Families Magazine Mar/Apr 2014

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Issue 92: March/April 2014 www.FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk

FREE North West London Including North Middlesex and South Hertfordshire (Queens Park, Wembley, Edgware, Stanmore, Harrow, Northolt, Northwood, Watford and all the areas in between)



What’s On listing visit




Competitions, What’s On and much more inside!


Welcome to the March/April issue!

CONTACT US: Families North West London Magazine Editors: Heather Waddington and Janine Mergler P.O. Box 2378, Watford WD18 1RF T: 01923 237 004 E: Editor@FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk


7 The Science of Play

12 Party Planning made EASY! www.facebook.com/ FamiliesNWLondon

18 Moving House and Family

20 Mummy on the Edge @FamiliesNW Circulation 29,000+ copies every issue. Published seven times a year. For families from birth to twelve.

21 Family Travel Advice

24 What's On

UPCOMING ISSUES: May/June 2014: Summer Camps Deadline: Monday 31st March Send in your news, stories and advertising bookings to the details left.

Front cover image:

Andras Schram

Trending articles on the FNWL website: Scan our QR code to take you straight to the most current local information!

▲▲ Why use a Travel Agent ▲▲ Competitions ▲▲ What’s On over Easter


News & Views from around North West London Treasure Island Craft EventSaturday 8 March Do your children enjoy craft activities? If so, why not go along to Junior Scholars’ shop in Watford on Saturday 8th March for a funfilled morning of creative play? You can create a colourful collage of your ideal Treasure Island paradise and try for great prizes, awarded to the

best pieces of work in each age category. This event is ideal for children aged from 4 to 10 years accompanied by an adult. As well as the collage activity there will be play spaces for colouring and drawing, puzzle play and educational games. Snacks and refreshments will be served and all children will receive a lucky dip prize. Registration starts at 11.15am; craft sessions start at 11.30am and 12.30pm (45 mins each). Entry costs £2 per child. To see pictures of successful recent events at Junior Scholars take a look at facebook.com/juniorscholarsuk. Shop Address is 9 The Parade, Watford, Herts WD17 1LQ. Tel no. 01923 222654, website www. juniorscholars.co.uk/events.



News & Views from around North West London New Pool for Aqua Vie in Kingsbury Aqua Vie, a 12 year old family run business, is now expanding into a brand new facility a Hydrotherapy pool in Kingsbury. They are the only swim school to have developed the parent and child method based on the Alexander Technique also known as Shaw method which teaches children and babies how to enjoy the water without stress, learning to swim underwater. They teach primary pre-swimming skills essential to a good technique and true water confidence ensuring pool safety, whilst making it easy and fun to learn. This prevents the creation of poor habits in the water, that later become hard to undo. They teach streamlining which is the basis of speed and alignment of the spine, for effortless swimming where less equals more. They are now taking bookings for group lessons Saturday afternoons in March from 1.15pm. From beginners to Advanced, babies to Adults. Call Jan or Julia on tel 01923 245 773 or mob 07525 657 987 email: office@aqua-vie.com website www.aqua-vie.com

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Keep Track of all their possessions with Labels4Kids

Butterfly World Opens for the Season Butterfly World in St Albans re-opens on 24th March for lots of family fun. Learn about the lifecycle of the butterfly in our Tropical Butterfly House, and experience over 500 beauties at any one time. Wonder at the busy leafcutter ants in the biggest colony in the country, and get ‘hands on’ with creepy crawlies during our Insect Handling sessions. Parents can enjoy a wander through the designer gardens and enjoy a cup of tea at the Nectar House Cafe, whilst children play in the Natural Play area. Our Children’s Holiday Activity programme has something exciting for all ages. Open 10-5 every day 01727 869203, e: info@butterflyworldproject.com w: butterflyworldproject.com

CALLING ALL PARENTS! Our business is exploding and we need help! We are looking for parents who want a challenge while running a business from home.

We are busy parents working together to help busy parents find the ideal work/life balance. ◆◆ Would an £200 to £300 per month make a difference to the family budget? ◆◆ Do you need an extra income in order to give your kids more activities and treats? ◆◆ Is finding flexible work proving difficult whilst juggling parenthood?

• Call Darshna on 07958 952 388 (if living in postcodes; HA0, HA1, HA2, HA7 & HA8) • Call Sital Patel on 07708 719 587 (If living in postcodes; NW4, NW7, NW9, NW11 and HA8)

www.motherbynature.co.uk 4


Labels4Kids have expanded the range on their new website with the introduction of another multi pack of labels. Want snap on tags and vinyl labels as well? Then why not combine them with the new snappy school pack? This gives you the advantage of vinyl waterproof labels for all your non-clothing items, two bag tags as well as re-applying snap on snappy tags etched with a name (and also a phone number if you wish). Other new lines include TSA luggage straps personalised with name, or cut and bagged sew-on labels which have the edges pre-sealed to stop fraying - no need to fold over the edges before sewing! Remember to sign up an account and for newsletters for the latest updates offers and competitions regularly on offer on the Labels4Kids Facebook page. Families readers get 10% discount with the code “families” at the checkout so go to www.labels4kids.com/fam and buy today! Be prepared for next year before the rush.

News and Views

New Branch at Rayner’s Lane for Perform and Discount for Families Readers Perform drama, dance and singing workshops are delighted to announce that they are opening a brand new branch in Rayner's lane on a Tuesday afternoon from Easter 2014. Perform helps children develop confidence, communication, co-ordination and concentration skills whilst being the best fun of the week. To take advantage of a special reader offer please call 0845 4004 1275 to book your child's Free Trial Lesson. And if your child would like to continue then you can claim a special £40 discount on your child's first ten sessions quote FAMI010514.

2014 - Wear A Hat Day Wear A Hat Day is the UK’s premier brain tumour awareness event, taking place every March during national Brain Tumour Awareness Month. Thousands of families and children in homes and schools across the land take part every year – wearing hats of all shapes, sizes and colours, getting involved in an amazing array of fun and inventive events, making and collecting donations from everyone around, all helping to raise awareness and funds for vital research. Stand out from the crowd and wear a hat for Brain Tumour Research on March 28th. Register today for your #WearAHatDay event: Hat-phone: 01296 733011 Hat-mail wearahatday@braintumourresearch.org Hat-web www.wearahatday.org PS Don’t forget to share your photos with us on Facebook & Twitter and let’s celebrate #WearAHatDay together!

Drop the Kids and Shop in Peace

Membership now available at Laser Planet Watford!

Active Creative franchisee Kate Smithard is giving parents near Watford a helping hand. Active Creative run their ‘Motion Commotion’ classes on Mondays 5.30 – 6.30pm in Tesco Extra Community Room. Children from Reception to Year 6 can enjoy an action packed class of dance, skills & parachute games while parents can get their shopping done in peace (or enjoy a meal in Giraffe!) Having 3 small children of her own, Kate knows how hard it is to get the shopping done and this is what motivated her to start the class. Classes are just £3 per child and are pay as you go. Unfortunately they are not able to accept husbands!

For only £20 per person you can take advantage of these great offers for a whole year!

To book a place call 01923 239424 or email katesmithard@activecreative.com

Call Laser Planet in Watford on 01923 800 270 or e-mail bookings@laser-planet.co.uk for more information

The Van Niekerk Academy of Dance • Ballet classes for boys & girls aged 3-16 • Royal Academy of Dance examinations Results – Distinction - Merit • Established 12 years

• Successful places at Royal Ballet School, Tring Park, Central School of Ballet & London Junior Ballet • Numerous cups/medallists – British Federation of Festivals Classes are held in the Stanmore and Harrow Weald area Suzanne Van Niekerk (RAD Qualified Teacher)

Tel: 020 8950 2457

www.vanniekerkacademyofdance.co.uk “Develop poise, technique and expression through dance”

• Two free games on the day you take out your membership (worth up to £12) • 10% off games and cafe purchases for the duration of your membership • Top up facility means no need to carry cash. Use your membership card to pay for things just like a bank card

PC & Laptop Repairs, Training and Support ……………… for Home Users and Local Businesses ……………… in Herts, Bucks, Middlesex and West London ……………… 07967 006346 / 0208 144 3215 info@computerfix-it.co.uk

www.ComputerFix-IT.co.uk NORTHWEST (LONDON) MARCH/APRIL 2014



Childcare Vouchers are being replaced

it’s mostly good news!

A new Childcare Vouchers scheme comes into force in October 2015 and, despite what you might have read, the changes are mainly positive.

Here’s what you need to know. What’s Wrong with the Current Set Up? A number of things. Childcare Vouchers are employer-sponsored. About half of all employers STILL don’t have a childcare voucher scheme set up and if you’re self-employed, vouchers are no help at all. In addition, if you’re one of the quarter of a million working parents who uses nannies/au pairs or some form of informal childcare, you’re unlikely to have access to vouchers.

How Will the New Voucher Scheme Help? The new scheme is broader and there is more money in the pot. In theory, it will cover 20% of all childcare costs up to £6,000 per year per child, for any family with parents who earn less than £150,000 each. There are far fewer hoops to jump through, nearly all working parents are supported and it’s a simple scheme.

Is it a Bad Thing to Take Employers Out of the Mix? In a word, “no.” Many employers don’t have a vested interest in getting the best quality childcare voucher provider. Some, likecare-4, offer a range of extras for parents accessing their

scheme, but are likely to be eschewed by employers in favour of cheaper providers. Under the new arrangements, parents will probably be able to register directly with voucher providers who are likely to be the same providers that currently dominate the market. The difference will be that the quality providers, such as care-4 and Computershare will be able to differentiate themselves by the level of consumer experience and service that they offer, rather than price alone.

So what are the Downsides? There have been a few justifiable criticisms levelled at the new proposals. Chief amongst them is that not all the detail has been worked out yet. Some working parents may be worse off than before, whilst some wealthier parents may benefit slightly more. The scheme will also only help those with children under 5. Overall though, it looks like the majority of working parents will be better off under the new scheme. So, if you fall into this category, it’s good news. If not, then now is the time to be shouting as loudly as you can! Ben Black is Managing Director of My Family Care which provides childcare support to employers at businesses such as P&G, Barclays, KPMG, Deloitte, and IBM. He is also one of the founding members of Tinies Childcare which has 20 nurseries/crèches and 30 childcare agencies throughout the UK. For further information, visit www.myfamilycare.co.uk

Ruislip, Northwood/Oxhey, Pinner, Harrow (HA2), Harrow on the Hill and Watford call: 0208 123 9346 email: jodiesloan@littlekickers.co.uk Mill Hill, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Golders Green, Muswell Hill, Friern Barnet call: 0208 201 1084 email: jlevene@littlekickers.co.uk Harrow (HA3), North Wembley and Bushey call: 0208 422 0676 email: niro@littlekickers.co.uk

www.activetime.co.uk 6



The Science of Play: National Science and Engineering Week 12-23 March

By Dr David Whitebread, Senior Lecturer in the Psychology of Education, Cambridge University

But it also provides a crucial means for children to develop their emotional intelligence. • Encouraging children to get physical isn’t just about letting them loose outside, it’s also about creating opportunities at home. So encouraging play through things like craft activities, helps children with their fine motor skills, essential when it comes to learning to write and even playing musical instruments. Due to their absorbing nature, it has even been shown to help children develop their concentration and perseverance skills. Create an obstacle course in the garden. Create time targets and challenges (ie do the course on just one leg!). Give craft activities a purpose, for example, create posters for an Easter egg hunt or party.

¢ Play with objects


s the Easter break comes upon us, many parents will be thinking about how to entertain their children. Dr David Whitebread at Cambridge University shares his views on what constitutes effective play and tackles some of the myths and misconceptions around the types of play children engage in today. Dr Whitebread is supporting National Science and Engineering Week, which aims to raise awareness of the important role science plays in many aspects of our lives. A whole host of scientific topics will be explored during the Week, which takes place from 14th to 23rd March. Adults and children alike can attend free events across the UK in a range of fun environments. To find out about these events and how you can take part, visit www. britishscienceassociation.org/NSEWevents

Different types of play ¢ Physical play • Most parents would recognise that physical play (such as running, climbing and gymnastics) helps a child develop their whole body and hand-eye co-ordination and is important in building strength and endurance.

• Touching, sorting, building and making objects encourages children to organise their thinking and helps them learn how to solve problems. Children have to pick the right strategy to complete the task, and then stay on track to complete it. Creativity comes in here, as does the use of language, as children often talk to themselves when they broach these tasks as a way of organising their thoughts. Get your children to build their own skyscraper. Arm them with different materials to build at home or in the garden.

¢ Symbolic play • Artistic activities such as drawing, dance, and even developing silly rhymes, gives children the opportunity to develop their language and interpretation skills as they start to decode what is going on around them. It can even make them nicer! A study in 2010 of almost 100 four year-olds found that children who take part in music making were more likely to show cooperative and helpful behaviour. Get your children to create their own music compilation for their best friend or family member. Encourage them to add their own tracks for that special touch.

¢ Pretend play • Pretend play can have a serious side too. Dressing up, playing with dolls and miniature figures gives children the chance to rehearse some of the scenarios they already see or might face in their future life, whether it’s expressing how to care for someone (such as their favourite doll) or tackling aggressive situations. Make a challenge to act like a member of their family, or their favourite TV character for a day. It might be their mum, Homer Simpson, or Daddy Pig!

¢ Playing with rules • We live by rules and playing by the rules in sports, board games, card games and computer games helps children adjust to the reality that they cannot always do, say, or act how they wish to. • The use of electronic and computer games by today’s children is another particular area of anxiety for parents and teachers. Too much screen time obviously prevents your child from doing the range of other activities that is beneficial to them, so keep these tech tools in your armoury, but keep time restricted on use. There is some evidence that well-designed videogames can enrich play resources for children and their families. Many parents are concerned about videogame overuse but the key is to make it interactive. So get involved! Challenge them to their favourite game in return for them participating in an activity of your choice.

REFERENCES 1. 'Developmental Psychology & Early Childhood Education' (Sage, 2013). David Whitebread. Available on Amazon and at all good book shops. 2. ‘The Importance of Play’ (Report written for the Toys Industry of Europe, March 2012). David Whitebread with Marisol Basilio, Martina Kuvalja and Mohini Verma. www.importanceofplay.eu/IMG/pdf/dr_david_ whitebread_-_the_importance_of_play.pdf


Assessment! • Maths and Verbal Reasoning • Year 4 and Year 5 courses • Ideal for students preparing for the 11+ exams • 90 per cent. pass rate every year since 1987! • To find out more and to register your interest, please visit www.sdeuk.org/swherts




Choosing childcare

in 2014? Childcare costs are increasing – but it’s quality that matters the most for any parent. Joanna Moorhead looks at what option might suit you best, plus what’s new in 2014 According to a recent survey from findababysitter.com, childcare costs are soaring – up by 19% over the last year. Every parent knows that what matters most about any sort of childcare is its quality – it’s vital that your child is safe, happy and in a stimulating environment while you’re at work – but the money matters too. So what are the factors you need to take into account when you’re choosing childcare in readiness for returning to work?

¢ A nanny might suit you if... You’re a reasonably high earner – nannies can be expensive, though they’re a lot more affordable if you share them with another family. As well as basic pay, there are a lot of extras to be aware of when you employ a nanny – particularly her tax and NI, which you are required to pay, but also car insurance if she’s driving your car, and the costs of all the outings and visits your child is taken on.

You have two or more children, or have one baby and hope to have another very soon, because you’ll pay your nanny for her time, not for the number of children she’s looking after You have quite rigorous ideas about, for example, the food you want your child to eat, and the schedule you want for his or her day. You can be a lot more prescriptive as a parent with a nanny than you can with a nursery or childminder, where your child will have to fit into a pre-existing schedule established by the institution or minder.

¢ A childminder might suit you if... You work part-time or are not a high earner (childminders are usually the cheapest or, as many would prefer to put it, the bestvalue option) You have two or more children and would like them to see a lot of each other through the day You like the idea of another mother caring for your child – most childminders are mothers themselves

¢ A nursery might suit you if... You have an only child or this is your youngest child and you are unlikely to have more in the near future – because a nursery will give him or her plenty of opportunities to play with other children Your child is not a small baby, and so many benefit particularly from the organised activities a nursery can offer You like the idea of a setting where events are regulated in a way that involves a lot of carers, rather than just one



Education ¢ What’s happening in 2014? Childcare is always a political hot potato – and with a General Election looming in just over a year’s time, politicians are saying more and doing more about it. Here’s what’s new on the childcare horizon: From September this year, more two-year-olds will be offered 15 hours of free childcare each week, because the eligibility criteria are being expanded. See your local authority website for more information – they’ll be publishing full details of who’s eligible and how to find a place Free universal childcare for all pre-school children is being promised by Labour in their election manifesto. If they’re elected to power next time round, the Labour leadership is likely to make a dramatic announcement about the way childcare will be organised in Britain in the coming years The new tax-free childcare scheme comes into effect from 2015. Under that, parents will be able to claim 20% of the cost of registered childcare up to £1,200 per child per year. Both parents must be working to qualify, or a single parent must be in employment. Last year’s report from the Department of Education that proposed making changes to the child to staff ratios in nurseries and for childminders was shelved after the Liberal Democrats objected, but the government has consulted on relaxing ratios and quality criteria for out-of-school childcare with the aim of making it easier for schools to offer provision. At the moment the issue is with the Department for Education, and an announcement is expected soon. Under the Children and Families Bill, currently going through Parliament, Ofsted will be made ‘the sole arbiter of quality’. This means that local authorities will not be able to impose their own quality conditions on providers who offer childcare under the existing scheme offering free places for three and four year olds (provided these providers are not rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted). Some parents will see this as a good thing, as it could lead to a wider choice of providers; or they might see it as a bad thing, as local authorities will be able to do less to force childcarers to improve their services. Organisations offering advice and information on childcare include: Childcare.co.uk is an online social networking platform for parents, childcare providers and private tutors. www.childcare.co.uk The Family and Childcare Trust is a campaigning organisation with a helpful bank of information for parent. www.familyandchildcaretrust.org The Pre-school Learning Alliance is England's largest early years membership organisation. www.pre-school.org.uk Working Families aims to help parents and carers achieve a work-life balance. More at www.workingfamilies.org.uk

Elisa’s Tutorial School Edgware from 21/2 years to 16 years of age. Give your child the best start. 26 years experience. Ex St. Michaels’ Grammar School teacher. BA. PGCE Expert tuition in English, Maths and reasoning for 4 plus, 7 plus, 11 plus, 13 plus and also GCSE. Pre-school reading, maths and writing classes taught through music, art, toys and stories, computer lessons also.

