Issue 141
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The school summer holiday this way cometh and with it weapons grade levels of boredom in kids. Whether you have your own or just want to help your weeping friend/family member out with an afternoon's peace, here's the best things to do over the coming weeks with those wrinkle-free, micro-humans. The very best of luck to everyone.
With 218 indoor trampolines, a jump pipe (no idea) and giant air bag (no idea either), Jump Nation is an obvious choice for the urgent expulsion of energy. But if that sounds a bit intense for your clan, fear not, the bulky bit of bounce has a dedicated area for under 6s, which includes soft play toys and a foam pit. There are autism friendly sessions where the numbers are strictly limited and music turned down, plus Toddler Time complete with nursery rhymes. Respec'.
You're not confused, more than 170 benches shaped like open books are materialising across Brum as part of a big reading summer for the city. With two benches to call their own (including the one pictured), Foyles is adding to the youthful literary season with Storybox — a big ol' three-week festival of author events, workshops and live performances. Taking place from July 23, we're particularly keen to catch Roald Dahl's Invention Room (July 30) and the Brum City Trail led by Lonely Planet Kids author Moira Butterfield (July 24). 
If the prospect of another Pizza Hut buffet isn't filling you with enthusiasm, it's probably time to head to Waters. Recently named the most stylish restaurant in the UK, children are actively welcomed, with a junior menu full of wallet-friendly, fuss-free options, at £5.95 for mains. Parking is plentiful and £1 for three hours at Resorts World, where you'll also find The Very Hungry Caterpillar Soft Play Pod, and an IMAX cinema (Ice Age: Collision Course out tomorrow). 
Say cheese repeatedly and eagerly against the backdrop of Cannon Hill Park, while you and your mini-mate learn about the basic rules of composition and how to frame shots. From 10am until 3pm on July 28, Family Photography is £8 per person, with a maximum of three children to one adult. And in case the session doesn't fit the age brief for your brood (6 to 11), check out the plethora of other courses mac Birmingham is offering.
Forget any preconceptions about yoga being confined to the very serious, Barefoot studio has got two editions suitable for kids, with a particular focus on the 5 to 10s. On July 29 and Aug 19, join the team for 45 minutes of bending, stretching, rolling and — based on previous experience — a goodly measure of toothy grins. More
CBBC is Brum-bound and they're bringing their biggest, brightest and Blue-est stars (Blue Peter will be broadcasting live) as well as top notch authors of the kiddy variety. Get all MI5 on the Danger Mouse Detective Hunt, check in with Jacqueline Wilson, or explore four learning areas including the Match of the Day Kickabout Zone where you'll discover how the team's magazine is compiled. Free entry — just get to Centenary Square on July 16 or 17, though note some author events are full.
Venue: Bistrot Pierre, Waterside House, 46 Gas Street, B1 2JT; website
Choice: Bouillabaisse maison (£15.95) Chooser: Front of house staff

Brummies give it both barrels when the city's renovation projects run roughshod over the original building, so berets must be doffed in the direction of French restaurant group Bistrot Pierre, whose stunning conversion of the former Birmingham Canal Company has been carried out with total sympathy. The wine cellar, for example, is where barges used to pull in to pay their toll while a colossal vault door, which used to keep said tolls safe, remains a wonderful interior focal point. This is without doubt one of the city's most stunning restaurants and the sun trap terrace is set to be a summer must. Food-wise the mini chorizos au miel (£3.50) link arms with your tastebuds and can-can gloriously from cheek to cheek, long after you've swallowed the honey-glazed porky parcels, while the Bouillabaise comes stuffed chocker with hunky mouthfuls of smoked haddock and fresh shellfish. Mop everything up with baked-on-site bread and douse the lot with liberal volumes of red. Menu  


Who you gonna call? If you listen to the thousands of internet misogynists who angrily campaigned against this film without seeing it, not these four new Ghostbusters, who have the temerity to — wait for it — be women. However, perhaps you’d prefer to take the advice of someone who’s actually seen the film. In which case we’re happy to report it’s an energetic comedy with plenty of big laughs. Leslie Jones gets the best lines of the four, but each one has their moments, Melissa McCarthy's rage against her inept Chinese takeaway being a particular belly juggler. Not everything works — the original cast members’ cameos are mostly missed opportunities — but this is far from the disaster we were warned of. Don’t believe the haters. Times


Because we read our own weekly email and like to follow our own advice, we booked tickets to see Australian comedy ace Jim Jefferies at the O2 Academy earlier this month. Having followed our own advice we were thrilled to learn we were absolutely right and that Jefferies was indeed a most accomplished merchant of mirth. What we didn't know was that his support act, Jason John Whitehead, would have us leaking lager from our noses within seconds of taking stage. The lolzy Canadian will appear at the Glee Club's Comedy Carousel on July 21, alongside Andy Robinson and Jimmy McGhie, the latter of whom we have it on very good authority is also ace. We'll be there, so if we're wrong about this, you can throw root vegetables at us.


Good things come to those who wait. Better things (including tacos) come to those who get on with it, which is why the JQ's Eight Foot Grocer is putting his plans for a tacqueria into warp speed eleven, while his pizza-oven related planning application awaits the big tick. Teaming up with girlfriend, Maria del Papia Lopez and a frankly obscene number of our favourite faces, Pop-up Taco Shop will be filled with super secret recipes from Maria's army of Mexican aunts, uncles and Guadalajara-based relatives, with tacos at £2 a go. Turning to the bar, a house Margarita has been developed by Rob Wood of 40 St Pauls, whilst newbie, Creamed Pops, is providing their small-batch Mexican ices. And Pip's Hot Sauce? Well, she's on sauce. There'll be a Day of the Dead-light kinda feel, with the traditional calaveras murals painted in bold colours, and a piñata collection with an almighty plus — gift your homemade piñata to the team, and they'll gift you food in return. Open July 21, Thursdays to Sundays next to 8FG. Más
  • The Colour Run is on August 20 at the NEC. Entry is from £23. Paint is the opposite of optional
  • Get an early, juniper-filled look at what to expect from the first bar from Langley's Gin this weekend, in their new Great Western Arcade abode
  • Aerial wizadry in the form of Tilt Festival runs from July 18 to 24. Take up a class, take in a show, or do both with Snakes & Ladders, showing on Centenary Square and followed by a workshop
  • Brindleyplace Film Festival launches this very evening with The Italian Job at 6pm. Full programme
  • This weekend you'll find Jonny Vaughan, Ocean Colour Scene and Strongbow Cloudy Apple at The Old Crown. Confused? Don't be
  • And in case you somehow missed it. This link contains Low'n'Slow
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WORDS: Katy Drohan, Leo Brammer, Tom Cullen

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