Mon 12 - Sun 18 Aug
FAMILY: Victorian Seaside Fun, Osborne House, until Sun 1 Sep
Punch & Judy, ice-cream and a cheeky little paddle in the sea, Queen Victoria’s favourite spot is celebrating the joy of the Victorian seaside holidays this Summer with activities and events aplenty. For the price of a ticket into Osborne House (£18.10 for an adult, £10.90 for a 5-17 year old), you can have a good ol’ family fun day out and spend the rest of the month humming Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside.
EVENT: Cowes Week, Sat 10 – Sat 17 Aug
For one of the biggest parties… err I mean sporting events… the Isle of Wight has to offer definitely ship out for Cowes Week. Cowes is always buzzing when this is on, with plenty of music, free shows and lots of boaty fun-stuff. It also has its very own Art Trail for something a little more sedate during the day.
THEATRE: Mr Stink, NST City, Mon 12 – Wed 14 Aug
One to take the kids to (but you’ll secretly enjoy as well) is the musical adaptation of David Walliams’ Mr Stink which heads to Southampton this week. Smelly but utterly heart-warming too.
FAMILY: Family fun day at The Retreat, New Forest, Wed 14 Aug
This little oasis of calm in the New Forest is hosting a fab pop-up for all the family this week. With Gong Bathing with Scania Price and an awesome plant-based food pop-up with Holy Cow, you and your crew can discover a little taster of mindfulness (needed with small ones in tow!) and hold some intergenerational downward dog poses at the family yoga.
OUTDOORS: Jousting, Carisbrooke Castle, Tues 13 – Thurs 15 Aug
Over on the Island, it’s getting all a bit medieval this week with the chance to check out some fab jousting at Carisbrooke Castle. Not one to be outdone, the littlies can even take part in a mini hobby-horse joust, try authentic medieval cuisine and just generally party like it’s 1299.
FAMILY: Wild Art Day, Gilbert White’s House, Selborne, Wed 14 Aug
Forget the vibrant day-glow finger paints, this is a chance to get creative with the natural world. Kids can take part in a range of activities such as clay modelling, sculptures made with leaves and enjoy some sedate artistic pursuits in the home of this legendary naturalist.
EVENT: ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles – A Live Radio Play’, The Round Tower, Old Portsmouth, Thurs 15 Aug
There’s a huge Sherlock Holmes revival happening in Portsmouth at the moment (if you get a chance, check out the fab exhibition at the City Museum as well) and this Wednesday the past comes alive with the chance to watch a live radio play of the classic Conan Doyle tale. With all the amusing sound effects and tension of one of Holmes’ most famous cases, for free!
FOOD & DRINK: Glorious 12th Dining Club, Myers Touch, Winchester, Thurs 15 Aug
The Myers Touch have another cracking supper club in Winchester this week. The Glorious 12th Dining Club with resident chefs McCrimmon & Reid is celebrating the start of Game season. Better grab those tickets now.
EVENT: Yolly’s Riesling Tasting, Wine Utopia, Stockbridge, Fri 16 – Sat 17
Did someone say wine? Pop to Stockbridge to learn all about the mainstay of the whites – Riesling. With both Old World and New World varieties to test, this free event will help you to appreciate the plonk more (and there’s a chance to stock up on your favourites too).
FOOD & DRINK: Cheese & Chilli Festival, Winchester, Sat 17 – Sun 18
Two of my favourite foods collide at Winchester’s Cheese and Chilli Festival this week. With plenty of cheese and chilli to taste, a chilli eating competition (think I’ll sit that one out, Ouch!), magic shows, street entertainment and plenty for all the family this should be a super spicy event for the week.
FILM: The Greatest Showman, The Vyne, Basingstoke, Sat 17 Aug
If you can’t get it out of your head, then head to the gorgeous surroundings of The Vyne to try and cure that Greatest Showman earworm you have going on. For £12.50 a ticket, grab a blanket, camping chair and enjoy the show on the beautiful North Lawn.
