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What’s on Northants…

Throughout the Summer don’t forget to check back into Muddy as I’ll regularly be updating and adding to the weekly Muddy Guides, and if you know of anything utterly amazing that you think I’ve omitted, feel free to let me know. Right, gin and tonic at the ready? Then let the holiday Muddy Guides commence!

Catch BFG in cinema –  Released this weekend (official date Fri 22 July)

bfgI think I may be more excited about seeing this film than my kids. Roald Dahl’s BFG is on general release from Friday, the story of the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat children. Directed by Steven Spielberg, so bring your hankies.

Rhythm of the Dance, Lighthouse Theatre, Fri 22 Jul

rsz_rotd-1This live show celebrates the history of Ireland and the art of Irish dance, from the disciplined Celtic Step to the sensual, ancient Sean Nos dance style. “Rhythm of the Dance” creates a new era in Irish entertainment, presenting world champion dancers, a traditional Irish band, and the handsome Young Tenors.

Lighthouse Theatre

Bug Jam 30, Santa Pod Raceway, Fri 22- Sun 24 Jul
rsz_1966_vw_beetle_by_dangeruss-d5qbyyzNow firmly established as Europe’s biggest, best & most popular VW show, it hits its 3rd decade as the summer VW event of choice. Bug Jam 30 is back once again with a line-up of both on & off-track action that reflects the history & heritage of this iconic event. It’s time for the incredible VW-inspired, weekend long party, where over 33,000 show-goers can expect to have fun in a relaxed & friendly atmosphere. Bug Jam offers an eclectic selection of all things VW, with a mix of music, comedy, nightlife & lifestyle. A true festival in every sense of the word, with a vibrant & fun atmosphere, bringing to life the very essence of VW culture.

Santa Pod Raceway

Great British Food Festival, Kelmarsh, Sat 23 – Sun 24 Jul
rsz_fpt2014054The recipe for the weekend… take over 80 top british and artisan producers, a big serving of stunning hot food, add a dash of real ale and wine bars, kids cookery lessons and lots of children’s activities, top chef demos, stir in a cake competition and the popular Men V’s Food, with lashings of excellent live music and mix together…and you get a fun foodie day out for the whole family!


Northampton Fun Colour Run, Abington Park, Sun 24 Jul
rsz_colourpct20runpct204At Fun Colour Run, you get to experience life at it’s fullest, with all your family and friends at the MOST colour filled event of this year. Celebrating family, fitness, fun and friendship along the way, The Fun Colour Run is for all ages that can run, skip or even dance their way around the course.

Abington Park

When You Believe Michelle Randles School of Dancing, Lighthouse Theatre, Sat 23- Sun 24
rsz_dance-proms-performance-556This will be a stunning production of ballet, tap, modern, street and break dance as well as rhythmic gymnastics, pom dance and performing arts from students aged 2.5 to adults. An entertaining music and dance spectacular for the whole family to enjoy. You will certainly be toe tapping in your seats, an enjoyable night out for all theatre lovers.

Lighthouse Theatre

Secret Life of Pets, Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Fri 22nd July
rsz_the-secret-life-of-pets-trailerA comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. For one bustling Manhattan apartment building, the real day starts after the folks on two legs leave for work and school. That’s when the pets of every stripe, fur and feather begin their own nine-to-five routine: hanging out with each other, trading humiliating stories about their owners, or auditioning adorable looks to get better snacks.

