Out & About in the Midlands

Family Days Out at the Swiss Garden Bedfordshire & Kids go Free!     

With its cool alpine landscape and fairytale buildings to explore, ornate bridges to conquer, shady paths and stunning woodland walk and sculpture trail to follow, the Swiss Garden near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire offers families a magical day out this summer.

And with up to 4 kids under the age of 16 going free with each paying adult it’s an affordable family day out too.

Children will love the garden’s quirky Swiss Cottage and pretty glass-backed Indian Kiosk that lights up in the sun.  They can explore the mysterious glass-domed fernery, reached via dark grotto passageways hanging with stalactites and cross bridges over shimmering pools and trickling waterfalls.

Two special family events are on offer during the Summer school holidays (admission is charged at some events for children):

Regency Garden Party on Sunday 19 July (Garden opens 09.30am event runs 12.00pm-17.30pm) – young Jane Austen’s and Mr Darcy’s are invited to dress to impress in their best Regency costumes!  There will be ‘Strictly Regency’ dancing lessons, a craft tent with activities including tricorn hat and bonnet making, Regency games, period music, theatre and Regency teas.  Families can also pre-book hampers. Normal admission prices apply of £8 adults, £7.50 concession (free entry for a registered carer) and under 16s free (for up to 4 children with an adult)

‘The Secret Garden’ with Chapterhouse Theatre Company on Thursday 20 August (17.30pm-22.00pm) –  The audience will join the young heroine on a journey of discovery as she travels to her uncle’s house deep in the Yorkshire countryside, where unexpected friends and very magical creatures help her unlock the mystery of the secret garden.

Bring a folding chair or rug and wear clothing & footwear appropriate to the weather. Enjoy this evening performance by bringing a picnic (no glassware please) or pre-order a hamper.

£14 Adult/£10 Child/Student/£42 Family (2 adults & 2 children)  www.shuttleworth.org

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Shuttleworth Events

The famous Shuttleworth Collection of historic aircraft and vintage vehicles in Bedfordshire now offers visitors the added attraction of a stunningly restored Swiss Garden.

Book online at www.shuttleworth.org/whats-on/

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What a hoot! Giant owls to fly into Birmingham

Monday 20 July – Sunday 27 September 2015 FREE Over 90 giant owls are set to cause a flutter in Birmingham this summer as they take up perch in the city for 10 weeks, as part of The Big Hoot.

Presented by public art specialists Wild in Art, The Big Hoot will see a parliament of owl sculptures land on the city, each one intricately design by professional artists. Visitors can expect to see Harry Potter, Dr Who and other well-known characters immortalised in owl-form.

At the end of the 10 week exhibition the unique monuments will be auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

For more information about The Big Hoot, please visit www.thebighoot.co.uk

To keep up-to-date with the latest news, designs and sightings, like the Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/thebighoot2015 or follow on Twitter @TheBigHoot2015 #TheBigHoot2015

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IWM Duxford.

This summer at IWM Duxford, find out about Spitfire pilots in the Battle of Britain, discover exciting challenges and mysterious trails and chat to veterans about their experiences of war and conflict.

Battle of Britain exhibition; Meet the Veterans; AirSpace exhibition. Meet and chat with veterans who have served in a range of conflicts, from the Second World War and the Korean War to worldwide contemporary conflicts, including Northern Ireland, the Falklands War, Iraq and Afghanistan. www.iwm.org.uk/duxford

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Family days out at Haddon Hall

With their young family being the first to live at Haddon for hundreds of years, Lord and Lady Edward Manners are warmly welcoming families across the country to come and enjoy their home, Haddon Hall, this year.

From garden games and children’s story time, to archery lessons and exploring bugs and critters, there is so much for families to see and do at Haddon Hall, located in the heart of the beautiful Peak District near the town of Bakewell.

Please refer to www.haddonhall.co.uk or call 01629 812855 for the 2015 season opening and admission information.

Historical Falconry

Ironbridge Gorge Museums

Saturday 18 July – Sunday 6 September (summer school holidays) Summer Holiday Candle Dipping Workshops Museum opens 10am – 5pm daily

Join fun drop-in workshops to make your own fabulously coloured candle; sessions 10.15am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm.

Museum entrance fee including a voluntary Gift Aid donation £16.95 adults; £13.50 for 60 plus and £11.50 for children (up to 18 years and in full time education), under 5s free

For details call 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk

Country Fair at Blists Hill Victorian Town 1

Summer Snocamps

Weekdays from 27th July – 2nd September 2015, Daily from £50pp, Weekly £225pp. Snozone’s popular Summer Snocamps are back for their tenth year! Running every school holiday the Snocamps include dynamic ski and snowboard lessons from expert coaches each morning, followed by lunch and an exceptional afternoon activities. Suitable for both beginners and experienced skiers/snowboarders from 7–15 years.  Snowsports are fantastic activities that keep children physically active and healthy, they’ll learn a brand new sport to share with their friends. The supervised Snocamps are also an excellent childcare option for working parents. 8:30am until 5:30pm with lunch and refreshments included. Call 0871 222 5673 or visit http://snozoneuk.com/family-fun for further information and to book.

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Summer holiday activities for all the family at People’s History Museum

21 July – 31 August 2015 Fun interactive exhibits, giant bank notes and a line-up of drop in craft activities will inspire children to explore the subject of finance this summer at the new Show Me the Money exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

Visitors to the museum‘s new exhibition Show Me the Money will discover how the financial world has been imagined in art, illustration and photography from 1700 to the present day. Open until 24 January 2016. Find out more at www.phm.org.uk

Paint a Plate @ People's History Museum 27.05.15 (7)[2]

Sing through the Summer

 Renowned Norfolk vocal coach, Rebecca Hunt, wants everyone in the county to sing through the summer… ‘Singing in a group is a fabulous way to feel connected,’ Rebecca told the Stephen Bumfrey on his BBC Radio Norfolk show last week. ‘You can see how it really makes people feel happy.’

Rebecca offers individual and group lessons, as well as providing in-school teaching, and can be contacted for further information by emailing rhvocaltuition@gmail.com.  Or calling 07903 923710.

Phtography of Janet Kelly and daughter

Phtography of Janet Kelly and daughter


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