20 free & cheap things to do with the kids this May half-term.
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 May half-term holiday special and we’ve got 20 free and cheap things for you to do with the kids this holiday.
1. £3 entry, under 12s free. Sat May 27. Bag yourself a bargain at Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair where you’ll find 80 stalls selling vintage fashion, homeware and collectables at The Passenger Shed at Brunel’s Old Station. Grown-ups can relax in the tea room, watch a live performance or get pampered in the vintage beauty salon.
2. Free entry, £4 per pitch. Sat May 27. Make some money by selling stuff you no longer need at Rumble in the Jungle. Arrive around 9:45am if you want to set up a stall at Easton Market on Old Hallows Rd and between 10:00 and 3pm if you want to shop.
3. Free. Mon May 29 – June 4. There’s an exhibition coming to Bristol where children are encouraged to touch the exhibits! Touch at The Island in Bridewell St is suitable for all ages and there will be lots to touch and play with including handmade puppets. Kids can also dress up and have their photo taken in the photo booth.
4. Free. Thu June 1. At Fabrics of Time at St John on the Wall on Broad St kids can design their own fashion show, dress up as a medieval tailor and make a medieval bag to take home. Pop in between 11 and 3pm.
5. Free. Fri June 2. Celebrate Friday at a family-friendly street food party taking place on King St from 5:30pm ‘til 9pm with food from Sri-Licious and Smoke Catering. Keep an eye on their Facebook event page by clicking here.
6. Free. Fri June 2. If you’re in town, check out Cabot Circus’ Superhero School outside House of Fraser where little ones can dress up as a superhero between 11 and 4pm and everyone can benefit from special offers. This is free but organisers ask you to let them know you will be coming along by clicking here.
7. Free. Sat Jun 3 & Sun 4. Pop along to the Easton Arts Trail between 11am and 6pm where designers will showcase their talents in painting, ceramics and print as well as jewellery, fibre arts and woodwork.
8. Free. It’s going to be hot, hot, hot! If you fancy taking the kids to cool down by taking a paddle, check out my blog post on free and cheap places in and around Bristol to go outdoor swimming. My favourite place to take Little Miss Diva is Millennium Square as it’s safe for little ones and you can pack a picnic.
9. Free. Anytime. Bristol has four adventure playgrounds in Southmead, St Pauls, Easton and Lockleaze with loads going on during the school holidays. Events at Adventure playgrounds. On Thursday June 1 you can take your bike and swap it for a bigger one at Southmead Adventure Playground.
10. Treat yourself to popcorn for brekkie and take the kids to a morning showing of Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience or Smurfs: The Lost Village for just £1.50 each at Odeon Kids. At Vue Longwell Green you can also watch Peppa as well as Sing, Beauty & the Beast and The Lego Batman Movie from £2.49 and get free entry to Legoland Windsor.
11. 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.
12. Thu 1st June free. There will be a free screening of Jungle Book in Millennium Square from 12 noon ‘til 1:30pm. Get there early if you want a deck chair or take a blanket.
13. Free. Anytime. Little Miss Diva and I checked out our local library this week. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in one to be honest but I was reminded just how great this free, local service is. As well as book loans, you can rent DVDs, use the printers which are free for kids or 10p per print for adults and some of the libraries also have fun groups and workshops too!
14. Free. Anytime. Get on yer bike. One of my favourite rides is along the River Avon Trail where you can stop for a picnic along the way and enjoy the Avon Valley Woodlands and Conham River Park. Check out Beese’s Riverside Bar or save the pennies and pack a picnic.
15. Free. Sun May 28. Bristol Ferry 40th Birthday. Live music, free arts and crafts and crochet will be on offer at this birthday party at the Underfall Boatyard from 2pm. Book the kids into the Bristol Crocodile Workshop by clicking here.
16. Free. Until May 31. Take part in the Bristol Walk Fest by going on a treasure hunt, hunt for bugs or play football while on the go. Who said walking was dull? Check out the official website for more details.
17. £2. Mon May 29 and Weds May 31. At Windmill Hill City Farm you can take a look behind the scenes of the animal pens and take part in the brass rubbing tour.
18. Free (donations welcome). Anytime. Enjoy all the free things that our neighbouring city Bath has to offer. Victoria Park is always a firm favourite with the kids and you could join a free walking guide tour, visit the Victoria Art Gallery or the Holburne Museum while you’re there.
19. Until Sept 3. Skeletons: Our buried Bonies at M Shed feature twelve human skeletons and their stories. Might not be suitable for really young children.
20. Free. Anytime. Not for the faint-hearted, but you can take a walk along the Clifton Suspension Bridge and pop into the Visitor Centre in Leigh Woods. Entry is free and it's open from 10-5pm every day. Inside you'll find an exhibition about the history of the bridge and the people who worked on it, children's activities and a gift shop!
Have we missed anything? Feel free to share your tips or events for cheap or affordable family events this May half-term. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page to never miss an update.