10 Autumn Family Activities In Bristol

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For most of the UK summer may be the season of culture festivals and outdoor escapes, but it needn't end with the coming of Autumn. If you live around Bristol then why not use events such as the October half-term to experience your home town from a new perspective?

One way to do this is to set a day or two aside, get the family together, and search out a few seasonal activities as well classic attractions. Rediscover the classics with a ticket for the Bristol Insight bus tour, a handy sightseeing pass that includes discounts for Bristol Zoo, We The Curious and more.

Have a scan through our recommendations below for a few ideas on how to make the best of a family outing from September through to October. If one of the venues/attractions is located close to our bus tour route then we'll highlight the relevant stop.


1) We The Curious Planetarium Nights:

In 2015 We The Curious Science Centre unveiled the UK's first digital 3D Planetarium. With Autumn days drawing in fast and light pollution being a constant damper of night-time views, why not observe the skies from the comfort of an in-door theatre? Visitors can tour the solar system and visit distant galaxies in 4K Ultra High Definition and 7.1 surround sound.

We the Curious Planetarium Nights Bristol

Everyone aged 6 and above is welcome at their regular 2D or 3D shows. Those under 6 can join the 2D 'Space Explorers' adventure, and for older groups there's a limited number of places for the special Planetarium Nights events (October onwards). We The Curious is located by stop 1 on the Bristol Insight tour.


2) Events at M-Shed Bristol:

M-Shed Bristol is renowned for its cultural and industrial heritage exhibitions, so there's always something fun going on that the whole family can enjoy. Early this October 'Docks Heritage Weekend' will be taking place, an event which will see the machines of the past come steaming back to life. Take a ride on the dockside steam railway, climb into the cabin of a working electric crane, and sail to the mouth of the River Avon aboard the John King, an original diesel tug from 1935. M-Shed can be found close to stop 20.

M-Shed Autumn Events Bristol


3) Family Events at Arnolfini:

The Arnolfini is a contemporary arts venue that features a whole range of activities built around families. This Autumn why not take part in the Bristol Family Arts Festival, a free drop-in drawing event and much more. The Arnolfini is located right next to stop 1.

Arnolfini Bristol Autumn Events


4) Halloween At Bristol Zoo:

To celebrate the October Half Term Bristol Zoo are offering kids aged 2-14 £5 entry* to their yearly Halloween extravaganza.

This year's theme is based on Día de Muertos, Mexico's famous Days of the Dead. Witness the zoo dressed up in ghoulishly vibrant decorations and don't miss their very own Halloween Parade. Kids can try their hand at mask making and crafts, handle all kinds of creepy crawlies and explore Kuki’s Haunted Trail. Daily animal talks and feeding displays will take place as normal.

Bristol Zoo Gardens Halloween Half-Term

*One child at £5 for every paying adult. The offer is valid from October 21st to November 5th.


5) Spend Time Browsing St Nicholas Market:

Though Bristol's main shopping quarter is located close by we'd recommend having a wander around the traditional arcade stalls at St Nicholas Market. Local vendors offer everything from bespoke jewellery and fashion to exotic spices and vinyl records - heaven for those who love to browse bargains and oddities. The avenues are also filled with cafés and bars serving up flavours from around the world.

St Nicholas Market Bristol

St Nicholas Market, Bristol | Photo Credit: Nick.


6) Bristol's Christmas Market:

As winter edges its way in don't forget about the city's Christmas Market. Open from November 10th until December 24th, it's located in the heart of Broadmead Shopping Quarter - an area serviced by stops 12/13 of the Bristol Insight tour. A multitude food, drink and craft businesses will be setting up shop in rows of decorative wooden chalets. Head along and grab a gift or simply order a hot drink and bask in the festive atmosphere.

Bristol Christmas Market - Food Stalls


7) Bristol Beer Week:

Who says family days out strictly include kids. From the 14th of October until the 21st a variety of Bristol's best bars, breweries and restaurants will be helping promote the local drinks industry by offering up special deals, tasting sessions, tours and more. Details can be found here.

Bristol Beer Week 2017


8) Take A Free Weekend Guided Tour Of The Clifton Bridge:

Learn more about Bristol's most famous landmark by taking a walk with one of its dedicated guides. These tours depart at 15:00 on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of the October half term. They don't require advanced booking and are ideally suited for individuals and family groups.

Clifton Suspension Bridge Free Tour

Come winter why not also check out the bridge's famous Christmas illuminations and well as other decorated landmarks around Bristol on the Twilight and Illuminations Tour?


9) Visit Year-Round Favourite Bristol Aquarium:

Curb the blues commonly associated with shorter Autumn days by visiting the tropical exhibitions at Bristol Aquarium. It can be found at stop 1 on the tour route and your bus ticket will grant £2 off admission for up to 6 people.

Bristol Aquarium


10) Travel Along To Avon Valley Adventure And Wildlife Park:

Another outdoor family favourite besides Bristol Zoo is the Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park. A diverse range of native as well as exotic animals roam expansive enclosures, with many being open to handling and feeding. Falconry displays, archery and the outdoor adventure play area are a few other attractions popular with kids of all ages. Our recommendation would be to try the Segway Safari, an exciting outdoor journey that covers 60 acres throughout the Avon Valley Country Park.

Avon Valley Adventure And Wildlife Park Autumn Deer