What's on at COWfest 2024?

COWfest 2024 will take place on Saturday 10 February with FREE activities for children of all ages on offer across the city of Winchester!

Our festival hub will be at the ARC on Jewry Street. Let's take a look at what's on there...

To access booking pages for all the COWfest activities at the ARC, visit their website here.

Also for COWfest 2024, you can enjoy FREE entry on Saturday 10 February for ALL children to BOTH City Museum and The Westgate museum in Winchester! Both museums are open from 10am to 5pm. Booking ahead is not required to visit either museum – adults can buy tickets on the door and children will not require one. However, adults can book tickets in advance if they wish here
Children and teens can take over the City Museum for the day! You must book ahead (due to limited space) here. The Kids Museum Takeover is from 12pm to 2pm. It is suitable for ages 6 to 13 (and older teens are welcome too, for social media takeover).
Book your place to take over Winchester City Museum! Do you love history, or are you curious about the past? Here is your chance to discover what goes on behind the scenes at our museum and interact with history itself! We need your help completing these essential tasks that keep our museum running from day to day:
1. Taking care of our precious artefacts - help us clean and organise our historical artefacts.
2. Protecting our museum & keeping it in tip top shape – work as gallery security and make sure our displays are nice and clean!
3. Historical meet & greet – get dressed up in historical costumes to welcome and direct our visitors around the museum.
4. Create an activity trail or video tour for our Anglo-Saxon Gallery – time to use your creative skills and come up with a fun way to explore the museum.
DROP IN: Historical Storytime10.30am-11am & 2pm-3pm, for all ages. Come along to Winchester City Museum for some tales that will take you back in time... join us in our cosy corner to read some historical story books! Afterwards, why not see if any artefacts inspire you around the museum and have a go at creating your own historical story using our short story templates!
DROP IN: Origami with Erin – Running all day, for ages 5+ Do you love origami? Or want to learn something new? Join our resident craft expert Erin at the City Museum to make some fun and creative origami animals and nature scenes!
DROP IN: Kids Activity trails – Running all day, self-led, for all ages. History detective trail: Put on your investigating hat as you explore the museum to spot some hidden objects and special artefacts ... depending on what you discover you may be rewarded with a prize! Or have a go at our Valentines trail ... follow the hearts and you might find something sweet! If you fancy the challenge, join us at Winchester City Museum & the Westgate all day!
DROP IN: Arts and Crafts – Running all day, self-led, for all ages. Stop by the craft tables at City Museum and The Westgate for some Valentines Day and Chinese New Years themed arts and crafts fun! You can design your own Chinese lantern or have a go at creating your very own love bug... and so much more!

And check this out! Local author and illustrator, Lawrence Roberts, is running a FREE reading and drawing session for ages 4 and up, at P&G Wells Bookshop on College Street, at 2pm. You can book your tickets here, but be quick – COWfest activities at P&G Wells tend to be popular!

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.

You can DROP IN ALL DAY to the Royal Green Jackets museum at Peninsula Barracks, any time from 10am to 3.30pm (last admission before the museum closes at 4pm). There will be FREE entry for families all day AND there will be a museum trail and FREE children's craft activities on offer.

You can also DROP IN to the Brooks Shopping Centre on Middle Brook Street between 12.30pm and 4pm, where the soft play area (in the heart of the centre outside Primark) will be buzzing! There will be balloon modelling and face painting with Shelley and Sharron between 1pm and 3pm, and story time led by actors from Chesil Theatre at 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm. Suggested age range 3 to 8 years.

ALSO, PLAN AHEAD to access FREE COWfest activities at the Winchester Sport & Leisure Park in Bar End. They are offering several great sessions, but you can only book from Saturday 3rd February onwards by calling 01962 848700 or visiting the WSLP reception:

Active Antz 09:15 for Under 5s – Designed to give you and your child time to learn from each other, Active Antz encourages you and your child to play and try a variety of activities. Wear suitable clothing, but shoes are not needed. The session is supervised but it is not a led session, and parents are required to take part and supervise their child.

Top Rock Climbing 16:00 for ages 4+ – Top Rock is a new type of indoor clip and climb that’s fun and thrilling in equal measure. There are 17 routes to take on that vary in difficulty, in an environment that’s full of colour, exciting shapes, and new experiences. With plenty of variations to suit new and experienced climbers.

Swimming 14:30 Free for the family – Taking place in our Learner Pool, for everyone to experience the fun, relaxing and invigorating activity that swimming is. Dip your toe in, the water’s lovely! All under 8s must attend with an adult (18+). 1 adult can be responsible for 2 under 8s.

Keep checking this page for more FREE COWfest activities on offer elsewhere across the city on Saturday 10th February! There's more to come...

We are most grateful for the support of Winchester BID, which has made this year's event possible and means we can continue to offer all COWfest activities for FREE to local children.



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