Stuff to do with kids of all ages this summer
Nailed it! We've found activities for every age, from toddlers to teens. Read on for the best of art, sport, festivals, music and inflatables in Berkshire in July and August 2021
La-la-la!!! That’s the sound of me with my fingers in my ears and eyes firmly shut – I mean, the school holidays can’t be happening, can they? Oh God, they are happening! Better unleash my guide to what to do with the kids throughout July and August…
Camp Beaumont, Reading, Windsor and Old Windsor, 12 Jul – 20 Aug
Not every kid loves sport. And that’s where the holiday camp with glitter make up, giant bubbles, yoga and drama comes in (alongside the archery and football). Beaumont Camp will run this May/June half term at Leighton Park School in Reading, St George’s Windsor and St John’s Beaumont, Old Windsor, offering 30 activities per age group from various sports, CSI investigations and talent shows to arty fun, DJing and coding. It’s £55 per day / £220 per week. The days run from 8.30am-5.30, with the ability to pay a little extra to extend the hours from 8am-6pm.
Greenfingers and Gluesticks: Made By Tamalia, Caversham, 16-20 Aug
Got a kid (aged 7-14) who loves arts and crafts? Pack them up for a couple of hours to a summer workshop that will let them run wild with the paints and Pritt Stik. Greenfingers & Gluesticks is a summer club run by Made By Tamalia in Caversham. Each session runs from 10am-12.30pm, and you can book in for individual days or the whole week. This isn’t about discovering the next Picasso, but giving your kids the opportunity to have fun with art, gardening and some mindfulness activities. After the year our kids have had, it sounds like creative bliss. £150 for week or £30 a day.
Young Titans, Kintbury, 12 Jul – 13 Aug
One for Horrible Histories fans with a sense of adventure. Young Titans is all about adventure based on the legends and heroes of the past. Your kids will feel the heat of battle, mastering the art of swordplay using foam weaponry and defining their battle cry, before clubbing together to form shield walls, undertake heroic castle sieges and face their Magister in a game of Titan Rush! Suitable for ages 6-11. £50 per day, per child.
Ultimate Activity Camps, Reading, Ascot, Wokingham and Newbury, July an August
The 150th visit to the local skate park loses its lustre pretty quickly. Ultimate Activity Camps take place in Berkshire’ top private schools with facilities to match. There’s a mind-blowing array of activities for 4-14 year olds with a strong emphasis on sports and outdoor fun, so it’s a brilliant way to raise the heart rate and pull them away from the triumvirate of TV, gaming and phones to actually, y’know, interact with other humans.
Multi-water sports, Bray Lake, Maidenhead
Close your eyes and you could sailing the Italian lakes – but Bray’s not too shabby either. Bray Lake Watersports offer a number of courses for kids during the school holidays. Suitable for ages 8-15, they can do multi-sports, windsurfing, paddlesports, dinghy sailing and windsurfing – over a week or daily £85 per day or £350 for the week.
Junior Film & Drama Company, August
A new drama and film course for kids, offering everything from animation and circus skills to drama and screen make-up. If you’re raising the next aspiring Emma Corrin or Rége-Jean Page or just have a child who wants to be creative and have fun, the Junior Film and Drama Company could be just the ticket. Price from £85.
Tutorsense @ The Jelly Lounge Windsor, various dates
Lots of parents will be freaking out that 18 months of disrupted education has caused gaping holes in their child’s academics. And some just want to keep their littlies minds ticking over during the long summer break. Tutor Sense is running fun learning activities for Early Years and KS1 children that will fire up their imagination in these immersive education sessions. Number Ninjas will tackle maths puzzles, Earth Explorers will go wild around the world and they can prepare your tiddlers for the move up to Big School.
Kids Yoga, Swan at Streatley, various dates in July and August
Release the tension! And what better place to send them than kids yoga at Swan at Streatley. Two creative yoga workshops for different age groups (4-7 yr olds at 1.15pm and 8-13 yr olds at 2.15pm), where they’ll get to release energy and hit the reset button. You can join in or work on your own tension in the cafe/bar – coffee? wine? Choose your poison and relax.
Little Gym Windsor Camps, Windsor
Where do kids get the energy, sometimes it feel like I’m raising a Duracell bunny. The Little Gym to the rescue. The brilliant team will take your 3-12 year olds off your hands, send them on exciting missions around the gym – running, rolling, swinging. Think Lara Croft or Indiana Jones without the jeopardy and with more story time, crafting and snacks. It’s all super Covid safe without compromising on the fun.
Reading FC Soccer School, various locations
Can you kick it? Yes you can. Once again Reading FC is running its ridiculous popular Soccer Schools. All age groups are catered with three, four and five day courses running at Madjeski Stadium 4G pitch; The Dome in Reading, Henwick Playing Fields in Thatcham and Emmbrook School in Wokingham book up really quickly. From £55.
Tennis Camps, various locations, 12-27 Aug
Game set and match, learn a new sport or improve your technique and co-ordination, but more importantly have lots of FUN!! Windsor Tennis Club offer half day sessions, £30 or full days for £60. Camps are also running at Wokingham Tennis Club, Crowthorne Tennis Club and Bradfield Tennis Camp.
Heritage Live, Englefield House Theale, 23-24 Jul
If your teens are dressing like you did in the 90s, Brit Pop band Supergrass (originally from Oxford) could be right up their street. They will be headlining a summer outdoor gig in the grounds of Englefield House on 22 July. Part of the Heritage Live Concert series, the band will take to the stage at this impressive stately home in Theale supported by Feeder and Sports Team. The following night (23 July) Boy George and Culture Club will perform with Lulu, Kim Wilde and Gabrielle. Tickets from £50pp.
Summertime Live with Classic Ibiza, Royal Windsor Racecourse, 14 Aug
Picture the scene – a beautiful sunset, balmy 30 degrees and a cracking choon. Nope, not your typical night in San Antonio, it’s Windsor’s answer to the White Isle. The Urban Soul Orchestra conducted will be banging out the Ibiza anthems on 14 Aug, with live DJ and vocalists. Bare some flesh and party till dawn (*cough* I mean 10pm) Her Maj needs her beauty sleep.
Reading Festival, Reading, 27-29 Aug
If there’s one thing that’ll clear a field full of teenagers, it’s their parents living it up like it’s 1996. Reading Festival has confirmed it will ahead on 27-29 Aug with Liam Gallagher is headlining alongside Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Post Malone and more. Expect more middle-aged, parka-wearing Brit Poppers than usual.
Fi-Fest, Maidenhead, 29 Aug
Fi Fest has announced it will go ahead on 29 Aug and tickets are available now, from £25pp. The headliners are from our musical youth with The Lightening Seeds, The South (part of The Beautiful South) and Toploader. It’s a glorious 90s throwback with a kids zone to keep the whole family entertained Channel Kate Moss festival fashion and out you go.
Pennfest, Penn, 23-24 July
For a serene Bucks village, Penn really does manage to pull in an impressive line-up of rabel-rousers. Hello, Craig David, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, and Big Narstie! Other acts will include Razorlight, Ella Eyre, The Charlatans, and Ms Banks. Pitch up your tent in the scenic field next-door and get ready to party. Weekend tickets from £117.70.
Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park, 6-8 Aug
The most revered of the Oxfordshire festivals, Wilderness returns this summer for a four-day boutique experience. There will be music (line-up TBC, but names have been big in the past), long-table banquets, woodland parties, theatre, film, dance, and a pop up spa (well, we are in Oxfordshire). It’s generally a heady mix of right-on hippiness (yoga, skinny-dipping, hot hubs) and top-tier music. Tickets are now sold out, but you can still book camping arrangements if you’re lucky enough to have got your hands on one.
