February in Reading is heating up. It’s getting lighter, there’s a sense of spring in the air and there’s more events going on to get us out of the house and exploring our fair town. Make the most of it with our guide to the best events, gigs, theatre, beer tastings, comedy exhibitions, supper clubs and things to do throughout February 2019 in Reading.
The best events in Reading this month
Jerusalem at Progress Theatre
Thursday 7 – Saturday 16 February, 7.30pm Progress Theatre, £12, buy tickets online.
Progress Theatre tackle Jez Butterworth’s hugely acclaimed ‘state-of-the-nation drama’ Jerusalem, It’s a riotously funny, fast-paced, but deeply affecting play following one day in the life of former village fair daredevil Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron: he’s the wild man of the woods, a drug dealer, a thrower of chemically-induced raves, and a teller of tall tales. Read our review of Jerusalem at Progress Theatre.
The Ale Trail
Saturday 9 February – Thursday 4 April, launch from 12pm at The Allied Arms on Saturday 9 February.
Sink 24 pints of real ale in 24 local pubs over 2 months and earn six half-pint beer festival vouchers. Get out and explore some of the best real ale pubs in and around Reading on the CAMRA Reading ale trail – including The Allied Arms, The Nag’s Head and the Hop Leaf in Reading as well as The Bell at Waltham St Lawrence, The Flower Pot in Aston and more. See the full pub lineup for the ale trail.
Sunday 10 February, from 11am, Rising Sun Arts Centre, Free, read more.
Try out all the dance classes on offer at the Rising Sun Arts Centre with this entire day of free taster sessions. There’ll be classes in balboa, swing, bachata, Kizomba, Tango, salsa, Dabka, belly dance, tap and more, all aimed at a beginners audience. Put on ya dancing shoes.
Run for Chocolate
Sunday 10 February, 10am, King’s Meadow, £20/adult, £10/child, book online.
If I’m going to run for anything, it’s probably going to be chocolate. This friendly, ‘celebration of wellbeing’ is a 5km public run making its way around the country to encourage Brits to be a bit more active. Their luring us in with a free cup of hot chocolate and a medal at the end of the race, hence the name.
If you want to run a 5k for free (no hot chocolate though, boo), the volunteer-led Park Run takes place at Prospect Park, Thames Valley Park and in Woodley’s Woodford Park every Saturday morning at 9am. Register online, then just turn up and run.
Stand and Deliver Comedy Night
Thursday 14 February, 7.30pm, Smokin’ Billy’s, £10, book tickets.
See five comedians for less than a tenner at this monthly comedy night in the cosy Speakeasy bar above Smokin’ Billy’s. The headliner this month is deadpan Welsh comic Matt Rees (above), with support from Arnie Pie, Pope Lonergan, Stella Greham and hosted by local comic Rhodders.
A Circus of Screams
Saturday 16 & 23 February, 12pm, Meeting place TBC, £20, Book online
The team behind A Vow to Kill and A Shot in the Saddle return with another immersive murder mystery scavenger hunt around Reading. In teams you lead yourselves around town to hunt for clues to solve the murder of famed daredevil knife thrower, Chuck Dagger. The games are interactive taking in clues you’ll find on lampposts, in shop windows, over text messages and on social media. Each clue leads you to the next one and eventually you’ll come together to decide who was the killer. These are always really clever and well organised games that will get you exploring different parts of the town centre in a creative way. I approve.
Food Producers Market
Saturday 16 February, 10am-1pm, St Luke’s Parish Hall, Free entry
Pick up goodies from local food producers, from pies and bread, to jam and tea, as well as craft stalls at this monthly Earleigh Road market. Tea, coffee and cake is also available.
Brewery tour at Double-Barrelled Brewery
Saturday 16 February, 2pm, £10, book online
Get a behind the scenes look at the workings of Reading’s new microbrewery. See how the independent craft beers are made, the story behind the brewery and get a beer tasting in the tap room. Read more about Double-Barrelled Brewery.
