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How to spend summer at the Historic Dockyard Chatham

Want to know where to begin to explore the 80 acre site of The Historic Dockyard in Chatham? Don't worry we've got it covered! Step this way for the best things to do this summer...

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a BIG site – 80 acres to be precise! But that’s a whole 80-acres for kids to explore and get really hands on with history. To help you get the best out of your visit, here’s our edit of the Top Things To Do on your family day out this summer.

Admission tickets are valid for 12 months, so there’s no need to tackle everything in one visit.

First up… The Octonauts have dropped anchor!  

Join Captain Barnacles and the Octonauts on an interactive, activity-based adventure learning the key skills needed to join the Octo-Crew. Are you a daredevil explorer like Kwazii? Brave like Captain Barnacles? Or an awesome engineer like Tweak? Collect an Octonauts training log on arrival and follow the Octo-Map alongside Captain Barnacles. Once the training log is complete, you’ll be named an honorary Octo-Agent and receive a special certificate.

Don’t forget to have your cameras at the ready on Meet & Greet days where Captain Barnacles and Kwazzi will be making special appearances on selected days during the summer – book this in advance!

Next up, ‘Science of the Sea’ activities, perfect for 6-12 year olds. These fun activities include ‘Ship Building Challenge’ where you’ll build and test your own ship in the unique Dockyard tow tank; ‘Ready Aim Fire!’ – rocket firing, inspired by HMS Cavalier’s Seacat missiles, and ‘Gun Deck Challenge’ preparing and firing model cannons, inspired by the guns (cannons) onboard HMS Victory. Plenty of fun for the grown-ups too!

Calling all Gamers!

The 2022 Medway Gaming and Creative Festival lands at the Dockyard on Sat 16 and Sun 17 July. The festival celebrates video games, gaming culture and creativity, all set against a backdrop of real-life battleships, including HMS Cavalier of World of Warships fame. The festival has something to appeal to every gamer, from pro to novice, and will showcase talent, art, creativity and culture, uniting players for a weekend of entertainment. 

Open Air Theatre

If you’re looking for evening entertainment for the whole family, then come along to the open-air theatre production of The Railway Children on Fri 26 and Sat 27 Aug. Presented by This is My Theatre this charming children’s novel still inspires all ages and with folk music throughout, everyone will have their hearts warmed with this captivating adaptation. Bring your comfy chairs and enjoy some great al-fresco entertainment. 

Explore the historic site

And lastly, let’s not forget the rest of the Historic Dockyard to explore. Visit the website for 12 mini summer adventures to complete on your visit. From learning about sea safety with the RNLI Historic Lifeboat collection, to peering through the periscope of a submarine and ringing the bell of a Second World War Destroyer. These mini maritime adventures help you dive deeper into 400 years of fascinating history.

Summer really is supersized at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. And don’t worry, if you’re not following the Octo-Map or taking part in rocket firing, you can be sure to find a quiet place to relax and enjoy an ice cream (or two). 

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