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This month

APRIL 2019


THEATRE: Avenue Q, Hexagon Reading, Tue 23 – Sat 27 Apr
Avenue Q puppets inside fuzzy q yellow background

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. You’ll appreciate the smutty humour. Suitable for 14+.


COMEDY: Stand Out Stand Up with Al Murray, Jack Dee and Friends, Hexagon Reading, Mon 1 Apr

Stand out Stand up Al Murray Jack Dee Lucy Porter comedy show

Pinch punch the first of the month and Al Murray, The Pub Landlord, has gathered is mates for a night of epic comedy – Jack Dee, Lucy Porter, Andy Hamilton, Angela Barnes and Jayde Adams will be firing gags at you in aid of the 18th Slapstick Festival. Not to be missed.


EAT OUT: English Wine Dinner, Cliveden House Hotel Taplow, Tue 2 Apr

Gusbourne Estate vineyard

While Westminster unravels doing the Brexit hokey cokey, Cliveden’s focussing on the important stuff… wine. Who needs fancy EU wines anyway, when we have some pretty special vinos being produced on our doorstep. Charlie Holland of Gusbourne Estate will introduce Gusbourne’s finest at a fabulous 5-course dinner in Cliveden’s elegant Deco dining room. Bottoms up.


DRINKIES: Cocktail Masterclass, The Vineyard Newbury, Thu 4 Apr

The Vineyard Hotel Stock Cross Newbury Berkshire cocktail with edible flowers

A serious test of drinking endurance. Not so much the quaffing, but the shaking. Cocktails require a vigorous amount of arm action. Achieve master mixologist status at The Vineyard Stockcross. Whether you prefer them long and fruity or short and strong, the Head Barman will teach you everything you need to know. £35pp if you after a liquid supper or £60pp including a two course dinner in the California Bar.


SHOPPING: Fashion Re:Charge R&R, ICON Gym Maidenhead, Thu 4 Apr

Re:Charge R&R fashion charity even Beau Britches luxury sportswear

Witness the fitness! Head to the gym and work up a sweat with your flexible friend. Prepare to gibe your credit card a battering at ICON gym in Maidenhead at an awesome fashion pop up event in aid of family support charity, Re:Charge. Berkshire-based luxury sportswear brand Beau Britches will be showcasing its SS19 athleisure (standard Muddy uniform) while Heather@will be selling key collections from designers such as D.Exterior, Bitte Kai Rand, Ania Schierholt, Charli and Fely Campo. Fun starts at 7pm.


MUSIC: The Vinyl Frontier… Best Cover, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 5 Apr

stack of vinyl albums stacked on shelf and headphones

It’s the first week of the month and it can only mean another Vinyl Frontier music battle. Ten brave souls will present their favourite cover versions on vinyl. First you’ll hear a  snippet of the original, then the full cover. Which one will the audience decide is the best? Whitney and Dolly could be going head to head ove I Will Always Love You or Madonna v Don McLean’s American Pie. You decide.


KIDS: Inside The Royal Wardrobe, Windsor Castle, Thu 4 – Sun 13 Apr

Young girls in royal clothing at Windsor Castle

It’s almost a year since Harry and Meghan’s I dos, but that doesn’t stop you, I mean the kids, channelling their inner prince and princess and play Royal dress up at the castle. There’s an Easter activity trail and an art workshop inspired by royal fashion throughout history.


COMEDY: Stuart Goldsmith – End Of, South Streets Arts Reading, Fri 5 Apr

Comedian Stuart Goldsmith white t shirt white wall

Hello handsome! Former Warwick Castle court jester, host of The Comedians Comedian Podcast (downloaded a stonking 10million times), Stuart Goldsmith is a familiar face on the comedy circuit and brings his latest show End Of to Maidenhead. Intelligent stand-up of particular interest to people over 30 who can’t eat just one pain au chocolat. *Raises hand*.


FILM: Banff Film Festival. Hexagon Reading, Fri 5 Apr

Reel Rock Breakthrough Margo Haye

The latest and best films touring around the UK courtesy of the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. On 17 April at The Hexagon Reading there are 5 short films. My favourite? Reel Rock: Break On Through – a demo of true girl power. Nineteen-year-old Margo Hayes is the only women to have achieved a grade 5.15 climb (a ‘magical barrier’ similar to breaking the four-minute mile). At the start of 2017, only a few male climbers had achieved the grade and no women. Not any more.


