News

Friday Five Weekend 16-17 November


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

GROOVE BABY PRESENTS GROOVE ONTO THE MOON
Royal Festival Hall
Against a backdrop of Ally Pally’s panoramic views of London, fireworks will light up the skyline in a unique display. There will be music, cabaret, bars, a funfair filled with retro rides, the great bonfire and a family friendly area.

southbankcentre.co.uk

 

DECORCAFE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
Strawberry Hill House
Enjoy a day of festive shopping and seasonal decor in this stunning setting. From bespoke and original handmade gifts, local crafts and produce, Christmas styling across the historic rooms, demonstrations, tastings and inspired gifts to purchase. And festive foods!
All weekend
strawberryhillhouse.org.uk

JAZZ FOR TODDLERS

Royal Festival Hall
Get the kids syncopating at an interactive music session for toddlers aged 2-5.
southbankcentre.co.uk

COUNTRY LIVING CHRISTMAS FAIR
Business Design Centre, Islington
A fair where you can channel your creativity thanks to numerous workshops or shop til you drop.
All weekend
countrylivingfair.com

 


RUMPELSTILTSKIN
Watermans Brentford
Theatre of Widdershins with their trademark puppets, music and storytelling perform Rumpelstiltskin and the Snail of Fortune. This golden production is perfect for 4+ years.
Sunday
watermans.org.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

Friday Five Weekend 2-3 November


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
Alexandra Palace
Against a backdrop of Ally Pally’s panoramic views of London, fireworks will light up the skyline in a unique display. There will be music, cabaret, bars, a funfair filled with retro rides, the great bonfire and a family friendly area.
Saturday
fireworks.london

 

BAUHAUS BABY BALLROOM
Whitechapel Gallery
Celebrate 100 years of Bauhaus with a family disco, music and art. Mocktails will be served plus there will be abstract costume creation, geometric mobiles, architectural collages and Bauhaus badges.
Saturday
whitechapelgallery.org

 

FAMILY ART DAY
October Gallery
Engage with the galleries current exhibitions in this imaginative art making and multi sensory storytelling session for 0-7s.
Saturday
octobergalleryed

 

FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR
Crystal Palace
Food, drink, entertainment areas, fairgrounds, a Lords of Lightning Light show plus a spectacular firework display with lasers to boot.
Saturday
fireworksspectacular.co.uk

 

DIWALI IN LONDON
Trafalgar Square
Come and enjoy the delights of Diwali with a day of entertainment in the capital. As well as music, dancing and mouthwatering Indian treats there will be a children’s zone with plenty of fun activities on offer.
Sunday
diwaliinlondon.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

Friday Five Weekend 26-27 October


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

HARVEST CELEBRATION
Borough Market
Celebrate Autumn at this harvest event for the whole family. With face painting, storytelling, pumpkin carving and cooking demonstrations there is something for everyone.
Saturday
boroughmarket.org.uk

HORNIMAN HALLOWEEN FAIR
Horniman Museum and Gardens
Get dressed up in your scariest costume for this fiendish Halloween family fair. There will be spooky storytelling, creepy crawlies and treats at the food stall and arts and crafts market.
All weekend
horniman.ac.uk

DIWALI FESTIVAL OF LIGHT
Natural Maritime Museum
Celebrate Diwali with some free family fun at the National Maritime Museum. There will be music, dance, arts and crafts, a parade and a celebration of light.
Saturday
rmg.co.uk

 

DESIGNING HEY DUGGEE
Design Museum
Explore the design, animation and production process behind Hey Duggee, the much loved CBeebies animated series, in this free family friendly display.
All weekend
designmuseum.org

 

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

Friday Five Weekend 12-13 October


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

HIDDEN LONDON
London Transport Museum
Go on an immersive journey of some of London’s most secret spaces in the oldest subterranean railway in the world in this new exhibition opening just in time for the weekend. Visit an ‘abandoned’ Tube station underworld and see a recreation of the secret dining room where Churchill sheltered.
All weekend
ltmuseum.co.uk

 

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CHELSEA HISTORY FESTIVAL
Various locations in Chelsea
Celebrate the history of Chelsea at this family friendly festival. Activities include Giant Games for little soldiers at the National Army Museum, the hidden history hunt at the Royal Hospital and Medicine Through Time at the Chelsea Psychic Garden.
Saturday
chelseahistoryfestival.com

 

BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL
October Gallery
As part of the Bloomsbury Festival, the gallery are running a Family Art Day inspired by the 1969 moon landing with art making activities and story telling.
Saturday
bloomsburyfestival.org.uk

 

THE HOUSE FULL OF STUFF WORKSHOP
Tate Modern
Inspired by her new book, author and illustrator Emily Rand is putting on a make and do workshop where you can create an invention and make a collage with images of junk objects.
Sunday
tate.org.uk

 

NEW SCIENTIST LIVE
ExCel London
Get your mind blown by some fascinating Science in this festival for all the family. Take part in a rocket building workshop, hop on a VR rollercoaster ride, launch your very own Saturn V rocket to the moon and enjoy some science story time with Maddie from CBeebies.
All weekend
newscientist.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

FANCY STAYING IN A CASTLE?

 

Hever Castle’s Bed and Breakfast scores 96% and maintains its 5* Gold status after Visit England assessment

 

Hever Castle’s luxury Bed and Breakfast has maintained its 5* Gold status and a Breakfast award.

The accommodation was assessed by Visit England and received a 96% quality score. To gain a 5* rating businesses have to score between 85% and 100% and are marked on bedrooms, bathrooms, cleanliness, hospitality and breakfast.

The Gold award is given to accommodation which offers the `best of the best’ including exceptional quality and going the extra mile for their customers and the Breakfast Awards recognises breakfasts which exceed guest expectations.

Visit England said that: “Hever Castle Bed & Breakfast presented extremely well on this year’s day assessment, comfortably retaining its Five Star Guest Accommodation rating.”

Hever Castle’s four bedroom holiday cottage, Medley Cottage also maintained its 5* Gold rating, scoring 92%.

House Manager Roland Smith said: “We are delighted that the hard work and high standards of cleanliness and customer service has been recognised by Visit England. It is testament to our dedicated members of staff that we have retained this accolade. We look forward to welcoming more guests to our luxury accommodation throughout 2019 and 2020.”

The bed and breakfast is housed in the ‘Tudor Village’ – an Edwardian extension to the Castle which consists of the ‘Astor Wing’ and recently refurbished ‘Anne Boleyn Wing’ – with 28 bedrooms in total.

The extension was added to the Castle by William Waldorf Astor to accommodate staff and guests was previously only available for weddings and corporate events.

In 2012 underfloor heating, flat screen TVs and wifi were added as part of a refurbishment to open the accommodation up to the general public. The doors opened in March 2012.

All bedrooms are en-suite and individually styled, with some offering four poster beds, roll top baths or walk in showers.

Guests to the luxury bed and breakfast, which recently received the TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence for the fourth year running, have exclusive access to some of the 125 acre award winning gardens when they are closed to the general public.

For bookings head to hevercastle.co.uk

Photos: Hever Castle & Gardens

 

Friday Five Weekend 5-6 October


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

SOUTHBANK SINFONIA FAMILY CONCERT
Southbank Centre
There will be live musical performance, film and theatrical lighting in this immersive classical music concert for all the family. You will also get to meet the musicians and try out their instruments at the end of the show.
Saturday
southbankcentre.co.uk

 

FESTIVAL OF THE GIRL
Tower Hamlets, E14
Girls from across the city have been invited to attend London’s first ever Festival of the Girl. A family event packed with workshops, interactive sessions, speakers and live performers.
Saturday
festivalofthegirl.com

 

FUN PALACES
Half Moon Theatre
A fabulous way to educate the little ones on recycling with this free family fun day which is all about reducing, reusing and recycling.  There will be storytelling, pop up performances, arts and crafts plus tea and cake.
Sunday
halfmoon.org.uk

 

THE PIRATE CRUNCHER
artsdepot, North Finchley
A comically gruesome adventure of pirates, monsters and the ingenuity of one small girl. Check out this new hilariously exciting play by Toby Hulse, adapted from the best selling picture book by Jonny Duddle.
Sunday
artsdepot.co.uk

 

APPLE WEEKEND 2019
Fenton House and Garden
Try out different varieties of apple and juice from the Fenton House trees while the kids make badges, do some apple juicing and partake in giant lawn games, at this annual celebration.
All weekend
nationaltrust.org.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

 

YUU KITCHEN AT ICEBAR IN MAYFAIR REVIEW

 

Our Editor, Victoria Evans, took her two kids to experience Asian food at Yuu Kitchen followed by the deep freeze at Icebar in Mayfair

 

You Kitchen at Icebar is the brainchild of two of the founders of Icebar with the canny employment of head chef Jon de Villa from Nobu Mayfair. The combination makes for supremely tasty food in dramatic surroundings adorned by the artwork of Lunatic.

If you’re a fan of bao buns you won’t be disappointed. And for kids this was heaven.

7up braised pork belly got the thumbs up; wagyu, soy and buttermilk crispy chicken baos were also good. Going Asian means the standard order of edamame, but we also chose the baby back ribs, chicken wings and spicy tuna tostada. Two kids (13 and 10) made the most of what was on offer and the kitchen was happy to remove all sauces from orders for the fussy, trying-to-be-adventurous 10 year-old.

Topping off a savoury selection with a sweet bao bun filled with ice cream is always going to be a winner with kids; mid-life waistlines not so much.

The decor is achingly cool thanks to the stripped back benches, bar area and exposed brick, as well as that artwork by Lunatic. Manga lovers will be delighted but if you’re the wrong side of forty you might find the lighting a touch too moody.

A visit to Yuu isn’t complete without a trip to the Icebar, and guess what?

It’s cold. Very cold. Not surprising that you are put (quite literally) into a cloak before heading into the deep freeze. Fantastic sculptures and a shot of something warming (or non-alcoholic if you prefer) are the order of the day. The kids enjoyed it, but even they were feeling the cold after about 15 minutes. We did stay long enough for a photo though!

 

 

 

For reservations:

31-33 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BN

yuukitchen.com

icebarlondon.com

FALCONS GIRLS UNVEILS ITS CREATION STATION

 

Putney-based Falcons School for Girls has unveiled its latest investment – a new state of the art technology suite.

 

Thanks to the newly opened, and aptly named, ‘Creation Station’, pupils in Years 1 to 6 will now benefit from being able to hone their IT and Music Technology skills, allowing their practical and creative learning to blossom as they access the latest Apple Macs, all equipped with advanced software.

Headmistress at Falcons School for Girls, Sara Williams-Ryan said: “The pupils have loved experimenting with the new Music Technology software and are extremely excited to try lots of different ICT skills! The ‘Creation Station’ complements the use of iPads and laptops in their other subjects.

“We are keen to ensure that our pupils have access to the very latest technology, to support our belief that children will flourish if we engage and challenge learners at every opportunity”.

The new area compliments the multiple specialist spaces for the teaching of the more creative and scientific subjects including; a well-equipped Science laboratory, a spacious and inspiring Art room, a Drama studio complete with a plethora of props and staging and a stimulating Music room.

Falcons Girls strives to strengthen and enhance the pupils’ learning pathways through carefully planned lessons and activities, supported by a rich co-curricular programme. The school also works closely with parents and guides them through entry to senior school, helping to prepare each pupil for entry into the senior school which best meets their learning needs and future development.

