12 free & cheap things to do in & around Bristol this week!

Jul 15, 2016 | Uncategorised


Welcome back to Broke in Bristol’s weekend blog – the blog that helps you socialise (with or without the kids) on a shoestring. Every week, we’ll be letting you know about all the free and cheap events going on, whether you’re young, free and single or looking for some family-friendly fun.


This weekend the Bristol Harbour Festival will take over most of the city and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever, with the introduction of a new music stage at the Ampitheatre. If you’re feeling a bit flush you can still pick up tickets to see headliners Echo & the Bunnymen who will be opening the festival tonight, which will set you back £20 per ticket. If this seems a little too expensive, don’t despair, we’ve got plenty of free and cheap things for you to do both inside and outside the festival!


It’s the Harbour Festival’s 45th anniversary and organisers intend to celebrate in style with over four miles of activities, stretching from the Underfall Yard on Cumberland Road into the City Centre and up to Castle Park. Music-lovers should head straight to the Amphitheatre which will be the venue for the festival’s music stage, with free music acts all weekend. The dance performance and participation stages move into Queen Square, which will be surrounded by a continental food and craft market. Families will be able to enjoy the aerial acts, daredevil stunts and entertainment in Castle Park, check out the website for full details or pick up a programme on the day.

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out what’s going on at the Grain Barge and the Thekla. Many of their events are family-friendly but bear in mind that some have age restrictions. I’d love to dance along to the free silent disco, which is taking place at the Thekla on both Saturday and Sunday, but unfortunately it’s strictly over 18s so I can’t take Little Miss Diva with me. It’s free entry from 2pm-6pm on the top deck bar and it looks like you may even get to enjoy some sunshine!


If that doesn’t float your boat then how do you fancy trying sailing for free? All-Aboard Watersports Centre at Baltics Wharf is inviting the whole family to drop in on 16 July between noon and 6.00pm as part of the festival celebrations. Just bring a spare change of clothes!


Just across the water, the Watershed is hosting a free children’s cinema workshop from 1.30-3.30pm on Saturday 16. Puppeteer and magic maker Emma Powell will demonstrate how magic tricks and illusions helped to create moving images when film first began.


Avoid the crowds

If you’d rather stay well away from the city crowds this weekend – and who could blame you – pop along to my neck of the woods. The Banco Lounge in Totterdown will be celebrating its 10th birthday with an almighty rounders match in Victoria Park! You can sign up and take part or just enjoy the fun from the sidelines. Throughout the day there will be a pop-up charity shop, arts and crafts area, reflexology and games.


If you feel like getting out of town, I’d recommend checking out Bath Carnival this Saturday as samba, reggae and street drumming band Batala Bristol will be entertaining the crowds. Dig out a colourful carnival costume, join the procession and shake your hips to the Carnival beats alongside your friends and family.

That’s it for this week folks but please visit our What’s On page for a full list of free and cheap things to do in and around Bristol this week. Everything listed this week is either free or really cheap!


Please let us know if you’re hosting a free or cheap local event and we’ll do our best to spread the word. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page, so that you can be the first to know about the best local events happening in and around Bristol.

About me

Jackie Annett

Welcome to my website. My name is Jackie Annett and I've lived in this wonderful city for many years. I'm a single mum to fourteen-year-old Little Miss Diva and for the last 20 years, I've been working as a journalist, magazine editor and blogger.

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