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The Muddy Guide: What’s On 19 – 26 Aug

Lewes Artwave launches, Spamalot is in town, there’s a Bowie screen tribute, circus shenanigans and plenty of family-friendly ideas from Tractor Ted to teen cooking. Don’t forget to also visit my bumper school holiday guide if you want more activities to keep kids entertained.

David Bowie is… The V&A exhibition film, Chichester Cinema, Aug 23


Missed the V&A exhibition on David Bowie a few years back and, like me, kicking your self even more now the great man’s no longer with us? Well here’s your chance to see it on the big screen. This documentary was filmed at the acclaimed 2013 exhibition which featured handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photos, set designs, Bowie’s own instruments and album artwork. It’s on as part of the Chichester Film Festival. It starts at 3.45pm and tickets cost £10.

Crawley Circus Festival, at The Hawth, 19 – 21 Aug

kettle of fishcircus imageCROP

Jugglers, acrobats and clowns will take over the The Hawth grounds and foyer for a weekend of workshops, shows and games. This year’s theme is ‘Post Apocalyptic’ so you can come along in Mad Max-style fancy dress if you’re in the mood. The highlight will be wild and wacky show Kettle of Fish on 20 Aug which features comedy, juggling, card trickery and contortions. Weekend tickets cost £32 (Children £18), which covers camping and all workshops and shows. Day tickets cost £12 (discounts £7). Standalone Kettle of Fish tickets for 20 Aug are £16 (concessions £12). For more circus events coming up soon in Sussex, see here.

Artwave, Lewes 20 Aug – 4 Sept


It’s set to be Artwave’s biggest year in its 20-odd year history with over 400 different artists and makers taking part. Artists’ homes, gardens, galleries, studios and more will throw open their doors to the public with entry to most venues free. This is your chance to snap up quality locally made paintings, jewellery, prints, sculpture, textiles and ceramics. There will also be demonstrations, free workshops for adults and kids and tea and cake – don’t forget the cake.

Street Food Sumer School, Newhaven Fort,  22-26 Aug 


Teens aged 14-17 can learn to make Quesadillas, Singapore noodles, Pau Bhaji and meze wraps at international street food classes in the Community Chef’s pop-up ktichen at Newhaven Fort. Session costs £25, call 01273 510784  to book a place. See more Newhaven activities for the summer holidays here

Spamalot, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, 26 Aug – 3 Sept


I saw Spamalot when it was on in Eastbourne a few years back and, as you’d expect, it’s all silly humour very much in the vein of Monty Python and the Holy Grail on which it is based, with horse hoof noises made by coconuts and yes, they’ve even managed to recreate the scene with the Black Knight getting his limbs chopped off and claiming “tis but a scratch”.  It’ll suit older children and is one of those rare opportunities when you can get a straight man to a musical (just make sure they’re not one of those annoying types who quotes along with the famous lines). Tickets cost from £20 (£16.50 children) and there’s a special preview on Fri 26 Aug when all tickets are £15.

Indian Bazaar, Sussex Prairie Garden, near Henfield, Aug 26 – 29 


I have several chunks of gorgeous sari silk in my drawers I couldn’t resist on my travels, just awaiting transformation into something lovely and now here’s a chance to get some more much closer to home. The RHS Sussex Prairie Garden at Morlands Farm near Henfield will have marquees full of cotton clothes, vintage sari silk, semi precious stone jewellery, scarves, home furnishings and gifts – all ethically traded from India by Kent-based online retailer Bazaar. There’ll also be curry on sale to get you in the mood, plus a talk on textiles and Nepal and a chance to try woodblock printing for kids and adults.

Family workshops, yoga and fitness ‘rave’, Hasting Pier, 23 – 29 Aug


Lots going on on Hastings’ pier this week. Free family workshops include experiments in the ‘Science on Sea’ (21 Aug); paper puppet making and sand fossil exploration (23, 24 and 29); and wind chime making (29 Aug). There’s also yoga on the pier on the morning of 24 Aug and a fitness ‘rave’ for adults and kids over 12 on the evening of 26 Aug (£3, booking essential) with face paint and glow sticks!

Design and make your own 3D letters, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, 20 Aug 

86e9eccb-4531-4e52-9be7-68c1198f2cb2Ditchling Museum has some great craft workshops and this free Saturday one lets youngsters experiment with different materials, using templates with predrilled holes to create letters that move, hang and transform. Drop in 10.30am – 4.00pm. No booking required.

Free BMX Coaching, Burgess Hill track, 25 Aug


There’s school holidays coaching and a rock up and ride at Burgess Hill BMX track on 25 Aug. Register in advance for the coaching between 10.30 and 12.00, or turn up to ride 12.30pm – 2.00pm, or 2.30pm – 4.oopm. It’s all free, just call to book on 01444 871275

Witchcraft Live! Preston Manor, Brighton, 20 Aug


Preston Manor is claiming ‘real witches’ in its secret kitchen garden, plus a chance to see an authentic Pagan ritual and come away with your own spell as part of its fun, family-friendly ‘Folklore, Magic and Mysteries’ theme.  It runs 2.30pm to 4.15pm and admission is £10 for adults, £5 for children. Book in advance.

Tractor Ted weekend, Fishers Farm Park, Wisborough Green, 20 and 21 Aug


Pre-schoolers’ DVD favourite Tractor Ted is coming to Fishers for a weekend of fun with a Ted bouncy castle, storytelling, a Ted driving school and welly wangling competition. Fishers Farm Park scooped the 2016 Muddy Stilettos Award for Best Family Attraction and also offers soft play, children’s rides and the chance to meet horses, pigs, goats, rabbits, alpacas and more.

Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers, De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill, 21 Aug


All around the world Roald Dahl’s words are disappearing – not only from books but from children’s minds.. Now only a secret organisation known as the Ancient Guild of Tale Tenders can save the stories, and they need your help. That’s the set up for an hour’s interactive theatrical experience in the foyer of the De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill which explores stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and The Twits along the way. Tickets are still available for the 10.30 and 12.15 performances. It costs £6 for adults, £4 for children and is suitable for those 7+.

Picnic in the Park/Bat Walk, Woolbeding Countryside, near Chichester, 20 Aug  & 24 Aug


Bring your own picnic or tuck into a barbecue by Courtney’s Butchers at a free gathering on 20 Aug at Wooldbeding Parkland. There’ll be music and a bar on hand, with local ales from Langhams Brewery. Then, on 24 Aug – holy mackerel Robin! – there’s a chance to search for bats in the woods and along the old railway with an expert from the Bat Conservation Trust and his detecting kit. You’ll be out late, 8.30pm – 10.00pm, adult tickets cost £3, children £2. Book on 01730 816638.

Sun & Moon Festival, Plumpton College, 14-21 Aug


Still continuing is this family wellness festival I flagged up last week. There are hundreds of great value workshops and activities for both adults and children including aromatherapy, climbing, street dance, yoga, music, massage and artistic upcycling, a teen’s band camp and a ‘Crazy Olympic Games’. Day passes covering workshops and all activities are £30 for adults, £15 for children over four.

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