Just like last year, 2022 has had its fair share of ups and downs, and we can’t believe the end is fast approaching. But it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Bristol, and we are so ready to embrace the most wonderful time of year. So hit play on the festive playlist filled with Mariah and Bublé and have a jolly festive time with our guide to the best things to do in Bristol this December.
1. Grab yourself a Christmas tree to decorate
December to us means decorations. All we’re thinking about in the build-up to Christmas is that big box overflowing with baubles, tinsel, fairy lights, stars and bunting in the attic. Whether you’re bulk buying from the supermarket or meticulously hand-making your own, you’re going to need somewhere to hang them. Luckily, there are plenty of places all around Bristol where you can pick up a Christmas tree or two. But you might also consider buying one from Green Elf Trees who are donating £3 from every sale to a choice of five charities, including Ukrainian refugees.
2. Take a swing at Gareth Bale’s new golf bar
Wales crashed out of the World Cup earlier than many expected. But the Welsh striker is akready moving on. Gareth Bale will open Par 59 on December 9, a competitive mini golf bar on Millennium Promenade above Lane 7. Inside, Par 59 will contain two nine-hole mini golf courses, as well as four interactive dart boards, holding 500 budding golfers. While we don’t know the difference between a 9-iron and a birdie, this is bound to be a swinging time no matter your handicap.
3. Drag your dachshund to this pup-up cafe
One for dog fanatics. Why not take the trip to Bath if you’re looking for things to do near Bristol this December? Where you can get invovled with the adorable hangout spot for daschunds. Taking place on December 11, the festive dachshund pup-up cafe will feature ball pits, tunnels, toys and many other fun props for paw-fect photo-opps. Sausage dogs and their owners will be able to meet fellow dog lovers and new four-legged friends, with an array of planned festivities. You don’t need your own dashund either. If you’re just a fan of sausage dogs, you’re more than welcome to pup along too.
4. Help the homeless by dining at local Bristol restaurants
A number of Bristol restuarants have signed up to help support the homeless this winter. Signing up to StreetSmart, a voluntary £1 donation will be added to every diner’s bill to support local homelessness projects during December. Meaning you can feel a little better about dining out. Those involved include Secret Bristol favourite’s Root and Pizzarova, as well as Bertha’s, Bokman, Bosco, Box E, Bulrush, Caper & Cure, Fishers, Harbour House, Harvey Nichols, Klosterhaus, Little Hollows, Marmo, Pasta Loco, Poco, Rocksalt, Wilsons and Snobby’s. To learn more head here.
5. Hit up Bristol’s Christmas markets
It’s not a December well spent without a trip to the Bristol Christmas Market. Attracting loads of people annually, the huge market spans the entire city centre, with plenty of quirky gift stalls, food stalls and bars to enjoy. Taking the form of a traditional Bavarian market, guests can expect classic grub such as Bratwurst, Dutch pancakes and more, alongside plenty of desserts, cheese and hot chocolate. But there’s more than one Christmas market around Bristol worth your time.
6. Swim late at this poolside restaurant and bar
Dine and dip this December at Lido Bristol. It’s the closest many of us might come to a Mediterranean break this winter too. The oldest surviving heated pool in the country, near Whiteladies Road in Clifton, is a great way to stay warm too. Until Christmas, extra evening sessions from 7pm to 9pm will also be available giving warm times for a swim. Afterwards, why not head to the poolside resturaunt? Indulge in tapas-style dining.
7. Experience a Viennese Christmas at this stunning candlelight concert
Taking place at the beautiful Bristol Cathedral on December 8, a talented chamber orchestra will be bringing to life Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and Strauss’ Viennese waltz– with a beautiful ballet performance to accompany. The venue will be illuminated with atmospheric candlelight, providing a unique experience for Bristolians to enjoy just for Christmas. Get your tickets here.
8. Become a ninja warrior at this new adventure park
Test your ninja abilities at the new adventure park in Bristol this December. Inspired by the hit ITV physical game show, Ninja Warrior UK will combine action, adventure and, of course, an active imagination for kids both big and small. Run as fast as possible up the Warped Wall to reach the top and climb the mammoth Mount Sasuke. Plus, there are plenty of other obstacles to climb, balance, jump and swing across to live out your Naruto fantasies. The 43,000 sq ft indoor facility opens at Cribbs Causeway on December 20 and everyone of any age can get involved.
9. Explore the city on a glowingly wonderful festive light trail
The festive season isn’t far away and one way of knowing that the holidays are coming is when the Christmas lights in Bristol are switched on. Bristol City Centre, Redcliffe & Temple and Broadmead BIDs have teamed up to light up Bristol this year. A love-themed light installation has taken over Corn Street, with eight glowing love lyrics to spot. While the city centre has been lit up with Christmas light installations on King Street and the Old City. There are also lights on Park Street and Queens Road, as well as Victoria Street and Temple Gardens.
10. Enjoy a true farm-to-table dining experience
We all like to know where the food on our plate has come from. Few places can offer true farm-to-table dining quite like Wilsons, however. The Redland neighbourhood restaurant’s own local farm has recently become its sole supplier of vegetables, fruits and herbs. It even has a Michelin Green Star. You can’t get fresher than that! Sustainability is key to Wilsons’ ethos since opening in 2016 and only works with producers and traders that use ethical and low impact methods. Put it on the list of where to eat this December.
11. Witness Longleat’s glow-up with The Festival of Light
The UK’s most exciting lantern festival is back at Longleat throughout December. This year, The Festival of Light rakes you on an adventure into the magical imagination of Roald Dahl. Key scenes from his most beloved books – such as The BFG, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Twits and Fantastic Mr Fox – are brought life. Meet the five-metre high BFG and walk through Wonka’s famous factory gates, with hundred of lanterns covering 30 acres of grounds. To learn more head here.
12. Eat at the new brasserie bringing French-Indian fusion to Bristol
Muse Brasserie is already considered Cheltnham’s best restaurant, offering something utterly distinct you won’t find elsewhere. Parisian chef Franck Grillet and Chef Pramod from India will now bring their unique French-Asian fusion restaurant to Prince Street next month. You’ll find traditional French dishes, like ratatouille and beef bourguignon, as well as Indian tapas-style thali dishes and things like malai chicken tikka. But it’s not just the food that’s spectactular. The setting will be equally vibrant, with blossom trees growing inside the restaurant and on the wallpaper. We’re excited to see this one open this December.