Now that Halloween is done and dusted for the year, I can’t resist thinking about the big one…. Christmas time!
As you will know when you have little ones, Christmas can truly be the most magical time of year and if you live in the Bristol area there is no shortage of seasonal activities for families to take part in.
We have compiled a list of the best Christmas activities in Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and slightly further afield within up to an hour’s drive.
Christmas Light trails near Bristol
Light trails are gaining in popularity and it’s easy to see why. Woodland and stately home gardens can be magically transformed with twinkling lights that will wow the whole family. There are plenty of options around the Bristol area.
A new event for this year at one of our favourite Bristol outdoor spaces, Ashton Court. Due to its location this is bound to be a popular one. As well as the light trail, Ashton Court also has a wonderful Santa experience in the mansion.
Talking trees, twinkling lights, bright colours lighting up the forest… This is a lovely Christmas event that many people go to year after year.
If you are looking for somewhere a bit different, the light trail at Bute Park in Cardiff has caught our eye this year. This is around an hour’s drive from Bristol and why not make a day of it with a bit of Christmas shopping beforehand.
Ideal for those in North Bristol or South Gloucestershire, Sudeley Castle transforms its grounds with a magical display of light and colour.
Ideal for those in South Bristol or North Somerset, Killerton (National Trust) is around an hour’s drive away in Devon and the light trail looks to be a decent offering.
Stourhead (National Trust) is renowned for its gardens all year around but especially at Christmas time. Also a bit of a drive but can be reached within an hour from South Bristol or North Somerset.
The Enchanted Light Trail is a spectacular night time journey with dazzling animal illuminations.
Saving the best until last, Longleat in Wiltshire is my personal favourite place to go at Christmas. The usual Festival of Light (lantern festival) is not on in 2021 but there is still an impressive light trail and the Santa train, plus all the usual attractions.
Christmas Displays in Bristol and South Glos
If you are looking for information on outdoor displays, houses which are lit up really well for Christmas or any free community displays that you can pop by and visit check the Christmas displays in Bristol Facebook group and get involved.
The group’s team have put together a map and are asking everyone to get involved whether it’s a tree trail, window, outdoor and light displays, literally everything that has a Christmas theme
Bristol Christmas Days Out For All The Family
Check out the festive offerings at the following local attractions, which all have Christmas Family Activities available. These are a few options of where to take your child to see Santa in Bristol.
- Avon Valley – Opt for either Christmas Days, Christmas Nights, Ice Skating or meet Santa
- Puxton Park Magical Christmas Experience – Discover a Magical Christmas Secret Garden where twinkling festive lights turn into snowflakes before your eyes and meet a Christmas Fairy on her quest to find her magic wand. There is also a Santa’s Grotto, 3D Christmas Tree Trail and Christmas biscuit decorating with Mrs Claus
- Cattle Country – This farm park has festive sleigh rides, Santa, reindeer, toast marshmallows at the fire pit and more.
- Wookey Hole – Winter Wonderland at Wookey Hole from 20th November. Come and see the magnificent caves illuminated with Christmas characters on your magical tour, Underground magical kingdom with Santa’s New Toy Factory and a light show.
- Clearwell Caves – Wander into the magical underground forest and discover how the woodland animals get ready for Christmas. With Christmas stalls and a cafe
- Tyntesfield – This National Trust property has events including Wreath Making and Carol concert.
- Spiegeltent at millennium square – The beautiful, theatrical set is housed in its own stand-alone venue in Millennium Square on Bristol’s Harbourside. Cheeky elves help visitors on their playful, enchanting journey through magical woods to meet the man in red himself. This is heart warming fun for both the young and the young at heart …and oldies get a free hot toddy from the mini bar!
- Cribbs Causeway Christmas with Paddington – This Christmas event is 13 November – 24 December With lively and charming characters to meet and enchanting interactive scenes, it’s a must-see attraction for all ages. Then get your skates on at our incredible new indoor ice rink and enjoy the ultimate festive day out at Cribbs!
- Ocean Adventurers – This soft play in Cheddar Business park has activities like decorate your gingerbread man, make reindeer food and fake snow comes down while the children play. They also have a role play village which is decked out for Christmas so the big man himself can come and buy some fruit and veg from the kids at their shop!
- Christmas at Farrington’s – Farrington’s Farm Shop will have Christmas trees arriving on the 28th November and also have a team of Santa’s elves visiting again this year causing mischief and mayhem. Bring your children to hunt around the farm to find those cheeky elves and check out the café filled with festive delights and hot drinks to warm you up.
This may be slightly further afield, down the M4, but we have been looking at The Magical Christmas Experience at 4 Kingdoms in Newbury. This looks like one of the best Christmas experiences ever, described as a magical immersive experience, and We look forward to trying this out.
Active Winter Activities Near Bristol
Ice skating and tobogganing are our favourite Winter sports for a festive feeling.
Bath on ice – It’s back and bigger than ever, there will be festive music, lights and Christmas atmosphere and there is also a glowing mini golf course next to the ice rink.
Avon Valley ice skating – If you are looking for outdoor ice skating near Bristol this Christmas, try Avon Valley Ice Skating. You can also meet Father Christmas at Avon Valley
Planet ice – This is a newly opened permanent indoor ice risk at Cribbs causeway. A great addition to Bristol’s leisure facilities!
Mendip snow sports centre – Christmas toboggan – Tobogganning has has a festive upgrade! After your session relax in the alpine themed balcony with hot chocolate and candy canes.
Christmas Garden Centres around Bristol
Where to buy your Christmas tree and decorations around Bristol? Here are a few local garden centres to try.
Whitehall Garden Centre – Nice Christmas range of trees and decorations along a cafe at this Garden centre in Norton Lane, BS14
Almondsbury Garden Centre – Find plenty of Christmassy atmosphere here, 5 minutes from Cribbs Causeway off Junction 16 of the M5 motorway.
Christmas theatre in the Bristol Area
Tobacco factory – Check the programme here for this years Christmas shows – includes OZ, and Factory Singers Christmas Performance.
Bristol Old Vic – There will be Christmas show of Robin Hood and the Legend of the Forgotten Forest
Redgrave theatre – The Pantomime will be Cinderella, or a Ballet of the Snow Queen
Bristol Hippodrome – Snow White Pantomime or Russian Swan Lake Ballet
Music for Miniatures – The Nut Cracker Live Concert for ages 4+
Santa trains near Bristol
Have a train ride with Santa at any of these local Bristol locations – fun for kids of all ages.
- Perrygrove railway
- Avon Valley railway
- Further afield: West Somerset railway
- There is also a lovely (stationary) Christmas train inside the Cadbury garden centre.
We hope you enjoyed all of these festive day out ideas. Have fun and happy Christmas to all Bristol families!
If you found this list of Christmas Activities in Bristol useful please share this blog post with your friends, family and neighbours!
This post was contributed by our Bristol Based Contributor Helen.