29 things to do and see in Thanet for free this Summer

Free family fun in Thanet

The school Summer holidays are here which means many parents will be trying to find activities to amuse the kids for six, long weeks.

But a day out doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s our list of 29 things to do with the family in Thanet for free.

Music at Broadstairs bandstand

Sundays from 2.30pm to 4pm

Ramsgate Festival July 22-30

The festival will include a fire finale

Loads of free fun, including Carboardia workshops, creating a fortress, rubbish monster and more ready for a battle on the sands on July 29, and the fire finale at Dumpton Gap on Jukly 30 at 9pm.

Find more events here

Peppa Pig at Dreamland

27 July

Peppa Pig, George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig will be taking a trip down to Margate to visit their friends at Dreamland.

The loveable pigs will be making personal appearances in the park at intervals throughout the day.

Entry to the park is free

Kent’s Marine And Coastal Wildlife

29 July – 3 September

Photo Carole Adams

Drum Room, Margate Visitor Information Centre, Droit House, Margate Harbour CT9 1JD

Free exhibition of our intriguing marine & coastal wildlife of the local Marine Protected Areas – with additional images from our volunteer Coastal Wardens / Guardians, and the SEAS archives of the Thanet coastline.

Broadstairs firework displays at Viking Bay

Photo Broadstairs Firework Events
  • Wednesday July 26
  • Wednesday August 2
  • Wednesday August 23 (Finale to Water Gala)

Each event (with the exception of Water Gala) starts at 6pm with fairground stalls and food on Victoria Gardens

From 8pm – live music on the Bandstand

Fireworks are planned for 9.45pm. (subject to weather conditions)

All these events are free but a bucket collection will be held.

Let’s Do This – Launch Event

2 August, 11am-3pm

Ellington Park, Ramsgate.

A day of family fun with a healthy lifestyle focus.

This event is supported by the National Charity Partnership – a partnership between Tesco and registered charities Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Margate Soul Festival

August 4-6

As part of the festival there will be free family friendly street performances, DJ led carnival street parties and free activities across the Old Town from midday Saturday and Sunday, including for the first time a Spoken Word, Open Mic and Workshop corner located at the new Beet Bar. ‘Spoken @ Margate Soul Festival’, will feature some of the biggest names to headline Margate’s Soul Food and Street Sonnets poetry night.

Free access outdoor stages

The Piazza – Zero Radio Stage.
Market Place – Mi-Soul and Revenge of the Soulboy Stage.
Fort Hill – Original Carnival Soul Sounds.

Stages will be open on August 5-6 from 12pm – 6pm.

Cliftonville Games

5 August

Dane Park, noon- 4.30pm

A free fun day of races, games, arts and crafts, bouncy castle, music, 5-a-side ide football and information tables

Margate Carnival

6 Aug, Parade at 3pm

The 2017 Margate Carnival will take place on Sunday 6th August. Moving off 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.

It will be headed by the last horse-drawn stage show in England led by descendant of Victorian star Lord George Sanger, the founder of Dreamland predecessor, the Hall By The Sea.

Dave Sanger and partner Amanda Chapman and baby Lord Sanger are at the head of a procession of travelling actors, musicians and performers who have walked from Stonehenge to join the Margate parade.

Margate Pride

Photo Jason Pay

August 12

Watch the parade from The Lido, Walpole Bay 2pm

Lark In The Park

10 August – 20 August

Government Acre, Ramsgate

Lark in the Park is now in its 15th year and a fixture in the local community’s summer plans, promising a huge programme that hosts something for every liking you will certainly not be disappointed when coming along. Lark in the Park is a gift to the community from local churches, providing a free event that has something for everyone.

Boasting venues for all ages, great hospitality. and a programme that runs every afternoon and evening regardless of the weather all for free. All you need to do is turn up, register at the registration tent and join in the fun!

Site opens 12.45pm-4.15pm and 7.45pm-9.30pm weekdays, 2pm-4.30pm weekend afternoons, Saturday evening 7.45pm-9.30pm and Sunday evening 5pm-7pm

Paw Patrol

10 August, Dreamland

A special visit from PAW Patrol’s Chase & Marshall who’ll be taking a break from their busy days protecting the community.

The heroic pups will be making personal appearances at intervals throughout the day in the park.

Free entry

Broadstairs Folk Week

11 August – 18 August

Venues throughout the town burst with music and there are over 500 separate events crammed into one week.

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.

Dizzy O’Dare at Dreamland

Dizzy O Dare presents The Giant Balloon Show from 11am to 6pm.

Expect balloon sculptures, high energy comic performance and of course the all important giant balloon! A show that will have the audiences in stitches and in awe simultaneously.

