Autumn is underway; the sun is setting earlier, temperatures are dropping and everyone is cosying up. But that doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had. With awesome events such as Halloween and Black History Month taking place this month, it means we don’t have to remain indoors all October. So, without further ado, here’s our guide to the best things to do in Bristol to make for an epic October.
1. Have the fright of your life at this scream park
There are a lot of wicked Halloween events taking place in Bristol this October. But the pick of the bunch has to be the UK’s scariest scream park returning to Avon Valley for 13 terrifying nights this Halloween in Bristol. FEAR (October 13 to 31) invites you to this hair-raising multi-sensory immersive event. Witness the notorious fire show, experience an immersive exorcism in a gripping sit-down encounter, and dine like cannibals at a unique dining experience. Plus plenty more bone-chilling attractions, as well as funfair rides and street entertainment. To learn more head here.
Queen doesn’t really need an introduction at this point, do they? Get ready for the band’s greatest hits to be celebrated at the Church of All Saints on October 27. A strong quartet will play the likes of Under Pressure, We Are the Champions, Don’t Stop Me Now, Bohemian Rhapsody and more, all under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get your tickets to hear the best of Queen now.
3. Celebrate Apple Day at the Boiling Wells
One of the most spectacular places to visit in Bristol has to be Boiling Wells. A green oasis in the heart of the city, this tranquil and magical woodland is filled with green spaces, an orchard and a stream –Boiling Wells is named after the local springs, which look like they’re boiling. It’s not often open to the public, but we will be able to visit for Apple Day on October 28. While there, check out St Werburghs City Farm Café. This fairytale cafe is focused on organic, fair-trade and wild food, – with St Werburghs City Farm providing all the food, including the meat, vegetables, salad and wild ingredients.
4. Sip on a warming mug of delicious hot chocolate
With autumn in full swing, it means the hot chocolate season has arrived. From sophisticated mugs of rich, chocolatey heaven, to goblets of milky goodness with gooey marshmallows and cream, there are plenty of places in Bristol to grab a hug in a mug that is hot chocolate. Just what the doctor ordered! Check out our guide to Bristol’s dreamiest hot chocolates where you can sip on the hot drink happily and escape the unpredictable British weather.
5. Experience a stunning immersive light show at Bristol Cathedral
Following the major success of Luxmuralis: Space Voyager at Bristol Cathedral last year, organisers will return with a brand new light and sound show between October 30 and November 4. Luxmuralis: Force of Nature will combine show-stopping visuals with immersive soundscapes, with this year’s theme will be based on the four elements. The show will comprise four sections dedicated to Fire, Air, Earth and Water’s relationship with religion, mythology and art history. To learn more about this event head here.
6. Watch scary films in the former Bristol IMAX
Forbidden Worlds Film Festival will take over the former Bristol IMAX for the big screams on a big cinema screen. This October 13 & 14, expect a selection of retro ‘popcorn horrors’ at the biggest screen in the South West. Including B-movie homage Night of the Creeps; Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi monster movie Mimic; a 40th-anniversary screening of John Carpenter’s Stephen King adaptation Christine; Amblin’s ‘family friendly’ spider-fest Arachnophobia; body-snatching actioner The Hidden; and the late William Friedkin’s unfairly maligned killer-tree spectacular The Guardian.
7. Go pumpkin picking for jack-o-lanterns
Whether you’re doing it for the ‘gram or just absolutely love getting your carve on, there are a number of pumpkin patches near Bristol you can visit this autumn. Whether you want to make Halloween-inspired jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin soup, these fields will not only be brimming with pumpkins but also plenty of activities to get involved in from carving to photoshoots with your produce.Check out the best pumpkin patches near Bristol here.
8. Get a gory makeover at the SS Great Britain
This October half-term (October 21 to 29) the SS Great Britain invites you on board to experience the gruesome magic of special effects. Students from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College will recreate the cuts and blisters which would have been sustained by SS Great Britain crew members. Particularly focusing on the injuries the kitchen crew suffered in the ship’s galley. Your kids can even have these gory wounds applied to their own hands! Woeful Wounds is aimed at children between 4 – 18 years of age and is included in the price of entry, which can be purchased here.
9. Watch the Rugby World Cup
England’s last group game in the Rugby World Cup against Samoa takes place on October 7. But here’s hoping that this won’t be our last game! If it is, well there’s plenty of great action to catch until the final on October 28. To catch every scrum, tackle and try live, check out the best places to watch the Rugby World Cup 2023 in Bristol here.
10. Cosy up or cower with one of these spine-tingling movies
This year’s Halloween celebrations have to make up for last year’s sitting-in-the-house-avoiding-others, but there’s always space for some spooky films and popcorn. So, whether you’re going out or staying in on October 31, there’s plenty of time to squeeze in a few of these fantastic films. Check out our picks for scary movies, then bust out those skull-shaped sweets you bought on a whim from the supermarket and start chomping!
11. Discover how Black Bristolians shaped the city
Nobody can deny the influence Bristol has had on black history in the UK. The Bristol Bus Boycott was a watershed moment in the UK that paved the way for the Race Relations Acts of 1965 and 1968, banning discrimination in employment, housing and public places – organised by the local African Caribbean community. Bristol’s links to the transatlantic slave trade should not be overlooked either. This Black History Month, take the time to educate yourself on Bristol’s history by heading here. Or see what related events are happening in Bristol by going here.
12. Grab a pint at The Colosseum
We’ve lost too many Bristol pubs this year, but we’re so thankful that the Colosseum in Redcliffe has been saved. A mainstay of Bristol since the ’60s, it shut down suddenly in June. But the owners of Mother’s Ruin and The Crown have stepped in and bought the pub. It will reopen this October (no news on a specific date yet), so we suggest you head down and support it. Expect late-night drinking and a kitchen offering small plates. To follow updates of the Colosseum head here.