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Issue 132 November - December 2019
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In this issue... At Christmas, London is a
particularly wonderful place to
be if you have a young family.
There are hundreds of exciting events going on - the main
problem is choosing which ones to go to...
So, settle down with this issue and start making plans. Book
ahead to make sure you don't
miss out. From all of us here
at Families West magazine,
we wish you and your family a very happy holiday time.
Contents 2 5 6 7 8
News & Views
Encouraging a Growth Mindset in your child
Raising feminist SONS...
Finding a flexible job that works for you
The BEST Christmas family traditions 10 What’s On in West London this Christmas! Activities, clubs, classes 16 and classified ads 9
Clifton Lodge Prep School and Nursery
From September 2020, Clifton Lodge School in Ealing will become a solely 11+ prep school, with one exit point in Year 6. This will enable the school to focus on their excellent Nursery provision from age 3, through to 11+ preparation for senior school entry. Clifton Lodge will better serve the developing trend, whereby most traditionally 13+ senior schools are now offering an entry point at 11+, or only offering entry now at 11+. With this change, the school will also enhance their facilities whilst strengthening the support for pupils and parents in securing entry to their 11+ secondary schools of choice, be it a selective Independent senior school or one of the highly sought after Grammar Schools. The next Open Day is on Saturday 8th February 2020, or you are welcome to book an informal, private tour. Clifton Lodge School is at 8 Mattock Lane, Ealing, London, W5 5BG. Telephone: 020 8579 3662. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cliftonlodgeschool.co.uk
New Sleepy Tales for children
The book publisher Penguin Random House has collaborated with The Children’s Sleep Charity to create collections of Sleepy Tales audiobooks designed to help children relax before bedtime. For children ages 3 to 6 years, Ladybird Sleepy Tales and for children aged 7+, Puffin Sleepy Tales, they are stories with a difference. Part soundscape, part descriptive narrative, they use relaxing sounds and soothing narrators’ voices to conjure calming settings and landscapes to help children feel calm and positive at the end of the day. Each tale is 15 minutes long and has been created to be interesting enough to hold children’s attention, but not too exciting. Sleepy Tales are designed to become part of a child’s bedtime routine, and can be listened to before or after reading a bedtime story. Children can listen on their own, or with a parent, as a way to wind down. More info: www.penguin.co.uk/books Like us on Facebook Families West Magazine
Follow us on Twitter @FamiliesWest
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News & Views The Pines and Needles Christmas Fairytale...
Christmas isn't Christmas until you've chosen your tree. Have some Christmas fun choosing the size of the tree, touching the branches, smelling the scent... it’s all about selecting your perfect tree, perfect to your family, naturally perfect in shape and size making it so unique. Our experts (wearing kilts!) are on hand to give advice at Our stores in Ealing, CHiswick, Maida Vale and Notting Hill. https://www.pinesandneedles.com/pages/real-christmas-tree-stores-london
So pay us a visit and let us get the festivities well and truly under way. A special day out for the family and we even have a delivery service from our stores to local postcodes for an extra cost. It couldn’t be easier! Our stores are re-stocked every morning with dozens of trees, freshly cut and delivered straight from our ‘magical’ plantations. You won't get fresher, fuller or more fabulous trees anywhere else! USE CODE: FESTIVE19 FOR FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE ONLINE OR IN STORE
WIN ‘To the Moon and back’ family show tickets!
Knock, knock! Let your little ones open the door to a new world in a fantastical adventure to space this Christmas. M-SET: To The Moon and Back is coming to the Barbican this Christmas - and we have tickets for a family of four to be won! Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, this immersive, multi-sensory show is for children ages 3 months to 4 years; see our What's On pages for more details. The competition closing date is 30 November 2019. Entry and full terms and conditions are online: https://bit.ly/2B7f7Rk Families West London is part of Families Print Ltd, and is a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of Families West London are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families West London. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but the franchise company, Families Print Ltd and Lifecycle Marketing cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, orany consequence thereof. Design by Martin Driscoll. Email: email@example.com Printed by The MANSON Group Ltd, 8 Porters Wood, Valley Road Industrial Estate, St Albans AL3 6PZ. www.mansongroup.co.uk
Lemon Tree and St Matthew’s Montessori schools based in Ealing Broadway offering both full day care (8.00am-6.00pm) and term time (9.15am-3.15am) for children aged from 2 years to 5 years old. We offer French, Ballet, Yoga, Drama and PE inclusive of fees. Full time sessions available. Qualified and experienced teachers offer a high standard of learning, nurturing and care.
Lemon Tree Montessori: (Full Day Care) St Matthew’s Montessori: 07856 364 153 (Term Time) Website: www.lemontreemontessori.com
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News & Views Festive family fun in Nine Elms for locals and visitors
Looking for something fun, free and festive to do this Winter? Don’t miss an upcoming visual spectacle when buildings across Nine Elms on the River Thames in central London will become the canvas for internationally acclaimed artist Jony Easterby’s latest light installation. Light Up Nine Elms, a unique after dark artwork, will bring the area’s namesake elm trees into the limelight. Captured branch by branch, illustrator Pippa Taylor’s drawings of the real elm trees will be animated and projected over nine evenings. The event runs from 13-21 December. The beautiful projections celebrate the history of the area, with a nod to where the area gets its name. References to the areas’ identity as Nine Elms have been traced as far back as the 17th Century, including records that nine elm trees stood on Nine Elms Lane in the 1840s. Over the years, with trees lost to storm damage and disease, the elms have been restored several times, including most recently in January 2019 when the Nine Elms community came together to replant two trees. The projections weave a trail through the area, taking in both brand new developments still emerging from the ground, through to longstanding buildings at the heart of communities who already call Nine Elms home. Local residents and culture seekers, from far and wide, are invited to see this burgeoning area in a new light as they enjoy this not to be missed free visual spectacle! Easily accessible by foot, bus, boat or by rail from Surrey, Sussex and all of London, Nine Elms is the place to be this winter for your festive fun day out. Visit: nineelmslondon.com/LightUp to learn more.
Odds Farm Park has been sprinkled with even more Christmas magic and spectacular surprises!
With your Christmas Spectacular Ticket* take an enchanting, immersive stroll deep into the sparkling, wintry wonderland in search of Father Christmas in his grotto. Then, head on into the Elves’ Workshop to create your extraordinary take home gift and finally on to the Toy Shop, to choose your Christmas Spectacular present. Or why not experience an enchanting group Tea & Story-time with Father Christmas with our NEW ticket type this season? Due to a sell-out experience in 2018, the only way to guarantee your place in 2019 is to book online in advance. Odds Farm Park is located just minutes from Junction 2 of the M40, near Beaconsfield. For more information, including opening times and prices, visitors should call 01628 520 188 or visit: www.oddsfarm.co.uk *Extra Charge Applies. See website for dates, prices and further details.
