If you’re skint this Christmas don’t despair – check out these 15 free & cheap activities to do with the kids over the school holidays. Don’t forget to like the Broke in Bristol Facebook page to never miss an update. Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sat Dec 22, free
Drop in to Emersons Green Library from 10.30am ’til 12 for Festive Fun with festive crafts and activities like making reindeer cards and tree decorations. Most suitable for children aged 4 to 11 years. No need to book – just turn up!
Sat Dec 22 & Sun 23, free
This weekend is your last chance to check out Bristol’s Christmas Markets for handmade Christmas presents that are unique to Bristol and can’t be bought on the High St.
Sun Dec 23, free
You can’t get more Chrismassy than this free outdoor screening of Elf at Millennium Square, Bristol! Film starts at 2pm but you’ll need to get there early if you want a seat.
It’s the perfect time of the year to try out Bristol’s Adventure Playgrounds in Easton, St Pauls and Southmead. There’s usually plenty going on and lots to do inside in case it rains.
Mon Dec 24, free
The Thunderbolt’s Christmas Eve Party is an annual family-friendly event from 4 ‘til 8pm with live music, snacks and mulled wine and cider.
Bristol Live’s lowdown on all the best places in Bristol to check out the Christmas lights and decorations is worth a read. A fantastic free activity that you can do anytime that will hopefully get the whole family in the Christmassy mood.
Mon Dec 24, free
The Huntsman in Downend is hosting a family-friendly disco this Christmas Eve. There are also deals on drinks and food.
Smallfoot is a kids’ film about a yeti living in the mountains and it’ll be showing at Vue and Odeon this Christmas. Or watch the latest releases like Wreck it Ralph 2 for cheaper with a Gourmet Card, send me an email to for more information on how you can get one for free.
Little ones can post their letters to Santa at The Galleries in one of four letter boxes, dotted around the centre and meet Rudolf and Blitzen – a singing and speaking shiny-nosed duo who will be happy to pose for the ultimate festive photo!
If you can stand the crowds hop on a train to Bath and experience their Christmas Market which people come to visit from all over the world.
Wed Jan 2, £2.50 advance, £3 on the door
Join Laura from Colourful Minds to make your own personalised 2019 calendar, and a memory jar for 2019. Affordable drinks and snacks will be available from the Creative Workspace cafe.
Thu Jan 3, £2.50 advance, £3 on the door
Explore how the Japanese celebrate New Year! Learn how to make simple origami creations and see traditional Japanese kimonos with Bristol Japan Cultural Showcase and try your hand at some Japanese Taiko drumming with Taiko Journey! This event is suitable for all ages.
Thu Jan 3, free
Another free outdoor screening to look forward to at Millennium Square is Home Alone. This firm family favourite is bound to be busy so arrive early if you want a seat, show starts at 2pm.
Fri Jan 4, free
The kids will definitely be bored by Friday January 4 so take them along to this Circus Skills Day at Creative Workspace where they can try out lots of different circus skills from 11 ‘til 3pm.
Sat Jan 5, £2.50 advance, £3 on the door
A show for all the family, Alf the Highwayman promises to be full of imaginative play, songs and characters. Doors open at 11am and there’s a free workshop after.