DO HEAVENLY BEING
We need no excuse for outdoor night-time family adventures, but Sleep Under The Stars Night is a wonderful spur. Of course, the Perseids meteor shower is at its height on August 11-12. It is one of the greatest free lightshows on the planet. The skies are filled with shooting stars; take a blanket outside, lie on your backs, and watch them whoosh across the night. Don’t forget to make a wish. Find our guide to stargazing with families here.
Why not go on a little camping trip to somewhere really remote and stay up all night watching them? Find the darkest-skied places here and here. But even pitching up in your back garden is a great way to connect with your family and enjoy some outdoor time together. Find our top tips here, hacks for first-time camping with kids here and ideas for camp cooking here You could make a fire and spin tales; learn some ideas for creative storytelling here.
EVENT THAT’S YOUR ALLOT
Do you have a much-loved patch of land? Celebrate your little slice of heaven this National Allotment Week, which runs from Monday (find an event near you here). This year, the theme is Bugs, Bees and Broccoli, paying tribute to all the insects that play a vital role in the healthy functioning of our allotments, and everyone’s invited to take part in the Big Bug Hunt. Find out more here. Read more from us about how to make the most of your allotment here, allotment gardening tips here and the joys of composting here.
DO AND RECIPE BORAGE FORAGE
It’s borage time. Find this edible herb growing wild across the country in woodlands, pastures and parts of the city – you can’t miss its brilliant blue flowers. Use those flowers and leaves in salads (this foraged Fatoush is crazily good), wilt the larger leaves in olive oil or butter, eat the flowers with cream cheese, use the leaves to make a refreshing, cucumber-flavoured tea, or use a sprig to add a cool twist to cocktails and beers - find some recipe ideas here. Celtic warriors drunk borage tea to gain courage, and a cup will still lift spirits today – it’s also meant to have a beneficial effect on the heart and digestive system. If you want to grow your own, planting borage near strawberries is meant to benefit fruiting - there’s some good gardening information here. Find more about edible flowers here.
EVENT BEYOND THE FRINGE
Every August, the streets of Edinburgh are filled with crazily dressed performers, music and laughter, as the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe Festival spring into life. The Fringe is perhaps best known for its adult comedy offerings, but there’s also lots going on for younger culture vultures, from shows specifically aimed at kids to physical and circus events. This year, the Fringe celebrates 75 years. Family highlights include Beware The Beasts by Shona Cowie at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, ComedySportzUK, who encourage the audience to take part in competitive improv games, and the Den of Enquiry at Surgeons Hall, which gets kids to the heart of democracy and “kickstarts the big questions”. Some events ticketed, many free. August 4–29.
EVENT HELSTON YEAH
Headed west this month? Or live in Cornwall? The Cornubian Arts & Science Trust based in Helston, Cornwall, are running a series of free outdoor creative events. Cast-Off Summer 2022 runs every Saturday at National Trust Penrose and includes pigment-making, pinch pottery, wood construction, clay modelling, botanical exploration, cyanotype photography and nature-based printmaking. CAST is also taking its programme to the Lizard Peninsula with more creative adventures every Wednesday. Free.
PLUS Plan Your Own Adventure This summer to help you stay inspired and playful, we’ve created a freebie for you - a summer holiday activity pack full of nature projects and ideas. Grab your copy here and get planning! Find out more here
WHAT WE’RE READING ‘Sacrifice your civility and make a start’: how to talk to teenagers about money: “when it comes to arming your teen with some basic money smarts before they’re hit with a barrage of adult financial decisions, the buck stops with you. Financial literacy isn’t explicitly taught under the national curriculum, so it’s not a box you can rely on school to tick.” Read more here
WHAT WE’RE EATING Recipe: Creative with courgettes Courgettes are at their best right now, and these recipes offer some interesting and delicious new ways to make use of them in the kitchen from the fabulous teatime treat - courgette bread to a summer barbeque favourite, to chocolate courgette ice-cream!
WIN WIN WIN Our new crop of competitions is now online. Win a three-night holiday in a Cotswolds cottage or on a Devon farm, or a plastic-free skincare collection! Click here to enter