Heading down to Pylewell Park, Lymington for the Curious Arts Festival means getting ready for something more than a little bit unique.
Billed as a festival for the mind, this isn’t necessarily the place to go for glow-sticks and raves. What you will discover is a treasure trove of activities for the whole family to enjoy, and they tickle everything from your artistic impulses to your literary bend to your urge to hunt down monsters.
Curiouser and curiouser might just been the event’s motto. Even for adults, you’ll find attractions as diverse as breathing classes, life drawing workshops, and snail racing. However, it’s lovers of the written word and written worlds who will find themselves most at home.
Britain’s most remarkable contemporary authors flock to The Curious Arts Festival, with upcoming literary luminaries including Carol Ann Duffy, Michel Faber, Poet Laureate Andrew Miller, Andrea Wulf (winner of the Costa Prize for Biography), as well as television and film’s Celia Imrie. Talks, debates, and question-and-answer segments will all be given, and signed works will be available from a Waterstones pop-up bookshop.
Once you’ve had your fill, make sure you enjoy the event’s three nights of live music. An eclectic host of acts will make an appearance, including Lucy Rose, Billy Bragg, Willow Robinson, The Great Brain Robbery, and Harriet Rose. Further attractions include a showcase of stand-up comics and even the Curious Opera.
For the kids, there’s even more on offer, and that’s part of what makes this such a wonderful family destination. Writing workshops, family yoga, insect walks, and poetry trails help you connect, and further kid-centric activities include:
- The Curious Bear Hunt: Performers lead children on a hunt through Pylewell Park for a friendly and loveable bear.
- Imagination Lab: Embracing scientific and artistic creativity, your kids will partake in anything from scavenger hunts to stop-frame animation.
- The Week Junior Journalism Course: Little ones create their own magazine front cover to tell their unique festival story.
- The Jabberwocky Hunt: Turn the tables on ‘the claws that catch’ by hunting down the Jabberwock with Major Jack Union, monster hunter to Queen Victoria.
- History of Monster Hunting: Learn of daring historical tales from author and cryptozoologist Kit Cox.
- Delightful Stories: Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Jennifer Bell, and Paul Blezard enchant with readings from favourite children’s books.
From the oldest to the youngest, The Curious Arts Festivals holds treats aplenty and a wonderfully inviting atmosphere.