Free Events to Take Advantage of This Summer Across The UK

Posted on Jul 12 2017 - 9:20am by Ashlea Curley
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By Ashlea Curley and Samantha Clark

We’ve compiled a guide of free activities that you can take advantage of this summer across the UK- some events to be enjoyed by the whole family, others for a great night out- there’s bound to be something you’ll love.



Alternative Visions: Undiscovered Art in the South West

Where? Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

When? 3 June – 10 September 2017

Uncover 20 undiscovered artists who use art to express and communicate their life experiences including health issues, disabilities, difficult social circumstances and isolation. Check the website to find tours with exhibiting artist George J. Harding and Artists First: BSL or to suit any needs and disabilities.

Morph: Still Naughty at 40!

Where? The Mall at Cribbs Causeway

When? Megamorph Tour: 13 June – 13 July 2017/Exhibition: 14 July – 5 September 2017

Take the family on a tour of Bristol to spot a mighty MegaMorph to mark the launch of an exclusive exhibition by Bristol children’s hospital charity, The Grand Appeal and Aardman. Complete your tour by exploring the world of Morph to celebrate 40 years since his creation. Discover a range of activities such as interactive green screen, cinema showcasing and model-making. For further information, including details on the gentle giant, head to the Grand Appeal website.

Big Screen Bristol

Where? Millennium Square

When? Throughout summer

The Big Screen returns to Millennium Square once more so pack a picnic, cushions and blankets, something to wrap up in and watch your favourite sporting events and other fantastic performances on the square. Bookmark the ‘what’s on’ guide to keep up to date.

Clifton Fest 2017

Where? Clifton Village

When? 7 July – 9 July 2017

Head to Clifton for three days of live music, street entertainment and cultural performances. Perfect for all the family, you can expect to see magicians waving their magic wands and Bristol Zoo’s very own Denzel the Dino roaming the streets.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Where? Ashton Court Estate

When? 10 – 13 August 2017

The annual balloon fiesta is Europe’s largest meeting of hot air balloons with over 150 balloons from across the globe. Enjoy a day for all ages with fairground rides and entertainment as well as a skyline full of hot air balloons. Look to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta website for display, parking and full event information.

Cardiff castle


Grandfest Cymru

Where? St Fagans National History Museum

When? 9 July 2017

The Royal Voluntary Service charity presents a one day event to celebrate the heritage skills of older people. Spend the day learning tricks of the trade from quilting, rag rugging, embroidery to bread making and international dance, all hosted by over 70 year olds.

Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival

Where? Roald Dahl Plass

When? 14 – 16 July 2017

Discover over 100 local, national and international manufacturers at the biggest free food festival in Wales. Tickle your taste buds with a variety of samples including artisan breads, organic cheeses and homemade liqueurs. There’s fun for all the family with craft stalls, live music and numerous bars across the water’s edge.

Capital FM Cardiff Bay Beach

Where? Roald Dahl Plass

When? 28 July – 3 September 2017

Pack up the kids and head down to Roald Dahl Plass where you’ll find an urban seaside setting. Discover a child-friendly sandy beach, water play area and your favourite fairground rides. Enjoy a day in the sun with live music and entertainment, along with yummy food and refreshing drinks.

HSBC UK City Ride

Where? Roald Dahl Plass

When? 6 August 2017

Get on your bikes and cycle down to Roald Dahl Plass for a day of endless fun and activities. Race on the pop-up Street Velodrome, talk to expert bike mechanics, have a go on the virtual reality track, test your sprint skills and even get a free bike check! This event is perfect for the whole family, as little ones get a go on the BMX off road area and coaches will be available to show them some new skills, as well as getting to decorate their bikes.

Classic Car Rally

Where? Roald Dahl Plass

When? 13 August 2017

Spend the day admiring beautiful classic cars from the Glamorgan Classic Car Club overlooking Cardiff Bay Beach. Speak to the owners and get an up close view of famous cars from the film Mr Nice, 1970s motorbikes and Renault Rally Cars.



Vintage and Antiques Market

Where? Green Park Station

When? First and last Sunday of every month

Take a trip to the historic Green Park Station to find 60 high-quality traders under a curved glass roof of a beautiful Victorian building. Surround yourself with market stalls of vintage and retro antiques, furniture, fashion and jewellery. Complete with a DJ, breakfast bars and restaurants, perfect for those relaxing Sundays.

Walks at Prior Park

Where? Prior Park Landscape Garden

When? Every Thursday

Take a guided walking tour every Thursday of the historic Georgian landscape garden to discover how the garden is managed today. Explore the landscape garden while enjoying some light exercise during these warm summer mornings. Look to Visit Bath for more information, times and booking information.

Farmers’ Market

Where? Green Park Station

When? 1 April – 31 December 2017

Find a mixture of meat, fish, poultry and game, organic vegetables and herbs, award winning cheeses, savoury pies, homemade cakes and flowers; as well as, artisan goods including roasted coffees, vegan and gluten free food, handmade chocolates and locally brewed beers. Yummy.

