Published: 05:27, 30 July 2019
| Updated: 08:00, 06 August 2019
Dinosaurs, Romans & familiar faces are all part of the school holiday fun in Kent. Here's our most up-to-date round-up:
There'll be fighting talk this weekend when the Roman Empire's finest soldiers compete in a show of strength and skill. Spectators can pick a side and cheer on as the teams compete in three contests between 10am and 5pm on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4. Visitors can grab a gladius and shield and join the Warrior School or explore an encampment. Details at english-heritage.org.uk or call 0370 333 1183.
There's no need to go to the coast to get a taste of some beach life - from this weekend, when one of Kent's biggest shopping centres brings back its summertime attraction.
A sandy beach, water to take a dip in, fairground rides and games - plus deck chairs to relax in while you feel the sand between your toes - it's all waiting for you at the specially constructed seaside replacement at The Village car park, which is back for a third year.There are new, thrilling rides this year to help your hot dogs and candy floss go down (not) and Punch and Judy shows and bubble workshops.
The fun's on offer through to Sunday, September 8 and costs £3 with rides and games costing extra. For details click here. If the Beach doesn't take your fancy, try a magic workshop with BGT star Jamie Raven. Find out more at jamieraven.co.uk/makingmagic
It may be near the River Medway, but Chatham is rarely thought of as a coastal region.... until now. The dockyard has a retro beach onsite all summer holidays., complete with traditional beach huts, deck chairs and... plenty of sand, all between now and Sunday, September 1, when kids also cost just £1 to get in, if booking online. The beach will be filled with nostalgia from British seaside holidays, so socks with sandals are permitted. Details at thedockyard.co.uk
You'll be able to breathe in the sea air as you relax in a deck chair on the Folkestone Harbour Arm this weekend and catch an open air film.
The Harbour Screen is showing a range of films throughout the summer on the arm, which has been renovated over the last few years, with millions being spent on it by the Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company. This weekend will see Disney's Brave showing for families at 11am on Saturday, August 3 and Tom Cruise as Maverick in the 80s classic Top Gun later on the same day at 8pm. Screenings run through to Saturday, September 7, with prices ranging from £2.50 for kid's club showings to £7.50 for the evening. Details at https://screen.folkestoneharbourarm.co.uk/
The family fun at the Margate amusement park runs throughout the holidays until Sunday, September 1 with the Roller Coast Festival. This week, until Sunday, August 4 is Carnival Week, helping mark Margate Carnival, with a street parade and crafts to make a colourful mask. It is also hosting open air cinema through the summer, with this year's Dumbo remake on Sunday, August 4. Go to dreamland.co.uk for details.
Step into a prehistoric world this summer holidays as the hotel and reserve with dinosaur shows featuring a moving T- Rex, which are included in the price of your entry ticket. Alongside the dino shows, visitors can try fossil digs at £2.50 per person and excavation digs at £5. Every Sunday until August 25 Dinosaur Forest will have the interactive shows four times a day. There will also be a fun quiz with a chance to win roarsome prizes, such as an authentic Spinosaurus tooth from the late Cretaceous period, with certificate of authenticity. There's also a lion cub and baby gorilla to spot elsewhere in the reserve. To book your tickets in advance - Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne both offer as much as 20% off if you book online - go to aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne
DINO EXPLORERS, HEMPSTEAD VALLEY
You can get up close to a Parasaurolophus, Stegosaurus, Dilophosaurus and T-Rex with the summer-long adventure Dino Explorers at the Gillingham centre. The roarsome attraction until Sunday, August 18. Visitors can have their pictures taken with the prehistoric beasts or join in with dino themed activities including a dino hunt in search of clues across the centre for a prize. Activities will be open throughout the day but adult supervision of children is required at all times.
A series of spectacles in the farm’s indoor Big Top arena each week features Peter Rabbit on Saturday, August 3 at intervals through the day from 10.30am to 5.30pm. There will also be a Forest School where you can try your hand at rope-braiding and scarecrow making or go on a rabbit hunt in Mr McGregor’s Garden. For details click here.
ACTIVE AUGUST, THE MALL MAIDSTONE
There will be a mix of healthy exercise activities and competitions throughout the month at the shopping centre in King Street. They include checkpoints with games, facts and exercises while wearing a pedometer, with a grand prize of a £500 shopping spree up for grabs, all between Monday, August 5 and Sunday, August 25. Visit the Ask Me More point in the Upper Level for a pedometer and interactive map.
Enjoy croquet with the Queen of Hearts or hat making with the Mad Hatter at Alice in Wonderland themed events at the Broadstairs shopping centre until Monday, August 12. Alice herself will also be at storytelling sessions on some days. Details at westwoodx.co.uk
Join Hopper the Rabbit for summer holiday fun, which runs at the park in Beltring, Paddock Wood, through to Sunday, September 1, daily from 10am. Besides the usual attractions there will be visits by children’s TV characters on selected days.On Tuesday, August 6, PJ Masks Catboy & Owlette will be visiting to meet and greet young visitors at intervals throughout the day.Find out more by visiting thehopfarm.co.uk
Youngsters can have a go at an Ant Trail around Emmetts Garden near Sevenoaks this weekend as part of activities through to Sunday, September 1, between 10am and 4pm daily. The trail costs £1 plus normal admission. To find your nearest National Trust activity this summer go to nationaltrust.org.uk
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More by this authorAngela Cole