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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.

#itchy #scratchy #babypiggy ♡ #socute #piglet #gloucesteroldspot #puxtonpark

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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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Bristol Pub Quizzes

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bristol pub quizzes

It’s time for a good old fashioned Bristol pub quiz

There are endless places where you can find some good Bristol pub quizzes. Fridays and Saturdays are unlikely but here are loads of places Sunday – Thursday.

Monday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Tuesday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Wednesday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Thursday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Sunday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Others:

Blankety Quiz – Found across Bristol and voted the best pub quiz in Bristol

Got any that we’ve missed? Pop them in the comments below.

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Rosa Opens in Bristol

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rosa tapas bar

Rosa Review

The rising chill of autumn had descended, and I was a Bristol girl in need of a stiff drink to warm my gills. Red coat on, black heels donned and a long overdue catch up with an old friend in the diary, we headed on over to the newly opened Rosa on Whiteladies Road for a night of tapas and prosecco.

Rosa has some big shoes to fill. Bristolians will remember the good old days of Rocinantes and Quartier Vert and more recently the Townhouse at this treasured venue.

tapas rosa

Credit: Ellis Fox

Spread over two floors, with candles, old typewriters and flowers galore, this new bar-come-eatery, which promises “world inspired food to share” is romantic, cosy and stylish.

If you can’t quite justify spending money on a round-the-world plane fare, a trip to Rosa will go some way to taking you on a global foodie adventure.

Chef Tim Denny – formerly of Totterdown’s Historical Dining Rooms – is at the kitchen helm and he’s created a menu that simultaneously tantalises, impresses and surprises.

Sharing dishes include mixed bread with salt and paprika butter (£4), spiced flatbread with curried chickpeas, yoghurt and fresh lime (£5.50), steamed bao with pulled oxtail, miso mayonnaise and crispy shallots (£6 and my personal favourite), as well as burrata mozzarella with picked mooli, radish and mint salad (£6.50).

rosa food

Credit: Ellis Fox

For meat lovers, there’s a sliced shoulder of Iberico pork option (£7) and a mouth-watering whole Galican beef rib (£25) cooked over hot coals and served on the bone with baby gem salad. Seafood fans can opt for hot seared salmon sashimi with sesame and soy (£7.50) or flame grilled octopus with crisp noodles and spring onions (£6.50). There’s also the classic Spanish tapas dish of patatas bravas (£5.50) up for the tasting, and its rich, spicy tomato  sauce, doesn’t disappointed.

rosa menu

Credit: Ellis Fox

For dessert, there’s churros with olive oil Nutella (£5.50) and BBQ salted milk ice cream with caramel coconut sponge (£6.50), among other options. What’s more there’s always a cheese of the month. Now we’re talking…

Alongside the main tapas menu, there is a fantastic value set lunch menu at £11.95 for two courses and £13.50 for three courses.

Fancy a tipple? There’s a large selection of wine available by the glass or carafe starting at £4.50 and going up to the most expensive £48 Bordeaux from Chateau Paveil de Luze. A generous cocktail selection is available, in addition to a plethora of local gins (Psychopomp), Spanish sherries, sparkling Japanese sake and beer from a range of local breweries including Wiper and True and Arbor Ales.

rosa wine

Credit: Ellis Fox

It’s unlikely you’ll get through the entire menu on your first visit. But don’t they say it’s always best to leave wanting more?

Rosa, 85 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2DT. Tel: 0117 973 9302.

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9 Amazing Vans Spotted In Bristol

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Top 9 Vans of Bristol

Art galleries sometimes on the move sharing the art all over the city.

1. This is either very fresh or the van is a permanent feature (look at the back wheel)

montpellier van

2. Unusually the best work on this van in Easton is on the back. Looks like an anti surveillance grannie to me. Ironically I’m watching it though

bristol van

3. St Werburghs now, and it’s like a go faster type tag on the wall behind trying to photobomb this shot

st werburghs van

4.  It’s Easton again. Not a van, an ambulance but this stick on lettering is good enough to get it an entry here. It’s taken food to the needy and it’s earnt it’s place

easton van

5. Edge of Easton by the M32 and its festival food van me thinks, looking at the mud it’s picked up on the underside. Would be nice to snap it with the pizza smoking out the unseen chimney

another easton van

6. St Paul’s. This one was camouflaged for the area

van in st pauls

7. Same artist as Pizza truck so this one must be fam

van in bristol

8. St Werburghs again. This one really has some landscape length to it. Who does those dinos?

another st werburghs van in bristol

9. My fave, and popular with the owner. My dog sighs did this and instead of eyes following you round the room it’s eyes following you round the city. Kobra street art to the right from Upfest and of all the shots of vans this one is the most pleasing to my eye. Deffo a Basquiat thing going on here

kobra street art van

10? Go look around these postcodes and find it… Take your pick

Do you know any of the artists? Tell us in the comments or tweet me @MoodyColin and let me know

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