Eastbourne is providing some great family days out this May half term, with literary themed activities weaved into the Redoubt Fortress’s offering, many visits from some much-loved characters at Drusillas Park and free tennis to watch at the Aegon Eastbourne Trophy.
The Redoubt Fortress which houses Lewis Carroll’s bed desk from when he regularly holidayed in Eastbourne is borrowing inspiration from the Alice in Wonderland writer in its ‘Secret World of Words’ activity week.
Go down the rabbit-hole, make your own Wonderland creations, try puppet making, solve Lewis Carroll’s riddles and defeat the Queen of Hearts by creating playing cards. Enjoy spectacular story telling activities and search the fortress for clues on the trail for the mystery character.
Next door at the Pavilion, wander round this year’s free exhibition ‘Making Tracks: Eastbourne’s Bronze Age Mystery’, and discover a re-creation of part of the UK’s largest Bronze Age track-way, along with many other burial treasures, including part of a horse’s skeleton. Piece together the mysteries and create your own conclusions about the pre-historic site.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “The May half term is jam-packed with wonderfully fun experiences and what’s amazing is that with so much stunning coast and countryside at your fingertips, a great family day out in Eastbourne won’t cost you the earth. Stretch your young ones imaginations by letting them explore the secret world of words at the Redoubt, or stretch their legs and explore the South Downs National Park for a memorable May in Eastbourne.”
Drusillas Park’s brand new wet and wild water attraction, ‘Get Wet’ will be providing a fountain of fun for all ages this half term, with state-of-the-art sensory play features, splash pad, water jets, twirling streams and more, children can immerse themselves in this tropically inspired colourful installation attraction! Plus, on various dates Drusillas will be visited by Hello Kitty, The Fat Controller, Peppa Pig and George and brand new characters for this year, Bing and Flop.
There are plenty of ideas for cheap and free days out in Eastbourne too. Hop aboard the Dotto Train (weekends only) for a relaxing way to take in the sights of Eastbourne’s seafront, take a bucket and spade and go rock-pooling and fossil-hunting at Holywell, at the quieter end of the seafront.
Jump on a bicycle and head to the rolling hills of the South Downs for a family cycle ride along some of Sussex’s most stunning countryside or picnic in one of Eastbourne’s stunning parks such as Gildredge, Prince's or Hampden Park.
The Aegon Trophy coming to Eastbourne for the second time attracts some of the world’s top, up & coming women players from 28 May – 4 June and it’s totally free to watch. Inspire budding tennis youngsters by watching the free action on court at the Devonshire Park Tennis Centre.
Explore the beautiful surroundings of the Seven Sisters on Birling Gap’s ‘50 Things Trail’, a self-guided tour taking place on 29 May; follow the trail and answer a quiz to win a prize at the end!
Eastbourne’s spring beer festival, ‘Beer and Cider by the Sea’ takes place over the last May bank holiday weekend, with family friendly sessions on Saturday 28 May from 10.30am-3.30pm and Sunday 29 from 11am-7pm.
Eastbourne’s epic Bandstand season will play host to some great tribute concerts fit for family evenings out during the half term. On 3 June, Eastbourne’s seaside makes the perfect location for ‘The Beach Boys’ tribute, providing a sixties surfing soundtrack. The nostalgia will continue on 4 June when ‘Summer Dreaming’ pays homage to one ‘greasy’ iconic ‘50’s high school movie.