Get out there and get Muddy!
Reading Race for Life 5k Pretty Muddy 2016, Prospect Park, Sat 16 July
Apart from the brilliant *ahem* name, Race for Life Pretty Muddy is the awesome 5k muddy obstacle course where you can show cancer that hell hath no fury like a woman in pink. There is an entry fee to cover the cost of organising and running the event, and then it’s up to you to raise as much as you can to help Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. If you’d rather not run then you can also join the fight by volunteering to help out at the event. All the details are here or phone: 0300 1230770. You must be over 13 to take part. Start time: 10am; Prices: Adult (16+ women only) £20; Child (13 to 15 girls) £10.
Prospect Park, Liebenrood Road, Reading, RG30 2ND. raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org
The sounding chamber unveiled, Cliveden, open now
An underground chamber which is apparently a Jacobean surround sound system has been discovered at Cliveden. The chamber acts like an amplifier, built so the sounds of an invisible orchestra could drift around the guests at parties. Now the space is full of music again, with sound artist Robin Rimbaud having created, at the instigation of The National Trust, an installation called Ghosts – a hypnotic background loop based on a piece of music by Vivaldi, whilst elsewhere you hear elements of opera, music hall and even the audience awaiting a concert, chatting away, as the orchestra tunes up. Definitely worth a visit if you’re heading Cliveden way.
Cliveden, Taplow nationaltrust.org.uk
Bastille Day, Forbury Gardens, Reading, Sat 16 & Sun 17 July, 10.30am to 5pm
Fantastique! This is a family event that invites you to take part in lots of free activities provided by Decathlon (sporty stuff) and Hobbycraft (arty crafty stuff). Expect lots of delicious French food from the likes of Patisserie Valerie and others including a crepe stand, French pastries, cheeses and charcuterie, plus live stage show and lots of other surprises. I say get the kids down there using some of their best French vocab to order food and drinks. You get to stuff your face with eclairs, they get to brush up on their French. Win-win. Or gagne-gagne, if you’re feeling smug.
Crown Baazar 2016, The Crown at Bray, Sat 16 July
The Crown pub in Bray is holding its fourth annual family Bazaar. Expect an impressive BBQ and well-stocked garden bar, stalls with edible goodies and gorgeous gifts, bouncy castle, face painting, village fete games, a raffle and some Heston-quality good food! Free entry.
The Crown at Bray, High Street, Bray, Maidenhead. thecrownatbray.com
Reading Arts Week, Reading Town Hall and various locations until 17 July
This is Reading’s eighth Arts Week, showcasing all forms of art from local artists, both amateur and professional. Paintings, sculpture, photography, textiles, ceramics, furniture, glass, mosaics, jewellery and digital art all produced by super talented creative residents is on display this weekend at Reading Town Hall, and there are other events and pop-up exhibitions taking place at various locations around Reading until 17 July.
For a full list of events and exhibitions visit www.reading.gov.uk/artsweek
Make hay in the meadow, Audrey’s Meadow, Greenham, nr Newbury, Sat 16 July
This sounds so sweet (as long as your children aren’t hay fever sufferers like mine!). Join in the annual community hay cut at Audrey’s Meadow in Greenham. It’s a lovely small site that the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust along with the Friends of Audrey’s Meadow are slowly transforming into a haven for wildflowers, wildlife and the local community. Watch how they used to make hay with a traditional scything demonstration and try your hand at making your own hay bale. You can also learn how to identify common meadow plants and join us for a family bug-hunt. No refreshments but everyone is encouraged to bring along a picnic. The hay cut will begin at 11am and finish at 3pm and it’s free. Full details here.
Audrey’s Meadow, Rosyth Gardens, Newbury RG14 7WD. www.bbowt.org.uk
Goring & Streatley Regatta, Sat 16 July
This is a regatta steeped in history and tradition, going back as far as 1895 – they’ve even got the original trophies! It’s a brilliant family day out with the rowing taking centre stage obvs, but there’s also a lovely mix of family events including a funfair, stalls, loads to eat, beer tent and live music from Goring Unplugged. The theme is ‘vintage rowing’ this year so expect lots of glorious vintage outfits. The giant slide is back this year too which will no doubt be the star attraction with the littlies (and no doubt some over zealous grown-ups too). Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £20, or £8 adults; £4 children.
Book now for later
Marvellous Festival, Dinton Pastures, Wokingham, Sat 23 & Sun 24 July
Dinton Pastures is the new location for this annual family friendly music festival – and what a line-up there is! Loads of tribute acts (as close as you can get to the real thing) including Queen, Bruno Mars, Cher, Ed Sheeran, Tina Turner, Coldplay, Adele, Bob Marley and Madonna; plus indie and local bands a Spitfire aerobatic display and lots of entertainment to keep children occupied all weekend at The Big Kids’ Village. Full camping and glamping facilities are available if you want to make a weekend of it. Gates open at 12pm, music starts from 1.00pm Ticket prices: Adult Weekend – £60 Child Weekend – £30 Adult Day Ticket – £36 Child Day Ticket – £18 *Child tickets are for children aged 5-15 year. Under 5’s go free. Tel: 0118 9774350 for details.
Dinton Pastures Country Park, Davis St, Hurst, Wokingham RG10 0TH. www.marvellousfestivals.com
An Evening of Opera, St Laurence Church, Friar Street, Reading, Sat 30 July, 7.30pm
Whether you’re already an opera fan, or have yet to fall for its charms, An Evening of Opera promises a wonderful selection of arias by Puccini, Mozart and Rossini, and duets and trios from some of the most popular operas of all time including The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi Fan Tutte, The Barber of Seville and Don Giovanni. During the interval there will be canapés and tapas from Pop-Up Reading with wine from The Tasting House, all included in the ticket price. Performed by professional opera singers including local Berkshire girl Harriet Kirk (pictured), Krystal MacMillan, Ryan Ross, and pianist Susan Holmes. A percentage of the ticket sales will be donated to the local charity Launchpad.
St Laurence Church, Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1DA. Tickets.
David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life, Royal Academy Of Arts, until 2 Oct
You will definitely have to book in advance if you fancy checking out this huge new show from David Hockney. After his last landscape exhibition, which was massive, he’s turned to portraits — and the subjects are all family, friends, acquaintances from his life in LA. Sounds absolutely stunning.