This year, COWfest takes place on Saturday 19 February and the festival will be dispersed across the city centre in "takeover" style! There's plenty to do – including free activity sessions and competitions, and free entry to local attractions – as well as special offers and discounts, so take a look at what's on offer, below.
We are most grateful for the support of Winchester BID, which has made this year's COWfest possible.
PLEASE REMEMBER – if you book a free ticket for an activity session and you can't make it, please let the venue know so they can release it for someone else!
ARE YOU LOST? Take a look at our map showing COWfest 2022 activity locations here.
FORGOT TO BOOK? Don't worry! There are lots of drop-in activities throughout the day. Download a summary here.
AT UNIT 12, WINNALL VALLEY ROAD
FREE dance workshops with Move Momentum
Street dance workshops for young people: come and learn some Hip Hop dance in a relaxed atmosphere, where you can also hang out with friends and have fun! We will go over some basic moves and teach a short dance sequence. The workshops will be led by one of our highly experienced teachers who will make sure all students feel welcome, supported and able to express themselves. We are well-equipped to support young people experiencing challenges, such as with their mental health, low confidence/self-esteem and social difficulties such as bullying. We are also an LGBTQ+ friendly organisation. No previous dance experience is required! Please book onto a workshop for FREE via Eventbrite here. We will accept drop-ins; however, we MUST have written parent/guardian permission prior to any young person participating in these workshops.
AT TREASURE GYMNASTICS CENTRE, WINNALL
FREE gymnastics sessions with Treasure Gymnastics for ages 5–12
Come along and try Treasure's gymnastics classes for FREE in their full-time equipped gym (behind Homebase off Easton Lane). Use the trampoline and the bars, and jump in the pit! See what it is like to be a gymnast and make new friends. These sessions are one hour long. Parents can wait in the waiting area where the gym is visible but cannot move around the apparatus with their children. All classes are run by qualified and DBS checked coaches, and groups are limited to 8. Gymnasts should wear sports clothes (shorts/t-shirt/leggings/tracksuit bottoms) and should have long hair tied back and jewellery/watches removed. All gymnasts should bring a pair of socks and a drink! Please only book one free session per child, so that lots of children get a chance to have a go! All children must be secured, and we cannot allow extras on the day as we have to stick to strict health and safety ratios – so pre-booking is essential.
AT P&G WELLS BOOKSHOP, COLLEGE STREET
FREE experience: “Be a bookseller” for a day! Do you love books? Why not try your hand at bookselling in (arguably) the longest-surviving bookshop in the world. The Guinness Book of Records cites a bookshop in Lisbon dating back to 1734, though it has moved premises twice. P&G Wells has roots traced back to 1729, certainly on College Street and quite possibly on the same site. Bookselling experience open to students in school Years 10 and 11, for half a day or all day (shop is open 9am-5.30pm). Please email [email protected] with the subject 'COWfest 2022 Be a bookseller'.
AT WATERSTONES, THE BROOKS SHOPPING CENTRE
FREE create your own bookmark activity in store on Saturday 19 February. Pop into the Waterstones store in the Brooks shopping centre any time between 9am and 5.30pm on the day of COWfest to design your own bookmark, which you can keep and use when you read. (You can also take the activity home, if you prefer.) Suitable for all ages.
AT THE ARC, JEWRY STREET
Relax Kids ages 3–6 The Arc Performance Hall, 10-10:45am
FREE tickets: book here
Relax Kids ages 7–11 The Arc Performance Hall, 11am-12pm
FREE tickets: book here
Relax Kids classes with Jules begin with fun, high energy activities such as music and movement and active mindfulness games with parachutes and props. These aim to get the heart beating and release endorphins and energy. Children are then encouraged to wind down using a range of relaxation techniques including yoga stretches, self-massage, child friendly belly breathing techniques, affirmations, and story visualisations.
Cardboard Creations – inspired by the art of Ravilious The Arc Community Space, 10am-12pm
FREE tickets: book here
Inspired by the paintings of Ravilious, come along to this making workshop where you can create your own 3D cardboard artwork. All materials will be provided to enable you to design, cut, stick, and paint a mini sculpture to take home. All keen makers, creators and parent helpers are welcome, and no prior experience is needed. Parents are asked to stay so that participants can get the best out of the workshop. If you have any specific access needs you would like to discuss beforehand, please email Anna on [email protected]
Winchester City Museum, The Square – 10am-5pm
FREE entry all day on Saturday 19 February for children and their families! This museum is in the heart of the city and tells the story of England’s ancient capital, the seat of Alfred the Great. The model of 1870 Winchester is a hit with children and adults alike. Check out their website!
