For kids, the school holidays can be a challenging time. Not because they miss school but because they get so bored so easily. Anyone who's had to witness the gradual decline in mood, across the whole family, as the little ones slowly run out of things to do will know that days out can be a real escape.
As the kids quickly tire of the remarkable technology at their fingertips and regress to games of cup-and-ball-on-a-string simplicity, parents try frantically to map out the next few days, lurching from one trip to another. Thankfully, there are usually plenty of traditional pastimes on offer to keep the entire clan in a passable mood if only you know where to look.
Well, look no further. The first eye-catching summer family treat is here, and what a treat. In the outdoor settings of some of the country's finest stately homes, castles and gardens, the Cambridge Touring Theatre will be staging a new version of its outdoor production of King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone.
The story of Merlin travelling to London with his pupil to take part in a tournament which features as its centrepiece the sword-pulling contest, with the winner becoming the ruler of all England, is brought to life by a company of six actors who sing, dance and interact with the audience. There are also 45-minute drama workshops before most performances, where kids between five and ten years can explore the story, take part in their own adventures and meet some of the play's characters.
The performances take places across a wide variety of venues throughout the summer. We have tickets available now for a number of performances, priced around £10 per person when buying a family ticket (so one family of four = four tickets = £40). Individual adult tickets are around £14. Workshop tickets can be purchased for as little as £2, depending on venue.
Make sure you remember picnic stuff, blankets and chairs as these are outdoor performances. But the little ones can leave their Nintendo DS and DVDs at home - there's Proper Fun to be had.