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13 Awesome Things You Can Do With Your Kids, In And Around Bristol

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baby rave bristol

13 things you may not have thought about doing with your kids, in and around Bristol.

There are loads of things you can do in the Bristol vicinity for family fun, so I’ve compiled these activities, missing out the ones everyone already knows about. Have a look through and comment if you can think of any other gems!

*Note: feeding your badly behaved child to the Bristol crocodile doesn’t count, and is considered to be deeply, deeply illegal.

1. Go to a rave.

baby rave

The next one is on 11th September at the Trinity Centre in Bristol. Run by Big Fish Little Fish Events, this promises craft mixed with dance music (like what I did there?) on a multi-sensory dancefloor with big tunes, glitter cannons, bubbles and even a giant parachute. There’s also a ‘baby chillout space’. I’m intrigued now – is this a safe haven for them to get milk drunk, spaced out and have deep and meaningful gurgle chats?

2. Go and watch the Lawn Mower Grand Prix in Somerset.

On the 27th to 29th August it’s the Mendip Mower Racing and Family Festival down in Cross, Somerset. Expect a classic car show, live music, beer, and of course LAWN MOWERS, yes you read that right, lawn mowers being raced around a track at breakneck speeds. [49 minutes away]

3. Go crabbing.

My source tells me that Portishead Marina is the place to go, but if you know other spots please comment on Facebook! It’s free, and there’s something oddly satisfying about watching a bucket full of crabs racing back towards water. [22 minutes away]

4. Take a tour of Redcliffe Caves.

Ghost hunting in Redcliffe Caves 👻

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Not many people know, but underneath Bristol is a network of red sandstone caves full of history and intrigue. They aren’t open to the public, unless you book a guided tour. You wouldn’t exactly want to take a toddler round them, but older kids would love it. It’s eerie wandering around them in the dark, but interesting! This is a great activity to do with friends, and the tour guide is entertaining! More details on the caves, and how to book can be found here.

5. Go to Puxton Park.

This place is MASSIVE and full of surprises. A giant sandpit full of diggers and tip trucks, farm animals everywhere, real boats, motorised tractors, a wooden fort, the list goes on. There’s something to suit all tastes here, and a selection of massive slides in the soft play barn. You haven’t lived until you’ve dropped down the vertical blue side with a toddler clinging to you, but take a clean pair of underwear.

When you walk around it, Puxton Park is the gift that keeps on giving, you could actually spend most of the day there. Plus, it has a farm shop, and loads of nice spots for a picnic. Read the Tripadvisor reviews here, it really has everything.  [30 minutes away]

6. Go on a steam train

At Bitton, you can take a steam train ride and even experience the glory days of the railway dining car by booking a three course menu on Sundays. The Avon Valley Railway is run by volunteers, they’ve restored a Victorian train station so you can have a look around that too. [29 minutes away]

7. Go to Brean Theme Park.

Did you know that the UK’s largest free admission theme park is within touching distance of Bristol? It’s an impressive site, with multiple rollercoasters including a surprisingly hairy caterpillar ride you can go on with the younger children. It’s also got plenty for big kids: hellraising rides, a log flume, fast go karts, and a ghost train. Pro tip: there’s a merry-go-round on two levels called ‘Fantasia’ that will keep the most vocal of toddlers quiet, I’ve never seen one like it.

On top of that, there’s a gigantic soft play space and brilliant swimming pool with flumes in the same complex. You’ll be astonished at how good it is, seriously! [58 minutes away]

Side note: if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also have a Wimpy there. I lived to tell this tale!

8. …Then spend the afternoon on the beach at Brean.

It’s easy to spend the whole day at Brean as there’s a beach that stretches for miles when the tide goes out, and looks stunning on a sunny day. You can also go on the beach and walk up on the cliffs at Brean Down, a National Trust site where you can find mountain goats, the remains of an iron age hill fort and more.

9. Go to Clip ‘n Climb in Bristol.

It’s a colourful theme park of climbing walls suitable for kids over four years old. Your overzealous offspring get harnessed up and can tire themselves out on the walls while you drink coffee in the on-site café wondering how your life turned out like this.

10. Take a day trip to Glastonbury Tor (and Clarks Village).

 

Rebalance your chakras in Glastonbury village, every parent needs it sometimes. Then walk up the Tor, have a picnic and admire the amazing views of the Somerset Levels. Or your child screaming and spoiling it for everyone. After that life affirming moment, Clarks Village in Street is 5 minutes up the road so why not embrace your inner capitalist pig and go get some affordable jumpers from Jaeger. God, when I analyse myself I sound like a right tit sometimes. The designer outlet village offers over 90 shops and bargains to be had.