For more information on Falcons School for Girls, or to register for an Open Day, call Harriet Stokes, Admissions on Tel: 0208 992 5189 or email admissions@falconsgirls.co.uk

falconsgirls.co.uk

 

Friday Five Weekend 14-15 September


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

FAMILY FESTIVAL: QUEEN VICTORIA’S CIRCUS
Windsor Castle
It’s time to celebrate Queen Victoria in the 200th anniversary of her birth. There will be a Victorian circus, some regal storytelling, falconry and horse riding displays and costume handling in this fun filled family festival.
Saturday
rct.uk

COOKBOOK FESTIVAL
Chiswick
Chefs, cooks and authors come together for talks and demos all weekend. Jo Pratt and Michael Fort are two names to celebrate but there are many more. Turnham Green Terrace will also be closed to traffic on Sunday for a very special street party. Events are ticketed.
Saturday & Sunday
cookbookfestival.org

 

BERNARD MAKES A SPLASH
Tate Modern
A make & do workshop around author and illustrator Lisa Stickley’s new book, a story about courage and self-belief. Make a spinning Bernard, design your own swimming costume, spot the difference and get drawing on a giant colouring in sheet.
Sunday
tate.org.uk

 

TOWER OF LONDON FOOD FESTIVAL
Tower of London
The Tower of London Food Festival returns with an array of delectable treats. The little ones will also be looked after with a range of exciting activities including kids cookery classes with Cordon Bleu, vintage games and face painting.
All weekend
hrpfoodfestivals.com

 

COLOURSCAPE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Clapham Common
Colourscape is back at Clapham Common with a 4 day concert inside the walk in structure of colour and light.
All weekend
eyemusic.org.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

 

Friday Five Weekend 7-8 September


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

CUTTY SARK FLOTILLA
Cutty Sark
As part of Thames Festival 2019 Cutty Sark invite you to create your own tall ship to add to a magnificent flotilla of masts and sails underneath the ship. Listen to poetry from students of the Rivers of the World project and write your own poem on your ship.
All weekend
rmg.co.uk

 

THE CLASSIC BOAT FESTIVAL 2019
St Katherine Docks
The festival will host an impressive display of beautiful classic boats. With plenty of activities for visitors, families and friends to enjoy including a tour of the historic Lady Daphne, paddle-boarding in the Marina and the all important Kids Club.
All weekend
skdocks.co.uk

 

FAMILY STUDIO: PUT IT IN PORTRAIT
Royal Academy
Experiment with printmaking techniques in this free workshop for families. Inspired by the graphic prints in their exhibition Felix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet find your own printing style and make some artwork to take home.
Sunday
royalacademy.org.uk

 

DIDDI DANCE
Jewish Museum
Get your dancing shoes on for this funky music session.  There will be dancing games, hoops,  bells, ribbons and exercises with dance moves from hip hop and salsa to disco and country.
Sunday
jewishmuseum.org.uk

 

BERMONDSEY FOLK FESTIVAL
Bermondsey
Head on down to South East London for a free family friendly folk festival. Folk music, craft beer, street food stalls and family activities including the opportunity to meet some friendly farm animals with Surrey Docks Farm Petty Zoo.
Sunday
bermondseyfolkfestival.co.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

Friday Five Weekend 31 August -1 September


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this bank holiday weekend in London.

TWIRLYWOOS LIVE
Underbelly Southbank
Twirlywoos are coming to the stage and will feature all your favourite characters from the hit TV show. There will be puppetry, music and a load of surprises throughout.
All weekend
twirlywoosliveonstage.com

LONDON MELA
Southall Park
Inspired by South East Asia, Southall Park brings you a festival for all the family. Expect musicians, an Asian food market, dancers and DJ’s plus a children’s fun area in this celebration of Asian culture.
All weekend
londonmela.org

MUD CLOTH ANIMALS
William Morris Gallery
It’s family day at the William Morris Gallery and this month you can have a go at making a textile from Mali, mud cloth and you get to meet the Suntrap animals who have come all the way from Africa.
Sunday
wmgallery.org.uk

LONDON ZOO SUMMER FAMILY FESTIVAL
ZSL London Zoo
Say goodbye to Summer with the ultimate experience for your little ones. There will be an interactive kids quiz, animal themed storytelling, crafts, and vet or zookeeper role play at this action packed festival.
All weekend
zsl.org

KIDS MINI FEST
London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park
A weekend of family festival fun awaits. Activities include hula hooping, face paints, bubble wizards and ribbon twirling plus live music and a DJ playing kids favourite tunes.
All weekend
londondesigneroutlet.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 24-26 August


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this bank holiday weekend in London.

THE FAMILY FOLK SHOW
Canary Wharf Crossrail Place Roof Garden
Award-winning folk duo Megson put on a family friendly interactive theatrical musical performance. With clever storytelling between playful folk songs, audiences are introduced to the instruments played and the stories sung about.
Saturday
halfmoon.org.uk

 

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SMITHFIELD STREET PARTY: A BEASTLY ADVENTURE
Smithfield Market and Rotunda
A free street party where animals top the bill. Learn how to dance like a bee, take part in running classes and animal amusements, look up and watch aerialists fly through the sky and learn how to look after the animals that live alongside us.
Sunday
culturemile.london

 

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL FAMILY DAY
Notting Hill
Sunday is family day at Europe’s biggest street festival, as crowds are smaller and floats more family-friendly plus there is a children’s parade. Fancy dress is definitely encouraged.
Sunday
thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com

 

A ROYAL FAMILY FESTIVAL
Buckingham Palace, The Royal Mews, The Queen’s Gallery
A family festival is taking place at all of the above locations which will be packed with exciting activities for the family to enjoy. Drop-in circus demonstrations, arts and crafts, dressing up and more will bring the role of the Palace and the Royal Family to life.
All weekend
rct.uk

 

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

Friday Five Weekend 17-18 August


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

THE LOST LUGGAGE ADVENTURES
The Cockpit
Every suitcase has a story to tell and this show will take you on its magical journey.  With puppetry and a special pop up set the audience will be captivated from start to finish. Suitable for ages 3+.
Saturday
thecockpit.org.uk

 

ROYAL WHARF SUMMER FETE
Royal Wharf Park, E16
This free fete will offer food and drink vendors, entertainment including a soft play area by Gymboree, face painters, balloon modellers, Gandini jugglers, bubble performers and more.
Saturday
royalwharf.com

 

THE GREAT FETE
Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Park will play host to a delightful and eclectic mix of entertainment, education and performance at this free family Summer fete.
Saturday
thegreatfete.alexandrapalace.com

 

THE LONDON DESSERT FESTIVAL
The Old Truman Brewery, East London
Every kids dream, and adults for that matter.  Walls covered in chocolate, chocolate infused tastings orbs, ice cream flavoured bubbles, a patisserie zone, a chocolate wrapping room and rain in the form of sprinkles. Sounds sweet right!?
All weekend
londondessertfestival.com

THE JUNGLE ADVENTURE
Westfield Stratford City
Get a bit of jungle fever at this free event which features a climbing wall, animal toy rides, face painting, a photo-booth and the first ever Virtual Reserve for mini adventurers that transports them from the city into a real life wilderness.
All weekend
westfield.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

Friday Five Weekend 10-11 August


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
Canary Wharf
As part of the Canary Wharf Summer Family Festival, Let’s All Dance will be performing their adaptation of The Princess and the Frog. A magical ballet for all the family!
Saturday
canarywharf.com

TARGET PRACTICE: NERF GUNS
National Army Museum
This Fortnite-themed target practice session ties in with the displays from Abram Games who designed a number of posters to educate soldiers about the use and care of weapons. Guns had to be kept clean and maintained to fire accurately. 8yrs+
Saturday
nam.ac.uk

FAMILY DAY: MICHAEL RAKOWITZ
Whitechapel Gallery
Inspired by the Michael Rakowitz exhibition, this family day will look at identity, borders culture and the significance of every day.
Saturday
whitechapelgallery.org

LEICESTER SQUARE SUMMER SCREENINGS
Leicester Square
Leicester Square plays host to a free family friendly festival of films. Screenings include The Little Mermaid, E.T, Mary Poppins Returns and a Grease, Frozen and The Greatest Showman singalong.
All weekend
leicestersquare.london

LONDON WILDLIFE FESTIVAL
Walthamstow Wetlands
Head East for a new family friendly urban event that celebrates the conservation and culture of Britain’s natural world. There will be fun family activities and immersive workshops inspired by nature.
All weekend
londonwildlifefest.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 3-4 August


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

WHIPPERSNAPPERS FAIRYLAND 2019
Dulwich Park
Enter the magical land of Wyld Woods this Summer and go on a mythical adventure. Meet the tooth fairy, have some sparkly face paint, make your own fairy garland, help prepare fairy cakes and enjoy some theatrical storytelling.
Saturday
whippersnappers.org

 

THE LONDON SLIME FESTIVAL
York Hall, Bethnal Green
It’s all about the goo at this years biggest slime event where there will be workshops, messy play, live demonstrations, a nail bar, face painting and plenty of interactives for the little ones to enjoy.
Saturday
slimelondon.com

CAPTAIN MICK SWAGGER AND THE SWASHBUCKLING PARROTS
The Golden Hinde, SE1
Arrrrrr! Come meet Captain Mick Swagger and the parrots and check out their latest antics in this pirate themed family friendly show on board a boat.
Sunday
goldenhinde.co.uk

 

WALTHAM FOREST MELA
Leyton Jubilee Park
Celebrate South Asian culture at this free family friendly event which features music, dance, theatre, food, traditional art and crafts and a giant funfair.
Sunday
wfculture19.co.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 27-28 July



It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

SHAKESPEARE’S TELLING TALES
The Globe Theatre
The Globe’s family festival brings together families, children’s authors, performers and storytellers to celebrate the power of imagination.
All weekend
shakespearesglobe.com

FIESTA DE MEXICO
Guildhall Yard
Head to London for the first ever Mexican festival.  The Yard will come alive with the sounds, smells and tastes of Mexico and there will be plenty of Mexican food, drink and family entertainment available including art workshops, ‘loitas card’ making and basket weaving.
All weekend
paternostersquare.info

ILLUSTRATOR TAKEOVER DAY
Discover Story Centre
Head over to Discover for a whole day of doodling with some brilliant illustrators and authors, who will demonstrate their skills and teach you how to draw pirates and aliens. The day will be completed with a head to head Draw Off.
Saturday
discover.org.uk

 

BIG FISH LITTLE FISH FAMILY RAVE
Horniman Museum
Big Fish Little Fish are taking over the Horniman Gardens for an afternoon of outdoor festival raving fun.  Dance with your family under bubbles and balloons to acid house, techno and drum and bass. The Orb are playing and there will be crafts with Captain Cookie, face painting and storytelling for the little ones.
All weekend
horniman.ac.uk

 

PARCHMARKS PROJECT FAMILY FUN DAY
Fulham Palace
Find out about the marks that appear on the Fulham Palace lawn each summer.  Get hands on with archaeology, take a tour of the site, and recreate their lost medieval chapel with cardboard boxes.                                                                                                                                                Sunday
www.fulhampalace.org

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 20-21 July



It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

KEW SCIENCE FESTIVAL
Kew Gardens
Get your lab coat and goggles at the ready, it’s time to experiment.  Fun for all the family, there will be workshops, behind the scenes tours, hands on experiments, shows and a bunch of Kew’s scientists to explain how they are protecting rare plants and fungi.
All weekend
kew.org

 

FESTIVAL OF PLAY
Museum of Childhood
It’s all about celebrating play at this free weekend festival. Suitable for all ages, there will be plenty of games, workshops and activities including making robot sculptures, baby sensory play and how to make a video game.
All weekend
vam.ac.uk

 

LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW
Brockwell Park
Head on over to Brixton for this family friendly event where you can get to meet animals from Vauxhall City Farm, browse stalls, listen to a bit of live music, do some arts and crafts, get some yummy grub plus loads more, there is something for everyone!
All weekend
lambethcountryshow.co.uk

APOLLO 11 FAMILY FESTIVAL
Science Museum
Get dressed as an astronaut, find out what happened to all the Moon rocks, discover how your body changes in space and see a special screening of the Clangers at this festival which marks the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo Moon landing.
All weekend
sciencemuseum.org.uk

 


OVER THE MOON: OPERA FOR BABIES
Canary Wharf
As part of the Canary Wharf Summer Family Festival, Over the Moon is a free interactive, operatic adventure for babies. A calm, playful and relaxing first opera experience for the small ones and their grown ups.
Sunday
canarywharf.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 13-14 July



