Making #SummerInBristol plans? Get inspiration from our guide to things to do in July, featuring Pride celebrations, hot air balloons, live music and so much more.

Family Friendly | Music & Festivals | Food & DrinkTheatre & Cinema | ExhibitionsSport

Family friendly

Days out at Bristol attractions

Tick off days out at family attractions you've been waiting to revisit or enjoy for the first time. There's the brand-new Project What If experience to stoke your curiosity at We The Curious; a deluge of new sounds, smells and surprises to encounter at Brunel's SS Great Britain; and amazing aviation achievements to discover at Aerospace Bristol.

You can also learn about a sea of marine wildlife at Bristol Aquarium, or get to know the 400 species at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Head to the Zoo's sister site Wild Place Project to see even more exciting animals from around the globe. 

Giraffes at Wild Place Project

Image - Wild Place Project, credit Andre Pattenden

Play in the Bay at The Wave

The Wave is giving little ones who are too small to surf a chance to enjoy paddling, splashing and taking a dip with their new Play in the Bay sessions. Suitable for all ages, these are also great for anyone wanting to get their ‘Blue Health’ hit or build confidence in the water before diving into a beginner surf lesson.

The Wave Clubhouse from the pier

Image - The Wave, credit Matt Austen

Zog at Bristol Old Vic (24 – 31 July) 

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved Zog is a magical production for all ages. It follows the adventures of a dragon large in size, keen in nature and eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school.

Mission Possible at WWT Slimbridge

This exciting and immersive new exhibit brings to life WWT’s worldwide conservation work. Learn all about how WWT saves wetlands and the species that call them home, something which often involves making the impossible, possible! 

Fantasy Forest Festival at Sudeley Castle (16 – 18 July)

The annual Fantasy Forest Festival is back at Sudeley Castle. One for lovers of sci-fi and fantasy fiction, fantasy art, comics, Cosplay and historic re-enactment, there’s a varied programme of family-friendly entertainment and activities planned.

Actor in costume at Fantasy Forest, Sudeley Castle

Image - Fantasy Forest, Sudeley Castle

Arts and crafts workshops with RWA

The RWA is running a mix of online and in-person workshops for kids and families this month – you can make animal paper plates (3 July); do some scribbling and sketching (17 July); create your own medal (27 July) or learn to draw butterflies (28 July).

'Introducing Stencil Art' Spray Sessions with Where The Wall (Saturdays in July)

‘Get your hands on the cans’ in a street art session with Where The Wall, creating your very own artwork using water-based spray paints and laser cut stencils.

Summer holiday cooking classes at Cooking It!

Cookery class themes for young chefs in the making this July include classic beef lasagne (22 July), pasta (23 July), katsu curry (26 July) and chilli con carne (27 July).

Music and festivals

Music by candlelight at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Enjoy beautifully unique musical performances by candlelight in the exquisite gallery at Bristol Museum, including Vivaldi's Four Seasons (6 July), Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer & More (7 July), Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake & More (13 July), Chopin's Best Works (20 July) and Beethoven's Best Works (27 July).

Exterior of the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery building at night

Image - Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, credit Pyramid AV

Sounds of Sudan: Nabra + Ligeti Quartet at St George's Bristol (10 July) 

See Bristol-based oud duo Nabra and the Ligeti String Quartet – one of the UK's leading contemporary ensembles – perform together at St George’s.

Beach Boyz at Redgrave Theatre (10 July)

Take a journey back to the 1960s, across to the sunny shores of the Golden State of California, with the Beach Boyz Tribute Band.

Summer Sounds at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park (2 July – 21 August)

The Avon Valley event field is opening up for a series of gigs with an outdoor stage and spacious arena packed with festival vibes. Tribute acts taking to the stage during July include Ultimate Coldplay, Guns2Roses, Taylor Reloaded and The Fillers.

Classic Ibiza at Bowood House & Gardens (23 & 24 July) 

The Urban Soul Orchestra conducted by Stephen Hussey return to Bowood for another performance of classic Ibiza anthems under the stars, with live DJ and vocalists. 

