So here it is, #MerryBristmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, also known as #merrybristmas. We are, once again, very fortunate indeed to partake in this brilliant annual campaign by Visit Bristol, which aims to promote the festive offerings in our fair city. Over the past couple of weeks we have been all over the place, throwing the girls into the festive season head first, to see where’s good to go with little ones this December.

Santa Steam Special at Avon Valley Railway

First up, it’s Santa on a Steam Train! What on earth could be better?! We wrapped up warm and headed to Avon Valley Railway in Bitton for a delightful trip in one of their beautiful vintage carriages. The atmosphere on the platform was lovely, with the Christmas tunes blaring out, tinsel agogo and even some little donkeys wearing festive attire. The dream.

We were treated to an hour long trip during which Santa came to visit us in our carriage. He was great with the kids and thankfully wasn’t phased when Poppy requested a helicopter for Christmas! I’m not sure how that’s going to fit down the chimney. There was also an opportunity to get off the train and have a photo with Santa but we decided it was a little too cold for Hattie – next year!

It’s not the cheapest of options when it comes to meeting Santa (although some dates are cheaper than others) but it was a real family experience and perfect for the train enthusiastic toddler! You’ll need to be quick if you want to book tickets as they are selling out fast. Book here!

Santa’s Grotto at Bristol Zoo

We always love a trip to Bristol Zoo so we were keen to take the girls to try out their Grotto experience. This is the first year they’ve really been able to partake in this sort of thing and it was a joy to see how excited they were by it all. We were greeted by some very cheerful Elves who invited us to do some festive arts & crafts, followed by writing and posting off our letters to Santa. The rooms were decorated beautifully and really added to the magic.

We were then led through to meet the main man himself who was so lovely and really engaged with the girls, asking them lots of questions and having a real giggle. The presents were great too, a cuddly lemur for P and a cuddly penguin for A. Perfectly on theme and meant we could go find the corresponding animals after! We also liked, as the eco-conscious Santa explained, that the presents were wrapped using brown paper as it can be recycled after. Good work, Bristol Zoo!

You can book your own Grotto experience here! All money raised from the Santa’s Grotto events will contribute to BCWEZSL’s charitable objectives and it’s running until December 23rd.

Winter Wonderland at Wookey Hole

Uhoh, Rudolph has taken a wrong turn and ended up down in the caves at Wookey Hole! Time to grab your glow sticks and go on a Christmas trip that’s a little different.

We loved exploring the caves and encountering touches of Christmas at every turn was pretty darn cool. There was even a chance to dance to some Christmas music in one of the chambers! We were slightly apprehensive about taking a toddler and newborn on a 45 minute tour in the dark but they both loved it (well Poppy did, Hattie slept through the whole thing – win). It’s worth noting that the caves, unsuprisingly aren’t buggy friendly so you will need a sling, and if you want to buy a glow stick you will need £2 in cash.

If you visit on the weekend, there’s also a Christmas circus show, 4D cinema experience and the opportunity to visit their own Santa’s Grotto. If, like us, you visit in the week there’s still plenty to see and do! Poppy loved the soft play, animatronic dinosaurs and the vintage penny arcades.

See what’s on offer at Wookey Hole here!

Christmas at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

Christmas at Noah’s Ark is a very green affair, with all their decorations made from recycled materials, the lights are eco-friendly and there’s even a Christmas scene created from unwanted items. What a wonderful way to spread Christmas cheer.

We visited on a very quiet day and the girls had an absolutely fabulous time running riot in their ginormous soft play and play barn. If you haven’t been, it’s fantastic and I think the parents had just as much fun as the kids!

We also really enjoyed strolling round meeting the animals, with the elephants and giraffes proving the most popular with the toddlers. They were amazed!

If you fancy visiting Noah’s Ark this festive season, they are allowing visitors to feed the Reindeer for free on Saturdays at 3pm. Check out the website for more details and to see their other Christmas events.

So, those are our highlights for this year but there’s so much on offer in Bristol this Christmas! Let us know your highlights in the comments as it’s only the beginning of December and we’ve already set the bar pretty high for the girls!