It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

FAMILY FUN OPEN WEEKEND
London Transport Museum Depot, Acton
A weekend of family fun giving children the chance to explore, learn and play in a treasure-trove of iconic artefacts from London’s transport history.
All weekend
ltmuseum.co.uk

 

JAZZ FOR KIDS
Royal Albert Hall
Enjoy a relaxed jazz concert perfect for little ears in an informal environment, performed by musicians from Albert’s Band.
Saturday
royalalberthall.com

 


ONBLACKHEATH 2019
Blackheath
A load of family fun to be had at ONBlackheath 2019 this weekend. Head to The Family Playground where you can meet Mister Maker, see Andy and the Odd Socks, touch a tarantula in the Mini Zoo or get stuck into a slime workshop with The Science Museum.
All weekend
onblackheath.com

 

CITADEL FESTIVAL
Gunnersbury Park
Messy art, storytelling, music, sport and even Peppa Pig at this one day family-friendly festival in West London.
Sunday
citadelfestival.com

 


WALTHAMSTOW GARDEN PARTY
Lloyd Park, E17
Enjoy a brilliant two day free festival celebrating global culture in London’s 2019 Borough of Culture this weekend. There will be music, arts and crafts, dance, circus and much more in this family friendly event.
All weekend
walthamstowgardenparty.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

TOP 5 LONDON PLAYGROUNDS


We all spend a lot of time in playgrounds with the kiddies so we have narrowed down our Top 5 in London

 

TUMBLING BAY PLAYGROUND
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
This huge playground built on the landscape of the Olympic Park encourages your children to experiment in a natural environment.  With tree houses, rock pools, sandpits and rope bridges your child will not only be entertained they will be inspired to.
queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk


CHILDREN’S GARDEN
Kew Gardens
The new interactive Children’s Garden suitable for ages 2 to 12 years old is now open. There is an earth, air, water and sun garden with lots of fun things such as a bamboo tunnel, a worm-hole tube slide, trampolines, a stream and splash pool and much more.
kew.org

 

PADDINGTON RECREATION GROUND
Paddington
An excellent large playground that caters for both the big and little kids..  With an adventure castle, a mini street, a percussion garden, a shipwreck climbing frame, a train station and a zip wire you will struggle to get them to leave this one.
westminster.gov.uk

 


RAF MUSEUM
Hendon
An outdoor playground with mini models of iconic aircraft such as the famous Spitfire and powerful Sea-King helicopter, there is even a mini version of the historic Grahame-White building.  With slides, nets, poles and ladders this play area is a wonderful place to fuel the little ones imaginations
rafmuseum.org.uk

 


BATTERSEA PARK ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND
Battersea
There’s heaps of fun to be had in this playground where kids can ride a tractor, hop in a car, ride a life size helicopter, get creative drawing their own animals on the chalk boards or be a fireman in the fire engine. The playground invites them to test their skills as they build, swing, balance and ride while the parents can have a sit down on the picnic tables surrounding it.
batterseaparkzoo.co.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 6-7 July



It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

RHS HAMPTON COURT PALACE GARDEN FESTIVAL
Hampton Court Palace
Kids go free at this glorious festival which promises to be a fantastic family day out, featuring children’s entertainment.
All weekend
rhs.org.uk

 

TRINITY LABAN DANCE FESTIVAL
Horniman Museum
Enjoy a day of family fun with dance performances, workshops and music from around the world. Bring your dancing shoes and join in the fun.
Sunday
horniman.ac.uk

 


FAMILY PRIDE
Royal Opera House
Head to the Royal Opera House for some family fun the day after the Pride in London Parade.  Continue the festivities and celebrate the triumphs of the LGBT+ community.  Take part in a Big Tea dance, make activities and dress up.
Sunday
roh.org.uk

 

BALLET SHOES
The Peacock, Holborn
London’s Children’s Ballet return to the stage for an adaptation of this classic tale which sees the determined sisters take to the stage in order to support their adopted family.
All weekend
londonchildrensballet.comSUPER SATURDAY OF SPORT
Chiswick
Super Saturday of Sport is back! Let your kids experience new sports, and find their active passion. Free sessions all day, starting with a full family warm-up with AnimalFu.
Saturday
supersaturdayofsport.net

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 29-30 June


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.


THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
Barbican
The family film club continues at the Barbican with the fairy tale The Princess and the Frog.  The heroine Tiana being transformed into an amphibian by an enchanted frog will be the twist for this show.  There will also be an opportunity to learn some froggy facts in their show and tell, and you can get involved in their paper puppet workshop inspired by the film.
Saturday
barbican.org.uk

 

FAMILY DAY: COLOURFUL TEXTILES
William Morris Gallery
It’s family fun time at the William Morris Gallery in this free, drop in event suitable for children of all ages.  Get creative and make colourful textiles inspired by Madge Gill.
Saturday
wmgallery.org.uk

 


‘BEAT OUT THAT RHYTHM’ FAMILY SUNDAY
Royal Opera House
This Family Sunday will see the building transformed into a playground where children can make crafts and sing and dance in a host of activities inspired by the opera Carmen.
Sunday
roh.org.uk

 

THE GREAT EXHIBITION ROAD FESTIVAL
South Kensington
This festival is a three-day celebration of curiosity, discovery and exploration.  There are hundreds of hands-on activities including the chance to play chess with robots, multi-sensory experiences and virtual-reality headsets too.
All weekend
greatexhibitionroadfestival.co.uk

 

TOWER BRIDGE 125th ANNIVERSARY
Tower Bridge
Head to Tower Bridge for anniversary celebration where families can recreate the huge flotilla that passed under the Bridge in 1894, alongside a number of family activities taking place including ‘Meet the Victorians’ where the stories of workers, engineers, and passers by, will be brought to life by costumed actors.
All weekend
towerbridge.org.uk

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 22-23 June


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 


MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL
Canary Wharf
Head to Canary Wharf to celebrate the longest day of the year, where there will be live performances, a free drop in flower crown workshop, bubble magic and a drop-in Children’s Circus Skills workshop.
Saturday
canarywharf.com

 

GREAT GET TOGETHER 2019
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford
Why not kick off the Summer with a huge picnic get together. There will be music, storytelling, face-painting, family dance and singing workshops, street food and much more.
Sunday
www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk

 


OPEN HOUSE FAMILIES WEEKEND
Canary Wharf, Here East, Gasholder Park, Gherkin and more
A weekend of family activities across London as the largest architecture festival in the UK kicks off, designed to inspire the next generation of city shapers.
All weekend
open-city.org.uk

 

WEST END LIVE
Trafalgar Square
London Theatres host this medley of highlights from the top West End shows which include Mamma Mia, Thriller Live, Phantom and the Lion King. Free and fun – what else do you need?
All weekend
westendlive.co.uk

 

GREENWICH FAIR
Greenwich Town Centre
Greenwich and Docklands International festival, London’s leading outdoor theatre and performing arts festival, is back.  The free festival kicks off with the Greenwich Fair which features street theatre performance, games, art, Roll Play, a mixture of Hip Hop and Circus, and a family friendly drag show.
All weekend
festival.org/gdif

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

 

Friday Five Weekend 15-16 June



It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.


FAIR IN THE SQUARE
Highgate
Plenty of family fun over in Highgate this Saturday at this free Summer fete.  There will be live music, dance and theatre as well as fairground rides, stilt walkers and a children’s tent with musical and drama activities.
Saturday
www.fairinthesquare.co.uk

 

FATHER’S DAY
Market Halls Victoria
Launching conveniently for Father’s Day, Kid’s Table will be providing supervised fun every Sunday  for kids aged 3-10 so you can enjoy the ultimate Sunday brunch. Now, parents can finish a sentence while they eat too and the kids won’t be bored. Win, win.
Sunday
www.markethalls.co.uk

 


RAVER TOTS DRUM & BASS ROOFTOP RAVE
The Prince of Wales, Brixton
It’s time to get your dancing shoes and head on down to The Prince of Wales for some open-air family raving fun.  The music will be provided by Drum & Bass/Jungle legend Kenny Ken and there will be plenty of food, drinks and entertainment for all ages.
Sunday
www.ravertots.co.uk

 

MARYLEBONE SUMMER FESTIVAL
Marylebone Village
Marylebone celebrate Summer with a weekend of family fun that includes live music, stalls, film night and a Sunday Street party.
All weekend
www.marylebonevillage.com

 

CARTERS STEAM FAIR
Clissold Park, Stoke Newington
Fancy checking out the most beautiful vintage steam fair you ever did see?  Head on down to Clissold Park where you can get on rides dating from the 1890s to the 1960s, the kids will love it and so will you.
All weekend
www.carterssteamfair.co.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

Friday Five Weekend 8-9 June


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.


WORLD OCEANS DAY
Horniman Museum
A free day of family fun at the Horniman as they celebrate World Oceans Day. Take part in an ocean-themed poetry competition, enjoy arts and crafts, an underwater themed story, and explore ocean objects with the museums curators.
Saturday
www.horniman.ac.uk

 

LONDON DOCK SUMMER FAIR
Wapping
London Dock celebrate the start of Summer with a free fair.  There will be street food stalls, a live band and children’s entertainment including fairground games.
Saturday
www.londondock.co.uk

 


STORYTELLING WITH MYLO FREEMAN
Discover Story Centre
Hear award-winning children’s author Mylo Freeman read her newest book ‘Princess Arabella is a Big Sister’ and watch how she draws and paints Princess Arabella and friends in this storytelling session for ages 4+.
Sunday
www.discover.org.uk

 

OPEN GARDEN SQUARES WEEKEND
Various locations in London
Some of London’s most beautiful gardens are opening up their gates for the public this weekend.  There will be plenty of activities for all of the family to enjoy in some of the best green spaces the city has to offer.
All weekend
www.opensquares.org

 

SUGAR FAMILY FESTIVAL
Museum of London Docklands
Make your way down to the Museum of London Docklands for a sweet weekend of workshops, arts, crafts and performances that explore our relationship with sugar.
All weekend
www.museumoflondon.org.uk

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 1-2 June


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 


101 DALMATIONS
Barbican Cinema
The Barbican Cinema have joined forces with Battersea Dogs Home for a special Family Film Club screening of 101 Dalmations.  Be sure to drop by the Family Film Club Kiosk before the screening for some creative activities.
Saturday
www.barbican.org.uk

 

DALSTON CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
Dalston
Get yourselves down to Dalston for a day of free kiddies activities including carnival crafts, Tots Tunes, an interactive parent and baby class, caricatures and a pop-up playground.
Saturday
http://www.dalstonchildren.org.uk

 


FEEL GOOD FESTIVAL
Geffrye Museum
It’s all about wellbeing and feeling good at the Geffrye’s summer festival this Saturday.  Enjoy delicious cultural foods, get creative with Origami or Turkish marbling, join in games or if you would prefer relax in one of their deckchairs and enjoy a foot massage.  The event, held in their beautiful gardens, celebrates Turkish, Cypriot and Vietnamese culture.
Saturday
www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

 


FAMILY FUN DAY: ALL ABOUT ELEMENTS
The Royal Institution
Get hands on with some science as The Royal Institution celebrate the 150th year of the Periodic Table.  There will be a series of talks and science workshops to take part in aimed at 7-12 year olds.
Saturday
www.rigb.org

 

COMEDY CLUB 4 KIDS
Underbelly Festival Southbank
Fun for all the family, this comedy club is guaranteed to give everyone a giggle.  A comedy club that promises not to patronise, so that parents can have just as much fun as the kids.
Sunday
www.underbellyfestival.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Bank Holiday Weekend 25-27 May


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this bank holiday weekend in London.

