The Muddy Guide 26 Oct – 4 Nov
26th Oct 2012
This is an extra long What’s On, with a special subsection for kids’ events because, Holy Crap, it’s half term (*breathe, breathe, must breathe!*). Those of you without children, luxuriate in all the lovely things I’ve handpicked for you, and anyone looking for ways to offload – I mean spend quality time – with your little darlings, read on and relax. Muddy Stilettos has it all worked out!
Art in Woodstock, Woodstock, 27 Oct – 4 Nov
Woodstock punches well above its weight for cultural pleasures, and this festival involves the whole town, with street art, performance artists, talks, kids activities and over 50 artists exhibiting everywhere from hotels and museums to the local bakery. Make a day of it and book lunch at The Feathers Hotel, winner of Best Gastronomic Restaurant at the 2012 Oxfordshire Food Awards.
Stampede! Oh Reiss, how I love thee, and now I can afford some of your glorious clobber. This sample sale is bound to be wildly popular so if you want to pick up a bargain, start planning now. If you’re a bit more avant garde with your fashion, Hussein Chalayan is offering beween 20-80% off from 30 Oct – 4 November. Email email@example.com (it’s appointment only) and work out a way to justify wearing a wooden skirt or a pair of oversized lace wings to the local pub. Finally, Igloo, the gorgeous Kings Road/Islington kids retailer, is having a sample sale from 1-3 Nov, with clothes, toys and soft furnishings on sale. Someone catch me, I’m fainting.
Reiss sale: 30 Oct – 3 Nov, The Music Room, 26 South Molton Lane, W1K 5LF 30 Oct: 1pm – 8pm, 31 Oct-2 Nov: 8am – 8pm and 3 Nov: 9am – 7pm.
Hussein Chalayan sale: 30 Oct-4 Nov, 10am-7pm. Block H, Zetland House, 109-123 Clifton Street, London, EC2A 4LD.
Igloo sale: 1 -3 Nov, 10 am – 6 pm at 300 Upper Street, Islington, N1 2TU.
House & Garden Spirit of Christmas fair, Olympia, London, 30 Oct -4 Nov
Want to sort your Christmas shopping in one glorious swoop? Here’s your chance. Hundreds of brands with their latest, greatest collections vying for your attention, from fashion and interiors to Christmas decorations and furnishings. As you’d expect at a shopathon, there’s a champagne bar for mid-spend revival and a Mosimman’s restaurant for greater sustenance. Heaven on earth.
Buy tickets from £17.50.
Skyfall, general release, from 26 Oct
Daniel Craig. Big gun. Few clothes. No brainer!
Wantage (not just) Betjeman Literary Festival, 28-4 November
Poet John Betjeman had a long association with Wantage, but as the name of this festival suggests, there’s plenty more besides a cultural homage to the town’s most famous literary resident on offer here. The onus is particularly on poetry but there are creative writing workshops, lectures, readings, plays etc all available for your delectation. One for enthusiastic writers and readers I’d say, so put on your favourite half-moon specs and start working on your iambic pentameter.
Halloween Half Term Fun, Waddesdon Manor, 27 Oct – 4 Nov
The spooky kids tour of the Waddesdon Manor has already sold out (BOO), but there are plenty of activities throughout the week including face painting at the Stables Courtyard this weekend, a Halloween trail around the gardens and free craft activities in the Power House. Don’t make my usual mistake of rocking up on a Monday or Tuesday as Waddesdon is closed!
Normal admission charges apply.
Kids Tate, online
Sometimes my 10 year old likes to chill out at home doing not very much over half term (I believe the medical term is ‘bone lazy’ ). This state of inertia usually coincides with requests for the computer, ipad or TV. Usually I’m mean and nasty and insist he reads my collection of Booker prize-winning novels – however, I may be more inclined to say yes now that I’ve found this section on the Tate website dedicated to kids and their creativity. There are computer games with an artistic slant (eg Cuboom, for lovers of Picasso and Cubism!) , create e-cards, watch films and there are also ideas for crafty bits. Hey, learning really can be fun…
Longridge, Marlow, activity days
It’s half term and frankly it’s not just the children who need a break. Longridge will gladly take your kids off your hands for a full day’s activities, from kayaking and climbing through to high ropes and fencing. There are also family days if you feel like joining in (yeah, as if!).
Longridge, Quarry Wood Road, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 1RE. Tel: 01628 483252
Science Live, Oxford, Halloween Show, 31 October
I love Science Live – a lovely, warm, fun way for kids of all ages to engage with science. This Halloween Show is for 6+ and promises eerie experiments, dramatic demonstrations, and ghostly apparitions. The shows are good fun (Finn’s been to several) and if you have little ones too, they can bomb around quite happily in the Discovery Zone while the performance is taking place. The 9.30pm show is sold out but there are still places at 2pm and 3.30pm. Book tickets or get on the blower quickly.
Science Oxford Live, 1-5 London Place, Oxford, OX4 1BD. Tel: 01865 810000.
Bletchley Park, Bucks, Halloween Family Fun Day, 31 Oct
Bletchley Park is pulling out the stops for this event, with spy workshops, Halloween decoration making, dressing up in WW2 uniforms, a toy museum and a special guided tour of Bletchley Park for children. Plus the play area will be open and there’ll be a Halloween themed screening in the new Children’s Cinema Club.
10am-4pm, free for children under 12.
The Big Draw, Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury (27 Oct), Oxford Botanical Gardens (31 Oct)
This nationwide festival of drawing continues. A great option for older kids is the free drop-in workshop between 11-3pm at Bucks County Museum and Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery in Aylesbury, where kids can have a go at cartooning and get some great tips from local graphic artists from Dead Universe Comics. Alternatively, go to Oxford’s Botanical Gardens on 31 Oct between 1-3.30pm, where kids can create their own work of art inspired by the natural world to take home.
Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford upon Avon, Family Day, 30 Oct
A hop, skip and jump from Oxon/Bucks into neighbouring Warwickshire, this sounds like a really fun day out if your kids are desperate to get on the stage. There’s an interractive storytelling session (4-8 year olds), a Blood Guts and Gore workshop to show how costumes, wigs and make up help tell a story (suitable for everyone, £3 adults/£2 Children), stage fighting and singing workshops, free trips up the Theatre Tower and craft activities. Practise your air kissing and project, darling, project.
RSC, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6BB. www.rsc.org.uk
I’ll add more kids stuff in the coming days so keep your eyes out. I just need to lie down in dark room for a while after that gargantuan post.