Things to do in July
On Track For Summer, Windsor Racecourse, Sat 22 July
It’s been a pretty crappy year, so a Summer of Love nostalgia fest could be the perfect antidote. Head to On Track For Summer for a celebration of peace and love. Fifty years after music fans partied at Balloon Meadow at Windsor Racecourse, the venue will once again rock the Queen’s foundations. Sophie Ellis Bextor’s dad, Robin, is the man in charge, so expect a starry turn out. Probably best to keep top on though, some things can never be unseen. Tickets £35.
Dubai International Arabian Raceday, Newbury Racecourse, Sat 30 July
All dressed up with somewhere to go. Yes, I know nothing about racing, but I love a bit furlong fashion. And this year I’m judging the Best Dressed Lady at the Dubai International Arabian Raceday. First prize is blinkin’ holiday for 2 to Dubai. Let’s give Ascot a run for their money. It’s a family day out, free to enter and guaranteed fun, fashionable and fab. See you there.
David Baddiel: My Family, Not The Sitcom, Wed 12 July
Families all have their moments – embarrassing, cringingly awful and utterly ridiculous. That’s just Ma Muddy. But David Baddiel is about to up the ante. His new show is covers, ageing, infidelity, dysfunctional relatives, moral policing on social media, golf, and gay cats. It’s massively disrespectful celebration of the lives of David’s late sex-mad mother, Sarah, and dementia-ridden father, Colin. Come and be offended on David’s behalf! Book it up, it’s a guaranteed sell out – tickets £15.
Sons of Picthes, The Dome Reading, Tues 18 July
I love a fringe festival. Creative, bonkers with a collective of brilliant performers doing something a bit left field. Reading’s Fringe Festival launches this month with a performance from the Sons of Pitches. These boys are kicking a cappella up the arse having won BBC2’s Naked Choir, presented by Gareth Malone. Having notched up 2.5 million YouTube views, they are setting the bar high for everyone else. Tickets start from £22.
Nesting, Watermill Theatre Newbury, Tues 4 – Sat 8 July
Got clothes and shoes that don’t fit in your wardrobe but were a bargain at 75% off? Guilty as charged. Amazon parcels delivered and unopened? Maybe. Random stuff hiding in cupboards, just in case you might need it? I need help. But so does Linda – a self-confessed ‘collector’. Toby the rat joins the Nesting story, as does neat-freak Jonathan. The journey that follows is one of love, loss and an infatuation with Stevie Wonder memorabilia. Tickets from £15.50.
The Scarecrow’s Wedding, Hexagon Reading, Wed 5 July
Julia Donaldson, JK Rowling, Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson are fully paid up members of the the literary A-list. Anything with their name on it is a guaranteed hit. Even if you secretly think it’s a bit , meh. Here Julia Donaldson’s book The Scarecrow’s Wedding is brilliantly brought to life by the Scamp Theatre. It’s a familiar tale: boy scarecrow meets girl scarecrow, they fall in love and plan to marry but the devilishly handsome bad boy scarecrow has other ideas. Suitable for ages 3+, tickets £14.50.
You Having Olaf?, Olympia Ballroom Reading, Wed 19 July
Never work with children or animals, yes it’s a cliche, but it’s true. Kids parties should come with a government health warning because organising a group of children is like hurting cats. Just ask Joseph Cullen. He is a recovering children’s party entertainer. He was told to work with kids to cheer him up. It didn’t. You Having Olaf? starts at his decision to take the heinous job in the first place, to his breakdown at a six-year-old’s birthday party. Tickets are £8.