 


BEASTS OF LONDON FAMILY FESTIVAL
Museum of London
To coincide with their Beasts of London experience the Museum of London are running a ‘Beasts of London’ family festival.  Create your own animated animal puppet show, discover the secrets of the Tower of London menagerie or get crafty with an animal mask.
Saturday & Sunday
www.museumoflondon.org.uk

 

DALSTON CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
Dalston
Get yourselves down to Dalston for a free day of kiddies activities including puppet making, a hula hoop workshop, live caricatures and a pop-up playground.
Saturday
www.dalstonchildren.org.uk

 


DOOR TO DESIGN: FAMILY FESTIVAL 2019
V&A Museum
The V&A are running free family drop-in workshops inspired by the Museum’s design and architecture.
Saturday
www.vam.ac.uk

 


TUDOR MAY DAY
Fulham Palace House & Garden
Head to Fulham Palace for their first family fun day following the restoration of the Tudor Palace.  Meet the May King and Queen and get involved in craft activities, including making a May wreath.
Sunday
www.fulhampalace.org

FERIA DE LONDRES FAMILY FESTIVAL
Southbank
Join in all the celebrations, from tastings and tapas to rumba and sevillianas, at this free family friendly Spanish festival. Children can enjoy activities such as face painting, fan making and flamenco rhythm workshops.
All weekend
www.feriadelondres.com

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Half Term event guide

As Half Term approaches we have put together a guide to all the family friendly events going on in London…it’s looking good!

 


FERIA DE LONDRES FAMILY FESTIVAL
Southbank
Head to the Southbank for this free family friendly Spanish festival where you can join in all the celebrations, from tastings and tapas to rumba and sevillianas.  Children can enjoy activities such as face painting, fan making and flamenco rhythm workshops.
24-26 May
feriadelondres.com


HORRIBLE HISTORIES WALKING TOUR
Monument
Get yourselves booked on to this gory interactive adventure of London.  Expect horrible sites, funny pranks and plenty of gruesome stories on this tour which starts at London’s Monument statue.
From 25 May
airbnb.co.uk


BEASTS OF LONDON FAMILY FESTIVAL
Museum of London
Create your own animated animal puppet show, discover the secrets of the Tower of London menagerie or get crafty with an animal mask in this family festival inspired by their new ‘Beasts of London’ exhibition.
25-26 May
museumoflondon.org.uk


ZSL LONDON ZOO ‘MINI KEEPERS’
Regent’s Park
London Zoo are giving children a chance to get stuck in and experience what life as a zoo keeper is like in their role play experience Mini Keepers.  Get on your uniform and receive your daily check list which includes activities such as preparing lunch for the monkeys, creating activities for the meerkats and getting stuck in to mucking out.
25 May – 2 June
zsl.org

QUEEN VICTORIA’S 200th BIRTHDAY
The Postal Museum
The Postal Museum will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Queen Victoria.  Activities include a hands-on arts and crafts printing activity, make your own Victorian top hat or tiara fit for a Queen, dress up with Victorian props, practice Victorian calligraphy and design your ‘Penny Black’ Greetings card. If your name is Victoria, you will also get in free throughout the month of May.
25 May – 1 June 
postalmuseum.org

GRUFFALO POP UP SHOP
Covent Garden A special Pop up shop will be opening its doors to mark 20 years of one of literatures best loved children’s characters.  There will be arts and crafts, screenings of the Gruffalo, storytelling and special appearances from the big cuddly monster himself.
25 May – 1 June
gruffaloevent.com

>
SHIP SHAPE
HMS Belfast
The HMS Belfast needs to be kept in ship shape and they are inviting families to come and help. Search for pests, learn to use equipment and help prevent damage to this iconic warship.
25 May and 1 June
iwm.org.uk

TRAVELLING WITH THAMESLINK
London Transport Museum
Inspired by their new exhibition ‘Untangling the Tracks’ get creative with your family and make a train out of crafty materials that speeds past your favourite London views and hear about some of the incredible landmarks you can see along the Thameslink route.
25 May- -2June 
ltmuseum.co.uk


MEET THE NEW QUEEN VICTORIA
Kensington Palace
Meet the new Queen and find out what her life has been like growing up in Kensington Palace, visit new rooms where Victoria grew up, see the puppet theatre and dress up like one of the characters on stage, then create your own story in your own puppet theatre to take home.
25 May – 2 June
hrp.org.uk


THE DAY THE CIRCUS CAME TO TOWN
Tower Bridge
Begin your day with a Master Storyteller who will guide you through the day the circus came to town. Watch as acrobats, aerialists and jugglers move and tumble across the Glass floor, steel girders and towers of the Bridge.
27-28 May
towerbridge.org.uk

LOVE YOUR ZOO WEEK
Battersea Park Zoo
There will be plenty of animal arts and crafts and storytelling, each day will feature a different animal as Battersea Park Zoo take part in the BIAZA Love your Zoo week celebrations.
27-31 May
batterseaparkzoo.co.uk


GO APE!
Alexandra Palace
Aim high at Go Ape! and check out their Tree Top Adventure where you can watch, or join your little ones reach new heights, conquer wobbly crossings and fly down the zip wire.  They are also running Tree Top Adventure+, a new experience that introduces a more challenging series of obstacles, higher platforms and longer zips.
27-31 May
goape.co.uk


ZINE MAKING
Discover Story
Make mini magazines with zine publisher and comic artist Kristyna Baczynski.  Kristyna will guide children through speed drawing, portrait making, collage and more as they discover the wonderful world of zines.
29 May
discover.org.uk

TRASH TEST DUMMIES 
Underbelly Festival Southbank
Watch this comedy threesome take to the stage with their wheely bins for a very trashy circus comedy show which is hilarious fun for all the family.
29 May – 2 June
underbellyfestival.com


FAMILY ART FUN
Horniman MuseumThe Horniman Museum will be buzzing with family friendly bee activities.
Find out about the Great British Bee Count and create a fantastic bee mask to buzz around the Gardens in.
28, 30 & 31 May
horniman.ac.uk


DEEP OCEAN TALES
SEA LIFE London
Head to SEA LIFE London for an after-hours storytelling experience in partnership with Walker Books. You will get to listen to Malamander being read by its author Thomas Taylor and get involved in some interactive activities with the ocean tank and its amazing creatures looming in the background.
30 May
visitsealife.com


SOUNDPIT
Southbank Centre
Fancy a bit of creative play in a giant sandpit? Head on down to the Royal Festival Hall where you can run your hands and even walk on the gritty stuff.  Created by artist Di Mainstone, children and adults can explore their individual sense of sound, touch and vision through play. A multisensory, fun interactive experience.
All week
southbankcentre.co.uk

MATHS CELEBRATION
KidZania London
Teach children to earn, spend and save their money.  Kids will be issued with bank cards which they can use to deposit more KidZos or withdraw KidZos straight from the ATMs in the city at KidZania London’s math celebration ‘Bring Learning to Life’.Throughout May
kidzania.co.uk

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 18-19 May



It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 


VICTORIAN PUNK IT UP!
Museum of London
Get transported back to the Victorian era in an interactive time travelling music show for families with young children
Weekend
www.museumoflondon.org.uk

THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA
Pentland Theatre
Head to the theatre for a stage adaptation of The Tiger who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr.  Expect singalong songs, clumsy chaos and a whole heap of fun in this fantastic family show.
Weekend
www.artsdepot.co.uk


CHILDREN’S GARDEN
Kew Gardens
The new interactive Children’s Garden suitable for ages 2 to 12 years old is opening this weekend. There will be an earth, air, water and sun garden with lots of fun things such as a bamboo tunnel, a worm-hole tube slide, trampolines, a stream and splash pool and much more.
All weekend
www.kew.org

BFLF FAMILY RAVE
Proud Embankment
Get raving with the Big Fish Little Fish crew. With glitter canyons, balloons, face painting, arts and crafts and a right old boogie there is something for all the family.
Sunday
www.eventbrite.co.uk

URBAN VILLAGE FETE
Greenwich Peninsula
Expect a free day of family fun in this music and arts festival that features pop ups, walkabout entertainment and curated marketplaces.
Sunday
www.greenwichpeninsula.co.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 11-12 May

It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 


POPPY TRAIL
Richmond May Fair
Go on a fun trail and follow the big red poppies at the Richmond May Fair this Saturday.  Pick up an activity sheet from The Poppy Factory’s stall, copy all 10 drawings and receive a goody bag on completion.                                                                                      Saturday
www.poppyfactory.org

COVENT GARDEN MAY FAYRE AND PUPPET FESTIVAL

COVENT GARDEN MAY FAYRE AND PUPPET FESTIVAL
The Garden of St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden
It’s back and snappier than ever, with plenty of laughs in this Punch & Judy celebration.
Sunday
www.alternativearts.co.uk

Children’s Literature Festival
Barnes
Head to Barnes for London’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival.  There will be fun performances, an Alice in Wonderland tea party, a model making session and a chance to meet the writers and illustrators who bring the books to life.
All weekend
www.barneskidslitfest.org

FAMILY TAKEOVER
Camden Arts Centre
Families are invited to work together through a series of free activities using sculpture, performance, and games to respond to key themes from the exhibitions.
Sunday
camdenartscentre.org

OVER THE MOON WORKSHOP
Science Museum
Build your own map of the moon and go on your own moon mission.
All weekend
sciencemuseum.org.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 4-6 May


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five. This weekend’s a bank holiday so even more fun to fit in!


THE MAY FAIR
Grosvenor Square
Enjoy a taste of the Great British seaside experience this May bank holiday weekend in the heart of Mayfair. From helter skelters to fish and chips, to coconut shys and candy floss, this free two day family friendly fair will showcase the British seaside at its best.
Sunday & Monday
mayfairandbelgravia.com

THE FLYING BATH
Half Moon Theatre
A new stage adaption of Julia Donaldson and David Roberts’ hugely popular children’s book, The Flying Bath comes to the Theatre.  This playful and adventurous story splashes into life in this adaptation featuring catchy songs, quirky bath toys and everyday heroes. Suitable for ages 2-5 and their families.
Saturday
www.halfmoon.org.uk

MAY DAY FESTIVAL
Hever Castle
If you want to head out of town for some May celebrations, Hever Castle has the full works, including dancing round the Maypole. You can even party with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.
All weekend
hevercastle.co.uk

THE ORIGINAL HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS
Wembley Arena
You don’t have to be a basketball fan to enjoy this famous show packed with trick shots, comedy and audience interaction. Make the long weekend last!
Monday
www.ssearena.co.uk

DEEP SEA 3D AT THE IMAX
Science Museum
Swim alongside some of the most exotic creatures on the planet, from the bizarre Rainbow Nudibranch to the Giant Pacific Octopus. Narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.
All weekend
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

 

Royal Opera House image © ROH 2018, Photograph by James Bellorini

Friday Five Weekend 26-28 April


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

LOVE YOUR LINE
London Museum of Transport Depot, Acton
A firm family favourite twice a year, this Spring’s open weekend promises adventure, discovery and fun. There are over 320,000 objects to see at this working museum celebrating the architecture, design and stories of the Victoria, District, Jubilee and overland lines. Expect talks and activities for kids and adults of all ages.
ltmuseum.co.uk

FRIDAY NIGHT 5s RETURNS
Chiswick, Hammersmith, Barnes, Balham, Fulham
The thrill of Friday Night Fives football league returns tonight. There are still spaces available at Ravenscourt Park,  Chiswick Riverside, and Fulham, plus new locations opening soon. To find out how to sign up a team and join the fun:
fridaynightfives.com

HANSEL & GRETEL
Waterman’s, Brentford
Goody and Storey and Norwich Puppet Theatre present a colourful retelling of the classic Grimms’ fairy tale, serving up a feast of delicious music, dynamic scenery and knock-your-socks-off puppetry.
watermans.org.uk

GREAT FIRE OF LONDON FAMILY WALK
Museum of London
Was the baker of Pudding Lane to blame? What did Samuel Pepys bury in his garden? Find out on a 45 minute interactive family walk exploring how the Great Fire started, spread, and was finally stopped.
museumoflondon.org.uk/events

WATER FROM SOURCE TO TAP
Institution of Civil Engineers
Our kids are very environmentally savvy and this exhibition will give them more information on fighting fatbergs and conserving water supplies. Real-life engineers, past and present, are reimagined as cartoon superhero alter-egos, making this exhibition fun for the kids and the whole family.
ice.org.uk

 

For more things to do head to our What’s On page.

