December, 2017

PINOCCHIO

PINOCCHIO
NOW
PINOCCHIO

National Theatre – www.nationaltheatre.org.uk
World premiere! From the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the writer of Matilda the Musical, this classic features music and songs from the Walt Disney Film.

BOOK REVIEW WINTER 2017/18

by SHARON FRIED-JONES

PRESCHOOLERS

Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal (Simon and Schuster) Words and Your Heart
Never underestimate the power of words is the point of this heart-warming read. It gently explains that what you say can have an effect on a person’s feelings. With playful illustrations set against a simple colour palate, this book about being kind is just the ticket at a time of year where consumerism is at an all time high.






The Wildest CowboyThe Wildest Cowboy by Gareth Jennings and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie (Pan Macmillan) Brought to you by the writer and director of Sing, uber talented Garth Jennings has come up with a cracking story of what happens when Bingo B. Brown turns up in a town they call Fear. A rip-roaring rhyming tale vibrantly illustrated by Sara Ogilvie. Julia Donaldson fans will enjoy this.






LITTLE KIDS

The Variety of LifeSticker Art by The Variety of Life by Nicola Davies and Lorna Scobie (Hodder Children’s Books)
Make space on your shelves for this big but beautiful book which explores the diversity of our planet. It is absolutely stunning to look at and there are so many facts for young minds to absorb. This timeless book brings non-fiction to life in a way which all ages can appreciate. This is really such a great book – absolutely beautifully done. Treat your kids to it.






Harper and the Fire StarHarper and the Fire Star by Cerrie Burnell and illustraded by Laura Ellen Anderson (Scholastic)
This is the fourth instalment of the successful Harper series – a girl with a rare musical gift. It sees Harper and her friends on a mission to help the Wild Conductor win back his place in the magical Circus of Dreams. Laura Ellen Anderson’s illustrations really bring the story to life with her zingy illustrations.










BIG KIDS

Optical IllusionsOptical Illusions by Gianni A. Sarcone and Marie-Jo Waeber (QED Publishing)
Now this is exactly the kind of book that will keep young minds busy. Jam-packed with brain-whizzing tricks of the mind, not only do you find out the science behind the illusions but there’s a whole section on how to create your own. One for kids and adults alike.









101 Video Games To Play Before You Grow Up101 Video Games To Play Before You Grow Up by Ben Bertoli (Walter Foster Junior)
If you’re struggling to get your child off their video consoles for more than 10 minutes, buy them this book which they’ll actually have to read before returning to Fifa 18. This is bucket-list territory and is perfect for all big kids!

SANTA, FATHER CHRISTMAS, ST NICK – WHERE TO BOOK

Santa, Father Christmas, St Nick – where to find the big man if you still haven’t booked.

 

Broadgate Santa at The Winter Forest

 

There comes a time in every child’s life where Christmas becomes a huge deal, and Santa becomes a method of bribery for all parents. But that’s after a few magical years with pre-schoolers who truly believe and who are still willing and able to behave without serious ‘Father Christmas is watching you’ threats at every turn. For those precious years, we’ve a round up of where to find St Nick as he does his rounds in London. If you’ve left it late and are in panic mode, we’ve done the research and found places where you can still book to see St Nick this Christmas.

You’re welcome.

CHISWICK

Join Santa for some fun festive craft perfect for under 5s.
10.00 Buttercups Homefields, W4
£3 all proceeds to Neuroblastoma UK
020 8840 4838 info@buttercups-nursery.co.uk

WESTFIELD LONDON

Sold out tomorrow and Sunday, but from Monday there are still tickets available during the week and on weekends. Santa’s Snowflake Grotto is no ordinary grotto, but a spellbinding Snowflake Factory taking visitors on a journey through a magical winter wonderland. Children will discover that – just like them – every snowflake in the world is unique.

Tickets still available on various dates until Christmas Eve at £7 per adult/child.
www.eventbrite.co.uk

BROADGATE

Write wish-lists at a Christmas card-making workshop held by Homemade London and meet Santa. Shop at The Winter Market or watch festive films, such as Frozen and It’s a Wonderful Life, in The Winter Forest’s Tipi cinema.

Saturday 9th December, 11am – 3pm (card-making workshop 11am – 1pm)
The Winter Forest, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2M 2QS
www.thewinterforest.broadgate.co.uk

SELFRIDGES

The Grotto is booked up but Santa still fills the store with festive cheer each afternoon. Follow Father Christmas and his chief elf as they spread their Christmas cheer throughout the store, taking selfies with their fans and creating magical moments for all the family.

From 1pm Daily until 24th December
www.selfridges.com

HAMLEYS

Ok so it’s booked up to see The Big Man, but the elves will be up to their usual mischief throughout the store. Hamleys Elves love getting their pictures taken so make sure you get an “Elfy” with them and hashtag Hamleys and your local store name on Facebook or #Hamleys.

Daily until 24th December
www.hamleys.com

LYRIC, HAMMERSMITH

He’s a talented fellow this Father Christmas. As well as delivering Christmas to kids all over the world, he has an annual stint at The Lyric to perform. Perfect for under 6s.

Daily until 24th December
www.lyric.co.uk

 

Watercress Line Santa Special

WATERCRESS LINE SANTA SPECIAL

For something really special book a ticket on this old steam train. As you travel in a festive traditional train carriage, Santa and his jolly helpers visit you in your seat with a special gift. There is white wine and mince pies for the grown-ups and soft drinks and a gingerbread man for the children. Don’t forget to bring your very best singing voice to join in with your favourite Christmas songs too!

