FRI 26 – SUN 28 OCT
Duke and Duchess of Sussex Exhibition, Windsor Castle, now – Jan 2019
Better late than never, but we’ve all been invited to Windsor Castle to get up close and personal with newlyweds Harry and Meghan. Ok, so they won’t actually be there but a new exhibition will display Meghan’s Givenchy bridal gown designed by Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller is, her 5m veil embroidered with flora symbolising the 53 Commonwealth countries and the 1932 Queen Mary diamond and platinum tiara loaned to the Duchess by the Queen. It’s not all about the bride (even though we known it is really), Harry’s Blues and Royals frock designed by Dege & Skinner on Savile Row will also be standing to attention.
THEATRE: The Wizard of Oz, Theatre Royal Windsor, Tue 23 – Sat 27 Oct
We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz as Rare Productions heads back to Windsor with it’s latest classic show. It’s an amateur production, showcasing phenomenal young talent, with all the showbiz pizzazz of the West End. Join Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion on the Yellow Brick Road, then click your heels when its home-time.
DAYS OUT: Brick or Treat, Legoland, Windsor, now – Fri 2 Nov
I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Over 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions, plus firework displays on 20, 21, 26 & 27 October. Don’t forget to read our tips on how to survive Legoland.
EVENT: Halloween: The Bats Lair, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, now – Sun 28 Oct
Half week is looming large (don’t worry, we’ll be helping you survive the week a little late in the month) but if you’re kids want to DO Halloween but you’re not keen on Trick or Treating, do this instead. Dress your gruesome kids in Halloween costumes, let them go bat sh*% crazy around Cliveden’s 376 acres while while hanging out with Cliveden’s old bats. No, not Lady Astor… Say that again and she’ll haunt you.
DAYS OUT: Hallo’welly’ween, Wellington Country Park Reading, Sat 20 – Sun 28 Oct
A week of spooktacular fun for the kids at Wellington Country Park from 20 – 28 October – Storytime, alien panto and Big Foot show, spooky disco, magic shows, a creepy craft room, scary face painting, a haunted Halloween train ride, pumpkin carving and much more! Book em up.
ACTIVITY: Tree Climbing, National Trust Cliveden Taplow, Fri 26 Oct
Harnesses on? Not eaten anything in the last half hour? Then head to the delicious Cliveden for Tree Climbing with The Great Big Tree Climbing Company. Wheeeee! I humiliated myself doing this once (I will need 3 gins to spill that story) so have a go just for the laughs. Minimum age: 6.
EVENT: Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday, Newbury Racecourse, Sat 27 Oct
Attention! A race day with plenty of umpapah military pomp. It’s the final meeting of the Flat Season and the launch of the British Legion Poppy Appeal. We can’t promise Richard Gere or Tom Cruise in their whites but there will be plenty of hotties in uniform, fun, fizz and the chance to have a flutter. Free entry for armed forces personnel past and present. Please call 01635 40015 to redeem.
Contemporary Craft and Design Fair, Wellington College Crowthorne, Fri 26 – Sun 28 Oct
It’s a dirty word, it begins with c (no not that one)… CHRISTMAS. Start shopping at the Contemporary Craft and Design Fair at Wellington College in Crowthorne. Beautiful things made by the very best artists and craftmakers in the UK, that’ll look good when the wrapping paper’s ripped off . Practice your game face for the re-gifted scented drawer liners you get in return.
FIREWORKS: Round Table Fireworks, King George’s Recreation Ground Twyford, Sat 27 Oct
One for wannabe firestarters and lover of the oohs and aahs with a side order of hot dog and onions. Many of the organised fireworks displays are taking place the following weekend, but for all you early birders, bonfire night in Twyford is happening before we’ve even got to Halloween. This musical display is themed to celebrate the RAF 100 centenary. Ready for take off?. Book here
THEATRE: Bing Live, Hexagon Reading, Sat 27 – Sun 28 Oct
Anyone with pre-schoolers will know this blinking rabbit very very well. The youngest Mudlet, loves Bing. I one the other hand have an irrational loathing for him. Well, it’s time to take one for the team because Bing and his friends are coming to Reading in the first ever Bing stage show! Drop a tramadol and polish your parental halo and book up.
OUTDOOR CINEMA: The Lost Boys, Peacock Farm Hay Barn Binfield, Sat 27 Oct
Eighties poster boys strip to the waist and spray on the leather trousers for The Lost Boys. These boys were plastered over many teen girls’ walls and exercise books. New romantics meets vampires, it’s a worth at trip down memory lane. Grab the popcorn, blacken, wooly hat and load up on cider (medicinal purposes) and swoon. Book here.
EVENT: MaidenDead Zombie Walk, The Maiden’s Head Maidenhead, Sat 27 Oct
The annual fright night is almost here. Ditch trick or treating (it’s so 1980s) a, it’s all about the zombie walk. A chance to dress up, go crazy with the greasepaint, spill your guts (literally) and drag yourself through the Maidenhead town centre, before a disco for the dead back at the pub. Arrive at 3pm, pro make up artists will transform you into a bloody mess, perfect your walk and out you go at 5pm.
CULTURE: Roald Dahl Museum, Great Missenden, Bucks, from Sat 20 Oct
Finally opening after 6 months of renovations following a flood, this fantastic museum is celebrating with life-size statues of Matilda Wormwood standing up to Donald Trump! Part of Matilda 30 (marking 30 years since its first publication), a national public survey revealed that if Matilda could stand up to Trunchball, she could sure stand up to Trump. Check them out in the museum courtyard, they’re sooooo cool! Activities planned for half term include making a stop-frame animation, creating fridge-magnet nonsense stories, a Twits’ dinner plate, a witchy mask and a crodswoggling clay critter. PS There’s a café to hand if all this relentless creativity gets too much for you and you want to stare vacantly at your flat white for half an hour.
DAYS OUT: Beast Quest Hampton, Hampton Court, Sat 20 – Sun 28 Oct
My eldest loved Beast Quest when he was younger, a modern Dungeons & Dragons for anyone as ancient as me. Now your kids can immerse themselves in this fantasy adventure story at Hampton Court Palace. Working in teams they’ll solve puzzles, riddles and games to our heroes Tom and Elenna defeat the Dark Wizard Malvel and his beast army. Sounds fun, non.
DAYS OUT: Haunted Castle, Warwick, Sat 20 Oct – Sun 4 Nov
Warwick Castle is one of the slickest family entertainment operations around and halloween is no exception. Dreadful dungeons with an escape room experience, a brand new show in The Witches Tower, Horrible Histories maze, Haunted Hallows trail and birds of prey demos, it’s no wonder The Haunted Castle will remain open until 10pm (25 – 31 Oct). There’s live entertainment on Dead Centre Stage and spectacular real-life jousting with fire – might get a bit hot if they’re wearing full armour! Inside the castle find the new House of Wax scare maze while maximum fear factor belongs to Séance a spectacle exclusive to Warwick Castle that uses innovative binaural spatial audio technology to share spirits’ stories of life on ‘the other side’: prepare to be petrified! The whole setting of a Medieval castle lends itself to Halloween perfectly and it’s an expensive but family-crowd-pleasing day out. If you decide it’s too much to fit in to a day, you can stay in the Knight’s Village with kids getting free entrance to the castle for 2 days.
EVENT: Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, now – Sun 12 Nov
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
EXHIBITION: Good Grief Charlie Brown, Somerset House, London, from Thurs 25 Oct
Two new exhibitions open this month in the stunning setting of Somerset House. British Artist and Somerest House Studios resident Hannah Perry presents Gush. Using large-scale sculpture, sound and film, the exhibition explores the mental and emotional health of our hyper-connected world. Good Grief Charlie Brown brings together the original cartoons of Charles M Schluz with work from those designers and artists influenced by the iconic cartoon.
THEATRE: The Wider Earth, The Natural History Museum, now – Sun 30 Dec
Exciting news – there’s a theatre being opened in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum for the European premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Earth, a play about the young Charles Darwin. Puppets, an original score and cinematic animations make this theatrical event a great draw for kids plus they’ll learn a helluva lot in the process.
EXHIBITION: Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire, the Saatchi Gallery, London, now – Sun 13 Jan 2019
In these troubling times, satire can provide some light relief and hold up a mirror to modern-day politics. This new exhibition explores how art and satire can question and commentate in a way that can diffuse situations. All sorts of media have been used, including photography, installations and more obviously caricatures, and what’s even better is it’s completely free (very helpful when in Chelsea flexing the credit card).
EVENT: Fright Nights, Thorpe Park, various dates throughout Oct
Thorpe Park’s Fright Night boasts more terror than ever before with new horror experiences, attractions, and even more scares. It’s the perfect event to get you in the mood for Halloween, so grab your tickets… if you dare.
FOOD: London Restaurant Festival, various London locations, all month
It’s worth popping into town this month as London’s fantastic restaurant scene is in full celebration mode with great value festival menus at loads of top-notch restaurants, plus foodie events like gastronomic weekends, tasting menus, restaurant-hopping tours, tasting menus with famous chefs, talks, films and art.