May School Holiday Events

There’s plenty to do in Bristol and the surrounding area this May half term. Browse the events below and our things to do section for information on local attractions and activities. 

Get the kids away from their screens to enjoy outdoor activities, or pay a visit to our gardens and animal attractions. There are also plenty of things to do indoors on rainy days out

Need somewhere for the kids to refuel? We've pulled together a list of family-friendly places for you to choose from. Explore more school holiday deals and food and drink offers for families.   

If you're coming for a longer visit, browse the family-friendly accommodation section to help you pick the right hotel for you. 

Explore the street art scene

Discover Bristol’s Street art scene with UPFEST PRESENTS - book onto a free art workshop via Yuup, and explore the full festival programme: including live painting, talks and more. Learn more about graffiti and spray art and world-famous Banksy with Graft and Where the Wall.

Art lovers will be interested in seeing masterpiece The Hay Wain by Constable in a new exhibition at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, which explores our relationship with landscape in the present day.

Family attractions

Step onto the cargo cranes on the Bristol docks, then wander into the M Shed to find out about Bristol’s history. When you're done looking at the exhibits, take a steam train ride along the harbourside from outside M Shed towards Brunel’s SS Great Britain.

Bristol Zoo Project are hosting SpringFest activities where you can get creative while learning about conservation: join spray painting workshops, get involved with den building, seed bomb craft and more.

Find out how different cultures have tried to understand the weird and wonderful aquatic life through their myths and legends at Bristol Aquarium – at selected times you'll be able to meet a mermaid too!

Head across the harbour to meet the passengers who travelled on Brunel’s SS Great Britain, and find out how plants were transported across continents and what life was like onboard the great ocean liner.

Discover the wild and wonderful world of Meridia at Wake The Tiger - make sure to take advantage of their Spring Saver Offers by booking in advance.

Feeling competitive? Race a remote-controlled car under Concorde, or try your hand at shaping a car body at Aerospace Bristol. If you’re into cars, take a trip to Haynes Motor Museum to for their ‘Big Toys Week’ event.

Head up to North Bristol and wander around the Blaise Estate and drop into the Blaise Museum to find out about the history of the house, grounds and more. If you’re in the city centre you can explore perfectly preserved Elizabethan manor house The Red Lodge Museum, or The Georgian House Museum.

For some creative days out, join a family crafting workshop Goldfinch Create and Play, or visit Out There Indoors in Paintworks where little ones will love the dressing up area, book corner and mini climbing walls.

Thrilling day trips

Marvel at the Moon at Wookey Hole and explore what else this fabulous family attraction has to offer, from magnificent caves and interactive exhibits to soft play, crazy golf and a brand new circus show which debuted at Glastonbury Festival last year.

Head to Brean Theme Park for the ultimate family day out! Little ones will love splashing around at the waterpark or bounding around the soft play area.

Learn about all the wonderful wildlife at Cheddar Gorge and Caves - find out how the iconic caves were formed and evolved through the power of water in a brand new, state-of-the-art exhibition. Get close up with cute animals and even dinosaurs at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, or enjoy thrilling rides, go-karts and arcade games at The Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare.

Go outdoors

Discover the tours, talks ansd trails taking place for this year's Bristol Walk Fest and North Somerset Walk Fest. From cultural walks such as Blackbeard to Banksy, St.Nicholas Market and Air Raid Shelter tour as well as walking cafes, there’s a programme full of events to explore.

For free fun in the city centre, head to the Festival of Nature ‘Wild Weekend’ from 1-2 June in Millenium Square, which will feature nature exhibitions, performances and more.

You can also take in nature at the ‘Wild flower meadow’ in Broadmead, with art workshops, nature-inspired crafts, wild flower seed bomb making and more on Saturday 25 May.

Fancy a dip? Head to The Wave and book onto their surfing, cold water swimming or body boarding sessions, or see Bristol's harbour from a new perspective on a paddleboard with SUP Bristol. Explore the city by boat with Bristol Ferry, The Matthew and Bristol Packet Boat Trips (who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year!), or at your own pace on a kayak with All Aboard Watersports. You can also join a kayaking or paddleboarding session in the countryside just outside Bristol with Mendip Activity Centre

Wander around Westonbirt Arboretum and take part in an interactive Gruffalo trail, or take a trip to WWT Slimbridge and learn what being a twitcher is all about!

Shop 'til you drop

You'll find a huge range of well-known brands as well as local makers around Bristol Shopping Quarter. Check out the Lego sets at the Lego store in Cabot Circus, then stop in to refuel at one of the many restaurants, including The Real Greek, Fridays, Pizza Express and more. 

To raise awareness for The Grand Appeals' Wallace & Gromit's Wrong Trousers Day, coming back on the 21st June - The Wrong Trousers are coming to Cabot Circus!  The Grand Appeal will be hosting a fab photo opportunity for the whole family, where you can have your photo taken "wearing" Wallace's Wrong Trousers. Come find them on Tuesday morning  (28 May) on George White Street, they'll only be appearing for a short period of time, so catch them while you can!

If you're exploring the harbourside, potter around the shops and eateries at Wapping Wharf, where you can pick up a book to keep the kids entertained from Boookhaus, fill up on pizza at Bertha's, or treat them to gelato from Swoon.

Have you got your ticket?

Watch the multi-award winning masterpiece Hamilton at Bristol Hippodrome, or join The Wardrobe Theatre for a family-friendly comedy show: Shelf: The Kids Show, or A Strange New Space - an enchanting, intergalactic space adventure for ages 4+.

Want to watch some live sport? See Gloucestershire County Cricket Club take on Essex.

Watch Jurassic Park at Mollie’s Drive-In Cinema or enjoy a screening of Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out and The Wrong Trousers at The Watershed.

Accessible activities

If you are looking for accessible activities, you can view our list of accessible things to do, or join Bristol Aquarium who are running an Even Calmer Day’ on Sunday 5 May.


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