Beware me babber! Halloween falls right in the middle of half-term for lots of children this year and so, many Bristol attractions are putting on a special spookfest! For more frightening fun than you can waggle a broomstick at, check out our Halloween in Bristol blog for a bewitching selection of events.

If scary shenanigans aren’t what you’re looking for, fear not, there’s plenty of things to keep your offspring entertained this October half-term.

Venture into outer space at We The Curious

Packed full of thrilling interactive exhibits, We The Curious has all sorts of ingenious events and activities to fire your curiosity. Blast off on an incredible, immersive space adventure and explore the Solar System in the UK’s only 3D Planetarium. Become an animator for the day in Aardman’s exclusive exhibition, walk through a tornado, create a human-sized bubble or join in the citizen science revolution and take part in real life scientific research with a range of hands-on activities (until 31 October).

October half term activities bristol 2018

Image - We The Curious

Step on board Concorde at Aerospace Bristol

Be whisked away on an incredible journey through more than a century of aviation. Get to grips with the principles of flight through hands-on activities, discover helicopters, missiles, satellites, engines, help Alfie Fox on his fact-finding trail and step aboard Concorde Alpha Foxtrot - the last Concorde to be built and fly.

How to spend october half-term in bristol

Image - Aerospace Bristol

Autumnal antics with Bristol Zoo

  • Set in 12 acres of beautiful gardens, Bristol Zoo is home to over 400 species. Be wowed by gorillas pacing above your head in a 180 degree view gorilla house, brave the dark in the nocturnal animals’ enclosure or get up close to penguins and seals.
  • Kids aged 8-12 years old can get arty with Bristol Zoo on the Downs on 1 November using seeds, leaves and berries to create some colourful autumn pictures. In the afternoon they’ll be tasked with making a magical autumnal leaf lantern to take home.
  • Throughout half-term Bristol Zoo Gardens will be hosting spooktacular Halloween Festivals packed with animal encounters, spooky trails, and creepy crafts. See our Halloween blog or their website for more information.

October half-term activities in bristol 2018

Image - Bristol Zoo Gardens 'Autumnal antics'

Animal encounters at Wild Place Project

  • Wild Place in South Gloucestershire has some sneaky Halloween activities up its sleeve involving wolves this half-term…Whether or not you’re visiting for the spooky stuff, you’ll find acres of space to run around in, exotic animals and themed habitats to explore. Spot cheetahs in the undergrowth, keep your eyes peeled for wolves in the woodland and look down on giraffes from above. Adrenalin-seekers can try the Leap of Faith for an exhilarating end to the day.
  • For exclusive after-hours encounters with the animals, and fireside marshmallow toasting, book a stay at Wild Place’s Camp Baboon, an exciting safari-style glamping adventure that offers the chance to stay overnight in luxury cabins, twilight tours and the chance to learn bush craft skills as well as entry into Wild Place Project and Bristol Zoo Gardens.

October half-term activities in bristol 2018

Image - Camp Baboon, Wild Place Project

Step back in time at Brunel's SS Great Britain

Experience life as a Victorian sailor and climb the rigging in 'Go Aloft!' on the Weather Deck before venturing out on the main mast for a stupendous view over the Harbourside. Heights not your thing? Enjoy a more restful visit exploring the sights and smells of life on the ship, go below the ‘waterline’ to examine the giant propeller and pop into Being Brunel for an interactive exploration of the life and legacy of the ship’s extraordinary designer.

The Victorian fright-fest continues with Grizzly cuts and gruesome scars (11am-4pm 27 Oct-4 November). Kids can earn a Certficate of Bravery and scare their friends with seaworthy injuries from professional special effects makeup artists. Grown ups can also learn more about the real illnesses and injuries experienced by passengers on board.

Bring Brunel

Image - Being Brunel, Brunel's SS Great Britain

Discover what lives beneath the seas at Bristol Aquarium

Embark on an undersea safari and meet tropical marine and freshwater creatures from around the globe at Bristol Aquarium. Go a fascinating journey from the British coast to the spectacular underwater gardens of the Mediterranean and warmer tropical waters to discover mangroves, giant rock pools, Amazon rainforest pools and a South American fishing village. Scare-seekers can dare to take a Scary Claws and Spooky Tours at Bristol Aquarium (20 October – 4 November) to learn about horrific animal defences, feed a shoal of giant vegetarian piranhas and find out what’s lurking in the deep, dark depths of the Earth’s oceans.