Henley Royal Regatta, 11-15 Aug
It’s a festival of sorts, and the best-known regatta in the world. Henley Regatta is back for five days of summer sporting frenzy and frightfully refined eating and drinking. Get yourself a fancy floppy hat, dig out the heels, and watch those boats go. Online ticket sale has now closed, but (insider tip!), if you hire out a boat, as long as you keep moving, you can watch the races from a prime spot on the river itself.
Café Mambo Ibiza Classics, Stonor Park Henley, 13 Aug
Who needs to endure the 2am EasyJet flight to Ibiza, when Ibiza is coming to you. For the first time ever, Café Mambo Ibiza will bring a star studded line up of world class DJs – Roger Sanchez, Todd Terry, The ShapeShifters, to name a few – to Stonor Park for an evening of dance anthems. ‘Classics In The Park’ will whisk you off to the white isle, with the bonus of waking up in your own bed. A guaranteed sell out, so book up. Tickets £35.75pp.
REW!ND Festival, Henley, 20-22 Aug
Henley’s REW!ND at Temple Island Meadows is steaming ahead for this August (20-22 Aug to be precise). The headliners are an 80s pop queen’s dream: Billy Ocean, Wet Wet Wet, Jimmy Somerville, Nik Kershaw, Soul II Soul … What are you waiting for? Dig out your polka dot scrunchy, pull on some day-glo bangles and get booking.
Blenheim Palace Food Festival, Woodstock, 20-22 Aug
A sizzling feast for all the senses: great food, great music, stunning location. Blenheim Palace Food Festival showcases the very best of produce from local and national stallholders, with something tempting for everyone. Festival entry is included with a Palace, Park and Gardens ticket.
The Big Feastival, near Kingham, 27-29 Aug
Another posh nosh extravaganza, and an unbeatable excuse to eat yourself silly. Hosted on the farm of cheese-obsessed Blur bassist Alex James, The Big Feastival promises top notch chefs, family fun and chart-topping artists: good food, and great music. The line-up this year includes DJ Sigala, Rag’n’Bone Man, Zara Larsson, and Tom Walker plus others. Adult day tickets from £82.
Retro Festival, Newbury Showground, 13-15 Aug
There’s also the return of Retro Festival (13-15 Aug), a vintage fest held at Newbury Showground. It has everything from the Spitfire Cabaret, music from Ministry of Mod and northern soul band The Signatures, plus the wall of death, motorcycle stunt show, fun fair and much much more.
STAGE AND SCREEN
Romeo & Juliet, Abbey Ruins, Reading, 14-24 Jul
If you’re looking for a backdrop that’s atmospheric, dramatic and nails the period brief, the Reading’s Abbey Ruins – originally founded by Henry I in 1112– is it. To mark the 900th anniversary of the Abbey, the Progress Theatre will take over the open air stage to perform Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy Romeo & Juliet (14 – 24 July). Tickets from £18.
Summer Screens, Abbey Ruins, Reading, 21-22 Aug
Once the actors have finished treading the boards, the big screen goes up at the Abbey Ruins for a summer of cinematic greats. Book in to see The Dark Knight starring Heath Ledger as the Joker (21 Aug) and An American Werewolf In London (22 Aug). A selection of cinema drinks and snacks will be available. Doors open at 7.30pm, film starts at 9pm.
As You Like It and Just So, The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor
As usual, there’s loads of treats on at The Watermill Theatre. This bijou theatre takes it outside during the summer – making the most of the gardens and the theatre’s stunning riverside location. Don’t miss Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It (until 24 Jul) which will have a eco set and costume with music inspired by Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Taylor Swift. Loving the sound of that. The grand garden finale is a semi-staged concert performance of Just So (30 Jul – 4 Sep) – showcasing five of Rudyard Kipling’s stories. Book tickets here.
Luna Cinema, Ascot Racecourse, 16-18 Jul
Giddy up to Ascot for four nights of fabulous feel-goof films under the stars. The giant cinema screen will be positioned on the Old Paddock of the racecourse with this stunning backdrop of the grandstand. The Luna Bar will be fully stocked (good job with the expected Muddy stampede, and there will be food to soak it all up). What’s being screened? Choose from Rocketman (15 Jul), Dirty Dancing (16 Jul), The Greatest Showman Sing-A-Long (17 Jul) and Pretty Woman (18 Jul). Tickets £17.
KIDS: This Noisy Isle, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 29-31 Jul
Drop a couple of Tramadol, this show is INTERACTIVE. A word that leaves parents trembling, but kids go nuts for. A Noisy Isle at Norden Farm is a treasure-hunt show that takes you off to a strange, magical new world. Your mission is to workout the puzzles and steer your team through the choppy seas to search for your new home.
Gifford’s Circus, Stonor Park, Henley, 22 Jul – 2 Aug
Roll up, roll up, Gifford’s Circus is coming to town! From the imagination of the brilliant late Nell Gifford, the trope’s brand new show The Hooley will feature Celtic dance, fairies, pixies, trolls and a whole host of magical creatures alongside Gifford stalwart (and my all time favourite clown) Tweedy. Adult tickets £25, Kids £15.
Ben Hart: 2 Metre Magic, Corn Exchange Newbury, 31 Jul
Remember Ben Hart the rather quirky but attractive magician from BGT? Well he’s coming to Berkshire to perform his most intimate magic show yet in an evening of ‘close-up magic’. A rare chance to witness up-close Ben’s acclaimed sleight-of-hand, set against a backdrop of hilarIous patter. Suitable for age 12+.
Dinton Pastures Country Park, Wokingham, 30 Jul – 28 Aug
Definitely not a film for make-up tips, but Heath Ledger’s demented Joker in The Dark Knight (13 Aug)is one of his finest. It was Heath’s penultimate film, released months after his death, and won him a posthumous Oscar. Who was Batman? Oh, some fella called Christian Bale, but Heath totally steals the show. Grab your picnic blanket and see it this summer at Dinton Pastures on 13 Aug. Not your bag? They’re also showing Back To The Future (30 Jul), Dirty Dancing (31 Jul) and The Greatest Showman (14 Aug); 10 Things I Hate About You and Mean Girls (both 27 Aug) and Grease (28 Aug). Bit of a festival vibe at this one, with music, street food and drink stands.
Romeo & Juliet and The Jungle Book, Shaw House, Newbury, 25 Jul and 15 Aug
Immersion Theatre is a multi-award-winning company taking a few productions outside this summer – and they’re making a couple of stops at the historic Shaw House in Newbury. Starting with an evening performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on 25 Jul (adult tickets £12). Followed by family favourite The Jungle Book on 9 Aug (tickets from £8), The Great Gatsby on 1 Aug and David Walliams’ Mr Stink on 15 Aug. Book now.
Caversham Court Gardens, Reading, 22-24 Jul
Caversham Courts Gardens is an under-rated riverside park and now it has the Summer Screens cinema too. Balmy evening staring at the big screen? Race you. There are three films on the Caversham movie reel kicking off in July with The Breakfast Club (22 Jul); Grease (23 Jul) and Thelma & Louise (24 Jul). You last chance to snag your spot will 17 and 18 Sep, but the films are TBC. A selection of cinema drinks and snacks will be available. Doors open at 7.30pm, film starts at 9pm.
Cobbs Farm Hungerford, 17 Jul
Cobbs Farm’s blissfully rural location is a lush spot for outdoor cinema action. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Oscar winning A Star Is Born will be screened on 17 Jul. Don’t miss the legendary Cobbs barbecue menu. All the delicious drinks snacks, ice-cream, and popcorn you can consume or BYO. Doors open 7pm, film starts at 9.15pm.
