Don't just sit around eating turkey sandwiches – banish the lull between Christmas and New Year and find fun Twixmas holiday activities in Bristol.

Pay a visit to Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Step back in time and explore the historic dockyard and ship, which reopens on 27 December and is open daily up to and including New Year's Day. 

The site will be decorated in festive greenery, traditional hand-made Victorian decorations will also deck the halls and cabins. Experience the festive smells wafting throughout the ship, as if an authentic Christmas banquet has just been served, plus an immersive soundscape, creating the atmosphere of a bustling voyage at Christmas time and featuring the voices of passengers from different countries.

Dry Dock of the SS Great Britain at the Great Western Dockyard in Bristol - credit Brunel's SS Great Britain
Image - Brunel's SS Great Britain

Go on a winter safari at Bristol Zoo Project

Say hello to Santa’s reindeers after they’ve done their Christmas Day duties, and see animals including wolves, lynxes, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs and meerkats. See what other creatures you can spot in their festive woodland across the 50-acre site, which is open 10am-4pm every day from Boxing Day, with last entry at 3pm.  

2 meerkats at Bristol Zoo Proejct - Credit Charlotte Harris
Image - Bristol Zoo Project

Visit the undersea grotto at Bristol Aquarium 

Head on down to Bristol Aquarium for some festive fun, including special talks and creative activities. See if you can spot Charlie the Clownfish on your travels around the tanks too!

Charlie the Christmas Clownfish at Bristol Aquarium - credit James Beck
Image - Bristol Aquarium 

Get out of the cold at Bristol's marvellous museums

Find out about the incredible story of Bristol’s aviation achievements and step aboard Concorde at Aerospace Bristol, which will be open daily from the 27 December and into the new year.

Most of Bristol's venues reopen from 27 December, but please check the relevant websites or social media before visiting for the latest opening information.

A Bristol Fighter and Bristol Scout aircraft inside the Aerospace Bristol museum in Patchway - credit Jack Hobhouse
Image - Aerospace Bristol

See a festive show

If you're still hoping to catch a panto, there are performances at Bristol Hippodrome and The Redgrave Theatre up to and including 31 December. There's also time to catch Bristol Old Vic's magical Christmas shows until early January. 

Exterior of Bristol Hippodrome at night - credit The Bristol Hippodrome
Image - Bristol Hippodrome

Visit a National Trust property 

Explore the Tyntesfield estate on the outskirts of Bristol, taking in the magnificent Victorian Gothic Revival house and grounds, which are open from Boxing Day into the new year. There will be decorations inside and out until 2 January, plus the grandest Christmas tree in front of the house.

Explore the Family Festive Trail and take part in children's crafts at Dyrham Park, where you can also explore 270 acres of parkland (only closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, warm up in their cafe, or kids can run off some energy in the play area.

Tyntesfield Estate in the snow - credit Steve Young
Image - Tyntesfield

Celebrate New Year's Eve in style

While the city doesn't have a main New Year firework display, you've still got plenty of choice for celebrating, whether it’s black tie party, live music, dancing or decadent dinner you’re after. Join themed party at Racks, a New Year's Eve celebration at Tobacco Factory, or a NYE Disco at Bambalan!

Two women watching a bartender prepare a cocktail at Rick's Bar on Bristol's Harbourside - credit Rick's
Image - Rick's at The Bristol Hotel

Explore a winter wonder wetland at WWT Slimbridge

Experience the restorative power of nature and the beauty of the winter at WWT Slimbridge, which is packed with winter wetland wildlife. Wrap up warm and remember your binoculars! The site is open every day except Christmas Day.

Wild bird feed in winter at WWT Slimbridge - credit WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre
Image - Nigel Snell / WWT

Explore a dazzling light trail

'Tis the season for ooh-ing and ahh-ing at pretty lights, from the Roald Dahl illuminations at this year's Festival of Light at Longleat (until 7 January), to subterranean sparkles at Winter Wonderland in Wookey Hole, which runs until 1 January. Or head north of the city to be dazzled by the lights and characters at Sudeley Castle's Spectacle of Light (until 30 December).

Peter Pan illumination at Longleat Festival of light - credit Lloyd Winters
Image - Festival of Light at longleat

Get your skates on 

Take a trip to one of Bristol's local ice rinks at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park or Icescape in Weston-super Mare. Both are open daily until the new year, excluding Christmas Day.

Release your competitive side 

Compete with your friends and family with a game of bowling or ice curling at Roxy lanes, darts at Flight Club, axe throwing at Whistle Punks, pool at Allstars Sports Bar, virtual reality games at MeetspaceVR, or crazy golf at Par 59.

Bowling alleys lit up with blue neon
Image - Roxy Lanes

Shop the sales

Bag a bargain in the post-Christmas sales. You’re sure to pick up a steal in Bristol Shopping QuarterThe Mall at Cribbs CausewayPark StreetGloucester Road or Clifton Village

Feast on winter treats

Enjoy some festive tipples at the Après ski bar or fill up on hearty stodge from food stalls at Vintage Winter Wonderland in Millennium Square (open until 2 January), indulge in festive afternoon tea or try dining in the dark! 

Festive afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols, Bristol - credit Harvey Nichols
Image - Festive afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols

Go on a winter walk

Resist the urge to hibernate and go on one of our recommended winter walks around Bristol, or maybe go somewhere you’ve never been to before and explore one of the lesser-known walks around Bristol

Ashton Court Estate has red deer and fallow deer in its grounds – see if you can spot Santa’s reindeers resting up on the grounds of the Estate. 

Deer roaming in the deer park at Ashton Court Estate near Bristol in the autumn, credit Paul Box
Image - Ashton Court Estate

Try something new 

End your year with a memorable experience, whether it's a graffiti workshop or a walking tour of the historic St Nicholas Market.

Book a surfing lesson at inland surfing lake The Wave, practice your balance on a paddleboard with SUP Bristol, or learn how to dive from world-class instructors with PADI Scuba Diving.

There is also a wealth of local experiences to choose from on Yuup over the twixmas period, from massages and spa days through to chocolate workshops, rum tasting and jewellery making. 

A group of people taking part in one of the street art workshops at Graft Bristol - credit Yuup
Image - Grafitti workshop. Credit: Yuup

Chill out with a spa treatment

Unwind after the stress of 2023 with a treatment at one of Bristol’s blissful spas

Spa pool and seating
Image - Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa

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