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Family Days Out

MON 25 SEP - SUN 1 OCT 2017

The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Mon 25 – Tues 26 Sep

girl in purple dress standing on yellow table holding arms out to tiger sitting on chair holding a plate lady in green dress looking shocked

If a massive wild cat really did come round and vandalise your kitchen, realistically you’d scarper long before it started loutishly drinking PG Tips out of the teapot spout, right? I must take this up with legendary children’s author Judith Kerr next time I see her. Anyway, the classic kids’ bedtime story arrives at Aylesbury Waterside theatre this month in musical form, fresh from a hit West End run. Director David Wood has also adapted BFG, The Witches and Meg & Mog for the stage, so you’re in very safe hands. Just don’t open the door without your tranquiliser gun.


Curiosity Carnival, Live Friday, The Ashmolean Museum, Fri 29 Sept

A  huge festival of curiosity across the University of Oxford’s museums, libraries, gardens and woods, joining hundreds of other European cities celebrating European Researchers’ Night (er, sounds like a ball!). The Ashmolean is celebrating as it does best, with its innovative free entry Live Friday event, offering dance, art, talks, demonstrations and music to consider how researchers use time and space to think about what makes us and the universe tick. There’s the Orchestra of the Enlightenment, combining music with cutting-edge science about the rhythms of sleep; 3D virtual reality to explore DNA; FLUX dance theatre performing and basically a whole load of kind of weirdy cool stuff.

Free to enter but you do need to book a ticket in advance. Tickets 


Owl and the Pussycat, Cornerstone Arts, Didcot, Sun 1 Oct

Sweeeeet! A gorgeous new ballet for family audiences by Let’s All Dance takes a humorous look at the famous Lear poem. Rather like English National Ballet’s ‘First Ballet’ series, this performance is especially designed for kids aged 2-11 years, including those with special needs.

Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Rd, Didcot,


Early Years Forest School, Compton Verney,  every Thurs in term-time 

Adventurous pre-schoolers can enjoy a terrific two hours of play and discovery in the beautiful woods. All sessions are run by a qualified Forest School Leader and allow children to develop new skills and creative thinking through outdoor activities. Included in collections and park admission.


Stories in the Dark: Marion Leeper, The Junction, Cambridge, Sun 1 Oct

cartoon illustration of animals fox badger snake

The story tent is one of the smallest theatres in the world – it takes 15 people at a time so children have a chance to join in, to talk and to play. Each show lasts for 30mins with time to explore the tent afterwards. It’s full of  twinkling lights, vibrant colours and just a touch of darkness – the story tent provides the perfect storytelling adventure for 2- 7 year olds.

Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge, CB1 7GX,


Appledore Book Festival, Various Venues, Fri 22 – Sat 30 Sept

painting of appledore

Credit: Cover Artwork by Becky Bettesworth

Devon is being treated to not one, but two, major literary festivals this month, one in the south and Appledore Book Festival is the turn of the north – and what a stunning setting.  There are some seriously big names in this year’s line-up including one of the world’s leading crime writers, Ian Rankin, Jeremy Vine, Jeremy Paxman and, erm, Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards.  With over 70 events, workshops and musical performances, there’s too much to mention here, but hop over to the website and check out the impressive line-up in the brochure (the cover of which is beautifully designed by award-winning Devon artist Becky Bettesworth).


Wicksteed Park – STILL Open throughout Autumn 2017

Kids having fun in autumn

Autumn still means FUN for us all in Northamptonshire.  Wicksteed Park is open for only a few more weeks and will also be opening more than 20 attractions every weekend during October and each day during half term week (Mon Oct 23 – Friday Oct 28). Fun things to do include this year’s new experiences, Tree Top Walk and Meerkat Burrows. What’s more, you can enjoy a day of inclusive* activities from as little as £9 for senior citizens, £10 for adults/mini-me’s and £12 for children. This is also your last chance to use up your 2016 ride tickets, so don’t miss out! *Note this does not include RUSH or Wickys Factory.

Wicksteed Park Barton Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN15 6NJ


Festival of flowers, Leeds Castle, 23 – 28 Sept

See the State Rooms and grounds of Leeds Castle adorned with beautiful floral creations on the theme of ‘An Enchanted Castle’. Follow a mysterious magical floral world created by international award winning designers – large-scale installations inspired by fairytales (Instagram opportunities abound!). During the Festival of Flowers visitors can join a programme of floral demonstrations, specialist talks and daily garden tours, included as part of the entrance ticket.


Wild Air Run, Blaise Castle, Bristol, Sat 30 Sept

Europe’s longest inflatable slide – 60m long, 8m high and four lanes wide – is coming to Bristol as part of a giant inflatable 5k obstacle course at Blaise Castle. Suitable for 7+


Taste of the Teign, Various venues along the River Teign, Sat 23 Sept – Sun 1 Oct

artwork of the river teign

Artwork: Laura Wall

Well this sounds like tasty fun.  Loads of the loveliest spots along the Teign Estuary, from Teignmouth to Newton Abbot are teaming up to put on a showcase of special events across nine days.  Expect the best local fish, meat, fruit and veg to crop up in a schedule celebrating the best local food, that includes things like a Brunch on a Boat, Beachside BBQ, Wine Tastings and Cracking a Crab Workshops.  You’re bound to find something that takes your fancy and besides, it’s a beautiful part of the world to get out and say hello to autumn.


Canons Ashby – Apple Harvest Weekend, 10am – 4pm, Sat 30 Sep – Sun 1 Oct

Apple harvesting weekend
This is the final weekend of Canon Ashby’s Harvest Celebrations aka Apple Weekend! You can get involved and help with the apple harvest, press some fresh juice and join the taste testing. Then join in some crafts and games and peruse the traditional crafts. Take this opportunity to see the house and church dressed for harvest for the last time until next ha. Booking Not Needed. This an extremely family friendly event. Dogs on leads welcome. Free Event but Normal Admission Charges Apply. Please visit the Coach House first to begin your day.

Canons Ashby, Canons Ashby House, Canons Ashby, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 3SD


Cotswold Airport Open Day, Cirencester, Sat 30 Sept

A bit of a boys’ day out (though I quite fancy it myself to TBH), you’ll find vintage and military vehicles and planes, wartime re-enactments, steam traction engines, control tower and airside tours, pleasure flights, balloon rides, a beer tent… Phew, I’ve run out of breath. Basically, you’re going to have a good day that will culminate in a night glow balloon son et lumière. And it’s only a fiver to get in with under 16s free!


The Addams FamilyNew Victoria Theatre, Woking, Tues 26 – Sat 30 Sep

Everyone’s favourite kooky family are now on stage in the UK premiere of this spectacular musical comedy from the writers of multi award-winning hit musical Jersey Boys, with music and lyrics by Tony Award nominated Andrew Lippa. Samantha Womack stars as Morticia, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, and Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday.



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