Global Carnival: A cultural evolution with St Pauls Carnival (3 July)

While St Pauls Carnival is sadly cancelled this year, you can join its organisers and special guests from London's Notting Hill and the Caribbean islands of St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago Carnivals for a panel discussion on the evolution of Carnival. There'll also be exclusive performances from representatives of the different carnivals. 

Bristol Pride (3 – 16 July)  

While the Parade March and Pride Day events have been postponed, a programme of events for Bristol Pride is going ahead. Get involved with everything from the Queer Vision Film Festival to comedy, circus and drag events.

Bristol Pride march through the city

Valley Fest (30 July – 1 August)

Indulge in great food, boogie to bangers and lounge on the beautiful lakeside at Valley Fest. Find out more about its hedge-to-hedge sparkle in our blog post about this year’s programme.

Sequences 2021: Chase & Status at Greville Smyth Park (24 July) 

Sequences’ first day party since 2019 will be headlined by legendary drum and bass duo Chase & Status.

Food and drink

Fish and Chips Trip on board The Matthew (2, 7 & 9 July)

Head on a relaxing two-hour trip around the Floating Harbour aboard the iconic Matthew. You’ll moor up at The Pumphouse Landing part-way through for fresh fish and chips.

The Matthew in the Cumberland Basin with Clifton Suspension Bridge in the background

Image - The Matthew, credit Nick Greville

Jekka's HerbFest (2 – 4 July)

Enjoy three days of expert talks, workshops and demonstrations from Jekka (AKA the Queen of Herbs), her team and acclaimed guests. You’ll learn about cooking with herbs, the delights of eating herbs, how to grow herbs, the role of herbs in health and wellbeing and much more.

Bristol Craft Beer Festival (30 July – 1 August)

Sample a huge variety of the world’s finest beers from local breweries alongside national and international big hitters. There’ll also be local food outlets including an Asado and Popti & Beast collab and live music from the finest local DJs.

Cream Tea Cruise to Beeses with Bristol Ferry Boats (Every Thursday)

Enjoy a peaceful midweek visit to Beeses Riverside Bar for one of their delicious cream teas. Alternatively, you can join Bristol Ferry Boats for a rum cruise on 22 July, drinking rum-based drinks while they whizz you on a tour around the harbour.

Theatre and cinema

Cinema Rediscovered (28 July – 1 August) 

One for film fanatics, Cinema Rediscovered at Watershed brings together digital restorations, contemporary classics and film print rarities for a five-day long celebration of cinema.

Still from The Story of a Three-Day Pass

Image - The Story of a Three-Day Pass, screening at Cinema Rediscovered

Russell Howard at The Bristol Hippodrome (5 – 10 July)   

Catch star stand-up comedian Russell Howard at The Bristol Hippodrome, where he’s performing five days in a row as part of his world tour. Book yourself one of the last tickets before they sell out.

The Lord Chamberlain's Men perform Macbeth at Sudeley Castle & Gardens (22 July)

Let the UK's premier all-male theatre company entertain you with their production of Macbeth as it was first performed – in the open air, by an all-male cast with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.

Outdoor Cinema: The Greatest Showman at Berkeley Castle (30 July)

Watch hit musical The Greatest Showman on the big screen in the unique setting of Berkeley Castle’s grounds.

Exhibitions

Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement at M Shed (26 June – 1 October)

Explore the instrumental role of Bristol creatives in the development of British street art in this highly anticipated exhibition at M Shed.

St Paul's Carnival, 1986, credit C.Beezer

Image - St Paul's Carnival, 1986, credit C.Beezer

The Colston statue: What next? (4 June onwards)

The statue that was pulled down on 7 June 2020 during a Black Lives Matter protest is now part of a display at M Shed to start a city-wide conversation about its future. Have your say on what happened that day and what should happen next.  

Frank Bowling at Arnolfini (3 July – 26 September) 

Catch a major exhibition with pioneering painter Frank Bowling OBE RA featuring new and recent work.

Sport

Vitality Blast at Bristol County Ground

Gloucestershire County Cricket Club take on Somerset at Bristol County Ground on Thursday 1 July, before playing Middlesex on Friday 9 July.

Watch the Euros in Bristol

Find great pubs and bars showing the Euro 2020 games up until the final on Sunday 11 July.

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