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Summer Holidays at the Shakespeare Family Homes

There's plenty of fun to be had at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust this summer.

Summer fun at the SBT

This summer the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust invites you to take a trip around the globe with the world’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare. As part of the Trust’s Crossing Borders events programme, visitors can enjoy and participate in a variety of activities inspired by international cultures alongside some familiar favourites.
There’s plenty of fun to be had for all the family at the Shakespeare Family Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon this summer. Make a Scene and help create a colourful stage set inspired by cultures from around the world spanning from India to Russia and watch live performances of your favourite Shakespeare plays come to life on the very stage that you’ve helped to create; pack a picnic and watch outdoor theatre performances in the beautiful historic gardens, enjoy fascinating talks, tours and exhibitions or even treat your pet pooch to a day of furry fun at Shakespaws Day.
Ruth Warner, Head of Visitor Experience at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said: “Summer is such an exciting time to visit the Shakespeare Family Homes, our programming this year focuses on the theme of crossing borders which at this current time, is more relevant than ever. Visitors have the opportunity to experience other cultures and be a part of bringing the corners of the earth together through a shared love of Shakespeare. Our fantastic events cater to all, whether you want to try your hand at some crafts, give Bhangra dancing a try or just fancy a picnic with your pet, there really is something for everyone!”
Activities included in admission, unless otherwise stated. For more information and listings, see

Family Events
24-25 June, 10.30am – 5pm
Midsummer Madness 
Mary Arden’s Farm, Wilmcote
Celebrate the longest and most magical time of the year at the farm. Magic and merriment, fairies and frolics are to be had for all the family! Learn circus skills with our jester, watch puppet shows and even make your own pop up puppet.  Take part in Tudor music workshops and join in Tudor dancing - let the fun begin!
SUMMER HOLIDAYS: 22 July – 3 SEPTEMBER, 12 – 4pm

29 July, 12pm – 4pm

The Big Picnic
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery
Pack a picnic and bring the family to the annual Big Picnic celebrations at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Enjoy garden games, musical entertainment from local band The Rest and spellbinding performances from magician Lee Ryan. Browse the stalls filled with goods from local traders. For an extra special treat, why not tuck in to our sizzling barbeque delights? Free entry for CV37 residents (with proof of address). Free entry to members of the emergency services and their families (when official I.D. is presented)          
20 August, 12pm – 4pm
Shakespeare’s New Place: One Year On
Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon    
Shakespeare’s New Place turns one and to celebrate its paper anniversary, we’re having a little party with fun games, activities and live performances. Take part in origami workshops run by the British Origami Society and enjoy live music from Bukechi in the Great Garden at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm. For grown-ups, there’s free gin tasting courtesy of the Shakespeare Distillery and free biscuits for all visitors - while stocks last! Free entry for CV37 residents (with proof of address).
26 August, 12pm- 4pm
Shakespaw’s Day
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery
All paws allowed down at the Cottage! Celebrate National Dog Day in the beautiful historic gardens at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Bring your dog, a picnic and join in the fun with plenty of activities for your furry friends to enjoy.  If you’re feeling peckish why not enjoy our sizzling barbecue? Bring your dog and enjoy 20% off admission.

Make A Scene!

22 July – 26 August
Shakespeare Family Homes, Stratford-upon-Avon
Make a Scene at the Shakespeare Family Homes this summer. Stages for five very special productions have appeared in the gardens, each inspired by a different culture and the creators need your help to make them spectacular. From making moustaches to painting pebbles, leaf printing to wind chimes, come and make a scene, and see your set in action over the bank holiday weekend.
Make a Scene: The Tempest, South Asian-style
Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon
Get your creative juices flowing and help design a South Asian-inspired performance space based on The Tempest in the gardens of Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Working in collaboration with artists from the Sonia Sabri Company, visitors are invited to create Rangoli-designed waves across the garden using a range of colourful materials, setting the scene for a special performance of The Tempest by our in-house actors on Saturday, 26 August at 10am, 12pm and 2pm.
Make a Scene: Romeo and Juliet, From Russia with love
Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Step in to a world inspired by Russian history and folklore at Shakespeare’s New Place. Join Russian artist Evgenia Golubia in making a scene inspired by Shakespeare’s tragic love story Romeo and Juliet. Using natural materials visitors will have to pick a side - red or white whilst creating mystical wind chimes, drawing comparisons from the warring Capulet’s and Montague’s and Russia’s revolutionary past. Get crafty with pebbles and learn Russian phrases whilst making the stage for the special performance of Romeo and Juliet on Sunday, 27 August at 11am and 2pm.
Make a Scene: Twelfth Night, Italian-style
Hall’s Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon
Help create a very Italian scene at Hall’s Croft with Artist Evgenia Golubia. Make your own moustache and learn Italian phrases taken from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Unleash your inner Michelangelo and become an architect of the stage by creating a traditional Italian landscape ready for Shakespeare’s Aloud’s Twelfth Night performance on Sunday 27 August at 12pm and 4pm.
Make a Scene: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Japanese-style
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery
Journey into a realm of magic at Anne Hathaway’s cottage and join our resident artist Lisa Yardley in transforming the woodland stage into a Japanese wonderland. Drawing from the Japanese Shinto tradition, the belief that everything has a spirit including the trees around us, visitors are invited to use a range of materials to create a magical scene ready for an other-worldly performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Monday 28 August at 10am and 12pm.
Make a Scene: As You Like It, Moorish-style
Mary Arden’s Farm, Wilmcote
Transport yourself to the citadel with our Moorish-inspired installation at Mary Arden’s Farm. Join artist Ros Ingram in creating traditional patterns of Andalusia, Spain on a range of materials to complete the setting of the Forest of Arden from Shakespeare’s As You Like It which will be performed on Monday 28 August at 2pm and 4pm.

