Top 13 things to do in Bristol with kids - for free!
Bristol is the perfect city for kids and a staycation. There are plenty of activities to do for free.
Whether wood walking is your thing or you prefer to pound a pavement, take a look at out top 13 free things to do in Bristol.
1. The Bristol Harbourside
An ever changing scene - spot the sailing boats dodging the harbour ferry or the cormorants drying on a jetty. Start at the Arnofini and choose to go anti-clockwise to end up at Whapping Wharf for an ice cream and cold beer.
And while you're there, why not
2. Climb aboard The Matthew
A replica of the 15th century caravel that John Cabot sailed from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1497, it's free to climb aboard and go on upper deck. There are Guides on board too that will satiate curious minds.
3. M Shed
Just opposite The Matthew is a museum all about Bristol. With a number of interactive displays including a real double decker bus, people of all ages can spend a good day here, especially if it's raining.
4. The Downs
A huge expanse of space to run-walk-scoot - with fab views of the Avon Gorge. If it's windy this is the best kite-flying spot in town.
Across the Gorge on the other side of Clifton Suspension Bridge you can see:
5. Leigh Woods -
Leigh Woods with the free roaming cattle, bivouacs and swings suspended in the trees, take a picnic and see if you don't get lost trying to find Paradise Bottom.
If you're into mountain biking there are plenty of trails that cater for all abilities. Start in the main car park to see the maps.
Especially good in April when the Bluebells are a plenty and there is an abundance wild garlic to forage.
6. Ashton Court
Also the other side of the Clifton Suspension Bridge this is a fab place to picnic. spot the deer, get lost in the woods - and also has plenty of bike trails to try out.
It's the home to the International Balloon Festival which we think is good to watch back on the Clifton side of the suspension bridge:
7. Watch the Balloon Fiesta from the Observatory
Early morning. Or later in the day with a bottle of bubbly. Weather dependent (the hot air balloons don't fly unless the conditions are right) this is a fab way to enjoy the balloon fiesta without the crowds.
8. Clifton Suspension Bridge
Not for the faint hearted - but worth the breathtaking view of South Bristol across to Bedminster Down. Spot the newly enhanced Ashton Gate Stadium.
9. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
We always head to the animal section upstairs - but it's tricky to coax the smallest of our gang past the fab play area in the central hall. Find the Banksy additions. A gem on a rainy day.
10. Blaise Castle
Easily the best playground in Bristol - for all ages. Huge slides, sand pits, flying foxes. PLUS the folly is worth a walk up to.
11. Severn Beach
Take a train and some binoculars and spend the day watching the world go by. Don't expect a beach beach- but a fascinating glimpse of a more industrial Bristol, spectacular views of the estuary and a good blast of fresh air.
Come August this is the best blackberry foraging spot in town!
12. Banksy Spotting
A good one for older kids! A brilliant way to see all that Bristol has to offer! Start at the bottom of Park Street - and then head to the Tourist Information Centre on the Harbourside for more pointers. OR get them to plan the route and create their very own Banksy Spotter's Guide.
13. Royal Fort Gardens
A personal favorite - and a quiet oasis in the heart of the city - with a treasure trove of sculptures, a mirror maze, a hill to run up and down and a pond to watch pond life. See the amazing Hollow - a modular cave like installation made with over 10000 unique tree species, which have been gathered by the artist Katie Paterson.
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What are your best Bristol Days Out? Please let us know in the comments below.
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