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®

South West November 2016

Where is Father Christmas? Christmas shows and Pantos Christmas fairs Childcare for SEN Local Women’s groups 26 YEARS

REALLY USEFUL INFORMATION FOR PARENTS OF 0-12+ YEAR OLDS IN SW LONDON

CHECK OUT OUR NEW, HYPER LOCAL WEBSITE ! FAMILIESONLINE.CO.UK


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Contents

RHS Garden Wisley: fresh air, natural Christmas decorations, stories, songs, gingerbread decorating workshops and more

Families®SW|Issue 261

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Local news

WEBSITE: www.familiesonline.co.uk

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Our top five family activities this month

TEL: 020 8696 9680

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EDUCATION Open Days listings School news Choosing childcare for Special Needs children

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Gift guide

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Supporting your child’s social anxiety

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Where is Father Christmas?

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Local Women’s groups

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Your local Party entertainers

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Christmas parties for all faiths

EDITORIAL: editor@familiesSW.co.uk NEWS: news@familiesSW.co.uk ADVERTS/ARTWORK: adverts@familiesSW.co.uk EVENTS, DIARY DATES, WHAT’S ON: whatson@familiesSW.co.uk NEXT ISSUE: December 2016 DEADLINE: Early November 2016 ISSN 1354-9553 | All content ©Families SW 2016 • ‘Families SW’ London, established in 1990, is part of Families Magazines Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families® is a registered trademark of Families Magazines Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks, SL8 5TD. • Printed by Ridgeway Press Ltd, Wiltshire • Designed by Shirley Trimmer • 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 consequence. • Paper used to print Families is from fully-managed sustainable sources.

30-31 Christmas shows and pantos 33

Children’s Fashion

34-38 What’s On Diary dates & events Christmas fairs Theatre Museums & Exhibitions

ADVERTISE IN OUR NEXT ISSUE Contact us on 020 8696 9680 Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

Find us on Facebook and Twitter FamiliesSW

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NEWS

BABY SHOW 40% OFF TICKETS Book now for the ‘Baby to Toddler’ event, a two day shopping event taking place at ExCeL on the weekend of 19th to 20th November. Created for expectant parents and parents of children aged 0-4, the event will give you access to exclusive offers and deals from all the big brands and names you know and trust, as well as not-on-the high street boutique brands, all under one roof. The one-stop-shop for everything parents need for their little ones, it’s a fantastic shopping event to make their lives easier and comes just in time for Christmas shopping. Save over 40% by quoting FamiliesSW when booking online. www.BabyToToddlerEvents.co.uk

A GIFT FOR LIFE When your children join the Kids en Cuisine cooking academy you offer them chance to cook, weekly, healthy food focused on fruits, vegetables, spices, aromatic herbs and make real dishes. Children cook at their home with their friends after school. Everything is brought in including real Chefs with aprons and hats! The cooking academy allows children to improve their cooking skills step-by-step with professionals. 020 3015 2966 www.kidsencuisine.com

WIN! OVER £500 WORTH OF GOODIES! Did you know? There are over 35 local ‘Families’ magazines in the UK, with our beloved ‘Families South West’ as the flagship publication. FSW is over 26 years old and positively blooming! FamiliesOnline.co.uk was first launched in 2000 and enjoyed a massive re-launch in July 2016 offering hyper-local sites here and across the UK. To celebrate our relaunch, we are offering the following great prizes to win: A free Waterbabies swimming course, value of £220. Multi-award winning baby swimming classes teaching water confidence and safety skills from birth, these classes have saved more than a dozen children from drowning. 020 7585 1510 www.waterbabies.co.uk

A free term at Hartbeeps Baby Bells class, worth £66.50. Original and highly interactive classes for babies newborn to 6 months at one of their venues: Wimbledon, Tooting, Balham, Battersea, Streatham or Clapham. www.hartbeeps.com

A family ticket to see Babe the Sheep at the Polka Theatre, worth £74: the perfect show to see before Christmas. Valid for 2 adults and 2 children (or one adult, 3 children). www.polkatheatre.com

A 30 mins therapeutic or sports massage worth £41 at Physio4all, Physiotherapy and Osteopathy in Chelsea and Battersea. www.physio4all.com

One year membership to HelloMums, London's Best Babysitter Service, worth £96. Qualified, experienced, trusted babysitters at your fingertips. Book quickly and easily at www.hellomums.co.uk

A copy of the book Stickyscapes Space worth £9.95 by Laurence King Publishing. A gorgeous Pom-Pom Hat worth £25, with faux-fur Pom-Poms delivered in its own miniature hat box from www.angels-face.co.uk

TO ENTER SIMPLY GO TO WWW.FAMILIESSONLINE.CO.UK, ENTER YOUR POSTCODE TO FIND YOUR LOCAL SITE AND ENTER THE COMPETITION! VERY BEST OF LUCK!

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November 2016 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk


NEWS

A NURSERY FULL TIME OUTDOORS Following the huge success of their Chiswick and Wimbledon locations, Little Forest Folk are opening London’s first full-time outdoor nursery for 2 to 5-year-olds in Fulham Palace Gardens. Based on the successful Scandinavian model of education that emphasises early years outdoor play (and leads to happier children and better academic results further down the line), the nursery also follows the core Early Year Foundation Stage curriculum. There are 13 acres of gardens, plus a restored walled garden for children to explore: an enchanting start to their education journey. The Wimbledon branch, which opened in 2015, received an outstanding Ofsted rating. It is so encouraging to see parents supporting this kind of initiative as children thrive in nature! www.littleforestfolk.com

PLANS DELAYED FOR LATE SCHOOL ENTRY FOR SUMMER-BORN CHILDREN Plans for summer-born children to start school a year later are to be delayed over fears that it will give parents an unfair advantage to win a place at the most popular schools. The Government announced last year that it would change the rules, so that children born between April 1 and August 31 could start primary school a year later. Academics have suggested that delaying entry would close the attainment gap. However, the changes have been delayed over concerns that parents of summer-born children could apply twice for the same school, giving them an unfair advantage.

WANDSWORTH WELCOMES REFUGEES Wandsworth welcomes its first Syrian refugee family to the borough this autumn, almost a year to the day after Labour councillors first called on the Council to assist refugees. The family will be resettled under the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme. Cllr Anderson, Wandsworth Labour’s Deputy Leader said, ‘For a year we have been pushing the Council to do more to help people fleeing the war in Syria so I am delighted and proud that the Council is finally stepping up to the plate.’ She added, ‘The last time this was debated we extracted a promise that the Council would take in a minimum of 10 families by next summer and we will hold them to this.’

BECOME A MERTON FOSTER CARER Could you foster? Find out about what fostering is, all about the assessment process, the impact on family life, support, training, payments and much more at a Foster Information Meeting. Meet the team at Merton Foster Care as well as experienced foster carers and get a real feel for fostering. Meetings take place at Morden Baptist Church, Crown Lane SM4 5BL on 23 November at 6.30pm, 7 December at 10.30am, 21 December at 6.30pm, 11 January at 10.30am and 26 January at 6.30pm. Merton.gov.uk/fostering. 020 8545 4070 | fostering@merton.gov.uk

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

NEW NURSERY SEEKING CHILDCARERS Bright Horizons have told us they are opening a brand new West Hill Day Nursery and preschool in Wandsworth in early 2017. They are currently looking for talented nursery professionals to be a part of this brand new setting. You’ll be joining one of the UK’s largest and most trusted networks of nurseries, with the opportunity to shape the culture and standards from the day its opens its doors. To find out more, please call 0800 141 2909, or email europe.recruitment@brighthorizons.com

TOOTING PLAYGROUND IS READY Work on revamping the children’s playground in Upper Tooting Park is now complete, and little visitors are welcome! New equipment including a play bus has been installed, steps into the toddler area have been changed and damaged safety surfaces have been replaced with artificial grass. Other playground improvements funded by the Wandsworth Local Fund are in the pipeline too, including a £163,000 refurbishment to the playground in Swaby Gardens, Earlsfield and £70,000 to be spent on resurfacing King George’s Park playground. Find out more at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/wlf

WANDSWORTH NURSERY NOW OPEN This new nursery is the third from Playtime Nurseries, who already have branches in Shepperton and Staines-upon-Thames, and promises some of the best facilities and most dedicated staff in the industry. It also offers that all-important wrap around service so you can drop off at 7am and pick up at 6pm. For ages 3 months to 5 years, flexi-sessions available. Voted Number 1 for Best Day Nursery in South East England and voted 7th in the UK. Worth a look! Spectrum Way, off Broomhill Road Sw18 4GQ. wandsworth@playtimenurseries.com 020 3735 9410 | www.playtimenurseries.com 5


FAMILIES TOP FIVE

It’s wet, it’s dark, it’s November. Take a look at our pick of the best family activities across the capital this month to cheer you up. EVERY MAN’S CLUB: FAMILIES EXPERIENCE National Army Museum Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HT www.nam.ac.uk 19 November The realities of the First World War were tough on soldiers, physically and mentally. In 1915, British Army chaplains Neville Talbot and Tubby Clayton created a place where soldiers could escape to: The Every Man’s Club. The club became known as Talbot House (Toc-H) and hosted a variety of entertainers. Regardless of rank, all soldiers were welcome.

Squid Soup illuminations at Kew Gardens

CHRISTMAS AT KEW Kew Gardens TW9 3AB www.kew.org 23 November – 2 January As twilight falls, the magic begins…This Christmas, Kew will once again transform into a magical after dark explosion of festive colour, as you embark on a mile long illuminated trail inspired by the Gardens themselves. At Kew’s daytime Christmas workshops make rustic crafts from natural materials collected in the Gardens, catch a ride on Kew’s Victorian Carousel and helter skelter outside White Peaks Café. Entrance fees apply.

