Bristol has more festivals than you can shake with your sparkling neon tail feather, and if you’re interested in something like that (what I am), you’re spoiled for choice – especially in the summer months. Throughout the year there are countless family-friendly festivals where everything from hot air balloons to maritime Bristol is celebrated. Best of all, most of them have free entry! Here is my summary of the best family-friendly Bristol festivals I’m looking forward to in 2020.
Family-friendly Bristol Festival 2020
Slapstick Festival: Harry Hills Kidz Show – how to be fun for kids (January 26)
The biggest celebration of British silent and vintage film comedy takes place in January to cheer up the miserable winter month. While the festival’s events are mainly aimed at adults (with comedy superstars Rob Brydon, Stephen Merchant and Bill Oddie among the funny heroes in the line-up), Harry Hill becomes a young would-be gagster in a live show specially created for them & Tell entertain at the age of 6-16 years and their families. Expect lots of gags, slapstick tomfoolery and pudding cakes.
* Read my review of last year’s family-friendly slapstick event with Andy Day.
WokyFest (January 25)
WokyFest is Woky Ko’s Chinese New Year in Wapping Wharf at Bristol Harbor. 2020 marks the Chinese Year of the Rat – expect delicious Asian street food, music and a traditional Chinese lion dance.
Bristol Light Festival (February 27 – March 1)
A brand new annual event in the city’s festival calendar, organized by the Bristol City Center BID. The Bristol Light Festival brings color, light and play into six inner city spaces with a series of orders from local and internationally known artists.
Festival of nature (April 24 – June 7)
Britain’s largest free celebration of nature takes place in Millennium Square, Queen Square and Anchor Square. Discover how you can stand up for nature by having fun with the family for free (planting seeds, making clay models), performing practical activities, performing (e.g. live outdoor puppet shows) and giving free lectures local stalls sell environmentally friendly goods and much more.
Food Drink Bristol Fashion (2-3 May)
Josh Eggleton (Michelin-starred pony & trap chef), Valley Fest (creator of the super family-friendly Bristol Festival) and Team Love (festival “Love saves the day and the depths”) wrote this exciting, food-loving experience Festival in Castle Park. In addition to live music from local acts and DJs, producer stands, school of food workshops and a banquet tent with some exciting collaborations, there are also a number of activities for children.
Bath Festival Finale weekend (May 23-24)
This event takes place in the Bath Recreation Ground, a beautiful setting with a view of Bath and the surrounding landscape. Bath Spa train station is within walking distance (so easy if you are coming from Bristol). In addition to live music (including the headliners McFly and UB40), there are also spoken word events, street theater and a kids zone with live entertainment, handicrafts, storytelling and workshops to keep younger festival goers happy.
Upfest (May 30 – June 1)
Europe’s largest live street art and graffiti festival is coming back from its wasteland with an additional venue – Greville Smyth Park. The huge walls and murals, which are usually painted by over 250 artists during the festival weekend, are created in the two weeks before Upfest. give more people the opportunity to bring the spectacular creations to life. As well as live music stages and food and drink stands, There’s always enough for families (aside from the drama that artists watch at work), including children’s workshops, A Posca doodle wall, a special Nacoa children’s area where children can participate in anything that is sticky and colorful.
Picture credits – Upfest
The dig for Victory Show, Ashton Court Estate(June 13-14)
The family festival of the 1940s takes place in Ashton Court in June 2020 and offers food, fun, dance, live music, vintage stands, classic vehicles, arena events and much more. The children’s agenda includes old-fashioned games (such as skittles and croquet), vintage car rides, children’s workshops, learning how to greet, a fantastic attack course, and the opportunity to see small and large creatures on the 1940s farm. Put on your best tea dress, put your hair up and celebrate in the 40s style!
Bristol pride (June 26 – July 11)
Dress the family in rainbow-colored clothes for Pride – there is always something for children of all ages on Pride Day (July 11). In addition to the phenomenally colorful parade, last year’s kid-friendly events included Drag Queen Story Time, Kite-Making with the WI, and Super Pirates, which create colorful and entertaining play areas led by active players and trained actors.
