Best Summer Events South East 2021 | Family Friendly | Things to Do

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 keep up-to-date with government guidance before booking or visiting. I am unsure of the following attractions policies on cancellations of events, please consider this before booking and check with them in advance. It may also be an idea to check with the attraction that everything is as advertised the day before you visit.

Things to do South East Summer 2021

Amberley Museum – School holiday activities – Sussex

When? 23rd July – 30th August
Address: Amberley Museum, New Barn Road, Amberley, Arundel, Sussex, BN18 9LT
A Bit About – “During the Summer School Holidays, there will be extra family activities. More information to be added closer to the time.”
More about Amberley Museum

Arundel Castle – Medieval Joust – Sussex

When? 27th July – 1st August
Address: Arundel Castle, Arundel, Sussex, BN18 9AB
A Bit About – “Arundel Castle is proud to be the venue for the 12th International Medieval Joust Tournament. Over six days, teams from Europe will fight for the champion’s honour and trophy. The knights’ horses will thunder down the tilt rail and lances will shatter on opponents’ shields.”
More about Arundel Castle

Beaulieu – Alice in Wonderland theatre – Hampshire

When? 22nd and 23rd July
Address: John Montagu Building, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst SO42 7ZN
A Bit About – “Follow Boxtree Productions down the rabbit hole into a strange world of caterpillars, cards and tea parties. Join Alice as she tries to navigate this curious world of curiouser creatures but don’t lose your head! We promise you a wonderful experience of original toe-tapping songs, colourful characters, costumes and hilarious comedy.”

Blackgang Chine – Summer Fest – Isle of Wight

When? 28th July – 28th August
Address: Ventnor PO38 2HN
A Bit About – “Soak up the sun at the Isle of Wight’s biggest family nights out! Bringing summer party vibes to Blackgang Chine every Wednesday & Saturday from 28th July – 28th August, you can expect an evening of music and dancing as the sun goes down. As well as the epic party with live DJ, foam cannons and lasers, all your favourite characters will pop in to join you for a boogie, too! And, of course, the nights will end with the famous Blackgang Chine firework finale!”

Bletchley Park – Teddy Bear Trails – Buckinghamshire

When? 24th July – 5th September
Address: Bletchley Park, The Mansion, Sherwood Dr, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK3 6EB
A Bit About – “Have an adventure at Bletchley Park this summer inspired by Alan Turing’s teddy bear Porgy! Pick up a free teddy bear trail and see if you can find all the codebreaking teddy bears hidden in secret locations around Bletchley Park. Feel free to bring your teddy bear along if they’ll help you break the code!”
More about Bletchley Park

Bluebell Railway – 60 plus 1 – Sussex

When? 6th – 8th August
Address: Bluebell Railway, Park Station, Uckfield, Sussex, TN23 3QL
A Bit About – “Bluebell Railway turned 60 years old in 2020, so come and join us for our belated diamond anniversary event. This year, we will mark the occasion with a 3-day long weekend of festivities that will appeal to enthusiasts, members, volunteers and the whole family.”
More about Bluebell Railway

Bocketts Farm – Summer of fun – Surrey

When? 17th July – 5th 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 – Peppa Pig – Buckinghamshire

When? 15th August
Address: Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Station Road, Quainton, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP22 4BY
A Bit About – “On Sunday 15th August Peppa will be appearing at intervals throughout the day – don’t forget your cameras! Of course, you can also enjoy all the usual fun of the railway – your day ticket includes unlimited steam train rides and teacup rides, and you can take a trip on the miniature trains for a small fee.”
More about Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Butser Ancient Farm – Summer Holidays – Hampshire

When? July 17th to 5th September
Address: Buster Anicent Farm, Chalton Ln, Chalton, Waterlooville, Hampshire, PO8 0BG
A Bit About – “Each day of the summer holidays we will have guided hands-on activities for all the family to learn an ancient skill, plus selected days we will be joined by re-enactors bringing the past to life.” Plus other special family-friendly events
More about Butser Ancient Farm

Carisbrooke Castle – Legendary Joust – Isle of Wight

When? 3rd-5th August and 17th-19th August
Address: Castle Hill, Newport PO30 1XY
A Bit About – “See lances shatter, feel the thunder of hooves and hear the roar of the crowd as reputations are won and lost. Our fearless fighters and their magnificent horses will charge at each other at full speed in an unforgettable display of chivalry and sheer courage. Choose your champion and cheer them on to victory – or console them in defeat.”