BABE THE SHEEP PIG The Polka Theatre 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB www.polkatheatre.com 25 NOVEMBER – 5 FEBRUARY Adapted from Dick King-Smith’s muchloved children’s novel which inspired the Oscar-winning 1995 film, Babe, The Sheep-Pig will be brought to life on stage in an enchanting new production, embarking on a major UK Tour in 2017 following a Christmas season at Polka Theatre. An ideal Christmas treat. Age 5-11, from £12

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Bring your kids along for a free fun-filled afternoon of hands-on activities and entertainment including craft workshops and games. 1-3pm FREE

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF RHS GARDEN WISLEY Surrey www.rhs.org.uk/wisley A fantastic programme of events throughout November and December to delight visitors young and old. Back for a second year, Christmas Glow (1 Dec – 2 Jan 2017) promises to be bigger, brighter and better than ever. Take the family on an exciting tour of the garden and discover their captivating light installation with giant, botanically inspired blooms, set to spark the imagination. Gigantic blooms to discover by wandering through the garden, as well as seeing all the natural Christmas decorations. Open until 8pm throughout December. Discounted entry from 3pm.

YOUTH LATE: TAKEOVER Horniman Museum 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ www.horniman.ac.uk 26 November The Horniman Youth Panel takes over the museum with an exciting night of live bands, DJs, a photobooth and much more. This event is organised for young people by young people. The first 200 visitors get a free wristband so arrive early. 6.30-9.30pm, age 14-19. FREE

November 2016 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk


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THE STUDIO DAY NURSERY (Established 1987)

Montessori Teaching Method 8.00am to 7.00pm Full & Part-time Cooked Lunch & High Tea provided Boys & Girls Aged 2yrs-5yrs

93 Moore Park Road Fulham SW6 All enquires: 020 7736 9256 Principal: J.M.R. Williams, NNEB, RSH (Norlander).

Dawmouse Montessori Nursery School “To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will able him to develop freely� Maria Montessori

Celebrating 20 years of excellence in Montessori teaching Come and visit one of our two Dawmouse Montessori Nursery Schools in Fulham and discover why we have enjoyed such a long period of success teaching children from 2yrs to 5yrs in their early years education. To learn more about us just visit our new web site at www.dawmouse.co.uk or email miss.emma@dawmouse.com

www.dawmouse.co.uk Passionate about teaching and learning

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Tel: 020 83989294


Calling all baby Scientists! Help us discover how babies learn! Calling all infants from birth to 18 months to take part in fun studies at the Birkbeck Babylab in central London. We provide a black cab if you live within 5 miles of Birkbeck, or we refund any travel expenses. 020 7631 6258 babylab@bbk.ac.uk www.cbcd.bbk.ac.uk

Career blues? Had a baby? Or recently moved here? Lacking confidence? We will help you restart your career after a short (or long) pause. We are a team of two experienced Career Coaches—and we're mums too. During our 2-day workshop, Re-engage, Re-invent and return to a career you love!

Visit our website at: www.reinvent-uk.com 07713 246108

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SCHOOL OPEN DAYS Call to book your place now Compiled by Joanna Parry

SW1

SW10

HILL HOUSE SCHOOL

REDCLIFFE SCHOOL

4-13 Co-Ed Tours every weekday morning in term time, 8.30am booking required 020 7584 1331 www.hillhouseschool.co.uk

FRANCIS HOLLAND SCHOOL

3-11 Girls 3-8 Boys Tours Tuesdays and Thursdays during term time 9.30am booking required 020 7352 9247 www.redcliffeschool.com

4-18 Girls Senior School Open Morning 9/11 8.45am 020 7730 2971 www.fhs-sw1.org.uk

SW11

SW3

4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings most Thursdays 9.15-10.30am by appointment 020 7924 3472 www.dolphinschool.org.uk

ST JOSEPH‘S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Evening 9/11 6-7pm 020 7589 2438 www.stjosephs.rbkc.sch.uk

SW4 PARKGATE HOUSE SCHOOL 2.5-11 Co-Ed Open Morning 8/11 9.30am12pm 020 7350 2452 www.parkgateschool.co.uk

WIX PRIMARY SCHOOL 3-11 Co-Ed Open Morning for Nursery and Reception 3/11 9-10am booking necessary 020 7228 3055 www.wixschool.net

SW6 FULHAM PREP SCHOOL 4-13 Co-Ed Pre-Prep Open Morning 17/11 9.15am, 10.15am and 11.15am call to book a place and time slot 7371 9911, Prep School tours by appointment only 020 7386 2444 www.fulhamprep.co.uk

PARSONS GREEN PREP 4-11 Co-Ed Midweek tours on Thursdays at 9am by appointment only 020 7371 9009 www.parsonsgreenprep.co.uk

SW7 THE HAMPSHIRE SCHOOL 3-13 Co-Ed Tours of main school on Wednesdays at 9am and of Early Years School on Mondays and Thursdays at 1.30pm 020 7352 7077 www.thehampshireschoolchelsea.co.uk

DOLPHIN SCHOOL

JOHN BURNS PRIMARY SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 4/11, 14/11 and 1/12 9.15am 020 7228 3857 www.johnburns.wandsworth.sch.uk

THE DOMINIE 6-11 Co-Ed Tours by appointment Please contact the school to find out more about their specialist teaching for dyslexic children 020 7720 8783 www.thedominie.co.uk

RUTHERFORD HOUSE SCHOOL 4 – 11 Co -Ed 10/11 2pm, 17/11 10am & 24/11 2pm. Contact the school to book a visit 020 8672 5901 www.rutherfordhouseschool.co.uk

SW18 THE ROCHE SCHOOL 2.5-11 Co-Ed Open Morning 16/11 9.30-11am 020 8877 0823 www.therocheschool.co.uk

ST ANNE’S C OF E PRIMARY SCHOOL

THAMES CHRISTIAN COLLEGE

ST FAITH’S C OF E PRIMARY SCHOOL

11-16 Co-Ed Open Morning 3/11 020 7228 3933 www.thameschristiancollege.org.uk

4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 8/11, 23/11 and 6/12 9am 020 8874 2653 www.stfaiths.wandsworth.sch.uk

SHAFTESBURY PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 23/11 and 30/11 020 7228 3652 www.shaftesburypark.wandsworth.sch.uk

SW12 WHITE HOUSE PREP SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Morning 26/11 9.3011.30am plus tours Tuesday mornings at 9.15am 020 8674 9514 book in advance www.whitehouseschool.com

LONDON STEINER SCHOOL

4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 22/11 and 8/12 at 9am 020 8673 0594 www.ravenstoneschool.co.uk

QUEENS GATE

SW13

RAVENSTONE PRIMARY SCHOOL

THE HARRODIAN SCHOOL

SW8

4-18 Co-Ed Senior School 11+ Open Morning 2/11 plus regular tours during term time 020 8762 6321 www.harrodian.com

NEWTON PREP

SW15

4-11 Co-Ed Open Morning 2/11 9.30am 020 7622 4101 www.heathbrook.org

SW17

4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 9/11 and 1/12 booking required 020 8874 1863 www.stannes.wandsworth.sch.uk

ST NICHOLAS PREP SCHOOL

HEATHBROOK PRIMARY SCHOOL

STREATHAM HIGH SCHOOL 4-18 Girls Prep Open Mornings 1/11 and 29/11 9am, Senior Open Morning 9/11 9.15-11.30am 8677 8400 www.schs.gdst.net

BELLEVILLE SCHOOL

2-10 Co-Ed Open House every Wednesday and Thursday during term time 9.30-10.30am book in advance 020 7225 1277 www.stnicholasprep.co.uk

4-11 Co-Ed Friday tours by appointment 910.30am 020 7720 4091 www.newtonprepschool.co.uk

SW16

4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 2/11 and 3/11 9.30am 020 7228 6727 www.bellevilleschool.org.uk

4-11 Co-Ed Weekly school tours by appointment every Tuesday at 11.50am 020 8772 3504 www.waldorflondon.co.uk

4-18 Girls Junior School Open Day 3/11 9.1511am, Senior School Open Evening 1/11 5.308pm 020 7589 3587 www.queensgate.org.uk

GRANARD PRIMARY SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 15/11 and 10/1/17 at 9.15am 020 8788 3606 www.granardprimary.co.uk

IBSTOCK PLACE SCHOOL 3-18 Co-Ed Pre-Prep and Prep Open Morning 16/11 9.30am booking required 020 8876 9991 / 8392 5803 www.ibstockplaceschool.co.uk

THE FALCONS SCHOOL FOR GIRLS 4-11 Girls Open Morning 12/11 10.30am12.30pm 020 8992 5189 www.falconsgirls.co.uk

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

SW19 THE STUDY PREP SCHOOL 4-11 Girls Tours on Tuesdays 9.20-10.30am 020 8947 6969 www.thestudyprep.co.uk

WILLINGTON INDEPENDENT PREP SCHOOL 4-13 Boys Tours of the school by appointment 020 8944 7020 www.willingtonschool.co.uk

W6 RAVENSCOURT PARK PREP SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Morning 15/11 9.30am 020 8846 9153 www.rpps.co.uk

SE22 ALLEYN’S JUNIOR SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Day 15/11 1.30-3pm 020 8557 1500 www.alleyns.org.uk/junior

SE26 SYDENHAM HIGH SCHOOL 4-11 Girls Junior School Open Day 2/11 020 8557 7004 www.sydenhamhighschool.gdst.net

