May is here which means more fun in store! The year is rushing by now it seems as the days grow longer and the nights feel warmer. (Beer garden anyone?) With so many amazing events and activities happening this month, your social calendar is sure to fill up fast. It proves that we were only just getting started in April. So without further ado, here are all the best things to do this May in Bristol.
1. Visit the red planet of Mars at Aerospace Bristol
Luke Jerram, the Bristol-based artist, and his inflatable astronomical installations are known worldwide. His third, a model of Mars, measures seven metres, at an approximate scale of 1:1 million. It isn’t quite as big as the real thing, but it’s still pretty huge! This month (May 4 to June 5) visitors to Aerospace Bristol will get the chance to see The Red Planet up close as part of a new Journey to Mars exhibition.
This temporary exhibition marks the 20th anniversary of Mars Express, Europe’s first mission to Mars. Elsewhere at the exhibition, you’ll be able to see models of both The Mars Express Orbiter and the Beagle 2 Mars Lander. To learn more about Journey to Mars at Aerospace Bristol head here.
Don’t Stop Me Now: a Candlelight tribute to rock band Queen is coming to Bristol. On May 31, the rock band’s iconic tunes will be given a classical twist, as they are performed by a string quartet. Expect to hear We Will Rock You, Bohemian Rhapsody and Another One Bites The Dust – to name just a few – in a brand-new way. Some might say, you’ll go Radio Ga Ga over this magical 60-minute performance. Tickets are available here.
3. Take the ferry to this recently reopened riverside pub
Self-proclaimed as ‘Bristol’s best kept secret’, Beeses Bar is only open from April to October every year but its riverside location makes it a must-visit in these summery months. This hidden gem sits off the beaten track, so your best way to is by ferry! Grab the Bristol Ferry or the Bristol Packet along the river on a Friday to see weekly live music. Or head over on a Sunday for a cracking roast dinner.
4. Let our you inner child at this massive LEGO festival in Weston-Super-Mare
Looking for things to do with the kids this May? A new LEGO festival will head to Hutton Moor Leisure Centre in Weston-super-Mare this month. The Weston Brick Festival will give kids (and big kids) of all ages the chance to play, create and show off their brick-building skills. On May 14, visitors can expect speed building competitions, large-scale displays and a dedicated building area. Plus, traders will be selling loose bricks, new LEGO sets, retired LEGO sets, mini-figures and accessories too.
5. Grab a pint at this trendy neighbourhood pub in Fishponds
It was a sad day when the much-loved Cross Hands in Fishponds shut its doors back in February. But we’re still excited to see what new owners, the Oxford-based Dodo Pub Co., plan to bring to Bristol’s pub scene. Renamed The All Inn, it promises a wide selection of craft beers, authentic Neapolitan pizza and its signature dirty Dodo Burgers. Will it win over the locals when it reopens on May 19? Only time will tell. But we can’t wait to see what they’ve done with the place.
Most Bristolians have spent a May afternoon Harbourside. Few have taken the plunge to get out on the water, however. But this is your chance! See Bristol’s historic Floating Harbour from a genuinely unique perspective on this unforgettable paddleboarding adventure. Expert guides will show you the ropes, teaching the basics, before putting them into action on a mini adventure through the historic waterways. To get your tickets head here.
7. Treat your body to a healthy brunch at this Aussie-inspired cafe
There might be some brilliant beaches near Bristol, but for proper coastal vibes check out Nook in Bedminster. Swap those bottomless brunches for healthy and colourful lunches this May (taking influence from Japanese and Californian cuisine). Think of things like superfood smoothies, Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls and toasted banana bread… Who says being healthy has to be boring?
9. Rock out at Dot To Dot Festival
After a triumphant comeback last year, Dot To Dot Festival will be back on May 27. The one-day festival will bring some of the hottest emerging musicians to Bristol’s coolest city centre venues including Yard Act, Alvvays, Fin Foxell, Kofi Stone, yunè pinku and many more. The venues around Bristol used for the festival include O2 Academy, Bristol Beacon, Thekla, The Louisiana, Rough Trade, The Fleece, The Lanes, Mr Wolfs and Strange Brew. To learn more head here.
10. Soak up breathtaking views of the city at these rooftop bars
British Summertime is here, therefore a rooftop drink is definitely overdue. From luxurious restaurants to cosy terraces, Bristol has some of the most incredible rooftop bars (and some are more hidden than others). Check out our guide featuring Bambalan’s rooftop for you to take in insane views of the city with your family or friends this May.
11. Travel to Forbidden Worlds at the former Bristol IMAX
If you’re looking for strange things to do this May in Bristol, look no further than Forbidden Worlds Film Festival. To mark the 90th anniversary of King Kong (1933), Bristol’s biggest genre film festival returns to the former Bristol IMAX with some of cinema’s most iconic and creative creatures of the past. Alongside cinema’s big ape himself, it will screen The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), James Cameron’s The Terminator (1984), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Starship Troopers (1997), Return to Oz (1985) and Dolls (1987) this May 18 to 21.
On top of this, fresh from her Best Actress Oscar win for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Forbidden Worlds Film Festival will also celebrate action legend Michelle Yeoh on the city’s giant 18m x 15m screen. Three Hong Kong action films from earlier in the action legend’s career will be screened: Royal Warriors (1986), The Heroic Trio (1993), and Police Story 3: Supercop (1992). To see the full line-up head here.
12. Try a taste of Kerala at Bristol’s newest street food restaurant
Koottaan recently opened on St Nicholas Street and, specializing in dishes from the Kerala region of India, offers some of the cheapest curries in Bristol. You’ll find a simple yet satisfying selection on the menu. Grab Koottaan’s special chicken biriyani for just £7! Otherwise, there’s a choice of meat or vegetable curries, all for £6.50. For something more handheld, pick up a hot wrap for £6.