Hunt Lions, Giant Ducks, Dragons, Sheep (and even Chocolate Eggs) in Bristol this Easter

Hunt Lions, Giant Ducks, Dragons, Sheep (and even Chocolate Eggs) in Bristol this Easter

Brunel’s ss Great Britain, best approached via ferry boat, is offering the chance to meet ‘Mr Brunel’ throughout the holidays. For fabulous views of the Harbourside and an adrenalin rush to boot, the brilliant ‘Go Aloft!’ is back after its winter break, giving visitors the chance to discover what it was like to be a Victorian sailor by climbing the rigging and edging out onto the main yard at over 30-metres above the Great Western Dockyard below. The Easter theme is continued with ‘Taste Chocolate’, a celebration of all things cocoa-based featuring artisan producers from Bristol and the south west included in over 40 stalls, taking place in Brunel Square next to the ship on 4-5 April.

Shaun the Sheep, from Bristol’s own Aardman Animations, is on everyone’s lips at the moment and you can still catch the movie at the Watershed at 1pm each day, but they are also running model making workshops on 2 and 9 April to create your own Shaun with Aardman.

From 28 March, thirteen huge and incredibly life-like animatronic Big Bugs will make Bristol Zoo Gardens their home, bringing bug-tastic larger than life fun and excitement to all. The new residents will include some of the world’s most popular species, such as the Seven-Spot Ladybird and Mexican Red Kneed Tarantula. This unique exhibition will offer budding Bug Rangers, old and young, the chance to get up-close to amazing, moving, hissing, and even water-spraying bugs. Opening at Easter, the new Wallaby Walkabout transports guests to the Australian Outback. This brilliant immersive experience will allow guests to get up-close to two species of wallabies and a flock of exotic birds.

At-Bristol Science Centre is offering some egg-cellent science fun this Easter with the ‘Spring Kitchen’, part of the permanent ‘Food!’ exhibit. Learn how to scramble eggs in their shells, battle with gluten in the challenge to create and fill your own spring stuffed pasta and learn the art of the chocolatier the chocolate tasting masterclass.
Just across the square at Bristol Aquarium families can find cute-as-you-like baby rays and newborn seahorses as well as shark egg-cases. Younger visitors can hunt for eggs in a mini-beach sandpit search and add their own designs to a giant Easter-themed collage in the foyer.
If you want to see the city from a different angle then a boat trip shouldn’t be missed, but for a real treat take a trip out of the confines of the Harbour on an Avon Gorge cruise. Bristol Ferry Boats, Bristol Packet Boat Trips and The Matthew are all running trips over the holidays.
The University of Bristol Botanic Garden has a Garden Art and Sculpture Festival from 3-6 April. Celtic giants, Flanders poppies, Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’, bronzed Greek heroes, exotic tropical flowers and an original metal sculptural plant form being created over the weekend are just a few of the delights to be enjoyed this Easter.
Bristol’s theatres have treats for young families too with Bristol Old Vic hosting an adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s wonderful tale, Room on the Broom (31 March – 2 April). The Bristol Hippodrome hosts Captain Barnacles and his crew in ‘Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure’ in late April and some of the characters will be making an appearance at Bristol Aquarium (1 April) and the Bristol2015 Lab Space (30 March). Pop in to the Bristol2015 Lab Space on the Harbourside to try your hand at wildlife mask-making and screen-printing, learn about some of the rare plant species found in the Avon Gorge, watch a virtual allotment take shape, create your own nature-inspired greeting cards, get advice from SowHow on growing your own delicious fresh veg, watch Wildscreen’s top picks and meet real life Easter chicks from Elm Tree Farm.
The National Trust at Leigh Woods continue their ’50 Things’ themed events over the holidays with kite flying, bug hunts and finding your way at night with a compass and map.
Easter wouldn’t be the same without an Easter egg hunt or two, but this being Bristol there are a number of alternative takes on the chocolate frenzy too. Retailers in Bristol Shopping Quarter are encouraging youngsters to hunt Easter Lions before joining a craft workshop at John Wesley Chapel in Broadmead. From 3-6 April retailers in Park Street are offering the chance of winning a specially designed Park Street Easter egg by completing a trail card after finding eggs hidden in the stores.
Wild Place Project is offering Easter egg trails over the Easter weekend as well as archery in the meadow all across the holidays.
If you can’t take any more chocolate, then head north to Berkeley Castle to hunt dragons or the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) at Slimbridge to hunt GIANT ducks!
Finally, for the furry friend in your life ‘Oscar’s Easter Eggs-Travaganza’ will see hundreds of perky pooches take to the gardens and grounds at Ston Easton in Somerset’s biggest doggy treasure hunt. As well as the walk of a lifetime, lucky Labradors and blessed Beagles will be able to nose out their very own Easter ‘eggs’, in the form of tasty (and healthy) dog treats dotted around the walk. The canine event will be raising money for Bath Cats & Dogs Home via a raffle held on the day.

Make a break of it
The Easter holidays are the perfect opportunity to escape for a night or two and enjoy some quality time together. If you are taking time off with the kids and can be flexible when you travel, there are great deals to be had. Extend a weekend by staying on a Friday or Sunday night and pick up the best rates and great choice. Look out for the hotels with leisure clubs and don’t forget to pack the swimsuit. If travelling by train, there are loads of places to stay within easy walking distance of Bristol Temple Meads station and the city is great to explore on foot, by sightseeing bus, ferry boat and bike. For more information about where to stay, where to go, what to do and events listings in Bristol, go to