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for our Winter Fun Competitions! Parenting Education Where’s Santa Pantos and Seasonal Shows... We’ve got Winter all Wrapped UP!

Issue 132 November/December 2019

Welcome to the November/December issue! CONTACT US: Families North West London Magazine WATFORD


Editors: Heather Waddington andRICKMANSWORTH Janine Mergler











Readership of over 60,000 local parents, carers and teachers every issue. Published seven times a year. For families from birth to twelve.

UPCOMING ISSUES: Jan/Feb 2020 - Nurseries and Childcare Deadline 1 December 2019 March/April 2020 - Easter and Summer Camps and Childcare Deadline 5 Feb 2020 Send in your news, stories and advertising bookings to the details above.


6 Timestables made easy!

Feature images used under license from Other images have been supplied by independent sources.

8 Ask a Local... Nursery Manager

10 Parenting

13 Pullout Advent Calendar

16 Where’s Santa

18 What’s On

22 Panto and Christmas Shows

Cover image:

Where is Families North West London?

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Families North West London Magazine is part of Families Print Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of Families NW London Magazine are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families North West London Magazine. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but Families North West London Magazine, its distributors, the franchise company, Families Print Ltd, and LCMB Ltd cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequence thereof.

Families North West London Magazine is distributed bi-monthly throughout north west London. An area bordered by the A40 to the south, by the A5/M1 to the east and out towards the M25 in the north and west. You can collect a copy FREE from scores of outlets: schools, nurseries, play groups, clubs and classes, sports centres, children’s libraries, family doctors and baby clinics, theatres, your local council offices and children’s shops. If you would like to stock copies to give to parents, please let us know.

NEWS New Street Dance classes in Croxley Stimulate your child’s imagination through creative movement - expressing themselves through dance and music! Street Dance Academy are launching their latest club in Malvern Way Primary School, Croxley Green starting on January 11th 2020. Hour-long classes will be held every Saturday morning during school term time. Sign up before 31st December and receive a FREE club T shirt! Classes are split into 3 age groups 5-8yrs, 9-11yrs and 12-16yrs . Street Dance coaches are all DBS checked, and classes are taught in a fun and safe environment. For a full list of class times, fees and/or to apply online - www.streetdanceacademy. or call 0800 0236 236

Take a walk this winter Ramblers groups across the UK will offer a warm welcome on hundreds of free festive walks. No matter where you live, and whether or not you’ve walked before, they’ll offer the chance to enjoy the wonderful winter landscape in good company; to relax, unwind and stressbust, and to make new friends at a time of year when many people can feel anxious, stressed or isolated.

Gift idea for the little cooks in your life Little Cooks Co is a monthly subscription based recipe kit that’s posted through the letterbox, direct to kids, in a neat 100% recyclable box with compostable packaging. The box is packed with all the natural and healthy dry ingredients of that month’s delicious and nutritious recipe for kids to bake in the home. Kits come complete with all of the dry, organic ingredients perfectly measured to make each recipe and also include a small activity or craft for children to enjoy while making their yummy bake. Each recipe is fun and easy to make and has been designed by a registered nutritionist, so is free from all refined sugar and processed ingredients. Subscriptions start from £8.99/month

Last year, the Ramblers encouraged over 88,000 people to start walking or discover its many health benefits. So why not give yourself, or someone you love, the ‘uplift gift’ of joining in one of our Festival Of Winter Walks across the UK?” There will be fun winter-themed walks that the little ones will love; leisurely strolls under five miles for people new to walking; and longer walks for those that want more of a challenge. For those of you who may be short on time or want a gentler stroll, there will be Ramblers’ health walks. Where to get more info: FOWW 2019 web page link: Or search online for Festival Of Winter Walks 2019

Paediatric First Aid Courses Sun 17 Nov, Sat 7 Dec, Sat 18 Jan - Harrow on the Hill

Suitable for Ofsted Registration. Includes some home study.

Certificate valid for 3 years Cost = £85

Contact Margaret at or on 07814 191 395 for bookings Other dates available

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NEWS Will you make a #PlasticPromise? Almost half a million Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers and volunteers across the UK are coming together to tackle plastic pollution – and they’re calling on the nation to make a #PlasticPromise GirlGuiding UK members from across the UK are joining forces and asking their friends, family, politicians and the public to join them and make a #PlasticPromise, committing to a simple but meaningful lifestyle change to help reduce single-use plastic. Anyone can make a #PlasticPromise by visiting

Award winning Northwood author releases the second book in his young readers’ Butterfly Bee Lady trilogy This newest offering from local author ig Oliver shares an amazing journey of adventure, love and family but with the continuing knowledge that evil and malice are not far behind for Bee, the Butterfly Bee Lady’s daughter.

Harrow school wins good diabetes care award Headmaster Simon Ford, Welfare Officer Angela Shaw and children from Quainton Hall School. Quainton Hall School in Hindes Road has been chosen for the Diabetes UK ‘Good Diabetes Care in School Award’ because of the support it provides to students with the condition, the help it offers to manage their diabetes safely, and the care it takes to include them in all school activities. The recognition scheme aims to raise awareness of the vital role good care in school plays in keeping students safe, supporting them to achieve academically and promotes their personal development. Headmaster Simon Ford said: “We are delighted to receive this award - it’s not only recognition of how seriously we take Type 1 diabetes in our school, but also of our commitment to ensure all children have access to the same opportunities, no matter if they have a long-term health condition or not. Every child and young person with diabetes deserves to have the same opportunities as their friends. And their parents should be confident they’re looked after properly in school.” For more information on the Good Diabetes Care in School Award visit:

Her journey now takes her to where the very first magic was created, and to find the answers to what happened to her mother and how she became who she was. The very first Butterfly! Beautiful illustrations drawn by the author ig Oliver, lighten the readers way through this fantastic story three years in the making. Available from Waterstones, WHSmith and Amazon. Follow ig Oliver on Twitter

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How to teach your kids their times tables…easily


ands up who got their iPhone out the last time they had to add anything up? You’re not the only one. Relying on a calculator is easy and convenient but getting to grips with maths and, in particular, times tables, is vital for children if they are to succeed at school.

then go down that route. If, on the other hand, listening and chanting helps them learn, then explore the different types of apps available on the iPad or computer and try downloading some of them.

Helping your little ones at home and doing some extra work to ensure they feel confident in their learning can almost be as important as what they do in the classroom.

Come on, admit it; everyone has a favourite times table. It’s probably your favourite because you find it the easiest to remember or you like the pattern. Picking up on things like this will make it easier for your little ones to learn. The 9 times table has one of the easiest patterns to remember because, whilst the tens go up each time, the other number just goes down; 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81 and 90.

The thing that can really turn children off learning their times tables is the practise it will take. Mixing up the way they spend their time practising is important for sparking their interest and holding their attention.

Here are some top tips to help you.  How can you help them know it? Buy posters of times tables or make your own; you can then stick them up throughout the house. On the wall opposite the loo, or under a magnet on the fridge, so that they are taking it in without even realising it. You can even tape it to the ceiling above their bed so that they have something to talk about with you when you’re snuggling down, instead of a bed-time story.

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 Pick out the patterns

 Apply it to real life If times tables is something your children can apply to daily life, they will show much more of an interest. Instead of testing what they know, be playful about it when you’re at the supermarket and they’re helping you with the shopping (it can happen sometimes!). If you’re buying loose fruit and veg, ask them if they know what the price would be if you bought three instead of two.

 Find out what works best for your child Like anything with children, once you discover what works best for them – stick to it. If your child learns best using visual aids

 Build their confidence There is more to maths than arithmetic and it’s important that your little ones don’t lose interest in maths as a subject because it feels too difficult or seems too time consuming. Break down learning into bite-size chunks and make it as playful as possible. Encourage your children and praise them for trying when they do. Show them how far they have come since last week or last month and this should spur them on to keep improving.


Call us to arrange an individual appointment

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Interview with Susan Jarrett, Nursery Manager at Buxlow Nursery What is your biggest belief when it comes to EYFS education?

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

they discover connections and come to a new and better understanding and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions.

Every child is unique and deserves the best possible start in life, and having the right support enables them to fulfil their potential. We understand that each child and their family are unique, with different needs and concerns. The relationship between the practitioner and child is at its core because we believe that we have a special, influential and vitally important role as we support, facilitate, model, reflect, evaluate and engage with children along their learning journey.

The children are a joy and show enormous amounts of love. Each day is different and full of surprises. What I enjoy the most is beginning the journey with each child when they come in and then summing up the journey when they leave us for reception seeing the self-assured and confident individuals that we have helped to shape.

We also offer the children extra-curricular activities provided by specialist teachers; this includes French, Drama, P.E and Music.

Why are these years so vital to development?

At Buxlow we aim to provide children with the best start in life and to develop in them an enthusiasm for learning that will stay with them throughout their lives. At Buxlow children are given the opportunity to be creative through all areas of learning. We support children’s metacognitive skills and help them make connections by offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open ended questions.

The early years of a child’s life are key to predicting ultimate success in school and life. At this stage children are constantly learning and most of their learning is acquired through play. Play is the foundation for learning all aspects of children’s development. Through play and the development of the brain in cognition and learning, and with further scaffolding from adults, children develop language skills, their emotions, creativity, social and intellectual skills.

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What is unique about education at Buxlow?

In addition to the wide variety of selfchosen activities, there is a balance of focused teaching sessions both in wholeclass and small-group settings. Each child has free access to both the inside and outside environment. When children have opportunities to explore ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources,

What is a typical day at Buxlow nursery? A typical day starts at 8am when children arrive for breakfast and self-chosen activities, the children are split into two groups for circle time, this is followed by indoor and outdoor play with adult led focussed activities. At our snack bar, children are encouraged to independently choose fruit and vegetables, sit and talk with their friends. The children then join in our phonics session, singing and story time. In the afternoon, children participate in sensory and movement sessions, followed by adult led focussed activities in and outside of the nursery. The nursery day ends at 6.00pm with happy children, happy adults. S Jarrett – Buxlow Nursery Manager BA Early Childhood Education


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Night Time Nappies to No Nappies By Alicia Eaton

Every parent looks forward to being able to throw away night-time nappies and pull-ups for good. Try these simple steps towards reaching this milestone. Words Work Explain to your child that soon they’ll be able to keep themselves dry all night and won’t need nappies/ pull-ups. Putting the idea into your child’s mind triggers important thinking processes necessary to become dry at night.

Plan Ahead Put a date in the diary and let you child know when you will stop using nappies/pull-ups. These actually prevent children learning how to take control because their absorbency means your child’s skin doesn’t feel wet. Accidents Use an absorbent bed mat in between two layers of sheets. If your child is wet, remove the top layer and use the dry bed underneath.

