18 things to do this bank holiday weekend

Travel Around the World arts and craft sessions, Braintree District Museum, May 27-June 2, 11am-1pm.

Travel Around the World arts and craft sessions, Braintree District Museum, May 27-June 2, 11am-1pm. Photo: Braintree District Museum - Credit: Archant

Looking for something to do across Suffolk and Essex? Here are some days out ideas.

Travel Around the World, Braintree District Museum, May 27-June 2, 11am-1pm

Create your own T-shirt or bag inspired by Indian culture, patterns and design; your own African-inspired mask, Ndebele House and collar necklace; your own mini sombrero, maracas and Mexican mirror, Chinese lantern, dragon puppet or rattle drum or be inspired by Aboriginal art before making your own dot picture, boomerang and didgeridoo.

Cockfield Art Show, Cockfield Village Hall, near Bury St Edmunds, May 27-29, 10am-4pm

More than 100 artists showcase more than 650 pictures plus pottery, glassware, ceramics and woodturning in support of community projects. Breaking with tradition, if you like something and buy it you can take it away with you before the end of the show.


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Three Mills Walk, Melford Hall, May 27, 10.30am-1pm

Guided walk from Melford Hall to Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury along the old railway line and taking in three water mills as well as Sudbury’s water meadows.

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Mersea Island Food, Drink and Leisure Festival, Mersea Island, Essex, May 27-28, 11am-5pm

Two days of family activities, music and more good food than you can possibly eat. New this year are local authors, dance and karate workshops, hamster balls and an aerial adventure course with 18m high swing.

Lion’s Club of Ipswich Art Show, Tithe Barn, Sproughton, May 27-29, 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday; 10am-4pm Monday

Featuring more than 300 pieces of work by local artists. All proceeds from the art show will go towards this year’s Lion president’s charity appeal. This year the club is supporting The Red Rose Chain Community Project.

Circus Fantasia, The Jolly Roger, Clacton Pier, May 27-June 4, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm

The non-animal circus features acrobats, clowns and a traditional water show.

Portraits of Trees, Boat House Gallery, Flatford, until June 25

Janet French and Emma Buckmaster make etchings of British trees and print them onto paper made from that tree’s own leaves. There will be a printmaking demo on bank holiday Monday.

Spring Birds, Lackford Lakes, May 28, 10am-4pm

Explore with local ornithologist Paul Holness and learn to observe and identify the great variety of birdlife, particularly late spring migrants.

Country and Pet Show, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, May 28-29, 10am-5pm

Fun and entertainment including arena attractions, animals and shopping stands. Highlights include the Dzhigitova Stunt Show, Conquest K9 Display Team, falconry, living history display, sheep shearing, have a go archery, Essex Heavy Military Vehicles and more.

The Great Garden Trail, Glemham Hall, May 28, gates open 11am,

Raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice, Ipswich; roam the gardens of the Elizabethan mansion featuring Irish yews, roses, lily pond, herbaceous borders, spreading cedars and more or just admire the sculptures.

Flatford Nature Day, Flatford, May 30, 11am-4pm

Go wild and get a little dirty at this special day aimed at families. A £3 wild passport will get you pond dipping, bug hunting and the chance to make natural crafts.

Medieval Fun and Games / Discovery Day / Victorian Toy Making, Colchester Castle, May 30, 10am-4pm / Natural History Museum, May 31, 10am-noon, 2pm-4pm / Holytrees Museum, June 1, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm

Find out how Medieval people spent their free time via activities, games and music; enjoy a fun day of crafts and activities or work with an artist to make your own mini glove person and dress them up as a Victorian.

Mister Maker and The Shapes, Ipswich Regent, May 30, 1.30pm

The CBeebies’ arts and crafts hero encourages Mini Makers and grown-ups to sing, dance and make some noise.

Suffolk Talons and Essex Tails, main nave, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, May 30-31, 10am-noon, 1pm-3pm

Storyteller Hatty’s tales of the battles between the Suffolk black dragon and Essex red dragon. Coinciding with the Suffolk Heraldry Exhibition on display in the cathedral, there will be crafts and a heraldic hunt plus the chance to create your own history, coat of arms for your family and your own dragon to take home.

Singing Safari, Co-op Education Centre, Ipswich, every Tuesday from May 30, 7.30pm

Woodbridge choirmaster Chris Rowbury is looking for people to learn a bunch of songs which will then be performed at Global Rhythm day in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, on July 8. No auditions, no need to read music and nobody will be asked to sing solo.

Suffolk Show, Trinity Park, Ipswich, May 31, 7am onwards, last admission 5.30pm, grand ring programme starts at 8.30am; June 1, 7am onwards, grand ring programme starts at 8am, last admission 5.30pm

A celebration of the countryside, farming and food packed with family entertainment. Attractions include the horses and stunt riders from BBC series Poldark.

Newmarket Kite Symphony Open Days, The Mews at the National Heritage Centre for Horseracingand Sporting Art, May 31-June 1, 11am-4pm

Wednesday’s drop-in sessions are about kite design with artist Paula Wilson helping all ages create one of the six kites to be used for Newmarket Carnival procession. Thursday’s session includes flying with Paula and fellow artists Marcelo Camus and Zack De Santos.

Julia Sutton, The Cut, Halesworth, May 31, 2.30pm

The artist and writer presents her first novel, A Sea of Straw. It’s 1966 and Jody, a young mother and designer from the north of England, arrives on the Lisbon coast, bringing the lure of Swinging London to the life of Portuguese painter Zé Will’s life. Their burgeoning love is interrupted when, back in England, Jody’s husband forces her to choose between their two-year-old daughter Anna and Zé.

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