Victorian street games, free theatre perfomances, rocketship adventures and knight school – plan a week of kid-friendly activites with these exciting ideas for things to do in May Half-Term (25 May-2 June) in Bristol.

Things to do in May Half-Term in Bristol

Play! at Brunel's SS Great Britain 

Use your beady eyes to hunt out six chess pieces hidden onboard ship, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian passengers’ life as you go. Discover how SSGB passengers made their own entertainment with Bored on Board Discovery Talks, make your own Thaumatrope (a disc with a different picture on each of its two sides) and try out traditional Victorian street games including skipping ropes, hoops and hop scotch! And don’t miss the special cricket exhibition (25 May – 21 July) which coincides with the timing of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 (for which Bristol is a host city), including a fantastic rare photo of the All England XI on their voyage (plus a special recreation of that image in LEGO®!).

May half-term bristol

Make a promise to the planet at We the Curious

This May Half-Term, We The Curious are showing visitors the positive actions everyone can take to tackle the challenges facing our planet. Join Stella the Bear on a quest to explore Earth in a Rocketship Adventure (designed for 4-6 year olds), or journey to incredible worlds in our Solar System in the UK’s only 3D planetarium, become an Air Detective and investigate what’s in the air we breathe, or watch a live science show aboard an imaginary space ship. For the full list of Half-Term activities, click here.

Learn about H2 Woah at Bristol Aquarium 

Head to Bristol Aquarium to learn about the science behind water and experience the incredible creatures who call it home, from cold freshwater species to those who like warm salty seas.

Explore with Alfie Fox at Aerospace Bristol

Get to grips with the principles of flight with hands-on activities under Concorde Alpha Foxtrot (the last Concorde to be built and fly). Help Alfie Fox on his fact-finding trail by finding the seven 'clocking-in' stations hidden throughout the museum.

Minibeast magic at Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project (30 May)

Explore the undergrowth in search of little creatures in this minibeast safari at Bristol Zoo Gardens and on The Downs. Kids (age 8-12 years) can create their own minibeast nature reserve, play minibeast charades abd fashion minibeast sock puppets. Drop off children at 10am and pick up at 3.30pm. £17.50 per child - book with the Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project, at Bristol Zoo, on 0117 9030609 or e-mail

Minibeast magic- bristol may half term

Friday Twilights at Bristol Zoo (31 May)

Expect a festival vibe at these popular after-hours events at Bristol Zoo - back for selected dates in summer. Shimmy to live music on the lawn, listen to twilight animal talks, have your face painted and listen to the lions roaring as the sun sets. If you can’t make the evening event, don’t worry – the zoo will be open as usual every day for viewing its incredible animals.

Big Bear Sculpture Trail at Wild Place (until 1 September)

Go on a bear hunt and find 20 big ones! There are 20 six foot tall, bold and beautiful hand-painted bear sculptures hidden around Wild Place Project and four mini trails to complete.

Free performances at Bristol Old Vic (27 May)

With over 30 acts taking to the historic stage, Bristol Open Stage will showcase everything from stand-up gigs, spoken word performances and acrobatics to street dance, vaudeville, clowning, original music and theatre! Free for all the family, the performances are a great way to visit the newly-refurbished Bristol Old Vic.

Bristol old vic may half-term

City Dock Tours with Bristol Packet Boat Trips 

Discover the fascinating history of Bristol’s Floating Harbour on this 45-minute tour with entertaining live commentary.

A very Victorian birthday party at Tyntesfield 

The 22 May marks the 227th birthday of William Gibbs’ - the man who founded Tyntesfield. Celebrate by following the birthday trail (25 May – 2 June) and finding out about some of his favourite things or join in a party-themed family session (27-31 May) with games, hats and a piñata! You'll be able to make your own bunting and birthday cards and take away a goodie bag. Other Half-Term activities on the Estate include family green woodworking (26 May).

Love Your Zoo at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm (25 May-1 June)

Noah’s Ark are celebrating BIAZA’s Love Your Zoo Week, which focuses on conservation, education and research with specialist talks. Pop along to snap photos of the animals - there will be a photo competition to win prizes! Budding photographers should sign up for the free photography composition workshops (30 & 31 May).

Go wild for wildlife at Cheddar Gorge & Caves 

Head down to Cheddar Gorge to meet some of nature’s most magnificent birds of prey. You’ll also be able to see a live bee hive, head out on a ramble with a Ranger, discover horseshoe bats on a twilight walk and learn from experts about all the wonderful wildlife, flora and fauna in the gorge.

Magnificent Medieval Merriment with the Company of Chivalry at Berkeley Castle (26-29 May)

Lords, ladies, gunpowder, soldiers' drills, living history, music, candle-making and cookery demonstrations with the fantastic backdrop of a beautiful medieval castle (26-27 May). School may be out, but Knights School is on! Send kids to be skilled by knights in shining armour (28-29 May) and make sure you stick around for the dramatic and action packed Warrior Show at 3.30pm each day too!

Berkeley castle - may half term

Onwards & Upwards at The Wardrobe Theatre (28 May – 1 June)

When a broken compass clatters into her workshop, Luna's world is turned upside down as she uncovers the real-life adventures of the first women to cross oceans, skies and reach the very top of the world. With their signature blend of storytelling, puppetry and beautiful live music INKBLOC Ensemble present a charming family adventure inspired by three female explorers. For ages 4-11 and their families.

Experience a working crane at M Shed (1-2 June)

Experience a working crane on Bristol’s Harbourside. Watch the impressive landmarks at work and find out the vital part they played in the working life of the dockside.

M Shed Bristol may half term

Celebrate all things rural at The Royal Bath and West Show (29 May - 1 June)

Join in the four-day celebration of great British agriculture featuring 4500 animals, off-road driving, food and drink, show jumping and the grand parade of prize-winning animals. Highlights include watching the daring antics of the Dorset Axemen, riding the miniature railway, Tractor Ted farm fun and Michael Eavis introducing live music in the Pilton tent.

Spring to life at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre (25 May – 2 June)

Experience close encounter with animal babies! Embark on a Wild Safari, hire a canoe and paddle alongside the ducklings, head off on a family fun nature trail, watch amphibians being fed and visit the duckling crèche.

Cookery classes at Cooking it! (28, 29, 30 May)

Cookery it! will be teaching kids cooking skills in their kitchen on Chandos Road from 10am-1pm.

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/Exciting things to do May half term in Bristol 2019

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