The Bristol Parent

Family lifestyle, things to see and do, in Bristol and beyond

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Top nap time car parking hotspots for Bristol parents

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Yeah, I know, this is Bristol, we’re all supposed to walk or get a bus fuelled by poo, or share a bike. But, if you’ve got a car and a child under three, the chances are you’ve done your share of engine-idling, climate controlled, driver’s seat reclining, phone browsing, with your kid hanging in the balance between sleep and screaming in the back. And here’s some thoughts you’ve probably had whilst you were there: Why, why do I not keep a book in the car? Why, why do we not… Read More

Starting to get fit again when you are a bit fat

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Lately I’ve decided I’ve had enough of being a bit fat. I’ve always been above average, but before Tibbs came along I was nailing it. Gym most days, or running with my old dog which I absolutely loved. It’s time to get back in the game. I’m 40 this year. I’d rather not look like this when I’m 41. I was so into running that I didn’t even notice I was wearing odd trainers, once. And no, that’s not my snapped walking stick lying on the floor. I was like… Read More

Win two tickets to the Mice on Skates puppet show at the Tobacco Factory

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  Hello! Would you like to go to the Tobacco Factory theatre next week to see a fantastic puppet show called Mice on Skates? It’s aimed at children from age 2 upwards and is about travelling mice on roller skates, seeking out delicious cheese and causing mayhem as they go! The Fly in a Pie puppet theatre promises 50 minutes of immense fun and laughter for little ones, and sounds like a fantastic thing to take your children to this summer holidays. Have a look at the sneaky peak below!… Read More

Toddler swimming with Puddle Ducks Bristol and Bath

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In a rare appearance, Tibbs’ Dad writes today about his recent experiences of his favourite father daughter activity of late, swimming classes! This Spring, we were invited by Puddle Ducks Bristol and Bath to join six weeks of swimming lessons. I’m the confident swimmer in the household, so every Saturday, me and Tibbs joined a splashing, laughing, fun group of toddlers and their parents at the DW Sports Centre in Hengrove for the Puddle Ducks ‘Little Dippers’ session. All the Puddle Ducks classes are split into approximate ages and abilities, and… Read More

Bilbao – your next family holiday

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I thought having kids would mean the end of city breaks. I remember mourning this quite extensively in the early days of motherhood. My husband asked me “what can I do, to make it better, what would you really like to do?” and my reply was “I’d like to be sat outside an osteria in Venice with you, a coffee, a prosecco, with my shades on, in the winter sun, all afternoon.” Yeah, the above pic, Venice 2009. Not happening again for a while. But, on our European road trip… Read More

Everything you need to know about the Bristol Baby Bank Network

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I talked to Eva Fernandes today, co-founder of Gloucester Road’s iconic organic and fair trade baby shop, Born, and more recently Chair of the Bristol Baby Bank Network.   The Bristol Baby Bank Network is a charity set up to ensure that local parents who cannot afford new or second hand baby items. It distributes donated, pre-loved baby goods to families in need.  Over a quarter of Bristol’s children live in poverty (21,835 children, 26.7%), according to the Bristol Child Poverty Strategy 2011-­2020, from Bristol City Council. When given by constituency Bristol South… Read More

The beautiful Western Algarve – family travel at its best

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  This week I was asked by Clickstay to write the first in a series of posts for them about family travel. I chose to write about my pick of the best beaches on the Western Algarve because when I daydream about being on holiday (as it’s easy to do at 6am on a Saturday morning when you’re woken up by a whining puppy!) it’s about the blues and yellows of that sunny, delicious area of South West Portugal. It has everything I adore. Variety of landscapes, from sweeping sands to… Read More

What’s on for kids at Bristol Harbour Festival?

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I think Bristol Harbour Festival is the biggest weekend of the year here! I’ve had a sneaky peek of the full programme and picked out a few things which those of you with kids might especially enjoy. For those who’ve never been before, Bristol Harbour Festival encompasses a two-mile stretch of the city, roughly from College Green downwards, including the Lloyds Amphitheatre, Millennium Square and the waterfront, then across to Queen’s Square, M Shed, down to the SS Great Britain and all the water in between. It’s big. It’s almost… Read More

Glamping in the Dordogne, a safari tent and stunning summer countryside

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Of all the places we visited, Simply Canvas, small permaculture glamping in the Dordogne, is the memory that sticks in my mind from our month-long road trip to France and Spain. I don’t think we’ll ever forget it. It was such a surprise. I thought it would be the most difficult stay – a tent in the heat, a puppy and a toddler on an open, relaxed site. But it was the easiest, liberating, most relaxing, joyful experience. Six safari tents flanked by shady cherry trees which were dripping with… Read More

Children’s Scrapstore Summer classes – Room to Play

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Children’s Scrapstore is two things. Absolutely unique, and the answer to every Bristol parent’s dream if you want your children to enjoy messy and noisy play, but don’t necessarily have the nerves or the space to have it happen at home. This summer, at their newly expanded space in St Werburghs, Children’s Scrapstore are running Room to Play, a series of lively, imaginative and awesome looking classes for kids of all ages. There’s something going on a few times every week in the summer hols, you need to book in… Read More

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