TW1 RADNOR HOUSE 9-18 Co-Ed Open Day 12/11 020 8891 6264 www.radnorhouse.org

RG4 QUEEN ANNE'S 11-18 Girls Day and boarding. Open morning 18/11 9.30-11am 0118 918 7333 www.qas.org.uk/bookingonline

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EDUCATION NEWS MEET THE BRIGHEST AND THE BEST IN EDUCATION You’d better be quick to book your tickets for The Independent Schools Show in Battersea Park, Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 November. Nowhere else will you find such a comprehensive gathering of the leading independent schools, brightest thinkers and most respected head-teachers in British education. Over 200 of the best schools will be there along with education luminaries like Toby Young. www.theschoolsshow.com

EXPLORE MATHS Explore Learning’s National Young Mathematicians’ Award is returning soon. Their aim is for more children than ever to be confident and excited about maths. Try these two simple tips at home: Bring maths to life with fun and engaging ways to learn new skills. Baking, measuring objects and budgeting at the shops are great ways for your child to be hands on with maths. Ask questions during homework time: Why? How do you know? Are you sure? The more you can challenge your child to convince you of their reasoning, the more you will build skills such as problem solving from an early age. Be sure to praise them for their efforts afterwards, too! For more advice, support, news and views on maths, take a look at their blog www.explorelearning.co.uk/blog/category/maths/

MERTON GIRLS’ NATIONAL RANKING Merton’s Ursuline High School in Wimbledon has been ranked 12th out of 182 comprehensive schools listed in the Telegraph’s 2016 GCSE results table this year, with 88.5% of its pupils taking GCSEs achieving A*-C and 40% achieving A* or A. In fact, results from all Merton’s state schools bucked the national trend as the borough saw significant improvements in its GCSE results, scoring well above the national average. ‘I am proud of our students who have worked very hard for their exam results and it is wonderful to see so many achieve the top grades,’ said head teacher Julia Waters. ‘Our success is due to our teaching staff, the hardworking students themselves and their families who support them throughout their schooling.’ Ursuline High School, Crescent Road, Wimbledon SW20 8HA. 020 8255 2688, www.ursulinehigh.merton.sch.uk

TUTORS NEED SAME CHECKS AS TEACHERS Children's charity the NSPCC has recommended that all self-employed tutors who work with children should be legally required to undergo a criminal record check. At the moment, there is no legal requirement for tutors to have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, although many choose to do so voluntarily. The NSPCC warns that this leaves children vulnerable to adults “seeking to harm children". The Home Office has said it will consider the calls. Whilst all school teachers must have DBS checks, there is currently no requirement for private tutors to do the same. Many tutoring agencies will insist on an up-todate check on their staff, but some do not. Employers and licensed bodies can request DBS checks but individuals cannot, meaning parents are unable to run such checks. Now, the NSPCC is calling for a tightening of the law to ensure every individual giving private tuition undergoes a check, saying the same rules should apply for self-employed tutors as for classroom teachers. It recommends:

EXTRA HOURS COULD FORCE NURSERY SCHOOLS TO CLOSE Experts are warning that if the government presses ahead with the offer to parents of 30 hours’ free childcare each week, then some nursery schools may be forced to close. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) says that pre-schools won’t cope when free care for three and four year olds rises from 15 to 30 hours per week during term times. Additional funding that was available for nursery schools to pay for this will end in two years. Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT said: "The 30 hours offer will be doomed before it even gets started, additional places won't materialise and current places will be lost as nursery schools across England close their doors for good.

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

• Parents employ tutors through reputable agencies • Parents should personally check a tutor is suitable, interview them and follow up references • Parents should make sure children understand how to keep themselves safe. The NSPCC recommends that you talk to your child about safety and teach them the PANTS rule: P – Private is private A – Always remember that your body belongs to you N – No means no T – Talk about secrets that upset you S – Speak up, someone can help You can see more about this at nspcc.org.uk

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SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

Choosing childcare for children with special needs By Elyssa Campbell-Barr

Finding the right childcare for any child can be a challenge. If your child has additional needs of any sort, whether a physical disability, chronic medical condition, learning difficulties, behavioural issues, communication problems or severe allergies, it might feel particularly daunting. The good news is that there is plenty of support available.

1.

Every local authority in England has a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (Senco), and you'll find a Senco in every nursery and Sure Start centre too. Their role is to work with you and your child, as well as staff and outside agencies, to make sure your son or daughter gets appropriate support.

5.

There are also private nanny agencies that specialise in providing families with childcarers who have training or experience in caring for disabled children and those with special educational needs. Snap Childcare (www.snapchildcare.co.uk) is one that covers the whole of the UK, and a web search may reveal others in your area.

2.

Local authorities in England must also have a 'Local Offer', which explains the services available to children who have special education needs or disabilities (SEND) and their families. You'll be able to find this online.

6.

There may be financial support available for your childcare provider. Ask your Senco about grants or funding that might cover the costs of assistants, extra equipment, sessions with specialists or training.

3.

7.

Mainstream childcare providers, such as nurseries and childminders, are required by law to make ‘reasonable adjustments' to accommodate youngsters with additional needs. What's considered a 'reasonable adjustment' is decided on a case-by-case basis, but examples might include new catering arrangements to accommodate a child with food allergies, an access ramp for a child with mobility difficulties, or finding space and time for a speech therapist to work one-to-one with a child with delayed speech.

Check your entitlement to tax credits, as the amount you receive may be higher if your child is eligible for Disability Living Allowance or is registered blind.

8.

In England, if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) they will be eligible for 15 hours of free early education each week from the term after they turn two. You don't need to be working or studying to access this.

9.

Under the Childcare Act 2016, local authorities in England have a duty to ensure there is suitable childcare accessible to all families who need it, and this covers disabled children up to the age of 18.

4.

If specialist childcare would be more appropriate for your child, your local authority Senco or Family Information Service should be able to tell you about local nurseries and playschemes specifically for disabled children, as well as about specially trained registered childminders, and home childcarers if your child needs care at home.

10. Finding the right childcare for a child with special needs may take extra time, effort and determination, but it benefits the whole family. The charity Contact a Family (www.cafamily.org.uk) and local groups that make up the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (www.nnpcf.org.uk) are valuable sources of further advice.

Elyssa Campbell-Barr has been writing about childcare and education for more than 15 years. She is the author of Choosing Childcare, ÂŁ9.99 published by Cross Publishing Services.

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November 2016 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk


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LEARN TO RUN Beginner & improver courses for WOMEN on Wimbledon Common COURSES start throughout the year Contact Caroline on 07810 486286, info@commonrunners.co.uk

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GIFTS GUIDE

Mon Petit art origami doll book £15.95 Harrods Christmas home baking gifts from £10.95 by CookieCrumbles.co.uk

Seedling Create Your Own Designer Tutu craft kit £34.95 Harrods

Explore numbers 1-20 through songs and games with Leapfrog Count and Crawl Kitty, 9month +, £16.99. JustWilliamstoys.com, Clapham South.

Strategy and detective board game Scotland Yard. Age 8+, £19.99. JustWilliamstoys.com, Clapham South.

Marie-Chantal all-in-one gift box £59.95 Harrods

Stunning personalised II Gufo children’s wear sweater dress £94.95 Harrods

Christmas gifts Do you just LOVE Christmas? How much would you spend to impress your family members or friends with unique Christmas tree toys or other decorations? Would you cherish wonderful personalised or stylised hearts Christmas tree decorations? My Right Style decorations can either come paper wrapped or in a gift box. Would you like it with Swarovski crystals or with hint of lavender inside? Everything is possible. Simply choose your colour and decorations for the front or back: bows, crystals, pattern (applique) or image, your initials, embroidery. Do you want to make your house looking stunningly Christmassy? Libby can create Christmas blankets, cushions, buntings and more. Everything is made to measure, from a selection of fabrics available for you, or they can use your remnants and offcuts, if you have any. Simply email Libby your thoughts and she will get back to you within 12 hours with a great offer.

Fun and easy to use The Wiggle Car, £29.99. JustWilliamstoys.com, Clapham South.

07741277190 info@myrightstyle.co.uk www.myrightstyle.co.uk

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

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© Merton Foster Care

HEALTH

Supporting your child’s social anxiety By Karen Dempsey

If your child is struggling with social skills, or is finding it hard to fit in, there are several ways that you as a parent can offer support and encouragement. As parents we all want to see our children happy and part of a peer group, running freely in the playground with smiles on their faces. No one wants to see their child alone and kicking leaves around the edges of everyone else’s fun. Maybe they don’t fit in because they’re too shy, too sensitive, or too selfconscious. It may help to remember that children develop social skills at a different pace, in the same way that some children learn to walk or talk more quickly than others.

Some signs of social anxiety in children Social anxiety can play a big part in the development of some children, and it can go beyond just shyness. Children who are socially anxious may: • Avoid putting their hand up in class because they don’t want the embarrassment of everyone looking at them. • Prefer structured play – such as PE or football – to free play during break time, when they tend to play alone. • Fear interacting with other children because it feels too overwhelming, and so avoid eye contact and conversation. • Drop out of clubs or social activities because it feels too much. • Blush, cry or create a scene when confronted with new people or situations. • Feel panicky if asked to perform in front of anyone. Exhibiting these symptoms does not mean that your child has a disorder. It may just signify that your son or daughter needs extra support and reassurance in learning how to be a social human being.

