What’s on this week
Mon 14 – Sun 20 Aug
BFG Family Trail, Cumberland Lodge Windsor, Thurs 16 – Fri 17 Aug
It’s a phizz-whizzing, gobblefunk fact that Cumberland Lodge in Windsor is home to Roald Dahl’s BFG. So grab your small human beans and play in the BFG’s back garden. Join the trail, check out the exhibition and explore the ‘dream cave’ created by 16 to 18 year-olds taking part in the National Citizen Service. Watch out for snozzcumbers and whizzpoppers. Ew.
Seaside Mall’arkey Beach, Broad Street Mall Reading, until Sun 3 Sept
Why would you want to sit on the M3 to feel the sand between your toes, when you can enjoy a day at a Bit O Seaside Mall’arky while you’re in town shopping? No need to obsessively check the weather, this is Reading’s first indoor beach and the kids will love it. Plus there’s a cheeky crab hunt, face painting, arty workshops and Punch and Judy. That’s the way to do it.
Maidenhead Beach, Norden Farm, until Sun 27 Aug
This way to the beach. And no it doesn’t involve a motorway queue, windbreaker or an umbrella. Norden Farm’s sandpit of fun is open for business. Head to Maidenhead with the kids. They can enjoy the Hawaiian Elvis theme and fun activities while you say aloha to the Beachside cafe for a few minutes peace. It’s totes freeee and open from 10am-4pm.
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, South Hill Park Bracknell, Fri 18 – Sun 27 Aug
Who doesn’t step into their wardrobe form time to time in the hope a snowcapped fantasy world exists on the other side? Just me then. It’s certainly more appealing than engaging with the West Wing dramas in the US or the Brexit negotiation backlash. Shish. Escapism wins hands down, so don’t miss the wonderful theatrical show of CS Lewis’ The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, performed in the Wilde Theatre and the grounds of South Hill Park.
Performance exhibition, Bray House Maidenhead, Sat 12 – Wed 16 Aug
Can you believe it was the Rio Olympics this time last year? We were all a bit bleary eyed staying up to watch Team GB going for gold. Beautiful Brazil, carnival spirit, caipirinha cocktails – it’s a blur, but it was a gift for photographers. Here’s your chance to see awesome images in the Performance exhibition at Bray House.
Wind in the Willows, Shaw House Newbury, Mon 14 Aug
Poop poop! One of my favourite children’s books ever (inspired by the riverbanks of Berkshire) pops out of the page and into grounds of Shaw House in Newbury, thanks to Immersion Theatre’s energetic production of The Wind In The Willows . Pack a picnic, it starts at 5pm so perfect timing for littlies.
Hundred Watt Club, Norden Farm, Fri 18 Aug
Fancy something naughty but nice? The fabulous girls from the Hundred Watt Club return to Norden Farm with a glittering and ridiculous evening of good old fashioned saucy entertainment. Featuring glittering showgirl Lena Mae, absurd musical comedy from the guitar wielding, rubber faced Elliot Mason, astounding circus from hula hooper and human pretzel Storm Hooper and hilarious character parodies from traditional burlesque artist Miss Glory Pearl!
The Royal Berks Charity Soapbox Challenge, Englefield Park, Sat 19 Aug
I feel the need, the need for speed – ow! It’s not Top Gun, but it is a charity soapbox challenge. And you are NEVER too old to build a go kart and hurtle down as fast as you can. Put your engineering and driving skills to the test and let gravity do the rest. Alternatively, watch from the sidelines and enjoy all the race day action.
Cartoons & Caricatures with Simon Jardine, Stockcross Village Shop, Sat 19 Aug
Ever got a caricature of yourself? Mine was done, aged 16, in Java and it didn’t end well. I looked like a Rovers Return barmaid with Cilla Black’s gnashers. Thanks to professional illustrator Simon Jardine there’s a chance to right a wrong during Stockfest. Meet Simon and have a go creating your own cartoon…
Peter Rabbit: Mischief and Mayhem, River & Rowing Museum Henley, until 24 Sept
Bounce over to Henley for the River and Rowing Museum’s latest kid-friendly attraction – Peter Rabbit: Mischief and Mayhem. This exhibition includes original artworks, first editions and early Peter Rabbit merchandise. You can can even help Mrs Tiggywinkle hang up the laundry or visit Mrs Rabbit’s burrow! Dress up (probably best to save your bunny girl outfit for another day), help in Mr MacGregor’s Garden and listen to stories.
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, activities throughout August
This month, you can make a Buzzwangling Bird Feeder or a Biffsquilling Bug Jar. You can take a Swishwiffling Storytelling Walk or a Gloriumptious Guided Trail. You can listen to stories and explore the museum and even take a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes archives of Dahl’s letters and manuscripts. And that isn’t even half of it – there’s lots happening all month.
Dinosaur World, Banbury Museum, now – 9 Sept
This is a summer hols saviour if you have little ones who love dinosaurs. At Banbury Museum they can create their own dinosaur lands, creature, masks and fossil collages and even a hatching dino baby. It’s on Saturdays and every day during the Oxon school holidays, with two daily sessions: 10:30am – 12:30pm or 2pm – 4pm.
Summer Jousting Tournament, Blenheim Palace, Fri 18 – Sun 20 Aug
Charrrrgggggge! It’s the epic Jousting Tournament on the South Lawn with the ‘Knights of Arkley’ and their mighty steeds. It’s all about the traditional tilt, battle on foot with the mace and quarter staff and hamming it up to the max.
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxon, blenheimpalace.com
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Refresh Festival, Wellington Country Park, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Sept
After a summer of booze, bands and bonkers kids, you’re going to need a sanity-saver. I’ve got just the thing. The spinky spanky new Refresh Festival, hosted by Olympic legend Dame Kelly Holmes, is coming to Wellington Country Park. Fun, family friendly and focused on health, fitness and wellbeing, this is a chance to get inspired and press the reset button. After a summer with the kids, I’m in.
The Muddy Literary Salon at Thame Arts & Literature Festival, Thurs 12 Oct
Muddy Bucks/Oxon is opening a Literary Salon during the Thame Literary Festival. It’s worth a little jaunt into Bucks. Booking opens on Tues 1 August and there are only 120 tickets available to see 5 awesome authors at the inaugural literary event. Blogger/food author Sasha Wilkins (aka LibertyLondonGirl), Clover Stroud, Elizabeth Heathcote, Tamsina Perry and Alexandra Heminsley make up the line up, plus there’ll be more Prosecco than you can shake a stick at. Read all about it, or go straight for the jugular and book here now at a bargainous £10.
Giacometti, Tate Modern, until 10 Sept
Last few weeks to catch the UK’s first major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for 20 years, at the Tate Modern. Celebrated as a sculptor, painter and draughtsman, Giacometti’s distinctive elongated figures are some of the most instantly recognisable works of modern art in Tate Modern’s ambitious and wide-ranging exhibition of over 250 works. It includes rarely seen plasters and drawings and showcases the full evolution of Giacometti’s career across five decades, from early works such as Head of a Woman [Flora Mayo] 1926 to iconic bronze sculptures such as Walking Man I 1960.