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Amazing August! 30 things to do locally this month

New month, new marvellous Muddy guide to the best of Kent. Family festivals, lashings of outdoor theatre, fabulous foodie events, countryside antics and more. Get stuck in.

MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH

Spellbound Summer, Hever Castle, NOW – Until 31 Aug

The summer hols are sorted here! Take part in a series of FREE hands-on activities and enter the magic of Hever. Join the sorcerers and learn the tricks of the trade, find out how to cast spells and how to execute the perfect wand waving technique. Pick up your broomstick and defend the castle from the dragon! It begins daily at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on the Winter Lawn until 31 Aug.

Or explore the castle and gardens in your own time and join the Shield Quest! The knights of Royal England have lost their shields, can you help find them? Walk around all the gardens to track them down! Once you’ve found the shields, head into the Castle and see if you can spot numerous eggs to have been laid by the dragon.

The Octonauts, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, NOW – 4 Sep

Join Captain Barnacles and the Octonauts on an interactive, activity-based adventure through the tides of maritime history, learning the key skills needed to join the Octo-Crew. You’ll collect an Octonauts Training Log on arrival, follow the Octo-Map alongside Captain Barnacles to locate Kwazii, Peso, Tweak, Shellington, Dashi and Professor Inkling hidden around the Historic Dockyard and complete fun activities to learn their specialist skills. On completion of the Training Log, you’ll be named an honorary Octo-Agent and receive a special certificate. Summer fun sorted!

The Festival Theatre at Hever Castle, NOW – until 30 Aug

James Bond Concert Spectacular

For your guaranteed summer of fun, you’ll want to know about The Festival Theatre which is an open air venue set in the gardens of Hever Castle. They plan music acts, operas, films, plays and family shows every year all summer long and this year will be no different! They have a whole calendar of exciting events and this summer you can expect; the acclaimed James Bond Concert Spectacular (5 Aug) and cinema stars A Star Is Born Sing-Along (7 Aug) and West Side Story (11 Aug) Opera La Traviata (14 Aug), The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars (21 Aug), Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors Live On Stage (24 Aug) Take That Tribute Band Rule The World (26 Aug) and lots, lots more!

Summer School, The Talentz, E M Forster Theatre, Mon 1 – Fri 5 Aug

Got a kid that has stars in their eyes – or who could just benefit from building their confidence by being part of an incredible stage production? Then why not sign them up to The Talentz, the award-winning musical theatre company for 4 to 21 year olds offering exceptional training in the performing arts and they have two amazing Summer School programmes this year… 

Juniors (4-11 year olds): It’s musical week! Sing, dance, act, create set, props, costumes and have a lot of fun with music from Matilda, Encanto, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Merry Poppins and Frozen! Plus they’ll perform in the end-of-week show on Friday at 5pm. £175 for the full week and show.

Seniors (12-18 year olds): Create a full musical in a week and perform at the EM Forster Theatre on the Friday evening at 7pm. Shows to include: Heathers, American Idiot, SIX, & Juliet, Waitress and Hamilton. £175 for the full week and show.

Into The Fairy Kingdom, Emmetts Garden, NOW – Fri 2 Sep

Now until 2 Sep, return to the Fairy Kingdom at Emmetts Garden with a brand new story to follow last year’s popular summer trail. Help the magical character, Puck, as he prepares to throw the best summer party for everyone in the Fairy Kingdom, exploring the gardens and taking part in all sorts of different activities as you go, (it’s £2 per trail).

Summer Holiday Fun, Kent Life Heritage Farm, Mon 1 – Weds 31 Aug

Looking for something fun to do with the family? Kent Life Heritage Farm Park is a 28-acre working farm and visitor attraction in Maidstone. It’s heap of fun for the little ones who can discover more than 200 farmyard animals including donkeys, alpacas, sheep, pigs and goats plus this summer they have a whole host of entertainment from their all-weather indoor arena, Big Top, that hosts a variety of interactive and exciting shows from Borris and Norris (1-5 and 27-31 Aug), Einstein’s Entertainers: Science Experiment Shows (8-12 Aug) and Adam & Leanne: Magic Shows (6-7 Aug and 13-21 Aug) plus animal encounters, paddle boating, their outdoor play areas and the Vintage Village. All performances are included in your standard ticket cost.