COMEDY: Matt Richardson – Slash, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 6 Apr

Comedian Matt Richardson geometric background gold outline of his head and shoulders

It’s practically a homecoming gig. Didcot-born Matt Richardson, won the Newbury Comedy Festival in 2010, and  since then he’s hosted Virgin Radio’s Drive-Time Show, ended up with Heat Magazine’s Weird Crush trophy, has interviewed millionaire dogs in LA, ghost hunted with Craig Revel Horwood and had his phone nicked by KateMoss. Rich pickings for his new stand up show.



Highclere castle Newbury Berkshire gothic country house Downton Abbey

Every venue across Berkshire is going chocolate crazy but my top tips include The Cadbury Easter Egg Trail at Basildon Park (Sat 6 – Tue 23 Apr), and Cliveden (Sat 6 –  Mon 22 Apr) and Pinkney’s Green (Sat 20 Apr, 11am-2.30pm) – skip through the Spring flowers, solve the clues and, ta-da, chocolate reward (£3 per egg);  Highclere Castle‘s Easter Egg trail (Sun 21 April), through ‘Downton’s’ exquisite Capability Brown gardens and woodland in aid of The Murray Parish Trust; Bucklebury Farm Park‘s Great Easter Egg Hunt throughout the park, with giant decorated eggs to find (not sure of the catch, it sounds well easy!) with lamb feeding and Wellington Country Park‘s Mega Easter Egg Hunt (Sun 21 Apr)– just a great excuse to enjoy the grounds.


FAMILY FUN: Easter Fun, Rosebourne Aldermaston, Sat 6 – Mon 22 Apr

Person in Bunny suit looking into the distance

Wanna meet the Easter Bunny? Hop to it. He’s rampaging all over Berks. Rosebourne in Aldermaston‘s running an Easter Bunny hunt (don’t panic, it’s not as sinister as it sounds), find the hidden rabbits, collect letters, unravel the word and win a prize. The big bunny will also be in da house on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-3pm.


KIDS: Morgan & West: More Magic For Kids!, South Hill Park Bracknell, Sun 7 Apr 

Time Travelling magicians Morgan and West

Mutton chops, waistcoats and a cabin set the scene for Morgan & West’s More Magic for Kids (Bigger, bolder, and more brilliant than before!). With lots of Victorian style comic banter, the time-travelling duo perform a boxful of bafflement and impossibility. The magic is mysterious with brain-bursting illusions with a helping of tom-foolery. A heavy dose of silly sounds good to me.


KIDS: The Enormous Turnip, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Mon 8 – Fri 12 Apr

The Enormous Turnip Norden Farm maidenhead man pulling out purple turnip by rope with women and child

The only way I’ll get my kids to enjoy veg, is by watching it on stage. Totally counts towards their five a day. The Enormous Turnip is a childhood classic, and the book is brought to life  using puppets, live music and a massive dollop of charm. Suitable for ages 3-10.


KIDS: Easter fun day, Douai Pavillion Woolhampton, Fri 19 Apr

Peter Rabbit The Movie

Bunny’s eggscellent adventures continue at the Douai Pavillion in Woolhampton on Good Friday (Fri 19 Apr). Doors open at 2pm, there’s an egg hunt, egg and spoon race, Peter Rabbit the Movie on the big screen, competitions, crafts, food and a bar. Did I mention the bar? Make mine a double G&T and keep ’em coming.


FAMILY: Easter Eggstravaganza Raceday, Windsor Racecourse, Mon 15 Apr

Want to get in on the action? Windsor Racecourse is hosting its first ever Easter Eggstravaganza Raceday (Mon 15 Apr). Fun, fizz and a flutter for the grown ups and an egg hunt, bouncy castles (Phew! Should burn off the sugar high) and mini farm for the kids – entry for under 18s is FREE, as is all the entertainment.


THEATRE: Room On The Broom, Corn Exchange Newbury, Tues 9 – Wed 10 Apr

Tall storis Room on the broom witch and animals on the broom

Iggety ziggety zaggety zoom! It’s time to book tickets for Room on the Broom. (What can I say, I’m a poet). This classic picture book by the legendary Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a HUGE fave with my boys and now we get to see it brought to life in this Olivier-nominated show. Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation follows the witch and her cat – and a whole host of hitchhikers – on a mission to defeat the dragon. A lorra lorra great songs, belly laughs and scary fun.


