October half term in Bristol is chock-full of activities for families, from puppetry to circus extravaganzas, animal encounters, ghoulish fright fests, spooky trains, ghostly crafts and torchlit tours. You would be ghoulish to miss out...

Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol opens its doors on 17 October, just in time for half term! The new heritage museum and learning centre will tell the story of the South West’s world-class aerospace industry. Prepare to be blown away by the show-stopping centrepiece, Concorde Alpha Foxtrot - the last Concorde to be built and fly.

Concrode

Image - Aerospace Bristol

Art and crafts

Bristol Family Arts Festival : 1 - 31 October

A month-long citywide celebration of creativity held in some of Bristol’s most exciting venues. From a Family War Horse Puppetry Workshop (21 Oct) at Bristol Hippodrome to St George’s first interactive family concert (22 Oct), inspire youngsters throughout October with theatre, crafts, drawing, woodland adventures, storytelling, music and lots more!

Theatre

Around at Circomedia – part of Circus City Festival Bristol : 25 - 28 October

Circus City - Bristol's biennial circus festival - returns from 12-29 October to dazzle and thrill spectators. Families should look out for Race Horse Company’s new show Around  - a playful performance that follows the life of a circus troupe. This fun show features a massive banana, juggling, acrobatics, clownery and breakdancing!

Around

Image - Race Horse Company's Around

Yana and the Yeti presented by Tobacco Factory Theatres Beyond at 1532 Performing Arts Centre : 21 - 25 October

Bristol puppetry geniuses Pickled Image have teamed up with Olivier-nominated writer Hattie Naylor for their latest children’s show featuring a real-life Yeti…Expect wonderful music and amazing puppets.

St George’s Bristol

Follow the adventures of a worm named Elgar the Engima (25 Oct), told through a magical musical menagerie of sounds and songs that vary from upbeat blues to downtown jazz and classical. Or pop on over for Minibeats - Bash and Crash! Build and Create! (29 Oct), when audiences will be given the chance to join in with the music.

MiniBeats

Image - MiniBeats

Halloween-themed

Bristol Zoo's Halloween Half Term

Join Bristol Zoo for a terrifyingly good time and bargain £5 entry for kids (from 21 Oct to 5 Nov). Inspired by the Mexican 'Day of the Dead' celebration, activities include Kuki’s Haunted Trail, Spooky Storytime, a Halloween Parade, creepy creature encounters, mask making and more. Flock to the Downs for some Feathered Friends Family Fun (ages 5 – 11)  with the local RSPB and Avon Gorge and Downs education teams (21 Oct). Kids will discover what birds like to eat and make bird feeders to take home. Older children (8-12s) can meet a wild owl and then make their own out of autumnal materials (26 Oct).

Bristol zoo gardens

Image - Bristol Zoo Gardens

Halloween Spooktacular at Wild Place Project

Plenty of frightening fun awaits at Wild Place Project this half term. Join in with the Witch’s storytime, make a mess in her kitchen, seek out her cauldron for a spooky surprise and spot mysterious beasts in the magical creature enclosure. Child tickets are only £5 if you book online.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Brave souls can step on board the SS Great Britain’s Spooky Ship after-dark to encounter a sinister array of spooks spiriting around the deck, regaling visitors with their terrifying tales (28-29 Oct). The creepy characters are brought to life by Bristol Old Vic actors delivering stories inspired by the murkier side of the SS’s Great Britain’s 174-year-old history.  The Victorian fright-fest continues with Contagious conditions and woeful wounds - children can scare their parents as they are transformed into infectious crew members with prosthetics and special-effect makeovers (21 -29 Oct). And watch out for the Ragged Victorians (28-29 Oct) when fifteen unsavoury characters will be lurking on board to offer an immersive glimpse of life in 19th century Britain.

Halloween ssgn

Image - Photo by Adam Gasson, courtesy of Brunel’s ss Great Britain Trust

Deep Defence at Bristol Aquarium         

Discover what’s lurking in the deep, dark depths of the world’s oceans and the intriguing defence mechanisms developed by the creatures who live there (21 October - 5 November). To get in the Halloween mood, there’s also a family-friendly, after hours Spooky Torchlit Tour (27 Oct) or the even scarier, Terrifying Torchlit Tours for the over 15s (28 Oct).

