Tag Archives: Winchester Science Centre

Win Guide to March

Spring is approaching and it couldn’t come soon enough. Here’s our Win Guide to March:

Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Join a Forest Therapy session in Crab Wood on 3rd March. Organised by Adore Your Outdoors, the 2hr session focuses on guided meditation and mindfulness in a natural setting. For more details and to book your place, visit the website here.

Winchester City Mill will be celebrating World Book Day between Thursday 5th and Sunday 8th March. Dress up as your favourite character, help Mill-y the bookworm in the family trail and over the weekend listen to a storyteller. You can also take time to browse and buy second hand books and the shop will be accepting £1 World Book Day vouchers for eligible titles. For more details, please visit the website here.

Throughout March at the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium, the live show ‘DIY Science’ will be running. Experience experiments, tips and tricks for your own DIY scientific exploration. Usual entrance fees apply. For more details, visit the website.

Peppa Pig will be visiting the Theatre Royal Winchester with a live family show on Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 March. Get ready for a road-trip full of adventures. From castles to caves, dragons to dinosaurs and ice-creams to muddy puddles, this is a diary must for Peppa fans. For more details, see the trailer below. You can book tickets from the Theatre Royal website here.

The Theatre Royal is offering a great range of shows for grown-ups this month too. The Winchester Comedy Festival; Spring Gala 2020 takes place on 7 March. Treat yourself to an evening of comedy featuring Hal Cruttenden, Mike Cox, James Dowdeswell and James Gill. A few days later on 11 March, you can spend ‘An Evening with John Illsley of Dire Straits‘, including some hits and a Q&A.

For some drama, why not book tickets to see ‘Revenge’ directed by Louise Jameson (Eastenders, Doc Martin, Doctor Who, Bergerac, Tenko). “A taut thriller full of twists and turns!” The Stage, you can catch the production between 12 & 14th March. The multi award-winning Mark Bruce Company will be visiting Winchester, 17 & 18 March with their latest production, ‘Return to Heaven’, a ‘beautiful horror, laced with the darkest of humour’. Or you could book for the stirring new adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ between 19 & 21 March from “One of the most innovative, audacious companies working in contemporary English Theatre”, The Stage. For full programme details at the Theatre Royal this month or to book tickets, visit the website here.

Further down the hill at the Chesil Theatre, Liz Lochhead’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ opens on 28 March and will run until 4 April. Or why not join Flight Captain, David Baldwin, on 20 March for a Sword Combat workshop, subject to availability. For details and to book, visit the website here.

For a rather special dining experience this month, visit the Fusion Tasting Dinner at Kyoto Kitchen on 10 March. Japanese cuisine will meet German wine during this intimate tasting evening. Kyoto Kitchen – a boutique restaurant serving authentic Japanese food and The WineBarn – a wine merchant specialising in German wine, will be hosting the experience on Tuesday 10th March in Winchester. The evening will kick off with an aperitif, followed by five courses paired with five premium wines. Tickets are £55 per person. To reserve your place, please visit here.

We’ll keep you posted on more events on Twitter this month @Win_Guide. Enjoy, one and all!

Win Guide to April

Happiness is a place called Winchester, according to the Royal Mail UK Happiness Index. The survey carried out in early 2019 measured happiness according to eight factors: well-being, life expectancy, earnings, inequality, carbon emissions, crime, deprivation and access to health services. So with our happiness top spot confirmed, let’s find out what’s going on to keep us smiling this month…

Tickets have sold out for Martin Kemp who will be presenting 80’s gold at the Guildhall on Friday 5 April. If you missed out, fear not because the Magic of Motown returns for its third year on 12 April at 7.30pm. Listen to 36 classics amid glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves and superb musicianship. For details and to book tickets, visit the website here.

Whilst we are on the subject of glitzy costumes, the fashionistas of Winchester will be delighted to hear that Winchester Fashion week takes place this month, 29 April – 4 May. Details will be announced on their website soon so keep an eye out for them here.