Measles: one in seven 5 year olds not protected
Success in learning is only one phone call away
With our fantastic team we specialise in the following subjects: Maths · English and Science 11plus · KS1 · KS2 · KS3 GCSE & A-Levels Please call for more information 0208 893 5222 or 07958 670 373 www.southalltuition.co.uk Villiers High School · Boyd Avenue Southall UB1 3BT Find us on facebook
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Est since 1996
One in seven 5 year olds may not be protected against potentially life threatening measles, Public Health England (PHE) has warned. PHE has revealed that about 30,000 children may have started primary school with no protection against measles, mumps and rubella, while 90,000 may have had only the first of the two vaccines necessary for protection. There were 230 cases of measles in England in the first quarter of 2019, many linked to visiting European countries during holiday periods. As a result of these outbreaks, the UK has now lost its measles-free status, just three years after the virus was eliminated. PHE is urging all parents to check their child’s Red Book to make sure there is a record of two MMR doses and the 4-in-1 booster vaccine. If not, parents should contact their GP practice to arrange any further vaccinations. More info: www.nhs.uk/NHS vaccinations and when to have them November-December 2019
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Changes to how schools are assessed by Ofsted: What parents need to know
As a parent choosing schools for your child, you are very likely at some stage to take a look at the Ofsted reports of those on your shortlist, to see how they performed at their latest inspection. What you may not know though is that the way in which schools are assessed and reported on by Ofsted has recently changed. Here is the low-down on these changes and what parents need to know about them. Earlier this year, Ofsted held a consultation into their inspection process. It wanted to know if it was delivering the right information to help schools improve, while also providing parents with a clear view of how well a school is performing in delivering a good education to its students. Interestingly, this consultation resulted in the most responses that Ofsted has ever received and included feedback from over 600 mums and dads - a clear indication that parents value Ofsted assessments as an important part of the process of deciding which school is best for their child. Currently, Ofsted gives schools a grading of one to four; One is
‘outstanding;’ two is ‘good;’ three is ‘requires improvement;’ and four is ‘inadequate.’ Although these categories are not changing, the new assessment framework has been updated in the following ways and will be effective from September 2019: Inspection reports will be shorter and easier to digest. The aim is to give parents “the key information they need to know about a school and a sense of how it feels to be a pupil there.” Schools will be assessed in a new ‘quality of education’ category, putting the emphasis back on the quality of the curriculum being taught rather than exam results. This change aims to reduce the pressure felt by teachers who have been criticised in the past for ‘teaching to the test’ rather than covering the curriculum in a more balanced and manageable way.
There will also be a new ‘personal development’ assessment which will look at how a school helps its pupils to develop character, resilience and values so that children are well-equipped to succeed in life. A separate assessment on ‘behaviour
and attitudes’ will be included. Ofsted will look at whether or not school leaders tolerate bullying or harassment of pupils and staff, as well as whether they deal with behavioural problems swiftly and effectively while maintaining a calm environment. Inspections of previously graded ‘good’ schools were carried out over a period of one day. This inspection period will now be extended to two days (except in the case of smaller schools with less than 150 pupils). Any schools found to be ‘off-rolling’ pupils are likely to be judged ‘inadequate.’ ‘Off-rolling’ is when a school removes a pupil without using a permanent exclusion. In these instances, removing the child is considered to be in the best interest of the school, rather than the pupil. It is a controversial practice as it could also include pressuring a parent to remove their child from the school roll. This practice is not at all encouraged or supported by Ofsted. These changes to the Ofsted inspection framework are a positive step forward in providing parents with more focussed, concise and rounded information about
By Ruth Lowe
local schools. Schools will be rewarded with a rating that takes into account the above assessment criteria and also acknowledges where Head Teachers and teachers are working under difficult circumstances (for example in areas with high levels of deprivation or poverty). Of course, although there is considerable value in Ofsted reports, when choosing a school it’s also vital to visit, preferably with your child, speak to parents of children already there, and understand the ethos and ambitions that the school has for those in its care. In addition, parents can also look at Ofsted’s ‘Parent View’ results online at www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk, where those with children already at school share their views for the benefit of other parents. Ruth Lowe works for the charity Parentkind which supports, engages and champions parents in education. For more information about choosing schools, Ofsted inspections and how you as a parent can participate in your child’s learning, visit: www.parentkind.org.uk
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Encouraging a Growth Mindset in your child If you’re new to the phrase ‘growth mindset,’ don’t be put off. This simple concept could help both you and your child. Developed by Carol Dweck, an American Professor of Psychology, the ‘growth mindset’ ethos has become increasingly popular in schools globally. Dweck believed that by changing their ‘mindset’ anyone (children included) could increase their abilities and improve their intelligence solely through dedication and hard work.
Many of us battle with a ‘fixed mindset.’ For example, the belief that if we aren’t naturally good at languages, that won’t change and therefore we shouldn’t try to learn them. But by shifting to a ‘growth mindset,’ we can actually motivate ourselves to succeed. In the last 10 years more and more schools have embraced the theory of growth mindset into their teaching ethos, not placing so much focus on the natural gifts children have but instead focussing on the work they put in.
Integral to growth mindset is the understanding that making mistakes is okay. It’s natural to encounter challenges and make mistakes when learning so many new things. However, failure can sometimes dent a child’s confidence. By embracing mistakes and failures, teachers can give children the reassurance that it’s okay to struggle, rather than the idea that mistakes and failings are wrong. Growth mindset means praising a child for effort and not natural talent. Teachers can adjust how they give feedback to motivate a child to continue to work hard. If a child does an impressive painting, instead of praising the child’s natural talent, the teacher can instead praise the effort, process and commitment put into creating that painting. A child that is praised solely for their natural ability may not believe that to be attainable again, so may not try. Yet a child who gets noticed for the effort they put in will feel able to repeat that success.
Children are like sponges, aren’t they? They soak up every new thing, whether it’s a new word or the latest trend. But are they learning new things in the right way? You may not have given it much thought, but the way we speak to our children can have a huge impact on how they learn.
By Gabrielle Nash
Tom Dobson, an education expert at Leeds Beckett University says encouraging children to take an active role in self-assessment is key to using growth mindset in schools. “Rather than the teacher telling children what they have achieved and what they now need to achieve, what we call “assessment for learning” can promote independence in pupils as they become aware of their own next steps for progress.” Growth mindset can be used at home too. There’s a tendency in modern parenting towards overpraising children, to protect them and their precious self-esteem. While it is important to be positive, the growth mindset theory suggests that instead of heaping praise at every opportunity, we should rephrase the praise to encourage development. Encourage your child to talk about the struggles they encountered today. Getting them to understand that it’s okay to find a task or activity tricky is central to having a growth mindset, because that’s how we learn. We exercise our bodies but what
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about our brains? Encourage your children to see their brain as a muscle that needs exercising; the more they use it the stronger it becomes. Refer to the different things they learn as light bulbs; each time they learn a new skill, they turn on a new lightbulb. Each time they practice it, the light bulb gets bigger and brighter. All of which contribute to a stronger brain. When your child one is struggling with something, whether it’s a physical or mental task, try to motivate them to not give up. The mantra “try, try and try again” really can have incredible results. Not only does this develop their growth mindset but it also builds resilience, something so vital for the grown-up world.
