Bristol Open Doors 2018: butter making, bridge building, rock painting & cardboard city creating!

Did you know that one weekend a year, over 100 historic buildings in Bristol usually closed to the public open their doors to visitors?

Bristol Open Doors is a once a year chance to discover forgotten spaces, heritage places and beautiful buildings with your kids!

Bristol Open Doors 2018 is on Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September, and this year there are over 30 new events, including tunnel trails, tours of self-build homes and a chance to have a first look at ‘the new’ Bristol Old Vic!

Some of the 101 spaces open include Bristol Waste Company, Park Row Synagogue, Clifton Rocks Railway, Kings Weston Roman Villa, Puppet place and Redcliffe Caves!

Some of the venues open are on a booking-only basis but all venues are free – you can find out more about the venues here.

This year eight venues are also offering hands-on activities for children including butter-making, bridge-building, rock painting, creating a cardboard city and taking on a maze!  Please see the list below…

Bristol Doors Open Family Activities:

Blaise Castle House Museum, Henbury Road, BS10 7QS
Head to the dairy of the historic Blaise Estate for some family fun. Make butter, see the original tiles of the milk room and admire the early 19th century designs of fashionable architect John Nash. Explore the gardens, grounds and museum at Blaise Castle House.

Blaise Community Garden, Henbury Road, BS10 7QS
Develop your green fingers at this wonderful Victorian walled garden next to Blaise Castle House Museum. Hear how original features are being restored and discover greenhouses, ponds and beehives. Meet volunteers and learn about organic community growing.

Bridge the Gap, Bristol Grammar School, University Road, BS8 1SR
Bring your budding Brunel to this hands-on workshop for kids aged 8-12, recreating a Second Severn Bridge replica and testing its strength by walking across it! The Institute of Civil Engineers and Griffiths Engineering will be on site to assist the build. Sessions last 1 hour.

Bristol Rocks, Architecture Centre, 16 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA
A hands-on activity designing your own Bristol Rock! Once decorated, take it with you as you explore the city, and find a hiding place for someone else to discover and enjoy!

Circomedia, St Pauls Church, Portland Square, BS2 8SJ
Visit this impressive 18th century church and learn about its transformation into a contemporary circus training venue. Lots of family-friendly activities including circus demonstrations, live music, live radio, broadcasts and mentoring.

Creative Workspace, Queens Rd, Withywood, BS13 8LF
Get creative at this community art centre for Withywood and Hartcliffe. Lots of family-friendly workshops will explore the history of the local area, with activities for pre-schoolers on Friday and all ages over the weekend. Unwind with a cake at the in-house café.

Children’s Scrapstore, 21 Sevier Street, St Werburghs, BS2 9LB
Come and create a cardboard city of dreams! The on-site playroom will be brimming with scrap and craft materials. Adult enthusiasts can join a warehouse tour to see how Scrapstore turns waste things to playthings (11am, 1pm & 3pm) and get special access to the members-only warehouse.

Malago Greenway Berry Maze, Brisham Rd Open Space, Bedminster, BS3 5LQ
Lose yourself in the story of this community maze. Learn how volunteers constructed a sustainable garden to bring life to a forgotten patch of the city. Try your hand at a berry quiz and sample some berry cakes – you might not want to find your way out!

If you found this article useful and would like to find out about more kid-friendly things to do in Bristol, please do head over to the Bristol Mum facebook page.