11. Cycle the Strawberry Line.

The Strawberry Line in Somerset is an old train line that’s now a cycle track. It stretches all the way from Clevedon to Shepton Mallet and beyond. Here’s a pro tip if you can’t transport your bikes down: catch a train from Bristol to Yatton and then do the 10 mile cycle to Cheddar. You’ll pass through wetlands, where you might see otters. Then Thatchers’ cider orchards, an eerie train tunnel, the small medieval town of Axbridge and, finally, Cheddar Reservoir. If you’re in Cheddar you may as well go to the gorge too, one of the natural wonders of England!

If you catch all this on a sunny day you’re in for a treat but make sure you pack lights for the tunnel or your kids will probably be haunted for life. It’s a fun experience though – the Shute Shelve tunnel is a whopping 165m long. [34 minutes away]

12. Go to Lacock Abbey (this one’s for the Harry Potter fans).

Lacock Abbey is steeped in history, but the main reason I’ve included this is you can explore a grand old country house, and also the ruins of the Abbey. During springtime it’s great for chilling out with a picnic and watching the lambs milling about. Plus, if anyone’s a Harry Potter fan, kids will think they are running around Hogwarts because parts of The Chamber of Secrets were filmed there. National Trust members get in for free.[46 minutes away]

13. Visit Chepstow Castle.

I know, I know, enough of these places that aren’t in Bristol, but what kid doesn’t love being in a castle and firing arrows through the slits at imaginary attackers. It’s one of the best castles in the area unless you’re going further west in Wales. With the castle looming over it, Chepstow is a nice town to spend the afternoon in. The antique shops usually have some pretty cool furniture for sale. [34 minutes away]

This is by no means an exhaustive list so please comment on the Best of Bristol Facebook page with any other gems you can think of, and subscribe to Dad’s Diary if you enjoyed reading!

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Hyde & Co’s Launch Impressive New Cocktail Menu

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A year has passed since Bristol’s finest cocktail bar last refreshed its menu, and it’s all change again at the secretive and stylish Hyde & Co.

2017’s The Last Carnival introduced us to a glamorous world of burlesque, cabaret and circus, showcasing a mastery of cocktail creativity. Midnight in Paris picks up the tale…

The scene is set in 1920’s Paris; a dangerous world of decadence and daring. A jewel heist in the French capital has caught the attention of private detective Kinsey Moran, who must follow a trail through the city’s drinking dens and backstreets to bring the culprits to justice.

From the imagination of talented local designer and bartender Gareth Aldridge, Midnight in Paris’ beautiful story and artwork sets Hyde & Co. apart from the outset – but it’s the variety and quality of the cocktails that tempt visitors to sample daring new concoctions.

With sultry jazz playing softly in the background and a décor embracing the elegance of the roaring 20’s, drinkers can now enjoy a new selection of the bold and innovative cocktails for which Hyde & Co. is known.

Traditional French spirits including Calvados, Cognac and Chartreuse blend beautifully with spice mix, bitters and liqueurs, creating bold new flavours with a nod to classics like the French 75, Sidecar and Kir Royale.

If you’re looking for a recommendation, the gin-based Tribune caught my attention, but the breadth and depth of choice is highly impressive.

Tribune cocktail

‘Tribune’

You can dip into Midnight in Paris at Hyde & Co from Tuesdays to Sundays, 6pm till late. Check out the Hyde & Co website here, and find them on Twitter here. For more reviews and write-ups from @cjcallaghan, check out his Best of Bristol author page.

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A Response To ‘Gentrification By Instagram’

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Bristol Skyline sunset

In response to Bristol 24/7 and Thomas Oxley: ‘Gentrification by Instagram’

First of all I should say to those that do not know me; I was part of the @igersBristol team for two years, so this article really was aimed at a lot of my friends and peers.

The reason this article will not be impartial isn’t because of my ties to those involved, but because it is a grossly unfair opinion piece with unfounded accusations, and it’s seemingly based on fuck all else but a desire to be controversial.

I really do love Bristol and the diversity of its people, their passions and their beliefs. What I’ll never stand for is someone telling anybody what they should, or should not create, capture, or share.

Bristol is a city that built a reputation on its creativity, and a community that supports each other. There is no room here for crab mentality, or negativity towards any other person’s craft.

I understand that most people don’t live in the pretty, colourful Bristol we see on Instagram and in the wider press. It’s not all ‘Sunday Times Best Place to Live’ shite, where you walk your kids to school without swearing at them, past colourful houses, through the park or along the river.

I understand this because I grew up on a council estate in East Bristol. I believe most of us had tough upbringings in a city that is rife with drug use, poverty, inequality and racial tension.