Wild by Motionhouse, Shaw House Newbury, 8 Aug
Jeepers, if you’re nerves can handle it, Motionhouse will be bringing their daring dance-circus production WILD to Newbury this summer. Perched up high on metal poles – aka the urban jungle – the performers move through a forest of poles. Expect jaws to be dropped and eyes on stalks for this one..
Wind In the Willows, The Comedy of Errors and Midsummer Night’s Dream, South Hill Park, Bracknell, 31 Jul – 16 Aug
South Hill Park Arts Centre is a hidden Berkshire gem – a grand design with stunning gardens and an amphitheatre for a summer season of outdoor theatre. First up is Wind In The Willows (31 Jul–1 Aug) – inspired by Berkshire, so it’s practically a homcoming – created by Cats Grin Theatre Company. Then between 14 and 16 Aug, the brilliantly bonkers Scoot Theatre Company is putting on afternoon and evening performances of The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. To wrap things up (and play chicken with the weather) a group of young actors will take to the outdoor stage in Godspell (20-22 Aug). Don;t forget to pack a brolly, pac-a-mac and a blanket. Buy tickets here.
Summer Screens, Shaw House, Newbury, 26-27 Aug
Shaw House is a swoony Grade I listed manor house just outside Newbury that’ll be laying on not one but two musical movies this summer. So take your pick: The rabble-rousing Hollywood epic, Les Miserables (26 Aug) starring Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. Orrrrrr frothy feel-good high school romance, Grease (27 Aug). Definitely one for summer niiiiiiiiights. Doors open at 6.30pm, film starts 8.15pm.
The Bag That Went BOO!, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 12-13 Aug
Comedy, clowning around and puppetry. The Garlic Theatre Company will performThe Bag That Went BOO! at Norden Farm this summer. It’s a slightly bonkerS story about a little red bag that jumps out of a brown paper bag before heading off on a fantastical journey of paper bag proportions. What/ No clue, but if you have a child aged 3-8, they’ll love it.
Legoland Mythica Opens, Legoland Windsor
You have to hand it to Legoland for continuing to come up with ways to sell the Lego dream to under-10s in ever-inventive new ways. This year’s newest attraction is Mythica – a brand new world in a parallel universe. There’s three new rides where LEGO creatures come to life – think dragons, unicorns and a flying lion… It doesn’t open until 29 May, so in the meantime, you’ll have to make do with Ninjago World, DUPLO Dino Coaster, Haunted House Monster Pasty, Lego Miniland (which took three years to complete) and all the other favourites.
Bucklebury Farm, Bucklebury
You are going to be overdosing on cuteness at Bucklebury Farm Park. Who can resist the lure of newborn furry friends – and they don’t get much cuter than deer foals, Anglo Nubian goat kids and lambs bounding around the place.
Tumblestone Hollow, Stonor Park, nr Henley
As magical as Hogwarts but it comes with very necessary coffee for the spectators (in the form of the cafe at the visitor’s centre), Tumblestone Hollow is on the edge of woodland in Stonor Park and inspired by the stone circle found in the estate grounds. The wooden playground, designed for 4 to 12-year-olds, has high level walkways, climbing nets, look-out decks and bridges, all connected to a gnarled central tower. And if it couldn’t get any more magical, it comes with its own fairytale book, The Legend of Tumblestone Hollow. Pe-book online, From £9 (kids under 92cm free).
If your kids are sick of walks, a walk, picnic and play with an alpaca may just entice them off the sofa. How can you say no to that face?! The Walk & Picnic costs £38 (two people per booking), Picnic & Play with the alpacas – £65 (up to six people). Various times / dates available at Mortimer Alpacas. You can also book private sessions for groups / birthdays.
