Bristol Summer Holiday Guide for Families

Bristol Summer Holiday Guide for Families

The summer holidays have arrived and Bristol is putting on a show! There's no better time to explore the city and enjoy some adventures. Whether you're a local or planning a visit to the South West, there's plenty of family friendly events for you enjoy.

From sculpture trails and exhibitions to festivals and theatre trips, there's plenty of opportunity to spend some quality time together.  So dive into our handy list of events and make this one a summer to remember!

And for days when you don't want to leave the house, remember we stock a huge array of games, craft kits, activity books and toys to keep the kids happy.

See our summer selection here

1. Beyond Submergence

Beyond Submergence Propyard light installation exhibition Bristol

Squidsoup bring their amazing light installations to Feeder Road in this wonderful exhibition, guaranteed to enthrall the whole family with wonder! Escape the hustle and bustle of the summer holidays with a glorious sensory experience. Stay for drinks and pizza afterwards.

Until September
Various times
Tickets from £5 (under 5s free)

2. Unicornfest

Unicornfest sculpture trail in Bristol, summer 2023

Get your walking shoes on and explore every corner of Bristol with this unicorn sculpture trail. Download the app to tick each one off as you go along or enjoy phone free. Featuring lots of your favourite Bristol artists, this trail is raising money for Leukaemia Care so donate via the website if you can.

Until 3 September
24 hours
FREE donations welcome
City wide

3. Summer of Play

Summer of play with We The Curious, Bristol summer 2023

We The Curious are bringing the fun to you this summer! The team will be setting up creative spaces in Anchor Square and other sites around the city including St Werburghs, Knowle West, Avonmouth and more. Experiment, play and get creative with activities exploring everything from robots to constellations.

Until 3 September
Various times
City wide

4. Kids Go Free

kids go free at westonbirt arboretum summer 2023

Clock up some outdoor hours with a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum - slightly out of town but worth the trip. Plenty of space to play, explore and have fun together plus there's a great playground for younger kids. There are some fun interactive activities taking place too.

22 July - 3 Sept
Kids free with paying adults
Westonbirt Arboretum

5. Kid Carpet & the Noisy Garden Centre

Kid Carpet summer 2023 show at wardrobe theatre, bristol

Kick the summer off in style with a brand new show from Bristol legend Kid Carpet. Raucous fun for all the family with catchy songs, lofi puppetry and video magic, audience participation and games!

24 - 28 July
11:00 & 14:00
Tickets £10 (Under 2s go free)
Wardrobe Theatre

6. Family Social

Propyard Family Social July 2023 Bristol

Nab a free ticket to the next Family Social down at Propyard. With live music, DJs, bouncy castles, crafts and good food it really is fun for all the family!

Sun 30 July
FREE (booking essential)

7. Ready, Set Read! Family Fun Day

Bristol libraries reading challenge summer 2023

Story time, illustration workshops, games, activities and mini challenges! The perfect way to encourage your kids to keep reading over the summer holidays. The book bike will be out and there will also be free books to take home and keep. Free drop-in event.

Tue 1 Aug
College Green

8. We Are Family: Threads

To celebrate the current Threads exhibition, Let's Make Art are hosting a series of fun drop-in sessions with different themes each week. Pom poms, stitched cards, fuzzy art works and much more, all inspired by different textile artists.

1 - 30 Aug (Tuesdays and Wednesdays only)
11:00-13:00 and 14:00-16:00
FREE donations welcome

9. Building Bristol in Lego

Lego activities at M Shed, Bristol summer 2023

Take inspiration from all the wonderful buildings, cranes and boats near the M Shed and recreate them with Lego. A fun interactive event for kids and their families (4 sessions per day). Booking essential.

2 - 9 Aug
Various times
FREE donations welcome
M Shed

10. Sketch and Draw

Sketch and draw activity at Bristol Museum, summer 2023

Enjoy some relaxing sketching and drawing activities at Bristol Museum this August. With a different theme each week you'll be able to investigate and draw selected artefacts and specimens from the museum. Suitable for all ages.

2, 9, 16 & 23 Aug
10:00-12:00 and 13:00-15:00
FREE donations welcome
Bristol Museum

11. Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta summer 2023, BAM guide for families

Europe's largest hot air balloon event is back with aerial displays, entertainment for all the family, demonstrations, fairground rides, local music and, of course, balloons! Over 100 of them in fact. Or if crowds aren't your bag, follow the winds and watch the balloons from elsewhere around the city - Clifton Observatory, Troopers Hill and Dundry Hill are all good bets.

10-13 Aug
Various times
FREE entry, paid parking
Ashton Court


So pack your suncream/umbrellas and get ready for a summer full of adventures. We hope you all have the best time!


As always, these events are suggestions only and not affiliated with BAM so please check times and venues before setting out. Think we've missed something off the list? Get in touch and we'll add it if we can!

Cover photo: Chloë Janssen-Lester


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