Roots Into Horticulture, The Festival Theatre, Tues 2 Aug

Love all things plants? Join this afternoon of talks and discussion with a range of guest speakers within horticulture, set within the beautiful grounds of the historic Hever Castle & Gardens. Hear from a respected panel of experts who will show you how to take the right steps forward and establish a successful career in horticulture. Learn about a wide range of career paths within this industry and meet horticulture professionals who can help galvanise your career. This is a great opportunity for networking with other horticulture students, professionals and anyone considering a move into the sector. Running 2pm – 4:30pm with a 20min interval with a Pimm’s Bar. All profits will be split between charities such as DEC for Ukraine and Thrive.

Canterbury Shakespeare Festival, NOW – Sun 14 Aug

This open-air festival is back! Newcomer and avid Shakespeare fans alike will love this theatre festival experience with diverse productions that provide for all the family around various scenic venues across the historic city of Canterbury. Enjoy well-known productions with experimental experiences all performed by local talent such as: Henry IV, Peter & Ignez, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Richard II and Sir Thomas More.

Kid’s Pizza Making Workshops, Macknade, Tues 2 Aug – Fri 26 Aug

Love pizza? Look no further! Let your kids have the chance to make it, cook it and eat it themselves. Join Macknade in Faversham (held on Tuesdays between Tues 2 – Tues 23 Aug, 11am – 3pm) and Ashford (held on Fridays between Fri 5 – Fri 26 Aug, 3-6pm) for a series of pizza making throughout the summer holidays. Drop in anytime between the time slots, grab a ticket at the tills for £5 each and join the team to make your own mini pizza. From preparing and playing with the dough, to adding the tasty ingredients and of course eating their own personalised pizza. Suitable for children aged 4-12 and all children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Summer Fun Thursdays, Ightham Mote, Thurs 4, 11 & 18 Aug

Ightham Mote are hosting summer fun every Thurs until 18 Aug with activities such as Raft Making, Nature Drawings and Making Musical Instruments, there’s no reason to be bored! Plus the stunning moated house has tranquil gardens, streams, lakes, an orchard and colourful flower borders plus a natural play area, there’s a lot to explore this August.

Wildwood Evenings, Wildwood, Canterbury, NOW – Fri 12 Aug

Friday evenings just got a whole lot more interesting! As day turns into evening, many animals at Wildwood awaken from their sunshine slumber, becoming more active, creating an experience like no other. See Wildwood’s twilight loving animals and afterwards enjoy the beer garden with relaxing live acoustic music and a selection of locally sourced beverages from Biddenden Vineyard and The Foundery Brew Pub. Adults only Fridays, every Friday until Fri 12 Aug, 6-9pm. Family evenings on Sat 16 July and Sat 6 Aug, 6-9pm.

Children’s Theatre: Rapunzel, Leeds Castle, Fri 5 & Sat 6 Aug

Let your hair down and get tangled in a brand new musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale, Rapunzel. Grab the kids and enjoy the laugh-out-loud script, heaps of audience interaction, catchy songs, unforgettable characters and even the odd water gun or two! With magic and mayhem throughout, this is one hair-raising adventure the family won’t want to miss. Arrive at 5pm to get the spot spot before the show starts at 5:30pm and finishes approx at 7:30pm with a 20min interval. Under 3s go free!

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks, NOW – Sun 4 Sep

Lots of fun to be had at Riverhill this summer! With 12 acres of historic gardens with their woodland paths and breathtaking views, you won’t want to miss out. They’ve got 7 weeks of summer holiday fun from crafts, treasure hunts and workshops! They’ll be kicking off week 1 with a Troy Treasure Hunt and Week 6 is their very popular obstacle challenge (pictured) running Weds 24 Aug – Mon 29 Aug. Not just for the kids, it’s fun for dogs and adults as well! Then spot the yeti in their woods between 2-4pm, explore their fiendishly tricky hedge maze and let off steam in their Adventure Playground.

The Addams Family School Edition, Trinity Theatre, Fri 5 – Sat 6 Aug

Join the Trinity Youth Theatre this August as they play Uncle Fester, Lurch, Puglsey and more for a heart-warming store of love, family and friendship… with a twist! Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, is all grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows. She’s fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. With his cherished Morticia in the dark will Gomez manage to keep his daughter’s secret until the two families meet for a fateful dinner with hilarious consequences?

Kentish Pip’s Cider Tour & Tasting Event, Woolton Farm, Sat 6 Aug

On the first Saturday of every month from March – October, Kentish Pip leads an exciting cider tour twice a day, one at 11am and the other at 2pm at Woolton Farm in Canterbury. Explore their orchard walks, enjoy apple tasting as well as discovering their cider production and even sampling the raw base cider from the tanks. Ending with a tutored cider tasting in The Barn’s beautiful garden, it really is a special summer treat! Tickets are £20pp.