Avoid Rewards and Bribes They are a distraction and it will be doubly disappointing for your child if they’re not successful one night. Focus your child on learning how to stay dry at night. Keep Track Track dry and wet nights during your training period so you can figure out what the cause of wet nights might be.

Regularly use phrases like: “Pretty soon, you’ll stop needing these at night-time….”

Declutter Ensure the bedroom floor is clutter-free so your child can easily move around at night.

Step by Step Explain they will need to visit the bathroom instead. Walk through the steps they’ll take and practise this several times, telling them you will leave lights on so they can see their way easily.

Drinks Avoid drinks one hour before bedtime, but don’t restrict fluids during the day as this could make your child constipated - a common cause of bedwetting.

Alicia Eaton is a trained psychotherapist and author of Stop Bedwetting in Seven Days published by Practical Inspiration Publishing.

Deeper Sleep Avoid leaving night-lights on in the bedroom. A dark bedroom promotes deeper sleep patterns. This might be enough to ensure your child sleeps through without needing the toilet.

Think Food Avoid fizzy drinks, sugary foods, milk and fruit such as strawberries, grapes and melon at night-time as these affect the bladder.

For more information, visit

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Fill your hearts this festive season


ou’d be forgiven for wondering whether the festive period has become too commercialised. Since August bank holiday the shops have been tempting us to fill our boots and our time with the latest themed decorations, present ideas, special food, and already nearly sold out laser shows. Closely followed by the September arrival of gift catalogues that can burden our senses. A few months of this and those special dates of celebration can become something to survive rather than a time to cherish.

It is easy to lose sight of what this time of year is really about. When I asked my 7 year old muse what was important to her and if she could only guarantee one thing this season what it would be, she said our family lunches.Not the presents, not the time off school, not even the back to back watching of Christmas movies. She loves that we don’t just limit our family to blood relations, but that we include all of the special people in our lives, like all her aunties, aka my friends. When I break down what she finds special, it’s matches my own needs, and probably yours too:

 Dress to impress

 Play Actually play, just like you did when you were children. Saying “yes” to the question “Mama, wanna play?” was the beginning of an entire year of transformation for Screenwriter Shonda Rhimes. It never takes as long as you think it’s going to, but it will fill your heart and your kids’ if you make the time for it.

 Be present Make the festive season about presence, not presents. Give your full focus to the people you love – it’s the best gift you can give them, and yourself. Doing this even for snippets during what might be a busy time for you will light you up and bring you that feeling of connection. Extend this feeling to those people who can’t be there physically. In this modern time of mobile tech we have no excuse not to video call the people you care about who are far away. Show them your outfit! None of these things are commercial – they are about making the most of what you have, being mindful about where your attention goes, and getting the most from relationships that already exist.

Susie Ramroop is a Mindset Coach helping busy parents to focus on what truly makes a difference in life and at work. Please send any comments and questions to

From the moment the kids break up, we dress differently. Either in festive jumpers or high heels around the house on Christmas day. We signal to people coming to visit that it isn’t just another day, it’s special. They’re special. And so are we. Dressing up is a sign of high self worth.

 Connect When I first meet with coaching clients they often complain of goals they haven’t attained or things they are afraid of, but when all of the critical noise dissipates what they really crave is connection; the feeling of unconditional love and non-judgement. There are certain times when it feels easier to generate than others, and this time is one of them.

 Savour your food During festivities we can tend to get distracted and eat more than we would otherwise like. Feeling bloated and overfull is a sure way to take down your energy. Pay attention to what you are eating and when you’re satisfied, stop. Save that energy for the next step.

Open: Monday – Friday 8am to 6pm Year Round/Term-Time Ages: 3 months – 6 years • Excellent Standard of Care & Education • Qualified Montessori Staff • Safe Play Areas

We are an Ofsted Registered Independent Montessori Nursery School

• Nutritious meals prepared daily by our on-site chef

St Michael’s Church Annex St Michael’s Church Road Cricklewood NW2 6XG

0208 830 7331

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What’s On Tower of London Ice Rink

ICE RINKS Sat 19 Oct – Sun 12 Jan The Natural History Museum Ice Rink (SW7) Set against the backdrop of the Waterhouse building, the Ice Rink at the Natural History Museum is one of the most magical places to be this winter. Experience the thrill of skating surrounded by fairy lights nestled in frost-covered trees, with the smell of mulled wine in the air. Whether you can dance on ice like Torvill and Dean, or you skate more like Bambi, a visit to the Museum’s Ice Rink is a must this festive season.

Sat 2 Nov – Sun 19 Jan The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink Brighton (BN1) Celebrate a greener Christmas this year with the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink. Stunning, twinkly, romantic, child-friendly, rinkside restaurant views to die for…and ice powered entirely by wind and solar energy. www.royalpavilionicerink

Wed 13 Nov – Sun 12 Jan Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason 2019 (WC2R) This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason! There will be a Polar Bear Club and Skate School to help skaters of all ages build confidence or improve their skills on the ice, alongside delicious food and drink both at the Fortnum’s Lodge and the Skate Lounge, home to the Baileys Treat Bar. For the first time, the Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City is welcomed to Somerset House, where leading designers create landscapes entirely from gingerbread, a real treat following a turn on the ice!

Thu 14 Nov – Sun 5 Jan Skate at Bluewater (DA9) Take a trip to this spectacular undercover outdoor ice rink, located outside by the beautiful lakes at The Village, beneath a clear roof so you can skate rain or shine! Perfect for all the family to enjoy, there are

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skating aids for kids, bob skates for those who need to be steady on the ice and skate lessons for anyone hoping to whirl, glide, skate and slide around the huge sparkling Christmas tree. Beverages, hot drinks and refreshments are available.

Sat 23 Nov – Tue 24 Dec Willows Farm Village Santa Spectacular (AL4) As part of their Santa Spectacular, Willows Farm will have a Magical Ice Rink where you can Glide around the synthetic ice with ski boots available to fit all sizes. Great fun for the whole family!

Thu 21 Nov – Sun 5 Jan Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (W2) Welcome to the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink! Kick-off the winter season with some festive skating, open from 10am – 10pm daily. Ideal for all ages and abilities, it’s a great family activity which the kids will love, whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to improve your skills on the ice! Live music from the bandstand provides the perfect atmosphere while you skate. Or if skating’s not your thing, enjoy a hot chocolate or festive drink from the spectator’s platform.

Sat 16 Nov – Sun 5 Jan Tower of London Ice Rink (EC3N) The Tower of London Ice Rink has been updated with a larger rink, giving visitors more room to skate and soak up the impressive views of the iconic medieval fortress. So grab your loved ones and create truly unforgettable memories as you glide around the spacious rink and take in the ambience of the fortress beside the Thames. The rink gets an extra helping of spectacular in the evenings when the lights, set against the fortress wall, adds to the dramatic jaw dropping views.

Fri 22 Nov – Sun 5 Jan Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink (KT8) Situated in the gardens of Henry VIII’s historic home, this open-air ice rink offers you the chance to glide across the ice under a star-covered sky while surrounded by spectacular views the of historic Tudor palace. Whether you’re looking for a memorable ice-skating experience or a place to catch up with your loved ones, you are assured magical memories that you will cherish for years to come.

Sun 1 Dec – Sun 5 Jan JW3 Ice Rink (NW3) Whether you want to practice your Double Lutz or just your Double Klutz, go and skate on North West London’s favourite pop-up ice rink at JW3. With a skating area of 200m2, the outdoor ice rink comes complete with glimmering lights, vibrant music and an electric atmosphere. For those who aren’t as steady on the ice, helpful penguin stabilisers can be pre-booked as can seated banana toboggans for less confident little ones to have fun on.

From 31 Oct Skylight: Rooftop Ice Skating at Tobacco Docks (E1W) November to January will see the return of the massively popular rooftop ice rink the only one in Europe! Show off your ice dancing skills and cosy up in one of the stunning igloos or down in the snug bar on level 9.



Local Clubs and Classes Directory PARTIES Perform Parties - Based around a colourful theme, Perform’s energetic party leaders use a magical mix of songs, games and laughter to create fun-filled, action-packed parties. Call 0207 255 9120 or visit The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) Fun for kids, hassle-free for parents, birthday parties at The Windmill Studio Centre, Ruislip Manor, for 1-10 years boys & girls include invitations, party leader & assistant(s), freshly prepared food, decorations, music, lights, games, dancing, props and prizes. Optional extras - adult refreshments, face-painting and party bags. Lots of themes from Princesses and Super Heroes to Monsters, Trolls, Makers and Mad Hatters! Modern & clean venue.  01895 624755 

CLASSES FOR GROWN-UPS Adult Art Classes in Stanmore (HA7) Drawing, painting and mixed media art classes for adults. Weekday morning studio sessions in a relaxed, supportive environment.  020 8954 2897 or 07500 006 099  Capital Connection Chorus - female A capella harmony (HA4) Calling women who love to sing! Particularly need lower range voices at present. Perfect way to meet new friends and sing with a great group of women. Wed night 7.45pm to 10.30pm at Ruislip Community Centre.  www. Eggless Cake Delights (HA) offer eggless baking, cake decorating and dessert classes for kids & adults in Harrow. Classes are held in small groups in hands on and Demo format, during weekdays, weekends and during term holidays in a friendly environment.  07737847405 or  www. Meditation (HA5) Every first Thursday of the month, 8pm at The Stables, Eastcote House Gardens, Eastcote Village, HA5 2FE. Everyone 18+ welcome. Just £5. Feel energised, increase happiness, improve mental clarity and memory recall. Flush out negative thoughts and improve physical and mental health. Ten minute stress relief treatment for newcomers FREE. No booking needed, just come along. For more information, contact Alexandra Barrett:  0775 334 90 24 Rize (NW6) Your energy will Rize with your favourite group exercise classes - sociable and coached fitness in Queens Park, 68 Salusbury Rd, London NW6 6NU.  020 7624 8687 or  queenspark@wearerize. to book your first session. South Oxhey Choir Why not go along and enjoy an evening with the South Oxhey Choir, no audition required, just enthusiasm for music of all kinds. Popular classic and classic pop. Meet on Tuesday evenings, term time only, at Oxhey Wood School, Oxhey Drive, South Oxhey with plenty of parking. 7pm-8.30pm. First visit is FREE and if you wish to continue then a subscription is applicable.  Ann Cox 07852369935 or  or Zest For Life Studio is a new secret fitness oasis for vitality and wellness near you. Let me welcome you in my garden studio to share an invigorating hour of zesty fitness, a unique programme of toning circuit & zumba: enjoy a variety of class at 9am, a personal touch, small group of 6-8. In&outdoor classes. 