Chessington World of Adventures – Wilderfest – London

When? 24th July to 31st August
Address: Leatherhead Rd, Chessington KT9 2NE
A Bit About – “Calling all party animals! Get ready to croc ‘n roll this summer at Britain’s WILDEST music festival here at Chessington for the first time. Feel the Resort come to life, featuring live music across five stages, roaming entertainment, plus a whole load of family festival fun – you’ll be singing, dancing, and of course riding, all day long! WILDERFEST is 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 – “The Great War event – 24th and 25th July. Terrific Tuesdays – Tuesdays in August. 1960s Ambigue – 7th and 8th August. 1940s weekend – 14th and 15th August.”
More about Chiltern Open Air Museum

Dover Castle – Various Events – Kent

When? Various dates, see below
Address: Castle Hill Rd, Dover CT16 1HU
A Bit About – Legendary joust at Dover castle – 31st July and 1st August. Medieval castle – 14th and 15th August. Knight’s tournament – 28th-30th August.
More about Dover Castle

Eltham Palace and Gardens – 1940s day out – London

When? 28th to 30th August
Address: Eltham Palace and Gardens, Court Yard, London, London, SE9 5QE
A Bit About – “It’s the 1940s, and despite the Second World War, Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, are doing their best to host their guests at Eltham Palace. Join them as they make the most of life on the home front and have a go at a range of fun-filled activities.”
More about Eltham Palace

Gullivers Land – Princess & Pirate Weekend plus Superhero Summer Finale – Buckinghamshire

When? Princess & Pirate weekend 17th and 18th July
Superhero Summer Finale 4th and 5th September
Address: Gullivers Land Theme Park, Livingstone Dr, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK15 0DT
A Bit About – “Princess and Pirate weekend – There will be treasure, treats, fancy dress events themed activities and so much more. Superhero finale – We’re finishing the summer holidays in style with a Superhero finale complete with fireworks.
More about Gulliver’s Land

Hampton Court Palace – Luna Cinema – Surrey

When? 22nd – 25th July
Address: Hampton Ct Way, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU
A Bit About – “The Luna Cinema returns to Hampton Court Palace this summer for four nights of fantastic films. Join us on the stunning East Front Lawns with Henry VIII’s palace providing a truly unforgettable floodlit backdrop for the ultimate night of cinema under the stars. – Dark Knight (12A), Top Gun (12A), Dirty dancing (12A), The Greatest Showman sing-a-long (PG), Bohemian Rhapsody (12A).

Hatchlands Park National Trust – Family Theatre – Surrey

When? 27th July, 1st August, 18th August
Address: East Clandon, Guildford GU4 7RT
A Bit About – 27th July – Immersion Theatre invite you on a swashbuckling adventure of epic proportions as they proudly present an action-packed adaptation of The Three Musketeers. 1st August – Macbeth. A play of supernatural magic, vaulting ambition and an examination of the dreadful consequences of the insatiable lust for power. With Shakespeare’s most chilling power couple and truly stirring poetry, this stunning play will keep you gripped. 18th August – Immersion Theatre are thrilled to bring their trademark energy to their wildest show yet, a brand-new musical adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling family favourite, THE JUNGLE BOOK!

Headstone Manor – Eliza’s peculiar pets family trail – London

When? July 24th to 31st August
Address: Headstone Recreation Ground, Pinner View, Harrow HA2 6PX
A Bit About – “Explore Headstone Manor searching for Eliza Brightwen’s pets. Can you match up the names Asnapper, Mungo and Sancha to the correct animal? Find them all to earn a prize! Collect your free trail sheet from inside the Manor House. Free, during museum opening hours.”

