FAMILY FUN: Festival of Light, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight, until Sun 4 Nov
Why not embrace the colder evenings with a visit to the spangliest spot in the south? Lit up like a… no, I’m not going to say it, Robin Hill is festooned with lights, colour and showmanship as its transformed into a Divali-inspired wonderland this month. Explore the park to spot the glittering Neon Jungle, tuck into a huge range of Indian treats and even try your hand to some henna. Also, make sure to check out the Electro-Light Circus, for glow-in-the-dark circus acts, special effects and more.
COMEDY: Comedy Central Live, Southampton, Fri 5 – Sun 7 Oct
If you like your entertainment a little bit racy, and almost certainly x-rated, then grab a ticket for Comedy Central Live as it heads to Southampton this month. With famous acts such as Katherine Ryan, Jimmy Carr and Russell Howard, performing live versions of Comedy Central shows, your sides will be splitting with glee. If you’re not easily offended then make sure you get to one of the Roast Battles – don’t say we didn’t warn you!
FESTIVAL: Choose 90s, The Pyramids, Portsmouth, Sat 6 Oct
Grab your glowsticks and get ready for a blast from the past, as the Choose 90s festival hits Hampshire for one night only. With old-school acts such as Artful Dodger and N-Trance pumping out the hits, you could be fooled you’ve ended up in Ibiza. This is definitely a night for nostalgic dancing round your handbag with your gal pals.
EXHIBITION: Marvellous Mechanicals, Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke, Sat 6 Oct – Tue 18 Dec
There’s something wonderfully satisfying about seeing how things work, and this exhibition of weird and wonderful contraptions will have you ooohing and ahhhing at the automata on show. Even if gears and cogs aren’t your bag, there’s a reason this exhibition has had over 10 million visitors since it started its world tour. Full of funny mechanical sculptures, and over 400 years of art and engineering history, the whole family will find something to pique their curiosity in this exhibition.
FESTIVAL: Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Thu 11 – Sun 14 Oct
At Muddy, we love to curl up with a good book, but we also love heading out and about – and that’s why the Isle of Wight Literary Festival is so up our street. The annual offering is rammed with fascinating authors, notable ‘slebs who’ve turned to the pen and adventurers sharing their tales. Expect talks that are heart-warming, thought-provoking and generally entertaining.
ART: The Wykeham Gallery, Jeremy Houghton Exhibition, Stockbridge High Street, Fri 12 Oct onwards
The private view is on Thur 11 Oct 6-8pm when Jeremy Houghton will be at the gallery and available to discuss his work, The Wykeham would be delighted to welcome Muddy Stilettos’ readers to join them for a chat with the artists and view the paintings.
POP UP: Sky Dining at the Spinnaker, Portsmouth, Fri 12 – Sat 13 Oct
Set your sights (and stomachs) skyward, as Sky Dining ascends to the Emirates Spinnaker this month. The seven-course menu is the first event from celebrated local chef Gary Pearce, and will celebrate his love of food and the area he grew up in. With a CV boasting 3 Michelin star restaurants and a breathtaking view of the Solent, this is set to be a special night.
FESTIVAL: New Forest Walking Festival, Sat 13 Oct – Sun 28 Oct
Boots on ladies, we’re heading out. In Hampshire, we’re lucky enough to have some of the most scenic spots of the UK on our doorstep and the New Forest Walking Festival will point your feet the right way to find them. With a huge range of routes and trails (with some naice pubs on the way of course), you’ll be able to wow your friends with your expert knowledge of the countryside when they visit.
THEATRE: The Russian State Ballet and Opera House Swan Lake, Anvil Arts, Basingstoke, Thu 18 Oct
It’s been over 135 years since Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, Swan Lake, first pirouetted into high culture and it’s still wowing audiences to this day. This tragic tale of love and curses will be portrayed by the noted Russian State Ballet in Basingstoke this month, bringing a little bit of Baltic class to proceedings. Tickets tend to sell out quickly so make sure you jeté to get yours quickly.
FAMILY FUN: Boo At The Zoo, Marwell Zoo, Winchester, Sat 20 – Sun 28 Oct
Flying Arena, Haunted Hall and a shedload of lemurs? It must be half-term at Marwell. Once again the zoo’s team are pulling out all the stops to make visits extra special for kids and adults alike. If your brood are Harry Potter obsessed, there’s a chance to practice your broomstick skills and there’s plenty of spooky storyteling on offer. Don’t fret if you’re a bit anxious though, all the cute and cuddly animals will make you feel a lot better.
FESTIVAL: Port Solent Prosecco Festival, Port Solent, Sat 20 Oct
Chin chin! Last year’s sell-out Port Solent Prosecco Festival returns again this October, so if you didn’t quite make it to the South of France for the summer you can head here to channel that inner Rivieria diva. Grab a flute and gaze out over the boat-filled marina, taking in the host of entertainment on offer – expect magicians, acrobats as well a few additional surprises the organisers have in store.
SPORT: The Great South Run, Portsmouth, Sun 21 Oct
On your marks, get set, SPECTATE. The Great South Run returns with 20,000+ entrants pounding the streets of Portsmouth this October. Even if you’re super-behind on your own training schedule (we’ll do it next year… honest), it’s a great day out to cheer on the competitors, spot a celebrity or two and get a bit of fitness inspo for your own regime.
EVENT: Fireworks Spectacular at Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Sat 27 Oct
Whizz, pop, bang – it may not be Bonfire Night just yet but we do love a good firework display at Muddy Hants. And there’s no better place to crane your neck than in the delightful surroundings of Beaulieu. It may be known for its classic cars, but their pyrotechnic performances are really, rather good. What’s even better is this year’s show is Eighties-themed. Wrap up warm, dig out those leg-warmers and get ready to moonwalk to this spectacle.
SHOPPING: Hampshire Antiques & Brocante, Lockswood Centre Locks Heath, Sat 27 Oct
Shopping in the name of investment? Do go on! This month is the launch of the Hampshire Antiques & Brocante (that’s a fancy name for flea market, doncha know?) where you can uncover hidden treasures, find one-of-a-kind curios and generally have a good ol’ rummage through the wares. Bring strong arms and a big car boot to take that Victorian statuette home.
TOUR: Late Night Gothic, Chawton House, Alton, Wed 31 Oct
If you don’t fancy the usual ghosts and ghoulies that come with this time of year and want something a tad more sophisticated for Halloween then Late Night Gothic is the one for you. Celebrating the works of Hampshire’s very own Jane Austen and other notable female wordsmiths, this candlelit tour of Chawton House will creep you out while simultaneously giving you a good dose of gothic cultural learning at the same time.