020 8958 1192 07956 868119 Online tutoring available at

www.childrensstories.net NORTHWEST (LONDON) MARCH/APRIL 2014


Independent School Open Days Please check school websites to confirm in advance of visiting advertised open days. Listings are subject to change. ACS Hillingdon International School Middlesex, UB10 Boys and Girls 4-18 www.acs-schools.com/acs-hillingdon

Open Day: By appointment 01895 259771

Aldenham School Elstree WD6 Boys and Girls 3-18 yrs (Boarding/ Day) enquiries@aldenham.com

Open Day: Sat 14 Jun - Prep School 01923 851664. Senior School By Appointment - 01923 858122,

Avanti House School Stanmore HA7. Boys and Girls 11-18 yrs. www.avanti.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment 020 8249 6830

Buckingham College Preparatory School Pinner HA5 Boys School 4-11 years www.buckprep.org

Open Day: By appointment 020 8866 2737

Charlotte House Preparatory School for Girls Rickmansworth WD3. Girls 3+-11yrs. www.charlottehouseprepschool.co.uk

Open Day: Thu 6th Mar, Sat 8th Mar, Thu 8th May, Sat 10th May, 9.30-11.30am. 01923 772101

Edge Grove School Aldenham WD25 Boys and Girls 3-13yrs (Boarding/Day) www.edgegrove.com

Open Day: Fri 14th Mar, 10am-12pm. 01923 855 724 (x254)

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School Elstree WD6 Boys 5-18 yrs. www.habsboys.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment 020 8266 1700.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls’ School Elstree WD6 Girls 4-18 yrs. www.habsgirls.org.uk

Open Day: Jun Sch – Sat 5 Jul, 10am-12.30pm; Sen Sch – Tue 7 Oct, 6-8pm. 020 8266 2302 email ldevine@ habsgirls.org.uk

Harrow School Harrow HA1 Boys 12-18yrs (Boarding) www.harrowschool.org.uk

Open Day: Sat 10th May, Sat 17th May, Sat 14th Jun. 0208 872 8003

Heathfield School (GDST) Pinner HA5. Girls 3-18 yrs. www.heathfield.gdst.net

Open Day: By appointment 020 8307 5503

High Elms Manor School Watford WD25, Boys and Girls 6 months – 11 years. www.highelmsmanorschool.com

Open Day: By appointment 01923 681103

Krishna Avanti Primary School Edgware HA8. Boys and Girls 3-11 yrs. Open Day: By appointment 020 8381 3344 www.avanti.org.uk/kapsharrow


Maple Walk School (New Model School) NW10 Boys and Girls 4-11 yrs. www.maplewalkschool.co.uk

Open Day: Tue 25th Mar, 9.30am. 020 8965 7374

Merchant Taylor’s School Northwood HA6. Boys 11-18yrs www.mtsn.org.uk

Open Day: Sat 10 May 10am-12.30pm. To make an appointment for a school tour at an alternative time call 01923 845514

North London Collegiate School Edgeware HA8 Girls 4-18yrs. www.nlcs.or.uk

Open Day: Sat 20 Sep, Jun Sch 10am-12.30pm 020 8952 1276, Sen Sch 1.30-4.30pm 020 8951 6481/6468.

Northwood College Northwood HA6. Girls 3-18 yrs. www.northwoodcollege.co.uk

Open Day: Mon 3rd Mar, Wed 7th May, Mon 30th Jun. Bluebelle House (Nursery & Reception) Fri 16th May, Tue 10th Jun. 01923 825446.

Northwood Preparatory School Rickmansworth WD3 Boys 4-13. www.northwoodprep.co.uk

Open Morning: Fri 10th Oct, 9.45am-12pm. 01923 825648.

Orley Farm Harrow-on-the-Hill HA1 Boys and Girls 4-13yr www.orleyfarm.harrow.sch.uk

Open Day: Sat 10 May 10am-12pm or by appointment 020 8869 7634/7600

Purcell School of Music Bushey WD23 Boys and Girls 9-18yrs. www.purcell-school.org

Open Day: By appointment 01923 331107

Quainton Hall School Harrow HA1. Boys and Girls nursery 2-4yrs. Boys 4-13yr; Girls 4-11yr. www.quaintonhall.org.uk

Open Day: Sat 20th Sep 10am-12.30pm 020 8427 1304

Reddiford School Pinner HA5 Boys and Girls 2yrs 9months – 11 yrs. www.reddiford.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment 020 8866 0660

Regent College Harrow HA Boys & Girls 11-18yrs www.regentcollege.uk.com

Open Day: By appointment 020 8966 9900

Regent Nursery Pinner HA Boys & Girls 2-5yrs www.regentnursery.com

Open Day: By appointment 020 8933 5410

Roxeth Mead School HA2 Boys & Girls 3-7yrs. www.roxethmead.com

Open Day: By appointment 020 8422 2092

Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley WD4. Boys and Girls 0-18. www.rsskl.org

Open Day: By appointment 01923 262 505

The Royal Masonic School for Girls Rickmansworth WD3 – Ruspini House Pre School (boys and girls aged 2-4) Cadogan House Pre-Prep and Prep Department (girls aged 4-11), Senior School (girls aged 11-18)

Open Day: October 2014 To make an appointment for a School tour at another time, please call 01923 725354.

Stanborough School Watford WD25 Boys and Girls 4-18yrs. Boarding/Day. www.spsch.org

Open Day: By appointment 01923 673268

St Helen’s School Northwood HA6. Girls, 3-18 yrs. www.sthn.co.uk

Open Day: Wed 18th Jun, 9.30-12pm; Sat 20th Sep, 9.30am-1pm; Wed 12th Nov, 9.30am-1pm. 01923 843230

St Hilda’s Preparatory School for Girls Bushey WD23 3-11yrs. www.sthildasbushey.co.uk

Open Day: By appointment 0208 950 1751

St John’s School Northwood HA6 Boys aged 3-13. www.st-johns.org.uk

Open Day: Wed 21st May, 9.30am 020 8866 0067

St. Margaret’s School Bushey WD23 Girls 4-18 yrs (boarding/day) www.stmargaretsbushey.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment 020 8901 0872

St. Martin’s School Northwood HA6. Boys 3-13 yrs www.stmartins.org.uk

Open Day: Fri 9th May, Sat 10th May. 01923 825 740

York House Rickmansworth WD3. Boys and Girls 3-13 yrs www.york-house.com

Open Day: Thu 13th Mar, Sat 15th Mar, Thu 8th May, Sat 10th May, 9.30am-12pm. 01923 772 395





It's Party Time

PARTY TIME We love this feature! It is always so much fun to plan and hold a birthday party for children. We’ve listed everyone and everything you need to know in our local area to help you create a wonderful special day for your ‘someone special’…

Y Be your own Party Planner 4 memories - supply personalised banners for all types of celebrations. They can also design bespoke banners according to the party theme or you can choose from one of their template designs. Their banners will give you that finishing touch in celebrating that special occasion. Harrow HA3 020 8357 2345 www.4memories.co.uk Ace2King - offers full Disco Equipment Hire for your party or private function. They can deliver, set-up and collect for a discounted price of £75 (normally £99) – simply quote “Families Mag” when you call. 07725 16 33 94. www.Ace2King.co.uk Cake Poptastic - think cake and chocolate buttercream, molded into a cross between a miniature cake and a lollipop, covered in a sweet candy coating and then decorated in a variety of mouth-watering ways! A perfect going home gift for kids parties, wedding or party favours, as a gift or just because! www.cakepoptastic.com Charlou Cakes - sells sugarcraft items and celebration cakes for all occasions. You will find boxes, boards, ribbons cake toppers, cupcakes, edible glitters, cake stand hire, edible pictures/photos and lots more. Watford Indoor Market 07950 814201 www.charloucakes.co.uk Katie Bakes Cookie Mix Party Bags contain a Belgian Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix to bake at home. They come in a stylish box, finished with a ribbon and there is a choice of nine wonderfully themed labels, which most people choose to have personalised with the party child’s name. Named “What’s on 4” Best Children’s Party Supplier 2012. 023 9258 3553 www.katiebakes.co.uk Knights Bouncy Castle - are a friendly family run small business in Herts. Free delivery, set up and collection within 5 miles of Watford Herts. Fully insured and all castles PiPa safety tested yearly. Members of the BIHA. www.knightsbouncycastles.co.uk


ilovechocs.com - personalised chocolate bars for every occasion. They provide you with personalised chocolate bars that will enhance your celebrations. A wide variety of wrapper designs to choose from which can then be personalised with your own text or pictures. Their premium range allows you to have a wrapper designed completely from scratch providing the ultimate in personalisation! Harrow, NW London, UK & abroad, 0844 586 4717 www.ilovechocs.com Love the Little Things - planning a child's birthday and want something different? The Little Things is an online company selling unique party products. Go vintage with their retro-print party bags and choose from over 100 quality party bag fillers. Or perhaps pick from their range of themed party goodies - perfect for little pirates and princesses. For a party with a difference, visit www.lovethelittlethings.co.uk Paella Inc. - authentic and modern paella and tapas for weddings, parties, events and special occasions. Paella is cooked in big paella pans for up to 250 people. Paella Inc. are completely mobile so they can travel to most places in England to cook paella in gardens, fields, in your street, in marquees, on beaches or wherever you have your event. 01273 881106; 07973 483674; www.paellainc.co.uk The Party Supplies - stock a wide range of kids partyware including themed tableware, decorations, party bags and bag fillers, party games, dressing up costumes, face painting and much more. Free delivery within the W1 and W2 area. 020 77064423 www.thepartysupplies.co.uk

Y Party Planners Adam Ants - with over 15 years’ experience Adam Ants offer an unforgettable party experience. One or two hour parties with fun, games, magic tricks, balloon modelling and puppetry. Arrange something different – a “Build a Teddy Bear” party, a Sports Olympic party or a fab kids disco.. www.adamantsparties.co.uk or call anytime 0208 959 1045.


Boo Parties – have launched their new Bijou Boo party! This is a gorgeously themed party with matching entertainer, props, party bags, balloons, activity zone, tables and chairs and tableware. Call Charlotte on 020 8542 1480 or www.weareboo.com/parties to download the brochure. Les Enfants – is a children’s party company with a difference. From small private birthday parties to creches for weddings and large corporate events, they deliver a complete service. Their party team takes care in designing, planning and running your party, ensuring that organising your child’s party is fun and stress-free. 020 8502 9988 www.lesenfants.co.uk Parties to Remember - Rowena’s business grew organically after organising her own daughter’s parties. Her aim is to create a traditional games party that involves all the children having fun and laughs with some competition. 020 7249 3242; Rowena@partiestoremember.co.uk www.partiestoremember.co.uk The Dan Tien – Provide tailor made parties for children aged 4-11 years. Each party is 1 ½ hours long and can include any 2 of the following activities; Street Dance, Arts and Crafts, Drama, Musical Theatre, T-Shirt Decorating and Party Games. They book and cover the venue cost and provide party bags so you don’t have to worry about a thing! 01923 441043 www.thedantien.co.uk Tiny Acorns – From the moment you enquire about an Acorns Party, you will experience the luxury of your own party planner who will work with you from the initial planning stages to the thank you letters. They are able to handle as much as you want them to – from providing the party entertainment to managing caterers, venues, decorations and guest lists! Various themes available, from Build-a Bear to Princess parties. 07949 086259 www.tinyacorns.co.uk

It's Party Time

Amanda's Action Club – Dynamic, energetic, interactive parties for children aged 1 – 12. 01895 623999, www.amandasactionclub.co.uk Auntie Julie – North London’s top female children’s entertainer. Two hours filled with magic, games and dancing, with Archie the Bear and Alice the Bunny. 01923 720040 or 07880 741920 www.auntiejulie.com Billy the disco DJ - disco parties for children 6 to 11 years: musical statutes, limbo dancing, bubble machine, karaoke, pass the parcel temporary tattoos and lots of prizes. Can supply party bags. 07891 854888, www.billythediscodj.co.uk Bish Bash Birthdays – a marvellous mish mash of fun!!! Disco dancing, guessing games, ball challenges, talent show, puppet pet, magic and much, much more in any theme the birthday child would like. www. bishbashbirthdays.co.uk Boo Boo’s Dazzle disco - Boo Boo (Sean Hampson) has extensive experience working with children of all ages. His parties include dancing competitions, games, magic, juggling and balloon modelling. Children win prizes and have great fun with his bubble and smoke machines. 0207 727 3817, www.mr-booboo.co.uk

Y Party Entertainers/ Activities Active Creative Parties Dinky Dancers! Boogaloo Boogie! Motion Commotion! Award winning dance, PE, music & games specialists providing bespoke children’s parties for children aged 2 – 12 years old. Based on your requirements & themes, they plan each party individually & guarantee your child will have an “all singing, all dancing” action packed party! They bring lots of exciting equipment such as parachute, hoops ,ribbons, balls, bean bags, feathers & musical instruments to make sure you have fun galore! Affordable, realistic prices.

www.active-creative.com 01923 239424/0208 207 2109

Boogie Parties - specialises in children’s parties from ages 1 and upwards. For 1 & 2 year olds, Boogie Babies parties take your baby, friends and family on a magical musical journey. For 3 year olds and upwards, their exciting parties include musical games with prizes, singing with glitter microphones, dancing with props, bubbles, snow machine, magic show, balloon modelling and much more! www. boogieparties.co.uk Captain Calamity - Award Winning Children's Entertainer! Dov Citron (a.k.a. Captain Calamity!) utilises marvellous magic, interactive storytelling, call-and-response games, crazy clowning, sensational circus skills, incredible balloon twisting, hilarious puppetry, actiondances and jaw dropping bubble performances to enchant children of all ages in a world of interactive adventure. With Captain Calamity; the children become the stars, engaging with the performance and becoming part of the act. They are invited to shout out, jump up and get stuck into the action! Anything is possible when the Captain taps into the unlimited resource that is a child's imagination! Age range:- 3 years to 10 years. www.captaincalamity.com

Charlie the Clown - a seasoned performer entertaining tots to teens as a variety of characters from clowns to pirates with his story-telling, magic, balloon modelling, singing and dancing. 07808 732 390, www. charlietheclown.co.uk Cheeky Monkey Parties - is a company of fantastic British female entertainers....with over 10 years in the children’s entertainment industry. Their team of fun, professional, enthusiastic entertainers will provide you with all the fun and excitement for your child’s party or event. Ensuring you and your children get the very best. 07771 598867, cheekymonkeypartieslondon@gmail.com Chuckle Parties - non-stop party fun for children aged 1-13 in your home or venue. Options include: party games, high energy action rhymes, musical instruments, parachute, giant floating ball, pom poms, limbo dancing, fairies/pirates and jungle dressing-up adventure, fashion show. Also, super heroes and Disney Themed Parties, mini indoor football, assault courses and disco parties. 020 8573 6288 or 0781 4605175, www.chuckleparties.co.uk Creative Fun Factory Toddler Parties (13 mths - 4 yrs) - These parties are run like their Toddler Fun & Music classes. They can entertain up to 30 children for one hour and supply two hosts. Cheeky Monkey is included too! Harrow/Pinner 0208 427 9797 www.creativefunfactory.co.uk Twenty20 Cricket & Ball Sports Parties (various) fun & games for boys & girls age 5+. Prices from just 99+VAT. Visit www. twenty20cricketcompany.com or call 08455 202026 for more details. Danny Grant Soccer School - offers exciting, action-packed football and sports parties for boys and girls aged 5 to 12. Football parties include games, fitness exercises and fun-based drills plus football tournaments and matches. General sports parties will include a variety of general sports activities and games. For more details call 020-8446-0891 or visit www.dgsoccer.co.uk. Dramarama Stage School - offers fun-packed Drama Parties for 5 to 14 year olds which can be based on a chosen theme. Parties include drama games and stunning plays. Street Dance and Hip Hop Parties are also bookable where exciting routines are learned and performed. 020 8446 0891, www.dramarama.co.uk continued on page 14

A Truly Unforgettable Party! These fast and fun Inflatable and Trampoline parties are ideal for 3 – 14 years. Offering 3 huge inflatables, a trampoline and staff. We cater for all your needs! Held at Breakspeare School Sports Centre in the heart of Abbots Langley, this is an idyllic setting for a special birthday party. We offer 1 hour and 15 minutes of jam packed fun with music and 45 minutes of food time in the colourful themed food room. The main hall offers 3 huge Inflatables, trampoline and access to a soft play room.


per party!

Call to make your booking today!

