Top 10 family days out in Bristol this summer
THE Lion King will roar into Bristol at the end of the school summer holidays as it kicks off the first UK tour of the award winning musical.
The UK touring company includes singers, dancers and actors from all over the world with rehearsals getting underway last month.
The official opening night is Thursday, September 6 although there are performances from August 31 and it runs until November 17.
Cast members include Cleveland Cathnott, who will play the role of Mufasa; Stephen Carlile will be Scar and Guwana Dlamini will be Rafiki.
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Meilyr Sion will be Zazu while Nicholas Nkuna will take the role of Simba and Carole Stennett Nala. Timon will be played by John Hasler and Mark Roper will play Pumbaa. Shenzi will be Gbemisola Ikumelo, Daniel Norford Banzai and Philip Oakland, Ed.
Christiaan de Villiers, general manager of the Bristol Hippodrome which is celebrating its centenary this year, said: ““It’s hugely prestigious that the first ever UK tour of The Lion King is going to be opening at The Bristol Hippodrome later this year.
“This only furthers our wonderful relationship with Disney following the World Premiere success of Mary Poppins in 2004. It really is a phenomenal achievement and due to the continuing support of our customers, businesses and overall community.”
If Lion King isn’t for you, we’ve found 10 other events and activities to ensure a family fun-filled summer.
1. Workshop fun – there’s a choice of activities for all the family at Tyntesfield this summer from learning what life was like for a Victorian soldier, relax with yoga or enjoy evening music or theatre. Tyntesfield is a Victorian Gothic Revival house with gardens and parkland created by William Gibbs. Note at weekends and during busy period access to the house is by timed ticket – limited numbers.
Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Bristol, BS48 1NX T: 01275 461900
2. Meet Mr Brunel – visitors are invited to shake the hand of Britain’s greatest engineer aboard the ss Great Britain. Mr Brunel will meet you aboard the ship, visitors may stroll with him and he will discuss the creation of the ship which changed history and, of course, Mr Brunel recently featured in the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Mr Brunel will be at the ss Great Britain daily until September 1 except July 25 and 26, August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and 30. Tickets include free return visits for a year and cost £12.50 adults, £9.95 for concessions, four year olds and under go free while child’s five to 17 are £6.25. A range of family tickets are available.
Brunel’s ss Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Bristol, BS1 6TY T: 0117 926 0680
3. DinoZoo – they ruled the Earth for millions of years and now dinosaurs have made a comeback at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Until September 2, 12 huge and lifelike animatronic dinosaurs are situated in the zoo plus there’s a special film night being held on August 18 when visitors can watch Jurassic Park on a big screen.
Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA T: 0117 974 7399
4. Go for Gold – no not as part of London 2012 but a special summer show for At-Bristol in the live science studio. Visitors are encouraged to explore rays, waves and a whole spectrum of colourful activities in the new show. “Come and get your pulse racing at our brand new family show exploring how amazing the human body is. Join us as we learn all about hearts, lungs, limbs and all manner of sporty things,” says the attraction.
At-Bristol, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB (Sat Nav BS1 5LL) T: 0845 345 1235
5. Museum history – discover the history of Bristol through the objects and stories of the people who have made the city what it is today. M Shed opened just over a year ago and is free to visit. Three galleries reveal Bristol’s stories from prehistoric times to the present day. There’s film and photographs as well as quirky objects and specific summer workshops throughout August.
M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN T: 0117 352 6600
6. Set sail – where else can you get ship shape and Bristol fashion than on the harbourside so why not book a trip on the replica Matthew? It’s more than 500 years since John Cabot and his crew set sail for Asia, however, he finally arrived on the coast of Newfoundland and was the original discoverer of North America. In 1997 the replica Matthew followed the same course and now it is based in the harbour. Various trips are available from weekend sailings to a harbour cruise.
The Matthew is moored next to M Shed in Bristol from August. T: 0117 927 6868
7. Balloon Fiesta – The Jones Lang LaSalle Bristol International Balloon Fiesta gets underway on August 9 and runs to August 12 with plenty for all the family. A new Summer Set zone run with Thatchers Cider will feature a village fete style marquee and a bandstand with lots of live music programmed. A Sports Zone will showcase the skills of local community groups while the traditional fairground rides will also be on the showground. Plus – weather permitting – the incredible sight of the mass ascents of balloons morning and night.
Bristol Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN
8. Public Art trail – discover HorseWorld ’s Trail of Painted Ponies in Bristol’s Cabot circus shopping centre. The event is free and marks the 60th anniversary of the animal charity. Running until September 7, 60 model painted ponies will be displayed in shops with designs created by celebrities, Bristol City and Rovers Football Clubs, local artists and Patty – one of the donkeys from HorseWorld’s visitor centre in Whitchurch has painted one too!
HorseWorld, Staunton Manor Farm, Staunton Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol, BS14 0QJ T: 01275 540173
9. See No Evil – the UK’s largest permanent street art project, which say the organisers is: “Designed to bring alive Nelson Street and the Bristol Enterprise Zone, See No Evil will return for a second year featuring huge scale digital projections, music stages, after parties, a pop up gallery and live painting. For the second year, the project will take disused Bristol city-centre spaces and animate them over the weekend. The week-long event is part of the London 2012 Festival, a summer-long arts festival throughout the country to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” It takes place from August 13 to 19 and is supported by the Arts Council, London 2012 Festival, Bristol City Council and Bristol University.
10. Travel back in time – Discover how people used to live in the past at Blaise Castle House Museum. It features galleries showing some of the cooking, lighting, washing and other household equipment used over the last 300 years as well as a collection of baths and china toilets. The 18th century mansion house is in 400 acres of parkland – plenty of space to walk and enjoy the views. It was built at the turn of the 18th century for John Harford, a wealthy Bristol merchant and banker. It’s open until September 2 Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays from 10.30am to 4pm. Entry is free.
Blaise Castle House Museum, Henbury Road, Bristol, BS10 7QS T: 0117 903 9818