Things to do in Sevenoaks in the May half term holiday

Sevenoaks and the surrounding area has a lot to offer over the May half term holiday and May Bank Holiday

Here are a few ideas to keep families entertained in Sevenoaks itself as well as some slightly further afield. As always some are free and others will cost a few pounds.

To keep up to date why not join my Facebook Group Incidentally Sevenoaks. You can share your own events in there too!

Let’s get things rolling with…

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Riverhill, Sevenoaks

My absolute favourite, in fact we love Riverhill so much we are hoping to get married there – watch this space!

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens always make a special effort in the school holidays. From 25th May to 2nd June they are holding a Troy Treasure Hunt, The Troy in question being Riverhill’s own pet dog. While there take your time to explore the gardens and awesome children’s play area – treat yourself to cake from the Malabar Cafe too. Usual entrance fee applies.

Lullingstone Country Park, Shoreham nr Sevenoaks

There will be an Endangered Species Half Term Trail from 25th May to 2nd June which you can book online or just turn up. It’s £3 and completed trails will win a small prize. To book click here

Hever Castle, Hever, Nr Edenbdidge, Sevenoaks

Hever Castle has a lot to offer young and old, even without the holiday “extras”. 

From May 25th to June 2nd it is Art Week. 

Unleash your artistic side during May half term at Hever Castle & Gardens.

Become an artist for the day and depict the Castle or gardens in any style or take part in a free art challenge. Look out for pieces of art around the grounds.

Meet our actors, as they portray Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci and modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe.  Join them as they take you on a journey through the grounds, and take part in some art challenges.

Finish off your day by becoming a walking piece of art with a creative face paint (additional charge £5 – weekends only).

Hever Festival Theatre, Hever Castle, Nr Edenbridge, Sevenoaks

2024 is an exciting year for Hever Festival, they are sporting a fancy new roof with every seat undercover. Looking out of the window I think it might be just as well!

Over half term there are a couple of family friendly offerings as follow but do check out the full programme of events, there is something for everyone.

Wed 29 May 3pm & 7.30pm Two Sisters’ Theatre:

Trinity Youth Theatre presents Disney’s Frozen Jr

We are thrilled to welcome Trinity Youth Theatre back with their talented group of young people to perform Frozen Jr, based on the  Broadway and West End musical. The show brings Elsa, Anna, and the magical land of Arendelle to life, onstage. The show features all the memorable songs from the animated film, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the Broadway and West End production.

A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen Jr expands upon the emotional relationship and journey between Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. With a cast of beloved characters and loaded with magic, adventure, and plenty of humour, Frozen Jr is sure to thaw even the coldest heart!

Suitable for ages 4+

Running time: 60 minutes (approximately)

Allocated Covered Seating £15
Festival Friends & Hever Castle, Hever Golf and Wellbeing Club Members  £13.70
*Groups, over 20 tickets  £13.70
Joint Theatre and Castle Garden entry Adult £29.70
Child £24.20

Fri 31 May 2pm Two Sisters’ Theatre:

The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle – Illyria Theatre

Come and enjoy this tale of great kindness in May half term, with the first of this years Illyria performances. Taking place in the Twos Sisters’ Theatre with undercover, allocated seating. Our easy access, open-air auditorium is a perfect, stress free environment for family theatre.

Doctor Dolittle leads a simple life as the village doctor in sleepy Puddleby-On-The-Marsh. He often undercharges his patients, or even treats them for free, so he is terribly poor. But one day, with the help of his wise old parrot Polynesia, he makes an extraordinary discovery: that he can talk to animals.

As news of his talent as an animal doctor spreads, animals across the world send messages asking for his help. So he borrows a leaky old ship and embarks on a thrilling quest to cure illness, spread kindness, and better understand animals everywhere. He is joined on his adventures by a loyal animal crew: Jip (a dog), Chee-Chee (a monkey), Dab Dab (a duck), and Gub Gub (an ever-hungry, cake-loving pig) –who together may even help him fix his money problems once and for all!

Hugh Lofting’s timeless classic celebrates the power of empathy and inspires audiences young and old to see the world through the eyes of animals. This funny, exciting new family musical is performed with flair and wit by Illyria in the great outdoors.

Illyria supports the Equity union’s Charter for Outdoor Theatre.

