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This week

Mon 10 - Sun 16 Feb

HERITAGE: Art Installation: Casting Light, Mottisfont, Romsey, Sat 11 Jan – Sun 8 Nov

This month sees the launch of a brand new light installation at Mottisfont – Casting Light – and its tipped to be very illuminating (sorry!) Located in the Red Room, this immersive experience is by renowned artists Heinrich & Palmer, and uses modern technology to show the layers of history in Mottisfont unlike ever before.

FAMILY: Surviving the Stone Age, Gosport Gallery, Sat 11 Jan – Sat 22 Feb

If the thought of the wi-fi cutting out gives you the cold sweats, then spare a thought for our poor old ancestors who didn’t even have dial-up. Surviving the Stone Age is a new exhibition at the Gosport Gallery looking at what life was like in Stone Age Hampshire, featuring artefacts that have lasted millennia and have-a-go activities.

EXHIBITION: Comedy & Commentary, Mottisfont, Sat 18 Jan – Sun 19 Apr

Who says cartoons are for kids? This new exhibition at Mottisfont features the works of respected and talented cartoonists, with a spin on modern events. With scathing wit and satire, this is comedy for grown-ups.

THEATRE: Educating Rita, Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Mon 10 – Sun 15

Educating RitaFeaturing Stephen Tompkinson, this latest adaptation of marks the 40th year since the first production of a modern classic and follows the trials and tribulations of Frank and Rita, him a poetic drunkard and her a married hairdresser with aspirations to do more.

TALK: In Conversation with John Sergeant, Chewton Glen, Mon 10

Not content with being the chief political correspondent for the Beeb, John Seargeant won the hearts of the Great British Public when he appeared on Strictly. While he may no longer dance the foxtrot, he’s still full of fabulously salacious tales of which he will be sharing with guests at this special night at Chewton. Come for the food and stay for the goss.

THEATRE: Mama Mia!, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Tues 11 – Sat 29



Full of camp Abba numbers and a cheesy love story, Mama Mia is a show that is guaranteed to get you in a good mood. Heading to Southampton for a three-week run, you’ll be transported to the Greek Islands for a hilarious tale of baby daddies, fey laughter and plenty of singing.

FOOD & DRINK: Chocolate Indulgence Cookery Class, The Kitchen at Chewton Glen, Wed 12

Well, it’s got chocolate so we’re already off to a good start. This fab half-day course will get you tempering chocolate like a Parisian master and mirror glazing like Mary Berry. Lunch is included and that’s before you even eat all the “mistakes” you’ve made.

FAMILY: Spirit of the Orient, Robin Hill Country Park, Newport, Fri 14 – Sat 22

If you haven’t been able to check out the amazing light events at Robin Hill yet then you really must have a look. The whole park is magical in the daytime, but when the sun goes down and the lights come on, it’s like you’ve stepped into another world.

COMEDY: Ardal O’Hanlon: The Showing Off Must Go On, Theatre Royal Winchester, Fri 14

Ardal O'Hanlon - CREDIT Mark Nixon

(c) Mark Nixon

The kind of comic your mum loves, Ardal O’Hanlan holds a special place in our hearts as the incredibly daft but endearing Father Dougal. However, Ardal also does stand-up and brings his latest show, The Showing Off Must Go On to Winchester this week. And don’t forget “These cows are small and those are farrrrr away.”

FAMILY: Love Week, Monkey Haven, Newport – Thurs 14 – Sun 24 Feb

monkey haven newportIt’s the start of Love Week at the Island’s Monkey Haven and all the simians are getting involved in the action. With heart-warming animal rescue stories, plenty of fluffy monkeys and feathery owls to meet and coo over, plus Love Shakes in the cafe you’ll be all aflutter with these cute little critters.

FOOD & DRINK: Brewing Romance, Chewton Glen, Fri 14 – Sun 16

Tea for two with added swoon. Chewton delivers the goods on the perfect afternoon tea complete with lovey-dovey vibes. And, if they don’t let you have the Red Velvet Battenberg, they probably aren’t worth it.

OUTDOORS: Snowdrop Week and Love Birds Trail at Gilbert White’s House, Selborne – Sat 15 – Thurs 20 Feb

Gilbert White’s House is getting into the swing of February with two events that the kids (and grown ups) will love. First off is the return of the annual Snowdrop weekend where you and the sprogs can hunt down the pretty white blooms dotted around the home of the famous naturalist. Then leading into half-term week itself, Love Birds gives kids a chance to take a look at real-life bird nests and find out more about the ornithological world of the UK.


EVENT: Festival of Light, West Quay, Southampton, Fri 14 – Sun 23

To celebrate 400 years since The Mayflower set sail, West Quay is brightening up with its fantastic festival of lights. Perfect for “oooohing” and “aahhhhh”ing at, the free event has brand new installations this year and is also conveniently by alllll the shops.


FAMILY: Shipwreck Explorers: Royal Romance, The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, Sat 15 – Sun 23

Mary Rose Photo by Michael Brace

Photo by Michael Brace

Henry VIII was known for his erm… love affairs and this month sees a very special Shipwreck Explorers all about Tudor lurvveeee. Find out about the love tokens they gave each other, how they celebrated V. Day and what was the best way to keep your head if you were married to the King (Clue… it involved having a son).

HERITAGE: Half-Term at The Vyne, Basingstoke – Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

The National Trust always comes up trumps when it comes to the school hols and this half-term is no exception. The Vyne in Basingstoke is a Tudor palace that is bursting with things to do with the kids. From the Garden Discovery Trail which is perfect for exploring the gardens, Dress Like a Victorian where you can suit and boot like its 1869 and the chance to earn a Conservation Award (ideal for any budding Greta Thunberg ), you’ll make the most of that membership or just have a fun-filled day out.

FAMILY: Hands-On Half-Term, Beaulieu, New Forest – Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb

BeaulieuBrrrm brrrrm, it’s Hands-On Half-Term at Beaulieu. Put them to work with the interactive Medieval Builder exhibition, or put on your detective cap and work out what the weird and wonderful gadgetry is contained within the Palace House Kitchen. Then if the kids start to tire of all that grafting (ha!) you have full roam of all the exhibits. Race ya!

EVENT: Snowdrop Sunday, Chawton House, Alton, Sun 16

Chawton will be all abloom with the return of its annual Snowdrop Sunday. Tour the grounds of Jane Austen’s former residence, hunt down the little white blooms and then top it off with a giant slice of cake.


CULTURE: Open Studios @ The Hotwalls, Portsmouth, Sun 16

Blank studio with coloured art work.Calling all you culture vultures, the Hotwalls Open Studios are on this weekend and you can have a good snoop around to see what the artist are up to. From fabulous printing from Fours&Eights, to brilliant artwork from other local creatives, make sure you pop along (and stop for a bite at Muddy LBBer The Canteen while you visit!)


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