Halloween half term at Tyntesfield       

Discover all sorts of eerie entertainment at Tyntesfield - make paper lanterns, prepare for Halloween with a pumpkin carving workshop or delve daringly into a Spooky woods adventure (24 Oct) and have a go at natural arts and crafts among the autumn leaves.

Tyntesfield pumpkins

Image - Pumpkins at Tyntesfield

Pumpkin Fest at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm   

Noah's Ark are holding their first ever Pumpkin Fest (21-28 Oct) with pumpkin decorating, pumpkin sports, seasonal treats in the café as well as animal talks and shows.

Spooktacular Halloween at Berkeley Castle : 22 - 25 October

Encounter all sorts of ghoulish delights after dark as the castle stays open until 7 every night. Slink down to the cellars to meet a creepy coven of witches and wizards, wander the grounds by torchlight to spot spooky decorations and feast on pumpkin soup at the Halloween Snack Shack. Guests can also carve their own pumpkin, bump into the ghosts of Henry VIII and his six wives (22 Oct) to find out what their lives were like in Tudor times or ogle Berkeley Castle’s Wizard and his wonderful owls (23-25 Oct).

Berkeley Castle

Image - Berkeley Castle's wizard 

Halloween Fright Fest at Puxton Park : 23 - 27 October

Half term is Creepy Critters Week at Puxton Park…Get the party startled with spooky fancy-dress discos, meet some amazing creatures including snakes, tarantulas, scorpions and lizards and crocodiles! There’s also face-painting plus all the regular rides, animals and indoor activities. 

Spooky half term trains at Avon Valley Railway : 24 - 26 October & 28-29 October

Avon Valley Steam Railway will be given a spooky makeover for half term. Travel back in time as you chug through beautiful scenery and take part in a creepy trail around the station. Children who dress up in Halloween costumes will be given free train travel!

Avon Valley Spooky half term train

Image - Avon Valley Spooky train, credit G Aldridge

American Museum in Britain

Tutankhamun's tomb was one of the most famous discoveries of the Jazz Age and had a big impact on 1920s design. Youngsters can create their own spine-chilling Egyptian-inspired crafts at the American Museum in Britain with their All Things Egypt event on 25 October. Celebrate the Mexican Day of the Dead fiesta (29 Oct) for traditional music from Mariachi Tequila - kids can make their own skull mask or model to take home.

Halloween at Blaise Castle House Museum : 25 October

Dress up in your most frightening costume and drop into the Halloween-themed family fun day at Blaise Castle House Museum. Explore their fabulous collections, encounter spooky surprises throughout the museum and get creative with wicked crafts for 3-10 year olds.  

blaise castle

Image - Blaise Castle Halloween, credit Justin Yockney

Mexican Day of the Dead at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery : 29 October

The Mexican Day of the Dead fiesta is when families gather to remember their dead. Visitors can join craft workshops and add memories of loved ones to the colourful ofrenda (shrine). There’s also face painting, music and dance.

Tiny Tea Parties Presents: Halloween Pirate Takeover on the Grand Pier : 29 October

Aha me Halloween hearties! Pint-sized pirates will be fully inducted into the party crew with pirate hats, balloon swords and a one-hour session in the Adventure Cove soft play area. There’s also a dastardly disco, party games and swashbuckling meal for all.

Witch and Wizard School at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park

Enrol your child into Avon Valley's Witch & Wizard School for lessons on potions, slime, spells and broomstick skills. Hauntingly good.

Old Down Country Park

There’s pumpkin carving & marshmallow toasting every day during half term at Old Down Country Park. Seeds from the pumpkin carving will be safely stored by their Park-keepers for next year's Halloween (go back and help plant them in June!)

