What’s On Guide: Thu 9 Jun – Wed 22 Jun
The Queen’s 90th Birthday Party, Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Sun 12 Jun
Grab your Union Jack flags and head over to Leeds Castle for a royal celebration to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday. There’s plenty of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy including stilt walking band ‘Fab Bananas’ who’ll be playing a selection of Jazz, Funk and Disco. Punch and Judy will also be at hand to entertain the mini muddies with party games like musical statues and sleeping lions. You could even enter the raffle to win one of the cupcakes from the royal cupcake tower!
10:30am – 5pm, event included in admission (tickets can be reused throughout the year!) Adult £24.50 Child £16.50. Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL, Tel: 01622 765400, leeds-castle.com
Wealden Times Midsummer Fair, Hole Park, Rolvenden, Thu 9 Jun– Sat 11 Jun
Visit the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair to peruse over 250 hand picked exhibitors offerings of contemporary vintage home wares, garden accessories, wonderful fashion and artisan food and drink. The fair is known for its excellent quality produce, chosen for it’s good craftsmanship, originality and fine design. Make sure your purses are full because you definitely won’t come home empty handed.
9am – 4:30pm, Tickets: Adult £7.50 Child £3.50. Hole Park, Benenden Road, Rolvenden, Cranbrook, TN17 4JA, Tel: 01580 241344, wealdentimes.co.uk
Afternoon Tea & Jazz, Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks, Sat 11 Jun
In celebration of ‘The Year of the English Garden”, Riverhill Gardens are putting on a traditional British event overlooking The Walled Garden. Enjoy an afternoon tea while listening to some great jazz music. All ages are welcome so the whole family can get involved and the gardens should be in full bloom so don’t forget to do some exploring of the grounds.
2:30pm – 5pm, Tickets: Adult £25 Child £15. Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Riverhill, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0RR, Tel: 01732 459777, riverhillgardens.co.uk
Taste the Best of Produced in Kent, Biddenden Vineyards, Sun 12 Jun
Biddinden Vineyards will be hosting its annual all day food and drink charity event in aid of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust. Organised with support from Produced in Kent, visitors can peruse the best that Kent’s food and drink business has to offer. Try and buy cheeses, preserves, pies, beers, ice cream, meat and games (to name a few).
Admission is free of charge! Biddenden Vineyards, Gribble Bridge Lane, Biddenden, Kent, TN27 8DF, Tel: 01580 291726, producedinkent.co.uk
Jackie The Musical, The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, Tue 14 Jun – Sat 18 Jun
In recent years mobiles phones, online dating and social media have seemed to control our everyday lives. Gone are the days of teenage girls waiting by the letterbox for their weekly issue of Jackie Magazine. Mike James’ musical revisits the times when Jackie magazine was heralded the teen bible and tells the story of a recent divorcee who finds solace in the pages of her old Jackie annuals. Revisit the quizzes, fashion tips, dating advice and problem pages from the iconic magazine while enjoying a popular 1970s soundtrack to really get you feeling nostalgic.
7:30pm (Tue-Sat) 2:30pm (Wed & Sat), Tickets: £18-£42 (excluding booking fee). The Orchard Theatre, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1ED, Tel: 01322 220000, orchardtheatre.co.uk
Art Inspiring Change: Kids Takeover at Turner Contemporary, Margate, Sat 11 Jun
Lovely event for the family where your little ones can play, get messy, sing loudly and have fun (and you won’t have to clear up after they’ve finished.) Turner Contemporary has created the initiative, Art Inspiring Change to promote learning. Through creativity children will be able to engage with art and assist their communication, listening, thinking and practical skills. Apparently.
11am-4pm, Free Entry. Turner Contemporary, Rendezvous, Margate, Kent, CT9 1HG, Tel: 01843 233000, turnercontemporary.org
Mark Watson: I’m Not Here, Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone, Sun 12 Jun
For any of you who love your comedy nights, Mark Watson is the multi award-winning star well known for his appearances in Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week and Have I got News For You. He’ll be stopping off in Maidstone to perform his new tour based on a personal experience in an airport that spiralled into an examination of identity in the digital age and the meaning of life. There are only a few seats left so act now if you’d in fact Like To Be There.