Don’t forget though, this isn’t just for your children. If you’re facing a challenge whether at home or work, try applying some of these principles to it. You might surprise yourself whilst setting a great example to your kids at the same time! For more parenting tips and advice, read Gabrielle’s blog @thelondonishmum
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Raising feminist SONS...
As the daughter of feminist parents I knew that my children, whatever gender, would be raised as feminists by myself and By Vicki Psarias my husband.
I hoped they would believe in, practise and advocate for equality for both sexes, and with our guidance, feel free to play, be and behave in a way that supported and empowered others, and women, in particular, who are living in an otherwise limiting and biased patriarchal society. As a mother of two boys, Oliver, 9, and Alexander, 7, I hoped my sons would speak up when it would be easier to stay quiet, not feel confined to an Alpha male notion of being a man, and grow up content, confident and resilient.
It's an ongoing challenge to raise feminist sons, particularly when your boyâ€™s fellow classmates chastise him for liking non-traditional colours and not liking football. I've had to navigate some tricky waters. My eldest didn't want girls to attend his birthday party yet when they arrived, everyone thrived on one another's company. For me, it's about making mindful choices and exposing my kids to children and experiences that will be eye-opening for them.
Here are my top 5 tips for raising feminist sons. Start Early Don't be swayed by gender specific everything. Just because you have a boy or girl, doesn't mean anything/everything has to be blue/pink respectively - there are some beautifully vibrant non-gender specific clothes available. Try and opt for gender-free toys/books where possible and ones with strong female characters. As they get older, films like Horrible Histories the Movie, Moana and Brave teach children that
they can do and be whoever they want and gender doesn't pose limitations on ambition and strength.
Don't wrap them in cotton wool It's hard not to mollycoddle your kids. The world can sometimes be scary but I refuse to raise children who are fearful of life. I want them to take calculated risks. Cheryl Giovannoni, Chief Executive of the Girls' Day Trust (GDST) said in 2017: â€œGirls are not victims and are stronger and more feisty than they are often given credit for. No doubt preventing girls from being as adventurous as boys leads to fewer risk-takers and ultimately leaders. Equally, don't pressurise boys to seek out adventure and take on riskier tasks or pursuits purely because of their gender.
Watch your language Be careful that you don't use archaic labels such as 'boys don't cry' or 'boys will be boys' to stop boys from showing emotion or to condone irresponsible behaviour. Question your own belief system and inherited, biased views.
reason we can pay for food is thanks to the money I made writing. If you're a Stay at Home Mum, explain that you look after your children so that your partner can work but your job is just as important. Depending on your children's age, explain that some people choose to stay at home, others have the choice taken from them, as they are not supported by the workplace once they have children. Raising empathetic and informed children help the cause for equality. Don't underestimate your kids. Arrange mixed gender parties Make a conscious effort from an early age to arrange mixed gender playdates (even if your children insist on all-boy or all-girl parties). Boys and
girls understand and learn about each other from playing together. My children know that I have a female best friend and a male one. Normalise mixed gender friendships. Having children offers us the opportunity to re-evaluate our own inherited values and pre-conceived ideas so we can do and be better ourselves.
Vicki Psarias is a multi-award winning blogger and vlogger (www.honestmum.com) and is the author of the bestselling book MUMBOSS - The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving At Work and at Home.
Don't underestimate your children You and your partner have a huge impact on the way your children perceive the world and who they will become. They will mimic you and your values so be mindful of what you say and do. Share the load at home and explain to children about the different jobs and roles you perform. If you work, explain what that actually means. Early on, I explained that when I'm writing on my laptop, I'm usually earning money so we can buy food. Then, at the supermarket, I would reiterate that the
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Finding a flexible job that works for you
Time becomes an increasingly precious commodity once you have children. For many that means looking to reduce or re-arrange their working hours to give themselves the time they need to enjoy family life. So what are the alternatives to the traditional full-time job? Well, these days there are many different options. By Mandy Garner
Flexible Working Requests Firstly, you could seek some form of flexibility in your existing job. It's important to be open-minded as to what that might look like, whether it could be part-time hours, some home working, flexible start and finish times, annualised hours, compressed hours (longer days but fewer of them), or a combination of several possibilities.
In order to make a formal flexible working application you will need to show you have thought through the implications of any changed working pattern on your employer and colleagues. Are there, for instance, parts of your job that could be delegated to others to enable them to get experience? Could you use the flexible working process to review your job and hone in on where you can have the most effect? If you can show that you have thought your case through carefully, weighing up your own and your employerâ€™s needs, you are more likely to be successful.
Bear in mind that flexible working legislation currently only applies to those who have been in position for six months.
If this is not you or if you do not want to permanently change your hours - perhaps you only need some temporary flexibility - then you could
ask for changes in your working pattern on a more informal basis.
Be creative Another way around the flexible working issue is to switch jobs or even careers. Having children means that all your creative skills will be in play most of the time, including when it comes to your work life. You could try listing your skills and thinking broadly about any possible available job that might fit around your familyâ€™s needs. Talk to others and look into industries you may not have considered before.
Check out family-friendly websites to see who the most flexible employers
are and read around about what other parents do. Sites like www.workingmums.co.uk have a regular jobs alert and case studies of working parents which can give you suggestions of where to look that you might not have thought of before.
Once you have honed sectors and types of jobs you might be interested in, you could join LinkedIn professional groups and check out company websites and social media. Thorough research is key to securing the right job for you. If the sector you are interested in requires you to re-train, you could look into whether there is any on the job training.
Portfolio career Another potential option is the socalled portfolio career where you juggle several part-time or freelance/self-employed jobs, creating a kind of tapestry which gives you flexibility around drop-off and pickup times. You could, for instance, reduce the hours in your regular job and run a franchise or self-employed job on the side either on a permanent basis or until your self-
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employed work is earning enough to support you. Another advantage of the portfolio approach is that it gives you time to experiment with different work options. It could also allow you to re-train for another career while still earning.
Self-Employment You could, of course, choose to jump straight into self-employed work. If so, ensure you do your business research well. You could also consider becoming a franchisee, which means that you would have the freedom associated with running your own business with fewer of the risks of going it alone since the franchise will provide a tried and tested business model. (Opportunity to plug your own franchise here, if it happens to be for sale!) The important thing is to be creative and to try to think out of the box about your skills. Go back to basics and rediscover what those skills are, who you are, what you like doing. A good coach can help you work your way through all the above options. Mandy Garner is Editor of www.workingmums.co.uk where you can find more suggestions on flexible working options.
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The BEST Christmas family traditions
What do you cherish and remember most clearly about Christmas during your own childhood? Was it the food, the carols and music, going to church, the Christmas tree? When we look back at our childhood, we don’t remember the gifts that we were given, we recall the things we did as a family that created the most long-lasting memories. Family Christmas traditions adhered to year after year during the festive season are an important.
By Claire Winter
photo on Christmas day. So, make time to capture a photo with your family each year in front of the Christmas tree striking the same pose. It will be interesting to document how you change each year. You could even put the photos in a special album.
Here are our eight best memory-making traditions for families to enjoy this Christmas.
