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The Muddy Guide 7 – 13 August

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Sorry this is a bit late out, I’m having a bit of trouble trying to work and looking after the ankle-biters at the same time (*sigh*).

Objectify – A Garden Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture, High House, until 15 Sept

high house, objectify

My trip to Waddesdon last weekend reminded me how much I love contemporary sculpture in traditional settings. If you enjoy it too, this exhibition in the lovely garden of High House will tick all your boxes.


Chanel’s CC Cream UK launch, 9 August

chanel cc cream 2Do you buy high street or designer when it comes to beauty products? Chanel’s CC Cream launches this Friday at Chanel’s Covent Garden store, then rolls out nationwide from 16 August. It boasts SPF 30 mineral sunscreen, hydrating hyaluronic acid and colour-correcting mineral pigments and has ‘present to self’ written all over it!

Explore Space! Science Live, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, 15 Aug

While Science Live is having its new swanky home built, it’s moving around different venues to continue its good work. Next week the River & Rowing museum plays host and take kids on a trip across the solar system. Children can look at the planets, moons, stars and the differences between them, learn why we have day and night and find out how old they are in Martian years. These events sell out fast, hence my early elbow nudge.

Ages 8+. 10.30am – 3.30pm.  To book, phone 01491 415605.

David Bowie Is, V&A, London, until Sun 11 Aug

If you’re like me and have idly thought for the last few months that you’d like to see this next time you’re in London, I’d now accelerate that thought! The highly-acclaimed exhibition finishes on Sunday so, as Mr Muddy likes to say, time to rattle your dags. Sorry, but he is from New Zealand.

Dinosaur Zoo, Regent’s Park open air theatre, Friday 9 Aug – Sun 8 Sept

dinosaur petting - 2
Come face-to-face with the inhabitants of Dinosaur Zoo, a puppet-based show from Australia featuring incredibly lifelike dinosaurs in one of London’s most beautiful parks. Children can watch wide-eyed from a safe distance or dare to get right up close to the creatures, helping to feed, water and care for them. Ages 3+. Tickets from £15.

Summer sale, Swan Antiques Centre, 9 – 26 Aug

hotel sign, swan antiquesThe award-winning antiques centre in Tetsworth is always a pleasure to wander around, but the prospect of a sale is even better. The restaurant is open from breakfast to afternoon tea with everything in between. Snap up a bargain and show us the spoils! 10am-6pm daily

Basildon Park, Nr Reading, ongoing.

Basildon Park

This is one of my favourite NT places – such lovely grounds and a fantastic hill for kids to roll down. They seem very switched on with kid-friendly activities this summer, based on the NT’s ’50 Things to Do Before You’re 11¾. Join them for an exciting tree-climbing event, hunt for bugs in the garden, develop den-building skills, track animals around the parkland and camp out in the wild. Plus every Wednesday there are craft activities in the Old Kitchen.  Go on, exhaust the little buggers!


King Lear, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, 16 – 17 Aug


king lear

I’ve been amazed at how the AWT has developed over the last two years – it’s a fantastic theatre and seems to be getting progressively better productions visiting. This is an early heads up on the latest guest of note – The Globe’s touring company and its production of King Lear. Expect an Elizabeth-style booth stage and eight actors helping you decide whether Lear really is more sinned against than sinning.

£19.20-£22.90. Book tickets 


Cotswold Wildlife Park, Wild Nights Tour, 10 August

Cotswold Wildlife Park
An after-hours guided tour (7-9pm) where you can watch the animals being fed, and interrogate the animal keepers. Children need to be accompanied by an adult – no thrusting them into the lion enclosure now. Adults £25, kids £20. Limited tickets.

La Tempesta, Little Angel Theatre, Highgate Woods, 8 – 18 Aug

little angel company la tempesta
Two of my favourite Londony things in one lovely bundle. Highgate Woods are absolutely gorgeous and one of the reasons Mr Muddy is always muttering about why we didn’t just move up to Crouch End to live when we left Islington (er, hmm, let me think now… was it the money??). Little Angel Theatre is a national treasure, the most innovative and famous puppet theatre in the company. Put the two together and you have La Tempesta, a circus performance in association with aerial theatre company Scarabeus for kids and families where the audience becomes part of the show, helping the puppets as they journey to a new beginning when their house is swept away by a flood. Sounds fab.

LEGO Castle Event, Warwick Castle, 12 – 25 August

warwick castle
To mark the launch of the all-new LEGO® Castle range this month, Warwick Castle is hosting two weeks of castle-building events including a massive Lego-build area where kids can create their own medieval fortresses. A treasure trail around Warwick Castle grounds leads intrepid explorers on a quest for gold coins (of the chocolate variety), and a build-a-castle play area gives kids the chance to win LEGO® Castle prizes. If your kids can prise themselves away from small plastic pieces of toy, there’s also  horseback jousting, raising the Portcullis, the Flight of the Eagles show, firing the Trebuchet, Warwick Warriors live combat, and actor-led Tours of State Rooms and the Great Hall. Definitely on my to-do list next week.

RIBA, kids workshops, Portland Place, London. Through August.

fallingwater 3
Loving these workshops for teenagers. If your kids think Frank Lloyd Wright is a footballer, it might be time to boot them into one of these RIBA architecture workshops. On 9 Aug, there’s a Design Day: Architecture Taster for 13-15 year olds, then from 19 – 22 Aug 16-19 year olds can move away from their phones and sketch, study, create, make and generally do something useful with their lives!!

Kids theatre, various

At Cliveden’s Water Garden today, there are 3 performances of Babe the Sheep Pig (adults £13, kids £10). You’re welcome to bring a picnic. Early book for a family show of Sherlock Holmes at Waterperry Gardens (15 Aug). The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury is holding The Enchanted Forest theatre workshop for 5-8 year olds.  And don’t forget, for London-based performances, kids go free to many shows throughout August. Check out availability here.

Sensational Butterflies, Natural History Museum, London. Until 15 September 

butterfly on girl
This exhibition sounds utterly gorgeous. The East Lawn of the Natural History Museum has been transformed into an indoor butterfly house, where you can see hundreds of  live tropical butterflies from all over the globe, including this beautiful blue Morpho. When you’ve had your fill of caterpillar to pupa to butterfly transitions, move into the main museum for masses more. Tickets £4.50. Children under 3 go free


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