Mon 22 - Sun 28 Oct
CULTURE: Journeys Festival International, Portsmouth, Fri 19 – Sun 28 Oct
Returning for the third year to Portsmouth city centre, Journeys Festival is a cultural spectacle that brings vibrancy, colour and context of art and performance from talented artists – all of whom are refugees and asylum seekers.
HERITAGE: Spot The Scarecrows Trail, Mottisfont, Romsey, Sat 20 – Sun 28 Oct
Take the kids for an autumn stroll around the glorious Mottisfont. With a week packed with activities, you can explore the grounds hunting for amusing scarecrows along the way. Each trail costs £1 on top of your entrance fee.
FAMILY FUN: Time for Tea Trail, Hinton Ampner, Sat 20 – Sun 28 Oct
Inspire the younguns to become antique buffs with this rather quirky activity at the stunning Hinton Ampner. Solve the clues to follow the pathway and discover some cracking ceramics.
EVENT: Hansel & Gretel Breadcrumb Trail, Winchester City Mill, Sat 20 – Sun 28 Oct
Along with a bit of gratuitous pumpkin carving and spooky storytelling, Winchester City Mill has laid a trail of breadcrumbs and clues to follow. Solve the puzzles and find the witch’s house to save the fairytale pair and win a sweet treat in the process.
MUSIC: Tom Walker, Pyramids, Portsmouth, Mon 22 Oct
As the dark night’s draw in, musician Tom Walker heads to Southsea’s Pyramids to enthral concertgoers. Expect some beautiful tunes and hits like Leave A Light On and Sun Goes Down.
SCREENING: Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, The Point, Eastleigh, Mon 22 Oct
So popular that they’ve thrown in an encore, make sure to head to The Point for Matthew Bourne’s amazing retelling of Cinderella on the screen at The Point. The score, by Prokofiev, is set against the backdrop of World War II, and tells how Cinders sheds her frumpy, down-trodden self to win the heart of the dashing RAF Pilot.
TALK: An Evening with Tim Dee, Stockbridge Town Hall, Tue 23 Oct
Prominent broadcaster and writer Tim Dee is in Stockbridge this week, giving a special talk at the Stockbridge Town Hall about his latest tome. Landfill is a different take on the whole “throwaway” culture of modern life, through the lives of gulls and the people that watch them in a rubbish tip.
THEATRE: How to Hide a Lion, Theatre Royal Winchester, Mon 22 – Tue 23 Oct
One for the littlies, this theatre production of the classic book by Helen Stephen is filled with fun, music and a whole load of puppets. Take the kids but definitely one that the adults will secretly enjoy too. Suitable for 3+.
FAMILY FUN: Wild Play Day, Foxbury, New Forest, Tue 23 Oct
Mudpies, den-building – all that really grubby fun stuff and the perfect location to do so, as the National Trust property Foxbury hosts a Wild Play Day. Bring wellies and an appetite for a camp-fire roasted marshmallows. Tickets are £5 per person (under 5s go free).
THEATRE: Don Carlos, City Nuffield Southampton Theatre, Tue 23 – Sat 3 Nov
Featuring the rather dishy Tom Burke (BBC’s The Musketeers) this production will transport you to the scary era of The Spanish Inquisition. The play, written just before the French Revolution, still captures the terror and fear of the time – while still entertaining theatregoers.
EVENT: You Are Here!, Winchester Science Centre, Wed 24 Oct – Sun 4 Nov
Get the kids to throw themselves headfirst into this hands-on experience. You Are Here! encompasses a totally immersive show with the amazing surroundings of the Winchester Science Centre. While hunting for a missing Professor the audience get to explore the solar system in a fun and engaging way. Tickets are £8.60.
TALK: Arthur Conan Doyle and his fight for body armour, Fort Nelson, Fareham, Wed 24 Oct
In the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War, Fort Nelson is hosting a Fort Talks about the relationship between the author of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle (who lived in nearby Southsea) and his plea for suitable kit for troops fighting in the war – a dialogue discovered in a series of letters received by the physician. Humbling and informing.
