24 great family events to look forward to in Thanet this Summer

Summer fun

Half term might be over but  Summer is here and there are some great things planned for Thanet.

Here is our pick of 24 Summer events from June to August to look forward to. Watch out for our weekend round-ups for even more great events.


Thanet carnival season is always fabulous.

Ramsgate has a two-day event at Government Acre with stalls, music and fairground rides from July 22-23. 10am to 6.30pm.

This year there will also be a sponsored walk and a dog show.

The carnival parade takes place on Sunday, July 23

New for 2017 – Dog Show and Sponsored Walk at 4pm. The route is:

Royal Esplanade – St Augustine’s Road – Paragon – Royal Parade – Harbour Parade – Harbour Parade – Madeira Walk – Wellington Crescent – Plains of Waterloo – King Street – Queen Street – West Cliff Road – Grange Road – Royal Esplanade – Finish.

Then it is the turn of Margate which takes place on Sunday, August 6, starting at 3pm

Margate Carnival will start in Palm Bay Avenue and process through the streets of Cliftonville, Margate and Westbrook, finishing at the Royal Esplanade, Westbrook.


Broadstairs Dickens Festival

A grand parade, gin tasting, dog show and readings are just some of the events that will be on offer for the 80th anniversary of The Broadstairs Dickens Festival.

The week-long celebration takes place from June 17-23 and will include firm favourites and new events to honour author Charles Dickens.

The festival aims to bring to life aspects of Dickens character and The Dickens Declaimers will offer readings in the style of the man himself. In his day Dickens was described as ‘an entire theatre company under one-hat’ and these performances made him particularly famous in America.

Find more details of times and events here

Chariots of Fire

The Chariots of Fire reenactment will take place at Viking Bay (main image Mel Chennell)

A re-enactment of the famous Chariots of Fire run and an unveiling of a blue plaque in honour of the 1924 Olympic Games athletes who stayed at a Broadstairs hotel will take place next month.

The plaque will be officially unveiled at the former Carlton Hotel in Victoria Parade on June 29 as part of a day of events marking the town’s place in  the Olympic team’s history.

The event will also include a presentation, film script raffle and a screening of the film at The Palace Cinema.

More details here

‘Every Day is a New Day’ is the Summer exhibition at Turner Contemporary.

Photo Stephen White

It asks that we start from scratch and look at the world differently.  A celebration of the capacity of arts to pioneer change, challenge perceptions and embolden society. It includes work by Phyllida Barlow, Michael Armitage and JMW Turner shown alongside teachers and pupils from Kent, Medway and Kenya.

The exhibition runs until September 24. More details here

Gears of Change

Building on the success of 2016, the Gears of Change Classic Car Show and Fought for Freedom Military Show returns to Quex Park on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June.

The Gears of Change Classic Car Show and Fought for Freedom Military Show officially opens on Saturday 18 June with a huge array of classic, vintage and interesting vehicles, fun fair, rides, gift, craft and traders market.

Visit the very popular WW1 trenches, updated with new and interesting trenches for 2017, visit the field hospital and German dugouts. Take part in bayonet training as well as the crawling assault course and then see if you can dominate the skies on the simulator.

Take a trip down memory lane and wander amongst 100s of classic vehicles from early 1900s Fords to Aston Martin and Jaguars, browse the stalls for that something special, or sit and relax in the food and drink arena while listening to live acts on stage singing everything from the 1930s to more modern classics.

New for 2017, and to get around the 20-acre site there is a hop on, hop off land train (which is an attraction in itself) and has regular drop offs around the venue, as well as a number of new exhibitors.

Opening times: Saturday 10am – 6pm & Sunday 10am -5pm.

Ticket prices
Adults – £7.00
Child (3-13 years) – £5.00
Family ticket (2 Adults and 2 Children) – £20.00
Disability concession plus guest – £10.00 per day

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.quexpark.co.uk or www.kentevents.org.uk


It’s a Knockout 

The Pilgrims Hospices knockout will be on Sunday, July 9 and Government Acre will be the home of colourful inflatables, obstacles of many shapes and sizes and a raft of games both wet and dry!