Send home made Christmas cards Go old school and send some homemade cards. In the modern era of e-Christmas cards, this is a traditional way to make your Christmas celebration special. Making homemade Christmas cards can involve the whole family. Sit down with some glitter, stencils, stickers and coloured paper. Play Christmas music to get you in the mood and your kids (and you!) will have great fun making the cards and then and giving them to friends and family.
Make an Advent Calendar Make or buy an advent calendar that can be reused each year. Instead of putting sweets or toys in it, put in a note for each day about all the different things you love about your child. There would be a full-scale riot in my house if there weren’t a small present or treat in the calendar each day so you may want to consider adding the notes on top of a little present! Give them a Christmas Eve Box Treat your kids to an early gift with a special box that contains festive pyjamas to wear and a Christmas film to watch. If you want to spend less, you could include a festive book or art and craft activity so they can make a special Christmas Eve decoration for the tree.
An amazing way to welcome the festive season is by preparing a North Pole Christmas breakfast for your family on the first day of December. Get the kids involved designing the menu and making the decorations. Many families combine
Go to a Carol Service Even if you are not generally a church goer, going to a Crib Service at your local church on Christmas Eve is a lovely thing to do with your children. Singing carols and listening to the story of the nativity is sure to put everybody in the festive mood and it’s good to take some time to remember the origins of Christmas.
a North Pole Christmas breakfast with the Elf on the Shelf who joins them for the meal. He then appears every morning doing something mischievous until Christmas day. I think most parents either love or loathe the Elf. I’ll let you decide! Leave food out for Father Christmas and his friends Leaving food out for the man in red and his friends is another lovely tradition for Christmas Eve. Don’t forget to prepare the reindeer food out of dried oats and biodegradable glitter and have your kids scatter it in the garden on Christmas Eve. We also go out and gather greenery like holly and ivy from our garden to decorate the mantelpieces in our house.
Watch the Queen’s Christmas broadcast The tradition of sending out a royal Christmas message to the public started in 1932 with George V. So gather around the television with
your loved ones and a glass of fizz to watch the Royal Christmas message from the Queen.
Don’t forget to capture a photo with your family Many families forget to take a family
Wrap up Enjoy the special festive memories you make with your family. Your children don’t stay little for long, and it’s great to remind them that Christmas is about being together and not just about presents and treats.
Share your family traditions with us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag: #familieschristmas2019
From Baby to Ballerina
Classes for Boys and Girls aged 21/2 to 16 years old Ballet, Pointe Work, Modern Jazz, Tap, Annual Performances
Classes held in: Bayswater, Notting Hill Gate, Oxford Street, Shepherds Bush and South Kensington
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What’s On LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM
16-20 Dec PAINT POTS FESTIVE FUN Arts, crafts, music, games and other seasonal activities. Children craft their own festive gifts, have fun and make friends. Led by fully qualified Nursery School and Creative Classes teachers. For ages 3-6 (un-accompanied) from 9.30am-12.30pm, £45 and for ages 18m-3yrs (accompanied), 3-4.30pm, £25 Location: Paint Pots, St Stephens Church, Westbourne Park Road, London, W2 5QT Book online at www.paintpotshouse.com
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES BRITISH MUSEUM
WC1B 3DG www.britishmuseum.org DIGITAL WORKSHOPS Take place at weekends and school holidays on a variety of themes. Free, 11am-4pm, for ages 7+ (unless stated). 30 Nov, 28 Dec LITTLE FEET: ANIMAL HOMES Find out where in the world animals call home and programme a robot to help find them in the galleries. 10am-4pm for under-fives. 12 Dec LITTLE FEET: EXHIBITION EXPLORER Discover the world of ancient Greek heroines and heroes, goddesses and gods plus a monster or two, as we set off on an exploration of the ups and downs, twists and turns and unexpected moments of Greek mythology. 10.30am-12 noon for under 5s,
WC1N 1AZ www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk 21 Nov BACH TO BABY An innovative classical babies’ concert created by mum and pianist, Miaomiao Yu, inspired by Handel. 10.30-11.30am. 30 Nov SPECTACULAR SPECIAL EFFECTS Learn how the Georgians created special effects and have a go at these techniques yourself. 11am and 2pm for age 5+ 15 Dec MUSICAL CHRISTMAS CRACKERS Make your own crackers to decorate your Christmas tree with artist Isobel Manning. After the family Christmas concert, join artist Isobel Manning to create snapping musical inspired Christmas crackers to take home and put under the tree. 4pm for age 5+.
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WC2E 7BB www.ltmuseum.co.uk 30 Nov - 5 Jan CHRISTMAS Santa will be visiting all throughout December. Visit him in his secret hideaway, full of twinkling lights and comfy seats, or see if you can track him down in one of the heritage vehicles in the Museum for a super Santa Selfie! There's storytime and singing sessions for the little ones, and your chance to make special bunting and decorations to take home. 14, 15, 20, 21 Dec CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AND SIGHTS TOURS See the sights - see the lights! Climb aboard the cosy original RT bus and experience the wonder and excitement of the city at Christmastime. Wind past spectacular displays and illuminated landmarks, to the sound of classic festive songs. You'll start at the Museum where you can get into the festive spirit with a festive film screening, crafts and treats before heading off through the sparkling West End seeing some of the stunning lights around London including Regent Street, Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus (to name a few) on an historic bus. Family tours from 2.30pm.
MUSEUM OF BRANDS
W11 1QT www.museumofbrands.com Until 31 Jan DESIGN - LEARN - EXPLORE Experiment, learn and explore the world of technology, with self-led activities every day. Three different Maker Kits by tech toy experts Big Clown will be available to use onsite, bringing you the chance to connect the world around you with technology as you wirelessly trigger actions and control appliances. For ages 8+ 23 Nov INVENTORS OF TOMORROW WORKSHOPS Join Big Clown, as they lead interactive and playful workshops for the whole family to discover more about technology. For ages 8+
NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM
www.nam.ac.uk 9 Dec TINY TROOPERS: MUSIC Bring your little ones to the monthly toddlers session, perfect for under-5s. 20, 23, 27, 30 Dec, 2-4 Jan HANDMADE CHRISTMAS CRAFTS Create your own 1940s-style wartime Christmas decorations out of recycled materials.