Artisan and Independent Market

Where? Queen Street

When? 30 April – 19 November 2017

Every Sunday brings the city’s best sellers of artisan, art, craft, and vintage products. Browse the beautiful designs or sit and soak up the atmosphere at one of the street food stalls. A perfect day to spend with the whole family with plenty of room for kids and dogs to play too.

Brunch Market

Where? Green Park Station

When? 14 May – 10 December 2017

Discover the brand new Brunch Market every second Sunday of the month. Tickle your taste buds with a range of delicious cuisines from Clean Eating to Caribbean and Indian inspired brunches. Bring the whole family- there’s a Kids’ Corner tent with toys and books, art activities, and plenty of coffee and juice for those up early. Wander between food stalls and art traders to the sound of soothing music from the vinyl store.



Tony Cragg: A Rare Category of Objects

Where? Yorkshire Sculpture Park

When? 4 March – 3 September 2017

Admire sculptures, drawings and works from the past five decades at the biggest UK exhibition by sculpture Tony Cragg. Walk through the Underground Gallery or wander through the open air landscape to browse the planet’s resources at their finest.

Fairy Folklore: The Cottingley Fairies

Where? Cliffe Castle Museum

When? 8 May – 8 October 2017

After 100 years of the first ever photograph of the world famous Cottingley fairies captured in the Bradford District. The Cliffe Castle Museum offers the public an exhibition into the mysterious world of fairies. Click here for more information, times and dates.

Art in the Park

Where? Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

When? 1 March 2016 – 1 April 2018

Take a stroll through Lister Park to appreciate sculptures and artworks on loan by artists and from Bradford’s own collections. Discover creative artist’s beautiful and powerful work throughout the gallery into the Moghul Garden.

Simon Armitage: Poet in Residence

Where? Yorkshire Sculpture Park

When? 1 January – 30 December

Discover seasonal new work from Poet in Residence, Simon Armitage. The Professor of Poetry will showcase a range of creative elements from art and landscape to nature and people. Listen to a series of readings whilst relaxing in the beautiful scenery.

Alice Pattullo: Of House and Home

Where? Yorkshire Sculpture Park

When? 20 June – 17 September 2017

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the latest work of Alice Pattullo in her most ambitious project to date. Discover 60 new screen-printed editions referencing the fascination of superstitions and folklore of the London-based illustrator and printmaker.



Afternoon Play: Board Games

Where? Revolution

When? Every month

Join the monthly casual board game meet up with Afternoon Play for a day of classic board games, card games, dice games and everything else you can think of! Have a laugh with your childhood classic games whilst sipping on a refreshing drink.

Journey Film Night

Where? Birmingham LGBT Centre

When? First and third Tuesday of the month

Enjoy an evening watching your favourite films from classics like Funny Girl and Ghost to the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Journey Film Night never fails to entertain with a variety of films to suit all tastes.

Open Night Mic

Where? Ivy Leaf

When? Every Thursday

Join the Ivy Leaf for their open mic night with your instruments or sing along to the backing band. If you’re not up to the challenge, then sing along to some classic karaoke songs whilst enjoying a drink and friendly atmosphere.

DJ and Disco

Where? The New Inns

When? Every Friday

Boogie on down at the local traditional Irish bar in the heart of Birmingham. Enjoy a fun and pleasant night with a friendly atmosphere. So put your hair down and start the weekend right at The New Inns.



Looking at Landscape

Where? Ulster Museum

When? 23 June 2017 – 11 February 2018

Explore a world of landscapes like you’ve never seen them before. View a range of artists who have experimented with the shifting light, vast skies and varied natural environments to capture landscapes in a non-traditional way.

Treasure Hunt and Arts & Crafts

Where? Learning Space, Foundation Centre

When? 1 July – 31 August 2017

Take a trip with alien Albie around the world to discover the holiday destinations that Albie has popped off to. Decorate Albie’s holiday photographs with the arts and crafts stalls.

Carol Graham: Sea and Summer Exhibition

Where? Artisann Gallery

When? 5 July – 26 August 2017

Discover a studio of sea and summer images of Carol Graham’s latest work and of the past decade. Browse a range of genres including landscapes, seascapes, still life, horses, and spiritual, metaphorical and abstract images.

Make Your Own Race Car

Where? Ballyhackamore Library

When? 7 July 2017

Help the library reach the moon by taking your children to library to read as many books as they can over the summer holiday. Along with a range of activities and adventures of transport and travel.

Information Lecture: Help and Healing on the Spiritual Path through The Teaching of Bruno Groening

Where? Ballynafeigh Community Centre

When? 27 July 2017

Absorb the power of healing through Bruno Groening who has cured illnesses and pain of the “incurable”. The lecture will teach the spiritual healing process followed by a Community Hour for more interested participants.