The event runs from 11.30am to 3pm. Find out more here

Ramsgate Festival

Photo Bristol City Council

A 300ft waterslide is planned to be created above the harbour during this year’s Ramsgate Festival.

The Ramsgate Slide will be a one day installation along Ramsgate’s iconic Royal Parade.

It is part of the festival which runs from July 22-30. Find out more here

Ramsgate Week

Photo Malcolm Kirkaldie

Ramsgate Week, and the Regatta, run alongside the Ramsgate Festival, from July 23-July 28

It is the Royal Temple Yacht Club annual regatta.

Ramsgate week is often referred to as a friendly alternative to Cowes week which is one of the longest running regular regattas in the world that takes place on the Solent near the Isle of Wight. Royal Temple Yacht Club was founded in 1857 by a group of yachtsmen sailing from the Temple Steps on the river Thames. The first Ramsgate Week regatta was launched in 1898.

The week starts with the famous Round the Goodwin Sands Race Sunday 23rd July. The Mayor of Ramsgate will mark the official start to Ramsgate Week by continuing the tradition of firing the cannon from the East Pier on Monday 24th July at 10am, to welcome over 300 competitors from across the UK and Europe.

Battle for Victory

Battles for Victory Photo by Martin Cook

A show by the only big band performing the music of Glenn Miller that has direct family links to the musician will be one of the highlights of the Battle for Victory event in Ramsgate.

The John Miller Band will be playing on the second day of the two-day event at Ellington Park this July 9 and July 10.

Other attractions include a military and vintage vehicle display, wartime reenactors, stalls, bars, barbecue and a NAAFI wagon and vintage funfair and miniature steam engine rides.

Find out more here

Race For Life

16 July 11am to 2pm from Palm Bay

Race for Life is the largest women only fundraising event in the UK. Heroic women come together to take part in a 5km run, walk or jog which raises money for cancer research uk.

All sponsorship money goes to scientists, doctors and nurses who are making a difference in our fight against cancer.

Boys (6-12yrs) £10, Girls (6-15yrs) £10, Women (16-17yrs) £14.99, Women (18yrs +) £14.99

Find out more here

Broadstairs Fireworks

19 July

Fireworks light up the sky over Viking Bay.

Activities at the bandstand from 6pm, live music at the bandstand 8pm and firework display at 9.45pm 

Minster Show

22 July, starts at 1pm

Minster Show incorporating Monkton, Acol, St Nicholas, Sarre and Cliffsend, now in its 131st Year

The staging of the annual Minster Village Show being the combination of a flower and produce show, various field games for children and stalls and fete games.

There will be children’s rides, games, retail stalls, demonstrations followed by an evening family entertainment event

Traditional family fun day – parade, exhibition marquee, live music, mascots, children’s races, funfair, Punch & Judy, clown, refreshments, stalls and sideshows

Entry £3, Under 5s free

Alfie Gough Memorial Day

29 July

The Teddy Bears Picnic 10am-3pm
Popular annual event with Pepper Pig and Bo Bo the Alfie’s Trust Mascot bear. Bring your teddy and come to the park for a picnic.

A family fun event with local dance and majorettes and traditional fun fair stalls

The Alfie Gough Memorial Run (5k, 10k & Children’s Fun Run)
Run registration opens at 10am – Children’s race at 11am and Adult race at 11.30am. Goody bag and medl given to each runner at the finish line. Race £15 for adults £3 for children


From July 21 the park is open for the whole of the summer through to September. The indoor areas are open all year round and include the Roller Disco, vintage arcades and The Octopus’s Garden.

The park is free to enter, rides are by wristband.


Margate Bookie

Margate Bookie 2017 kicks off this August Photo Benjamin Bowles

Bookworms, storytellers and just those who like a good yarn are in for a treat with the third Margate Bookie festival this Summer.

The event returns with line-up of established authors, rising literary stars and breakout local talent.

