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Bank holiday and half term things to do in Kent May and June 2017

By Angela Cole

Need some inspiration for the half term holiday? Our guide to what's on in Kent for all the family is brimming with ideas - check it out.

 

BETTESHANGER COUNTRY PARK

Although 1,00 extra tickets were released for the park's summer event - the visit of The Beast, the world's largest inflatable obstacle course - almost all have been snapped up. The 272m Beast is at the park from Friday, May 26 to Bank Holiday Monday, but there are now only tickets left for a late night party night on Thursday, May 25. Book at betteshanger-park.co.uk/beast Other half term events include archery classes and a family forest skills day on Bank Holiday Monday from 10am to 2pm, costing £25. For details go to betteshanger-park.co.uk

 

 

Can you snap up the last of the tickets to tackle The Beast at Betteshanger

Can you snap up the last of the tickets to tackle The Beast at Betteshanger?

BIG CAT SANCTUARY

The Smarden sanctuary which has more than 40 wild cats will hold a charity fundraising lunch on Sunday, May 28 with live music, face painting, raffle and the chance to meet star of Tigers About the House, managing director Giles Clark at the London Beach Hotel nearby in Ashford Road, Tenterden. Book in advance by calling Tanith on 07740 196973 or emailing accounts@londonbeach.com 

  

BLUEWATER

Besides the shopping there will be free family craft fun with a beach theme on the lower mall on Bank Holiday Monday until Thursday, June 1, for free. For budding Lewis Hamiltons, there’s an opportunity to get behind the wheel with the London Karting Company from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4, for £5. There's also the usual play areas, nature trails outside and, over the half term break, kids eat free at Jamie's Italian. Details at bluewater.co.uk

 

CANTERBURY TALES

Activities at the city centre attraction are dedicated to magical patterns with Maypole dancing, hair plaiting, kaleidoscopes and special Astrolabe demonstrations where kids can learn about the stars. All activities are on from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4. For details go to canterburytales.org.uk

 

CHARTWELL

Explore the garden and woodland to find out how the Churchill children played outdoors from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4, between 10am and 4pm each day. You can also get on with ticking off your 50 Things. The trail is £1 with normal admission costs.

 

Have fun this half term with the National Trust Picture Oskar Proctor

Have fun this half term with the National Trust Picture: Oskar Proctor

CHATHAM DOCKYARD 

Climb on board our the pirate ship HMS Gannet for half term pirate adventures at the historic site from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4. For one week only there will be a beach, treasure hunt and there will be kids' birthday parties available from Sunday, May 21. To book and for more details visit thedockyard.co.uk

 

Join the pirates for a party this half term on HMS Gannet at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Join the pirates for a party this half term on HMS Gannet at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham

COBTREE PARK

Get your little ones to take their teddy bear on a picnic at the Aylesford park this bank holiday. The fun starts at 11.30am on Tuesday, May 30, with entry costing £5.

 

CRANBROOK

The town is going to go nuts this bank holiday weekend, with a street festival celebrating the Chelsea Fringe festival on Sunday, May 28 and Bank Holiday Monday between 10am and 4pm both days. Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May will be the first time the town has been part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival. Centred along the high street, the museum, Union Mill and St Dunstan’s Church will all be open, plus there will be street artist spray painting, chainsaw carving, morris dancing, basket weaving and other activities. 
 

DIGGERLAND

The site in Strood has some 20 different rides and drives, and more than 100 machines, so has something for everyone. Experience the thrills of spinning around fast in an awesome digger bucket on the Spindizzy ride, operate a giant JCB 806 digger or race around in a go-kart plus be lifted 50ft in the air by the Skyshuttle or whisked around on the Dig-a-Round carousel. To see opening times and more visit diggerland.com or call 0871 2277007. There will be a 20% off voucher inside next week's KM What's On supplement.