Westgate Museum, Upper High Street – 10am-4pm
FREE entry all day on Saturday 19 February for children and their families! Check out their website!
Winchester City Mill, Bridge Street – 11am-4pm
FREE entry – plus milling demonstrations, interactive activity stations and ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’ activities designed for ages 5-12. Check out their website!
The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum, Peninsula Barracks – 10am-4pm
FREE entry for children under 16 – PLUS half-price entry for all adults in the family on Saturday 19 February. No 1 of 64 things to do in Winchester on Tripadvisor, this museum has been described as an "under-appreciated gem", with its diorama of the Battle of Waterloo a particular highlight. Check out the museum website!
The Rifles Museum, Peninsula Barracks – 10am-4pm
FREE entry for children and the rest of the family. This museum focuses on the largest regiment in the Army and offers dressing up and other activities for youngsters. Check out their website!
The Adjutant General’s Corps Museum, Peninsula Barracks – 10am-4pm
FREE entry for children and the rest of the family, plus a museum trail for youngsters. Check out their website!
COWs EAT FREE
Frieda’s Tearoom, 6a Parchment Street – 10am-5pm
FREE cakes for kids, when parents/carers eat or drink at Frieda’s. Check out their website!
Ballet Pointe, The Brooks Shopping Centre – Inspired by Dance competition
Do you love to dance? Express yourself through a dance or ballet inspired poem or picture, for a chance to waltz away with some prizes! Get writing or drawing, and drop your creation into Ballet Pointe at their new location on the lower shopping level of the Brooks centre (opposite the soft play area), no later than 5pm on the day of COWfest, Saturday 19 February. Prizes will be awarded during half-term week. (PS. You'll need to put your first name, age and a parent/carer contact number on the back of your poem or drawing so you can be contacted if you win.)
Three Joes, 9 Great Minster Street – pizza colouring competition
Pop into Three Joes on Saturday 19 February to take part in their special COWfest colouring competition, which is FREE to enter (no need to dine – you can collect a colouring sheet from 12 February onwards but it must be returned to the restaurant by close on 20 February). Draw on 21 February. The winner will be invited back to the restaurant during half-term to hone their pizza-making skills with the Chef! They will, of course, be able to eat their pizza creation – and their parent/carer will get free pizza and a drink, too. For ages up to 8
Bellacrafts, Kings Walk – Eat like a Queen competition
Drop into Bellacrafts any time between 10am and 3pm on Saturday 19 February. Children aged 2-12 years can have fun getting creative in this completely FREE craft activity and competition. Simply turn up, take a seat and enjoy using Bellacrafts' paints, sequins, sparkles, stickers and your own imagination to create a crown inspired by Queen Elizabeth, our longest reigning Monarch. Plus feel free to join in with any other Bellacraft activities or order something yummy from their tea rooms while you visit (charges apply). Have your royal portrait captured, before being entered into a competition for a Royal Lunch for 4 – including an Afternoon Tea for adults and one of Bellacrafts' themed Yummy Treat Plates for the children. Your finished creation will be yours to take home with you. Good luck – there can only be one winner!
Lark kids, 6 St Thomas Street – Design a Boot competition
Design your own 'Zig + Star' boot, for a chance to win great prizes! Open to all ages 0-18. Be as creative as you like! You can use paints, crayons, pencils, fabrics ... any materials you wish. Drop your finished design to Lark kids' city centre store, or ask a parent/carer to get in touch with them via email or Instagram. Check out their website for contact details. PDF entry sheet here. Closes 19 February 2022.
COWFEST SPECIAL OFFERS
Lark kids, 6 St Thomas Street – 10am-5.30pm
10% off children’s shoes on Saturday 19 February 2022 when you mention COWfest. Check out their website!
P&G Wells, 11 College Street – 9am-5.30pm
10% off children’s books on Saturday 19 February 2022 when you mention COWfest. Check out their website!