Whether you’re local to the city, or just visiting Bristol during February, I’ve put together a family-friendly list of dates for your diary – here’s my pick of 24+ things to do in Bristol with kids in February 2019.
Head over to Brunel’s SS Great Britain with your pre-schoolers on the first Tuesday of the month (5 February this time around) for maritime tales at Sea Hear Storytelling. Sarah Mooney captivates imaginations with original tales and new twists on classic legends of whales, angel fish, pirate treasure and stormy seas.
A children’s Saturday baking course where they get to bake bread, decorate cakes, make puddings and lots more. Children’s Saturday Baking classes (there’s one on 9 February) £40 per Saturday or book 3 or more for £35 each class. 2-4.30 pm.
Calling all super sleuths! Does your little one fancy themselves as a bit of an Inspector Gadget? Take them along to Bristol Zoo Gardens’ Zoodunnit from 10-25 February. Snoop round all 12-acres of the Zoo to solve the half-term mystery and tackle a Codecracker Challenge before making their very own detective badge to take home. *Book your tickets online and children get in free when accompanied by a paying adult.
If you have small children and don’t know who Andy Day is, tell me your secret! Others who might have been exposed to several hundred hours of CBeebies will know that’s he’s one of the TV channel’s top dogs – all the more exciting for little’uns that he’ll be in Bristol for a Slapstick comedy special on 10 February. Join him for a laugh-out-loud film show, where he’ll be sharing some of his favourite funny film clips… featuring Gertie the Dinosaur and friends.
From 10-25 February, take the pirate treasure trail at Bristol Aquarium and discover more about the creatures that live in the seven seas! Plus meet an actual Mermaid on weekend during February half-term and listen to her ‘tails’ of life beneath the waves.
Follow a trail of hearts around Noah’s Ark (14 February-2 March) to discover exciting facts about the animals that live there and ways to help their conservation. After visiting the elephant, tigers, lion cubs, and other big zoo animals, send the youngsters to let off steam in the giant indoor soft play area.
Dig out your wellies (or not, because their Barefoot Trail is being relaunched for lots of tantalising toe textures) and head to Wild Place Project from 16 February – 3 March for plenty of mud squelching, puddle splashing and nature trail exploring. Keep your eyes peeled for giraffes, cheetahs, wolves and six mystery footprints, test your nerve on the Leap of Faith monkey wall, clamber around the Fun Fort and play the ultimate game of Whose Poo!
Choo choo! All aboard at Avon Valley Railway! Heritage diesel locomotives will be running daily along three miles of scenic track from 16-24 February (except Monday and Friday).
Scurry along to Brunel’s SS Great Britain for ratty fun from 16-24 February. Decorate and don a rat mask in the First Class Dining Saloon (11am – 4pm daily), then scuttle around the deepest nooks and crannies of the SS Great Britain searching for six squeaky stowaways on a family-friendly Hide & Squeak trail (10am – 4.30pm daily). At 11am, 12pm & 2pm daily, settle down on the Promenade Deck to hear hilarious tales of mischievous rodents on board the ship, taken from real-life stories of passengers and crew that once travelled on the great ship in Victorian times. Visitors will also have the chance to pet a live rat (11.30am, 12.30pm & 1.30pm, weekdays only: 18 – 22 February) and discover more about these creatures in a 20-minute workshop in collaboration with Bristol Zoo.
Fawn over newborn lambies between 16–24 February at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park. There are 20 ewes ready to lamb twins and triplets in the indoor animal handling barn and the shepherds will be chatting about the lambing process and sharing lots of baaaar-illiant sheep facts. There’s even a chance to name the little cuties!
Few young kids are likely to turn down the opportunity of putting their wellies to good use and jumping in puddles! Practice your technique before seeing who can make the biggest splash in the Puddle Jumping Championships at WWT Slimbridge from 16-24 February.
Zig zag through the trees at beautiful Westonbirt Arboretum and follow the markers to seek out Julia Donaldson’s loveable dragon Zog. From now until 2 June, the Zog activity trail will be running at Westonbirt, allowing kiddos to collect stars and complete tasks along the way. Be sure to invest in the Zog activity pack (with special lens, activity booklet and mask) to make the most of this fun family day out.
13. Redgrave Theatre
Clifton College’s little theatre is really lovely and manageable with little ones. Kid’s shows here tend to be the perfect length to hold young attention spans. Child-friendly performances in February include The Sooty Show, (10 Feb), Guinness World Record-breaking beatboxer Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids (16 February 15.30pm) and Nick Sharratt’s Right Royal Drawalong (18 February, 2.00pm).
Bristol Cathedral’s ever-popular arty session returns on 20 February for children and families to get creative during half term, 10am – 4pm. Free admission. With St. David’s Day on 1 March, the craft will have a daffodilly theme.
15. Junior Drawing School at the RWA
Join Bristol-based artist Abigail Reed for some expressive mark-making (20 February). This creative drawing workshop is inspired by the RWA Albert Irvin and Abstract Expressionism exhibition currently on show at the Royal West of England Academy. Aimed at ages 7+.17.
From 16-22 February, 3-8 year olds and their families are invited to go on an out-of-this-world adventure with Star Seeker, Alph, Betty and Gammo. This interactive show explores galaxies, the solar system and outer space through songs and silliness.
This fast-paced family show, showing at Bristol Hippodrome (20-23 February) is based on the super popular children’s books series of the same name. The producers behind Gangsta Granny and the Horrible Histories stage shows have joined forces with acclaimed author and illustrator Liz Pichon to create this brand new story. The show follows Tom as he attempts to stay out of trouble while things go increasingly wrong at home and school.
To tie-in with their Masters of Japanese Prints exhibitions, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery are giving visitors the chance to have a go at some Japanese activities this half term at (21 February 11am-4pm, suitable for ages 5-11). As well as drawing and origami, you can also dress up in some beautiful traditional clothing, see Japanese woodblock prints and check out a selection of Japanese-inspired gifts in the shop!
Did you ever go to Silversands, On a sunny summer’s day? Then perhaps you saw the mermaid, Who sang in the deep blue bay…
Another well-loved Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks book, The Singing Mermaid, is brought to life, this time by Little Angel Theatre through beautiful puppetry and performance (22-24 February).
The National Trust’s Tyntesfield is holding storytelling, crafts and games for 2-5 year olds and their families inspired by the magical story of Thumbelina (27-28 February). Make a fairy potion, be a nature detective and join a frog party while you listen to the story of Thumbelina.