Glide over London’s skyline
If you're bored of parks during the summer holidays, Zip World has a more interesting solution. Suitable for adults and kids, the tallest and fastest inner city zip line opened in South London this week and is here until October, and for £22 you can see the from a slightly different, adrenalin filled angle.
Close your eyes and pretend you’re abroad
If you’ve missed the chance to go abroad this summer, you can always work on your tan at Heaton Park in Manchester, which will be hosting a free beach from July 22 until September 3. The Carousel Funfairs event includes attractions for kids and plenty of space for parents to put their feet up.
Catch a new production of a classic
The casting of Jack O’Connell and Sienna Miller as Brick and Maggie in the Young Vic production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was always going to ensure a visceral sexiness – and they definitely deliver, but the starry leads are more than just a good-looking pair. Both turn in heartbreakingly good performances, with director Benedict Andrews bringing a brilliantly unsettling quality to this stifling family drama. It’s a show that people will be thinking about and talking about for years to come. The Young Vic production is at the Apollo Theatre until October 7.
Explore Jane Austen’s legacy
Celebrate the woman who penned Pride and Prejudice at The Mysterious Miss Austen exhibition at the Winchester Discovery Centre, one of a slew of events commemorating the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death in her hometown of Winchester.
See how an unlikely material has helped shape history
Plywood may be one of the last things to come to mind when discussing materials of modern innovation but the V&A’s Plywood: Material of the Modern World exhibition dispels any doubt. See how it has helped to shape modern transportation, furniture and pioneering medical equipment here.
Have a jam to your favourite songs
Liverpool International Music Festival’s Summer Jam is back this weekend at Sefton Park with performances from the likes of Corinne Bailey Rae, Norman Jay and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Entry is free too.
We may be in throes of summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to experience the heat. Chill Factore’s snow park at Trafford Quays Leisure Village, Manchester – complete with sledging, “downhill donuts” and a snow luge – is offering discounted tickets for families.
Learn about civil rights-inspired black art
This acclaimed exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power showcases the artistic contributions of black artists in racially fraught 1960s America. The Tate Modern have also put on a number of follow-up talks and listening sessions to complement the exhibition, which will run until October 22 this year.
Join in with the festivities
Birmingham city centre is hosting its 17th Birmingham Rathayatra festival on Sunday, a non-sectarian chariot parade typically observed by Hindus. Follow the colourful procession and head over to Victoria Square at 2pm to enjoy traditional Indian music and dance as well as free vegetarian food. See dates for more planned parades here.
BUY A BAG OF PERCY PIGS (OR TWO)
Percy is 25 years old this Sunday – can you believe it? The UK's favourite fruit gum, Percy gets daily fan mail (one fan loves him so much even has a tattoo of him on his left buttock) and he is the sweet of choice at weddings across the country. Three million of him are eaten every year – that’s 10 sweets a second – and he's been a busy pig – since 1992 he's gone on a gap year, married love-of-his-life Penny (she was the one who popped the question), and this year he even started his own little family. Bless.