As the gateway to the south west of England, you have the world at your feetWhat to do in Bristol with kids.
With many country estates, farms and zoos, it's easy to find outdoor activities here, but there are plenty of indoor activities for a rainy day, including museums and indoor playgrounds.
Below, we've rounded up our favorite activities for kids in Bristol - indoors and outdoors, paid and free entry, an hour-long excursion or a full day.
Let us know if we missed yours.Best kids day out in Bristol!
- Fun things to do in Bristol with kids
- we the curious
- SS Great Britain
- Keynsham leisure center
- Leigh Woods
- Air Hop Bristol
- Windmill Hill City Farm
- Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
- Ashton Court Estate
- Zoofarm Arca Noah
- Blaise Castle Estate
- Wild Place Project
- Bristol Zoo
Fun things to do in Bristol with kids
we the curious
Located in Bristol Harbour, We The Curious is an interactive science and art museum that young children, older children and even adults will love. They describe themselves as “an indoor festival” hosting many different experiences and exhibitions.
Things to explore here across two floors include the Open City Lab where you can meet scientists and participate in their experiments, The Box art gallery, a hands-on kitchen and greenhouse dedicated to food science, filming and drawing your own animations , Britain's first 3D planetarium, in-studio storytelling and lots of talks, activities and workshops throughout the day.
Children under 2 years old are admitted free, while tickets are quite cheap. If you want, you will have to buy an additional ticket to the planetarium, although they are cheap. If you live nearby, it's worth taking advantage of the subscription to save a lot.
A popular family destination, the Bristol Aquarium is right in the heart of the city, next door to We The Curious.
is the onlyaquarium in ukA huge botanical house is also located here, so not only can you experience all the delights of the underwater world, but you can also explore the hundreds of species of plants and trees that were brought here from all over the world. There are also many other exhibits to enjoy including Sunken Ship, Bay of Rays, Urban Jungle, Mighty Amazon, Coral Seas and the popular Underwater Tunnel.
Children up to 3 years old have free admission and there are also several offers and discounts for families. Keep an eye out for their regular events and daily talks to make the most of your visit.
SS Great Britain
Also based in Bristol Harbour, the SS Great Britain is a fantastic museum ship that is very immersive and interactive for children and adults alike.
This ship, once the largest passenger ship in the world, was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Bristol - New York route. Perfectly preserved, you can now explore and experience what it was like to travel and work on this former luxury ocean liner. You can also explore the dry dock and a museum dedicated to Kingdom Brunel and his work.
Tickets are a bit pricey, although there's plenty to see here and kids under 4 can ride for free. The museum closes a little earlier in autumn/winter, so book a good time before arriving.
Keynsham leisure center
Just outside the center of Bristol in Keynsham is this fantastic activity center offering children and their families an active day out.
Younger children, in particular, will enjoy swimming in the brand new 25 meter pool or the lower learning pool. They also organize fun inflatable pool sessions during school holidays that you shouldn't miss.
The indoor play area is also very popular with young children. It has a separate area for children under 3 years old that has a set of sensory equipment suitable for even the smallest. And then, of course, there's a padded, multi-layered frame for you to tap and slide to your heart's content.
Leigh Woods is a great place for outdoor fun with the kids. It is situated in a wooded area on the outskirts of Bristol, close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
It is a national wildlife sanctuary and there are many animals and plants to see while walking around. There's even a family trail organized by Franklin the Fox that you can download in advance that takes you around the hill fort and helps you understand the history of the area. There is plenty of space for picnics and older children will love riding their bikes or scooters through this beautiful piece of nature.
Note that there is no parking on the National Trust side of Leigh Woods, so you'll need to walk from Clifton or take the bus to get here.
Air Hop Bristol
AirHop is a trampoline park that is sure to be a big hit with the kids (and big kids!) in your family.
Wall-to-wall trampolines line this indoor playground, and there's a separate area for the under-5s, keeping everyone safe as they have fun together. AirHop also offers regular MiniHoppers sessions for children ages 6 months to 6 years, which also include Ride-Ons and Bubble Time. Children can participate in any activity they want, regardless of their jumping ability.
MiniHopper's prices are very affordable and sessions last an hour. The center is located near the Cribbs Causeway, just north of downtown Bristol.
The Arnolfini is an international arts center in Bristol Harborside that truly offers many family-oriented events and activities to inspire and engage children in the arts.
Throughout the year, especially during school holidays, there are numerous workshops for children on all craft topics, including bookmaking techniques, mail art and much more. Kids can also use the Arnold Art Cart for free while they're here to do whatever they want with the cart's creative materials. Many children love the Eye Spy Challenge, which guides them through art galleries - getting them to take a closer look at art in a fun and educational way.
The Arnolfini is open Tuesday to Sunday each week and has an on-site bookstore, cafe (with a children's menu) and bar, and restrooms. There is plenty of seating if you are breastfeeding, as well as level access and stroller elevators.
