If you and your kids are struggling to think of a Father’s Day gift, why not show pops how great he is by treating him to a family day out instead. We asked some Bristol dads for their favourite ways to spend time with their children in Bristol….

Tom Dixon, Managing Director of Canopy & Stars

Tom Dixon

Image Tom Dixon with model of Crane 29 treehouse

My favourite thing is to walk from home in Montpelier, through the lanes to St Werburghs City Farm. Sometimes we visit a friend’s allotment where she grows cut flowers, but normally it’s just to see the pigs! Who doesn’t love pigs…But at the moment what the kids really want to do is go and have another look around Canopy & Stars Crane 29 by M Shed! They have become a bit obsessed with it and treehouses… And they like the bus in the M Shed too.

Where would you go for the ideal Father’s Day treat? 

Breakfast and a calming swim/sauna at The Lido would be a great start to the day.

Nathan Hyde, MD of Hyde & Co, The Milk Thistle, Bambalan, The Ox & Pata Negra

Nathan Hyde

What’s your favourite thing to do in Bristol with your kids?

My son Rudie is a fast-developing one year old, so we're still finding exciting new things to do in the city every week. His favourite at the moment is the Bristol Aquarium, where he mimics the fish by smacking his lips! He loves animals so I'm looking forward to taking him to Bristol Zoo

Where would you go for the ideal Father’s Day treat? 

Before becoming a father, my partner Vicky & I spent most Sundays enjoying fabulous roasts, Bloody Marys & Italian red wine at Rosemarino in Clifton. Now it's a much rarer occasion so that would be a lovely treat! Of course I have to mention The Ox, their roasts are pretty spectacular too. 

Luke Jerram, Bristol-based Installation Artist

Luke Jerram

Image Luke Jerram, Glass Microbiology At-Bristol, credit Brad Wakefield

I love to cycle with my kids around the docks. We stop by At-Bristol Science Centre café, sit outside and get a hot chocolate or ice cream. 

This summer I took my family for a hot air balloon ride across the city. We took off near Bath late one afternoon and flew back to Bristol. The sun was setting, so long shadows were seen stretching out from trees and buildings. It was fun to watch all the animals we flew over behave in slightly different ways. My young children enjoyed waving to everyone watching us as we flew overhead. It was a perfect flight. 

Where would you go for the ideal Father’s Day treat? 

The perfect treat would be a meal by the docks followed by a boat trip on the Tower Belle, up the river to Beese’s Tea Garden

Rob Dean, artist, musician & founder of WHERE THE WALL

Rob Dean

Image - Rob Dean and his son

I love seeking out the art and creativity in Bristol, especially exhibitions and going there with my family. To inspire the next generation is a very exciting thing, and Bristol has so much to inspire that I'm excited about the emergence of the new generation of artists from here - the Banksy v2.0s of the future! My son already has skills at 12 that surpass mine at the same age, he even edits his own videos on youTube. I love the idea that most kids who grow up in Bristol imagine all cities in the world have streets like these, where the walls are full of colour and vibrancy. It's a special place to live.

What would be your ideal Father’s Day treat? 

A treat for me would be to not have any work commitments for a day! Running WHERE THE WALL is a 7 days a week job. The Bristol Street Art Tour took about 3 years to establish and is going really well, and now we get more enquiries than ever-before, especially from school groups, with art teachers relying upon us to re-ignite the waning interest of teenagers back into art, and recently we've started making short films and documentaries about Bristol's art & creative culture. Most people don't realise that we do all our arts promotion without any external funding.

WHERETHEWALL's Summer Street Art Stencil Spray Sessions start on Thursday July 20 and run all summer on Thursdays. They are a great way to experience street art first hand and are open to all ages and abiltiies.

Tim Popple, Music Administrator & countertenor in Bristol Cathedral choir and organiser of Cannoli & Gun

Tim Popple

Image - Tim Popple with son Jacob & daughter Tegan

My son Jacob is 14 and my daughter Tegan is about to turn 12, and we’ve been going out and about in Bristol for eight years. One of our favourite places that we keep returning to is Blaise Castle. A café, an adventure playground, a museum with Victorian classroom recreation and Victorian toys, among other things, and a fantastic woodland trail to the folly itself; Blaise Castle is a location that grows with the children, and has something of interest at pretty much any age. It has fun, it has history, it has adventure. And it’s free.

Where would you go for the ideal Father’s Day treat?

I’m a big foodie, and I like to encourage my children in the same; away from the chains and towards the independent places Bristol has to offer. I could never limit myself to one place, so a day of bowling at The Lanes, burgers at Three Brothers, shakes at Rocotillo’s, and a film at the Watershed would be pretty perfect.