Pond Dipping & Bug Hunting, Elmley Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey, NOW – Weds 31 Aug

With 3,300 acres, Elmley provides the perfect place for your little ones to explore and get closer to nature. It’s a family-run farm with approximately 700 cattle grazing the pasture each year plus chickens, ducks and tractors to admire! Plus this summer they have pond dipping and bug hunting activities to keep your little ones busy with. Just bring your wellies, sunscreen, a sun hat and some water and their in-house nature guide, Abbie, will take you on foot to the best spots on the marsh to find the most exciting critters.

See dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, bumblebees, beetles and all the wonderful marine life – you might see owls and hares along the way too! Each session there’ll be a maximum of 6 children so they can make new friends and memories. Selected dates from 31 July til 31 Aug, times vary. £5 per child.

Sundaes On The Pier, Hastings, Sat 6 Aug

Love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? You won’t wanna miss this! Join the ultimate Sundaes ice cream experience on Hastings Pier on Sat 6 August – we know Sundaes on a Saturday! Enjoy 2 stages of live music, bar, firework displays, performers and unlimited FREE Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Tickets are £5 each, made even sweeter with all proceeds going to The Refugee Buddy Project.

Balfour Dining Club, Staplehurst, Sat 6, 13, 20 & 27 Aug

You won’t want to miss this! Set in their beautiful tasting room, The View, experience a four-course meal and a glass of Balfour Wine amongst family or friends. Arrive at 7:30pm for a welcome drink, before being seated to enjoy a delicious four course dinner at 8pm. Their Balfour Wines have been chosen to accompany the beautiful menu which highlights the delicious and locally sourced produce. There’s 4 dates in August: Sat 6, Sat 13, Sat 20 and Sat 27 August for £95pp. View the menu here and book now!

Outdoor Theatre: As You Like It & Rapunzel, Emmetts Garden, 11 & 23 Aug

Following last year’s hugely successful tour of Macbeth, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, return with a joyous and celebratory production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It at Emmetts Garden on Thurs 11 Aug. Gates open at 6pm for picnics and the performance starts at 7pm. £17 for adults and £10 for children OR join Immersion Theatre for their production of Rapunzel on Tues 23 Aug, it’s the perfect treat for the whole family! The performance starts at 4pm til 5:30pm. £14 for adults and £9 for children.

Jousting Events, Hever Castle, NOW – Mon 29 Aug 

Witness brave knights display spectacular jousting skills in an authentic arena at Hever Castle this summer. Watch exhilarating displays of action, stunts, falls and tights in an arena complete with medieval spectator stands and a Royal Box. Each tournament begins with a procession from the Castle forecourt when Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn lead visitors across the grounds to the Jousting Arena.

The Importance of Being Earnest, Penshurst Place, Fri 12 Aug

Renowned Kent-based theatre company Changeling Theatre will be at Penshurst Place & Gardens this summer. The talented cast will be performing Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest on Penshurst Place’s South Lawn which overlooks the beautiful Italian Garden. Doors will open at 5:30pm so enjoy a private wander through the gardens and the opportunity to purchase some delicious food and drinks from the bar before curtains up at 7pm. Don’t forget your folding chair or picnic blanket!

Smoked & Uncut Festival, The Pig at Bridge Place, Sat 13 Aug

THE foodie/festival event of the year is back for 2022! This year, Smoked & Uncut will take place at Lime Wood and THE PIG hotels in the New Forest, Somerset, and Kent. Expect yummy food from their pop-up feasting tents and throw it back to 90s rock’n’roll with Supergrass as they’ll be headlining at The Pig in Bridge Place this August! Including music from The Selecter, Connor Selby, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Stefan Mahendra and Abi Orfila. Expect laid back classic tunes, a bundle of bars, field food and feasting with family and friends!

Show in a Week, The Malthouse Theatre, Canterbury, Mon 15 – Thurs 18 Aug

Got a budding superstar? Let them join West End Professional for a week of musical theatre training at the Malthouse Theatre in Canterbury, Mon 15 – Thurs 18am, 10am – 4pm. They’ll take part in a variety of workshops in singing, acting and dancing and rehearse a very special ‘one night only’ performance taking place at the theatre on Thurs 18 Aug at 7pm. Places are limited!

Children’s Photography Workshop, The Battle of Britain Memorial, Weds 17 Aug

Booking is now open for the Battle of Britain Memorial’s summer holiday photography workshops! Budding photographers will learn how to use their cameras and smartphones creatively to capture the Battle of Britain Memorial site. Be taken to all the best photography spots across the site and learn brilliant tips and tricks to get some impressive shots of the Memorial’s replica Hurricane and Spitfire, seated airman statue, impressive architecture and more.

