What’s On this week in Sussex
Thurs 8 - Fri 16 Aug
Looking for more family-specific suggestions? See the big School Summer Hols What’s On.
Festival of Racing, Brighton Racecourse, Wed 7 – Fri 9 Aug
Marathonbet’s three-day festival hits Brighton racecourse again this August 7 – 9. Ladies’ Day takes place on 8 Aug with racegoers looking to dress and impress plus there will be extra entertainment, food trucks and vintage pop-up bars. Tickets start at £18 and under 18’s go free.
Perfume Parlour workshop, Ethel Loves Me, Rye, Thurs 8 Aug
Join a guided smelling session – yes really, at Rye’s cute indie gift and homewares shop under the guidance of an artisan perfumer, along with nibbles, a glass of fizz and a fab smelling goody bag. It runs for 1.5 hours from 19.00 and costs £5. There’s also a bookbinding workshop coming up on Thurs 15 Aug.
Chilli Fiesta, West Dean Gardens, Chichester, Fri 9 – Sun 11 Aug
Fill your face with fiery fare at this popular annual family-friendly food festival. Besides plenty of opportunities to eat and shop for the hot stuff there’ll be Latin music and dance – including Strictly’s Graziano Di Prima and cookery demos from top chefs including Miranda Gore Browne, Chetna Makan and Steven Carter Bailey from Bake Off. Meanwhile circus workshops, outdoor film screenings, a vintage funfair and more will keep kids amused. Day tickets are £18.00 for adults, £2.50 for children, under 4s free, with this year 20% off two day tickets bought together making a double ticket for the same day £32. Three-day tickets are also available and you can camp in the grounds and make a weekend of it.
Gangsta Granny outdoor theatre, Weald & Downland Living Museum, Singleton, Chichester, Thurs 8 Aug – Sun 11 Aug
David Walliam’s hit children’s book Gangsta Granny returns to the stage with a mischievous glint in her eye from Thurs 8 Aug to Sun 11 Aug outdoors at the Weald & Downland Living Museum. Tickets are £14 adults, £10 children, £40 families. Bring a rug and a picnic, or buy food from the Waterside Cafe.
PIUPID (Pick It Up, Put It Down), Cross in Hand, near Heathfield, Sat 10 Aug
This day of games and workouts followed by a night of partying is in aid of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and was founded by a Muddy Award-winning fitness instructor. From midday, athletes will compete in mixed pairs, taking on the signature PIUPID workout lifting barbells and the like while you cheer them on and enjoy other activities on site. From 6.00pm, tickets are needed for the after party with live music and DJs. Want to take part in the lifting? You’ll need to buy competitor tickets in advance.
Jess Glynne, Lingfield Park Racecourse, Surrey, Sat 10 Aug
With 2 UK number 1 albums including the 2018 hit Always In Between, Jess Glynne will perform to thousands of race goers live after racing on Saturday 10 August. Racing is from 5.10pm-8.15pm – music starts after the last race.
Bonfire Societies Firework Championships, Wiston park, Steyning, Sat 10 Aug
A fireworks night in summer? Yes, three of Sussex’s Bonfire Societies are competing to decide the year’s pyrotechnical winner, with an additional display by organisers Pheonix Fireworks besides. There’ll be a fun fair and family entertainment, a bar and food stalls and picnics are allowed. It takes places 16.00 to 10.30, entry £10 (children £5, families £28).
Food Pairing Tour and Tasting/ Yoga, Vines and Wine, Bluebell Wine Estate, Furners Green, Sat 10th August /Fri 23rd Aug
On Saturday 10 Aug, head to lovely Bluebell Vineyard for an estate tour followed by a tasting of five award-winning wines, each expertly paired with seasonal canapés made with locally sourced ingredients. On Fri 23 Aug reward yourself with a blissful morning of yoga in a marquee overlooking the vines and ponds and follow it with a decadent elevenses, a vineyard and winery tour and a tasting of the estate’s Hindleap Sparkling Wine. Each experience costs £35 and reflexology will be available at £15 for 30 mins after the yoga. The food pairing tour will also be coming up again on 14 Sept.
Firle Vintage Fair, Firle Park, near Lewes, Fri 9 Sat 10 & Sun 11 Aug
Get ready to wallow in all things retro at one of the most popular vintage events of the year. Snap up decorative antique and vintage homewares, clothes and more. There’s retro entertainment too with live music, Charleston dancing and the like. Kids can go on the traditional fun fair or meet writer Jacqueline Wilson and you can relax with booze on the lawn and admire the sparkling vintage cars or the fashions on the catwalk. Early bird tickets are £10 (£7 children) £15 on the door (under 5s free).
Loxwood Joust, Loxwood, West Sussex, Sat 10 & Sun 11 Aug
It’s your chance again to tuck into a hog roast and ale and watch jousting and sword-on-sword action from armoured knights. Despite the simulated violence there’s plenty of educational content at this big event with recreated Mediaeval villages and learning zones, a marketplace and workshops like chainmail making, plus Learning Posts where you can ask questions. Kids over 7 can join the knight school. Advanced tickets are £13 for adults, £7 for children (4 – 14) per weekend.
