Best Summer Events South East 2023 | Family Friendly | Things to Do

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Last Updated on July 1, 2023 by Suzy

Here it is our list of the best summer events across the South East to keep you busy all summer. This list includes events in Berkshire – Buckinghamshire – London – East Sussex – West Sussex – Hampshire – Isle of Wight – Kent – Oxfordshire – Surrey. All events are family-friendly. (please note we have no events for Oxfordshire – if you know of any please get in touch – major events only).

Please check with the attraction that everything is as advertised before you visit.

Table of Contents

Amberley Museum – Summer Holidays – Sussex

When? 22nd July – 31st August
Address: Amberley Museum, New Barn Road, Amberley, Arundel, Sussex, BN18 9LT
A Bit About – “Use our trail to spot important (and surprising!) features of two-wheeled transport through the ages, have a go at cycle-themed crafts and see bikes being repaired at our 1920s-era Village Garage.” Plus other events, please follow the link above.
More about Amberley Museum

Arundel Castle – Various Events – Sussex

When? See below
Address: Arundel Castle, Arundel, Sussex, BN18 9AB
A Bit About – 25th-30th July International Medieval Jousting Competition. History Day 10th and 17th August. 18th-19th August Shakespeare open-air theatre Twelfth Night. 26th – 28th August Festival of History.
More about Arundel Castle

Beaulieu – Summer Holiday Fun – Hampshire

When? 22nd July – 3rd September
Address: John Montagu Building, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst SO42 7ZN
A Bit About – “Get set for a summer filled with thrilling adventures as history comes to life at Beaulieu! Experience an array of colourful characters, living history parades, phantasmagorical rides, and captivating new exhibitions throughout the attraction. There has never been a better time to enjoy a visit.”
More About Beaulieu

Blackgang Chine – Land of Imagination LIVE & Summer Fest – Isle of Wight

When? See Below
Address: Ventnor PO38 2HN
A Bit About – Land of Imagination LIVE – ” immerse yourself in the fantastical Land of Imagination, brought to life with epic live shows, character meet and greets and a whole host of interactive activities”. Select dates from 24th July – 1st September. Plus Summer Fest every Wednesday from 26th July to 30th August. “Experience a summer clifftop party like no other as Blackgang Chine brings the party vibes for two incredible evenings per week featuring fun, foam and fireworks!”

Bletchley Park – Summer at Bletchley – Buckinghamshire

When? 16th July – 3rd September
Address: Bletchley Park, The Mansion, Sherwood Dr, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK3 6EB
A Bit About – “There are exciting activities and interactive tours for the whole family on various dates in August, as well as plenty of wide-open space to run around and a playground to enjoy. With so many different areas to explore, go on an adventure and uncover some surprising stories!” Plus other summer events, please follow the link above.
More about Bletchley Park

Bluebell Railway – Teddy Bear’s Picnic – Sussex

When? 5th-6th August
Address: Bluebell Railway, Park Station, Uckfield, Sussex, TN23 3QL
A Bit About – “We all know that teddies love adventures, so pack a picnic and your Teddy for a steam train ride. You can join this event at any of our stations – Sheffield Park, Horsted Keynes, Kingscote or East Grinstead. Adults buy an All-Day Rover ticket to travel up and down the line on the timetabled service trains, but children who bring a teddy go free!”
More about Bluebell Railway

Bocketts Farm – Summer of Fun – Surrey

When? 22nd July – 3rd September
Address: Bocketts Farm Park, Young St, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 9BS
A Bit About – “Small Animal Encounters and Tractor Rides. Bubble disco. Craft Corner. Water Wars and Panning for Gold. Indoor and Outdoor Play. Meet and feed our friendly animals. Complete the Animal Passport Trail.”
More about Bocketts Farm

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre – Various Events – Buckinghamshire

When? See below
Address: Quainton Road Station, Station Road, Quainton, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP22 4BY
A Bit About – 6th August – Great train robbery. 13th August Peppa Pig is coming. 28th August Pre-1988 Classic vehicle rally.
More about Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Butser Ancient Farm – Various Events – Hampshire

When? See Below
Address: Buster Ancient Farm, Chalton Ln, Chalton, Waterlooville, Hampshire, PO8 0BG
A Bit About – 29th – 30th July and 27th-28th August Roman Reenactment Weekend. 1st August Experience an ancient classroom. 4th August Ancient Celtic Harvest Celebration. Plus activity workshops and pop-up cinema.
More about Butser Ancient Farm

Carisbrooke Castle – Various Events – Isle of Wight

When? See below
Address: Castle Hill, Newport PO30 1XY
A Bit About – 8th – 10th August Pirates at Carisbrooke Castle. 15th-17th August Knights tournament. 22nd-24th August Legendary Joust. “Experience the exhilarating spectacle of speed and skill as four legendary knights compete for honour and glory in the Grand Medieval Joust.”

