The essential magazine for parents of children aged 0–teens
Issue 14: July/August 2013
! e e r F
It’s Summer! • • •
Top 20 Things to Learn Best Mazes to Explore Stress-free Travelling
Get your kids active this Summer! Plus: News, ‘What’s on’ & much more inside! ★ For families living in the Bromley & Bexley boroughs, Dartford & the surrounding areas of Kent www.familieslondonkent.co.uk
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In this issue 4 News & Views 6 Clubs and Classes News
7 Get Active! 8 20 Things to Learn 9 Top Mazes to Explore 10 Out & About 11 Events 14 Museums 15 Travel Tips Welcome to our Special Summer issue! We have lots of fun ideas to make the Summer holidays happy and memorable, so whether you want to learn something new, explore a different area or just revisit an old haunt, we’ve got it covered! Finally, from the next issue Mima Walia is taking over as the new editor of Families London-Kent Borders, so please let her know what’s going on so that she can continue to include everything in the magazine (she can be contacted on 020 8466 6977 and at email@example.com). Thank you for all your support throughout my time on the magazine. Wishing you all a very happy Summer!
Business MuMs Wanted Successful local business is seeking five partners to work part-time from home without compromising family commitments. If you have a Managerial, Sales, Marketing, Recruitment or Self-Employed background and you want to develop a more balanced lifestyle around your family’s needs, call Katie
01737 766403 / 07909 681884
Juliette Dixon, Editor 020 8466 6977, firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on Facebook at Families London–Kent Borders Magazine and on Twitter @familieslkb © Families London–Kent Borders. We take every care preparing this magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences. Any original materials submitted for publication are sent at owner’s own risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families London–Kent Borders nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage. Families London–Kent Borders is part of the Families® group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license. Printed by Williams Press Ltd, www.williamspress.co.uk
Maths & English tuition centre For 5 to 14 year olds of all abilities • Courses mapped to the National Curriculum. • Adapts to the individual needs of your child. • Convenient for families - Open 7 days a week, including during the summer holidays. • Award-winning tuition - Education Investor Supplementary Education Provider of the Year.
Free trial session - book today!
Orpington 01689 867 302 or book online at www.explorelearning.co.uk
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Babble from the Borders
News & Views Step outside! If Statues Could Talk… a New London Adventure! is the latest in the popular Step Outside Guides. In this adventure young explorers are guided through the streets of London by Dr Johnson’s favourite cat, Hodge. The trail takes them through an alphabet of statues in and around Westminster Abbey, finishing the adventure at St Paul’s Cathedral. Plus, as part of the journey, families can visit Westminster Abbey free of charge. To order your guide visit www.stepoutsideguides.com
Stay safe at the seaside
A new RNLI beach finder app helps you stay safe at the seaside this summer. Find your nearest lifeguarded beach, and receive a wealth of beach safety information. The app also provides important information such as water quality and hazards specific to each beach. ‘Throughout the summer, the RNLI’s advice for anyone planning a trip to the coast is to choose a lifeguarded beach,’ said the RNLI’s Ross Macleod, ‘particularly if you’re planning to go in the water, because you’re much safer when you have highly-trained lifesavers looking out for you.’ Download the app for free from www.rnli.org/beach.
Award-winning tuition – 25% off when you join in July Explore Learning centres across the UK provide maths and English tuition to 5 to 14 year olds of all abilities, and also run special courses in 11+ exam preparation. The centres are open seven days a week, and are Ofsted registered, meaning that families can use Childcare Vouchers to pay for membership. Children attend up to twice a week on a drop-in basis, meaning that Explore tuition fits easily into busy family life. As Explore members, children work with tutors who are great educational role models, enthusiastic about learning and fantastic motivators. Each child has an individualised learning programme tailored to meet their needs, and all Explore courses map to the National Curriculum. This combination of benefits has led to the company being named Supplementary Education Provider of the Year at the prestigious Education Investor Awards for the past two years running. July is the most popular time of the year for families to join Explore Learning, as parents across the country look for an engaging way to keep their children’s brains active over the long summer break. Also, families joining in July will receive 25% off their first full month of tuition at participating centres, so now is a great time to join if you haven’t already!
Explore Learning has a centre in Orpington. To book your trial call 01689 867 302 or visit www.explorelearning.co.uk
Babble from the Borders
50 things to do before you’re 11¾: have an adventure with NationalTrust
The NationalTrust has taken advantage of the warmer weather to update its list of 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾. There’s nothing quite like fresh air, exercise and family time, and you can’t beat the fun you can have in the Great Outdoors. However, sometimes convincing your kids can be a bit of a struggle, so the Trust have come up with 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ to encourage kids to get mucky, discover their wild side and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. Check out the website, where you can interact with your very own virtual Outdoors Explorer – keep track of activities, earn rewards, get top tips for each adventure, unlock cool games, earn badges, collect certificates and discover some secret challenges. Camp out in the wild, build a den, go star gazing, hunt for fossils, set up a snail race, explore a cave and much more. To take part visit www.50things.org.uk
New play area for Chartwell
Chartwell, the family home of Sir Winston Churchill, has a new natural play area. The area, located in the woods, has been created by the National Trust to reintroduce some of the fun and freedom that the Churchill children enjoyed in
the grounds of their home with dens which are based on the tree houses they built and swings engraved with their nicknames. It has also been designed to tell the story of the Canadian soldiers who set up base here during WWII, with a camp and bomb crater.
Say It Personally launch SnappyTags
Labelling clothes is such a chore, and so time-consuming! Not anymore though because Snappy Tags, from on-line gift retailer Say It Personally, is the one-click way to label school uniforms, clothing and other items quickly and securely. No more sewing in labels or taking time ironing on adhesive tags that come off in the wash. Snappy Tags is similar to a small button and very simple to use. Say It Personally just laser etch the name you need onto the Snappy Tags. Using Permanent EtchRM laser processes they guarantee that the name won’t fade or wash off. So you always know who the garment belongs to. To place your order visit www.snappytags.co.uk
Get them Sportivated!
