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What’s on – Thurs 4 & beyond

So far this summer holiday I have survived a few play-dates (although I am under instruction never to call them that for 11-year-old girls), a week in a yurt in rainy Tenby, plus a mammoth clothes washing session that nearly resulted in Mr Muddy’s breakdown (he overseas laundry in our household – I know, I don’t know how lucky I am! Anyhoo, with the help of my lovely intern number one, Daisy Ward, we’ve managed to put together a few more exciting things for your diary. And as always, wine optional ; )

Now You See Me 2, Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Fri 5 Aug
rsz_291805One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s affection with their Robin-Hood-style magic spectacles, the illusionists resurface for a comeback performance. When the Horsemen are threatened into pulling off their most impossible heist yet, their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.

Errol Flynn Filmhouse

Ultimate Street Car, Santa Pod, Fri 5 Aug
rsz_danny-popp-2003_chevrolet_corvette_z06The fastest, hottest, largest & loudest modified car festival in Europe. Few events manage to become legendary in their own lifetime, but Santa Pod’s festival of all things fast, fun & frisky – Ultimate Street Car – has done just that. Combine the finest drag strip in Europe, the UK’s most superbly executed show cars & the best entertainment, DJs and tuners. No other show packs as much into three days.

Santa Pod Raceway

Targetcraft Archers Taster Day, Westlodge Rural Centre, Sat 6 Aug
rsz_archery3-1024x683If you have ever wanted to try Archery this is the day for you. Try an hour long session on the beautiful field at the Westlodge Rural Centre (Mini Mudlets used to LOVE it here). £5 per person and the session is for 1 hour. All equipment will be provided and the sessions will be run by qualified archery coaches. Minimum age 7. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult(oh, er that rules me out then).

Westlodge Rural Centre

Higham Ferrers Chichele Classic Car Show 2016, Castle Fields, Sun 7 Aug

rsz_vintage-and-classic-cars-42aThe Rotary Club of Rushden Chichele are holding their third Classic Car Show in the historic town of Higham Ferrers. As well as classic vehicles there will be stallholders selling a variety of goods, a hog roast and other tasty refreshment outlets. Around 185 vehicles are expected to attend. Why not bring your family to view the variety of cherished classic cars on display and visit the attractions at the event and in the surrounding area of The Castle Fields,where the show is being staged. Anyone wishing to enter a classic car or take a pitch for a stall must pre- register and email [email protected] to obtain further details and a booking/pre-registration form. Brum, brum.

The Castle Fields

Brackley Artisan Market, The Market Place Brackley, Sun 7 Aug

personalised-cupcakesThe Wonder Kitchen, Cupcake Boutique will be out with their fluffy morsels of sugary/creamy goodness, reason enough I feel to get along to Brackley. The Market attracts loads of different, locally produced quality food stalls, and it’s a lovely setting for an afternoon of stuffing yourself (I mean trying a few tasty treats in moderation ; )

First Sunday of every month, 10am until 3pm.

Brackley Artisan Market

Summer Holiday Performing Arts Academies – 3-13yrs, Denton Primary School, Mon 8 Aug

rsz_bumpinballroom-5-copyNew Stars are bringing their unique brand of stomping, storming, explosive performing arts to a community centre near you this summer! They’ve got dance, drama, singing, rhythmic, musical theatre, circus skills and much much more. With themed days from Carnival Chaos to Disney Adventures, The Best of British to Olympic Challenges, they’ve got something for everyone!

Denton Primary School

Boys On Film: Time & Tied, Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Mon 8 Aug
rsz_eff12-1000x407Boys On Film: Time & Tied featuring a brand new selection of sensational British short films that showcase some of the UK’s best emerging talent. It’s 2016 and a night in a gay sauna turns into a fight for survival, while a relationship of a different kind becomes heated on a night out in London’s Soho. In 1962 literary revelations strike two men sitting on a park bench speaking Polari and an ’80s teenager time-travels into the future through his bedroom closet. Back to the present and London’s chemsex scene is put into perspective during one night at a chill-out party, while in 1976 sexual adventures await those who gorge on corduroy with his queer materials in Sir John’s Trouser Bar.
Time to get tied up with the most unique Boys On Film collection to date.

Errol Flynn Filmhouse

Share Photography Exhibition, Yarrow Gallery, Tues 9 Aug
rsz_imagetextlinkimgThis is a photographic exhibition set up by a group of local photographers and there will be up to 120 framed prints on display showing a range of subjects and styles. The aim is to create an opportunity to present work and invite anyone interested to come along and enjoy and share photography.

Yarrow Gallery

Ice Age: Collision Course,  Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Tues 9 Aug
rsz_iceageScrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, travelling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters. It’s Ice Age; it’s got to be fab.

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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