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This week

MON 13 – SUN 19 AUG

KIDS: Summer Festival, The Jelly Lounge Windsor, Fri 17 – Sun 19 Aug

Field in striped dress holding smiley face

What makes a festival? Food, music and glitter… lots of glitter. The pear cider may have been swapped for juice but the shorts are just as short at The Jelly Lounge’s inaugural Summer Festival, all aimed at the little people. Get your kids making street food in the mini chef sessions, there’s hair braiding and glitter face painting leading up to the headline act – the Muddy award-winning Concertini with CBBC’s Rob Castell performing music from stage and screen.


FILM: Open air cinema, Caversham Court Gardens, Caversham, Wed 15 & Fri 17 Aug

The Shape of water merman meets mute cleaner cuddling in a fishtanks

Merman meets mute maid, The Shape Of Water it’s a modern love story-fantasy flick that scooped up not one but four Oscars. There’s nothing fishy about this movie – well, apart form the amphibious man kept in a secret government facility, director Guillermo del Toro’s film is a clever and affectionate update of the classic monster movie. It all gets quite hot and heavy, and you may even leave having saucy thoughts (not ones that come with chips) for a fish. It’s got a 15 rating so one for older kids. Not your bag? How about Inception (Thu 16 Aug) with a hottie cast – Leornardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy – entering into dreams to steal secrets.


MUSIC: Rudimental at Ladies Day Newbury Racecourse, Sat 18 AugRudimental band Newbury Racecourse satin speakers blu wall backgroundHot on the heels of Craig David’s sell out gig at Newbury Racecourse, comes Brit award-winners Rudimental. With the stonking hit These Daysunder their belt and collabs with Jess Glynne, James Arthur, Jess Glynne and UK rapper Macklemore, these Hackney boys plan to raise the, er, roof at the Party In the Paddock on Ladies Day. Bag yourselves tickets, or enter to win a pair, courtesy of Muddy, right here.

FESTIVAL: Rowbarge Summer Festival, Rowbarge Pub Woolhampton, Fri 17 – Sun 19 AugFancy loafing by the river, with beer, cider, prosecco and gin on tap, live music and an endless supply of BBQ food? Then charge towards The Rowbarge pub in Woolhampton. Its Summer Festival will have all the festival vibes but without the need for glitter, sequins and Daisy Dukes, unless that’s how you roll.

DAYS OUT: Summer of Fun, Legoland Windsor, now – Sun 2 Sep

Legoland Windsor Sand Sculptures mark the beginning of the summer of fun berkshireThis way to the beach… As the Lego figures wrestle with their Love Island style short shorts and high cut wedgie swimwear, your kids can go wild at Legoland Windsor’s first ever Beach Party with pop music, activities, challenges, sandy beach, splash safari and drench towers.


FAMILY FUN: Kite Workshop, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 18 AugFish kits on a boat mast flying in blue skiesParent like your Mary Poppins and get involved in kite making. Should keep the mullets busy for a bit. The Community Kite Project is running a drop in workshop at Norden Farm so you and your kids can create  a Patang Kite – the Indian Fighter Kite – or a classic Trapezoid Kite. Make it, decorate and fly it at the Kite Festival in Boyn Grove Park on Sunday 2 September. Workshops are also running Sat 11 and 18 Aug; plus Sat 1 Sep. Altogether now… Let’s go fly a kite, up to highest heights… Too much?


THEATRE: Peter Pan Outdoor Theatre, Shaw House Newbury, Mon 13 Aug

Peter Pan Immersion Theatre Captain Hook Peter Pan and Lisa Darling tell the classic tale

Thigh slapping family fun! One of my favourite children’s books pops out of the page and into grounds of Shaw House in Newbury, thanks to Immersion Theatre’s energetic production of Peter Pan. Resistance is futile, it’s a funny, action packed musical adventure – you’ll be hooked (sorry, not sorry). Pack a picnic, it starts at 6pm so perfect timing for littlies.

FAMILY FUN: Reading Dragon Boat Festival, Thames Valley Park Nature Reserve Reading, Sun 19 Aug

Colourful painted dragon heads at front of boat racing in Dragon festival reading Berkshire

Fancy paddling a boat to the beat of a drum? Enter your crew (max 20 people) and race your Chinese style dragon boat with a drummer at the helm at this popular spot in Thames Valley Park Nature Reserve. No previous experience is needed so be prepared to get wet. Or you assume the position of spectator, hot the bar, BBQ and scream if your wanna go faster on the fun fair rides.

KIDS: The Maidenhead Beach, Norden Farm Maidenhead, now – Sun 2 Sep

Footprints in sand on beach

This way to the beach. And no it doesn’t involve a motorway queue, windbreaker or an umbrella. Norden Farm’s sandpit of fun is open for business. Head to Maidenhead with the kids. They can enjoy this laid back tropical Goan paradise, fun activities, an indoor sensory space while you say kick back at the Beachside cafe. It’s totes freeee and open from 10am-4pm.


ART: Nick Sharrat: Pirates, Pants & Wellyphants, River & Rowing Museum, until Sun 16 Sept

If you’ve got kids, you’ll have a book somewhere in the house with Nick Sharrat’s fabulous illustrations. The interactive exhibition of his work at the River Rowing Museum continues this month – and as well as being a great place to take kids, the lovely venue also has plenty of adult amusement! Including all you ever wanted to know (or not know) about rowing, painting and sculpture exhibitions, a cafe with posh nosh, and a short stroll to the river and shops of Henley.



Christopher Robin, from Fri 17 Aug

The nation’s favourite bear is back! From the creators of the 2017 smash-hit The Beauty & The Beast and starring (eye-candy alert!) Ewan McGregor, Disney’s latest live action adventure sees Winnie and the gang leave the Hundred Acre Wood to help a grown-up Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside. Pack some tissues because it’s bound to be a tear-jerker. 




THEATRE: Little Shop of Horrors, Regents Park Open Air Theatre London, until 15 Sep

This off-beat musical about a florist shop assistant who pines for his work colleague but doesn’t know how to win her heart or what to do to sate the appetite of a human-eating plant looks great fun. Matt Willis from Busted fame, drag queen Vicky Fox, Jemima Rooper and Marc Antolin star in the OTT show that seems perfect for summer in the lovely setting of Regent’s Park (Brucie bonus – the theatre boasts the longest bar in the West End!).



 FAMILY FUN: Dragon Slyer, Warwick Castle, various dates in Aug

Looking for something to entertain kids aged 8+? This is Warwick Castle’s first night-time experience telling the tale of 10th century warrior Guy as he battles monsters and dragons in a bid to gain a knighthood and win the heart of his one true love Princess Felice, daughter of the Earl of Warwick. It’s an explosive epic tale depicted over the course of an evening using live action, animation, equestrian acrobatics, fire and pyrotechnics. Boom! There’s also the regular birds of prey demos, the mighty trebuchet, archery and ramparts to rampage for day time fun.


CULTURE: Disney in the West End Summer Pop-Up, Convent Garden, now – 26 Aug

If you’ve got a child with mini jazz hands, they will go nuts for this free pop-up experience in London’s Covent Garden. See the masks, costumes and puppets from The Lion King and step inside Aladdin’s cave to get a photo with the legendary lamp. There will also be events taking place each day, including a Mac make-up demonstration, a puppetry display, plus singing and dancing workshops.


ART: Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World, The British Museum of Food, London, until 30 Sep

Finally! A valid excuse to stuff my face. The British Museum of Food returns with its first major exhibition Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World. Dedicated entirely to the frozen treat, explore memorabilia from the world’s largest collection of ice cream paraphernalia, discover the neuroscience behind it and try scoops of bygone eras, from daffodil to all-day-breakfast flavour (hmm). Other highlights include ice cream-flavoured weather (vanilla fog!) and glow-in-the-dark concoction that you can eat in a futuristic luminescent cave. Pass the ladle, I’m going in…


FAMILY FUN: Zip Now London, Archbishops Park, Lambeth, until 9 Sep

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope it’s a human torpedo whizzing down a 738ft wire, 100ft (9 double decker buses!) above Archbishop’s Park at 50mph. Beats the tube any day of the week. What we’ll do to avoid our faces been wedged in someone’s sweaty armpit. Get yourself down to South Bank, climb to the top the tower and wheeeeeeee. Suitable from 8+


THEATRE: Kids Week, various London locations, throughout August

This August, children aged 16 or under can get FREE theatre tickets to selected performances across London (when  accompanied by a paying adult). There is a huuuge selection of shows to choose from including Sound and Sourcery at The Vaults, an immersive music concert experience inspired by Disney’s Fantasy. Under Waterloo station, collect your headphones at the door and step inside the tunnels where you will dance with a funky hippo, walk in a prehistoric wasteland, seek out the fairies in a magic forest and sneak into the Sorcerer’s lair. Over at the National Theatre, the Star Seekers need help saving their space station in this interactive 50 minute show for 3 – 8 year olds. Or for older kids, Pressure at the Ambassador’s Theatre is a funny and tense play about the D-Day landings.


FILM: Film4 Summer screen, Somerset House, London, now – Weds 22 Aug

If you can make it into London, head for the popular Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. Featuring a mixture of premiers, old classics and recent hits, the venue’s fountain courtyard is a corker of a setting on a balmy summers evening in the capital. Highlights include the opening night premiere of The Wife introduced by Glen Close, Call Me By My Name on 20 Aug and Selma on 21 Aug.


ART: All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life, Tate Britain, London, until 27 Aug

Paulo Rego, Bride 1994.

This fascinating exhibition All Too Human celebrates the painters in Britain who have tried to capture human figures, their relationships and surroundings, in paint. With works by Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon(including 3 of his works which have not been shown in Britain for decades) amongst others, the intimate representations of reality make for a powerful experience. Catch it while you can.

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