Fri 6 - Sun 8 Sep
THEATRE: Kinky Boots: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Tues 3 – Sat 14 Sep
It’s sparkly, saucy and features a heck of a lot of Cyndi Lauper (Oh yes!) The fantastic showstopping musical Kinky Boots sashays into Southampton this week, with some sparkle and flair. The jaw-dropping Lola will be portrayed by West End alum Kayi Ushe and supported by Corrie’s Paula Lane and Joel Harper-Jackson, in this heart-warming, high-strutting show.
MUSIC: Beyond the West End, Shanklin, Theatre, Wed 4 – Thurs 26
For those who love a touch of la fromage, encourage those sing-along vibes with Beyond the West End at Shanklin Theatre. Running between Wed 4 – Thurs 26 it’s rammed full of songs and show tunes. Think Whitney Houston. Carousel, Tina Turner and of course, The Greatest Showman.
KIDS & FAMILY: Dear Zoo, Theatre Royal Winchester, Fri 6 – Sat 7
Get some brownie points with the ankle-biters by treating them to a day at the theatre as the classic Dear Zoo pops up, complete with puppets, at the Theatre Royal, Winchester on Fri 6 – Sat 7.
FESTIVAL: Felix Festival, Silchester, Fri 7 – Sun 8
For something in the North of the county, then definitely put the Felix Festival, Silchester, in your diary for this weekend. Live music, a banging DJ set, delicious catering and a fully stocked bar, all in the beautiful countryside of Hampshire. And its raising money for charity, so even waking up with that pounding headache will feel worth it.
MUSIC: Last Night of the Proms: Picnic Concert, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Sat 7
Grab your Union Jacks and head to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens on Saturday for a Last Night of the Proms – Picnic Concert. Bring plenty of grub and enjoy the beautiful sounds of the Southampton Concert Orchestra, (complete with fantastic firework finale, of course) and music from Elgar Parry and John Williams. Al fresco trumps the Albert Hall in my books.
OUTDOORS: Isle of Wight Age UK Powder Run, Porchfield, Sat 7
If you fancy getting a tad “colourful” this September there’s plenty going on to tempt you into the fresh air, including the Isle of Wight Age UK Powder Run in Porchfield on Saturday. Raising money for a great cause get pelted with paint powder and laugh about how fab you look in rainbow colours.
EVENT: Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours, Highclere Castle, Sat 7 – Sun 8
With the impending release of the Downton Abbey movie, channel your inner Lady Mary with a night of Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours at Highclere Castle this weekend. The Dowager Countess Grantham is TOTALLY my spirit animal.
OUTDOORS: Isle of Wight Kite Festival, Chale, Sat 7
If you missed the Portsmouth Kite Festival last month then make sure to hop aboard the ferry and get to Chale as the Island’s version, the Isle of Wight Kite Festival takes flight this weekend. Swooping, soaring and a whole lot of “How on earth is that staying in the air?” You may need a neck massage after this one from all the gawking, but it’s certainly a sight to behold.
EVENT: International Vulture Awareness Day, Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover, Sat 7
Are you aware of vultures? Well, if not then check out the special International Vulture Awareness Day at the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover on Sat 7. OK to be fair, we’re probably all pretty aware of them but this event is to educate and dispell some of the myths behind these industrious fowls – a species that is sadly under threat. Plus there’s plenty of swooping birds to enthral the kids at the same time.
FOOD & DRINK: Hamble Food Festival, Sat 7
Need an excuse to taste some fantastic local food. Nope, we never need an excuse! Get your tastebuds down to Hamble this weekend for its annual Food Festival. Totally free to attend, you can taste and stock up on everything – jams, cheese, artisan bread, gin. Plus there’s also local performers and the chance to get your face painted like a tiger… what do you mean that’s for the kids? *Humph*
OUTDOORS: Isle of Wight Dog Festival, Robin Hill, Sat 7
Oh, Bow Wow! As if Robin Hill wasn’t a fab place already, this weekend it will be absolutely packed with waggy tailed woofers. Grab Rover and enter him into one of the dog shows for that coveted blue ribbon, check out the stalls selling doggy related and local Island treats (for you as well, not just the dog) and just generally enjoy the atmosphere at this great event. Try not to let the pups chase the Red Squirres though!
