Fun for teens this Easter
A whole bunch of awesome suggestions in Bucks & Oxon to excite, inspire and get teens out of bed while it's still daylight (*thud*).
Teens can be maddening. They don’t want to hang out with you. They don’t want to call their friends (that’s what text are for). They find it hard to exhibit enthusiasm for anything, as my son puts it, ‘from the olden days – by which he means pre X-Box.*
(*Caveat. We know not all teenagers are horrific. If you have one that’s sane, I’m up for swapsies.)
But we’re not so easily beaten at Muddy Stilettos! If you have a teen yourself, know a put upon parent of one, or a grandparent jittery at the prospect of entertaining a knuckle-dusting relative, we’ve rounded up a clutch of teen-friendly events around the counties over Easter holidays.
JUNKYARD GOLF CLUB, Westgate Centre, Oxford
Teen catnip right here. Under 18s need to be accompanied by one paying adult and can enter Sunday to Wednesday before 7pm (last entry is 6pm) where you can give them a whipping at crazy golf like you’ve never seen it before. There are 3 tongue-in-cheek courses (Bozo, a creepy clowny one; Pablo for junglists; and Gary, for shellsuit wideboys/girls), a restaurant serving nachos, burgers, hot dogs and all the things that Jamie Oliver has night sweats about, and a bar if you need anaesthetising against all the teen excitement. junkyardgolfclub.co.uk/oxford
PHOTOGRAPHY DAY, Waddesdon Manor, Weds 11 April
A one-day photography course at Waddesdon Manor, so pretty that you could argue it’s almost impossible to take a bad picture. Kids from 10-15 years can learn how to capture spring at this resplendent 19th century Chateau with Sharp Shots Photo Club. They’ll learn camera mechanics and how aperture, shutter speed and ISO affect photographs; how to over and under expose images, create silhouettes and highlight the bright colours, and take home their own set of images. £60 per child (they’ll need to bring a packed lunch), with D-SLR camera hire £10 if required.
11am-4pm. More info
THORPE PARK, Surrey, throughout Easter
You have to travel to make it to the best fun park resort in the UK, but your teens will tell you it’s worth it. There’s a new scary ride The Walking Dead (er, nice!) that’s only for 13+, and last year’s hit, Derren Brown’s Ghost Train. There’s also a new resort hotel, shaped nattily like a shark, where you can stay over (adults, your stay is free, teens – bring your wallet).
MUSICAL THEATRE COURSE, MK Theatre, Milton Keynes, Tues 3 – Fri 6 April 2018
I’m a massive fan of MK Theatre – the arts programming is fantastic – and the care extends to its educational offering. Following a sold out course in October 2017 comes this immersive 4 day West End workshop led by West End performers and artistic directors of The Leading Edge Arts Project (LEAP). Aimed at 11-16 year olds, the kids will work with top West End performers on show stopping musical numbers and chorography from the most current musicals on the West End and Broadway – including Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress and Hamilton. 10.15am-4.15pm daily, £120 for 4 days. Book tickets
NEW STEVEN SPIELBERG FILM, Various cinemas
The hugely anticipated Ready Player One by Steven Spielberg has finally landed and we’ve heard it’s amazeballs. Your techy teens will love the premise – when the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to locate an Easter Egg that will give the finder his fortune. Relax into a seat at the Curzon, Westgate or check it out at the mainstream cinemas – it’s on general release from Weds 28 Mar.
BEYOND BEANS ON TOAST: TEEN’S COOKERY, Daylesford Farm, Kingham, 12 April
Great course title, great idea. It’s so hard to find proper teen cookery courses, but Daylesford Farm’s teens cookery school offers a huge range of course for all ages and abilities, including this one for teens, where they focus on seasonal ingredients, cook their own dishes, and then sit down together to enjoy each dish they make, accompanied by organic Daylesford juices, teas and coffee. For teens going off to uni in September, there’s also a Flying the Nest: Cookery Skills for Student Life course which runs in late August. 11-2pm. Age 13-17 years; £75 per person; includes practical and demonstration cookery sessions, refreshments and all course materials.
TEEN WORKSHOPS, Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury, 30 Mar – 15 April
This arts centre is much under-rated – tucked away down a residential street in Aylesbury, Bucks, it has a phenomenal number of courses on offer and plenty for teens over Easter, including pottery (13+) , teen yoga and mindfulness (11+), cartoon workshop (13+) and digital photography (13+). Prices are ridiculously good value – around £3-4 per hour course.
VOODOO, CIRCUS OF HORRORS, New Theatre Oxford, Sat 31 March
Sounds horrific, so no doubt teens will love it. Kids 16+ can watch this amalgamation of bizarre and fantastic circus acts all woven into a shock/horror story. Circus of Horrors have been on the road 22 years, touring all over the world, so expect teens to cover their eyes when they see middle-aged performers in front of them. Argghh, it burns!