the possibilities as endless.

A team of Boxville engineers will help you along the way, with all the tools and skills you need to make musical instruments, mighty shields, and your very own space suits!

Everything’s made from recycled cardboard  – and you can take your new creations home with you at the end of the adventure.

Boxville Open Rehearsals at Various Bristol Locations

9 & 18th August

Boxville will be also having some open rehearsals and community performances, where you can show up and have a play for free (no need to book):

  • 9th August – Open Rehearsal – Puppet Place – 11:00 – 4:00
  • 10th August – Open Rehearsal – Windmill Hill Farm – 11:00 – 4:00
  • 11th August – Open performance – Garden Theatre – 2:00
  • 17th August – Community Performance – Zion – 12:30 
  • 18th August – Community Performance – Avonmouth – 11:30

Find out more about We The Curious’s FREE summer sessions on their website



Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Pixash Lane, Keynsham BS31 1TP
Summer holidays 2023

Join Avon Valley Park for 50 Days of Summer! For their summer 2023 season, there’ll be a sand and water play area and a giant slip-n-slide. Every day will end with a foam party! 

Their ‘Boomerang Ticket’ means you can get 25% off your 2nd visit, 50% off your 3rd visit, 75% off your 4th visit and your 5th visit is free! 
For more information or to book, visit their website


Bristol Aquarium
Friday 21st July to Sunday 3rd September 2023

In addition to the talks and feeding demonstrations that take place every day, Bristol Aquarium invites you to join them this Summer Holiday for a mesmerizing underwater adventure during their Coral Celebration event!

Embark on a journey to discover the wonders of coral reefs. Unleash your creativity as you contribute to a stunning coral reef fish mural, where each fish brings the reef to life. Get your own coral crown, a dazzling accessory that will make you feel like true ocean royalty.

Immerse yourself in an oceanic spectacle filled with creativity, knowledge, and unforgettable experiences.

Visit the Mermaid in her Coral Grotto

Bank Holiday Weekend – 26th, 27th 28th August 2023

Dive into a magical world of enchantment this August Bank holiday weekend at Bristol Aquarium, as we welcome a mystical Mermaid to her Coral Grotto!

Be captivated by her graceful movements and hear tales of underwater wonders as she shares her adventures from the deep blue seas.

Join us each day between 10 am and 3 pm to catch a glimpse of the Mermaid in her Coral Grotto.

Bristol Aquarium Big Abseil

Saturday 19th August 2023

Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity is taking over Bristol Aquarium with its Big Bristol Abseil on Saturday 19th August. And for the first time ever, kids aged 12 and up can abseil too.

By taking part in the Big Bristol Abseil Aquarium Takeover, you’ll be fundraising for the South West Children’s Research Appeal. With your help, they’re going to build a pioneering research centre at the heart of Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

FREE entry into Bristol Aquarium is included for every abseiler


Bristol Zoo Project
22nd July – 3rd Sep 2023

Wild Place Project has the much-loved character, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, joining the bears, lemurs, giraffes, cheetahs and new spotted deer this summer. The immersive trail features cocoon swings, AR and a giant butterfly maze.

It’s all change this summer as Wild Place Project has now rebranded as Bristol Zoo Project.

Bristol Zoo Project occupies a vast, attractive rural space filled with wooded walks, vast greens, wildlife, play areas, picnic tables, cafes and a walled garden.

New for summer 2023, they’ve just installed a fun Very Hungry Caterpillar trail.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Trail at Bristol Zoo Project. Bristol summer activities 2023 #SummerinBristol

OK, so I may not be their target demographic, but this looks lovely for the little ones and also makes for lots of cute photo opportunities. There’s a hungry caterpillar-themed play area complete with cocoon swings and a giant butterfly.

Oh, and then there are the actual zoo animals. We foolishly left seeing the Bear Wood exhibit, which is the only one of its type in the country, until last. If you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you not to make the same mistake!


The Leap of Faith climbing experience is just inside the entrance to Bristol Zoo Project and is available both to visitors and to the public. A separate fee is payable.

The course is open during school holidays, weekends and bank holidays. It is suitable for children aged four and over and adults.

Check the website for more details about The Very Hungry Caterpillar Trail and The Leap of Faith. You can also find the timetable of daily animal talks and feeds at Bristol Zoo Project this summer.


Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
1st April – 3rd September

Noah’s Ark is hosting its first-ever Shaun the Sheep trail experience. The activity is included free as part of your big day out at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

The Hide & Sheep trail is brought to life by augmented reality technology. It aims to engage families with their surroundings in an exciting, new way. Just download the free app, enter Noah’s Ark’s unique location code (1999), and find the Shaun the Sheep markers around the zoo.

For those wishing to enjoy the Hide & Sheep trail without the app, there’s an activity sheet available for all visitors. 

There are lots of selfie opportunities around the zoo and, at the end, guests can dance and pose alongside as the popular character “comes to life” in 3D. 

The Shaun the Sheep trail is fully accessible to wheelchair users and buggies. 

Refer to Noah’s Ark’s website for the latest info and to book.


