What’s on this weekend
FRI 16 – SUN 18 FEB
Chinese New Year, Maidenhead, Sat 17 Feb
Welcome to the Year of the Dog. This weekend marks the Chinese New Year, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in Berks. Head to Maidenhead High Street for its biggest Chinese New Year celebrations to date. The parade kicks off at 1pm but head to the Nicholson Centre (11am-3pm) to make your own lantern.
Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, now – Sun 3 June
I love Barbara Hepworth’s work – if you’re ever in St Ives, be sure to visit her gorgeous house/studio, with its striking sculptures dotted all around the pretty garden. So I’m very excited about this – and what a coup for Henley’s little museum. This retrospective covers the sculptor’s work from the 1930s to the 1960s, borrowing pieces from the Tate and National Portrait Gallery. A must-see. rrm.co.uk
Ascot Chase Raceday, Ascot, Sat 17 Feb
You don’t have to wear head-to-toe tweed or wear an enormous hat to enjoy a day out at Ascot. It’s all a bit more relaxed for the Ascot Chase Raceday, one the most popular jump meetings in the racing calendar. Kids go free and there’s plenty activities and on-the-go food options to keep them busy when the novelty of horses galloping past wears off. Worth a visit.
Ascot Chase Raceday, ascot.co.uk
Murder Mystery Treasure Hunt, Central Reading, Sat 17, 24 Feb
Murder mystery has shrugged off its dusty Bridge crowd credentials to become cool. A Dish to Die For is the latest case to be solved in Reading. Answer the clues and discover whodunnit – you have just 2hrs and 15 minutes. So there’ll no time to nip into Zara.
Snowdrop Walk, Welford Park Newbury, until Thu 1 Mar
It’s snowdrop time! Choose a dry day (there must be one coming soon, surely?) and wander through drifts of snowdrops at Welford Park. Why Welford Park? It’s only got one the finest natural snowdrop woodlands in the chuffing country – four fabulous acres. Visit Wed-Sun (11am-4pm) until 1 Mar.
Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring A Classic, V&A Museum, until Sun 25 Feb
You loved the Balenciaga exhibition. we all adored the Bowie one. Now take the kids to see Winnie-The-Pooh – a show that invites you into the world created by AA Milne and EH Shepard, in which a tubby teddy and his friends stumble over life lessons. It’s multi sensory and playful exhibition that adds to the magic of this timeless classic. www.vam.ac.uk
Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre, Weds 7 Feb – Sun 18 Feb
12 days of jam-packed half-term fun in this brilliant annual festival by kids for kids. Aimed at 0-12 year olds, there’s a mind-boggling array of activities and events, including a whole clutch of free possibilities in The Clore Ballroom, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, dance-theatre Tidy Up, Fun DMC, Bedtime stories, plus debut authors comedian Harry Hill and Radio One’s Greg James.
May the Toys be with You at Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke, Jan 13 – April 14
In a galaxy not so far, far away an unmissable exhibition for Star Wars fans young and old has come to Basingstoke. May the Toys be with You is a beautiful exhibition containing rarely seen toys and original posters, spanning the franchise’s 40-year history. From X-Wings and light-sabres to cuddly Ewoks, expect treats for Star Wars fans young and old.
Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, now– 11 March
Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please. kew.org
National Theatre Posters, National Theatre, South Bank, London, now – 31 March 2018
Theatre posters advertising National Theatre productions from 1963 to the present day are on display in a free exhibition at the building until March. Curated by Rick Poynor, professor of Design and Visual Culture at the University of Reading. it explores changing promotional styles and features some famous productions. nationaltheatre.org.uk
Speakers, by Nicolas Party, Modern Art Oxford, until 18 Feb 2018
Running since late November at Modern Art Oxford, but if you’re yet to catch it now’s your chance. The Swiss artist Nicolas Party (formerly a graffiti specialist) has produced Speakers, a selection of 5ft female heads, complete with 2-hour looped soundscape that seems to speak to you as you brush past. Weird, and kind of wonderful.