01923 270980

£5 million public liability with every party. Website offers a full gallery and film clip.


e-mail: contact@bouncy-castle.com NORTHWEST (LONDON) MARCH/APRIL 2014


It's Party Time continued from page 13

Honky-Tonks - singing, action songs and musical instruments. 07719 528101, www.honky-tonks.co.uk

Active Creative

Ekata Cake Baking Courses - cake baking & decorating party themed packages for birthdays, hen nights, get togethers, etc. Margaret – 07962 392358 www.make-me-a-cake.com 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! 08452 26 26 94  www.enjoy-a-ball.com northlondon@enjoy-a-ball.com Froggle Parties - offers high energy parties that are non-stop fun. Each party crams tons of activities like comedy magic, games, mini disco, balloon modelling, puppet show, prizes for every child, rocket balloons, and bubbles. Themes, clowns, baby and toddler parties, bubble and snow machines and other party extras also available. Call 08450 504 509, www.froggleparties.com Hartbeeps - age appropriate musical parties. 1st Birthday based on a magical enchanted garden theme. 2nd & 3rd Birthday is a make believe sound journey and 4 years plus enjoy a mini-me disco. www.hartbeeps.com


Jacqu’in the Box - themed stories, dressing-up, music and movement, instruments. 07948 371615, www.jacqinthebox.com

wish before placing the satin wish charm inside their bear. There is then a naming ceremony where the children decide on a name for their new friend and fill in their birth certificates, and design a t-shirt for their bear! For boys and girls ages 4+. 01767 699851 www.makeabearparties.co.uk

Jenty the Gentle Clown - magic tricks, guitar and banjo playing and a gentle approach. Good with mixed ages. 07957 121 764, www.jentythegentleclown.com

Mandy Magic Cbeebies 'Shiny Show' Magician - offering fun magic shows for your children's parties! 07973 744 229, www.mandymagic.co.uk

Jiggle Gym - fun-filled parties tailored for your child’s age. They recreate a Jiggle Gym session at a venue of your choice, especially for your child! This includes a Jiggle Gym entertainer, soft play equipment, ball pond and balls, trampoline and pop up tunnel, musical movement activities, parachute play and bubbles. 07817 323 010 www.jigglegym.co.uk

Mel’s Magical Parties - award winning children’s magician specialising in circus skills, face painting, juggling, puppets and a live rabbit. 01992 552026, www.melsmagic.co.uk

Jo Jingles - a fun and educational music and movement experience for children aged from 3 months to 5 years. 01923 445221, www.jojingles.com/watfordarea

Messyplay - now launches the ultimate chocolate party the delicious cooking party and the amazing bead bar as well as jewellery parties! Messyplay parties have been established for over 10 years bringing you the best art and craft parties. For birthdays fun-days, corporate events, Bat/Bar mitzvahs and PTA events. 020 8958 6628, www.messyplay.co.uk

Kiddikicks Birthday Parties - bounced on a castle, done clowns? Need a great active kids party? Then book a Kiddikicks football, sports day or multi-sport party that packs in the fun. High energy, high quality sports fun for 1 to 2 hours. 10 to 25 children per group. 020 7937 7965 www.kiddikicks.co.uk

Mini Picassos - offer exciting art courses and birthday parties for children aged from 4-13yrs. Using the work of artists as inspiration, your child will experiment with a wide range of media including acrylics on canvas, drawing with charcoal, sculpting in wire & paper mache and much more. 07903 638817, www.minipicassos.co.uk

Kool Kidz Parties – have been entertaining children for over 10 years, and can make your children’s parties perfect and flow with ease from start to finish. They offer many different types of party, including Sports Parties, Disco, Go-Kart, Radio Controlled Car Party, as well as traditional and themed parties eg; Princesses, Pirates or Superheroes! 0845 603 2858 www.koolkidzgroup.co.uk

Monkey Music - tailor made parties with singing, dancing and playing instruments - especially designed for 1 - 4 year olds. www.monkeymusic.co.uk

Little Kickers – in Watford and Northwood. Celebrate your child’s birthday with Little Kickers! It’s fantastic fun; it’s healthy too, and they guarantee every child leaves with a huge smile and a shiny medal. Take to the side-lines while the qualified football coaches ensure your child and their friends enjoy a party to remember! 0208 123 9346 jodiesloan@littlekickers.co.uk Make a Bear Parties – Each guest will bring their own special teddy bear to life by filling it with soft stuffing, after which they can make a


Mother Nature Science - Exciting science-themed parties combining the ideas of “playing” and “learning”. Can be presented outdoors, indoor at home, or wherever you choose. Each Mother Nature Science party features an impressive array of spectacular topical demonstrations and interactive activities, and children leave the party with fun and educational take-home experiments. 020 8863 8832, www.mnature.co.uk Mr Magic - performing magic professionally at birthday parties, schools, nurseries and play groups for 20 years. Wonderful, funny show using magic, puppets, balloon animals and spinning plates for 3 to 7 year olds. 0208 238 9117 or 07752 133871, www.ianmanly.co.uk

It's Party Time

Popstarz Parties – Disco Parties designed for 6th Birthdays and upwards. The entertainers come with a super disco light show and all the energy to deliver 2 hours of action packed dance routines to the latest crazes, party games, karaoke singing and competitions. All the children win fabulous prizes. Go on and give your child the Popstarz treatment. 07785 790 898 www.popstarzparties.co.uk Premier Family Martial Arts - offers Karate parties for children aged 5 and up. Have fun, play games and learn some cool moves. The birthday child even gets to cut the cake with a Samurai Sword! 020 8582 0480. www.premier-family.co.uk Richard Pinner Fun & Magic – Provide a variety of parties, including Traditional Parties with magic, balloon modelling and ventriloquism, Magic Shows, Games & Competition Parties and Magic Workshops. 020 7352 3524 www.funandmagic.co.uk Captain Calamity

Mr Marvel - shows feature magic, Punch & Judy, live rabbit, disco, bubble and snow machines. 08455 190146, www.mrmarvel.co.uk Mr Smiffy - a fast paced fun interactive show, incorporating games with music, magic show, featuring the star of the show, Fluffy the Dog and balloon animals. 0208 621 0609/07775 840 858, www.mrsmiffy.co.uk Perform Parties - theme based entertainment for 1 to 12 year olds! Perform Parties are high energy, fun and totally infectious and kids just can't resist joining in all the activities. Based around a colourful theme and involving lots of lively games, they use the power of children's imaginations to get everyone involved. 0845 400 1275, www.perform.org.uk Popstar Parties – Sing your way to stardom with this totally unique party experience. Put on your make up, grab a feather boa and step up to the mic. Walk the red carpet, pose for the cameras, enjoy a glass of bubbly and make your own DVD. 01386 700640/07828 600443 www.popstarparties.org

School of Rock-a-bye Babies - want to have a totally original, engaging, and rockin' good time for your little one's party? SRBB party sessions provide some of the best party entertainment you've ever seen, for everyone in attendance! Contact them to discuss your individual and/or bespoke party requirements. Rock on! 07702 815 080, www.schoolofrockabyebabies.com Silly Millie the Clown - parties for 3 - 9 year olds. Funny magic show, puppet's, party games, silly songs & balloon animals. 020 7823 8329 or 07939 239 397 www.sillymillietheclown.co.uk Takayo – can make a party truly unique and inspiring, with a Japanesethemed celebration that everyone is sure to love. Kimono makeover parties are absolutely perfect for girls aged 5 years and above. Discover more at www.takayo.co.uk 07862 874583. The Wheelie Good Party Company - Something brilliant for boys and girls. Their jeep driving adventure birthday party will prove to be the best party ever. They will bring their electric jeeps and indoor track to a venue of your choice and produce for you and your guests the most memorable party. For children aged between 4 and 8 years. 020 8386 2894 www.wheeliegoodparty.co.uk

Party Venues/Parties onsite Abbots Parties @ Breakspeare - offering great inflatable and trampoline parties. The Sport Centre is set in the heart of Abbots Langley village making it accessible from the M1 and M25. It offers clean modern playrooms and facilities. The venue is large enough to host over 30 children and their parents with ample parking. The parties offer 3 new inflatables to include a 20’ square Inflated Urban Skate Park with an 8’ platform slide for 2 years plus, plus Rural Mega Slide Multi Play with a 12’ platform slide for the 5 – 14 year olds, and an Urban 2 lane Bungee Run! 01923 270 980, www.bouncy-castle.com/partiesatbreakspeare Alexandra Palace - Ice Skating - minimum of 10 children from 7 years of age. Two hour parties at the weekend. N22 7AY. 0208 365 4386, www.alexandrapalace.com/ice-rink Art 4 Fun West Hampstead (NW6) - great for all ages .. Babies to grandparents!! Creative! Whatever the occasion... day or evening .... birthdays, get-togethers, hen parties, promotions, team building, etc. Bring your own food/snacks. Too far away? They’ll come to you! 0207 794 0800, www.Art4Fun.com Art Club Edgware– Art Lessons, Workshops and Parties for Children, Teenagers and Adults in a purpose built studio above the Art Shop in Edgware. Children’s classes on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. Adult lessons during the week and evenings. Please call 07949 594946 www.artclub.co.uk Aspire Kidz Zone Stanmore - can help you party with their range of exciting parties. From sports hall to swimming pool parties, their experienced staff will ensure your child has a party to remember. 020 8420 6725, www.aspire.org.uk

continued on page 16

BAKING PARTIES AND COOKIE DECORATING A multi award winning bakery and coffee shop, where children can decorate cookies in the café. Watch wonderful foods being created in ‘The Makery’ – its very own scientific baking laboratory and use the smell station (very Willy Wonderkish!) to guess what’s baking in the oven. At the baking parties, children make bread, pizza, cookies, plus their own Birthday cake. Cupcake and chocolate making parties also available for 9 years and over. Stockists of baking kits Pre-school parties now available for 3-4 year olds!

Check our website for holiday workshops!

Experience all sports in one place



It's Party Time continued from page 15

Party Venues/Parties onsite Brondesbury Sports Club

- in between West Hampstead and Cricklewood offers the perfect leafy setting for children's parties and functions. Use of two large-sized rooms in a traditional clubhouse with a kitchen and bar, an outdoor grass area and free parking costs from £125. Be quick, dates are quickly booked up!

Contact admin@brondesburysc.co.uk or 07747 518763 for info. Bubble Bus - children’s soft play bus - The Bubble Bus is a double decker bus fully converted into children’s soft play and karaoke machine on board. No mess no stress, they take all the hard work out of having birthday parties by coming to you, and keeping all the messy stuff on their bus. Prices start from £185 1 hour 45min hire, with extras available such as face paints, glitter tattoos, games, food and party bags. 07969 664403, www.thebubblebus.co.uk

Craft Tub Crafting Parties Abbots Langley - children are given ten pounds to spend on the shop floor. They have great fun adding up the items with help from staff who give them paint and glue free of charge. The children take their basket of goodies to the work bench and start their creation! They are able to take their masterpieces home once dried off using our cool dryers. Any crafting items not used will go home in a goodie bag. Basic items are provided: Paints, Glue and Scissors. Only £13.00 per person! www.crafttub.co.uk

Build-a-Bear Workshop - each guest makes a furry friend. Prices start at £9 a guest with a minimum of 6 children and all guests get to keep their bear at the end of the party. Price includes invitations, thank you cards, gifts for guest of honour and party favours. Build-a-Bear at The Chimes Uxbridge 01895 274307 and Westfield Shopping Centre 0208 746 7627, www.buildabear.co.uk Chickenshed - party in the Shed, London (N14) - After the 11.30am Saturday show (or Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during school holidays), you can have an after-show Tales party where you'll have a designated area in the bar, scrummy party food and the Tales cast leading on the singing of Happy Birthday! What's more, the birthday boy/girl will even get a mention during the show! Tales parties can also come to your home. 020 8292 9222 www.chickenshed.org.uk Cinnamon Square Rickmansworth - host unique hand-on baking parties in its scientific baking laboratory ‘The Makery.’ The children make bread, pizza, cookies and their own birthday cake and carry out some fun experiments. The parties are suitable for 5 years and up and can accommodate 10-15 children. 01923 778353 www.cinnamonsquare.com Craft and Clay Bushey – offering Pottery Painting; Decopatch; Build Your Own Bear and Mosaic parties. Prices include all resources, party food and invitations. Parties are best suited to groups of 10-18 guests. 90 minutes of creative fun with smiles ‘guaranteed’! 020 8950 2232 www. craftandclay.co.uk



Everyone Active – Harrow and Watford - You may choose to have a MEGA wet ‘n’ wild swimming party, a football frenzy party , a sports party or have an all sportz party that will be put together to suit your needs by our trained party leaders. The most important thing is that we will make sure that the children are kept entertained. Many of our sites can provide food following the party and if you have a cake we'll look after it for you until that special moment. Our party leaders will look after all of your needs to make sure everyone has a great time - and we'll clear up the mess too! No mess, no hassle, just FUN! www.everyoneactive.com Farmyard Funworld Bushey - birthday parties take place in the “party loft” where children of all ages can enjoy their party picnic and close encounters with some unusual animals. 01923 219902, www. farmyardfunworld.co.uk Fired Treasures – A creative arts studio in Mill Hill which offers various craft party packages. These include Pottery Painting, Decopatch, T-shirt and Bag Design Party, Teddy Bear Making Party and Jewellery Making Party. Make fun, creative items and take them home at the end of the party! 020 8371 6709 www.firedtreasures.co.uk Gambado - Watford's Premier Indoor Play and Party Centre. 2 hours of fun filled play on their giant playframe, full scale climbing frame, dodgems and carousel. 08456 43 43 23, www.gambado.com/parties Gymboree -fabulous parties with activities including musical games, arts & crafts and imaginary stories where children and parents play along and join in the fun. Venues in Harrow 020 8863 5191; Watford 01923 250 440, www.gymboree-uk.com Hartspring Lane Community Centre Bushey – A new, spacious, bright and warm hall available for hire for parties. Holds up to 60 people with child size tables and chairs available, an outside patio and kitchen facilities. 01923 251960

It's Party Time

Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre - pick one of twelve options for your party: kayaking, climbing and abseiling, raft building, archery and orienteering, zip wire, giant swing and orienteering, caving and low ropes, trebuchet, fencing, pedal karts or SUPing and wobble boards. Sessions are 2 ½ hours and teach the basic skills of the activity together with lots of fun and games. All the Instructors are fully qualified. Birthday parties can be booked day or evening during May to August and during the day between March and November. 01895 824 171, www.hoac.net Laser Planet Watford is a new concept in laser tag gaming, adding a hi-end feel and experience to a very popular game. They can cater for any event including birthday parties, Christmas parties and corporate events. The contemporary design of Laser Planet Watford makes it an ideal venue for children and adults to have fun. Customer service, good food and a central location make it the perfect venue for any type of party. Groups of up to 60 people can be accommodated at Laser Planet. Call them on 01923 800 270 to make a booking or e-mail them at bookings@laser-planet.co.uk Little Willows Parties Pinner - include the hire of the party room for up to 2 hours, printable party invitations, a dedicated member of staff for the first hour of the party and a signed plate for the party host. 020 8868 8355 www.little-willows.co.uk Makes ‘n’ Bakes Stanmore - offers fun, educational baking classes with arts and crafts for 2-1/2 to 5 year olds in the comfort of the owner (Karen’s) home in Stanmore (with the parents in the adjoining room, these are an ideal introduction to gentle separation for pre-schoolers) – term time and holiday sessions available and also private bookings. 07887-984401 wilkin@afrormosia.com Parents Paradise Bushey - offer 4 different parties: Paradise Play, Go Kart King Forever My Bear Party and Arty Potter Party. Weekend parties are very popular booking 6 weeks in advance is recommended. 01923 248747, www.parentsparadise.eu Partyman World of Play Wembley - with 7 different type of children’s parties to choose from there is something fun for everyone here www.partymanworld.co.uk

Sound Cube Watford- grab a mic and unleash your inner popstar! Go solo, or party with your friends, and sing your favourite songs just like your pop idols. Sing, Dance, Record and make a FREE full colour personalised *DVD of your performance! (*party sessions only) Sessions are suitable for 7 years +. 01923 222654, www.thesoundcube.co.uk Stagecoach Parties - are packed full of fun, lively party entertainment including dramatic games, fabulous songs and fun for everyone! There are themed parties for children aged 4 - 10 and Murder Mysteries for 10-16 years. Our parties provide a way to remove the stress from what should be a day of celebration for everyone, and allow you to sit back, relax and let us do all the work! Available in Stanmore & Harrow Weald, Northwood and Sudbury Hill & Wembley North www.stagecoach.co.uk

Pit Stop Promotions Northwood- provide exciting Scalextric-type racing for parties for ages 6 & above. Various length parties for up to 24 people with a final at the end and a trophy for the winner. Birthday person guaranteed to race in the final with car choice too! Staff take pictures and send them on a printed CD with the results. Customisable invitation template. Go to them or they can come to you. 0208 868 4478, www.pitstoppromotions.co.uk

The Café in the Park Rickmansworth - is a magical place for your child's birthday party. They are open throughout the year - seven days a week. The Café seats around 70 and sits in the heart of the Rickmansworth Aquadrome a 100 acre park. Their party room for your entertainer or activities adjoins the café with a smaller room upstairs for the party tea. Catered in house with top quality food and menu. WD3 01923 711131, www.thecafeinthepark.com

Pizza Express Parties - children decorate their own pizzas and then eat them. Phone for details of participating restaurants. www.pizzaexpress.com

The Children’s Party House is a party venue and party planner service based in Edgware If your child is age 1 to 7+ they’ll make sure they have a day to remember. 07956948274 www.childrenspartyhouse.co.uk

Pizza Hut Parties - What better way to entertain the kids, and get them interested in the food they're eating than letting them make pizzas themselves. The server shows them how to make one, then lets them unleash their creativity on their own pizza. Under 12 yrs. Min 7 chn. www.PizzaHut.co.uk

The Windmill Studio Centre - based in Ruislip Manor hosts many exciting activities for all the family including Children's Parties. 01895 624755, www.thewindmillstudio.com

Playgolf - London in Northwick Park. Have a round on the Adventure Golf, hit balls on the driving range or try something new in their baseball & softball cages. 020 8864 2020, www.playgolf-london.com

TopGolf's - unique surroundings in Watford and a lively atmosphere create a memorable experience for all your guests. They arrange everything for you - from delicious food and drinks to personalised birthday cakes and presents. A dedicated Event Host looks after you from the moment you and your guests arrive, making sure that your party goes beyond your expectations. 01923 237996, www.topgolf.com

Tricycle Theatre London (NW6) - combine a children’s birthday party with a Saturday children’s theatre show at The Tricycle, Kilburn! A party room and catering from their cafe can also be hired to make your party extra special. 020 7328 1000, www.tricycle.co.uk Wildchild Outdoor Adventure Parties (various) Wildchild Outdoor Adventure Birthday parties introduce children to fantastic new indoor and outdoor activities, giving them the opportunity to get outdoors, relish new challenges, stretch imaginations, and above all have FUN! Whether your kids would love to head into the woods for a Dinosaur Hunt, share a top secret Spy Assignment, thwart Pirates, try Archery, Climbing, Abseiling, Fencing or even Skateboarding, Wildchild’s definitely got it covered. Venues: Phasels Wood Activity Centre, Kings Langley and NEW for 2014 – Chalfont Heights Scout Camp, Chalfont St Peter. 0845 3717099 www.wildchildactivities.com Willows Farm Village London Colney - they do it all for you! A birthday party at Willows Farm Village is bursting with fun! From meeting the farm animals, taking a ride on Tristan the Runaway Tractor, Falconry Displays and Fun Fair Rides to undercover adventures in Woolly Jumpers indoor play barn and Captain Chicken’s Egg Dodge. They provide the invitations, a party meal in a themed party room, party goodie bag and helium balloon for each child and a birthday card with a £10 Willows voucher for the birthday child. Plus there’s one free adult with every full-paying child. For more details call 0870 129 9718, or visit www.willowsfarmvillage.com Families NW London Magazine is distributed to over 29,000 families.