 Lark In The Park Fun Run

19 August

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.

Free to enter

Thanet Open Studios

19-20 August, 10am-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.

More details here

Broadstairs Bus Bonanza

20 August

Crampton Tower Museum, The Broadway, 10am-4pm

A bus enthusiasts day.

Enjoy a nostalgic bus ride around Broadstairs in old East Kent & Stagecoach route buses, lovingly cared for by former bus drivers.

Broadstairs Water Gala

23 August 9.30am-10.30pm

Fantastic day of free family fun by the seaside at Viking Bay with something for everyone

Now in its 129th year and the theme for 2017 is Victorian 

Events include
*Family Fun Fair
*Beach Games

Captain Barnacles & Kwazii From The Octonauts

24 August

Captain Barnacles and Kwazii from the Octonauts are venturing down to Dreamland for their next adventure.

Come and see the underwater explorers at intervals throughout the day

Free entry

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, celebrating all that we as local residents and businesses love about the Great British seaside

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

Punch And Judy

26-28 August, West Bay, Westgate

A series of Punch and Judy shows for visitors and residents to Westgate-on-Sea

Shows 3 times a day – 11am, 1pm and 4pm

The Big Family Bike Ride

27 August, 11am to 12.30pm

Palm Bay Café, Cliftonville.

A fun event to encourage families to get on their bikes.  5km coastal bike ride. Goody bags for all families.

This event is supported by the National Charity Partnership – a partnership between Tesco and registered charities Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Le Cirque du Platzak at Dreamland

Free entry, 11am to 6pm

Le Cirque du Platzak mixes energy and music with traditional and innovative circus techniques such as balance, acrobatics, fire, balls and self-made clubs, rope, rolling globe, cloud-swing, aerial plastique, bottle balance, acro-dance, and clowning arts.

This incredibly energetic show is a pure comedy full of enthusiasm and entertainment.

Addington Street Revival Fair

3 September, 10am-6pm

Taking place at Addington Street, Spencer Square, Vale Square and Nelson Crescent, Ramsgate

A variety of stalls selling various goods, plus historical, arts and musical activities.

Addington Street Revival Fair combines again with Ramsgate Handmade Vintage Fair

Viking Model Ship Rally

3 September, 10am-4pm

Boating Pool, Royal esplanade, Ramsgate

31st Ships Annual Rally

Stagecoach are running the 69 Open Top service from Broadstairs which stops right outside the Boating Pool.

Day on the beach

Photo Mel Chennell

Pack a picnic and head for one of the 15 bays and beaches in Thanet. Rockpooling, sandcastle building or, if you can spare a quid, check out the isle’s seashore safaris.

Identification sheet & equipment is provided and there is help on hand to identify your finds.

Wear suitable footwear for rocks & rockpools!  All events last for 2 hours and are suitable for ALL the family, but particularly 4-11s.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suggested donation of £1 per person (adults & children).

Further details & public booking/payment link online www.nekmpa.org.uk

Pegwell Country Park

Photo Brian Whitehead

Take a walk in the Green Flag Pegwell Bay Country Park and nature reserve

Pegwell Bay forms part of the Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve. It has stunning views of Sandwich and Deal to the West and the cliffs of Ramsgate to the East and is a great place for a walk or cycle ride.

The Nature Reserve is a Ramsar Site of International Importance and is a wonderful place to explore with lots to see at different times of the year. In the summer the grass is dotted with wild flowers such as orchids and broomrapes. In the winter the foreshore and mudflats attract thousands of wading birds, including dunlin, sanderling and grey plover. Birds of prey, such as Merlin, can also be seen at the site. Birdwatchers can use the public bird hide, which is also accessible for disabled visitors.

Sandwich Road
CT12 5JB

Park fun

Thanet has plenty of parks, including Dane Park in Margate and Ellington Park in Ramsgate. Take a picnic, let the kids run around and use the play equipment while you enjoy a bit of sun.

Turner Contemporary

Photo Stephen White

Spend the day being a culture vulture and take a look at the Every Day is a New Day exhibition.

Works by British sculptor Phyllida Barlow, British-Kenyan painter Michael Armitage and JMW Turner with artwork by young people from Kent and Africa.

Entry is free. Open Tuesday to Sunday and bank holidays 10am-6pm.
Closed Mondays except public holidays.

1 Comment

  1. The Zone Youth Club in partnership with Sport4NRG is running “Fit & Fed” – a 3 week summer activities programme for young people aged 10-16. Monday’s Wednesday’s and Fridays until 11th August, 10am til 3pm at St Peter’s Recreation Ground Broadstairs CT10 3AE. All free, including lunch! Enquiries to Victoria Suchak 07963226275

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