FRI 20 - SUN 22 APRIL 2018
Painting Sea and Skyscapes, Be in Art, Headington, Sat 21st April
These super-relaxed, mindful art classes (where you don’t need to be Picasso to participate) are run by self-taught artist Jane Beinart, who, thanks to her training as a life coach, understands the therapeutic benefits of painting and is big on boosting your confidence as you develop your daubing. You will come away with 2, er, masterpieces ready to hang on the wall, as well as 6-10 on paper.
Folk Singer Cushion Concert, JDP Music Building, Oxford, Sun 22 April
I’m always banging on about these Cushion Concerts at the stunning Jaqueline du Pré building in St Hilda’s College Oxford, because they’re such a fantastic way for young kids to explore music. Musicians Rozzy or Tom introduce different instruments each week, with performances suitable to 5+ and under fives. Bring cushions (ear plugs optional depending on your patience levels) and watch the craziness unfurl.
Rothschild Wines from around the World, Waddesdon Manor, Sun 22 April
Oxford Book Fair, Headington , Sat 21 – Sun 22 April
Running since 1975, Oxford’s biggest book fair of the year will host over 90 dealers from across the country in the main hall of Oxford Brookes’ Headington Hill Campus. With thousands of antiquarian, fist-editions and collectable books for sale, its a dead cert for picking up pressies or adding to a collection. £2 on the door or download your free ticket here.
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Oxford Playhouse, Tues 17 – Sat 21 April
Awards aplenty for Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk after selling out at London’s Globe Theatre and the Traverse in Edinburgh, where it won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. Presented by Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic, the play follows partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall, through some of the most devastating times in history, navigating the Pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. It looks awesome.
Aged 10 plus and 90 minutes with no interval. Book tickets £10- £30
CADA Antique Fair, Blenheim Palace, Thurs 19 – Sun 22 April
World-class art and antiques by over 30 dealers come together at at the seventh annual Blenheim Palace CADA Fair, featuring everything from furniture to clocks, textiles to garden ornaments. Prices go from a passable £100 to a choke-on-your-breakfast £100,000+. Still, it’s free to look.
My First Ballet: Swan Lake, New Theatre Oxford, Sat 21 – Sun 22 April
My First Ballet: Swan Lake is aimed at children aged 3+, and performed by students at the English national Ballet school in a simplified version of the fairytale. These performances are massively popular – the My First Ballet series has been running since 2012 – and they’re beautifully staged with a narrator to help the young audience follow the story, and a shortened version of Tchaikovsky’s score.
Christy McCormick exhibition, Jam Factory, Oxford, 13 March – 23 April
This buzzy, boho central Oxford restaurant/bar has an admirably arty bent, hosting life drawing glasses, craft sessions and using the walls as its airy dining room as a gallery for upcoming artists. Their newest exhibition caught our eye – Christy McCormick is a London College of Fashion-trained illustrator who has previously designed prints for Alexander McQueen. This new project sees her focus on the feminine body as a work of art in itself. Go have a gander, and grab yourself a tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner while you’re there.
It’s Always Tea Time, Story Museum, Oxford, until July 7
Journey down the rabbit hole and discover It’s Always Tea Time, a fab new Alice-themed exhibit at Oxford’s Story Museum. Visiting the UK for the first time ever, this award-winning collection celebrates the world’s most famous tea party from Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 72 Artists from 19 countries including Iran, Russia, Spain, Hungary and the Baltic States explore the theme with interactive picture trails, dress-up stations and artwork displays which appeal to the WHOLE family *thud*.
Folk Weekend: Oxford, Fri 19 – Sun 22 April
The seventh Folk Weekend: Oxford is on this weekend with headliner Eliza Carthy (MBE no less) and her fiddle, gleefully raucous guitar band False Lights, The Furrow Collective, Jackie Oates and many, many more. There’s Morris dancing in Gloucester Green, folk singing at the kids’ cushion concert at St Hilda’s and live bands in some of Oxford’s most inspiring venues. Add craft stalls, workshops and family fun in to the mix and there really is something for everyone.
St George and the Dragon, Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, Sat 21 – Sun 22 April
With St George’s Day on Sunday, here’s your chance to bring the family to meet the knight in person and enjoy a masquerade starring, you guessed it, the dragon. There’s a dragon trail around the museum plus some dragon inspired crafts, and watch the brave knights battle it out in armed combat. Whilst there, you can look round the more than thirty historic buildings that have been saved and rebuilt there, including an historic working farm. Maybe not as crazy as St Patrick’s Day celebrations but we really should fly the flag.
The Making of Harry Potter, Watford, now – Sun 23 Sept
This WB Studio Tour company never runs out of new reasons to get families back to this paean to the boy wizard. A new special feature dedicated entirely to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth installment of the magical film series, revealing secrets behind the characters, costumes and props that made it so special.
Out of the Block: Henry Moore’s Carvings, Henry Moore Studios & Garden – until October
Just over the border into Herts and well worth the travel as Henry Moore’s Studio and Gardens (near Bishop’s Stortford ) open to the public once again for Spring and Summer. There’s a wonderful new exhibition celebrating Moore’s carvings but you can also meander through the beautiful gardens with sculptures galore and spring lambs running around bronzes, plus there’s a fab new cafe, and you can also visit Henry Moore’s house.