Mid Sussex Play Days and Skate Fests 2023

This summer, Mid Sussex District Council is hosting a variety of free events for the family across the whole district.

The popular Play Days events until August 24th. Aimed at families with children under 10, activities at the events include puppet shows, crazy golf courses, soft play, circus skills, arts and craft stalls, and DJ workshops.

To find out more about these events, CommunityAd spoke to the MSDC Comms Team…

Can you inform us where the idea came from to start these Mid Sussex Play Days and the Skate Fest?


The first Play Days were created so that we could offer engaging programmes for children, their friends, and families in our parks and open spaces across Mid Sussex. We developed them with three key principles in mind:


  • Free of charge at the point of access
  • Children and young people were free to choose activities
  • Children and young people were free to come and go as they please


Three Play Days were run by the Council for several years in the three large towns and in 2019 we ran a pilot scheme to engage communities across our villages. Thanks to their success they have now become our Play Days summer programme, visiting 10 locations across the district during July and August. In 2020 we were even able to run online Play Days to ensure our communities could still access engaging activities.


With the Play Days aimed at younger families, we also wanted to create something that would engage an older age group. With the popularity of skate parks increasing, we decided to use these venues and build activities around them. This was first trialled at the new skate park in Haywards Heath and now our three main towns host these annual Skate Fests which run in Burgess Hill during May half term, Haywards Heath and the end of July, and in East Grinstead in August.


What has been the feedback and the support from the local community been like so far on these sessions? 


It has been fantastic to see so much positive support for these events. Last year we welcomed more than 1,500 people to the events, with many families coming back each year. There is always a great atmosphere with lots of children trying out new activities like circus skills, rugby, mini golf, and arts and crafts. We are lucky to work with excellent local partners to deliver these opportunities that I know are welcome in the summer holidays.


What events would you say have, so far, been a fan favourite and what do you still have coming up over the next few weeks?


The graffiti workshops and DJ sessions have been hugely popular with some of the older children, but there’s also plenty of opportunities for younger families to get involved with our circus skills, crafts, messy play, and puppet shows. We have events running up until Friday 25 August with cricket skills, henna art workshops, badge making, football skills, and skateboard workshops.


The events are organised in partnership with our town and parish councils, and so we have events happening across our whole district, making it easy for families to join us at a location close to them. We also work with local providers to offer many of the activities, and we are grateful for their support come rain or shine!


Do you have a long term vision of where you would like the Mid Sussex Play Days and Skate Fest to be over the next 5-10 years?


The Play Days and Skate Fest events are part of a wider strategy to ensure we are providing high quality, engaging events for children, young people, and families. While our Play Days are aimed at families with children under 10 our Skate Fest events are designed for young people aged 10+ so there really is something for everything.


Over the coming years it would be great to expand these events to offer even more opportunities for people to get involved, as well as looking at different times or longer sessions so that our events are accessible to more of our community.


For any readers interested in the sessions, how can they find out more about them and register?


Anyone interested is welcome to come along to any of our future events and all the dates, activities and locations are available on our website by visiting http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/playdays On the website you can also register to receive email updates about any of our FREE Mid Sussex District Council activities and events.



Play Days on Tour – Events and Activities

17th August, 1:00pm – 3:00pm – Mount Noddy – East Grinstead RH19 3LG

22nd August, 1:00pm – 3:00pm – Humphreys Field, Copthorne RH10 3JZ

Skate Fests – all ages welcome

Date / Time Location
25th August

2:00pm – 4:30 pm

King George’s Field, East Grinstead RH19 3LN


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