Windmill Hill City Farm
Located in Bedminster, Windmill Hill City Farm is a great place for babies and toddlers to experience a bit of nature without leaving the city.
It extends over 4.5 hectares and is home to pigs, sheep, goats, guinea pigs, rabbits, ducks, geese and many other animals. You can also explore the gardens and see how food is made from the earth and discover some of the brilliant trails such as the Stick Man Trail, Garden Friends Trail and Play Trail. There is a farm shop and cafe on site so you can try some home cooked food.
Windmill Hill does not charge an entrance fee but is a registered charity and greatly appreciates any donation.
Tyntesfield is a National Trust property and is west of Bristol towards the coast. It houses a beautiful Victorian mansion, as well as gardens and parks perfect for exploring with young children.
There is much to see and do in the gardens including mature woodland, wildflower meadows, lots of wildlife, an orchard and a few strollers and footpaths for children and a lovely Home Farm Cafe to recharge your batteries after your time outdoors. There are also four different play areas spread across the property.
Tyntesfield is open 7 days a week, although the house is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Children under 5 are admitted free and can inquire about National Trust (NT) membership if you visit many of their properties as you can save significantly on adult ticket prices.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
If you're looking for a kid-friendly indoor Bristol attraction, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery near the university is a big hit. Admission is free for all, so it's a great budget option too.
There are many exhibits to see on all three floors, including Egyptian mummies, Southwest wildlife, dinosaurs (including the Bristol dinosaur!) and the work of local artist Banksy. Much of the museum is interactive to really engage kids and toddlers, including the World Wildlife Exhibition, Dinosaur activity area and Curiosity - an activity area specifically for children under 5.
The museum is breastfeeding-friendly and there are changing rooms too. There is also a car park for babies, a lift, a café and a snack room.
Ashton Court Estate
Ashton Court Estate is close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and close to Leigh Woods. It is a beautifully landscaped park and mansion set in vast 850 acres of woodland and grassland.
Admission is free and the property is open most days, although closing times change depending on the time of year. There is much to see including the beautiful deer park, a series of historic ponds, a miniature railway, many walking trails and the mansion itself. There's plenty of room for the kids to stretch their legs and let off steam! Two cafes and a picnic area invite you to rest and recharge your batteries.
Events are held at Ashton Court throughout the year, including the glittering Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
Zoofarm Arca Noah
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is areally impressive zoowith over 100 different species of animals in its rural location in Clevedon, just down the road from Tyntesfield.
Some of the animals native to this area include lion, rhino, tiger, elephant, giraffe, zebra, bear, buffalo and crocodile, as well as a variety of beautiful farm animals. In addition to the animals, children and babies can also have fun in the three covered play areas: the rainbow toboggan area, ArkiVentures and the soft play center for children under 5 years old. There's also a maze, outdoor adventure playgrounds, trampolines, sandbox, kiddie pool and more.
Children under 2 years old are free and other tickets are cheap. Late entry tickets - for those arriving after 3pm - cost just £10.
Blaise Castle Estate
The Blaise Castle Estate is west of Bristol towards Avonmouth. The property is spread across 650 acres of parkland, making it a great outdoor option for babies, toddlers and the whole family.
The castle itself is an 18th century folly in the park, open by volunteers most Sundays - just check to see if the flag is flying. Also on site is a stately home, the Blaise Castle House Museum, a dairy and gardens, a cricket ground, buggy rides and a children's play area with separate areas for toddlers and older children.
Entrance to the property is free and open daily, although closing times vary according to the season.
Wild Place Project
The Wild Place Project is the sister site to Bristol Zoo Gardens and will eventually take over the main zoo site (see below). It is just off the M5, close to Cribbs Causeway.
It is actually a conservation park that is home to a variety of wild zoo animals from Madagascar, Congo and East Africa - some of the areas to explore include Bear Wood, Barefoot Trail, Discover Madagascar, Secret Congo, Camp Baboon and various gardens and walking trails.
Kids will love the outdoor play areas and exploring the full-size wooden airplane mode. There are several dining options including a cafe, pizzeria and ice cream parlor on site. Tickets are very cheap considering the amount of attractions and activities here, and children under 2 years old are free.
Right in the heart of beautiful Clifton is Bristol Zoo Gardens, a lovely smaller zoo with lots of animals and attractions to discover. Ticket prices are reasonable and children under 2 are free.
Some of these animals are gorillas, lions, red pandas, penguins, meerkats, lemurs, seals, pythons, gibbons, flamingos, kangaroos, sloths, mongooses and many more. Babies and toddlers generally love the aquarium exhibit, outdoor adventure playground, Bug World, Butterly Forest and Monkey Jungle.
It's worth noting that Bristol Zoo Gardens will close in its current location in 2022 before reopening in a new format in 2024. Meanwhile, the Wild Place Project will remain open 24 hours.
Are you looking for another location? check out ourDay trips sectionfor more ideas.