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Bristol Science Centre, Visit England

Top 5: Family Attractions in Bristol

27 May 2017 | London Calling

The sun is shining and with half term fast approaching we at Culture Calling have been looking for some cultural inspiration for all the family to enjoy. In terms of diversity of choice, Bristol is top of the list for those looking for a dynamic and fun-fuelled family day out. Home to Banksy, the SS Great Britain and the UK’s first 3D planetarium, Bristol is equipped to entertain all! Take a look at our top 5 suggestions for family frivolity in Bristol.

1) SS Great Britain

Get your sea legs ready for a harbour-side excursion of Brunel’s SS Great Britain. A wonderful homage to and recognition of Bristol’s maritime history, the SS Great Britain has been lovingly preserved and designed to accommodate those of all ages. Experience the ship’s first class cabins, peek into the cook’s gallery, become the ship’s stoker and explore the decks on this immersive experience into the world of Victorian seafaring. For those brave enough you can even harness up and climb the rigging to get the full Victorian sailor experience (£10 admission to climb). The SS Great Britain perfectly balances interactive exhibits with its storytelling of the ship’s history to provide the family with an informative and memorable day out. Special events happen all year round and there is a range of special half term activities taking place from the 27th May – 4th June.
 

Image Credit: Robert Pittman

Find the SS Great Britain on Gas Ferry Road. Open daily 10am-5.30pm (4.30pm in winter), adult £13.75, five-17 years £7
 
 
2) Bristol Science Centre

Home to the UK’s first 3D planetarium, the @Bristol Science Centre is perfect for those looking for an experimental, hands-on family day out. Summer Star Gazing at the Planetarium (suitable for 6+) allows participants to sit back, relax and explore the universe in full surround sound and 3D. Showing you what to expect from a summer night sky, you’ll visit the rings of Saturn, constellations and even a meteor shower! Smaller space explorers (under 6) can experience similar outer-space action in a 2D format. If a 3D space experience isn’t enough, you can check out the centre’s diverse range of interactive exhibits. Explore the Tinkering Space to design your flyers, obstacle courses and shadow boxes, as well as the Hanging Gardens to learn how to grow your own gravity defying plant experiment. Especially for half term, on June 1st, the centre will be showing an exclusive free outdoor screening of the Jungle Book from 12.00pm – so pack your picnic and head down!


Image Credit: Visit England
 
Find the @Bristol Science Centre on Anchor Rd, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5DB. Open daily 10am-5pm (6pm on weekends, bank holidays and Bristol school holidays) Adults from £15.30, Child from £9.90, 2s and under FREE.


3) Architecture Centre

For over twenty years, The Architecture Centre has been inspiring visitors to engage with design, architecture and place-making. Exceptionally family friendly, the harbour-side located gallery offers a plethora of activities to engage children with design and innovation. Each exhibition held at the gallery has a family friendly activity to accompany it. This season’s ‘Murdered with Straight Lines’ exhibition, displaying Garth England’s remarkable drawings of Bristol, is accompanied by an activity where children can also create drawings and comics of their own neighbourhoods. Entirely free, the centre also has a child-friendly activity station, where you can pull up a stool and let your imagination run wild!
 

Image Credit: The Architecture Centre

Find The Architecture Centre at 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA.
 Entry is free.  Open Wednesday to Friday, 11:00 – 17:00. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 – 17:00. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
 
 
4) Bristol Zoo Gardens

Nothing says ‘family day out’ like the zoo – and Bristol Zoo Gardens do not disappoint! With over 400 different species and nine animal houses, Bristol Zoo offers the chance to show people of all ages the diversity of animal life across the globe. Stroll through the Butterfly Forest, take a peek at the Asiatic Lions, get up close with a family of gorillas and experience the mini wonders of Bug World all in one day. If that isn’t enough excitement, as of May 27th (just in time for half term), Bristol Zoo Gardens will be exploring the history of the Jurassic with 11 awe-inspiring animatronic dinosaurs taking visitors on a journey that started 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs such as a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus will be brought to life using state-of-the-art technology. The Dinomania exhibition is included with normal Zoo admission and will offer visitors a chance to experience the dinosaur world like never before!


Image credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens via Facebook

Find Bristol Zoo Gardens at College Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HAOpen daily 9:00am - 5:30pmAdults from £18, Children from £12.

 
5) Banksy Trail

Get inspired out in the fresh air on Bristol’s famous Banksy Trail. Perfect for all the family, the Banksy trail is an excellent way to explore the sites and sounds of the city. Banksy was born and bred in Bristol and some of his earliest work is hidden around the city for astute explorers to hunt down.  Conveniently, Visit Bristol has devised a self-guided Banksy tour with some pit-stops along the way. A fun and free day out exploring Bristol with some iconic artwork thrown in – we’d say that’s a winner!


Image credit: Visit Bristol via Facebook 
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Find more on the Banksy trail at http://visitbristol.co.uk/things-to-do/banksy-walking-tour-p1354013.
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