The Theatre Royal Winchester have an exciting programme of cultural treats. Rambert 2 will be performing on 2nd April at 7.30pm. Rambert is world famous as Britain’s original dance company. Rambert2 takes the company’s reputation for bold moves with technical virtuosity, and introduces a new generation. Check out the trailer below and visit the website for more details.

David Baddeil’s ANiMALCOLM looks great on 11 & 12 April. Described as a vibrant, energetic and gloriously funny musical from the award-winning Story Pocket Theatre, ANiMALCOLM combines physical theatre, puppetry and the company’s outstanding storytelling style to bring David Baddiel’s magical and wonderfully comic story to the stage. There’s also a Young Theatre Royal workshop opportunity attached to the touring production. Young people aged 7 – 11 years are being invited to the theatre on 10 April to develop animal characters, working as an ensemble and then present a piece on stage. The workshop costs £50 and includes a ticket to see ANiMALCOLM. For full details, visit the theatre website here.

The Winchester Science Centre will be exploring the Science of Sweets this Easter holiday. Tickets are free when you pay for general admission. Described as an epic live science show featuring a sugar flame thrower and exploding fat, the sugary fun takes place daily at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm between 5 – 23 April. For more details, visit the website here.

For some egg-citing Easter holiday fun, head over to the Westgate Museum for an Easter trail, 10am – 4pm over the school holidays, 6 – 20 April. The City Mill will also be hosting its annual trail, in partnership with Cadbury, 6 – 18 April. Winchester Cathedral is offering a free Easter trail for children aged 4 – 11 years. Chawton House will also be hosting an easter egg hunt and other appropriately themed activities.

Last but not least, don’t forget to visit Sparsholt College for their annual Easter Bunny Event. This year, Superbunny is visiting the village, 19 – 20 April. Meet real rabbits, dress up as your favourite superhero or villain and enjoy games and craft activities. There will also be a trail on offer too with a chocolate prize. For more details, visit the website here.

We’ll be bringing you more updates on Twitter @Win_Guide throughout the month. Have an eggcellent time, one and all!

Win Guide to July

It’s summer in the city.  Let’s see some of the highlights on offer this month:

It’s the Winchester Festival, 7 to 15 July.  Celebrating its twentieth year, this is one of the city’s oldest festivals.  Enjoy nine days of curated music, talks, drama and visual arts in a programme that includes homages to Rachmaninoff, Queen Victoria, Shakespeare and, in the year that marks the 200th anniversary of her death, Jane Austen. There will also be Winchester walks on offer. For full details, visit the website here.

The Chesil Theatre will also be celebrating Jane Austen with their sold out production of Persuasion, 15 to 22 July.  Fear not, if you missed out on a ticket this time, as Chamber Opera Tours present Jane Austen’s Persuasion: A New Musical Drama at the Theatre Royal Winchester.  For more details, and to book tickets, visit here.  The Bank of England will be unveiling a brand new £10 note at Winchester Cathedral on 18 July, featuring Jane Austen from 2.30pm. Registration for tickets has closed now but the Cathedral will remain open as normal.  For other Jane Austen events, don’t forget to visit the Jane Austen 200 website.

The Pedal, Paddle, Pace triathlon will take place on 16 July, in support of Macmillan.  With a 20k cycle ride, 5k run and 2k kayak (supplied), individuals or groups can enter.  PPP was established in 2004 and has raised over £100,000 since. For more details on how to participate, visit the website here.

The 2017 edition of the Winchester Science Festival will take place 28 – 30 July.  There are plenty of events for all age groups, with talks and participatory exhibits.  The festival takes place at the Winchester Discovery Centre.  For a full schedule of events and details about how to book passes, visit the festival website here.

Don’t forget to take a look at the Popcorn in the Planetarium  programme at the Winchester Science Centre. It’s a good chance to watch a big blockbuster movie screening for little ones, teens and grown-ups in the planetarium cinema space.  For the full schedule, visit here.

