Category: Events

Traditional family fun day

Nearly time again for our amazingly popular low-tech family fun day.

Skittles, sack races, hopscotch and egg and spoon races  bring three – or more – generations together this Thursday (11-3.30pm).

We run this event every year in conjunction with the local branch of the U3A (University of the 3rd Age) as a fundraiser for us and them.

We love that every year this generation’s kids are thrilled by such old fashioned games as hook-a-duck, quoits and skipping. Grannies and granddads feel extra special showing them how to play.

These activities run all day alongside, fabulous face painting from GlitterCreep, dances from the Lawrie School of Dance and sing along fun from the Generations Choir and  shanties  from the Lichfield LightHouse choir. Meet the RSPB, explore the maze, follow the trails…

All for £2 each for everyone over 5years. Old fashioned prices too!

Cafe and shop open. Picnics welcome

  • All tickets  £2  (under 4s free)
  • £8 for a family day ticket (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults)
  • Free for Family Activity Annual Pass holders (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults, including named cardholder). Pass costs £40 and lasts 12 months.
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Unplug and Play – all summer

Five weeks of good value summer fun at the Gardens

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12- 3.30… it’s Unplug and Play

Crafts, gardening and outdoor exploration. Children and families can enjoy outdoor play and/or craft activities under gentle supervision.

The mud kitchen, maze, dipping pond and some gardening activities available for families to explore any day during summer.  Every week will have a different activity based on something in the Gardens.

Week one 25th, 26th, 27th July    Get up and do

Recycled streamers, making chatterboxes and all things on the move: waving, bending, climbing, crawling flying, rolling , fluttering , creeping.

 Week two, 2nd & 3rd August  Wildlife disguises

Collages from leaves, green man masquerade masks, find the dancers in the trees.

(because of the Dogs Don’t do Ballet performance on Tues 1st – there will be no craft activities. Tickets for the performance £10)

Week three, 8th, 9th 10th August  Make an impression..

Clay hedgehogs, leaf and bark rubbings, flowers and leaf pressed nature medallions

Week four, 15th, 16th 17th August  Festival style! The recycled way.

Make your own flags and bunting from plastic bags, paper and other household things.

NB Thursday 17th is big Family Fun Day 11-3.30

Week five, 22nd 23rd, 24th August  Teddies, picnics, making a picture

Sit and relax with teddy, make a den, explore the wildlife and create some art around the site

 

There’s 10 acres of formal gardens, lawns, holly maze and wilder areas, so lots of places to explore, play and run around whatever is going on.

  • Café and small shop onsite. No need to book.
  • Cost: £2 per person (free for under 5s)
  • £8 for a family day ticket (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults)
  • £20 for a family week ticket (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults)
  • Free for Family Activity Annual Pass holders (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults, including named cardholder) Pass cost £40 and will runs for 12 months.

Contact: 0121 749 4100   Email: admin@cbhgt.org.uk

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Dogs Don’t do Ballet

To kick off the summer holidays with a fun and warming outdoor show , get the kids up and moving with Bif…

Biff is not like other dogs. He doesn’t do dog stuff like weeing on lampposts, or scratching his fleas, or drinking out of the toilet. No, Biff likes moonlight and music and walking on his tiptoes. You see, Biff doesn’t think he’s a dog. He thinks he’s a ballerina!

We are delighted to have Little Blue Monster Theatre join us to perform Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. Get ready for an afternoon of songs, puppetry and lively story-telling.

The show goes on whatever the weather

Tickets on sale HERE

Would you like the chance to win 4 tickets to see the show at the Gardens, as well as a VIP backstage tour of the set with Bif?

To win simply get your little one to draw their best picture of Bif and send it to us on social media. Be sure to post it with the hashtag #Bifatthegardensand tag us in the post. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 19th July. We look forward to seeing your entries and hope you enjoy the show.

Facebook: Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
Twitter: @cbhallgardens
Instagram: @castlebromwichhallgardens

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All the world’s a stage

Those baroque Garden designers always emphasised bold theatricality in their layouts.

Although we are certainly not on the grand scale of Versailles or the Royal Palaces, our ‘wilderness’ areas, boxed beds and topiary are all part of that formality and dramatic approach.

We’re all the more pleased therefore, to be able to host both theatrical and musical productions in the Gardens. This year we have the Crescent Theatre celebrating Jane Austen’s anniversary with a charming rendering of Sense and Sensibility. During the school holidays Dogs don’t do Ballet (Little Blue Monster theatre) will be visiting causing exciting mayhem for the little’uns.. definitely not to be missed.

In September, on the same day as our  Heritage Open Day tours, we are lucky to have local Gilbert and Sullivan aficianadoes the Birmingham Savoyards mixing drama with music.

Music too is becoming more of a regular feature here (hoorah!). The 40s weekend had us rocking. last weekend we were smooth and mellow with the West Midlands Light Orchestra and Devon Harrison. The Central England Concert Band come in August.

In between times we have the soloists accompanying our pop-up tea and music events, various entertainments during Apple Day and Advent and we’re still holding out for an amazingly talented group who can play 17th century music with vegetables! No they can’t .. yes the can, they’re K’antu.

We are an open air site, so wind and rain are always hazards here… but, as they say, our skin is waterproof and the show… must go on.

Check out our Events calendar on this site and make sure you secure your tickets for our theatrical and  musical offerings. Not only will you have a great time, you will be helping us keep the Gardens open for more years to come.

 

 

 

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National Croquet Day at the Gardens

This Sunday is National Croquet Day!

If you’ve never played croquet, then you probably only know the game through its depiction in Alice in Wonderland, where the Queen of Hearts cruelly plays the game with flamingo mallets and hedgehogs as the balls. We’d rather let our hedgehogs roam freely… but we do like a game of croquet!