First Aid MCS Training (HA1, HA5) Paediatric First Aid Course. Accepted for full and voluntary Ofsted Registration. Certificate valid for 3 yrs.  Margaret 07814 191 395 

LANGUAGES AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT All Saints Toddler Group (HA8) Every Thursday 10am-11.45am. Everyone welcome. A small friendly group run by the pre-school, with qualified staff on hand to provide help and support if needed. At Waltham Drive, Queensbury, Edgeware, HA8 5PQ.  07985 284 498/07958 473 475.  Baby Lab (WC1E) Have fun for free with your baby making discoveries about brain development at the Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development. Birkbeck College, Malet St, London. Travel expenses refunded. 020 7631 6258  www. Chinmaya UK (HA) Do you want your children to connect to their Indian culture through stories, games and celebration of festivals? Go along to Bal Vihar classes to explore culture and values in an engaging, positive environment. Every Sunday in Harrow and Hendon for children aged 5-17.  www. 07812 146428 Gujarati Masti Maja classes by Sansaar (HA5) Fun and interactive Gujarati music, song and dance classes for 3 to 6 year olds in North London, to help your child speak Gujarati confidently. Saturday morning at 9am and 10am at St Lawrence Church in Eastcote, Pinner.  Little Stars Baby Club (HA9) A fun and friendly baby club where new mums with babies from birth to sitting can relax and meet new friends whilst babies play and explore with a range of lovely sensory toys. Every Friday 9:30-11:15am at Powell Suites @ Chalkhill Community Centre, The Welford Centre, 113 Chalkhill Road, Wembley Park HA9 9FX. £2.00  0208 385 1836 

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The Northwood Speech and Language Therapy Practice (HA6) An Independent Practice providing an exceptionally high quality, caring and individualised service for promoting the communication needs of children. We offer Speech and Language Therapy sessions within a modern clinic base, nurseries and schools. 01923 824 074 07956 994721  Portuguese for Children (NW6) Every Saturday, from 10am to 12pm, the International Gospel Church on Belsize Road will be open for children from 4 to 12 years of Brazilian-English parents to enrol. Lessons will include how to read and write and Brazilian culture, including music.  Guju Tots Swagatham! Kem Chho? Come along to a FREE taster of these fun-filled 45 minute classes in NW London to help kids 6 months to 5 years learn Gujarati through songs & stories! Interactive, relaxed classes, plus plenty of material to practice at home!  07956 385 316 

Outdoor Forest School Parent & Toddler Programme. Monday and Friday Oxhey /Northwood. Come and explore in the woods, led by experienced and qualified Forest School Practitioners. Developing learning, confidence and well being through fire, den building, song, storytelling, craft and tool use.  07900 215 512 

Sign Language Sing and Sign (Various) Fun classes combining the benefits of baby signing with music to develop language, memory and attention skills. Babies 6-30 months. Bushey, Rickmansworth, Stanmore and Harrow. 

HEALTH AND WELLBEING The Bite Me Corner (HA9) Saturday Cooking and Nutrition sessions at 11:00am-12:00pm or 12:30-1:00pm at The Yellow, Wembley. For children aged 7+. Using a combination of organic and commercial produce we create a variety of delicious dishes! From pizza to raspberry white chocolate muffins, Carrot and quinoa balls! The list goes on! Contact us for Cooking and Nutrition Workshops! contact Lauri  07957155421 or  Wellbeing Kids Workshops (WD3) Well-being workshops for children aged 9-12yr and 13-17yr olds. Holiday masterclasses to support the holistic mind, body and spirit learning. By exploring emotional intelligence, imagination, yoga, mindfulness, role-play and many more creative/ outdoor activities.For more information, please contact Anita  07956 849614, 

Massage & Yoga Human Values Based Yoga After school classes run in Harrow by a qualified yoga teacher with over 40 years yoga experience and over 30 yrs teaching yoga in various settings, including adult education and family learning, community clubs, hospitals and mental health centres. For adults and children 6-11 years.  Joyce on 07912 879 103 

ACTIVITY CENTRES Aspire National Training Centre, Kidz Zone activities (HA7) Wide range of activities available from 6mths to 12yrs. 020 8954 5759  kidzzone@ Wood Lane, Stanmore, HA7 4AP Cloud 9 Leisure (WD25) Imagine a giant inflatable world which combines the fun, challenge and excitement of Ninja Warrior, Gladiator and Total Wipeout! Cloud 9 at Francis Coombe School in Watford is an incredibly new, exciting, active leisure experience for all ages. From a giant inflatable obstacle course and dodgeball arena to a 1v1 battle platform, the fun is endless with plenty more surprises in store.  JAMtots (HA4) An interactive daytime activity centre for parents with babies and toddlers. All pay as you go with a variety of sessions that include Parent & Toddler Groups, Musical Tots, Gym Tots and one off events plus special visits from Jimmy the JAMtots Bear. 01895 624755  Jungle Monkeyz (HA5) offers a unique Indoor Soft Play Area that is a safe environment for children aged 0-9 years. There are special areas for infants and toddlers, as well as the Junior zone for bigger monkeyz which has a 3 tier play structure and exciting Adventure zone.  Rumble Tumble Harrow (HA1) Harrow’s only indoor supervised soft play children’s play group. Why not take advantage of the Drop & Shop facility and have a stress free shop, or book a special event in the Party Room available for all occasions. You can even relax and have a snack in the restaurant while your little ones are playing.  0208 427 8847  The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) An exciting activity centre that has just about everything to offer for all ages from babies to adults including classes, courses, complementary therapies and room & studio hire. 01895 624755  www.

MUSIC & MOVEMENT Beat Building Vibrant & energising music classes using African drums and funky percussion. Great songs and games get the imagination glowing & introduce the concepts of beats, rhythmic patterns, time keeping & also encourage sharing, taking turns and listening. A wonderful introduction to music and rhythm, beat Building is brilliantly fun!  07721 623 171  www.beatbuilding.

Colourstrings (various) Music Kindergartens for babies, toddler, and children up to 6 yrs with small, age-related classes. Classes are enjoyable and inspire learning, developing inner hearing and core music skills.  020 8444 9435  Diddi Dance Harrow & North Hillingdon (various) At diddi dance we enhance children’s endless energy and enthusiasm through funky, full of fun sessions that build confidence, co-ordination and creativity. Classes in Pinner,Ruislip & Stanmore with new ones opening soon. To book a FREE TRIAL contact tejal. Monkey Music (Various) Award-winning Monkey Music introduces babies and young children to music in a way they understand and enjoy - and is brilliant fun for children and adults too! The unique four-stage curriculum, written by classically trained musicians, ensures that classes are a “good fit” for pre-schoolers. Parents across the UK have voted it as “Best National Toddler Development Activity” and “Best National Pre-school Development Activity”. Age guides: Rock’n’ Roll from 3m, Heigh Ho from 1yr, Jiggety Jig from 2rs, Ding Dong 3- 5yrs. Classes are open 6 days a week, at venues in Uxbridge, Eastcote, Northwood, Harrow and Stanmore. 020 8427 6595  OB1 Rhythm & Rhyme (WD17 and HA8) Music and Movement classes are fun, tactile and engaging for both parents and children. Enjoy nursery rhymes, instruments, scarves, ribbons, parachute, stories and music, whilst delighting in puppets and bubbles. Children will learn positive social interaction and enhance their coordination and physical development, as well as excite curiosity. From 3 months to 3 years and follow the EYFS framework. Edgware or Watford.  07522405486  8

SPORTS AND EXERCISE All Stars Cricket Gives boys and girls aged 5-8 the chance to play, learn great skills and make new friends!  Capoeira Academy UK (HA) Classes in Stanmore providing outstanding and fun classes for children aged 4+years. A unique blend of martial arts, dance, acrobatics and music; capoeira develops skills for life with inspiring and nurturing teachers.  07841342874  www. Echo’s Equestrian Centre (SL0) A small friendly livery yard and Pony Club Centre in Iver, Buckinghamshire. Junior Pony Club and a Hoof Club during the holidays.  07895 706053  Enjoy-a-Ball classes (Various) Sports coaching for 3-9 yr olds in a fun, positive and non-competitive environment. Ten ball sports for the perfect introduction to sport. Physi-ball classes - Ball skills and core skills for toddlers aged 18mths to 3 yrs. Classes run in Mill HIll, Finchley, Golders Green and Muswell Hill. Enjoy-a-Ball parties are for super-active 3 - 9 year olds. They are full of high energy games loved by boys and girls alike!  0333 334 0845 or 07763746886  Everyone Active (various) Everyone Active’s awarding winning learn to swim programme offers lessons for all ages of swimmers, from child classes starting at 4 months right through to adult classes and are available at over 120 sites. All swimming teachers are Swim England level 2 (or equivalent) qualified. All stages are progressive and continually assessed, initially developing water confidence and then teaching children to swim. As they improve, this distance is increased and all strokes are introduced. They also have the opportunity to develop water safety skills and other aquatic disciplines such as Rookie Lifeguard, synchronised swimming diving and water polo.  Field End Flyers Saturday Morning Community Cycle Club (HA5) Saturday in Term Time, Field End Rd for ages 5–11 yrs. Join the friendly team of British Cycling Coaches at 9.45am, and learn fun skills, race on the amazing fully enclosed Cycle Track, make new friends and enjoy a whole morning of fun till 12.30 - (refreshment break half way through). All you need is your own bike, helmet, gloves and water bottle and a shower proof jacket.  Tracey Harrow Junior Hockey Club (HA1) run sessions for children aged 4- 16 years on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings at The John Lyon School Playing Fields, Sudbury Hill, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3NA.  Hertfordshire Sports Village (AL10) have plenty of activities and sports sessions to keep your children active throughout the year. They cater for all children between the ages of 0 – 17 years and offer everything from swimming lessons, Gymnastics, Mini Movers, Trampolining and Mini Boots.  Ignite Tennis (HA3) Coaching courses for ages 3+ at Kenton Lawn Tennis Club. Junior group coaching is for those who wish to improve their tennis skills with others of a similar age and ability. Each session will cover different aspects of the game and they will relate from one session to the next. All sessions include technical, tactical, physical and mental skills. Contact James  07852 180905  Kaishi Karate School runs classes for children and adults in north London. Kaishi has been awarded a Safe guarding kite mark by Sport England. Karate aids self discipline and confidence along with many other benefits. Absolute beginners welcome from age 4-94! See details on www. Or call Sheena on 0787 550 1674. Little Kickers (Various) Enabling children aged 18mths up to their 7th birthday to develop their coordination, balance and agility through football activity classes Mill Hill, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Golders Green, Muswell Hill, Friern Barnet 020 8201 1084  jlevene@littlekickers. Ruislip, Northwood/Oxhey, Pinner, Harrow (HA2), Harrow on the Hill and Watford  0208 123 9346  or Harrow (HA3) Bushey and North Wembley  0208 422 0676  niro@

