Your half term survival guide
Don't panic, stay strong, the school holiday will be a doddle with your must-read Muddy Guide.
Woohoo! the sun’t out, school’s out (argh! excuse me while I practice with my juggling balls) and there’s loads to entertain the kids. No need for survival mode, just a collective deep breath, perhaps a picnic, definitely wine and your Muddy Guide. We’ve got your back.
The Great Ball Run, Basildon park, Lower Basildon, 27 May – Sun 4 June
Come rain or shine the National Trust always comes up to the rescue of parents battling the excruciating sound of kids claiming “I’m bored!”. Head over to Basildon Park and you’ll find the Great Ball Run is back! There are new runs to enjoy and it’s a great way to enjoy the 400 acres of parkland. Take a picnic and make a day of it while your kids can explore, climb, build dens and enjoy the freedom of the outdoors.
Ninjago World Official Launch, Legoland Windsor, Fri 26 – Mon 29 May
If your kids can’t wait for the Ninjago Movie to come out in September, go one better and immerse them in Ninjago World at Legoland Windsor. They will be challenged to become a master of Spinjitzu, take on awesome training activities as they prepare for the ultimate ninja skills test… the new Lego Ninjago Ride. If you need me, i’ll be practicing my wax on, wax off karate kid moves.
Toys In Trouble Show, Look Out Discovery Centre Bracknell, Sat 27 May – Sat 4 June
Calling all curious kids, future scientists and engineers! Help is need at save the kids’ playmates at the Toys In Trouble Show. Your kids will have a blast looking at the science behind different toys and helping sort them out according to how they work. Fun and educational. Your halo will be shining a little brighter after this day out. With an outdoor play area and loads of woodland trails you could fill a whole day here.
The Gingerbread Man, the Watermill Newbury, Sat 3 June
Life is sweet when the sun shines and it doesn’t get my saccharin than The Gingerbread Man at The Watermill Theatre. An interactive theatre show performed by Lizzie Lewis, your littlies will be totally blown away as Georgie the Gingerbread Man enlists their help to escape the wood. Expect lots of furry friend encounters and theatrical tension as adventure unfolds. Suitable for kids aged 2-6, it starts at 10amin the Lily Pond Conservatory. Tickets £6.
Circo Ridiculoso, South Street Arts Reading, Wed 31 May
What do you get when you cross balloons and storytelling with a ton of silliness? Um, a hot mess if I was in charge. But in the hands of Circo Ridiculoso (say that after a few rosés) you have a brilliantly bonkers kids show that tells the story of Dr Frankenstein who’s dream of winning a highly-coveted dance contest is fading fast. A monster is created and comes alive! Can Igor teach the friendly monster to dance in time? Tickets £9 (3+ years).
SOTA Pops to Broadway, South Hill Park Bracknell, Fri June 2
Jazz hands at the ready for a night celebrating the business of show. The School Of The Arts have been training the kids off Berkshire in dance, singing and acting for 12 years. To celebrate its birthday who needs cake?(OK we all need cake) but these guys are also putting on a musical show of song and dance numbers from Pop through to Broadway, featuring more than 100 performers. Tickets £14.50.
Jack And The Beans Talk, The Firestation Windsor, Fri 2 June
Jack And The Beanstalk is like the historical tale of buying a Euromillions Lucky Dip ticket. Swap your cow for some random numbers and you’ll be swigging Bolly on the back of a yacht before you can say cheers. Not wanting to burst the bubble, it’s for the kids, Jack And The Beans Talk is an inventive puppet show with loads of interaction, an enormous beanstalk, bags of gold and a smelly old giant.
Child Monarchs of England, The Guildhall Winsor, Sat 27 May
Your kids probably think they rule your house– send them to the Tower (er, that’ll be their bedroom) – but with the Windsor History Festival running this half term, pop into The Guildhall to get an insight into our historic young rulers. Windsor Museum will celebrate the child Kings and Queens of England, such as the Princes who vanished, ‘Jane the Quene’ and the teenage Alexandrina. Hear their stories and make something to take away. Free entry.
May Half Term Wild Week, Cliveden House, Sat 27 May – Sun 4 June
Loads to do for the little and large at Cliveden this week. Let your kids run wild and explore all things floral around Cliveden’s glorious gardens before making a flowery craft to take home. Then band together for the Game Of Clues Murder Mystery to solve the murder of Lord Mucke, before the killer strikes again. There’s also River Cruises on Sat 27 – Sun 28 May and the Big Tree Climbing Company will be there on Mon 29 and Tues 30 May (tickets £20). After all that you’ll be starving so treat yourself to some top nosh at the Astor Grill before you head home.
Bucklebury Farm Park, Bucklebury, Sun 29 May – Sun 4 June
You are going to be overdosing on cuteness at Bucklebury Farm Park. Who an resist the lure of newborn furry friends – and they don’t get much cuter than Anglo Nubian goat kids and new deer calves. Early risers (is there any other type of child?) can join a Spring Deer Safari on Sat 3 and Sun 4 June. Get up at daybreak to see the new deer calves and enjoy a woodland BBQ. Limited numbers. Email [email protected] for details.
Go Canoeing, Advenure Dolphin, Pangbourne 31 May – 2 June
Did you know that hundreds of events and challenges are being organized nationwide to help encourage people give canoeing a go between 27 May and 4 June? Nope, me neither – but we do now, so there’s absolutely no hiding behind the sofa! National Go Canoeing Week is being celebrated at Adventure Dolphin in Pangbourne with FREE canoeing sessions on Weds 31 May and Thurs 1 June. Check out their website for details.
Brickies Imaginarium, Community Centre Maidenhead, Fri 2 June
If the weather’s bad or your kids needs a few hours respite from the cooking sun, book them up for Brickies Workshop –a two-hour, story driven, brick building workshop for Lego-loving children aged 5-11. The build theme is Imaginarium: Magnus The Magnificent takes to the stage on Brick City’s Got Talent (timely). In a last ditch attempt to get to the final he attempt his most difficult trick – the Imaginarium. It’s up to the kids to help him (£12 each).
Dinosaur Modelling, Reading Museum, Thurs 1 June
Iguanodon, Stegosaurus, Triceratops or T.Rex? If you have a dinosaur obsessed child, book em up for Dinosaur Modelling at Reading Museum. They can experiment with card and mod roc f ora couple of hours (sessions run from 10am and 1pm) while you experiment in with your sumer wardrobe. Everyone’s happy. Booking is essential, it’s suitable for age 7+ and costs £8 per child. Call 0118 937 3400. Roaaarsome (sorry).
Adventure Week, Wellington Country Park, May 30 -4 June
Running throughout half term, simply collect your Adventure Pack when you arrive at Reception, then use it to explore the Park. Visit the deer in Waterloo Meadow, hold your own mini golf challenge, build a giant sandcastle, complete the animal farm quizzes and much much more. Woo hoo! Challenge accepted. Winner gets the last Chocolate Club biscuit.
Go Ape, Swinley Forest Bracknell, open all year
No matter what the weather, if you want to get outdoors, get some fresh air and have some fun head to Swinley Forest and tackle the Go Ape course. You’ll enjoy a fun-filled hour exploring the canopy, trail blazing and tackling obstacles – finishing on the zip wire. The Junior Adventure is aimed at 6-12 year-old Tarzans, but if your child is under 6 but over a metre tall they can still join in. Tickets £18.