Outdoor Theatre Performances

1 & 2 July, 2.30pm-3.30pm
Outdoor theatre performance: Much Ado About nothing
Hall’s Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon
See Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing come to life in the beautiful gardens of Hall’s Croft, performed by the drama students of Niagra University, USA.
6 & 7 July, - 10am – 11am
Outdoor theatre performance: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Students from Birmingham’s Saltley Academy have teamed up with Stan’s Cafe to present a playful version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Prepare to be entertained as the group perform a compressed version of the play with the help of mechanical puppets. Come and see what happens when one of Britain’s premiere contemporary theatre companies collaborates with 120 11 & 12 year olds performing one of Shakespeare’s best love plays.
14 – 15 July, 6pm – 10pm

Outdoor theatre performance: As You Like It

Mary Arden’s Farm, Wilmcote
Madcap Theatre Productions return to Mary Arden's Farm with their new production of As You Like It. Bring your picnic and prepare for a giggle. Tickets available at

28 & 29 July, 6.30pm
Outdoor theatre performances: Macbeth & Romeo and Juliet
Mary Arden’s Farm, Wilmcote
Oddsocks Theatre returns to the farm with a Shakespearean double bill of Macbeth on Friday 28th July and Romeo and Juliet on Saturday 29th July. Doors open 6.30pm, performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets available at
30 July, 12pm and 2pm
Outdoor theatre performance: Cymbeline
Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Young actors from the Robinson Community Learning Centre in Indiana, USA are proud to present a special hour-long performance of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. These two free public performances will be the first fully staged performance of a Shakespeare play by an American youth theatre at Shakespeare’s New Place since the re-imagination of the site in 2016.

13 August, 2pm
Outdoor theatre performance: Wind in the Willows
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery
Immersion Theatre presents a remarkable performance of Wind in the Willows set in the stunning grounds of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. A great family day out! Tickets available at
20 August, 7pm-10pm
Outdoor performance: Merry Wives of Windsor
Hall’s Croft
Visit Hall’s Croft for an after-hours performance of the Merry Wives of Windsor by the Festival Players. Tickets available at
Talks & Tours

Enjoy a variety of special talks and tours across the Shakespeare Family Homes, highlights include:
Daily 11am, 1pm, 3pm
Show and Tell Sculpture Tour
Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Discover more about the intriguing and captivating sculptures, and what inspired their creators.
Daily, every 30 minutes from 11am-4pm
Where’s the House Talk
Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Find out more about the fascinating history behind the home Shakespeare lived in for 19 years of his life.
26 July & 23 August, 2-2.30pm
Flowerpots and Forget-me-Nots Garden Talk
Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Hear from our expert gardeners as they reveal how they care for the borders and lawns, and share their secrets and top tips.

2 August, 11am-4pm
Tudor-Elizabethan Spice Workshop
Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon
Test your knowledge and learn to recognise spices before using your favourite ones to create your own Tudor pomander.
16 August, 12pm – 4pm
Spice Trade Display and Gingerbread Making Workshop
Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Enjoy a taste of Shakespearian life and make your own traditional gingerbread.
26 – 28 August, every hour from 11am-4pm
Life’s a Chore!
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Learn more about Anne's role at the cottage before she was swept off her feet by a young William Shakespeare. Discover how she would have managed the farm from ensuring the stores of food were kept and how she helped her father with the bookkeeping. Visitors can knead dough, practice quill writing and will have to watch out for the urine throw out.

Special programming

Special Exhibition - Shakespeare in South Asia

29 May – 1 September

Shakespeare in South Asia Exhibition

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

To coincide with the UK - India Year of Culture 2017, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust presents a seasonal programme celebrating Shakespeare's influence in South Asia. A visual and musical interpretation to include new compositions from a range of British and Asian composers showcasing the many ways in which Shakespeare is inspiring music across all genres

Special Event - Shakespeare in South Asia
15 July, 5.30pm
Bhangra Dance Workshop (Tickets £8)
Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon
As part of our Shakespeare in South Asia programme, visitors can join in an energetic workshop from In2Cultures where you can have a go at traditional Bhangra dancing to a background of live drumming on the Dhol. You'll also learn about the history of this exuberant folk dance originating from Punjab in Northern India. Tickets available at
Shakespeare After Hours
12 August 2017, 5.30pm - 7pm
Book Binding Workshop (Tickets £8)
The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Embrace your crafty side and create the perfect gift with Marie Jeanne Parmentier’s Book Binding Workshop. Make your very own hard back notebook with a range of gorgeous materials. Tickets available at
For media enquiries contact Kerry McGinty, PR Assistant at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust on 01789 338541 or email
Ticket prices
Tickets to all five Shakespeare family homes and gardens are great value and best of all, valid for 12 months with unlimited entry. Activities included in admission, unless otherwise stated. Tickets costs £26.25 for adults, £17.00 for children, £24.75 for concessions and £69.50 for families (2 adults & up to 4 children – under 3s go free). Plus, book online in advance and save 10%. For more information and to plan your visit, see
About the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no public subsidy or direct revenue funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.
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