To advertise YOUR BUSINESS with us, call: 01923 237 004 Editor@FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk



Family Life

Moving on Muddling through a house move By Wendy Flynn, Editor, Families Birmingham


he average family moves 8 times in their lifetime. To date, I’ve clocked up a staggering 20 new addresses but, thankfully, only five of those have been with husband, children and pets. Moving home as a singleton with few belongings and a free storage facility back at home base is a breeze compared to moving lock, stock and barrel to an unfamiliar place with children in tow. When it comes to buying, selling and moving to a new family home, Murphy’s law applies – what can go wrong, will go wrong. Yet, with a little bit of preplanning (or, to be strictly honest, with some strategic military-style planning) it can go rather more smoothly than my muddled efforts would suggest. With the benefit of hindsight I have learnt rather a lot. For example: never have children in the house at the same time as viewers. I learnt this the hard way when my then 5-year-old daughter cheerily informed a potential buyer that our kitchen was so small that we couldn’t fit all the family in at the same time, and then proceeded to accompany her outside where she pointed out that the front garden was dangerous for children. (The garden sloped away from the house and there was a drop over the retaining wall to the pavement). Needless to say – that viewer never returned. I also once had removal men half way through loading up the entire contents of another house when I got a call from my solicitor to say our buyer had not exchanged contracts as scheduled. And, on that same ill-fated move, when the van had finally gone and I had loaded the children into the car, I couldn’t find the cat. Hours later with the cat found, duly caged and in the car, I discovered I had a puncture and faced the prospect of driving a 100 mile journey to our new home on an emergency tyre (the garages all being closed by then) until a kindly neighbour stepped in to the rescue.


I have learnt rather a lot… For example: never have children in the house at the same time as viewers… So with the benefit of all that has gone wrong on my moves – and some sage advice from fellow Families magazine editors - what can you do to make sure your house move goes without a hitch?

¢ Prepare the children First, prepare the children. If they are very young don’t assume they understand what a house move is all about. As one mum recalls “We moved house when my son and daughter were 6 and 9 years old. Although we did talk with them about moving, it wasn't until they asked whether they could take their belongings with them that we realised we hadn't made it clear that we were only selling the building; they thought we were selling the house plus its contents.” A good way of preparing young children is to read stories about moving, for example Topsy and Tim Move House. If you do that when your own house is on the market, it gives your child time to become familiar with the idea before the time comes to move out.


If you are moving within your local area and no school move is involved, it is easier than when you are moving to a totally new area. Older school age children are likely to be upset – and often angry - at the prospect of losing friends. Listen to their fears and be endlessly patient and positive about the move (however you are feeling yourself), and explain how they can keep in touch with old friends while making new ones. Children are very adaptable and the chances are they will settle in the new area and have firm friendships a lot sooner than you will, but they need to vent and they need your reassurance.

¢ A practical plan Once your house is sold you can breathe a sigh of relief that you no longer have to run around stuffing toys back in cupboards to make the house presentable for viewers, but then

Family Life Pets

Children are very adaptable and the chances are they will settle in the new area and have firm friendships a lot sooner than you will

– they too can get stressed with moving house. Make a plan in advance to ease their transition. Helpful websites include www.dogstrust.org.uk and www.bluecross.org.uk

¢ On the Day Utilities: Don’t forget to take final utility readings before leaving.

Mobile phone: make sure your mobile is fully charged in case there are any last minute snags to sort out like getting keys from the estate agent.

Essentials kit: One mum says:

sit down with a cup of coffee and make a plan. The key to a smooth move is in the planning:

Declutter – don’t move your junk from one house to another. Take the time between selling and moving to do a thorough clearout.

Quotes for removal companies – get several. They can vary hugely in price. Decide whether you are going to do your own packing or want the removal company to do it. It doesn’t cost a lot more to let the removal company do the packing and with their speed and efficiency it is often money well spent. If you are pregnant when moving, have to move in a hurry with jobs or for a house sale, or have loads of belongings, it is definitely recommended.

Change of address list – do this in advance and have your letters or e-mail sorted ready to go out before you move. It is not just day to day contacts you need to inform – you will also need to change address on TV licence, driving licence and vehicle reg. And, you need to contact pension providers from previous jobs, ISA savings providers and so on. You can find a good list of people you need to contact on http://www.bbc.co.uk/homes/ property/moving_notifychecklist.shtml Don’t forget to set up a redirection with Royal mail. Inevitably you will forget one crucial contact to notify so redirection of mail is essential.

Insurance – you need to make sure you have insurance on your new home from the day you move into it.

“The best advice we were given was to pack a separate box with the kettle tea/coffee milk, mugs etc in it so at least when we were in the midst of chaos we didn’t have to hunt to find the kettle.” I second that. You also win brownie points with the removal men who will be much more amenable if their thirst is quenched when you change your mind about where you want the wardrobe!

Bedrooms – linen, blankies and cuddly toys: “The first thing we did when we got in our new house was to make the beds so later on when exhausted and tired we didn’t have to do it before falling into bed,” advises another Mum. You can also make sure any special sleep ‘blankies’ or cuddly toys are on your child’s bed waiting for them, and that a few familiar toys are unpacked from their own special box to make them feel at home.

A toast: The final word in this piece goes to Families Leeds editor Sarah Butters who is about to move home for the second time in 6 months.

“Packing the wine glasses somewhere handy is an absolute MUST.” When all does not go according to plan – and believe me I know all about this – this is sensible advice indeed. So, to everyone involved in a house move, we say: ‘Here’s to your new life!’ And, even if all does not go smoothly, somehow or another you will muddle through. Cheers!



Mummy on the Edge Mini-Me in Must Cook Will Cook


t was a lazy Sunday morning. I glided downstairs after arising late and writing in my journal and my nose was met by a pleasant waft of parfum de warm fluffy pancake, travelling in the opposite direction. Mini-Me was in the kitchen, pouring thick American pancake batter into the heart-shaped mould I had bought from Lidl a couple of weeks earlier. A stack of flattened, golden clouds lay on a plate that was teetering off the edge of the worktop. “Mmm... those look yummy” I remarked appreciatively, shoving the plate back from the precipice and switching the kettle on. And they really did look delicious. “Good morning Mummy! My pancakes have come out really well! Go on, have one!” Minime beamed. I picked one up, broke it into two and stuffed one half in my gob. It was the lightest, steamiest, cakey morceau. I had ever tasted. So soft, sweet and... “Bleaurgh!! Um... did you use a teaspoon or a tablespoon for the salt?” Crestfallen, she realised her mistake. “Never mind,” I assured her. “It's a learning experience. That won't happen again because you will make super special effort to read the recipe next time. Anyway, the texture is fantastic. And they are still quite nice really,” I said, stuffing the other half in my mouth and fearing the immediate onset of salt-induced hypertension. Mini-Me is eager to widen her repertoire in the kitchen and it is of course up to me to help her do so. Finding the time is not easy when there is piano, flute, singing practice, electric guitar-jamming and homework to attend to; to be honest, it is just easier to get on with it and produce a miracle meal all by myself which, I know, is the wrong attitude.

Sometimes I do delegate and she's quite a good sous chef, adept at chopping and preparing ingredients for me, washing rice and kneading dough for the dodgy chapatis I turn out. It is definitely time to let her get on with it. Aside from everything ending up on the floor (why is it kids always let things teeter off the edge) only good things will come of this, maybe even a Cordon Bleu standard dinner. The bloke who launched Leon, the worthy food chain (upstairs in Brent Cross, it's quite nice) is responsible for www.cook5.co.uk, a campaign that aims to make sure that every 16 year old is equipped with 5 fail-safe recipes that they can cook, unaided. I'm sure Mini-Me will have no trouble with any of the recipes listed helpfully by age on the website because she has been been raised on a healthy, televisual diet of Come Dine with Me and we have recently graduated to The Taste. Yes, shockingly fruity language, but whatever. The combination of Nigella, the horribly arrogant Ludo and Ross's dad from Friends! (- seriously, just ask the google about Tony Bourdain and Elliot Gould-) makes for compulsive viewing. Anyway, Cook5 run a monthly competition where your mini-you can upload pictures of what they've cooked and compete for cash prizes (ker-ching!) for their school and themselves. It says so on the website: “To celebrate your hard work, every person who cooks all five dishes will automatically be entered into a grand prize draw at the end of 2014, with one winner receiving £5,000 plus “ blah blah... not really interested in the rest. They had me at five grand. Mini-Me now knows what she will be doing to pass the time in the next set of school holidays because I have my eye on a Kitchen Aid 4 litre Artisan Food Mixer in Almond White which is currently listed on Selfridges'

website at £389. She can think of it as an investment in her own future. After all, it will all be hers in the end... Have I inspired you to nudge your own miniyou into the kitchen - metaphorically, of course? Why not try one of the below: Sheetal Karia (one of my talented Sing and Sign mummies from years ago, in fact) runs Kiddi Cook classes in Stanmore, Radlett, Watford and surrounding areas for kids from 2 to 11 years old. Call 07821 920 166 or email sheetal@kiddycook.co.uk Cinnamon Square Bakery in Rickmansworth are finalists of The British Cookery School Awards 2013 and they run children's baking workshops from their 400 year old Grade II listed shop during school holidays. Visit www.cinnamonsquare.com or call 01923 778353 for details.

More from the edge at mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot.com. Follow on twitter @appleina. Angelina runs Sing and Sign awardwinning baby signing classes in Harrow, Bushey and Rickmansworth. www.singandsign.com. You can also follow @AngeSingandSign on Twitter

Paediatric First Aid Courses Yoga for Children promotes • Flexibility • Focus • Confidence • Strength • Well being Termly Yoga Sessions offered at nurseries & schools.

Register now for Easter holiday workshops. For dates, venues and prices, contact Priya on 07961 593621 or priya@yogaparadise.co.uk.




Sat 15 March & Sat 26 April Pinner/Harrow Area Accepted for Voluntary OFSTED Registration. Training can be extended for Full Registration at no further charge.

Certificate valid for 3 years Cost = £85

Contact Margaret at mcstraining@hotmail.co.uk or on 07814 191 395 for bookings Other dates available


Why use a Travel Agent when I can do it myself? Here are a few reasons you may not be aware of… By Tricia Boetti

Tired of spending hours trolling the internet to plan your family holiday? Or doing the same thing as last year because it’s ‘easy’? Well, there is an alternative way to book travel safely, which is becoming increasingly popular. Personal Travel Agents work under the umbrella of larger travel companies (meaning financial protection for the customer). They can offer not only advice, but great deals that cannot always be sourced online. You also have somebody who is personally dealing with your trip and it’s not costing you anything for the benefit. Tricia Boetti is a personal Travel agent. She has been in the travel industry since 1986. She has worked for Which? Travel Magazine and given advice to hundreds of holiday makers and experienced travellers. She says: The modern holiday maker/traveller is more clued up about the destination they are going to and know what they want. I think researching online is a great way of learning about the place you are going. Booking online is another story. Why book anywhere else when the web is full of amazing holiday offers? Some of these online offers look fantastic at first glance. They are cleverly marketed to draw you in. The price usually excludes essentials such as transfers to the resort, baggage, onboard meals etc. The checkout screen and initial offer are usually two completely different prices. And it can be difficult to talk to anyone if it all goes wrong as it is online. What are the biggest dangers of booking a DIY holiday online? If you book a hotel from one company, then go on to book cheap flights from another and then car hire elsewhere, your holiday will not be protected. ATOL will protect your holiday booked through an agent. You cannot buy it on its own. It needs to be issued to you by an ATOL license holder (travel agent/tour operator). A personal travel agent can put these same elements together usually at the

Families NW London Magazine is distributed to over 29,000 local families To advertise your business with us call or email;

01923 237 004 Editor@FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk

same price or less and issue an ATOL certificate for £2.50 per person which is an across the board fee - not a big layout to protect your holiday. What are the benefits in booking through a personal travel agent versus an online tour operator? In general, an agent can usually book almost any ABTA holiday on the market. In addition, they can also tailor make a holiday to suit your needs. There are no fees to book through most personal travel agents. The difference is they will know if any other tour operators are selling the same hotel/resort you are interested in for less - saving hours of trawling online. Tour operator discounts are passed on to you and additional discounts that you could not book direct may also be offered. How can personal travel agents be so competitive? Many Travel Agencies now hire self-employed travel agents to avoid the massive overheads of running a high street Travel Agency and it means the savings can be passed back to the customer. Agents work on commission from the suppliers. This is not added to your holiday. It is deducted from your holiday to pay the agent. Personal travel agents are on the constant look out for the best deals in order to be competitive with online prices. Try out my online versus personal travel advisor challenge: work out your own DIY holiday or look at any ABTA package- email me all the details and final price of all the components - if I can match it I will take a further £25 off your holiday. Use code: FAM in the email header. Offer available if emailed to triciab@travel-pa.com no later than 15 March and booked no later than 29 March To receive my carefully sourced special offers or looking for travel advice, please email me at triciab@travel-pa.com or call 0208 358 4799 or 07980 897 068 www.travel-pa.com/triciab

Swimming School _ Open term time _ For children aged 2 – 5 _ Morning, afternoon and full time sessions available _ Grant funding for 3 – 4 year olds Free spaces available _ Fully qualified staffing team _ Ofsted rating - ‘Good’ _ We also have Gym, Tennis, French and IT!

Honey Bears Montessori

Eastcote Methodist Church, Pamela Gardens, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 2QU

Tel: 020 8426 1855 info@honeybearsmontessori.co.uk


•Take the Plunge. Learn to Swim •Boost swimming skills •Increase confidence •Small groups •One to One •Children and adults •In Bushey and Northwood

Tel: 07925 954144





Local Clubs and Classes Directory ADULT CLASSES 1st Steps Linedance (Various) Linedancing classes in Pinner, Eastcote and Ruislip. Have fun while you keep fit! Beginner classes every weekday and regular improver/intermediate classes. (07958 643307 8 www.1ststepslinedance.com Bokwa Classes (HA7) Join in the fun with the new dance revolution sweeping the nation! Easy to follow steps, great music, all fitness levels and ages. Bernays Hall in Stanmore Tue and Thur at 11.45am. (07779 593253 8 steffab@hotmail.co.uk Cooking Goddess (HA) Provide cooking lessons in their fully equipped kitchen in Stanmore, or in the convenience of your own home. Lessons can be step by step 1:1 or in small groups. Available for all ages any time of the day. (07932 775336 8 christina@ameris.co.uk Focused Mind Meditation (WD24) A weekly, hour long class which guides you through a visualization to help you relax your mind and body. A different meditation each week, learn how to switch off the constant stream of thought and focus your mind in a way which will enable you to feel more relaxed in every area of your life. (07944 744493 8 www.focusedmind.co.uk Fused Glass Workshops (HA8) Design and create your glass piece in their Studio in Edgware (platter, wall clock, coasters, mirror, picture frame...). Open to adults and teenagers. For dates and availability, (0773 3321094 8 eva@crescendo-art.co.uk www.crescendo-art.co.uk Lemy School Language Classes (HA1) Languages classes for adults, including Spanish and French. 8 www.lemyschool.com My Unique Home (HA5) Do you collect Interior Design Magazines and wonder how you can make your home that beautiful? Are you passionate about colours, but lack the knowledge or confidence to use it? Do you wish you could be clever about how you use the space you live in? ( www.myuniquehome. co.uk 8 info@myuniquehome.co.uk. NCT – Yoga for Pregnancy (Various) Classes focus on gentle postures, breathing techniques, positions for labour and relaxations. Designed so you can attend throughout your pregnancy and can be adapted to individual needs. 8 www.nct.org.uk Watford School of Drawing and Painting (WD25/ HA5) A school for adults who wish to learn how to draw or want to improve their existing level of drawing skills. They are open 2 days a week all year round, with classes at Meriden Community Centre in Watford and Harrow Arts Centre. No previous experience necessary, classes are pay as you go. 8 www.martinsart.net Zumba Fitness® (Various) An exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party™ that’s moving millions of people toward joy & health. 8 zumbawithsj-zumba@ yahoo.co.uk www.zumba.com/profiles/46045/ sylvia-johnstone

LANGUAGE AND BABY DEVELOPMENT 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 8 www.cbcd.bbk.ac.uk Baby Sensory (Harrow, Watford & Hemel Hempstead) The sessions are specifically aimed at babies from birth to 13 months and each week is different. All activities are accompanied by developmental information so you understand the value to your baby’s learning experience. It also helps you develop fun ideas for home use and much more. Classes held weekly in North-West London areas. (Lina (Harrow): 07809549103 northharrow@babysensory. co.uk (Clare (Watford, HH): 07779 234228 8 hemel@babysensory.co.uk www.babysensory.com Greek Language School in Kingsbury (NW9) For ages 4 to adult. Friendly and fun with traditional dancing lessons. Every Saturday 10am-1pm. (07956 493155 8 www.kingsburygreekschool.org.uk 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. Run on a Saturday morning at 9am and 10am at Nower Hill School, Pinner. 8 www.sansaar.org 22

La Jolie Ronde (HA5) Fun Spanish classes at Cannon Lane Methodist Church. Tues 4:15pm 8 consueloroso@gmail.com (07949894212.