SCREENING: NT Live: All About Eve, Stowe House, Thurs 11 Apr

I’m a huge fan of Gillian Anderson, and Lily James for that matter after her brilliant performance in Mamma Mia 2, and you can catch them both at this National Theatre Live screening of All About Eve at Stowe. I love NT Live – it’s such a great initiative for opening up London theatre to the ‘shires, without all the associated cost and travel. This new production from director Ivo van Hove (Network, NT Live: A View from the Bridge) explores our fascination with celebrity, youth and identity. Plus music from double Mercury Prize-winner PJ Harvey., and Vue Reading, 


KIDS: In The Night Garden, Hexagon Reading, Wed 10 – Thu 11 Apr 

iggle piggle upsy daisy in the night garden live tour

Not gonna lie, you’ll need to self-medicate to get through this one, but dinky dot, little kids will go nuts for Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka (its bottom totally looks like a boob BTW, check it out) and the rest of the In The Night Garden crew. A brand new show will be on at The Hexagon at very child friendly times. Book up, have a snooze, polish your halo.


ART: Nick Sharatt’s Right Royal Draw-A-Long, Corn Exchange Newbury Thu 11 Apr and Norden Farm Maidenhead, Mon 15 Apr 

Illustrator Nick Sherratt Big Draw Along Corn exchange Newbury

Nick Sharratt has illustrated close to 260 books. They range from board books for babies to novels for teens. He’s worked with top authors including Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, and Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Up your doodle game, and join Nick for a fun draw-along, as he reveals the secrets to drawing Tracy Beaker and Timothy Pope, kings and cats and all kinds of crazy creatures. and


DRINKIES: Gin Club, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 13 Apr

short glass tumbler gin and tonic lemon slices rosemary sprigs and ice

The first rule of Gin Club? Don’t talk about Gin Club. So shhh, I’m only tell you lot. I’m quite partial to a G&T, so when I discovered Gin Club, how could I not share it with you lovely lot. I know, it’s like a public service. Those clever (slightly tipsy) lot at the Corn Exchange are hosting a gin evening. You’ll get four premium gins, tonics and garnishes to sample in a bid to introduce you to new flavours and combos. No expertise required. Just a love of gin. Hic!


COMEDY: Andrew Maxwell – Showtime, South Street Arts Reading, Sat 13 Apr

Comedian Andrew Maxwell red cinema seat eating popcorn

Live From The Apollo fave – and the devilish voice of MTV’s Ex On The Beach if you’re under the age of 25 – Andrew Maxwell will be swooping into Maidenhead with a cocktail of personal stories, eagle-eyed political observations and the odd surprise foray into character cameos. He’s one of the hottest comedians on the circuit. Giggles guaranteed or your money back (joking).


EAT OUT: Pop Up Kitchen, The Swan At Streatley, Sat 13 Apr

Swan at Streatlet hotel restaurant and bar riverside willow trees and pretty gardens

While we are all waiting for The Swan’s mega makeover to be unveiled and the Coppa Club to open, enjoy the epic riverbank view over a relaxed meal and a one or two glasses (make that a bottle) of wine. Pray for good weather because the Pop Up Kitchen is an alfresco dining event with Quince & Clover. Thoughtfully curated menu includes delicious sharing starters plus 2 courses. Race you.


FAMILY FUN: Brainiac Live!, Theatre Royal Windsor, Tue 16 Apr 

Brainiac Live Theatre Royal Windsor green and yellow smoke scientists in whote coats and goggles

KABOOOOOOOM! Strap on your safety goggles because this show goes way beyond Mentos and Coca Cola. Based on the orginial TV  show and celebrating 1o years on tour, Brainiac Live! is science with the coolest stunts. Expect an explosive trip to the theatre and *cough* a new enthusiasm for science homework.


OUTDOORS: Tree Climbing, National Trust Cliveden Taplow, Tue 17, Wed 18, Thu 19 Apr

 The Big Tree Climbing Company will help kids scale the Cliveden canopies over Easter – an hour activity for 6+, bookable here and promising gorgeous views with a zip line back down to the bottom. Wheeee!


THEATRE: High School Musical, South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell, Wed 17 – Mon 22 Apr

High School Musical poster

The first High School Musical film came out 13 years ago… THIRTEEN YEARS!!! It means two things 1) we’re all really old and 2) if your children were born in the 2000s, some of you may not have seen it. Guilty as charged. Anyway the Hollywood blockbuster is coming to Bracknell and in the creative hands of director Mark Hooper (Madagascar, Suessical), it’s set to be a corker.

