There are lots of fascinating and fun museums and historic places to take your children in Bristol, many of them free.
Curiosity at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
A mini-museum and play area on the ground floor of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Curiosity is especially for children aged under 7, with “exhibits” and activities for children to discover and enjoy through interactive play. There is also a padded area for crawlers. Curiosity is gated and secure.
- Read the Bristol Mum review of Curiosity
- Open Monday – Friday 10am – 4.30pm and weekends & bank holidays 10am – 5.30pm
- Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Road, BS8 1RL
- Contact 0117 922 3571
With over 20 galleries, Bristol Museum provides a rich and varied place to visit with children for several hours. There are dinosaur skeletons, an Egyptian Mummy, interactive activities and much more!
- Open: Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm; Weekends 10am – 6pm
- Lift to all floors for parents with pushchairs
- Queen’s Road, Bristol, BS8 1RL
- Contact 0117 922 3571
You may be surprised to read that Bristol Cathedral provides a fantastic place to explore with your children and a great learning experience, plus there is lots of space! There is also a secluded garden and terrace to enjoy outside. There is a café within the cathedral which offers simple snacks and lunches.
- Read the Bristol Mum review of Bristol Cathedral
- Open: Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm and Saturdays & Sundays 8am – 3.15pm
- Some parts of the cathedral are not pushchair accessible due to steps
- Bristol Cathedral, College Green, BS1 5TJ
- Contact 0117 926 4879
Arnolfini is a great place to explore creative ideas and contemporary art. Families are made welcome at Arnolfini and there is a family guide for each exhibition with activities to do together in the galleries to help investigate ideas behind artwork. Arnolfini also offers regular, free programme of family events and activities, which includes Family Film Screenings, storytelling and arty activities.
- Read a Bristol Mum review of Arnolfini
- Open Tuesday – Sunday & bank holiday Mondays 11am – 6pm (closed Mondays)
- Pushchair friendly with lifts, plus baby changing facilities
- Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA
- Contact 0117 917 2300
Blaise Castle House Museum & Estate
Home to weird & wonderful objects from a Victorian dolls’ house to an old tin bath and beautiful costumes. Vast estate which includes a great adventure play area and castle in the woods! There is also the centuries-old Blaise Castle which is opened to the public between April and October on the third Sunday of the month.
- Open Wed – Sun & bank holiday Mondays 10.30am – 4pm
- The house has baby changing facilities, however, it is not pushchair friendly
- Henbury Road, Bristol, BS10 7QS
- Contact 0117 903 9818
Only 5 minutes away from Blaise House Estate, lies the remains of Kings Weston Roman Villa. Mosaic floors and a Roman bath suite.
- Free admission (£5 refundable deposit is required)
- Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, Bristol, BS11 OLP
- Contact 0117 922 3571
A fascinating place to visit with children, M Shed houses fascinating collections of items, objects and art which will keep children of all ages thoroughly entertained. There are three interactive galleries which include Bristol People, Bristol Places and Bristol Life. M Shed also offers train, crane and boat rides at weekends and bank holidays from Easter to October!
- Open Tues – Fri 10am – 5pm; Weekends 10am – 6pm. Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)
- Pushchair friendly with baby changing facilities
- Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, BS1 4RN
- Contact 0117 352 6600
Frenchay Village Museum provides a great learning opportunity for children to learn about the Victorians, wildlife, what school used to be like one hundred years ago, local history and much more.
- Open Sat & Sun 2 – 5pm; Weds 1 – 4pm & most bank holiday Mondays 2 – 5pm (closed throughout December & New Year)
- Frenchay Village Museum, Begbrook Park, Frenchay, BS16 1SZ
- Contact 0117 957 0942
Step back in time and show children how people used to live! The Georgian House once belonged to John Pinney, who was a wealthy plantation and slave owner and sugar merchant.
- Open: Easter to end of October on Wed, Thurs, Sat & Sun 10.30am – 4pm
- Stairs to all floors so not pushchair friendly
- 7 Great George Street, Bristol, BS1 5RR
- Contact 0117 921 1363
Built in 1580, The Red Lodge Museum was once a Victorian girls’ reform school and is decorated in Elizabethan & Georgian styles. There is also an interesting knot garden outside.
- Open: Re-opens its doors from Easter 2014
- Not pushchair friendly
- Park Row, Bristol, BS1 5LJ
- Contact 0117 921 1360
A 2-floor science centre filled with interactive exhibits, activities and live shows. At-Bristol is also home to the UK’s only 3D planetarium. Offers a day out with lots of fun things to see, do and learn about. Every month At-Bristol also hosts a Toddler Takeover: a day of fun-filled activities for children under-5s.
- Open: 10am – 5pm from Monday to Friday
- Open 10am – 6pm at weekends and Bristol school holidays
- Pushchair friendly
- Price: adults from £14.60, children from £9.40 and young children aged 2 and under go free
- Visit https://www.at-bristol.org.uk/