Muddy Herts Summer Survival Guide #3
Into August now. Are you packing and getting ready? Or have you been away already? There’s still lots to do with the kids closer to home, whether it’s sunny and lovely – or rainy and horrid. And lots of the activities and events in the Muddy Herts Summer Holiday Survival Guides #1 and #2 are still running, so don’t forget them as well.
‘Fossil-tastic!’ Hertford Museum, 6 Aug, 10.30am-12pm & 2.30-4pm
There are lots of drop-in activities at Hertford Museum every week throughout the summer, but they’ve also got bookable things to do every Thursday. This Thursday, it’s their ‘Fossil-tastic!’ session, with a chance to learn about fossils, then make one of your own (won’t that take rather a long time…?) to take home. Check out the other things they’re doing to: each week has a different theme.
Family Discovery Morning, St Albans Cathedral, 6 Aug, 10am-12.30pm
Thursdays throughout August, there activities at the abbey – and this Thursday is all about angels. You get to find the 200 angels in the cathedral, make an angel puppet, and make your own special contribution to a giant angel statue. The following weeks, you can learn about King John and the Magna Carta (12 Aug), music (20 Aug), and the natural symbols within the building (27 Aug).
Summer Jousting, Knebworth House, 9 Aug, 12.30 & 2.30pm
If you’re at Knebworth – and it’s worth it for the house and gardens – then you’ll be able to catch the jousting, too. The Knights of Arkeley, in full costume, racing full tilt on massive horses, aiming to knock things over. Great big chaps in armour going at it – hand-to-hand combat in the main arena. And the Green Dragon Bowmen will be there, too, and you get to have a go. It’s all included in the price of admission, and booking in advance saves you a bit.
Family Fun Day, Stockwood Dicsovery Centre, Luton, 9 Aug, 11am-4pm
Stockwood Discovery Centre is holding an old-fashioned summer fete for its family fun day this summer with traditional games, circus skills and workshops, crafts, face painting, Punch and Judy, and a brass band. Sounds like fun. The museum there is good, too – small but a good hour or so of things to see – and there’s a great playground there, as well as lots of space to run around. Oh, and the cake in the cafe is delish.
Minecraft Maker, Cambridge, 10-14 Aug, 10am-4pm
Ok, so this one is a bit pricey at £400 (eek!), but for the right child, this could just about be heaven on earth. They get to build their own worlds, blocks and structures, experiment with different material to create controllers, and develop a proper grasp of computing concepts and practical skills. It’s aimed at age 9-12, but there are also courses for older children and teens – Python Coding (um…?) and Electronics with Minecraft – that will fit the bill for them. There are also one-day workshops, too, if a whole week is a bit much.
Act.Dance.Sing Summer School, Flamstead, 10-14 Aug
And at the other end of the spectrum, sing up your little diva – or… er… what’s a boy-diva called? – for a week of performing arts with Art.Sing.Dance in Flamstead. Lots of different performance styles to learn and explore, industry professionals leading everything, and there’s even a visit from a ventriloquist on the first day.
Arts and Crafts Workshop, St Albans Cathedral, 10 Aug, 10.30am-12.30pm & 2-4pm
As well the free discovery mornings, the abbey is also putting on some paid workshops exploring some of the church’s historical connections. Starting with Scary Saxons (10 Aug), it’s a combination of learning and doing – making something historical, a helmet, a longship, that sort of thing. Then they move onto Vicious Vikings (17 Aug) and Nasty Normans (24 Aug). It’s £6 to book – or £10 if you book 2 or more tickets in one go.
The Three Musketeers, Knebworth House, 13 Aug, gates 6pm for 7pm start
Pack the picnic blanket – it’s more outdoor theatre at Knebworth House. This time, it’s aimed at a slightly older audience (over-8s) and is a bit longer. Lots of excitement, comedy, betrayal, revenge and – almost certainly plenty of swashbuckling.
Summer Princess School, Inn on the Park, St Albans, 13 & 14 Aug, 10am-1pm
Got a little princess wannabe? She’s going to love Summer Princess School. Run by local party and events company Wish Upon a Party, there’ll be all things pink and sparkly – decorating cookies, getting arty and crafty, dancing, playing, doing makeovers, and more – as they learn to be perfect princesses. I can almost hear the squeals of delight already.
‘My Pet Monster and Me,’ Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead, 15 Aug, 11am & 2.30pm
The Old Town Hall is heading out and down the hill to Gadebridge Park for the Lookout Popup Festival. ‘My Pet Monster and Me’ sounds like something fun for the very young: little Sophie Bucket finds an egg on the farm, and it hatches out into a baby monster. All kinds of mayhem ensues, and it all sounds very sweet and funny.
Knebworth Country Show, Knebworth House, 15-16 Aug
Lots going on at Knebworth House this summer, it seems. The Knebworth Country Show is on for a full weekend – with everything you’d expect: sheep, ferrets, birds of prey, working dogs, a craft tent, games for the kids, the lot. There’s also a medieval village. And a food marquee (phew). On the Sunday, you can enter your pooch in the Companion Dog Show, too.
Hang in there. Halfway? More than halfway…