This Half Term, we take you on a journey through wind and water to dreams of Wimbledon via a feast of festival freebies at Brighton Festival. As always, we’ve reminded you about some of our Compass Card offers, but there’s plenty more as well and if you’re working to a tight budget, there are some free things too.
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First things first…
We start with the housekeeping stuff – a couple of reminders about using your Compass Card and paying a visit to your local library.
Use your Compass Card. Don’t be the person kicking yourself on the way out of a Compass Card venue because you – a. didn’t know there was a discount, or b. knew there was a discount, but forgot to pack the Compass Card!
The Compass Card website means you can plan in advance if you want to (head to the ‘offers’ page and search, filter and map to your hearts content) or use the free Compass Card app if you’re on the move. If you haven’t got it yet, search ‘compass card’ in the App Store or Google Play and download the Brighton and Hove or the West Sussex version.
Most of the time, Compass Card offers work without a hitch, but if a member of staff doesn’t know about an offer, show them their listing on the Compass Card app – and let the Compass Team at Amaze know and we’ll give them a gentle reminder. Email email@example.com, contact us via the feedback form on the website or call us on 0300 123 9186 (if you’ve got Compass Card West Sussex) or 01273 772289 (if you’ve got Compass Card Brighton and Hove).
Check out the Compass Card news and events page. It’s crammed with leisure news, so you’ll find plenty of information about events over Half Term. You’ll find it here – http://www.compasscard.org.uk/news-and-events
Drop into your local library. They’ll have a good idea about what’s on locally – and you can stock up on free DVD, CD and audiobook loans while you’re there if you’re a library member. Libraries in West Sussex are holding their own events over the Half Term break too – check it out here https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries/whats-on-in-libraries/special-events-for-children/
4 rainy day rescues
We may dream of a week of unrelenting sunshine and a cool breeze, but chances are the British weather will surprise us with one of those days where going outside is only for the brave. These four options get you out and about under cover.
Hands-on science in Herstmonceux. There are daily telescope tours and science shows during the holidays, so if you fancy some spectacular science among the beautiful green domes at The Observatory Science Centre, this is the place for you. One carer gets free admission when you show the Compass Card. http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/observatory-science-centre-herstmonceux/
Down to the Base in Bognor. There aren’t many places with an indoor skate park, but Bognor is one of them – and there’s a Compass Card offer in place there too. Base Skatepark (http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/base-skatepark-bognor/) provides discounted ‘membership rates’ for Compass Card holders and there are general sessions and coaching sessions – but you’re recommended to book before you turn up because it’s likely to be busy over Half Term.
Fly high at Flip Out. The Compass Card deal at Flip Out (http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/flip-out-chichester/) trampoline park in Chichester means that a carer and a Compass Card holder pay just £11 instead of £22, so you get a good deal as well as a good work out. Flip Out is West Sussex’s biggest trampoline park with 70 trampolines, 22 Olympic trampolines, two free running areas, dodgeball, wall climb, a tumble track, wall runners and a ninja warrior course. There’s also a pizza oven café if you get hungry! Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Get simulated in Crawley. If you’ve ever fancied being a racing driver or playing on a world class golf course, SPORTS SIM (http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/sports-sim-crawley/) in Crawley is an opportunity to play sports in interactive, simulated environments using the latest high definition simulators. This state-of-the-art technology is easy to use and there’s a full range of activities to choose from including driving a racing car, golf, shooting, tennis and penalty shoot outs. Check out their Compass Card offer on our offers page to find out more.
Make a splash
There’s nothing quite like sailing for a real sense of freedom – no wonder so many people get hooked! And with plenty of coastline, rivers and lakes to choose from in Sussex, you’re spoilt for choice.