If you have a wannabe Zac Efron or an enthusiastic jazzhander, sign them up for the High  School Musical Easter course and they’ll get to appear in the show. How cool is that? Goooo Wildcats.£190 for the week 9am-5pm daily. Suitable for: ages 7-17.


KIDS: Legoland, Windsor 

Kids rejoice! Legoland reopened last month and is launching its new ride this Easter, on Sat 13 April,  called The Haunted House Monster Party. Man of the house Lord Vampyre, Mummy and Monster Rocker will also be there for photos.

They’re also running themed holiday workshops at its brand spanking new pop-up iLab in Paddington where kids can become mini engineers for the three day sessions. The Wonders of the World camp runs Mon  8 – Wed 10 Apr whilst Planes, Trains and Automobiles runs Mon  8 – Wed 10 Apr and Mon 15 – Wed  17 Apr.


KIDS: The Chocolate Wonderland, The Lexicon Bracknell, Fri 12 – Sat 20 Apr

There’s a chance to shop and keep the ankle biters happy. The Lexicon’s having a Willy Wonka moment creating their own chocolate craft workshop – no need to spary tan your kids first. Simply book a slot, decorate an Easter egg box with a delicious chocolate egg inside, then face the Golden Ticket hunt. Suitable for children aged 3-12 years.


MUSIC: Family Silent Disco, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sun 14 Apr 

If you hate your kids taste in music, and they’t not feeling yours, the silent disco is your Saturday night saviour. OK, so it’s Sunday and the party starts at 2pm, but I reckon we could pull an all nighter and show the kids how it’s really done.


KIDS: Family Circus Skills, Wellington Country Park Riseley, Wed 16 – Thu 17 Apr

Clown face, red sponge noise, white face red lips

Roll up… roll up… the circus is back at Wellington and on 4 and 5 Apr you can have some fun and learn new circus skills. Try juggling, plate spinning, hula-hooping, diablo, floor-based acrobatics and tight rope-walking. Suitable for 5+ years with an adult, 3pm.


EAT OUT: Laurent Perrier Supper Club, Bel and the Dragon Reading and Cookham, Wed 10 Apr

Laurent Perrier Champagne chilling in a ice bucket

Champagne’s on ice. What are we celebrating? Lighter evenings, sunshine, do we need a reason? Bel and the Dragon in Cookham and Reading are once again hosting a Laurent Perrier Supper. Each delicious course comes with a different glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne. Pop the corks, and books in for this bubblicious dinner party.


THEATRE: Amelie, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, Thu 11 Apr – Sat 8 May

Amelie muscial Watermill Newbury man and woman either side of wall

It has been a Broadway smash hit and now it will make its UK premiere at The Watermill Theatre. Amelie is a musical based on the award-winning 2001 rom-com starring Audrey Tautou, tells the story of an astonishing young woman who lives quietly in the world, but loudly in her imagination. A feel good musical filled to the brim with colourful observations and whimsical wonderings. A must see.


TALK: The Mind Over Muscle Tour – Ant Middleton, Hexagon Reading, Tue 16 Apr

SASAWho Dares Wins Ant Middleton

Phwoar! SAS: Who Dares Win‘s bawler in chief, Ant Middleton, is back on tour with his new show Mind Over Muscle. Not a nod to his intelligence and six-pack, but the mental and physical strength needed to complete his recent SAS series and his huge Everest challenge – plus there’s a self-help and self-discovery session. So think of it has eye candy and therapy in one.



COMEDY: The Adam Riches Experience, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 27 Apr

Adam Riches comedian white vest and jeans laUGHING

Adam Riches’ act is wet-you-pants funny. In fact every ticket sold comes with a pair of Tena pants (joke). The Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner’s show is off the wall, absurd and with edge of your seat audience participation.


THEATRE: American Idiot, Hexagon Reading, 30 Apr – 4 May

american idiot musical theatre Reading Hexagon

Like Green Day? Love musicals? If so, American Idiot is a dead cert. The double Tony award winning show returns to mark its 10th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the Grammy Award winning original album. Luke Friend (X-Factor), Tom Milner (The Voice, Waterloo Road) and newcomer Sam Lavery star.


EVENT: Season Opener, Windsor Racecourse, Mon 8 Apr

Windsor Racecourse Berkshire

Fancy a day at the races? Spring heralds the start of the Flat Season, so grab your squad for a fun day out of food, fizz and flutters on horses including your favourite colour or the name of your first pet. Windsor Racecourse is one of the prettiest I have been to, has a slightly hipper vibe with an emphasis on having fun.