Arnos Vale Cemetery

Torchlight tours for kids take place on 26 October for families brave enough to listen to scary stories and hunt clues between the graves after the sundown. Daytime Creepy Kids Tours (27 Oct) with games and a treasure hunt are on offer too, allowing smaller children to unearth the secrets of the cemetery without fearing the dark. Stomping Stories (23 Oct), which features the popular Funnybones tale, lets kids hunt the ‘bones’ and create their own skelliart. Stick around for the afternoon to create a woolly jumper monster!

Arnos Vale Cemetery

Image - Arnos Vale Cemetery

Other

We The Curious

Brains will boggle at We The Curious (formerly At-Bristol) this half term. Dazzle youngsters with autumn stargazing in the UK’s only 3D planetarium, plant green manure in the greenhouse, have a go at cheese-making, find out more about how your brain works and build your dream ball run plus tons more.

We the Curious

Image - We The Curious, credit courtenayphotographic

Watershed

Join local drag queen Alyssa Van Delle for a morning of stories and sing-alongs (21 Oct), pop along to a special spoken word event with performances by professional poets and a chance for families to create and share their own works too. Plus lots more!

Somali Family Fun Day at M Shed : 28 October

Celebrate Somali culture with craft activities from Children's Scrapstore, dressing up, create your own Somali name and more. You can also take a look at M Shed's display on Somali heritage and culture.

Bristol Shopping Quarter

12 secret locations across Bristol Shopping Quarter will be taking part in this thrilling live mystery game for adventurers of all ages (21 Oct). Piece together the trail, question real live witnesses and solve ingenious puzzles. The Galleries will also be hosting three days of free family Halloween activities from 26 October when there will be a Cursed Castle in the centre, followed by Ghostbusting workshops (27 Oct) and pumpkin carving workshops (28 Oct).

Banksy Bristol Trail

Street Art is one of Bristol’s most famous attractions and hunting it out is a fun way to discover the city’s unique creative culture. This easy-to-follow smartphone app for iPhone and Android has interactive map guides that help you easily navigate Banksy's artworks in his hometown, Bristol.

Longleat Safari Park

Enter a world of larger-than-life creepy crawlies, majestic mini beasts and fascinating insects at Longleat as 20 animatronic bugs take over the park. Time your visit for the end of the week (26-28 Oct) and end your fun-filled day with a bang (or several) when Longleat’s Fantastic Fireworks light up the sky accompanied by a boogie-tastic bug-themed soundtrack.

Longleat

Image - Longleat's Marvellous Monsters

Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show at Colston Hall : 22 October

TV astronomer and author Mark Thompson’s contagious enthusiasm for science can’t fail to excite and inspire young minds. Expect spectacles such as exploding elephant’s toothpaste and vortex-generating dustbins as he explores the extraordinary properties of matter.

Related

Aerospace Bristol
Museum
Aerospace Bristol

Journey through more than a century of fascinating aviation history – including aeroplanes, helicopters, rockets, engines and more – and step aboard the last Concorde ever to fly.

Bristol Family Arts Festival
School Holiday
Bristol Family Arts Festival

Bristol Family Arts Festival returns this October for a month long citywide celebration of creativity. Taking place at venues across the city, the programme is packed full with creative activities for all ages.

Around at Circomedia
Performance
Around at Circomedia

Around is a fun, tender show about the life of a circus troupe as they overcome hardship through collaboration and cooperation.

Yana and the Yeti at 1532 Performing Arts Centre
Performance
Yana and the Yeti at 1532 Performing Arts Centre

Bristol puppetry geniuses Pickled Image have teamed up with Olivier-nominated writer Hattie Naylor and return with their latest stunning show for children featuring, of course, a real life Yeti.

Wild Words – Elgar the Enigma at St George's Bristol
Participatory Event
Wild Words – Elgar the Enigma at St George's Bristol

Join the Wild Words team for this original and enlightening story about the upside-down adventures of a worm named Elgar, who meets a stargazing toad, an ostracised ostrich and a sagacious serpent.