October half-term activities in bristol 2018

Image - Bristol Aquarium

Discover something new at Bristol Museums and galleries

  • Roll up, roll up for an egg-citing eggs-hibition dedicated to the wonderful world of clowning at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. Find out what makes a great clown and step into their oversized shoes, be wowed by the colourful costumes and enter a surreal and interactive realm of light, colour, mirrors and clown cars!
  • For a special night at the museum, enter Bristol Museum after-hours and be drawn into the magic of Disney classic Dumbo (2 Nov) in the incredible setting of the main hall with enchanting live performers.
  • Be inspired by 100 captivating images of the natural world at the world-famous exhibition, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - showing at M Shed from 20 October until 24 February.
  • For an insight into the city’s history, peek inside The Georgian House Museum to discover what a Bristol sugar plantation and slave owner’s home would have looked life around 1790.
  • See what people wore, how they were schooled, the toys they played with and how they managed their household chores at 19th century Blaise Castle House Museum. Dress up as characters from the olden days or head outside for buckets of fresh air in the gorgeous grounds and children’s play area.
  • Enter the TARDIS that is Red Lodge Museum for a look into Bristol’s Tudor past or check out what’s on at Bristol's small museums for even more historical activities.
  • Drop in at the RWA for a free morning of fun, informal drawing activities (20 October and 3 November). Often inspired by the current exhibitions, these sessions are designed for kids and grown-ups to participate in and get creative together.

October half-term activities in bristol 2018

Image - Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, credit John Seaman

Woodland activities at Arnos Vale Cemetery

  • Arnos Vale Cemetery has got October sorted with oodles of kid-focused events. Being one of the most atmospheric places in the city for the spookiest time of year, their Halloween line-up includes everything from a Room on the Broom Stomping Story (1 Nov) to a Creepy Kids Tour (2 Nov). They will also be hosting autumn-themed outdoor activities (30 October) where youngsters can make potions and wands, splash about in the puddles, dig in the mud, create with natural materials and make lots of things to take home at Forest School. Most suitable for 3-7 year olds.
  • Or Become a super sleuth (2 November) with ex-police detective Jenny Williams, who will be training up another team of 8-12 year olds in crime scene investigation! Kids get to keep their CSI suit at the end as well as some new detective skills. £15 a head + booking fee.

October half-term activities in bristol 2018

Image - Arnos Vale Cemetery

Head out of the city to find wildlife at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is home to big zoo animals, including tigers, African elephants, white rhinos and farm animals. Its most recent addition is 26-year-old bull elephant Shaka, who joins two younger bulls in the 20-acre 'Elephant Eden' to form the UK’s first African Elephant bull facility. In addition to outdoor play areas, there’s also a huge soft play area and thrilling slides, making it a great day out whatever the weather's doing. From 20 October - 3 November, Noah's Ark will be hosting Pete Blake's Venomous Snake Shows and Pumpkin Fest at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm (20 October-3 November) featuring some of the world’s deadliest snakes, spiders and scorpions. The Pumpkin Fest will also be in full swing with pumpkin decorating, pumpkin sports and café treats.

Master the art of wizarding and witching at Avon Valley Wildlife & Adventure Park

Enrol your child (3-9yrs) into Avon Valley's Witch & Wizard School for lessons on potions, slime, spells and broomstick skills (27 Oct - 4 Nov)! Wizards and witches will receive a broom-flying license and certificates at a graduation ceremony. They'll also get to go home with a hat, broomstick and sticker workbook. Tickets include free pumpkin carving and other spooky activities across the park. Pick up your free pumpkin (included in every Adventurer's Pass - £7) from The Pumpkin Patch, follow the Monster Trail and find out what's waiting for you behind Trick or Treat Doors as well as lots more hauntingly good fun...

Witches and wizard school avon valley adventure park - October half-term activities Bristol

Image - Witch and Wizard School, Avon Valley Wildlife and Adventure Park

Jump for the skies at AirHop Bristol

For a rainy day way of entertaining and wearing out the kids try AirHop near The Mall at Cribs Causeway. Boingers can leap like a superhuman in the Basketball Slam Dunk Lanes, bounce over wall-to-wall interconnected trampolines in the freejump zone, test their skills with a game of trampoline Dodgeball and try a few tricks with a soft foam pit landing.

Airhop - october half term activities in bristol 2018

Image - AirHop

See a show!

