The Muddy Guide 26 July – 1 Aug
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Alrighty! This is a big Muddy Guide, with an extended kids section for the hols. Keep referring back to the guide through the week as I’ll add bits as and when I hear about them. They’ll always be added to the top of the post so you don’t have to scroll down to find anything.
*Deep breath*. Right, here we go.
Cream Club Night, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Sat 27 July
Fluffy bras ahoy! If you fancy a blast from the past (or maybe even catching it first time) the Cream Tour 2013 arrives in Aylesbury on Saturday, with the fabulous K-Klass behind the decks. Great idea Aylesbury Waterside, let’s be having more dance parties please!
£11 a ticket. Doors open at 8pm for drinks. Buy tickets
Oxford Art Fair at The Fishes pub, North Hinksey, Sat 27 – Sun 28 July
The second annual Oxford Art Fair is held once again in the lovely gardens of The Fishes pub in North Hinksey. Mooch around the contemporary art, grab yourself some food, let the kids run around and enjoy the sun.
Whitstable Oyster Festival, 27 July – 2 Aug
If you’re thinking of escaping to the coast this weekend, Whitstable could be a great option as you’ll catch the beginning of its week long Oyster Festival. Saturday’s highlights include the Landing of the Oysters, children’s parade camp and beer festival, then on Sunday it’s the Harbour Food Fair, the dog show, craft fair and Mud Tug.
School’s Out! Picnic in Oxford Botanical Gardens, 27 July
Event free, but normal admission prices to the gardens apply.
Victorian Weekend at Hughendon Manor, High Wycombe, 27-28 July
Hughendon Manor is Disraeli’s former country home, and happens to be one of my favourite local National Trust properties. It always feels intimate and somehow retains a kind of family intimacy though of course it’s long been a social museum of sorts. This Victorian weekend sounds like fun (though perhaps a bit sweaty if you’re taking part). You can meet redcoat soldiers, hear tales of the ferocious Zulu War, see the heroic Charge of the Light Brigade and watch Mr Punch battles the Czar of Russia. That’s the way to do it!
Falconry at the Cotswold Wildlife Park, Nr Burford, 27-28 July
My parents live about 40 minutes from the Cotswold Wildlife Park so we’ve been with the kids about a gazillion times but they never get bored and neither do I. The recent introduction of falconry to the arsenal of animal tricks seems to be going down well, and from the 27-28th July through to the end of August, there will be falcony displays on all weekends.
Wonderwalk, The Story Museum, Oxford, 27 July – 31 Aug
This is such a sweet idea – I’m definitely going to do it with my kids. Starting on Saturday and continuing all through August, the Story Museum is taking families on ‘Wonder walks’, exploring the stories behind The Hobbit, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, giving insights into authors J RR Tolkien, Lewis Carroll and C S Lewis and explaining their connection to Oxford – all with children’s enjoyment and imagination in mind.
The tours are roughly 1 hr 15 minutes and cover three quarters of a mile, so nothing too taxing for little people. Wonderwalks start and finish at The Story Museum in Pembroke St, so you’re perfectly placed for coffee and cake at Modern Art Oxford afterwards. The Mad Hatter would be delighted.
£5 adults, £3 children 3+. 10.30am Saturdays, 2.30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. http://www.storymuseum.org.uk/the-story-museum/events/storytours
Riverside Festival, Charlbury, 27-28 July
Another day, another festival – but bravo to the Riverside organisers for making it totally free – no mean feat when there are over 30 bands playing (including db Band and The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band), a Fringe Stage and a Kids Arena, complete with bunting making, cupcake decorating, hiphop DJ lessons, bushcraft, African drumming and Physics in the field. Give it a go.
Children’s Tour of Bletchley Park, 29 July – 30 Aug
Each Monday and Friday until the end of August, kids can enjoy special Children’s Tours . Aimed at kids aged 4-10 and lasting 30-45 minutes, they’ll offer a flavour of what it was like to be a World War 2 codebreaker at top secret Bletchley Park.
12.45pm and 2.15pm.
Woodland Play, Kents Hill at Willen Lake, Milton Keynes, 29 July
Willen Lake is the busiest park in north Bucks, attracting more than 1m visitors each year. There’s absolutely loads going on at this park, from water sports, golf, high ropes, special events, and also more sedate activities like this Woodland Play, where kids can learn to make dens, follow nature trails and learn woodland crafts. It costs a princely £1 per child.
Visit www.mkpa.co.uk for more information or call 01908 263033. No booking required.
Colne Valley Park Festival, Denham Country Park, 28 July 11am – 4pm
Loving the sound of this. Set in the gorgeous surroundings of Denham Country Park, this family-based festival throws the kettle, toaster, and cutlery draw along with the kitchen sink when it comes to entertainment. There’s a mini petting farm, canal boat trips, river dipping, funfair rides, face painting, model airplanes, commando assault courses, brick making, you name it. The festival is free, just a charge of £2.50 to park the car.
IncrEDIBLES, Kew Gardens, until 1 September
Kew’s summer spectacle IncrEDIBLES is on the theme of surprising edible plants, so you can visit the global kitchen garden, go Tutti Frutti boating (thanks to Bompas & Parr’s latest crazy creation, pictured), visit the Rose Garden tea party and make the most of the world’s most famous garden – all 300 acres of it! It’s also the last week to see the Temperate House, the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world, before it closes on 4 Aug for its 5 year, £34m facelift.
Try Wind in the Willows at Willen Lake (2 Aug); There’s a Monster in my Piano at The Mill Banbury (pictured, 30 July); Red Riding Hood and the Seven Dwarves/Spots and Stripes at Jam Theatre Studios, Marlow (31 July – 11 Aug)
Adults £14.50, concessions £12.50, kids 16 and under free