Friday Five Weekend 19-22 April


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

LET’S PLAY FESTIVAL
King’s Cross
Over at King’s Cross there’s a whole host of free activities for kids this weekend as part of the Let’s Play Festival. One not to miss is an Animal Wellbeing workshop run by vets from the Royal Veterinary College.
kingscross.co.uk

HORNIMAN EASTER FAIR
Horniman Museum
A great family day out here with plenty of fun-filled activities including an Easter trail, crafting and facepainting.
horniman.ac.uk

DREAMLAND X CAMP BESTIVAL EASTER SUNDAY PARTY
Dreamland, Margate
If nothing but the sea air and sand between your toes will do, then head to Margate for this special Camp Bestival celebration at Dreamland. And there’s the world’s biggest bouncy castle. Enough said.
dreamland.co.uk

GREAT SHOREDITCH EASTER EGG HUNT
Shoreditch Town Hall
Entertainment comes in the form of the Tongue Fu band, Easter egg and scavenger hunts, competitions and story telling.
shoreditchtownhall.com


COMEDY ABOUT A BANK ROBBERY
Criterion Theatre
If you think you’ve been over-egging the pudding, have a break and head to the theatre to see this West End show where everyone’s a crook and no one can be trusted. One for older kids.
thecomedyaboutabankrobbery.com

Friday Five Weekend 13-14 April


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.


BRAVING THE ELEMENTS
Royal Institution
To celebrate 150 years of the Periodic Table, join 2012 Christmas Lecturer Peter Wothers for an exciting and explosive journey through the elements. This demonstration filled lecture will show you the genius of Mendeleev’s discovery from Argon to Zinc. This is an evening show, suitable for 7yrs+
www.eventbrite.co.uk

BIG CAT FESTIVAL
Royal Geographical Society
Returning for a second year, hear some of the world’s experts share their knowledge about big cats. Speakers include Chris Packham and the duo that wrote Christian the Lion about the lion cub bought in Harrods and released in the wild by its owners. For 12yrs+
Bradt’s Big Cat Festival

CHOCOLATE MARKET
Duke of York Square, Chelsea
The weekly fine food market will see London’s finest chocolatiers descend on the Square, overseen by the statue of Sir Hans Sloane – who notably introduced milk chocolate to Europe! The market will be open from 10am – 4pm with a selection of special artisan chocolate market stalls.
www.dukeofyorksquare.com

CHIHULY: REFLECTIONS ON NATURE
Kew Gardens
The world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artist, Dale Chihuly, returns, showcasing his work against the stunning backdrop of Kew Gardens. A day out for all the family.
www.kew.org

VARIETY CLUB 4 KIDS
Underbelly Festival, Southbank
Award-winning cabaret star Mat Ricardo and Comedy Club 4 Kids are putting on this variety show where you should expect comedy, circus, magic, music, thrills, skills, spectacle and silliness. Suitable for ages 6+.
www.underbellyfestival.com

 

REDROOFS WORKSHOP IN MAY HALF-TERM

Redroofs School for the Performing Arts shares expertise during two-day workshop in May half-term

 

Redroofs School for the Performing Arts, which has helped to secure life changing careers for hundreds of children in West End shows, are coming to London to share their expertise to your children.

During a two-day musical theatre workshop, girls and boys aged 8-13 will work with industry professionals from West End shows such as Wicked, Matilda, School of Rock and Mary Poppins to create an informal presentation of show-stopping songs and routines.

The workshops also give the children an opportunity to ask lots of questions about how to land a part in a West End show, life as a young performer and how to achieve your ambitions.

This is very definitely suitable for all levels of experience from a keen novice to experienced young performers, with or without a dance background. This workshop promises to enhance your theatre skills and to increase your contacts and introduce you to like-minded stars of the future.

About Redroofs

The School was founded in 1947 in North London, and moved to the home of the late Ivor Novello in leafy Berkshire in 1964. One of the earliest pupils was Rula Lenska and alumni now include Kate Winslet CBE, Lucy Benjamin, Joanne Froggatt and Kris Marshall.

The school has trained and also launched the young careers of Oscar, Bafta, and Golden Globe nominees and winners, musical theatre performers, film stars and familiar faces. Children from a variety of backgrounds and abilities are welcomed. Its Gold Teams currently work with some of the UK’s finest talent, in workshops and children’s masterclasses.

Supporting Young People

The building of confidence, teamwork, transferable presentation skills, and of course friendships through secure and assured Performing Arts training and expectations are evident in the Redroofs story and have supported young people into wide ranging careers, as actors, dancers and singers, directors, writers, producers, lawyers, teachers and more.

Redroofs pupils have most recently starred in West End Shows such as Matilda, Mary Poppins, Annie, School of Rock, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Nativity!, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child while more pupils are notching up TV & Film credits including The Kid Who Would Be King, Tolkien, Almost Never (CBBC), Picasso, Music, War and Love and many more.

MAY HALF-TERM WORKSHOP

KIDS IN THE MUSICALS
Mayfair, London
Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th May 2019

Venue: Danceworks, 16 Balderton Street, Mayfair, London W1K 6TN
Ages: 8-13+ years

Time: 10-3pm daily

 

ROCKS LANE OPENS NEW VENUES

Rocks Lane launches Friday Night 5s at new venues

 

 

London’s longest running junior football league is launching at new venues after Easter, with further new sites lined up for the Autumn. Rocks Lane Friday Night 5s is already a much loved and established Friday fixture in Chiswick and Barnes, described by parents ‘as a great way to end the week!’

The junior league recently launched at Hurlingham Park in Fulham and following its success, Rocks Lane will now run Friday Night 5s at Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith from 27thApril and in Balham from September.

Create a team

Built on Friendship, Fair Play and Fun – Friday Night 5s junior 5-a-side leagues gives young players a unique opportunity to play competitive football with friends. Unlike school or club sports, Friday Night 5s is incredibly social and lets the children take charge: they create their own squad, pick a team name and can even design their own kit.

Fair Play

Fair play is at the heart of the league, with weekly awards given for effort, aiming to boost the confidence of players.  In addition, each league can provide a Match Day Management service where a coach can give support to individual teams. After the matches teams can track their progress online – just like a real Premiership team!

Friday Night 5s is open to boys and girls in Years 1 -13. Places are limited so now’s the time to get a team together and reserve a place in next term’s league.


 

For more information:

info@fridaynightfives.com
www.fridaynightfives
0208 994 1313
Instagram: @fridaynight5s
FB: @fridaynight5s

Friday Five Weekend 6-7 April

It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

BEASTS OF LONDON
Museum of London
London’s history is narrated by animals who once lived here, and you might recognise some of the voices: Kate Moss, Brian Blessed and Nish Kumar amongst others.
www.museumoflondon.org.uk

LIVE AT LUNCH
Royal Opera House
Part of series of free concerts of music and dance, open to everyone.
Just turn up at the Paul Hamlyn Hall at 1pm
www.roh.org.uk

EASTER EGG SEARCH
Battersea Park Children’s ZooIf a hunt with an educational slant is more your thing, buy a quiz sheet at the entrance and solve the clues. Runs daily until 22 April.
www.batterseaparkzoo.co.uk

THE MASSAOKE FAMILY SHOW
Underbelly Festival
A live band plays well-known songs with lyrics on a big screen and the whole audience sings along together. An hour-long party for all ages. Sat
www.underbellyfestival.com

BOAT RACE
Putney to Chiswick
You might not give a monkeys who wins between Oxford and Cambridge, but the festival atmosphere along the river grows each year. Sunday
www.theboatrace.org

Friday Five Weekend 30-31 March

It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

BIG FISH LITTLE FISH

www.bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk
It’s a large weekend for BFLF this weekend, with two events.
If you missed out on tickets to Saturday’s Camp Bestival rave in Vauxhall, head to Hangar  on Sunday to party where DJ Mark Archer (Altern 8) is making his BFLF debut.
Sunday | 2pm-4.30pm

ASCOT SPRING FAMILY RACE DAY

www.ascot.co.uk
If you’re after a more sedate Mothering Sunday, head to Ascot Racecourse for their yearly Spring family race day. There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained while you quaff bubbles – the Gruffalo, Willow Bank ‘build a den’ classes, foraging and cooking demos with James Wood, Bird of Prey and Dog Agility displays and ferret racing.
Sunday

BRICK WONDERS

www.horniman.ac.uk
From an ancient Egyptian pyramid to Old London Bridge, and from the natural wonder of a coral reef to the modern marvel of the international space station, travel through history and explore over 50 models made using half a million LEGO® bricks. Then get them to make these huge displays at home!

 

COUNTRY LIVING SPRING FAIR

www.countrylivingfair.com
Workshops, shopping, eating and things not seen on the high street, this is a very pretty fair held in the glorious surroundings of Alexandra Palace.
All weekend

LONDON BIKE SHOW

www.thelondonbikeshow.co.uk
Cyclists of all ages and abilities are welcome at this great showcase of all things bike-related, with loads for kids.
There’s even a test track for kids!
All weekend

 

Friday Five Weekend 23 – 24 March

It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this weekend in London.

 

TOM GATES LIVE
atgtickets.com
There are still a few tickets left at Richmond Theatre for this story of Tom Gates. Based on the best-selling books by Liz Pichon, it’s presented by the team behind Horrible Histories and Gangsta Granny.

PIRATES OF PENZANCE
rmg.co.uk
The Cutty Sark celebrates its 150th birthday and this opera is performed on board, in its rightful place!

CHEMFEST 2019
sciencemuseum.org.uk
It’s the 150th birthday of the Periodic Table of the Elements so time to party at this free Chemistry-themed family festival. Explore the chemistry all around us with activities led by real life STEM professionals.

THE SELFISH GIANT
Watermans.org.uk
Inspired by the story ‘The Selfish Giant’ by Oscar Wilde. Explore an unusual friendship, and see how even the grumpiest giant’s heart can melt when Spring comes.

PITZHANGER MANOR & GALLERY
pitzhanger.org.uk
Newly opened after significant restoration, why not see the amazing Anish Kapoor
Exhibition which presents a series of sculptures, some previously unseen in Britain, which engage the viewer and their surroundings in a constantly fluctuating form.

