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Muddy Guide (21-30 April)

We’re easing back to normality this week, following three weeks of Muddy Easter madness.  Read on for a dose of more grown-up culture, with a few family-friendly extras thrown in for good measure. I give up trying to figure out when these goddam holidays finish…

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Salisbury Playhouse, 20-22 April

A brand new musical comedy created from scratch at each performance as audience suggestions are transformed on the spot into an all-singing, all-dancing production with unpredictable and hilarious results. Yikes!


Russell Brand, City Hall Salisbury, Thurs 27 April

“Once you’ve had a baby you’re a parent and immediately you go from being a madman (cool) to a mad dad (not cool). How can you be a dangerous, edgy, rebel with a tiny, little daughter?” Gotta love him.


Woodland Gardens, Bowood, Fri 28 April

Stunning rhododendrons, pretty bluebells, all that lovely jubbly stuff…


Mini Chefs, Devizes, Sat 29 April

Get them cooking in these Moroccan food workshops for ages 6-10 and 11-16. Two solid hours (yep, enough to grab a cocktail) of Saturday Cooking Club when they will get down and dirty making real food from scratch (as opposed to decorating cupcakes). Sounds like a fab idea. Now all I need to do is put my feet up and wait for my supper to arrive.


Motorcycle Show, Salisbury, Sun 30 April

Now I don’t know my Suzukis from my Kawasakis (I’m no biker, me) but I might be tempted to don leathers and hit the road for this one. It’s free, it’s family friendly, and there’s bound to be some serious grub to be hand. Worth a sneak, I reckon.


Shark in the Park Live Show, Bradford on Avon, Fri 21 April

Featuring all 3 of the Shark in the Park Series – Shark in the Park, Shark in the Dark and Shark in the Park on a Windy Day – this fin-tastic, family musical follows Timothy Pope and his telescope on 3 exciting adventures.


Bishopstrow Afternoon Tea, Warminster, to Sun 30 April

Easter might be a distant memory and the kids back at school, thank the Lord, but you still get to pig out here for a crisp twenty. Kids are half price and I bet they can eat you under the table.


Spring Open Day, Hartley Farm, Winsley, Sun 23 April

Head out for a fun-filled hoedown on the farm. Feed cute little baby animals, catch a tractor ride, face painting, crafts and obviously loads of fab food. Plus, it’s free!

Woolley Grange, Bradford on Avon

WIN! A fabulous family spa day with full afternoon tea, a supervised session for children in the Woolley Bears Den, 2 x 30 minute treatments for Ma and Pa at Woolley Grange. Oh my, that’s gotta be mine. Enter here


And a few a little further afield…

ChipLitFest, Chipping Norton, 27-30 April

Can’t miss this one – workshops, readings, authors’ events, competitions, it’s got it all. Loads for the little ones too.


World Penguin Day, Birdland, Bourton-on-the-Water, Mon 25 April

Photograph: Mark Hemsworth

Who knew it was World Penguin Day on the 25th? Well you do now! And you can celebrate it in the company of the UK’s only breeding group of regal king penguins, as well as its entertaining humboldts. Try and get there for the penguins’ main feeding frenzy at 2.30pm or, if not, their mid-morning spot of brunch at 11am. And as well as penguins, there are flamingos (learn why they stand on one leg and have pink feathers) and pelicans, who get a chance to fill up their beaks at 3.15pm each day.



Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France, Ashmolean, Oxford, ends Sun 7 May

After the success of last year’s Andy Warhol exhibition, the fabulous Ashmolean Museum in Oxford spools back to 19th century bohemian Paris where Manet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Degas and Picasso were collectively whipping up era-defining paintings and dreaming up the Modernist movement. It promises to be a doozy. And for a post-culture coffee or bite, don’t miss the chic Ashmolean Dining Rooms on the top floor, with its cute outdoor terrace for when things get a bit warmer. Worth the trip out of the county.

‘Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France’ continues until 7 May. Tickets: £10, £9 concessions, children under 12 go free.

Like this? Take a look at my top bluebell spots to hot-foot it to this weekend

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