Finally, for food connoisseurs, keep an eye on the Hampshire Fare Food Festival running all month.  For a tasty programme of events across the county, visit the website here.

We’ll bring you more tips on Twitter throughout the month @Win_Guide, meanwhile enjoy!

Win Guide to August

Dino Fest 2015
Dino Fest 2015

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.

Running Horse, Littleton
Running Horse, Family Fun Day

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.

Chesney Hawkes at the Railway Inn
Chesney Hawkes at the Railway Inn

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
The Hospital of St Cross

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.

Graze Festival
Graze Festival

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.

Win Guide to February

Chococo Winchester
Chococo Winchester

Winter is dragging its heels, isn’t it? But February is not without its charms.  It’s a short month, which means Spring is on her way at last.  The word February unsurprisingly comes from Latin ‘februa’, a cleansing or purification ritual in readiness for Spring – which explains the rain.  The Anglo-Saxons called it ‘Solmonath’, which can be translated as ‘Mud Month’, and according to the scholar ‘Bede’ was also known as the month of cakes, after the old English custom of offering cakes to the gods to promote fertility as they sewed the seeds and ploughed the fields.  If that’s an excuse to indulge in the cold, we’ll take it. We’d recommend the gluton-free carrot cake at Chococo, washed down with their classic hot chocolate.

Theatre Alibi presents I Believe in Unicorns
Theatre Alibi presents
I Believe in Unicorns

If you know a 6 to 12 year – old, there’s an opportunity to inspire their love of storytelling and reading this month.  Theatre Alibi will be presenting Michael Morpurgo’s popular children’s story ‘I Believe In Unicorns’, adapted by Daniel Jamieson, 5th – 7th February at the Theatre Royal Winchester.  Running at one hour, it’s described as a 4 – star ‘evening of thrilling theatre’ by The Guardian. Whilst you’re in a theatre going mood and if you fancy a trip to London, Winchester – based theatre director Deborah Edgington’s (Chesil Theatre, Forest Forge) critically acclaimed production of Muswell Hill by Torben Betts is running 17th February – 14th March at the chic North London Park Theatre, recipient of the Best Fringe Theatre in The Stage Awards 2015.

February is, of course, Love month, which might explain the exponential increase in bugaboos recently, so with Valentine’s Day looming on 14th February, there’s no shortage of restaurants ready to welcome the lovers in. Lainston House Hotel is offering a £110/head eight – course tasting dinner, including bubbles and canapés on arrival. The Black Rat is offering a sumptuous £50/head set menu, and the River Cottage set menu is £35/head. Booking is obviously advised. Alternatively, folk/punk singer-songwriter Frank Turner will be playing on home soil at the Guildhall.

Shrove Tuesday
Family Bushcraft – Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday  – or pancake-day – also features this month on 17th February, which marks 40 days before Easter and is a chance for a feast before going without for Lent (if you’re that way inclined). The Sir Harold Hillier Arboretum and Gardens is offering an event called Family Bushcraft – Shrove Tuesday Cooking On the Fire. The morning session is sold out, but there’s an afternoon session now available 1.30pm – 4pm, £10 per child with an accompanying adult and suitable for 3-12 – year – olds. It’s part of their half-term fun activities at the Gardens. They’re also offering a Children’s Falconry Day on 19th and family nature trails every day.

For some indoor half-term fun, Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium will be holding an exciting, daily programme of special events for the holidays, from Saturday 14 February to Sunday 22th February. Holiday opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday , 10am to 5pm. The City Mill is offering some half-term seasonal baking,  to show how the freshly milled wholemeal flour can be combined with a variety of local produce to make tasty treats.

To run off the cakes, the 33rd annual Winchester 10km Road Race with be held on Sunday 22nd February 2015, starting outside the Winchester Guildhall and proceeding up the historic High Street and along Jewry Street before heading out towards the village of Kingsworthy.  The return leg passes through the village of Headbourne Worthy and back towards Winchester before finishing at Winchester Football Club ground.