Suitable for ages 5+ (younger children also welcome)
Running time (approx): 110-minutes (including interval)

Illyria are back with Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare, Wed 24 July 7.30pm Main Lawn.

Allocated Covered Seating £16.20
Festival Friends & Hever Castle, Hever Golf and Wellbeing Club Members  £14.75
*Groups, over 20 tickets  £14.75
Joint Theatre and Castle Garden entry Adult £30.90
Child £25.40

Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation, Eynsford, Nr Sevenoaks

Eagle Heights is not only home to birds of prey, it is also a sanctuary for other breeds of animals including meerkats and huskies that have bbeen rescued! Offering daily flying displays as well as access to the sanctuary where you can see and even get up close and personal with some of the other animals.

National Trust Properties local to Sevenoaks have a bundle of activities on offer: 

Emmetts Garden, Ide Hill, Sevenoaks

A teepee at Emmetts Garden, Kent.

Join them this May half term and discover the secrets of fossils, dinosaurs and geology as we mark 60 years since geologist Charles Boise intrusted Emmetts Garden to the National Trust. Dig up fossils, search for prehistoric treasures and follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs. 

On 1 June, join us in the meadow for a performance of Jane Austen’s classic, Persuasion, brought to life at Emmetts Garden this summer.  

Trail runs from 25 May to 2 June, 10am to 4.30pm. Trail costs £3 and includes a prize. Trails can be purchased from the Visitor Centre.   

Tickets for Persuasion can be purchased via the This Is My Theatre website. Pre-booking is essential. Doors open at 18.00 for 19.00 start.  

National Trust, Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks

If you go down to the Mote today…you’re sure of a warm, cuddly welcome as the annual teddy tradition returns for May half term. See bears of all shapes and sizes around the Mote, then bring your own cuddlies along for a traditional teddy bears picnic on the North Lawn against the musical backdrop of the Biggin Hill Band. 

Teddy display 25 May to 2 June, 10am to 5pm, free with admission 

Biggin Hill Band 2 June, half hour performances at 11.30am and 12.45pm, free with admission  

National Trust, Chartwell, Westerham

Commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings (6 June 1944) at the home of the great wartime leader, Sir Winston Churchill.  

Discover the role Churchill played in the planning and preparation for the Normandy landings, known as D-Day during the Second World War. In the gardens, kids of all ages have the chance to hone their skills in preparation for the invasion, code named Operation Overlord. In the house, discover objects with links to D-Day and find out how Operation Overload unfolded.  

25 May to 16 June, 10am-5pm, free with admission 

National Trust, Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst

Discover what 10 pairs of underpants, Grandma’s false teeth, burnt broccoli, a rubber chicken, a beloved acorn and the complete works of Charles Dickens have in common this half-term at Scotney Castle.

Pick up a booklet from Visitor Entrance and use the spinners around the garden to create your very own classic story-time adventure. Once you’ve finished your story, head to the shop to collect your crayons to colour in the pictures and add your own.

The Scotney Story Book trail runs 25 May to 2 June, £3 with admission. Designed for children aged 4 to 10 

National Trust, Bateman’s, Burwash, East Sussex

Baloo, the sleepy brown bear, has hidden puzzles and games to play around Bateman’s for you to discover. Put your skills to the test and uncover the clues around the house and garden to solve the puzzles. 

Trail runs 18 May to 2 June, 10am-4.30pm. £2 with small prize. Best suited for primary aged children. 

National Trust, Bodiam Castle, Nr Robertsbridge, East Sussex

Can you unlock the mystery of the castle keys? Explore the rooms of this medieval castle ruin to find the hidden keys, try your hand at puzzles and learn about the Keeper of the Castle. Mystery-solvers will become keepers of their very own special key to take home. Plus, why not try your hand at longbow archery? Learn how to get to grips with a bow and arrow from friendly instructors against the backdrop of Bodiam Castle. 

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, see history come to life as a medieval encampment pitches up at Bodiam Castle. Meet characters from the 1400s and discover their way of life. Enter the arena to watch dramatic sword demonstrations, have a go at dressing a medieval knight and more. 

Trail runs 25 May to 2 June, 10am to 4pm. £3 with small prize. Designed for children aged 4 to 12. Have-a-go-archery runs 25 to 2 June, 10.30am to 4pm, £4 for 6 arrows. Suitable for adults and children aged 6+. Medieval encampment 25 to 27 May, 10am to 4pm. Free with admission. 