Diggerland in Strood

Diggerland in Strood

DOVER CASTLE

The annual Second World War event runs over the bank holiday weekend from Saturday, May 27 to Bank Holiday Monday, 10am to 5pm each day, with explosive battles, military camps, talks, displays and music. For details visit english-heritage.org.uk

 

DREAMLAND

The Margate park opens its doors for a new season on Friday, May 26, unveiling its fresh creative makeover with a new design and renovated rides. There will be a weekend of live music and pop-up entertainment on the new outdoor Scenic Stage and for half term family favourites FUN DMC will have their daytime hip-hop block party for kids on Bank Holiday Monday. Details at dreamland.co.uk

 

DRUSILLAS

Just outside Kent, the animal park has Hello Kitty popping in on Bank Holiday Monday and PAW Patrol’s Chase and Marshall on Wednesday, May 31. There's also plenty of zoo magic, including meeting Olivia the giant ant eater, and adventure. The site is off the A27 in Alfriston, for details go to drusillas.co.uk

 

EMMETTS GARDEN

Take the National Trust's 50 Things trail by exploring the garden and seeking out where are the best spots to tick off your list. £1 per trail, normal admission charges apply, running from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4, between 10am and 4pm each day.

FORUM

From Saturday, May 27 to Saturday, June 3, young visitors to the Sittingbourne shopping centre can follow in the footsteps of their favourite pirates and search for treasure every day between 11am and 4pm, to mark the release of the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, Dead Men Tell No Tales, they can hunt for pirate posters hidden in store windows and collect their loot. On Saturday, June 3 there will also be a fancy dress day as pirates and a Captain pirate will be around to meet them. There will also be an X Marks the Spot competition for teenagers – a selfie contest to win a £10 voucher from the stores. For details and to enter, visit theforumsc.co.uk

 

There will be pirate-themed activities at the Forum Shopping Centre in Sittingbourne

There will be pirate-themed activities at the Forum Shopping Centre in Sittingbourne

FLIP OUT

Keep boredom at bay with a bounce to get you through the last days of the school break, with a visit to the Chatham site with wall to wall trampolines, free-running zones and a giant foam pit, plus a dedicated area for under 5s. Open 10am to 8pm Mondays to Thursdays, 10am to 10pm Fridays and Saturdays and 9am to 6pm on Sundays, you can get your loyalty card stamped for a free visit on your fifth session – with double stamps during half term. Details at flipout.co.uk/chatham

GULBENKIAN

Inspired by one of the best-loved fairy tales and featuring famous characters from Little Red Riding Hood, Suites Curieuses bring mischievous plays for ages two and up on Sunday, May 28. Bambert writes stories with his only companions the characters he has created in them - until he sets them free in Bambert's Book of Lost Stories on Saturday, June 3. On Sunday, June 4 there will be a squishy, squashy show for babies, SPONGE and a multi-sensory puppet show, Inside, comes to the Canterbury theatre on Wednesday, May 31. To book visit thegulbenkian.co.uk or call 01227 769075.

 

HEVER CASTLE

The castle explores the Edwardian era from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4 with the chance to experience life at a grand country estate just before the First World War. There will be traditional games and interactive exhibitions to bring the period to life. Visit hevercastle.co.uk

 

HOLE PARK

History comes to life at the Napoleonic re-enactment weekend at the estate near Rolvenden on Sunday, May 28 and Bank Holiday Monday between 10am and 5pm both days. Organised by the Napoleonic Association of Great Britain, it will transport visitors back to when Europe was in the grip of French dictator Napoleon with thrilling re-enacted battles, a tented camp and horses plus stalls, a hog roast and real ale tent. New this year will also be the chance to book a tour to experience battle preparations such as getting the canons ready to fire. Admission is £7 and £1 for children including entry to the gardens. To book and for more details go to holepark.com or call 01580 241344 or 241386.

 

Step back in time for the Napoleonic weekend at Hole Park in Rolvenden

Step back in time for the Napoleonic weekend at Hole Park in Rolvenden

HOP FARM

Take your little superheroes down to the Hop Farm Family Park from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4, between 10am and 5pm, for a Superhero themed day with a magic show, Krypton Disco with a DJ and a superhero training camp where little ones can earn themselves a Superhero certificate! Visitors could also get to meet some super heroes in the flesh. There will also be the usual rides, inflatables and animals to meet. To find out more go to thehopfarm.co.uk

 

IGHTHAM MOTE

Follow marvellous mice cousins Angelina and Henry on their camping trip in a garden trail each day from Saturday, May 27 between 10am and 4pm. Join the children’s literature favourites and tick off No.45 of your 50 Things to do Before you're 11 3/4 with the chance to use a compass. Normal admission charges apply, 50p per trail.