Wild Weather Pub Crawl
Saturday 16 February, 2pm, start at The Grumpy Goat, free
Silchester-based craft brewery Wild Weather are launching new branding. To introduce the new look, they’re taking fans on a pub crawl of three Reading venues, starting at the Grumpy Goat to learn about the can design, then on to the Nag’s Head to meet the new cask tap labels and knock back a couple of beers, before heading on to The Fox to see the new keg beer design, and sink a couple more Wild Weather Ales, of course.
We Are Friends Sunday Lunch
Sunday 17 February, 1pm, Milk, £23 a person, book at [email protected].
Vegan supper club gang We Are Friends serve up a plant-based three course Sunday roast to warm you up this winter. Dishes include: beetroot hash with horseradish salsa, a jackfruit, mushroom and ale pie or tofu cutlet with garlic and parsley butter, followed by pears and plums in red wine with a walnut and poppy seed crumble top.
Board Game Evening
Monday 18 February 7pm, The Rising Sun Arts Centre, free.
Turn up and play board games with friends, or join other groups in a bigger game at the first game night from Rising Sun Arts Centre. There’ll be lots of games to choose from and the bar will be open. If it proves popular, it will become a regular fixture.
Comedy at Milk
Tuesday 19 February, 8.30pm, Milk Bar, £5, book tickets.
Reading’s best value comedy night returns headlined by Carl Donnelly from Mock the Week, and support from national touring comedians, American Erich McElroy and Andrew Bird, who’s prepping a routine for his new tour.
The Goose Who Flew
Thursday 21 February, 11.30am, South Street Arts Centre, £8, book tickets
For half term, children’s company Half Moon Theatre use puppetry to tell the story of a goose who has to fly south for warmth in winter, but down below a barbed-wire border has appeared. This heartwarming tale introduces the idea of migration and the issues people face when they arrive in a new land to young people.
Phil Taggart’s Slacker With The Magic Gang
Thursday 21 February, 7.30pm, Sub89, £15, buy tickets
Slacker is a touring gig night curated by Radio 1’s Phil Taggart. Heading it up are Brighton’s four piece low-fi indie pop pickers The Magic Gang. Their lovelorn indie is followed up by Derry’s buzzy punk trio Touts and a ‘genre-melting’ DJ set from Phil Taggart himself.
Reading Brick Show
Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 February, 10am – 5pm, Rivermead Leisure Centre, £9, buy tickets.
See huge scale Lego models made by brick builders in the UK along with lots of fun games for visitors of all ages.
Saturday 23 February, 10.30-3pm, Station Hill, Free entry.
Get hot food, snacks, foods and goods to take home at this monthly Vegan Market. Stalls include Vegivores, Bam Bites, We Are Friends and La Petite Bouche Bakery. There’s also ethical and eco friendly goods from Our Last Straw and Hemp By Nature.
Reading Vintage Kilo Sale
Sunday 24 Feb, 10am, Great Hall, University of Reading, £3 on the door, £1.50 in advance, book online.
Browse your way through tonnes of vintage and retro clothing from the UK’s largest vintage fair, with half menswear, half womenswear. The difference here is that you pay by the weight of your haul, at £15 per kilo of clothing, whatever it is you pick up.
Reading Guild of Artists: 89th Annual Exhibition
From Wednesday 27 February, 10am-4pm Tues – Sat, Reading Museum, free, read more
See art from local artists at this annual exhibition of work from members of the Reading Guild of Artists. Works include local landscapes, abstract textiles and graphic prints. Most of the works are for sale and one piece will win the Marie Dyson Award.
Fuckup Nights: My Foodie Failures
Thursday 28 February, 6.30pm, Central Working R+ Blagrave Street, £15, book online
Connect TVT present a creative networking night with a difference. You’re here to hear about failures from two otherwise successful business pros who’ll share how they failed, how they got over the failures and why they may even have been good things. This time it’s the failures of Melanie Goldmsith, co-founder of Smith & Sinclair who make alcoholic cocktail sweets and Udhi Silva, co-founder and COO of Snaffling Pig, the Yattendon-based pork scratching company.
Hello! I'm Claire, the founding editor of Explore Reading. I'm a Reading native and former digital director of Time Out Shanghai. I founded Explore Reading so no one can say, ‘there’s nothing to do in Reading’, again. When not editing Explore Reading, I'm probably drinking a Manhattan.