Bristol things to do July 22-24: Film festivals, street art and family fun

From family fun events and activities to kick off the summer holidays to Upfest on the move, there’s an awful lot going on this weekend in Bristol

It can be hard to think of things to do at the weekend when the weather is quite so scorching and your brain is simply thinking about the nearest body of water to jump in. But, to mark the start of the summer holidays, there’s loads of events and activities to look forward to in Bristol this weekend.

From festivals to cinema, and activities for children to summer parties, there’s something for everyone happening this week. Let’s take a look at what the city has to offer…

Held throughout July, the Bristol Shakespeare Festival is an annual event that celebrates the works of Shakespeare and hosts performances that are inspired by the Bard in indoor and outdoor spaces across Bristol.

So far, the touring companies that come to play out Shakespeare related events have  performed in spaces including Redcliffe Caves, Brandon Hill Bowling Green, Leigh Woods, Boiling Wells Amphitheatre, and every year the list grows! This weekend you can see As You Like It on Brandon Hill and A Moving Grove at Ashton Court.

The sixth edition of Cinema Rediscovered comes to the Watershed from 20-24 July, which is the UK’s leading festival dedicated to classic cinema.

The festival showcases brand new restorations, contemporary classics and film print rarities from around the globe, taking place in and around Bristol - a UNESCO City of Film - and online.

In terms of the type of film on offer, you’ll find brand new restorations to cinematic curiosities and the screenings will take place at cinemas including  Clevedon’s Curzon Cinema and Arts, 20th Century Flicks,  Arnolfini and  Watershed.

Hey Duggee is making special appearances at Avon Valley Adventure Park this weekend

Got a little one who loves Hey Duggee? Head to Avon Valley Adventure Park this weekend as he will be making special appearances at intervals throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday.

Bristol Zoo Big Summer Send Off

It’s the start of the summer holidays for families and kids, so it’s no surprise that there is a whole host of family-friendly activities kicking off this weekend. Bristol Zoo is starting their Big Summer Send Off, and it marks the beginning of all sorts of activities throughout the last summer at their Clifton site.

You can be wowed by their gian sculpture of a moving gorilla, which is taller than the largest giraffe ever recorded and as wide as three king size beds! It weighs more than four tonnes and has been made from 180 square metres of wood.

There will also be a new fun theatre show to watch, as well as a Past, Present and Future exhibition to get involved in.

Bristol Zoo is starting its Big Summer Send Off with a huge gorilla sculpture

Another family-friendly event for the summer that starts this weekend, Bon Voyage! At Bristol Aquarium is a perfect way to get the whole family smiling.

The event will see Bristol Aqurium transforming into a port terminal to take its visitors on a voyage across the world’s oceans. Visitors will pick up their tickets and passport at the check-in desk, take part in a postcard trail around the aquarium and have their passport stamped at our variety of tours, talks and activities.

After a successful launch in 2021, Upfest, the creators of Europe’s largest street art festival, will once again head to the coast this July to bring more murals to the seaside, in partnership with Weston-super-Mare Town Council and Culture Weston.

Weston Wallz will take place from the 22-31 July, with around 20 street artists creating large-scale murals.

This year, you can expect to see a diverse mix of artists including Jody, Irony, Hazard One, Dan Kitchener, Farrah Fortnam, Tozer, John Curtis, Damian Nicholson, Andy Council and Shruti Ashish.

Expressions Arts Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary at Paintworks

A festival of contemporary art and music returns this weekend after a two year pause and celebrates its tenth anniversary with an ambitious new exhibition.

Imagined Landscapes, showcases artwork created by artists supported by the Bristol-based social care charity Milestones Trust through its Expressions creative arts programme.

Expressions encourages participants living with mental health needs and learning disabilities to develop new creative skills.  The progressive annual programme has a positive impact on mental health and well-being, as well as making the arts more accessible.

The contemporary exhibition at Paintworks in Bristol will be the culmination of the year-long programme of creative arts workshops run by artists and is free to enter.

While We the Curious is on the move and awaiting the reopening of their museum space, they are bringing events to you all across the city.

This weekend sees the start of Sink or Swim, a free wet play type of activity, fun for all ages, and a great chance to simply laugh out loud together. Drop in and stay as long as you like! You can also pick up a free copy of their ‘Playing Out’ trail, to help you explore the surrounding landscape.

The event is all about using a selection of creative materials to build rafts strong enough to plunder some mighty pirate treasure. You can test and refine your floating design as much as you like, as We the Curious will see whose raft can support the most weight in a wet and fun-filled competition.