May half term nearly upon us. If you’re planning your family days out in and around Somerset and Bristol, you’ve come to the right place.
Having grown up in Somerset, and now with three children of my own, it’s been fun sharing my favourite places with them and discovering new places of our own to explore.
Somerset has so much to offer families, whether you live here and you’re looking for inspiration, or you’re visiting while on holiday, the possibilities are endless! With hopefully lots of sunny days ahead, we have plenty of outdoor activities and places to go.
Famed for its rural villages, market towns, and historic cities, Somerset has so many day trip options.
Here is our local’s guide to the best family day’s out in Somerset this half term.
The best days out in Somerset
Explore the vast underground chambers of Wookey Hole’s cave system and meet the legendary witch of Wookey Hole. Watch Scoob! 4D experience, have a game of Adventure Golf, visit the paper making museum, watch the Wookey Hole circus school and play the vintage penny machines.
Spring into Nature at Cheddar Gorge this May half term. All nature lovers are invited to go wild for wildlife with a series of interactive nature talks, help build a bug hotel, go on an informative bat trail and have a go at some arts and craft activities. All included in the admission price.
National Trust Properties:
Tyntesfield House and Estate
There is plenty for families around the estate at Tyntesfield. As well as the house, gardens and parkland there is the woodland adventure play, home farm play area, pavilion play area and sculpture trail.
May Half Term Trail (£3/trail including prize)
Join Xtreme Falconry for two impressive flying displays on the South Lawn (May 31st & June 2nd)
Enjoy lawn games, a medieval colouring station, a hobby horse obstacle course and activity trail. There is a tree climbing event (for age 6+) in the garden (£30).
There’s lots of adventures to be had at Dyrham Park in May with a trail running all month and half term. The special event on Bank Holiday Monday is helping to create a flower wall made out of recycled and scrap material.
Get set for a farm-tastic experience this summer as an Augmented Reality trail starring Shaun the Sheep arrives at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.
Join in this May half-term for SpringFest – a fantastic street art exhibition in partnership with Upfest, plus fun games and crafts for everyone to get involved.
Visit Puxton Park for an unforgettable family adventure during May Half Term! There is a spectacular lineup of daily entertainment, designed to keep the entire family entertained. From captivating shows to interactive experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Visit a real working farm and see lots of friendly animals from ponies to pigs with lots going every day. From bottle-feeding lambs to the milking show and free tractor rides, there is something to suit all the family.
Visit Farrington’s Farm Park in May half term for PYO tulips, see the farm animals, straw pool, indoor soft play and play barn cafe.
A full day out at the park includes animal encounters, indoor play barn, the adventure play castle, crazy golf and trampolines.
Dinosaur Valley is again taking over Avon Valley for a totally ROARsome, interactive eggstravaganza! Visit during May Half Term for the biggest and best dinosaur-themed day out in the south-west. Also included in the day-entry is the mini jeep safari, miniature railway, animals, adventure playground and much more.
Discover all the interesting animals at Chew Valley Animal Park with animal encounters and keeper talks.
Visit the North Somerset Bird of Prey Centre during the Open Day on 28th May and other dates throughout the year. See over 60 resident birds of prey, exotic mammals and reptiles.
Visit a working farm for this truly unique, family friendly farm experience. Meet our lovable, friendly sheep and lead them on a stroll across fields and into woodland. The activity is great for a fun, family day out or a cute escape to the countryside and is suitable for young and old alike.
Get ready for a fun packed experience at Somerset Alpaca. Walk the alpacas – these gentle animals are good with children. Meet the sheep and feed the chickens on this fun and unique day out. Appointment by bookings only.
Visit the community cafe and farm shop, farm animals, children’s playground, woodland and nature trails at Bath city Farm. Entrance is free however donations are very welcome.
This half term at Ferne Animal Sanctuary discover the rescue animals, buzzing blooms trail, flower seed bombs and rainbow scavenger hunt.
Visit the longest heritage railway in England. Take a trip on the historic steam trains through the Somerset countryside between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead.
At the lovely village of Cranmore, near Shepton Mallet is the East Somerset Railway. Ride the steam train (approx. 35 minutes), visit the engine shed and workshop to see restoration in progress, museum, signal box, miniature railway, cafe and kids play area.
On Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th June 2023, jump onboard the Brick Express steam-hauled train and enjoy the Lego building workshops with the world’s most popular construction toy whilst you travel the line.
