From sword-fighting at a 12th-century castle to a pirate-inspired jaunt around Bristol, we’ve got oodles of inspiration for this May half term. Escape the Everyday and kick off a fun-filled #SummerInBristol with these family-friendly events and things to do.

Remember to book in advance and check directly with businesses for latest reopening updates.

Enjoy Bristol attractions once again

With many of Bristol's top family-friendly attractions now open again, make sure you fit in a visit to some of them this half term. See the new Project What If exhibition at science museum We The Curious or explore Brunel’s SS Great Britain where there are more sounds, smells and surprises than ever before.

There are more feats of engineering to behold at Aerospace Bristol, while a world of wildlife awaits at Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project.

Brunel's SS Great Britain on Bristol Harbourside

Image - Brunel's SS Great Britain

See the baby animals at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Get ready for lots of aww-ing and ooh-ing over the new arrivals at Bristol Zoo. These include two western lowland gorillas, a sloth and a tiny mouse deer – just a small selection of the 400 species from around the world living at the zoo.

While you’re there, you can also run around the adventure playground, climb the high ropes course ZooRopia, rediscover Bug World, the Aquarium, and Seal & Penguin Coasts, and eat-in or takeaway at The Hide restaurant.

Baby western lowland gorilla Hasani at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Image - Hasani the baby gorilla at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Get crafty at The New Room's Half Term Creation Station

Book a slot at The New Room’s Creation Station and get crafting with free activity packs and a chance to add to their Emerging Hope display of butterflies.

Spend a day at Berkeley Castle

Find out about The Women of Berkeley Castle through their new exhibition running from 1 June to 30 June. It shines a light on the fascinating ladies connected to the castle and their stories of imprisonment, patronage, heartbreak and scandal.

There are also Medieval activities to have a go at – sharpen up your sword-fighting skills on 30 and 31 May, or try your hand at archery on 1 and 2 June.

Aerial view of Berkeley Castle

Image - Berkeley Castle

Spot the Elephant Family at Sudeley Castle & Gardens

30 life-sized elephant sculptures have landed in Sudeley Castle’s picturesque gardens. These gentle giants are there as part of CoExistence, an environmental art campaign highlighting the loss of biodiversity caused as humans encroach on wild spaces across the globe. Book a visit before 31 May when they move on to their next home. 

Elephant sculpture at Sudeley Castle

Image - Sudeley Castle

Bounce around AirHop Bristol

AirHop invite you to #JumpIntoHappy at their family-friendly trampoline park, where there are 140 interconnected trampolines as well as an obstacle course, AR trampolines, dodgeball, battle beams and more. Kids aged 6 months to 6 years can join in with the MiniHopper Takeovers – check upcoming times on the AirHop website.

Board the Brick Express at Avon Valley Railway

Avon Valley Railway's Brick Express makes a return on the 5 and 6 June. Kids are given a box of bricks to get creative with and see what they can make during the train journey, with the latest creations from local Lego user group 'GertLUG' on hand for inspiration. 

Railway worker Lego people

Image - Avon Valley Railway

Discover a Giant Top Trump Trail at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Can you guess who are the fastest, smelliest and rarest animals in the zoo? Find out by following the Top Trumps trail and start collecting the limited edition cards which are being released throughout the year. 

Set off on the Nature Explorers Trail at Bowood House & Gardens

Enjoy the Nature Explorers Trail, Adventure Playground, Outdoor Den (with den building and tractor rides) plus acres of space to run around at Bowood House and Gardens this half term. 

Follow the Treasure Island Story Walk with Show of Strength

Ooh arr, me hearties – discover Bristol’s Treasure Island connections as well as stories from the city’s real pirate past with the Show of Strength Theatre Company. These story walks will take place twice a day at 2pm and 4pm between Saturday 29 May and Sunday 6 June.

Show of strength theatre company

Image - Show of Strength Theatre Company Treasure Island story walk, credit Zuleika Henry

Take a guided tour of the city

As well as pirates, walking tours you can join in half term cover themes like street art, local history, Bristol legends and more. Or you can give your feet a rest and let Bristol Ferry Boats or Bristol Packet Boat Trips whizz you around on a waterborne tour.

Get your game face on

Go on an adventure around the city with Treasure Hunt Bristol, solving clues and following maps via your phone with some sightseeing and Bristol trivia along the way. You can also test out your detective skills with the Sherlock: The Official Outdoor Game, which takes your around the city cracking clues, conundrums and codes.

Join Jekka's for a Herbetum Open Day

Explore over 400 culinary and medicinal herbs, add to your own herb collection and pick the brains of the incredibly knowledgeable Jekka's team at their next two open days on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 June. Booking is essential. 

Jekka's herb farm

Image - Jekka's Herb Farm

Sign the kids up for Cooking It! classes

Some of the dishes and bakes kids can learn to make at this Chandos Road cookery school during half term include popcorn layer cake, brownie layer cake with cookie dough frosting and curry with other Indian delicacies. Yum!

Follow the 'Love Songs To The City' trail in the city centre

Have you spotted the pink love lyrics brightening up Bristol’s city centre streets yet? Part of the #LoveBristol campaign, there are 20 lyrics from the likes of The Beatles, Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder to discover this summer. Find out where to see them all along with heaps of ideas for things to do along the way in our guide to the trail.

Part of a 'Love Songs To The City' banner in Bristol

Image - Love Songs To The City, credit Paul Box

Explore Funderworld Theme Park

The UK’s largest travelling theme park is back at a new location, Hengrove Park, between Tuesday 1 and Sunday 6 June. Go for a whirl on over 25 rides and attractions including three rollercoasters, and make your way around a host of game and food stalls.

Make the most of Bristol Walk Fest's final weekend

Ending on 31 May, there are just a few days left to join in with Bristol Walk Fest’s line-up of walks and walking-related activities around the city. Check out our blog post on how to get involved with this year’s event for all the details.

Join in with the Festival of Nature

The UK's largest free celebration of nature kicks off at the end of half term, running from 5 June to 12 June. Get involved with a multitude of virtual and in-person events and the launch of Festival of Nature TV and podcasts.

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