Looking towards the long summer holidays with a mixture of excitement and trepidation? Yeah, we know the feeling. But we’ve got you, we’re putting together a list of some of the best events and activities that you can take part in over the summer. Taking you through to early September, here are some of the best things you can do in Leicester and Leicestershire over the next month and a half. And of course, there are loads more on our event calendar.

Festival time!

Leicester is famed for its festivals and this year is no different, with a plethora of different festivals taking place over the summer. The party begins with An Indian Summer, running from 21-23 July, with an outdoor showing of Shola on Friday, performances, readings and then on the Sunday, a day of festival fun in Orton Square

Also in the city centre on the 22 and 23 July is Journeys Festival International. A celebration of Leicester as an international and diverse city, you will see a giant roaming the city, discover a blend of virtual reality with live performance and experience an excellent weekend of free creative and cultural activity.

Then on Saturday 5 August one of the biggest celebrations of Caribbean culture in the UK comes to the city with the Leicester Caribbean Carnival parading through the city to Victoria Park where there’ll be colourful outfits, music, food and loads more!

Leicester’s summer of punk, centred around the amazing exhibition at Leicester Museum comes to a frantic conclusion with the Punk Festival Weekender on 18-20 August, which includes performances around the city, loads of activities, and a show at the O2 featuring Buzzcocks, UK Subs, Ed Tudor Pole and more!  

That weekend also sees the Belgrave Mela come to the city centre on Sunday 20 August. An amazing mix of live music, dance, food, fashion, arts and culture from across the Indian subcontinent. All totally free for you!

For the bank holiday weekend, there’s a fantastic Festival, which has already been selected as one of the best in the UK. Run by Art Reach, the Re/action festival aims to raise awareness of climate change, with fun pop-up performances, exhibitions and installations along with opportunities to learn how to re/pair, re/purpose, re/work and re/use old things.

The summer fun comes to a close with the 15th anniversary of Leicester Pride. This flamboyant Festival is moving to a new, bigger venue, as it hops across town from Victoria Park to Abbey Park on Saturday 2 September.

On stage this summer

There’s plenty happening on stage this summer, both inside and outside. At Kilworth House Outdoor Theatre, Hairspray is already whipping up a storm and is there until 6 August. On 22 July at Bosworth Battlefield there’s an outdoor production of one of history’s most famous outlaws, as Robin Hood comes to the Battlefield.

The open air shows for the whole family keep coming with a journey to see Peter Rabbit and his friends at the 1620s house on the 26 July, and then a production of Peter Pan at Stoughton Grange Farm in Oadby on the 8 August.

Curve has a few fantastic shows for everyone. The Tiger Who Came to Tea will be there from 31 July-5 August. While at the same time, the show for the grown ups is La Bamba, running from 1-5 August and bringing some Latin spice to the theatre. The it’s a musical stage adaptation of an 80s classic as Heathers The Musical hits the stage with a tale of jealousy and murder at high school from 15-19 August. And finally, something a little different as Leicester’s favourite lesbian folk singer Grace Petrie debuts her stand-up show on 29 August at the The Big Difference venue on high street in Leicester.

Family fun for the long summer months

As with every summer, there’s loads to keep your little ones entertained. And Billy Bates Funfair in Abbey Park is one of the best. They’re going to be there all summer long, and also in the city centre on Humberstone Gate West from 15 July.

Wistow Maze is the best way to get lost in the Leicestershire countryside and their huge crop maze, this year in the shape of a sea turtle, is opening on the 17 July, running all the way through until early September. If you’ve not been before, make this the year!

The 1620s House are hosting a special day with extra “Arrrrrr” with their Pirate Day on the 3 August. In the city, the museums are going magical, with the wizarding world coming to Belgrave Hall on the 9 August and to the Guildhall on 17 August, loads of free and low cost magical fun for your little ones.

Come to Abbey Pumping Station on the 20 August for a Summer Family Fun Day. Lots of fun stalls, vintage vehicles, the majestic Beam Engines in full steam and the Steam Railway. Accompanied kids under 16 go free!

Coming to the west end of Leicester on Saturday 22 July is the Western Park Festival, a day full of music and stalls and fun and a dog show too! And over in Ashby on bank holiday weekend, is the Ashby Big Weekend, two days of fun, music, food and a free artisan market!

Music and more

The summer of music starts with a big one as the legendary Tom Jones brings his Ages and Stages show to the Leicestershire Cricket Ground on the 15 July. Then the following day, Leicester’s own Mahalia plays an extra special show at the Y Theatre to celebrate the release of her new album. It’s already sold out but she’s also doing an instore appearance at HMV in the city on Saturday 15 July at 1pm.

90s kids will all remember the Fun Loving Criminals, but did you know that now, two of their members are from right here in Leicester and they’re playing the Soundhouse on the 20 July.

Coming to Victoria Park on 22 July is one of the best tribute shows you can find, as the Fake Festival welcomes tributes to Guns n Roses, Queen, U2 and more. 

On 11 August the 2Funky Music Café is celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop with a special event featuring rappers, DJs, b-boys, graffiti, merch stalls, food & more. That same weekend the city centre comes alive with the sound of trumpets, delicious bass runs and ratatat drums as For The Love Of Jazz brings the cool swinging sounds to Leicester from 11-12 August.

Food and drink

We’re celebrating the taste of Leicester and Leicestershire with our new campaign Taste the Place and there’s loads of places to go and try over the summer. The Dine and Devour Food Festival comes to Ashby De La Zouch's historic Bath Grounds on 15-16 July. The Scoff Food Festival is a monthly event at the Gate Hangs Well in Syston and they’re holding their next one on the 29 July

The Feast Hinckley Food Festival is on the weekend of the 5 and 6 August in the beautiful Argents Mead park. Featuring foods from all over the world, live music, entertainment, local radio and much more

Melton is fame for its pies and PieFest returns to the rural capital of food where you can sample and buy award winning pies from our region and further afield. This is also on the 5 and 6 August. One of our other market towns, Market Harborough is hosting the Big Harborough Food Festival on the 19-20 August, with more than 50 artisan food producers, street food, fairground, family entertainment and live music.

And finally for the food section, coming back to the city again is the brilliant Brewbeat beer and music festival. From the 1-3 September enjoy 40 craft beers and 30 musicians plus a range of non alcoholic drinks, ciders, gins, fizz and cocktails. The best way to ease back into the autumn.

Historical events

Thinking something a little more historic? Throughout July the Festival of Archaeology are holding talks, digs, and information sessions all around Leicester and Leicestershire. Check it all out on their website.

Then pop along to Hinckley’s Medieval Family Fun Day on the 22-23 July for All the Fun of a Medieval Fair! Fighting Knights, a Jester, Musicians and Childrens activities. Leicester’s regular Heritage Sunday at the end of the month allows you to explore the city’s rarely seen historic buildings for free (or get a guided tour for a small cost. It’s on the 30 July.

Bosworth Battlefield have a host of historic happenings going on, with History Through the Ages on the 6 August, the Medieval Medley replacing their usual medieval festival for this year only on the 19-20 August and then they welcome back the Ferrers Household Living History on the 26-28 August over the bank holiday weekend.




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