Fun for teens this Easter
Teens can be maddening. They don’t want to hang out with you. They don’t want to call their friends (that’s what texts are for). They find it hard to exhibit enthusiasm for anything, as my son puts it, ‘from the olden days – by which he means pre X-Box.*
(*Caveat. We know not all teenagers are horrific. If you have one that’s sane, I’m up for swapsies.)
But we’re not so easily beaten at Muddy Stilettos! If you have a teen yourself, know a put upon parent of one, or a grandparent jittery at the prospect of entertaining a knuckle-dusting relative, we’ve rounded up a clutch of teen-friendly events around the counties over Easter holidays.
RampNation Skatepark, Devizes, Wilts, throughout Easter hols
Even grump-tastic teens might consider this indoor skatepark cool. Built for inlines, scooters, skateboards and BMX, it’s a massive 5000 sq ft of skater heaven partly designed by local skaters, so they can ride whatever the weather and keep out of your hair. RampNation.co.uk
Hamlet, Salisbury Playhouse, Wilts, 12-14 April
I don’t care if they complain that it’s boring as ****, it’s good for them, right? This version is delived by Salisbury Playhouse’s exhilarating Youth Theatre, Stage 65, and the young cast explodes the classic text with exciting projection design, digital technology and their unique ensemble style to present a fresh and modern take on this iconic play. I don’t care if it’s not on the syllabus this year….salisburyplayhouse.com
Jungle Parc, Lydiard Park, Swindon, Wilts, throughout Easter hols
The Xplorer Course is the one for big kids, teens and brave others. It’s new, it’s VERY exciting (apparently) and it’s suspended so high in the tree canopy you can’t even see them. Perfect. jungleparc.co.uk
Baking Bread, Vaughan’s Cookery School, Devizes, Wilts, 31 March
Yes, they do need to learn how to cook (not least ‘cos I can’t, and someone in this house has got to do it), and baking bread is a good place to start. Teens can get stuck into baking foccacia loaves, pizza, soda bread, even hot cross buns. And because we’re super nice to you we are offering a special Muddy BOGOF deal (I love saying that.) Just book one place online and then email email@example.com saying ‘I claim the MUDDY STILETTOS Easter bargain!’ Go on, you know you want to.
The official kick-start to the performance car season – surely that’s got to tickle their zoned-out taste buds? Expect countless modified motors, non-stop track action, thrilling drift demos, impressive club displays…Maybe enough to keep them busy so I can disappear off to the bar for a few hours? castlecombecircuit.co.uk
Far Peak Climbing Centre, Northleach, Glos, throughout Easter hols
There’s nothing like an adrenaline rush and Far Peak near Northleach has plenty of those on offer with its indoor climbing and bouldering (that’s climbing without ropes and harnesses for anyone who didn’t know, ie, me) and 15m outdoor tower that’s just waiting to be scaled. For Easter hols there are extended opening times (9.15am-10pm) and activities that cater for pretty much all ages. During the week, budding Robin Hoods can also have a go at archery and budding Bear Gryllses can try their hand at Bush Craft where they’ll forage the 25 acres, light camp fires, cook marshmallows (yeah, Bear does that) and build dens. wildrockclimbing.co.uk
Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre, Glos, throughout Easter hols
Who needs a skiing holiday abroad when you’ve got the dry slope at Gloucester to slalom down? Er, all of us, but, hey, we can’t all jet off to St Mortiz for the holidays, so, although it’s not quite the next best thing, there’s still a lot of fun to be had here. During half term, you can book the kids in for two- or three-day holiday ski and snowboard school, which is suitable for six to nine year olds and will give you a chance to catch up on drinking coffee while the offspring knacker themselves out. And for anyone who finds remaining vertical while careering down a hill at speed an uncomfortable prospect, there are also tubing sessions available, where you career down a hill at speed sitting on a large rubber inflatable. gloucesterski.com
Gloucester Rugby’s Junior Rugby Camp, at various locations, from 5 April
These two-day camps for boys and girls aged 8-13 will keep big kids and barely-teens out of trouble this Easter. All areas of the game are covered – from handling, speed and agility to tackling, rucking and mauling. Grrrr.
Sir Thomas Rich’s Sports Centre, 9-10 April; Lydney RFC, 5-6 April; Girls Only Camp (ages 11-18) Sir Thomas Rich’s Sports Centre, 11 April. gloucesterrugby.co.uk
BEYOND BEANS ON TOAST: TEEN’S COOKERY, Daylesford Farm, Glos, 12 April
Great course title, great idea. It’s so hard to find proper teen cookery courses, but Daylesford Farm’s teens cookery school offers a huge range of course for all ages and abilities, including this one for teens, where they focus on seasonal ingredients, cook their own dishes, and then sit down together to enjoy each dish they make, accompanied by organic Daylesford juices, teas and coffee. For teens going off to uni in September, there’s also a Flying the Nest: Cookery Skills for Student Life course which runs in late August. 11-2pm. Age 13-17 years; £75 per person; includes practical and demonstration cookery sessions, refreshments and all course materials.
NEW STEVEN SPIELBERG FILM, Various cinemas
The hugely anticipated Ready Player One by Steven Spielberg has finally landed and we’ve heard it’s amazeballs. Your techy teens will love the premise – when the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to locate an Easter Egg that will give the finder his fortune. Check it out at the mainstream cinemas – it’s on general release from Weds 28 Mar.
JUNKYARD GOLF CLUB, Westgate Centre, Oxford, throughout Easter hols
Teen catnip right here. Under 18s need to be accompanied by one paying adult and can enter Sunday to Wednesday before 7pm (last entry is 6pm) where you can give them a whipping at crazy golf like you’ve never seen it before. There are 3 tongue-in-cheek courses (Bozo, a creepy clowny one; Pablo for junglists; and Gary, for shellsuit wideboys/girls), a restaurant serving nachos, burgers, hot dogs and all the things that Jamie Oliver has night sweats about, and a bar if you need anaesthetising against all the teen excitement. junkyardgolfclub.co.uk/oxford
THORPE PARK, Surrey, throughout Easter
You have to travel to make it to the best fun park resort in the UK, but your teens will tell you it’s worth it. There’s a new scary ride The Walking Dead (er, nice!) that’s only for 13+, and last year’s hit, Derren Brown’s Ghost Train. There’s also a new resort hotel, shaped nattily like a shark, where you can stay over (adults, your stay is free, teens – bring your wallet). My big kid’s fave is the uber-massive log flume-thingy which’ll get you seriously wet.
VOODOO, CIRCUS OF HORRORS, New Theatre Oxford, Sat 31 March
Sounds horrific, so no doubt teens will love it. Kids 16+ can watch this amalgamation of bizarre and fantastic circus acts all woven into a shock/horror story. Circus of Horrors have been on the road 22 years, touring all over the world, so expect teens to cover their eyes when they see middle-aged performers in front of them. Argghh, it burns!