Families Central Scotland Jan-Feb 2019

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Central Scotland

In this Issue

Birthday Parties New Year, New You Jacqueline Wilson

For children aged 7-15 years with their family friendly dog

Falkirk’s newurs! fantastic flavo Now serving fresh homemade soup, Scottish stovies and innovative ice cream flavours every day from 10am until 5pm.

Classes TUESDAY Newton Community Centre 7-30pm – 8-30pm WEDNESDAY Linlithgow Rugby Club 6pm – 7pm For more information visit our Facebook page LittlePawsLinlithgowshire or phone 07787741963

Glen Farm Glen Village Falkirk FK1 3AA Tel. 01324 630703 www.themilkbarn.co.uk

Issue 50 January/February 2019 Familiesonline.co.uk

familiesonline.co.uk Families Central Scotland 1

Now there’s no excuse! 3 No January joining fee 3 Membership from £12.50 per month 3 Over 220 fitness classes per week 3 Membership includes all 4 clubs 3 Best qualified staff in town 3 A friendly welcome BE THE BEST YOU www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/fitness Falkirk Fitness Bo’ness Recreation Centre | Grangemouth Sports Complex | The Mariner Centre | Stenhousemuir

Arnhall Nursery is a private day nursery that provides high quality childcare from 3 months to school age. • Graded Very Good in all areas by the Care Inspectorate 2018 • Set in beautiful surroundings near Dunblane with ample parking • Access to daily Forest Schools • Open all year round from 7.30am to 6.30pm • All meals included - home cooked by our in-house chef • Fully qualifed & trained staff For further details or to arrange a visit please contact the Nursery direct

on 01786 822 391 Keir Estate, Dunblane FK15 9NU www.arnhallnursery.co.uk

Central Scotland Editor Fiona Bunting e: editor@familiescentralscotland.co.uk t: 079302 64979 Design Lamb Designs Printers J Thomson Colour Printers Cover Image Deposit Photos Circulation

12,000 copies distributed directly to schools, nurseries, playgroups, health centres, libraries and leisure facilities, as well as selected tourist attractions, cafes, supermarkets and shops throughout Stirling, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire and West Lothian, and also available to read online via www.familiescentralscotland.co.uk Please contact us if you wish to receive our media pack in relation to advertising. Bookings are now being taken for the March/April issue with special features on Pregnancy & Babies; Nurseries & Childcare; and Ideas for the Easter Holidays – deadline for all adverts and editorial is 1st February 2019.

In this Issue

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

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Local news and views Becoming an Eco Warrior Parent to Parent New Year: New You Jacqueline Wilson Bright ideas for Birthday Parties Out and About

keep up to date



to our November/December prize winners! Anne Harris won the family ticket to Sleepin’ Cutie at the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling and Alyson Robertson won the family ticket to Cinderella at the FTH Theatre in Falkirk


LAUGH YOURSELF HAPPY THIS FEBRUARY WITH A PUFFIN FUNNY BOOK BUNDLE From a boy who changes into animals to an extraordinary girl with a magical mind and Greg Heffleworriedy’s Wimpy Kid escapades, you’ll be laughing-out-loud this February with three fantastic books.

readers! Enter the prize draw by emailing your name and address to editor@familiescentralscotland.co.uk with Funny Book Bundle in the subject box. Closing date: 22nd February 2019

When Charlie McGuffin feels worried, he discovers that he changes into all sorts of animals. With the help of his three best friends he needs to find a way to control his crazy new power and fast!

Winners will all receive a copy of Charlie Changes into a Chicken by Sam Copeland, the new paperback edition of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Jeff Kinney and a new edition of Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Matilda Wormwood’s father thinks she’s a little scab, her mother spends all afternoon playing bingo and her horrible headmistress Miss Trunchbull thinks all her pupils are rotten. As for Matilda, she’s a surprising little girl with a magical mind – and now she’s had enough. With the cold weather setting in, the Heffleys decide to escape to a tropical island resort for some much needed relaxation. But they soon discover that paradise isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Thanks to Puffin, we have THREE funny book bundles to give to our lucky


© The Roald Dahl Story Company Ltd Competition Terms and Conditions / Quentin Blake 1. Competitions are open to residents of the UK, aged 18 years or over. 2018 2. Only one entry per household will be accepted. 3. No responsibility is accepted for ineligible or fraudulent entries. 4. Entries must be received by the closing date and proof of sending cannot be taken as proof of receipt. 5. One correct entry and winner (or as stipulated per competition) will be selected and notified by email as soon as reasonably practicable after the closing date of the competition unless otherwise advised. 6. All decisions of Families Central Scotland are final and no correspondence will be entered into. 7. If a winner does not confirm acceptance of the prize within 7 days, or earlier, if notified, he/she automatically foregoes the rights to claim the prize. 8. No prize is exchangeable for any other prize.The prize is not transferable. 9. All competitions hosted by Families Central Scotland will close at midnight on the closing date stated. Any entries after this time and date will be void. 10. Automated/bulk entries and entries from third parties will be disqualified. 11. Families Central Scotland is not liable for any delay or failure by the prize provider to deliver any prize or for the quality of the prize or for any loss or damage arising in connection with the prize or the competition. 12. The winner agrees to have his/her name publicised in the Families Central Scotland Magazine including the digital publication. 13. By entering the competition, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to these terms and conditions. 14. The competition is free to enter and no purchase is necessary

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Mrs Differ’s Daycare opens In Bridge Of Allan

Mrs Differ’s Daycare is a unique and exclusive registered childminder service situated in Bridge of Allan. It is run by two qualified Early Years Educators with a combined experience in the field of over 40 years. The day session runs from 8am until 3pm and then After School Club from 3pm until 6pm. The children can attend both sessions or other arrangements can be made if required. There is an exceptionally resourced playroom, offering the children a range of toys to support their learning, play and development. There is also a beautiful, enclosed and secure large garden with a den, mud kitchen, sand pit and wood work area - and space for lots and lots of play! Staff are trained in bikeability, bushcraft, Paediatric First Aid and Child Protection, among other areas. The children are offered endless experiences indoors and outdoors, including outings which are both educational and fun! Childcare offered during term time, with some additional holiday club sessions, and children can be collected from Bridge of Allan Primary School. For more information, please contact Mrs Differ’s Daycare by phone 07796 104074 (Mrs Differ) or 07464 374 936 (Miss Glynn), by email to mrsdifferdaycare@ outlook.com or find us on Facebook

Kids Debit Card and App Teaches Value of Money and Giving ‘gohenry’ is a pre-paid debit card and app that allows parents to manage their children’s pocket money whilst teaching them good money habits and giving them financial independence. Parents can top up the card with a regular allowance or set tasks for their children to complete to earn extra money. Parents can decide where the card can be used (online, in-store or at cash machines) all within set spending limits. Children can set savings goals and choose how much pocket money and earned money they save. Now gohenry has teamed up with the NSPCC to launch a new ‘Giving’ function, allowing children to make a one-off or regular donation to the NSPCC (capped at 20 pence per week). www.gohenry.co.uk/why-nspcc

Award Winning Arnhall Award winning nursery, established for 29 years in the beautiful forest surroundings of Keir Estate, Dunblane. Graded ‘Very Good’ by the Care Inspectorate, we offer high quality early learning and childcare from 3 months to school age. Winners of NDNA Nursery of the Year 2017, NMT Outdoor Learning Environment 2018 and Nursery Training and Development 2018 and top 10 most recommended nursery 2018. Achieving Platinum Investors in People, ranked 4th in UK. Nutritional homemade meals are provided by our in-house chef with SOIL Silver award recognising food quality. Open all year round between 7.30am and 6.30pm, children have access to our fabulous gardens/outdoor classroom, enjoy woodland walks and daily Forest Schools. We are an Early Learning and Childcare funded provider in conjunction with Stirling Council. For further information please visit www.arnhallnursery.co.uk or phone 01786 822391. Now taking bookings for 2019/2020.

