Welcome back to Broke in Bristol – the blog that helps you save money and live life to the full on a shoestring. With the Easter holidays nearly upon us, I’ve picked out 25 free and cheap things to do to keep the kids occupied over the next two weeks. Have we missed anything? Feel free to share it on the Broke in Bristol Facebook page and don’t forget to like our page to never mss an update.
1. £1 fairground rides. Wed Apr 5 – 23. All the fun of the fair comes to Bath’s Victoria Park this Easter and if you time your visit on the opening day, or the following next two Wednesdays, it’s £1 per ride. So that’s cheap rides on Wed April 5, 12 & 19 from 1 ‘til 9pm. If you can’t plan your visit on a Wednesday, check this site out for money off vouchers for other days.
2. £2.49 cinema tickets. Fri Apr 7 – Mon 24. Take the kids to see Moana at Vue’s Mini Mornings at either Cribbs Causeway or Longwell Green for a fraction of the usual price. Or Monster Trucks is showing at Odeon Bristol from Sat Apr 8 to Thu 13 and will set you back just £1.50 per ticket plus no online booking fee.
3. Free. Anytime. Pack a picnic and take older kids on Visit Bristol’s Banksy Walking Tour, which will cost you nothing or at the most a few quid in bus fare. Perhaps stopping off on route at Cabot Tower or perching down by the harbour or Castle Park to enjoy your picnic.
4. Free. Anytime (spending money required). Little Miss Diva loves to shop! That said, I have taught her well and she’s as happy in a charity shop as she is in Next. In my humble opinion, the best charity shop bargains can be found in Clifton and Gloucester Rd, but please don’t bag all the bargains before we get there!
5. Free. From Sat Apr 8 to 23 you can pop along to Foyles Bristol and pick up a map for kids to complete the Easter egg hunt around Cabot Circus throughout the school holidays from 11 ‘til 1pm every day.
6. Pay what you think. Sat Apr 8. Bristol Rocks at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is a drop in event for all ages with loads to see and do including dressing up, games and behind the scenes tours.
7. Free. Sat Apr 8. Spring in the Bearpit. Community events and live music at The Bearpit include stuff for the kids to do too. There will be gardening, painting, street food traders and a wellbeing area, click here for more details.
8. Free. Sat Apr 8. Sketchbook Club IRL takes place at Spike Island from 12pm- 4pm where you can sketch until your heart’s content but organisers do recommend bringing snacks and refreshments if you’re planning on staying a while.
9. Free. Sat Apr 8 – Thu 20. On Sat 8 and Thu 20, between 11 and 4pm, kids can take part in a variety of elephant-themed events, including face painting and mask making at The Galleries. On Thursday 13, Friday 14 and Saturday 15 of April, join a Willy Wonka-inspired workshop where children can enjoy making sweets (and eating them!).
10. Free. Sat Apr 8 to Sun 23. Elephants of Surprise in Broadmead. 40 shops in Broadmead will play host to a beautifully decorated elephant and kids can get involved in the free trail, just pick up a map from The New Room, John Wesley’s Chapel on The Horsefair. The theme for this year’s trail is Memorable Moments because elephants never forget, with each elephant named after famous Bristolians and celebrities.
11. £4. Sat Apr 8. Penny Brohn UK opens its four-acre gardens and Grade II-listed National Centre in Pill near Bristol for a family fun day between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 8 April when visitors will have the chance to win a giant teddy bear by taking part in the bear hunt, have their faces painted and take part in other fun activities. £4 per adult, but under 14s are free.
12. Free. Sat Apr 8. Easton Market springs into life and among the fresh food stalls, there will be music, face painting and children’s activities.
13. Pay what you think. Sat Apr 8 to Sept. Skeletons: Our Buried Bones at M Shed might be just the exhibition to keep your kids occupied for an hour on a rainy day. The exhibition will feature twelve human skeletons from Bristol and London, each with a unique story to tell, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
14. Free. Anytime. I’m holding out for a really hot day when I’m going to take Little Miss Diva to Oldbury Estate and Snuff Mills for a picnic. We’ve never been before, but I’ve been told it’s a beautiful woodland estate with riverside walks and a new playground.
15. Pay what you think. Weds Apr 12. Blaise Castle in North Bristol is hosting a family day with an Easter egg hunt from 11 ‘til 3 and children will be able to search the Victorian museum and surrounding gardens. If it’s nice, take a picnic and enjoy the whole day at this stunning estate with fantastic grounds and adventure park.
16. Pay what you think. Thu Apr 13. Wicked warrior treasures at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is a drop in event where kids can create their own swords with fancy hilts inspired by the dazzling collection of gold, silver and semi-precious gems. There will be plenty of chances to play, dress up and do lots of other wicked warrior stuff!
17. Free, donations welcome. Thu Apr 13. At the Springtime Sunshine Family event at St John on the Wall kids can make a windmill, decorate a plant pot, grow their own sunflower and enjoy music and dressing up from 11 ‘til 3pm.
18. Free, donations welcome. Fri Apr 14. Comic book duo The Etherington Brothers are coming to Watershed for an extra special comic book experience in honour of Easter family film Zip & Zap and The Marble Gang, which is based on the adventures of two of Spain’s most famous comic book characters, mischievous twins Zip & Zap. From 10 ‘til 12, first come, first seated. Check out the website for exact details by clicking here.
19. Free. (Train fare will apply). Fri Apr 14 – Mon 17. During the entire Easter weekend, Avon Valley Railway is hosting Easter egg hunts and activities for children. Crafts are available on the train, but a ticket will be required.
20. £1. Mon Apr 17. The Friends of Kingswood Park are running an Easter egg hunt on Bank Holiday Monday, to celebrate the park’s new rose arch and kids will be able to make paper flowers to decorate the arch. From 11 ‘til 1.
21. Free. Tue Apr 18 – Sat 22. Bristol Cathedral Cracking Egg Hunt trail starts at 10am and kids will have to find 12 eggs hidden for the chance to be put into a draw to win a chocolate egg.
22. Pay what you think. Wed Apr 19. Crafty Cathedral allows families to explore the cathedral with trails and tours, get messy with arts and crafts activities and enjoy fun and creative things to do. The sessions are drop-in from 10 ‘til 12 noon and all proceeds go towards their education work.
23. Pay what you think. Thu Apr 20. Sew Good is an event at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery where you can stitch colourful spring flowers with the help from expert stitchers and make your own hair bands, clips, Easter bonnets, brooches or needle cases.
24. Free. Fri Apr 21 from 10 ‘til 12. Family Printing Press Workshop at Watershed. Guided by the experienced hands of Nick and Ellen at The Letterpress Collective, you and your family can print postcards and train tickets on some very special printing presses including an Adana 8 x 5″ printing press fixed to the back of a purpose built bicycle as well as a small proofing press.
25. Free. Sun Apr 23. Little Miss Diva’s a bit old for this one, but if you have toddlers take them along to the free Thomas and Friends play area at Smyths in Cribbs Causeway between 11 and 5pm where there will be loads of activities to keep them happy!
That’s it for this week’s folks. Please double check all event details before heading on out. Don’t forget to like the Broke in Bristol Facebook page and please share this post with your friends if you found it useful. Happy Easter everyone!