Supporting your child’s social skills through the ages Psychologist Erik Erikson developed a model that explains the “psychosocial” development of children, and shows the different tasks that need to be achieved at different ages. As a parent you can support your child through these different phases by recognising their needs and encouraging them in these tasks. 18 MONTHS TO 3 YEARS: This is the phase where children learn autonomy and independence. They’re becoming more mobile and active, and trying out more things, like climbing, jumping and playing with new toys. As parents you have to find the balance between allowing your children to explore, while also protecting them from harm. Too much

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

leeway and they may feel uncontained or abandoned. Too much control and they will feel stifled or begin to doubt their abilities. Create an environment where your children can experiment without being told off or criticised, and where they can be creative without fear of failure. Applaud their efforts, and you’ll do wonders for their self-esteem. 3 TO 5 YEARS: This is the phase where children learn initiative and assertiveness. It’s the time where they start to make up games and want other children to follow their lead. They become more wilful, which some parents may interpret as defiance. You’ll hear the question “why?” frequently during this phase of development, as children seek to make sense of their world. To help your children negotiate this phase, take an interest in their questions rather than treating them as irrelevant or annoying, or the child can start to feel guilty for being in the way. Don’t punish them for overstepping the mark, but encourage them to recognise where the boundaries are. 5 TO 12 YEARS: This is the phase of activity – once they’ve started school –where children learn competence in their own abilities. The world outside the home will take on more significance as children learn to fit in, and to feel proud of what they have achieved. Take an interest in your children’s schoolwork. Support them in their sporting or artistic endeavours. Let them know how to win and how to lose, so they can learn to be balanced individuals.

Dos and don’ts to support your child’s social skills • Do encourage creativity and questioning. • Do give your child full attention. Put your phone down and truly listen. • Don’t jump in to rescue and speak for your children: allow them to find their own voice. • Don’t force a socially anxious child into a situation that can be excruciatingly embarrassing. Build up to it gradually. • Do find activities where your children feel competent, able and confident. Let them find their ‘thing’. • Do seek support as a family if you are becoming overwhelmed. Karen Dempsey is a psychotherapist with The Awareness Centre in Clapham SW4. The centre provides counselling, psychotherapy and psychology to individuals, couples, families and groups 7 days a week. www.theawarenesscentre.com

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A MUST DO ACTIVITY WITH YOUR LITTLE ONES

Where is Santa? Compiled by Joanna Parry

Father Christmas is very busy at this time of year. In addition to these places listed here, you can also find him attending many Christmas fairs, in department stores, shopping centres and garden centres. Eddie Catz Wimbledon 42 Station Road SW19 2LP 020 8540 9956 Tickets available from www.santasgrotto.london 16 to 23 December Santa’s Grotto London prepares for its third year at Eddie Catz. Visits cost £19.99 per ticket and includes the Santa’s Grotto experience, a professional photo, a gift from Santa and a 2 hour play at Eddie Catz.

Fulham Palace Bishops Avenue SW6 6EA 020 7736 3233 www.fulhampalace.org 3, 4 and 11 December Father Christmas is back! Bring the whole family to visit Santa Claus in his beautifully decorated Tudor Great Hall, and make sure your are on the Nice list to receive your special present. With the Christmas tree, elves' gift wrapping station, Father Christmas's desk and the naughty and nice list all on display, this is a very special and atmospheric experience. £11 per child, booking essential.

Hamleys 188-196 Regent Street W1B 5BT 0371 704 1977 www.hamleys.com 26 November – 24 December Join Father Christmas and his lovable elves at The Finest Toy Shop in the World for fun, magic

and theatre at this very special time of year. Meeting Father Christmas at Hamleys is an extra special experience where children will take part in seasonal activities, enjoy delicious snacks, spend time with Father Christmas and receive an extra special gift bag to take home. £37.50.

Hyde Park's Santa Land www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com /santaland 18 November – 2 January See your little ones’ faces light up as they enter the home of Santa. With plenty of eateries, rides for the little ones and Santa in his grotto, it is a magical place for the children. Visit Santa’s Toy Factory fun house where Santa and his elves are making gifts ready for the big day.

Museum of London 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN 020 7814 5502 www.museumoflondon.org.uk 3-23 December Join Santa in their Victorian Walk and then explore his enchanting Grotto. Each child who meets Santa receives a special gift, with the option (for an additional £8) to take home a photograph of the magical moment. From £7, book in advance.

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

Kew Gardens

Rainforest Café

Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB 020 8332 5655 www.kew.org/christmas 23 November - 2 January There’s something for everyone at this festive time of year as their one mile sparkling path winds its way through the Gardens in a magical after dark experience. A botanical wonderland awaits, with brightly coloured laser beams dancing over water, a Tunnel of Lights, scented Fire Garden and fairy-tale avenues of flora. Santa and his elves will be in the North Pole village, plus favourite vintage rides, Christmas gifts and traditional festive fare.

20 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 7EU 020 7434 3111 www.therainforestcafe.co.uk/events/grotto 12 November – 24 December (Saturdays and Sundays only in November) There's a secret hidden in the depths of the Rainforest this Christmas... Rainforest Cafe offers a personalised Family Grotto Experience to remember, one that will leave your little ones mesmerised by the magic of Christmas. All good little boys and girls are welcome to visit and enjoy a magical visit to see Santa in his enchanting snowy woodland grotto.

Merton Abbey Mills

WWT London Wetlands Centre

Watermill Way, SW19 2RD www.mertonabbeymills.org.uk 10-11 and 17-18 December Santa and his elves return to Merton Abbey Mills this December so come and visit them in their Grotto. 124pm, £3 (includes a gift).

Harrods 87-135 Brompton Road SW1X 7XL 0333 300 2300 www.harrods.com/grotto 4 November – 24 December Whether marking a child's first Christmas or honouring a family tradition, a visit to The Harrods Christmas Grotto is the perfect way to start the festive season. From £10.

Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT 020 8409 4400 www.wwt.org.uk/london 3-4 December Get into the festive mood at WWT London Wetland Centre’s wonderful winter weekend. Children will be thrilled to hop aboard for a husky sleigh ride and visit Santa in his magical grotto. Head over to the northern pine forest where Father Christmas will be ready to welcome families in his cosy grotto among the trees. £6 per child including a goody bag. Don’t miss part 2 next month! See more Santa sightings in our What’s On pages.

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WOMEN’S GROUPS

Sistering By Helena Foss

Following our report last month on the international Red Tent movement of monthly women’s gatherings, Helena explores the places where local women gather for friendship, inspiration and mutual support. During one of her recent speaking events, the wildly popular American mummy blogger, author and activist, Glennon Doyle Melton, was asked: “If you could give women one piece of advice, what would it be?” She replied: “Sister each other, because sistering is the best part of life.” Sistering is actually a term used by carpenters. Sometimes a joist has to hold up such a heavy load, that it starts to weaken. So another board is added to either or both sides to strengthen it. “Women are special, strong people who hold up the world,” says Glennon. “But sometimes life gets too heavy and hard to hold up alone. My favourite thing about being part of a sister joist is that I don’t have to say the right thing, I just have to stand there and be strong.”

moon in Streatham venues or private homes and usually features a creative activity. Wear red if you can and ‘come as you are.’ oneloveenergyhealing.wixsite.com/healing/red-tent

Women’s Mantra and Voice Circle Another uplifting monthly singing group hosted by voiceworker Tatiana Spencer in Brixton and Catford. You are invited to take part in freestyle singing, shared silence and to express thoughts and feelings using a talking stick. www.meetup.com/Songs-of-Spirit

Sista Circle for Black Mature Women

We all need support now and again, especially busy mums. Just like those in-flight safety instructions to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others, there is nothing selfish about prioritising our own needs sometimes. Here are some local groups that welcome new sisters.

Based in Dulwich but open to all black, mature women, this group values quality over quantity. Intimate ‘meet and greets’ are held in south London plus occasional special trips to events and shows in the city. www.meetup.com/Dulwich-and-Surrounding-Sista-Circle-for-BlackMature-Women

Women in Transitions

Blooming Women

Organiser Orianne Corman, knows the pain of major life transitions, from leaving her native Belgium to leaving a difficult partner with her four children in tow whilst setting up her own business. She offers a circle of non-judgemental support for women navigating all manner of the curveballs life tends to throw at us, such as divorce, health issues, exile, redundancy and bereavement. www.meetup.com/WomenInTransitionsGroup

In a society that values youthful beauty over the wisdom, wrinkles and hormonal shifts that come with age, mid-life can be a challenging time for women. Open to women in their late thirties onwards, this group insists that mid-life is a time of reflection and re-invention – a time to bloom and focus on the life you truly yearn for. Organiser Valerie Lewis will be running groups in the new year. www.visualiseandbloom.com

Red Tents

Inner and Outer Beauty

Inspired by the novel of the same name by Anita Diamant, see www.redtentdirectory.co.uk for more locations. Wimbledon: This monthly full moon gathering either on or nearby Wimbledon Common, is run by clinical hypnotherapist and shamanic healer Maria Maya Fotiou. Each meeting is different but may include guided visualisation, meditation, drumming, song, creative activities, sharing and listening in a supportive atmosphere. www.meetup.com/Wimbledon-Circle-of-Healing-and-Empowerment/ Kingston: A monthly women’s circle focusing on sharing and gratitude. It is held on the new moon, the time of the month traditionally associated with stillness, rest, rejuvenation and new beginnings. Contact Lucy Harrison on lucy30@me.com Streatham: South London Red Tent is run by primary teacher and holistic health practitioner Melonie Syrett. Meets on or around the new

Holistic beauty therapist and life coach Siobhan Schiller runs inspirational workshops for women of all ages. Her aim is to show women both their inner and outer beauty and empower them with self-knowledge and self-belief. www.siobhanschiller.co.uk

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

Entrepreneurial Women’s Network A ‘business sisterhood’ networking hub for female entrepreneurs and women who are keen to start their own business. Monthly meetings in Soho. www.meetup.com/EntrepreneurialWomensNetwork If none of the above appeal, why not create your own group? You might already have close girlfriends who support you. Above all, let’s not forget to sister each other.

