Being Bookish…

Five things you and your little ones absolutely must do at the Cheltenham Literary Festival this year…

The Cheltenham Literary Festival gets better every year. And with everyone from Caitlin Moran to Mary Portas here this year, there’s plenty of literary loveliness to lose yourself in. Read the full schedule here.

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For little bookworms there’s an incredible line-up of events too. Not only will the likes of Peter Rabbit, Spot, The Gruffalo and many others be appearing in Imperial Square, but there’s a host of free events throughout the Festival. Full line-up here, but below is my pick of the best…

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Flamingo Croquet  I reckon this is one for adults and children alike, an imaginative game of croquet-with-a-difference, inspired, of course, by Alice in Wonderland. Sunday 4 October, 11-2pm, Imperial Square

Circus Workshops If Gifford’s Circus taught us anything, it’s that running away with the circus is a romantic as it sounds. This brilliant show features a host of circus skills, from juggling and unicycling, to breathing fire and making magic. Sunday 11 October, 11-2pm, Imperial Square

Art Playground  I love the idea behind this, an arty playground where you can make your own bookmark, personalise a notebook or design the cover for your next story. Using beautiful recycled materials – leather, coloured papers, ribbon, stickers etc – this is a unique way to get children involved in books in a really tangible way. 11-2pm Imperial Square, 4-11 October

The Discovery Trail A great one for older children, this discovery trail features some of the best characters from young fiction – all included on a trail that takes you through a world of imagination and adventure. 11-2pm Imperial Square, 4-11 October, entry forms available at the Dean Close marquee

Stories and Songs Using a host of characters, some familiar and some new, book readings (by Vickie from Party Bugs in Gloucester) are a lovely way to capture a little one’s attention; while musician Nick Cope will do three performances of his interactive songs, including ‘There’s a nose in the middle of my face’ and ‘Why is the sky blue?’ – great ways for younger Munchkins to be part of the action. 11-2pm Imperial Square, 4-11 October

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Images: McPhersonstevens.com

More info: http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature

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