MON 14 - SUN 20 AUG
We Love Eighties Night, Clayton’s Marlow, Sat 19 Aug
Grab your shoulderpads, swipe that blusher across your temples and hit the dance floor at former Muddy Award winner Clayton’s Marlow. Free before 10, or £5 from then on. 9pm-2am.
Clayton’s, Oxford Rd, Marlow, claytonsmarlow.com
The Angel at Burford Summer Festival, Fri 18 – Sun 20 Aug
If you’re near-ish to this idyllic Costwold town, the totally gorgeous Angel pub has its annual Summer Festival across a long weekend that’s packed with fun for the whole family – entertainment, live music, shire horses, a gin bar and a traditional South African ‘Braai’ cooking up lots of tasty stuff.
The Angel, Witney Street, Burford, theangelatburford.co.uk
The Big Batsford Bug Hunt, Batsford Arboretum, Tues 1 – Thurs 31 Aug
Love creepy crawlies? (er, NO). Well never mind, your children will love peering amongst the foliage, finding the bugs and marking their locations to win a prize. No need to book, just turn up and ‘enjoy’.
£2.50 per child, plus Arboretum admission fee. Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucs, batsarb.co.uk
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, activities throughout August
This month, you can make a Buzzwangling Bird Feeder or a Biffsquilling Bug Jar. You can take a Swishwiffling Storytelling Walk or a Gloriumptious Guided Trail. You can listen to stories and explore the museum and even take a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes archives of Dahl’s letters and manuscripts. And that isn’t even half of it – there’s lots happening all month.
Comedy of Errors, West Wycombe Park, Weds 16 Aug
Shakespeare and classic romance are on the programme in these Bucks National Trust gardens, with Chapterhouse Theatre production this summer: of The Comedy of Errors on 16 Aug.
West Wycombe Park, West Wycombe, Bucks, nationaltrust.org.uk
Much Ado About Nothing, Wadham College, Oxford, all week (now to 19 Aug)
I’ve seen a fair few interpretations of Much Ado over the years – from a 1960s hippy setting to one bizarrely featuring senior citizens Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones as lead characters Beatrice and Benedick. Oxford Shakespeare Company have taken their latest production of this hilarious Shakespeare comedy to a 1943, war-struck Messina where the Italian Resistance meet Mafiosi and it sounds pure brilliance. Catch it now until mid August in the gorgeous outdoor setting of Wadham College Gardens.
Wadham College, Parks Rd, Oxford, ticketsoxford.com
Dinosaur World, Banbury Museum, now – 9 Sept
This is a summer hols saviour if you have little ones who love dinosaurs. At Banbury Museum they can create their own dinosaur lands, creature, masks and fossil collages and even a hatching dino baby. It’s on Saturdays and every day during the Oxon school holidays, with two daily sessions: 10:30am – 12:30pm or 2pm – 4pm.
Summer Jousting Tournament, Blenheim Palace, Fri 18 – Sun 20 Aug
Charrrrgggggge! It’s the epic Jousting Tournament on the South Lawn with the ‘Knights of Arkley’ and their mighty steeds. It’s all about the traditional tilt, battle on foot with the mace and quarter staff and hamming it up to the max.
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxon, blenheimpalace.com
Giacometti, Tate Modern, 10 May – 10 Sept
Last few weeks to catch the UK’s first major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for 20 years, at the Tate Modern. Celebrated as a sculptor, painter and draughtsman, Giacometti’s distinctive elongated figures are some of the most instantly recognisable works of modern art in Tate Modern’s ambitious and wide-ranging exhibition of over 250 works. It includes rarely seen plasters and drawings and showcases the full evolution of Giacometti’s career across five decades, from early works such as Head of a Woman [Flora Mayo] 1926 to iconic bronze sculptures such as Walking Man I 1960.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London
It involves trekking up to the smoke, but it’s absolutely worth it for an evening at this picturesque fairy-light strewn theatre, which is the big daddy of al fresco productions – and the London Theatre Of The Year in 2016’s The Stage awards, no less. This summer’s extensive programme includes A Tale of Two Cities (7 July – 5 August), a brand new adaptation of the Dickens tome that’s alarmingly topical once again. Then there’s a family-friendly Oliver Twist (17 July – 5 Aug) suitable for children age 6+. Finally, bring out the big guns: namely, the Olivier and Evening Standard award-winning Jesus Christ Superstar (11 August 2017 – 23 September 2017), by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.