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The Muddy Guide

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FUNomusica Family Concert, Oxford Town Hall, Sun 21 Oct

These family-friendly informal musical concerts are a real hit, and great for introducing young kids to orchestral instruments. Alasdair Malloy, principal percussionist with the BBC Concert Orchestra, presents members of the animal kingdom through music – tuneful tigers, melodic mice, harmonious hamsters… you get the idea. Kids can come dressed as their favourite animal (Cass loves axolotls – great…) and there is’s also craft activity from 2pm if you really want to feel like the replete modern parent.
Suggested age 4-10 years, though all chidlren welcome. Craft activity 2-3pm. Concert 3-4pm. Adults £8, children £2. Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1BX. Book tickets 

Witney Film Festival, Witney, 23-26 October

I’ve only been to Witney a couple of times (another visit is on the cards soon) but I’ve always really liked it – the town is  buzzy and busy and pretty too. Well, maybe you’ll see for yourself at the Witney Film Festival, a small, quirky and rather brilliant sounding event that starts this weekend and goes through to the 25 Oct. The Festival deals mostly in animation and short films, screened unpretentiously in local bars, but also has its trump card, a feature film called Tortoise in Love, written and directed by local humorist and Guardian writer Guy Browning and starring mostly his fellow residents from Kingston Bagpuise. Brilliant! 

 Dali illustrations, Christchurch Picture Gallery, Oxford

Dali’s original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland is well worth the trip if you’re a fan of Spain’s most famous surrealist, but you’ll have to hurry – this is the last weekend. The illustrations are set out beautifully opposite the relevant sections of the story, but the Gallery also houses an impressive range of Italian art, including several masters. The gallery itself is lovely – traditional Oxford architecture but airy, peaceful and modern in parts. From the gallery it’s a mere skip to Christchurch Meadows and a gentle meander down to the river.

Christ Church Picture Gallery, Christ Church, St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1DP (accessed by King Edward St, opposite Oriel College). Tel: 01865 276172. Sat: 10.30am – 1pm & 2 – 4.30pm; Sun: 2 – 4.30pm

Sneaking into Fashion, Covent Garden Piazza, London, until 28 Oct

As someone who owns more trainers than high heels (one of life’s little ironies) I love the idea of this exhibition, which looks at the relationship between sports footwear and fashion and the ways in which they’ve influenced one another. Exhibits include Mo Farah’s track shoes, Kanye West’s legendary Yeezys which sold for $90,000 at auction, and a delectable range of modern classics and plimsole collectibles.

Free entry. Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 9DD

Madagascar 3/Frankenweenie, general release, from today

Oh thank Christ! The last few weeks has been rubbish for child-friendly movies. Not good for me, as movie-going is my default lazy option. The kids get to nosh out on junk food, I get to gently snore and dribble in a warm dark room for two hours. Madagascar 3 and Frankenweenie are both being served up on the celluloid smorgasbord. Save them up for the horrors of half-term week if you can control yourself that long – or do as I do and gorge immediately.


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