19 essential things to do in Bristol this September
Bristol Science Museum

September is a busy month for Bristol.

Scalarama is in full force and there are plenty of filmic treats for cinephiles to enjoy.

There’s also a whole load of Autumnal foodie events popping up around the city, plus Bristol’s annual open doors day, which gives you a rare sneak peek into the city’s lesser visited areas.

1. Help out the Nepal Kids Kino Project

Head to Colston Hall for an evening of comedy and music courtesy of comedienne Josie Long, who will be joined by Gavin Osborn and Mark Oliver. All money raised on the night will go to The Nepal Kids Kino Project (NKKP), a fundraiser run by the Cube Microplex to bring cinema, stories and music to children in areas that were badly affected by the earthquakes earlier this year.

Thurs 3 Sep, Tickets: £15 adv + booking fee, Colston Hall, Colston St, Bristol BS1 5AR, colstonhall.org

2. Discover Soviet cinema

Recognised as one of the defining films of Soviet cinema, Dziga Vertov’s wildly radical Man with a Movie Camera offers a witty, experimental portrait of Moscow life. The film was hailed as ‘the best documentary of all time’ in last year’s poll by Sight and Sound, and was restored and reissued by the BFI earlier this year. The Cube screening has an introduction from Bristol Silent’s Dr. Peter Walsh at 8pm.

Thurs 3 Sep, Tickets: £5, Cube Microplex, Dove St S, Avon, Bristol BS2 8JD, cubecinema.com

3. Join a girl gang

Girl band Girlpool are set to play The Exchange in the wake of their well-received debut album Before the World Was Big. Consisting of school friends Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, the two piece band have a playful melodic blues-punk vibe, with gorgeous vocals and plenty of confrontational lyrics to mull over.

Fri 4 Sep, Tickets: £8, St Nicholas Market, All Saints Ln, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 1LJ, exchangebristol.com

4. The fire breathing spider

The giant, fire breathing Arcadia spider will be unleashed on Queen Square in its first-ever city centre appearance. Made from recycled biofuel pyrotechnics and military hardware, the enormous sculpture will infuse live music with acrobatic circus performance, sculpture and special effects to create jaw-dropping spectacle for all ages to enjoy. Arcadia ‘Metamorphosis’, comes to Bristol as part of the city’s year as European Green Capital, and is the world’s first recycled biofuel pyrotechnics system.

4-5 Sep, Tickets: £39.50-45, Queen Square, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 4QS, arcadiabristol.com

5. Go to the prom

Didn’t get tickets to Albert Hall this year? Fear not, because you can get a taste of the Prom excitement right here in Bristol. Grab your flags and head over to St George’s concert hall to hear the fabulous Bristol Ensemble perform traditional Last Night at the Proms favourites, as well as works from the BBC’s Ten Pieces. The night will be presented by Laura Tanner, with William Goodchild conducting.

Sun 6 Sep, Tickets: £12, £6 for under 18s, St George’s Brandon Hill, Great George St, Bristol, Avon BS1 5RR, stgeorgesbristol.co.uk

6. Go veggie in a yurt

Head on over to Yurt Lush for a freshly prepared three course vegan feast, courtesy of Totnes-based organic farmers, Riverford. Expect a menu bursting home-grown veggies, along with delicious sourdough breads and a dessert to finish.

Tues 8 Sep, Tickets: £30, Yurt Lush, Isambard Walk, Temple Quay, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6DG, eventbrite.co.uk

7. Drink brandy in a cellar

Pay a visit to Weber & Tring’s little shop on Christmas Steps shop this September to sample some of the finest cognacs and armagnacs known to man. The event is hosted in their underground wine cellar, and throughout the course of the evening you’ll learn the differences between famous French brandies – all through the power of taste, of course.

Wed 9 Sep, Tickets: £25, Weber & Tring’s, 17 Christmas Steps, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 5BS, weberandtrings.co.uk

8. Get cosy with Cage

Snuggle up in the 20th Century Flicks’ Kino for a night of Nic Cage. This Scalarama, Bristol’s favourite video shop is bringing the legend to the big (ish) screen across three Wednesday nights in September (9th, 16th & 23rd). There’ll only be 11 seats available, so you’ll have to work quickly if you want tickets. There’ll also be a Best Dressed Cage comp, plus prizes for your best Cage impression and trivia.

9, 16 & 23 Sep, £5.50, 19 Christmas Steps, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 5BS, 20thcenturyflicks.wordpress.com

9. Party like you did in the 90s

LA Hip Hop behemoths Jurassic 5 hit the O2 Academy on the 9th, and tickets are selling fast. Known for their high-energy, tightly performed shows, the 6 piece have been putting on well reviewed performances around the world since their reunion in 2013, so make sure you don’t miss their Bristol visit.

Wed 9 Sep, Tickets: £27.50 – 82.50, O2 Academy, 1-2, Frogmore St, Bristol BS1 5NA, o2academybristol.co.uk

10. See Bristol’s hidden charms

Discover some Bristol’s most fascinating hidden spots during the open day week, when places that are usually closed to the public open their doors. Some of Bristol’s most culturally and architecturally important buildings will be open for you to explore, including the old police station, the BBC, Redcliffe caves, the Clifton Rocks Railway, Warmley Grottoes and Bristol Blue Glass. All tours are free, although some require pre booking. Many venues are within walking distance from the centre of the city, some are on bus routes, and others will be served by a free bus on the day.