Baby Massage & Yoga Baby Massage (HA) Learn to massage your baby. Baby Massage has huge benefits for both mum and baby including development of the brain and immune system and help with colic, sleep, bonding and attachment. This is a wonderful 5 week course accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. (Niki 07956 388 748 8 nikicotsen@hotmail.com Positiv-Life Fitness (various) Specialise in Small group Personal training Pregnancy Pilates, Mum & Baby Yoga & Postnatal Pilates & Baby Massage, for those in & near Eastcote Ruislip, Pinner, Northwood & Uxbridge. info@positivlifefitness.com (07974 062 973 8 www.facebook.com/positivlifefitness > Follow us on Twitter @PositivLifeFit

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: ( Angelina Melwani 07956 948776, 020 8950 0888. 8 www.singandsign.com

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 8 mcstraining@hotmail.co.uk

ACTIVITY CENTRES Aspire National Training Centre, Kidz Zone activities (HA7) Wide range of activities available from 6mths to 12yrs. ( 020 8954 5759 8 customerservices@ aspire.org.uk. Wood Lane, Stanmore, HA7 4AP Gambado Watford (WD25) Giant play-frame, dodgems, climbing wall, and parties. ( 01923 892140 8 www.gambado.com Parents Paradise (WD23) Soft play centre for all ages up to 11 with a large play frame, separate baby and toddler area, go-kart track, shooting gallery, party rooms and café. Offers different party themes; Paradise Play, Go Kart King, Forever My Bear Party and Arty Pottery Party. Parents Paradise aims to take away all the stress from a kid’s party. ( 01923 248 747 8 www.parentsparadise.eu Partyman World of Play - Wembley (HA0) A magical place of multi-level play structures, air cannons, comfy seating for mums and dads to relax. Indoor playcentre and fabadousa party venue. ( 0208 904 9044 8 vwww.partymanworld.co.uk The Windmill Studio (HA4) The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) An exciting venue which hosts many activities for ALL ages from babies to adults. ( 01895 624755 8 www.thewindmillstudio.com

MUSIC & MOVEMENT Active in Music (HA5) Active in Music is a music school for children aged 5+, combining individual and group learning to give a fully rounded approach to learning an instrument. Piano, violin and guitar are available to learn. Please see website for further details and call to arrange a time to see the classes and the school. ( 020 3504 1000 8 www.activeinmusic.com Hartbeeps (Various) Delivers original, exciting and educational classes for young children and babies suitable from birth to 4 years. They combine their own specialised music technology with a highly interactive approach, which following years of research and development they feel best offers each child and their grown-up a very personal and unique experience. Classes are held in Watford, Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, Bushey, Northwood,


Directory editor: Anna Blackshaw

Stanmore, Pinner and Harrow. 8 www.hartbeeps.com Jiggle Gym (various) Physical soft-play classes for under 3s in Borehamwood, Edgware/Mill Hill and Finchley/Hendon. Children are challenged by a different set of obstacle courses to climb, crawl, walk, and jump through. Classes also combine music and movement activities, sensory developmental activities, and parachute play! Jiggle Gym also specialises in parties and hire. ( 07817323010 8 andrea@jigglegym.co.uk www.jigglegym.co.uk Jo Jingles (Various) Interactive music and movement classes for children from 3 months to 5 years. Watford, Croxley Green, Abbots Langley, Bushey, Bricket Wood and Radlett. jojingleswatford@gmail. com ( 01923 445221 8 www.jojingles.co.uk/ watfordarea Little Notes (HA1) Multi-award winning pre-school music classes run exclusively by professional musicians. Real music, real instruments, really fun! Classes for children from 0 to 5 years. Free Taster Session. Thursdays at St. Peter’s Church, West Harrow. Additional venues planned for September. ( 020 8426 4114 8 www.littlenotes.org Mini Maniacs (Various) Interactive stay and play drop-in session for Parent with babies (6m+) and preschool toddlers. Different activities each week. Free tea, biscuits & juice! ( 01923 840 690 8 info@mini-maniacs.com www.mini-maniacs.com

Monkey Music

(Various) Founded in 1993, Monkey Music is widely recognised as the UK’s premium provider of music classes for babies and children aged 3 months – rising 5 years. Their unique four-stage teaching curriculum was written by classically trained musicians, and introduces music to very young children in a way they easily understand and enjoy. Parents across the UK have voted Monkey Music as “Best National Toddler Development Activity” and “Best National Pre-school Development Activity.” (01895 674587 (Uxbridge, Harrow, Eastcote) 8www.monkeymusic.com Music Gym (WD25) Fun, friendly music lessons in guitar, singing and keyboard. Making music fun, cool and exciting, teaching rock and pop with accredited grades. Adult lessons too! Free taster lessons for 5-12yr olds. (01923 523027 8 www.musicgym.co.uk The Sound Cube (WD17) Grab a mic and unleash your inner popstar! Go solo, or party with your friends, and sing your favourite songs just like your pop idols. Sing, Dance, Record and receive a FREE full-colour personalised *DVD of your performance! (*Party sessions only) Suitable for 7 years +. (01923 222654 8 www.thesoundcube.co.uk The West London School of Tabla (HA2) Learn rhythm and improvisation with classical Indian Percussion. Syllabus aimed at 4-11 years with assessments and examinations. (020 8864 6364 8 www.wlstabla.co.uk

SPORTS AND EXERCISE Amanda’s Action Club (NW3) Dynamic fun, fitness and music classes for pre-schoolers in Huggle Swiss Cottage. Wed 9.20-10.05, 10.15-11.00 and 11.10-11.55am. Pay as you go 4m– 4yrs. Parties for ages 1-12. (01895 623999 8 info@amandasactionclub.co.uk www.amandasactionclub.co.uk Enjoy-a-Ball classes (Various) Sports coaching for 3-9 year 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 18months to 3 years. Perfect for active little ones who love playing with balls and more! Classes run in Mill HIll, Finchley, Golders Green and Muswell Hill. Call 08452 26 26 94 to book a trial session. 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! (08452 26 26 94 8 www.enjoy-a-ball.com northlondon@enjoy-a-ball.com Fit For Sport (Various) ‘The UK’s leading healthy lifestyle activities provider’ 3-12 yrs. (0845 456 3233 8 www.fitforsport.co.uk

Kiddikicks (NW6) the Early Years Sports Specialists. Classes cater for 18 months up to age 7 years for full timetable and to book see 8 www.kiddikicks.co.uk (020 7937 7965 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 8 jlevene@littlekickers.co.uk. Ruislip, Northwood/ Oxhey, Pinner, Harrow (HA2), Harrow on the Hill and Watford (0208 123 9346 8 jodiesloan@ littlekickers.co.uk or Harrow (HA3) Bushey and North Wembley (0208 422 0676 8 niro@littlekickers. co.uk www.littlekickers.co.uk Sportscoach (WD3 & HA3) Multi-sport sessions, team games, individual sports and team building activities for 4-6 years (Early Sporties) for an hour and a half and 6-16 years (3 hours sessions) Both at JFS The Mall Kenton and Rickmansworth Masonic school. (01923 255099 8 www.sportscoach.co.uk/harrow and www.sportscoach.co.uk/rickmansworth White Crane Karate School (HA8) For children aged 4-11. Classes introduce children to the discipline of karate in a fun and friendly way. Karate teaches children self-discipline and develops confidence. Classes currently held in Edgware Friday evenings, East Finchley Saturday morning and in Stanmore from September. (Sheena 0787 550 1674 8 whitecraneedgware34@hotmail.co.uk www. karatewhitecrane.co.uk See Facebook: Children’s Karate Classes–Edgware & Finchley. Yoga Paradise classes for kids, teens and adults. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on breathing, flexibility and strength to promote physical and mental well being. For further information on Yoga Workshops during February Half term contact Priya priya@yogaparadise.co.uk www. yogaparadise.co.uk or (07961 593621

Swimmimg Aqua Style (WD23/HA6) teachers Children, babies and Adults to swim without aids in small groups, or One to One.(Why pay for a teacher, when you can to take your child swimming with arm bands?) They run Intensive ‘Fast Track’ Courses during School Holidays and weekly ‘Term Time’ courses. 8 www.aquaswim.org (07925954144. Aqua Vie (WD23, WD5) Small classes based on the Alexander Technique. Babies from 6 weeks. (07525 657 9878 8 office@aqua-vie.com www.aqua-vie.com Little Fishes ((WD23) Swimming lessons in Bushey from 4 months-9yrs. Using a hydrotherapy pool – perfect for babies and young children learning to swim. Family orientated swim school teaching through play and having fun. We are a very successful school running classes all over North London & Hertfordshire.” (Debbie 01707 276734 8 www.littlefishesswimclub.co.uk Splashtime Swim School (various) Swimming lessons, Holiday clubs and After school club held at Quainton Hall School. Swimming lessons also held at Merchant Taylors School and Uxendon Manor Primary School. (Splashtime Swim School 07903126486 Childrens Activities 07794078452 Swimming Nature (various) For babies (3months3yrs), Swimming Nature for Children (3-15years) Weekly lessons in wonderful family orientated clubs. Classes are tailored to the child's ability and they follow the Swimming Nature progressive scheme that builds strong and competent swimmers. They don't use floats or swimming aids and they only teach the correct strokes. (08445 040506 8 www.swimmingnature.com Swimkidz Watford Ltd (WD4, HA1, HA9) Structured, progressive and fun swimming lessons for babies, toddlers and children.(07545523196 8 georgie@swimkidz.co.uk www.swimkidz.co.uk

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 8 www.beverleydance.co.uk. JAM2000 Performing Arts & Agency (HA4) Classes

Local Clubs and Classes Directory available for everyone from 2.5 years – adults, male and female that include a creative explosion of styles in dance, drama and singing. (01895 624755 8 www.jam2000.co.uk Jigsaw Performing Arts Schools (Various) Drama, Dance and Singing for students aged 3 to 18 years. Various locations in London, Herts and the South East. Two week trial available. (020 8447 4530. 8 enquiries@jigsaw-arts.co.uk. www.jigsaw-arts.co.uk Make Believe Group (Various) a performing arts school with classes in Harrow and Edgware. Their classes include Street Jazz, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Acting, Singing and Audition Technique. Suitable for ages 3-18 years. (020 8500 8107 8 www. makebelievegroup.co.uk Perform Drama (Various) Together with a team of experienced theatre professionals, the children will combine live original music, inspirational dance and quick witted improvisation and colourful costumes into a performance at the end of the term. Perform sessions are specially designed to encourage creativity, confidence and communication skills as well as being a kaleidoscope of fun! (0845 400 1275 8 www.perform.org.uk Perform PLUS (NW11) is a new type of children’s drama school. They use a unique mix of drama, dance and singing specially formulated to bring out every child’s true potential. In Hampstead Garden Suburb will be on Saturdays Hampstead GS Free Church on Northway at 9.30 am and 11.15 am. All children are invited to a Free Trial Session. (0845 400 1275 8 www.perform.org.uk Harrow Perform PLUS (HA1) are delighted to announce that they have a new venue opening in Jan 2014 for 7-12 year olds. Fridays 4.15pm - 5..45pm at St Peter's hall, Sumner Road, HA14BX. They would love to give every Reader at £30 discount off a block of 10 sessions in January 2014. Please quote Families offer. (07984808622 Lucybonnar@perform.org.uk Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts (HA1, HA7, WD3) Sharpe Academy is a performance based theatre school with venues in Harrow, Rickmansworth and Stanmore where children aged 3-21 attend weekly classes in preparation for full scale Musical Theatre productions. (07500 569024 8 www.SharpeAcademy.co.uk Stagecoach (Various) Training in three disciplines or 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 8 www.stagecoach.co.uk Wordworks Studio (HA5) Individual and group classes in Speech, Drama and Communication Skills for children aged 3-18yrs. 8 wordworksstudio@ymail.com

Dance Chantraine Dance of Expression (NW6) Classes for all ages covering all aspects of dance - rhythm, technique, creativity, choreography - for the development of the whole person. Friendly, noncompetitive environment. All abilities welcomed. ( 020 7435 4247 8 www.chantrainedance.co.uk

Dinky Dancers

classes are a fantastic & original mixture of dance, creative movement, P.E. skills & musical activities. Their classes include warm-up, character dances (such as Peppa Pig & Bob the Builder!), action songs, percussion instruments, P.E. equipment (hoops, ribbons, balls, bean bags, feathers & parachutes) & creative movement activities based on halftermly themes. Written by experts & based on the Early years’ Foundation Stage, go and find out why OFSTED rate them as ‘OUTSTANDING’! Their classes are not only designed to to help improve physical skills such as hand-eye co-ordination & balance BUT help develop skills vital for education such as listening, following instructions, turn taking & concentration. ( 01923 239424 / 0208 207 2109

Futunity UK Academy of Sport and Dance (UB8) Purpose built facility in Uxbridge. Offer classes for ages 2 through to adults. Ballet (RAD), Tap (ISTD), Contemporary, Hip Hop, Street Dance, Break Dancing, Street Cheer, Pole Fitness, Gymnastics, Free Running and Children’s Parties. Classes range from beginners to advanced/competitive levels. ( 01895 251224 8 www.futunityuk.com. Karan's Bollywood Masterclass (Various) Exciting, Energetic and popular dance classes that teach a fusion of Bollywood, Bhangra, Hip-Hop and Kathak. Open to Toddlers, Children & Adults, you will learn from professional teachers and all dance levels welcome. Come and try a class. (020 8423 9543/07944 457 984 8 www.kspark.co.uk Lorna Clark School of Dance (Various) Established for over 40 years, training students from 3-18 yrs to acquire Poise, Confidence and a love of Dance in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Classical Greek and National. All classes taught by fully qualified teachers. Royal Academy of Dance Examinations are taken in Ballet from Primary to Advanced Level and ISTD exams in all other Genre to the same standard. Many pupils have gone on to perform and to train as teachers. Weekly Jazz and Drama classes are held and the school participates in Festivals and produces a Bi Annual show. All classes held in South Harrow/Eastcote. Book a free No Obligation Lesson with this advert, by phoning 0208 8662105 or 01923 285380.8 www.lornaclarkschoolofdance.co.uk

The Van Niekerk Academy of Dance (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 (020 8950 2457 8 www vanniekerkacademyofdance.co.uk

ARTS AND CRAFTS After-School Art Classes For Kids in Stanmore (HA7) Drawing, painting and mixed-media. Mon–Thurs and Sat for Reception through GCSE. One-to-one tuition for all ages, including portfolio-building for University applicants. (Lisa 020 8954 2897 8 myartclub@yahoo.co.uk Craft Club (HA5) Term-time, every Monday 4:305:30pm at Harrow Arts Centre. New craft activities each term: hand and machine sewing; knitting; fabric printing. For 5-11 yr-olds. All materials provided. Qualified teachers. (07946 055 422 8 www.mysistersandme.co.uk JAMtots (HA4) Creative arts session Includes homemade cooking, sticking, making, colouring, model making, painting and more. (01895 624755 8 thewindmillstudio.com Mini Picassos (NW10) Offer exciting after school art courses for children aged 4-13 years. Toddler Picassos - weekdays at 10am & Tues 2.45-3.45pm: Painting, water play, collage, play dough and songs. Ages 15 mnths–3 years. Adults evening Life drawing classes. Get creative with a Mini Picassos Arty Birthday Party for children aged 2-10 years and Summer Holiday workshops too! (07903 638 817 8 www.minipicassos.co.uk info@minipicassos.co.uk Stitch Club (HA5) Sewing club and workshops from 8yrs, teens and adults. After school, weekend and home-educated groups, holiday and adult workshops. 8 sam@stitch-london.co.uk www.stitch-London.co.uk The Veggie Kitchen (HA7) offers pure vegetarian cookery courses in Stanmore. Specialising in Indian cuisines, as well as Thai, Chinese and many more, students will learn to cook nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals in a friendly and homely environment. Offer group and one-to-one hands on courses. ( 0208 204 1906 8 www.veggiekitchen.co.uk

AFTER SCHOOL CLUB Camelot Progressive Education focus on the core fundamental educational skills that all pupils need to achieve their full academic potential. They provided gimmick free, traditional classroom based teaching

and learning. They focus on Maths and English in line with the National Curriculum, and for those heading for the 11+ Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning. 8 www.cped.org.uk ( 020 8869 9395 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 8864 0325. 8 www.clickit-kids.co.uk. wendy@clickit-kids.co.uk. Elisa’s Tutorial School (HA8) Experienced private tutor in Edgware. Programmes for children from 2.516 yrs. If your child needs a little extra help, in English maths verbal and non-verbal 4+ 7+ and 11+ preparing for entrance exams or you just want to give them every advantage, Elisa can help. 99% success rate. ( 020 8958 1192 07956868119 8 www.childrensstories.net Explore Learning centres provide maths and English tuition to 5-14 year olds of all abilities. Visit their website to find your nearest centre or call to find out about their free workshops on the 15th April and to book a free trial session! 8 www.explorelearning.co.uk. First Class Learning (Various) Structured yet flexible programme, designed for children studying the UK National Curriculum. Tailored to a child’s learning needs & style. Find out more about this structured approach to learning, by contacting one of your local Centre managers. 8 www.firstclasslearning.co.uk Fleet Tutors (Various) Private home tutoring for Maths and English; 33 years’ experience. ( 020 8580 3911 8 www.fleet-tutors.co.uk Help4Learning (various) A fun movement based programme to help with focus/attention, hyperactivity, verbal instruction, reading & writing. 8 www.help4learning.com Holidaytime After school club is part of Activetime Children’s Activities limited (HA1) Pick’s up from four local school’s at the end of the school day, then take the children back to the club for a snack and the daily activity. We are open Monday- Friday 3pm-6pm ( Nicole 07794078452 8 holidays@activetime. co.uk www.activetime.co.uk 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 all-round motor integration. ( Usha Patel 07766 837 616 8 ushapatel.raviv@ gmail.com www.integratedbrain.co.uk Kip McGrath Education Centre (Various) After school and Sat tuition for 6-16 years in Pinner, Hendon, Northwood, Uxbridge & Watford. Tuition in Maths, Reading, Spelling, Writing, SATS, 11+ and GCSE 8 www.kipmcgrath.com Kumon (Various) Every child can achieve. Every child can succeed. No matter what their age or ability, Kumon will help your child to improve their concentration and study skills, unlock their true potential and become an independent learner. ( 0800 854 714 8 www.kumon.co.uk Leaders are Readers (HA8) Award winning reading programme helping children from as young as 3 years to read fluently, often to a standard three to four years above their peers reading age. ( 01992 651 300 8 www.leadersarereaders.co.uk Magikats (HA1) offer innovative programmes, written to support the National Curriculum from ages 3 – 16, every Saturday at Gayton Library in Harrow. The friendly MagiKats environment, with individual programmes and individual support for individual children, promotes confidence, skills and a love of learning. ( 02084275663 8 www.magikats.com Math’scool Award-winning Maths Tuition plus out-oflesson homework support. ( 0844 840 8400 8 www.mathscool.com Maths Doctor (various) is an award winning company, run by qualified teachers. They have over 500 tutors providing one-to-one maths and physics tuition across the whole of the UK. They always start with a free online assessment of your child’s level and learning style, which enables them to hand pick the

best tutor for them. To request a tutor please register your details on 8 www.mathsdoctor.co.uk ( 020 7193 1871 The Northwood Practice Speech and Language Therapist (HA6) An independent service covering a range of children’s communication difficulties. ( 01923 824 074 8 www.northwoodpractice.co.uk Number Works ‘n’ Words (Various) After school 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. 8 www.numberworksnwords.co.uk Play and Learn (WD23) Play and Learn offer classes for children aged 3-16 years. They provide a formula that works to inspire and encourage learning with the added benefit of play, whilst reinforcing and supporting their school education. Each session will include a snack and drink, a 50-minute lesson and an hour’s play to encourage your child’s efforts. ( 01923 248747 8 play.learn@parentsparadise.eu www.parentsparadise.eu/play-and-learn The Play Shelter After School Club at Malorees Infant & Junior Schools (NW6) - 3.30pm to 6pm term time. Play Schemes available February 2014, Easter 2014, Summer 2014 and October 2014. ( 0207 407 6744 for more information. 8 admin@theplayshelter. co.uk www.theplayshelter.co.uk Raviv Practice London (UB5) Catch up reading course for children on the SEN register. Reading courses are flexible with home based learning (via computer) monitored daily. ( Usha Patel on 07766 837 616 8 info@ravivpracticelondon.co.uk (registered therapist) Regent Learning (HA2) Harrow based learning club for 5-16 years enhancing their understanding of English, Maths, Science and ICT. ( 020 8966 9900 8 www.regentlearning.com Stanmore Tutor CRB checked. Preparation for 7+ and 11+ Grammar/Independent entrance exams. ( 020 3538 2437 Susan Daughtrey Education (SDE) SW Herts courses are based on more than 25 years experience preparing students for 11+ tests. All courses have been personally written by Susan Daughtrey M.Ed, author of the market leading verbal reasoning Technique and Practice series. Every year since 1987, over 90 per cent. of the students on the courses have achieved success. ( 020 7683 0734 8 www.sdeuk.org/swherts Type IT! - Touch Typing Lessons for Children (HA5) Learn to touch type! Specifically designed courses for children from age 8-18. The Type IT! course follows the National Literacy Strategy and so also helps with literacy skills including spelling and word patterns. Highly recommended for children with dyslexia. Classes are held at Heathfield School in Pinner, HA5 1NB. Free trials available. Adult classes also available. ( 020 8864 0325. 8 www.typeitforkids.co.uk. wendy@typeitforkids.co.uk. U C MAS (HA2, HA3, WD18, UB4) A successful Abacus Mental Arithmetic training programme have been teaching hundreds of children in the UK since 2005, giving them a solid arithmetic foundation by applying the multiple intelligence of the human brain in learning mental arithmetic from the age of 4 with the help of the wonder tool Abacus which not only inculcates a love towards maths for children but also enhances the child’s ability to listen, focus and think in pictures in a play way method without any stress or repetition. Enrol now to give your child a lifetime skill and discover the genius within them. ( 0208 907 8009 8 www.ucmas.uk.com Wise Owl Tutoring (HA4) for KS1 and KS2 maths and English. 11+ preparation, individually tailored study programmes, small groups and 1 to 1 in your own home. ( 07702 617 575 or 8 rraiththa@hotmail.com

To promote your local club or class in the next issue of Families North West London Magazine email your details to: Editor@FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk



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 (May/June 2014) send your entry by Monday 31st March 2014 Email Editor@FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk. 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.

www.FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk/RegularEvents for all our local weekly regular events. It’s updated every Monday!

March Throughout March – Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (various) Ovarian cancer is the biggest gynaecological killer of UK women, with UK survival rates amongst the worst in Europe. Three quarters of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making treatment more difficult. That is why awareness is so important, to drive forward improvements in detection, treatment and ultimately survival. Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month takes place in March 2014. Ovarian cancer charities in the UK are all working to increase awareness of the disease, with women and GPs, in order to save lives. Please join them. www.ocam.org.uk Throughout March – Veggie Month (various) Every March, Animal Aid concentrates on its annual promotion of vegetarianism, known as Veggie Month. The reason they push the ‘go veggie’ message so passionately is because it really is the quickest, easiest and most immediate way that an individual can demonstrate opposition to animal suffering. The idea is simple: stop eating animals and you save their lives. Take a look at their website for more information, including tasty meat free recipes. www.animalaid.org.uk Sat 1 Mar - NCT Harrow Nearly New Sale (HA3) Good quality baby and children's goods, toys and equipment at bargain prices. Priority queue for NCT Members. Admission £1. Sorry, no buggies inside the venue. From 11.00am - 12.30pm. www.harrownct.org.uk Sat 1 Mar - 'Big Brew' Tea Parties (WD17/WD24) As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, head along to St Andrew's Church or Christ Church in Watford for a Big Brew Tea Party. 01923 234033 www.watfordfairtrade.com/ Sat 1 Mar - Northwood Craft Market (HA6) For children there are hands-on crafts at their monthly market and Mums & Dads can browse and buy from the many stalls of beautiful handmade crafts. Teas, coffees and delicious homemade cakes are available at the church coffee shop. 10.00am - 2.00pm www.northwoodcraftmarket.co.uk Sat 1 Mar - Kidzstuf Nearly New Children's Sale (WD23) Kidzstuf is a nearly new children's sale selling excellent condition toys,clothes and equipment for 0-12 year olds. Pop along to St Paul’s Church in Bushey between 10 and 11.30am and grab a fantastic bargain. 07733 264 967 kidzstufsale@gmail.com Sat 1 – Sun 2 Mar - Fairtrade Fortnight (WD17) As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, there will be a Fairtrade Town Stand in Intu Shopping Centre with Fairtrade Fruit costumes. 01923 234033 www.watfordfairtrade.com/ Sat 1 – Sun 2 Mar - Family fun weekend: Stormy seas and other stories (SE10) Cutty Sark sailed in all kinds of weather. Join the storyteller for tales of wind, waves and getting wet while you stay warm and dry inside the ship. Why not drop into the workshop, learn the lingo for weather at sea and design your own weather chart to take home. Suitable for ages 3+. www.rmg.co.uk Sun 2 Mar - Table Top Sale and Prom Clothing Market (WD3) The Parents' Association at St Clement Danes School is holding a Table Top Sale and Prom Clothing Mart in association with Watford Grammar School for Girls and Rickmansworth School Parents' Associations. There will also be a Prom Café selling hot and cold food and drinks. Free Parking. 10.00am - 1.00pm. 01923 284169 www.watfordobserver.co.uk/events/ Rickmansworth/933597.Table_Top_Sale_and_Prom_Clothing_Mart/ Sun 3 & Sun 17 Mar – Family Friendly Concerts (N6) Take along your children and teenagers to Lauderdale House – ideal for youngsters learning an instrument, the unstuffy atmosphere and young performers make it perfect for nurturing the next generation of concert-goers. These are hour long concerts which are not children’s concerts as such but to which children are welcome. The age is at the discretion of the parent but, as a general guidance, it is recommended starting at age 5 to 6 years. www.lauderdalehouse.org.uk


Tues 4 Mar - Ricky Pancake Race (WD3) Help support Watford Mencap in the Annual Rickmansworth Pancake Race taking place on the High Street in Rickmansworth at 11am. All teams are encouraged to wear fancy dress or company T-shirts and they will have the chance to win a fantastic prize! There will also be a prize on offer to the team who raise the most money! All money raised will go to the charity which supports more than 500 people with a learning disability and their carers in South West Herts. www.threerivers.gov.uk/Default.aspx/Web/RickyPancakeRace Wed 5 Mar – Question Time (WD18) As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, the question is 'Can Fairtrade be successful in times of recession?'. There will be time for questioning the experts about how and why Fairtrade sales have exploded in the UK, with over 560 Fairtrade Towns and Cities, Fairtrade Counties and Fairtrade Nations. From 5.00 - 6.00pm at Watford Grammar School for Girls. 01923 234033 www.watfordfairtrade.com/ Wed 5 – Sun 9 Mar – Going Dark @ The Science Museum (SW7) How far can you see? A mile? A hundred miles? Or to the furthest shores of the universe to a faraway galaxy? Head along to this exhibition to find out! www.sciencemuseum.org.uk Thu 6 Mar – World Book Day (various) World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own, and packs of Book Tokens and age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs will be sent to registered schools and nurseries. Look out for any activities happening locally to you! www.worldbookday.com Fri 7 – Sun 9 Mar – MOVE IT Dance Festival (W14) Join in at London Olympia for the ultimate dance experience at the UK's biggest dance event! Share your passion with 20,000 fellow dance fans. Watch performances, take classes, shop for dancewear and meet dancing stars and experts all in one place. It's the biggest celebration of dance you will ever experience and we want you to be part of it! www.moveitdance.co.uk Sat 8 Mar – Spring Coffee Morning (WD17) Admission is free and to help support Peace Hospice Care there will be Craft Stalls, Raffle, Tombola, bric-a-brac and of course refreshments. Peace Hospice Care will also introduce their new Children's Play Area. From 10.00am - 12.30pm at the Peace Hospice. 01923 335370 www.peacehospice.co.uk Sat 8 Mar – Treasure Island Craft Event (WD17) Held at the Junior Scholars’ shop, the session includes making a treasure island paradise collage, lucky dip prizes for all, colouring, drawing, puzzles and educational games, snacks and refreshments. Also, win a VTech Innotab 2 Tablet or a Leapfrog Leapster GS Explorer. Registration 11.15am, Craft sessions begin at 11.30am & 12.30pm, £2 per child. www.juniorscholars.co.uk/events Sat 8 Mar - Spring Open Event 2014 (WD17) You will have the opportunity to talk to tutors who have a wealth of industry experience about your options and also be able to browse the outstanding facilities available to you. Information will be available for the following: Full Time courses for 16 to 18 year olds, Part-time courses, Degrees and HND’s, Access to Higher Education, 14 to 16 year olds Headstart and English and Maths. From 9.30am - 2.30pm. www.westherts.ac.uk Sat 8 Mar – International Women’s Day Program (E14) Head down to the Museum of Lond Docklands, where they have a day of programs planned to celebrate International Women’s Day. Hear and learn about Mary Seacole, East London artist Rachel Whitehead, Queen Elizabeth I and many more. www.museumoflondon.co.uk/docklands Sun 9 Mar – Urban Origami (EC2Y) Create your own 3D card model at the Museum of London using their iPads, taking inspiration from London’s famous skyline. For ages 5-11 years, from 12.30-1.15pm, 2-2.45pm & 3.30-4.15pm www.museumoflondon.co.uk Tues 11 Mar - Open Cockpits Evening (NW9) For one night only the Museum will open its doors and allow access to


Museum of London

some historic aircraft. Get up close and personal with these beautiful machines and experience the collection in a new light. This event is for over 18's only. www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/ events/open-cockpits-eve/ Wed 12 Mar – No Smoking Day (various) When you’re ready to quit, whether it’s No Smoking Day or any other day of the year, you can find all the tools and support you need to start your quit journey at www.nosmokingday.org.uk. The next No Smoking Day will take place on 12 March 2014. Get started straight away, or join in then. www.nosmokingday.org.uk Fri 14 – Sun 23 Mar – National Science and Engineering Week (various) National Science & Engineering Week (NSEW) is a ten-day national programme of science, technology, engineering and maths events and activities across the UK aimed at people of all ages. Anyone can organise an event or activity and the British Science Association helps organisers plan by providing free activity and support resources. They welcome and support any type of organiser, from schools to community groups and from parents to large organisations. The resulting programme of over 4000 events and activities, is a hugely varied and eclectic mix. Keep an eye out for events happening locally. www.britishscienceassociation.org/national-science-engineering-week Sat 15 Mar – Table Top Sale at Harefield Infant School (UB9) Maternity, Baby items and Toys & clothes (up to 7 years of age). Refreshments & cake will also be available on the day. No pushchairs on the day (less those for sale). Pram store outside, left at owner’s risk. 10.00am - 12.00pm,£1 entry, children free. www.harefieldinfants.co.uk/home Sat 15 – Sun 16 Mar – Acton Depot Open Weekend (W3) ‘Bussing with Bertie’ : Storytime: 11.30-11.50am & 2.30-2.50pm. Hear the tale of Bertie the Bus as he copes with all the passengers who climb aboard. From his favourite customers to the dreaded Nasty Nathan, he takes care to take them all to their destinations. Make and Take: 12-1pm & 3-4.15pm. Create your own Bertie the Bus and fill him with passengers, kind and horrid, real and imagined. Imagine the story of each of the people who travels aboard your bus. Kids go free. www.ltmuseum.co.uk Sun 16 Mar - Harrow Learning and Development Exhibition (HA5) Held at Pinner Village Hall, an opportunity to go along and meet locally based experts, therapists, specialists and behaviour management professionals with expertise in Special Educational Needs and Behavioural challenges. FREE admission. 11.00am - 2.00pm. www.educationfairs.org.uk/ Mon 17 – Mon 24 Mar – Shakespeare Week (various) Shakespeare Week is a new national, annual celebration to bring Shakespeare to life vividly for millions of primary school children. It will be celebrated in schools, theatres, historic sites, museums, galleries, cinemas, and libraries all over the U.K. Children can continue their Shakespearean adventure outside school with a Passport to Shakespeare that will give them and their family exclusive discounts and access to special exhibitions, productions and events in theatres, historic sites, museums, galleries, cinemas and libraries during Shakespeare Week and beyond, across the UK. www.shakespeareweek.org.uk

What’s On Thu 20 Mar – The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day (various) This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and on March 20th, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day,” schools, libraries and bookstores will be hosting events and activities to mark this special occasion. Additional celebrations and activities based on this much-loved book will be held throughout the year in schools and libraries and by readers and friends all around the world. www.eric-carle.com/events Thu 20 – Sat 22 Mar - The Bushey and South West Herts Youth Drama Festival (WD17) The Bushey and South West Herts Youth Drama Festival 70th Annual Festival at the Pumphouse Theatre. A spectacle of local talent from the best local youth drama and school groups. Includes one act plays, short improvisations (from a title given only 20 minutes in advance) and mime entries. Tickets on the door. www.pumphouse.info Fri 21 – Sun 23 Mar – Sport Relief (various) Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, have fun and raise life-changing cash, and it’s back from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March. This time they’re holding the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, featuring the Mile, plus new Swimathon and Cycle events. It’s never been easier to join in, do your bit and make a difference. Go to the website to find events happening locally. My.sportrelief.com

£1.00 entry - all proceeds to the NCT. www.nct.org.uk Sat 29 Mar – Grand Jumble Sale (WD3) Go along to the Batchworth Sea Scouts H.Q. to help raise much needed funds for the Group. The sale features clothes, books, comics, jewellery, bric-a-brac, toys, electrical items and much much more. A BBQ will be serving food throughout day to provide much needed refreshments. They welcome contributions. Upholstered furniture must have a fire safety label. 10.30am - 1.00pm. www.batchworth.org Sat 29 Mar – Autism Awareness Week (E2) As part of Autism Awareness Week, the V&A Museum of Childhood invites families with children on the autistic spectrum to join them for art workshops led by Sibylle Janert from Mind Builders, and live inclusive storytelling with Bag Books. Free for children on the autistic spectrum and their siblings. Sessions for ages 3+ and 8+. Book now as spaces are limited. 12-4pm. www.museumofchildhood.org.uk/

Mon 24 Mar - Re-Opening! (AL2) Butterfly World re-opens for 2014 on Monday 24th March. Why not head along for a lovely day out? www.butterflyworldproject.com

Sun 30 Mar - Baby and Children's Market (NW6) De-clutter your nearly new high quality baby and children's items, sell it in their markets and get 100% profit on market day. Lots of stalls selling excellent quality kid's items from birth to 6 years. Plus a small selection of unique businesses in the baby & children's industry showcasing and selling their products and services all under one roof! All the events are indoors at Salusbury Primary School. Pushchairs welcome. 10.30am-1.30pm. Adults first hour £2, after £1, kids free, take a friend and pay £1 each anytime. Third hour donated to Friends of Salusbury Charity. 07905 658065, ingrid@babyandchildrensmarket.co.uk www.babyandchildrensmarket.co.uk/

Wed 26 & Sat 29 Mar - Jumble Sale (WD5) Go along to 1st Abbots Langley Scouts HQ for a Double Jumble Sale. Lots of bargains to be had, books, toys, bric-a-brac, clothes, shoes, handbags, furniture, DVDs, CDs, games and much more! Wed 7-9pm and Sat 1-4pm. www.abbotslangleyscouts.org.uk/

Sun 30 Mar - Queen for a Day (E2) Celebrate Mothering Sunday at the V&A Museum of Childhood by making your mum Queen-for-a-Day. Design a beautiful, curly swirly crown in Art Smarts. Drop in for all ages, 2-4pm. www.museumofchildhood.org.uk/

Sat 22 Mar - Shakespeare in London (E14) Join the Museum of London Docklands in the national celebration of Shakespeare Week with this art workshop inspired by the bard himself. Suggested ages: 5-11, 11.30am – 12.30pm & 2-3pm www.museumoflondon.org.uk/London-Wall/Whats-on/Events

Fri 28 Mar – Wear a Hat Day (various) Hold an event and raise money for Brain Tumour Research. Keep an eye out for any fundraising events happening locally. www.wearahatday.org Sat 29 Mar – NCT Spring Nearly New Sale (WD4) All are welcome to this NCT Spring Nearly New Sale at Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley. Table top sale of Nearly New childrens' and babies' clothes, toys and equipment, maternity clothes etc. 10.50am Early entry for NCT members on production of valid NCT card.

April Thu 3 Apr – Sat 14 Sep – Sensational Butterflies (SW7) An interactive exhibition at the Natural History Museum that allows you to wander among hundreds of the beautiful free flying creatures. Housed in a specially constructed tropical enclosure on the Museum’s east lawn, it takes you on a journey through the life cycle of

one of nature’s most fascinating creatures – from crawling caterpillar to beautiful butterfly. www.nhm.ac.uk/sensationalbutterflies Fri 4 – Sun 6 Apr - Bal-A-Vis-X Workshop (HA2) A 3 day workshop at The Beacon provided by Bill Hubert, founder of Bal-A-Vis-X. Training is open to parents, teachers and therapists www.integratedbrain.co.uk Sat 5 Apr - Northwood Craft Market (HA6) For children there are hands-on crafts at their monthly market and Mums & Dads can browse and buy from the many stalls of beautiful handmade crafts. Teas, coffees and delicious homemade cakes are available at the church coffee shop. From 10am - 2pm. northwoodcraftmarket.co.uk Sat 5 – Sun 6 Apr - The Forties Family Experience Weekend at The Lincolnsfield Centre (WD23) An exciting day out at this unique WWII heritage site, previously U.S.A.A.F 8th Fighter Command H.Q. See military and civil vehicles, militaria, Allied/Axis living history. Experience the 1940s house, memorabilia stalls, battle re-enactment and site history exhibits. Enjoy 1940s jive dancing, bar and food, and the music hall with special guest Fiona Harrison - 'A Voice in a Million'. www.fortiesexperience.co.uk Sun 6 Apr - Amanartis Contemporary Craft & Design Fair (WD18) Amanartis design fairs will host a selection of artists, designers and crafters in a beautiful grade II listed building, The Old Free School in George Street, Watford. The Craft & Design Fair will showcase some local and talented artists, designers and crafters in: Ceramics, Jewellery, Glass, Art, Leather and Textiles. This is an exciting event for hand made lovers in Hertfordshire. www.facebook.com/Amanartis.studios Tue 15 Apr - Free maths and English activities (various) Explore Learning centres provide maths, English and 11+ tuition to 5-14 year olds of all abilities. Explore fits easily around family life; the centres are open 7 days a week, with children able to attend up to twice a week on a drop-in basis. On the 15th April Explore will be hosting a Community Open Day! There will be free interactive maths and literacy workshops for 5 – 14 year olds across all the Explore Learning centres. Spaces are limited so call your local centre to reserve your place. Call your local centre to book a free trial, www.explorelearning.co.uk Wed 23 Apr - St George's Day Celebration Dinner (WD3) To celebrate St George’s Day, Sarratt Village Hall are hosting a traditional English dinner, tickets will be on sale nearer the time. So go along for a fun evening, there will be a Jazz Band, a continued on page 26



What’s On continued from page 25

Sing-a-long, plus a licensed bar with real ale. This is a fund raising event in aid of the village hall upkeep. www.sarrattvillagehall.co.uk Thu 24 – Sun 27 Apr – Nanny McPhee (EC1R) London Children’s Ballet returns with a stunning ballet adaptation of Emma Thompson’s blockbuster film Nanny McPhee. Packed with humour, fiendish trickery and budding romance, the story tells of a father with seven unruly children in desperate need of some discipline. The children’s terrible behaviour has driven away every nanny in the village until one day a curious stranger comes into their lives. At Sadler’s Wells, Peacock Theatre. www.londonchildrensballet.com Sat 26 Apr – George and the Dragon (HA6) Northwood Community Arts presents Garlic Theatre with a story of George and the Dragon At St Johns Church Hallowell Road, Northwood. A family puppet theatre performance for anyone over 5 and their families. Booking is essential. 11.30am & 2.30pm, £7.50 per ticket or £28 for a family of four. 01628 675800 northwoodarts@artreach.biz Sun 27 Apr – Celebrate Vaisakhi (WD17) Following the success of the last three years' Vaisakhi events, head along to Watford Palace Theatre to celebrate the Punjabi harvest festival and Sikh New Year. They welcome you for a fun filled celebration of entertainment and food, created in collaboration with local people from Watford. www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk Mon 28 Apr – Sun 4 May – Real Nappy Week 2014 (various) Fabulous in fluff, cute in cloth. Real Nappy Week is all about celebrating everything great about using reusable nappies. There is something for everyone- from cloth convertees, to those curious to find out more. Real Nappy Week is the ideal time to get involved. Keep an eye out for events happening locally. www.realnappyweek.org

Easter Throughout the Holidays - Holidaytime Holiday club is part of Activetime Children’s Activities limited. They run most holidays and are based in Harrow HA1. Activities are planned to ensure that all children are safe, happy and most importantly enjoy their stay. They offer half days as well as full days. Contact Nicole 07794078452 holidays@activetime. co.uk www.activetime.co.uk


Fri 4 – Tue 22 Apr – Spring Season at Paultons Park (SO51) As well as being home to Peppa Pig World, Paultons Park is this year launching a brand new, hand-crafted Victorian carousel in time for the Easter break. Sporting two levels, beautiful music and 24 traditionally painted horses; visitors will be able to gallop into their own fairy-tale experience on this enchanting new ride. Hungry guests will also be able to visit Paultons’ brand new ‘Wildwoods Restaurant’. Opening especially for Easter 2014, the themed restaurant will sport a healthy child-friendly menu and will be located in the new guest welcome building at the entrance of the park. www.paultonspark.co.uk/ Sat 5 Apr - Northwood World Arts Event (HA6) Participate in a family Drum Circle workshop led by south Asian musician Sandeep Raval at St John’s Church, and then listen to a performance by Sandeep. 2-4pm, £5 per person or £15 for a family of four. 01628 675800 www.northwoodcommunityarts.co.uk/ Sat 5 – Mon 21 Apr – Easter Eggstravaganza (AL4) Each year Easter Eggstravaganza sees Willows Farm come alive with egg-ceptional entertainment for all the family and this year is no different. Shake your bunny tail with the Easter Bunny himself as he guides you through the Bunny Hop. Egg on your little ones as they dip and dive to avoid the foam ‘eggs’ launched by the opposing white and yolks teams in Captain Chicken’s Egg Dodge. Revel in the chocolatey treats as a reward for finding the hidden eggs in Willows Easter Garden and find the fluffy chicks, the bunnies of Hoppity Hills and all their adorable animal friends in The Farmyard. www.willowsfarmvillage.com/ Sat 5 – Mon 21 Apr – Easter at the Museum of London (EC2Y) This Easter the Museum of London is hosting a huge range of activities for children, all based on stories and books. Take a look at their website for full details and times. www.museumoflondon.org.uk Sat 5 – Mon 21 Apr – Egg-citing Easter Activities @ WWT London Wetland Centre (SW13) Meet the family of farmyard ducks; the downy ducklings are everybody’s favourite as they waddle about after their mother! Join in the duckling games to learn more about these cute characters and go on a walk to see wild ducklings waddling around the reserve. In the Easter art sessions create your own duckling-themed craft. www.wwt.org.uk Sat 5 – Wed 23 Apr – Easter Crafts at Colne Valley Park (UB9) Keep the kids busy this Easter! Choose from the selection of craft bags starting at £1 each and have a go at making an Easter or wild craft! Use the craft area where everything you need will be provided. Just turn up to take part. Also taking place over Easter


Nanny McPhee

are Scavenger Crafts, Mini Beast Madness and Scavenger Boat Race. See website for dates and times. 01895 833 375 www.colnevalleypark.org.uk/ Sun 6 – Tues 8 Apr – Craft Workshops at Arts Depot (N12) Take a journey through the seasons in these magical craft workshops. Taking inspiration from their Easter show Charlie and Lola's Extremely New Play, these fun workshops are a great accompaniment full of crafty excitement. Suitable for ages 3+. 020 8369 5454 www.artsdepot.co.uk Mon 7 – Tues 8 Apr - Storytelling: Where The Poppies Now Grow (NW9) Author Hilary Robinson and Illustrator of War Horse, Martin Impey are delighted to be showcasing their new book ‘Where the Poppies Now Grow’ this Easter. Hear short stories and engage with a period of history where so many sacrificed their lives so that we might live in peace. Stories are aimed at children and their families so join us for this very special Centenary event.Suitable for children aged 6+. www.rafmuseum.org.uk Mon 7 – Fri 11 Apr – Amazing Animation! (HA5) Learn how to create your own fantastic animated film at Harrow Arts Centre, working with a professional animator! At the end of the week your film will be screened for friends and family. You’ll be able to achieve an Arts Award Discover certificate too! For ages 7-11 years. www.harrowarts.com Mon 7 – Fri 11 Apr – Easter Musical Theatre Workshops (WD7) These popular workshops at the Radlett Centre

offer a unique experience that is very similar to a professional rehearsal and performance of a musical. It is not a games based summer camp, but an opportunity to work with a creative team of professional directors and musical directors. The performance is on stage at the end of the week to a full house of proud family and friends. 01923 857546 www.radlettcentre.co.uk/ Mon 7 – Sun 13 Apr – WW1 Make and Take Activities (NW9) The Easter Holidays will see the return of the popular Make and Take activities. From 7th - 13th April, the Royal Air Force Museum will be giving visitors the opportunity to make their very own WW1 Airfix model or to get creative with colourful pencils and paper. Recommended for ages 5+. www.rafmuseum.org.uk Mon 7 – Thu 17 Apr - Easter Tennis Camps (NW2)

Fun-filled Easter tennis camps for ages 3-15yrs in lovely, leafy environs. Expert, qualified teachers use fun ball games to develop general fitness and racquet skills. Kids love it here! Their green, grassy wide-open space with adjoining cricket pitch offers a beautiful slice of nature in between West Hampstead and Cricklewood, near Hampstead. Includes access to tennis pavilion, clubhouse and use of indoor facilities in bad weather. 9am-1pm or 3pm. £24 per day, £90 per week (more for non-members). 07747 518763, admin@brondesburysc.co.uk www.brondesburysc.co.uk Mon 7 – Thu 17 Apr - Bank of England Museum Easter Event – EGGonomics (EC2R) Follow the trail to find the chicks and egg hidden in the Museum. You can then create and decorate your own Easter basket to take home. There is a chocolate egg for every child and prizes to be won. www.bankofengland.co.uk/museum Mon 7 – Sat 19 Apr – Easter Activities At Museum of London Docklands (E14) Go along for the many projects and activities planned at the Museum over the Easter holidays. There will be a chance to make a pop-up book, an activity which includes exploring and drawing London’s amazing settings, people and objects to help create a ginormous book, and the opportunity to hear a storyteller share the fascinating story of Mrs Beeton’s Books. See website for specific dates and times. www.museumoflondon.org.uk/docklands Tues 8 – Wed 9 Apr – All About Alice at The British Library (NW1) You are personally invited to a curious celebration of the nonsense world of Alice. Hunt the White Rabbit, create a curious upside-down, inside- out wonderland, play strange, silly or sensible games and so much more. But! Remember Rule forty-two. "All persons more than a mile high to leave." From 11am – 1pm. www.bl.uk Tues 8 – Thu 10 Apr – Storymakers (HA5) Over Easter Harrow Arts have lots of fun arts activities the whole family can enjoy together! There’s a different activity each day: On Tuesday go along for a special treasure trail around the arts centre, with arts activities, secret clues and puzzles to solve! On Wednesday they will be creating stories and artwork from unusual photographs, inspired by the current Gallery exhibition, Audio Photography. Then on Thursday, inspired by the upcoming performance of Dotty the Dragon, they'll show you how make your own flying dragon puppet! www.harrowarts.com Wed 9 Apr - Wildchild Fencing (AL3) A fun introduction to Fencing. Activities and games develop specific skills, improve speed and co-ordination and tactical thinking. 10am-12pm at St Albans Girls’ School. www.wildchildactivities.com/ Thu 10 Apr – Wildchild Animation (AL3) Learn how what you love on screen actually got there! Make models, learn about sound and create your own animated film. 10am-3pm at St Albans Girls’ School. www.wildchildactivities.com/ Thu 10 – Sun 13 Apr – Once Upon a Time (NW9) Storyteller, Sonia Caller will be telling the stories of the RAF over the Easter Holidays. Go along to the Royal Airforce Museum for this very special activity which is free of charge and aimed at ages 7+. www.rafmuseum.org.uk Sat 12 – Mon 21 Apr – Easter Holidays at London Transport Museum: Construct a Bus (WC2E) Storytime: 11am & 2pm. Undertake the challenge to be part of a bus construction line. Whose team can work together to make the quickest, strongest bus and help Cedric Shopping Bags get home without losing anything? Make and Take: 11.30am & 2.30pm. Drawing from the old and eccentric buses around the museum, transform a cardboard box into your own fantastical bus – give it wheels and take it on an exciting journey around the museum. Kids go free. www.ltmuseum.co.uk Mon 14 Apr - Wildchild Archery (AL3) Calling all budding Robin Hoods! There’s honour at stake with team competitions and fun archery games. 10am-12pm at St Albans Girls’ School. www.wildchildactivities.com/ Tue 15 Apr - Escape from Wildchild Wood: Outdoor Adventure Day (WD4) Adrenaline-fuelled outdoor adventure includes Den Building, Abseiling, Team challenges, Zip-wire, Low-ropes and Orienteering. 10am-3.15pm at Phasels Wood Activity Centre in Kings Langley. www.wildchildactivities.com/ Wed 16 Apr – Wild Wheels Skateboard School (AL4) Dive into the awesome world of skateboarding. For beginners and anyone who wants to learn cool new tricks. All equipment included. 10am - 12pm at Beaumont School in St Albans. www.wildchildactivities.com/

May Sun 11 May - Baby and Children's Market (NW6) De-clutter your nearly new high quality baby and children's items, sell it in their markets and get 100% profit on market day. Lots of stalls selling excellent quality kid's items from birth to 6 years. Plus a small selection of unique businesses in the baby & children's industry showcasing and selling their products and services all under one roof! All the events are indoors at Salusbury Primary School. Pushchairs welcome. 10.30am-1.30pm. Adults first hour £2, after £1, kids free, take a friend and pay £1 each anytime. Third hour donated to Friends of Salusbury Charity. 07905 658065, ingrid@babyandchildrensmarket.co.uk www.babyandchildrensmarket.co.uk/ LIKE us on Facebook to get after-press updates on local events and activities! www.facebook.com/FamiliesNWLondon NORTHWEST (LONDON) MARCH/APRIL 2014


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Win great prizes for the whole family! Enter at www.FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk

WIN a Pirate Pete and Princess Polly Little Box of Books by Ladybird

Prizes for the littlies.... WIN a full term of Football Classes with Kiddikicks Fun, skills based footie for children from 18 months - 7 years. Kiddikicks runs super-fun football classes for young boys and girls in Queens Park and Maida Vale on Fridays 10am - 11am / 3.30pm to 5pm and Saturdays 2pm to 5pm for children aged 18 mths to 7 years. Classes are ageappropriate. Nippers for 18mths -2.5 yrs, Runners for 2.6-3.5 yrs, Racers for 3.6-5 yrs and Overs 5s is for 5-7yrs. Our lucky winner can enjoy a full term of Kiddikicks football classes plus a cool Kiddikicks kit, consisting of a football top and shorts. There are also two free trial classes and a Kiddikicks kit for each of our 10 runners up. For more information call 020 7937 7965 or visit www.kiddikicks.co.uk

H A Full Term of Kiddikicks football classes to win

WIN a family ticket to CBeebies Live! The Big Band is the brand new live arena show from the producers of Justin & Friends. This music-themed extravaganza is bound to have pre-schoolers rocking in the aisles when the show sets out on tour over Easter 2014, visiting nine cities across the UK. Tickets are on sale now and full details can be found at www.CBeebieslive.com.

Here to guide your little ones through life’s everyday journeys, the new Pirate Pete and Princess Polly Little Box of Books published on 6th March 2014, are packed with fun-filled adventures. With rewarding and motivational activities in each, the brand new books from Ladybird offer the perfect learning tool to help and encourage your toddler through each important life stage.

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WIN an Everyone Active Birthday Party Everyone Active is offering our readers a free birthday party! There is one birthday party at each of their 3 centres on offer – Watford Leisure Centre Woodside, Everyone Active – Watford Leisure Centre Central and Everyone Active Harrow Leisure Centre. Fancy a wet ‘n’ wild swimming party, football frenzy, sports party or an all sportz party with their trained party leaders who will accommodate all your needs? Everyone will have a great time and there’s no mess or hassle for the grown-ups!!! www.everyoneactive.com

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What’s On in Children’s Theatre We aim to be as accurate as possible, but these listings are compiled several weeks beforehand and may be subject to change. Please check details.