Toby Sawday, Managing Director of Sawday’s Special Places to Stay

Toby Sawday

Image - Toby Sawday

I love the liberation of being on a bike, the kids in the trailer behind, and seeing where we end up. I’ve discovered the joys of the ferry since having to see Bristol through my children’s eyes. It’s a simple pleasure I’d overlooked before, as is the gradual, toddler-paced amble among the morning ropes, bollards and train tracks of the old Harbourside. Since the recent Wapping Wharf gastronomic explosion, and with Spoke and Stringer on the other side, and Pump House and Underfall Yard at the Hotwells end, I’d happily spend my day pottering and eating my way around the docks.

Freddy Bird, Executive Chef of The Lido Bristol, Glassboat Restaurant and Three Brothers Burgers.

Freddy Brid

Image - Freddy Bird

My perfect Father’s Day….my children are likely to wake me up with a breakfast – some of which is edible and some which isn’t, but delightful and appreciated none-the-less! My wife will ply me with a Chase Vodka marmalade martini to get me in good spirits and then I’ll go off to walk the dog on The Downs for a little quiet… and maybe pop in for a pint at the Port of Call pub.

Then it’s back for a late roast lunch which I will always cook using a Stream Farms chicken bought from the Farmers’ Market the day before. We all sit down together and spend the rest of the day relaxing and playing in the garden. Perfect!

Jon Chamberlain, Marketing Manager Destination Bristol

Jon and kids

Image - Jon Chamberlain with his family

Father’s Day is great for me as it is like having a summer birthday (my actual birthday is in cold, dark and damp November – every year!). A walk around Brislington, where I live, to end up somewhere for a bite to eat and a drop of locally brewed ale would be great. If we end up by the river, then even better.


M Shed
M Shed
The Lido
The Lido

Bristol’s most unique spa destination, featuring a pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, spa, restaurant bar and terrace

Bristol Aquarium
Bristol Aquarium Giant Viewing Window

Spectacular aquarium in the Harbourside area that provides an amazing underwater adventure from the British coast to exotic tropical seas

Bristol Zoo Gardens
Animal Collection
Ring-tailed Lemur with baby

A visit to this city zoo is your passport for a day trip into an amazing world of animals, exhibits and other attractions

The Ox Corn Street
The Ox

The Ox is a bastion of simple, top notch, British fayre. Situated in the heart of the Old City, you’ll find a menu packed with the choicest cuts of prime steak and tasty, meaty morsels.

We The Curious
Science Centre
We The Curious Family Craft

We The Curious (formerly At-Bristol Science Centre) is a state-of-the-art visitor attraction, offering an amazing world of hands-on discovery for you, your friends and family.

Tea Trip to Beese’s Tea Gardens with Bristol Packet Boat Trips
Participatory Event
Afternoon River Cruise to Beese’s Tea Gardens with Bristol Packet Boat Trips

Visit popular riverside destination Beese's Tea Garden where you will enjoy a one hour stop for refreshments.

Bristol Ferry Boats
Bristol Ferry Boats

Explore Bristol's Harbourside by ferry, go on a trip with friends or colleagues, or simply get from A to B without worrying about traffic

Underfall Yard
Heritage/Visitor Centre
Underfall Yard

Underfall Yard – the heart of Bristol’s harbour since 1809 and the machines that powered a port.

Glassboat Brasserie
Glassboat Brasserie

Fine-dining restaurant situated on a lovingly-converted barge in the Harbourside

Three Brothers Burgers
Three Brothers Burgers

Three Brothers Burgers is the new name aboard Spyglass - Three Brothers Burgers offers a selection of burgers and dogs with craft beer, shakes, sundaes and floats.

The Downs
Municipal Park
The Downs

Consisting of Clifton Down and Durdham Down, this is a huge area of protected parkland on the edge of the city

Where the Wall's Graffiti Workshop Bristol
Art – Paintings and Drawings
Where the Wall's Graffiti Workshop Bristol

Come and spray your own street art souvenir art work and take it home

Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate
Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate

Unique mansion that houses some stunning period costumes and everyday Victorian objects, including model trains, dolls and toys

Bristol Cathedral
Bristol Cathedral

Much more than a fascinating building, being a fine example of a hall church, it is a centre of Bristol's history, civic life and culture.

The Lanes
Activity Centre
The Lanes

An American-style bowling alley with a difference, this venue also features live music, comedy, private karaoke and diner food


Enjoy a lively programme of independent film, digital media and events at this fantastic media centre in the heart of the Harbourside