8pm, Tickets: £18.50. The Hazlitt Theatre, Earl Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1PL, Tel: 01622 758611, parkwoodtheatres.co.uk
Le Weekend In Sandwich, Sandwich Town Centre, Sat 11 Jun – Sat 12 Jun
Now in it’s 7th year Sandwich plays host to the authentic French Market. Live entertainment will be on offer including a daily live outdoor concert featuring French and English musicians, street Can Can dance off (got room for one more?) and watch over 400 cyclists riding Le Tour de Sandwich. Quay Green will also hold the Anglo French Medieval encampment. If the festivities have you feeling peckish there will also be an authentic Normandy Market available all day Saturday and Sunday.
9am-6pm, Free entry, Sandwich Town Centre, Tel: 07736 057836, sandwichevents.org.uk
Tom Jones, Bedgebury Live Concert, Goudhurst, Fri 17 Jun
It’s Not Unusual… well, er, yes it is actually. The legendary Welsh singer is making a rare appearance in this neck of the woods (er, forest) as part of the Bedgebury summer series. Keane tickets have all gone, so if you want a crack at an evening of musical fun under the stars this is your best bet.
7.30pm, Bedgebury National Pinetum, Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst, TN17 2SJ, tel: 01580 879820
Beerfest UK, Maidstone, Sat 18 Jun
Slip on your lederhosen (like you need an excuse) this traditional German beer festival is making its way to Maidstone complete with live oompah pa pa music, steins of ale and possibly plenty of pretzels.
Market Hall, Barker Road, Maidstone, ME16 8LW, Tel: 02380 768277
Vintage Steam Train Ride, Tenterden, Sun 19 Jun
I think it’s fair to say the weather is rather changeable at the moment so this might be a good idea for Father’s Day if you’re looking for an activity that’s not entirely weather dependent. This Vintage Steam Train runs between Tenterden and Bodiam Station taking in the beautiful scenery on the way – with a cream tea or ploughman’s lunch waiting for you at the other end. All aboard!
1.15pm or 3.35pm. Space is limited so you must book in advance. Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden, TN30 6HE, Tel: 01580 765155
Father’s Day Forest Skills, Kent Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, Maidstone, Sun 19 Jun
A Father’s Day treat for nature lovers – the chance for those Muddy men to learn some survival bushcraft skills – like fire-starting and shelter-making (with an expert to guide them along).
10.30am-3.30pm, Kent Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, Tyland Barn, Maidstone, ME14 3BD, Tel: 01622 6620, kentwildlifetrust.org
The Wealden Literary Festival, Boldshaves Garden, Woodchurch, Nr Tenterden, 18 – 19 Jun
The Wealden Literary Festival is a celebration of the outdoors, the natural world and the earth beneath our feet. And this is the first year for this two-day event. It’s won the backing of award-winning landscape and travel writer Robert Macfarlane and will take place in the renowned gardens and woodland at Boldshaves in Woodchurch. As well as talks from authors and travel writers there’ll be food stalls, craft stalls and workshops. And for the Mini Muddies wildlife safaris and nature trails. A beautiful venue and a different day out: *book* your ticket now. Get it?!
All tickets £5 (includes access to festival site), Day pass, £25 (includes entrance to festival site and all talks in The Garden Tent on that day). Boldshaves Garden, Woodchurch TN26 3RA, wealdenliteraryfestival.co.uk
Jobe Sport Paddleboard, Bluewater’s Winter Garden, 18 – 19 Jun
Yup, you read that right for two days only there’s a Jobe Sport Paddleboard installation in Bluewater’s Winter Garden – especially for those dads after a splash of excitement this Father’s Day (boom boom). The inflatable pool will be filled with 16,000 litres of water, where two stand-up paddleboards will sit. Families can practice their skills with professionals and put their balance to the test. For those who would like to stay dry, a relaxed seating area with chairs and beanbags beneath a beach star tent will also accompany the installation. It’s free and there’s no need to book, plus goodie bags will be given out to those who take part. Sounds brilliantly bonkers, which is why of course it’s in this guide.
Bluewater Pkwy, Greenhithe, Kent DA9 9ST