The summer holidays are looming, but now you can keep your kids entertained with free sports courses across the UK. Sportivate offers kids from 14 upwards a huge range of free or discounted sports including judo, cheerleading, archery, wakeboarding and tennis. Sportivate is a Lottery funded project created by Sport England aimed at helping 14 to 25 year olds get active, take part in sport, make new friends and lead a healthy lifestyle. There’s never been a better time to get out and get involved! Visit www.sportivateldn.com
020 8466 6977
Summer reading challenge
Children’s reading can dip during the long summer holidays, so why not take part in this year’s annual Summer Reading Challenge? Children aged 4 to 11 are encouraged to read six books during the holiday, whether they are fact books, joke books, picture books or audio books – it doesn’t matter as long as they are borrowed from the library. Every time a child finishes a book they get stickers and rewards, with a certificate for everyone who finishes. The theme for the 2013 Summer Reading Challenge is Creepy House, illustrated by award winning Chris Riddell. Discover the secrets of Creepy House and meet some of the hair-raising residents in this spine-tingling adventure. For more information visit www.readingagency.org.uk
Clubs & Classes
MICROSPORT -real sport for under 5 s CELEBRATING 22 YEARS! A fun & educational introduction to ball sports: soccer, tennis, hockey, cricket and much more. We have a long proven record of success & our small sports come back again & again. Trained adult coaches & lots of classes. AGES 2,3 & 4 (& up to 7yrs in our Beckenham After School Sportsclub) For classes in Bromley, Beckenham & Tatsfield: email@example.com 01689 600992 For classes in Sevenoaks, Pembury, Orpington, Dunton Green, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells: firstname.lastname@example.org 07863 330200
Clubs & Classes News More classes for the Pauline Quirke Academy
The Pauline Quirke Academy Chislehurst and Sidcup is adding afternoon sessions from October to cater for all those budding performing arts stars in Bexley, Bromley, Dartford and South London. The PQA opened in October 2012 at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, under the direction of Heather Smith who has worked in the Film and TV industry and taught young people Film & TV and Music Workshops for over 10 years. Pauline Quirke, who recently reprised her role of Sharon in the much-loved Birds of a Feather at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre, commented, ‘All of our academies are given strict standards to deliver an engaging blend of hour long sessions in comedy and drama, musical theatre and film and television – all taught in age groups by specialist teachers, but the remarkable results in Chislehurst and Sidcup have given us every reason to invite more talented four to 18 year olds to join the PQA experience.’ Heather added: ‘Our modules are all about students having fun as we build their confidence and self-esteem, expand their imaginations and they learn valuable skills essential for everyday life.’ PQA Chislehurst and Sidcup is running a Summer School from 29 July to 2 August (Be a Popstar Week!) and from 5 to 9 August (Make a Musical in a Week!). The course costs £125 for PQA students and £150 for non-PQA students. For more information contact email@example.com PQA Chislehurst and Sidcup are enrolling now for morning sessions for September and afternoon sessions for October. To receive an information pack visit www.pqacademy.com/locations/chislehurst PQA also offers free taster sessions. Contact Principal Heather for more details on 0077 30770455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The bugs are here!
Next Issue: Clubs & Classes Feature
If you want to advertise contact Mima on 020 8466 6977 or email email@example.com
Theatrebugs has arrived in Bickley and West Wickham just in time for the school holidays! What better way to kick start the summer than with an Under the Sea themed five day holiday workshop? ‘The First Ever Whale Story!’
is a great adventure about a very silly pirate who parks his pirate ship on top of the Sula Sea Fairy’s house! Luckily the tiniest fish in the ocean, Kefraiyu uses all his energy to help out
and with a little help from Crabby Crab they manage to push the boat away. To reward him for his bravery the Queen of the Sea turns this tiny fish into the first ever whale! But can she do it before Perry Pirate comes back? The five day summer course which includes dramatic games, singing, dancing, pretending, arts and crafts and imaginary adventures costs £120 and is designed for 3.5 to 6 year olds. ‘We know that the majority of mums want their children to take part in a fun activity that will help them make friends and boost their confidence.’ Says Paula O’ Donohue, co-founder of Theatrebugs. Theatrebugs courses are held at St George’s Church Hall in Bickley and in Emmanuel Church Hall in West Wickham from 5–9 August, 9.30am–12.30pm. For more information call 0800 975 5290 or book online at www.theatrebugs.co.uk/ londonandhomecounties.html
Health & Lifestyle
Keep kids active this summer!
Toni Brien from Kiddi Cardio shares her tips on keeping children healthy and active during the Summer holidays
Distributors Wanted Distributors wanted for Bexley, Bromley and Sidcup areas
1. Take a hike
4. Play hide-and-seek
Hiking through the woods is great exercise for the whole family. Being in the ‘wilderness’ is incredibly exciting for children and London has lots of woods in the outer boroughs.
Indoors or outdoors kids love hide and seek. Running, crawling and climbing to hide is simple high-energy fun.
2. Play Rounders
Once you get it up in the air, let your kids hold the string. This will develop their arm muscles.
Rounders is great fun for all the family and requires very little kit – just a bat and ball. Your children will get plenty of exercise whilst developing hand-eye coordination.
3. Do some gardening Feed your child’s natural curiosity and get them moving too. Kids love to help and copy mum and dad and gardening provides the ideal opportunity.
If you own a car and would like to join the Families London-Kent Borders delivery team please get in touch call 020 8466 6977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Fly a kite
Kiddi Cardio classes encourage pre-school children to be active and healthy by gently introducing them to sports in a fun and stimulating environment. The classes are separated into Little Hoppers (2 to 3 years) and Speedy Sprinters (3 to 5 years). For more information call Toni on 07812 676815 or email her at email@example.com
SUMMER SCHOOL HOLIDAY PQA WEEK! 29th July – 2nd August 10am – 4pm
5th – 9th August 10am – 4pm
BE A POPSTAR WEEK!
MAKE A MUSICAL IN A WEEK!
Learn how to direct a music video, use a Panasonic HD camera, edit and act, sing and dance in your own pop video! Plus record your own track in a music studio and take home a demo CD and DVD!
Drama and Musical Theatre workshops taught by professionals in the industry plus perform a popular musical on stage at the end of the week!
£125 PQA Students / £150 Non PQA Students TO BOOK A PLACE PLEASE CONTACT HEATHER firstname.lastname@example.org 07730 770455
020 8466 6977
What I learned on my holidays
Sleep outdoors: nothing says ‘summer’ like the chance to kip outside. If you can, find a campsite where you can go for a few days; but if you can’t get away, put up a tent in the garden. No tent? Borrow one. You’ll be amazed at the amount of fun kids can have with a few torches under canvas. Make sure they have lots of snacks – and don’t forget the singsongs! Find a geocache: geocaching is like a treasure hunt where you use a GPS device to find a container which will have some small items (maybe toys) inside. It’s fun, exciting, and there’s lots to learn (about orienteering, geography, exploration, the environment). For more information see www.geocaching.com Fly a kite: gem up on wind direction, find a suitable open space, and make or invest in a kite. Read up online on how to launch a kite, and go for it! You’ll get a tremendous sense of satisfaction as your kite dances across the sky. Climb a tree: there’s so much to learn in tree-climbing: how to deal with the unexpected, how to trust your own judgement, how to take a risk and how to manage failure. Have a treasure hunt: there are lots of different ways to run a treasure hunt. As a rough rule of thumb, kids can manage twice as many clues as their age. Make a movie: with the arrival of the iPhone and the iPad, it’s never been easier to make a home movie. Choose your location, put together your storyboard and... action! There are various apps that can make filming easier (eg filmic pro, which locks the camera’s settings for the duration of a shot). Build a den: it’s come to symbolise childhood freedom, and there’s little doubt it’s an activity children (and their parents) absolutely love. Dens are best built in woods, but a small garden or bedroom will do. The secret is to allow your child to let his/ her imagination run wild (and not worry too much about the tidying up afterwards).
4 5 6 7
Ride a horse: some kids are pony-mad, but even those who don’t do regular lessons usually love at least the occasional chance to ride. Look up a riding school and see what they can offer in terms of a one-off experience; ideally, you’ll want to go too. Find your way using a map and compass: whether you’re in a city or the country, whether it’s somewhere you know or somewhere new to you, there’s loads to learn from this. It’s tricky to work out the compass points, so a good activity to do en famille; also great to acclimatise children with maps and their usefulness. Track wild animals: this is something that can be done in the outback, the local park, or your back garden. Your children are looking for signs that animals have been here: pawprints, claw marks, scuff marks and – most fascinating of all for most kids – poo. Catch a fish: if you’re new to fishing, use a net. Find water that’s clean and clear, and where you can see there are lots of fish. Then be patient, and ready to pounce. Identify wild flowers: there are so many beautiful wild flowers, and it feels knowledgeable when you know what’s what. Choose an area rich in wild foliage, and take a book or leaflet with you to help you with identification. Cook on a campfire: sausages and marshmallows are the obvious contenders – but you can be more ambitious than that! You can cook anything; try frying eggs, grilling fish, warming burritos, making risotto. Kids will eat things they’d never eat at home when they’ve been whizzed up on a campfire.
Go bird watching: if you’ve never done it, and know little about birds, the best thing to do is go to an RSPB sanctuary. Take your binoculars, read the guides, and use the hides. Build a raft: there are courses in raftbuilding; but there are also instructions (on the internet). It takes time, and teamwork, and effort; but there’s nothing like the feeling of finding it floats! Identify at least ten constellations: invest in a good chart, wait for a dark night, keep your eyes peeled. You get a huge sense of satisfaction, and awe, when you manage to do it. Make a family tree: learning about your family history is a fascinating way to put flesh on the bones of history lessons.
Start a collection: it can be anything – football cards, postcards, photographs of funfairs you’ve visited, pebbles from beaches you’ve been to. Learn a good card or magic trick: it takes practice, but it’s enormous fun and if you get good at your trick, you really can surprise people (especially visitors). Go wild swimming: swimming in rivers and lakes may sound an experience not a learning activity – but swimming in a natural environment helps kids learn about nature. See www.wildswimming. co.uk for ideas of where to try it out.
Learn to bake: how to make the perfect Fairy Cake 110g self raising flour 300g icing sugar 110g butter 2-3tbsp water 2 eggs, lightly beaten Decorations : 110g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla essence 1-2tbsp milk 12 fairy cake cases 12 hole cupcake tin 1. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas 4 and line the cupcake tin with the cases. 2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 3. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, and then stir in the vanilla essence.
4. Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon and then add a little milk until the mixture has a soft dropping consistency. 5. Spoon the mixture into the fairy cake cases.
6. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in one of the cakes comes out clean. 7. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. 8. For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and add enough water to make a smooth mixture. 9. Ice the fairy cakes and decorate as you wish! Recipe courtesy of Justine Grant of Menu Catering. Tel 020 8289 9210; Mob 07790 573186 email@example.com www.menu-catering.co.uk Catering for special occasions.
From yew mazes to water mazes and the traditional to the modern, these 3D puzzles are sure to test your maze-solving abilities this Summer Hever Castle You will definitely get lost in this one! Created by William Waldorf Astor in 1906, the Yew Maze sports hedges 8 feet high and is one of a few traditionally designed mazes in the country. Hever also has a Water Maze of stones that tilt and water jets that spring into action to soak the unwary visitor. Reach the stone grotto in the centre without getting wet! www.hevercastle.co.uk £8–£15, Hever, nr Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG, 01732 865224
visited. There is also an effective sound installation enticing visitors through the labyrinth.
www.hrp.org.uk/ HamptonCourtPalace £8.25–£16.50, East Molesey KT8 9AU, 0844 482 7777 Odds Farm Park Explore the exciting Maize Maze. Weather and crop dependent!
www.oddsfarm.co.uk £8.95–£11.95, Wooburn Common Road, Wooburn Common, Bucks HP10 0LX, 01628 520188
Willows Farm Village
Lose yourself in this spiralling Yew Maze and return to civilization through an underworld grotto, complete with macabre forms and mythical beasts. There is also a Turf Maze designed for younger children, the circles of turf leading to a wooden castle in the centre.
Check out their A-maize-ing 20,000 metre maze.
020 8466 6977
Britain’s oldest surviving hedge maze. Designed by George London and Henry Wise in 1690, it is the most famous maze in the world and arguably the most
The world’s second largest symbolic hedge maze, designed to reflect the history and architecture of the Palace. Covering over an
acre, it has two wooden bridges which provide vantage points. Within the maze is a model of a Woodstock street, putting greens, and giant chess and draughts set.
www.blenheimpalace.com £6.30–£21, Woodstock OX20 1PP, 0800 849 6500 Tulleys Summer Maze Park The giant Maize Maze is created with a different design each year. Torchlight Maze Evenings give visitors the chance to complete the maze in the dark.
www.tulleysmaizemaze. co.uk £7.50–£9.95, Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill, Crawley RH10 4PE, 01342 718472
ou n’t Su r on m lis m li is tin me ne s gs r !
Hampton Court Maze
Blenheim Palace – Marlborough Maze
www.leeds-castle.com £13.50-£21, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL, 01622 765400
www.willowsfarmvillage. com £8.50–£14.50, Coursers Road, London Colney, St Albans AL4 0PF, 0870 1299718
Get lost in theYew Maze at Hever Castle
Millets Maize Maze
Split into 3 mazes, Mega, Midi and Mini, each of
them have a different game to play.
www.milletsfarmcentre. com £6, Kingston Road, Frilford, Nr Abingdon OX13 5HB, 07826132416 Cliveden Maze Have fun getting lost in the Maze, as large as the world famous Hampton Court Maze. There is no ‘quick exit’ so you have to find your way out as well as in.
www.clivedenhouse.co.uk £4.75–£9.50, Cliveden, Taplow, nr Maidenhead, SL6 0JA, 01628 605069 Stansted House Maze A family attraction with over 500 yew trees nearly 2m tall.
www.stanstedpark.co.uk, £2–£3, Stansted Park, Rowland’s Castle PO9 6DX, 02392 412265
Out & about
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BEWL WATER Bewlbridge Lane, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells TN3 8JH, 01892 890000, www.bewlwater.co.uk Children’s activities include fishing, hydroballing, crazy golf and cycling. 6 & 7 July Have a Go Weekend Try water sports including kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. £5 per person per session. Adult: £5. Child: £4. 25 July–31 August Summer Holiday Fun!
THE BLUEBELL RAILWAY Sheffield Park Station, East Sussex, 01825 720800, www.bluebell-railway.co.uk Booking essential. 20 & 21 July Toy and Rail Collectors Fair 10 & 11 August Vintage Transport Weekend
BRANDS HATCH CIRCUIT
Nickelodeon’s DoraThe Explorer Live! Search for the City of LostToys comes to the Churchill Theatre
THEATRE & Ballet CHURCHILL THEATRE
High Street, Bromley, 08448 717 620, www.atgtickets.com/bromley 12–14 August Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer LIVE! Search for the City of Lost Toys Everyone’s favourite explorer is embarking on a LIVE musical adventure across the UK! In Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer LIVE! Search for the City of Lost Toys, Dora has lost her teddy bear Osito, and the search is on to retrieve him! With the help of the audience, Map, Backpack, Boots, Diego and their courageous friends, Dora uses her map-reading, counting, musical and language skills to successfully pass through the number pyramid and the mixed-up jungle to reach the City of Lost Toys. But watch out – you never know what that sneaky fox Swiper might be up to along the way! Dora the Explorer fans will delight in this two act, song and dance spectacular that invites them to think, sing and play along. To book tickets visit nickjr.co.uk/doralive
FAIRFIELD HALLS Park Lane, Croydon, 020 8688 9291, www.fairfield.co.uk 12 & 13 July Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom 17 August Postman Pat – It’s Showtime
THE ORCHARD Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1ED, 01322 220000, firstname.lastname@example.org www.orchardtheatre.co.uk 31 July–4 August Grandpa in My Pocket Sunnysands Pirate, Horatio Heave Ho takes Jason and Jemima on a pirate adventure in search of treasure. But when things go wrong, it’s time for
Grandpa to put on his Shrinking Cap and save the day. It’s Teamwork! A brand-new story told by a young ensemble cast who brings all your favourite Sunnysands characters and places to life before your eyes. 28–29 August Room on the Broom Get ready as the West End smash-hit based on the bestselling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, flies into Dartford! How the cat purred and how the witch grinned, as they sat on their broomstick and flew through the wind… Fasten your seatbelts for a rip-roaring ride.
THE STAG London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1ZZ, 01732 450175, email@example.com, www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk 13 & 14 July Step Back in Time
BEDGEBURY NATIONAL PINETUM & FOREST
Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst, nr Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2SJ, 01580 879 820, www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury ONGOING EVENTS Seasonal trails, family cycle trails, horse riding & Go Ape 1 & 15 August Drop-in Summer Trail £2. 20 & 22 August Family Backpack Trail Booking essential. £6 per child. Age 9+. 8 & 29 August Den Building Booking essential. £4 per child. Age 10+. 6 & 27 August Family Map SafarI Booking essential. £2 per participant. Age 9+. 27 August Babe the Sheep Pig Comes to Bedgebury Tickets available from the Forestry Commission Box Office on 03000 680400 (a £1.50 booking fee applies). Adult: £12. Child (2–15): £9.
Fawkham, Longfield, Kent DA3 8NG, 01474 872331,www.motorsportvision.co.uk/brands-hatch 13 & 14 July THe HSCC Historic Superprix 19–21 July MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship 10 & 11 August British F3/GT Championships 24 & 25 August Lotus Festival
CHISLEHURST CAVES Caveside Close, Old Hill, Chislehurst BR7 5NL, 020 8467 3264, www.chislehurst-caves.co.uk See website for opening times and special events. Entrance to the caves is by guided tour only. Tours last 45–50 minutes.
CUTTY SARK Cutty Sark Clipper Ship, King William Walk, Greenwich, London SE10 9HT, www.rmg.co.uk/cuttysark 6 & 7 July Family Fun Weekend: Beneath the Waves 7 & 28 July & 4, 11, 18 & 25 August Ahoy Captain! Join Captain Woodget, Cutty Sark’s longest serving master, and hear tales of his voyages across the high seas. 3, 4, 27 & 28 August Family Fun Weekend: Fly the Flag Learn how to write a coded message using signal flags and design your own flag in this family workshop. 21 & 22 August My Mini Sailor 23 & 26 August Flying Fish
KENSINGTON PALACE Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, 0844 482 7777, www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace There are lots of amazing things to see and do at Kensington Palace including the King’s Stage Apartments, the Queen’s State Apartments, Victoria Revealed, Luminous Lace, The Red Saloon, live performance by Coney and a visit to The Gardens. 26 July & 2, 9, 16 & 23 August Fun Fridays Family learning activities for all the family.
Events KENT COUNTY SHOW Detling www.kentshowground.co.uk 12–14 July Enjoy a great day out for all the family to celebrate the very best of Kent. Children will love looking at all the farm animals and heavy farm machinery displays, not to mention the food tent which has lots of local produce to sample and buy. Events include sheep sheering, show jumping, flower arranging demonstrations, livestock parades and terrier racing. BBC PROMS FOR FAMILIES www.bbc.co.uk/proms 12 July–7 September Under 18s are half price (excludes Last Night). Younger children (3–7s) can enjoy the new Proms Plus Storytime events, while the Proms Plus Family events offer free, one-hour workshop introductions to selected familyfriendly concerts. 13 July & 4 August, 11.30am Proms Plus Storytime (Royal College of Music) 14 July, 10.30am Doctor Who Prom 18 July, 5pm Proms Plus Family (Royal College of Music) 20 July, 11am Proms Plus Family Orchestra & Chorus (Royal College of Music) 25 July, 6, 13, 24 & 30 August, 5.30pm Proms Plus Family (Royal College of Music) 18 August & 1 September, 1pm Proms Plus Family Orchestra & Chorus (Royal College of Music) 1 September, 4pm–5.50pm Family Matinee: The Big Proms Bear Hunt OPEN EAST FESTIVAL Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park www. QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk
27 & 28 July To celebrate the first anniversary of the London 2012 Games, the north of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be open to the public for a weekend full of entertainment, activity, art and food. Young visitors will be enchanted by ‘The House of Fairy Tales’, transported by the interactive storytelling from Discover Children’s Story Centre and Charlie Dark’s hip-hop, poetry puppet adventure, and dazzled by a multitude of things to see, make and do. Encounter Joey, from the National Theatre’s production War Horse, unearth a future masterpiece at the Art Car Boot Fair, catch the afternoon’s athletics live on the big screen... There will be plenty of surprises as you explore London’s newest park, all leading to a spectacular finale as the day draws to a close. Adult: £9.50. Child (5–16): £6. LARK IN THE PARK Sidcup Place, www.larkinthepark.com 27 July–11 August A great combination of family festival fun with weekday afternoon kids clubs including Sparkles Toddler Club, HQ Fizz (5–7), HQ Buzz (7–11), Bubblz (for 5–11s with additional needs) and Free60 Youth (11–14). LOVE PARKS WEEK www.loveparksweek.org.uk 27 July–4 August Events include
Embrace everything rural at the Kent County Show (12–14 July) Tai-Chi classes, jazz nights, urban street games and teddy bear picnics. SUMMER OPENING OF THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT 31 July–31 August & 17 September–5 October Adult: £16.50. Child (5–15): one child free with each paying adult and £7 for each additional child (0844 847 1672, www.ticketmaster.co.uk/ housesofparliament). KIDS WEEK IN THE WEST END www.kidsweek.co.uk 1–31 August One child (aged 5–16) goes free to any participating show when accompanied by a full paying adult, and another two children can go for half price. LOLLIBOP 2013 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 0871 3308 077 www.lollibopfestival.co.uk
KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY
ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH
01580 765155, www.kesr.org.uk 27–29 July A Day Out With Thomas 30 July–18 August Half Price Travel for Kids!
Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, SE10 8XJ, 020 8312 6565, www.nmm.ac.uk Shows include The Sky Tonight Live, Space Safari, Solar System, Galaxy, Universe, Meet the Neighbours and We Are Aliens! Days & times vary. Until 8 September Alien Revolution
KENT LIFE Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone ME14 3AU, 01622 763936, www.kentlife.org.uk 13 & 14 July Teddy Bears Picnic 21 July Classic & Vintage Vehicle Show
RIVERHILL HIMALAYAN GARDENS Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0RR, 01732 459777, www.riverhillgardens.co.uk 24–28 July Boat Making 31 July–4 August Scavenging Imaginings 7–11 August Face Painting and Nail Art 14–18 August Jewellery Making 21–26 August Yeti Clay Fun 28 August–1 September Bark Art
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16–18 August The UK’s biggest festival for the under 10s is back with an action packed programme with guests including Dick & Dom, Go!Go!Go! Show, Cloudbabies, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Poppy Cat, Animal Man and workshops from the Science Museum. PICNIC PROMS Crystal Palace Park 020 8466 0558 www.crystalpalacegardenparty.com 18 August, 3.30pm–10pm The PROMS returns to Crystal Place so bring your lanterns, hampers, blankets and Champagne and enjoy a wonderful relaxing afternoon as the Kent Sinfonia play all your favourite classical tunes from Nimrod to the 1812 via Radetsky and with a glorious firework finale. Early Bird adult ticket: £14.50. Tickets on the day: Adult: £17.50. Child (13 and under): £5. Under 3s free.
Historical Houses & Gardens CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE
West Station, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5QY, 01892 537 715, www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk 17 & 18 August Teddy Bears’ Day Out 22 August Meet Peppa Pig
Hill Hoath Road, near Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD, 01892 870347, www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk CLOSED 25 AUGUST 24 July Best of West Kent Veteran Car Run 31 July, 6.30pm Open Air Theatre: Sense & Sensibility Bring a picnic and rug as you sit back and enjoy this production from Chapterhouse Theatre Company. Tickets available from 01892 872746 or via www.seetickets.com
TOWER OF LONDON
CROFTON ROMAN VILLA
EC3N 4AB, 0844 482 7777, visitorservices.TOL@hrp.org.uk www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon 10 July–31 December 2014 Line of Kings Marvel at this magnificent collection of arms and armour.
Crofton Road, Orpington BR6 8AF, 020 8460 1442, 07805 138 46, firstname.lastname@example.org 21 July, 10.30am & 2pm Festival of British Archaeology – Villa Family Fun Event While the adults enjoy a guided talk of the villa
SPA VALLEY RAILWAY
What’s On house, the children will have a demonstration session with artefacts, pictures and dressing up as Romans. The family can then enjoy a quiz and receive a joint certificate and badge on completion. Adult: £1.50. Concession: £1. Family ticket (of 4): £4 – each additional child is 50p. Every Wednesday in August, 10.30am & 2pm Growing Up as Roman Children Find out about Roman children from birth to marriage, including games and toys and joining in a Roman lesson. Make a Roman child’s lucky charm and take part in a Roman Citizen’s quiz to win your Roman citizen certificate and badge. £4 per child. Age 5–11. Every Friday in August, 10.30am & 2pm Costumes and Horrible Habits Through the Ages Discover some horrible habits and find out about some fabulous fashions, then make a collage of a fashionable historical character. £4 per child. Age 5–11.
ENGLISH HERITAGE PROPERTIES Members free. For prices & opening times visit www.english-heritage.org.uk
ELTHAM PALACE & GARDENS
Court Yard, Eltham SE9 5QE, 0870 333 1183 28–30 July Time Travellers Go… Awesome Archaeology Let the kids get stuck into history with the chance to uncover clues and handle artefacts. Take part in a sand pit dig to unveil secrets from the past. Plus plenty of hands on activities. 4–6 August Time Travellers Go… Knights & Princesses Give that toy sword a whirl or put on your prettiest dress and head back in time for activities on a medieval theme. Transform yourself into a noble lord in squire training, and even try on armour in our academy for budding knights and princesses. 11–13 August Time Travellers Go… Soldiers School Air raids, rationing, evacuation – how would you have fared during WWII? Find out what life was really like during the 1940s, and learn about Eltham’s role during the war, then take part in the children’s drill and obstacle course. 18–29 August Time Travellers Go… Medieval Fun & Games How would you have fared 500 years ago? Journey back through the ages to medieval times and find out what life would have been like, with hands on activities and games. 25–27 August Time Travellers Go… Ugly Bug Safari Grab a magnifying glass and join our explorer for a hunt through the gardens at Eltham Palace to find a mass of fascinating minibeasts. Discover more about bugs and their habitat and create your own creepy crawly to take home.
HOME OF CHARLES DARWIN (DOWN HOUSE) Luxted Road, Downe Kent BR6 7JT, 01689 859119 30 July–3 August Time Travellers Go… Ugly Bug Safari Grab a magnifying glass and hunt through the gardens at Down House to find a mass of fascinating minibeasts. Discover more about bugs and their habitat and create your own creepy crawly to take home. 6–10 August Time Travellers Go… Seafaring Anchors aweigh! Set sail on a nautical adventure as you learn the ropes of seafaring, 1800s style. 13–17 August Time Travellers Go… Meet the Darwins Enjoy tales of Darwin’s discoveries
Enjoy family fun at Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest during the Summer holidays and voyages, learn about his continuing research and hear about his life at home with his adored children. 20–24 August Time Travellers Go… Discoveries and Inventions Calling all budding Einsteins, this ingenious event will get your brains buzzing! From the totally practical to the downright wacky, take a trip through history’s most exciting inventions or see if you can make an important discovery like Darwin himself. 27–31 August Time Travellers Go… Victorian Fun & Games Experience a range of Victorian games and pastimes as you take a look at how Darwin’s children would have lived in the 19th Century.
LULLINGSTONE ROMAN VILLA
Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0JA, 01322 863467 Wonder at the display of artefacts and dress up in traditional Roman costumes.
HALL PLACE AND GARDENS Bourne Road, Bexley DA5 1PQ, tickets must be booked in advance, 01322 621238, www.hallplace.org.uk 12–14, 19–21 & 26–28 July & 2–4, 9–11, 16–18, 23–25 & 30–31 August All About Owls Meet the special feathered guests brought to Hall Place by Welling-based company Jambs Owls. Adult: £3. Child: £2. 29–31 July & 1–2 August Holiday Activity: Animal Magic Meet owls, meercats, a porcupine, parrots, a skunk, bearded dragons, snakes, rabbits, guinea pigs and much more! Adult: £3. Child: £6. 5–9 August Holiday Activity: Twit-twoo Come and listen to one little owl’s amazing journey. Adult: £2. Child: £4. 12–16 August Holiday Activity: Fairy School Trainee fairies and elves will love this enchanting school where they can enjoy storytelling, fairy cake decorating, dancing, crafts and other magical skills. £8. Age 3–9. 20 & 22 August Bat Walk Adult: £10. Child: £8.
HEVER CASTLE Hever, near Edenbridge, TN8 7NG, 01732 865224, www.hevercastle.co.uk 13–14, 21–21 & 26–28 July & 9–11, 16–18 & 23–24 August The Knights of Royal England Jousting Tournaments Enjoy this spectacular battle as Sir Sam of Hever throws down the gauntlet and invites French knights to partake in the annual joust with the Kings of Royal England. Have-a-go Archery sessions available. 3–4 August Paws at the Castle This event includes dancing dogs, agility demonstrations, guide dog demonstrations, a fun dog show and stalls.
LEEDS CASTLE near Maidstone, ME17 1PL, 01622 765400, www.leeds-castle.com 24–26 August Knight & Princess School Brave knights can dress up in chainmail and helmets and take sword fighting lessons using a wooden sword, while princesses will learn the art of etiquette, dress up in beautiful costumes and learn a Medieval courtly dance. Age 2–10.
NATIONAL TRUST Members free. For prices & opening times visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk
near Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5UA, 01580 830196 20 & 21 July Adventures in Archaeology 24 July Best of West Kent Veteran Car Run 31 July, 6.30pm Open Air Theatre: Sense & Sensibility Tickets available from 01892 872746 or via www.seetickets.com
Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent TN16 1PS, 01732 868381 6 & 7 July & 3 & 4 August 50 Things in the Garden 24 July Best of West Kent Veteran Car Rally 1–31 August Dig for Victory
What’s On s
17 & 18 August 50 Things in the Woodland 27 & 28 August Have-A-Go Falconry Days
Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 6BA, 01732 750367 13 July Teddy Bears Picnic 29 & 31 July & 3, 4 & 8 August Children’s Photography Workshop Age 10+. Pre book. 6 August Treasure Island Theatre Performance Adult: £13. Child: £9. Pre book. 15 August Backwoods Cooking Lessons 29 August Bushcraft Walk £15. Pre book.
Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks TN15 0NT, 01732 810378 1 August 50 Things – Ightham Challenge 15 August Sports Day 22 August Teddy Bears Picnic 29 August Smugglers & Pirates Fun DaY
Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0RP, 01732 450608 / 01732 462100 25 July–31 August Family House Trails 29 July & 5, 12 & 19 August Family Mondays & Family Courtyard Trail 1, 8, 17 & 22 August Dressing Up in Tudor Costume 6 & 20 August Tudor Skittles
Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey RH5 6BD, 01372 452048 29 July–30 August Summer Holiday Activities
Red House Lane, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8JF, 020 8304 9878 13 & 14 July Arts & Crafts Fair 26 July & 2, 9, 16 & 23 August Family Fridays in the Summer
CHRISTMAS TREE FARM Cudham Road, Downe Village, Kent BR6 7LF, 01689 861603, www.xmastreefarm.co.uk 10am–5.30pm.
EAGLE HEIGHTS WILDLIFE PARK Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0JB, 01322 866 577 www.eagleheights.co.uk Check website for opening times and events. Flying displays 12pm & 3pm, reptiles and mammal encounter 1.45 pm & daily demonstrations. 7, 23, 24, 30 & 21 July, 3.30pm The Africa Show Meet Annie the African Fish Eagle and Bomani the Cheetah as they recreate life in Africa and educate the public about the ongoing conservation issues in Africa.
FOAL FARM ANIMAL RESCUE CENTRE Jail Lane, Biggin Hill, Kent TN16 3AX, 01959 572 386, www.foalfarm.org.uk 1.30pm–4.30pm (except Tues). Check website for holiday activities.
HOWLETTS WILD ANIMAL PARK Bekesbourne, Nr Canterbury, Kent CT4 5EL, 0844 842 4647, www.aspinallfoundation.org/howletts July: Visions of Life Capture nature at its finest and see if you can become Howletts’ photographer
Lamberhurst TN3 8JD, 01892 893 820 25–31 July & 1–31 August Summer Holiday Adventures
FUN WITH ANIMALS
BOCKETTS FARM PARK Young Street, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9BS, 01372 363764, email@example.com www.bockettsfarm.co.uk 25 July–31 August Summer Holiday Farm Fun
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Lympne, Nr Hythe, Kent CT21 4PD, 0844 842 4647, www.aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne July The Rhythm and Sounds of Life Discover the sounds the animals make and enter the competition to see if you can identify them by their calls. August Primate Pandemonium Discover some amazing monkey facts.
SOUTH OF ENGLAND RARE BREEDS CENTRE Woodchurch, Ashford, Kent TN26 3RJ, 01233 861 493, www.rarebreeds.org.uk 14 July Fun Dog Show 27 July Butterfly, Bugs & Beasties 7 August Summer Fun Day 26 August Teddy Bears’ Picnic
WILDWOOD Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ, 01227 712 111, www.wildwoodtrust.org Pre-book; charges apply. 13 July & 24 August Dormouse Handling & Surveying Workshop £40 per person. 14 July Bee Day Drop in event. 7 July Bushcraft Experience Day £35. 14 July–4 August Big Butterfly Count 31 July & 15 & 28 August Junior Zoo Keeper 13 & 14 August Mini Farmer’s Market 18 August Animal Encounter & Drawing Day Age Age 7+.
FUN WITH NATURE
Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8DG, 01892 870307, www.penshurstplace.com 20 July–2 September Maize Maze Open 21 July Porcupine Party Code Quest 27 July–26 August Summer Sunday Stories 25 & 26 August August Bank Holiday Fun
PORT LYMPNE WILD ANIMAL & SAFARI PARK
331 Shooters Hill, Welling DA16 3RP, 020 8319 8900, firstname.lastname@example.org www.thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org Closed Mondays. 10 August Bird Watching Walk
Sissinghurst, nr Cranbrook, 01580 710700. 17 & 18 August Smallholding Fair 24 August Open Air Theatre: Midsummer Nights Dream
PENSHURST PLACE & GARDENS
of the year. August: A treat a Day Keeps the Vet Away See some of the animals enjoying a new treat to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
THE WOODLANDS FARM TRUST
Smallhythe, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 7NG, 01580 766111 6 August Animal Safari 13 August Pottering Around
ing list e at e r l s Mo ailab milie .uk av w.fa t.co n wwonke d n lo
Services PAINTING & DECORATING
Interior / Exterior Experienced, Reliable, Clean Fully Guaranteed / Insured FREE ADVICE AND QUOTE John:- James & Lamont 020 8462 4646-07802 535695
Handyman For all your household repairs and odd jobs. I offer a professional and courteous serivice.
www.shaunthehandyman.co.uk 020 8249 3264 or 07913 656 502
COOLINGS GREEN & PLEASANT Main Road, Knockholt TN14 7LJ, 01959 534386, www. coolings.co.uk Booking essential 27 July & 24 August, 9am–3pm Farmers’ & Craft Market (Rushmore Hill Site) 27 July, 10.30am–12.30pm Morris Dancers 10 August Classic Car Show
LULLINGSTONE COUNTRY PARK & VISITOR CENTRE Castle Road, Eynsford, DA4 0JF, 08458 247 600, www.kent.gov.uk/kentcountryparks 27 July–31 August Summer Activity Trail
RUXLEY MANOR GARDEN CENTRE Maidstone Road, Sidcup DA14 5BQ, 020 8300 0084, www.ruxley-manor.co.uk Charges apply. 29–31 July Paint and Plant a Flower Pot 5–7 August Beach Fun Activity Kit £2.99. 12–14 August Seaside Suncatchers
m, seu usic u m m For ery & visit s s e l l ga istingfamili o.uk l w. c . t n wwonke d n lo
19–21 August Design a Bug Viewing Box 26–28 August Paint a Pebble Pet
SHORNE WOODS COUNTRY PARK Brewers Road, Shorne, Gravesend, DA12 3HX, 08458 247 600,www.kent.gov.uk/kentcountryparks 1–28 July Archaeology in the Park Join the summer archaeology excavation of Randall Manor. 27 July–31 August Summer Activity Trail
TROSLEY COUNTRY PARK Waterlow Rd, Vigo, Meopham, Kent, DA13 0SG, 08458 247 600, www.kent.gov.uk/kentcountryparks Check website for holiday activities.
MUSEUMS BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH, 020 7601 5545, www.bankofengland.co.uk/ museum 6 & 13 July, 9.30am–5pm (last entry 4pm) Open Door Enjoy 30-minute guided tours of parts of the Bank not generally accessible to the public (part of the City of London Festival). 22 July–30 August, 10am–4.30pm World of Treasure Discover the Museum’s treasures by answering clues and following the trail to claim your chocolate coin. Make a treasure chest-shaped money box to take home. BROMLEY MUSEUM The Priory, Church Hill, Orpington BR6 0HH, 01689 873826, bromley.museum@ bromley.gov.uk Free family club first Saturday of the month. Summer activities to be confirmed. DARTFORD BOROUGH MUSEUM Market Street, Dartford, Kent DA1 1EU, 01322 224739, email@example.com www.dartford.gov.uk/museum Discover more about Dartford and its history with the help of children’s activity sheets. HORNIMAN MUSEUM 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ 020 8699 1872, www.horniman.ac.uk Until 24 November Amazon Adventure This exhibition mixes hands-on experiences with multimedia and live fish displays. You will also learn about the environmental dangers facing the Amazon today and be introduced to the people who live along its banks. NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM Greenwich SE10, 020 8858 4422, www.nmm.ac.uk Weekly, free events, include Explore Saturdays, Discover Sundays and Play Tuesdays.
WILDERNESS WOOD Hadlow Down, East Sussex TN22 4HJ, 01825 830509, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wildernesswood.co.uk See website for lots of fun weekend activities including camp building, bushcraft, woodskills, storytelling and crafts. Pre-book; additional charges apply. 13 July Castaway Join the expedition to build shelters and cook sausages over a campfire made by you! Adult: £4.95. Child: £14.95. Age 6+yrs. 14 July Woodland Monsters Hunt for the wilderness monster, listen to the story of The Gruffalo, then get camouflaged before following the clues to find his hiding place.
20 July Fairy & Elf Gardens Find the woodland fairy glade & listen to a story about elves. Adult: £4.95. Child: £6.95. Age 3–6. 29 July–2 August Theatre Summer Camp – With Feral Theatre 9–30 August Family Forest School 12–16 & 26–30 August Woodkids Summer Day Camp We have taken every care in preparing the listings in this magazine but sometimes events are cancelled or times changed, so please double check details before setting out.
LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM Covent Garden Plaza WC2E 7BB, 020 7565 7298, www.ltmuseum. co.uk
Entrance to the Museum is free for children under 16. Adult admission is £15 (£11.50 concessions) and tickets allow unlimited entry for a year. Children under 16 free (under 12s must be accompanied by an adult). Open 10am–6pm (last admission 5.15pm), Saturday–Thursday. 11am–6pm (last admission 5.15pm), Friday. August: Family Fun There’s fun to be had this summer as London Transport Museum invites families to join in their 150th anniversary celebrations in and around London. Visitors will have the chance to admire and ride on locomotives dating back to the Victorian times, including the recently restored Metropolitan Locomotive No 1, Jubilee Carriage No 353, and the 1890s Metropolitan Jubilee 353 coach. Smaller visitors can take part in family fun activities on the day. The 150th anniversary celebrations are sponsored by Cubic Transport Systems, Siemens and CBS Outdoor, while the Jubilee Carriage No 353 was restored with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and London Transport Museum Friends. Heritage vehicle outings will take place on 3, 4 and 7 August at London Transport Museum at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, and 31 August at London Transport Museum at Neasden Depot. The anniversary celebrations will continue throughout August at the Covent Garden Museum where accompanied children get in free. There will be steamy science demonstrations, story time sessions, make and takes and sing alongs on how the Underground tunnels were built. 30 July–3 August & 13–17 & 27–31 August Tackling Tunnels 11am & 2pm Storytime Hear the tales of William as he works on the first Underground railway tunnels in the world. Discover the dangers of digging deep and how the first tunnels were built. Most suitable for ages 3–7.
11.30am & 2.30pm Get Messy Take on the tunnel challenge. How big a tunnel can you build? Dig or build into our sandpit, with the help of sticks, picks and spades and see who can build the biggest, strongest tunnel. Most suitable for ages 4–12. 4,5,11,12,18,19,25 & 26 August, 11.30am, 2pm & 3pm Steamy Science Discover the challenges of keeping London moving. Become a horse and drag a bus over the bumpy cobblestones, see how far the power of steam can fire a doll and discover the joys of electricity. Most suitable for ages 6 –12. 6–10 & 20–24 August Down With It 11am & 2pm Make and Take Invent your own character and take it up and down a lift or escalator to underground London using paper mechanics and a bundle of imagination. Most suitable for ages 4–12. 12pm & 3pm Singalong Bring your animated character and join Alfie the Alligator for a singalong through the different ways to get up and down to the underground. Most suitable for ages 3–10.
Travelling en famille to your holiday destination needn’t be fraught says Robina Cowan. It just needs a little planning
Summer Tips for Travellers
ippee! It’s the break we’ve all been dreaming of and looking forward to through the dank winter and spring months – here comes this year’s summer holiday. Hands up who remembers when it was just you and your beloved, grabbing a cheap deal, filling a backpack at the last minute and heading for the sun? Those were the good old days... Now you’re a family, there’s a third ‘p’ to add to ‘passport and packing’ – ‘planning’.
Before you go • Label your child’s clothes, towels and backpacks, especially if you will be using kids’ clubs – they WILL go missing. Labels 4 Kids (www.labels4kids.com/fam) and Easy 2 Name (www.easy2name.com) both stock packs of instant labels so the job’s a breeze and it’s a much cheaper solution than replacing lost items. They also have ID wristbands so you can label the children with your contact details. • Use Google Street View with the children to look round your planned location and help get familiarised with the landscape, ‘foreign’ signs and local attractions. You can also use it to create a list of places to visit. • Photocopy everyone’s passport and keep the copies in a different place. If the originals go missing, proof that you had passports will make it much easier to tussle with overseas authorities when it’s time to come home. • Have up to date pictures of your children on your phone - if they go missing you can show authorities what they look like. • Freeze food to await your return - even fresh milk can be frozen - so you don’t come home to an empty kitchen. Some very organised mothers even do an online shop towards the end of their holiday, for delivery on their first day home. Now, that’s organisation! • Lost luggage is a nightmare. Rather than filling one suitcase per person, pack a couple of daytime and evening outfits for everyone in each
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case so you can all get started while the hotel/ airline tracks down the missing bag. • Involve your children in the packing even if just a small part is their responsibility. It occupies them while you are busy and gets them into the holiday mood. Then check their choices: you may find fancy dress costumes and nothing sensible (OK, I admit this is from experience!).
‘Some very organised mothers even do an online shop towards the end of their holiday, for delivery on their first day home.’ • Add a small ‘emergency bag’ to your hand luggage, with plasters, tissues, sachets of paracetamol, cotton wool, needle and thread, safety pins, wet wipes and a few sweets (for bribing and wiping away tears). Oh the satisfying feeling to have what you need just at the right time! • Pack spare clothes in your hand luggage in case of ‘accidents’. • Leave a spare set of keys with a friendly neighbour in case of home emergencies, losing yours or locking yourself out (I’ve done that just when we were about to leave!). • Cancel the newspapers and ask your friendly neighbour to return the wheelie bins to your property on collection day, so you’re not advertising an empty home.
On the way • Long car journeys are not all about being plugged into gadgets. Try story tapes – as a family, we are all totally addicted to the ‘How to Train your Dragon’ series. The ‘Michelin I-Spy’ activity books are great fun, as are the free downloads from www.rac. co.uk/advice/car-knowledge/top-ten/car-games/ I made up some sheets myself for a journey through France and they kept my boys amused for hours. • For flights, Usborne’s ’50 Things do on a Plane’ will keep them occupied (RRP £5.99), while the Top Trumps range is great for older children, especially if you’re willing to join in. • Flying is the one time I am relaxed about screen time – if you have electrical gadgets, use them. Make sure you have some child friendly headphones to hand so as not to ‘share’ your child’s love of Peppa Pig with the entire plane. • Sucky sweets (as they are known in our house) are great for little ones who struggle with their ears on take off. Give babies a bottle (or breastfeed) to stop their ears popping. • Pack an extra layer for the flight even if you’re flying from a warm UK to a tropical destination. Planes can be chilly and children won’t relax if they’re not cosy. • If your child is crying on the flight, don’t panic. Most of passengers on board will be either parents or grandparents and will have sympathy for you. Your priority is settling your child in the best way you can. If your child has a favourite teddy or comfort blanket, make sure it’s in your hand luggage. It may help calm them and that in turn will calm you.
Look out for the next issue: September/October • Special Education Issue • Clubs & Classes Feature • What’s On & much more • If you would like to be included, call 020 8466 6977 or email editor@ familieslondonkent.co.uk
Small classes held at Bromley High School 3 years and upwardsTeacher in the water
TERM TIME CLASSES TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY
NEXT CRASH COURSE 28 OCTOBER–1 NOVEMBER 9.30AM-11AM CHECK WEBSITE FOR DETAILS BOOKING FORMS ON THE WEBSITE
Fancy becoming a swimming teacher? For local courses visit
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