Beer & Cider Festival, Hilltop Farm, Hunningham, nr Leamington, Fri June 2–Sunday June 4
There’s live music all weekend, camping, locally sourced street food, cocktails and wine as well as children’s activities, sheep dog and duck demos at Hilltop Farm’s fourth annual Beer & Cider fest in the middle of the open Warwickshire countryside. Expect amazing views and sunsets if the weather forecast is good! Three-day weekend tickets available and glamping at Hilltop Hideaways on site, including a beautiful new Shepherd’s Hut. Farm shop, cafe and The Hayloft Restaurant too!
Folk duo Show of Hands and Cara Dillon headline Stratford Folk Festival, Stratford Artshouse, Fri June 2-Sat June 4
Stratford Artshouse will play host to three days of folk opening with an evening ceilidh on Friday, June 2 featuring talented locals Green Man Rising. Show of Hands has just performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations. Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman twice winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo are performing on Sat at 2.30pm; Cornish musician Sam Kelly – Horizon Award at last year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Award –will be on stage at 2.30pm on the Sun. Sunday’s headliner Cara Dillon, one of the world’s top performers of traditional Irish song
stratfordartshouse.co.uk/stratford-folk-festival, Tel: 01789 207100
Breakin’ Convention, Birmingham Rep, Fri June 2 – Sat June 3
Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa)
The UK’s biggest festival of Hip Hop Dance includes live performances from international hip hop dance crews including Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa), Just Dance (South Korea) and Tentacle Tribe (Canada). Local crews, DJs, graffiti art and freestyle jams will transform The REP’s foyer making Breakin’ Convention an experience rather than just a show. Now in its 14th year, Breakin’ Convention has firmly established itself as one of the major highlights on the British dance calendar, hosted and curated by UK hip hop pioneer Jonzi D. The 2-day festival is suitable for all ages and includes B-Totz for under 10s on Sat June 3 between 1pm – 4pm.
Salome, The Swan, Stratford, Fri June 2-Sept 6
Owen Horsley directs Oscar Wilde’s one act play, Salome, originally banned in the UK, marking 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality. This 1hr 15 min poetic masterpiece features nudity and scenes of a sexual nature.
rsc.org.uk, Tel: 01789 403493
Coventry MotoFest, Sat June 3 & Sun June 4
The new Jaguar F-Type
A 2-day free family festival dedicated to the city’s motoring heritage, and now the UK’s largest free urban motorsport festival. Officials in Coventry are taking advantage of a change in road traffic laws which allow it to turn part of the city’s ring road into a race track. Coventry is the spiritual home of the famous for names like Jaguar, Triumph and Rover. Coventry & Warwickshire-based Jaguar will also unveil the Bloodhound F-type. Live music includes Brooklyn-born singer Nell Bryden on Sat evening at Greyfriars Green.
Stand Up for Refugees, The REP, Birmingham, Wed May 31
Nish Kumar: host of BBC Radio 4 Extra’s Newsjack as well as appearing on Have I Got News for You, Mock the Week & Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central
Some of the UK’s very best comedians in the UK join together to raise money for the fantastic charity, Help Refugees – bar-based braveheart Al Murray, Birmingham-born Joe Lycett, comedian, actor and BBC Radio 4 presenter Nish Kumar, Blackburn-born stand-up Tez Ilyas, teacher turned comic Allyson June Smith and housewife extraordinaire, Mrs Barbara Nice. Enjoy a top bill of acts, who are set to make you laugh in order to donate money towards aiding the current humanitarian crisis and getting help to those who need it, hosted by Tiernan Douieb, 7.30pm.
Spring Mischief Festival, The Other Place, Stratford, Wed May 24–Sat June 17
Myth. Photo Sarah Ainslie
A playful and provocative month-long festival of new work, including a double-bill of two new plays, including The Earthworks by super talented playwright Tom Morton-Smith who had a huge hit with his debut play Oppenheimer about the father of the atom bomb in 2015 at the RSC and Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. It will be directed by the RSC’s Deputy Artistic Director Erica Wyman. There’s also Myth, a terrific collaborative work by innovative playwright Matt Hartley and award-winning director and Complicite Associate Kirsty Housley about a wine-fuelled dinner party that descends into chaos. I’m sure we’ve all had a few of those…!