Errol Flynn Filmhouse

Dementia-Friendly Screening: The Wizard of Oz, Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Mon 25 Jul
rsz_wizard-of-oz-original1L. Frank Baum’s classic tale comes to magisterial Technicolor life! The Wizard of Oz stars legendary Judy Garland as Dorothy, an innocent farm girl whisked out of her mundane earthbound existence into a land of pure imagination. Dorothy’s journey in Oz will take her through emerald forests, yellow brick roads, and creepy castles, all with the help of some unusual but earnest song-happy friends.
This screening is open to all but they extend a warm welcome to those living with dementia, their companions and family members. Tickets for this screening are standard price, with one free companion ticket. There will be no adverts or trailers before the film but the cinema bar will be open from 45 minutes prior to the screening serving a variety of snacks and refreshments.
Specially trained staff will be on hand and the screening will also include: An interval midway through the film, a complimentary ice cream at the interval, clearer signage to help you find your way about, no adverts or trailers preceding the screening, the lights will be up a little and the sound reduced slightly and people are welcome to move about as they wish.

Errol Flynn Filmhouse

Lots of outdoor cinema going on…

Kilworth House

The weather is fine, the films are good, pack your cool bag and check out the first in our series of High Five Northants! This week it’s outdoor cinemas!

Further afield…

Holiday Activity Weeks at Willen Lake, near Milton Keynes, throughout Summer


I’ve been meaning to book my kids on one of these multi-activity weeks at Willen Lake for ever! Kids on the Adventure Week can try loads of different sports, from sailing, paddleboarding, archery, and katakanus. There are also windsurfing and paddleboard weeks and sailing weeks.

Finding the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter Studios, Fri 22 July – Mon 5 Sept

The Harry Potter Studios manage to come up with new ideas every year to hoik Harry fans into its attraction, and this summer they’ve managed it again. For the first time, there’s a moving display of the Devil’s Snare that the trio encountered in their hunt for the Philosopher’s Stone in Creature Effects, plus the chance to  touch the giant tentacles that have been specially created as they were in the films. Kids can learn how one of Ron Weasley’s favourite games, Wizard’s Chess, was brought to life on a large scale with the giant chess pieces moving across a chequered board, as if by magic, on the HP backlot.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden,

Henley Fringe, Mon 18 – Sat 23 July


A few days left of the Henley Fringe, an event that’s been going for nine years now. It’s a lovely riverside pre-Edinburgh festival teaser in many ways, with comedy drama, musicals, film and new writing. Worth checking out – Norris & Parker’s dark surreal comedy, comedians Will Duggan and Tom Ward, Comedy on Water (presumably it’s not just people being pushed in), Alice and and Twelfth Night, all in venues around the lovely town.

Cricket coaching courses at Lords

cricket ball

Yeah, you read that right. One, two or three day cricket courses at Lords, run by the MCC, including hawk-eye technology, pitchvision analysis of batting and a packed lunch (surely cucumber sandwiches?!). The courses go from Under 5s through to Under 16s. Owzat!

Juliette Burton: Decision Time, The Junction, Cambridge, 25 July, 9pm

Juliette Burton

Juliette Burton, award-winning docu-comedian, is coming to The Junction in Cambridge — literally and metaphorically. Her show is all about decision making. Can one decision change a life?  Make good choices, lovelies.

Colour and Vision Exhibition, Natural History Museum, now until 6 Nov

Colour and Vision exhibition graphic

If you’re all tuckered out from soft play or theme parks then I think kids will really enjoy this exhibition. Go behind the eyes of dogs (they can’t see red) and snakes (they have heat vision) with a stellar light installation created by British artist Liz West to illustrate how colour has shaped 565 million years of evolution. There’s lots more to see and do – I was (unsurprisingly) drawn to the special event on 29 July trying three colourful botanical cocktails as you learn about the natural world’s vibrant spectrum of colours. Ok, if you insist. Tickets: Adults £10.80; Children £5.40.

New Horrible Histories maze, Warwick Castle


I can think of a hundred reasons to visit Warwick Castle, because it’s ace, and particularly good if you’ve got a variety of ages to entertain, but here’s another one anyway – the new Horrible Histories maze which is included in the ticket price. Choose your path to travel through time in typical HH style and face fun challenges along the way – invade a Viking ship, survive the trenches, uncover evil plots and escape the maze before it all goes horribly wrong! Tickets from £20.50 if you book ahead.

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