WC2N 5DN www.nationalgallery.org.uk Every Sun FAMILY SUNDAYS Activities designed for families to enjoy and learn together, 11am and 3pm. MAGIC CARPET STORYTELLING For children aged 2-5. Sundays 10.30-11am and 11.30am–12pm. Fly away on the magic carpet, coming to land in front of a different painting each day. Every Weds WELCOME WEDNESDAYS Bring paintings to life through interactive music, storytelling, art and messy play activities. Every Wednesday, 10.30 and 11.30am for walkers under age five, 1pm for sitting babies to walkers.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
SW7 5BD www.nhm.ac.uk Until 12 Jan ICE RINK Experience the thrill of skating surrounded by fairy lights nestled in frost-covered trees, with the smell of mulled wine in the air. Book online. Until 5 Jan LUKE JERRAM’S MUSEUM OF THE MOON Enjoy the scale and spectacle of this incredible artwork. Museum of the Moon, a six-metre spherical sculpture, features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. Allowing visitors the chance to see the far side of the Moon, the artwork offers a new and exciting perspective of Earth’s celestial neighbour. The sculpture is accompanied by a surround-sound composition by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones. Until 15 Dec ORBIT BY SEÁN DORAN The film is a real time reconstruction of time-lapse photography taken on board the International Space Station by NASA's Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit. The length of the film is exactly the length of time it takes the ISS to orbit the Earth once: 92 minutes and 39 seconds. Visitors will be able to drop into the Museum’s Waterhouse Gallery and witness the ‘overview effect’ feeling experienced by astronauts when they look down at the Earth. Every weekend INVESTIGATE FOR FAMILIES Get a feel for how scientists work by having a go yourself. Come and explore hundreds of real nature specimens that form the evidence Museum scientists use in their daily work. Drop-in, 11am-5pm. 7 Dec DINO SNORES CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Ever wondered what goes on at the Natural History Museum at night? 7 - 11 years. 7pm till morning, torchlit trails through the museum, live animal shows and more. For ages 7-11. 15 Dec DAWNOSAURS Early morning fun and learning for families with children on the autistic spectrum.
W1J 0BD www.royalacademy.co.uk 10 Nov FAMILY STUDIO: MODEL BEHAVIOUR Drop into this free family workshop, strike a pose and capture yourself in pen or plasticine, inspired by ‘Lucian Freud: the Self-portraits’. Make a drawing of yourself or a family member against the backdrop of our fabulous Fine Rooms. Then, inspired by Lucian Freud’s bold brushstrokes, bring it to life and make a three-dimensional drawing using plasticine. 11am-3pm for all ages.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
SW7 2RL www.vam.ac.uk Every Sat POP UP PERFORMANCES Storytelling, interactive plays and dance. For all ages at 11am, 1 and 3pm. Free, drop in. In Dec, pop-up performance will be celebrating a Victorian Christmas. Every Sun DROP-IN DESIGN Pick up a design challenge, hunt for ideas in the galleries, then create your own. 10.30am5pm, for age 5+ In Dec, celebrate the festive season and design your own sensory Christmas tree decoration inspired by architecture.
4-6, 11-13, 18, 19 Dec FESTIVE PLAY SESSION FOR UNDER FIVES: Take part in a multi-sensory play session especially for the under 5s and their families, inspired by The 12 Days of Christmas. 28-30 Dec CHILL & PLAY RUG: CHRISTMAS 2019 Join the green rug area and play with sensory toys or enjoy reading time with your family and friends. Recommended for families with younger children or those who need quiet time. 10.30am-5pm. 28-30 Dec THE IMAGINATION STATION Create your own modular building by Waugh Thistleton Architects and add it to a new city. 28-30 Dec POP-UP PERFORMANCE Free activities and an interactive theatrical dance performance. FREE ART FUN-BACK-PACKS, ACTIVITY CART AND ANIMAL BAGS Families can pick up an activity Back-Pack, get creative at Drop-in-Design or go on a gallery adventure trail. Free, drop-in. Suitable for children aged 4 to 11 Activity Cart: Fantastic hands-on art fun for children to create collages and pictures to take home. Agent Animal bag: A sensory activity bag that has been developed especially for under 5s. Each bag contains an audio map and fabric cubes.
W1U 3BN www.wallacecollection.org 1 Dec and 5 Jan THE LITTLE DRAW Free drop-in drawing workshop for all ages and abilities. Come and meet the Little Draw artist and rediscover the Wallace Collection through drawing, observation and plenty of creative experimentation. Suitable for all the family, 1.30pm–4.30pm. 20 Dec GET CRACKING Get ready for Christmas and Hanukkah by making some festive crackers inspired by the Wallace Collection. Free, drop-in, 11am-1pm, all ages.
DAYS OUT BRITISH LIBRARY
NW1 2DB www.bl.uk FAMILY WORKSHOP: WORDS TO MAKE US SHOUT! Explore the exciting Marvellous and Mischievous exhibition. Be inspired by a wonderful mix of fierce and fearless young heroes and discover your family’s very own rallying message to perform or maybe even shout out loud. For ages 5-11 at 10.30am and 1pm. Free, drop-in. 1 Dec A MARVELLOUS AND MISCHIEVOUS SUNDAY Three sessions which can be booked separately or a full day ticket for all. 11am Lauren Child: Listen to the Kids! Lauren Child talks about Clarice Bean’s fight to change the world through her eco-warrior mission, and the importance of really listening to children and taking them seriously. 1pm Dougie Poynter: Plastic Sucks! How can YOU help save our planet? McFly bassist and environmental activist Dougie Poynter talks to journalist Lucy Siegle about how everyone - big or small - can get involved in the mission to fight plastic and help protect the environment.
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3pm Patrice Lawrence: Classroom Rebels A celebration of classroom rebels and a reading from her new book Malory Towers: New Class at Malory Towers. 7 Dec FAMILY TAKEOVER: MAKE AND CREATE Enjoy playful multisensory activities inspired by the Marvellous and Mischievous: Literature's Young Rebels exhibition. 12-4pm. Free, all ages.
SE10 9NF www.rmg.co.uk/cuttysark Every weekend CUTTY SARK CHARACTERS Come aboard to hear Cutty Sark’s incredible stories brought to life by characters from the ship’s past. Suitable for ages 3+ Every Weds TODDLER TIME Bring your little sailors along for songs, stories and playtime on board. 10-11.30am for ages 4 and under. 20 Nov ALICE'S TODDLER TEA PARTY Join in activities and Alice in Wonderland stories to celebrate Cutty Sark's 150th birthday. 10am-2.30pm. 23, 24 Nov FAMILY FUN AT CUTTY SARK Celebrate Cutty Sark's 150th birthday by helping an artist create a textile sculpture inspired by signal flags and listen out for maritime stories. 11.30am and 2pm. 7, 8 Dec CUTTY SARK CHRISTMAS A chance to make a beautiful Christmas decoration. 11.30am and 2pm. 28, 29 Dec STRANGE SHIPS AND FANTASTIC ADVENTURES Get creative with cartoons in this family fun workshop.
Recreate your own adventures on board the ship or invent a new one using simple storyboard techniques. 11.30am and 2pm.
DUKE OF YORK
SW3 4LY www.dukeofyorksquare.com 23 Nov-23 Dec CHRISTMAS GROTTO An hour-long winter wonderland experience. For the under-twos, the grotto will also offer a ‘My First Grotto’ session, and exclusive pre-school sessions for those four and under. Book online.
SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org every Mon and Tues THE PALACE EXPLORERS A weekly parent/carer and toddler sessions for children aged 2-4. £3 per child, which includes a drink and healthy snack. 24 Nov FAMILY FUN DAY: THE PALACE AT WAR Visit the Palace’s World War I hospital and learn what life was like for the nurses who worked here and the patients they treated. There will be crafts, costume and the chance to get hands on with objects from this period. 11am-3pm, for ages 3+ 1, 6, 7, 8 Dec FATHER CHRISTMAS AT FULHAM PALACE The whole family can enter for this special one-on-one meeting with Father Christmas, and each child will receive a small gift. With a roaring log fire in the grate, decorated Christmas tree and Father Christmas’s desk plus the naughty and nice
list all on display, this is a special and atmospheric experience for the whole family. 9am4.30pm. 1 Dec CAROLS IN THE COURTYARD Join the Friends of Fulham Palace for their popular annual carols in the beautifully restored Tudor courtyard at Fulham Palace. There will be mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pies and gingerbread men on sale. 8 Dec CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME: DICK WHITTINGTON Ready to make his fortune, Dick Whittington heads to London – where he’s heard the streets are paved with gold. Follow his adventure from rags to riches in a pantomime which will have the whole audience booing, cheering and clapping along. 8 Dec FAMILY CAROL CONCERT Taking place in the Victorian chapel, a special concert of Christmas songs, readings and carols which everyone can enjoy. 3pm.
GUNNERSBURY PARK AND MUSEUM
W5 4NH www.visitgunnersbury.org 24 Nov STIR-UP SUNDAY Help Gunnersbury’s Victorian servants prepare for the Christmas festivities. Traditionally, Christmas preparations would begin on the last Sunday before Advent, known as Stir-Up Sunday. The historic kitchens will be decked with holly and ivy to put you in the Christmas spirit, and you can help the servants pound the sugar and spices, stir the plum pudding and make a Christmas wish. An interactive, promenade performance for all the family.
7, 8 Dec WINTER FAIR WITH FATHER CHRISTMAS A festive weekend of craft stalls, art activities, music and carols. Plus, for the first time, Father Christmas will be visiting Gunnersbury. Dressed in his traditional green Victorian robes, he’ll be giving out gifts of wooden toys. Please note visits to Father Christmas must be booked and paid for in advance via: www.visitgunnersbury.org 10am-4pm. 15 Dec WEST LONDON FOLK BAND CHRISTMAS CONCERT A festive concert by the lively West London Folk Band. Bring your singing voices to join in the Christmas carols and your dancing shoes for the jigs and reels! A musical afternoon for all ages. Book ahead. 2-4pm. 29 Dec A MAGIC LANTERN CHRISTMAS SHOW A seasonal magic lantern entertainment for families in Gunnersbury’s magnificent Drawing Room. Stories of burning ships, exploding volcanoes, spectacular fireworks and the man who eats rats! Suitable for all ages. Book ahead. 29 Dec A GRAND GOTHIC MAGIC LANTERN SHOW Enter the bizarre and fantastical world of the magic lantern with renowned magic lantern performers Jeremy and Carolyn Brooker. A seasonal celebration of goblins, ghosts and the downright weird, accompanied by acclaimed silent film pianist Costas Fotopoulos. The show features an authentic triunial magic lantern combining three projectors in a single device, enabling performers to present the most fast-moving,
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spectacular effects the lantern can produce. Suitable for ages 8+ Book ahead.
HAMLEYS DEPARTMENT STORE
W1B 5BT www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace 23 Nov-24 Dec Where better to meet Father Christmas than at a world famous toy store? The Santa's Grotto Workshop at Hamleys is an extra special experience where children will take part in seasonal activities at the Hamleys North Pole.
HAMPTON COURT PALACE
KT8 9AU www.hamleys.com 10 Nov, 1 Dec STORYTIME SUNDAY Enjoy a well-known story in the comfort of the palace and join in with themed toys. Aimed at under 7s. 11.30am, 1 and 2.30pm. 6 - 8 Dec HAMPTON COURT PALACE FESTIVE FAYRE The palace’s historic courtyards are set to be filled with over 50 stalls featuring mince pies, mulled wine and a host of treats guaranteed to set mouths watering. 16-23 Dec COURTYARD CAROL SINGING Get Christmas off to a traditional start by singing carols through some of the palace courtyards.
W8 4PX www.hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace 10 Nov, 8 Dec STORY TIME An interactive storytelling session with songs and rhymes for under 7’s and their families.
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TW9 3AE www.kew.org Every Sunday SUNDAY STORIES a fun-filled session of stories from around the world exploring big questions about biodiversity and the delicately balanced relationship between people and plants. 1, 2 and 3pm 20 Nov-5 Jan CHRISTMAS ILLUMINATIONS TRAIL Kew Gardens will once again transform into a magical after dark explosion of festive colour, as visitors embark on an illuminated trail inspired by the Gardens themselves. Now in its seventh year, the 2019 winter trail takes a magical new route and includes a host of all-new installations. There will also be a Victorian carousel, helter skelter and other family rides. Look out for Santa and his elves along the way.
CHRISTMAS IN LEICESTER SQUARE
www.christmasinleicestersquare.com 9 Nov-5 Jan Leicester Square transforms the centre of bustling London into a winter wonderland of theatre, music, cabaret and comedy performances, traditional Christmas markets, hand-crafted goods, delicious food and drinks. There's a Santa's grotto (book first) where children can meet the man himself, plus a whole host of fantastic Underbelly shows in the beautiful surrounds of a traditional 1920s Spiegeltent.
NW1 4RY www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo 30 Nov-24 Dec CHRISTMAS AT THE ZOO Enjoy a fun-filled family day out with festive film screenings, themed talks and a chance to Meet Santa in his grotto.
LONDON WETLAND CENTRE
SW13 9WT www.wwt.org.uk 30 Nov, 1, 14, 15 Dec HUSKY SLEIGH RIDES Experience festive fun with a sleigh ride pulled by adorable huskies before visiting Santa in his cosy grotto. Help the Elves in their special workshop to make Christmas crafts and get your face painted as a Christmas creature. Santa’s grotto needs to be prebooked. Spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
ODDS FARM PARK
HP10 0LX www.oddsfarm.co.uk 30 Nov-24 Dec CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR Odds Farm Park has been sprinkled with even more Christmas magic and spectacular surprises! Present your Christmas Spectacular Ticket to the Elves at the North Pole and take an enchanting, immersive stroll deep into the sparkling, wintry wonderland in search of Father Christmas. Enjoy a personal visit to Father Christmas in his grotto and be sure to tell him all of your Christmas Wishes! Head on into the Elves’
Workshop to create your extraordinary take home gift and finally onto the Toy Shop to choose your Christmas Spectacular present. 30 Nov-24 Dec TEA AND STORY-TIME WITH FATHER CHRISTMAS Father Christmas invites you to join him for an enchanting group Story-time, followed by a chance for every child to meet him too! Following this, all children and grown-ups will enjoy a festive ‘Tea’ together. Also included in this Christmas Experience, is a visit to the Elves’ Workshop to create an extraordinary take home gift, as well as a visit to the Elves’ Toyshop to choose a present from Father Christmas!
OSTERLEY PARK AND HOUSE
TW7 4RD www.nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park-andhouse/whats-on 1 Dec - 2 Jan CHRISTMAS: FESTIVE FAMILY TRAIL Enjoy a festive trail around the gardens with a small prize at the end.
WC2R 1LA www.somersethouse.org.uk 13 Nov - 12 Jan ICE SKATING London’s most beautiful ice rink returns, transforming the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court into a winter oasis, and ushering in the festive season with a 40ft Christmas tree. Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason has something for everybody, with skating lessons with the Polar Bear club and Skate School as well as seasonal shopping and gourmet dining in Fortnum’s Lodge.
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6 Dec-5 Jan GINGERBREAD CITY Organised by the Museum of Architecture, leading designers will use their design expertise and baking genius to create landscapes entirely from gingerbread!
www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com 21 Nov - 5 Jan A top annual London attraction, Winter Wonderland offers an array of rides, shows and activities for visitors of all ages. New attractions this year include the world's tallest transportable Observation Wheel, a new 'A Christmas Carol' theme at the Magical Ice Kingdom, Mr. Men & Little Miss and a new programme of comics at the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club. Also, the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink set around Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand under a canopy of sparkling lights. Suitable for all ages. Ice guides available. New for 2019 PADDINGTON™ ON ICE This hugely successful international show combines cutting edge choreography, stunning costumes and toe tapping music! Join Paddington on his big adventure, as he travels by ship from the jungles of Peru to London! Paddington will meet new friends along the way and find out that on-board not everything is plain sailing! Will he ever make it to London? Will he ever get to meet Mr. and Mrs. Brown at Paddington Station? Watch the show to find out for yourself. The production features award-winning international figure skaters, wonderful costumes, and toe-tapping music - a pure all-encompassing show to delight and captivate the whole family!
W1D 7ES www.nimaxtheatres.com 30 Nov-5 Jan THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE This heart-warming family show is inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheﬄer’s much-loved picture book of the same name. It’s also produced by the same team behind productions of The Gruﬀalo and Room on the Broom. Live music, storytelling and lots of laughs - but when the whale gets beached, how will the snail save him? For ages 4+
EC2Y 8DS www.barbican.org.uk/theatre 13-21 Dec TO THE MOON AND BACK Create imaginary worlds in this immersive, participatory experience inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. With a simple knock on a front door, you and your little one will share a multi-sensory journey of discovery into interactive spaces of touch, colour, sound and special effects. You’ll encounter props and scenes that conjure the natural world, made of unusual and tactile materials, from feather rain to velvet stars. You’ll also be shown ideas on how everyday objects can be turned into tools for creativity and fun at home. For ages 3 months - 4 years.
UB3 2UE www.barbican.org.uk/theatre 18 Nov SWAN LAKE An ideal introduction to audiences of any age to the magic that is classical ballet. A wonderful treat full of glitter for the whole family. 20 Nov BRING YOUR OWN BABY COMEDY A funny, friendly afternoon of top comedy, and... you can bring your own baby! Soft flooring, toys, buggy parking and baby changing available. 27 Nov-1 Dec SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS The British Airways Cabin Crew Entertainment Society present the traditional pantomime favourite. Join loveable Dame Dolly Dazzler, Jangles the jester, and a whole host of crazy characters for this classic tale of good versus evil. 6-29 Dec SLEEPING BEAUTY Debbie McGee quicksteps to star in this year's magical pantomime. Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients including an abundance of song and dance, sidesplitting comedy, and plenty of festive fun. Relaxed Performance on 17 Dec at 1.30pm.
WC2H 9HU www.matildathemusical.com Booking until Dec 2020 MATILDA THE MUSICAL The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Roald Dahl’s magical story about a girl with extraordinary powers.
UB6 9QN www.heos.org.uk 29, 30 Dec ALADDIN This traditional familyfriendly pantomime is packed with excitement, slapstick, romance, a ghost scene, stunning costumes, song and dance and plenty of audience participation. 2.00pm
THE LILIAN BAYLISS STUDIO
EC1R 4TN www.sadlerswells.com 11-29 Dec THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL A timeless fable of kindness, friendship and helping others is bought to life this Christmas by Arthur Pita’s magical dance-theatre storytelling. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s’ classic story and beautifully recreated through dance, song and Frank Moon’s live atmospheric music. 30 Nov-5 Jan LET'S ALL DANCE - THE NUTCRACKER Stunning dancing, lavish costumes, much loved music and crystal clear storytelling makes this sparkling show a Christmas treat for everyone. Let’s All Dance makes high-quality ballet accessible and fun for children, immersing them in the spectacular world of professional dance. Journey through the magical night with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince, meet the Mouse King and join the Sugar Plum Fairy in the beautiful Land of Sweets. Photo opportunity after every show for children with the dancers on stage.
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What’s On LONDON COLISEUM
WC2N 4ES www.ballet.org.uk 11 Dec-5 Jan NUTCRACKER Over 100 dancers and musicians, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s popular score. Clara and her enchanted Nutcracker doll discover a magical world, where she battles with the Mouse King and meets a handsome stranger. As the air grows colder, Clara and her valiant Nutcracker take a hot air balloon ride across London to the glistening Land of Snow where her adventure really begins. A treat for all the family.
W6 0QL www.lyric.co.uk 20 Nov - 29 Dec RAYMOND BRIGGS’ FATHER CHRISTMAS A charming show is back to delight children under 6 and their families. Follow Santa as he awakes from a dream of sun, sea and sand only to find it is the busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve. This timeless festive story bursts into life with live music, playful puppets and a magical set. 4 Jan SNOW PLAY A highly interactive showdown between Winter and Spring! What would you do if one year Winter decided to stay and moved into your house? Well that’s what happens in our snowy spectacular show. Snow Play is a showdown between Winter and Spring over who gets to stay and who has to go away. Help Mr Green against Mr White in this highly interactive smash-hit London production. You get to make a giant snowman, cover a whole house in snow and have a super snowball fight!
W1D 7ES www.nimaxtheatres.com 29 Nov - 5 Jan OI FROG & FRIENDS! Packed with music, songs, laughs and more rhymes than you can shake a chime at! This is the highly anticipated stage show which brings together Kes Gray and Jim Field’s bestselling and award-winning picture books Oi Frog!, Oi Dog! and Oi Cat! published by the Hachette Children’s Group, into one action-packed musical production. For ages 3+
MUSIC HOUSE FOR CHILDREN
W12 7LJ www.musichouseforchildren.co.uk 19 Dec THE ROBIN WHO LOST ITS VOICE Whatever happened to Robin's voice? Robin's got the 'choo'! With beautiful illustrations, instruments, and magical adventures follow Robin to find his voice. 11am. For ages 1-6.
WC2A 2HT www.musichouseforchildren.co.uk 21 Nov-5 Jan THE SNOWMAN Based on the book by Raymond Briggs. step into the wonderful wintery world of a boy and his magical snowman. As a unique friendship is kindled, the two embark on a starry-skied adventure to the North Pole, where they meet Father Christmas and narrowly escape the clutches of Jack Frost.
