The holidays are over, the nights are drawing in and the temperature is dropping – but nicely timed to provide some much-needed cheer at this time of the year is Roald Dahl Day.
Celebrated globally, Roald Dahl Day takes place each year on 13 September – the author’s birthday. It’s an excuse to have a phizz-whizzing time, to gobblefunk with words and eat some scrumdiddlyumptious food – but preferably not to partake in any whizzpopping if you please…
In honour of the event, here are some of our favourite facts about Roald Dahl as well as a few tips for Roald Dahl themed things to do and places to visit.
5 interesting facts you might not know about Roald Dahl:
• As a boy at Repton, he and fellow pupils trialed chocolate bars for Cadbury.
• In WW2, not only was Roald a fighter pilot, but he was also a spy.
• He wrote over 30 books and invented 250 words.
• When Roald Dahl died, he was buried with some of his favourite things, including chocolate, and a power drill.
• He wrote in a shed for four hours a day. Always by hand and never with a typewriter.
Places to visit & things to do:
Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire is where Dahl lived in his later years, in a cottage he bought with his wife Patricia Neal. The house is now privately owned but it’s possible to visit the church where Dahl is buried: St Peter and St Paul’s Church.
The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre is also in Great Missenden and well worth a visit. It has three galleries as well as Roald’s Writing Hut, and runs a range of activities throughout the year. It is also gearing up for 13 September: this year Roald Dahl Day celebrations will include storytelling, talks, trails and craft activities with a James and the Giant Peach twist, and the chance to help the museum’s create a giant peach of a mosaic using over 24,000 toy bricks.
Fancy an autumn break? Travel to Tenby where you can stay in The Cabin, where every room has a sea view and Dahl spent every Easter when he was young before the outbreak of WW2. It even has a blue plaque to say so.
This year’s Roald Dahl Day celebrates Matilda. The show based on the book, Matilda the Musical has just finished a UK and Ireland tour but is still on stage at London’s Cambridge Theatre. Go, and then upload a picture of yourself in the famous Matilda pose to the Global Pose Map.
Dahlicious Dress Up Day is a fundraising event for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. It’s aimed at schools, which can take part by asking children (and adults) to donate £1 each to come in dressed as a Roald Dahl character on 13 September (or another suitable day).
Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl go hand in hand, and in London, the House of Illustration has a permanent Quentin Blake space, which gives a glimpse of the illustrator’s working world. Until the end of December it’s showing a range of recent publications, upcoming books, large-scale personal works and preparatory drawings for public art commissions. This includes his illustrations for John Ruskin’s only children’s book The King of the Golden River, and murals created for Sheffield Children’s hospital.
And finally, for more ideas to entertain the kids, check out the Roald Dahl site where there are a number of fun suggestions including a downloadable Roald Dahl Day 2019 party pack full of activities.