London 2012 Open Weekend celebrations in Portsmouth (24 – 26 July)


London 2012 Open Weekend is an annual UK-wide celebration counting down to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During the weekend there will be hundreds of exciting events, from family sport days to circus skills and exploring hidden archives, are to be part of London 2012 Open Weekend, supported by BP.

Join in the celebrations across Portsmouth marking the 3-year countdown to the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Take a look at the exciting range of events and activities that are on offer throughout the weekend and grab this opportunity to try something new!

Below are just a selection of the events on offer, to find out about events near you, click HERE.

Friday 24th July

  • Get down to the John Pounds Centre for their free New Experiences sessions.  Learn the art of Thai Boxing, play a session of Badminton or join in Circuit Training.  There’ll also be Healthy Kids sessions, health advice and free blood pressure testing.  Look out for more sessions on Saturday 25th.
  • Head to the majestic Kings Theatre for a public screening of the cult film Tommy.  The classic ‘rock opera’ starring The Who, was largely filmed at locations in Portsmouth during 1974, including the theatre itself.
  • Open up a world of imagination and adventure in Portsmouth’s libraries with Quest Seekers.  This summer reading challenge will get your kids hooked on books!  Also on Saturday 25th.

Saturday 25th July

  • Bring your dreams, hopes and aspirations to Guildhall Square for Dreams in Colour, where local artist Jon Adams will be on hand to create a huge chalk dream on the square itself.  Why not take to the microphone in our dream-themed karaoke with Kabarayoke?  Love Soul Choir will also be performing live, to get things started!  A free event for all the family.
  • Opera in the Park continues the free music theme, featuring favourite arias and ensembles from Puccini, Bizet, Verdi and Mozart, performed by artists in sumptous costumes of the Victorian period.  Performances will take place in Victoria Park, so bring a blanket or chair and relax with a picnic in the serene surroundings.
  • The newly redeveloped Mountbatten Leisure Centre invites you to an Open Day with fun activities for the children, syncronised swimming, cycling, athletics, dance, football and facepainting.  There will also be a chance to tour the state-of-the-art 150-station fitness gym, spa and 50metre swimming pool.  Or try your hand at Hockey at Portsmouth University’s Hockey Taster Session.  Coaches will be on hand to show you how to play the game and all equipment will be provided free of charge.

Sunday 26th July

  • Live at the Bandstand, Portsmouth’s famous free music event, continues with Jazz Sundae.  Come down to Southsea for an afternoon of live music with the Chris Walker Swingtet, the Hot Club MacDiva and the Angelhart Quintet.  Pack a picnic, blanket and dancing shoes for those of you who want to show off your best moves!
  • Join the Old Town Guided Walk to discover the origins of the city and some of the buildings and personalities that give colour to historic Old Portsmouth. Trace the history of the city from its beginnings to its present day.

All Weekend…

  • Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum is counting down to the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great author, with free admission all weekend.  Take a peek into Dickens’ humble beginnings and see the collection of his personal belongings.  Delve deeper into Portsmouth’s literary connections with a visit to A Study In Sherlock: Uncovering the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection , at the City Museum.  Free for all to enjoy, the collection brings together books, photographs, film posters and unusual objects connected to the famous Sherlock character and his creator.
  • Visit Portsmouth Cathedral for The Greatest Show On Earth, a circus-inspired flower festival.  See more than 60 flower arrangements in the Cathedral along with performers in the circus ring under the beautiful architecture of the Nave.  There’s also a unique opportunity to see special screenings of archive films and images of the city in A Portrait of Portsmouth.  Head down to the Big Screen in Guildhall Square to see the city of yesteryear.