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PARTIES

Your brilliant local party providers ADAM ANTS Adam Ants offers high energy parties. Adam Ants and his talented team make sure their parties are non stop fun. With something for all ages: magic, balloon modelling, puppets, music, dancing, games, face painting. They also offer amazing disco/sports parties or the ever popular a Build a Bear party. You can hire tables and chairs/bouncy castles/soft play and ball ponds. Why not invite your favourite character to the party from Mickey Mouse to Pepper Pig and many more.

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LYDIE PARTIES Lydie children's and adults' parties are unique and unforgettable. No other entertainer will deliver the goods in quite the same way that Lydie does. For children, she will transform your house or choice of venue into a mini theatre with her extraordinary props and decorations, creating a magical space where the children play an active role and become the actors in the unfolding dramas. For adults, she will create fantastic bespoke parties based on the customer’s desired themes.

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ACTION STATION Imaginative interactive storytelling parties. Choose from mermaids, funky witches and wizards, fairies or princesses, pirates, knights or cowboys, spies or drama parties. Clowns, magicians, jugglers, circus skills experts, face painters, make- up artists and DJs also available. 0870 770 2705 www.theactionstation.co.uk

Face Painting & Balloon Modelling Contact Susie 07814 925462 www.magicaldesigns.co.uk

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Blueberry parties are lively, interactive musical parties for 0-5 years. One of their talented entertainers will play guitar and sing songs with joining in, actions, jumping games, dancing and instruments. Shaky egg maracas, parachute games and a puppet will add to the fun— perfect for little ones! A 45-minute session is £115.

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Is your child a budding Rock star?

ROCKSTARS PARTIES Rockstars specialise in giving you a party to remember. They run one and two hour Recording Studio parties for children (aged 7 and over) and adults as well as studio experiences for those who play their own instruments. They are based in Tooting Bec at their established professional studio. Their experienced staff will ensure that you have a great time and end up with a recording to be proud of. Rockstars parties are an ideal way to celebrate your birthday if you love music and love to sing.

Make room for creativity! Can you imagine a birthday party where your child learns new skills, creates new projects and shares their creative skills with their friends... and above all has tonnes of fun doing so? Well look no further! Your child is and can be a creative genius. They are specialists in creating age specific projects for children 0-12: you will be amazed! Elena says: "As a TA and after school club leader in a primary school, I know for a fact that allowing creative freedom to children in a safe and structured environment helps children develop a healthy self-esteem and independence. I absolutely LOVE creative projects! I love the idea of creating a personalised birthday party where your child can genuinely express their creativity." 10% DISCOUNT BOOKINGS FOR FAMILIES READERS! 0785 233 6405 www.thecreativityroom.co.uk

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Silly Millie the Clown Parties for 3-9 year olds Funny Magic Show, Puppet’s, Party Games, Silly Songs and Balloon Animals Call 020 7823 8329 - 07939 239397 www.sillymillietheclown.co.uk

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

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CHRISTMAS PARTIES

How to have a children’s Christmas party whilst being sensitive to other faiths By Emma Oliver

In today’s society, our children grow up surrounded by other faiths and cultures, which is definitely a reason to celebrate. Together, they learn from one another about diversity and race. And together we can all unite for the good of the community and the wellbeing of all. But how do you hold a party at Christmas and remain sensitive to one another’s needs? How do you hold a multi faith celebration? We take a look at the best ways to have fun and include all the children in the class – not just the Christian ones.

Be informed It is not only the Christian faith that has a holiday at a similar season as Christmas: Hanukah and Divali are also celebrated, usually during December and there are several similarities that you can use for your party such as the tradition of lighting candles. Also, a growing number of non-Christian families have created unique ‘Christmas’ traditions, to ensure they celebrate the season for one reason or another, if only for

the Bank Holidays. This makes it easier to encourage everyone to join in. And many nonChristians celebrate Christmas, with the presents and the food traditions upheld, too.

Learn from one another Being sensitive to all needs is important but so is avoiding segregation, which can be divisive. So don’t feel you can’t invite children of other faiths to your party and ask their parents if there are seasonal traditions or foods they enjoy – perhaps a mum may offer to bring some food they traditionally have to celebrate festivals. Ultimately as a parent, you want to teach respect. Children are accepting and good at embracing the multi faith experience – we can learn a lot from them.

Share values Whatever their faith, parents share the same core values. We want our children to be good conversationalists, to learn to share, to engage well with family and friends and to be happy. At your party, keep the focus on what unites people: laughter, love and friendship.

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | November 2016

Celebrate Coming together is a celebration whatever the occasion and it may well be that you choose to manage the ingredients of your party with individual ingredients of other faiths… with games, food and music to suit all. If there is anything that you are not sure about, my advice would be to check with the parents of the children you’ve invited about your plans, just to make sure they are happy too. This can be especially true of the food you serve, as you’ll need to know if the children are unable to eat certain foods for religious, cultural or medical reasons. Chances are, if the children you have invited say yes, the party will be a success for all and who knows – perhaps you’ll all learn a little more about each other in the process! Emma Oliver is a journalist and mum to two young girls. When she's not off gadding she can be found blogging WritingLifeAsItIs.blogspot.co.uk

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Christmas shows and pantos Compiled by Joanna Parry

The Little Match Girl

The Gruffalo

The Lilian Bayliss Studio Roseberry Avenue EC1R 4TN www.sadlerswells.com 10-30 December Our unlikely heroine is an impoverished young street girl, who wanders the ever-darkening streets with just one final match to keep her warm on a cold Christmas Eve. Beautifully recreated through dance, song and live atmospheric music, The Little Match Girl is a timeless fable about kindness and helping others, which will enthral young children and the whole family alike. From £12, age 5+

Lyric Theatre W1D 7ES nimaxtheatres.com/lyric-theatre, gruffalolive.com To 8 January Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories' magical, musical adaptation of 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 muchloved show that's toured Britain and the world.

Lyric Hammersmith

Matthew Bourne’s magical adaptation of the Red Shoes

The Night That Autumn Turned To Winter Battersea Arts Centre Lavender Hill SW11 5TN www.bac.org.uk 3 December – 8 January Winter is on its way, and deep in the wild wood animals of all shapes and sizes are busy getting ready for the cold. Join award-winning Little Bulb Theatre on an unforgettable woodland adventure with songs, silliness and plenty of audience interaction. Age 3-7, from £10

Little Red Riding Hood Chelsea Theatre 7 World's End Place, King's Road SW10 0DR www.chelseatheatre.org.uk 30 November – 24 December Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house and what a big wardrobe Grandma’s got. Come along in your pyjamas, slippers, onesies or dressing-gowns for a tale packed with special pies, smelly fur coats and donuts! £9, age 4+

Adventure to Oz Chicken Shed Chase Side, Southgate N14 4PE www.chickenshed.org.uk 23 November – 7 January In this dazzling production, meet familiar faces like Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man plus new and memorable characters such as the incredible Patchwork

Girl and Ojo the Unlucky Munchkin. Travel along the famous Yellow Brick Road with a brave band of friends on a quest to release Ojo’s Uncle from an enchantment that has turned him to stone. £5-£22.50, age 5+

Peter Pan Churchill Theatre High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1HA www.churchilltheatre.co.uk 9 December – 7 January Craig Revel Horwood will star as Captain Hook in the swashbuckling family panto adventure, Peter Pan.This dazzling production will be spectacularly brought to life with an abundance of comedy, stunning sets, fabulous costumes and pantomime magic.

Lyric Square, King Street W6 0QL 18 November - 24 December Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas Join Santa as he awakes to find it is the busiest day of the year, Christmas Eve. Watch as he prepares his Christmas deliveries, feeds his reindeer and finally takes flight into the snowy night. Full of merry touches with plenty of live music, songs and playful puppetry. A perfect festive treat for under 6s and their families. Age under 6, £10 19 November - 7 January Aladdin What would you do with three wishes? The Lyric’s traditional panto returns when Aladdin flies in to Hammersmith on his magic carpet for more festive fun Lyric style. Age 6+, £15-£35

Peter Pan National Theatre Upper Ground SE1 9PX www.nationaltheatre.org.uk 16 November – 29 December All children, except one, grow up... When Peter Pan, the leader of the Lost Boys, loses his shadow during a visit to London, headstrong Wendy helps him re-attach it. In return, she is invited to Neverland - where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await. Age 7, from £21

Dick Whittington New Wimbledon Theatre The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QG atgtickets.com/venues/newwimbledon-theatre 9 December – 15 January Join Dick and his feline friend Tommy on his fun-filled quest for fame and fortune. Will the streets

Cinderella Colour House Theatre Watermill Way SW19 2RD www.colourhousetheatre.co.uk Saturdays and Sundays 19 November – 22 January Poor Cinderella has to clean the house for her nasty step-Mother and ugly step-sisters. But when the Royal Palace announces there will be a Ball to find a wife for the handsome Prince and every girl in the kingdom is invited, will Cinderella finally get the fairytale ending she deserves? 2pm and 4pm, £12/£10 Playing for the first time in the West End this Christmas at the Ambassadors Theatre

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November 2016 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk


Christmas shows and pantos really be paved with gold? Will he win the hand of the lovely Alice and will he defeat the dastardly King Rat? Join the best dame in the business, Matthew Kelly, in some festive fun at this year’s fantastic family pantomime. From £12

Otto and the Robin Omnibus Clapham 1 Clapham Common Northside SW4 0QW www.omnibus-clapham.org 1-18 December You are invited to the Piddle under Puddle annual Christmas party! Everyone will be there. Well nearly everyone. Otto would like to go, but he’s just too shy. Then one day a robin flies in through Otto’s window and changes his life forever. Age 3-7, £10/£8

The Snowman Peacock Theatre WC2A 2HT www.sadlerswells.com/peacocktheatre 23 November – 1 January A perennial family favourite, The Snowman has transported a generation of children into the wintery world of a boy and his magical snowman. As a friendship is kindled, the two embark on a starry-skied adventure to the North Pole, where they meet dancing penguins, reindeer, Father Christmas and escape the clutches of Jack Frost. From £15

Babe the Sheep Pig The Polka Theatre 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB www.polkatheatre.com 25 November – 5 February Meet the little pig with big dreams, in a heart-warming tale of friendship, adventure and bravery. When Babe arrives at Hogget’s Farm he is taken in by the trusty sheep-dog Fly and discovers a talent for herding. But can a small pig make it in a dog’s world, and when his farmyard friends are in trouble can Babe save the day? Age 5-11, from £12

Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean, tightfisted old man. He hates everyone and everything, except of course his money. But one Christmas the past comes back to haunt him and he is never the same again. With a cast of marionettes and shadow puppets, this makes for a beautifully atmospheric retelling of the Dickens classic. 3pm, £8.50£12

Cinderella. A Tale of Cinderellaland Putney Arts Theatre Ravenna Road SW15 6AW www.putneyartstheatre.org.uk 14-22 December Cinderellaland is in crisis. A financial crisis that has lead to the dreaded ‘Austerity’. The King and Queen pin their hopes on their slightly immature son, Charming and his less than reliable friend Dandini to rescue the kingdom. Their solution? A great big party. Anyone who’s anyone is invited. The world’s favourite panto, given a magical new lease of life.

The Red Shoes Sadler's Wells Rosebery Avenue EC1R www.sadlerswells.com 6 December – 29 January A beloved fairy tale and Academy Award-winning movie, The Red Shoes has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion. From £12

The Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street SE1 2HZ www.unicorntheatre.com 15 November – 1 January Baddies The stage show where all the fairy tale baddies meet when they are imprisoned for being far too good at being bad. From £12 30 November – 1 January Boing! Who can sleep on Christmas Eve? This piece of dance-theatre captures the delirious excitement of two boys waiting for Father Christmas to arrive on the most magical night of the year. From £12, age 2-6

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Ambassadors Theatre West Street WC2H 9ND www.hungrycaterpillarshow.com/ london 2 December – 7th January Featuring a menageries of 75 loveable puppets! From £12.50

Sleeping Beauty

A Christmas Carol Puppet Theatre Barge Little Venice, Blomfield Road W9 2PF www.puppetbarge.com 3 December – 8 January

The Gruffalo 15th anniversary on stage!

The Big Bad Wolf is in trouble at the Unicorn

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | October 2016

Richmond Theatre The Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ www.atgtickets.com/shows/sleepingbeauty-2016/richmond-theatre 2 December – 8 January Princess Beauty has a spell cast over her by a Wicked Fairy sending her into a deep sleep, but can the spell be broken by a handsome

Prince and will there be a happy ever after? Maureen Lipman makes a return to Richmond as the Wicked Fairy. From £17

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Shaw Theatre 100-110 Euston Road NW1 2AJ www.shaw-theatre.com 10-30 December Mirror, Mirror on the wall… What’s the greatest panto of them all? Starring Darragh Mortell from CBBC's Tracy Beaker as the Prince, Britain's Got Talent impressionist Andrew Fleming as Muddles the Jester and, of course, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs themselves! From £18

Disney on ice's Frozen The 02 Arena Peninsula Square SE10 0DX www.theo2.co.uk/events/detail/disneyon-ice-presents-frozen 21-30 December The heartwarming Academy Award®-winning tale is now live on ice. Be magically whisked away to wintry Arendelle by dazzling special effects and astonishing skating as you sing and dance along to inspiring songs. This unforgettable celebration of love and friendship will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime.

BOOK AHEAD! 31


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WHAT’S ON

I

SEE MORE EVENTS IN OUR ONLINE WHAT’S ON CALENDAR

We take much care in preparing these What’s On pages, but please do double check with organiser before setting out as things change.

DIARY DATES NCT Kensington And Chelsea Meet Up Gambado Chelsea, 7 Townmead Road SW6 2PY www.nct.org.uk/branches/kensington -chelsea Every Wednesday in November A great opportunity to meet other mums with babies under 1. 9.3011am, £1, show your NCT card to get in.

Do-re-mi Babies Concerts Barnes, Chelsea, Fulham, Wandsworth www.doremibabies.co.uk Dates throughout November Inspirational and fun classical concerts. With different musicians, instruments and programmes there is plenty to inspire your little ones. Babies and toddlers are welcome to crawl, dance, sing, cry, nappy change and more, so you can relax and enjoy some wonderful music. £10 per adult, children free, tickets online or on the door. Dates vary depending on venue.

Tower of London EC3N 4AB www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london / www.hrp.org.uk/drawn 3-5 and 10-12 November Nightwatchers Enter the shadowy world of state surveillance in this immersive experience where messages and phone calls lead you around one of history’s most notorious prisons. Consider this your induction into the art of covert investigation. In a climate of global insecurity, who watches the watchers? Early booking advised, 6.15pm, 6.35pm, 7pm, 7.20pm and 7.45pm, £20/£28 16 November Drawn at the Tower with Art Macabre Use drawing to explore stories from the Tower’s remarkable 1,000 year history. From stolen crowns to haunting sounds, each event will immerse you in the Tower’s past. 6.30-9pm, £24 / £20 To 23 December Life in the Medieval Palace Join the knights and ladies of King Edward’s court as they celebrate,

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work, plot and pass the time in true Medieval style. Included in palace admission.

Cutty Sark King William Walk SE10 9HT www.rmg.co.uk/cutty-sark 5 and 6 November Family Fun Weekend: Rangoli Patterns Celebrate Diwali with a rangoli art workshop inspired by the ship’s voyages to India and the cargoes it collected there. 11am and 2pm, all ages, included in admission. 12 November OperaUpClose presents Puccini’s La Bohème One of the most moving operas ever written, Puccini’s La Bohème tells its tale underneath the striking hull of the last surviving clipper ship, Cutty Sark. 8pm, £25, age 13+ 18 November Kids in Museums: Toddler Takeover Day All aboard Cutty Sark for the annual celebration, Kids in Museums Takeover Day, where local school children host a funfilled day of activities for toddlers, including arts, crafts, storytelling and play activities. 10am-2pm, under 5s, £5 per adult.

Stream 2016 Book Festival Streatham and Clapham High School, 42 Abbotswood Road SW16 1AW www.STREAM2016.co.uk 5 November A fantastic book festival with Malorie Blackman and over 30 other authors. Free entry. FREE

Leeds Castle Maidstone ME17 1PL www.leeds-castle.com 5-6 November Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular Be amazed at the biggest and best firework display in the South East. The incredible fireworks will this year be themed to the ‘Greatest Names in Music’. Lookout for wellknown names or even your name projected onto the side of the Castle during the display.

National Maritime Museum Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritimemuseum 5 November Diwali: Festival of Light

Pick up unusual gifts at the Gift of Sight Fair A feast of stories and music. Follow the Bollywood Brass Band for a symbolic procession of light up to the Royal Observatory Greenwich. All ages. FREE 5 and 19 November Horatia’s Story Travel across time and sea with Horatia, Admiral Nelson’s only daughter, as she tells the story of her unconventional childhood with her remarkable mother, Emma Hamilton. 12pm, 1pm and 3pm. All ages. FREE

Hamleys Toy Parade Regent Street November 20th 750,000 people are expected to flock to London’s Regent Street for Hamleys second annual Toy Parade, the biggest in the world. Sign up to the parade is closing imminently, but already confirmed to appear in this year's event are Barbie, Bing and Flop, Fireman Sam, Peppa Pig, Optimus Prime, Mr & Mrs Potato Head, the Ghostbusters and Bob the Builder.

The Fertility Show London Olympia, Hammersmith Road W14 8UX www.fertilityshow.co.uk 5 and 6 November

All you need to know about fertility, getting pregnant and IVF. The Fertility Show London brings together leading fertility specialists from around the UK and beyond. Tickets from £12

Ham House www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hamhouse-and-garden Ham Street, Richmond-upon-Thames TW10 7RS Mondays throughout November Winter Tours of Ham House Choose from a selection of tours and demonstrations focusing on different elements of Ham House’s history. 12-3pm. 7, 14 and 21 December Christmas ghost tours Atmospheric after-hours ghost tour including festive traditional refreshments. £22, 7.30-9pm. 10-11, 17-18 and 19-22 December Visit Father Christmas Follow a trail to visit Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a traditional Christmas gift. £3.50 per child, 10am-3.30pm 1-31 December Secret Christmas Leave your jingle bells at the door and discover what it was like in the 1650s when Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas. 12-3pm

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journeys to the distant planet Altair-4, it should be home to a colony of settlers but is instead only occupied by an enigmatic scientist, his curious daughter, and a hardworking robot called Robby. Following the movie there will be a talk from one of their astronomers on the science behind the film. From £6, 6.30pm, age 12+

Being a Man festival you can kick off your day singing and grooving with your child aged under 5. This session is open to movers and groovers of all abilities, you just need to bring a willingness to have some fun. One ticket admits up to two children aged 5 and under, £5, 10.30am

Cinderella with a Twist

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore SW7 2AP www.championstennis.co.uk 30 November – 4 December If your child has a passion for playing tennis and has their eyes on being the next Andy Murray or Serena Williams they can get coaching tips from tennis legends on mini-tennis courts and experience the magical world of ‘George and the Ice Cream Castle’, all under the watchful eye of Judy Murray. From £18.50

Champions Tennis Montessori Parents Conference Hosted by Paint Pots Montessori Schools St Mary The Boltons Church Hall SW10 9TB Friday 11th November 10am – 3pm Montessori Parenting “Education in an ever changing future” The focus of the conference is to explore how the Montessori curriculum teaches thinking and why this is essential for children to gain skills for life. With Dr. Paul Epstein PH.D. £90 per person

Hampton Court Palace East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU www.hrp.org.uk/ HamptonCourtPalace 10 November At Home with the Royal Tudors Join curator Tracy Borman as she reveals the intimate secrets of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and more. With new insights discover again the characters we think we know so well. 21 November Henry VIII’s Six Wives Go behind the scenes with curator Lucy Worsley in her latest BBC series Henry VIII’s Six Wives. Explore a unique approach to drama and history, and unravel key moments in the lives of Henry VIII’s six wives. From £12, 6.30pm

Royal Observatory Greenwich Blackheath Avenue SE10 8XJ www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory 11 and 12 November An Evening with the Stars Look through the gigantic Great Equatorial Telescope at what the night sky has to offer. From 5.25pm, from £14, booking essential, age 7+ 19 November Forbidden Planet Screening When an expedition from Earth

Chiswick House and Gardens www.humdalilaproductions.com 16-31 December Cinderella An alternative to the Christmas panto this year with this immersive family spectacle from a pop-up theatre company. Featuring twists on the classic fairy tale from ballerina fairies to an acrobatic lizard. With face painting and balloon art, from £30

Skate

Fulham Palace

Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA www.somersethouse.org.uk 17 November – 8 January Signalling the start of London’s festive season, Skate at Somerset House returns for the perfect winter day out. Ice skating tickets from £7.50

Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org Mondays and Tuesdays in November The Palace Explorers Join the Palace Explorers, weekly

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WHAT’S ON

parent/carer and toddler sessions for children aged 2-4. £3 per child, booking essential, 10.30-11.30am 30 November Christmas Past at Fulham Palace Hear how the Bishops and their families celebrated Christmas at Fulham Palace during this festive tour with Miranda Poliakoff, curator. Free, booking recommended, 2pm-3pm

Osterley Park and House Jersey Road, Isleworth TW7 4RB www.nationaltrust.org.uk/osterleypark-and-house 3 December Father Christmas Grotto Visit Reserve your visit to Father Christmas as he flies in this winter as part of Osterley's Christmas Offer. Why not stay on later and see the lights or visit the house for their Christmas by Design installation? From 11am, £10 6 December Christmas Wreath Workshop Make a traditional Christmas Wreath using greenery cut fresh from the Osterley estate. £23.50, 10am-12pm, age 14+

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Hyde Park www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com 18 November – 2 January Includes an ice rink, Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk and The Sooty Christmas Show. Winter Wonderland gets bigger and crazier every year!

Mum2Mum Market Ricards Lodge High School, Lake Road, Wimbledon SW19 7HB www.mum2mummarket.co.uk 19 November Check out this award-winning nearly new sale for all of your baby and children’s bargains. Everything for sale is pre-loved and of a quality brand in great condition. All at bargain prices too! 2-4pm

Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX www.southbankcentre.co.uk 27 November Pram Jam: Only Dads Aloud Dads, grand-dads, and male carers come with your little one for a special Pram Jam. As part of the

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CHRISTMAS FAIRS

Kensington Mums Family Christmas Fair

Gift of Sight Fair

St Paul’s Christmas Fair

Chelsea Town Hall, King’s Road www.stjohneyehospital.org 30th November Wonderful Christmas shopping, whilst supporting their invaluable work, saving sight. There will be a wide selection of stallholders selling top quality gifts, jewellery, home and fashion accessories. Find something unique, not available on the High Street, and support growing businesses – many of the traders are emerging British designers and craftspeople. Sample delicious artisan foods, handmade Christmas puddings and divine Christmas cakes and stock your larder or make someone’s Christmas a little easier. 11am8pm. £5 entry or 2 for 1 with their advert page 35.

St Paul’s Community Centre 23 Inner Park Road, SW19 November 19th

Southbank Centre Christmas Market

Feel free to enter your own fair, fete or event in Familiesonline.co.uk online calendar. FREE

Wandsworth Friends of Trinity Hospice Christmas Fair

Kensington Close Hotel, Wrights Lane W8 5SP www.kensingtonmums.co.uk 27 November Everything under one roof from kids clothing, toys and gifts to a pamper corner just for Mums and kids entertainment for little ones. Plus food and drink and lots of festive fun. 10am-6pm, free

St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road SW12 8RQ www.trinityhospicechristmasfair.org 16 November A fantastic shopping experience with over 40 stalls including some old favorites and many new ones to tempt everyone. 8.30am to 3.30pm

Christmas Market at Kew Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB www.kew.org/christmas 23 November - 2 January A wonderful boutique Christmas market with a Victorian carousel and vintage rides, foodie treats and live festive music. Don’t miss the illuminations too.

Parish of Putney Christmas Fair St Mary’s Church, bottom of Putney High Street Saturday 26 November between 11am and 2pm

DRAMA The Cambridge Theatre Seven Dials, 32-34 Earlham Street WC2H 9HU uk.matildathemusical.com Throughout November Matilda The Musical Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.

Chickenshed Theatre At Wilton's Music Hall, Graces Alley E1 8JB

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Christmas Fair at Chelsea Physic Garden Chelsea Physic Garden, 6 Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HS www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk 26-27 November Over 100 exhibitors will be showcasing a broad range of beautifully designed and crafted products including jewellery, clothing, contemporary crafts, toys and a selection of festive fare. A perfect opportunity to gather gifts for your loved ones or perhaps to treat yourself. Adults £6, under 16s free

chickenshed.org.uk 16-19 November Tales on Tour – Wilton’s Music Hall Lively, fun and amazingly entertaining shows for very young children. Including different stories featuring the same much loved characters – from Can-Can the beautiful bird to laid back Lion Down and incredibly silly Thing That Goes Blurgh! Age 0-6

Colour House Theatre Watermill Way SW19 2RD www.colourhousetheatre.co.uk Saturdays and Sundays to 9 November Peter Pan

Belvedere Road SE1 8XX www.southbankcentre.co.uk Throughout December You’ll find plenty more than baubles and gingerbread to tempt you in the 50 wooden chalets that make up the Southbank Centre Christmas Market.

V&A Museum of Childhood Christmas Designer Market

collaborative event with Dot to Dot. Drop–in, all ages.

Green & Ethical Christmas Fayre Holy Trinity Church, Clapham Common SW4 0QZ www.greenethicalchristmas.com 3 December A traditional Christmas Fayre with stalls selling ethically sourced and 'green' gifts and food. Visit Father Christmas in his grotto and take a break for a light lunch or a snack in the Green Cafe. Plus the City Farm Nativity with animal petting and festive dressing up. 11am-4pm

Horniman Christmas Fair Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ horniman.ac.uk 3-4 December Festive foods, an arts and craft market, gifts and carols. 10.30am– 5pm

Baby&Me-London Baden-Powell House 65-67 Queen's Gate, SW7 5JS First Christmas sale by this lovely group: Jewellery, children's clothing, books, accessories and more. Free face painting. 11am-4pm

Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA www.museumofchildhood.org.uk 27 November Avoid the crowds and start your Christmas shopping early to the festive sound of the Becontree Brass Band. Buy gifts from some of the UK’s most exciting independent designers and makers. A An innovative musical production for all the family. A young girl dreams of a faraway land where children fight pirates and fairies misbehave. Join Wendy as she flies to Neverland and meets Pan’s Lost Boys, the mischievous Tinker Bell, a very hungry crocodile and of course, the iconic Captain Hook. 2pm and 4pm, £12/£10

The Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, Cross Street N1 2DN www.littleangeltheatre.com To 20 November Let’s Fly Can you fly? Just Imagine if you could. What does your home look

like when you’re as high as the birds and the aeroplanes? Or even a spaceship… let’s find out! Age 26, £10/£8 To 20 November Emily Rising Emily wakes up one bright autumn morning to find that her feet can’t touch the ground, and no one can understand why. To everyone’s surprise Emily keeps rising higher and higher. She’s not scared at all – it’s fun being high up. But she’s not coming down…Age 7+, £12/£10

Lyric Hammersmith One Lyric Square W6 0QL www.lyric.co.uk 5 November

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Underneath a Magical Moon Through her open window Wendy Darling gazes out at the night sky dreaming of blue lagoons, magical moons and the stories that she can tell. But tonight, like no other, has magic in the air...11am and 2pm, age 3–7

National Theatre Upper Ground SE1 9PX www.nationaltheatre.org.uk To 23 November Romeo & Juliet It's 1950s post war London. Teddy girls mix with teddy boys and as immigration booms, so does brutality, prejudice and a ruthless gang culture. The National Theatre's latest adaptation brings vendettas, violence and star crossed lovers like you've never seen them before. From £19.50 To 22 November Pigeon English In the shadows of concrete high rises, eleven year-old Harri is walking on a tightrope towards manhood. Events quickly spiral out of his control and the world will never be the same again. From £19.50

New Wimbledon Theatre The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QG www.atgtickets.com/venues/newwimbledon-theatre 1-5 November Gangsta Granny It’s Friday night and Ben knows that means only one thing – staying with Granny! But what Ben doesn’t know is that Granny has a secret. £24 7-12 November Cats Adapted from TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, this wonderful blend of fantasy, drama and romance is set on the night that the Jellicle Cats meet for the Jellicle Ball, in a sparkling fusion of music, dance and verse. From £15

Omnibus Clapham 1 Clapham Common Northside SW4 0QW www.omnibus-clapham.org 13 November Albee Vector the Sound Collector In a re-telling of the Odyssey, Albee must travel to the ends of the earth seeking the most beautiful sound in the world. An interactive tale of love, adventure and a soundhoover called Mustard! Age 3-7, 11am and 2pm, £9/£7 concessions.