Battersea Old Windsor Fun Day, Priest Hill Windsor, Sat 8 July
Well groomed and well behaved in public? Then your pampered pooch might just let you attend the Battersea Old Windsor Fun Day. If your furry friends is a it of a doggy diva, check out the competition for golden oldie, most obedient dog and waggiest tail. For the less obedient human babies, there’s a bouncy castle, face painting and games to keep them entertained. Plus cake, ice cream. Oh and it’s all very a cracking cause.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Priest Hill, Windsor, Berkshire battersea.org.uk
A Gamble With Death, Forbury Gardens Reading, Sat 22 July – Sat 5 Aug
A Gamble With Death is a murder mystery treasure hunt that sends teams of intrepid detectives to find clues hidden on the streets of Reading. Using your smartphone, you race around Reading to find hidden evidence, crack cryptic clues and converse with suspicious-looking characters to catch the culprit – before the time runs out. Imagine the Crystal Maze, Escape Room puzzles, a scavenger hunt, a team of live actors, your phone and a murder mystery all got together – with a timer. Tickets £20.
VitalityMove, Windsor Great Park, Sun 9 July
Body goals right there. I think we can safely say Jessica Ennis-Hill works hard to carve out that bod. To inspire us all to be be beach-body ready all year round, the Olympic legend has organised VitalityMove – a family day out, combining her passion for music and running. From 1-mile fun runs, to the more traditional 5k and 10k distances – all themed to music designed to keep you moving by DJ Trevor Nelson. Walk, dance, run, the key is to get off you arse and get moving.
BR James, South Hill Park Bracknell, Sat 29 July
When you’re described as the John Legend of the UK, that’s putting a whole heap of expectation out there. But that’s what music peeps are saying about BR James – Berkshire’s finest soul singer. Not only can the man sing, he’s also pretty nifty on the piano. You can see him perform his Magical Soul Night with his band at South Hill Park in Bracknell. Check out and let me know what you think. Tickets 12.50.
The Big Camp, Cliveden National Trust, Fri 7 – Sat 22 July
The Big Camp at Cliveden is perfect. The family sleep under canvas in the five-star gorgeous grounds. They’ll discover wildlife, play games, explore the nearby Play Trail and be taken on a bat walk through the woods before hot chocolate round the campfire. You, on the hand, need to be checking in to the hotel, enjoying a nightcap on a squishy sofa and star-fishing in a giant bed. Everyone gets to have an adventure. It’s just one as a luxury bathroom and the other doesn’t. Adults £27, Children £17.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 8 July
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is the go-to Shakespeare production over the summer months. Magical and funny, this ballet version by the award-winning Ballet Cymru is perfect for school-age kids and a great introduction to the dance. A special night out, with young groups of dancers who pushing back the barriers of classical ballet with innovative choreography, costumes and staging. It runs for 1hr 35 mins (including interval) and there’s a post show talk. Tickets £17.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Corn Exchange Newbury, Mon 24 – Wed 26 July
All kids want to step inside their favourite picture book – my three-year-old Sam, is desperate to Go On A Bear Hunt or join Mouse for a stroll in the Gruffalo’s deep dark wood, so live theatre often sees their eye practically popping out of their heads. Minds blown. Judith Kerr’s classic The Tiger Who Came To Tea is coming to Newbury following a smash-hit West End season! Grab a ticket, they’ll sell fast. Suitable for 3+, kid-friendly times, tickets £13.50.
Bad Luck Cabaret, The Firestation Windsor, Fri 21 July
Laurie Black is badass alternative cabaret artist who taunts the gods of Bad Luck. Her cabaret features acts including My Bad Sister – the impeccable tap dancing, ‘cabarave’, all singing, all dancing badass intergalactic twins, burlesque beauties and nu-drag storytellers. ‘Kick bad luck in the dick’ is her mantra – angry at Brexit, angry at the world, she’s not taking no for an answer. This is a glitzy, glam and dangerous night out. Dress for the end of the world, or the beginning! Tickets £11
Fruit Salad, Purple Turtle Reading, Sun 23 July
When SESKA comes to town kids laugh out loud, Dads f*rt out loud and mums faint at his feet! He’s that good. Fruit Salad contains magic, mayhem and happiness and is crazier than finding a penguin in your fridge! Jonathan Ross’s kids love him. His shows sell out fast and the whole family end up bent double and in pain from laughing so hard. He’s back for another year at Reading Fringe Festival, it begins at 4.30pm and lasts for one hour. Tickets are £7. Grab a ticket while you can.