The Alban Arena Civic Centre, St Albans 01727 844488 www.alban-arena.co.uk

Wed 19 – Sun 23 Mar – Peter Pan on Ice The world-renowned Russian Ice Stars bring a new adaptation of this famous fantasy adventure by J.M. Barrie. Wendy, Michael and John are visited in the nursery by Peter Pan himself, who teaches them to fly with the help of Tinker Bell, and takes them on a magical journey to Never Land. Packed with all your favorite characters including Tiger Lilly, Mr Smee and the vengeful Captain Hook whose appetite for revenge is perfectly recreated in this spectacular adaptation on ice. Tue 29 Apr – Sat 3 May - Annie Annie, a poor but kind and determined little orphan in 1930s New York, has only one dream: to find her real parents. When she meets rich and lonely billionaire Oliver Warbucks, it looks as though that dream might finally come true. But vicious orphanage-owner Miss Hannigan has other plans for the girl’s future, and for her own! With songs including It’s A Hard Knock Life and Easy Street, this is a must-see, feelhappy musical for young and old alike, and for anyone who has ever looked at a grey sky and believed – really, really believed – that “the sun’ll come out tomorrow.”

artsdepot 5 Nether Street, North Finchley, N12 020 8369 5454 www.artsdepot.co.uk

Sun 2 Mar – Jack and the Beanstalk Fee Fi Fo Fum! It's a giant of a show, we'd love you to come! This classic fairytale gets the Lyngo treatment. Expect lots of surprises, a gripping story and beautiful images as Jack sells his cow for five magic beans and finds himself in the land above the clouds. Features giant shoes, tiny houses, showers of silver, and a big leafy explosion! Ages 3-8 Sun 9 Mar – Sleeping Beauty in the Wood A long time ago, one disgruntled fairy cast a spell that sent the whole world into a spin... This adaptation of the story of Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm conjures up a dreamlike fantasy of palaces and forests, ogres and fairies, princes and babes. A bold production using puppetry, imaginative video projections, automata and live music to weave an irresistibly magical storytelling experience. Ages 3+ Sun 9 Mar – Gali A musical in Hebrew for the whole family. Gali is a little girl with a big imagination. A show about friendship, patience, and all the fear and excitement of starting school. Based on the songs of the legendary Ehud Manor. Ages 3-11 Sun 16 Mar – Comedy Club 4 Kids Like the name says, it’s a comedy club for kids! Cracking entertainment for everyone over the age of six, it stars the best comedians on the UK and international circuit doing what they do best… but without the rude bits! Ages 6+ Sun 23 Mar – Nobody Rides the Unicorn The greedy king has tricked Zoe into helping him capture a unicorn, so he can take its magical horn. Can Zoe find a way to set the unicorn free? Or will she be putting herself in terrible danger? Superbly crafted

puppets, live music and song combine to create this magical tale. Ages 4+ Sun 30 Mar – Big Red Bath Rubba-Dubba-Giggle, Rubba-Dubba-Laugh, there’s magic to be found in the Big Red Bath. It’s the end of a busy day and it is almost time for bed, and Ben and Bella are in the bath. Splish! Splosh! Splash! Bubbles burst and bubbles rise and a frothy feast of animals jump right in to join the fun. Go on a bubbly, barmy bathtime adventure around the world and back again in this quirky, vibrant and humorous tale, adapted from Julia Jarman’s popular children’s picture book.Ages 2-5 Fri 4 – Wed 9 Apr – Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play Charlie and Lola are completely excited to be back on stage and this time they're bringing along Sizzles the Dog! Enter a magical journey through the seasons, as Charlie and Lola discover that everything is different and not the same. What happens when Lola and her best friend Lotta say they will honestly and promisedly look after Sizzles? And follow Charlie and his best friend Marv on a Pirate Squidbones adventure! Playful, funny and full of surprises, this extremely new play about friendship and adventures is a treat for everyone. This magical mix of puppets, live action and music is based on the much-loved books by Lauren Child and the ever popular BBC TV series. Sun 13 Apr – Luna Luna is bored up in the sky by herself with nobody to play with. Although she is surrounded by stars, they never quite understand her - it’s certainly lonely being the only moon. One night, as she’s racing among the stars, she spots a young boy hiding from the scary shadows on his bedroom wall. Can Luna help him overcome his fear of night-time? An enchanting show about friendship, the moon and being brave in the dark. Ages 2-5 Sun 27 Apr – Pinocchio Follow Pinocchio and his grasshopper friend as they set out on an adventure to find some fun! Now... if only his nose would just stay still. A sparkling new version of the classic tale created by acclaimed children's writer Michael Rosen. Features live music, puppetry, and longer and longer noses! Ages 4+.

The Beck Theatre Grange Road, Hayes. 020 8561 8371 www.becktheatre.org.uk

Mon 3 Mar – The Moscow State Circus The Moscow State Circus returns to the UK with its latest and greatest production to date; Park Gorkogo. Set in the mystical centre of Moscow’s cultural and artistic quarter Park Gorkogo (Gorky Park) is the perfect back drop for what is undoubtedly the greatest and most famous circus on earth. This years show features the unbelievable roller-skating of the Veslovskis, the ladder balancing Efremkin Brothers, Yakovlev Vertical Pole Jugglers. The most demanding feats of strength from the hand balancing of Vladislav Khostik to the gorgeous and gracious Ariel sail of Natalia Goncharova. Add to this mix, the Kozak whip crackers and the revolving Russian Swing, catapulting its 10 strong troupe high into the apex of the auditorium at breakneck speed. Don’t miss this amazing show!

Wed 19 – Sat 22 Mar – Oliver! Hillingdon Musical Society are delighted to be returning to The Beck Theatre once again and proudly present their debut production of Oliver! In this, their 80th Anniversary year, you are invited to join in the celebration as they transport you back to Victorian London to share the much-loved music and songs which make Oliver! such an endearing classic. With a cast of over 60 it is sure to be a spectacular production that cannot be missed. Come and join the fun and consider yourself one of us! Sun 23 Mar – The Little Mermaid Ballet Theatre UK re-tell the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale. This is an enchanting story of a mermaid who is willing to give up her life under the sea to become human and fall in love with a Prince. This is the perfect school holiday treat for everyone who loves ballet, romance and classic stories. Sat 29 – Sun 30 Mar – Peppa Pig’s Big Splash Go and join Peppa and her friends for another all-singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games and muddy puddles! The nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it - quick! As they set up a fete to raise the money for the repairs, they’ll need your help to make sure everything goes smoothly. Join Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, as well as Danny Dog, Pedro Pony and Suzy Sheep as they have fun putting up bunting, running stalls and organising a great day out. There’s also a Champion Puddle Jumping competition judged by Mr Potato where everyone gets wet and Peppa’s need to find her Golden Boots! Peppa Pig returns live on stage with super cute puppets and brilliant sing-a-long songs in this brand new show that will brighten your day. So grab your wellies and brollies and get splashing! Wed 16 Apr – Hansel and Gretel Hansel and Gretel - a real Easter treat for the whole family! See an all-star cast in a magical version of the classic Grimm fairytale! They take everybody by the hand on the breadcrumb trail for a fun, light-hearted adaptation of Hansel and Gretel. The show is jammed-packed with magic, action and slapstick comedy. With singing, cheering, booing, puppets, illusions, lots of colourful costumes, amazing sets and maybe even a custard pie or two!

Chickenshed Chase Side Southgate N14. 020 8292 9222 www.chickenshed.org.uk

Fri 7 – Sun 23 Mar – An Awfully Big Performance For their 40th Festival Year, Chickenshed are going to take audiences on a journey of performance that celebrates their past, present and future. They’ve lovingly selected an array of amazing moments from some of the most pivotal shows from their long history of outstanding theatre, and that will showcase our unique performance style. Expect uplifting dance, beautiful music and songs, as well as inspiring dialogue. This selection of pieces will combine to celebrate the individual, the diversity of their cast and, of course, the people who complete the experience – you, the audience. Ages 7+

Sat 26 Apr – Tales Big Day Out Tales Big Day Out is an enjoyable and entertaining outing for all the family, whether you’re familiar with the Tales world or you’re going along for the first time. Children will have the opportunity to take part in a great interactive workshop and watch a fun performance of Tales from the Shed, then everyone will come together for a huge Tales extravaganza in the amphitheatre. There will also be free craft and face-painting activities taking place throughout the event. Ages 0-7 years

Harrow Arts Centre Hatch End HA5 0208 416 8989 www.harrowarts.com

Sun 30 Mar – Dogs Don’t Do Ballet Biff is not like ordinary dogs. He likes moonlight. And music. And walking on his tiptoes. You see, Biff doesn't think he's a dog, Biff thinks he's a ballerina. The sublime and the ridiculous combine in this hilarious story of a small dog with a big personality and even bigger dreams, brought to life by Little Angel Theatre using beautiful puppets, well-loved ballet music and dazzling comedy. Ages 2+ Sun 27 Apr – Dotty The Dragon Dotty is a baby fire dragon - she lives at the top of a mountain with her grumpy dad, Mr Dragon. In the village below, everyone fears for their lives, for dragon’s eat children! Or so they believe. But Dotty would never eat children! Not ever. Instead, she loves to gaze down and watch the children playing in the orchard, - and one day, she decides to pay them a surprise visit. After all, everyone loves surprises, - don’t they? Blunderbus is proud to present this enchanting fairytale adventure with a very happy ending. This clever new show comes to life with an irresistible blend of live music, fabulous puppets and high energy storytelling. Ages 3-7

Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, Cross St, N1 020 7226 1787 www.littleangeltheatre.com

Sat 1 – Sun 2 Mar – Nobody Rides the Unicorn The greedy King of Joppardy and cunning Doctor Slythe trick an innocent young girl, Zoe, into helping them capture the Unicorn. When she realises that they plan to take the Unicorn’s magical horn, Zoe knows she must set the Unicorn free… But will she be putting herself in terrible danger? Superbly crafted puppets, original live music, lyrical words and song, and moments of unexpected magic, blend to tell this touching tale. Ages 4+ Wed 5 – Sun 9 Mar – Red Riding Hood A young girl, a hungry wolf, and a walk through the woods – it sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Red Riding Hood’s not scared… well maybe she’s a little bit scared. Horse + Bamboo present a gorgeously rendered re-telling of the classic girl-and-the-wolf tale. Exquisite visuals blend with pantomime-style silliness and spooky moments to create an enchanting piece of theatre. The story that everybody knows – or do they? Ages 4+ continued on page 30


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What’s On in Children’s Theatre We aim to be as accurate as possible, but these listings are compiled several weeks beforehand and may be subject to change. Please check details.

continued from page 29

Sun 30 Mar – Sun 6 Apr – Arthur’s Dream Boat Based on the book by Polly Dunbar, this is a story about a little boy who has a dream. One night, Arthur has an amazing dream about a beautiful pink and green boat with a stripy mast. He can’t wait to tell everyone about it, but no one is interested. In fact, they don’t even notice that this very same boat is growing on his head, getting larger and larger by the minute! Soon, Arthur is bouncing along the waves in his very own dream boat. Maybe now his family will listen to him! A magical playful children’s show with breathtaking puppets, brought to you by the company who made Shoe Baby and Penguin. Ages 2+ Tue 8 – Sat 12 Apr – The Frog and the Princess A poignant re-telling of the Brothers Grimm tale. This exquisitely manipulated and humorous puppetry performance explores the meeting of cultures and what happens when a Princess deems a Frog unworthy of being her friend, just because of what he is. As the Frog and the Princess undergo an emotional journey from rejection to friendship they discover that deep down they are not so very different after all. A co-production between Rene Baker and Norwich Puppet Theatre. Ages 4+ Sun 13 Apr – Tomten When all is quiet on the farm, when everyone is asleep, when the snow covers the ground and stars twinkle in the frosty sky -that’s when Tomten wakes up. He looks after everyone on the farm while they are sleeping. No-one has ever seen the Tomten, but sometimes you can see his footprints in the snow. That’s how you know he is real. Tomten has seen generations come, and generations go. But where do they come from, and where do they go? A deep riddle plays on Tomten’s mind…One thing he knows for sure is that spring is coming; soon cows will be grazing in the fields and swallows singing in the trees again. Full of delightful farm characters and Swedish charm, Viktor Rydberg’s well-loved poem is brought to life. Ages 3+ Tue 15 – Sat 19 Apr – There’s a Monster in My Piano Question: What do you do when you hear a strange munching noise inside a piano? Answer: Call the Piano Doctor of course. He might be able to help with his bag full of ears and his collection of weird and wonderful tools. But when he looks inside – the musical notes are packing their bags and running away. What are they scared of and who is hammering at the keys? Garlic Theatre delight children and adults with this offbeat jazzy tale. Starring puppets, clowning, animation and a very highly strung monster indeed. Ages 4+ Sat 26 Apr – Sun 15 Jun – Skitterbang Island Storm! Shipwreck! Adventure! Lost on a bleak and craggy island in the very north of the world, a brave little girl meets a strange and curious creature… Meet the Skitterbang. In his cave full of metal and junk washed up from the sea, he shows her his newest treasure which sounds so beautiful. But who does it really belong to? Go along for an exciting tale of discovery and friendship as you journey to a magical world full of music, song, rhythm and harmony. Ages 3-6


Pump House Lower Watford High Street, Watford WD17 01923 241 362 www.pumphouse.info

Thu 10 – Sat 12 Apr – Fame Jr Set during the last years of New York City’s celebrated High School for the Performing Arts, FAME JR. is the bitter-sweet but ultimately inspiring story of a group of students as they commit to four years of gruelling artistic and academic work. With a high energy, contemporary pop score, including the title song “Fame”, FAME JR. is a show for all of the family.

Puppet Theatre Barge Little Venice W9 020 7249 6876 www.puppetbarge.com

Sat 1 Feb – Sun 16 Mar – The Birdman plus Monkey Business Now playing a double bill… Monkey Marionettes perform their hilarious and exciting tricks and turns in Monkey Business, a programme of lighthearted fun and skill for everyone. In The Birdman, specially composed music and carved marionettes tell the story of a small bird rejected from the nest and how, after weathering a rainstorm, it is rescued. This enchanting story with dramatic lighting and magical transformations is visually stunning, with picture book settings from sunrise to moonlight. A play without words. Enchantingly tranquil, the antithesis of television.

Sat 22 Mar – Sun 18 May – A Child’s Garden of Verse Based on the collection by Robert Louis Stevenson. Ages 3+

The Radlett Centre 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 01923 859291 www.radlettcentre.co.uk

Fri 28 Feb – Sat 1 Mar – What The Ladybird Heard Two crafty robbers, one tiny ladybird, and a whole farmyard of fun! Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all: The Ladybird has a plan of her own! Book early for a glittering family treat. Join the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog in this brand new stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks’ colourful farmyard adventure. With live music, puppetry, plenty of audience participation and lots of laughs! Ages 3+ Sat 22 Mar – Bananas in Pyjamas It’s Party time in Cuddlestown Park. But wait... the guest of honour’s gone missing! It’s a Banana emergency! With plenty of audience participation, and playful fun...Can you help the Banana Detectives solve the case? Join B1, B2, Amy, Lulu and Morgan in this brand new show full of singing, dancing and lots of fun! Don’t miss the fun-loving adventure with your favourite twins and their friends. Ages 3-6 Wed 16 Apr – Jungle Book Set in the vibrant tropical jungle of India and adapted from the original Rudyard Kipling story, this production dramatises the journey to maturity of Mowgli the man cub. With loving care from his adopted wolf family and much advice from Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear, Mowgli stands firm against the manipulation of Shere Khan the tiger. During


the light hearted half hour rehearsal, some children are chosen and rehearsed into their parts while the rest of the audience is taught the choruses of four songs. During the interval the actors and children are costumed and the show, lasting 1 hour, runs seamlessly with everyone taking part as rehearsed. Ages 4+

The Tricycle 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6 020 7328 1000 www.tricycle.co.uk

Fri 7 Mar – Sleeping Beauty in the Woods A King and Queen are desperate for a child, and a fairy grants their wish. But when the disgruntled fairy is not invited to their new baby Rose’s christening, she casts a different kind of spell: that on her 16th birthday, the young princess will prick her finger and everyone in the kingdom will fall aslepp for 100 years. Only the arrival of a prince from the Far East brings hope of an awakening. This bold production works with puppets, projections, automata and live music to weave an irresistable magic. Ages 3+ Sat 8 Mar - Dogs Don’t Do Ballet Biff is not like ordinary dogs. He likes moonlight. And music. And walking on his tiptoes. You see, Biff doesn't think he's a dog, Biff thinks he's a ballerina. The sublime and the ridiculous combine in this hilarious story of a small dog with a big personality and even bigger dreams, brought to life by Little Angel Theatre using beautiful puppets, well-loved ballet music and dazzling comedy. Ages 2-6 Thu 27 – Sat 29 Mar - The Frog and the Princess A poignant re-telling of the Brothers Grimm tale. This exquisitely manipulated and humorous puppetry performance explores the meeting of cultures and what happens when a Princess deems a Frog unworthy of being her friend, just because of what he is. As the Frog and the Princess undergo an emotional journey from rejection to friendship they discover that deep down they are not so very different after all. A co-production between Rene Baker and Norwich Puppet Theatre. Ages 4-8

Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street, SE1. 020 7645 0560 www.unicorntheatre.com

Fri 21 Mar – Sat 19 Apr – The Velveteen Rabbit This Easter, join in for a heart-warming story about a very shy toy Rabbit who longs for nothing more than to become real. He spends his days waiting patiently on the nursery floor, watching the Boy play with the other toys and dreaming of being picked up and loved. And then, one day he is rediscovered and all his hopes start to come true...First published in 1922, this classic American tale loses nothing of its power, magic and charm in this contemporary adaptation for the Unicorn stage. Ages 4+ Sat 26 Apr – Sun 11 May – Sensacional Take your toddler along to

The Velveteen Rabbit

a sound and light show in which they are the participants. Watch as your child puts on a white suit and becomes part of a digital world of ladybirds, shapes, squiggles and squarks that won’t keep still, no matter how hard you try to catch them! Bursting with colour and joy, this interactive and immersive digital experience will captivate both you and your child. Ages 18 months – 3 years.

Watford Palace Theatre Clarendon Road, Watford WD17 01923 225 671 www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk

Fri 28 – Sun 20 Mar – Pirate Gran Meet Gran. She bakes. She knits. You'd never guess she was a Pirate! "Pirating isn't the life for everyone, but Gran says if you don't mind sleeping in a hammock and being called Scary Mary, then it's a career more girls should think about." With a pet crocodile under her bed, a wicked sense of humour and a whole raft of adventures under her belt – time with Gran is never dull! Gran isn't scared of anything. Not even monsters. This magical swashbuckling story is an absolute treat from the team behind Stick Man and Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales. Ages 3+ Tue 8 – Thu 10 Apr – Rats’ Tales Brought to life by some of the county's most talented young people, Rats' Tales is a collection of seven hugely entertaining, dark and magical folk tales from around the world Exploring the often perilous journey into adulthood, Rats' Tales takes you into the dark corners of your imagination, the kind of shadowy little places where rats scurry about and anything can happen... Recently premiered at The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, Rats' Tales is brought to you by the creative team behind Fantastic Mr Fox.

Watford Colosseum Rickmansworth Road Watford WD17 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Sat 15 – Sun 16 Mar – Dinosaur Zoo Direct from Australia, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo brings these awesome prehistoric creatures to the stage as you’ve never seen them before, up close and personal! From cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing giants, meet the most recent addition to the Dinosaur Zoo, a carnivorous theropod known as the Australovenator, the most complete meateating dinosaur skeleton yet found in Australia. Observe and interact with these extraordinary life-like dinosaurs in this fun, entertaining and highly imaginative live show. But watch out not all of these ravenous reptiles are as tame as they seem! Children can watch wide-eyed from a safe distance or dare to get right up close to the creatures. Ages 3+ Tue 8 – Wed 9 Apr – Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play Don’t miss everyone’s favourite brother and sister, Charlie and Lola, in their extremely everso wonderful stage show! The stars of the hit BBC TV series and books by Lauren Child are brought to life by a magical mix of puppets, live action and music. Will Charlie ever get Lola to sleep, even though she is not sleepy and will not go to bed? It won’t be easy - the Tigers want their bedtime milk, the Dancing Dogs have borrowed Lola’s pyjamas and Lola thinks there is an ogre hiding in the wardrobe! Ages 3+


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