Please enable JavaScript for this site to run correctly.


Q: What is Hands-on Humanities Day?

Hands-on Humanities Day is the University of Southampton family-friendly day of discovery and exploration, packed with interactive activities, workshops, live shows, talks and exhibits.

During the day, you can meet and interact with researchers, students, local community groups, public engagement professionals and freelance artists!

The event is FREE but registration is required.

Hands-on Humanities Day will take place from 10:30 to 16:30, at the Avenue Campus (SO17 1BF). The event is free to attend but registration online is required.

Our Festival team will wear a lime t-shirt, Student Ambassadors blue t-shirts and Festival exhibitors will wear pink t-shirts.

Hands-on Humanities Day is part of the Being Human festival, the UK's only national festival of the humanities, taking place 9th - 18th November. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.



Q: Why do I have to book tickets for Hands-on Humanities Day if it's free?

We ask everyone to book online a free general admission ticket, in advance, and to check-in to the Welcome Desk during the day.

This helps us with planning, sending you essential communications and ensuring the best visitor experience on the day and at future events.

PLEASE NOTE: to reduce waste to a minimum, we kindly ask everyone to avoid printing their tickets. Once at the Welcome Desk, please show on your mobile phone the QR code on the email confirmation you received from Eventbrite or just provide the name and surname of the contact you used for booking. You can also download the Eventbrite app onto your iPhone or Android device to show the QR code at the desk.



Q: Is Hands-on Humanities Day really suitable for all ages?

Yes, we have activities that will entertain everyone from infants to adults. You can check the 'Age suitable for' information for each activity to check more closely about this.

Paper wristbands will be available at the Welcome Desk for toddlers, children and vulnerable adults. You can use those to enter your contact phone number on the band(s) in case anyone gets separated/lost during the day.

A list of facilities for babies and information on other useful resources available on the day can be found on our Accessibility page.



Q: Is Hands-on Humanities Day accessible to people with needs?

Yes, we are doing our best to increase inclusivity and make Hands-on Humanities Day accessible and welcoming to everyone, reason why over the last year we reached out Autism Hampshire, Deaf Action, Southampton Sight and Winchester Science Centre to start implementing changes.

Please visit our comprehensive Accessibility page to find out what resources and supports will be available on the day and to start planning your attendance.



Q: How can I find my way around Hands-on Humanities Day?

You can use the website ahead of time to plan your experience.

All activity descriptions will have a building and room number and an embedded what3words map link to show where they are located on campus.

On arrival, you can pick up a Hands-on Humanities Day official map with the programme of live events and the list of all activities the Welcome Desk.

There is lots going on - it's just about possible to see everything in one day, but that would be ambitious, especially if you are with children or have additional needs. It can help to make a list in advance of things you want to take part to or prioritise.

This year we are also developing a sensory map to help you understanding what to expect on site. This will be available on our Accessibility closer to the time.



Q: Do I have to pre-book for activities at Hands-on Humanities Day?

A few of our most popular shows and workshops have ticketing, so we can manage numbers across the day for a great visitor experience.

Activities and events that require booking are clearly labelled on the Timetable. If you have already booked a general admission ticket, we will message you through Eventbrite to let you know that tickets for the shows have been released.

For these shows, we release a proportion of tickets in advance on Eventbrite (check for the 'Book Your Ticket' button on the activity page), but we keep the remaining tickets for release on the day on a first-come-first-served basis.

PLEASE NOTE: tickets for timed events will not be accepted at the Welcome Desk when checking-in on the day. Please don't forget to book a free general admission ticket to the festival for the best experience.



Q: I want to see a particular show, but all the tickets have gone.

Don't worry, additional tickets for all shows will be available on the day, but please be aware they are on a first-come-first-served basis.

On arrival, go directly to the room where the show will take place (see location link on the activity description), where one of our Festival team will help you to book your tickets at the Ticket Desk.

PLEASE NOTE: You will not find tickets for any of the shows at the Welcome Desks.



Q: How do I get to the Hands-on Humanities Day?

Visit the Find us page for directions, sustainable travel and parking information.

We will run a Travel Sustainably Competition with amazing prizes, so where possible, plan your journey to enter the prize draw when checking-in to the Welcome Desks.



Q: Will I be able to purchase food and drinks while I'm at Hands-on Humanities Day?

The Avenue Café will be open on the day and it will serve hot, cold beverages, and food, including a selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Alternatively, there will be small places to picnic indoor, if you prefer to bring your own food and drink, and outdoor in the inner courtyard - weather permitting.

A water fountain for refilling water bottles will be available on Level 1 and on Level 2.



Q: I am coming as part of a group - what do I need to know?

If you are travelling to Hands-on Humanities Day with a mini-bus, or are planning to have lunch together as a group, please get in touch ASAP by email at or use our dedicated contact form to discuss potential spaces.

You will find children's wristbands at the Welcome Desk, as mentioned in the age suitability section above.

Please note that as mentioned in the section above, some activities are ticketed and you can book tickets online for these in advance or pick up tickets on the day, but on a first-come-first-served basis.



Q: How can I provide feedback for Hands-on Humanities Day?

We kindly ask everyone attending Hands-on Humanities Day to complete a short anonymous survey we created in Microsoft Forms. This will be emailed to all ticket holders through Eventbrite a day after the event.

The purpose of this is to help with understanding how the day went, planning and ensuring the best possible visitor experience during future Festival events, and your help would be greatly appreciated.

For any other feedback, please email or use our dedicated contact form.



Q: What similar events can I join in with my family?

The UoS Festival team at the Public Engagement with Research unit organises several family-friendly events across the year.

Our annual Southampton Science and Engineering Festival (SOTSEF) is held every March, during British Science Week. The 10 days of celebration are usually concluded by by Science and Engineering Day, our free family-friendly STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) event taking place at Highfield Campus and Boldrewood Innovation Campus, with more than a hundred interactive hands-on activities, workshops, exhibits, talks, shows and laboratory tours.

A few University of Southampton's researchers and students also contribute towards related special events including Black History Month (October), UK Disability History Month (November-December) and LGBT+ History Month (February).

The UoS Festival team also has a dedicated YouTube channel with video resources and recordings of events from past Festivals. Consider subscribing to the channel to never miss upcoming live events and remain updated with the latest content on-demand.

You could also follow UoS Engagement on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram and request to join our UoS Festival mailing list to find out more and stay up to date with the latest opportunities.



Q: I have another question - how do I get in touch?

Please send an email to or use our dedicated contact form.