EVENT, DO, RECIPE HERE COMES THE SUN
Summer solstice falls on Tuesday June 21. Why not mark it with your family? We have some ideas, from building a midsummer altar to making sacred sun water, planning a summer of growth, or gathering with loved ones around a bonfire, while Glennie Kindred’s wise traditional ways to mark the day are an inspiration. Don’t forget some Solstice treats – think herbal biscuits and lavender cake – find recipes here. Alternatively, find our ideas for alternative midsummer celebrations from around the world here.
Of course, many head to Stonehenge to welcome the sun – there is no charge and there is free access to the stones, or head to Avebury or Callenish for a (slightly) more low-key experience. If you can’t make it in person, you might like to watch the sunset on Saturday 20 or the sunrise on Sunday 21 online at English Heritage’s YouTube channel. We also love checking in on the monument via the live Stonehenge Sky Scape cameras.
Alternatively, build your own henge! There are directions for making a full-size ‘replica’ here which might not have the stones, but shows the theory behind the monument. Or you’ll find a more arty, mini representation here. Even the smallest kids can get in on the action!
EVENT WELCOME, WELCOME
The need to understand why people seek sanctuary in the UK, as well as celebrating their contributions is becoming more and more important each year. Refugee Week starts on Monday. We love this year’s Simple Acts message; be inspired by the theme, ‘healing’ to make a small, but significant gesture. The week is also an umbrella for an incredible variety of events; plays that tell the story of past exiles, art exhibitions that include work from asylum seekers, festivals with music, poetry and dance. Little Amal is returning next week for a knees-up at the Southbank Centre, while Bristol Refugee Festival is running events including a boat tour and storytelling, theatre shows and a football tournament.
EVENT HEY AFRICA!
Whirl and twirl to a weekend of performances from some of Africa’s greatest performers at Liverpool’s free Africa Oyé festival. For 30 years, Sefton Park has been transformed into a colourful, vibrant party with food, music and art from Africa and the wider African diaspora at the largest festival of African and Caribbean music in Britain. Dance your socks off to traditional African music, roots, salsa, soca, reggae and more at this truly international event that harnesses the spirit of multiculturalism and tolerance. This year, legendary dancehall singer Eek-A-Mouse hits the stage, alongside Fuse ODG, Kanda Bongo Man and Elida Almeida, while the Oyé village welcomes families for storytelling, face painting, dance workshops and drumming. Saturday and Sunday.
EVENT AND RECIPE BLANKET ON THE GROUND
National Picnic Week is a spur to shake out those blankets and bring out your baskets to enjoy eating together as a group outdoors. First pick your spot – perhaps you’ll go to the local park, or maybe somewhere a little more spectacular. You might even try a new recipe; be tempted by our Butter Bean, Wild Rice and Garlic Roasted Carrot Salad, Herb Pies, or make Seaweed and Chocolate Cookies for a seaside picnic.
Picnics are a great opportunity to play together; try our ideas for fun outdoor games, make nature art or build a den.
The starting pistol is being fired on summer in Greenwich this weekend. Greenwich Peninsula’s summer sessions burst open with a Jazz Weekender featuring Women in Jazz and Clonmell Jazz Social. But it’s not all noodling solos and funky beats. Take your family on Yinka Ilori’s technicolour mini golf course, try art projects on the kids table, or play pingpong on tables designed by Camille Walala. Other events at the venue this summer include an outdoor film festival, and showings of Wimbledon, the Tour de France, as well as community carnivals and Greenwich Docklands International Festival.
WHAT WE’RE EATING Sanity-Saving One Pot Pasta: Between caring for an energetic toddler and running her own business, Sarah Britton admits that life is full on. And then there are days when she needs Sanity-Saving One Pot Pasta so is her life-saving creation! Get the recipe here
WHAT WE’RE READING How to Quit Intensive Parenting: “Rafts of research prove that intensive parenting mainly serves to burn out parents while harming children’s competence and mental health. But the facts are losing. In a 2018 survey, 75 percent of respondents rated various intensive-parenting scenarios as “very good” or “excellent,” and less than 40 percent said the same about scenarios showing a non-intensive approach. (An example that respondents grappled with: When a child says they’re bored, should a parent find an activity to sign them up for or suggest they go outside and play?)” Read more here