What’s On for Half Term in Sussex
25 + Things to Do across Sussex over Half Term featuring aliens, pirates, princesses, Romans, pop divas and more
Pirates and Princesses, Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Wisborough Green, Sat 25 May – Sun 2 Jun
Calling all mini land-lubbers! Get dressed up in your best pirate or princess gear, follow the scurvy Pirate Trail and see if ye’ can find the Pirate Pete’s lost items around the Farm then join in the sing-a-long in the theatre. Splash Attack at the farm will also be reopened for half term. Book ahead for an online discount.
The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio, Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne, Thurs 30 May
A new musical version of the magical story comes to the stage with jokes, audience interaction and a host of new songs. Adults £14, children £12with performances at 13.30 and 17.00.
DROP OFF Lewes Railwayland Holidays Clubs, May half term and Summer hols, Tues 28 – Fri 31 May and later dates
Still a few places left on this popular holiday club running again from May half term, where children can rise to the fire lighting challenge, build dens, discover pond life, listen to stories and join in games, crafts and campfire cooking. Older children signed up for the full four days will also have the opportunity to achieve the John Muir Award. 2019 clubs run 28 May – 31 May, 29 July – 1 August, 5 August – 8 August and 28 Oct – 29 Oct. Book for two-day or four-day sessions.
Medieval Medicine and half term activities and Weald and Downland Museum, Singleton, Sat 25 – Sun 26 and Mon 27 – Fri 31
Head to the Museum for indoor and outdoor hands-on history fun this half term focusing on the Natural World. Between 11.00 and 16.00 daily Mon 27 May to Fri 31 May, accompanied children of all ages can channel their energy into activities like rolling a wax candle or a paper planter, making a pop up butterfly card and shadow drawing. During the weekend of 25 – 26 May there’s a special Medieval Medicine weekend looking at medicinal plants, 16th century surgery and the Black Death.
The Tempest/ Jungle Book, Brighton Open Air Theatre, 26 May /29 May – 2 June
Fingers crossed for glorious weather as two family-friendly shows visit BOAT for half term. On Sun 26 May all-female troupe The Handlebards present The Tempest as you’ve never seen it before with magic, music and… bicycles! Then from 29 May – 2 June there’s a part human, part puppet cast for Jungle Book. Picnics welcome but watch out for pesky monkeys!
Spring To Life, Arundel WWT, Sat 25 May – Sun 2 June
Discover new life awakening in the ponds and meadows at the WWT Arundel this spring. Go pond dipping, look out for the learning team’s New Life Trolley to you with eggs and nests for hands-on exploration join daily children’s crafts and trail activities, all included in admission.
Pirate Treasure Chest Scavenger Hunt, Standen House and Garden, West Hoathly, Sat 25 May – Sun 2 June
Encourage kids to don their favourite pirate costume and explore the woodlands at Standen on a nature treasure chest scavenger hunt, whilst discovering fun pirate facts along the way. The activity runs 10.00 to 16.00 and costs £2 on top of admission.
Chichester Roman Week, various locations, Sat 25 May – Fri 31 May
A slave auction, in Chichester? Don’t worry it’s all part of a festival celebrating Chichester’s Roman Heritage led by the Novium Museum. Look out for re-enactments, talks, trails, guided tours, family activities and immersive theatre. Make a Roman standard or brooch; take a Roman walls walk; find out more about Priory Park archeological dig; join a Roman villas housewarming celebration and more.
Raiders of the 15th Century/ Living History Day, Arundel Castle 25 – 27 May/ 30 May
The new Raiders event at Arundel Castle over the bank holiday weekend will transport visitors back to the reign of King Edward IV with thrilling skirmishes and medieval gunnery. There will also be three tented encampments with crafts and cookery, and a story teller in session twice each day. There’s more family fun on 30 May with a Living History Day featuring falconry, have-a-go archery and artillery (eek!) and the chance to meet historical characters including a knight and pirate. Thousands of alliums are also in bloom at the castle at the moment
DROP OFFS Creative Clay Discovery / Urban Art/Graffiti Lettering, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Tues 28/ May / Thurs 30 May
Some fun stuff on at Ditchling for kids this holidays from dyeing tote bags to urban graffiti. Creative Clay Discovery with Susie Ramsay-Smith (£22.50) is on Tues 28 May 11.00 – 15.00 with pinch pots, coiling and slabbing techniques to help children make tiles, pots or figures. The cool-sounding Urban Art/Graffiti Lettering (on canvas) with Tom Goulden on Thurs 30 May is another 11.00 – 15.00 drop off for £22.50. There’s also a family-friendly Natural Dye drop in on Sat 25 May, 10.30am-4pm with a mixture of free and charged for activities including dyeing, Bookbinding, Spinning demonstrations and weaving cards.
Einstein100, Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux, Sat 25 May – Sun 2 June
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the total solar eclipse that helped to support Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. A lense used to photograph this historic eclipse on the 29 May 1919 is still part of a working telescopes at Herstmonceux. There will be lots of family activities plus talks and displays to tie in, including making radio receivers, experimenting with gravity, telescope tours and planitarium shows.
This Noisy Isle, Brighton Spiegeltent, Fri 31 May – Sun 3rd June
Another take on the Tempest in Brighton this half term. This Noisy Isle is an exciting immersive treasure hunt show at the Fringe, inspired by Shakespeare’s play. Leading children and their families on a fun magical journey through a strange new land, the show has been adapted to highlight human displacement and the challenges faced by refugees and migrants more accessible to a young audience. Suitable for ages 7-11.