Summer Cocktail Evening, Balfour Winery, Thurs 18 Aug

Their Cocktail Evening in June was so popular that they’ve added 2 more dates this summer! Sip your chilled cocktails made with Balfour Wine and enjoy Nannette’s Vineyard from their balcony. Enjoy the company of your friends and family as you relax on the terrace to watch the sun set. Enjoy all of this alongside plenty of delicious canapés. £25pp includes 2 cocktails and 25% off their delicious sharing platters that evenings with locally sourced charcuterie, cheese, seafood and vegetable options.

Camp Kindling, Sevenoaks, Fri 19 – Mon 22 Aug

Don’t miss out on this summer camp for families this August in Sevenoaks! Camp Kindling is back for its second year and promises to be a wild weekend set in a gorgeous forest retreat with over 100 amazing activities (included in your ticket) to do, learn and discover new skills and make tons of memories! There’s activities such as: Mountain Biking, Axe Throwing, Zorbing, Nerf Battles, Tree Climbing, Orienteering, Survival Skills, Astronomy, Campfire Bread Baking, Primitive Pottery, Loom Weaving, Sand Art, Wood Whittling, Improv Comedy, Woodland Choir and Yoga – phew! 

Then dance the night away amongst the trees with 50 live bands and DJs across the weekend with Rylan (DJ), The Cuban Brothers, family rave unit Junior Jungle, BBC’s YolanDa’s Band Jam and CBeebies’ Nick Cope. Get to relax in wood-fired hot tubs or chill around the campfire. Sound good? Get your tickets now!

Fun Day at Hornby Hobbies Visitor Centre, Sat 20 Aug

Grab the kids and enjoy a journey through the history of Britain’s best-loved toys! Featuring rare products from the Hornby, Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi archives, track the history of Hornby’s iconic model trains and don’t miss the spectacular Model Railway and Scalextric layouts. Pop by on Sat 20 Aug for their Fun Day, 10am-3pm, there’ll be games, offers in-store, cake sale, tombola and raffle all to raise money for EKUBS (East Kent Unit for Breast Screening).

Go Wild!, Scotney Castle, Sat 20 Aug

Get up close and personal with nature at the ‘Go Wild at Scotney’ day with lots of free nature-based activities, guided wildlife walks and craft activities for youngsters. Or why not test your survival skills by making dens and campfires on Weds 23 Aug? Both events are free but normal admission applies.

Biddenden Tractorfest, Holden Farm, Sat 20 & Sun 21 Aug

Biddenden Tractorfest is returning to the fields of Holden Farm in Biddenden this August now in its 8th year, it’s a fun day out for all the family! The tractors are definitely the centre of attention with over 200 expected to exhibit over the weekend plus plenty of stalls, vehicle demos, children’s entertainment, falconry demonstrations, the dog & duck show and working horses to entertain both young and old. Not forgetting food and drink, live music and so much more.

bOing! International Family Festival, The Gulbenkian, Sat 27 – Sun 28 Aug

bOing! is bouncing back at The Gulbenkian in Canterbury this August. Expect an amazing weekend of the very best in theatre, dance, films and fun for all the family, packed with magical performances and experiences. This year features the world premier of a show by Jasmin Vardimon Company based on the tale of Alice In Wonderland, ALICE (pictured). As well as Le Gateau Chocolat’s fantastic show Duckie, a theatrical reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling PLUS new immersive sensory sound experience Fire Songscreated for audience members with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) by Frozen Light and SOO much more! Tickets are on sale now! The majority of the events are free with a select few are ticketed (from £6).

Pizza & Sparkling Wine, Gusbourne, Sun 28 Aug

Pizza and sparkling wine? It doesn’t get better than that! Martino’s Pizza is back at Gusbourne this summer for 2 days, set amongst the wildflowers of their Boot Hill Garden. Choose your arrival time (either 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm or 4:30pm) on Sat 16 July or Sun 28 Aug and be seated overlooking the vineyards with a glass of their classic Brut Reserve in hand and the choice of a delicious wood fired handmade pizza from Martino’s truck (vegan, veggie, fish and meat options). £25pp.

Fork to Fork Food & Drink Festival, Goodnestone Park, Sun 28 Aug

Don’t miss this fab food and drink festival – coming to Goodnestone Park this August! There’ll be a fantastic line-up of local food and drink producers, alongside fun and interactive workshops held in the Walled Garden and live music to enjoy in the evening. Tickets will be going on sale soon!

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