Our summer family events and activities at Eastnor Castle may be a good place to start looking. We know that families need more than our house and grounds to visit, much though I like them myself, so we use them as a backdrop for special events and activities which should appeal to all members of the families and particularly to mothers with children to entertain and preferably tire out during the long summer holiday.

This Sunday (15th July) we have gun dogs at work and ferret racing, which is always highly entertaining, though only private betting is allowed.!  From this Sunday, we are open every week, Mondays to Thursdays inclusive, as well as on Sundays until the end of August, when we revert to Sundays only until 30th September.

From 22nd to 26th July, we have a Children’s Treasure Trail around the grounds, an excellent way to enjoy a hunt among the trees and lawns and take exercise, mental and physical. The following week, from 29th July to 2nd August, we have Explore the Elements-WildPlay, where children explore the elements of earth, wind, fire and water, under supervision, of course. Wind permitting, they should be able to make and fly their own kites, or perhaps run fast enough to make them rise into the sky.
The rest of August is pretty busy too, with:

* All the Fun of the Circus (without having to run away and join one), where you can try your hand at circus activities, including tight rope walking, at low levels
* Roald Dahl’s The Twits will be performed on Sunday 12th August at 3pm-book now
* The Eastnor Flying Potter will lead the making of fantastic clay creations from 12th-16th August
* On 19th August, we have the Church Fête with jazz musicians on the Valley Lawn
* From 20th-23rd August, WildPlay are back with PlayWild, outdoor activities with a camp fire, den building etc
* Over the August Bank Holiday weekend (Sunday 26th and Monday 27th), we have Animal Adventures, mixed in with a falconry display and ride on a road train.
* We finish the holidays with Summer Sunday Fun, with traditional lawn games and the Valley Lawn zip wire in action.

If more than one of these appeal to you, perhaps our Family Privilege Pass (£58 for 2 adults and three children) would be a sensible investment, though it excludes “The Twits”. We expect the events to carry on even if the weather is bad, and some are in tents anyway, but be prepared for rain unless the jet stream has shifted by then.

JH-B    13th July 2013

Wizard Wonky at Eastnor Castle

This week, Herefordshire’s best wizard, Wizard Wonky, has been entertaining our younger visitors when we have been open to the public. Wonky has a range of activities and here he is showing how to make animal shapes from balloons, assisted by his daughter. 

He used to be the leader of our children’s group activities when we had a special week for children, but now we spread our entertainments over the whole holiday period so we are less affected by bad weather. His programme includes Fun & Games and Magic Tricks. His sense of humour is fantastic, although many of the jokes pass over the heads of his young audience and more are enjoyed by the parents and grandparents.

In real life, as John Norris, he is a Maths teacher, and I wish he had been mine as he has no problem keeping order, explaining clearly and holding attention. His success reminds us that there is nothing better than good live entertainment and a bit of competition. Computer games stand no chance when the Wizard is around!

Tomorrow is his last day at Eastnor Castle this year, so come along if you can, even if it is raining as the Wizard has a shelter for himself and his audience…   JH-B