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SOUTHAMPTON’S BUMPER SUMMER LINE UP

From art and arty trails to a street beach, festival, theatre, on-the-water and wet weather fun, Visit Southampton’s summer programme is jam packed, with highlights including:


FORTY LIGHTHOUSES ILLUMINATE THE STREETS ON A FREE CHARITY ART TRAIL


Southampton and the Isle of Wight’s Cowes will provide the setting for a new free-to-experience public art trail this summer.  Scattered across both locations and raising money for Southampton Hospitals, Light the South will comprise 40 larger than life lighthouse sculptures, each designed by local and well renowned artists.  They will be accompanied by a further 40 mini lighthouses, decorated by local education groups – together providing the perfect excuse for some fun photo opportunities and a free day out. Launching on 13th July, the summer-long art trail will culminate in a charitable action at the end of September to raise vital funds for Southampton Children’s Hospital. For more information: https://lightthesouth.co.uk/

 

SOUTHAMPTON SERVES UP A FREE SUMMER OF SPORT AT THE WESTQUAY FANSTAND

Renamed the ‘Fanstand’ Westquay Shopping Centre’s attractive Esplanade will serve up a whole summer of free sport from the 1st July to the 8th September. Following The Wimbledon Experience (1-14 July), the action continues with the Olympics (26 July to 11 August) and Paralympics (28 August to 8 September). 

Alongside live screenings, the Fanstand – one of only nine officially designated Team GB fan zones in the UK - will have an outdoor bar with various activities and events planned too. Free to attend, those wanting to catch the action can just drop-in, alternatively register their interest via Eventbrite for all the latest updates, with the first 50 ticket holders to arrive each day set to receive a complimentary celebratory fan (while stocks last). For more information visit https://www.west-quay.co.uk/

 

BEACHY VIBES TAKE TO THE STREETS

A real beach club vibe will hit the streets of Southampton this summer, complete with sand, live music, a bar, pop-up food stalls and BBQ. Running from 22nd July to 1st September the Southampton Summer beach will be located within the pedestrianised precinct and Above Bar. Entry is free. www.summerbeachclubsouthampton.co.uk

 

GETTING ARTY AT SOUTHAMPTON CITY ART GALLERY


Printmaking and collage, clay sculpting, plaster cast and Pokémon-illustration are just some of the artist-led activities and workshops available to try at the Southampton City Art Gallery this summer. Running on multiple dates throughout July and August, with several timeslots per day, the 90-minute sessions are suitable for children aged 6yrs+ (from £8 per person). 

And for more artistic inspiration, the free-to-enter gallery is home to one of the finest art collections in the south of England and houses works by some of the world’s most cherished artists including: Reynolds, Gainsborough, Monet, Renoir, Lucien Freud and Anthony Gormley. For more information and to book the activities: https://southamptoncityartgallery.com/events Images here.

 

HISTORY AHOY WITH A TITANIC TWIST AT THE SEACITY MUSEUM


The SeaCity Museum  tells the story of Southampton’s coastal heritage, including a fascinating hands-on Titanic Story exhibition.  Every Thursday throughout the school summer holiday, the ‘Hands on History Discover the Titanic’ session enables families to learn more about the ship, its crew (many of whom were from Southampton) and passengers. From Morse Code, antique object handling and a science slot (including sink the Titanic and how an iceberg floats), it features plenty of hands-on activities. The session also takes in a tour of the museum’s fascinating and interactive Titanic exhibition, including the Disaster Room which describes the sequence of events from the time the ship struck the iceberg, to its sinking and the rescue of the passengers by the Carpathia. Tickets cost £8. www.seacitymuseum.co.uk

 

TUDOR HOUSE AND GARDENS HOSTS A SUMMER OF FUN


History, science, and crafting fun collide this summer at Southampton’s Tudor House and Gardens. Charting the past 800 years of the city’s history, the attraction is kickstarting its activities on 27th July with a summer fete. Running from 10-5pmthe event celebrates 112 years since the venue opened as a museum with fairy hunting, archery, craft activities and face painting all part of the family-friendly fun.  Entry has been reduced to £2.50 (equivalent to the 6p entry fee charged in 1912); then throughout the summer there are a series of 90-minute activity-led sessions from £8 per child. Highlights include ‘Hands On History WW2’ which combines history and science in a session featuring egg parachutes, designing gas masks and learning all about deflector bombs.  More art focused are the enchanted fairy-door and map making workshops, paper puppets and clay dogs. For more information www.tudorhouseandgarden.com (£7 adults, £6 children, under 5yrs free).

 

FROM BLUEY AND MADAGASCAR TO BUGSY MALONE, SOUTHAMPTON‘S THEATRICAL ENTERTAINMENT COVERS ALL THE AGES THIS SUMMER

Southampton’s theatreland will be luring audiences across the ages this summer with a selection of larger-than-life performances.  The programme starts with some wacky experiments at the London Science Museum’s Science Live show (30-31 July, tickets from £18), a crowd-pleasing adaptation of Bugsy Malone by the Mayflower Summer Youth Project (16-17 August, tickets from £16.50). While urban jungle antics will light up the stage during the Madagascar the Musical run (21-24 August, from £14.50), with toddler megastar Bluey bringing his Bluey’s Big Play into the city (27-39 August, tickets from £16). For the full programme list and to book tickets www.mayflowerstudios.org.uk

 

CELEBRATING SOUTHAMPTON’S CULTURAL DIVERSITY AT THE MELA FESTIVAL


Southampton’s cultural diversity will be celebrated on 13th July at the annual Mela Festival. Now in its second decade, this free colourful celebration, staged at the city’s Hoglands Park and is one of South East’s biggest, attracting huge crowds keen to experience modern and traditional Asian culture. Throughout the day there are music, dance, and family-friendly activities, with performances by renowned artists from around the globe. For more information https://artasia.org.uk/mela-festival

 

EXPERIENCE THE GOLDEN AGE OF STEAM ABOARD THE SS SHIELDHALL


As a maritime city, it’s only natural that some of the sporting fun should be on the water. Adding a nostalgic touch, the SS Shieldhall (a member of the National Historic Fleet) will be steaming along Southampton Water on a variety of expeditions to see the coastal sights including some with live music. As well as looking out to sea, guests can explore the volunteer-run vessel by heading below deck to see the impressive engine room with its original steam engines at work and also join the captain on the bridge and admire the traditional instruments and gleaming brass work.  Trips from £42 adults, £15 children and £99 for a family ticket. For more information and about the other summer sailings, visit www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk

 

WET WEATHER SOLUTIONS WITH ESCAPE ROOM AND OLD SCHOOL ARCADE FUN

For a fun wet-weather activity, alongside the museums and art galleries, Southampton has some interactive game experiences too. Elusion, Southampton’s top rated escape room company, is encouraging families to embark on its new Dark Arts Puzzle Box mystery-solving adventure this holiday Prices for the 90-minute sessions cost £45 per table. http://www.elusionrooms.com

While High Score, is a free-play amusement centre, packed with over 60 games to either reminisce or play for the first time. From old school classics including Space Invaders and PAC-man to pinball, sports games and the newest arcade fun, each 60-minute session costs £11.95 or save 20% on a family of four pass for £38.24. For more information www.highscorearcades.co.uk

For more information about what to do, see and where to stay in the city, www.visitsouthampton.co.uk

 

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