Halloween falls at the end of October half term with a barrage of bewitching events marking the occasion. But if scary shenanigans aren’t what you’re looking for, fear not – there are plenty of spook-free things to keep the kids entertained during the autumn break in Bristol too.

Family Fun | Spooktacular Events | An Autumn Outdoors | Booking A Stay

Family Fun

We've a whole city for you to explore this half term with world-class attractions and exciting activities waiting to welcome you. Deep sea dive with sharks at Bristol Aquarium, pilot Concorde at Aerospace Bristol or travel back in time at M Shed. Come face to face with a cute penguin at Bristol Zoo Gardens or a playful bear at Wild Place Project. All these adventures and more await you here...

October Half Term 2020 at Brunel's SS Great Britain

Follow the penguin trail at Brunel's SS Great Britain (Credit: Brunel's SS Great Britain)

October Half Term at Brunel’s SS Great Britain 

22 October – 1 November

This half term, p-p-p-pick up a penguin trail map and help Stanley and his friends find their eggs! Part of the attraction's activities this year as they celebrate 50 years since the ship's awe-inspiring homecoming to Bristol. 

Waddle on over to Brunel’s SS Great Britain and meet a group of penguins visiting from the Falkland Islands, where the ship lay abandoned until 1970. Stanley and his friends have come to find out more about the ship but they’ve been enjoying their visit so much that they’ve lost their eggs! Search the ship and dockyard to help reunite the penguins with their precious chicks. The trail is included in the cost of admission, please pre-book your visit

October Half Term at Aerospace Bristol

26 - 30 October

Get ready for some supersonic family fun at Aerospace Bristol. Visit on a weekday during half term and enjoy a free rocket-themed science show! Plus enjoy a tremendous time travelling trail, interactive exhibits and take to the skies in the little pilots play area. Don't forgot to come up in your best aerospace or Halloween costume and get a £2 voucher to spend in the museum shop!

Do you believe in Magic? at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery 

15 September - 28 February 2021

More suited for those in Secondary School, this exhibition was due to finish during lockdown but has been extended to give visitors a second chance to see it.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery’s major winter exhibition features over 200 fascinating objects, with artefacts carfeuly selected from the museum's collections, and stories that reveal how magic has been used to heal, hunt and harm across the world. Find out about the lives of those who practise magic, the objects that embody it and the beings that exist between the natural and the supernatural. All visits must be pre-booked.

Denzil Forrester - Itchin & Scratchin at Spike Island
Denzil Forrester at Spike Island (Credit: Spike Island)

Denzil Forrester - Itchin & Scratchin at Spike Island 

17 October 2020 - 17 January 2021

The Spike Island galleries re-open with a major solo exhibition by Truro-based painter Denzil Forrester. Itchin & Scratchin will include new and existing paintings and works on paper that capture the vibrant energy of the dimly lit dancehalls of 1980s London and the present-day open-air clubs of Jamaica. 

Treasure Island Story Walk with Show of Strength 

24 October - 1 November

Arrr me hearties! Full of pirates and buccaneers; hidden spy holes; dark secrets, dirty deeds and lashings of doubloons. Take a walk and, laced with some pretty questionable pirate jokes, hear the story of where it all began: Bristol docks. You'll also be joined by Ted, the fact checking parrot, to make sure your pirate gets the story straight.

Daily Half-Term MiniHoppers at AirHop Bristol

24 October - 1 November

Put a big smile on a little face this half term. MiniHoppers is for under 5s only; so they can jump to their heart's content in a 100% safe environment. You and your little one(s) will have access to a variety of activities within the park, available to all regardless of ability. Hop to it! 

Seasonal Squash Display at Tyntesfield
Pumpkins galore at the National Trust's Tyntesfield (Credit: Tyntesfield)

Seasonal Squash Display at Tyntesfield 

25 October - 15 November

For some wholesome, seasonal fun - head to Tyntesfield as they bring back their famed annual squash display. Their gardeners have worked extra hard through lockdown to ensure that the extensive crop of pumpkin, gourds and sqaush have been ready to harvest. 