More About Carisbrooke Castle

Chessington World of Adventures – Wilderfest – London

When? 31st July – 3rd September
Address: Leatherhead Rd, Chessington KT9 2NE
A Bit About – “WILDERFEST is Chessington’s annual summer festival! It’s perfect for young festival-goers – so whether it’s your first one ever, or your first one this year – don’t miss out on Britain’s WILDEST Festival.”
More about Chessington

Chiltern Open Air Museum – Various Events – Buckinghamshire

When? Various dates, see below
Address: Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Ln, Chalfont Saint Giles, Buckinghamshire, HP8 4AB
A Bit About – 5th-6th August Britain at War. 12th-13th August Tudor courtroom. 19th-20th August Ragged Victorians. 26th, 27th & 28th August Viking Raid.
More about Chiltern Open Air Museum

Dover Castle – Various Events – Kent

When? See below
Address: Castle Hill Rd, Dover CT16 1HU
A Bit About – 22nd July – 4th August, 7th-25th August and 29th August – 3rd September – Medieval Season “Join us at Dover Castle during the summer holidays to learn what life was like in medieval times. From jester workshops, have-a-go archery, storytelling, Squire training and lessons in courtly etiquette there will be a different activity each week for children to take part in. Activities will change week to week so please check our Facebook page for more details.”

Plus 5th-6th August Pirates at Dover Castle. 26th-28th August Clash of Knights at Dover Castle.
More about Dover Castle

Eltham Palace and Gardens – Various events – London

When? See below
Address: Eltham Palace and Gardens, Court Yard, London, London, SE9 5QE
A Bit About – 22nd-28th July and 31st July – 3rd September. Medieval season “Join us at Eltham Palace during the summer holidays to learn what life was like in medieval times. From jester workshops, have-a-go archery, storytelling, squire training to lessons in courtly etiquette there will be a different activity each week for children to take part in.” Plus 29th-30th July Grand Medieval Joust.
More about Eltham Palace

Gullivers Land – See Dennis and Gnasher – Buckinghamshire

When? Summer holidays
Address: Gullivers Land Theme Park, Livingstone Dr, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK15 0DT
A Bit About – “Dennis & Gnasher will be appearing each day at intervals in the park until 4th September 2023. Book your tickets online in advance and save, or make your visit extra special with a stay & play short break in themed accommodation at Adventurer’s Village”
More about Gulliver’s Land

Hampton Court Palace – Various Events – Surrey

When? See Below
Address: Hampton Ct Way, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU
A Bit About – 2nd – 6th August – Henry VIII’s Joust – “Experience the thrill of the Tudor joust as the country’s greatest knights battle it out at Hampton Court Palace.” Plus 3rd – 6th August – Luna Cinema “The stunning gardens of Hampton Court Palace will be the setting for a unique cinematic experience this summer.”
More about Hampton Court Palace

Hatchlands Park National Trust – Outdoor Theatre – Surrey

When? See Below
Address: East Clandon, Guildford GU4 7RT
A Bit About – 30th July – Romeo and Juliet “The Lord Chamberlain’s Men present this great play as he first saw it, in the open air, with an all-male cast and Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.” Plus 25th August – The Wizard of Oz “With lashings of audience participation, dazzling costumes, an original script, and plenty of laughter, this faithful re-telling promises to have you shouting, clapping and singing along to a host of brand-new songs as Immersion Theatre presents a fantastic treat for all the family.”

Hever Castle – Various Events – Kent

When? See below
Address: Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG
A Bit About – Jousting Events on selected days in July and August “The Knights of Royal England return to battle it out at the annual Jousting Tournament.” Plus Heroes and Villains school from July 22nd – 3rd September “Throughout the summer holidays your little ones can take part in a series of hands-on activities and challenges.” and on various days there will be falconry displays.
More about Hever Castle

Historic Dockyard – Summer Holidays – Kent

When? 29th July – 3rd September
Address: Historic Dockyard Chatham, Main Gate Rd, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TZ
A Bit About – “Octonauts return this summer but they need your help? Can you save the seabed from the mysterious monsters? Pick up clues across the site as you become an honorary Octo-cadet!”
More about Historic Dockyard Chatham

Isle of Wight Steam Railway – Island Steam Fair – Isle of Wight

When? 25th – 28th August
Address: The Railway Station, Main Rd, Havenstreet, Ryde PO33 4DS
A Bit About – “Now in its 48th year, the Island Steam Fair is back for another action-packed year. It’s the bank holiday event on the Island with bundles of fun and explosive acts in the main arena. Enjoy a fabulous collection of vintage transport, traditional fairground, live entertainment, plus steam trains running on the line.”
More about the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Kent Life – Summer Holiday Fun – Kent