 

Easter Holiday Camps

Easter may be a month away, but the holidays aren’t! We’ve picked our favourites amongst the many holiday camps now available in London

 

RICHER EDUCATION
One of London’s leaders in science and STEM learning, Richer Education provide camps for all levels of knowledge and ability. They have now also included debating and public speaking on their skills list.
Chelsea, Kensington | 4-14 years.
richereducation.co.uk

WILL TO WIN
At centres across London, Will to Win provide tennis, netball and multi sports camps for youngsters 4-7yrs and also full day camps for 7-16 yrs. All take place in beautiful London parks.
Chiswick, Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, Ealing, Regent’s Park
willtowin.co.uk

THE LITTLE GYM
Whilst you may think may only be open to members, The Little Gym opens its doors to everyone for their holiday camps. Some of The Little Gym centres also offer dance and karate camps. Register for full or half days. Gyms in Chiswick, Hampton & Teddington, Wandsworth & Fulham and Westfield White City | Ages 3-12 yrs
thelittlegym.eu

ROCKS LANE
With venues in Chiswick, Barnes, Bishop’s Park and Hurlingham Park, Rocks Lane offers football, multi-sport, tennis and netball camps for kids from the age of three (shorter hours).
rockslane.co.uk

SUPER CAMPS
Want to try something a bit different? Super Camps offer Lego Play, Bushcraft, Cookery, as well as football and multi-activity.
Various school-based locations |4-12 yrs
supercamps.co.uk

MOTHER NATURE SCIENCE
Book a day or a full week at these camps designed to have fun with science. Themed days include Rocket Launch, Powerful Air, Starry Light and Outer Space.
Kingston, Richmond, Sutton, Harrow, Southgate, St John’s Wood, Hampstead, Kensington, Herne Hill | 5-12 yrs
mnature.co.uk

THE STRINGS CLUB
Packed with fun-filled, unmissable musical experiences, our multi award-winning Ofsted registered Holiday Camps for children aged 4 – 11 bring together the very best of childcare and music education to engage and inspire your child – every holiday.
Islington and Hampstead | 4-11 yrs
thestringsclub.org

FIRE TECH
One of the few camps to offer courses for older kids, Fire Tech run STEM based camps which include coding, VR, digital design and video game design. Students learn from the ground up, and there’s even a girls only camp for teens.
City, Dulwich, Notting Hill, Camden, South Kensington | 9 yrs+
firetechcamp.com

IOI
Bricks and Code, Robot Zoo and Game and Code are just three of the themed days which are part of Lab Liftoff this Easter. The Institute of Imagination’s mission is for kids to explore ideas, invent new products and build new skills.
Lambeth | 7-12 yrs
ioi.london

CHELSEA YOUNG WRITERS
Whether you’re at your wits end with your child’s creative writing skills, or you have a David Walliams on your hands, Chelsea Young Writer could help this Easter. Writing workshops are designed by award-winning children’s authors and led by experienced practicing writers and educators.
Notting Hill | 6-12 yrs
chelseayoungwriters.co.uk

KITE STUDIOS
Head to this oasis of creativity in West London to enjoy arty workshops for kids of all abilities. The classes will cover printmaking, painting and drawing during themed days such as Hobby Horses and Fabric Puppets and Brush Work and Painting Fur.
Shepherds Bush | 4-10 yrs.
kitestudios.org

THE MUSIC HOUSE
This Easter you can immerse yourself in a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory week-long camp. There’s also The Lamb Who Lost Her Jump at Bush Hall and an Instrumental Extravaganza where children can try out any instrument they like!
Shepherds Bush | 5 yrs+
musichouseforchildren.com/whats-on

NET-IT CAMPS
Love netball? Junior netball camps aim to improve netball skills, maximise personal development and have fun!
Holland Park, Wandsworth, Fulham and sleepover camps at Woldingham School | Reception to Y8.
net-it.org

DUKES MEADOWS
A favourite with locals – wonder if it’s that hot lunches are also provided for those staying all day? Do tennis or golf, or both, multisports or even add skiing, yes skiing to the mix.
Chiswick | 5 yrs+
dukesmeadows.com

SPARKS
This Easter your kids could make a fantasy movie, exploring how to produce epic battle scenes, master stunts and fight choreography, not to mention full-on production design, cinematic camera skills, special effects and all the behind the scenes magic it takes to make a movie. Phew!
Balham, Highgate, Dulwich, Kensington, Hampstead | 7-11years
sparks-ignite.com

 

FRIDAY FIVE THINGS TO DO IN LONDON

It’s time for our Friday Five, our weekly round-up of things to do in London with the family this weekend

ARMY ANIMALS

Discover more about army animals in this special British Sign Language-Led, bilingual and interactive story telling session, perfect for deaf and hearing families to enjoy together.

National Army Museum | Saturday | FREE

www.nam.ac.uk

RAVE-A-ROO

There are still tix available for the two sessions of this family rave. There’s enough fun for parents and kids DJs, disco ball games, live stage performances, confetti, neon craft, chill room and UV tattoo station.

www.rave-a-roo.com

Ministry of Sound | Saturday

LEGO MOVIE DAYS

See the Apocalypseburg film set from The LEGO® MOVIE 2!Meet Emmet, Wyldstyle & Sweet Mayhem, explore MINILAND to help Emmet find his friendsand help build our mystery The LEGO® MOVIE LEGO mosaic build.

www.legoland.co.uk

Legoland Windsor | Sat & Sun

WHERE’S WALLY FUN RUN

Get your red and white Breton tops, woolly hats and black trousers and do your best Where’s Wally across Clapham Common. 5k or 10k for adults and a 1k route for under 12s.

www.literacytrust.org.uk

Clapham Common | Sunday | Entry fee

TROPICS IN THE CITY

Home to exotic fish and over 2000 species of tropical plants and trees, the Conservatory at The Barbican is open on certain Sundays during the year. This is one of them. No booking required.

www.barbican.org.uk

Barbican | Sunday | Free

FOR MORE THINGS TO DO HEAD TO OUR WHAT’S ON PAGE

Friday Five 8 March

It’s Friday Five, our guide to the best things to do in London with the kids this weekend

 

ANIMALCOLM

There are still a few tickets available for David Baddiel’s ANiMALCOLM.

The performance combines physical theatre, puppetry and the company’s outstanding storytelling style to bring David Baddiel’s magical and wonderfully comic story to the stage.

Arts Depot, Finchley | Sat

artsdepot.co.uk


COMEDY CLUB 4 KIDS

See the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit doing their thing for an audience of children (8yrs+) and their families.

On Saturday see Tiernan Douieb, Shelf and Howard Read.

The Vaults, Leake St | Sat

vaultfestival.com


V&A POP UP PERFORMANCES

The V&A is running family friendly performances throughout March of the enchanting tale The Boy Who Sat On The Dragon’s Throne, and they’re all free.

V&A, South Kensington | Sat

vam.ac.uk/


WELLBEING WEEKEND

The London Transport Museum is putting on a family weekend focussing on wellbeing in the city.

Add your favourite place to the happy map of London or take part in a Yoga Journey session.

London Transport Museum, Covent Garden | Sat & Sun

ltmuseum.co.uk


EMOJI MATCH

Borrow a smart watch to connect to the museum in exciting new ways.

Play this fast-paced game with your family to match emojis with objects in the galleries.

British Museum | Free

britishmuseum.org

 

Friday Five 22 Feb

It’s Friday Five, our guide to the best things to do in London with the kids this weekend

 

Book in a Day: How to Train your Dragon

 

As part of Imagine Children’s Festival, on Saturday head to the Southbank for a reading of How to Train Your Dragon – in one day.

As well as hearing chapters ready by special guests, there will be live performances and you can make your own dragon wings.

Then at 3.30pm, Cressida Cowell will discuss how she created the How to Train Your Dragon series, how her childhood on a remote Scottish island inspired it, and the process of turning the books into films. Plus, get a sneak peek at the third How to Train Your Dragon movie, The Hidden World. Cowell will be signing books afterwards.

Saturday | Free

southbankcentre.co.uk


Meet the Inventor

 

Head to The Postal Museum galleries to meet the renowned Rowland Hill, Victorian inventor, entrepreneur and schoolteacher.

Find out how he took a tiny piece of paper and changed the world.

Saturday | Drop-in

postalmuseum.org


The Denim Juniors

 

Brace yourselves people, the Denim Juniors are here to celebrate the power of being yourself. This drag pop concert for kids glows with stunning costumes and live music from animated classics to party hits.

Not convinced? This show was the Wee Fringe Best Children’s Show 2018, The Guardian chose it as one of it’s Top 6 Children’s Shows to See at Edinburgh Fringe 2018 and The Scotsman hailed them ‘A quintet of queens with voices as true as their wigs are fake’

Sunday | Book

pleasance.co.uk


The Little Grand Tour

 

A wonderful way to get kids into art and museums is booking a tour with Isabel and The Little Grand Tour. Post-impressionist, Pierre Bonnard was one of the greatest colourists of the early 20th century and this tour will take you Tate Modern to see his works.

Saturday 10am -12pm | Book

thelittlegrandtour.co.uk


Hugglets Winter Bear Festival

 

Hugglets Winter BearFest is Europe’s first major teddy show of the year. It features around 170 stands and over 10,000 teddy bears for sale, with prices ranging from a few pounds to over £1,000.

Both antique and modern bears will be there plus clothes and accessories as well as bear-making supplies. A teddy bear hospital will also be on hand, offering treatment to well-loved and injured bears.

Sunday | Kensington Town Hall

Hugglets.com

The Kid Who Would Be King – A Review

We asked a parent and a child for their review of The Kid Who Would Be King

First, the adult view

Yes, another retelling of the well known Arthurian legend but with a twist.  This time we see the legend transported to a school boy in contemporary UK.  A UK shorn of the Hogwarts style nostalgia in an admirable attempt to be more representative of the reality of school in the UK.  There are number of interesting subversions of the traditional tale and you can see Joe Cornish has made a genuine attempt to make this ancient legend a relevant and empowering story for today’s kids.  Although, I would hazard that these attempts may have been reined in by the money people.  I love Patrick Stewart but I never saw the point of his sporadic appearances.  The young Merlin was excellently portrayed by Angus Imrie.

The film has a lot of heart, has some funny moments and the kids are likeable and relatable.  However, it doesn’t quite achieve the level of adventure and excitement that could have made this a worthy contender to take the baton from Harry Potter and run with it.  The CGI is extremely well done and Rebecca Ferguson is excellent if rather under-utilised as the big bad, Morgana.  There is a surprising lack of variety in Morgana’s evil undead warriors who pursue the heroes throughout the adventure and the film doesn’t build satisfyingly to a crescendo.
On the whole, a decent family movie that just fails to get firing on all cylinders.

Now a view from the target audience!

It was a good movie. I liked the storyline. The graphics and CGI were very good.  The best character was probably the main character, Alex. I thought the idea of a modern-day King Arthur story would not be that great, but it turns out I was completely and utterly wrong! I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but the bad guard guys looked pretty cool.  My favourite part of the movie is when they are (spoiler alert incoming) preparing all the barricades and (another spoiler alert incoming) training all the other school girls and boys.

I would rate it 4/5 stars.
Report written by Lucas Evans.

Head to foxmovies.com to see the trailer, which is actually really good.

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY

Joe Cornish

PRODUCED BY

Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner

CAST

Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, with Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart

New screen time advice for parents

The government’s Chief Medical Officer has published new screen time advice for parents and carers

 

We’ve all known for long time that social media is not good for children. But for the first time ever the government’s Chief Medical Officer has published new social media and screen time advice for parents, carers children and young people.

These include leaving phones outside the bedroom when it’s bedtime, screen-free mealtimes and having family conversations about social media.

“Time spent online can be of great benefit to children and young people, providing opportunities for learning and skills development, as well as allowing young people to find support and information. But we need to take a precautionary approach and our advice will support children to reap these benefits and protect them from harm.” Professor Dame Sally Davies Chief Medical Officer for England.

86% of 7 to 11s are online

According to a recent study by Internet Matters 43% of those aged between 10 and 13 now use social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and 86% of children aged 7 to 11 use some kind of online communication, often without their parents having any knowledge of them doing so.

And a recent survey by the BBC’s Newsround found that more than three-quarters of younger children at primary-leaving age were using at least one social media network. A terrifying statistic when you realise just how much children can be exposed to the minute they log on.  70 million photos are shared on Instagram every day, many of which will be entirely unsuitable for little eyes. Offensive and inappropriate material is only one click away.

Professor Dame Sally Davies’ view is that companies too have a responsibility to keep children safe online.

“Technology is an unavoidable aspect of modern life and technology companies have a duty of care. They must make more effort to keep their users safe from harm, particularly children and young people.”

So what is the advice?
  • Sleep matters. Getting enough, good quality sleep is very important. Leave phones outside the bedroom when it is bedtime.
  • Talking helps: Talk with your children about using devices and what they are watching. A change in behaviour can be a sign they are distressed – make sure they know they can always speak to you or another responsible adult if they feel uncomfortable with screen or social media use.
  • Safety when out and about. Advise children to put their screens away while crossing the road or doing an activity that needs their full attention!
  • Sharing sensibly. Parents and children should talk about sharing photos and information online and how photos and words are sometimes manipulated. Parents should never assume that their children are happy for their photos to be shared. For everyone – when in doubt, don’t upload!
  • Keep moving! Everyone should take a break after a couple of hours sitting or lying down using a screen #sitlessmovemore
  • Education matters. Make sure you and your children are aware of, and abide by their school’s policy on mobile phones/personal devices.
  • Use helpful phone features. Some devices and platforms have special features – try using these features to keep track of how much time you (and with their permission, your children) spend looking at a screen or on social media.
  • Family time together. Screen-free meal times are a good idea – you can enjoy face-to-face conversation, with adults giving their full attention to children.

