If you haven't yet been to Bristol in England, then put it on your list of places to go. Bristol is the understated capital of cool and the mix of music venues, eclectic places for food and quirky hidden gems to see makes it the must see city in England this year. All prices quoted are in British Pounds (approx 1 USD to 0.7 GBP).
EDUCATIONAL PLACES: Museums/Exhibits/History
1. The Matthew
Start your Bristol tour on the right foot with a history lesson by visiting The Matthew, a reconstruction of the original ship that John Cabot sailed to Newfoundland in 1497. You can hop on board and talk to any of the crew (dedicated volunteers and enthusiasts) to ask questions you might have as you explore The Matthew. Big bonus: it's entirely free!
2. M Shed
Right around the corner you will find one of the many fantastic museums Bristol has to offer, the M Shed. The M Shed aims to deliver year round educational activities focusing on the history of the city of Bristol and its importance in the world through interactive displays. Throughout the year, the M Shed also hosts exhibitions by renowned photographers and host regular historical walks through Bristol. This museum has free admission.
3. We The Curious
A science museum for everyone is how We The Curious is advertising itself. They want you to touch, poke, stroke the exhibits and question everything. A great interactive and hands on museum that allows for full exploration and engagement. Family tickets go for £39.50 and for an additional charge there is also a planetarium and Toddler Time sessions.
REFUELLING STOPS: Food/Drinks/Snacks
4. Chance & Counters
Chance & Counters is the only board game cafe in Bristol. With over 600 games to choose from you can probably forget the rest of the day and get lost in competitiveness mayhem as you munch on toasted sandwiches and drink peanut butter milkshakes. Prices are extremely reasonable with toasted sandwiches costing a mere £5.50. The catch: There is a cover charge of £5 per person for a 4 hour game session and you must book ahead on their website.
5. You and Meow Cafe
Why not stop by Bristol's first cat cafe and stroke a feline friend while you sip on some delectable hot drink? You and Meow Cafe has a general admissions fee of £5 for 60 minutes and a strict no children under the age of 10 policy. Book ahead on their website, especially if booking for the weekends.
6. Primrose Cafe
The Primrose Cafe has been a regular haunt for those looking for the perfect brunch spot at the weekends. Almost everything they sell is produced on site and they aim to source locally, sustainably and ethically. Try drinking tea in their roof top garden for a step away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES
7. AirHop Bristol
If you fancy letting the kids get rid of some energy while you get some back, take them to AirHop Bristol, a warehouse with wall to wall trampolines. There is a foam pit where the daredevils can practice their aerial tricks and no less than 135 trampolines to keep them going. Prices for one hour of jump time is £12 and children must be older than 5.
8. Clip 'n' Climb
At Clip 'n' Climb, everyone in the family can push themselves to the limit and enjoy a fun and fit day in. There are a range of difficulties, for the novice climber and the more advanced, and there is also a cafe if you get thirsty just watching! Prices start at £10 per child (must be over the age of 4) and bookings can be made through their website.
9. St. Nicholas' Market
If you fancy strolling around looking for a bargain then right around the corner from Chance & Counters is St. Nicholas' Market. Voted the Britain's best large indoor market in 2016, St. Nicks as it's known to the locals sells everything from pots and pans, to peas in a pod. There is a shop called World Fossils which is a must see for any kid (read: anyone!). Free (unless you buy something!).
10. SUP Bristol
If you are after some real outdoor excitement then get ready for Stand Up Paddle, the UK's fastest growing watersport. A unique way of seeing Bristol and one that can be done as a family. If you are an experience SUPer, then SUP Bristol has trips and events that will challenge anyone. Contact SUP Bristol directly for prices.
Whatever you do in Bristol you cannot forget to visit Bristol's iconic Clifton Bridge. Not included in the Top 10, because, well it needs a whole page alone dedicated to it, the Clifton Bridge is a grand example of suspension bridge engineering. There are free tours in the afternoons and a visit is recommended early evening to see the bridge illuminations.
Bristol is a fantastic city to visit with a family with adventure, excitement, relaxation and culture. Add it to your bucket list!