16 great things to see and do in Thanet this Bank Holiday

Dreamland reopens this bank holiday weekend Photo Cooke & Co

It is just a few days until the Bank Holiday – and Thanet has got a bumper offering of events. Here’s our round-up of what’s on to keep you entertained.

Friday, May 26

Dreamland re-opens

Free to enter, Dreamland will officially open its doors at 5pm for what is set to be an epic bank holiday weekend for the park relaunch.

More vintage rides have been added to the thrilling selection already there, modern art installations wait to be discovered and a new contemporary dining area, ‘The Friendliest Food Court Ever’ will be delivering bold and simple flavours in front of the new live stage, next to the Grade II * listed Scenic Railway.

Other new additions include The Boardwalk alongside the Grade II listed menagerie cages, The Slide Bar, Tree Top Bar and Teddy and Betty Land – a brand new area with rides and entertainment for the little ones.

Dreamland music events this weekend include Los Angeles band Vintage Trouble, who will be launching the new outdoor Scenic Stage on Friday evening, Maximo Park who will be launching the ‘Hall By The Sea’, Margate Wonderland Festival with headliners The Kills and Fun DMC.

Opening times for the bank holiday weekend are 5pm to 11pm Friday and 11am to 10pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Entry to the park is free, a wristband needs to be purchased for the rides.

Friday night wristbands are £10 Big Kid and £7.50 Little Kid (in advance) or £12.50 Big Kid and £9 Little Kid on the day.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday wristbands are £16 Big Kid and £11.50 Little Kid (in advance) or £19 Big Kid and £13.50 Little Kid (on the day).


See ‘Every Day is a New Day’ at Turner Contemporary

Photo Jason Pay

At 10am Turner Contemporary will open the doors to its summer season exhibition, which celebrates the importance of art and creativity, its capacity to empower all of us and make positive change.

The exhibition brings together works by British sculptor Phyllida Barlow, British-Kenyan painter Michael Armitage and JMW Turner, with artwork by young people.

Phyllida Barlow has been making large-scale sculptural works for five decades, as well as being an inspirational teacher to many your artists at the Slade School of Art. This exhibition brings together works from the ARTIST ROOMS collection, alongside other sculptures and a selection of drawings from throughout her career.  The exhibition coincides with Barlow representing Britain at this year’s Venice Biennale.

A series of new and recent works by Michael Armitage, a former pupil of Barlow’s at the Slade School of Art, will be shown for the first time in a public gallery in his exhibition Peace Coma.  Playing on Western art history’s treatment of places that are seen as ‘other’ and drawing on personal and collective memories of life in Kenya and news and images circulating online, his paintings challenge social attitudes and inequalities.

Alongside the work of Barlow, Armitage and a selection of watercolours from JMW Turner, the exhibition will include artworks by school children, young people and their teachers from Kent, Medway and Kenya.

Turner Contemporary will be open from 10am to 6pm and is free to enter.


Margate Mod and 60s Festival

Friday, May 26 – Sunday, May 28

Photo Great British Music & Culture

Mods will be riding into Margate for the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Scooters and parkas will be out in force along the seafront, some 50 years after those infamous beach battles with the ‘Rockers’ on Margate sands.

Organisers from Great British Music & Culture are putting on a packed programme of music and events on Margate seafront and at Olby’s Soul Café and The Dug Out in the Old Town.

Live music from James Hunter, Pretty Things, Bongolian, Cat Black, The Galleys and Beatniks.


Find the full schedule here

Rides on Ramsgate sands

Check out the newly refurbished vintage roundabout on Ramsgate’s ‘forgotten beach.’

The roundabout, which was built in 1947, in the children’s area on Ramsgate main sands has received six months of renovation by owners Erica and Tom Carlisle.

The pair, who previously managed the rides, took ownership of the concession last year. Due to bad weather in 2016 the roundabout was not in use, meaning this will be the first season the couple have operated it as owners.

Erica said: “We put  the equipment away every winter. This time we took all the toys off the roundabout to work on them, restoring the Vespa, buses, the steam engines.

“They have been repainted and renovated with a bit of TLC, which they needed as the sea and salt air takes its toll.”

The couple, from Broadstairs, operate the play area, which also includes swingboats, every weekend and, during the school holidays, every day.

Tom is a former firefighter who was with the service 32 years, although he started his working life on the beach with jobs including lifeguarding.

Erica has a degree in goldsmithing and previously worked in interior design.

The mum-of-two said the pair are excited to be running their first season as concession owners.

She said: “Ramsgate beach is fabulous. It is a bit of a forgotten beach but that means it is quiet and people always have space. It’s a real family beach and a great place to relax.

“We love it and are really excited about this season.”

Find the rides, including the restored roundabout, on the sands behind Boulevard Kiosk.

Saturday, May 27

Time at Ramsgate’s Micro Museum

Time on Saturday May 27, Sunday May 28 and Monday 29 May (1pm-4pm) when visitors will have the chance to play a selection of games from the past.  Discounted entry (£2) for all kids dressed as their favourite characters from history.

A second weekend will be themed Space. Friday, June 2, Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 June (1pm-4pm) – takes visitors into games in space to do battle with aliens or travel to the Final Frontier.

Discounted entry for all kids who arrive for the event dressed as aliens.

Carol Deer, who owns the museum with husband Mike, said: “I’m a lifelong fan of Dr Who and I’ve been ‘adventuring’ in Time and Space for decades so it was inevitable that this dual event would happen at our museum”.

Standard admission charges apply and there is no need to book in advance or visitors can take advantage of the special 2-event family pass giving unlimited entry over all six afternoons for just £30 – saving £18! Simply ask for the special pass when you arrive on day one.