Kent Wildlife Trust – Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Jeffery Harrison Visitor Centre

Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve - Kent Wildlife Trust
Jeffery Harrsion
 

From 25th May to 2nd June Bugtastic Trail

Ant-icipation is high for this one!

Explore our beautiful nature reserve, find the clues and solve the puzzle to win an amazing prize!

£4 – pay on the day

27th May Family Fun – Pond Dipping Event

This half-term, join Kent Wildlife Trust’s Education team to discover the pond life at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve. You’ll learn how to safely pond dip without disturbing the wildlife, and have a go at identifying the creatures you find.

Find out more as you follow the trail around the reserve and make a journey stick as you walk.

We’ll provide all the materials and equipment needed for the activities, and you’ll take home your journey stick. You may like to wear something easy to clean.

Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, £10 tickets give admission for one child and one adult. These events are popular with accompanying adults too! To help with capacity, any additional adults attending will require their own ticket. Free spaces are available for babies and toddlers who are too young to take part in the activities (recommended for over 3 years, but this is at your discretion). Please make sure you book a ticket for everyone attending in your group.

Tickets are available for three sessions across the day. Please note that the timings are approximate as everyone will approach the activities at a different pace. You may find you have finished before the suggested time or that you would like to stay longer. You are welcome to be onsite any time for exploring or picnicking. The Visitor Centre will also be open for snacks and hot drinks.

£10 child with an adult
£8 additional children

29th May Family Workshop: Beautiful Butterflies

Did you know that 59 species of butterfly can be found in Britain? Learn how to identify local butterflies and how to support them at home by taking part in our Family Workshop: Beautiful Butterflies.

This workshop includes a butterfly themed game, followed by making butterfly feeders, painting flowerpots and sowing pollinator friendly seeds in them. Take your creations home and see how many butterflies you can attract.

Children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times during the workshop, limited to one adult per booking. Accompanying adults join for free.

10% discount on gift items available when you present your ticket with your purchase.*

Please be aware that this workshop is not suitable for children under 3 years old due to some of the materials we will use. Please notify us when booking if you or children taking part have any allergies.

*Offer does not include food and drink.

£8 Single Child
£5 Per Additional Child
Free for Accompanying Adult

30th May Wilder Holiday Club 

Immerse your child in nature

Our Wilder Holiday Club offers days crammed full of activities designed to inspire and develop your child’s love of nature: from pond dipping to mini-beast hunts, from nature inspired crafts to campfires and den building. There will be more than enough to keep your children busy for the day and no two sessions are ever the same!

A day for creating memories

You can leave your children with us safe in the knowledge they will be in a safe, secure and stimulating environment where they can explore the nature reserve, learn new skills, make new friends and create memories that last a lifetime!

Important Information

The club is suitable for ages 5-11.

The club runs from 9.00am-4.00pm and takes place at Oak Lodge, Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, TN13 3DH.

£40

31st May Family Workshop – Labybirds of Britain

Did you know there are more than 40 different species of ladybird found in Britain? Join our Family Workshop: Ladybirds of Britain and learn how to identify local ladybird species, as well as how to support them at home.

This workshop includes a ladybird hunt along our beautiful nature trails, followed by making ladybird houses and painting ladybird themed ornaments to take home.

10% discount on gift items available when you present your ticket with your purchase.*

Children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times during the workshop, limited to one adult per booking. Accompanying adults join in for free.

Please be aware that this workshop is not suitable for children under 3 years old due to some of the materials we will use. Please notify us when booking if you or children taking part have any allergies.

*Offer does not include food and drink.

£8 Single Child
£5 Per Additional Child
Free for Accompanying Adults

To book any of the above please visit the Kent Wildlife Trust Website

Coolings Green and Pleasant, Knockholt

Coolings Green and Pleasant isn’t your run of the mill garden centre. Here they have a wonderful nature trail with various animals as well as Willows Bird of Prey Centre who put on displays at various times during the day.

Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells

As well as their fabulous steam and heritage diesel train rides Spa Valley Railway also plays host to lots of exciting events throughout the year.

