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What’s on: July Muddy Guide

Summer's here - although the weather's not caught up - but the social calendar's full and celebrating. From outdoor exhibitions to festivals (yup they're back!), here's where to head and what to book now for a summer to remember.

** OUTDOOR THEATRE

Pic Credit: The Lord Chamberlain’s Men

Book tickets to see Macbeth by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men at Rockingham Castle on 1 July. Bring a chair and a picnic, and enjoy watching Shakespeare brilliant tragedy unravel in the open air which comes complete with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance. Meanwhile, The Canterbury Tales is being staged over at Oakham Castle, Rutland on 2 July by a three-man cast who will use drama, verse, physical theatre and song to bring Chaucer’s characters to life. The production takes place on a fantastic touring set that resembles a medieval travelling theatre.

Kids will lurrrve the brand-new musical adaptation outdoor of Rudyard Kipling family favourite, The Jungle Book. Join Mowgli, Baloo and Bagheera on on a madcap jungle adventure as they meet and attempt to outwit a slithering snake, cheeky monkeys, and tiger, Shere Khan! Funny, exciting and wildly entertaining. The Great Gatsby, Belvoir Castle is on from 8-9 July over at Belvoir Castle and you can bring your own picnics, but food will also be available courtesy of the Fuel Tank restaurant. 1620’s House and Gardens, Donington Le Heath will be hosting Treasure Island on the 30 July and will be bursting with brouhaha, buccaneers and dastardly double dealings.

We’ve all heard about open-air theatre and cinema but how about an open-air ballet performance? A musical adaptation of Tom’s Midnight Garden (3-4 July) is taking place in the gorgeous grounds of the Cotesbach Educational Trust this month and is suitable for all ages. If you’re looking for something to do without the kids, there’s also live comedy on the 9 July.

**FESTIVALS

Timber Forest Festival from 2-4 July is an extraordinary, family-friendly, three-day camping weekend that takes place in the heart of the National Forest. Less about cutting trees down, the fest is about making people rethink everything about nature, trees and forests. Now in its third year, you can expect field music, music stories and circus skills, woodland games, woodcraft skills, yoga, spoken word live music and more. We’re loving the look of the luxury bell tents that you can book for your own private woodland haven – with or without the kids!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and we have lift off! A brand new public art event is blasting its way across Leicester for 10 weeks this summer courtesy of LOROS Hospice. From 19 July – 26 Sept, Rocket Round Leicester will see the city brought to life with a trail featuring 40 colourful, bright giant rocket sculptures. Each one has been individually designed by an artist and will form a stunning, free art trail through the city’s streets and open spaces. Sounds out of this world! Alongside the trail there’s also lots of events taking place, from outdoor cinema to twilight walks and more.

If you’ve never been to Rockingham Castle, this weekend is the perfect time to visit and enjoy the grounds and the fantastic Rockingham Food and Drink Fair, from 17 – 18 July. Offering a range of fabulous artisan food producers, delicious food and drink and amazing views. Stalls will weave their way around the formal gardens; starting in the courtyard, moving to the terrace lawn, cross garden and tilting lawn. Booking is required and tickets from £6.

This year the Barefoot Festival is taking place from 30 July – 2 Aug over at Prestwold Hall. There’s everything from yoga to meditation, music and plenty of workshops for the kids and a family rave too. Get the glowsticks ready! Whooop Whooop!

And now for something brand new: The 2021 Summer Festival of Light is taking place at Market Harborough Showground on 24 July. It’s basically a celebration of everything colour, light and fireworks. There’s a great line-up including hot air balloons, a night glow light show, an aerobatic display team, pyro skydivers and of course an enormous, breathtaking closing fireworks display to music. Plus, a street food village, bars, a giant funfair and there’s free parking with your ticket. It all kicks off from 5pm. See you there!

**FAMILY FUN

Pic Credit: https://www.leicestermuseums.org/WildlifePhotographerOfTheYear2021

The wonderful Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is on display at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery until 30 Aug. On loan from the Natural History Museum, London, it’s the absolute must-see exhibition for the summer. Each image on display showcases some of the best wildlife photography in the world inc animal behaviour, vulnerable ecosystems and species facing extinction. Alongside the exhibition is also ‘Nature on Your Doorstep’ – a digital display featuring outstanding photography of wildlife taken by local East Midlands residents out on walks during lockdown.  

Did you hear there’s a party happening at Oakham Castle on 4 July and you’re invited! No really you are; you, your family, friends, neighbour and the dog too! Who needs a reason to party after the year we’ve had? It’s about time we let our hair down don’t you think!? Enjoy the views, food, drink and shopping stalls in the castle grounds. Oh and entrance is totally free! From 11am – 4pm.

Pic Credit: Billy Bates Facebookl

The city’s Funfair will be open this summer from 9 – 30 July at Abbey Park and this year, they’re opening it up for free to all NHS workers on 7 and 8 July – how nice is that!? Tickets for NHS workers will admit 5 people and they need to be collected in advance on 2 and 3 July.

Fancy a good giggle? Don’t we all! Book to see the Tickled Pink Comedy Night, 15 July at Leicester’s LCB Depot, Leicester. With an all-female line up plus, the bar will be stocked with your favourite tipple. It’s the perfect excuse to finally go ‘out out’ with your 6 fave gal pals and have a belly full of laughs!

Kids need to burn off some energy? Head down to Funtopia, Central Park, Syston on 17 July for a fantastic fun-filled event. Expect everything from bouncy castles, to activity inflatables like Bungee Run, Inflata-bull, an under 5’s area, Nerf Wars and much more! There will also be plenty of stalls selling heaps of food and drink. No need to book, just turn up on the day. Tickets from £2.

Meanwhile, the Muddy-award winning family attraction, Wistow Maze is reopening for the summer (from 19 July)! This year the ‘maize maze’ has been designed in the shape of a Phoenix rising from the flames to mark a new beginning of hope and freedom. The Quiz Trail will be themed on other mythical creatures; will the kids out do you and find all 12 puzzle boards hidden within the maze?

Do the kids need some company during the summer hols? Take them to visit the monkeys, meerkats and giraffes over at Twycross Zoo from 24- 30 July and while here, they can have fun in the giant sand pit, meet the Island Princess and discover how to save our oceans and more.

More than 3 million people in over 40 countries have already enjoyed Alan Parkinson’s architectural Katena Luminarium (Architects of Air Luminarium) and it’s now coming to Leicester city from 21-25 July. Lose yourself in a colourful labyrinth of winding tunnels as you explore a stunning kaleidoscope of shapes and sounds in a ‘tunnel-like’ installation. Tickets from £4.50.

Pic Credit: Bamboo Street Food

Expect a truck load of food – literally; from vegan street food to traditional Greek BBQs, plus drinks, art, music and general cool vibes during the monthly Last Friday event from the 30-31 July. Currently, they’re only offering table service and socially distanced entertainment. £2 entry free and bookings to be made in advance. Depending on the government’s roadmap this may all change so watch this space!

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