When? 22nd July – 31st August
Address: Kent Life, Lock Ln, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3AU
A Bit About – “Our summer holiday schedule is packed full of entertainment and plenty of fun every day! Why not have a go on our hand-powered paddle boats*, enjoy an owl flying demonstration, join in with animal feeding sessions, catch a show in our Big Top and so much more!” Plus other events
More about Kent Life

Leonardslee Gardens – Magic Shows – Sussex

When? 6th – 22nd August
Address: Brighton Rd, Lower Beeding, Horsham RH13 6PP
A Bit About – “Get ready to be amazed and have heaps of fun at our very first Children’s Magic Shows!” Plus other events, please follow the link above for more information.
More about Leonardslee Gardens

Penshurst Place – Various Events – Kent

When? Various dates
Address: Penshurst Place and Gardens, Penshurst, Tonbridge, Kent, TN11 8DG
A Bit About – Saturday falconry shows. Sunday garden stories. Wilderness Wednesdays and Summer Saturday Crafts. Please visit their website via the link above for exact dates and further information.
More about Penshurst Place

Polesden Lacey National Trust – Pop Up Shakespeare and Mini Golf – Surrey

When? See Below
Address: Polesden Lacey, Polesden Road, Great Bookham, Leatherhead, Surrey, RH5 6BD
A Bit About – 12th – 19th August – Pop Up Shakespeare “The Cat’s Grin Theatre company, in association with Polesden Lacey Shakespeare, return with their wonderfully creative and funny interpretations of scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. Family-friendly and interactive, they will be performed at different places around the gardens.” Plus 19th – 28th August Pop-Up Mini Golf.
More about Polesden Lacey

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens – Enchanted Summer – Kent

When? From 12th July
Address: Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Riverhill, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0RR
A Bit About – 12th – 21st July ENCHANTED SUMMER: Week 1 – Enchanted Scavenger Hunt. 22nd July – 6th August ENCHANTED SUMMER: Weeks 2 & 3 – The Great Riverhill Obstacle Course. 9th – 13th August ENCHANTED SUMMER: Week 4 – Colourful Wax Resist Leaf Art. 16th – 20th August ENCHANTED SUMMER: Week 5 – Potion Making. 23rd-28th August ENCHANTED SUMMER: Week 6 – Spell Book Making (Incl BH Monday). 30th August – 3rd September ENCHANTED SUMMER: Week 7 – Troy Treasure Hunt.
More about Riverhill

Robin Hill – Night Glow – Isle of Wight

When? 18th – 20th August
Address: Robin Hill Country Park, Downend Rd, Downend, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2NU
A Bit About – “Gather in the open air of the Lower Valley and get ready to experience the immersive Night Glow performance from internationally renowned hot air balloon pilots. Extraordinary hot air balloons will brighten the night sky with bursts of colour, timed to an eclectic soundscape of family favourites for the award-winning Night Glow spectacular.”
More about Robin Hill

Spa Valley Railway – Various events – Kent

When? See below
Address: Spa Valley Railway, West Station, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5QY
A Bit About – 4th, 5th and 6th August Summer Diesel Gala. 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th August The Kent NERF train. Jolly Roger’s Swashbuckling train ride date TBC.
More about Spa Valley Railway

Tapnell Park – Various events – Isle of Wight

When? See below
Address: Tapnell Farm House, Newport Rd, Yarmouth PO41 0YJ
A Bit About – Farm Fun and Film Night every Tuesday during the summer holidays. The Island’s biggest kid’s party is every Thursday during the summer holidays. For exact dates please visit their website.

Thorpe Park Resort – Summer Carnival – Surrey

When? 21st July – 28th August
Address: Staines Rd, Chertsey KT16 8PN
A Bit About – “Prepare to laugh, scream, and launch into summer at our awe-inspiring Carnival event! Ride world-class coasters, witness awe-inspiring entertainment, and taste Circus-style street snacks all in one action-packed day. Plus, experience the dark side of the Carnival in Trailers: Breakout at Bozos – a maze with a twist.”
More about Thorpe Park Resort

Waddesdon Manor – Various Events – Buckinghamshire

When? See below
Address: Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH
A Bit About – 4th – 6th August Circus Workshop. Various outdoor theatre events on different dates. 11th-13th August Junkyard Orchestra Soundgarden. 18th-20th August Shed of stories and more.
More about Waddesdon Manor

Wellington Country Park – Various Events – Berkshire

When? See below
Address: Wellington Country Park, Odiham Road, Riseley, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 1SP
A Bit About – 5th – 6th August Spectacular sports weekend. 26th – 28th August Bouncy Castles in the park. 17th-19th August Wellys big Dino Takeover. 12th-13th August Welly’s Summer Fun weekend.
More about Wellington Country Park

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