With the nights becoming longer and the days colder, Play and Stay look forward to summer and show you where it’s at when the clocks finally spring forward once again.
1. Record Breaking Roller Coaster, Alton Towers, England
Thrill seekers listen up! There’s a new ride coming to England’s biggest theme park and it promises to be their most impressive; faster than Air!, longer than Oblivion and an all-round record breaker. The less adventurous are also spoilt for choice at Alton Towers with a Runaway Mine Train, Congo River Rapids and the Twirling Toadstool.
2. La Tomatina, Bunol, Spain
During Spain’s largest food fight the town’s population doubles. La Tomatina began with two friends who would throw tomatoes at government members during official events. The tradition caught on and now every year the town’s population swells as people flock from every corner of Spain and abroad to take part in this messy festival and party Spanish style.
3. 10-Day Stampede, Calgary, Canada
This annual festival has celebrated all things cowboy each July since 1886. It is one of the world’s largest rodeos, attracting around a million visitors every year. Visitors can also enjoy parades, stage shows, concerts, farming competitions, chuckwagon racing (a modern version of chariot racing) and a wide selection of fairground rides. With so much on offer, you won’t want to miss out. Yee-haw!
4. Summer Night Concert, Vienna, Austria
Since 2004 the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has put on a free open-air concert each June to around 100,000 visitors and a global television audience. If you can’t grab a spot at Schönbrunner Palace Park, it’s possible to view the concert on one of the many screens dotted throughout the city. Join the locals and tourists alike to sip a beer and enjoy this fantastic performance.
5. Cheese Rolling, Cooper’s Hill, England
More than 2,000 people gather upon Cooper’s Hill each June to witness the annual cheese rolling event. A large roll of Double Gloucester tumbles down the hill whilst being chased by a group of brave competitors. The winner gets to keep the cheese. Although this event is no longer accompanied by a fair, it’s definitely a sight worth savouring.
6. Midsummer Celebrations, Sweden
Celebrating the longest night of the year dates back to Pagan times, and for Swedes this is simply the party of the year. Whilst most families celebrate in the countryside, the Skansen open-air museum near Stockholm hosts three days of traditional entertainment. Visitors are encouraged to get involved with making garlands of flowers, dancing around the maypole and playing traditional games. You can be assured that the city’s bars will be full long after the midnight sun has set.
7. Queen’s Day, The Netherlands
On the brink of summer the Dutch dress in orange and take to the streets to celebrate Queen Beatrix’s unofficial birthday. Look out for special events in the clubs, or join the massive street party complete with free concerts and great beer. The celebrations are followed by a nationwide flea market where Dutch citizens up and down the county set up stall and offer you a bargain.
8. The Garlic Festival, Isle of Wight, England
There’s fun for everyone at the annual Garlic Festival on the Isle of Wight. The sunniest corner of the UK showcases the best of local produce including delicacies such as garlic mushrooms, garlic beer and garlic ice cream. There’s live music, arts and crafts, children’s entertainers and a giant funfair. So pack your tic-tacs and head on down.
9. San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, San Jose, USA
What better way to spend a warm, Californian night than to listen to great music under the stars? Over 80 musicians perform on 10 different stages dotted around downtown San Jose. Last year’s headliners included The Jazz Crusaders, renowned jazz saxophonist Boney James and singer Dianne Reeves. The festival hopes to inspire the next generation of great musicians.
10. Naadam, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Mongolia’s largest festival is held every year between 11th – 13th July. The main competition is held in the National Sports Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, the country’s capital. Athletes compete in three traditional nomadic sports: wrestling, horse racing and archery, each very different from their Western equivalents. The grand opening ceremony, which consists of marches and music, is always a spectacle to behold.