Moonlight Drive-In Cinema, The Hop Farm Paddock Wood, various dates in Aug
The Hop Farm, just outside Paddock Wood, boasts the UK’s largest drive-in cinema and they go hell for leather over the summer with a selection of amazing films (each on over several dates throughout July – Aug). This year’s line-up includes… Transformers, The House, Dispicable Me 3, War For The Planet Of The Apes, Cars 3, Dunkirk, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Atomic Blonde (pictured above, starring a not-too-shabby, Charlize Theron)… All shows start at 9pm or a bit later (to ensure it’s dark, I guess) worth noting if you have younger kids (but it’s the holidays, right?)… You can see dates, viewings and ticket availability online.
Hever Festival Theatre, various dates in Aug
The Festival Theatre is an open air venue set in the gardens of Hever Castle in a stunning location on the Two Sisters Lawn adjacent to Anne Boleyn Walk. The stage is fully covered and the seating is tiered with the vast majority of seats under new seating canopies, which means if the sun doesn’t shine, the audience can still enjoy the spectacular setting with protection from the weather. There’s loads and loads of brilliant things to see – from The Rat Pack to opera and Shakespeare to comedy. There really is something for everyone here – so don’t miss this great summer experience.
Open Air Theatre, Leeds Castle, Sat 5 Aug & Sat 2 Sept
Leeds Castle’s wonderful timetable of open-air theatre and cinema kicks off this month, and includes gems like two of Shakespeare’s most popular plays: Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. And, keeping with the classics, join Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Austen’s most loveable heroine in my all-time favourite Pride & Prejudice in early September. With the Castle as a backdrop, the Pavilion Lawn offers a truly special, magical, yet relaxed setting to immerse yourself in these well-loved, classic tales. Usual open-air rules apply – by which I mean, bring a camp chair and umbrella to avoid getting soggy. An experience not to be missed.
Dino Live, Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells, Tues 1 – Mon 28 Aug
A fearsome gang made up of a tyrannosaurus rex, ceratosaurus, iguanodon and the *cough* lesser-known kentrosaurus will be taking over the Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells this summer. Dino Live will run for four weeks, taking visitors through a unique journey spanning more than 250m years (that’s a lot of shopping time) with Dino Draw workshops for budding artists available on the weekend.
Summer Fun Day, Gillingham Ice Rink, 1 Aug
Er bit random this one, but random can often be good, so I’m putting it in. Gillingham Ice Rink are holding a day jam packed full of ice/snow fun, including building a snowman with real snow, meet and skate with their dancing penguin and you can even have tasters of their learn to skate programme (yeah, I know, in the summer – bonkers, right?). Just thought I’d mention it in case you are thinking of the kids taking up a new hobby or just love ice/cold (what, are you Elsa from Frozen?).
Strong Lady, Dreamland Margate, Wed 2 Aug
Ticking all the boxes of what encapsulates the charm of this old-school amusement park the Strong Lady show is whacky, fun, kitch and out-there. Betty Brawn’s show mixes strength, grace and comedy. She breaks things, lifts men overhead as if they were feathers and gives your laughing muscles a workout all at once. Bonkers – but brilliant.
Margate Soul Festival, Margate Winter Gardens Fort, 4 – 6 Aug
Like sunshine, soul music and the seaside? Arrested Development and gospel legend Candi Staton are among the line-up for the three-day music event which takes place in and around the picturesque Margate Harbour adjacent to the sands of Margate beach.. There will be more than 50 DJs, two stages and seven themed venues.
Castle Canines, Hever Castle, 5 & 6 Aug
This is a perfect one to get the kids and the pups out in the sun… Hever Castle has a paw-fect (he he) weekend for all dog lovers – with stalls, entertainments and prizes for the best pooches. Castle Canines is a weekend dedicated to our four legged friends – whether you own your own dog or just love them, there is something for everyone. Enjoy displays and entertainment from a variety of dogs including guide dog puppies, Pets as Therapy dogs and huskies from the Siberian Husky Welfare Association.
Summer BBQ, The Curious Eatery, Boughton Monchelsea, every Sat, July & Aug
A fantastic day of scrumptious feasts and live music at a lovely, quirky and award-winning eatery – winner of Best Restaurant in Kent as voted by you in the Muddy Stilettos Awards! Enjoy all-day BBQs every Saturday, during the summer, with the usual friendly table service. Think Peri Peri Chicken, Chilli & Coriander Scarlet Prawns… salivating, much? Better still kiddies get a free sausage dog when an adult meal is purchased. Pass me the car keys please!
