What’s on in Suffolk, Essex and beyond over this weekend? End the half-term holiday with a fun-filled familly day out

Audley End's Elizabethan jousting day. Photo: Nigel Wallace-Iles

Audley End's Elizabethan jousting day. Photo: Nigel Wallace-Iles - Credit: Nigel Wallace-Iles

Creepy crawly workshop, open farm weekend and open gardens, there’s plenty to see and do in Suffolk and beyond this weekend - and here we bring you a round up of family days out.

Braxted Park

Braxted Park - Credit: Archant

Mini Monsters Creepy Crawly Roadshow, Beccles Library, 11am-1pm, Saturday, June 4

Meet Ed Mackay and his selection of mini-beasts, reptiles and inver-tebrates for this free event. Learn some fascinating facts and get the chance to handle tarantulas, giant millipedes, hissing cockroaches, a lizard and a snake. No need to book.

Free family art Saturdays, Firstsite, Colchester, 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm, Saturday, June 4

Artist Diddy Kirton, one of many taking part in this year's Suffolk Open Studios

Artist Diddy Kirton, one of many taking part in this year's Suffolk Open Studios - Credit: Archant

Join in the fun in the factory and studio spaces with a range of fun and crea-tive art activities inspired by Andy Warhol.This Saturday visitors can explore the digital factory with the resident artists.


You may also want to watch:


The Complete Deaths, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, Saturday, June 4

Spymonkey and Tim Crouch’s new show is part of the theatre’s PULSE Festival. It’s a solemn, sombre, silly tribute to the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s death. There are 74 onstage deaths in his works, 75 if you count the black ill-favoured fly killed in Titus Andronicus.

Most Read

They range from the Roman suicides in Julius Caesar to the death fall of Prince Arthur in King John; the carnage at the end of Hamlet to snakes in a basket in Antony and Cleopatra. There are countless stabbings, plenty of severed heads, some poisonings, two mobbings and a smothering. Enorbarbus just sits in a ditch and dies from grief. Then there’s the pie Titus serves the Queen of the Goths.

Lackford Lakes Family Bat Walk, Bury St. Edmunds - Saturday, June 4, 9pm-11pm

Try taking a walk around the nature reserve with bat detectors on Saturday evening - remember your torch!

The minimum age is 8 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

The cost is £2 for children and £4 for adults, Booking is essential.

Saxmundham Craft Fair, Saxmundham Market Hall - Saturday, June 4, 10am-2pm

Handcrafted good available to buy directly from the creators. Find the perfect gifts for others or a treat for yourself. Homemade cakes, baked goods and refreshments all available. Free entry.

Beginners archery session, West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village - Saturday, June 4, 11am-4.30pm

Arnor Archery are running four archery taster sessions at the West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village delivered by an Archery GB instructor. Suitable for adults and children from 10 years. As it is an outside event, suitable clothing is advised. It is advised to arrive 10 minutes prior to your session.

Booking is essential, adults £10 and children £8

Open Farm Sunday, Sunday, June 5

Sunday marks the annual Open Farm Sunday event where farmers up and down the country open their gates to the public.

It is a unique opportunity to discover what it means to be a farmer including the way food is managed and produced.

Find your nearest open farm here

Shakespeareathon, The Avenue theatre, Ipswich, June 4-5

Red Rose Chain’s biggest fundraising event yet kicks off at 7.30pm tomorrow with the Ipswich-based company’s final performance of Richard III before giving way to everything from sketches and performances to dance and songs inspired by the playwright.

Suffolk Open Studios, various location, June 4-5

Around 130 artists have signed up for this year’s initiative, giving us the chance to see them at work and browse exhibitions.

Running on the weekends of June 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26, a range of art will go on display across the county including oils, watercolours, acrylics, photography, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, glassware, sculpture, 2D and 3D mixed media, printmaking, mosaics and more.

Visit www.suffolkopenstudios.org for more information.

Joust for Elizabeth, Audley End, Saffron Walden, June 4-5

English Heritage’s latest event runs 10.30am-5pm tomorrow and Sunday. The Essex house and gardens will make merry with minstrels, jolly jesters, music and more.

Choose your side and cheer on your favourites as noble knights on horseback charge at each other in jousting battles. Visit the living history camp and take in the sights, sounds and smells of everyday life of a member of the court. Children can even have a go at their own mock battles for the queen, but be sure to keep your head.

Open gardens, various locations, June 4-5

Dozens of gardens opening across the county for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) Festival Weekend.

Some of the annual visitors’ favourite gardens will feature, including Moverons at Brightlingsea, Furzelea at Danbury and Spencers at Great Yeldham. There are more open at Wendens Ambo, near Saffron Walden; and Waltham Abbey.

Historic Braxted Park, Great Braxted, Witham, is opening its Queen Anne gates for the first time for one day only from 10am-4pm, June 8.

Visit www.ngs.org.uk for more details on what’s open where and when.

Yoxford Open Gardens, 11am-5pm, Sunday, June 5

Tickets, available from the village hall, cost £3. All profits will go to Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth, Ipswich Alzheimer’s Society and Yoxford Village Hall.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter