Don’t be alarmed but the Dinosaurs are back and they have chosen to base themselves in Hampshire. It’s Dino Fest 2015, a monumental year of “roarsome” events for budding palaeontologists, eager explorers and their parents who may be looking for rain-proof indoor fun. Winchester is offering Dinosaurium at the City space, Winchester Discovery Centre for free. It’s an opportunity to see local artists create creatures from paper, card and other materials. There will be an Edwardian specimen jar with a ‘real-life’ dinosaur to examine. If you fancy going further afield, there are plenty of events happening across the county including Milestones Museum Basingstoke, SeaCity Museum, Southampton, Westbury, Eastleigh, Andover and Salisbury. If you go to more than one event you can collect stickers to enter some competitions, with prizes including an annual family culture card for Hampshire, or a torch-lit trail of the Dinosaur Gallery – a live science show at the Natural History Museum with a Museum expert at midnight.
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is offering extended opening hours, from 10am – 5pm for the whole of august, to provide plenty of educational entertainment for the summer holidays. To carry on the Dinosaur theme, you can book to see Dinosaurs at Dusk, in the largest stand-alone 360 degrees planetarium cinema in the UK, where you can lie back an watch moving images of dinosaurs above your head.
Head to the Running Horse in Littleton on Saturday 15th August, where there will be a ‘Family Fun Day’ including a bouncy castle and face-painting for children in the garden from 1pm. Whilst we’re in the village, Littleton Pre-School celebrates its 40th birthday this year and welcomes children from 2 years, so don’t forget to get your child registered for September. Based at the Millennium Memorial Hall which is set in the idyllic countryside grounds, it is a perfectly crafted space for indoor and outdoor play and learning. The pre-school is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday between 8:30am and 12:15pm, with extended sessions available until 3pm on and Wednesday.
Remember Chesney Hawkes? The Railway Inn will be giving you a chance to spend an evening with him on Friday 14th August at 7.30pm as he leads you through his musical journey with Percival Elliott and Anthony Starble. Of course, music fans might be at the Boom Town Festival, from the 13th – 17th August on the Matterley Estate. This may well be the Festival’s last year on the Estate due to planning restrictions, however the 2015 edition is set to go ahead.
The Hospital of St Cross Gardens will be open as part of the NGS Gardens Open for charity on Sunday 30th August, 2-5pm. Admission £4, children free. Or you can take a tour of the walkways and Church Tower on the 21st August at 7pm, tickets £20. The Hospital is one of England’s oldest continuing almshouses, founded in 1136 by Henry of Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror. It is the oldest charitable institution in the United Kingdom. It’s worth making a day of it by walking through the water meadows and rewarding yourself with some summer food and drink at the Wykeham Arms, or browsing at the Kingsgate Village shops: P&G Wells Booksellers, Cornflowers Gift Shop, Kingsgate Books and Prints and Kingsgate Wine and Provisions.
The brand new Graze Festival makes it debut on 30th August in Hazeley Fields, Twyford, offering local foods, pop up restaurants, music and performing arts (supplied by Hat Fair) with proceeds raised going to support local charities. There will be a dedicated kids area too, so plenty for the whole family to enjoy.