You won’t boo-lieve the events in store this month.
Autumn is fully underway as the sun starts to set earlier and the temperature drops but that doesn’t mean there’s little fun to be had. With awesome events such as Oktoberfest and Halloween taking place this month, it means we needn’t have to stay indoors- after all, we’ve got a bit of making up to do after last year! Plus, October is bursting with exhibitions and performances for you to indulge in, let alone the food and drink. So, without further ado, here’s our guide to the best things to do in Bristol to make for an epic October.
1. Celebrate Oktoberfest with schnitzels and steins at Klosterhaus
Oktoberfest may be cancelled in Munich this year, however luckily for Bristolians they can still celebrate the festival with plenty of steins, schnitzels and sausages. One Bristol bar and restaurant bringing this traditional German event to us is none other than Klosterhaus. The landmark 18th century Grade I listed Quakers Friars building which was redeveloped into a luxurious restaurant serving Central European dishes will be celebrating Oktoberfest in style. From September 17 to October 3, you can enjoy classic German beers alongside dishes such as schnitzels, various flavoured sausages, as well as sides of spätzle (a type of egg pasta) and sauerkraut.
Something wicked this way comes: a Halloween Candlelight concert, dedicated to spooky season. Candlelight Halloween: A Haunted Evening of Classical Compositions will take place on October 31 and we’re frightfully excited. On the night, a talented string quartet will play modern Halloween tunes, such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller and This Is Halloween, alongside sinister-sounding classical numbers. A selection of eerily familiar theme tunes will also be on the agenda, so listen out for the likes of Stranger Things and Psycho. To increase the fear factor, the concert will be held by flickering candlelight in an 18th-century former-windmill-turned-observatory, complete with it’s own mythical cave. Get your tickets to this spooky candlelight concert here.
3. Visit Luke Jerram’s latest art installation at College Green
A new touring artwork called In Memoriam by Luke Jerram, known for his installation ‘Museum of the Moon’, is set to be installed on College Green in Bristol this October. The ceremonial art installation of over 100 flags, made from NHS hospital bed sheets, will form a striking display against the backdrop of City Hall and Bristol Cathedral. This poignant piece of public art has toured throughout the UK and Europe, but it will appear for the first time in Bristol from Friday 1st to Sunday 17th October. In Memoriam has been created in memorial to losses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and made in tribute to the work of NHS, health and social care staff and volunteers who have given so much to so many.
4. Sip on a warming mug of delicious hot chocolate
With autumn in full swing, it means 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 to out our guide to Bristol’s dreamiest hot chocolates where you can sip on the hot drink happily and escape the unpredictable British weather.
You’ve seen parallel universes featured in the likes of Rick & Morty, His Dark Materials, Stranger Things, and Fringe, but is it just the work of science fiction, or is there more to it than that? Here to help guide you through things is Philip Peterson, a teacher of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester, who’ll be exploring the cutting-edge research being conducted into parallel universes during this reviting talk. The guest speaker will help you navigate the mind-boggling maze that is the science of parallel universes, including the concept of a ‘multiverse’, and the theory that every choice you make creates a new, alternate reality. You can grab your tickets here.
6. Watch scary films in some of Bristol’s spookiest venues
Returning this year is the much-loved Bristol Film Festival with top titles screened in the most unique – and apt – spaces. This Halloween, if you’re feeling brave enough you can watch scary films in possibly some of the spookiest places in the city including Redcliffe Caves and Arnos Vale Cemetery, or Bristol Museum & Art Gallery if those spaces give you the creeps. Running from October 20 to November 5, Bristol Film Festival will be screening dark and spooky favourites at multiple Bristol venues starting with Batman, Corpse Bride, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice at Arnos Vale Cemetery. To find out which Bristol venues are showing which films head here.
7. Go pumpkin picking
It’s October which which means seasonal events like Halloween and Bonfire Night are creeping our way, plus the huge countdown to Christmas. But first on the agenda for autumn has to be Halloween. 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. From the start of October through to Halloween, pumpkin patches near Bristol 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 where you can pick your own pumpkins here.
8. Try unbelievable bao buns and sushi at this new Tokyo-inspired restaurant
Bringing a taste of Tokyo to Bristol, a brand new Japanese restaurant is opening its third branch up in Clifton this autumn. KIBOU Japanese Kitchen & Bar, which currently has restaurants in Cheltenham and London, is branching out to the south-west city to bring sensational sushi dishes, beautiful bao buns and more. Designed with a vision to transport guests to the eclectic streets of Tokyo, KIBOU Clifton will feature trademark frieze panel murals and projector animations depicting iconic Japanese life and street scenes and will open to guests from early October.
A toe-tapping tribute to the King of Rock and Roll will be arriving in Bristol on October 20th. Easily one of the most famous artists of all time, Elvis Presley rocketed to fame in the mid-1950s with his hip-shaking dance moves, rich vocals and charismatic stage presence. Renowned songs such as Jailhouse Rock, A Little Less Conversation and Can’t Help Falling In Love, alongside his iconic jet-black pompadour hair, have immortalised the legendary singer over the years. Don’t miss out on tickets here.
10. Cosy up or cower at home with one of these spine-tingling movies or series
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 times to squeeze in a few of these fantastic films. Check out our picks from the top streaming services in the UK, then bust out those skull-shaped sweets you bought on a whim from the supermarket and start chomping!
11. Enjoy a series of free film festivals about street art and skateboarding
If we couldn’t get enough of the exhibition about Bristol’s role in the global street art movement that’s currently at M Shed, Vanguard is now launching a series of three film festivals in partnership with Vans. The series will show a selection of films capturing the international street art and skate scene, featuring Q&As with ground-breaking directors, world renowned skateboarders and street art’s biggest names. Known as Vanguard x Vans: On The Screen, the series of film festivals include Shextreme Film Festival and Vanguard Film Festival, taking place during October at Arnolfini in Bristol. Better yet, the tickets are free of charge. Find out more here.
12. Discover more about how Black Bristolians shaped the city
As part of Black History Month, visitors can take the Iconic Black Britons tour of the Seven Saints of St Pauls murals. This collection of street art pieces celebrates Black Bristolians whose activism has changed the city. Or join the conversation around how to represent Bristol’s role in transatlantic slavery with a visit to the Colston Statue: What Next display at M Shed, where you can also learn more about the historic Bristol bus boycott. John Wesley’s New Room has a Black Lives Matter: Reading and Conversation online event on October 7 featuring poetry and hosted by poet, writer and historian, Dr Edson Burton. Bristol Museums will also be hosting a free, online talk on October 21 called Early Black Bristolians – evidence in the archives, which will uncover what’s been written (and hidden) about the lives of Black Bristolians from 16-19th centuries.