Steam Day on Sunday 4th June. Experience steam train rides along the 1/3rd mile of the ex-Great Western Railway Clifton Maybank branch. Passengers travel in historic brake van vehicles or coach. Trains run every 20 minutes, unlimited trips on the day as well as on the Miniature Railway.
Explore the beautiful city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Roman Baths, Jane Austen Centre, Bath Abbey, Royal Crescent, Victoria Park, Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon.
Visit The Bishop’s Palace and gardens, the magnificent Cathedral, Vicar’s Close, the market place and many shops. See our guide to A Day Out in Wells.
Head into the city of Bristol, explore the waterfront, SS Great Britain, shops, markets and museums. Discover the famous street art, Clifton Observatory and walk across Clifton Suspension Bridge.
During May half term visit Butlins for live shows from The Masked Singer, Stephen Mulhern and more. Book a day visit or stay over. There’s lots to do including fairground rides, pool and restaurants.
Kids pools, indoor swimming & thrill rides at a family theme park with a lazy river & splash zones.
Visit this seaside entertainment centre with fairground rides, water park, golf course and family restaurants. Experience over 40 attractions including indoor and outdoor Roller Coasters, Wild Water Log Flume, Dodgems, and Crazy Boats. From White Knuckle rides to more gentle Tots rides, there really is something for all ages.
On the water:
Step aboard the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer. The Bristol Channel sailings run between 2nd – 18th June.
The Bath Boating Station offers rowing, canoeing and punting, available for hire for 1 or 2 hours along a most beautiful stretch of the River Avon.
Bring your own, or hire a paddle board on the Marine Lake in Clevedon. You’re also welcome to swim, bring your canoe, inflatables and model boats.
CMA run holiday clubs on Clevedon Marine Lake. Fun in kayaks and on the Mega SUP, morning and afternoon sessions of 2.5 hours for £20/child. (Age 7-12 yrs). Tickets through Eventbrite.
Enjoy an action-packed May half term activity programme at Wimbleball Lake, with the chance to try your hand at archery, paddleboarding, sailing, windsurfing, high ropes, canoeing and kayaking.
Learn to surf or have some body boarding lessons at The Wave in Bristol. You can also be a spectator and enjoy a meal in the restaurant to the sound of the waves! You can now camp at the wave and stay on site in a safari tent.
Cycling in Somerset:
The Strawberry Line is nine-miles of traffic-free riding through the Somerset countryside between Yatton and Cheddar. Don’t worry if you don’t have a bike, the not-for-profit cycle hire at Yatton station is situated right at the beginning of the Strawberry Line cycle route.
Visit this 18 Hole Crazy Golf Course which is set back in the hills of Cheddar.
Enter a land of pirates and delight in 18 holes of Adventure Golf.
Marine Parade, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1BE
A super-fun rainy day activity for all ages on the seafront in Weston super Mare. The old sea aquarium building has now been converted into a 9-hole, glow in the dark, indoor crazy golf course, with a stylish kitchen and bar. Current prices are £6/adults, £4 children and £5/concessions. Walk-ins only (no booking needed).
Lidos and outdoor water parks:
In the heart of Street is Greenbank Lido, a heated outdoor swimming pool. There is a main pool and children’s pool and splash zone. Open between May and September.
A heated 33m outdoor pool with diving board, toddler pool, and sun terraces overlooking the Bristol Channel in Portishead. The community run Portishead Open Air Pool is a lovely family day out which is open between April and October.
Book a family swim session at Shepton Mallet Lido to enjoy the heated pools, the use of the children’s splash pad, outdoor tables, table tennis and small play area.
Wivey Pool is set in the heart of Wiveliscombe, in the beautiful Somerset countryside. A 27m outdoor heated pool is open for half term. Family swimming is between 1pm and 5pm on weekends and holidays.
Read our Guide to The Best Water Parks and Outdoor Pools in Somerset.
Kids go free every day at Glastonbury Abbey with one paying adult, and the Tor, owned by the National Trust, is free to visit for the whole family.
Visit this picturesque English Heritage medieval castle in Somerset.
Join the Family Holiday Activities – ‘Create a Coat of Arms’ on Tuesday 30th May, and ‘Discover Bats’ on Wednesday 31st May.
Spring Scavenger Hunt – 27th May – 4th June, 9.30am-5.30pm
Experience the magic of Spring as you explore the beautiful Bishop’s Palace and Gardens.