The guidelines are not prescriptive. Just as every child is an individual, and every family is different, every family’s approach to technology must be equally unique. Instead, the Chief Medical Officer is encouraging every family to have a conversation about screen time and social media, and has developed a series of pointers for parents and carers based on research evidence on child and adolescent development.

Conversation pointers:

Supported by the CMO and produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health these are ideas to help them make decisions about their screen use:

  • Is our family’s screen time under control?
  • Does screen use interfere with what our family want to do?
  • Does screen use interfere with sleep?
  • Are we able to control snacking during screen time?
Ongoing support
  • Charities such as the NSPCC are urging parents to make online awareness as high a priority as road safety. They have some fantastic resources for parents and schools.
  • The UK Council for Internet Safety has developed a framework to equip children and young people for digital life and guidance for parents on minimising their child’s risk of online harms.
  • The UK Safer Internet Centre has developed a platform where people can report harmful content online if they are not satisfied with the result of their report to social media providers. For illegal content, reports should be made to the police and online to the Internet Watch Foundation
  • The UK Safer Internet Centre have partnered with Childnet International to create specific guidance on Keeping under 5s safe online.
  • Children’s Mental Health Week helps to tackle childhood anxiety and depression which can be brought on by social media, cyber bullying and other online behaviours.

Images courtesy: NSPCC and Department of Health and Social Care

 

NET-A- PORTER LAUNCH CHILDRENSWEAR COLLECTION

Exciting news for mini fashionistas. Following on from the success of their recent Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana pop–ups, Net-a-Porter has launched a multi-brand kidswear collective of brands that will feature permanently.

 

The ‘collective’ is an edit of brands which have all created exclusive capsule collections for the online fashion retailer. It features comfy clothing from insider brands such as Yeah Right NYC Kids minimal white tees, alongside cosy cardigans from Alanui Kids. ATM Kids and knitwear label Chinti & Parker Kids provide some sportier pieces too.

Similar to their gorgeous grown up cashmere collection, Lingua Franca Kids’ playful designs, add a cute touch to sweaters with embroidered messages that read ‘Tree Hugger’ and ‘Cool Like That’.

Mini Me

For tiny toes Net-a-Porter have enlisted two of their best-selling brands with trainers from Golden Goose Deluxe and sustainable footwear brand Veja, who have a range of sneakers in vibrant colours with creative illustrations and their hallmark ‘V’ monogram.

“The new year felt like the perfect time to launch this collective,” Elizabeth von der Goltz, Net-a-porter.com’s global buying director, told Mini Vogue. “It’s January – kids are back to school but there’s this idea of cosiness and wanting to feel comfortable.”

“Whether it’s for ourselves or for our kids, we are always thinking about wellness in January so this this an extension of that – it’s luxe athleisure for kids!”

The ‘mini me’ Kids Casuals launched on the Net-a-Porter site last week and will be available throughout the season. They’re supported by a dedicated campaign featuring influencer Sai De Silva’s 7-year-old daughter, London and 20-month-old son, Rio.

 

 

Other outlets

But Net-a-Porter is not the only online retailer where you will find high-end kit for kids. Alexandalexa.com stocks an impressive list of designers such as Chloe, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney that range from newborn to teenage. Founded in London, 2007 by husband and wife duo, Alex Theophanous and Alexa Till, the site aims to bring “The World’s Best Kids Brands” and have over 200 luxury labels to choose from.

Or check out childrensalon.com, the world’s largest online store for designer childrenswear who ship brands such as Burberry, Fendi and Moschino to over 160 countries.

But if you’d rather try before you buy then head to Harrods. London’s most exclusive store extended their baby department last year and their childrenswear includes the likes of J Crew and Armani.

It’s never been easier to dress your little ones in designer gear, but, just as with the grown-up versions, the price tag can be eyewatering!

JOIN OUR TEAM

City Kids Magazine is recruiting and we’d love you to join our team

 

Thanks to the amazing support of our readers, our magazine is growing. We go into our 5th year of production looking for two wonderful people to join our team. City Kids Magazine is one of London’s most popular parenting resources, regularly chosen as the go-to guide for things to do, education, parenting, travel, food, features and lifestyle.City Kiks Magazine Issue17

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
From research to writing, event planning to production, we’re looking for an enthusiastic people-person who can work efficiently as part of a team and on their own. You will need to be a quick thinker and adaptable as you will be required to manage several different tasks. If you have any experience in PR, publishing, marketing or journalism this would be an advantage, but not essential. However, a good knowledge of Microsoft Office, social media platforms and the parenting sector is.
Over time, you will have the opportunity to attend media events on behalf of City Kids which could include film screenings, fashion events or family workshops.
This is a paid, flexible role, largely working from home approximately five hours per week, though you will be required to travel to West London for occasional meetings.

INTERN
We are looking for an enthusiastic intern to help our growing company. If you have plans to enter journalism, publishing, PR or marketing, an internship with City Kids Magazine will give you some great skills. As we are a small business, you will gain real experience from day one (not just taking coffee orders) and you will be a valued member of the team. You will need to be highly motivated, confident, and have a good command of English (written and spoken).
Reasonable expenses will be paid weekly. Based in Chiswick, West London.

To apply for either of these positions, please email editor@citykidsmagazine.co.uk, enclosing a copy of your CV. We regret that we will only be able to contact those who we can meet for interview.

CHRISTMAS FAMILY RACE DAY AT ASCOT

This weekend sees a family race day at Ascot with a Christmas feel

 

Head to Ascot racecourse on Saturday, as families are invited to celebrate the festive season, together with world-class horse racing and plenty of seasonal cheer, just three days before Christmas Day.

Featuring the most valuable racecard of Ascot’s Jumps season, the event promises to be exhilarating and enjoyable for all ages with fairground rides, a festive parade, clip clop pony rides, huskies and candle-lit carol singing.

Racing on the course

On the track, highlights are two £150,000 races; the ultra-competitive Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle and the Grade 1 JLT Long Walk Hurdle – one of the most prestigious long- distance hurdle races in Britain. Punters could be in with the chance to earn an extra Christmas bonus with the many high-class supporting races throughout the day.

Entertainment for all

Off the track, adults can watch the races whilst enjoying festive cocktails and Fine Dining across multiple food outlets. Little ones will be entertained with the The Elf Training Academy, a husky meet & greet, festive arts and crafts and face painting. Father Christmas and his fellow reindeer will be in attendance and Mrs Claus’ storytelling will return for a third year. The whole family can also enjoy free fairground rides and uplifting carol singing by candlelight in the Grandstand with the Ascot Brass Band.

As usual under 18s go FREE!

For more information

www.ascot.co.uk

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

Some of Hollywood’s most famous pets return to our screens in 2019

The Secret Life of Pets 2 will follow summer 2016’s blockbuster about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy will produce the sequel to the comedy that had the best opening ever for an original film, animated or otherwise.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 will see the return of writer Brian Lynch (Minions) and once again be directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me series, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax). Harrison Ford, Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Lake Bell, Tiffany Haddish, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper create the voices of this family favourite.

You’ll have to wait until 27 May to see the film, but for a taster, see the trailer below!

 

MARIE-CHANTAL STORE OPENING

Luxury childrenswear brand, Marie-Chantal, is opening a new flagship store on Motcombe Street, London.

 

The new Marie-Chantal store will be home to the brand’s iconic Angel Wing Collection, baby gifts, seasonal girls and boys collections, special occasionwear as well as a unique curation of jewellery and gift items. Perfect timing for Christmas!

Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece launched her first collection almost twenty years ago, focussing on her love for classic and timeless design. Her five children are her influence (a girl and four boys) and she uses her expert eye for fashion as a guide. The childrenswear range runs from birth up to 12 years old.

The new store has been designed by Fran Hickman who has recently created new retail spaces for Goop, Moda Operandi and Emilia Wickstead.

What to expect

True to Marie-Chantal’s roots, the boutique store will celebrate beautiful clothes for beautiful children. Clothing is age appropriate and allows boys and girls to dress like children, with a playful twist. The stylish cuts, playful embroidery and detailing is key to every signature design.

 

Address:

4 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, London, SW1X 8JU

Open:

Monday – Saturday 10 – 6pm; Sunday 12-5pm

www.mariechantal.com

www.mariechantalblog.com

 

 

Kumon centre opens in Ealing – Education News

Kumon centre opens in Ealing: Dickens Yard is the venue

 

Kumon centre opens in Ealing

A new Kumon Centre has officially opened in Ealing, Dickens Yard.

The Worshipful the Mayor and the Mayoress of the London Borough of Ealing cut the ribbon of the UK and Ireland’s largest supplementary education provider. They were kindly assisted by young Kumon students.

Guests included parents, children and students from other local Kumon centres, members of Ealing Council, local schools and businesses. St George, the developers behind the Dickens Yard development were also there to join in the fun.

Maths and English help

A Kumon centre offers children the opportunity to develop their maths and English skills. The program offers a daily study programme of individualised worksheets and Kumon centre visits up to twice a week.

The flagship Kumon centre in Ealing is one of more than 250 more across London.

In the UK and Ireland, more than 70,000 children of all ages and abilities study the Kumon Method of Learning, which also celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Kumon study helps children of any age and any ability to shine. We aim to give our students the tools they need to enjoy learning. Our programmes establish strong foundations in maths and English, helping your child to feel confident enough to tackle challenging work.

Kumon Instructors guide their students through work that is set at just the right level for them. They keep them engaged and make progress. They support and encourage students to work out answers by themselves. Also, they help them to become self-sufficient, successful learners for the future. By studying little and often through daily worksheets and twice weekly study centre visits, our students steadily increase ability and fluency, building their skills in small, manageable steps.

For more information: www.kumon.co.uk/dickensyard

 

EDUCATION – SCHOOLS OUT!

Catchment areas? Oversubscribed prep? Think again…

By Susan Hamlyn, Director at The Good Schools Guide Education Consultants

St Catherine’s School, Bramley

The arrival of a baby these days produces less unalloyed joy than in earlier times. Along with the multipacks of nappies come bucketfuls of stress. This is especially true of new parents in London who think wistfully of their own, often far less pressured, childhoods. They look around their chic – (or less chic) – London borough and see queues of exhaust-emitting traffic, crowded buses, unsupervised parks and schools, which are either good and over- subscribed or unacceptably poor.

Not that many London schools aren’t good these days. But few have much space – especially outside. Staff turnover can be high. The best state primaries have catchment areas the size of an exercise book and good preps are highly competitive and expensive. Then there’s the pressure. Schools are expected to pack more and more into a short day. A common sight is a child on his way to school, heavy rucksack on his back, instrument case in one hand and sports bag – bootlaces and cricket bat perilously tipping out of one end – in the other. Can this be the only way?

Well, it isn’t. Recent years have seen a change of thinking in both parents and schools. Increasingly, London parents are sending their children against the commuter traf c to schools in the Home Counties. Hazel and Chris Tomkins are typical: ‘Alba is a lovely child. But she was getting lost in the local school – there were simply too many children who needed more attention than she does. She is sporty and needs a lot of space. Since she went to her country prep, she’s got into the borough athletics squad and is much happier.’

Likewise, doctors Nour and Shazia Mahmood, enthuse about the change in their twins: ‘Their new
school has a minibus that collects from a couple of streets away and brings them back in the evening. They did have to sit entrance exams, but it was far less competitive than preps in London – three children for each place rather than 12! And the teaching and results are just as good.’

