Spooktacular activities for half-term and Halloween, fantastic film events, stellar theatre productions and a brand new wellbeing festival are all happening in Bristol this month. We've listed some of the fun things to do in October...

  • Things to do in For aviation fans 

Space Week at Aerospace Bristol (4 - 10 October)

Venture into space and discover how the Hubble Telescope uncovered monster black holes and billions of galaxies, with space inspired Spotlight Talks at Aerospace Bristol. Afterwards, explore helicopters, missiles, satellites, and engines from over a century of aviation before stepping on board Concorde Alpha Foxtrot - the last Concorde to be built and fly.

Aerospace Bristol - 11 fun things to do in Bristol in October 2018

Image - Aerospace Bristol

  • For October half-term

Halloween falls right in the middle of half-term for lots of children this year and lots of Bristol attractions are putting on a special spookfest! Check out our Halloween in Bristol blog for a bewitching selection of events. If spine-tingling shenanigans aren’t what you’re after, don’t worry, there’s tons of stuff to keep youngsters entertained this October half-term – check out our blog for a chock-full list of activities.

We The Curious - 11 fun things to do in Bristol in October 2018

Image - We The Curious, credit Tom Griffiths

Bristol’s got more eerie entertainment planned this Halloween than you can waggle a broomstick at, from a Victorian fright-fest on board Brunel’s Spooky Ship, Halloween mystery trails at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project to jack o’lanterns, wizards, witches, and pumpkin soup at Berkeley Castle, take a look at this frighteningly long list of spook-tacular fun.

Bristol Zoo Gardens - 11 Fun things to do in Bristol in October 2018

Image - Bristol Zoo Gardens

  • For film buffs

Be wowed by wildlife film-making at Wildscreen Festival (15 -19 October)

Wildscreen is the world's leading international festival celebrating and rewarding excellence in storytelling about the natural world. Go along to hear from influential people in the industry – this year’s line-up includes composer Hans Zimmer, Global President of Animal Planet, Susanna Dinnage and filmmaker/photographer Adrian Steirn.

Scare yourself silly at Bristol Film Festival (18 October – 30 December)

Bristol Film Festival ingeniously matches movies with iconic Bristol settings to heighten your film-watching experience. Freak yourself out in front of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, ‘Aliens’ (27 October) or ‘The Fly’ (28 October) among other scary movies in the suitably eerie subterranean tunnels of Redcliffe Caves as part of their ‘Horror In The Cave’ series. Or enjoy gothic classic ‘Interview with the Vampire’ (27 Oct) in Avery’s Wine Cellars wines while sipping French and American wines (in keeping with the film’s locations). A suitably spooky build-up to All Hallow’s Eve.

Wildscreen Festival 2018 trailer

  • For culture vultures

Celebrate Black History Month (1 - 31 October)

Dip into a month-long celebration of the culture, history and achievement of Britain’s African and Caribbean communities. The University of Bristol Students’ Union are running a number of events – for the full events line-up see here or check out what else is happening around the city – from music to Halloween parties, comedy to performance - in celebration of Black History Month throughout October.

Be enlightened at Bristol Festival of Literature (19 - 29 October)

Bristol Festival of Literature returns to the city for ten days of live performances, workshops and discussions. Now in its eighth year, the festival brings together writers and performers from across Bristol for a unique collection of inspiring events. Hear writers share their tales in unexpected places, improve your own writing and visit a one-day science fiction and fantasy convention organized by the BristolCon Foundation, plus lots more!

Be inspired by Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 at M Shed (20 October - 24 February 2019)

Go along to M Shed to be blown away by 100 spectacular images of the natural world at this acclaimed wildlife photography exhibition from the Natural History Museum. From animal portraits and dramatic landscapes, to weird and wonderful species and threatened habitats, you can’t fail to be moved by the magnificent photographs on display.

Enjoy pianistic encounters at Bristol Keyboard Festival, St George's Bristol (30 October - 7 November)

Celebrate St George’s recent multi-million pound transformation at the week-long Bristol Keyboard Festival – the first festival of its kind in the UK. Kicking off on 30 October with a jam-packed programme of piano, synths and harpsichord, enjoy pianistic encounters from the traditional to the adventurous. Look out for Norwegian jazz supremo Tord Gustavsen, the ever-engaging James Rhodes, David Owen Norris playing Mozart on a fortepiano once owned by Florence Nightingale and lots more.

