Feb 02, 2016

With the school holidays approaching fast we thought we’d take a look at some of the family-friendly activities taking place in Bristol and give you a couple of suggestions for rainy days at home too!

Bristol Zoo and its little sibling Wild Place Project both have plenty on offer with Flower Power themed activities and Mission Explore respectively. What’s more, both will be admitting children for just £5 each with a paying adult.

On the ss Great Britain children and their families will have the opportunity to step back in time and find out what life was like for the Victorian passengers and crew on board Brunel’s wonderful ship. Explore the docks, dockside and even get down below the ship, experiencing authentic sights, sounds and smells. Mr Brunel will be on board and he’s usually happy to have his photo taken with visitors while he answers any questions about the challenges he faced while building the ship. Tickets are valid for a whole year.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery will welcome the Chinese New Year in style with two days of events on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th February. Visitors celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Monkey can expect lion dancing, martial arts demonstrations, traditional Chinese dancing, dressing up, arts and crafts activities and much more. Running from 11am until 4pm each day, admission is free, although donations will be welcomed.

The country’s oldest working theatre Bristol Old Vic celebrates its 250th anniversary this year and, with some fantastic shows already under its belt, is pulling out all the stops for half term when shows include an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s An Elephant in the Garden and Albee Vector the Sound Collector, which is a re-telling of The Odyssey.

Hidden in the theatre’s basement will be The Story Cellar, a magical vault that stores all spellbinding beginnings, middles and ends. Children will be able to go and play, using words, images, games, costume and puppets as they help to contribute towards the collection of tall stories and fanciful tales. Added to all that, Artrageous and Children’s Scrapstore will be running arts and crafts activities in the Bristol Old Vic restaurant and there will be a soft play installation on Coopers’ Gallery.

For days spent at home Boodle’s screen printed chalkboards, which come in Badger, Blue Tit, Blue Whale and Penguin designs, offer endless possibilities for drawing, writing, making lists and playing games such as noughts & crosses or hangman. They look pretty good in the kitchen or on a child’s bedroom wall and can be used with liquid or solid chalk.

We have a wide variety of children’s books including Chimpanzees in Dungarees, a colour and counting book by Rosie Webb.

Goram and Ghyston: The Bristol Giants by Oliver Rigby and Tom Bonson, and Crockery Farm, a concertina-style picture book by Ian House that tells the story of unenthusiastic eater Pete and his dog Barney.

For those wishing to encourage a love of books as well as time spent outside, Bethany Wivell’s Sam and the Very Tall Sunflower, which comes with a packet of sunflower seeds, and Maisey and the Magical Meadow, accompanied by a free “make your own seed ball” mix from Project Maya, are perfect.

However you spend the half term break, we hope you have a lovely time, and when it’s time to go back to school don’t be too sad because Easter comes early this year so you’ll soon be on holiday again!

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