Welcome to Broke in Bristol – the blog that helps you save money, make money and live life to the full on a budget. This is our autumn half-term special and we’ve got 13 completely free things for you to do with the kids these school holidays. Have we missed anything? Feel free to share your events on our Facebook page. Enjoy the holidays!
1. Halloween Party in Redland
On the first day of the school holidays there is a free Halloween party at the Elmgrove Community Centre in Redland for children aged three to eight. The party starts at 10:45am on Monday 24 Oct and goes on ‘til lunch. You can book your child’s place by calling Mallory on 07540 800939 or emailing Mallory@ctpparty.co.uk
2. Halloween Party in Kingswood
There’s another free Halloween party on Sat 29 Oct which is being hosted to raise money for Children in Need. Expect fun, games, competitions and prizes as well as food and drink at the Kingswood Community Centre from 1:30 ‘til 4:30pm. All proceeds will be doubled by Lloyds Bank and will go towards helping less fortunate children.
3. Harvest Festival
The Old Market Assembly is hosting its very own free Harvest Festival on Sat 22 Oct and promises fun for all the family. Kids can enjoy the free activities and crafts while the grown-ups can taste cider and wine. If you’re green fingered, take along your homegrown veg and see if you can win the Best in Show competition.
The giant 3-D knitted version of our city is now available for everyone to view at the Bristol Energy Hub on the Harbourside until 31 October. 250 volunteers spent three years making this creation out of hundreds of balls of wool and the exhibition was previously on show at the M Shed.
5. Free Mister Maker box
Order this now and put it away until a rainy day. All materials are included and you can even personalise this gift to include your child’s name and age. You only get the first box free, so you need to set yourself a reminder to cancel before 10 days after your first box is dispatched.
6. Get lost in a book or two
Head over to the children’s area of the Central Library in College Green on Saturday 22 October for a fun-filled afternoon of storytelling and arts and crafts activities. Local writer, Helen Sheppard, and publisher, Greet Pauwelijn, are taking part in this event to help celebrate Bristol’s cultural and linguistic diversity with local families who love books, stories and reading.
7. My Pet Pals workshops
Enrol your little pet lovers onto a free Pets at Home workshop where they can learn how to love and care for their little friends. Places available at stores in Brislington, Filton, Emersons Green, Bradley Stoke, Portishead, Yate and Clevedon during the half-term holidays.
8. Free Ghoul School
I’ll be taking Little Miss Diva to this free event in Cabot Circus on Tuesday 25 Oct between 11 and 4pm to concoct her own magical potion. There’s also storytelling, competitions and a photo booth. You could also check out free family yoga day on Monday 24 and other activities throughout the week.
9. Mexican Day of the Dead
Perfectly timed for the October half-term holidays, the Bristol Family Arts Festival boasts loads of free activities happening across Bristol. One highlight is Mexican Day of the Dead at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on 30 October. Here, children can make sparkly skulls and Mexican style decorations and dress up for a selfie with La Catrina.
10. The Big Draw
Another Bristol Family Arts Festival highlight is The Big Draw at the M Shed on 25 October. The theme this year is The Steam Powered Big Draw Festival which brings together science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM). Children will be encouraged to draw and explore ideas before making their own creations.
11. Super Saturday
This is a free drop in arts workshop taking place at Children’s Scrapstore in St Werburghs as part of the Bristol family Arts Festival. Pop in on either Sat Oct 22 or 29 from 10:30 ‘til 2pm and see what you can make.
12. Family Storytelling
M Shed is hosting a free MetroBus kids’ activity afternoon on Thursday 27 October, which runs from 1pm to 4pm. During the session, there will be activities to keep kids occupied and things to take home, as well as a Lego building competition.
13. Free childcare
Need a break? Take the kiddos to one of the four free adventure playgrounds in Bristol. If your children are eight and over, you can register them and leave them in the capable hands of the play workers. Little Miss Diva loves the Felix Road Adventure Playground in Easton, but there’s also free play at Lockleaze Adventure Playground, Saint Paul's Adventure Playground and Southmead Adventure Playground. Top tip – send them with a friend or sibling. Younger children from aged five can join in too, but must be supervised by an adult.
That’s our 13 free things to do with the kids this autumn half-term. Enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget to like our Facebook page to never miss an update.