Goram Fair, Blaise Castle Estate, Bristol (until June)
A festival for 2020 has not yet been announced, but I’ll keep a close eye on this fun little one-day festival that celebrates the legend of local Bristol giant Goram on the sprawling green Blaise Castle Estate. Last year’s event included spectacular sculptures by Goram and his beloved Avona, as well as a dog show, games, stands, handicrafts and a fair.
Bristol Shakespeare Festival (1st to 31st July)
This festival will showcase some of The Bard’s most popular works. It includes spoken word, circus and open air theater performances across Bristol. For more information, check out the broadcaster’s website as family-friendly shows come up in Brandon Hill Park, Brunels SS in the UK, and St. George Park.
St. Paul’s Carnival (July 4th)
Celebrate the best of Afro-Caribbean culture at one of Bristol’s most famous festivals, the St. Pauls Carnival. You can join this lively community celebration for free and demonstrate the region’s creativity, music and art with plenty of delicious street food so you can dance all day long. Don’t miss the carnival parade (lunchtime) with thousands of people of all ages, colorful floats, spectacular costumes, extravagant dances, samba drums and musical performances.
Photo credits – St. Paul’s Carnival
Bad carnival (July 11)
If you want to experience even more summer carnival, you can take the train to Bath in 13 minutes. The city’s carnival festivals include a colorful street parade with fantastic costumes, dancing and live music. The city turns into a big party. Then, visit the Sydney Gardens for a free, family-friendly post-carnival festival with music, workshops, children’s activities, and food and drink stalls.
Bristol Harbor Festival (July 17-19)
This annual, free, family-friendly dance, music and art extravaganza takes place along Bristol Harbor, from the underground courtyard to the cascade stairs, Thekla and Queen Square. In addition to live music and entertainment (watch out for the baby races!) There is also comedy, aerial photography, circus performances, handicrafts, a dance village, food markets and lots of maritime fun.
Valley Fest (July 31 – August 2)
Dig out your neon and put on your dance rubber boots Incredibly quaint family-friendly festival overlooking Chew Valley Lake and the Mendip Hills. Not far from Bristol, it’s a fun-filled wonderland for kids (picking vegetables, mini raves, crafting, circus games, makeup, riding tractors, etc.) with Somerset spirit lashes. There’s also a big gourmet focus with festivities, including a six-course meal by Josh Eggleton from the Michelin-starred The Pony and Trap pub. This year’s headliners include Deacon Blue and The Cuban Brothers. More will be announced shortly.
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (August 6-9)
This free four-day family-friendly event is one of the most famous festivals in Bristol and the largest of its kind in Europe. Mass inspections of over 100 hot air balloons are planned each year for early morning and daily tea time, as well as spectacular night shows (when the balloons light their burners with music) and fireworks. Visitors can look forward to rides, entertainment, live music and impressive flight demonstrations on the beautiful grounds of the Ashton Court Estate.
Continue reading: In Bristol you can take breathtaking pictures of hot air balloons,
Colston Hall Hoo Ha Festival (date to be determined)
Three free, packed days of chaos, games, workshops and gorgeous silliness are the order of the day for the Colston Hall Festival for kids. Go for music, fun making and mess, jungle raving, face painting and more.
This vibrant community festival in East Bristol attracts artists and performers of all kinds. Expect an exciting array of family-friendly fun, live music, DJs, art, dance, and film.
The Downs Festival (to be confirmed)
The brand-new line-up of the Downs Festival 2019 consisted of stars like Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Loyle Garner, IDLES, Neneh Cherry and Madness, who do their thing on Bristol’s Clifton Downs. In addition to the musical gadgets, there are usually a number of tents with activities for children throughout the day, including handicrafts, games, model building workshops, big bug talks, circus gadgets, and more. Fingers crossed for another festival in 2020!