GARDENS: NGS Rooksnest, Lambourn Woodlands, Wed 10 Apr

Rooksnest Lambourn magnolia tree and formal garden

If you’re garden’s still in a post winter slump (*ahem*), pop along to Rooksnest near Lambourn from some serious landscape envy. Set you peepers on 10 acres of fine traditional English garden. Rose garden, herbaceous garden, pond garden, herb garden, fruit, vegetable and cutting garden, and glasshouses. Most of it has been designed by award-winning international garden designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd. Not sure my ‘do or die’ approach will ever reach this kinda uplevelling.


FAMILY FUN: Vintage funfair, Prospect Park Reading, Sat 13 – Mon 22 Apr

Chair swing fun fair

Scream if you wanna go faster! If you love a funfair with its distinctive aroma of diesel, hot dogs and candy floss, then get yourself down to Prospect Park. Carters Steam Fair rolls into Reading with its spinny whizzy rides dating back to the 1890s, and traditional games. Plus it’s free to enter and there’s a free fireworks display on Saturday night.


WALKIES: The Great British Dog Walk, Culden Faw Estate Henley, Sun 28 Apr

Muddy Stilettos Berkshire Hungarian Vizsla Benson

Benson the Muddy hound

Walkies! This is a nice idea to get you, your family and your pooch out into the Spring air, while raising funds for the charity Hearing Dogs For Deaf People. The Great British Dog Walk takes in a 4km family route or an 7k scenic one around Culden Faw Estate in Henley. Plus there is tea and cake… just saying. It’s £10 for an advance adult ticket, under 16s go free. Plus you get a free doggie bandanna to jazz up Rover.


THEATRE: Rain Man, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 29 Apr – Sat 4 May

I really want to see this one. Based on the Oscar winning blockbuster, the brilliant Paul Nicholls (Eastenders, The C-Word, Death in Paradise, Bridget Jones 2) and Chris Fountain (Hollyoaks) star as the road-tripping brothers in this touring show.



EXHIBITION: Matilda at Thirty, Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, until Sun 2 Jun 

To celebrate Matilda’s 30th birthday, the Lower Babbling Room has a mini exhibition of eight new drawings by Roald Dahl’s illustrator Quentin Blake, each showing a different version of a grown-up Matilda. The museum is also piling on the activities for the Easter period (Sat 6 – Mon 22). Kids can make crazy glasses and kaleidoscopes at Matilda’s Phizz-whizzing Eye Tricks workshop (try saying that after a couple of gins), mould their own villainous Miss Trunchbull out of clay, learn about opposites at Miss Honey’s Science School and more.


KIDS: Underbelly Festival, Southbank London, Fri 5 Apr – Sun 22 Sept

two male dancer in dungarees kids bricks and toys – CHORES

Underbelly Festival is back! If you’ve never been, then make a beeline for Southbank this Easter. Brilliant for littlies, teens and grown ups, the line up is a superb mix of top comedy, cabaret, kids theatre and eye popping circus acts. There’s a real festival atmosphere with street food and crafty drinks. It’s an absolute must visit.


STARS: Stargazing, Waddesdon Manor, Sat 6 Apr 

Wycombe Astronomical Society host a star gazing supper club at Waddesdon (Sat 6 Apr) with a two course meal with wine in the Manor, a talk in the Powerhouse and stargazing on the Parterre. The best bit? No kids allowed.  Tickets here.


EXHIBITION: Mary Quant, Victoria & Albert Museum, London,  Sat 6 Apr This is going to be awesome! The iconic 1960s designer and the mother of  miniskirts, Mary Quant, gets her own exhibit at the V&A with over 200 garments, accessories and exclusive unseen pieces from the designer’s personal archive.

Tickets here


Warner Bros. Studios, Herts, from Sat 6 Apr 

Just when you think the Harry Potter hype is finally over, Warner Bros figure out another way to get us through the door. On Sat 6 Apr, the studios unveil their biggest expansion to date, Gringotts Wizarding Bank full of with crystal chandeliers, original film props and, er, a gallery of goblins. The new set will be a permanent addition to the tour.


Great Brick Safari, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Beds, Sat 6 Apr – Sun 2 Jun 

More Lego! New for Easter, Whipsnade Zoo introduces its Brick Safari- there’ll be loads of LEGO brick beasts and animals around the mammoth zoo (it’s the biggest in the UK doncha know) made from over one million bricks, as well as hands-on family activities. Included in entry price.


KIDS: The Falconers Quest & Horrible Histories Maze, Warwick Castle, Berks, from Sat 6 Apr 

It’s a jam-packed Easter over at Warwick Castle with the brand new Falconer’s Quest – the biggest birds of prey show in the UK, with 70 majestic birds taking to the skies and doing all sorts of aerial acrobatics. Plus the world’s largest siege machine fires twice a day in a brand new show as well as the first Horrible Histories adventure maze featuring fun challenges, Terrible Tudors, Vicious Vikings,  Storming’  Normals and more.


KIDS: Southbank Centre, London, Sat 6 – Mon 22 Apr 

Free fun by the bucketful if you’re heading to London this Easter with music from Camp Bestival regulars Dizney Rascal, cool folk singer London Rhymes and comedy theatre group Mrs H and the Sing-Along Band. Paid events include giant musical sandpits, an immersive colourful performance called Kaleidoscope and the brilliant Tabby McTat (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler) Freckle Productions, the team behind Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Zog.


RACE: Oxford vs Cambridge boat race, London, Sun 7 Apr

Ahhh, I do love a bit of healthy competition –  Cambridge you’re going down! The iconic boat race kicks off at the rather random time of 2.13pm for the women, followed by the men’s race at 3.10pm. Grab a G&T and a spot on the Thames riverbank between Putney and Mortlake to see the action live.


INTERIORS: Ideal Home show, Olympia London, until Sun 7 Apr

The whopper Ideal Home Show rocks up at Olympia London with hundreds of free talks, 600 companies and the latest tech. This year the theme is Best of British so expect loads of UK companies. Does anyone else feel a splurge coming on?


MUSIC: Heather Small, Wycombe Swan, Fri 12 Apr

The giant-lunged, double BRIT Award-winner, star of a cameo turn in Miranda and M People frontwoman performs at Wycombe Swan on the third date of her UK tour.


FESTIVAL: BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, London, Fri 12 – Sun 14 Apr 

Forget trashy telly (Love Island I’m looking at you), there are some mega Brit TV celebs attending htis. The British Film Institute and Radio Times team up for the largest television festival in the UK with talks from the likes of Joanna Lumley, Jamie Oliver, Big Narstie (ask your teens), Suranne Jones and Dame Helen Mirren. You’ll also get an insight into what goes on behind the silver screen with The Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio (we couldn’t get enough of this in Muddy HQ), Derry Girls doyenne Lisa McGee and more, as well as loads of showings from the BFI archives. There’s a young adult programme too (for 16 – 25 year olds) all at £5, including a Q&A with the cast of BBC 3’s university drama Clique. Full programme here.


ART: Chihuly Trail, Kew Gardens, from Sat 13 Apr 

spiky blue Glass flower surrounded by trees kew chihuly festival

Run free my pretties but watch out for the delicate glass sculptures. Iconic artist Dale Chihuly’s stunning pieces are on display at Kew Gardens from Easter weekend, but I fear it’s an accident waiting to happen. Kids smashing the place up, children skewered on a giant flower. A true test of your parenting skills… but an  Insta winner.


EXHIBITION: Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain, London, until Tues 27 Aug

This new major exhibition will be the first to explore the artist’s relationship with Britain and the literature, art and culture that inspired his work. Over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections including Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London. There’ll also be work by British artist  who were influenced by Van Gogh’s work including Francis Bacon and David Bomberg.


EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun 14 July

This exhibition, the largest House of Dior collection ever staged in the UK, has been HUGE- it is sold out but there are a few first-come, first served tickets available from 10am (from the Grand Entrance) and it’s well worth trying your luck. Or you can see the exhibit by purchasing a membership for the V&A (plus you get loads of added extras like sneak previews, a magazine subscription and access to the members room). Tracing the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him, it’s based on the a Parisian exhibition but with a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight is the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.



The Little Welly obstacle course and festival, Henley, Sat 8 –  Sun 9 June 

This is all about getting Muddy so we are IN! A 3km hop, skip, jump and dash through 30 challenges, taking in streams, trails, mud and woodland The Little Welly’s obstacle course is the largest  in the UK for kids. There’s also an accompanying festival with – deep breath – kart racing, rope climbing, circus skills workshops, live music, helter skelter, laser tag, climbing wall, pony rides and loads of family activities. I think it’s such a fantastic idea – get them away from screens, into the fresh air and doing some exercise.

Find more ideas here

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