 

Enjoy a day out at the National Trust's properties in Kent this half term holiday Picture John Millar

Enjoy a day out at the National Trust's properties in Kent this half term holiday Picture: John Millar

KENT LIFE

Sheep take centre stage at half term at the heritage farm park with Sheepstakes, from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4. Flock to see the animals shed their winter coats in skillful sheep-shearing demonstrations from Tuesday to Saturday while sheep dogs, Jake and Barney, will take time out from their herding duties to meet the crowds. Opening from 10am to 6pm. For details call 01622 763936, email enquiries@kentlife.org.uk or visit kentlife.org.uk.

The Sheepstakes come to Kent Life this half term

The Sheepstakes come to Kent Life this half term

KENT WILDLIFE TRUST

Get creative by turning recycled plastic bottles, cartons and bags into your own unique wild animal, bug or bird at the trust's Tyland Barn, Maidstone on Wednesday, May 31 between 10.30am or 2.30pm. All materials supplied - just bring your imagination! Suitable for over fives, all children need to be accompanied by an adult. Entry £6, for details go to kentwildlife.org.uk

 

KNOLE  

See how a Tudor lady dressed in many layers of costume for a visit to court, including replica handling items used by wealthy people in the 16th century throughout the day on Bank Holiday Monday. The event is free, but donations are welcomed.

 

LEEDS CASTLE

Step back in time to the Middle Ages and see fully-armoured jousters battling it out in a jousting contest, see living history encampments and demonstrations of firepower. Included with the price of admission, all between Saturday, May 27 and Bank Holiday Monday. Visit leeds-castle.com 

 
There's jousting fun over the bank holiday weekend at Leeds Castle near Maidstone

There's jousting fun over the bank holiday weekend at Leeds Castle near Maidstone

LULLINGSTONE CASTLE

Step back in time to a village with living history displays, campfires, tents and medieval weapons, courtesy of the Woodvilles medieval re-enactment group on Sunday, May 28 and Bank Holiday Monday. You can also try your hand with archery sessions. Entry is £10 with under 15s free. For details go to lullingstonecastle.co.uk or call 01322 862114.

There will be a medieval weekend at Lullingstone Castle over the late May bank holiday weekend

There will be a medieval weekend at Lullingstone Castle over the late May bank holiday weekend

 

MAIDSTONE MUSEUM

Meet Rex the dinosaur – if you dare – at the museum on Saturday, May 27. He’ll be appearing at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm for free, and afterwards, young visitors can have a go at making their own dino tail at a craft workshop for £3. For details visit museum.maidstone.gov.uk

The Hawking Centre's Beasts Roadshow comes to Penshurst Place this half term

The Hawking Centre's Beasts Roadshow comes to Penshurst Place this half term

 

PENSHURST PLACE

The half term holiday events at Penshurst run from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4. Children can explore the gardens with a trail sheet of pictures of Penshurst Place between 10.30am and 6pm and you can then share your own pictures of the site on social media with #SnappedAtPenshurst to win a family season ticket. There will be craft activities including making a bee, frog or designing a map from noon at the Old Coach House. The Beasts Roadshow, which runs on Sunday, May 28 and Bank Holiday Monday, between 11am and 5pm brings creepy crawlies, snakes and a hedgehog, among other animals from The Hawking Centre. For details go to penshurstplace.com/whats-on

 

PORT LYMPNE RESERVE

Children's presenter Andy Day will be immersing himself at the Hythe reserve's Dinosaur Forest on Bank Holiday Monday, bringing his Dinosaur Raps to the site and meeting young visitors. There will also be dinosaur mask making, digging and guided tours with rangers, plus the Dinosaur Forest Challenge. Pop along to check out more than 100 lifesized dinosaurs in the forest and get the chance to meet Andy, all between 9.30am and 3.45pm. For details and to book online visit bit.ly/PLdinoraps

Children's presenter Andy Day will be at Port Lympne Reserve in Hythe

Children's presenter Andy Day will be at Port Lympne Reserve in Hythe

SMALLHYTHE PLACE

Join in arts and crafts and decorate a special memory with a handmade photo frame or fashion a kite between 11am and 1pm from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 4. Price £2 per child, normal admission charges apply

 

SPA VALLEY RAILWAY

Kids can travel for just £1 on the May Bank Holiday when they visit with an adult. Enjoy a ride on board a classic heritage train to Eridge on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28. For details visit spavalleyrailway.co.uk Popular children’s characters Bing and Flop will be at the railway on Bank Holiday Monday, making personal appearances for passengers arriving on trains from Tunbridge Wells West through the day. 

 

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