MiniBeats – Bash and Crash! Build and Create! at St George's Bristol
Performance
MiniBeats – Bash and Crash! Build and Create! at St George's Bristol

To celebrate the exciting things happening outside, the MiniBeats team invite you to join inside as they BASH and CRASH their way through some magnificent music performed by the perfect percussionists Graham and Jeremy, with a little help from presenter Laura and from you, the amazing audience!

Bristol Zoo's Halloween Half Term at Bristol Zoo
Halloween
Bristol Zoo's Halloween Half Term at Bristol Zoo

Join Bristol Zoo for a frighteningly good time - with £5 entry for kids! You would be ghoulish to miss out...

Halloween Spooktacular at Wild Place Project
Halloween
Halloween Spooktacular at Wild Place Project

Are you ready for a Spooktacular Halloween at Wild Place Project this October Half-Term? From the 21st – 29th October Wild Place Project is getting supernatural!

Deep Defence at Bristol Aquarium
Family
Deep Defence at Bristol Aquarium

Come and find out whats lurking in the deep deep depths of the Ocean at Bristol Aquarium this October Half Term...

Spooky woods adventure at Tyntesfield
Participatory Event
Spooky woods adventure at Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield's woodland is feeling spooky this Hallowe'en so come and try your hand at some natural festive arts and crafts among the autumn leaves.

Pumpkin Fest at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm
Family
Pumpkin Fest at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Join Noah's Ark for their first Pumpkin Fest this autumn Half Term. Get involved with pumpkin carving, face painting and more!

Spooktacular Halloween at Berkeley Castle
Halloween
Spooktacular Halloween at Berkeley Castle

From 22nd-25th October you can enjoy Berkeley Castle after dark as it stays open for spooky activities until 7pm every night

Halloween Fright Fest at Puxton Park
Animal/Wildlife
Halloween Fright Fest at Puxton Park

Attend spooky discos, get up close to creepy crawlies and handle crocodiles at Puxton Park's Fright Fest this Halloween.

Spooky half term trains at the Avon Valley Railway
Participatory Event
Spooky half term trains at the Avon Valley Railway

Free train travel for children who visit in spooky fancy dress.

Mexican Day of the Dead at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Festival
Mexican Day of the Dead at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Join Bristol Museum & Art Gallery for their annual Day of the Dead celebrations – the Mexican festival where families gather to remember their dead.

Family Fun: Museums Week- All Things Egypt!
Crafts
Family Fun: Museums Week- All Things Egypt!

October 25, 2017 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Halloween at Blaise Castle House Museum
Halloween
Halloween at Blaise Castle House Museum

Drop into the Halloween-themed family fun day at Blaise Castle House Museum to explore their fabulous collections and exhibitions through creative and hands-on activities for the whole family.

Witch & Wizard School at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park
Participatory Event
Witch & Wizard School at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park

Enrol your child into Avon Valley's Witch & Wizard School this half term… Headmistress Broomhilda will be waiting to greet them into the 2017 term.

Half Term Halloween Events at Old Down Country Park
Participatory Event
Half Term Halloween Events at Old Down Country Park

Pumpkin carving & Marshmallow Toasting every day during the October half term at Old Down Country Park.

Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust
Cemetery/Mausoleum
Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust

Step into a secret world and discover 45 green acres where the history of Bristol is told in a leafy and tranquil setting.

We The Curious
Science Centre
We The Curious

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.

Watershed
Cinema
Watershed

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

Somali Family Fun Day at M Shed
Participatory Event
Somali Family Fun Day at M Shed

Celebrate Somali culture at this fun family day for everyone.

Marvellous Monsters at Longleat Safari Park - October Half Term
Participatory Event
Marvellous Monsters at Longleat Safari Park - October Half Term

Looking for an unbelievable day out? Look no further! From the 8th April Longleat is welcoming some mind-boggling new residents to Longleat as over 20 larger-than-life animatronic bugs take over the park.

Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show at Colston Hall
Performance
Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show at Colston Hall

TV astronomer and author Mark Thompson has been enthralling audiences for over 20 years with his fascinating journeys around the Universe. Now he is turning his infectious enthusiasm to things a little closer to home with this brand new show.