 More details about future events this season can be found on the website www.themicromuseum.org

Step back in time with Dreamscapes: A portrait of Dreamland in the 60s

Enjoy a snapshot of Dreamland’s past and people in an exhibition of drawings, prints and paintings by Barry Kirk, former principal of Canterbury College of Art.

The exhibition presents a unique snapshot of Dreamland in the sixties.  Using pioneering creative methods, Kirk’s colourful and bold pieces capture the vibrancy, colour and ambience of the amusement park in its heyday – complete with Teddy Boys and saucy ladies.

This is the first time the Dreamland Collection has been exhibited in one major display and the first exhibition the Dreamland Trust, whose role it is to conserve and promote Dreamland’s rich heritage, has shown in Dreamland.

The exhibition is free and opens on Saturday, 27 May in the Dreamland concourse.  Opening times are the same as those for Dreamland.


Maximo Park at Dreamland

7:30pm – 11pm| £18 + booking fee | 16+ years only

Maximo Park play the Hall by the Sea, kickstarting a year of live music at Dreamland and launching the new state of the art sound system.


National Garden Scheme- Haven

27 May  – 29 May

Haven, 22 Station Road, Minster

Award winning 300ft garden, designed in the Glade style, similar to Forest gardening but more open and with use of exotic and unusual trees, shrubs and perennials, with wildlife.

Two ponds (one for wildlife, one for fish with water lilies), gravel garden, rock garden, fernery, Japanese garden, cactus garden and many exotic, rare and unusual trees, shrubs and plants.

Greenhouse cactus garden

The garden has proved to be very attractive to wildlife and is visited by large numbers of birds also lizards, grass snakes, frogs, newts, hedgehogs, slow worms, dragon flies, damsel flies and many bees, butterflies and other insects.

Admission £4, children free.

Visitors also welcome by arrangement February to November any day or time. 24hrs notice required. 

The Cadillac Kings

Sarah Thorne Theatre, Broadstairs

Firm favourites on the blues, rhythm & blues & swing dance scenes, The Cadillac Kings feature five of the UK’s top blues and roots musicians – Mike Thomas, Mal Barclay, Tim Penn, Roy Webber and Paul Cuff.

Inspired by the sounds and styles of the ’40s & ’50s with  distinctly modern lyrics.

£13 paid in Advance/Friends or £15 on the door

Book by calling the Box Office on 01843 863701 (Mon to Fri 10am to 2pm) or go to www.sarahthornetheatre.co.uk

Sunday, May 28

Cliftonville Farmers Market


Cliftonville Farmers’ Market where producers will be selling bread, cheese, honey, fruit, vegetables, wild game, fruit juices, fresh meat and much more

Oval Lawns, Eastern Esplanade

Margate Wonderland

Sunday 28 May 4:30pm to Monday 29 May 2am

Strictly over 18s only

£25 per person (booking fee applies)

The Hackney Wonderland comes to Margate.

This music festival welcomes a line up of some of the finest live music from across the world.

Already announced are headliners The Kills, Little Barrie, Broken Hands, Dead Pretties and Electric Child House.


Scooter Camp

Revolution Skatepark

Under 9 / Under 13 / 13 and 0ver

£12… 12-4pm

£15… All day



Theatre Royal Margate

Ventoux is the most fearsome mountain encountered on the Tour de France.
It is also the story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani – whose drug-fuelled race there in 2000 was the greatest cycling had ever seen. Ventoux charts the parallel lives of these champions who overcame great adversity in tandem, and the mountain that cast them in opposing directions.

Join 2Magpies as they re-stage the race using breathtaking video accompaniment and a pair of road bikes, asking the question – how far will we go to succeed?

Tickets: Full Price £12, Concessions £10, Friends £8
Booking fee applies: 50p per ticket holder in person/phone, £1.50 per ticket holder online
Starts at 7.30pm


Monday, May 29

Margate Meltdown – Ace Café returns for the 10th year

Margate seafront and harbour is given over to motorcycles and scooters, diverse club and trade stands and, from noon, a stage with live entertainment, including rockin’ DJ Bill Guntrip.  This is a popular event for everyone, not just bike lovers, set against the stunning backdrop of Margate Main Sands and seafront.

Margate Meltdown is the most recently established ride out from Ace Café London and their chosen charity for this event is The Royal British Legion Riders Branch.


Spring Spectacular, Government Acre, Ramsgate

An iconic cycle stunt performance team will be showing off their skills in Ramsgate.

The Drop and Roll Tour, headed by Danny MacAskill, will be the centre-piece of a huge, free family event  at Government Acre.

The event will include shows at 11.30am and 2pm in a dedicated Cycle Zone where visitors can watch out for watch out for “Fakie Nose Manuals”, “Flairs” and “Footjam Tailwhips.

The Spring Spectacular, being organised by the Defence of the Nation Museum and RM Consultancy, will also feature a ‘chopperbatics’ display with Otto the helicopter, a Spitfire and Hurricane flyover, trade stalls and a ‘Kidz Zone’ which will feature children’s rides, face painting and fun activities.

Runs from 11am to 5pm.

Find the full schedule here.

Blessing Of The Sea


Meet by the Obelisk on Harbour Parade, Ramsgate Seafront

Blessing of the Sea – part of the cultural and religious festival, St Augustine Week, based at St Augustine’s.

The event will consist of a short welcome, prayer, and hymn at the Obelisk, followed by a procession along the pavement and promenade. Here the clergy, civic dignitaries, and others in the procession will form up. There will be a short service, invoking God’s blessing on the sea and those who work in connection with the sea, and then the procession will return to the Obelisk.