Hever Castle – Various Events – Kent

When? Various dates, see below
Address: Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG
A Bit About – July 1st to August 31st – Mythical creature quest. “Follow the brave knight on his quest through the Castle, come across mythical beasts and learn the best way to protect yourself.” Plus there is a shield hunt, jousting events, falconry displays and more.”
More about Hever Castle

Historic Dockyard – Doc. Yard’s Summer Show – Kent

When? 31st July – 30th August
Address: Historic Dockyard Chatham, Main Gate Rd, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TZ
A Bit About – “After a year of lockdown’s and self-isolation, Doc. Yard is bursting with excitement to escape from his secret lab and share his love of science with you this summer holiday. Budding scientists will have enormous fun with forces as Doc and his able assistant Bunsen explore how forces shaped the Dockyard.”
More about Historic Dockyard Chatham

Isle of Wight Steam Railway – Various Events – Isle of Wight

When? Various dates, see below
Address: The Railway Station, Main Rd, Havenstreet, Ryde PO33 4DS
A Bit About – Island highland gathering – 18th July. Island Heritage train day – 25th July and 15th August. Island steam show – 27th – 30th August.

Kent Life – Ice Cream Festival – Kent

When? 30th August
Address: Kent Life, Lock Ln, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3AU
A Bit About – “Kent Life welcomes back the Ice Cream Festival! Sample tasters from our ice cream vendors, or visit the chocolatiers and sweet stalls. There will be over 40 fabulous varieties of ice cream to try and buy and don’t forget to visit the toppings station to finish off your ice cream with a variety of syrups, marshmallows and sprinkles. Pop into the Village Hall (TBC) and put your creative talents to good use whilst grown-ups can treat themselves to a tipple from our well-stocked bar, or check out our Pimms offering on the Village Green.”
More about Kent Life

Leeds Castle – Various Events – Kent

When? Various dates
Address: Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1PD
A Bit About – The Big Book of Leeds Castle-y Challenges – 24th July to 31st August “Join in the adventure this summer and spend the school holidays on a mission to try and complete 55 Leeds Castle challenges! Explore the great outdoors on the Castle’s estate come rain or shine, armed with your challenge booklet to see how many of the fantastically fun summer activities you can tick off the list.” Plus open air cinema and children’s theatre.
More about Leeds Castle

Leonardslee Gardens – Enchanted – Sussex

When? 30th July – 8th August
Address: Bluebell Railway, Park Station, Uckfield, Sussex, TN23 3QL
A Bit About – “From the team that bring you Leonardslee Illuminated. Explore a magical trail through the beautiful woods, flora, fauna and lakes, with music and theatrical performance and spectacular visual and sound installations. Featuring mermaids, faeries and other mythical creatures, the trail weaves a spellbinding tale of magic and wonder through Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens.”
More about Bluebell Railway

London Zoo – Travel the world – London

When? July 24th to 31st August
Address: Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY
A Bit About – “Get set for a summer trip like never before: grab your zoo passport and check-in before embarking on your ‘world tour’ exploring remarkable species and their habitats across the globe. As well as discovering thousands of wonderful zoo animals, you’ll learn about ZSL’s global conservation work and celebrate world cultures with pop-up activities, experiences and food stalls across the zoo. Youngsters will love getting their zoo passport stamped as they enter each zone.”
More about London Zoo

Penshurst Place – Various Events – Kent

When? Various dates
Address: Penshurst Place and Gardens, Penshurst, Tonbridge, Kent, TN11 8DG
A Bit About – School holidays falconry shows – Enjoy a superb show filled with acrobatics and flying prowess as we welcome back Joe’s Bows and their incredible Birds of Prey for another summer season on Falconry shows! Plus Tudor legacies at Penshurst place – On selected Sundays throughout the year we’ll be joined by the fabulous ladies of Tudor Legacies : The Queens of Henry VIII, who will be wandering the gardens throughout the day dressed as the extraordinary women who were married to King Henry VIII!.
More about Penshurst Place

Polesden Lacey National Trust – A summer of events – Surrey

When? Various dates
Address: Polesden Lacey, Polesden Road, Great Bookham, Leatherhead, Surrey, RH5 6BD
A Bit About – “What could be finer than enjoying some live music or fantastic theatre outside in the summer sunshine? We’ve got a fantastic line-up of live theatre, cinema under the stars and music ready to entertain you this summer at Polesden Lacey. Just don’t forget to buy your ice cream before the show starts.” Please see their website for further information.
More about Polesden Lacey