FAMILY FUN: Pirates, Shipwrecks and Smugglers, The Needles Old Battery and New, Wed 24 – Thu 25 Oct
Arrrrrr! There’s a spot of plundering this week as the iconic beauty spot, The Needles, turns into a dark and mysterious place. From pirate tales to smuggling plots, the kids (and you) can find out all about the Island’s murkier past. Shiver our timbers!
POP UP: SeaStuff Pop Up, Greedo, Lymington, Thu 25 Oct
If you’re already on the hunt for Christmas gifts (sorry!) then make sure you head over Lymington way for Seastuff’s first ever pop up. This rather clever lady takes all that horrible nonsense people leave at the beach and upcycles it into these amazing interior curios. So not only do they look fantastic and are completely unique but are eco-friendly too. Result! Also, it’s in Greedo so a good excuse for a nice bite to eat.
FAMILY FUN: Milkshake! Live The Magic Story Book, Theatre Royal Winchester, Thu 25 Oct
Channel 5’s prominent kids’ programme hits the stage in Winchester to bring this production, The Magic Story Book, to life. Expect to see ALL your favourites (ahem…) Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam plus a few more at this one-off show.
DANCE: Let’s All Dance: Alice in Wonderland, The Point, Eastleigh, Thu 25 Oct
This production of Lewis Caroll’s timeless Alice in Wonderland brings magical dance into the tale beloved by generations. Follow Alice’s journey as she pirouettes through the topsy-turvy land of Wonderland meeting The White Rabbit, Mad Hatter and others along the way. If your brood wants to be the next Prima Ballerina there’s also two workshops with the dancers from the show.
FILM: The Greatest Showman Sing-a-Long, Winchester Science Centre, Fri 26 Oct
Oooh, we love a bit of Hugh Jackman and his breakthrough performance as P.T. Barnum has taken the world by storm. This special screening of The Greatest Showman comes complete with an added singalong. If you fancy out belting some of the choons from this show (Fun fact: It holds the title as the soundtrack that’s held the longest No1 slot in the UK charts), then bring the family for a spot of un-adultered warbling.
EVENT: Dark Nights Lantern Walk, The Garlic Farm, Newchurch, Isle of Wight, Fri 26 – Sat 27 Oct
Wrap up warm and explore the Isle of Wight’s famous Garlic Farm on this mesmerising nighttime trail. With light-up sculptures aglow and animation projections playing on the trail, you can take in the spectacle while learning a bit about the folklore of the Island. Following the walk, there’s entertainment and hot food and drink available.
DRINK: Oktoberfest Portsmouth, Castle Field, Fri 26 – Sat 27 Oct
Guten tag! Forget heading all the way to Munich for Oktoberfest and get yourself to Portsmouth’s version this weekend. Ok..ok, it’s not QUITE the same but there’s plenty of fantastic drinks, live entertainment and the comic opportunity to spy people in lederhosen plus, it’s a helluva lot cheaper than airfare.
THEATRE: Morgan & West’s More Magic for Kids, Theatre Royal Winchester, Sat 27 Oct
Pop a bit of magic and sparkle into this week by checking out one of the fascinating magic shows on-stage at Theatre Royal Winchester. Magical double-act Morgan & West’s show is geared up for families and will have even the most cynical grownup gawping in disbelief. The pair’s evening production, Time-Travelling Magicians, will deliver equal amounts of astoundment.
DANCE: Brendan Cole’s All Night Long, Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Sat 27 Oct
Strictly’s beloved Brendan Cole (come back!) brings a bit of that Kiwi footwork to the Kings Theatre this weekend, with his production, All Night Long. Stamping the boards of this beautiful theatre I bet you’ll be inclined to get up and start shimmying yourself… or at least tap your toes a bit.
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.
FAMILY FUN: There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly, Theatre Royal Winchester, Sun 28 Oct
I can’t quite believe this book is 45 years old! But to celebrate its almost-half-century, this stage production at Winchester’s Theatre Royal brings new life to the old tale. Packed with nursery rhymes and laughs for all ages, you can watch through your fingers as the old lady makes some rather… questionable… food choices to solve a problem. Perfect for the really young ones.