Dog Fun Day, Woolbeding Countryside, West Sussex, Sun 11 Aug
Got a pooch? Bring them along to take part in a dog show at Woolbeding Countryside where you can also see working dog demos, have a go at dog agility, learn top tips on dog obedience and training and enjoy local stalls and refreshments. It’s all part of the Dog Fun Day running 10.30 – 15.00 on Sun 11 Aug and it’s free.
Sunset Screenings, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, Sat 10, 17 and 24 Aug
The De La Warr is putting on Sunset Screenings on an outside sea-facing wall this August, with retro family-friendly options across the school holidays. Sat 10 Aug is Bumblebee, Sat 17 Aug is Labyrinth starring David Bowie and Sat 24 Aug is The Greatest Showman, with extra entertainment from Mad Fish Performing Arts Choir. The films start at 20.30 and all are rated PG. Best of all, they’re all free! Pop in to see the How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s free exhibition on the ground floor while you’re there.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Capitol, Horsham, Tues 13 and Wed 14 Aug
The tea-guzzling tiger is back on the road in this musical play adapted and directed by David Wood, based on the well-loved book by Judith Kerr, who recently died at the age of 95. It’s packed with sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos. He drinks all the water in the taps you know… Tickets are £14 and it’s aimed at ages 3+ See a trailer on the link.
Noble and Stace chocolate workshop, Edgecumbes, Arundel, Wed 14 Aug
The next Noble and Stace workshops are coming up at Edgecumbes near Arundel on Wed 31 July and Wed 14 Aug. They’re a fun experience with plenty of your own handcrafted chocs, truffles and bars to take home. Check out the Muddy review here. Feeling really organised? You can even book ahead for Christmas!
Airbourne, Eastbourne seafront, Thurs 15 – Sun 18 Aug
Eastbourne’s International Airshow boasts a two mile flying display line along the seafront with military and civilian aviation teams including jets, a parachute display team, bi-plane wing-walkers, Chinook helicopters, a Battle of Britain memorial flight and more, and all for free! The flying happens in a packed schedule from lunchtime until around 5.00pm and there’s bouncy castles and the like on the ground It’s a great day out but do plan your transport arrangements in advance as car parks will be rammed.
Luna Beach Cinema, beside the Palace Pier, Brighton, 31 July to 18 Aug
Luna Beach Cinema will be back from 31 July to 18 Aug to the east of Brighton’s Palace Pier, this time straddling the school holidays with plenty of family-friendly films. Included in the line up are recent releases Disney’s Dumbo and Aladdin plus Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born and The Greatest Showman, Grease and Pretty Woman. You’ll also get an opportunity to binge on the original Star Wars trilogy. Tickets from 12.50.
Various adults and family shows, Brighton Open Air Theatre, Hove, various dates until 24 Sept
B.O.A.T in Dyke Road Park is a great place to relax on a summer’s afternoon. It’s a wood and astro turf ampitheatre, there’s a small bar alongside and picnicking while you watch is positively encouraged. Summer productions still to come include Nell Gwynn; Frankenstein; Wind in the Willows; The Secret Garden; Treasure Island; Private Lives; As You Like It; Sense and Sensibility and more, plus bank holiday wrestling and the End of Summer Party.
South Downs cycle ride with Langham Brewery Tour, from and to Amberley, Sat 17 Aug (also 7 Sept)
Here’s a great way to work hard then get a boozy reward, with someone else doing the driving. New Chalk Pit Trails will meet you at Amberley railway station with regular or electric mountain bikes, give you a route along the South Downs Way and beyond that takes you to Langham Brewery where you’ll have a two hour tour and tasting, then pick you up there and take you back to the station, all for £40 (£60 with e-bike). Look out for the Muddy review coming soon!
The Red Lion, The Capitol Horsham and other nearby venues, 16 – 17 Aug and other Aug & Sept dates
Written by the man behind Closer and with the same director as The Play That Goes Wrong, this character-based piece of theatre, set behind the scenes of ‘The Beautiful Game’. It starts its run at The Capitol on 16 and 17 Aug then you can catch it on multiple dates coming up in and near Horsham.
England’s Medieval Festival, Herstmonceux Castle, Fri 24 – Mon 26 Aug
Immerse yourself in the thrills and spills of the Middle Ages this summer when England’s Medieval Festival comes to lovely Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. Over 1,000 costumed performers travel from across Europe to help recreate the spectacle with jousting knights, court jesters, siege recreations and crafts like blacksmithing and arrow making, with a chance to have a go at many. Children can even join warrior and princess schools. Advance day tickets are £17 for adults £7 for children over 5 (£46 for families) and you can also upgrade to camp over the weekend.