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens – Various Events – Kent

When? Various dates
Address: Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Riverhill, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0RR
A Bit About – Summer holiday fun week 1 – Strawbale obstacle course. Summer holiday fun week 2 – Paper planes. Summer holiday fun week 3 – Yeti card workshop. Summer holiday fun week 4 – Troy treasure hunt. Summer holiday fun week 5 – Clay monster making. Summer holiday fun week 6 – Lavender bag making.
More about Riverhill

Robin Hill – Explosive show and Sky High Night Glow – Isle of Wight

When? Various dates, see below
Address: Robin Hill Country Park, Downend Rd, Downend, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2NU
A Bit About – Explosive outdoor show – selected dates from 29th July to 28th August – “Taking you on a breathless ride through the wild world of the weird and wonderful, you can watch from the safety of your seat as the Brainiacs delve fearlessly into the mysteries of science. This live science show will see exploding dustbins, combusting microwaves, live daredevil stunts and all the experiments you’re not allowed to do at home!”

Sky High Night glow – 20th – 22nd August – “After a record-breaking first instalment in May, With spectacular Night Glow displays every evening, there’s even more opportunity to see the balloons in action!”
More about Robin Hill

Spa Valley Railway – Summer Diesel Gala – Kent

When? 6th, 7th and 8th August
Address: Spa Valley Railway, West Station, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5QY
A Bit About – “Returning for 2021 is our popular diesel gala featuring an intensive train service hauled by heritage diesels, with a dash of steam on Sunday. Spend the weekend with us enjoying classic 1960s traction including the return of the popular multi-header on Saturday evening at our first diesel gala since 2019.”
More about Spa Valley Railway

Tapnell Park – Summer sunset shindig – Isle of Wight

When? 29th July, 5th August, 12th August, 19th August + 26th August 6 pm – 9 pm.
Address: Tapnell Farm House, Newport Rd, Yarmouth PO41 0YJ
A Bit About – “Roll up, roll up for another summer of stunning sunset shindigs at Tapnell Farm Park. The perfect way to finish a day, surrounded by fabulous fun, food, animals and beautiful scenery. Expect tom-foolery from the Horse Box Theatre and whiz-popping magic from the magicians. Impress loved ones with new circus skills, fly high with aerial silk artists, and boogie on down to live music every Thursday evening throughout the school holidays.”

Thorpe Park Resort – Park Vibes – Surrey

When? Now until the 25th June
Address: Staines Rd, Chertsey KT16 8PN
A Bit About – “New for 2021 – awaken your senses at the UK’s most thrilling theme-park and soak up the summer vibes with street dancers, live music, street entertainment and more!”
More about Thorpe Park Resort

Waddesdon Manor – Various Events – Buckinghamshire

When? Various dates, see below
Address: Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH
A Bit About – Summer holidays at Waddesdon – 21st July to 31st August. Tudor Tales Theatre – 25th July. Wind in the willows and the pantaloons – 7th August. Pop up festival of children’s literature – 19th to 22nd August. Treasure Island theatre – 21st August.
More about Waddesdon Manor

Weald and Downland Living Museum – Wonderful Weeks – Sussex

When? Throughout August
Address: Weald and Downland Living Museum, Town Ln, Chichester, Sussex, PO18 0EU
A Bit About – “The Museum’s popular Wonderful Weeks (aka Wonderful Wednesdays) has been extended into 2021, offering an exciting programme of family fun and activities every day of the week throughout August with activity bags focusing on ‘being a museum detective’.” Plus various family-friendly theatre events.
More about Weald and Downland

Wellington Country Park – Various Events – Berkshire

When? Various dates, see below
Address: Wellington Country Park, Odiham Road, Riseley, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 1SP
A Bit About – Wellys summer sports weekend – 31st July and 1st August. Wellys dinosaur weekend – 7th & 8th August. Wellys pirate and mermaid weekend – 14th and 15th August. Wellys summer fun – 21st and 22nd August. Bouncy castles in the park – 28th – 30th August.
More about Wellington Country Park

Best Summer Events South East 2021 – Things to do