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Hippodrome Silent Film Festival The 2019 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (aka HippFest) runs from 20-24 March at the Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness. Book early for Saturday morning’s Jeely Jar double bill which offers 2-for-1 entry if you bring a clean jam jar and lid. Plus don’t miss our Laurel and Hardy triple bill on Sunday 24 March, and accompanying ‘Laurel & Hardy Portraits’ exhibition at Bo’ness Library from 26 February until 23 March. The full 2019 HippFest programme of silent films, workshops, talks, and walks around Bo’ness is launched on 5 February and tickets for our opening night screening of Rob Roy (1922) filmed at nearby Stirling Castle and the Trossachs are currently on sale. www.hippfest.co.uk

Healthy Drinks with Kids’ Meals

The Oral Health Foundation (OHF) is calling for the introduction of healthy drinks as the standard drink option served with children’s meals in restaurants, insisting that it will significantly help to improve oral health. The call follows a pioneering law passed in California, which will see milk (and a non-dairy milk alternative) and still, sparkling or flavoured water being advertised on menus and served as primary drink choices with kids’ meals in restaurants throughout the state. According to the OHF, around one in four (24.7%) children aged 5 years in the UK have tooth decay and new government data shows the number of 5 to 9 year olds admitted to hospital for tooth decay has risen for the second consecutive year. The charity believes rolling out a similar initiative in the UK will help combat the health effects of sugary drinks and protect thousands of children from tooth decay every year. More info at www.dentalhealth.org

2019 At Macrobert Arts Centre

Tickets are already on sale for another jam-packed season at Macrobert Arts Centre, with the return audience favourites Ballet West with The Nutcracker, before Lionel the Lion’s food starts talking back in Eaten! There’s also songs, fun and laughter for children aged 3+ in Room on the Broom, a discovery of friendships in Four Go Wild in Wellies and an interactive musical show for the whole family in You Choose. Funbox also return this year for The Wild West Show so get ready for a a rootin’ tootin’ hoedown with Anya, Kevin, Gary and Bonzo. Full details are available online at www.macrobertartscentre.org or look out for a Live Guide in a venue near you.


Morrison’s Academy Primary School opens new storytelling space The space, officially opened by the Rector in November, was created as a collaborative project, with parents, pupils and staff all contributing under the creative supervision of parent volunteers Anna Olson and Neil Thomson. The space presents a Scottish/Celtic landscape, with local wildlife and mythological characters under a forest canopy. The main feature is a magical tree made from ropes and felted leaves which rises to the ceiling and bridges the main space and the central corridor of the school. For the official opening, the school held a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, with pupils and teachers in their most fantastic costumes to celebrate the wonders of books, words, rhyme, music, song and storytelling. The programme of events included a musical concert by Neil Thomson and Sandy Black, traditional Scottish tunes, felt-making, caricatures, and a visit from local folklorist, author and singer Margaret Bennett, who entranced the children with her gentle and charming stories about rude rabbits and helpful hedgehogs and old true tales of the Drovers and the Highland way of life handed down from the past. The space will be used to encourage a love of books and reading, hosting ‘guest readers’ throughout the year, and as a special space where classes can let their imaginations run wild. The school and Miss Bulloch would like to thank Anna and Neil for their tireless hard work, creativity and dedication to pull off a truly magical project and create a learning space which will encourage our children to have a passion for books and reading. Further information from: Helen Lewis McPhee, Marketing Department, t: 01764 653885, e: hlewismcphee@morrisonsacademy.org

Improving the Number Foundations of Pre-Schoolers A leading child psychologist from Kingston University has produced a series of number games for nurseries and parents which are proven to boost the confidence and ability of pre-school children in maths in just five weeks.

Dr Jo Van Herwegen created the games based on her research into the Approximate Number System (ANS), a mechanism used by the brain to differentiate between groups that have more or fewer items in them without counting. The ANS games are based on two foundations estimation and matching approximate large amounts.

m Ter es* w e a N p c w S e N *



Founded by one of Scotlands Premier Rock Musicians Runrig’s Brian Hurren

“The activities we’ve developed are fun, rather than formal lesson plans, but they’re based on scientific evidence about the cornerstones of mathematical learning and how to nurture this in young children.” “It’s all about the child knowing which number is larger and which is smaller, but not to the exact number” Dr Van Herwegen explained. Her research showed that playing these specially-designed games for 10 minutes a day for five weeks improved young children’s number foundations, the essential building blocks needed for mathematics. This improvement was still apparent six months later, when the children had started formal education. To download the free games, visit www.kingston.ac.uk/research/research-showcase/research-case-studies

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Classes | One to One | Recording | Birthday Parties

01786 448 417

Top Tips to Turn Your Family into Eco-Warriors By Isabel Thomas

Saving the planet is easier than you think. And the whole family can get involved!

Go Herbivore for a Day When it comes to gobbling up resources, meaty meals are the planet’s number one enemy. Each year, 7.6 billion humans chomp their way through meat from an amazing 65 billion animals. Raising these animals – and getting them from farm to fork – puts enormous pressure on the planet’s resources and is a big source of greenhouse gases. Avoid meat (and cheese) for just one day a week, and you could make a bigger impact than taking your family car off the road for five WEEKS. Do Less Washing Up You hate it, and the planet hates it too! Happily, putting less effort into doing the dishes is a win-win situation. An average family washing up by hand uses around three sinks full of water per day - 10 % of all their daily water. It’s possible to use much less if you avoid wasteful habits, like running the hot tap to rinse dishes. If your family uses a dishwasher, you’ll be VERY pleased to hear they can be kinder to the planet – as long as you don’t rinse the dishes first. Ban Baths One of the top ways to cut the volume of greenhouse gases our houses belch is to reduce the amount of water we heat up at home. Skipping even one bath a week can make a BIG difference. If you already prefer showers, don’t be too smug. Fastflowing and rainfall shower heads use up to 17 litres of water per minute, meaning that an average 8 minute shower can use almost double the energy and water of a bath! To make showers eco-friendly, get out after 5 minutes.

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Lose your Bottle In the minute it took you to read this far, one MILLION plastic bottles have been bought, beginning a journey that all-too-often ends in the stomachs of zooplankton, fish, albatross chicks, whales and seals. So, what can your family do? Invest in bottles that are easy to clean and reuse. Fill up before you go out for the day, and while you’re on the move – look out for water fountains or ask at a café or restaurant. Party for the Planet Birthdays only come once a year, so most party goods are disposable. Wrapping paper, cards, decorations, paper plates and napkins, plastic cups and cutlery are all designed to be used for a few hours and thrown away. It doesn’t have to be this way. Send invitations and thank you notes by email, make your own decorations, and avoid napkins – provide a bowl of soapy water and a towel instead. Eat Ugly Food Shockingly, a THIRD of the food produced every year gets thrown away. The waste happens in many different places – on farms, where crops that don’t look perfect are left to rot; in supermarkets, where ‘ugly’ fruit and veg aren’t put out on display or are left on the shelves by shoppers; and in our homes, where food is forgotten at the back of the fridge until it’s too mouldy and disgusting to eat. Play this game in the supermarket – who can track down (and take home) the strangest looking fruit and veg? No item is too blemished, big, small or gnarly – if they’re on the shelf, they’re safe to eat. Give them a home, so they don’t get thrown away – they’ll still taste delicious!

Plan a Rubbish Day Out Imagine if your family stopped putting the bins out and stored all your rubbish at home instead. After a year, you’d be wading through more than a TONNE of packaging and food waste – the average for households in the UK. We’re lucky that our waste gets taken away every week or every fortnight – but it means we never get to see how much we really produce. So find out where your garbage goes once you’ve waved goodbye to the bin lorry. Many landfill and recycling sites offer free tours for individuals or groups. Once your family has seen the scale of a stinking landfill site, they’ll be inspired to reduce, reuse and recycle like never before. Plus your house will look REALLY tidy in comparison! Don’t Rush to Flush! Around a third of the water we use at home goes straight down the toilet! Research has shown that flushing less often could reduce our water usage and bills much more quickly than turning off the tap while brushing our teeth, or even taking shorter showers. ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow’ is backed by science! Even easier is encouraging your family to take their first wee of the day in the shower – the focus of recent campaigns in Brazil and the UK. Doing just one daily wee in the shower could save 2,500 litres of water in a year – enough to fill a hot tub! (Though we definitely don’t recommend that – hot tubs are another eco-baddie!) Isabel Thomas is the author of This Book is Not Rubbish: 50 Ways to Ditch Plastic, Reduce Rubbish and Save the World, out now in paperback from Wren & Rook, price £6.99.



i, I’m Lindsey Porter, a Yoga Teacher based in Maddiston, Falkirk. I run a variety of yoga classes, workshops and Retreats and have two boys at Maddiston Primary School. We have ASD in the family and I’m currently expanding my yoga training into the area of special needs. With a background of 20 years working in high pressure project management roles in retail banking, I know the difference physical activity, breathing properly and giving ourselves time to relax can have on how we feel and on reducing levels of anxiety and stress. Sharing experiences and stories can also help and I’ve just released my debut book, ‘Whirlpools, Yoga and the Balance of Life – Travel Tales for the Adventurous Spirit’. It’s a culmination of 12 years of writing, offering insights into some different places on our planet that I’ve ventured to - and lessons learned along the way. It includes my journey onto the yoga path and teacher training in India. It’s my way of encouraging my children to find their own way to a useful, fulfilled life. Contact me via my website at: yoganuu.com or email: yoganuu@ mail.com. Also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under ‘Yoganuu’. You are a passionate advocate of the benefits of Yoga for mental and physical health. Can you tell us more about this and the link between the two? I know from my own experience of different types of yoga practices (which can be as simple as sitting for ten deep breaths, repeating chants internally or doing a physical yoga practice for 60- 90 minutes), that it all helps support and underpin better wellbeing, and this includes our mental health too. Last year the Mental Health Charter (MHC) for Physical Activity and Sport was launched by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and supported by PACE (People Active for Change & Equality). Its aim is to help break down the barriers for people with mental health challenges to participate in physical activity. Yoga can be a great tool for anybody working through issues- and I’m proud to be a Charter signatory, championing this aspect of our service in the yoga community. Over 40 yoga instructors, studios and organisations have signed up to the Charter demonstrating their support. You left a job in financial services to focus on promoting wellbeing for adults and children. What inspired you to do this? After reflecting in my early 40s (encouraged through the qualification I was taking to become a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner) about ‘whether I was living the life in the way I wanted to and in a way that fitted with my core values’, it was a necessary change. Having now aligned my energy and focus into what I’m truly passionate about, and being able to be more present for my children (which I’m grateful for every day), I still use my business skills through supporting the community as a voluntary Board Director for the Falkirk TSI; CVS Falkirk & District. You recently led a Scottish Parliamentary Reception on Yoga: Mental Health & Wellbeing. Can you tell us more about this and why you think mental health is such an increasingly hot topic? I’m keen to build awareness across Scotland of the benefits Yoga can bring. This led me to apply to hold a Scottish Parliamentary Reception, which Angus MacDonald, MSP


for Falkirk East, was keen to sponsor. It was a fantastic evening which included the Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey MSP speaking, and SAMH and guest speakers sharing inspiring journeys and how Yoga has supported them. The positive ripple effect from this event is still being felt. The words ‘mental health’ are being heard more frequently than ever. I think across society generally, we are becoming more tuned into the connections between how we are reacting to things - and how we feel in our own minds and thoughts. Ironically, it seems that as our communications becomes increasingly global through expanding forms of media, we often find ourselves becoming more withdrawn, isolated and insecure internally. Bringing ourselves to a yoga practice helps reunite the body, mind, breath and spirit, where we can begin to feel more ‘whole’ again, as well as connecting with a wider community. Why do you like living where you do? The Braes has a growing diverse number of residents and yet a strong sense of community. Since co-founding the community Facebook group ‘Braes Blether’ a couple of years ago, it’s grown into a really positive force. Now at over 6,000 members, it’s rewarding to see our aims of supporting local business growth and being a source of local information sharing being realised. Favourite park: My kids tell me it’s the Helix for the big slide. We also like Beecraigs for the bike trails and play park. Favourite children’s club/class: The Falkirk Junior Bike Club at the Larbert Pump Track is great for teaching kids a wide range of bike skills on fun tracks and with enthusiastic coaches. Favourite child friendly restaurant: Since the kids were small we’ve always enjoyed the Milk Barn. It still works well for us at ages 6 & 8 as they like playing football in the field attached. One of my boys waits eagerly every year for the Christmas special ‘Mince Pie’ flavour ice cream! Proudest eco-friendly moment: Going litter picking as a family in our area and around the park in Maddiston. A couple of times we managed to arrange this at a community level which is always enjoyable: having a chat to others whilst leaving the area looking much better and with less glass and rubbish left lying about. It’s a shame it always comes back so quickly though. Best planet saving tip: We made a big leap and invested in an electric car in 2018 – so far we are loving it! We are also looking into the Energy Saving Trust who offer a free consultation to assess renewable energy options in your home. Funniest comment your kids have ever made: There are lots! A couple of my favourites: Whilst at the beach a bit of sea water splashed on my son’s face and he said: ‘hmm that’s tasty I wonder how the fish and chips taste gets into the sea!’

One night my son called me into his room and said: ‘Mummy can you put the light down a bit so I can see the dark?’ Favourite family holiday spot: Pretty much anywhere in Scotland! Particular favourites: Arisaig, Aviemore, Braemar, Solway Coast. Most loved children’s book: The Big Red Bath – always makes us giggle. Football School Season 1 – chapter one instantly gets you hooked talking about footballers and poo! We listen to Harry Potter on audio borrowed from the library on long car journeys. Best children’s DVD or programme: My kids’ choice: The Loud House and Izzy’s Toy Time or Izzy’s Train time (YouTube channel). Most played with toys: Lego and Brio trains (interest reignited since watching Izzy’s Train Time) Biggest waste of money: The Scalextric set – comment from sons: ‘why can’t we just push the cars around, daddy?’. New Year’s resolution? Yes – many! I’d like to end sharing one of my favourite sayings: ‘Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s what you learn on the way down’. If you’ve always thought yoga isn’t for you, think again. There are many great and varied yoga teachers, male and female offering classes throughout our area. Search for yoga online (Google or Yoga Hub are useful); or check at your community/ leisure centres and the Yoga Scotland website to locate classes. Lindsey’s book, ‘Whirlpools, Yoga and the Balance of Life – Travel Tales for the Adventurous Spirit’, is available now from Amazon.

Lindsey’s recommendations: The Milk Barn, Falkirk The Falkirk Junior Bike Track at the Larbert Pump Track Edinburgh Zoo Beecraigs Country Park, Linlithgow MGW Seafoods, Reddingmuirhead Sanam Tandoori Restaurant, Falkirk The Falkirk Wheel and Helix Park Falkirk

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Eds Reading Room

New Year, New You

FOR AGES 5-7 YEARS Armadillo and Hare by Jeremy Strong (David Fickling Books £9.99) ED SAYS: ‘Meet Armadillo and Hare with their Small Tales from the Big Forest. Hare loves many things including picnics on the beach and playing the tuba (with extraordinary consequences) but Armadillo’s overriding passion is cheese sandwiches. Even when he paints pictures they are usually studies of – you’ve guessed, cheese sandwiches! In the forest they meet many other animals such as Jaguar, a beautiful beast, and Giraffe, an elegant creature. They are all delightful and add to the fun in the forest. ‘The latest book from this best-selling author is very entertaining and is complemented by stunning illustrations. It will be enjoyed by readers young and old.’ Tom and Tallulah and the Witches’ Feast by Vivian French (Walker £5.99) ED SAYS: ‘Whoosh! Tallulah Tickle crash-lands on her broomstick – late again – at the latest meeting of the Chumley Charmed Circle. As their apprentice witch, she is showing herself to be a dreadful time-keeper and is becoming notorious for burning cakes. However she is given one final chance and is told to prepare a magnificent meal for the other witches. She realises the nasty Gertrude is trying to trick her but, with the support of her brother Tom, will Tallulah be able to come up with an amazing midnight feast in time? ‘Here is a fantastic story that is funny, fast-paced and full of magic and mayhem. It will delight boys and girls alike from start to finish.’ FOR AGES 7 YEARS PLUS A Chase in Time by Sally Nicholls (Nosy Crow £6.99) ED SAYS: ‘Alex and his sister Ruby love staying with their aunt at Applecott House with its large garden, playroom and their aunt’s pets. In the rambling house there are many interesting artefacts from around the world but Alex’s favourite is an old mirror that hangs in the hall by the stairs. This mirror is the start of a magical adventure for Alex and Ruby when they fall backwards in time to 1912 and, among other things, find themselves in hot pursuit of some criminals. But will they be able to find their way back to the present? ‘This action-packed story is beautifully written and presented. It is the first in a new time-travel series so if you enjoy this book look out for the next exciting story.’ The Afterwards by A F Harrold (Bloomsbury £12.99) ED SAYS: ‘Ember and Ness live next door to each other and are best friends. They are in the same class at school, they share their lunch and snacks and they enjoy doing things together. Suddenly fate intervenes and Ness is no longer in Ember’s life. Ember’s father, Harry, is very understanding of her feelings. Ember is determined to bring Ness back and somehow manages to make her way into the Afterworld with its darkness and dangers. She doesn’t want to ever give up on Ness. ‘Here is another extraordinary book by this wonderful writer. Atmospheric images help to tell this powerful and moving story about family and friendship – and love and loyalty.’ Ed’s Reading Room was created by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Les Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitness walking and healthy eating. See the reviews, download the specially written reading activities for these books and buy the books online at www.EdontheWeb.com. Check out Ed’s tweets: @kidsbookreviews – and have fun reading!

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Happy 2019! What will you do this year? Happy New Year! To help you get planning, we have put together some ideas to make it a healthy, smart and fun year for you and the family. Read on for some great ideas for a New Year New You approach to 2019! Help Dyslexia with Unique Cellfield Programme

Teacher and former Headteacher, Fiona Macdiarmid – known to many parents as Centre Director of Stirling’s Kip McGrath Tuition Centre – believes Cellfield is the most exciting development in education she has come across in her 30 year career. This is because it can be life changing for so many. Cellfield is based on neuroscience research and is designed to stimulate the brain networks which process the visual and auditory aspects of reading. After just two weeks, Cellfield clients can gain on average two years in their reading age: however, this is only part of the story as many clients also report improvements in different areas which, together with reading gains, have a positive impact on overall confidence and self esteem. To find out more, visit www.cellfield.co.uk and contact the Stirling Centre on 01786 447527.

Dance your days away with a diddi dance franchise

If you’re looking for an award-winning, familyfriendly business opportunity with a supportive franchise network then look no further! Now is your chance to be in business for yourself, not by yourself! Established in 2003 by professional dancer Anne-Marie Martin, diddi dance has, from day one, been the go to class for parents with active toddlers. diddi dance classes, parties and early years setting sessions are designed to engage and inspire children’s own creativity by using action songs, dancing games and props all to our own original, funky music. We are looking for more great franchisees to help us and join our mission to Get Children Moving! Our franchisees come from different backgrounds, but inevitably chose diddi dance because of what we stand for and are trying to achieve within the preschool sector. Our low-cost franchise package of £4,995+VAT can suit anyone who wants to run their own business. Contact franchise@ diddidance.com or www.diddidance.com/franchise


New Year, New You

Shaw Martial Arts

Mums on the Run - All round fitness class for busy mums

Classes in Falkirk, Larbert, and Denny Do you lack motivation going to the gym or feel you are getting bored of the same exercise routines? Come along to the ladies only Fitness Kickboxing classes in the Falkirk area. We set goals for you whether it is for weight loss, muscle tone, flexibility, self defence, or general fitness and well being, we cater for everyone. You don’t have to be fit to join as that is our job… to get you fit! Shaw Martial Arts is a family orientated school, and we offer classes to suit everyone including: TKD Tigers for age group 3-6 years, teaching life skills and Martial Arts. Taekwon-do for age 7 years plus. Korean Kickboxing for both male and females. Check our website at www.shawmartialarts.co.uk, Tel: 07734 461615 or 01786 818602, Facebook--Garry Shaw Martial Arts, Twitter @GarryShaw, Instagram - gshawmartialarts

Mums on the Run is designed to support you getting back into shape with no need for a sitter while you work out. The sessions are either 35mins indoor toning only (kids of any age are welcome to run about, sleep or join in) and also suitable if you are pregnant and keeping active. The other choice is 1 hour out and about, keeping on the move with some cardio mixed in with toning - suitable for all levels of fitness post baby (post 6-week check). Classes around Bridge of Allan, Dunblane Centre and The PEAK. Please contact Jenny on 07555 964 201 or email mumsontherunstirling@outlook.com

Get Creative with Macrobert Arts Centre

Resolve to look after your eye health in 2019

Most people enter a new year with good intentions: improving our health is a popular one. Having an eye test is not usually something people think could help with that. You may have good sight and not need glasses but the eye test is about so much more than that. Our optometrist, Emma Kelly, can examine different parts of your eye to see how your general health is doing. In children, she can potentially identify problems that may be causing them to struggle with their school work. Eye examinations are completely free in Scotland and at Ochil Eyes in Tillicoultry, we provide a relaxed, friendly environment for the whole family to come and have their eyes tested. Make your eyes a priority for 2019! For more information, call us on 01259 752755, visit our website at www.ochileyes.co.uk or find us on Facebook

Let’s do it!

McLaren Leisure is here to help you stick to your health and fitness resolutions in 2019. Grab one of our festive offers while they last: until 31 January 2019, we are offering you fitness bargains such as our festive osprey cards (8 sessions of your favourite fitness class for the price of 6) and amazing deals on our monthly direct debit fitness and swim memberships. We also have some exciting new fitness classes coming your way, giving you plenty of class options to choose from to achieve your fitness goals. For more details follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, visit www.mclarenleisure.co.uk or give us a call on 01877 330000.

Macrobert Arts Centre offers a wide range of opportunities and experiences for children, young people and adults. Creative classes range from drama, dance, digital media and art. We offer weekly classes as well as drop-ins and intensives. Our centre is located on the beautiful University of Stirling Campus. Our diverse creative learning programme offers opportunities for all ages and abilities. For more information about the classes and activities please visit macrobertartscentre.org/creative-learning or email creativelearning@macrobertartscentre.org

Falkirk Community Trust

Now there’s no excuse!Join Falkirk Community Trust gyms in January and there’s no joining fee, your membership includes all four clubs, there’s over 200 classes to choose from and our friendly, professional staff are ready to help you Be The Best You in 2019. Whatever your fitness goals –whether it be weight loss, strength or just general toning, call us on 01324 503300 or visit falkirkcommunitytrust/ fitness

A unique & effective approach to overcoming Dyslexia Call Cellfield in STIRLING

01786 447 527 info@cellfield.co.uk www.cellfield.co.uk

Cellfield changes lives... Familiesonline.co.uk

Families Central Scotland 9

Families Magazine is lucky enough to have secured an exclusive interview with Dame Jacqueline Wilson in which fans across the UK (and their parents!) ask her some of their most burning questions about her new book and her life as a writer.

Beaker’s Back!

Dame Jacqueline Wilson is arguably Britain’s favourite contemporary children’s author. She has over one hundred published books to her name, most of which deal with the often troubling and unvarnished realities of being a real-life child or parent. First published in 1991, Tracy Beaker quickly became Jacqueline’s most well-known character. Now, over a decade after her last literary appearance, the fiery, former foster-kid is back in new book My Mum Tracy Beaker, and while she’s now mature and mother to Jess, she’s still the same Tracy readers know and love. Why do you think Tracy is one of your most popular characters? Harbinder, age 7 I think because she’s naughty! She has reason for her bad behaviour, of course, and she’s naughty but she’s not spiteful, she’s funny. I think she’s a character that children would like as a friend - I’m not sure about adults, I think a little of her as a child goes a long way! How have you made the grown-up Tracy as appealing to children as Tracy, the child? Lily’s mum I’ve kept her, not exactly naughty, but mischievous. She’s quite surprising - she might suddenly do something a bit mad, or a bit silly. I think being a mum has slightly changed her because she’s a very loving, caring mum, Is Tracy’s daughter the same or different to Tracy? Olivia, age 8 They certainly look alike, but Jess is a quieter girl, partly because she has had a much easier,

more loving, caring upbringing than Tracy herself had. Jess is probably more studious, and more of a bookworm, but when push comes to shove Jess can certainly stand up for herself too. Did you and your illustrator, Nick Sharratt, disagree at all about how Tracy and her daughter should be drawn? Rosie, age 9 I mostly leave it to him, and certainly I think he has done Jess wonderfully. He suggested that Jess might wear glasses, which I thought was a very clever touch because it gives them that little bit of difference, and also Jess is a total bookworm and it just looks right for her to be wearing her little glasses. I was very pleased with that addition. What’s been the highlight for you of being the Children’s Laureate? Emma’s mum It gave me a chance to speak to lots of children and teachers and librarians, and the particular thing I wanted to promote was reading aloud to children. Because right from when they are one year old, any child likes to sit on a lap and hear the simplest of stories, and I also suggested that even when your child has learned to read, sometimes it’s fun to read aloud a book that they might not necessarily tackle themselves because it’s a bit difficult to get into, or the vocabulary is quite hard, but they would love to listen to the story. If they are doing colouring, or building something, or just petting the dog or whatever, or at bedtime, children do still like to be read to aloud. Your books depict real children’s real lives and challenges in a way that few others do – how do you get inside the heads of your characters? Lizzie’s mum Bizarrely, I can remember very vividly what it is like to be a child. I mean, ask me what happened or how I felt about something a couple of years ago and my mind is a complete blank, but ask me what I was worried about when I was nine, say, and I remember entirely. It’s just a happy trick of nature that I can take myself back. What advice would you give to aspiring writers, young or old? Amaya’s mum I always suggest aspiring writers read lots to enrich their imagination and increase their vocabulary and try and get into a regular writing habit. Maybe keep a diary - just so you learn to write even when you don’t feel like it!

When did you first become a writer? Emily, age 10 Well, by the time I was fifteen I had written what was - at least in length - a full book. It wasn’t very good though! It was about two sisters, Margot was about fifteen, the narrator, and the sister was about eighteen. They had a car and went on a drive through France and Spain and got boyfriends! It wasn’t the most inspiring work! How do you select names for your characters? Readers at the Chatterbook Group I like to try and have slightly unusual names, and if they are pertinent to the story that pleases me - for my identical twins in my book Double Act, I had them called Ruby and Garnet because they are both red jewel stones. For The Illustrated Mum, the mother Marigold has a great passion for tattoos and has called her girls the rather outlandish names of Star and Dolphin, simply because they are very popular tattoo icons. With Tracy I wanted a quirky, bouncy modern name - and with Hetty Feather, Hetty is an old-fashioned name and Feather because she’s light as a feather! My Mum Tracy Beaker by Dame Jacqueline Wilson is out now, published by Doubleday

To WIN a copy of My Mum Tracy Beaker, enter our prize draw by simply emailing your name and address to editor@ familiescentralscotland. co.uk with Tracy Beaker in the subject box. Full competition terms and conditions on page 3. Closing date: 22nd February 2019


Parties can go with a swing if you choose a theme your little ones can have fun with. From fancy dress costumes to decorations, here are some great ideas for themed children’s parties: Pirates Invitations: Create a treasure map by drawing a rough map of your street and put “X marks the party spot” where your house (or the party venue) is. A suitably pirateinspired poem would be a good addition with plenty of “aaaarrrrrhhhhhhhs!” Wear: Encourage kids to dress as pirates and give each a bandana or eye patch to wear as they arrive. Play: Fill a wooden chest (or cardboard box painted to look like a treasure chest) with torn up newspaper and pop in some wrapped small gifts for a lucky dip. Eat: Give them vegetable, chicken or fish fingers and let them eat with their hands like real pirates. Jelly with pomegranate seeds or blueberries in the bottom looks like sunken treasure. The table can be covered with a blue cloth and then scattered with shells, star fish and fake jewels. Party bags: Send them home with a treasure chest party box containing a piece of cake and a fun gift like an inflatable sword or pirate stickers. Disney Invitations: Whether your child loves Frozen, Mickey Mouse or Cars, create an invitation to your Magical Kingdom using stickers of favourite Disney characters and glitter. Wear: Most kids will have a Disney costume or two lurking in the dressing up box. Say that dressing up is optional and


have a few accessories that kids without costumes could wear such as paper crowns, sparkly wands or Mickey ears. Play: Create a Disney piñata by covering a balloon with papier maché and cutting a little opening in the top to put in some treats. You could turn it into a Mickey Mouse head, a character from Cars or a simple balloon shape with some Disney characters pasted on it. Eat: Serve drinks in mismatched teacups for an Alice in Wonderland style party, cut out fun crown sandwich shapes with cookie cutters for a Princess theme, or make cupcakes in Disney cupcake cases. Party bags: Loads of Disney going-home options available, e.g. Toy Story bubbles; princess play jewellery and wands; and mermaid shells. Football Invitations: Use white card and paint on black hexagons to make football shaped invitations. Wear: Ask the kids to come dressed for a game of football. Play: If you can, ask a coach from a local five aside team to come to the party to teach the kids some new skills such as keepyuppies. Play crossbar challenge or a penalty shootout. Round off with a friendly match. If you have space in your garden, paint white football lines with garden paint! Eat: Use tableware in your favourite team’s colours. Eat the kind of food you find at the football ground, such as burgers in buns Party bags: There are lots of accessories such as whistles, notebooks and football pencils – or why not ditch the party bag idea and give everyone a ball or book instead? This party could easily be adapted to a tennis theme or, indeed, to any other sport.

Tea Party Invitations: Pretty florals and pastel colours are the key to this theme, so make invitations festooned with flowers cut from wrapping paper. Wear: The kids can wear their favourite nice clothes – but anything goes! Play: This theme really suits all those old-fashioned party games like Pass the Parcel, The Chocolate Game and Musical Chairs. Eat: Make some dainty wee sandwiches with the crusts cut off, with little cakes and serve them on vintage mismatched cups and saucers. You can even buy cardboard threetiered cake stands. Party bags: Create some unique party bags out of old floral fabric you have in the house and pop in some pretty fake jewellery or unique trinkets along with a piece of cake. Jungle Invitations: Make animal themed invitations; these can be as simple or artistic as you like. Wear: Encourage the kids to come dressed as their favourite animal or bring a toy with them if they don’t want to dress up. You could also make some simple animal face masks. Play: Have a safari game in the garden where you hide pictures of animals the kids have to spot, then, to calm them down, play Sleeping Lions. Eat: If you don’t think it’ll put them off for life, create your own Bush Tucker Trial; long, thin sandwiches make great ‘caterpillars’ (use little pieces of chives to create legs and sliced black olives for eyes). A bowl of pasta with pesto can be called ‘slithering snakes’ and jelly masquerades well as ‘slime’.

By Sally J. Hall

Party bags: Paper bags can be filled with a piece of the cake, some jungle stickers, and an animal toy or pencil topper. Circus Invitations: Why not create an invitation that looks like a big clown’s shoe or circus tent? Or even go for a circus ticket theme - or include unicorns for some added magic! Wear: With some creativity, ballet costumes double as acrobats, riders can wear jodhpurs, or the kids can transform to be clowns with some face paint on. Play: Buy some clever modelling balloons and have a practice before the kids arrive. Play tumbling games and give a prize to the winners. Hire a juggler, magician or platespinning entertainer… or stick on The Greatest Showman soundtrack and give it a go yourself! Eat: Think of food you find served at circuses; make popcorn in the microwave and have hotdogs and burgers in buns. Party bags: In a stripy party bag, pop in some animal chocolate biscuits, balloons and a fake moustache or red nose. Sally J. Hall is a writer and editor who has written for all the main parenting titles as well as The Independent and The Mail. She is author of Eco Baby and contributing author to Watch My Baby Grow (Dorling Kindersley). Still don’t fancy the stress and mess of running your own party in your house? Read on for some great stress-free, mess-free alternatives…

Families Central Scotland 11

Bright ideas for Parties What to do for their next birthday? Parties come in all shapes, sizes and styles. We’ve asked some of the top local party providers across Central Scotland to tell us about what they offer, taking the stress and mess out of your hands so you can sit back and relax while your child has a day to remember!

Gooey Events Our Chocolate or Slime Making parties in Livingston are fab fun for all ages from 4+. Our Slime Parties are perfect for those who love to get gooey and sticky (and even more perfect for parents who don’t want to make it in their house!). Our Chocolate Parties are ideal for chocolate lovers: make chocolate treats, decorate sweets and take home goodies. Or, if you can’t decide, just combine the two with a Chocolate & Slime Party! Mobile parties, pampered parties & various food and drink options also available. Visit www. gooeyevents.com for more information or find us on Facebook @Gooeyevents Party at The Milk Barn The Milk Barn Ice Cream Parlour is a great place to hold your birthday party. We have parties for Tiny Moos (between 2 and 5 years old); and for Mini Moos (between 6 and 12 years old). Our parties include party food, ice cream sundae decorating, traditional party games, party music, crafts, face painting, cake ceremony (cake and candles are not included so you can choose your own), invitations and balloons, unlimited juice, use of our play areas and The Milk Barn party organiser staff. You’re sure of a great time and the most fabulous ice cream in Falkirk! Visit our website at themilkbarn. co.uk to book your party or email us at info@themilkbarn.co.uk if you have any questions.

12 Families Central Scotland

KIDZ TOWN – PERFECT FOR YOUR PARTY KIDZ TOWN is the perfect venue for your next party, group function or class visit. It all starts with a 90 minute role-play session in our town and, with 14 different locations ready to be explored, there’s loads of role-play fun to be had with your friends. Then it’s upstairs to the themed Party Room of your choice with your friends to eat some yummy food and continue enjoying your special day. Our Pirate and Mermaid Party Room comes complete with our large Play in Pirate Ship and Kidzy’s Cave, the home of our Party Mascot Kidzy Bear who can be booked to attend your special occasion. Rooftops Party Room, with its supersized Playhouse, is also available - with great views overlooking the Town whilst having your food and drinks. To book your party or event, go to www.kidztownroleplay.com KIDZ TOWN is YOUR TOWN Cupcake Decorating Parties If you’re looking for a different way to celebrate a birthday, why not book a cupcake decorating party at Heavenly Bakes n Cakes? All parties are held in our spacious classroom within our workshop, based at the Makers Village, Ludgate, Alloa. A party lasts 2 hours during which children will decorate 4 cupcakes on a chosen theme. A drink and snack are included, and there’s no need for a party bag as everyone has 4 boxed cupcakes to take home and enjoy. Children have great fun while developing their artistic skills. Suitable from age 5 and over (minimum of 6 children). Visit www.heavenlybakesncakes. co.uk for more info or email info@ heavenlybakesncakes.co.uk to book. Find us on Facebook @HeavenlyBakesnCakes

Active at McLaren Leisure From running and playing to swimming and climbing, we have a wide range of exciting birthday parties on offer at McLaren Leisure to make your child’s birthday as great as it can be. Our coached parties offer minimal stress for parents, giving you time to enjoy the party too! Choose from climbing, swimming, sports, bouncy castle, games, lazer tag, Ninja Trials, or Spike Island (pool inflatable fun run). We also offer you the opportunity to hire a space and run your own party in our soft play, swimming pool or sports hall. Continue to make your life easier by booking your party food with us. Our café can offer you hot or cold party options with sides and unlimited juice. Or if you prefer to bring your own buffet, you can just hire one of our meeting rooms. For full details on our parties please visit our website www.mclarenleisure. co.uk or call 01877 330 000 Hartbeeps, Putting the ‘special’ into your little one’s day Specialist children’s party entertainment for very young children and babies, suitable for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th birthday parties. Hartbeeps makes your little one’s birthday the best ever by bringing all the magic of Hartbeeps to life especially for them. Our children’s party entertainment packages are created for you and delivered with our unique props and puppets and all your favourite original baby songs, nursery rhymes and lullabies. Parties can be tailored to your favourite Hartbeeps theme from Old McDonald’s farm to a Jungle Hunt with Nelli the Elephant! We offer baby parties, toddler parties and children’s party entertainment suitable for all age groups with something that everyone will enjoy! For more information or to book please call Lynsey on 07914023928, find us on Facebook, email Lynsey@hartbeeps.com or visit our website www.hartbeeps.com Magic Sprinkles, Lynsey xx


Music Bugs Birthday Parties A Music Bugs Birthday Party brings all the fun and magic from our weekly classes to your home or a venue of your choosing. Suitable for children aged 1-5, we offer 45 minute or 60 minute party packages. Just let us know your child’s favourite props, songs and party games and we will do the rest. A typical party includes party games, silly songs and fantastic props and with each booking you will receive 20 party invitations plus a birthday card and small gift for the birthday child. Our birthday party slots tend to book up well in advance, so please contact us as soon as possible. For further details, please contact Roslyn Dale on 0844-4128197, or email roslyn@musicbugs.co.uk You can access further information about our birthday parties here:www. musicbugs.co.uk/stirling/party Stirling Rock School Is there a secret pop star in your ROCK SCHOOL household? If so, why not come to Stirling Rock School where we offer a recording experience to remember. Here at Stirling Rock School we not only teach music to enthusiastic musicians but have the recording facilities to help make you and your friends stars for the day. Why not celebrate with one of our unique and fun Birthday Recording Parties. Whether you are a pop princess or a raving rock star; we have everything you need here to make you and your friends feel like stars. We have all kinds of gadgetry and wizardry to make you sound fantastic. Our parties are a full on packed experience that is really great for confidence and team work. We welcome groups up to 12 of ages 7+. Everyone leaves with a CD of the recording. Parties are priced from £100. Call 01786 448417 for more information or visit www. stirlingrockschool. co.uk B es t d ay S T I R L I N G

K E Y B O A R D | G U I T A R | D R U M S

Bright ideas for Parties

A Birthday Party fit for a Superhero… The UK’s first Superhero laser tag venue is sure to make your little one’s birthday party SUPER! Suitable for ages 3+. They will choose which hero they wish to play as, will be kitted out with superhero capes and eye masks, tackling the tricky twists and turns as they battle each other with the touch screen laser shooters. Once all evil has been defeated? A refuel slot in the VIP Party room is scheduled for during and after the games – with snacks, juice and pizza. Can it get any better? A dedicated member of our award winning Hero Support Team is there for the duration to ensure you, as the parents, have a stress and care free day with everything taken care of for you; you can even relax with some of our barista coffee. For more information visit www.weeheroes. co.uk or phone us on 0330 053 9953.

Falkirk Community Trust If you’re looking for a costeffective birthday party with a difference, look no further than Falkirk Community Trust sporting facilities. A pool party, soft play,cinema experience or sport-themed party can bring a fresh new option for families who have done it all!Party options include pamper parties at Bo’ness Recreation Centreand Run Jump Throw!athletics themed parties at Grangemouth Stadium.Polmonthill Ski Centre can provide a more adventurous celebration with a difference with tubing parties.Visit the website at www. falkirkcommunitytrust.org. You can also keep up to date with us on Facebook – search “Falkirk Community Trust”

Blast away evil at the UK's first Superhero laser tag arena Located in Callendar Square, Falkirk Open 7 days www.weeheroes.co.uk

0330 053 9953

Classes Across Central Scotland

lynsey@hartbeeps.com 07914 023 928

o ut fo r Unde r 5s S COTLA ND

Book your session, party or special event at:

w w w. ki dz to w nrol e p l a y.co m


Families Central Scotland 13

Out and About On now - until Wednesday 23rd January

Brick Wonders at Stirling Castle Brick Wonders features recreations in LEGO® bricks of amazing sights from around the world, curated by artist Warren Elsmore. Included in Castle admission price. www.historicenvironment.scot On now – until Sunday 24th March Brick City at Blackness Castle Brick City is a celebration of iconic buildings from cities around the world, carefully recreated in LEGO® bricks by artist Warren Elsmore and his team. Included in normal admission price. www.historicenvironment.scot Friday 28th December to Thursday 10th January (excluding 1st and 2nd January) Mary Poppins Returns Bo’ness Hippodrome, various times Wednesday 2nd to Sunday 6th January Ralph Breaks The Internet Wreck it Ralph 2 Macrobert Arts Centre, various times. Mary Poppins Returns Macrobert Arts Centre, various times. Friday 11th January Stargazing at Mugdock Country Park From the highest mountain to the largest canyon, the red soil to extreme weather, our neighbouring planet is a fascinating place! Come along and learn some more about the red planet. Indoor presentation if weather is bad. Minimum age 7yrs. 7-8.30pm Phone 0141 956 6100 for tickets. Saturday 12th January Winter Watchers at Jupiter Wildlife Centre As part of Big Garden Birdwatch, we will take part in a survey of the birds that live at Jupiter and make some bird feeders to take home. Suitable for ages 5-12. www.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk Sunday 13th January Winter Wildlife Workshop at Blackness Castle Drop in to the castle and give wildlife a helping hand this winter. Make a bird feeder, bird box or minibeast

14 Families Central Scotland

Whilst every care has been taken to compile the Out & About section, please remember that venues may make changes and it is worth checking dates and times before setting out.

home to take away. Included in admission price. www.historicenvironment.scot Fairytale Afternoon Tea at Inglewood House, Alloa Dress in your best storybook outfit and join in the fun with afternoon tea, meet and greet with princesses and a children’s disco. Phone 01259 216156 for more information. Sunday 20th to Wednesday 23rd January Central Theatre Productions: Hairspray! The Broadway Musical at FTH Theatre, Falkirk Saturday 26th January Mamoru Iriguchi presents Eaten at Macrobert Arts Centre Meet Lionel the lion. He’s just eaten a human called Mamoru for lunch. But Lionel hasn’t chewed his food well. So Mamoru’s alive and well in his stomach and wants to say hello. Come along to this lovely family show for ages 6+ and their families www.macrobertartscentre.org Saturday 26th to Monday 28th January Big Garden Birdwatch 2018 Take a closer look at the wildlife on your doorstep, and take part in the biggest wildlife survey in the world! You can take part on your own or as a family, and you can take part in your local park if you don’t have a garden. Sunday 27th January The Tiger Who Came To Tea Party! A celebration of the iconic storybook by Judith Kerr. Stories, face painting, craft activities & buns! Queen Margaret Hall, Linlithgow 2-4pm: £10 for family ticket www.maddingcrowdlinlithgow.com Tuesday 29th January to Saturday 2nd February Big Bad Wolf Company presents Footloose at FTH Theatre 7.30pm and additional 2pm matinee on the Saturday. For tickets contact 01324 506850. Saturday 2nd February Howie’s Kids Club at Howgate Shopping Centre Falkirk Fun and entertainment for children aged 11 and under. Check www.howgateshoppingcentre.co.uk

for details. Go wild in the wild wild woods at Jupiter Wildlife Centre Do you have what it takes to survive in Jupiter’s woods? Join the rangers to learn some bush craft skills and make yourself a woodland home. Suitable for ages 5-12. www.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk Sunday 3rd February A Wizarding Afternoon Tea at Inglewood House, Alloa A great afternoon out for all ages at which there will be a delicious afternoon tea and a magical drink. Phone 01259 216156 for more information. Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February Ballet West present The Nutcracker at The Macrobert A cast of up to 100 dancers will be led by Principal Dancers, Natasha Watson, dancing the role of The Sugar Plum Fairy, and Jonathan Barton, as The Prince, in Daniel F Job’s critically-acclaimed production, choreographed by Ballet West. www.macrobertartscentre.org Saturday 9th and 16th and Sunday 10th and 17th February Tales from the Battlefield at The Wallace Monument Listen to costumed actors and be transported back to one of the most dramatic periods in Scottish history, when Stirling was at the centre of all the action. Admission prices apply should you wish to climb the monument. www.nationalwallacemonument.com Sunday 10th February Winter Wildlife Wander at Linlithgow Palace Join a Ranger on a walk round the loch whilst keeping a look out for the wildlife. Pre booking essential, phone 0131 652 8150. Superheroes Brunch at Inglewood House, Alloa Enjoy a delicious breakfast or pancakes. The perfect start for a day of fighting crime! There will be a prize for the best outfit! Phone 01259 216156 for more information.

Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th February Aerial Dance Workshops at FTH Theatre, Falkirk Come and learn the basics in aerial skills and find out more about our upcoming show, Heroes, which combines theatre, dance, aerial and circus skills. Workshops available for ages 9-12 and 12-15. www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th February Tall Stories present Room on the Broom at Macrobert Join the witch and her cat on their mission to defeat the dragon in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of Room on the Broom, the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the Olivier Award nominated stage show. www.macrobertartscentre.org Wednesday 13th February Scotland’s National Hero at The Wallace Monument Listen as a costumed actor gives a short presentation on the life of William Wallace. This is free but admission prices apply should you wish to climb the monument. www.thenationalwallacemonument.co.uk Sunday 17th February Learn to play Taiko Drums at FTH Theatre, Falkirk Taiko Drumming is a thrilling combination of rhythm, movement and energy. It’s lots of fun to play, is good exercise and helps develop coordination and internal rhythm. All workshops are taught by highly experienced instructors from the Mugen Taiko Dojo. Suitable for ages 10-15. www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org Friday 22nd February Mull Theatre presents The Electrifying Mr Johnston at Macrobert Arts Centre A new play about one of Scotland’s great unsung heroes, Tom Johnston. Through incredible feats of engineering and political manoeuvring, he sought to transform the lives of everyone in the north of Scotland by bringing hydroelectric power to the Highlands & Islands. www.macrobertartscentre.org


NEW CREATIVE CLASSES FOR 2019 AT THE MACROBERT ARTS CENTRE Please contact the venue to confirm details and book your place! 01786 466 666 www.macrobertartscentre.org/creative-learning Mondays, 21st Jan – 25th March M-Drama: Musical Theatre M-Drama: Musical Theatre M-Dance: Adult

(P4-P7), 5.30-6.30pm, £55 (S1+) 7-8.30pm, £75 (16+), 6.30-8pm, £75

Wednesdays, 23rd Jan – 27th March M-Dance: Youth

(12+), 5-6.30pm, £75

Thursdays, 24th Jan – 28th March M-Dance: Plus

(60+), 10.30-11.30am, £5/session

M-Digital: Junior

(P4-P7), 5.30-6.30pm, £55

M-Digital: Youth

(S1+), 7-8.30pm, £75

M-Art: Junior

(P4-P7), 5.30-6.30pm, £55

M-Art: Youth

(S1+), 7-8.30pm, £75

Fridays, 18th Jan – 29th March MacDrama

(18+), 1.30-2.30pm, £5/session

Saturdays, 19th Jan – 30th March M-Drama: 1

(P1-P3), 10.30-11.30am, £55

M-Drama: 2

(P4-P6), 11.45-1.15pm, £75

M-Drama: 3

(P7-S2), 1.45-3.15pm, £75

M-Drama: 4

(S3+), 3.30-5.30pm, £95

February Week (Mon 11th Feb– Fri 15th Feb) Aerial Intensive

P4-P7, 10.30-12.30pm, £85 S1+, 1:30-4:30pm, £95

Spring Holidays (Mon 8th Apr – Sat 13th Apr)

Out and About for Kids’ Health in 2019 The Daily Mile initiative to have schoolchildren walking or running a mile every day could lead to significant improvements in their health and well-being according to the Daily Mile Foundation. The scheme was originally the brainchild of a Scottish head teacher who started it in 2012. It has since been increasing in popularity across the UK: more than 6,400 schools worldwide have introduced the initiative, including around 3,100 in England, 880 in Scotland, 360 in Wales, 150 in Northern Ireland and 365 in the Republic of Ireland - with more expected to join in 2019. For more info or to sign up your school, visit: www.thedailymile.co.uk

Play-in-a-Week (12-18 y/o), 10.30-4.30pm, £135

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch takes place from 26th to 28th January and is the largest wildlife survey in the world. The information collected helps monitor bird species in the UK, and is great fun for children. To take part, you need to watch the birds in your garden or local park for just one hour at some point over the three days and report your results to the RSPB. You can request a FREE Big Garden Birdwatch pack from the RSPB which includes a bird identification chart and advice to help you attract wildlife to your garden. To make it fun, challenge your children to see who can spot the most birds. Take a bike ride to a local park to look for birds, or make a day trip out of it and spot birds in a new place. More info at www.rspb.org.uk


Families Central Scotland 15

FAMILY SHOWS @ Connect With Us:



silent film festival

For age 6+

Mamoru Iriguchi


Sat 26 Jan, 2pm I Tickets: £9.50, £34 Wee Group Saver

For age 3+


Tall Stories

ROOM ON THE BROOM Tue 12 Feb, 1.30pm & 4pm I Wed 13 Feb, 10.30am & 1.30pm Tickets: £11.50, £42 Wee Group Saver


The Governors of Morrison’s Academy, known as Morrison’s Academy, is an independent school for boys and girls, founded in 1860. The School’s Scottish Charity Number is: SC000458

01786 466666 | www.macrobertartscentre.org

OPEN MORNING Tuesday 12 February 2019 Morrison’s Academy is a lively and nurturing independent school in the heart of Perthshire. Our experiential approach blends digital technology, rich classroom settings, and outdoor learning in our local environment to create a personalised education for every child. The same friendly and engaging ethos that allows our three- and four-year olds to flourish also encouraged our National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher students to achieve their best SQA results on recent record last year. Come and meet us and see for yourself how our passion for learning inspires curiosity and encourages every child to strive for their highest. Register online at bit.ly/MAOpenMorning Places available from August 2019 or earlier by arrangement

01764 653885 morrisonsacademy.org


Morrison’s Academy, Crieff, PH7 3AN

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