Comedy Nights at The Grove

Where? The Grove Bar and Restaurant, 83 Hammersmith Grove- nearest tube station is Hammersmith

When? Every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30pm

A new comedy club is coming to London! A fantastic night out where you’ll see between 10-12 comedians per night, it’s a great chance to see the new up and coming stars of comedy in this unique, popular location.

Frieze Sculpture 2017 in Regent’s Park

Where? Regents Park’s English Gardens

When? Until the 8th of October

Take a stroll amongst some great, contemporary sculpture art to get a taste of Frieze Masters and Frieze London before the renowned art fairs open their doors in October. You can also join a guided tour of the open-air display, or download the free Frieze Sculpture Audio Tour app, with descriptions of all the artworks on show.

Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Graphic Art

Where? House of MinaLima, Greek Street, London

When? Monday to Sunday 12pm-7pm

A must for any Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fan. Step inside the graphic design house to see first hand the magical artwork creations from the popular movie franchise, they’ve even secured some props from Warner Bros to display too.

London Bridge City Summer Festival

Where? 3 locations between London Bridge and Tower Bridge; The Scoop, The Pier and Hay’s Galleria

When? Various events and dates until the 29th July.

Enjoy the summer sporting events on the big screen, watch cult classics such as Bill and Ted and Cool Runnings and the family favourite Finding Nemo. Sing along with live gospel choir, GOSPELOKE to popular songs like Purple Rain and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. And to finish it off, attend the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as the Alice in Wonderland’s iconic characters come to life.

Festival of Love

Where? Southbank Centre

When? 11th-31st July

A festival dedicated to how love can make a difference. There are art installations, pop eateries, talks and performances with a little something that can be enjoyed by everyone.



Jazz and Blues Festival

Where? Various locations across the city

When? 14th- 23rd July

Been going since 1978 and growing ever since, this festival is the soul of the best jazz and blues music in the world. Although the majority of the 170 concerts are ticketed, join in the New Orleans style Mardi Gras celebration on the 15th where you’ll get a taste of live Jazz and Blues from all over the world.  The party continues on the 16th with over 800 carnival performers– and on the 16th, there will be a Chinese Carnival Show at the Rose Theatre where tickets are free but must be reserved.

Fringe Festival

Where? Various venues across the city

When?  4th-28th August

With over 800 free events, Edinburgh Fringe is one to add to the must do list this Summer. In the free events there is a fantastic mix of adult focused and family friendly so you’re sure to find something for everyone. This annual cultural and arts show puts on over 50,000 performances and most comedians get their big breaks here- so you never know, you may meet the next big star.

Social in the Gardens

Where? Princes Street Gardens

When? 2nd and 3rd August

Enjoy some live music, theatre and dance, follow the social trail in the city, admire the art exhibition set in the gardens and enjoy some fresh, local produce and products all whilst supporting the social enterprises based in and around the city.

The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial

Where? National Museums Scotland

When? 10-5pm until 3rd September

An exhibition for anyone interested in Egyptian history. Explore the tomb erected for Tutankhamun’s chief of police and wife and the many uses it experienced over 1000 years, including the artifacts discovered within.

City Arts Centre

Where? City Art Centre

When? Various

The City Arts Centre are running a number of free exhibitions, shows and activities for adults, children and families alike. There are a whole host of programmes available to try. Although the majority of activities are free, booking is recommended to secure your space.

Take a look at Visit Scotland to see free attractions and activities to inspire a trip



Come to the Beach!

Where? Heaton Park

When? Sat 22nd July- 3rd September

Relax and build sandcastles on the pop up beach coming to the city this summer. They’ve also a whole host of theme park rides and inflatables to enjoy as well with special discounts for these rides- the coupon must be printed to be valid.

Jazz Festival

Where? Various

When? 28th July- 6th August

Enjoy a collection of national, EU and international Jazz artists- a lot of the shows are free with some, due to capacity, requiring pre-registration. They’ve also introduced a number of hands-on family friendly activities and events that are well worth exploring- there’s something for everyone.

Summer Sundays

Where? Piccadilly Gardens

When? Every Sunday until 24th September. 11-5:30

Enjoy an easy, chilled out Sunday with good food and a selection of local crafts at this unique event that only runs during the summer.



Summer Jazz

Where? The Quay

When? Every Sunday during July and August- 12:30-3:30pm

Enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon, maybe order some brunch and enjoy some live music put on by The Quay Trust.

Guildhall Street Food Market

Where? St Pancras Church

When? 28th July and 25th August

A must for foodies– although the food won’t be free, entry is and is a great chance to be inspired by the best food in the South West. Enjoy the taste of local produce and enjoy some live music- perfect for a lazy day.

Paignton Festival

Where? Paignton

Although not in Exeter exactly this event is well worth making the trip. A carnival style event that has grown over the 100 years it has been running, you can take advantage of  9 days of free entertainment for the whole family.

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