Top Summer activities in Portsmouth

Summer’s here! Things to do in Portsmouth and Southsea this summer

It’s sunny (most days), we’re by the sea, the crowds are coming — it must be summer in Portsmouth! Portsmouth has become an important centre of heritage and culture on the south coast. And along with its beach and family friendly attractions, it’s a great place to visit this summer for a number of other reasons. We’ve found some of our favourite things to do by the sea.

Horrible Histories - Pirates, The Exhibition

Portsmouth Historic Dockyards
Until 31 December 2020

Free with a valid attraction ticket from Portsmouth Historic Dockyards.

A great family friendly event where your little pirates have the chance to captain their own ship. Lots of piratey fun is to be had, with eye patches, wooden legs, and a whole lot of ‘Arrrr me hearty!’. You can grab some grog and sing some pirate shanties, and even design your own pirate flag. 

Outdoor cinema – Mamma Mia

20 July
Southsea Bandstand
8.30–11.30pm (film starts at 9.30pm)
£8 (adults); £6 (under 16s)

Here we go again! Portsmouth Film Society brings the magical Greek islands to the seafront this summer with an open-air screening of Mamma Mia. Bring along chairs, a picnic and a jumper or two. 

Southsea Food Festival

20–21 July
Palmerston Road, Southsea

Southsea’s annual food festival returns to the town this summer. Showcasing tasty treats from around Hampshire, at the festival you can sample and buy lots of different food and drink. There will be street food, live music and kitchen demonstrations. 

spice island old portsmouth

Spice Island Guided Walk

3, 17 and 31 July, and 14 and 28 August


From Visitor Information Centre, The Hard Interchange

£3 (adults) – available from the Visitor Information Centre at The Hard Interchange and Portsmouth Museum

Accompanied children free

Discover 800 years of history on this guided walk. This walk is a great introduction to the city of Portsmouth and its history.

Portsmouth International Kite Festival

10–11 August
Southsea Common

Enjoy a spectacular display of kites, courtesy of fliers from four continents. A great free family friendly event, the annual kite festival also offers a children’s kite workshop, kids’ rides plus craft tents.


Victorious Festival

23–25 August
Tickets from £35 a day

Each year Victorious promises a stunning line up, and this year is no different. New Order, James Bay, The Specials and Ziggy Marley are all on stage this year at the three-day festival by the sea. It’s family friendly too, with a kids’ arena and plenty of entertainment and activities to keep everyone happy.