Wellington Country Park, Riseley
Sack the digital nanny and head outdoors to the biggest outdoor play in Berkshire. Wellington Country Park Is 350 glorious acres of fresh air and freedom. Don’t miss the summer sports weekend (31 Jul – 1 Aug) when your kids can have a go at skateboarding, rugby, football and tennis, with coaches on hand to get them going. The fun doesn’t stop there, keep your eye out for Dino Weekend, the Big Bouncy Castles, Pirates and Mermaids and much more. That’s all on top of the regular activities – the swashbuckling pirates ship, the HMS Duke of Wellington, adventure play area, splash zone, miniature railway, animal farm, mini golf and dinosaurs roaming (ok not roaming) the grounds. If that doesn’t tire them out, reading the list of activities should do it.
Thorpe Park is catnip to thrill-seeking teens with the Walking Dead and Derren Brown Ghost Train rides upping the fear factor. New this summer is Black Mirror Labyrinth (above) – a twisted, sensory-defying maze puts you at the core of the Black Mirror universe and it wants to keep you there. Yikes.
If you’re still in the Peppa Pig phase, Paulton’s Park over in Hants is a fab introduction to theme parks with over 70 rides – nine of them Peppa-themed – plus a large indoor play zone and Muddy Puddles to jump and play in! Have the tramadol on standby.
Inflatable obstacle courses, various locations
Caversham Lakes – a brand new venue in the centre of Reading for all your adrenaline-fuelled fun – inflatable aqua obstacle course, paddleboarding, kayaking and open water swimming are all on the agenda. Plus a more chilled family beach for sunny days with a gin in a tin. Go wet and wild, from £15.
Lagoona Aqua Park – On the outskirts of Reading is another aqua park with water obstacle course, paddle boarding and the handy new addition of a land-based course for those who are not keen on H2O. Set on a 25-acre lake just off J11 of the M4, Lagoona Aqua Park, is suitable for ages 8+.
Liquid Leisure – Europe’s largest inflatable obstacle course and home to the first Ninja Warrior UK Aqua Park, Liquid Leisure in Datchet, has long been the place to slide, bounce, jump, climb and get dumped into the water. They’ve also added an Aqua Jungle and a junior course for ages 4+.
Beat The Street, Wokingham, now – 20 Jul
Join the thousands of people taking part in Wokingham’s giant interactive street game, Beat The Street. Covering 1,145 miles, get your mitts on a whizzy fob or card and find the beep boxes. Game on!
Learn to Skate Camps, Ozone Rink, Wokingham
Ice, ice baby! Don’t fight the weather, embrace it. Pack the kids off to Wokingham’s brand new state of the art ice rink Ozone and let them slip and slide all day long. Ozone‘s running learn to skate and learn to play ice hockey camps for all ages. Boot them out and set them on the path to Olympic glory.
Go Ape, Bracknell
Aaaaarraaaagh! Time to get high on life at Go Ape Bracknell – a forest adventure for all ages that will test your balance, bravery and dignity. There’s a 1hr Junior Tree Top Adventure (suitable for kids 1m+) with wobbly bridges, intricate crossings and a zip wire finale… Fancy something more challenging, tackle the 2-3hr High Ropes Course (ages 10+ and 1.4m+ tall), that takes you 30m off the ground to endure high speed zips, swings and crossings that’ll make your knees knock. Or there’s a whizzy Segway tour through the forest. Adrenaline junkies will love it.! From £20. Booking essential.
I’m not sure Roger Moore would approve of this amphibious motor, but then you won’t get many passengers in his water bound Lotus Esprit. Good job we have the Duck bus to whizz around the historic streets of Windsor for dunking into the river. Rain or shine, this is fun history lesson/ sightseeing adventure. Tickets £21.
Wild Paddle, Newbury
Test your sense of adventure and your balance on a SUP tour of the Kennet & Avon Canal. Wild Paddle Berkshire is sightseeing with a difference. The difference being you’re on a paddle board and there’s a risk of getting wet.. Run by Lara and her expert team, the tours set off from both Newbury and Kintbury locks and are perfect for beginners through to advanced. It’s a unique and tranquil way to see this beautiful part of Berks and Lara’s a dab hand at keeping her groups dry and having fun.
