Things to do this weekend
Fri 17 - Sun 19 August
KIDS: Camp Wilderness, Broughton Woods, Kettering, now – Mon 20 Aug
Camp Wilderness offers kids aged 6-15 the chance to unplug and have some old-fashioned summer fun. The camp brings its magical outdoor adventures to Kettering just in time for the school holidays by offering 3-day residential summer camps. Camp Wilderness connects children with the natural world, giving them the chance to camp in ancient woodlands, build and cook over open campfires, try new pursuits like archery and learn traditional bushcraft skills. The camps run each week and cost £249, places can be booked online.
Camp Wilderness, Broughton Woods, Kettering
KIDS: Summer Fun, Rushden Lakes, Rushden, now
Child-friendly activities with a side-order of adult retail therapy – now you’re talking! The Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre at Rushden Lakes, is hosting six weeks of wildlife-themed activities this summer. The Mudlets will be introduced to all manner of creatures and natural wonders, including butterflies, flowers, birds, amphibians, mammals and insects. Activities range from meeting Archie the owl to decorating ceramic frog houses to take home. Once they’ve had their fill, you can mooch around the shops and refuel at one of the lakeside restaurants.
Rushden Lakes, Rushden
FAMILY FUN: Survive the Summer! Xscape Milton Keynes, throughout August
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time at Xscape over the last few months because there always seems to be something happening at this North Bucks activity Mecca. This week I’ll be pushing small children out of the way for a turn on the giant inflatable Hungry Hippos 18-19 Aug. Glen the Gorilla will also be making an appearance on Weds for a fun family show.
ART: Arts, Crafts & Collectables, Daventry Museum, now – Fri 24 Aug
Daventry Museum are looking for local artists, crafters and collectors to exhibit their work and showcase collections to celebrate Daventry Arts Festival. It is free entry so you can browse around the work of the best of Northants. Opening times are Tues – Fri 9:30am – 1:30pm and the first Sat of the month 10am – 4pm.
Daventry Museum, 3 New Street, Daventry, NN11 4BT
MUSIC: Bands in the Park, Abington Park, now – Sun 16 Sep
Enjoy live music every Sunday afternoon from 2pm – 5pm at the Abington Park bandstand and be surrounded by the relaxing and beautiful environment of the park.
Abington Park Museum, Wellingborough Road, NN3 3HN
KIDS/THEATRE/EVENT: The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle, Canons Ashby, Fri 17 Aug
Bring the family and a picnic to enjoy this much-loved story, brought to life by Illyria in the beautiful grounds of Canons Ashby. Children’s favourite, The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle, will be performed by Illyria theatre company in the terraced gardens of this Tudor Manor house, 6 – 8pm. Book here.
Canons Ashby, Daventry, NN11 3SD
FESTIVAL: Northampton Balloon Festival, 17-19 Aug
The Northampton Balloon Festival has always created a spectacular event over our skies. Whilst ballooning is a weather dependant activity the balloonists want to fly, so if the conditions allow, the balloons will be flying at both 6am and 6pm on each of the three days of the event. At 9.00pm on Saturday evening, they will also be having a “Balloon Glow”. Come and watch the balloons turn into giant lanterns tethered to the ground, pulsating to the music – its magical! The event is FREE to all holiday makers at Billing Aquadrome (minimum 3 night stay applies) and owners. Public day pass subject to admission fees as follows: Car: £5, Adult: £5, Child under 16: Free
Northampton Balloon Festival, Billing Aquadrome, Crow Lane, NN3 9DA
ART/EVENT: Arts & Crafts Summer Fair, Scotch Lodge, Earls Barton, Sun 19 Aug
Stall full of handmade goods held in Scotch Lodge’s barn on the farm. Stalls include: Handmade Lace, Jewellery, Craft Stashes, Soaps and bath bombs, Gifts, home decor, shabby chic furniture, copper tree sculptures, hand bags and wildlife homes!! Not to forget a cake and sweetie stall, lots of fun to take part in- tombola and a kids competition to keep the little ones entertained.
Scotch Lodge Farm and Craft Shop, Mears Ashby Road, Earls Barton, NN6 0HQ
KIDS: Warwick Castle, Warwick
Looking for something exciting to entertain kids aged 8+? This is Warwick Castle’s first night-time experience telling the tale of 10th century warrior Guy as he battles monsters and dragons in a bid to gain a knighthood and win the heart of his one true love – Princess Felice, daughter of the Earl of Warwick. It’s an explosive epic tale depicted over the course of an evening using live action, animation, equestrian acrobatics, fire and pyrotechnics. Boom! There’s also the regular birds of prey demos, the mighty trebuchet, archery and ramparts to rampage for day time fun.
Tickets start from £15 for show only with immersive dining packages also available, warwick-castle.com/dragonslayer
CULTURE: Disney in the West End Summer Pop-Up, Convent Garden, until 26 Aug
If you’ve got a child with mini jazz hands, they will go nuts for this free pop-up experience in London’s Covent Garden. See the masks, costumes and puppets from The Lion King and step inside Aladdin’s cave to get a photo with the legendary lamp. There will also be events taking place each day, including a Mac make-up demonstration, a puppetry display, plus singing and dancing workshops.
ART: Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, now – Nov 4
Venture down the rabbit hole into this Wonderland themed maze over the summer holidays and find the White Rabbit. If you find your way to the middle there will be a Tea Party and you may spot The Mad Hatter. There’ll be various games and puzzles.
EVENT: Bath on the Beach, Royal Victoria Park, Bath, now
Hammocks, cabanas, palm trees, beach volleyball, boules and a beach bar – Bath’s version of the Caribbean.
KIDS: Hatton Adventure World, now – Sept 2
New this summer is Land Zorbing. Step into a large inflatable Zorb bubble and propel yourself around. Back by popular demand is ‘Water Wars’, a water-based interactive game – a massive hit in previous summers. Other attractions on this 50-acre site include up to 30 daily shows and activities, a 4-acre laser combat field, one of the largest indoor play areas in the Midlands and 100 creatures great and small, plus food in 5 outlets, a shopping village and free parking. The summer sees the arrival of two new baby wallabies, lizards in Scales and Tails known as ‘Rankin’s Dragons’ and a new kid goat called Bruce.