Booking essential.
Various dates until 24th December
www.watercressline.co.uk

BOOK AN ELF

Oh yes you can! Party organisers, Dazzle & Fizz have created a personalised elf visit, bringing  all the magic of Christmas to your front door. The experience includes a bespoke letter to your children from Santa himself as well as a dramatic retelling of  ‘The Night Before Christmas’ to get you all in the festive spirit.  Each family will receive one book to keep as a memento, plus each child will keep their letter from St Nick.

Booking essential (obvs)
£120 for 30 mins
info@dazzleandfizz.co.uk /01483 849 009)

 

Book an Elf with Dazzle & Fizz

VENOM KILLER & CURE

VENOM KILLER & CURE
NOW
VENOM KILLER & CURE

National History Museum – www.nhm.ac.uk
Encounter some of the world’s most venomous creatures and discover their surprising connection to human health. Specimens include snakes, centipedes, snails, scorpions and the unassuming platypus. From 10 Nov till 13 May.

THE BOX OF DELIGHTS

THE BOX OF DELIGHTS
1 DEC – 6 JAN
THE BOX OF DELIGHTS

Wilton’s Music Hall – www.wiltons.org.uk
John Masefield’s Christmas classic starring Matthew Kelly and Josefina Gabrielle. A City Kids favourite childrens’ novel.

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
NOW
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

The Lyric, Hammersmith – www.lyric.co.uk
Having now seen this year’s offering by The Lyric, let’s just say that Vikki Stone steals the show. For the second year running she brings her humour, wild eyes and crazy head gear (well done to Susanna Peretz) to Hammersmith, seeing parents and kids alike crying with laughter. Added tears of joy were provided this year by Daniel Fraser, playing Jill, whose wig flew off to the merriment of the audience and his co-stars Kayla Miekle and Cherelle Skeete, who somehow managed to get through the rest of their scene. Pure professionalism!

Kids’ favourite bits: Fleshcreep, Hammersmith sing-along.
Would have liked more: sweets, current songs.

 

See here for more in December

TUDOR MARKETS

TUDOR MARKETS
NOW
TUDOR MARKETS

Tower Bridge – www.tudormarkets.com
Discover wooden cabins by the river and in Hays Galleria and get all Christmassy with the shopping and food on offer. From 30 November to 3 January.

HARRY POTTER FAMILY DAY

HARRY POTTER  FAMILY DAY
2 DECEMBER
HARRY POTTER FAMILY DAY

British Library – www.bl.uk
Visit the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition, get creative in hands-on workshops and delve into the magical world of storytelling. Create your own puppets, make and gaze through your own star telescopes and hear some amazing stories.

LEGOLAND CHRISTMAS

LEGOLAND CHRISTMAS
FROM 2 DECEMBER
LEGOLAND CHRISTMAS

Legoland Windsor Resort – www.legoland.co.uk
A Christmas land with over 30 rides available, elves to help build Lego gifts to take home, and Father Christmas in his grotto. Also 3, 9, 10, 16-24 December.

SANTA & HUSKIES

2 & 3 DECEMBER
SANTA & HUSKIES

Wetland Centre, Barnes – www.wwt.org.uk
Meet Santa, help the elves in their workshop and take home small gifts. Must be pre-booked.

DOT TO DOT CHRISTMAS MARKET

DOT TO DOT CHRISTMAS MARKET
3 DECEMBER
DOT TO DOT CHRISTMAS MARKET

V&A Museum of Childhood – www.dottodotlondon.com
Largely made up of independent retailers and small businesses, up to 30 stall holders will be selling clothing, accessories and toys just in time for Christmas.

ALICE IN WINTERLAND

ALICE IN WINTERLAND
7 DEC TO 7 JAN
ALICE IN WINTERLAND

Rose Theatre, Kingston – www.rosetheatrekingston.org
Follow Alice to the curious world of Winterland based on Lewis Carroll’s timeless books. Expect a Bandersnatch and a Jabberwock amongst mad hatters and cruel queens.

MOTHER GOOSE

MOTHER GOOSE
14 DEC TO 1 JAN
MOTHER GOOSE

Questors Theatre, Ealing – www.questors.org.uk
A fun, family adventure where you can sing along, shout at the nasty troll, meet the Giant Geese of Boundtobiteyou and even do some yodelling! Oh – and don’t forget to wear your Christmas jumper!

RECCE RACERS

RECCE RACERS
16 DEC TO 7 JAN
RECCE RACERS

National Army Museum – www.nam.ac.uk
Learn about army reconnaissance and have a go at making your own mini vehicle to take home.

WIFI WARS

WIFI WARS
FROM 18 DECEMBER
WIFI WARS

Royal Institution – www.rigb.org
One for older kids, Steve McNeil and Rob Sedgebeer return with comedy guests where the whole audience will get to play on their World Record-breaking gaming technology.

THE CHRISTMASAURUS

THE CHRISTMASAURUS
21 DEC TO 28 DEC
THE CHRISTMASAURUS

Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith – www.eventimapollo.com
Debut novel by McFly star Tom Fletcher transforms to a live show featuring the man himself and Father Christmas and special guests.