Seven days: What's on this week in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge
Did you know today is National Playday? If you want to get your little ones involved in an organised event, you can join in the celebrations at Grosvenor and Hilbert Park. There will be lots of free outdoor activities suitable for all ages happening next to the skate park. It’s organised by the Friends of the park and Kent High Weald Partnership, and the fun runs from 11am to 3pm.
The long-awaited film sequel Incredibles 2 is being screened all week at the Moonlight Drive-In Cinema at The Hop Farm in Paddock Wood. The family with special elasticated powers face their biggest challenge yet – but who will spring into action to save the day? Tickets are £25 per vehicle. For timings, see www.moonlightcinema.com
At Pembury Library today at 2pm, keen readers have the opportunity to Meet the author Molly Green. The local writer – former estate agent Denise Barnes, who also pens books under the name Fenella Forster – will talk about how her chequered career provides her with inspiration for her beloved historical novels. Tickets cost £2 and are available from Pembury Library, or you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This morning, local wildlife expert Dr Ian Beavis will be leading a free family bug hunt around Dunorlan Park at 10.30am. The hunts take place on a weekly basis in a different location each time, and also run in the afternoon from 2pm. The 75-minute sessions are suitable for all ages, with children to be accompanied by an adult. For details, see www.tunbridgewellsmuseum.org
Bewl Water’s popular children’s camps are on once again for the summer holidays. So if you find it a challenge to keep your little ones occupied, then this club really steps it up a gear courtesy of its exciting outdoor activities aimed to keep youngsters fit and entertained and to help them make new friends. Full-day activities run from 8.30am until 5pm and cost from £37 per child. Half-day activities run from 8.30am until 1pm and cost £19.50 per child. For further information, see www.bewlwater.co.uk
For entertainment of a different kind, head over to Hever Castle’s open-air theatre, where you can catch a performance of Peter Pan at 2.30pm. For ticket information, visit www.heverfestival.co.uk
Jazz on The Pantiles is still in full swing every Thursday evening through the summer. To make it a really special event, why not avail yourself of One Warwick Park Hotel’s Bubbles and Burger deal, which costs just £10 per person? For more details, see
Throughout the summer holidays, Hever Castle will be running a Knights & Princesses School so little ones can experience what it was like to grow up and serve in a royal household in medieval times. Suitable for children aged approximately six to 12, these free classes last for around 40 minutes and take place daily at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Children are encouraged to come in costume to really get into the spirit of their training session.
Later this evening, at 8pm at Hever Festival Theatre, you can catch a performance of Mozart’s operatic classic The Marriage of Figaro. Tickets cost £29.50 per person at www.heverfestival.co.uk
The amazing Maize Maze at Penshurst Place is open through the holidays, until September 2, from 11am until 6pm (last entry is at 5pm). This year’s theme is time travel, so the giant maze has been designed to resemble a clock face. There’s also an optional new shorter route to explore. To find out more, visit www.penshurstplace.com
Today there will be a number of perfomances by the Junior Summer Project at Trinity Theatre at 12noon, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm. They budding young group of talented performers, aged between seven and 13 years, will put on Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr. Based on the hit DreamWorks animated motion picture, it follows all of your favourite furry friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar. Tickets cost £6 at
Today and tomorrow, Bewl Water will be hosting a triathlon and open swim event, so if you’re into running, swimming and cycling this is just the ticket for you. There will be bespoke finishers’ medals and prize money for winners, as well as plenty of refreshments and race commentary, too. For more information, see www.bewlwater.co.uk
The National Trust’s Smallhythe Place property near Tenterden will be hosting a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream today and tomorrow at 7.30pm. Tickets to see this Shakespearean comedy, that’s just perfect for summer, cost £14. Find more information at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/smallhythe-place
During the summer months, Penshurst Place are hosting a fun day of activities every Sunday, which includes falconry displays courtesy of The Hawking Centre and Aardvark Productions entertaining children and adults alike with their garden pantomimes. There will be lots of crafting to keep you busy, too. For more details, see www.penshurstplace.com
Chiddingstone Castle will be putting on an Ancient Egyptian Day from 11am until 4.30pm. Families can learn all about this particular period in history, and there will be something to enjoy for all ages. from being able to get up close and personal to objects that are more than 3,000 years old to listening to talks by a Professor of Egyptology. There’s also the castle’s unique, award-winning Ancient Egyptian-themed conceptual grass maze to explore. All activities are included in usual castle admission fee. Adult tickets cost £10, those for children aged five to 13 are £5, and under-fives go free. For further information, see www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk
The free photographic exhibition entitled Remarkable Characters of Tunbridge Wells is still on at Woods restaurant on The Pantiles. It is the brainchild of photographer Mark Wilkinson and writer Anne Wagstaff, who have a ‘curiosity about people and what makes them tick’. There are 40 portraits in total of the area’s most ‘remarkable characters’.
Another exhibition worth seeing is Trinity’s From the Kitchen Table. It is so named as husband and wife team Maria and David Strappini, whose work is featured, have never had a studio to work from and do everything from the hub of their home. Commenting on the ethos of the exhibition, they say: “We sit individually or at the same time across the table from each other painting, drawing or just smudging pastel on paper. These works are the journeys we take and the work we create, on, around and under our kitchen table.”
The Puppetry Festival of Tunbridge Wells is hosting a special event today at the Assembly Hall. Entitled Hall of Dreams, it’s a workshop which will explore the fascinating world of puppetry. Go along and discover how to animate objects, manipulate shadows and tell a story through puppet movement. Tickets cost £10 and the start time is 1.30pm. Suitable for those aged 12 to 17 years. See www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk
The gardens at Sissinghurst Castle Garden are in full bloom right now and infused with Vita Sackville-West’s passion for old roses. Her vision for ‘a tumble of Roses and Honeysuckle, Figs and Vines’ has been gradually restored over the past few years. With over 200 cultivars, Vita’s original collection is nearing its former glory and the Rose Garden is once more bursting with colour, fragrance and romance. Definitely worth a visit this summer. See www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden
There’s another monthly Secret Art Party happening this evening at St John’s Yard in Tunbridge Wells. Tonight’s event is entitled Hopper: The Long Leg, so you can go along and have a go at painting some of famous American artist Edward Hopper’s work. Tickets cost from £35 per person. For more information, see www.secretartparties.co.uk