Sat 12 Sep, free, various locations, bristoldoorsopenday.org.uk

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11. Check out the market

Eastfield’s bustling food and craft market runs from 9am to 1pm, and features around 30 stalls offering up the best of Brsitol’s local food produce. There’ll be plenty of veggies, local honey, homemade preserves, cakes and sausages on offer, so don’t forget to bring some change to take a taste of the market home with you.

Sat 12 Sep, free, The Eastfield Inn, 219 Henleaze Road, Bristol BS9 4NQ, theeastfieldinn.co.uk

12. Catch some award-winning short films

The UK’s leading International short film festival is back for the 21st year running. This year’s festival will show the best new short film, and have masterclasses, discussions and workshops with leading figures from the industry. Head over to the Watershed during the festival to catch screenings, live music and a host of networking opportunities.

15-20 Sep, £4.50 – 8, The Watershed, Waterfront, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 5TX, encounters-festival.org.uk

13. Be a wine connoisseur for the night

Averys’ new arrivals wine tasting evening returns after six months to welcome in many new wines for the season. There’ll be 30 wines to samples and discounts available on the night, so bring your wallet and fill up your wine rack. There will also be an informal tour of the cellars, with bread and cheese nibbles on hand to soak up a little of that vino.

Wed 16 Sep, £25, Averys, 9 Culver St, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 5LD, averys.com

14. Get to know the Hellfire Video Club

The Cube Cinema’s resident connoisseurs of cult and trash cinema will be screening their very first Kung Fu movie, Buddha’s Palm. Of course, it won’t be any normal martial arts flick, so expect plenty of lazers, drumming wizards and jilted lovers. There’ll also be a a choice selection of Shaw Brothers trailers screening on 35mm, and the HFVC DJs playing tunes well into the night.

TIP: Fans of the surreal should also put the Cube’s screening of Borowcyzk’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne in their diary.

Fri 18 Sep, £5, Cube Microplex, Dove St S, Avon, Bristol BS2 8JD, cubecinema.com

15. Learn to swing

Bristol’s biggest swing dance is back, so limber up and head down to Colston Hall to hear high-energy music from Big Buzzard Buzztet and the inimitable Bruce/Ilett Big Band. dancers of all abilities are welcome, but if you’re more of a spectator then plump for a glass of wine and a balcony ticket instead. There’s a free swing lesson from 7.30- 8, after which the bands will start and you’ll get the chance to show off your new skills.

Sat 19 Sep, £10.75 to £21.50 incl. booking fee, Colston Hall, Colston St, Bristol BS1 5AR, colstonhall.org

16. Sample the local brews

Back for the second year running, Bristol Beer week celebrates the city’s burgeoning beer scene, and anyone with a passion for beer can get involved. The only rule is – no labels, so grab your tickets and bring along your best brews, or simply pop along to sample other people’s wares. Highlights from this year’s event include Wiper and True at the Hillgrove, a festival of beers along King Street, as well as tasting competitions and home brewing lessons, open days, talks and tours around local breweries. Keep your eye on the Bristol Beer Week website, which will finalise dates and locations as they’re confirmed.

19-26 Sep, various prices and locations, bristolbeerweek.co.uk

17. Save the Universe

Bristol Sunset Cinema have will be hosting an outdoor screening of super-camp classic Flash Gordon to mark its 35 anniversary. Tickets for their outdoor screening of The Princess Bride have already sold out, so be sure to book these ones quick. The night kicks off at 8.30pm. Don’t forget to bring a torch and a picnic blanket.

Sat 26 Sep, Tickets: £10 for adults, £5 for children of 10 and under, Clifton Observatory, Litfield Rd, Bristol BS8 3LT, ti.to

18. Enter a pizza making competition

Head to Windmill Hill’s beautiful public garden and farm to sample fresh produce, and watch as it’s prepared in front of you on the farm’s sizzling fire pit. There will also be live music, local beers, a pizza making competition with BBC Cook of the Year’ Jo Ingleby, and plenty of activities to keep children entertained, including seed planting and pond dipping. Eat Local: a celebration of local food is hosted in collaboration with fresh-range.com, who deliver fresh, locally reared meat from the City Farm across Bristol and Bath.

Sun 27 Sep, Tickets: £3, under 12s free, Windmillhill City Farm, Philip St, Bristol, City of Bristol BS3 4EA, windmillhillcityfarm.org.uk

19. Be serenaded by Sweet Baboo

Sweet Baboo brings his unique brand of melodic loveliness to Thekla this September, as part of his UK tour. Expect self-effacing acoustic country pop mixed with electric big band tracks, with plenty of matierial from his latest album, The Boombox Ballads.

Wed 30 Sep, Tickets: £11, Thekla,The Grove, East Mud Dock, Bristol BS1 4RB, theklabristol.co.uk

Main image: Christian Mueller / Shutterstock.com