  • As usual, this half-term young visitors to Bristol are totally spoilt for choice in the theatre stakes. Go along to Adventure Bureau at The Wardrobe Theatre (21 October) with your biggest (and smallest) ideas to help Katie and Simon weave a totally improvised story complete with improvised soundtrack and songs.
  • Calling all intergalactic little humans aged 3-10 and their families! Strap yourselves in for a sci-fi, super hero, hip-hop, audio-video intergalactic interactive cosmic adventure –Return to the Unknown: Lo Fi Funky Space Quest at The Wardrobe Theatre (29 October -3 November) - the brainchild of Babyhead front man Tom Quarelle and world-famous DJ Cheeba.

Look out for GIANT Bugamatronic Bionic Bugs at WWT Slimbridge 

Hunt for giant animatronic bugs and find out fascinating facts about the minibeasts that inhabit our wetland world at WWT Slimbridge (6 October - 4 November). Meet a 6ft long dragonfly, a humongous buzzing bee, and a gigantic grasshopper among others on WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre’s new trail, brought to life with state-of-the-art animatronics and sound effects. There will also be a range of exciting daily bug-themed goings-on including minibeast hunts, pond dipping, bug storytelling, plus the chance to make your own mini bug house.

Bionic bee - october half-term activities in bristol 2018

Image - Bionic Bee, WWT Slimbridge

Marvel at the magical colours of Westonbirt Arboretum

The end of October is the best time for leaf-peeping at Westonbirt Arboretum when their glorious collection of trees is at its most magical with leaves of blazing red, bright yellow, burnished amber and copper shades. Hunt acorns, fashion leaf crowns or get a stunning birds-eye view of the woodland from the suspended tree top walkway.

Westonbirt Arboretum - October half-term activies in bristol 2018

Image - Westonbirt Arboretum

Visit the Impossible Garden of Possibility 

Explore University of Bristol Botanic Garden to discover a unique set of 12 new experimental sculptures by Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram. The exhibition aims to enhance our understanding of vision and stimulate debate about how visual impairments can affect our perception of the world around us (until 25 Nov).

Decorate an autumn willow crown at Tyntesfield 

Tyntesfield’s gardens and woodland are full of colour at this time of year and there is a plentiful supply of fallen leaves to make the perfect willow head gear. Pick up your crown from the Ticket Office then follow your map to find decoration stations across the estate where you can fill your crown with colourful fallen leaves and flowers from the Tyntesfield grounds. In October, there’s also lots of seasonal activities going on in the Estate - youngsters will love solving the terrifying Tyntesfield mystery, pumpkin painting, or taking part in some spooky Halloween games.

Tyntesfield - october half-term activities 2018

Image - Tyntesfield autumn colour, credit Chris Watts

Enjoy animals and fresh air at Old Down Country Park (29 October-2 November)

Wrap up warm and head out to South Gloucestershire to enjoy the farm animals and adventure parks of Old Down. Zoom on the Zip wire or ping yourself in the air on the Jumping Pillow, wander through the Victorian Walled Garden, have a gander inside the Yurt or just enjoy the grounds. During half-term, there'll be a special screening of the Disney Pixar Film COCO as well as pumpkin carving, Halloween crafts and more! Over 14s can test their mettle on the Scarefest Terror Trail (29-31 October) - led by a ghastly guide, you'll head off on a terrifying wander in the woods through who-knows-what with who-knows-whom to who-knows-where...

Celebrate the Great British Autumn at Longleat 

Celebrate the autumn season by cheering on racing ferrets, press your own apple juice and listen to live banjo music. Watch in awe as woodland creatures are sculpted with a chainsaw before your eyes before seeking out bountiful pumpkins and ending the day with some fantastic fireworks (20 October - 4 November).

Brave souls over the age of nine can take a ghostly tour of Longleat House and hear haunting tales while exploring creepy corridors in search of ghoulish residents.

October half-term activities in bristol 2018

Image - Longleat House

Get up close to animals at Cattle Country Adventure Park

Half an hour north of central Bristol you’ll find this family adventure park with giant slides, soft play, a willow maze, adventure castle, boating lake and animal experience centre. From 13 October - 2 November, there'll be all sorts of spooktastic Halloween activities including scary tractor and trailer rides, Hansel & Gretel’s spooky wood, a Scarecrow Trail, pumpkin carving and marshmallow toasting.

October half-term activities 2018

Image - Cattle Country

Find a family-friendly stay

Whether you need a spacious family room or a breakfast buffet big enough to cater to everyone's tastes, you'll be able to find the ideal accommodation in Bristol. Here's some ideas for places to stay and don't forget to check out these great special offers on family breaks.