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Fridays with a toddler in Bristol

Fridays are my only full day off with my daughter, and I always try to do something we’ll both enjoy. After being at nursery for the other four days, however, she’s often quite tired and needs a longer sleep at lunchtime. For the past month, she’s actually fallen asleep as early as 10.30am on the sofa, which I take to be a sign that she’s relaxed, and needs to catch up on sleep.

Here are some of the things we do together, for anyone looking for ideas for things to do in Bristol with toddlers on Fridays.

  • We stay local and hang out at the library, returning books and choosing some more, and then go to Redcatch Park for a runaround. If you haven’t been to Redcatch park in Knowle before, give it a try, it’s got a great community cafe and a well designed, fenced in playground and picnic area
  • This week we went to Forest School at Wraxhall Piece and made pancakes round a campfire, with a bug hunt too. We went with Wild Foresters, who are great, but there are plenty to choose from in Bristol
  • We often to go Happymess, a messy play and art class at Windmill Hill Community Centre at 10am. It’s an hour long and really fun. Genuinely imaginative and messy stuff that you might not want to clear up at home!
  • We also go to The City of Bristol Gymnastics Centre for the pre-school mega soft play and bouncy castle. It’s on every morning, but Fridays suit us and there’s a really nice crowd of parents and kids having fun
  • We go shopping. I know, Waitrose isn’t exactly top of everyones fun list, but, at the moment, whilst she’s happy to be in the trolley, we amble around and get some bits and bobs, and then have a nice mummy and daughter hot chocolate before we go home
  • We go into town and spend some time in Foyles. I bloody love Foyles – and it’s the only one outside London! The book choice is perfect, the children’s section is accessible, large and they are more than happy for you to try before you buy. Then we head upstairs to the cafe with the great view out onto Bakers and Cutlers Hall and do more reading. As a side note, if you do this on a Friday afternoon, the whole of Quakers Friars is usually strangely quiet, making it a great place for an ambitious toddler. And there’s the fountain, the artificial grass and the outdoor screens in the summer
  • We’ve had our garden done recently, so we’ve also been going to garden centres to look at plants to put in it. The Riverside in Southville and the Secret Garden Centre in Stockwood Hill are great, both have things to do for toddlers.

There’s so much I want to try out too. The Zion Centre, Toddler Takeover at @Bristol, a picnic in Leigh Woods when it gets a bit warmer, pancakes from the crepe shack eaten outside the Arnolfini followed by a play in Queen Square, a street art tour of Stokes Croft with the buggy, a swim at Clifton Lido. Loads to look forward to as the weather gets warmer!

What do you get up to on a Friday? Any more tips?

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  1. hi. We run Launchpad Classes. We have 3 classes on a Friday and one on a Monday. You can find details on our website. Launchpad Classes offer a fun introduction to literacy, numeracy and science. You are very welcome for a free trial. Thanks. Emma.

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