What’s On this weekend in Sussex
Fri 21 Feb - Sun 23 Feb
Zog, Brighton Dome, Fri 21 Feb
Based on the book written and illustrated by the kiddy lit masterminds behind The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Zog is the story of an eager to please dragon, bound to win the hearts of the littlies.
Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids, Komedia, Brighton, Fri 21 Feb
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 £10 adults, £8 children.
Stewart Lee, Brighton Dome, Fri 21 Feb
Some grown-up fun at Brighton Dome on Friday evening. Catch ‘the world’s greatest living standup’ (The Times) and ‘living proof that repetition really is funny’ (me) in two new 60-minute sets.
Josie Long: Tender, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, Sat 22 Feb
A confident, very likeable comedian, Josie Long has been around a while but this is her first new show in five years. It’s a tale of new motherhood that in the wrong hands could be a self-indulgent yawn-fest, as she’s well aware (“I believe I may be the only woman this has ever happened to…”) but she does a cracking set which veers through trying to urgently get an expensive chicken cooked while in labour to her concerns about climate change. I saw it at Edinburgh Fringe last year and it was a hugely enjoyable show.
Rye Bay Scallop Week, various Rye eateries, Sat 22 Feb – Sun 1 March
One of my fave foods has a festival all to itself with special menus, cookery demos and live music. Many pubs and restaurants in and near Rye will be involved. Check out your feasting options on the link.
South Downs Dark Skies festival, various locations, until 23 Feb
Catch the end of this annual celebration of the South Downs being designated a dark sky site. This weekend concludes the guided stargazing events and tie-in activities with a night-time walk around the South Downs at Brighton, and stargazing at the iconic British Airways i360 on the seafront.
Thriller Live, The Hawth, Crawley 17 – 22 Feb
The long running West End show is on tour and dropping into Crawley with over two hours of Michael Jackson hits and dances covering pop, rock, soul and disco. Tickets from £25.50. It’s also coming to Portsmouth in June.
The Addams Family, The Old Market, Hove, Tues 18 – Sun 23 Feb
Looks who’s moved into the neighbourhood! From the writers of multi award-winning Jersey Boys, and performed by BTG Youth, this comic musical adaptation of everyone’s favourite Gothic family will feature a live orchestra.
Brighton Vegan Festival, Hilton Brighton Metropole, Sat Feb 22
Join more than 80 caterers, activists and demos for this festival of all things vegan and animal welfare. Tickets are £5 on the door.
The National Spirit Hurdle, Fontwell Park Racecourse, Sun 23 Feb
Full disclosure, I love horse racing and nothing beats the thrill of the early races of the jumps season, as Cheltenham hopefuls begin their campaigns. If that sounds like Greek to you, there’s still loads to love about a day out at Fontwell from the picturesque South Downs location, great action and fantastic on-course food and drink. This eight-race meeting features the Spirit Hurdle, a showcase for some of the best horses and jockeys out there.
The Grand Brighton Half Marathon, Brighton, Sun 23 Feb
The Brighton Half Marathon celebrates its 30 year anniversary this year. Even if you’re not taking part in the 13.1 mile run around the flat seafront course this event is always a great day out with an incredible atmosphere. There are youth races, wheelchair races and relays on the day, and for the big event itself, runners will be led out by a Penny Farthing parade.
Worthing Junior Parkrun, Worthing Leisure Centre, Sun 23 Feb
If a half marathon’s a bit of a stretch, take the kids along for the regular Parkrun at Worthing Leisure Centre. It starts at 9am and is free to join, but you’ll need to register if its your first time.
Classes and workshops at The Little Craftery, Worthing
You know that lovely meditative feeling you get from making something beautiful with your hands? The Little Craftery in Worthing has small bespoke classes in crafts and skills that do exactly that. This weekend make wet felted pots (Fri, 2pm, £26) or mosaics for beginners (Sun, 1pm, £45) and look out for upcoming classes and workshops in silver jewellery and ring making, candlemaking, wax wraps and handmade recycled paper.
Wellness Trail, Nymans, near Haywards Heath, Sat 1 Feb onwards
In our increasingly busy and connected lives, it’s more important than ever to take time out to just be in the moment with nature. From now into spring National Trust site Nymans has signposts around the garden with inspiring words in suitable places for reflection. You can also join guided ‘forest bathing’ wellness walks. It’s part of a focus on wellbeing this year to tie in with the ongoing exhibition of Quentin Blake drawings as the artist also works with hospitals.
Brighton Science Festival, various venues, Sat 15 – 23 Feb
This February half term will be the 15th instalment of Brighton Science Festival which aims to get tweens excited about science. Across the festival there’ll be heaps of family-friendly makes, workshops and brilliant (and gross) experiments, generally at low cost.
Out Of This World storytelling, crafts and magic Fishers Farm Park, Wisborough Green, 15 – 23 Feb
For half term there’ll be a series of special space-themed events for kids including storytelling sessions in Fishers Barn Theatre, crafts, daily magic show and family disco. If that isn’t enough to keep the little blighters entertained then you’ll also get all the usual farm activities thrown in with your ticket including tractor rides, tree climbing and animals.
Princess and knight children’s nature trail, Bodiam Castle, Mon 17 – Sun 23 Feb
National Trust snowdrop spots, Nymans, Sheffield Park and Petworth Park
There’s still time to see these cheery sentinels of spring brightening up the winter landscape, before they’re gone for the year. Nymans, Sheffield Park and Petworth are among the best spots to catch them.