While it might be famed for its bars and clubs, Bristol offers no shortage of fun for people of all ages, if you know where to look. Whether you’re in the market for a family-friendly day out or just want something which will entice the little ones long enough to sneak in some essential shopping time, we’ve got you covered.
All of the activities below are walkable from the city centre, and many of them are unique to Bristol. There should be plenty here to keep children of all ages occupied.
We The Curious
As the name suggests, We The Curious is a science centre dedicated to the big questions: What if? How? Why? It boasts a whole range of interactive activities, including a 3D planetarium, and many of them involve using your phone for an extra layer of immersion. We The Curious is on Anchor Road, 15 minutes on foot from the centre. Entry is free.
While Bristol isn’t far from the sea, it’s not exactly known for surfing. If you’re minded to give it a go, however, the Wave has got you covered. It’s an inland surfing lagoon which uses artificial waves to teach you to surf and bodyboard, or brush up on your skills if you already know how. The Wave is on the north edge of the city, 25 minutes by car.
It isn’t often an art gallery is a strong recommendation for people with kids, but Arnolfini is an exception. Sitting on the harbourside, it offers a range of interactive exhibits and group activities, all geared towards helping kids learn about art. Arnolfini is next to Queen Square, 15 minutes from the city centre on foot. Entry is free.
If you want a real suite of kid-friendly activities guaranteed to tire them out, this is the place for you. Mojo offers everything from high ropes to quad biking and climbing to zorb football. Whether you’ve got toddlers or teenagers (or both) in tow, you’ll be well catered for. Mojo Active is 20 minutes north of the centre by car.
An aquarium is always a great option for a daytime activity, especially during bad weather. Bristol Aquarium houses one of the largest ocean tanks in the UK, and is home to sharks, a giant octopus, Amazon river fish, electric eels and plenty of others. It is the only aquarium in the UK with a botanical house. Bristol Aquarium is next to Millennium Square, 15 minutes from the centre on foot.
If you’re looking to keep the momentum moving, the Bristol Treasure Island Trail is the ideal way to do so. Kids might not be interested in exploring city streets normally, but this app-based walking tour enables you to do so while following clues and learning about the city’s maritime history.