J&V x


We were kindly gifted entry to all the above attractions as part of a campaign with Visit Bristol but all words and opinions are our own.

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

We were kindly invited along to Bristol Zoo this weekend to creep around and have some gruesome fun taking part in their Half Term Halloween activities. We followed the Mystery Trail Handbook to navigate our way around the Zoo, spotting (and impersonating) our favourite animals as we went. A was unexpectedly fond of the flamingos! So much so, we had to pop in on them on the way out to say goodbye. Oddly, she also seemed quite taken by the giant spider in the Wicked Witch’s Activity Corner…luckily for the Witch, I managed to convince A that she already has enough toys.

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Other firm favourites were the (scary) seals, (petrifying) penguins and the (haunted) hippopotamus, which was lovingly referred to as ‘Pippo’ for the rest of the day. One activity I thought she may have been too old for was the Skull Spy, but she absolutely loved running around finding all of the hidden skulls lurking in bushes and down Dracula Drive. You could say, she had a really Spook-tacular time! I must give a shout out to the Zoo gardeners because, my goodness, the Zoo is looking phenomenal at the moment! The green spaces around the park all look delightfully autumnal, with pumpkins and colourful leaves for as far as the eye can see.

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo
Dress by Trollied Dolly

If you think you are brave enough to come face to face with some creepy critters this Halloween, from now until 4th November one child can go free with every paying adult when you book online. Use code ‘FREECHILD’ at the checkout to redeem. You are welcome!

V x

Disclaimer: We were not paid for this review, we were however invited by Bristol Zoo to attend their Halloween activities and did not pay for our park entry. All words and opinions are blogger’s own and all ‘standing and looking serious by a tree’ poses are blogger’s own too. 

Halloween at Wild Place Project

Halloween at Wild Place ProjectHalloween at Wild Place ProjectHalloween at Wild Place Project

We took our little wild thing to Wild Place Project this weekend, after they kindly invited us to come and check out their Halloween Half Term activities. For one reason or another we have never gotten around to going before so this was the perfect opportunity to check it out! Firstly, I couldn’t get over how close to The Mall (Cribbs Causeway) it is! It’s a four minute drive! (We know this as we maaaaaaaaaaaaay have popped in to John Lewis en route, cheeky). You would, however, never know this by the time you’ve parked up. You suddenly feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and I really was not expecting such large and beautiful grounds (and a Rapunzel-esque tower in a massive field, what the heck? I’ve since learnt that this is the Hollywood Tower, which was built in 1839!). I don’t think we could have chosen a more picture perfect Autumn day to visit and it was gorgeous to just walk around admiring the trees.

Outfit details! Me: Black Dungarees from H&M ////  Poppy: Raccoon tunic from Boots & Yellow Shoes from Clarks

There’s a lot of pretty cool family friendly stuff going on for Halloween. We particularly enjoyed watching the young wolf pack, as well as doing the pumpkin hunt through the woods – which took us past all manner of creepy characters. Poppy didn’t bat an eyelid at any of it and thought it was all rather hilarious. She kept offering the Witch drinks and snacks and spent a good five minutes blowing her kisses. She’s hard as nails, apparently. It was also an excellent way of using up energy and we ran back and forth through the woods, climbing on the many kid friendly structures Wild Place have dotted around the site. Some of the older kids were having a whale of a time climbing a big tree that had been designated for such hi-jinks.

All in all, it was a great success and, as a family, we loved it. It felt like we packed a lot in but it was all surprisingly relaxing. I thought it had the perfect mix of stuff to keep our active toddler entertained, with animals big and small, lots of space for running and a couple of really good play areas (there’s even an indoor play area for the under 5s).

She cried when we left, there’s no higher praise.

If you fancy visiting this Halloween, they are running their activities for two weeks starting on Saturday 20th October. Check out the Wild Place Project website to find out more and to book tickets


Disclaimer: We were not paid for this review, we were however invited by Wild Place Project to attend their Halloween activities and did not pay for our park entry. All words and opinions are blogger’s own and all spelling and grammatical errors are blogger’s own too.