7 things to do this summer in Milton Keynes

Summer is that you? It certainly doesn’t feel like summer weather-wise just yet (quite frankly, it’s a bit overdue…) But as restrictions start to ease, much-loved and anticipated events are creeping back into our schedules and we have more freedom to explore. In this blog post, I have compiled a guide to things to see, do and explore this summer in Milton Keynes. From art installations to music festivals, street food to e-scooters, see this as your invitation to go explore locally. Enjoy!

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1. See the Moon in the Tree Cathedral

Yes, you did read that right! As part of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, you can see a replica of the moon in MK’s spectacular Tree Cathedral. ‘Museum of the Moon’ is by Luke Jerram and features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. It’s from Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th July and you’ll need to book a timeslot HERE.

IF: 2021 is back for 21 days of amazing installations, live performances and music. Make sure you check out the full schedule at ifmiltonkeynes.org. There are so many great things to see!

Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram. Photo taken at Greenwich & Docklands Festival, 2017. Photo @edsimmons_ @visitgreenwich

2. Head to a Vintage Open Air Cinema screening

Vintage Open Air Cinema is a fantastic way to see your favourite movies this summer. There is plenty to choose from including showings of classics like Grease (dressing up encouraged), The Goonies and Dirty Dancing. VOA is also showing Bollywood classics at Mowgli’s in Beachampton. These events are so much fun – There’s a fully stocked bar and snacks that can be delivered to your seat!

To book tickets and see a full schedule, head to their website: www.voacinema.co.uk

Vintage Open Air Cinema.

3. Discover the independent street food scene

As restrictions lift, we have a summer of street food upon us! Milton Keynes has so many fab street food events with some amazing vendors to sample, so diaries at the ready – you don’t want to miss these!

On Friday 30th July, Tattenhoe Foodie makes a return at Tattenhoe Sports Pavilion. The lineup includes Bandit, Bubble & Roll and Eat is Greek.

On Friday 6th August, Eat Street MK is at York House Centre in Stony Stratford. This is my favourite local street food event and always features great vendors!

Newport Pagnell Food Truck Friday takes place on the second Friday of every month, so get Friday 16th July and Friday 13th August in your diaries.

And if you want to travel a bit further afield, check out Bite Street NN. Saf’s Kitchen will be there on the weekend of 16th July with her Punjabi Burgers and it is not to be missed!

And don’t forget Street Food Fridays at MK Biergarten. In July, you’ll find Little Oven of Joy and Now Now South African Food Co. there on the 9th and the 23rd respectively.

4. The Festival of Beer

I am unbelievable excited for The Festival of Beer at Blackpit Brewery this year. We went in 2019 and it was an absolutely cracking weekend with plenty of beer, food and live music! It’s back for 2021 with a bang on the 3rd – 5th September with acts including Milton Jones, Rob Da Bank and Craig Charles! You can camp for the weekend and enjoy loads of free activities like paddleboarding, yoga and making flower garlands. It’s a family-friendly festival though does get rowdier at night. A great weekend to spend with friends.

Tickets are available via www.thefestivalofbeer.co.uk.

5. Go on an adVANture with Parklife Campers

If you are looking to escape this year, have you thought about a camper van holiday? Parklife Campers launched in June and they are a brand new Milton Keynes-based business with two gorgeous blue campervans to hire. The vans are names after their two sons – Hey Jude and Buddy. These VW Californias are fully specced with everything you need for an adventure around the UK and beyond! They comfortably sleep four people and the Park family are seasoned campers, so can tell you everything you need to know.

Visit parklifecampers.com to book – and let them know I sent you!

Read more: New indies, launches and openings in Milton Keynes for summer 2021

6. Explore MK on e-scooters

The e-scooters are such a fun, eco-friendly way to explore Milton Keynes and when the sun is out, they are the dream for zipping across the city and seeing all the scenic spots like Campbell Park, the Peace Pagoda and Willen Lake. They are also great for hopping between all the great indie good spots… They go at 15mph and can be used on MK’s redways and small estate roads.

Read more: How to explore Milton Keynes on Spin e-Scooters

Use my code SOPHIENEAL to get £5 free credit so you can try the scooters for yourself! This equates to 20 minutes on the scooters, so plenty of time to pick one up and zip across the city centre.

7. Party at Pride

Milton Keynes Pride Festival is back on Saturday 11th September. It is a family-friendly (and dog friendly!) event during the day. After 7pm, there are drag acts and a cabaret tent. MK Pride features businesses and suppliers that are either LGBTQ+ run or have established, structured support for their LGBTQ+ staff or customers. This supports companies and services that work for and supports the community all year round not just for June or Pride events. The money raised goes back into services for the LGBTQ+ community in MK as well as towards next year’s event.

Bring your smiles, glitter, fur babies, family and friends and celebrate the diverse LGBTQ+ community! More information can be found on their website – miltonkeynespridefestival.com.

There are so many fab things to do in Milton Keynes this summer, so if you are booking time off work to relax, looking for local adventures or just want to start exploring again, I hope you found this guide useful. If you are looking for great independent places to eat, make sure you check out my MK food map so you can explore MK’s independent food scene from your pocket.

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