Local Clubs and Classes Directory SportsKids Academy (WD3 & HA3) SportsKids Academy provide 4 -16 year olds with an exciting and educational sports programme at weekends. We encourage and develop young people to grow as athletes and individuals. We have an extensive programme of team and individual sports as well as weekly team building challenges. All children participate in a wide range of different sports, grow in confidence through leadership skills and have fun making lots of new friends. Their programme includes; American Football,  Dodgeball, Handball,  Basketball, Rugby, Softball,  Gaelic Football, Rounders,  Athletics,  Cricket,  Gymnastics, Tennis,   Fencing, Lacrosse, Archery, Netball, Volleyball, Martial Arts, Football,  Badminton,  Hockey,  Orienteering and Golf. 07983392479  TISKA (HA1/9) Learn the fascinating art of Karate. Classes held in Wembley and Harrow. Families welcome, minimum age 4 yrs. 07739 572487  Y Active (HA2) New Harrow classes booking now for children and adults at the YMCA. A beautiful studio with free parking and a play garden. Baby, Ballet, Gym, Soft Play and Classes from £4.40. 020 8832 1576 

Swimming Aqua Vie are doing regular weekly Tues, Thurs and Sunday Classes in Bushey during term times. Spaces for New babies, toddlers & Adults on Tues and Thurs. Learn mindful effortless swimming in a calm environment in warm water. Use less effort, swim further and experience the joy of water. Email Tel 01923 245 773 www. Brent Dolphins (NW10/HA0) Swimming lessons for children 5 years and over at Willesden and Vale Farm. Sessions are held in a fun and friendly environment from beginner to competitive swimming level.Further details are available on our website  or you can email our Club Secretary at:

THEATRE AND PERFORMING ARTS Beverley School of Performing Arts (HA8) After school & Saturday classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Street, Singing & Drama for boys and girls aged 3-18years. ISTD and LAMDA examinations to advanced level. 07974 750 224  Future Stars Theatre Arts (various) Drama – Dance – Sing – LAMDA. Future Stars is an established stage school with an outstanding reputation for excellence. They provide fun, fresh and dynamic training in Drama, Dance, Singing and LAMDA taught by the very best in the industry. Ages: 3-18 years. Classes in Stanmore College, Northwood, Aldenham and Radlett. Visit the website to book your FREE TRIAL now! Limited availability! info@  07912538656  Huzzah Performing Arts & Mindfulness Build confidence from the inside out with a Huzzah weekly class. Drama, dance, singing and a touch of mindfulness. Ages 4 - 7. Saturday 1 - 2.20pm in Queen’s Park. Sunday 10 11.30am in West Hampstead. Sign up for a FREE TRIAL  Creative, calm, confident kids. JAM2000 Performing Arts & Agency (HA4) Truly like no other, with classes available in dancing and drama from 2.5 years – adults, male and female plus an incredibly busy Agency that is always looking for new recruits for TV, films and commercials. 01895 624755 OB1 Theatre School offers affordable classes in singing, drama, dance and musical theatre for students aged 4-18, as well as an accredited musical theatre qualification! Our unique approach to teaching, combined with our small class sizes means that each student is given the training and attention they deserve. Designed to build confidence, encourage creativity and curiosity as well as teamwork. We inspire our students to reach their full potential so they can excel in every aspect of life - not just the performing arts. All The World’s A Stage. Book your free trial/audition in Edgware: 07522405486 / / OB1 Vocal & LAMDA Studio (NW7 and SG5) 1:1 private singing lessons with Oren - an award winning singing teacher, as well as 1:1 LAMDA sessions with Georgina, our acting coach. Lessons focus on the individual, enabling students to learn new concepts and technique in a safe and expressive environment. Earn UCAS points through LAMDA exams, build confidence, diction, energy, and expression. Ages 8+ years. We inspire our students to reach their full potential so that they can excel in every aspect of life - not just the performing arts. Lessons in Mill Hill Music Complex and our own studio in Letchworth.  Perform weekly drama, dance and singing classes. Confidence building fun for 4-12s. A unique mix of drama, dance and singing specially formulated to bring out every child’s true potential. Classes are kept small to ensure lots of individual attention. Perform offer no-obligation FREE trial sessions. Venues in Croxley Green, Dartmouth Park, Golders Green, Eastcote, Northwood, Pinner, Harrow, Kensal Rise, Kentish Town, Stanmore, West Hampstead and Wembley. 020 7255 9120 / uk Jigsaw Performing Arts Schools (Various) A new school year is here - time to try something new with your weekend? their popular dance, singing and drama weekend classes for 3-18-year-olds are designed to develop children’s confidence, self-expression, focus and social skills, while having fun and making lots of new friends. Parents share in the excitement and their children’s progress with regular presentations, shows and reports from their team of highly experienced teachers. For more information or to book a two-week trial, search for your nearest school on their website or call 020 8447 4530. Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts (HA1, HA4, HA7, WD3) Performance based theatre school with venues based in Harrow, Rickmansworth, Ruislip and Stanmore where children 3-21 attend weekly classes in preparation for full scale Musical Theatre productions. 01923 437693  www.

Stagecoach (Various) Training in three disciplines: drama, dance and singing. Great for building confidence, making new friends and beginning to hone talent and enthusiasm for performing, or being coaxed out of their shell by having fun!  Harrow 020 3504 0100 Harrow on the Hill & Sudbury Hill 01923 248 294 Stanmore & Harrow Weald 020 3504 2154 Watford 01727 768 738 Queen’s Park 020 7723 5861 Northwood 01442 263 599  Sylvia Young Theatre School (W1H) A specialist performing arts school offering a high level of academic & vocational studies. The Sylvia Young Theatre School is committed to providing high-quality part time training for students aged 4 to 18 years old. Classes are held on Thursday evenings and Saturdays at their Central London school at 1 Nutford Place, and focus on singing, dance and drama.  Young A Listers (HA0) The UK’s first part-time Self-empowerment Drama School, founded by Actor/Writer/Director Samuell Benta, with an intention to raise young people’s awareness about their personal strengths and power. The school offers the chance for children to pursue a career in acting or simply learn some new skills and build their confidence as a person. Classes every Tues and Thurs at St Johns Community Centre in Wembley.  07508 031 672

Dance Elina Patrou Academy of Dance (formerly The Van Niekerk Academy) (HA7) Ballet classes to develop poise, technique and expression through dance, for boys and girls aged 3-16 years with Royal Academy of Dance examinations, 07555861561 Instep School of Ballet (HA/WD) Trains students of all ages and abilities in ballet, tap, pointe and performance. The school offers examinations with the Royal Academy of Dance (ballet) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (tap), and all teachers are fully qualified and registered with the RAD and ISTD. They produce a summer show each year. Classes in Harrow, North Harrow and Bushey.  07814 793 772  instepschoolofballet@ Street Dance Academy (WD3) Every Saturday morning from 11th Jan 2020 at Malvern Way Primary School in Croxley Green. 9.30-10.30am (5-8 yrs); 11am-12pm (9-11 yrs). 12-16 yrs register your interest. 0800 0236 236.  Tartan Tots A fun introduction to Scottish dancing for 3 and 4 year olds. Encourages co-ordination, rhythm and keeping time to music. Experienced and qualified teacher. Saturday mornings in Watford. Classes also in Highland dancing for primary aged children.  07866 295694 

ARTS AND CRAFTS Art Classes for Kids (and Adults) in Stanmore (HA7) Drawing, painting and mixed media art classes for children and adults. On-going, small groups Mon–Thurs afternoons and Saturday mornings in Term Time for children from Year 1 up. Weekday morning studio sessions for adults in a relaxed, supportive environment. 020 8954 2897 or 07500 006 099  Art and Craft Club (HA5) Term time, Mon 4.30-5.30, Sat 10-11am or 11-12pm at Harrow Arts Centre. New activities introduced every term; drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, sewing, fabric printing and much more! For 5-11yr olds. Materials provided. Qualified teachers. 07946 055 422  Artzania Art and Craft Activity Club (HA) A new and exciting Arts and Crafts activity club for children ages 1-11 yrs open during term time and holidays. They offer and Mother Toddler Group art club (aged 1-4 yrs) and an After-school/ Holiday Club (ages 5-11yrs) Contact to book your place: Keshma 07419343105  Blank Canvas Art Club (HA4) Do your kids love Art? Then welcome to the club! Sign them up for these fun classes where I teach art techniques to 5+, 7+ and 11-18 year olds. Weekly term time classes & holiday workshops, with public or small group private options are available in Ruislip Manor & Eastcote. Special member’s benefits, sibling discounts and a refer a friend scheme are available so why not book now & let them develop a love of Art that will last a lifetime! Contact Suzi at 8, (07773 819 603 8 BlankCanvasArtClub Messmakers! (HA5) A gentle and fun introduction to creative arts for the very young and their families, with lots of mess and none of the tidying up! Exploring different materials and textures each week. Ages under 5, come dressed for mess! 0208 416 8989  family Stitch Club (HA5) Stitch and Sketch Club for children and teens. Start with simple hand sewing then developing sewing machine and design techniques to design and create your own items. Saturday Sketch Club develops looking and drawing skills and confidence. Also parties and one-off workshops. Adults’ weekly Dressmaking sessions and occaisional Beginners workshops.  E:

AFTER SCHOOL CLUB/EDUCATION SUPPORT Academic Primary School Tuition (HA8 & WD23) in Maths/English or Phonics & Writing for 3.5 to 11 year olds at our Little Big Leaders Saturday School, Summer School and Winter School, in our 8th year of success. Tutors support and challenge pupils to improve their learning, and have a track record in enabling pupils to demonstrate progress in their mainstream setting and/or in 5+, 7+ and 11+ examinations. Childcare vouchers accepted. Free trial lessons. 020 3637 6266 