This May half term you can find the following events suitable for families (there are also gin and wine events that aren’t suitable for the kids but obviously you might be interested!):

29th & 30th May Science Express:

Laugh at the two clumsy scientists, Zap and Boing, as they try out some whacky experiments!  Packed full of slapstick comedy, chemical reactions and mayhem the performance is by the wonderful Radtastic Entertainment.

The fun begins at Tunbridge Wells West Station when the two scientists conduct some dazzling experiments before climbing aboard the Science Express to begin the journey to Eridge station.  Activity packs will be handed out by Zap and Boing along the way.   At Eridge station everyone can make their own slime on the platform and treats will be handed out on the way back to Tunbridge Wells West.

The Science Express experience will take start in the engine shed at Tunbridge Wells West at the time booked which is either 9:45 or 12:30. The train will then depart a little later at 10:15 or 12:55 returning 1hour later.

The Science Express Train Prices including travel: Adult – £15, Senior – £14, Child (2-15yrs) – £8.00, Family (2A+2C) – £38.

1st and 2nd June Superhero Express

Bring the family along on either 1 or 2 June 2024 to laugh at Radtastic Man, the clumsy superhero, as he tries to get his powers back!

The hilarious performance is brought to you by the wonderful Radtastic Entertainment.

The fun begins at Tunbridge Wells West Station where Radtastic Man has lost his powers.  Can you help him to get them back?  The Superhero Express travels from Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge station and activity packs will be handed out along the way.

At Eridge watch as Radtastic Man battles his arch nemesis.   Treats will be handed out on the return journey to Tunbridge Wells West.

The pre-show starts at 9:50, 12:30 and 15:10 and trains will depart from Tunbridge Wells West at 10:15, 12:55 and 15:35 and return 1hr and 15 mins later. Please allow 2hours for this experience and please only arrive at the times shown on your ticket.

Adults – £15.00, Seniors – £14.00, Children – £8.00, Family (2A+2C) – £38.00

Leeds Castle, Maidstone

From 25th to 27th May 

Join us for our medieval jousting event this bank holiday for an exhilarating display of combat and action, elegant and unusual equestrian, and medieval living and feasting.

Gasp at the first crash of lances, cheer as your favourite knight gallops past, and watch as England and France not only battle for the coveted cup, but more importantly, for the honour and attention of the queen.

As in English jousting history, no matter if you win the joust, if the queen doesn’t deem you as the worthy winner, she’ll choose someone else. A knight’s armour and demeanour may just win them her hand… it’s not all based on skill and combat.

For the first time at Leeds Castle, we are thrilled to share there will be two opportunities each day to experience the main jousting event! At 1pm and 3:30pm each day you can watch as the action unfolds and you cheer on your favourite Knight.

This event is included with your Leeds Castle admission ticket, if you book online ahead you’ll receive the best price!

Godstone Farm, Godstone

A firm favourite for all the family Godstone Farm is having a Nature Explorers Week over half term.

Reconnect with nature this May half term at Godstone Farm! Immerse yourself in natural crafts, enjoy barefoot walks and unleash your creativity whilst painting with nature. The excitement continues with the opportunity to craft your very own worm farm to take home.

With a blend of outdoor adventures and farmyard fun, Godstone Farm promises a fantastic day out for the entire family. Embrace the beauty of the season, indulge in hands-on activities and create lasting memories surrounded by the wonders of nature. Join us for an enriching experience that combines education and enjoyment in the heart of the great outdoors.

Godstone Farm is the perfect destination for a fun family day out in the South East! There’s plenty to discover, with over 500 animals and exciting animal interactions and feeding, The kids can let off steam in the extensive outside space, including a huge adventure playground, sandpits and wilding play areas and the World of Dinosaur Roar Discovery Trail. Make sure you leave plenty of time to explore The Play Barn – Surrey’s biggest soft play centre.

Sevenoaks Playgrounds

For a quick and free way to let off some steam there are plenty of free playgrounds in Sevenoaks and beyond.

Pontoise Close, The Environmental Park (behind the leisure centre), Otford, Hollybush and a little one on the Vine next to the lovely cafe. Further out there is Borough Green which I hear is a good one too.

For a free wander there is always Bradbourne Lakes, opposite the Wildlife Reserve on Bradbourne Vale Road. Take some porridge to feed the ducks or use the new duck food vending machine for £1.50. Just don’t feed them bread!

If you have any events that you would like me to add to this or include in future round ups please email me erica@theincidentalparent.com

 

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