🎉 INSTAMEET NEWS! 🎉 • As part of our #igersloveGloucesterRoad campaign, we are hosting an Instameet in two weeks time! ———————————————– 📅 Saturday 25th February. • 🌍 – Brunswick Square, St. Paul’s. • ⏰ 13:00-16:00. ———————————————– We’re going to be weaving up Cheltenham/Gloucester Road, taking in some of Bristol’s most vibrant communities, including Montpellier, Bishopston, St. Andrews and Ashley Down. We’ll try and navigate via some great pieces of graffiti, lovely green spaces and stunning terraces! 🙌🏼 • If you haven’t really explored Gloucester Road before, this will be a great opportunity to acquaint yourself with the surrounding areas. If you love Gloucester Road, well then I don’t need to encourage you. 😅 • England aren’t playing in the Six Nations that day so I don’t want any excuses. 🤓🏉 ———————————————– Photo by our very own @richimal_bristol! ———————————————– Shared by @antimitch! 🤙🏼

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The mixed views of Bristol held by many, shouldn’t be grounds to curse those that choose to focus on either the good or the bad. If you want to “Make Bristol Shit Again”, crack on.

If you want to campaign and protest the injustices people in this city face, from the homeless, the refugees, the poor, the ethnic minorities. Please, please do.

Or if you’d prefer to shine a bright light onto the things that make Bristol such a fantastic city to live in, as many people do extremely well, then have a fucking field day as there’s lots to shout about.

@IGersBristol is a community of people that do the latter out of pure passion, immense pride and an unwavering attachment to Bristol. Building friendships, educating, and broadening minds along the way. To question the integrity of people you’ve never met is a lamentable act, for which you are being rightfully admonished.

I’m focusing on @IGersBristol, I’ll reiterate not because of personal bias, because in my opinion, they are the inspiration for a large amount of feature accounts in Bristol. The foundation of the account, community and hashtag is to shout about what you love, to share your Bristol.

A lot of folk’s favourite part of Bristol is indeed the floating harbour, not Withywood nor Knowle. Although, if you look a little deeper you’ll see there are plenty of other Instagrammers who strive to document the “real Bristol” that is claimed to be missing from social media.

You’d also have seen the meets and events arranged across BS1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10 and beyond. Events that took us way beyond “the square mile from the Suspension Bridge to the Arnolfini and from the Create Centre to the top of Park Street.”

I respect opinion pieces, and the conversations we have every day on social media and in the press, but myself and my peers cannot stand by in light of such vitriol.

Bristol’s “gentrifying” Instagram community have made it clear that no amount of hatred will stop us doing what we do, because we love it, and we love our home. Why don’t you join in sometime, Thomas? Everyone is welcome.

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There’s A Gin Bus & A Rum Bus Coming To Bristol!

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Open top bus gin tour

The Foozie bus series is returning to Bristol!

After the hugely successful Foozie bus series last year, Bristol will again play host to the Gin Bus and Rum Bus this summer, but with the added addition of the Pink Gin Bus set to make it even better and more fun than last year. If that’s possible..

If you find yourself unfamiliar with the boozy bus series, the long story short is booze, open-top vintage bus, scenic tour of Bristol. You can skip to the end for tickets now if you wish.

For two hours you’ll cruise around Bristol on a summery afternoon, in an open-top Bristol Lodekka bus from the 1950s, with a drink in hand and fellow gin or rum lovers for company.

Open top bus gin tourFor this years series, Foozie has teamed up with Martin Miller’s Gin, who use classic botanicals and Icelandic spring water to create the world’s most awarded gin of the last decade.

Fans of pink gin will rejoice, because the first ever Pink Gin Bus is happening, with Pinkster Gin providing the pink stuff.

Those who prefer to dabble in the wares of the rum industry, fear not, as you will be equally well catered for. Your rum bus comes complete with Old J Rum, who will be creating the menu with their incredible range of spiced and flavoured rums.

Open top bus rum tour

Foozie are also partnering with Seedlip, who will provide their non alcoholic spirits. Seedlip is the world’s first distilled zero-alcohol spirit, and it tastes incredible in cocktails and with tonic.

Fentimans will be perfectly pairing some of their botanically brewed beverages with the

gin and the rum to create a selection of drinks menus that are totally unique to these bus events.

If this sounds like a great way to spend two hours of your weekend, that’s because it is.

Follow the links below to bag yourself a ticket right this second, and get 10% off using the code BESTOFBRISTOLBUS10 at checkout.

The Martin Miller Gin Bus

The Pinkster Gin Bus

The Old J Spiced Rum Bus

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