All Saints Pre-School Queensbury (HA8) Free childcare for 2-5 yrs, 15-30 hours. Visit anytime Mon - Fri. Waltham Drive, Queensbury, Edgeware, HA8 5PQ. 07985 284 498/07958 473 475.  allsaintpreschool@hotmail. The Bite Me Corner (UB3) After-School Cooking and Nutrition programme at Cranford Park Academy. Join us on Wednesday 3:30- 4:30pm and Friday 3:30-5pm. For children aged 7+. Get your children excited about making healthy nutritious snacks that they will be able to recreate independently! Using a combination of organic and commercial produce we make overnight fruity oats, perfect for breakfast next day or Cheesyrice- salad! The list goes on!  Lauri on 07957155421 or  Brownies and Guides (Various) Rainbow, Brownie and Guide Units exist across the area which provide fun activities for girls aged from 5 onwards.  or Peggy Brand 020 8205 7597 Click IT! Computer lessons for Children (HA2) Fun, exciting and educational weekly computer lessons for children aged 2-5. Classes held at nursery schools all over North West London. Have fun learning with technology: mouse and keyboard skills and devices including graphic tablets, trackpads and digital microscopes. Every lesson is designed to complement the EYFS curriculum. Free trials available. 020 8434 7111.  DiscoG Coding Classes and Camps (various) Weekly Coding Programme teaches Primary and Secondary School children the basics of coding. Using the Python Programming Language and the Raspberry Pi 3 your child will create fun and engaging gadgets that spring to life with lights and sensors, and prototyping devices that will ‘amaze and inspire’. Tailored courses written to support the National Curriculum for GCSE and A Levels. Adult courses are also available. Gerard on 07767 300940  info@ Field End Flyers Saturday Morning Community Cycle Club (HA5) Saturday in Term Time adjacent to Field End Junior School, Field End Road, Eastcote, HA4, for children aged 5 – 11 yrs. Join the friendly team of British Cycling Coaches at 9.15am and learn fun skills, race on the amazing fully enclosed Cycle Track, make new friends and enjoy a whole morning of fun till 11.30 - (refreshment break half way through). All you need is your own bike, helmet, gloves, water bottle and a shower proof jacket.  Contact Tracey at The Harrow Woodcraft Folk (HA) Elfin group for children, 6 to 9yrs. Parents wishing to join their children should contact the District Secretary; John Woolf: 020 8428 2409 or  www. Integratedbrain - Improve Co-ordination for learning! (UB5) Activities to help those with poor co-ordination, dyspraxia, dyslexia or fine motor difficulties. Small groups of 4/5 children working to develop better allround motor integration. Usha Patel 07766 837 616  Karen Wilkin Tuition (HA) 4+/5+ tuition. One to one, tailor made, handson, fun sessions in the comfort of your home. Experienced Montessori teacher with excellent results in all the top schools. Term time and holiday sessions available. 07887 984 401, Knowledge Above Standard (HA7) Maths, English, Verbal and non-verbal reasoning, 7+, 11+ 13+ exam preparation. 07985 588 085  Math’scool Award-winning Maths Tuition plus out-of-lesson homework support. 0333 12 33 445  Number Works ‘n’ Words (Eastcote) Maths and English tuition classes which target identified needs to improve achievement levels. They set goals for your child, monitor progress and provide regular progress reports. Cater for all levels from Reception to Year 11.  www. The Play Shelter After School Club Malorees Infant & Junior Schools (NW6) - 3.30pm-6pm term time. Play schemes available out of term-time. 0207 407 6744. Pinner Tuition Centre (Pinner) After school and Sat tuition for Reception to Year 11 by fully qualified teachers. Tuition in Maths, Reading, Spelling, Writing, SATS, 11+ and GCSE. Free assessment. Ofsted Registered.  Raviv Practice London (UB5) Catch up reading course. Improve reading age by 1 year in 3 months of home based work. The computer interventions is similar to having a tutor in your home with daily monitoring and feed back. Usha Patel on 07766 837 616  info@ (registered therapist) Susan Daughtrey Education (SDE) SW Herts courses are based on more than 25 years experience preparing students for 11+ tests.  020 7683 0734  Type IT! - Touch Typing Lessons for Children (HA2) Learn to touch type! Weekly lessons and intensive holiday courses for children from age 8-18. Highly recommended for children with dyslexia. Classes are held at their office in Harrow on the Hill, HA2 0JT. Free trials available. Adult classes also available.  020 8434 7111. 

Families North West London 15

What’s On


SANTA? Squires Garden Centre

 HA Harrow Town Centre (HA1) Find Santa’s Grotto on Station Road (opposite Debenhams) on Saturday 8th and 21st December from 11am5pm. This is a free event! Northwood Christmas Craft Market (HA6) Santa will be in his grotto at Northwood Christmas Craft Market, where there will also be a children’s treasure hunt. Northwood Methodist Church Hall 10am-3pm Sat 7 Dec. Pinner High Street (HA) Pinner Pantomime Evening will take place on Thursday 28th November. The community evening, now in its 22nd year, is based around Pantomime themes with this year a specially added Elton John Celebration. On the night people from Pinner and the wider community enjoy musical entertainment from local schools and community groups. There will be rides for young children, street entertainers, the switching on of the Christmas lights and a large firework display to round off the evening. The event takes place on the High Street, Bridge Street, Chapel Lane and Love Lane. Ruislip Lido (HA4) Santa Specials on Sun 1, Sun 8, Sun 15 and Sat 21 Dec. Trains will run regularly from approx 11:20am until 5pm, allow approx 1.5-2hrs for your visit. The train ride, lasting about 12 minutes, will carry you on an enchanting ride through the woods and around the Lido to Santa’s Grotto at Woody Bay Station. On arrival, Santa will be waiting for a chat with the children and a photo opportunity with all the family before everyone (yes, grown-ups too!) receive their presents. Squire’s Garden Centre Stanmore (HA7) Go and greet Santa as he makes his grand arrival on Sat 23 Nov in a horse drawn carriage. Then from 23 Nov to 24 Dec go along and watch the festive ‘Help Rudolph Shine’ show. Santa has checked the weather forecast for Christmas Eve and is dismayed to discover it will be very foggy. He needs Rudolph to lead the sleigh with his bright red nose, so he can deliver all the presents to the good children. However, Rudolph’s nose won’t shine – it only lights up when he is very happy! What makes him happy is to hear children enjoying themselves, so we have invited Rudolph to the circus to see all the happy children! Go and join Rudolph to help make his nose shine and save Christmas!

16 Families North West London

St Georges Shopping Centre (HA1) Santa, Mrs Clause and their happy helpful elves will be in Harrow on Sunday 8th December. Take your kids down to meet Santa and receive a free wrapped gift! Queues are likely, please go early to save disappointment. Santa will also be back on Saturday 21st December, in the same location and same time.

 NW Kenwood House (NW3) Join in the festive fun with the man himself at Kenwood House this Christmas. Meet Father Christmas as he tells festive tales amidst the yuletide decorations. Takes place every weekend in December. ZSL London Zoo (NW1) Christmas at ZSL London Zoo from 30 Nov - 24 Dec. This year the magic of Christmas is coming to ZSL London Zoo! Enjoy a fun-filled family day out with festive film screenings, themed talks and a chance to Meet Santa in his grotto.

 UB Harlington Locomotive Society (UB3) 15th December - Mince Pie Run. This Annual Christmas event sees Father Christmas arriving by train to meet young visitors. You can also enjoy warm Mince Pies from the Tea Bar, along with the usual refreshments. This special Open Day is open from 11am to Dusk. Hillingdon Narrowboats Association (UB9) Santa Claus and his band of merry elves are back in the grotto at HNA this year, and are hoping to see lots of good boys and girls to give them a present! Children and their parents can catch the Santa Canal Trip, and take in a cruise up the canal, calling in at Santa’s canalside grotto on the way back to see if he got anything for them. Trips will run from the Coy Carp public house in Harefield on 30th Nov-1st Dec, 7th-8th Dec & 14th-15th Dec. HillingdonNarrowboatsAssociation Intu Uxbridge (UB8) Go and see Santa in his magical grotto at the Piazza, from 30th Nov to 23rd Dec, where he’ll be handing out presents to those on his ‘nice’ list! Toby Carvery Denham (UB9) It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to see Santa! Which is why he’s taking a short break from preparing all your presents in the North Pole so that he can join you and your little ones for an extra

special Christmas breakfast at Toby Carvery Denham. Go and visit Santa at Toby Carvery on 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December from 9:30am.

 WD Aldenham Country Park (WD6) Go along and see Father Christmas at the Frost Fair at Aldenham Country Park, taking place from Thurs 14th to Sun 17th November. Discounted advance tickets from: / 01487 814 800 Intu Watford (WD18) Find Santa and his elves in his grotto at Intu Watford. Dates to be confirmed, keep an eye on their website for further information. National Animal Welfare Trust, Watford (WD25) Christmas Market on 1st Dec, 11am3pm. There will be lots of fun stall with loads of goodies for all the family as well as gifts for Christmas, and Santa will be there. Park at the Mercure hotel where parking is free but please ensure you register your car in the Mercure Reception when you arrive, in order to avoid a parking fine. Oxhey Wood School (WD19) Watford Rural Parish Council Christmas Fun-Day on Saturday 30th November. See Santa in his Grotto with FREE presents for under 10’s. Also Face Painting, Auntie Jo Jo Balloon Art, Kiddie FunFair, Stalls and a Raffle. 11am - 3pm, free entry. Watford Colosseum (WD18) Go along for a festive performance of Santa Claus and The Night Before Christmas between 3rd – 24th Dec, and afterwards all of the boys and girls in the audience will meet Santa and receive a special present of their own.

 Further Afield Chiltern Open Air Museum (HP8) At this special Christmas event the Museum’s historic buildings will be decorated traditionally for Christmas and brought to life by costumed characters. Visitors can meet Father Christmas and hand deliver their Christmas lists to him. There will be a small artisan Christmas market and the Museum’s shop will be full of handmade products made by local crafts people – perfect for a bit of Christmas shopping!

What’s On Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (W2) Catch a glimpse of Santa Claus in his Christmas grotto and enjoy a magical family day out in Santa Land! See your little ones’ faces light up as they experience the full festive experience including the 45m long Ice Slide. There’s so much to do with plenty of eateries and sweet treats, specially chosen rides to suit the little ones and the chance to meet Santa in his grotto. Santa Claus opens his grotto from 10am to 6pm. He is FREE to meet and will have a gift for children who’ve been good! You cannot book a visit to Santa, it’s run on a first-come first-served basis. Open from 21 Nov.

Legoland Windsor (SL4) 30th Nov & 1st, 6th, 7th & 8th, 13th, 14th & 15th, 20th - 24th Dec. Experience the magic this Christmas at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort. Wonder at the twinkling lights, snow-dusted pine trees, exciting seasonal festivities and see the park as you’ve never seen it before…all with a sprinkle of LEGO® magic! Follow the Christmas trees to the Christmas Kingdom where you’ll be met by one of Father Christmas’ cheery elves who will guide you to Father Christmas’ very own cabin. He’s checked his list, received your letters and for every good child he has a special LEGO gift waiting to be collected...

