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Enjoy arts and cultural activities in the New Forest this summer

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

Make it a summer of family-fun, wellbeing, and unique experiences with arts and cultural activities in the New Forest. You'll find a host of wonderfully creative things to do in the New Forest at the many arts and culture hubs across the district. With a range of activities suitable for any age and ability, Folio New Forest members make it a summer of arts accessible to all.

hArt will continue to run its regular drop in Wellbeing Wednesday sessions in Lymington throughout the summer. 10.30am–12.30pm at the Cricket Club, and fortnightly at Avonway Community Centre in Fordingbridge on the 24th July, 14th and 28th August, and onwards, from 11am–1pm. Please contact the hArt office (01590 435045) for further information.

Visit the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst to see the summer Open Art Exhibition, showcasing the best of local art related to the New Forest. Throughout the summer they will be holding Family Discovery Days where you can learn about the New Forest whilst having fun!  Entry to the Centre’s museum and gallery is free, and they have an excellent forest-themed Gift Shop.

As well as enjoying the current Command of the Seas: The Navy and the New Forest against Napoleon exhibition at St Barbe Museum + Gallery, you can enjoy some family time every Wednesday with free children's activities on Buzz Days, with a different activity every Wednesday during the school holidays. Top it off with a morning coffee, light lunches, or afternoon tea in the Old School Cafe.

From Monday 12th – Friday 16th August, ages 7-16 years can enjoy a week of theatre skills on the Summer Holiday Workshop at Forest Forge Theatre. An exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of theatre and performance for a whole week, exploring it through drama, text, poetry, movement, and most importantly – play. You will also have the opportunity to think about all aspects of the staging process, including set; props; costume; and make up. Find out more.

At Forest Arts in New Milton you'll find a full programme of entertainment including some of the most exciting touring musicians, stand-up comedy, fortnightly film screenings, talks and community events. Over the summer there's also an exciting selection of summer schools, creative camps, and art classes for all ages. Every Thursday evening in August there are free gigs at 7.30pm – Green Room Live. Each week there’s a headline artist, all of whom are professional musicians, and they are supported by some of the best local musicians.

There’s also films for all ages, during the day and evening every week in August. Take a look at their full programme.

Over at Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton, discover holiday workshops including African Activities Holiday Club and great family activities such as a Circus Skills Family Workshop. There's also a full programme of shows, workshops, and films throughout the summer. Take a look at their full programme.

Explore the world through the eyes of the animal. Using VR technology, go on a fascinating journey flying above the forest canopy, come face-to-face with hi-definition critters and embody various animals as you traverse the forest landscape. See the forest through the eyes of its animals at the New Forest & Hampshire County Show from the 30 July - 1 August, and then again at SpudWORKS in Sway from the 5 - 7 August. 

Coda Music Trust will be out and about this summer in the New Forest, bringing music to your doorstep with a range of events throughout the summer. On the 31st July Coda team up with Forest Arts to bring you Walk the Line, presenting some epic music-based films, and on the 15th August Coda will be taking some of the best local musicians to Forest Arts for Green Room Live.

To keep up-to-date with arts and cultural activities in the New Forest this summer, be sure to follow Folio New Forest on Facebook.

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