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What's On In Bristol - October 23

Updated: Apr 18

The temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter – but there’s no reason to huddle indoors! Here at Clifton Hotels, autumn is one of our favourite seasons – especially as Bristol’s tree-lined avenues burst into colour and the city’s events calendar becomes filled with fun activities! So whether you’re visiting in October or you’re a Bristol native, here are some of our favourite things to look forward to this month.

Family Friendly Activities this half-term in Bristol

Sea Monsters at Bristol Aquarium: 20th-31st October

Enjoy a spooktacular underwater adventure this October half-term at Bristol Aquarium. Come and marvel at the sea creatures and discover a host of spine-tingling, creepy creatures awaiting you beneath the waves. Plus, children under 3 go free! Find out more on the Bristol Aquarium website.

Howloween at Bristol Zoo Project: 21st October - 5th November

This half-term, your little monsters can run wild on the fang-tastic Howl-oween trail at Bristol Zoo Project. Explore the site in all its ‘gory’ and learn about animal bones, skulls and x-rays. Enter the witch’s campsite, if you dare, listen to their spooky stories and get stuck into creepy craft-making. The Howl-oween trail and activities are included in admission and under 2s go free. At the end of the trail, there’s a little ‘trick or treat’ surprise!

Don’t forget to book online the day before your visit or earlier for 10% off! Find out more on the Bristol Zoo Project website.

Pumpkin Picking Near Bristol this October

Pumpkin Patch Nights at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park

On selected evenings in October, the pumpkin patch at Avon Valley is transformed with a pop-up bar, firepits, street food, performers, spectacular seasonal entertainment and beautiful lighting. Find out more about opening, tickets and what’s on offer at the Avon Valley website.

The Pumpkin Patch is open during the day too. Find out more here.

Pumpkinfest at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm: 9th October – 5th November

Visit Noah's Ark Zoo Farm as they celebrate all things orange! Enjoy everything the Zoo has to offer plus plenty of additional pumpkin-themed fun. There’s a pumpkin corner with seasonal games, an animal myth-busting trail plus a special owl display!

Find out more about tickets on the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm website.

Scary Events in Bristol this October

FEAR at Avon Valley Scream Park: 13th - 31st October

FEAR at Avon Valley Scream Park launches its new season. With an award-winning lineup of X4, VITA NOVA, Malefica, House of Clowns and The Core, guests are guaranteed a thrilling night of terror. They can witness an immersive exorcism or dine like cannibals. There’s also the infamous fire show, thrilling funfair rides, and iconic street entertainment, making sure that nowhere is safe.

The event will run for 13 nights in October from 13th-31st. Find out more on the Avon Valley Scream Park website.

Zombie Outbreak at Mendip Activity Centre

Experience spine-tingling activities with family and friends this October. Word on the street, there's a Zombie outbreak at Mendip Activity Centre!

All Archery, Air Rifle, Axe Throwing, Archery Active and Tobogganing sessions between 6th - 31st October are Halloween-themed, with complimentary Trick or Treat sweets.

Spooky Halloween costumes encouraged! Find out more on the Mendip Activity Centre website.

Forbidden Worlds Film Festival: The Big Scream 2023

October’s Forbidden Worlds Film Festival: The Big Scream is a smaller version of the main festival, purely dedicated to horror films that many people would have grown up renting from video shops or watching on TV… and can now finally enjoy the chance to see them on a massive 18m x 15m screen! Promising a demon car, a killer tree, giant bugs, plenty of spiders, and alien invaders, this year’s Big Scream has something for everyone!

Find out more about screenings and tickets on the Film Festival website.

Interesting Things to do in Bristol this October

Circus City: 1st - 22nd October

The UK’s largest international programme of contemporary circus – will return to Bristol this month with a city-wide festival of performance blending circus with music, film, theatre, dance and more. From mind-bending physical storytelling, spectacle and retellings of classical literature to pink punk gig-circus, there are shows for everyone alongside a programme of workshops, talks, films and industry events. This year is The Outsider Edition, exploring a common thread of human-object relations, transformation and interventions into the way people, bodies and situations can be seen and navigated.

For more information and the full line-up, pop over to the Circus City website.

Murder She Didn’t Write at the Wardrobe Theatre: 3rd - 7th October

The Improvised Murder Mystery - a classic murder mystery created on-the-spot in this ingenious and hilarious show by Degrees Of Error. Edinburgh Fringe favourites, Degrees Of Error, are bringing back their multiple sell-out show for your sleuthing pleasure. They'll create a classic murder mystery on the spot every night in the ingenious and original improvised comedy production. You, the audience, become the author as the cast act out your very own Agatha Christie-inspired masterpiece live on stage. In each show, this extraordinarily talented company use audience suggestions to create a unique, original and extremely comical improvised murder mystery just for you. All you have to do… is solve it. For tickets, visit the Wardrobe Theatre website.

Official Unicornfest Unicorn Auction at Propyard: 5th October

You've seen the magical trail of unicorns around Bristol, now you can have the chance to own one by bidding at the official Unicornfest 2023 unicorn auction.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a unique, full-sized unicorn statue designed and painted by a talented Bristol artist for Unicornfest 2023 in celebration of the 650th anniversary of Bristol! For more details on the event, visit the yu.up event page.

Thirsty Thursday Cruises with Bristol Ferry

Enjoy stunning views of the sunset over the harbour this October with Bristol Ferry Boats. This month, they’ll be running cruises on Thursday evenings, complete with an onboard bar. Relax on deck with friends and family as you enjoy the incredible backdrop floating along Bristol’s iconic Harbourside. Find out more on the Bristol Ferry Boat website.

Chocolate Smash! Luke Jerram's Edible Histories: 21st October

Throughout 2023 five objects that tell the story of Bristol were selected from the following five local venues: Aerospace Bristol, Bristol Zoo Project, National Trust Tyntesfield, Glenside Hospital Museum and M-Shed.

1-2m sized replicas of the objects have been created in fairly traded chocolate by the award-winning Bristol chocolatier Zara’s Chocolates – wrapped in gold foil and displayed with the original pieces within these much-loved attractions. Objects include a giant chocolate button, Concorde, a ship's wheel, medicine bottles and Alfred the Gorilla!

On 21st October at St. Georges Bristol, the five chocolate objects will be brought together for the first time. You will get the opportunity to see all the objects, listen to talks by those involved and witness them being broken up by selected members of the public, with special live musical accompaniment!

Everyone who attends will get to take part of the chocolate sculptures home with them to eat and enjoy!

Find out more about the event – and how to get the chance to be one of the ‘smashers’ – on their Eventbrite site.

Luxmuralis: Force of Nature at Bristol Cathedral: 30th October - 4th November

Following the success of last year’s sell-out Luxmuralis: Space Voyager at Bristol Cathedral, a spectacular new light show is set to adorn the historic building in a stunning exploration of creation and the cultural significance of the four elements.

This year’s show will consider Fire, Air, Earth and Water’s relationship with religion, mythology and art history in its show-stopping visuals. Visitors will witness the flaming power of volcanoes and be immersed in the sky and the immensity of the oceans and storms.

For more information and tickets, visit the event’s yu.up page.

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