Hire discounts at Tilgate. Dynamic Adventures at Tilgate Lake near Crawley has a 10% Compass Card discount for over 8s on on dinghies (book at least two days in advance), kayaks, canoes and rowing boats and it’s a great place to go as a group or family. http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/dynamic-adventures-crawley/
Get the kayaking bug. There’s also a 10% discount on kayaking coaching from Rob Leatham at Brighton Kayak Experience. Rob has lots of experience working with children and young people with additional needs and runs sessions off Shoreham beach and on local rivers. http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/brighton-kayak-experience/
Go solar in Chichester. For something a bit more sedate, Compass Card newbie Chichester Harbour Conservancy provides free entry for one carer when you take a trip through Chichester Harbour’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the solar powered catamaran, Solar Heritage. Solar Heritage is fully accessible with a wheelchair lift and there are additional trips during Half Term. http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/chichester-harbour-conservancy/
Power boat bliss. If a trip on a power boat is more to your taste, look no further than Wetwheels in Portsmouth. A charity with a mission to get disabled people out on the water, Wetwheels runs sightseeing, recreational and fishing trips. Check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wetwheels/ or call 023 9281 9366 for more information.
Buzz Active in Cuckmere and Eastbourne. Buzz Active offers windsurfing and dinghy sailing taster sessions and courses for all ages and a range of disabilities, but bear in mind there isn’t specialist equipment or hoists for those with more complex needs. Call Richard Wilson on 01323 417023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sail away in Shoreham. Sussex Sailability in Shoreham provides sailing opportunities for disabled people and caters for over 14s. The sessions are free, but you need to join the Shoreham Sailing Club if you do more than three sessions in a year. Call 01798 812265 or email email@example.com for more information.
Anyone for tennis?
Wimbledon’s only round the corner, so why not get out and brush up on your racquet skills now the weather is looking more promising?
Tennis in the city. In Brighton and Hove, you can play for free in any of the council’s park tennis courts before 10am. After 10am, players up to the age of 18 pay the junior rate, while Compass Card holders over 18 are eligible for a concessionary rate. To book, call 01273 292704. http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/tennis-courts-brighton/
Mid Sussex serves an ace. In Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and Lindfield Common, Mid Sussex parks provide half price tennis court hire for Compass Card holders. To book, call 01444 477379 (http://www.compasscard.org.uk/offer/mid-sussex-district-council-parks/).
Blind Tennis for over 18s in Brighton. Sound tennis or blind tennis runs at Hove’s Pavilion and Avenue Tennis Club at 19, The Droveway on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. Sessions cost between £3 and £5. Call Christine on 07870 934336 or Paul on 01273 697339, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Do the Brighton Festival for free
Did you know how many things in the Brighton Festival are free? Both the main festival programme and the Brighton Festival Fringe have free events, but for sheer volume, head to www.brightonfringe.org and type in the word ‘free’ in the ‘keywords’ box at the top, then click ‘search’. You’ll be overwhelmed! We picked out just a few of our favourites.
Short and sweet circus show. You’ll find ‘Upside Down and Inside Out’ circus duo Akro Kraks, a traditional show of acrobatics, comedy, clown, contortion and juggling stunts in the Spiegeltent on Old Steine Gardens at 4pm on Saturday 27, Sunday 28 and Monday 29 May. The show lasts 40 minutes. https://www.brightonfringe.org/box-office/shows/view/upside-down-and-inside-out
Festival all-dayer for young people. Saturday 27 May is the date for B.fest on The Level. This feast of music, comedy, performance and more starts at 2pm and is run by young people who go to Brighton Youth Centre. https://www.brightonfringe.org/box-office/shows/view/bfest-level
Fringe City goes outdoors. Save Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May and Saturday 3 June for this vibrant free event that takes place in the centre of Brighton. Expect performances, installations, sideshows, dance-offs, choirs, cabaret, puppetry, children’s workshops, acrobatics and surreal walkabout performers as Fringe City takes to the streets from 1pm. https://www.brightonfringe.org/box-office/shows/view/fringe-city
Fringe City Family Picnic. There’s a big family picnic in Pavilion Gardens this Saturday 27 May starting at 1pm and you’ll find a host of family-friendly shows and fun activities for kids of all ages here. https://www.brightonfringe.org/box-office/shows/searchquery=Fringe%20City%20Family%20Picnic.%20