Go With the Flo Paddleboarding, Wargrave
Wetsuit up and wobble on the water in Wargrave. Go With The Flo Paddleboarding, run by Nick Judd, offer family paddles, night adventures, SUP pilates, group and 1:1 lessons. Having tried this sport, the bit where you look elegant is hard to achieve. But OMG I’ve never laughed so much. From £50.
Re-Load Lazer Clay Shooting, Reading
Mention laser tag or fairground target shooting and cue much eye rolling – they’re waaaaay to old for that. Re-Load is funky shooting range where you practice hitting targets without using live ammunition – good for hand eye co-ordination and gets them away from Fortnight for a few hours. The laser clay guns used fire harmless infra-red beams. No loud bangs, no recoil bruising, eco-friendly and and cheaper than traditional shooting. £60 for 1hr for up to six people.
This is your moment to get your kids to eat their five a day (and pimp up your Champers, obvs). Pick your own season kicks off in time for half term. Gray’s Farm, nr Wokingham offers 24 different crops to get your mitts from traditional soft fruits to veggies. Over in Cookham, raspberries, strawberries and red cherries are grown for your picking pleasure at Lower Mount Farm. Alternatively, head to Merryfield Farm in Bradfield.
Fingers on buzzers! Slots sell like hotcakes for National Trust trips these days, but if you’re lucky enough to get tickets here are some of my local favourites: Basildon Park, West Berks with its timeless landscaped gardens and woodland walks; Cliveden, on the Berks/Bucks border, where the gardens and woodland estate are open; picturesque Greys Court, nr Henley, hop over the Hants border and roam the grounds of Tudor powerhouse The Vyne. Or seek out Ashdown (above), the National Trust’s under the radar Dutch-style country near Lambourn.
Game Plan – Board Games Rediscovered, The Base Greenham Common, 25 Jun – 5 Sep
Ah, remember when gaming required more than one player and came out of a box? Take a screen break and head to The Base’s new exhibition – Game Plan – Board Games Rediscovered – on load from London’s V&A. It’s not a look and don’t touch exhibition, there’s plenty on display that you can try out and a nice reminder how much fun (and competitive) getting friends and family round a game can be.
Prince Philip: A Celebration, Windsor Castle, Windsor
The Queen’s home from home, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Inside, A portrait of The Duke of Edinburgh by Ralph Heimans is the centrepiece of a new 120-piece exhibition at Windsor Castle celebrating his life. Prince Philip: A Celebration has been curated by the Royal Collection Trust and features items marking key moments during his official duties for the Queen. From the coronation robe and coronet he wore during the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and his personal desk to a giant grasshopper wine cooler, it’s a moving tribute to the UK’s longest serving consort. Adult tickets £23.50, child £13.50, under 5s go FREE.
Van Gogh Alive, Kensington Palace London, from 4 Jun
Well worth whizzing into London for! Kensington Gardens will be lit up with Van Gogh Alive, a multi-sensory experience that’s been touring the world and has seen 65 cities so far. Expect a feast for all the senses: 3D painting recreations, a sunflower room, sounds, smells, and light shows. Tickets are £24.
David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Royal Academy of Art London, from 23 May
A David Hockney exhibition never disappoints and this one is particularly poignant. The Arrival of Spring (from £19) will display the over 100 optimistic works Hockney did on the unfolding of spring during the height of the pandemic, all done on his iPad.
Lots to see Reading Museum, including Britain’s famous Bayeux Tapestry replica. The original, which will go on display next year at the British Museum, is a bit racier than the Reading version. The Victorian embroiderers covered up all the exposed private parts. Spoil sports. Pop the MERL (Museum of English Rural Life) on your list too. A little bit old school, a dash of innovation and plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty.