MON 15 – SUN 21 APR
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
FAMILY FUN: Brainiac Live!, Theatre Royal Windsor, Tue 16 Apr
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.
ART: Nick Sharatt’s Right Royal Draw-A-Long, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Mon 15 Apr
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. norden.farm.
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.
TALK: The Mind Over Muscle Tour – Ant Middleton, Hexagon Reading, Tue 16 Apr
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.
OUTDOORS: Tree Climbing, National Trust Cliveden Taplow, Wed 17, Thu 18, Fri 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
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.
KIDS: Family Circus Skills, Wellington Country Park Riseley, Wed 16 – Thu 17 Apr
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.
EASTER EGG HUNTS
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, now – Mon 22 Apr
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: Easter fun day, Douai Pavillion Woolhampton, Fri 19 Apr
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.
COMEDY: Robin Morgan – Honeymoon, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 20 Apr
Robin Morgan (writer for BBC’s Have I Got News for You and The Now Show) must have balls of steel. Recently married, the ink barely dry on his marriage certificate and he’s gone on tour. His poor bride didn’t even get to enjoy a honeymoon – the tour is the honeymoon. What? And she’s not even with him! He better have a damn good reason for breaking the first marriage vow – thow shall not deprive your bride of cocktails and a tan. Apparently he does, but you’ll have to go and find out.
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, now – 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.
THEATRE: Amelie, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now – Sat 8 May
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.
FAMILY FUN: Vintage funfair, Prospect Park Reading, Sat 13 – Mon 22 Apr
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.
DANCE: BalletBoyz, Wycombe Swan, Tues 16 Apr
Created by ex-Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, BalletBoyz have performed around the world, won several awards and also created many arts documentaries for telly including BalletBoyz I & II, Strictly Bolshoi and 40 short films for Channel 4’s Random Acts strand that’s dedicated to the arts. A first for BalletBoyz, this new show Them & Us has been created by the company’s in-house team, and set to a score by emerging composer Charlotte Harding. wycombeswan.co.uk
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
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.
EXHIBITION: Mary Quant, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, from Sat 6 AprThis 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.
DAYS OUT: 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.
FAMILY FUN: Great Brick Safari, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Beds, now – 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, now – 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.
ART: Chihuly Trail, Kew Gardens, from Sat 13 Apr
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.