Online Magic School with Smoke and Mirrors

26 - 29 October

It's school, but not as you know it. Learn magic with your children - live and online with Mark Bennett, a member of the Magic Circle. Mark uses multiple cameras meaning you will see the tricks from all angles; developing a full understanding of how every trick works and how it should be performed. Don't fear! All the props will be sent to you, prior to the lesson. The course is fully interactive and your sessions will be available to play back online. So you will be able to rewatch the lessons again and again before wowing friends and family.

"Introducing Stencil Art" Spray Sessions with Where The Wall

26 - 31 October

Be like Banksy and spray your own artwork(s) using laser-cut stencils and water-based spray paints at WHERE THE WALL's spray sessions. Great for all ages and abilities.

Junior Drawing School at the RWA

27 - 28 October

Feeling creative? The RWA have organised some wonderful workshops with printmaker Victoria Wilmott and artist Abigail Reed to get your young innovator inspired.

Farmyard Fun: Half Term at Somerset Rural Life Museum
Pet the rescued goats at Somerset Rural Life Museum (Credit: Somerset Rural Life Museum)

Farmyard Fun: Half Term at Somerset Rural Life Museum

28 - 31 October

Get down to Somerset Rural Life Museum this October Half Term to meet their very special guests. Rescue animals from Second Chance Petting Farm - including a donkey, sheep and goats - will be joining them for some farmyard fun. The children can also enjoy a special themed trail around the museum.

Grand re-opening of We The Curious

November

A date for your diary, Bristol's science museum We The Curious is set to re-open in November after several months of closure and a ground-floor transformation. They kick things off with their bold new experience, Project What If; the first major science centre exhibition based on the curiosity of a city. Tickets will be on sale mid-October - all tickets (including Planetarium and Members) must be booked online in advance.

Spooktacular Events

Pumpkin Patch Nights at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park
Pumpkin Patch Nights at Avon Valley (Credit: Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park)

Pumpkin Patch Nights at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park

Weekends in October and all of Half Term week

New for 2020, spice up your October nights with a trip to Avon Valley's gourd-geous Pumpkin Patch ... in the dark. Not only will you get to pick your own pumpkin, there'll be a pop up bar, firepits, street food, performers, spectacular seasonal entertainment and beautiful lighting. Get your friends and family together for a socially distanced evening of fun. 

Halloween at Bristol Aquarium

24 October - 1 November

Carve some fun into October Half Term at Bristol Aquarium! Take on their pumpkin trail, ask the Bristol Aquarium team your most frightful aquatic questions and get up close to monsters of the sea...

The Grand Halloween 2020 at The Grand Pier

24 October - 1 November

Dress up your little monsters in their scariest costumes and enjoy a day of unlimited rides, tricks and treats for the whole family at The Grand Pier. Get your hands dirty with some pumpkin carving before turning in to a true terror with face paints. 

Halloween at Wookey Hole
Caves at Wookey Hole (Credit: Wookey Hole)

Halloween at Wookey Hole 

24 October - 1 November

It’s the Witch of Wookey Hole’s favourite time of the year and she's busy brewing potions in her bubbling cauldron, stop by her grotto - if you dare! New for 2020, a ghoulish ghost train has arrived at the caves with creepy characters and eerie surprises around every corner.

Pumpkin Fest at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

24 October - 1 November

Pumpkin Fest will be returning to Noah's Ark Zoo Farm this half term and they need your help. One cheeky group of animals have been up to mischief and hidden pumpkins in the wrong places! Help find who is responsible in their Pumpkin Mystery Trail, for the chance to win a family ticket for four and an adoption.

During your visit, head up to the all new Farm Shop for seasonal goods like locally sourced honey, chutneys, cheeses and crackers. You'll also find homegrown pumpkins for you to purchase and take home. Once home, get creative and carve an animal themed design to be in with the chance of winning a family ticket for four. 