Old Down Estate, Gloucestershire
Sunday 20th August 2023

Visit Old Down’s 2023 Country Fayre for a day filled with activities. Stalls, kids’ arts and crafts, games, honey tasting and a bee observatory will all feature in this year’s line-up!

  • Play in the Adventure Park
  • Take part in the Dog Show,
  • Get up close and personal with friendly animals.
  • Scale the kids’ climbing wall
  • Explore the park’s outdoor space.
  • Head over to the face-painting booth
  • Have a bouncing good time with Zorb football

The park will be open as usual and you’re welcome to explore the grounds while you’re there. 

Old Down Country Park Members receive free entry to this event.

Refer to Old Down Country Park’s website for the latest info and to book.


WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT

Sat 22 July – Sun 3 Sep 2023

Ready for an unforgettable experience over the summer holidays? Slimbridge Wetland Centre has you covered, with daily activities and events perfect for adventurers and nature lovers of all ages.

Meet the otters

Say hello to brand-new furry friends this summer. The pair of Asian small-clawed otters are called Sam and Tilly.

Canoe Safaris

Grab a paddle and spot wildlife from the water on a kilometre-long, Canoe Safari trail. Sit back and relax as you look out for wildlife along the way.

£10 per canoe. (3+ and must be accompanied by an adult.)

Wild Safari

Take a thrilling trip out to the Severn estuary and see the wild side of WWT Slimbridge by 4×4. You may even see snakes!

£5 per adult, £3.50 per child.

Drawn to Water Trail 

Re-imagine the Wetlands through the eyes of Quentin Blake and explore the new trail, exhibition and large format installations and frames around the grounds.

Amphibian Talks

Hear an expert offer insight into the world of amphibians and their habitats.
12pm daily and 2.45 pm on weekends and school holidays. Approx 20 minutes.

Let’s Draw Family Show 

22nd July – 3rd September at 11 am

Head to the Living Wetland Theatre for daily interactive shows.

Drawing with Water Art Activities

Try out water marbling. Blow your own wetland or chromatography butterflies. 
Tuesdays and Wednesdays,  25th July – 30th August, 2-4 pm.

Self-led Art Activities

Families can also take part in self-led activities, including Quentin Blake colouring. 10 am – 4 pm.


Have your face painted this summer or even get an eco-glitter temporary tattoo!

Various dates until 30th August, 10 am – 3 pm. In the gallery, outside the shop. £5.50 per person.



Berkeley Castle, Berkeley GL13 9PJ
Opening Sun to Wed from 2nd April – 5th Nov 2023

Visit the castle which has been home to the Berkeley family for 850 years.

Summer 2023 activities at the castle include Tudor Dancing, Storytelling and “Have-A-Go Archery”.

Or you could join one of their Zoolab workshops which delve into the curious medicinal beliefs and practices of the Tudor era!


Winchcombe, Gloucestershire

Sudeley Castle is open for the season until Sunday 5 November 2023

Pre-purchase your tickets online and save 10%!



Why not get into the summer vibe and visit one of the beaches in Portishead, Clevedon or Weston-super-Mare during the summer holidays?

Stay safe near open water. Click the link for general Coastguard Safety information.


Portishead open air pool North Somerset on a busy summer's day. Views of The Bristol Channel and Portishead beach beyond.

Outdoor Pool heated for summer until end Oct 2023

Portishead Lido is a heated, 33-metre community swimming pool in a superb location on the edge of the Bristol Channel. The outdoor pool is heated for the summer season until the end of October 2023.

Warm Open Air Main Swimming Pool

Heated by green energy, the water is maintained to typically 28 degrees centigrade. Choose from family/general swimming or lane swimming sessions. General/family sessions are 2 to 4 hours depending on the day.

Toddler Pool

A warm, shallow, non-slip pool is available for babies, crawlers & toddlers. It’s filled on warm days but can be filled on request. There’s limited shade, so remember to pack sunhats and suntan lotion!

Tuck Shop

The little tuck shop sells hot drinks plus sweets, ice creams & more.

Restaurant – Café Lido

Community cafe with barista coffee, delicious cakes and snacks. And of course, that wonderful view!

Open come rain or shine

Aside from gales, advertised sessions will go ahead whatever the weather.

Swim sessions are available to book approx 1 week in advance. All bookable sessions are listed on the booking page.

Babies 2 and under go free and you don’t need to book for them.

Disabled children or adults paying the full price can bring one carer with them free of charge and you don’t need to book for them.

Refer to Portishead Open Air Pool’s website for the latest info and to book your family swimming session.

So there we have it. I hope you find my what’s on in Bristol summer guide helpful.

Please do share it and have a great summer!


Ace things to do in Bristol and nearby with Kids: Summer 2023 Pinterest Pin featuring an image of a golden Unicornfest unicorn.

DISCLOSURE: We have been hosted by some of the attractions featured for review purposes. All opinions are my/our own and I retain full editorial control of all content on this site.

2 comments… add one
  • Flyingkids 03/08/2018, 03:47

    Such a great list of fun family activities!

    • Jane Batt 09/08/2018, 11:31

      Glad you like it. I keep finding more to add, so updating and adding to it regularly at the moment!

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