Family Storytelling – 30th May, 11am & 12.30pm
Family Crafting – 1st June, 11am – 3pm
The gardens alone are worth a visit, with the ponds, great fountain and arboretum to explore. The Abbey interior is a wonderful mix of restored monastic rooms and elegant staterooms. Restoration work in 1991 revealed a wall painting dating to the period 1270-1320. This is thought to be one of the oldest Cistercian paintings in England.
Walk the boards of this 19th Century Victorian Pier in the seaside town of Clevedon where you can buy an ice cream from the Pagoda Cafe at the end of the pier and look out over the Bristol Channel to Wales.
Afterwards, visit Clevedon beach, Marine Lake, the seafront arcades and Salthouse Fields play park.
Lots of rides and attractions to experience on the Grand Pier.
Get ready for a right royal knees-up at the Kids Rule events this May half-term and see the glorious gardens come to life.
Outdoor Activity Centres:
Enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at Mendip Activity Centre in Churchill. You can try archery, axe throwing, climbing, air rifle, frisbee golf, skiing, kayaking, tobogganing and lots more. (Some activities have a minimum age).
Back to basics, off-grid, family adventure camp. Bring your own tent or campervan, book a ready-to-go tent or stay in a bunk rooms with breakfast included. Book your own activities or book the all-inclusive camp, Camp Bigfoot.
Try caving, climbing or abseiling with Rock Outdoors, based in Burrington Combe in North Somerset.
Hire a paddle board, kayak or canoe at Channel Adventure at the Centre for Outdoor Activity & Community Hub (COACH) based in French Weir Park, Taunton. Lessons are available too.
Also, located in Minehead – skateboard, bike, scooter bodyboard, SUP hire.
Fun for all ages, this is a fast-paced laser action outdoor activity at Laser Assault.
The perfect place to visit for an action-packed day with your loved ones, with our wide range of adventure activities. Try archery, axe throwing, air rifle shooting, kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding.
Parks and Gardens:
- The Walled Gardens of Cannington, Bridgwater
- Royal Victoria Park, Bath
- Salthouse Fields, Clevedon
- Hestercombe Gardens
- Ashton Court (edge of Bristol)
- Walled Garden, Mells
- Portishead Lake Grounds
- Yeovil County Park/Ninespring Lake
- Blaise Castle Estate
The Fleet Air Arm Museum is a must-see attraction with its wide range of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft exhibits, some of which date back over 100 years. Visit during May Half Term to hear the story of Conservation and find out about how the aircraft and collection are looked after.
See the largest collection of helicopters and other rotar craft in the world, with over 80 military and civilian craft currently on show. All exhibits are on display in an all weather undercover hangar. See thewebsite for prices, current opening days/times and special events. Check the website for Open Cockpit Days, usually held at least once a month, or book a helicopter flight.
Haynes Motor Museum
Crewkerne District Museum (kids free)
Somerset and Dorset Railway Museum, Watchet
Watchet Boat Museum (free)/ Market House Museum, Watchet
Chard Museum (kids free)
Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury
Wells and Mendip Museum
Museum of Somerset, Taunton
Sheppeys Cider Farm and Museum
Visit Weston Museum to discover the history of Weston super Mare and the surrounding area, from prehistoric times to the present day. There are four main galleries: geology, archaeology, art and social history. During school holidays there are children’s activities and workshops, plus there are visiting exhibitions throughout the year. Check out the up coming events.
The Blake Museum, Bridgewater (free)
Oakham Farm, Portbury Lane, Portbury, Bristol BS20 7SP
Step back in time when you visit Oakham Treasures, and see the Aladdin’s Cave of memorabilia dedicated to the history of farming and retail. There are lots of artefacts from everyday household items, clothing, agriculture, vintage cars and motorbikes, shops and more. There is a cafe on site too. Check website for prices and opening times. If you’re visiting on holiday, there is even a campsite here where you can stay.
The American Museum and Gardens
For a relatively cheap day out with the children, consider one of Somerset’s lovely beaches. If the sun is shining you can’t beat a day out at the seaside.
- Weston Beach, WsM
- Clevedon Beach or Ladye Bay
- Uphill Beach, Weston super Mare
- Burnham Beach, Burnham on Sea
- Berrow Beach
- Brean Beach or Brean Down (NT)
- Sand Bay, WsM
- Blue Anchor Bay, Minehead
- Kilve Beach – great for fossil hunting
- St Audries Bay, Taunton
Indoor Soft Play:
If the British weather lets us down, the best option is to head to an indoor soft play centre. We’ve listed a few here.