Image Credit: Jonty Wilde
Image Credit: Jonty Wilde

Finally, we suggest venturing to Jane Austen’s house in Chawton on 26th February for the event Stargazing: Poetry with Simon Armitage (CBE) & Moora Dooley. The evening will start at 6.30pm at the museum for readings of star – related poetry before walking through the unlit streets of the village to Chawton House to gaze up at the sky, before finishing with more poetry and refreshments in the Great Hall.  Tickets are £10.


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.

The Winchester Science Festival

Matt Denton's - Mantis Robot
Matt Denton’s – Mantis Robot

Fancy seeing Winchester engineer Matt Denton‘s two tonne Turbo Diesel-powered Mantis robot – the biggest all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world? Or how about deconstructing the Hat Fair with Dr Ken Farquhar as he explores the science behind juggling, circus and the like. Perhaps you’d like to launch into some rocket science with Lucy Rogers?  If you haven’t already guessed, Winchester is readying itself for a scintillating science-tastic take-over at the Discovery Centre 25-27 July, with the return of the annual Winchester Science Festival, launched in 2012. The festival will feature science, music, comedy and hands-on exhibits all weekend with plenty on offer for the whole family.

The Ugly Animal Preservation Society
The Ugly Animal Preservation Society

Friday’s programme is geared towards younger science fans. Terry Harvey-Chadwick’s Fire Show at 10am will feature some explosive demonstrations with his brand of ‘fun science’. At 11am, step-aside Superman, Channel 4’s Simon Watt will be taking a closer look at genetic mutations and revealing that we might be closer to the X-men than we thought with his talk ‘Mutants. What Are they Like?’. Winchester Science Centre’s Alex Boxley will be talking us through the universe at 3pm and at 5pm award winning Dr Mini Saaj will be exploring Nature-Inspired Robots For Science & Medicine. Adults can pop along in the evening to Frogs and Friends, a comedic talk with The Ugly Animal Preservation Society’s professor of comedy, Simon Watt. And its worth noting that all the festival evening events are for 15s and over.

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Saturday’s programme starts at 10am when Dr Radu Sporea assisted by Andrew Pye will lead us in a participatory look at modern photography with hints and tips for practitioners. At midday, Dr Jock McOrist will be making the elusive String Theory accessible for everyone. After lunch there are two opportunities to listen to the extraordinary astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. To round off the day, Bright Club Guildford will present an evening of comedy, music, art, research, science and performance. On Sunday, budding Bear Grylls‘ can take a journey into the extremities with Prof Mike Tipton exploring physiological and psychological responses to harsh environments. Sally Le Page will be leading us on a lighthearted romp through the bizarre world of animal sex lives with Secrets of Sex. The festival reaches its climax with Being 747, where science meets music in a pop rock group inspired by the work of David Attenborough.

The Mobile Planetarium
The Mobile Planetarium

Various exhibits will be on offer on-site throughout the festival, including the Mini Professors, free group science sessions for pre-schoolers with songs and experiments. The Soton Astrodome c/o the University of Southampton will be running a mobile planetarium hourly all weekend from 11.15am. Shows are free but advanced booking is advised. The National Oceanography Centre will be bringing along the PufferSphere, a glowing 2m digital globe, which shows complex climate and weather systems.

Ticketed talks are available online with SEE Tickets  where you can book a full festival pass, daytime or evening passes or just for specific talks. Children accompanied by an adult go free all weekend and there are some free events in the programme. For full programme listings which may vary visit winchesterscifest.org.

Winchester Science Festival
Winchester Science Festival

Winchester Science Festival is run by the not-for-profit Winchester 
Science Foundation who aim to champion and celebrate science with the public, raise the profile of women in science, promote science education and science communication and raise the awareness of Hampshire science.