What to do with the kids?
Wahhhh! I’ve left it totally last minute yet again to book the mudlets into holiday courses and out of my hair. Why, why, why do I always do that? If you’re as disorganised as me, fear not, because I’ve done a last-minute trawl of cool courses, camps and other childcare-masquarading-as-fun options to help ease your way through the Summer. It’s a bit of a scratch list so if you have any suggestions of things you’ve booked kids into or know of, please do add in the comment box below. Knowledge is power people, let’s flex our muscles.
Holiday Activity Days at Longridge, Marlow, throughout the summer
Longtime Muddy summer saviour, this fantastic Activity Park a few minutes outside Marlow allows kids to try out watersports on on-land activities including sailing, rowing, fencing and climbing. Activity days start at 8.30am and either finish at 4pm (£40 for 4 activities) or 5.30pm (£50, 5 activities). Check out my review here from last year for a more indepth view of the day and book this baby up.
Trampolining Camp, Rush, High Wycombe 25 July – 26 Aug
Boooiiiiiing! Up they go in the air, for hours at a time (*snigger*). Rush Trampolining Park is offering trampolining holiday camps for under 15s with multi activity camps for 5-11yrs which include coaching from British Qualified Coaches, as well as activities including open jump court, basketball slam dunk, total wipeout and dodgeball matches . The offering for 11+ includes workshops to help refine their trampolining skills including tumble and freestyle coaching. I’ve just booked the Mudlets onto this one, as it’s one of those rare camps where I can bung all three with age ranges from 7 – 14 years in one place.
Wasps Rugby Coachclass Programme (15 – 19 August)
Crouch, bind, set! This residential rugby camp for boys aged 12-17 is based at Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College in Loughborough, and is a 5 day programme based on a professional players training week. Survivors – I mean *cough* players – get a Wasps Coachclass T-Shirt, shorts and kitbag, 2 tickets to a Wasps game, a prizegiving during the course and the chance to meet a Wasps player. There’s also a range of 3-day camps on offer for girls as well as boys aged 6-16.
Ultimate Survival Camp, Hill End Outdoor Centre, Farmoor 25 July – 26 August
Bear Grylls eat your heart out, this Ultimate Survival camp in Oxfordshire is designed to teach kids aged 8-14 useful survival skills whilst fully immersed in the natural environment (no word on whether the kids also demand a five star hotel when filming stops). There’s also an Outdoor Adventure Camp for 8-15 year olds in Bicester, where they can do loads of activities from motor buggies, zorbing and wilderness cooking, to wide games, air rifles and fire-making. Even better, you can do an early 8am drop off and late 6pm pick up. Crack open the Prosecco, that’s a whole day to yourself!
Holiday Activity Weeks at Willen Lake, near Milton Keynes, throughout Summer
I’ve been meaning to book my kids on one of these multi-activity weeks at Willen Lake for ever but it’s slightly too far away from me – but maybe not for you! Kids on the Adventure Week can try loads of different sports, from sailing, paddleboarding, archery, and katakanus. There are also windsurfing and paddleboard weeks and sailing weeks.
Halton Tennis Camps, Halton, Bucks, throughout summer
One of the country’s leading tennis clubs and a Centre of Excellence, Halton runs 4 day Junior Tennis camps – 6 hours of high-energy instruction, match play and team competition for age groups 7-10 yrs, 10-14 yrs and 14-17 yrs. There are also Multi-Activity 4 day camps for the same age groups including tennis, table tennis, football, quick cricket, uni hock, basketball, badminton and volleyball; all played on site. Cost includes lunch, awards, prizes and mementos. There’s also a 3 hour Mini tennis camp for littlies 4-7 years. Recommended.
Creation Theatre Holiday Workshops, Oxford, throughout Summer
Creation Theatre is well-known throughout Oxfordshire for its exciting repertoire as well as its fantastic holiday workshops for kids. ‘Put on a Play in a Week’ starts next week and groups children in 6-8 years, 9-12 years and 13-16 years. This year it’s Hamlet getting the Creation spin-treatment (minus David Tennant, let’s not overpromise here).
Pony days and Tiny Tinkers Holiday Camps, Hartwell Stables, Aylesbury, selective Tues-Fridays throughout summer
A supersweet magical week of pony fun at the respected Hartwell Stables aimed at 3-7 year olds who’d like to spend a week grooming, dressing up, bandaging, role-play, doing tack sessions, and riding ponies every day. also a Junior Jockeys day camp for kids 8+.
Cricket coaching courses at Lords
Yeah, you read that right. One, two or three day cricket courses at Lords, run by the MCC, including hawk-eye technology, pitchvision analysis of batting and a packed lunch (surely cucumber sandwiches?!). The courses go from Under 5s through to Under 16s. Owzat!
Teens on Screen, St Albans
Is your teenager keen to make it in TV? Pippa, the editor of Muddy Herts sent her son on this course in St Albans a few weeks back and he loved it. There are two more one day courses in TV presenting through the summer, between 10am – 4pm.
Ruskin School of Art, Oxford, various courses throughout August
Kids 16+ with a strong interest in art should check out these new summer courses from Oxford University’s famous art school. Most courses run for a minimum of 3 days and cover everything from drawing trees to anatomy. Try to stifle the giggles as I disrobe, it’s how I make ends meet (no *sigh*, not really).