June 8, 2017

Planning a creative summer

This year summer has come early, and for all of us trapped behind computers, in offices, or just working hard at managing the daily life of home and work, we often look enviously at those basking in the unexpected sunshine, or having the freedom to have a more relaxed work/life balance.

Have a Creative SummerAll is not lost, however, there is still plenty of time to plan activities, short weekend breaks and holidays where we can explore our creativity. First, spend time thinking about what creative activities you really enjoy taking part in.

Is this something that you want to do on your own, with a friend, or partner, or as a family? If you are going on holiday, finding a location where there is opportunity to do something creative is a wonderful way of combining the two. Whether staying in a hotel, or self-catering it is always worth enquiring what opportunities there are available locally.

Travel companies are becoming far more aware of the diverse interests of their guests, concierge services are now much more widely available, and the perfect solution to your creative needs is to have it arranged before you arrive.

Even if you are not planning a holiday away, there are many ways that you can stimulate your creativity at home. For children in particular having a collection of crafting materials is a perfect way of encouraging them to leave the technology behind. Or you can combine the two by using online videos to help them with some of their creations.

Wherever you take your holiday, part of the fun is planning your itinerary, and finding unusual activities is part of that joy. While adventure activities may appeal to many, there is a real growth in mindfulness and taking a slower route to relaxation.

Depending on what you want to take part in, think carefully about which day you choose for your activity, some creative activities require you to return another day to collect the item you have created, so always enquire about the process and allow enough time for this.

There are so many opportunities available both in the UK and further afield, for all the family, everything from cooking, wine tasting, short filmmaking, pottery, creative writing and much more. It is also possible to combine a leisure activity with something that could help you, or your family,develop in their career.

For example, London Film Academy in Fulham have created a practical filmmaking course this Summer for teenagers who are interested in learning more about the working processes of film and TV. The two week course runs from 24 July – 4 August and is aimed at 13 – 17 year olds, offering would-be filmmakers an action-packed two weeks of fun workshops exploring the six key disciplines of the filmmaking process.

Everyone leaves with the knowledge and skills to continue making film, whether on an iPhone, or other equipment they have to hand.
Working in small groups with film and TV professionals, participants will explore the main disciplines of filmmaking: screenwriting, directing, camera operating, cinematography, sound and editing; to take a story from script to screen. Shooting a number of films in both
studio and on-location environments using a high-end HD camera, the students will produce live action shorts, with a cinema screening for family and friends, and a finished DVD, complete with credits and an IMDB profile.


Have a Creative Summer - Seashore CreativeSummer at the National Trust is all about 50 things to do before you are 11 ¾. Create some wild art is number 18 on the list!

Here are some highlights for wild art events happening during the summer:

Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Wednesdays throughout the summer holidays
Every Wednesday throughout the holidays is Wild Wednesday at Stowe when you can book in with the team for a different activity each week. Make wild art, grow cress in pots or see if you can spot the waterbirds on the lake.
Price: £2 per child (normal admission applies), booking essential

Berrington Hall, Herefordshire
Sunday 23 July, 11am – 3pm
Flower creation workshop in the Walled Garden
Make something special for yourself at Berrington as we are joined by ‘The Green Eyed Monster’ company who are turning old bottles into something extraordinary…
Price: £5 per child (normal admission applies), booking not needed

Woolacombe, Devon
Sunday 6 August , 10:30am – 2:30pm
Art Attack
Let your imagination run free and create some amazing beach art out of items found by our Beach Rangers this summer.
Price: Free (normal admission applies), booking not needed

Basildon Park, Berkshire
1 June – 31 August, daily, 10am – 5pm
Everyday throughout June, July & August there will be boxes placed at various points around the Basildon parkland which contain some basic art materials. It is then up to you to get creative, by making a piece of art based on the views you can see at various points. All completed pieces of art should then be placed back in a box at Visitor Reception for the Basildon Park team to collect in.
Price: Free (normal admission applies), book not needed

Other activities this summer include:

The Dartmoor Artisan Trail, Devon
Launching this summer, the Dartmoor Artisan Trail will take visitors behind the scenes of Dartmoor National Park’s diverse artisan community. Workshops, demonstrations and tours will allow visitors to watch beekeepers, blacksmiths, cider makers, shoemakers, weavers, potters and painters at work, and to buy products directly from the makers. Visitors can tailor self-guided or chauffeur-driven tours, or join group organised and walking tours.

Selby Arts Festival, North Yorkshire
22-30 July
The inaugural Selby Arts Festival will be a seven-day extravaganza of music, dance and theatre.


Upfest, Bristol

29-31 July

Europe’s largest free street and graffiti art festival attracts over 250 graffiti artists from all over the world. Artists produce 30,000 square foot of artwork over the weekend to the soundtrack of live music at locations including the Tobacco Factory, Hen and Chicken, and the Climbing Centre. This annual family-friendly festival sees hundreds of families attend each year, with kids taking part in graffiti workshop and art-related activities. Every year, the festival raises money for The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA).


bOing! International Family Festival, Canterbury
26-27 August
Canterbury’s family arts festival bounces back to the Gulbenkian in 2017. The theatre and grounds of the University of Kent’s art centre will host a packed programme of the very best in theatre, dance, music and film for all ages. Expect magical performances and exciting experiences; 2016 saw the premiere of Pinocchio by Jasmin Vardimon Company, the enchanting Dybwikdans’ The Princess and the Pea, new commissions by leading arts and dance groups, and the UK premiere of Pop-Up Garden.

London Design Festival, London
16-24 September
Taking place in various locations across the city, the London Design Festival celebrates and promotes the capital as the world’s design capital. Over 400 events and exhibitions showcase London’s creativity through displays from educators, thinkers and creatives from around the world. Some of 2016’s highlights included: a crazy golf course in Trafalgar Square designed by top British creatives Paul Smith, Mark Wallinger, Tom Dixon and Zaha Hadid; Baboushka Boxes referencing London’s housing crisis in Notting Hill; a 20-metre moving metallic ribbon in the V&A’s Tapestry Gallery; and a dynamic installation in the courtyard of the Black Cultural Archives.

This is just a taster of some of the creative events happening this summer. For further ideas on creative events in summer, you may find it useful to take a look at the following:


There will also be many local town and village events happening all over the country and wherever you take your holiday.

A creative holiday is about stimulating your senses, so that you return rejuvenated and thinking about your life in a more creative way, whether it is your home, your work, or how your organize your time. The key is to try and keep that sense of freedom, once you return.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that all information is accurate, it may be subject to change. Please check with individual organizations for the latest information about all events.

Feature reproduced with permission from Hot Brands Cool Places Families & Holidays Issue June 2017