WHAT’S ON: THURS 18 – WEDS 24 JUNE
Sooooo much going on this week, I feel exhausted just writing it. Have fun!
Feast Weekend at Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, Sat 20 – Sun 21 June
Very excited about ‘Feast’ at Waddesdon Manor this weekend – a brand new event that combines food and entertainment on the North Lawns. You can buy from top local food producers, then have a picnic on the lawns while music, acrobatics, puppetry and dance performances happen around you. Also worth knowing there are pre-bookable cooking workshops for 11-21 year olds on the weekend with celebrity chefs Oliver Rowe (Saturday) and Valentine Warner (Sunday).
And finally, while you’re at Waddesdon try to find some time to detour to The Coach House for a brand new Henry Moore exhibition celebrating seven decades of his celebrated drawings, including his Shelter Drawings from the early 40s and later, often surprising works like his ‘shut-eye’ drawings. I mean, WOW.
Wadddesdon Manor, www.waddesdon.org.uk
Beacon Festival 2015, Watlington Hill Farm, Oxon, Fri 19 – Sat 20 June
This self-proclaimed ’boutique family event’ is really popular in the local area, with 50 bands performing on 3 stages, and a dedicated kids zone. Workshops in everything from Thai Chi to drumming, a Feel Good area (seriously!) with indian head massages and drop in yoga, and a whole lot of holistic happiness, man.
Watlington Hill Farm, www.beaconfestival.net
Epic Egypt, River & Rowing Museum, Oxon, until 20 Sept
The big new family exhibition at the River & Rowing museum started just yesterday and you can catch it through the summer. Epic Egypt. Like so much at the River and Rowing, it’s really hands-on so the kids can get involved in all the interactive stuff as they decode the Rosetta Stone mysteries, write their own name in hieroglyphs and dress up like an Egyptian Mummy. Real life mummies can chill out in the supercool Quince Tree cafe afterwards.
River & Rowing Musuem, www.rrm.co.uk
Antiques Roadshow, Broughton Castle, Oxon, Sun 21 June
Hop up to your attic and dust off your family heirlooms – the Antiques Roadshow is in town! All day Sunday, the antiques and fine arts experts will be on hand, offering advice and free valuations at the stunning location of Broughton Castle, whilst Fiona Bruce will be looking fragrant and purring at the camera. It’s free to get into the show and doors open to this 38th series of show from 9.30am.
Broughton Castle, nr. Banbury, www.broughtoncastle.com
Picnic Proms in Haddenham, Bucks, Fri 19 June
A real fundraising coup for the local infant school in Haddenham. String quartet Masquerade are playing a ‘picnic prom’ in the village hall tonight to raise funds for the PTA. Masquerade are currently touring with Russell Watson so they’re the real deal, but you can see them for a tenner at 8pm tonight.
Tickets from Haddenham Community Infant School, Blooming Fruity and Haddenham Library. www.haddenham.net
Vintage Transport Weekend, Upton House, Sun 21 June
A good Father’s Day option, this one. The lovely National Trust property of Upton House and Gardens near Banbury are holding a display of vintage transport vehicles on the driveway and music on the terrace. There’s a great exhibition on wartime Upton at the mo, plus the gardens and cafe so you can make a whole day of it.
Upton House, nr. Banbury, www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Music in the Garden, Bucks, Sat 20 & Sun 21 June
A brilliant line-up this weekend in Dame Cleo Laine’s beautiful gardens next door to The Stables music venue in Milton Keynes. This weekend it’s jazz vocalist Elaine Delmar on Saturday who’s the big draw. You can book a private gazebo or just bring a picnic and enjoy stalls, clotted cream teas and the Vineyard bar next door. And just in case the weather isn’t co-operating, the concerts take place under a canopy. Hoorah!
Until Sat 11 July at The Old Rectory Garden, Stockwell Lane, Wavendon, MK17 8LU. www.musicinthegarden.org.uk
Jay Rayner, My Dining Hell, Cornerstone Arts, Didcot, Oxon, Sat 20 June
Observer restaurant critic, Masterchef judge and One Show food expert Jay Rayner has a massive following, one of the few restaurant journalists to transcend his profession to become a celebrity in his own right. He’s touring this show, talking about some of the best and worst of his experiences over the years. Cornerstone Arts Centre are really bigging up his ‘acerbic observations’ and ‘biting wit’, so go along and see for yourself if he’s as funny in person as on the page.
Cornerstone Arts Centre, www.cornerstone-arts.org
Kids go free to London shows! Now booking
Booking has opened for Kids Week in London, where children 16 or under get the chance to see top London shows for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Shows sell out massively quickly so get onto it asap if you’re thinking of taking the children for some culture in the capital.
MCS Art Festival, Oxford, 20 June to 5 July
This festival really packs a punch, with over 120 events at more than 20 venues across the city and a programme that covers music, drama, art, literature, workshops and speaker events. There’s so much to choose from it’s hard to pick stand outs, but for families the Medieval Day at Oxford Castle (above), with events like archery and falconry, wood carving and stone masonry, Robin Hood storytelling and tours of the Oxford Castle running all day sounds fab. The quality of the music is phenomenal too, with Garsington Opera and Magdalen College Choir taking part. Worth checking out.
Cycletta Women’s Bike Ride, Woburn Abbey, Bucks, Sat 20 June
Now in its fourth year, this women-only big bike ride in the inspiring setting of Woburn Abbey,aims to encourage women of all ages and abilities onto two wheels. Pedal around, enjoy some, ahem, elite athletic treatments’ in the Macmillan Cycletta Recovery Zone, goody a bags and show off your medal!
Woburn Abbey, www.woburnabbey.co.uk
Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, V&A London, Now ’til Jan 2016
Love fashion and history? Here you go then, have both together. The V&A Museum in London has brought together more than 200 pairs of extreme footwear from across the world including designs from ancient Egypt to gravity-defying modern shoes.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, www.vam.ac.uk
David Attenborough’s Virtual Reality Experience, Natural History Museum, London, from 20 June
This amazing new exhibition invites visitors to don Virtual Reality headsets to experience a 3D journey that brings to life ancient creatures that inhabited earth over 500 million years ago. Sir David Attenborough has written the whole experience and it’s presented by him using state-of-the-art technology to transport them into the natural world throughout history. Ground-breaking stuff.
Natural History Museum, London, www.nhm.ac.uk