Kew Gardens (TW9) It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the sparkling after dark trail returns to light up Kew Gardens. Framed by glittering spiral trees, dynamic laser projections will illuminate the iconic Temperate House. The Holly Bushes will sing, the Tunnel of Light will twinkle with thousands of pea-lights, and the flickering Fire Garden takes its place amidst the festive experience. Complete a walk under the stars with spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate. For the young and young at heart there’s a Victorian carousel, helter skelter and other family rides. Don’t forget to look out for Santa and his elves along the way.

Leicester Square (WC2H) Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Santa... a chance for children to meet the man in red in person, and tell him their dearest wish. Go along between 9th Nov - 24th Dec and hear a festive fairytale, meet Father Christmas’s and his helpers, and receive a wee gift.

Knebworth House (SG3) Enjoy Sunday Lunch with Santa at Knebworth on 8th, 15th and 22nd December.Give your family an early Christmas treat with a fantastic lunch at Knebworth Barns, complete with a visit from Santa and a gift for every child.

Odds Farm (HP10) Christmas Spectacular from 30th Nov to 24th Dec. Odds Farm Park has been sprinkled with even more Christmas magic and spectacular surprises, with two magical Christmas experiences to choose from! Present your Christmas Spectacular Ticket to the Elves at the North Pole and take an enchanting, immersive stroll deep into the sparkling, wintry wonderland in search of Father Christmas. Enjoy a personal visit to Father Christmas in his grotto and be sure to tell him all of your Christmas Wishes!

Paradise Wildlife Park (EN10) Santa arrives from Sat 23rd Nov and will be there every weekend and selected weekdays until 15th Dec after which he will be there everyday! Your visit to Santa’s Grotto includes Christmas arts and crafts and the opportunity to write your letters to Santa – so make sure you take your Christmas lists with you! Royal Albert Hall (SW7) Father Christmas at the Hall from 5 – 22 Dec. Father Christmas once again returns to his secret London headquarters at the Royal Albert Hall. In this theatrical walk-around event, children will encounter a range of magical North Pole characters in various spaces of the Hall on their way to meet Father Christmas himself. In this fun and festive experience, they’ll discover the stories and characters of Christmas’ past through engaging puppetry and live music, and will even gain some secret elf knowledge with the chance to make and bring home their very own stuffed toy! Willows Activity Farm (AL4) Santa Spectacular from 23 Nov - 24 Dec. A full day out of festive family fun including activities and shows, a visit to Santa and the choice of a gift from his Toy Shop, making a toy bear in the Create-aCharacter workshop and biscuit decorating. Check out our Competition on page 3 to

WIN Tickets to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland!

Families North West London 17

What’s On

listings for all the family Compiled by Anna Blackshaw

To promote your local event, coffee morning, nearly new sale, parenting courses or community group in the next What’s On listing (Jan/Feb 2020 issue) send your entry by 1 Dec 2019. Email Listings in this section are FREE for most non-commercial ventures. Please check details of the events before setting off in case anything has changed since going to print. for all our local weekly regular events. It’s updated every day!

NOVEMBER Fri 8 – Sat 9 & Fri 22 – Sat 23 Nov - An Evening with the Stars (SE10) The popular after dark experience at the Royal Observatory Greenwich includes a show in London’s only public planetarium and the chance to look through the gigantic Great Equatorial Telescope at what the night sky has to offer. Plus, spend some time on the Greenwich Meridian with a hot drink, an amazing view and astronomers on hand to answer all your space-related questions. Ages 7+. Sat 9 Nov - Lots for Tots Sale Watford (WD25) The Lots for Tots Sale Watford takes place at Francis Combe Academy and has up to 40 tables selling great quality items. If you are looking for wonderful bargains for your little ones, just go and browse and buy direct from other local parents! The sale opens to the public at 10am and finishes at 11.45am. Sun 10 Nov - Wembley Park presents: Light Up the Night (HA9) Light Up the Night, Wembley Park’s unique fusion of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, and Bonfire Night will return to London’s newest cultural hotspot on Sunday 10th November. The free, family-friendly, cultural event and fireworks show will be the first opportunity for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the recently transformed Olympic Way, as a public promenade and event space. The festivities will celebrate the unique mix of cultures in this dynamic, diverse neighbourhood. Mon 11 – Wed 13 Nov - Shakespeare Schools Festival 2019 (WD3) The annual Festival is Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s flagship project and the world’s largest youth drama festival. Go along to Watersmeet Theatre for an exhilarating evening, featuring a series of unique abridged Shakespeare productions by local schools. See Shakespeare’s timeless stories brought to life like you’ve never experienced before, and support young people from your local community as they take to the stage. Sat 16 Nov - Morning Stars (SE10) This early morning show at the Royal Observatory Greenwich is for children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and their families and carers. Explore the night sky and find out live from a Royal Observatory Astronomer what is visible on the night of your visit and the month ahead, with opportunities to ask questions afterwards. 10-10:45am. Ages 5+. Sat 16 Nov – Sun 22 Dec - Christmas Fair (HP18) Longer than ever before, Waddesdon’s spectacular Christmas Fair, with over 80 wooden chalets, is a shopping experience not to be missed. Artisan producers, makers and craftsmen will offer the very finest and, in many cases unique, gifts. The fair will be set against the backdrop of the floodlit North Front of the Manor, decorated with 20ft tall Christmas trees. Sat 16 Nov – Sun 5 Jan - Christmas at Waddesdon (HP18) Step into a world of festive, musical splendour, as Waddesdon - the Rothschild house and garden in Buckinghamshire - is transformed, inside and out. Waddesdon has many connections to the world of music, and this Christmas visitors will be welcomed by the smell of pine and the sound of classic carols, as they step into decorated rooms inspired by traditional tunes and memorable Christmas hits. New for this year are giant fairy-light baubles at the Stables Courtyard, and an immersive light installation with orbs of light rising and falling from floor to ceiling which will entertain the whole family. Sun 17 Nov – Watford Christmas Lights Switch-On (WD18) 2019 will be a very special festive period for the town centre, as Watford businesses have come together to fund a spectacular Christmas light display for The Parade area on Watford High Street! Go along to the Switch-On Event with fantastic entertainment in Watford town centre throughout the day, before the very special guests illuminate Watford at 5pm with the Grand Switch-On and Firework Display by The Pond!

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Winter Wonderland Sun 17 Nov - Autumn Leaves (HA2) A free event at Headstone Manor. Celebrate autumn by crafting your own paper lantern to light up the dark evenings. Drop-in anytime between 11am – 3pm. Suitable for ages 5+ and their grown-ups! Mon 18 Nov - Toddler Takeover Day (HA2) A day for Under 5’s to take over the running of Headstone Manor! Toddlers will have a chance to be security guards, archaeologists and more! DropIn anytime between 11:30am-2:30pm – a free event. Wed 20 Nov - Alice’s Toddler Tea Party (SE10) Go along for activities and Alice in Wonderland stories to celebrate Cutty Sark’s 150th birthday. Part of Kids in Museums Takeover Day, local primary school children will be performing for the youngest visitors. 10-11.30am & 1.20-2.50pm. Suitable for ages 4 and under. Wed 20 Nov – Sun 5 Jan - Christmas at Kew 2019 (TW9) This winter, more twinkling and fantastical than ever before, Christmas at Kew returns, inviting visitors to experience the night time beauty of a brand new trail, illuminated by over one million lights. The route will include some incredible showstoppers, such as the recently restored Temperate House – the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world – which will form the canvas for a kaleidoscopic laser show. 5-10pm, advance booking only. Thu 21 Nov - Bring Your Own Baby Comedy (HA5) Bring Your Own Baby Comedy is the UK’s top baby friendly comedy club! All shows feature the funniest comedy stars from the circuit and TV and you can bring your baby! Soft flooring, toys, buggy parking and baby changing are provided so that your baby is happy and you can relax, have a coffee (or a cheeky G & T if you prefer) and be entertained! All comics will be performing their usual adult material, so there is a 12 month age limit for all little laughers.

Fri 22 – Sun 24 Nov - Cutty Sark‘s 150th Birthday Weekend (SE10) Celebrate Cutty Sark’s 150th birthday with arts, crafts and stories. Help the artist create a textile sculpture inspired by signal flags and listen out for maritime stories. Visitors can enjoy face painting as part of the celebrations. Sat 23 Nov - Cheeki Monkeys Children and Baby Christmas Market Watford (WD18) Go along to the Christmas Market at Westfield Academy Watford. Pre-loved, Crafts, Entertainment and Business stalls. Great gift ideas: books, toys, clothing, skincare, nursing, kids and baby accessories, sweet treats and more. Businesses with family focus products and services. Goody bags to be handed to first 50 families including offers and samples. Prize draw. Free onsite and on street parking. 12-2pm. £1 entry. Sat 23 Nov - Parmiter’s School Christmas Gift Fair (WD25) The Parmiter’s School Christmas Gift Fair is a very successful and popular annual event for those looking for gifts with over 70 professional stalls and attended by over 650 people last year. Go along and have a browse and pick up some great presents for the family. There will be a chocolate and toy tombola for the children and a bottle tombola for the adults. The fair will be open from 11am - 4pm. Hot food & refreshments together with mulled wine and mince pies will be available. Sat 23 Nov - Christmas Butterflies Table Top Sale & Comunnity Coffee Morning (UB10) A Festive get together with Seasonal tables selling Gift ideas, Crafts, Body care items, jewellery, Pre-loved items, Novelties, and more. Refreshments & Raffle. Meet up with friends for Coffee & Cake. Hire a table to sell your things. Raising funds for Sparkles, help for children with Down’s Syndrome. At Ickenham Village Hall from 9.30am-1pm.