FOOD & DRINK: Vegan and Gluten-Free Essentials Cookery Class, SEASON, Lainston House, Sat 7
Vegan? Gluten-free? Get a bit stuck for ideas when it comes to cooking. Then you need to book yourself on this fab full-day course on these topics. Led by vegan chef Mitch Lee, you can go from plant-zero to vegan-hero and learn to make things such as Tandoori Tofu Skewers, vegan “Parma Ham” and basically become the plant-based impresario of the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. Tickets cost £195 for a full-day course.
COMEDY: Funny People Comedy Club, Botley, Sat 7
Things are getting a little bit hilarious down in Botley this weekend with the Funny People Comedy Club (pretty much what it says on the tin, right?) With Hammersmith Apollo, Edinburgh Fringe starring Dane Baptiste and flanked by equally amusant Alistair Williams and Fiona Ridgewell, tickets are a steal at £15 and well worth the outlay for the resulting gigglefest.
OUTDOORS: Alresford Agricultural Show, Sat 7
Alresford is getting all countrified this weekend with the annual agricultural show. Even if you’re as far removed from farming life as you could be (stilettos and tilling are not a match made in heaven), this is well worth a visit to embrace all those Good Life dreams. For the kids there’s bird displays, ferret racing (is it even a country show if it doesn’t have this?), horseshoeing and for the grown-ups, there’s lots of locally produced food and drink and the Alresford Ukele Jam who are pretty entertaining.
FOOD & DRINK: Sherfield Beer Festival, Sherfield On Loddon, Sat 7
The adorable village of Sherfield is getting its imbibe on this weekend with the annual Beer Fest. With a list as long as your arm of craft ale and cider, live local acts and some fun and games for the kids, this is a much more grassroots affair than other booze-fests and that totally adds to the whole British quaintness of it all.
KIDS & FAMILY: Honeyfest 2019, Chilworth Manor, Chilworth, Sun 8
For some family fun with a charitable edge then to Southampton for this year’s Honeyfest. Offering an entertaining day out full of live music, bouncy castles, games, face painting, arts & crafts and a BBQ (best take your brolly then) and the super pretty Chilworth Manor to oggle at as you enjoy.
EVENT: Waterside Market, Port Solent, Sun 8
If you fancy a mooch around some stalls this weekend, plus a pretty awesome view of the marina, then get down to Port Solent for their waterside market. This is the spot to get quirky gifts, handmade jewellery and generally just have a stroll around. Parking is free, but get there early as its coinciding with a car meet where you can ogle at 90s muscle cars, scooters and other petrolhead porn.
OUTDOORS: Donkey Day Out, Rural Life Centre, Tilford, Sun 8
I have yet to find a single person who doesn’t love a donkey. These gorgeous creatures are part adorable, part comical and have long been helping out us humans. This Sunday you can find out all about the donkey’s rich cultural history (yes, they have one) through talks, demonstrations and a chance to stroke the gorgeous animals as well.
KIDS & FAMILY: Alphabet Fairy Trail, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey, until Sun 8
With the kids back at school many of the Summer holiday activities are coming to a close. However, if you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the delightfully charming Alphabet Fairy Trail at Harold Hillier this season you’ve got a few days left. Take the littlies and hunt out the dinky creatures, all illustrations by famed fairy artist Cicely Mary Barke. For £5 (on top of entrance) you get your very own Fairy Trail booklet and a pair of fairy wings.
CULTURE: Beano Time Travellers! Exhibition and Trail, Mottisfont, until Sun 8
Also ending this weekend is the fantastic Beano Time Travellers! exhibition and trail at Mottisfont. Take the kids to explore the grounds and reminisce about when you used to get your own copy with your pocket money and a Mars bar only cost 20p. Good times.
FOOD & DRINK: Taste of Wickham Food Festival, Wickham, Sun 8
Wickham is definitely somewhere I’d consider a foodie hotspot. Not only do they have some brilliant places to eat and drink (including a fab vegan spot, OFFBEET) but they know how to throw a party. Head to Taste of Wickham this weekend for live cooking demonstrations from local chefs, live bands to throw shapes to, street magic and stiltwalkers and plenty of food and drink to try out.