Here comes the summer!

What’s not to love about summer by the seaside? There are long evenings to enjoy, warm weather to relax in (British summer dependent!) and plenty of things to do. Our events listings are always full to bursting during July, August and September, as the summer months bring out a whole host of things to do.

If you're looking at what's on in Portsmouth this summer, let us take you on a guided tour of the biggest and best events coming up over the months ahead. Also, to make things easier, we've grouped the events into family-friendly and adult-oriented, so those looking for things to do away from the school holiday crowds are still well catered for.


Victorious Festival

Though this could happily appear in both categories, the sheer volume of entertainment on offer within the festival site (from ages 3 to 103), puts it right here.

Victorious Festival has gone from strength to strength in a relatively short period of time, attracting some of the biggest names in music to Southsea Common (formerly Portsmouth Historic Dockyard). This year's celebrations will be headlined by The Libertines on Friday, Paul Weller on Saturday and The Prodigy (playing a UK festival exclusive) on Sunday. Elsewhere on the line up are the likes of Paloma Faith, Beach Boys icon Brian Wilson and pop sensation Years & Years.

Victorious Festival has been recognised at national awards for its family-friendly facilities. This year, the kids arena has performances from CBeebies stars Swashbuckle, mini wheelers at Southsea Skatepark, and a guest appearance from the one and only Paddington Bear.

Dockyard Alive

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard always has a whole host of things for families to do over the summer holidays and this year is no exception. Activities for its Dockyard Alive celebration get started on 21 July and run all the way through to 2 September.

Visitors to the Dockyard can create glitter tattoos, get their faces painted and sit inside a WASP helicopter. There will also be historic characters walking through the Dockyard for visitors to interact with - in what's being promised will make "wow moments" that will be remembered for years.

If all this wasn't enough, families can take advantage of a special offer running all summer, where kids go free with each adult ticket purchased.

Mary Rose - Tudor England

The Dockyard isn't the only attraction where kids can go free this summer - there's a similar offer available at The Mary Rose. With each full priced adult ticket, a child can get free entry to the museum and see Henry VIII's beloved flagship - as well as the tranche of Tudor artefacts rescued alongside her.

As for activities, The Mary Rose has again teamed up with Bright Bricks to create a new and interactive Lego exhibit - following the success of its Henry VIII portrait. Tudor England - Brick By Brick lets visitors create a plaque out of Lego, to be placed within a huge 12-metre mosaic. When complete, it will show the iconic Cowdray Engraving - a vast and detailed depiction of Portsmouth on the day the Mary Rose sank in July 1545.

Those wanting a memento of their trip will also be catered for, as Bright Bricks has also designed a mini model that visitors young and old can make and then take away with them.

International Kite Festival

2018 marks the Portsmouth International Kite Festival's 27th year. During this time the event has become established as one of the best in the country - attracting kite fliers from around the world. This two-day event sees the skies above Southsea Common burst into colour, featuring everything from large, novelty kites to smaller, sprightly dancing ones. There are regular shows throughout the weekend, plus plenty of stalls for those who are encouraged by what they've seen to give it a go themselves.


Sunset Sundays

What better way could there be of capping off the weekend (or, indeed, banishing those pre-Monday blues) than with a trip up the Emirates Spinnaker Tower to watch the sunset. Every Sunday during summer the attraction hosts a pop-up bar, serving wines, beers and spirits including locally sourced favourites such as Upham Ale and Isle of Wight Gin. There's also live music to enjoy whilst taking in the views.

The Sunset Sundays ticket price includes access to the tower's three view decks plus a complimentary drink on arrival.

Prosecco Festival

If you can't get enough of the fizz, why not grab tickets to the Prosecco Festival, taking place at Portsmouth Pyramids on 31 August and 1 September. The event - which regularly sells out venues across the country - sees visitors sample up to 40 different types of Prosecco, cava, pink fizz and more. There will also be cocktails, Italian street food and live music.

Ticket holders get a glass of Prosecco on arrival, a keepsake flute and event guide.

Live theatre and comedy

Just because many starts of stage and screen spend their Augusts in Edinburgh, don’t fear that this means a quiet time across the nations theatres and live venues. In fact, it's quite the opposite - at least if our event listings are anything to go by.

This summer there's evening entertainment for all tastes and budgets, whether that's the gross-out comedy of the League of Gentlemen, the vocal harmonies of G4 Live in Concert, or the side-splitting slapstick of The Play that Goes Wrong.

Rum Dinner

There's enjoying a tot of rum, and then there's enjoying one on board an authentic Victorian ship.

What better way is there to enjoy the Navy's signature drink than in such imposing, authentic surroundings?

HMS Warrior's Rum Dinner allows visitors to try a variety of tastings while taking a walking tour of the pride of Queen Victoria's navy. As that will work up quite the appetite, there will be a thee-course dinner served later, complete with a few more rum tastings for good measure.

Throughout the evening there will be rum experts on hand to give intriguing talks and answer any questions that visitors may have on this ever-popular spirit.

With an event schedule that's full to the brim, you're sure to find plenty of things to do in Portsmouth this summer. Even if the above events don't fit the bill, there's plenty more to browse through on the Visit Portsmouth event listings.


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