What’s On Sat 23 Nov - Family Rave: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with The Clangers (E14) Go and rave with award-winners Big Fish Little Fish as they bring bangin’ tunes back to the Museum of London Docklands. Make animal and plant inspired decor with Captain Cookie Crafts and in the special Clangers room decorate eco-friendly plant pots and take a pack of seeds to grow at home. With a sensory light, confetti, balloons, bubbles and music from acid house to drum and bass plus a licensed bar to enjoy it’ll be a fantastic party for all the family to enjoy. Recommended age: 0-8 years. Advanced booking required. 2–4.30pm. Sat 23 – Sun 24 Nov & Sat 30 Nov – Sun 1 Dec - Meet Real Reindeer (HA7) Santa is bringing two of his real reindeer with him when he arrives at Squire’s Garden Centre Stanmore.Children can learn all about these magical animals and will get the opportunity to feed and have their photo taken with them. It’s free to meet Santa’s reindeer – no booking required. Sun 24 Nov - Compass Christmas 2019 (UB10) The Annual Festive Fundraiser Compass Christmas is back! Join the Friends of Ickenham Hall for this collection of festive themed performances, put on by theatre volunteers with the help of local performing arts groups. All proceeds go to the upkeep of the venue. Tue 26 Nov – Sun 5th Jan – Christmas by the River (SE1) Following on from the success of Summer by the River, London Bridge City is pleased to announce the return of London’s most picturesque festive market, Christmas by the River. Perfect for family and friends, Christmas by The River boasts 70+ stalls alongside the return of a busy schedule of creative workshops, to keep both parents and little ones busy over the Christmas break. The festive stalls will offer a stunning array of boutique gifts and delicious world cuisine, for a unique Christmas shopping experience with unbeatable riverside views. Thu 28 Nov – Sat 11 Jan – Multi Sensory Light Installation: Wave Eccleston Yards will illuminate its courtyard with a multi-sensory light installation, titled ‘Wave’. The installation has been created by internationally renowned artists, Squidsoup, and will feature 500 individually suspended orbs, each with a unique voice. Visitors will find themselves entranced as they walk through the installation, listening to evolving hypnotic harmonies created by the orbs. Sat 30 Nov – Sun 1 Dec -CBeebies’ Christmas Show: Hansel & Gretel on the Big Screen (various) This year’s highly anticipated CBeebies Christmas Show is once again coming to the big screen from the theatre stage for a family-friendly feast of Christmas fun, including interactive content exclusively created for cinemas alongside the Hansel & Gretel stage performance recorded at Edinburgh Festival theatre. Opening in 300+ venues nationwide including Cineworld, Vue, Odeon, Showcase, and Picturehouse Cinemas. Sat 30 Nov – Harrow’s Christmas Party (HA1) Head into Harrow town centre between 11am & 6pm for Santa’s Grotto, Christmas light switch on, performances on stage and much more! Sat 30 Nov - Harrow Mum2Mum Market Sale (HA3) The next mum2mummarket nearly new sale in Harrow is on 30th November at Weald Rise Primary School from 2 - 4pm. Buy top quality preloved baby and children’s goods at a fraction of the high street price. All great brands in top condition.

Sat 30 Nov – Sun 1 Dec & Sat 4 – Sun 5 Jan - The Sleeping Beauty (E14) Experience the classic fairy tale of the princess cursed to sleep for a hundred years, performed by local ballet group Ruggieri Dance Academy at the Museum of London Docklands. Free, advanced booking required. Ages 5+.

DECEMBER Sun 1 Dec - Santa Dash (HA4) Join in the ever-popular Santa Dash for some festive fun! Walk, dance, prance, run or scoot 1.8km around Ruislip Lido, to raise money for Harefield Hospital’s Transplant Appeal. Registration includes Santa Suit – plus finishers medal! Sun 1 Dec - Gangsta Granny (WD17) Go and meet the original Gangsta Granny at Watford Central Library from 1.30-2.30pm. Actress Gilly Tompkins will become Granny and read from David Walliams’ bestselling book, followed by a craft session. Tickets are £3 per person available online and from the library. Sat 1 – Sun 29 Dec - The Nutcracker trail at Ashridge (HP4) Follow the magical Nutcracker themed trail through the woods. Buy your trail from the visitor centre before going round the meadow, answering questions and getting engrossed in the quintessential Christmas tale of the Nutcracker. Once you’ve finished, go back to the visitor centre to claim your present and take a photo next to the Christmas tree. Booking not needed, admission applies. On selected dates between 1st & 29th Dec – see website for further information. Tue 3 Dec - Motivating Our Children To Learn (HA1) A workshop for parents of children aged 3-11 at Hope Harrow. As a parent it can be exciting and satisfying seeing our children grow into unique individuals and also challenging if we see them struggling or disinterested with school. You will discuss how to support our children sustain the joy of learning in the face of any struggles and frustrations. At the Lodge, 64 Pinner Road, Harrow, from 7-9pm. 0208 863 7319 Sat 7 Dec - Northwood Christmas Craft Market (HA6) A wide variety of handmade crafts - ideal gift ideas! For children there will be a Treasure Hunt and the chance to visit Santa in his Grotto, as well as hands-on Christmas Crafts to make and take home. Teas, coffee and homemade cakes are available in the church coffee shop. Northwood Methodist Church Hall from 10am-3pm. Sat 7 Dec - Young Makerspace: Light-Up Christmas Cards (UB10) Learn the basics of electricity and circuits by making your own holiday cards for your friends and family, in this hour-long workshop at Oak Farm Library. Suitable for ages 8 and above. Event is free, however places must be booked in advance via: 01895 556242 or Sat 7 Dec – South Oxhey Choir Christmas Concert (WD19) Takes place at St Matthews Church, Eastbury Road, Oxhey, (by Bushey Station). Doors open at 6pm for 7pm. Tickets are £12 and £5 for under 18’s. Available on line or at the door on the day. Please give yourselves an enjoyable night out! Sat 7 Dec - Uxbridge Choral Society: Christmas Carol Concert by Candlelight (UB8) Programme will include Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols, plus a selection of popular carols for choir and audience. 7.30pm at St Margaret’s Church, Windsor St, Uxbridge, tickets available on the door or via website.

Sat 7 – Sun 8 & Sat 14 – Sun 15 Dec - A Docklands Christmas Carol (E14) Don’t be a Scrooge and embrace the festive atmosphere with a special Museum of London Docklands take on the classic Christmas tale. Travel back in time to Victorian London and meet the miserable Scrooge, the long-suffering Cratchits and perhaps encounter some friendly ghosts in this immersive family event based on the well-beloved work by Charles Dickens. Free allocated tickets on arrival. Recommended age: 5+ Sun 8 Dec - Arts & Craft Christmas Fair (NW10) Whether you’re looking for Classic Decorations, Arts and Crafts, that special Christmas gift or something different, you can find them all at this Arts & Craft Christmas Fair. A wonderful selection of crafts, food & drink and more! Free entry and free parking. 12-7pm at Willesden Green Library. 020 8908 0851 Mon 9 Dec - Bach to Baby Christmas Family Concert in Harrow (HA1) Magical music, festive frolics, sparkles and spices, oh my! Grab your friends, harness up your fastest reindeer and meet us at a Bach to Baby Christmas concert for the perfect prelude to the holiday season! Everyone is welcome, from babies to school children, mums, dads, nans and grandads to carers of all sorts, and up to 2 children come in for FREE with every adult entry! At St. John’s Church, Sheepcote Road from 10.30-11.30am. Tue 10 Dec – Watford Philharmonic Society: A Christmas Feast (WD17) Conductor Michael Cayton and Watford Philharmonic Society invite you to join in their annual family celebration of Christmas at Watford Colosseum. Features Chater Junior School Choir with music to get the festive season going with a bang! Wed 11 Dec - Community Choir Christmas Concert (WD17) The Palace Community Choir invite you to join them for a special concert as they sing a medley of songs. Everyone is welcome to go along to Watford Palace Theatre and enjoy a fun evening of performance. Thu 12 Dec - Harefield Carols by Candlelight (UB9) A night of festive celebration at the stunning St Mary’s Church with special performances, mulled wine and mince pies. Perfect for all of the community to get into the Christmas spirit, you will be in for a wonderful night seeing the respiratory patients from the hospitals perform as part of Singing For Breathing alongside the Harefield Junior School choir and Harefield Academy. 7-9pm. Sat 14 Dec - Nascot Wood Schools’ Association Christmas Fair (WD17) Go along for a family fun filled afternoon. Visit Santa in his Grotto, play games, enjoy the entertainment and browse the stalls for Christmas gifts. All topped off with mulled wine and mince pies. At Nascot Wood Infants & Junior schools in Watford from 12 – 4pm. Adults £2 - Children FREE. Sun 15 Dec - Rudolph Rave (WD17) With DJ, glow sticks, glitter and giant balloons, this family-friendly event at Watford Colosseum brings everyone together for a fun-filled party afternoon, complete with a spectacular laser-light display. Santa & Rudolph will be there and the bar will be open for the big kids! 2-4pm. All ages welcome, but Rudolph Rave is aimed at families with 0-8-year-olds.

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Families North West London 19

What’s On

Winter Wonderland

Sun 15 Dec - Decoupage Christmas Cards (HA2) Create a decoupage Christmas Card using Victorian images at Headstone Manor Museum. Drop-in anytime between 11am – 3pm. Suitable for ages 5+ and their grown-ups! Sun 15 Dec - Musical Christmas Crackers (WC1N) Make your own crackers to decorate your Christmas tree with artist Isobel Manning at the Foundling Museum. Free for children and up to two accompanying adults, starts at 4pm. Suitable for age 5+. www,

20 Families North West London

Fri 20 Dec – Sun 5 Jan – Festival of Winter Walks (various) Ramblers groups across the UK will offer a warm welcome on hundreds of free festive walks. No matter where you live, and whether or not you’ve walked before, they’ll offer the chance to enjoy the wonderful winter landscape in good company; to relax, unwind and stress-bust, and to make new friends at a time of year when many people can feel anxious, stressed or isolated. There will be fun winter-themed walks that the little ones will love; leisurely strolls under five miles for people new to walking; and longer walks for those that want more of a challenge.

