BAM Summer Guide 2017

Summer is here! As much fun as it is spending endless hours kicking your heels in the playground, you’ll be pleased to hear that Bristol has absolutely nailed it with family arts events.  Here are some that have caught our eye, including fun for little legs, teenagers and you grown ups too.

Krik Krak Festival: Family Fun
Thu 3 Aug
11:00 – 15:00
Free (donations welcome)
Explore Haitian culture through arts, crafts, music, dancing, story telling and much more. This one sounds like an amazing experience for curious little art lovers.

We Are Family
18 – 28 Aug
Various times
Free (donations welcome)
Experiment with giant props, miniature sets and green screens to create experimental films. Led by artist Karanjit Panesar, these drop-in sessions are free and there are also early openings on 23 & 25 Aug for families who prefer to visit at quiet times (booking required).

BEDMINSTER (& beyond!)
29 – 31 July
Various times
Free (some paid workshops)
The jewel in Bristol’s festival crown, this year is set to be bigger and better than ever with the addition of Ashton Gate Stadium as a venue. 300 of the world’s best street artists, music and some wonderful kid’s workshops. Find out more about what’s on offer for families in our interview with founder, Steve Hayles.

Drag Queen Storytime
Mon 31 July
11:00 – 12:00
Exactly what it sounds like – head to the new library on Gloucester Road for a fabulous story time! For more details ring 0117 3576220.

Giant’s Fairy Door Trail
Wed 26 July
11:00 – 15:00
Pay What You Think
Pretend to be a giant on this trail to find hidden messages and join in with some craft fun in the gardens. There are also more events throughout the summer and Goram Fair on 9 Sept.

Make Your Own Hot Air Balloon
4 – 5 Aug
11:00- 15:00
Get ready for the Balloon Fiesta in style by making your very own hot air balloon with Let’s Make Art. You can then stage your own Night Glow if the weather scuppers other plans!

National Stitch Day 2017
Sat 5 Aug
Various times
Free (donations welcome)
Make your own stitched bird with the help of Bristol Embroiderers’ Guild and bring it to life with ribbons and beads. There are also more events throughout the summer.

Jungle Book
27 – 29 July
Various times
Tickets from £10
Kipling’s classic tale gets an urban make over in this exciting production. Street dance and circus are used to tell the story of Mowgli and her companions.

Summer Workshops
Various dates
Various times
Tickets from £5
Everyone’s favourite house of junk have taken inspiration from around the world to create a plethora of inventive workshops this summer.

Play Me, I’m Yours
17 Aug – 7 Sept
24 hours
The city will be filled with the sound of tinkling ivories as Luke Jerram’s Street Pianos return to Bristol at long last. Decorated by local artists, they’ll be popping up all over the city providing the perfect opportunity for your nippers to have a go on the old Joanna! There’s also the chance to see some of the pianos being painted live in the Bear Pit and the Galleries 22-23 July and again at the Galleries the following weekend.

Bristol Play Day
Wed 2 Aug
12:00 – 16:00
This outdoor community event will have different zones to explore including sensory, den building and sports. Organised by Bristol Council, Scrapstore and others, it’s bound to be a wonderful afternoon with lots of opportunity to make new friends as you play!

Hoo-Ha! 2017
15 – 17 Aug
Various times
Various prices with lots of free events
Popular children’s festival Hoo-Ha! is back for a third year and they’ve pulled out all the stops. Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, Moomins, DJ Cheeba and Andy Day make up the ticketed events line-up, while in the foyer there’ll be kid’s discos, story telling, art workshops, planetarium fun and much more to enjoy for free!

Arty Fun Day
Sat 26 Aug
11:00 – 14:00
Head over to Withywood for a day of free arts activities inspired by famous artists and live music from local musicians. There are lots of other creative activities here over the holidays, make sure you check them out!

Music Club Taster Day
Sat 29 July
9:00 – 11:00
Tickets £26
If you have a little music lover on your hands but they don’t which instrument they’d like to learn, this taster session will allow them to have a go at violin, guitar, drums and piano. Perfect way to try them all out before committing to regular lessons!

These Two Hands Craft Workshops
Weekday afternoons throughout the Summer
15:00 – 16:30
Tickets £8
Pop art leaf printing, tote bag designing and printing, CD art and notebook making are all on offer in these regular sessions. Price includes all materials, squash and biscuits. Parents welcome to join in too.

Storybox 2017
15 July – 13 Aug
Various times
The Cabot Circus store will play host to a number of story telling sessions and workshops as part of this celebration of children’s and YA literature. Beasts, pirates, space dogs and much more for kids and young adults alike.

Family Fun Raiser
Sat 22 July
14:00 – late
Tickets £3
More fun that you can shake a stick at and all in aid of the wonderful Aid Box Community. Featuring DJ Cheeba’s Lo Fi Funky Space Quest, games, stalls and much more.

Bristol Harbour Festival
21-23 July
Various times
Free (ish)
Weekend celebrating Bristol’s diverse culture. With music from Roots Manuva (sold out), circus from Cirque Bijou and… boats!

Morph: Still Naughty at 40!
Until 5 Sept
Various times
Free (donations welcome)
This exhibition celebrating the little guy’s birthday is a must visit for the summer holidays. Make your own Morph, create some animations, mess about with a green screen and watch some classic episodes. Fun for everyone and all in aid of The Grand Appeal.