Redcliffe Caves, Bristol Literature Festival - 11 fun things to do in Bristol in October

Image - 'Crime in the Caves', Redcliffe Caves, Bristol Literature Festival

  • For theatre-lovers

Bristol Hippodrome presents Saturday Night Fever (2-6 October), as well as Madagascar (9-13 October) and smash hit musical Jersey Boys (30 October -17 November). Bristol Old Vic with its spandangly new refurb now open to the public has Twelfth Night (17 Oct- 10 Nov), and Windrush – Movement of the Peoplea dance piece choreographed to uplifting calypso, jazz, blues and ska music that celebrates the 70th anniversary of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush (9 and 10 October).

Bristol Hippodrome Madagascar - 11 fun things to do in Bristol in October

Image - Bristol Hippodrome, Madagascar the Musical

  • For festival fiends

Move, connect, eat and explore at Wild & Well Festival (20 - 21 October)

Taking place in Bristol for the first time this October (20-21), Wild & Well is a brand new wellbeing festival based around four themes – Move, Connect, Eat and Explore. The programme features all sorts of classes and events designed to help you get outdoors and active. Choose from a vast list of activities, including Silent Disco Woodland Workouts, SUP Paddle Boarding on the river, mountain biking around Ashton Court Estate, SPIINBOX – a unique spinning studio with classes set to headline DJs - at Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Wild Caveman Cooking and even Aerial Yoga from the M Shed cranes!

Woodland Tribe - WIld & Well Festival, 11 fun things to do in Bristol October 2018

Image - Woodland Tribe, Wild & Well Festival

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Space Week at Aerospace Bristol
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Space Week at Aerospace Bristol

Venture into space and discover how the Hubble Telescope uncovered monster black holes and billions of galaxies, with our space inspired Spotlight Talks.

Wildscreen Festival
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Wildscreen Festival

The world's leading international festival celebrating and advancing storytelling about the natural world

Bristol Film Festival: Donnie Darko at Redcliffe Caves
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Bristol Film Festival: Donnie Darko at Redcliffe Caves

The Underground Cinema series continues into Saturday evening with Donnie Darko, one of the 21st Century's true cult sensations.

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Bristol Festival of Literature (Unputdownable)

A celebration of the creative word held each year in Bristol, England. It is organised by an independent voluntary and community group.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 at M Shed
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Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 at M Shed

The acclaimed wildlife photography exhibition from the Natural History Museum is back at M Shed with 100 stunning images.

Bristol Keyboard Festival at St George's Bristol
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Bristol Keyboard Festival at St George's Bristol

Pianos - and keyboards of all shapes and sizes - have been at the heart of St George's from the very start, joining the dots in a programme that roams across endless styles and ages of music.

Saturday Night Fever at Bristol Hippodrome
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The Cast of Saturday Night Fever - UK Tour (c) Pamela Raith Photography

Whilst paying homage to the 1977 John Travolta classic, this all new stage version promises more drama, more music and is bound to have you dancing in the aisles.

Madagascar – A Musical Adventure at Bristol Hippodrome
Musicals
Madagascar Cast - Photo Credit Scott Rylander

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Jersey Boys at Bristol Hippodrome
Musicals
Jersey Boys at Bristol Hippodrome

The internationally acclaimed stage sensation, Jersey Boys is working its way back to round the UK!

Twelfth Night at Bristol Old Vic
Theatre
Twelfth Night at Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh are delighted to announce that the first co-production between the two award-winning theatres will be Shakespeare’s hilarious and heart-breaking Twelfth Night.

Windrush: Movement of the People at Bristol Old Vic
Theatre
Windrush: Movement of the People at Bristol Old Vic

Shining a light on an important era of British history, Phoenix Dance Theatre present a thrilling new dance piece celebrating the 70th anniversary of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush that brought the first Caribbean migrants to the UK.

Wild & Well Festival
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Wild & Well Festival

Wild & Well is a brand-new well-being festival based around four themes – Move, Eat, Connect and Explore.