Sat 21 Dec - Christmas at the Bunker (UB10) Visit the Battle of Britain Bunker for a nostalgic Christmas weekend. Meet Nana the Reindeer, who is visiting on Saturday at 11.30am, 12.45pm, and 2pm. Families can also get to take a closer look at some of the Second World War era Christmas cards, and then make their own cards inspired by the collection. Sat 21 Dec - Christmas Squirrel Nutkins (UB8) Mr and Mrs Nutkin love everything about Christmas and are eager to forage for the right present for everyone. Their excitement is contagious and their festive, fluffy, cosy squirrel charm is irresistible. At Uxbridge Library at 12pm, 1pm & 2pm. Free entry, no need to book. Sat 21 – Sun 22 Dec - Frost Fair Festival (E14) When the River Thames would freeze over, many years ago, huge celebrations called Frost Fairs were held on the ice. Go along to the Museum of London Docklands for a weekend of festivities recreating the magic of these special festivals, with interactive games and workshops, enchanting performances and arts and crafts. Sun 29 Dec - Victorian Ghost Stories (E14) Did you know that in Victorian times it was tradition to tell ghost stories on Christmas Eve? Join a mysterious Governess at the Museum of London Docklands, who will take you on a spine-tingling tale of séances, haunted houses and Christmas ghosts! Mon 30 Dec - Let’s Get Festive with Charlie (E14) Join Charlie and her magic ukulele at the Museum of London Docklands as it transports you around the world! Sing, drum and play along to some old favourites and learn new songs. Fri 3 Jan - Pantomime Pandemonium (UB10) Get into the pantomime spirit with games and activities inspired by the Great British pantomime, in this hour-long session at Oak Farm Library. Suitable for ages 6 to 10, starts at 3pm. Free event - no need to book. Thu 30 Jan – Thu 26 Mar – Effective Parenting (HA1) A course for every parent with a child aged 3-12 years. This 8 week programme is aimed at helping parents and carers learn practical communication skills for everyday life and develop their abilities to bring up confident, happy and co-operative children. Every Thurs (exc 20th Feb) from 7-9pm at Hope Harrow. 020 8863 7319

What’s On

Families North West London 21

What’s On

What’s On Children’s Theatre We couldn’t fit them all in! More online The Alban Arena

Compiled by Anna Blackshaw Watford Colosseum

Civic Centre, St Albans 01727 844488 Fri 6 Dec – Sun 5 Jan - Sleeping Beauty Don’t miss this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Sleeping Beauty starring the wonderfully wicked Rita Simons (Eastenders’ Roxy Mitchell) and children’s favourite Andy Day (Cbeebies). The show will also star local legend, Bob Golding (back in a dress!), St Albans favourites Ian Kirkby and Jemma Carlisle, and West End star, Lisa Davina Phillip.

Artsdepot 5 Nether Street, North Finchley, N12 020 8369 5454 Sat 30 Nov - Sun 5 Jan – Cinderella: The Rockin’ Panto It’s time to shake a tail feather and head downtown for a chart-topping panto packed with rock, pop and soul. Get ready for a pantomime party for all generations, as the multi-talented cast of actor-musicians present your favourite story packed with your favourite songs

The Beck Theatre Grange Road, Hayes. 020 8561 8371 Wed 27 Nov – Sun 1 Dec - British Airways Cabin Crew Entertainment Society: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Multiaward winning BACCES present the traditional pantomime favourite, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The wicked Queen Grizelda is selfish and vain. Her magic mirror proclaims her the fairest in the land… until the day Snow White turns 18 and falls in love with her Prince. Grizelda will stop at nothing to get rid of her rival, forcing Snow White to seek refuge in the Forbidden Forest with seven madcap dwarfs. Join loveable Dame Dolly Dazzler, Jangles the jester, and a whole host of crazy characters for this classic tale of good versus evil for the perfect start to your festive season.

Bushey and Oxhey Methodist Church Hall King Edward Road, Watford, WD19 4DA 0208 123 6443

Sat 14 – Sun 15 Dec Aladdin and his Magic Lamp: The Pantomime Boys and girls, mums and dads, following on from the success of A Christmas Carol last year, The Chameleons are back in Pantoland to light up your festive season for 2019! Our fabulous cast will dance and sing with a live band and have you rolling in the aisles with yet another home-grown script designed for kids of all ages! Saturday 14th December at 2pm & 6pm Sunday 15th December at 2pm. Tickets are priced at £13 and £11 for adults and concessions* respectively. (*contact for details) 0208 123 6443

Cadogan Hall 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 020 7730 4500 Thu 5 Dec - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: The Magic of Christmas Begin your festive season with sparkle and style, with this magical evening of choral and orchestral Christmas gems, featuring the City of London Choir. Treat yourself to exquisite music by Finzi, Delius, Vaughan Williams and more, as well as much-loved carols by Rutter, Willcocks and Gardner, including In the Bleak Midwinter, Three Carols, The Little Road to Bethlehem and other seasonal favourites. This concert is promoted in association with the City of London Choir. Sat 21 Dec - The Snowman & Peter and the Wolf A magical Christmas treat for all the family. Go and hear of Prokofiev’s tale of bravery narrated by special guest Diggory Seacome, and Raymond Brigg’s timeless classic The Snowman shown on the big screen with live accompaniment provided by the Mozart Symphony Orchestra.

22 Families North West London

Chickenshed Chase Side Southgate N14. 020 8292 9222 Wed 4 – Mon 30 Dec - Christmas Tales at Chickenshed The fun and festive show, Christmas Tales, is back for another year! With a sprinkle of magical snowflakes, Tales from the Shed has been supersized to bring this colourful, energetic and vibrant show to our biggest and brightest stage, the Rayne Theatre. Ages: 0-7yrs

Compass Theatre Glebe Avenue, Ickenham UB10 01895 673 0200 Thu 5 Dec – Sun 5 Jan - Jack and the Beanstalk Compass Theatre celebrates 10 years of family panto! DK proDuKtions and Hillingdon Council proudly present Jack and the Beanstalk a GIANT of a pantomime, suitable for the whole family. Sun 15 – Tue 24 Dec - The Santa Show A new show for 2019...It’s Christmas Eve at the North Pole and Santa’s elves (Boomer and Twinkle!) are making their final preparations when disaster strikes! The ‘nice list’ has been tampered with and all the children’s names are in the wrong order. Santa needs your help to resolve the problem before Christmas gets cancelled. Includes audience participation, songs, a gift and the chance to meet Santa. Ages 2+.

Harrow Arts Centre Hatch End HA5 0208 416 8989 Sat 14 – Sat 28 Dec - Aladdin Join the fun this Christmas as Prime Pantomimes and the team behind last year’s smash-hit shows present the magical pantomime adventure you’ve been wishing for…ALADDIN! With heaps of audience participation, dazzling costumes, spectacular sets, and magical special effects, this year’s offering promises to be a GENIE-us pantomime adventure guaranteed to make your family’s festive wishes come true.

Lyric Theatre - West End Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES 0844 482 9674 Fri 29 Nov – Sun 5 Jan – Oi Frog & Friends! It’s a new day at Sittingbottom school and FROG is looking for a place to sit, but CAT has other ideas and DOG is doing as he’s told. Little do any of them know that chaos is coming... Who knew there were so many rhyming rules and what will happen when FROG is in charge? Join FROG, CAT and DOG in this new action-packed stage adaptation of Kes Gray and Jim Field’s bestselling series of books with Songs, puppets, laughs and more rhymes than you can shake a chime at. 55 minutes of fun for ages 3+

The O2 Arena Peninsula Square, London SE10 0208 463 2000 Thu 26 Dec – Sun 5 Jan - Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic Multi-award winning BACCES present the traditional pantomime favourite, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The wicked Queen Grizelda is selfish and vain. Her magic mirror proclaims her the fairest in the land… until the day Snow White turns 18 and falls in love with her Prince. Grizelda will stop at nothing to get rid of her rival, forcing Snow White to seek refuge in the Forbidden Forest with seven madcap dwarfs. Join loveable Dame Dolly Dazzler, Jangles the jester, and a whole host of crazy characters for this classic tale of good versus evil for the perfect start to your festive season.

What’s On

Disney On Ice

Pump House Lower Watford High Street, Watford WD17 01923 241 362 Mon 16 – Sun 22 Dec - So, Here it is Merry Christmas It’s another year of a festive, fantastic, funny first-class, frolicking, fabulous, familiar, flamboyant, five-star, feel-good, twenty first, family Christmas Show. If you want to avoid such characters as Abanazer, Widow Twanky, Silly Billy, Dame Trott and Fairy Liquid the pop down to the Pump House for veritable feast of the Christmas Variety - ideal for all the family!

The Radlett Centre 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 01923 859291 Sat 7 Dec – Fri 3 Jan - Cinderella Upstage Productions present another fabulous family pantomime!!

truly unforgettable experience which includes bubbles and a magical moment when snowflakes fall over the audience - this interactive show is a must-see over the festive season. As an added Christmas treat, all of the good boys and girls in the audience will meet Santa after the show and receive a special present of their own. Tue 17 Dec - A Christmas Fantasy The London Film Music Orchestra performs A Christmas Fantasy at the Watford Colosseum! Highlighting popular music from Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas and many more. Wed 18 Dec - The Snowman This Christmas, go on an immersive magical journey and experience the heartwarming tale of The Snowman, screened with live orchestra. This BAFTA-winning classic, with the song “Walking in the Air”, is a cinematic gem and features Raymond Briggs’ story with music by Howard Blake, performed for you by Orpheus Sinfonia. Mon 23 – Tue 24 Dec - The Wizard of Oz Join Ballet Theatre UK as they follow the yellow brick road and discover all the wonders of Oz.

Ryan Theatre Harrow on the Hill, London, HA1 0333 6663366 Sat 14 – Sun 15 Dec - Peter Pan Let your dreams take flight at the Ryan Theatre this Christmas, with the most magical and thrilling family event for miles around. Join the high-flying hero Peter Pan on this swashbuckling adventure, as he transports the Darlings on a journey they will never forget! Filled with evil pirates, a very hungry crocodile and the meanest man in Neverland, Captain Hook.

Check out our Competition on page 3 to

WIN Tickets to Oi Frog!

Watersmeet High St, Rickmansworth WD3 01923 711 063 Thu 12 Nov – Sun 5 Jan – Peter Pan A tradition fun filled pantomime! Bigger, better and beastlier than any panto seen in Rickmansworth, Peter Pan will not disappoint with live music, wonderful sets, beautiful costumes and rip-roaring adventure in true panto style!

Watford Palace Theatre Clarendon Road, Watford WD17 01923 225 671 Fri 29 Nov – Tue 31 Dec - Sleeping Beauty The ultimate seasonal treat for you, your family and friends is back, with fabulous costumes, stunning sets, and non-stop laughs. Sun 15 Dec - The Nutcracker A film showing of the classic ballet. The Bolshoi stage shares its majestic vision of Hoffman’s tale, taking audiences of all ages on a magical journey through a world of enchantment.

Watford Colosseum Rickmansworth Road Watford WD17 0845 075 3993 Tue 3 - Tue 24 Dec - Santa Claus And The Night Before Christmas It’s Christmas Eve but there are a few boys and girls who don’t believe in Santa and, with Christmas morning fast approaching, cheeky elves Charlie and Kara must help Santa prove that he is indeed real! A

Families North West London 23

Profile for Heather Waddington

Families NW London Magazine issue 132 November December 2019  

Your local go-to guide for parenting, educations, celebrations, what's on for kids, parents and families in and around NW London. Where's Sa...

Families NW London Magazine issue 132 November December 2019  

Your local go-to guide for parenting, educations, celebrations, what's on for kids, parents and families in and around NW London. Where's Sa...