FRI 24 – SUN 26 AUG
Are you ready to rock? Music fans will be swarming into the Richfield Avenue site to see headliners Kings of Leon, Dua Lipa and Fall Out Boy at Reading Festival. Plus a strong of comedians like Harry Hill, Seann Walsh and Lee Nelson. There will be mosh pits, warm beer, overpriced dirty burgers and the likelihood of being struck by a bottle of wee is pretty high. Music and mayhem guaranteed.
POP UP CINEMA: The Goonies, Cobbs Farm Hungerford, Sat 25 Aug
Remember life before iPads? Oh, do we really need to go back to those dark days? Yes we do. Kids were footloose and fancy free up to mischief, adventure and initiations. Sounds good, when you can fit it in. But it’s worth reminding ourselves of what it’s all about and enjoy Chunk’s truffle shuffle one more time. It’s a classic, must-watch rite of passage and The Goonies is being shown at Cobbs Farm Open Air Cinema night. Doors open 7pm.
OUTDOOR THEATRE: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Savill Garden Windsor, Sun 26 AugSavill Garden is probably the prettiest backdrops to a Sherlock Holmes crime caper ever, no gritty London back streets or black moorland to be found here. Intrigued? Indeed, my dear Watson. Well stick this in your pipe and smoke it, because the world’s greatest detective will be lurking in the flowerbeds as he tries to must solve the mystery of Dr Watson’s wife’s disappearance and face his mortal enemy. You might want to take antihistamine, it’s gonna play havoc with your hay fever.
THEATRE: Rain Man, Theatre Royal Windsor, nowvals – Sat 1 Sept
Rain Man is 30 years old! God that makes me feel old, but it is and for the first time ever it has been produced for theatre starring Gavin & Stacey’s Mathew Horne and Downton Abbey‘s Ed Spellers. Horne takes on the Dustin Hoffman role, playing autistic numbers genius Raymond. While Speleers is the Tom Cruise of this production as slippery salesman Charlie. Be the first to see at Theatre Royal Windsor before it tours the UK.
MUSIC: Kaiser Chiefs, Windsor Racecourse, Sat 25 Aug
I predict a riot… the Kaiser Chiefs will be rocking the racecourse at Windsor after a full day of racing, fizz and flutters. Then watch the elegance descend into mosh pit madness when the Leeds band take to the stage. It’s a guaranteed sell out, so grab your tickets now, from £39.
FESTIVAL: Wokingham Festival, Cantley Park Wokingham, Fri 24 – Sun 26 Aug
Haven’t got a ticket for Reading Festival? Meh! No problemo, Avoid the alcohol-induced oblivion and tinnitus, but enjoy a weekend of live music, street food, cocktails and family fun at Wokingham Festival, Cantley Park. You never know the sun might come out to play too.
SHOPPING: Henley Country Craft Show, Stonor, Fri 24 – Mon 27 Aug
Arts and crafts, handmade jewellery, hand-finished furniture and everything in between at Henley Country Craft Show that rocks up at the lovely Stonor Park this bank holiday weekend. Tickets includes entry to Wonder Woods, a falcon show from The Hawking Centre, terrier racing and archery. Kirstie Allsopp, eat your heart out.
Englefield 10K, Englefield Estate Nr Theale, Sun 26 Aug
FOOD: Windsor Food Festival, Alexandra Gardens Windsor, Sat 25 – Sun 26 Aug
Food glorious food… the diet will have to wait because the first ever Windsor Food Festival requires a Phyllis Fogg approach to eating – a culinary world tour in 80 minutes washed down with artisan ciders, gins, craft beers and wines. Plus kitchen demos from Kate and Giancarlo Caldesi from Caldesi in Campagna, Chris Wheeler from Stoke Park, David Wilby from Windsor Grill and the Royal Oak’s Paley Street head chef Leon Smith. Best of all it’s free to enter. Find your roomiest pants and off you go.
Tractor Ted Little Farm Live, Stonor Park, Sun 9 Sep
After six weeks of the school holidays my kids are practically feral. If you’r trying to tame your wild thing simply throw them in with the farm animals at Tractor Ted Little Farm Live. Plus there’s a giant Tractor Ted bouncy castle? Out my way, young children, I’m all over it. TV’s favourite farm engine arrives at Stonor Park in early September, testing my legendary digger ‘scooping skills’ and welly wanging, and thrilling the Under 7s if they can get anywhere near the equipment. Don’t miss out – 10% off advance tickets.
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.
FOOD & DRINK: The Big Feastival, Alex James’ Farm nr Kingham, Fri 24 – Sun 26 Aug
This posh nosh extravaganza from cheese-obsessed Blur bassist Alex James hosts top chefs including Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc, Pierre Koffmann, Ashley Palmer Watts, and music from Professor Green, Clean Bandit, Paloma Faith, Basement Jaxx, James Arthur and Tom Odell. There’s various camping options with glamping bolt-ons and lots of fun for the kiddos too, including appearances by Paddington, Peppa Pig & George and Justin Fletcher (Mr Tuuuumbleee) plus a creche for under 5s provided by Nipperbout.
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 a 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
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.