CULTURE: Archaeology Day, Curtis Museum, Alton, Sat 17 Aug
The Curtis Museum may have been under your radar, but this Archaeology Day (which is totally free to attend by the way) is a great chance to check out this little cool little spot of treasures. The collection on show encompasses a whopping 100 million years of Hampshire’s history and there’s a chance to check out some of the specimens and for the kids to have a go, Indiana Jones-style (with less giant boulders and more historical exploration).
EXHIBITION: Resist:be modern (again), John Hansard Gallery, until Sat 17 Aug
Those looking for a thought-provoking exhibition to get your brain round, make sure you check out the last few days of this event. Curated by Alice Maude-Roxby and Stefanie Seibold, ‘Resist: be modern (again)’ explores the practices of women artists, designers and writers of the 1920s and 30s through the work of contemporary artists.
FOOD & DRINK: Isle of Wight Garlic Festival, The Garlic Farm, Sat 17 – Sun 18 Aug
Celebrating one of the Island’s proudest exports the Garlic Festival returns in pungent style. As well as a chance to try all the amazing food that the farm produces (honestly, it’s AMAZING) you can also check out some of the other local producers, live music, there’s a Greatest Showman themed party and the fabulous tag line, of EAT. DRINK. STINK
EXHIBITION: Hampshire Open Studios, various locations, Sat 17 – Mon 26 Aug
With over 280 venues across the entire county taking part this is one of the largest celebrations of Hampshire creativity. From glassware to jewellery, painting to patchwork, wherever you are in the county you can find something amazing right on your doorstep.
FAMILY: Fairy & Pixie Weekend, Wellington Country Park, Sat 17 – Sun 18 Aug
Get the pointy ears and fairy wings out, Wellington is getting all magical this weekend as part of their rammed Summer of fun for the littlies. The grown-ups can get out and enjoy some fresh air at this beautiful country park while the kids go wild (and wear themselves out, hurrah!)
OUTDOORS: History LIVE weekend, Fort Nelson, Sat 17 – Sun 18 Aug
This totally free event (£3 for parking) brings history to life this weekend and gives everybody the chance to meet some of the people from Hampshire’s past. From finding out about the Napoleonic wars with a Victorian engineer and learning about what life was like on the fort in the 19th-century, come for the history and stay for the amazing views over the Solent and over to the Isle of Wight and beyond.
EVENT: Sean Lynch: A Murmur Repeated, John Hansard Gallery, showing until Sat 28 Sept
Looking for something totally out-of-the-box? Have six hours to spare? Then check out this art-house film shot in and around Southampton. The musings of a 17th-century bard around the modern surroundings of the city of Southampton this film is all about modernity, an interpretations of society and more. Long yes, but definitely not something you’d catch down the local cinema.
CULTURE: Walk around Wymering Manor, Sat 17 Aug
For one of the most unusual (and very hidden) spots in Portsmouth, there’s a free Walk around Wymering Manor on Sat 17 Aug. Meeting up by Cosham train station, you’ll get a chance to explore Wymering Manor which is one of the oldest buildings in Portsmouth. Formerly a grand country house it’s got a reputation for being one of THE most haunted buildings in the country and, hand on heart, it’s both fascinating and equally creepy to check out. It’s very rarely open as well so make sure you jump at the chance to nose around.
OUTDOORS: Dog Jog, Southampton Common, Sun 18 Aug
Like running? Have a dog? Then how about running 5k with your furry pal. The Dog Jog is a national event happening this weekend with one in Southampton. The chance to get fit, meet some other dog-minded people and even earn your own medal for you and your pooch. This is a super relaxed event for all ages, abilities and breed and even if you don’t fancy getting all hot and sweaty you can go and look at all the cute pups instead.
FAMILY: Chat to Captain Hardy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Sun 18 Aug
Admiral Lord Nelson’s BFF, Captain Hardy is a military hero of myth and legend. Having commanded the famous HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar this weekend you can go and give him a grilling, errr… ask him a few questions about life at this interactive event at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.