Spooktacular Halloween fun with Henry VIII & Past Times Living History at Berkeley Castle

25 - 28 October

Often, the scariest stories are those which are true and the Middle Ages were pretty ghastly!

You know the rhyme: Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived. Meet two of Henry's less fortunate wives as they mingle with visitors and tell the sorry tales of how they fell out of favour with the King. Try to avoid The Grim Executioner who'll prowl the castle with tales of gore and listen to the wise women who tell of their latest cures for pesky plagues - or are they witches?! Try your hand, or rather feet, at Tudor dancing then don your wellies and set off on a spooky adventure around the grounds, hunting down Halloween themed decorations.

Drive-In Cinema: Halloween Week at the former Bristol Airfield Filton with Adventure Cinema
Outdoor drive-in cinema will screen in Bristol this autumn (Credit: Adventure Cinema)

Drive-In Cinema: Halloween Week at the former Bristol Airfield Filton with Adventure Cinema

27 October - 1 November

A week of fun filled drive-in cinema kicks off with Pixar classic, Monsters Inc. and wraps up with Ghostbusters. Contact free and social distance friendly in the comfort of your car, this is one cinema you don't have to smuggle your own snacks in to - don't forget the popcorn!

Spooktober half-term family fun trail at American Museum & Gardens

27 October - 1 November

Wander around the Winding Way on the spooky A to Zee Halloween trail at the American Museum & Gardens, and discover a whole alphabet of scariness. Prizes to be won!

The Spooky Stage at Bristol Old Vic

29 - 31 October

As the theatre sleeps, famous faces from Bristol Old Vic’s past are awaking, and stepping out of the shadows for their annual Halloween revels. Taking inspiration from the darkest parts of the theatre's history and bringing the 254 years vividly to life, be prepared for a tour like no other. A unique chance to explore all the nooks and crannies of Bristol Old Vic, with ghoulish guests popping up around every corner to share terrifying tales of theatrical misadventure with you.

An autumn outdoors

Leigh Woods. Credit Paul Box
Family walks in Bristol (Credit: Paul Box)

Summer might already seem a distant memory, but don’t go into winter hibernation mode just yet. The leaves have started changing colour, and are crunchy underfoot, so to make the most of this colourful season - we’ve put together a guide to Bristol’s best parks for autumn leaf peeping. For more outdoorsy autumnal inspiration we have also rounded up Bristol's best autumn walks. Tried and tested favourites we know you'll enjoy. Just don't forget to wrap up! 

For those wanting more purpose to their walk, take a self-guided tour:

"A Piece Of…..Banksy!” Self-Guided Street Art Cultural Walking Tour

What could be better in these post-lockdown times than a self-guided walking tour; enabling you to explore Bristol whilst maintaining your own comfortable social-distancing? Thanks to Where The Wall, this tour allows you to uncover the story of Banksy, and over 30 years of graffiti art history with 13 audio commentaries in 13 different locations in central Bristol. The activation code enables two devices to run the app for 24 hours, so you don’t have to rush.

Bristol Hoppers brand new Best of Bristol Audio Tour: A Guide to the Old City and its Brilliant Pubs

One for just the parents this time! At your own pace, explore and learn about Bristol's Old City on foot whilst discovering fabulous, independent food and drink venues. A chance for locals to see the city from a different perspective and for visitors to learn what Bristol is all about. Friendly locals will be sure to offer tips on what to do with the rest of your trip too!

Find a family-friendly stay

The Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel
Mercure Bristol The Grand Hotel (Credit: Peter Jackson)

Whether you need a spacious family room or a breakfast big enough to cater for a growing child's appetite, 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. Bristol has a wide variety of places to stay to suit every budget and every family, from bed and breakfasts to ideally-placed hotels with adjoining rooms or serviced apartments for those wanting even more space. Always book directly with the property or via the Visit Bristol website for the best deals, remembering to check for those added extras included in the price such as free cancellation, parking, WiFi, breakfast and the standard of room.

Read More:

School Holidays in Bristol

Halloween in Bristol

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