By Artemis Archer
Eurovision this year sets the scene for another exciting summer in the region. Assuming you haven’t overdone the celebrations there’s plenty more thought provoking, creative events to enjoy throughout the summer.
1. Children’s Workshops & Events
For fun and engaging activities for children there’s a wealth of choices across the region.
At Calderstones Park, The Reader’s Storybarn has workshops to inspire the imagination of the little ones and their grown ups. You’ll find Incy Wincy Wanders, Tiny Acorn Tall Tales, Story Explorers as well as lots of other seasonal events. Find out more about what’s on here.
Head over to the World Museum for summer bug hunts every Wednesday through the school summer holidays (19 July – 6 September).
At the Walker Art Gallery there are family-friendly craft and create sessions with different themes every Thursday and Friday from 27 July – 31 August. They also run Babbling Babies sensory play sessions for pre-crawlers under the age of 12 months.
Sole Rebel, the female dance company that moves to its own beat, offers a variety of tap dancing classes for children and adults and also has a movement class for ‘pre-crawling babies and mummas’.
2. Scenic Walks
You’ll find a wealth of scenic walks and trails for a great family day-out across the Liverpool City Region.
If it’s the coast you’re drawn to there are a variety of walks and cycle trails such as the Wirral Way. Follow the coastal path from Seacombe Ferry to New Brighton for scenic views of the Liverpool waterfront.
You’ll find one of Britain’s largest areas of wild dunes at Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills Nature Reserve, which is home to stunning sand dunes, pine woods and coastline. You can explore the wildlife, as you make your way along approximately 8-miles of footpaths.
Enjoy exploring the meadows and woodlands of Croxteth Hall and Country Park which was the ancestral home of the Molyneux family, the Earls of Sefton. It was given to the City of Liverpool following the death of the last Earl in 1972. The Victorian walled garden which houses a unique range of plants is open to visitors over the summer months.
A little beyond the region but still a reasonable traveling distance away is Delamere Forest where there are some excellent walks to choose depending on ability.
If you prefer a more leisurely stroll head to one of the city parks such as Sefton Park, Newsham Park or Everton Park. At Everton Park you can climb the steps from Shaw Street for one of the best views over the city.
3. Summer Festivals
There’s an excellent selection of festivals happening in the region over the summer, from local music and family festivals to larger events such as festival of African music and culture Africa Oyé in a Sefton Park. This year’s line up includes dancehall and reggae artist Tanya Stephens and Seun Kuti with his band Egypt 80. Seun is the youngest son of Afrobeat godfather and political activist Fela Kuti.
Liverpool Pride returns this year with a march and a main area where there will be stages and a variety of acts and entertainment. There’ll be related Pride events throughout the summer but the peak event is the march on Saturday 30 July at the Pier Head.
Over the 24-27 August Creamfields, one of the biggest electronic music festivals, is back.
For fun for the whole family over the August bank holiday head to Camp Castle in the historic ruins of Halton Castle in Runcorn. The Castle is also home to other exciting one day festivals over the summer. Look out for other one-day festivals happening throughout the region.
4. Museums & Galleries
The city’s museums and galleries are free for most exhibitions and a low cost way to spend a day out with the family.
The Museum of Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery and Tate Liverpool all host free workshops as well as their regular exhibitions.
As part of the Museum of Liverpool’s Our City, Our Stories programme Liverpool 8 Against Apartheid can be seen. This display shows the connections between the city’s black community, Nelson Mandela and the anti apartheid movement.
At the Walker Art Gallery there’s a major new photographic exhibition Photie Man: 50 Years of Tom Wood. Wood is an influential photographer whose work helped to establish the medium as a fine art. He has dedicated much of his career to the people and places of across Merseyside. Highlights include his widely acclaimed Bus Series (‘All Zones Off Peak’).
St Helens’ Heart of Glass are facilitating a number of artist collaborations to create new murals in the town. Sphere of Nature was a collaboration between artists Faunagraphic, Liz Von Graevnitz and SHAP to create a mural on Tickle Avenue in Parr. Ideas for the design were taken from local residents and the new mural has transformed a grey building into a plethora of flora and fauna to feed the imagination of the community.
In August HYPE (Helping Young People Everywhere) festival is on at the Museum of Liverpool. As part of the festival there will be an exhibition, creative workshops for young people and activities to celebrate International Youth Day on 12 August.
At The Lady Lever Art Gallery this summer you can check out Flower Fairies and explore the inspirations behind Cicely Mary Barker’s paintings.
At FACT experience LuYang’s Arcade Liverpool. The multimedia artist transforms the gallery space into a retro-futuristic arcade to transport you to entertaining and thought-provoking worlds.
5. Get Creative
If you fancy getting creative you won’t have to look very far for something that appeals whether it’s life drawing or something more energetic like a bit of tap dancing with Sole Rebel. There are a broad range of creative adult classes throughout the summer.
Make over in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, have a programme of creative workshops on offer such as introduction to creating your own herbal medicines. Make now have a new workshop space up and running in Huyton Village in addition to their sites in Birkenhead and North Docks.
Drop into Squash in Toxteth as they have a programme of events on offer. Embracing an arts, food and environmental focus they observe, celebrate and honour the 8-fold year; eight ritual thresholds – 4 solar festivals (seasonal solstices and equinoxes) & 4 earth festivals (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine & Lammas). Pop into the Squash cafe for a taste of their delicious food.
If you feel inspired to share some poetry there are numerous opportunities at open mics including A Lovely Word every first Thursday of the month downstairs at the Everyman. The Dreaming is a regular event at the The Reader Bar and Restaurant that welcomes poetry, cabaret and music. Go down early to book yourself a slot!
6. Theatre & Comedy
Rain or shine high octane productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet will take place outdoors at Calderstones Park. Take along your own chair or blanket to sit on and dress for the weather.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland at The Playhouse is described as, ‘funked-up remix of Lewis Carroll’s classic, where musical streams and digital dreams collide in a riotous adventure for all the family!’ The production spins a familiar story into a Wonderland like no other before.
Showcasing some of the best women comedians and spoken word artists in the North West, Fem De La Femme female comedy and spoken word is downstairs at the Everyman on Thursdays. They also take over the venue for three consecutive nights of comedy late June.
Don’t forget the city is the home of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and there are high quality theatre productions and dance shows on offer from their students over the summer. In June their second year students will perform a variety of dance styles and narrative storytelling through movement.
For more events happening over the summer and beyond check out our What’s On section.