rsc.org.uk, Tel: 01789 403493
Bat Walk, Charlecote Park, near Wellesbourne, Sat June 3
Charlecote Park is home to lots of bats! Stroll around the grounds with a member of Warwickshire Bat Group to find out a little more about them and, hopefully, see a few. Detecting equipment will be provided for the evening, 9.15pm -22.45pm. Suitable for children 8+. Great half-term family day-out too.
nationaltrust.org.uk/charlecote-park, 01789 470277
The Dell, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sat June 3 & Sun June 4
Summer performances kick off at the RSC’s outdoor theatre, The Dell, on Saturday at 1pm with 4 lively 1 hour modern student Shakespeare adaptations by Croydon’s The Brit School including Richard III, Hamlet and a feminist take on mac (Beth) over two-days. There’s also Much Ado About Nothing on Sunday at 4pm by The Ragtags – a company made up of RSC actors, RSC staff and Birmingham uni students with less than a week to rehearse! The programme of outdoor performances continues until Sun Aug 27.
Full programme here: rsc.org.uk/thedell
Upton Jazz Club featuring Jay Riley and Valerie Vet, Upton House, Sat June 3
Lord and Lady Bearsted set about creating their made-to-measure country home in 1927. To celebrate the Roaring Twenties Upton’s second Jazz Club sees singer Valerie Vet and pianist Jay Riley from Stratford Jazz performing a mix of tunes from the American Songbook ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Etta James but also Adele, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Wonder, 7.30pm-9.30pm. Bar open from 7pm, £12. Family adventures this half-term include a new orienteering trail for primary aged children and adventure packs.
nationaltrust.org.uk/upton-house-and-gardens, Book by calling: 03442491895.
Murder on the Terrace, Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, Sat June 3 & Sun June 4
An outdoor production of Leamington’s very own touring theatre company Heartbreak Productions. See their original murder-mystery spoof on two consecutive nights. Bring a picnic, 7.30pm on Sat & 7pm on Sun.
Wychwood Music Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse, Fri June 2 – Sun 4 June
This family-friendly outing at Cheltenham Racecourse ticks pretty much all the boxes: over 100 bands – including the Buzzcocks, The Levellers, Aswad, Billy Bragg, OMD (staggers backwards at blast from the past) – comedy gigs, real ale, a kids literature festival (!), artisan food, and idyllic camping nestling under the hills of Prestbury.
National Space Centre, Deep Space, Leicester until Sat 3 June
Take a look deep into space and discover the secrets of our galaxy and beyond. Throughout the week there’s opportunities to take a tour round a hands-on exhibition, travel in the glass lift to the top of the iconic Rocket Tower, join the Mission Commanders for a journey through space and time to create the origins of the Universe in a live musical workshop. Take a seat and get creative making your very own magical star in a jar and top it all off by watching a clip of the landing of astronaut, Thomas Pesquet as he arrived into space.
National Space Centre
Twinlakes, Melton Mowbray Sat 27 May – Sun 4 June
For a fun filled day that is sure to get the kids super excited, head to Twin Lakes. Budding superheroes can enrol in the Superhero boot camp and can also take part in the Superhero craft workshop. Big kids will enjoy seeing some of the UK’s top professional extreme sports team, showing off their BMX, scooter and skateboards skills on 28 May. Titan The Robot will be there on 31st May bringing along his comedy, street theatre and music and on 3 June there’s a great line-up of music to entertain you and the mudlets.
Wolfgang Tillmans, Tate Modern, Southwark, until Jun 11
If you’re in London for half-term and get a child-free moment, check out this show. The socially and politically engaged German snapper was the first photographer and the first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize – and this exhibition will show you why. It’s set across 14 rooms, with photos pinned, high, low, everywhere and sometimes taped directly onto the walls; pinballing between subject matters and location, from Hollywood to Tehran. Even the most mundane subjects – cigarette butts, a lobster carcass – are compellingly beautiful when viewed through his lens. Until 11 June.
Woodland wanderings, Mindfulness sessions, Salcey Forest Thu 15 June
In an increasingly frantic world, mindfulness practice and an appreciation of the natural world can help to restore your equilibrium. Mindful walking allows you to immerse yourself in the natural world. Qualified Fire and Air leaders will introduce you to ways of developing a mindfulness practice that can be integrated in to your daily life. These walks take place on the third Thursday of every month, and are suitable for those 18+ who want to experience the simple pleasures of forest walking, 10am-noon £10 per person.
Salcey Forest Northamptonshire NN7 2HX