As we approach the end of summer, now is about the time that parents up and down the county may feel a little fraught and frazzled – not just because the heavens have opened up again, but because the school hols are well underway and you’re all scraping the barrel as to how best to keep your little darlings content and occupied… Fear not! For the line-up next week continues to prove that Cumbria is as stalwart as ever in its never-ending provision of pedagogical activities. Here’s the Welly highlights to keeping little Johnny happy:
The Rheged Centre in Penrith is proving itself once more to be the bastion of children’s entertainment with an array of summer activities. Bricks in Time: Hands on History With Lego continues through the summer to the 4th September 16 and is open from 10am untiil 5pm. Dad will secretly revel in the fantastic lego models on display with an 8 metre long Flying Scotsman for the train-obsessed. There’s even a nod to its Cumbria setting with a professional model of Beatrix Potter and her creations as well as a large model of Lowther Castle and the yellow Earl. At £2.50 entry per person with under 3’s free, it’s not going to break the bank either 😉
Other fab summer activities for the kids include Bug Hunters and Explorers at Wordsworth House and Garden (free entry to the event), Fairy World at Hayes Garden World until 31st August (could potentially end up pricey if you find yourself lost in the garden centre) and the infamous Stickman Activity Trail at Grizedale (a personal fave of mine).
There’s also a Marvellous Mini Beasts Family Trail at the RSPB over at Leighton Moss Nature Reserve and the quirky Sleeping Beauty Puppet Show at the Upfront Arts Venue in Hutton-In-The-Forest (£8.50 for kids, adults £10). Oh and Rheged continues to distract the kids with its fabulous Creation Station. Make a Castle Turret takes place on Tuesday 23rd with Making a Viking Ship on Thursday 25th and Janet’s Face Painting on the Friday.
As for the adults, paint the town red in Ulverston on Friday 26th with a trip to Coronation Hall in Ulverston where the mighty Frank Bruno will talk about his rise through the boxing ranks to become the World Heavyweight Champion followed by an interview with local comedian John Lebbon. For a modest fee (your guess is as good as mine), you can also have your photo taken with the great man himself. Go all out with a VIP front table at £40. Show starts at 7h30pm.
Fancy a bit of theatre? Book yourself a ticket to see The Vertical Hour at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick on Tuesday 23rd or Wednesday 24th. Global politics, idealism all clash with a bout of realism and the challenges of moral obligation in 1980s America. If a little too serious, why not go for a classic whodunnit with Dial M For Murder by Frederick Knott.
Up for something a little more light-hearted? Then get yourself over to Carlisle’s first Fringe Festival which takes place between Saturday 20th and Tuesday 23rd in the city centre. Actors, singers, comedians and street artists will be performing with free street shows running each day from 11am to 5pm outside the Old Town Hall. Not to be outdone, the regular city pageant will take place between Saturday 20th and Monday 29th and will be packed full of exciting events and activities including the historic parade through the city centre.
My final highlight of the week ahead has got to be the Rio-inspired Archery taking place at Ullswater Holiday Park this Thursday. Try your hand at shooting some arrows at classic archery targets. This activity is family-inclusive as kids are welcome too. A pricier outing at £12.50 per person for an hour and a half session but when do you normally get to shoot arrows Robin Hood-stylee for fun?