Parents of small and not so small children throughout Britain are currently preparing themselves for the onslaught of the Summer Holidays. Yes, it is a lovely school-free time to spend hanging out with your offspring, but with unpredictable summer weather and squeezed family budgets, it can be a somewhat testing time for many.
Fear not! We have compiled a list of seven of the best summer holiday activities, all local, all brilliant, many recommended by friends of the Kiosk. (Other mums are such a valuable source of information when it comes to things like this.) So, grab a pencil and pen and a cup of tea, put your feet up and plan some summer holiday fun.
In at number one, it has to be the VERY recently re-oped Higgins gallery in Castle Quay's summer activities. View the full list here, but our pick of the lot would have to be the Who Stole the Ducks? event on Tuesday 30th July.
“You’re the detective: solve the clues, find the evidence, interview the witnesses and present your case to the Justice, during this fun family day on Victorian crime.” Join in Wednesdays and Fridays (11-1, 2-4pm 31st July - 28th August) sound pretty good as well – just £2 to join in and make, free play for the under 3's.
Next up: Tennis! We've gone tennis mad here at the Kiosk recently, and if you would like your kids to do the same, why not sign them up for one of Riverside Tennis Club's holiday camps?
There is a massive range of tennis courses, plus football for the under 12s. They take children from 3 years at Tennis nippers, right up to 11-18 year olds at their RAW Tennis Camp. Have a look at their information here, or contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01234 352726
The Bunyan Meeting church, which incidentally, is one of Bedford's most interesting historical buildings, will be running their popular holiday club from 13-15 August, 10-12.30. A mix of fancy dress, games and craft, the sessions are open to children 4 and over. For more information, call the office on 01234 213722
Kidsize activity camps are highly recommended by lots of Kiosk regulars. Based this summer at Biddenham Upper, Redbourne Upper and Cranfield University sports centre, they offer a multitude of sport and other activities, including cooking, nature, construction and performing arts. They offer an early bird session from 8-10am, and a late stay from 4-6pm, as well as the core 10-4pm session; a great thing for working parents! Have a read of their extensive programme here.
Bedford Modern School offer a amazing range of activities from athletics to debating, jewellery making to swimming. All sessions are for half days, from 9.30-12.30 or from 1.30-4.30, with early bird and late flyer sessions available. You can browse their summer 2013 brochure and use their online booking form here.
Bedfringe has put on an excellent programme for children this year, including the rather marvellous-looking 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus' in the Harpur Suite from Sunday 28th-Tuesday 30th July. You can look at the Childrens' Theatre programme here, but don't forget to check out the rest of the Bedfringe events, there are a great range of free events as well as the ticketed ones.
We can't resist a plug for our own theatre event of the summer: The Playhouse at the Park event in Russell Park on August the 5th WHEN the Oxford Playhouse will be bringing a pop-up theatre to the park - and it looks like it will be BRILLIANT.
Remember, if all else fails (as sometimes it does,) just come along to the Kiosk. We will be here in all summery types of weather, from welly to flip-flop. We have Duplo and colouring, coffee and sanity. There are always plenty of children and similarly vexed parents to sympathise with. We do offer lunchboxes as well now, so if you have run out of picnic food, you can give them lunch at the Kiosk. As well as the playground, we have tennis, mini golf and table tennis to offer. Storytime sessions continue throughout the summer, where we'll be welcoming a team of Superstar Storytellers for stories, songs, milk and biscuits on Monday mornings. Keep checking the blog and facebook page for updates and more information.