Easter for teens
Opinionated, hard to please and always asking for cash? But enough about me – here’s what to do with your teens over the Easter break.
Teens, don’t you just love’ em? With a grunt here and a rolled eye there, it’s enough to get you reaching for the gin bottle, but fear not, Muddy comes to the rescue with a bucket load of ideas to get them out from under your feet.
THEATRE: Avenue Q, Hexagon Reading, Tue 23 – Sat 27 Apr
Avenue Q is Sesame Street for grown ups – introducing Trekkie Monster, Lucy the Slut, Christmas Eve and many more. It’s like the puppets’ PG rebellion while tanked on the tequila. Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty’s homage to the puppet TV shows of our childhood is unashamedly frank, exploring the lives, hopes and dreams of an eclectic mix of characters in downtown Manhattan. Your kids will appreciate the smutty humour and you can spend some quality time together. SHOCK! Suitable for 14+.
ABSOLUTELY KARTING, Maidenhead
No need for weather watching, all that;’s requires is to feel the need for speed. Absolutely Karting in Maidenhead has a fun two tier track, you get the usual video briefing, lots of essential info on flags, lights and expected behaviour on the track, ‘rev her up’ and off you go in a 270cc petrol kart, reaching speeds up 45 mph. It’s suitable for ages 8+. So a good option if you have slightly older kids and teenagers.
RELOAD LAZER CLAY SHOOTING, Reading
Mention laser tag or fairground target shooting and cue much eye rolling – they’re waaaaay to old for that. Reload 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. £50 for 1.5 hrs for up to 5 people.
PLAY IN A WEEK, The Watermill Theatre Newbury, Mon 9 – Fri 13 Apr
I love The Watermill Theatre (the arts programming is fantastic) and it has an awesome educational offering. The Play In A Week, is incredibly popular, immersive 5 day workshop led by The Watermill pros. Aimed at 12-16 year olds, the kids will write, direct and perform the play they create. No experience necessary just lots of enthusiasm. 1pm-4pm daily, £95 for 5 days.
NEW MARVEL FILMS, Various cinemas
If your kids have been living under a rock for the past few years (unlikely) then they’ll need to put in some hours watching the Marvel MCU series in preparation for Avengers: Endgame – out just after Easter (Thu 25 Apr). Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, fans are hoping to tie up the shocking cliffhanger left by the Russo brothers at the end of Infinity Wars. In the meantime, Captain Marvel is a must-watch before you even get to Endgame. Are you keeping up at the back? I’m confused. All I know is, popcorn will feature heavily this April. Captain Marvel, starring badass super babe Brie Larson, is in cinemas now.
ESCAPE HUNT, Reading
Escape rooms are a huuuge right now – you might have heard Greg James try to break out of one live on his Radio 1 breakfast show recently – so Escape Hunt in Reading should be an easy sell for your hard-to-please teens. Here there are five rooms, each with a different theme – Wild West, Blackbeard’s Treasure, The Last Vikings, Alice in Puzzleland and the Dr Who themed Worlds Collide. Locking up your teen for a few hours, testing the grey matter, sounds like a brilliant idea.
GO APE, Swinley Forest Bracknell
Daylight and fresh air will not turn your vampire-esque teens to dust. Despite what they say. Go Ape in Swinley Forest Bracknell or Black Park Country Uxbridge will send your kids into the trees for a high wire adventure of speedy zip wires, free fall Tarzan swings and scream prevoking crossings. It’s fun for all the family but it might be a step too far to do this together – best send them off with a couple of mates. Book by midnight 27 Mar and get 20% off, use code EASTERGO.
THE BIG TREE CLIMB, Cliveden Taplow
Fancy getting a new perspective on the world? The Great Big Tree Climbing Company will teach you and yours how to enter a tree’s canopy using ropes, knots and karabiners, whilst being securely attached in a harness (I should hope so!). If you’re feeling brave take the zip wire back down. Coming to Cliveden Tue 17, Wed 18, Thu 19 Apr.
JUNKYARD GOLF CLUB, Westgate Centre, Oxford
Teen catnip right here. Under 18s need to be accompanied by one paying adult and can enter Sunday to Wednesday before 7pm (last entry is 6pm) where you can give them a whipping at crazy golf like you’ve never seen it before. There are 3 tongue-in-cheek courses (Bozo, a creepy clowny one; Pablo for junglists; and Gary, for shellsuit wideboys/girls), a restaurant serving nachos, burgers, hot dogs and all the things that Jamie Oliver has night sweats about, and a bar if you need anaesthetising against all the teen excitement.
Music Production, Berkshire Maestros Thatcham, Mon 8 – Wed 10 Apr.
If there’s one way to guarantee an early start, it’s going to a 5 day commitment to cool. If you’re teen has a passion for music and wants to learn about music tech or recording, then they’ll love this. From recording live instruments to mixing, this could be the first step to becoming the next Mark Ronson or Jay Z. Cost £95. berkshiremaestros.org.uk
CLIMBING CENTRE, Reading and Wokingham
Kids driving you up the wall? Send them up one instead! Reading Climbing Centre and Oakwood Climbing Centre in Wokingham both offering taster sessions in bouldering, climbing and abseiling. Prices starts at £20.
THORPE PARK, Surrey, throughout Easter
You have to travel to make it to the best fun park resort in the UK, but your teens will tell you it’s worth it. There’s a new scary ride The Walking Dead (er, nice!) that’s only for 13+, and if they still need convincing to get out of bed before midday, the GameFX, retro gaming lounge and VR experience should do it. There’s also a new resort hotel, shaped nattily like a shark, where you can stay over (adults, your stay is free, teens – bring your wallet).
FILM-MAKING COURSE, London Film Academy, Mon 8 – Fri 12 April
Lights, camera, action… the Insta Stories, YouTube generation are all over instant gratification moving images on their mobiles. Embrace the creativity and book them in for a Film Making Course. The London Film Academy (based in Fulham) is running a 5 day course for 13-17 year olds where they’ll learn screenwriting and directing to cinematography, sound and editing in order to create short films on their iPhone. Price £595 londonfilmacademy.com