Twist & Shout, Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 5 Aug
Think short skirts and long hair. If you’re a fan of the swinging 60s treat your senses to this all-singing and dancing show with music from The Beatles, Hermans Hermits., Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Rolling Stones, Cilla Black, Manfred Mann, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Sandy Shaw and many more. This is where Brit Pop all began…
Junk Orchestra, Leeds Castle, Sat 5 – Sun 6 Aug
Join The Junk Orchestra on a supersonic journey of the UK’s finest recycled objects in this show for the whole family in the Maze area from 11am – 4pm. Learn how to build an orchestra, shake it to a recycled rave and join the band for a recycled rock concert. All that off-the-wall fun included in the price of admission.
Weald on the Field, Uckfield, Sat 5 Aug
Join in the fun for a day of amazing local produce, street food, drink, live music & entertainment at this boutique, family-friendly event – organised by Food Rocks – the same team behind the recent highly successful JOY festival at Groombridge Place.
Wind Festival, Betteshanger Park, Sun 6 Aug
A one-day festival to celebrate one of Betteshanger’s defining features, wind (no, silly jokes people, we’re above that). Come and explore wind-powered energy *snigger* with colourful kite flying demonstrations and join in fun family activities and interactive workshops. Make your own kite under the expert tuition of Kent Kite Flyers (£3) or, if it’s a skill you’ve never quite mastered, take part in a ‘how to fly’ session (free). There’ll also be kiteboarding demonstrations on the cycle track throughout the day. Or simple bring your own kite and join in the celebration. The Festival Village will be packed full of kite stalls plus loads of delicious local food and drink vendors.
Leefest, Edenbridge, Thurs 10 – Sat 12 Aug
Imaginary kaleidoscopic realm, The Neverland, has been created for this festival, comprising three main stages, or ‘tribes’ each with a different theme and musical feel (pop, ambient or pumping beats). An eclectic boutique festival featuring music, theatre, comedy and walkabout performance that famously started in 16-year-old Lee Denny’s back garden but last year celebrated its 10th anniversary.
National Afternoon Tea Week, Leeds Castle, 10 August
Who doesn’t love an afternoon tea? Notch up some serious brownie points and take your mother-in-law to celebrate national ‘Afternoon Tea Week’ at Leeds Castle. There’s a talk from writer Gillian Walnes Perry on the customs and etiquette surrounding afternoon tea, (come on, she’ll love that, right?) Discover how tea drinking was first introduced into England, how it was popularised and how afternoon tea became a social institution. The afternoon will include a cup of tea and delicious cakes to sample. You’ll both love that bit.
Broadstairs Folk Week, 11-18 Aug
A child-friendly celebration of music – when the festival’s in town there’s hardly a venue that isn’t bursting with song, music and dance. Everything is within walking distance – although admittedly, tottering down that hill to the sea is easier than getting back up!
Opera in the Park, Hythe Imperial Hotel, Sat 12 Aug
The new formal gardens and Gazebo at the Hythe Imperial will be the location for an evening of Opera in the Park, Canapes and Sparkling wine will be flowing to the sound of IDA a local Opera sensation. Tickets are £38 inclusive of Canapes, Free Flow Fizz and Opera.
Heroes, Heroines and Hoods, Leeds Castle, 12 – 13 Aug
The stories of legends, of Kings and Queens and other historical heroes are brought vividly and often hilariously to life in this interactive children’s theatre with a difference. Have a go at circus skills before and after the show including stilts, juggling, hula-hoops, diabolos, spinning plates and juggling machines.The stories of legends, of Kings and Queens and other historical heroes are brought vividly and often hilariously to life in this interactive children’s theatre with a difference. Have a go at circus skills before and after the show including stilts, juggling, hula-hoops, diabolos, spinning plates and juggling machines.
The Railway Children, The Marlowe Theatre, Tue 15 ‐ Sat 19
When their father mysteriously disappears with two strangers one evening, the lives of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis are turned upside down. Forced to leave the comforts of their privileged London life in exchange for a humble rural existence in the depths of the Yorkshire countryside, this fractured family soon discover new friendships and an unexpected secret that will change their lives forever. Complete with beautiful period costumes and ingenious designs, this new production of E.Nesbitt’s classic children’s story promises an uplifting theatrical experience for all ages, packed with intrigue, adventure, joy and jubilation. It is one of my all time favourites.
Grease, Outdoor Cinema, Groombridge Place, 18 Aug
Summer Nights! Groombridge place are bringing you that all-time classic Grease with its iconic soundtrack and the leather-clad, snake hips, one-and-only John Travolta – You’re the one that I want. Outdoor lounging with a bottle of something chilled – We go together.
The South East Airshow, Herne Bay, 19 Aug
As part of this month’s Herne Bay Festival celebrations, now knowns as BayFest, there’s Herne Bay Cartoon Festival (illustrations) Herne Bay Rocks (music), The Herne Bay Carnival (processions and Carnival Queen tradition) and a Classic Car Show all taking place in the coastal town before the Red Arrows join in the fun at the South East Airshow as part of the events line-up.
Joe Pasquale, The Devil In Disguise, The Orchard Theatre, Sun 20 Aug
We all have a good side and a dark side, and a backside, so come and witness Joe showing off all three, in a show that defies description… He’s been away searching for the fabled ancient merkin (Google it) of Macedonia, once owned by Genghis Khan’s Nan (Maud), who used to wear it for special occasions, but only if she was going to Lidl on the way home. Witness Joe explain the mysteries of why the four horseman of the apocalypse will be arriving on My Little Ponies, and what Action Man held with those gripping hands… it’ll be a show you wont forget in a hurry, well… at least 40 minutes.
Summer Jousting Tournament, Royals VS Rebels, Hever Castle, 19 & 20 Aug
The Knights of Royal England return to battle it out at the annual Hever Castle Jousting Tournament. Spectators will be treated to a thrilling show as the brave knights compete for points to find this season’s champion. Witness spectacular displays of action, stunts, falls and fights in an authentic arena complete with Royal Box (for me, obvs).
Milk Fest, The Milk House, Sissinghurst, Fri 25 – Mon 28 Aug
With the Huge Success of last years Milk Fest, (I went with the family and it was fab) The Milk House in Sissinghurst is once again bringing together the cream of Kent, with music from top local talent and fabulous food and drink from some wonderful local suppliers. From cocktails to hot dogs, face-painting to juggling, there’ll be something for everyone.
Gromit Unleashed, Bluewater, 21 Jul – 3 Sep
This Summer, the Gromit Unleashed trail is coming to Bluewater giving families and friends the opportunity for a Grand Day Out, which you’d be barking mad to miss! (Boom, boom). In the name of fun, twelve of the popular 5 ft sculptures from Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal’s public arts trails will be ‘unleashed’ around Bluewater. Families can buy a trail map (£2 per person) and the challenge is to locate each unique sculpture around the centre – grabbing that perfect family photo with the beloved character on the way. All proceeds from trail map purchases will be donated to Aardman’s chosen charity, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, which supports sick children across the South West and beyond.
Cinema Under The Stars, Film Week, Hever Castle, Tues 22- Fri 25 Aug
Whether it’s a vintage classic (there’s Singin’ in the Rain on Tues 22 Aug) or a popular favourite, there is something special about watching movies on a big screen in the open air. On Wed 23 Aug we’re treated to La La Land, (which is probably safe to describe as the most acclaimed film of the year), dedicated Jazz pianist Ryan Gosling, falls for Emma Stone’s aspiring actress. If you haven’t yet seen this love affair with a difference then what better way to enjoy the film than watching under the stars in style.
Ice Cream Festival, Kent Life, 28 Aug
Leave your favourite t-shirts at home, because it’s time to welcome back the Ice Cream Festival! Sample tasters from ice cream vendors, chocolatiers and sweet stalls. Take part in the animal activities or get your face painted (if there’s any space around all that sticky ice cream…) Sit back and enjoy music from The Boogie Woogie Gals or take a trip on our fun farm ride (just to jiggle around all that sugar in your stomach). Fun.
Summer Exhibition, Fairfax Gallery, Tunbridge Wells, 17 Jun – 10 Sep
The Fairfax Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in The Pantiles that holds large stock of paintings and sculpture from established, award-winning and emerging artists – and not least the 2016 winner of Best Gallery in Kent Muddy Stiletto Award. This month and into September their summer exhibition is ready and waiting for your cultural fix.
Night Dusk Safari ,The Aspinall Foundation, Port Lympne Reserve, Wed & Thur, from 1st June – 31st Aug
Experience a wild night out with a difference on Wed & Thurs evenings from 5:45pm throughout the summer. Journey to Kent’s authentic savannahs – alive with Asian and African animals, whilst taking in the stunning sunset views, before enjoying a three course menu at the 4-star Port Lympne Hotel.
Moscow State Circus, Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, Thu 31 Aug – Sun 3 Sep
The world’s most famous circus will bring it’s latest and greatest production GOSTINITSA – a show that promises to have all the spectacle and nerve-tingling, edge of your seat thrills for the whole family. The clowns (pictured) guide the audience through the show featuring acts such as that are quite frankly very tricky to describe, but involve things like stupidly high swings; ten metre poles balanced on one man with three girls climbing and spinning to the very top and, of course, the high wire.