FRI 1 - SUN 3 SEP 2017
Raphael: The Drawings, Ashmolean, Oxford, ends Sun 3 Sep
The Ashmolean’s captivating summer show brings together 120 stunning works from international collections spanning the brief but brilliant career of Raphael, who was only 37 when he died. The museum’s own unrivalled Raphaels are joined by superb works from the Albertina and loans from other international collections including the Louvre and the Uffizi and Liz II. Chop chop though, it finishes this weekend.
Foodies Festival, South Park, Oxford, Fri 1- Sun 3 Sep
Impeccably-lipsticked Bake Off winner Candice Brown is the star attraction at central Oxford’s South Park food festival this weekend, alongside Le Manoir’s Michelin-starred chef Gary Jones and Saturday Kitchen host Matt Tebbutt. You can roam the temptations of Street Food Avenue, or perhaps the Drinks Theatre tickles your fancy (it sure tickles ours). Reckless macho types (*cough, Mr Muddy*) may like to test their endurance in the chilli-eating-competition.
South Park, Oxford, foodiesfestival.com
Rotherfield Greys village fete, Sun 3 September
Your classic family-fun village fete, complete with tombola, splat-the-rat, cakes and a pop-up pub. Except Rotherfield Greys, near Henley-on-Thames, take this tradition to a whole new level of fancy – it’s held in the gorgeous gardens of National Trust property Greys Court. There’s a Beauty & The Beast costume theme (which one I’ll go as depends on how long I have to get ready that morning) and the fun starts at 12pm.
Greys Court, Henley-on-Thames, nationaltrust.org.uk/greys-court
Tractor Ted, Stonor Park , Sun 3 Sep
If your nippers’ two favourite things in the world are Tractor Ted and bouncy castles then 3 Sep sure is their lucky day. A giant Tractor Ted bouncy castle will be popping up at Stonor Park, Bucks, ideal for letting off some end-of-the-summer-hols steam. Suitable for under 7s, the activities also include getting up close with animals at the mobile farm, a Tractor Ted driving test and a bout of welly wanging. Which always sounds a bit rude to us but we’re sure it’s good wholesome family fun.
Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, stonor.com
Refresh Festival, Wellington Country Park, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Sept
Back to school countdown has begun, and I’ve got just the thing to ensure you’re ready for the new term. The Refresh Festival, hosted by Olympic legend Dame Kelly Holmes, is coming to Wellington Country Park. Fun, family friendly and focused on health, fitness and wellbeing, this is a chance to press the reset button. After a summer with the kids, I’m in.
Chilli Festival, Sat 2 & Sun 3 Sep, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks
Spice up your life with this festival held in the grounds of Waddesdon Manor. There are 65 local exhibitors who promise to give your tastebuds a workout, with chilli sauces, jams, beer and chocolate. If it all gets too much, you can cool your tongue at the frozen yogurt stand. Not to worry if your kids haven’t yet reached a level of spice sophistication, just settle them down at the crafts table or the face-painting. From 10am-5pm,
Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Bucks, waddesdon.org.uk
Days out with Thomas, Bucks Railway Centre, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Sep
If you have nippers who are obsessed with trains, this day out will blow their tiny minds. A steam train with the Thomas livery chugs gently back and forth all day long, you get to meet the Fat Controller (and he is indeed pleasingly portly) plus there’s all sorts of face painting, kids’ shows, mini train rides and ample space to picnic. If you’ve got older children in tow it’s worth knowing you can also have a snoop around the permanent museum exhibition, where you can hang out in retro tube carriages.
Bucks Railway Centre, Quainton, bucksrailwaycentre.org
Stick Man, Wycombe Swan, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Sep
Stick Man is one of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s sweetest, most touching children’s books about a twig who goes for a jog and gets separated from his family – that bit where you think he might be used as kindling, waah! The unlucky wooden one arrives at the Wycombe Swan this month with Scamp Theatre’s adaptation. We’re promised a trio of top actors, puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves. God, I hope he gets back to the family tree, otherwise there’ll be tears (mine). Suitable for ages 3+.
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
Giacometti, Tate Modern, ends Sun 10 Sep
Knights in Training, Windsor Castle, Sat 2 Sept
Her Maj is having a spring clean of her knights. And who can blame her after the embarrassment they have caused with their tax dodging and sex scandals. Now Windsor Castle will host its biggest ever Family Festival and train young knights in the historic Quadrangle to sword fight, joust and other heroic stuff. If they pass muster, they’ll be ‘knighted’ in St George’s Chapel.