Archeology Walk/ Beach treasure hunt and Rockpool detectives, Birling Gap and Seven Sisters, Sun 26/ Mon 27 – Fri 31 May
A tour of Belle Tout on 26 May (£4) will take in natural history and the results from the Seven Sisters Archaeology Project on the ancient settlement of the area. From Mon 27 – 31 May pick up a tracker pack from the ranger station and go on a self-led trek for fossils and create some wild art with the tools provided. From 27 – 30 you can also collect a tracker pack and use your own net bucket and spade to discover creatures in the rockpools. See the website to check out the times.
The Wizard of Oz, The Capitol, Horsham, Thurs 30 May
Follow the yellow brick road to Horsham this half term for a musical treat. A production of The Wizard of Oz will be ensuring fun for the young and the nostalgic. It’s on one day only at 15.00 and 18.00. Tickets are £16.
Half Term pizza making at Saddlescombe Farm, Devil’s Dyke, near Brighton, Fri 31 May
Get kneading and make pizzas in a traditonal clay oven at this National Trust site. Top them as you wish and eat in the lofty surrounds. There are morning and afternoon sessions. The Dough? £12 for adults, £6 for children. Booking essential and it tends to sell out in advance.
Brighton Fringe, various venues, daily until Sun 2 June
There are heaps of kids’ shows still to catch over the last few days of the Brighton Fringe across drama, comedy, music, storytelling and more including two bubble shows this week. Check out the Family section of the brochure.
The Goose Who Flew, Ropetackle, Shoreham-by-Sea, Fri 31 May
Goose knows it will soon be time to fly south for the winter. But, as his journey begins, things are not as they should be. Down below, a border has appeared and there are barbed wire fences and flashing lights. Storytelling, playful puppetry and an assortment of quirky characters in this show for ages 3 – 7. £7 or £18 for a family of four. There are 11.00 and 14.00 shows.
Half-Term Activities, Amberley Museum, 29 – 31 May
Over the May half term, enjoy activities and take part in our family trail around the 36 acre site. Discover the South’s industrial heritage at our Museum, learn about technology through the years, and have fun riding our narrow gauge train and historic bus around the 36 acre site.
Bat Walks, Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield, Thurs 30 May
Learn about bats and have a go at detecting them around the garden and parkland on this guided evening walk. It’s £6 for adults, £4 for children and booking ahead is essential.
Aliens, Zombie and Monsters, Littlehampton Museum, until Fri 31 May
The Aliens, Zombie and Monsters exhibition, with a behind the scenes peek at the studio of illustrator Aaron Blecha, has been extended over half term. See the process from sketches to finished pictures and meet life-sized monsters around the museum.
Big Bank Holiday Family Fun Day, Fontwell Park Racecourse, Sun 26 May
One the most popular event days in the calendar at Fontwell happens on the late May bank holiday. The Family Fun Day sees free entertainment for all including inflatable fun with an assault course, mini horse racing, a bouncy castle and laser quest, pony rides for kids, circus performances and a funfair. Bring a picnic and watch seven exciting horse races. Book in advance to save £5 off the adult price. Under 18s go free.
Sussex Street Food Festival, The Stade, Hastings, Sat 25 – Mon 27 May
Hastings will host the Sussex Street Food Festival over the second May bank holiday weekend. Some of the best foodie treats from across the world from arancini balls to doughy churros to jerk chicken, Vietnamese food and more will be available from a wide range of stalls on the Stade. Register now for a free ticket to guarantee entry at peak times and you’ll be entered in a prize draw to win a meal and cocktail each for four people.
Aliens Love Underpants, The Capitol, Horsham, Mon 27 May
I read it in a best-selling book so it must be true. Now the knicker nicking fun comes to the stage on bank holiday Monday with clever effects and original songs for ages 3+ Chose from 11.00, 14.00 and 16.00 performances. Tickets £14.
DROP OFF Two-day Filmmaking workshop for kids, Depot, Lewes, Tues 28 & Wed 29 May
This handy half term course guides 8-14 year olds through the filmmaking process. They’ll spend one day planning and filming and a second day editing in Depot’s Edit Suite. Both days run from 10:00 to 15:00 and the total cost is £90. All participants must bring a smart phone, tablet or video camera. You can book ahead too for a four-day summer course in Aug for 8-12s.
Pop Divas Live! The Capitol, Horsham, Wed 29 May
Get ready for songs from your kids’ fave female stars (perhaps yours’ too) in one family-friendly mini gig. Pop Divas Live will be belting out Little Mix, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé and Rihanna with great choreography and videos besides. Tickets are £16.
Mid Term Throwing Tuesday, Tues 28 May, Potter’s Thumb, Grand Parade, Brighton
Encourage your children to throw things – throw a pot that is, at this session for budding potters aged 9 to 13. The workshop, getting to grips with a wheel, lasts an hour and costs £25 including their creations to take home. There are slots at 11.00, 13.00 and 16.00.
Dinosaur World Live, The Capitol, Horsham, Tues 4 – Wed 5 June
Just after half term, beat the back-to-school blues with this interactive family show that brings life-like beasts to the stage. If your child would like to tickle T-Rex under the chin get some tickets in the bag.
Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids, The Hawth, Crawley, Sun 23 Jun
Psst here’s something for kids that adults can also enjoy – I know, I’ve seen the show myself. Beatboxer extraordinaire SK Shlomo gave up astrophysics to perform his amazing vocal pyrotechnics. In this show he gets children involved and teaches them some tricks. I took my nephews the other year and they produced their own impromptu mini iPhone beatbox video afterwards. Tickets are £7.50 (Family of four £26) and there’s usually a chance to buy a signed CD afterwards.