Bath children’s literature festival (September 25 – October 4)
Europe’s largest children’s literature event offers lectures and activities for children that inspire their imaginations. The festival offers young book lovers the opportunity to meet the creators of their literary heroes and bring illustrations to life. Last year’s world-class authors included Harry Hill, Cressida Cowell, Dougie Poynter, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Storytale Festival Bristol (October 24 – November 1)
Last year saw the first one-week Bristol Storytale Festival, founded by Bristol-based Ellie Freeman and author Kate Frost. The festival celebrated the wonderful world of children’s books with the city’s talented authors and illustrators. It included a variety of book types, interactive storytelling for toddlers, inspiring conversations for teenagers, and workshops on creative writing, drama, crafts, and more in the city’s venues.
Longleat Festival of Light (November 7th – January 3rd)
Embark on a brilliant adventure through thousands of Chinese lanterns and breathtaking structures at the great Longleat Festival of Light (November 9th – January 5th).
Westonbirt verzauberte Weihnachten (noch zu bestätigen)
Erleben Sie ein festliches Fest für die Sinne im Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas, einer der magischsten Nächte im West Country-Festkalender. Bei jedem Wechsel beleuchtet das Regenbogenlicht den Wald und sorgt für schillernde Szenen, funkelndes Topiary und einen bezaubernden Spaziergang durch die Dunkelheit. Überraschungen erwarten Sie in dieser märchenhaften Welt des Lichts – halten Sie Ihre Augen offen für echte, funkelnde Feen, sprechende Bäume, festliches Naturhandwerk und den Weihnachtsmann.
Entdecken Sie hier weitere weihnachtliche Bristol-Feste des Lichts
Bristol Film Festival (verschiedene Termine im Laufe des Jahres)
Das Bristol Film Festival bietet das ganze Jahr über eine Reihe familienfreundlicher Pop-up-Kinovorführungen und ordnet die Filme auf geniale Weise einzigartigen Schauplätzen in der ganzen Stadt zu. Klassische Filme auf den Karten für 2020 sind Familienwerte von Addams and Flugzeug,
Festivals weiter weg
Leuchtet Cheltenham auf (1-23 Februar)
Über 30 von Cheltenhams Wahrzeichengebäuden werden im Februar drei Wochen lang so dramatisch beleuchtet wie noch nie zuvor. Straßentheater-Trommlergruppe Spark! Sie werden in der ersten Nacht die Menge in Erstaunen versetzen. Wenn Sie zum Valentinstag in der Stadt sind, sollten Sie davon ausgehen, dass sie zu diesem Anlass rot leuchtet! Ein riesiges Riesenrad in den Imperial Gardens gibt den Besuchern die Möglichkeit, das Lichtspektakel von oben zu sehen, und es werden geführte Touren durch diese wunderschöne Regency-Stadt angeboten.
Farmfest, Bruton, Somerset (24.-25. Juli)
Etwa 1,5 Stunden von Bristol entfernt befindet sich dieses kleine Festival vor der spektakulären Kulisse von Somerset. Morcheeba, Craig Charles, Portico Quartet und James Holden, die sich für elektronische Musik, Indie, Folk und Weltmusik entschieden haben, waren im vergangenen Jahr unter den 100 bestätigten Künstlern zu finden. Es ist auch bei Familien beliebt, dank seiner Kinderworkshops, Comedy und Poesie.
FRAU, Malmesbury (23.-26. Juli)
Wenn Glastonbury ein bisschen entmutigend mit Kindern scheint, WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) kann Ihren Sommerfest Heißhunger stillen. Das Festival, das im wunderschönen Charlton Park in Wiltshire (40 Minuten von Bristol entfernt) stattfindet, vereint künstlerische Darbietungen aus aller Welt auf sieben verschiedenen Bühnen. Hören Sie Ziggy Marley und Robert Plant zu, hören Sie faszinierende Gespräche und Debatten und lassen Sie Kinder im Kinderbereich toben.
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