Schools within commuting distance see London as an excellent new market. Papplewick, a boys’ prep in Ascot, Berkshire, reports: ‘Since our transport service to and from Chiswick was launched, we have experienced a 100% rise in interest, resulting in a second service to and from Brook Green.’ And they confirm what parents say:

‘We offer a huge range of extra-curricular activities and sport in a rural environment. This all takes place within a school day, rather than parents having to ferry their children to after-school activities around London. All prep is done at school here, so there’s no homework. Parents report that their sons are less stressed, happier and working harder. They also achieve good academic results.’

Papplewick School, Ascot

Senior schools also now offer weekly boarding especially tailored to professional London families. A key influence is the lack of space in London schools and the necessity of ‘bussing’ to local sports grounds. St Catherine’s School in Bramley, near Guildford – headed by the highly-experienced Alice Phillips – tells us: ‘Interest is high – we see about 90-100 families at every open morning, of whom about 20% are looking at weekly boarding.’ This is partly because St Catherine’s offers: ‘Space. Green vistas. Outdoor facilities, which include floodlit netball and tennis courts, lacrosse pitches, athletics track, plus a huge sports hall, swimming pool, fitness suite, gymnasium and dance studio. And outstanding on-site facilities – we offer musicians an auditorium with superb acoustics. Actors have a state-of the-art theatre and technical box.’

But it’s not just facilities. Many parents worry about the intensity of an urban childhood. St Catherine’s says: “Here their daughters can develop at a pace less dictated by the media and peer pressure. We are not isolated – we are located at the heart of a village community with Guildford on our doorstep. St Catherine’s girls are very busy and are more likely to be in a club, in an orchestra rehearsal or doing sports after school, rather than kicking their heels around a city centre.’

So – another sleepless night worrying about catchment areas or oversubscribed preps? Perhaps it’s time to look outside …?

www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk

 

For more news on schools and education take a look here.

SATURDAY SCIENCE

Richer education

If your child is curious about science, or in fact, if they find their school classes a touch dull, then why not seek out a place where they can get involved in real life experiments. Every Saturday, Richer Education runs workshops in science, robotics and civil engineering, taking their learning to the next level.

Courses take place at Imperial College and each workshop is designed to inspire and motivate primary aged children into learning about science in a hands-on, practical way. A typical science workshop might be anything from dissecting a real heart, turning wine into water, to literally holding fire in their hands. In robotics, children can learn to write code, build a robot with robotic arms, that can grasp objects and how to synchronize multiple robots to make them dance. In Civil Engineering, children learn to find solutions to real life engineering challenges, in a child friendly way.

Science Saturday workshops are 9.30 – 11.30, whilst Robotic Saturday workshops run from 12-2pm, and Civil Engineering classes are at 2-4pm. All classes take place at Imperial College.

For more information go to www.richereducation.co.uk

DREAMS MADE AT KIDZANIA LONDON

webkidzania

Eight year old Max realised his dream of becoming an estate agent, as he officially opened Hamptons International’s latest branch at KidZania London.

He was invited to open the branch and became its first ‘Junior Estate Agent’ after sending the company a letter asking what qualifications and skills he needed to enter the profession saying “I really want to do this job when I grow up”.

He was invited to cut the red tape alongside KidZania London’s mayor, and went on to make his first sale within the concession.

KidZania London is the UK’s first educational entertainment experience which aims to offer real-life work experiences for 4-14 year olds. You have to see it to believe it. Hamptons International is just one of several global brands including British Airways, Renault, H&M and Cadbury’s which gives children an insight into how their industry works.

london.kidzania.com

hamptonsbranch Hamptons International Opens Branch at KidZania London (8) 150116

LAPLANDUK REVIEW

SANTA

Words: Victoria Evans | Reviewers: Isabel & Lucas Evans

As my husband reminded me on the way to Berkshire, you really can’t afford to get it wrong with kids and Christmas. The stakes are high for Lapland UK, but all bets are off. This is, hands down, the best Christmas experience the kids have ever had.

In true Evans style we were late following a minor detour to The Royal Berkshire Golf Club…no matter. The friendly elf on reception immediately set the tone for the afternoon’s experience – full immersion in Elf–talk, magic and imagination. The kids, now armed with their own Elf Passports, were excited even before we were ushered to the cosy, warm yurt-style tent, complete with sparkling fairy lights, a leafy canopy and elf performance. We learned how to perfect an elf wave before the door to The Enchanted Forest was opened. A world of white, snow encrusted pines was revealed, and the excitement ramped up a gear.

Our elf guide was taking us to the toy factory where the kids learned how important it was to help Father Christmas this year as the Good List is very long. They made a wooden horse and a soft, plush Rudolf (both of which are available to buy at The Emporium later) before the next adventure to meet Mother Christmas in her kitchen for a spot of cookie decorating.

other celf houseelf village sign

It turns out Father Christmas is a gingerbread addict, so Mother Christmas warned the kids to keep their gingerbread houses safe. Elves, being very hospitable folk, also made sure the grown-ups were kept fully charged with a cookie. Nice touch.

The next trail took us to The Elf Village where the kids were free to ice skate, meet huskies, have a reasonably nutritious meal and then go wild in the toy and sweet shops. I’m always a bit bah humbug when it comes to merchandising at large kids’ venues, but The Emporium was at least tasteful with a variety of gifts at a variety of prices. It also didn’t feel too busy which makes a change from the usual Christmas crush.

Then it was time to meet the big man himself. While the rest of the afternoon had been shared with a group of around 50 adults and kids, this was a moment just for us. After checking in and a quick run-through of the personalised information we’d sent a couple of weeks earlier, two elves escorted us to Father Christmas’ wooden cabin, where we could hear him sleeping.

When you have a nine-year-old constantly being told by her friends that Santa doesn’t exist, a trip to Lapland UK could seem pointless. But…let me tell you, the look on both my kids’ faces when they met him was an image I will remember for the rest of my life. The kids hung on his every word and they were both gobsmacked to be sat in the same room as him – how did he know the name of my daughter’s best friend and that she’s just mastered long division? How did he know that my son’s best friend is his daddy or that his favourite iPad game is Terraria?

Of course, Father Christmas wasn’t going to be able to pull Lego Star Wars or cameras from his sack, but it wasn’t filled with naff plastic toys from Poundland either. With a new husky soft toy in hand, the kids emerged, totally wowed by what had just happened. All that was left was to purchase our family photo (this will be the only moment we all believe at the same time) before heading off into the night, full of excitement for the month ahead.

We took a six and nine year old who still believe, but I’d stick my neck out that even non-believers would leave Lapland UK with an inkling that Father Christmas exists.

A word from our reviewers…

“It’s the best place ever! I loved it! I didn’t want to leave! It’s soooo magical, we actually saw Santa’s sleigh and reindeer. We built toys with elves and made a gingerbread house with Mother Christmas. I LOVED meeting Father Christmas, he gave us a cuddly toy. He also showed me that I was on the good list!” Isabel, 9.

“I ice-skated and two elves could turn around! I saw Santa and he gave me a free present. He was really wonderful. I went to Pixie Mixie the Elf’s sweet shop. It was really yummy!” Lucas, 6.

www.laplanduk.co.uk

cookieskitchenpassport

 

 

Meet The #Kloggers

The rise in blogging over the last few years has seen a new trend emerge, that of the kid blogger or #klogger.
Victoria Evans follows the amazing world of one of them.

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MEET THE #BLOGGERS

Like it or not, the Internet and social media is now an integral part of most kids’ lives. Kids are connected, and they know a lot more about it than we do. Social media is not “limited” to Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, OoVoo, WhatsApp, Burn Note, Yik Yak, Meet Me, Tumblr, Vine — you get the message — there’s a legion of child bloggers making waves in a market once ruled by people two or three times their age.

Introducing ‘Amazing Arabella’ Daho, from North London. A fashion, beauty and travel blogger who has already met Kelly Hoppen, been invited to the London Fashion Week, modelled for Monsoon and Burberry and been sent on trips abroad to blog about her experiences. She has collected a following of over 26,000 across social media; she only started her blog in September. Oh, and she’s 11.

“I started modelling when I was three, and as I got older my friends were asking me what I had been doing so I decided to start writing about it … and they told me it was really good so I turned it into a blog.”

Luckily for Arabella, her mum, Shadia, is a dab hand when it comes to blogging, vlogging and social media networking. Between her and other family members the Dahos have an incredible 800k followers worldwide. Their combined knowledge means Arabella is not flying blind.

“When she’s out blogging I go with her. We were at London Fashion Week and I wouldn’t feel comfortable about her going with anybody else. I monitor everything, and if she gets a load of followers I go through them all. It’s been ok. Generally it’s positive.”

KH7

We all have countless questions crashing around in our heads when it comes to social media and our kids. Can our children blog “safely” (what does safely even mean in this context?), will they be bullied, isn’t the web a hunting ground for paedophiles, is my son/daughter going to share pictures of themselves? Basically, we don’t know what the social norms for this relatively new medium are — are there any?

Joanne Mallon founded Kidsblogclub.com when both her children started blogging. Her site now promotes creative child bloggers and offers advice to parents and their kids alike.
“[Blogging’s] like anything else — as safe or unsafe as you want it to be. We encourage children to think about personal safety and how much information they want to give away. Do they want to blog anonymously, under an assumed name? How much info do they want to give out about where they live? Will they be sharing pictures of themselves? All of this stuff has to be discussed with parents. From a practical point of view, when it comes to blogging, both Google and WordPress have it as part of their terms of service that users have to be over 13. So if an under 13 is blogging, they will effectively have to do it in conjunction with a parent, which is probably a good thing.”

Like with most things related to social media and generally the Internet, as a parent it pays to stay informed so you know how to set limits and have genuine dialogues with your kids about it.

Mallon has found that blogging is widely used and approved of by schools as it is a method of encouraging children’s literacy and creativity. This stands to reason, and Arabella and Shadia would agree with the benefits.

“I think it’s made me more confident — it’s helping with my school work.” Shadia: “Her English has got a lot better. She manages her schoolwork really well, and the things that she’s learning about and writing about have opened up a whole new world.”

Which brings us to blogging as a business. Bloggers, in the main, start out because they have something different to say, which might resonate with their contemporaries. A point not lost on big brands that see bloggers as a direct connection to their potential markets. Arabella is at an advantage here, as a young, fashion-conscious tween, with a ready-made audience. But Shadia is keen to stress that the integrity of the blog must never be forgotten.

“We get approached by a lot of brands because she’s unique in what she does. We don’t just work with anyone because, in the end, you’ve got to be truthful. What you say can be very powerful. Working with brands that you can relate to, that’s the way forward. You need it to be truthful, and if it’s artificial, no one’s going to read it anyway.”

Many bloggers now have agents and earn enough money to support a back up team of publicists and admin staff. If this is what you want to do, Shadia recommends you find a good management company first. In fact, she’ll be casting 10 adults and 10 kid bloggers for her new company, Blogaholics. And, there’s no doubt that Arabella will be on hand to offer advice and tips to the kids that are chosen.

So what’s next in the diary for Arabella (and her lucky friends)? Only a trip to Hogwarts, teaming up with Virgin to blog about their Experience Days, working on the Xfactor…

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BOYS BLOG TOO
Tom, Project Indigo: Dr Who fan www.anadventurethroughtimeandspace.com
3 Top Tips for Starting a Blog:

1. Choose to write about something you are good at or are really, really interested in because it will be hard for you to keep your blog up if you don’t know what you are writing about.
2. Don’t start a blog because you want to be famous — that is not what blogging is about. I love blogging because I love sharing my adventures and have made lots of friends.
3. Keep at it! If you don’t post for a while your followers may lose interest.

BLOGS & RESOURCES
www.amazingarabella.com
www.jakes-bones.com – 13 year old bone collector
www.foodpenelope.co.vu – 10 year old food lover
www.kidsblogclub.com
www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety
www.safetynetkids.org.uk/personal-safety/staying-safe-online