Written in Bone: Creative Writing Workshop
2 Aug
10:30 – 15:00
Tickets £20
This creative workshop is aimed at 14 – 17 year olds and will give them the opportunity to explore poetry, flash fiction and twitter blogs using the stories of 12 human skeletons as inspiration. A unique experience for young writers. There is also a one-day stage school for would be thesps on 16 Aug.

Summertime Family Festival
21 – 26 Aug
Various times
Various prices including some free events
Space adventures, science experiments, craft mornings and more to get involved with at Old Market Assembly. Check out DJ Cheeba’s Lo-Fi Funky Space Quest, create bubbling experiments and yummy sweets with Sublime Science or take part in one of the craft sessions. Check out the website for prices and booking.

Bubble Art Workshop
Wed 2 Aug
10:30 – 12:30
Free with exhibition entry
Artist Jemma Grundon will be running this workshop where you’ll be helping to create a large scale artwork and bubbles are the medium of choice!

Scribble & Sketch
5 & 19 Aug
10:30 – 12:30
You’ll do as much as creating as your nippers in these lovely sessions where a variety of informal art and drawing activities are there for you all to experiment with.

I Am Making Art: Cyanotype Silhouette Hangings
Sat 5 Aug
14:00 – 18:00
Free (donations welcome)
Learn about the magical world of cyanotypes with artist Charlotte Biszewski and create beautiful blue silhouettes with objects of your choice. There is also a walking and drawing tour of the area around Spike Island on 22 July. Booking is advised for both.

Victorian Summer Circus
22 July – 3 Sept
Various times
Normal admission / Free
Cirque Bijou will be bringing some circus flair to the SS Great Britain this summer, drawing inspiration from the ceremonies sailors performed when crossing the equator for the first time. This wonderful performance is part of your admission ticket but there’s also free circus workshops outside in Brunel Sq that are free to everyone (no admission needed).

Redfest 2017
4 – 6 Aug
Various times
Redfest has changed format this year and will now take place in 16 venues around Church Road. Look forward to DJs, live music, cabaret, family activities, film screenings and a dose of Alfresco Disco.

Mouth Open, Story Jump Out
Sat 29 July
11:00 & 15:00
Tickets from £6
Join the wonderful Polarbear for an interactive story telling performance where kids are encouraged to shout out ideas from their wildest imaginations! Suitable for ages 8+.

Summer Music Sessions
23 – 24 Aug
11:00 – 16:00
Free but need to book
Free performances, workshops and talks from industry professionals covering Grime Production, Song & Rap Lyric Writing, Drum & Vocal Tuition, Junk Percussion and more. Excellent opportunity for young people interested in knowing more about the music industry.

King Kong Workshop
Sat 29 July
10:30 -11:30
Make your own King Kong mask in the Watershed Cafe. Drop in session and if you want to make a day of it you can buy tickets for the screening of the original 1923 King Kong film at 11:30.

Insect Vinyl Making Workshop
18 Aug
10:00 – 12:00
Inspired by a season of films celebrating creepy crawlies, Let’s Make Art will be creating beautiful, colourful mini beasts with your nippers.

Kid Carpet & the Noisy Animals present… Noisy Holiday
29 Aug – 3 Sept
Various times
Tickets £8 (under 3s go free)
The Bristol legend returns with his noisy pals and this time they’re going on holiday. But will they have a nice relaxing time or will it all get a bit noisy? Expect big beat songs, animation, puppetry and wonderful mayhem from Kid Carpet and his crew.

And finally some fun things happening outside Bristol…

Brutalist Playground
Until 9 Sept
Tue – Sat 10:00 – 16:00
If you haven’t made it over to this wonderful exhibition yet, it’s definitely worth a trip out of town. Leave all memories of soft play behind as you fall in love with the lines and imagery while the kids go wild in the squishy tunnels and platforms. Parking, for us at least, was indeed brutal but we hear it’s not always bad and it was absolutely worth it!

Summer Storytelling in the Radić Pavilion
Every Friday until 25 Aug
Free, drop-in sessions
Escape to the countryside for these weekly storytelling sessions in the spaceship (as our little legs call it). Perfect opportunity to explore this beautiful art gallery and gardens while keeping the little ones happy. You can also enjoy afternoon music as part of their Summer Sunday sessions. And we can highly recommend nearby pub The Three Horses in Batcombe which has a lovely garden, buckets of chalks for drawing all over said garden and a nearby playground.

Walala X Play
Until 24 Sept
Various times
If you’re heading to the big smoke over the summer then you need to make time for this wonderful exhibition. Design hero Camille Walala has created an interactive installation and immersive maze full of patterns and colour. It is utterly brilliant and one of those rare art experiences that the kids will love as much as you.

Here Be Dragons
22 July – 8 Oct
Various times
Tickets £4 (under 16s free)
Expect dragons of all shapes and sizes and artwork from Axel Scheffler, Quentin Blake, Cressida Cowell and many more. There are also a whole host of dragon themed events throughout the summer including mask making, printing, puppetry and giant lego building.

Apologies if it goes a bit quiet on the blog while we enjoy the summer. We hope you all have a wonderful time enjoying yours!

💥 BAM 💥

As always, please check details with organisers before attending. This is a guide and none of the events are affiliated with BAM. If you think we’ve missed something fabulous, drop us a line.

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