The Polka Theatre

Horniman Museum

240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB www.polkatheatre.com 2-13 November We're Going On A Bear Hunt A family go on an expedition of a lifetime – running down the grassy bank, wading through the cold river, then peering into a cave… what will they find? £13.50/£10 To 26 February How To Hide a Lion When a lion is chased out of town, a young girl helps him find somewhere to hide. It’s not easy lions are too big, too fluffy and too heavy! Age 3-6, £12.50/£9

100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ horniman.ac.uk 26 November Explore Taxidermy Join taxidermist and artist Jazmine Miles-Long for a family talk about the art of taxidermy and find out about her current display ‘Memorial. A Tribute to Taxidermy’, Age 5+ 11.45am12.15pm, 12.30-1pm FREE

The Royal Albert Hall Kensington Gore SW7 2AP www.royalalberthall.com Every Wednesday in November Storytelling and Music Sessions Session for babies and toddlers, encouraging interaction using musical instruments, singing, movement and stories. Ages 0-4, 10am and 11.30am, £5 3-5 November Jurassic Park in Concert Listen to John Williams’ classic score to Jurassic Park in a film-andlive-orchestra extravaganza. The blockbuster will be screened in stunning high-definition on a giant screen, whilst the unforgettable music is played live on stage by the Royal Philharmonic. 2.30pm and 7.30pm 14-16 November Music for Youth Proms 2016 Extraordinary talent, magnificent music and inspiring performance from 3000 of the UK’s brightest young musicians. From £7.60

Museum of London EC2Y 5HN www.museumoflondon.org.uk Throughout November Fire! Fire! Experience destruction of London through the eyes of people who were there at the time in this major interactive exhibition for all ages. FREE 27 December – 1 January Friends and Family at Christmas Discover how Londoners past and present celebrate together. Grab your friends and family and watch a

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WHAT’S ON

performance of A Christmas Carol, get crafty and design your own party-wear or step back in time to explore feasting and Victorian Christmas card making. Suitable for all ages. FREE

Museum of London Docklands Warehouse 1, West India Quay E14 4AL www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museu m-london-docklands 3-4 December Frost fair on the Thames Roll up, roll up. For two days only the museum will be transformed into a wintry wonderland of fun and excitement as they hold a frost fair for all the family. Enjoy enchanting performances, interactive games and crafts for all ages at this special festival weekend. Age 5+, 12-4pm FREE

The National Gallery Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN www.nationalgallery.org.uk Every Sunday in November Family Sundays

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES Geffrye Museum 136 Kingsland Road, Hoxton E2 8EA geffrye-museum.org.uk 22 November – 8 January 400 Years of Seasonal Traditions in English Homes Festive decorations, lighting, music and greenery transform the Geffrye Museum’s eleven period living rooms, giving visitors an insight into how Christmas has been celebrated in middle-class homes in England over the past 400 years. FREE

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Activities designed for families to enjoy and learn together, 11am and 2pm, age 5-11 FREE

Natural History Museum Cromwell Road SW7 5BD www.nhm.ac.uk Throughout November Colour and Vision Discover the earliest life on Earth and trace the evolutionary history of colour and vision. Find out how early interactions gave rise to the wide variety of colours that we now see in the natural world. £12/£6 23 December Christmas Dino Snores The first-ever kids' Christmas sleepover where you can explore the Museum after dark and enjoy a visit from a very special guest. This night at the Museum with a festive twist also makes the perfect holiday gift, so book now before it's too late. 6.45pm (ends 9.30 the following day), £60 (£54 Members).

Science Museum Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2DD Sciencemuseum.org.uk Throughout November Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery A new interactive gallery with live demonstrations and an Explainerled experience revealing the beauty and wonder in the science and mathematics that shape our lives. £8/£6

V&A Museum of Childhood Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA www.museumofchildhood.org.uk 19 November Child Migrant Stories. Explore stories of children who migrated to East London from 1930 to the present day through short films, talks with child migrants, readings and music. Drop in, age 7+ FREE 12 November and 10 December Checkmate: Interactive Tour for Families The White Queen has gone missing from a chess set in the exhibition, Game Plan... You are one of the Violin and Piano Tuition Passionate about teaching. Experienced. Conservatory diploma. SW15 based. Home visits possible. 0208 785 6494 /07956 307624 minirust2@gmail.com

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game pieces on a mission (yes, you will actually dress up) to find her hiding somewhere in the Museum. Take the challenge, solve the mystery, and visit some of the Museum's fascinating objects for clues. £7 for one adult and one child, additional people £2 each, age 5+

How to Hide a Lion at Polka

DAYS OUT The British Library 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB www.bl.uk 11 December That’s Entertainment: Make your own stage Create a 3D pop-up theatre displaying your own fantastical stage show. Using colour, collage and drawing, you could show a magician performing a mindboggling illusion, an acrobat doing a jaw-dropping stunt or a juggling giraffe. 2-3.30pm, age 5-11, drop in. FREE

Cutty Sark King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT www.rmg.co.uk Wednesdays in November Toddler Time Bring your little sailors along for songs, stories and playtime on board. 10am, age 4 and under. Wednesdays in November Cutty Sark and the Thames Developed especially for Totally Thames, find out how the ship's ties with the Thames go back to when it loaded its very first cargo in 1870. 3-3.30pm, age 11+, included in admission price. 5-6 November Rangoli Patterns Celebrate Diwali at Cutty Sark with

a rangoli art workshop inspired by the ship's voyages to India and the cargoes it collected there. 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm

Fulham Palace SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org 11 December Aladdin Follow the resourceful Aladdin and his best friend, the mischievous monkey Abu, in this classic tale of rags to riches – with an evil sorcerer, a magical lamp and a genie that holds the power to grant his master three wishes. 11am and 1pm 11 December Family Christmas Carol Concert Sing along to favourite Christmas carols at this child-friendly concert for the whole family. Held in the Victorian Chapel, it features the Fulham Children’s Choir with festive classics that both young and old will enjoy. 3.30pm- 4.30pm 11 December Christmas Carol Concert Come along for an evening of Christmas celebration in the atmospheric Victorian Chapel. 6.30pm-8pm

Kensington Palace Kensington Gardens W8 4PX www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace 7 December Royal Chapels: Past and Present Learn the secrets of the past and present royal worship from the chaplains responsible for the religious wellbeing of the royal family with a talk and exclusive tours of the private royal chapels.

Royal Observatory Greenwich SE10 9NF www.rmg.co.uk Weekends throughout November Weekend Space Cadets Participate in a varied range of activities related to space science and exploration. 12.45-4.15pm, age 7+FREE Throughout November Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 Spectacular winning images from this year’s competition in the Observatory’s Astronomy Centre. From distant galaxies to our very own Milky Way and neighbouring planets, the entries reflect our

enduring fascination with the night sky. FREE 5 November Diwali Festival of Lights A feast of stories and traditional music, with a traditional procession of light with the Bollywood Brass Band. Embrace and enjoy Hindu culture and watch the sky ablaze. All ages. 11am-4.30pm FREE

The London Wetlands Centre Queen Elizabeth, Barnes SW13 9WT www.wwt.org.uk Weekends in November Be a Nature Explorer Collect a passport with eight wildlife themed activities on it and for every challenge you complete you’ll get a sticker, making you an official Nature Explorer. Free with admission.

DAYS OUT OF TOWN Brooklands Museum Brooklands Road, Weybridge KT13 0QN www.brooklandsmuseum.com 3-4, 10-11 and 17-18 December Santa on the VC10 Once again Santa will be giving his reindeer a rest and borrowing a VC10 aircraft so he can meet his young fans. Usual museum admission of £6.00 is payable + £5 for a visit to Santa (includes a small present). Book in advance.

Leeds Castle Maidstone ME17 1PL www.leeds-castle.com 3–23 December A Tale of Christmas Relive the classic Beatrix Potter™ tales on the 150th anniversary of her birth through themed Christmas tree decorations, festive floral arrangements and imaginative displays in the rooms of the Castle. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 22 and 23 December Father Christmas at Leeds Castle Wander through Leeds Castle Christmas Market to an enchanted trail leading to a magical grotto where Father Christmas will be waiting to greet you. Father Christmas is very busy at this time of year therefore booking is essential. £15, includes a quality gift.

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Profile for Families Magazine

Families London SW Nov 2016 issue 261 lo-res  

Nov 2016 issue of Families SW London. Information for local parents with young children - What's On, things to do, parenting topics and mor...

Families London SW Nov 2016 issue 261 lo-res  

Nov 2016 issue of Families SW London. Information for local parents with young children - What's On, things to do, parenting topics and mor...