Running from August 17-20 the festival will include more than 32 speakers, 25 author readings, interactive sessions, workshops and talks at venues including Turner Contemporary, Sands Hotel and Bernie’s Chocolate Bar. Many of the events will be free to enter although booking is advised.

Find out more here

Margate Soul Weekend

American R&B and jazz funk band The Blackbyrds are the headliners for the Margate Soul Weekend.

Hosted by Mi-Soul Radio, it will feature live performances both on Saturday and Sunday, during the festival on August 4-6, alongside a huge line up of DJs.

The event boats more than 50 DJs, two stages, seven themed venues and four major live acts.

It kicks off at 2pm on Friday, August 4.

The soul festival takes over  Margate, including the old town, market, Winter Gardens and harbour.

Find out more here 

Broadstairs Folk Week

11 August – 18 August

Broadstairs Folk Week is a celebration of English and multi-cultural folk music and dance in its 52nd year .

Venues throughout the town burst with music and there are over 500 separate events crammed into one week. The 600 seater Concert Marquee in the town’s park is the festival hub where the  headline acts appear. Festival tickets are available for a week, weekend or a day – with or without camping on the festival’s own campsite which has on-site catering, loos, showers, dances and music – and the Panic Circus Tent. 

This year’s headliners include Lau, The Dylan Project, Faustus, the Demon Barbers, Rusty Shackle, Phil Henry and Hannah Martin, Tim Edey, Rod Clements and Ian Thompson, the Keston Cobblers Club and and many more. There are dances and ceilidhs in the Pavilion on the Sands; the Craft and Music Fair on Victoria Gardens; over 70 workshops in music, dance and song for beginners to advanced. There’s a full programme of children’s events – free family entertainment daily at the Bandstand with Clarence the Dragon and the famous Hooden Horses. Plus pub sessions; an opening parade on Saturday 12 August with morris sides and more.

Find out more here

World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle

Photo Bestival

12-25 August

The world’s biggest bouncy castle is coming to Dreamland this summer.

House of Bestival and Something Creatives teamed up to create the world’s biggest bouncy castle, which measures an epic 21 metres square and stands at nearly 13 metres tall at its highest point.

Filled with 1143 cubic metres of air it can comfortably accommodate 100 people at one time. It will be set up in the large area at the back of the Dreamland park.

Tickets will be priced at £3 for both Dreamland members and non-members.

Find out more here

Lark In The Park Fun Run

19 August, 12.30pm to 4.30pm

Lark in the Park’s Glo Fun Run and Mini Mile takes place alongside Lark in the Parks Fun Day event

1.15pm – A Mini Mile fun run for children (5-13yrs) who will be accompanied by an adult

3pm – The Glo Fun Run (14yrs+) which is approximately 5k in length.

Once finished the fun run participants will meet within the Park Life area for awards to commence.

Registration open during the day from Thursday 10th August 1.45pm until Friday 18th August at 4pm.

Wheels And Fins International Film Festival

19 August, 11am to 8pm

2017 sees the first year of the Wheels and Fins International Film Festival – A festival that showcases all things great about the coastal lifestyle – the sea, the beaches, action sports, surfing etc.

Screening of Official Selections at the Palace Cinema in Broadstairs, where there will also be presentations from key people in the sports cinema world and a chance for the winner to screen to 5,000 daily festival-goers over three days at the main Wheels and Fins event in September.

Broadstairs Water Gala

23 August, 9.30am to 10.30pm

Free family fun by the seaside at Viking Bay with  a  Victorian theme

Ramsgate Seaside Rocks Festival

25-28 August

Taking place around Harbour Parade, Pier Yard and The Queen’s Head

A traditional Bank Holiday festival for all the family.

Programme to be confirmed
*Rock Doc Music Stage
*Sunday night fireworks

Thanet Open Studios

By Ian Barrowcliffe

26-28 August, 10am to 4pm

Studios and Homes in Westgate, Margate, Cliftonville, Broadstairs and Ramsgate

Artists and Artisans across Thanet open up their studios or homes to the public over three weekends in August. A great opportunity to chat to the artists about the artworks and buy directly from them.