School’s out for summer!

Winchester Cathedral workshops
Cathedral workshops

What’s on in Winchester for kids this summer? It’s officially here and the excitement is palpable.  Hampshire schools break up on the 24th July meaning only one thing: summer holiday time! No more school until September.  Bright mornings, long days and balmy evenings. Here’s a non-exhaustive flavour of what Winchester has on offer to keep the kids educated and entertained this July and August.

Firefly Theatre School
Firefly Theatre School

For budding thespians, the Firefly Theatre School is offering two weeks of summer schools suitable for 6-16 year olds at the Tower Arts Centre (Kings School) and in the Winchester College QEII Theatre. Week one (11 – 15 August) will culminate in an all-singing, all-dancing and all-acting version of Treasure Island and week two (18 – 22 August) will take inspiration from the Brothers Grimm to devise fairy-tales. It’s £150 for a week, £250 for two and there’s a 10% sibling discount available. Alternatively, Winchester Stagecoach will be running morning musical theatre workshops at Westgate School for children and teenagers 4 – 8 August, 10am – 12pm for £130.

Matt Denton's - Mantis Robot
Winchester Science Festival

Junior Einsteins will be pleased to hear that from 24 July to 1 September, Winchester Science Centre is open 10am-5pm at weekends and 9am-5pm on weekdays (including the bank holiday) offering bonus science shows and special, live planetarium shows. The science shows are at no extra cost to Science centre visitors and, running at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm, will explore  oceans, space, the weather, flight and nature. 5-12 year – olds can pack their lab coats for Mad Science camp at Prince’s Mead School, 18 – 22 August at £35/child per day or £150 for the week. Activities include safe-cracking, yucky yeast and the slime Olympics. And don’t forget, science fans can also indulge in the Winchester Science Festival this weekend, 25-27 July.

RAW Adventure Camps
RAW Adventure Camps

Meanwhile, outdoor and sporty treats abound this summer in the city. Super Camps will be running at Winchester College for 4-14 year olds, combining sport, art and play at £42 per day or £170 per week. 7-14 year old kids can go tribal with Raw Adventure, leaving iPhones and tablets behind to reconnect with nature and learn how to survive in the great outdoors. Tennis camp is on in Littleton (21 July – 29 August) for Andy Murray’s in the making, with half-days available for the mini-Wimbledon champs (4-7yrs) and full days for junior versions (8-14yrs). The ‘Players Camp’ for 11-15 year – old serious competitors is running 11 – 15 August.  Prices range between £12/day and £80/week and prizes and certificates will be on offer for children attending full – week camps. Limited places are available for the Winchester Rugby Football Club summer academy for under 9s and under 12s with medals to be won each day (12 – 15 August).

Lantern’s Children’s Centre in Bereweeke Road is offering a Kids Summer Play scheme for 4-11 year – old children with disabilities or additional needs from 28 July.  Activities/trips could include LEGOLAND, Longleat safari park, Marwell zoo, dance, arts and craft and swimming at a budget – friendly £12.50/day or £15 on trip days.

© Hannes Lochner (SOUTH AFRICA) Curiosity and the cat
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition © Hannes Lochner

Winchester Cathedral will be running activities and workshops for children 7 and upwards on 19th, 21st,  26th and 28th August, 10am – 12pm for £2 including a drink and a biscuit.  Adults are welcome to stay at no extra cost but booking is advised. Professional LEGO experts will be coaching children 5yrs and upwards at the Winchester Discover Centre in the art of building a castle on 12th August. The entry fee is £9 and includes £5 worth of LEGO to take home. Visitors might also like to take advantage of the free Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition on loan from the Natural History Museum and running until 21st September.

Art Start
Art Start

Finally, Art Start will be leading 6-11 year olds under the sea, into the carnival and off to the great outdoors with three weekly sessions at Henry Beaufort School.  Led by local artist Donna Vokes, children will be encouraged to explore their imaginations and create a masterpiece or two at their own pace. Prices vary according to the number of days booked and range between £30 and £230.

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