All our Giant Flowers on site made us feel as tiny as Alice in the Garden so we thought we’d dust off our own croquet sets and celebrate national croquet day.

We cannot promise a perfectly flat lawn, but there will be two grown up and one junior sets of mallets and hoops on the Archery Lawn for any of our visitors to use.

Come along any time on Sunday and have a go.

Cafe and shop open.

Here are some inspiring and useful links…

A how to play link http://www.oxfordcroquet.com/coach/synopsis/index.asp

from the Croquet Association:

 

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Beak Holiday Monday

The rain wasn’t much good for anything today ….but cakes were munched, masks were found, pompom flowers were made (and will be all week) … but this little family loved being fed all those lovely grubs that wet weather brings…

Bad photo with phone, but didn’t want to get too close and frighten them off. come and see them tomorrow, they’re growing fast.

More family activities all week – 12-3pm

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Invasion of the Giant Flowers … half term activities

Did you shrink or did the flowers just grow?

Wander amongst our beautiful towering plants over 4 metres tall – they’re crocheted!

This May half term join in the festival atmosphere with our Alice in Wonderland sized installation… All week from Bank Holiday Monday (29th May) through to Friday (June 2nd) we’ll also running family friendly activities around our flower theme.

  • Add a pompom flower to our woolly field and make some pom pom bees to fly amongst them.
  • Help us build giant bug hotel and learn how to make your own mini-beastie hotel at home.

    http://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/thingstodo/inaweekend/bug-mansion.aspx
    credit: Sue Tatman & RHShome.
  • And why not construct a giant birds nest for the little ones to snuggle up in.
  • Little green fingers can also help us plant up our Jack and the Giant Beanstalk runner bean tunnel… plant now and come back to play in the tunnel over summer.

The giant flowers are here all week and weekend (Sunday to Saturday), the family activities are Monday to Friday.

Family Friendly sessions + entry to the Gardens £2 (for anyone over 5 years old)

Family Activities Annual Pass holders: FREE

NB Normal entry prices for non-family groups

 

Family Activities 12- 3pm Monday to Friday

Gardens open Saturday 27th – Sunday 4th

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Pop in for pop-up food and music…

A new series of gentle, relaxed afternoons where you can take full advantage of the Gardens for some ‘me-time’.
We’ve asked some of the best local or artisan food businesses to run a one day pop-up cafe in the Orangery at the Gardens.
This month (May 21st) you can try some truly luscious cakes made by Bakes and Bits.
They currently operate in the city centre but hail originally from Castle Bromwich.

To put the ‘cherry on the cake’ of your afternoon experience we are also offering aspiring local musicians a chance to entertain our visitors while they chill and chomp on their cupcakes. We may not have a bandstand.. but we’ll have handpicked buskers to bathe your ears.
Good prices, good food and good company ..

Usual Garden entry prices
PS – We are still offering music slots – contact us if you are interested in knowing more
(Sun May 21st, Sat June 17th , Sat. July 8th & Sun July 23rd)

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Warwickshire wildlife trust out counting hedgehogs

Hedgehogs by torchlight

We’ve always valued our connection with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Hedgehog project. Officer Simon Thompson has always thought our mix of cultivaed grass and wilder areas have been an ideal habitat for these really threatened creatures.  With him and our younger visitors we have carried out a couple of population surveys in an around the Gardens and held the odd ‘hedgehog day’ or two.

This is Hedgehog Awareness Week (#hedgehogweek) and although we are not doing anything special this week, we are pleased to be hosting a special torchlight tour on 26th May (8.30pm to 10pm). Here are the details. Please book your place in advance via the link below (it takes you to the Wildlife Trust’s site)

Join Hedgehog Officers, Simon Thompson and Debbie Wright, for an evening outdoor event. They will be talking all things hedgehog, answering questions and leading a torchlight tour of 17th century gardens on the lookout for the enigmatic and elusive hedgehog.

Please be advised that this is an adults only event. Please wear clothing that is both warm and waterproof and wear appropriate footwear. Meet opposite St Mary and St Margaret’s Church, Chester Road, Castle Bromwich, B36 9BT..

To book your place and pay for the advanced ticket (£5) please click through to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust website

here: warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/hedgehogtorchlighttour

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Auricula …not a very prim primula

To celebrate our 17th century Gardens’ new ‘Auricula Theatre’ feature we are holding a day with specialist growers HillView Hardy Plants.

On Easter Bank Holiday Monday,  the nursery people from HillView will answer questions, give advice about growing, and of course sell you some of their lovely range of plants, which will be at their height around this time.

The Primula auricula is usually known as auricula, or by the folk names of mountain cowslip or bear’s ear. The upright stalks and colourful headed flowers were popular, and coveted,  from the early 17th century. Rare beauties were so prized that they were sometimes presented to a seated and expectant audience, appearing from behind a curtain, with many ‘oohs and ahhs’.

As growers became ‘enthusiasts’, this approach led to the practice of displaying the plants on layered shelving or within a framed arch – just like a theatre. Some ‘ auricula theatres’ were modest others,

Theatre at Calke Abbey

frankly, ostentatious.

As a 17th/18th century Garden, there would undoubtedly have been auriculas grown here.

by courtesy of the National Galleries Scotland

In the Music Room this summer we are displaying a reproduction of a flower painting (from around 1712, by Dutch painter Jan van Huysum). We already grow most of the flowers that appear in his picture … but not auricula. So…

Our, modest but authentic, Auricula Theatre will complement the season of mini-flower exhibits reflecting the picture in the Music Room.

Come along on Easter Bank Holiday Monday to find out more.

Part of our #GrowtheGardens fundraising this year.

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