MAKE Stoned Love
Summer is here at last. Time for long, sunny days on the beach. The shore is a great place to start creating your own land art pieces – there are plenty of materials, you’re likely to be in one place for an extended period of time, and there are lots of willing helpers around! Time to stock up on inspiration! We like these ideas – create mosaics, animals, or paint stones. You’ll find creative ideas for beach mandalas, sand patterns and labyrinths here. Or make like artist Tony Plant and rake patterns into the beach, ephemeral and beautiful.
EVENT Science Explosion
The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a brand-new, three-day celebration of curiosity, discover and exploration in some of the most prestigious venues in South Kensington, an area thick with museums and cultural institutions. All weekend there’s a rich, free programme of creative workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances, inspired by 1851’s Great Exhibition. The line-up is stellar; meet real-life scientists, writers and curators for a fascinating, challenging series of talks, explore the extraordinary at exhibitions, pop-up demonstrations and installations, join in demonstrations, making workshops and experiments, or immerse yourselves in performances, screenings and creative sessions. It’s a jaw-dropping weekend of activities, with something for every member of the family – curate your own experience! Find kids activities here, teen-friendly events here and a map of the festival here
. Free, but register in advance
FORAGE, HEAL, RECIPES Sweet Like Honey
Search damp meadows, riverbanks and ditches for meadowsweet, in bloom now. It’s been celebrated since at least Celtic times, when it represented the flower bride – the maiden aspect of the triple godddess – and used in love spells. It’s also well-known for its curative properties – it’s great for digestive health, and as an anti-inflammatory – it was the basis for aspirin. Try it in tea for gentle pain relief and stomach aches. Alternatively, use it in the kitchen – these recipes for cordial, fritters, ice-cream and panna cottasound delicious
EVENT The Natural Word
Kent’s Wealden Literary Festival fuses the magic of the natural world with a celebration of the written word. Held in the enchantingly wild Boldshaves Garden near Tenterden, and with free entry for under-14s, the event is packed with free and ticketed sessions for families; build a fire and try lighting it with sparks, join hands-on crafts and creative writing sessions, try willow weaving and listen to talks by writers whose work is bound closely to nature. Tickets to events include access to the gardens and woodlands at Boldshaves. Saturday and Sunday.
EVENT In the Key of Sea
A charming seaside music festival, Leigh Folk Festival attracts an incredible line-up of performers, both fresh and seasoned. With dozens of venues spread around town, its as easy to stumble across an intimate, quiet acoustic gig in a church as a rambunctious hoedown on the main stage in the Library Gardens. There’s lots of child-focussed activities; find storytellers, puppet shows and dancing workshops. And, of course, the waves are on hand to enjoy. This years highlights include Sharron Kraus, Granny’s Attic, Kitty Macfarlane and Ex Easter Island Head. June 27–30. Free