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Get set for a summer of fun in Basingstoke and Deane

With the summer holidays fast approaching you may be wondering how to entertain the little ones or not so little ones. As ever, Love Basingstoke is here to share the ultimate summer holiday to do list!

Free fun

Fri-YAY from Love Basingstoke presents is back every Friday in August with a range of free events in War Memorial Park and The Top of the Town from 11am to 3pm. Based on the theme of a summer of sport and play you’ll find face painting, crafts, a pop up mini golf course, BMX show, a caving experience and much more. We are excited that Village Hotel will be hosting two pop up events in War Memorial Park too! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for details and pick up a brochure in town.

Enjoy Summer Showtime at Festival Place. Every Thursday from 27 July to 31 August in Porchester Square you’ll find colourful performances, amazing circus skills, and plenty of crafting – all brought to you by Bertha the Big Blue Elephant!

The Malls has a variety of events on over the summer holidays including kite making, walkabouts and a circus skills workshop.

While you are in Basingstoke town centre check out the Streets Alive trail. Local artists have been painting planters, benches and telecoms cabinets around the Top of the Town. Download the Trail map or the Trailtale app to find them all. You can also follow the High Street Safari free augmented reality trail. Just scan the QR codes at each of the locations to follow the story!

We are so lucky in Basingstoke and Deane to have lots of play areas to help the kids burn energy and get active outside.  Pack up a picnic, grab your blankets and take advantage of these wonderful areas. If you are looking for somewhere new to try then check out our picturesque picnic blog. On a super hot day Chineham Park Splashpad and the paddling pool at Eastrop Park are both perfect places to cool down. Don’t forget your sun cream! Or why not take their bikes and scooters and head to one of the many skate parks in the borough.

Outdoor fun

Four Kingdoms Adventure Park and Family Farm has a beach area and foam party along with over twenty play zones, a petting zoo, laser tag, giant slides and pedal boats. There is a café and refreshments on site or take your own picnic.

If you want to get up close with animals then Miller’s Ark Animals, is a must. It’s only open on selected days over the holidays and tickets need to be purchased in advance.

If you fancy some super fresh fruit then head to Bourne Valley Pick Your Own. Or perhaps you are looking for flowers to brighten up your home, the Flowerpot offer pick your own sunflowers during August. You’ll also be able to meet their animals, take a ride on the barrel train, play on the bales and visit the sunflower shack for a drink and ice cream!

You’ll find a sensory trail, wildlife spotter challenge and summer of play at The Vyne.

Train lovers should head over to Viables and take a ride or two on the mini trains. The Basingstoke and District Model Engineering Club is holding a public running day on Sunday 6 August 11 to 4pm. Fares are £1.50 per person.

Visit one of the borough’s indoor attractions

Explore the museums streets, shops and buildings of Milestones Living History Museum to discover how people used to live. Enjoy a living history trail (extra fee applies) and find intriguing items from their collections! New for summer 2023 you can discover the extraordinary in the everyday with the brand new Wash Day exhibition. From domestic living to household gems, what will you find? We love the fact that you can pay once and enjoy unlimited visits to the museum all year with your ticket.

The Willis Museum will be running a number of robot themed craft workshops on selected Thursdays in August. You can enjoy making cardboard tube robots, robot greetings cards, robot masks and robot puppets. Pre-booking is required and cost £3 per child.

From 1 July until 3 September Whitchurch Silk Mill will have a play town for younger visitors to enjoy a world of imaginative play in areas set up as vets, nursery, doctors, grocery shop, café and a hairdressers. There will also be extra play trays outside. Enjoy from 10.30am to 5pm during opening hours on Tuesday to Sunday plus Bank Holiday Monday. Pick up refreshments in the Mill Café whilst you visit.

Enjoy a show

THE smallest FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD returns for it’s third year to Proteus Creation Space on Saturday 22 July, the perfect way to kick off the holidays! High School Musical will be on at The Haymarket in a Rare Productions Youth Theatre performance from 27 to 29 July. Enjoy a magical and mischievous immersive show for families who love fairies with Scratchbuilt Production’s Fairy Finders at Proteus Creation Space from 29 July to 6 August.

Arts and crafts

For some fantastic arts and crafts ideas take a look at Junk Jodie or treat the kids to a craft kit from Craft Kits N Bits. If you can see a rainy day approaching then pottery painting is the perfect indoor activity. Visit Pots 2 Paint at Viables and grab some sweets from Ma Humbugs or cake from The Parlour Tearoom at the same time!

Get Active

For a bounce, check out Atmosphere or Flip Out in Basingstoke town centre. Both are great for burning energy or for a rainy day. You can enjoy fun in the pool at the Aquadrome located on the Leisure Park. Family swim sessions are also available at Basingstoke Sports Centre in Festival Place along with soft play. Book a bowling lane at Hollywood Bowl located at the Leisure Park or glide across the ice at Planet Ice. Both great for rainy days or for a break from the sun. If your kids fancy a bit of crazy golf then Knights Realm has an 18-hole adventure course.

Flip Out Basingstoke

Things to do at home

Visit your local library to sign up for The Hampshire Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge, and take some books home to enjoy. The theme this year is Sport.

To keep the little ones entertained in the garden, you could visit The Entertainer in Festival PlaceSmyths Toys in St Michaels Retail Park or Bee Muddy Mud Kitchens online for garden toys.

Holiday clubs

There are a number of holiday clubs running over the summer. SCL Holiday club offers varied activities for children aged four to 12 and has locations across the borough including Hatch Warren Community Centre and Castle Hill Primary School. TNT Family Fitness holiday clubs run 31 July to 25 August at Winklebury Junior School.

For sporty kids take a look at Gol Elite Summer Camps perfect for children aged four to 12 years. They run from 24 July to 1 September at Testbourne Community School and Basingstoke Soccer Centre. Totally Tennis run tennis and multisport camps for those aged four to 14.

Summer events

There are a number of one or two day events happening that you can check out!

Enjoy a fun weekend of arts and crafts activities, live theatre, music, dance, storytelling, poetry and live music at Whitchurch Children's Festival 2023 on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July.

From 25 to 28 August Carfest will be back at Laverstoke Park Farm. Enjoy seven festivals in one with cars, music, Starfest, Kidsfest, Spafest, Adventurefest, Foodfest and Retrofest.

The Summer Market at Basing House will run on 27 and 28 August. You’ll be able to browse stalls for gifts, artisan items and local made produce in the wonderful historic setting.

As part of this year’s National Garden Scheme open days you can visit Bere Mill on Monday 28 August and explore over five acres of gardens.

Stay over

If you aren’t local or are visiting relatives and are looking for somewhere to stay whilst here, take a look at our list of local hotels and B&Bs. Oakley Hall Hotel has some offers for the summer. Their Summer Sizzler Dinner, Bed and Breakfast package runs until the end of September 2023 and as part of this offer dogs can stay free during August so they can come too!

Take a look at our guide to Summer Fun in Basingstoke town centre for details of what's on each day and don't forget to check the What's On for autumn events.

Becky Harris

If you have any other summer holiday ideas then drop us an email:

Please note the inclusion of any business within this listing should not be seen as an endorsement of their services. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. 

July 2023

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