PUPPET BARGE THEATRE
W9 2PF www.sadlerswells.com 7 Dec -6 Jan THE THREE LITTLE PIGS PLUS CAPTAIN GRIMEY A lively show that breathes new life into these well-known characters - each pig has an air of mischief and naivety, while the wicked wolf has just a hint of a wry smile. Captain Grimey is the dirtiest, most miserable, one-legged sea captain in the world - find out how the Golden Dolphin helps him become Captain Shiney and find happiness, in this humorous morality tale. For ages 3 - 8.
W5 5BQ www.questors.org.uk 13-31 Dec ROBIN HOOD CHRISTMAS PANTO The legend you know. The tale you don’t. Under the Great Oak in the heart of Sherwood Forest lies, Robin Hood, the finest archer in the land. Aided by sidekicks Friar Tuck and Little Joan, the notorious - yet charming – outlaw plots to steal from the rich to give to the poor! When the man in green meets warm-hearted dame Maid Marion who is on the run from the Sheriff of Nottingham, can they escape his devious and cunning scheme to claim a fortune? Or will the wicked villain, beastly and cruel, capture
ICE SKATING at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason them both in the One-doored Tower of Doom? A magical adventure in the fun, laugh-out-loud traditional family panto. Sing along and boo and hiss at the horrible sheriff - if you’re brave enough! Relaxed performance on 22 Dec at 1.30pm.
TW9 1QJ www.atgtickets.com/Richmond 7 Dec -5 Jan SNOW WHITE Comedian, writer and presenter Jo Brand leads the cast as The Wicked Queen. Adding to the comedy will be Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jon Clegg returning as Muddles and brilliant dame Jason Sutton. Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients plus an abundance of comedy, sensational song and dance numbers, fabulous costumes and stunning scenery.
NW1 2AJ 0844 248 5075 www.shaw-theatre.com 7-29 Dec CINDERELLA Come and join in the festive fun with the lovable Buttons, the handsome Prince Charming, the wicked Ugly Sisters, the magical Fairy Godmother and of course, the beautiful Cinderella- a Christmas show for the whole family.
EC1R 0844 248 5075 www.sadlerswells.com 3 Dec-19 Jan THE RED SHOES: NEW ADVENTURES Matthew Bourne’s triumphant adaptation of the legendary film - a 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.
SE1 8PX www.southbankcentre.co.uk 19 Dec- 5 Jan CIRCUS 1903 Experience the thrills and daredevil entertainment of a turn-of-the-century circus this Christmas. The show includes sensational life-sized elephants stunningly created by puppeteers from War Horse, putting elephants back in the ring as never before. The circus boasts a huge cast of jaw-dropping and dangerous acts from all corners of the globe. Featuring acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, trapeze and high-wire performers and more, this
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show captivates and transports audiences of all ages to the golden age of circus. 14 Dec- 5 Jan BLACK BEAUTY Gallop headlong into the story of Black Beauty this festive season. This five-star family show brings the classic tale to life with storytelling, music and puppetry. Whether you’re a fan of the book, lover of the TV show or are brand new to the world of this beloved horse, saddle up and jump on in. This is Black Beauty as you’ve never seen it before. Suitable for ages 5
SW1Y 4HT www.tigertealive.com 9 Dec-5 Jan THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA Hailed as Britain's best-loved picture book, The Tiger Who Came To Tea has become a timeless classic, enchanting generations of children worldwide. Join the Tiger, Sophie and her Mummy and Daddy, in this musical slice of teatime mayhem in the Olivier Award-nominated stage production's sixth West End run.
SE1 2HZ www.unicorntheatre.com 10 Nov-5 Jan OSCAR WILDE'S THE CANTERVILLE GHOST This wonderfully witty, delightfully spooky retelling of Oscar Wilde’s 1887 comic novel is brought to life this Christmas with spine-tingling magic, spectacular illusions and ghoulish effects. Mr and Mrs Otis and their boisterous children arrive from America to move into Canterville Chase - a rather old, rather creepy Gothic mansion. Of course, like all the best old mansions, the Chase comes with its own ghost - the rather tormented Sir Simon Canterville. The spectral knight does his best to spook the trespassers from his ancestral home, but his ghostly machinations hold no fear for this rational modern family. For ages 7+ 15 Nov-5 Jan THE WOLF, THE DUCK AND THE MOUSE One day Mouse is gobbled up by a wolf. ‘Oh woe’ says Mouse, who fears this must be the end. But then we discover Duck, who was, until Mouse arrived, taking a nap. As it turns out, it’s pretty nice living inside the belly of the beast with a new friend. There’s delicious food, dancing and better still - no more fear of being eaten! Meanwhile, outside in the forest, things aren’t quite as rosy for Wolf who is being stalked by a hunter. Realising their fates are intertwined, Duck and Mouse hatch a winning plan. For ages 3-7.
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27 Nov-22 Dec SCRUNCH As you sit together in the cosy space, share in your baby’s excitement at the building anticipation of Christmas Day and all things presentrelated - including the very best bit: crumpling, rumpling and scrunching that wrapping paper! Ushers will be on hand to look after you, and highchairs, babychanging and bottle-warming facilities are available. For ages 6-18 months.
CONCERTS BACH TO BABY
performances and readings by children and artists. Expect an appearance from You Know Who…? 16 Dec LITTLE BIRDSONG BABY'S CHRISTMAS CONCERT A Christmas performance specially for babies and loved ones under the sparkling chandeliers of Bush Hall. 10-11am. 20 Dec CHRISTMAS MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA Fabulous dancing, singing, ribbons, bells, sounds, and songs celebrating everything Christmas. Expect a special visitor! 10-10.45am for ages 0-3.
www.bachtobaby.com/londonnorth All concerts at 10.30am. 25 Nov, 23 Dec in Notting Hill (St. John's Church, Lansdowne Crescent, W11) 15 Nov, 6, 13 and 20 Dec in Chiswick (St. Michael and All Angels, Bath Road, W4) 27 Nov, 11 Dec in Kensington (Saint Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road SW7) 30 Nov, 21 Dec in Ealing (Haven Green Baptist Church, 2 Castlebar Road, W5) 8 Dec in Ealing (Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, Mattock Lane, London, W5 5EQ)
SW1X 9DQ www.cadoganhall.com 21 Dec THE SNOWMAN & PETER AND THE WOLF A magical Christmas treat for all the family. Come and hear of Prokofiev’s tale of bravery narrated by special guest Diggory Seacome, and Raymond Brigg’s timeless classic The Snowman shown on the big screen with live accompaniment provided by the Mozart Symphony Orchestra. 5 Dec ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS Begin your festive season with sparkle and style, with this magical evening of choral and orchestral Christmas gems, featuring the City of London Choir.
W12 7LJ www.musichouseforchildren.com 8 Dec CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT Under the sparkling chandeliers of Bush Hall, families, friends and children will enjoy Christmas carols,
SW7 2AP www.royalalberthall.com 5-22 Dec FATHER CHRISTMAS In this theatrical walk-around event, children encounter a range of magical North Pole characters on their way to meet Father
MUSIC HOUSE FOR CHILDREN
Letter from Santa
ROYAL ALBERT HALL
Christmas himself. Discover the stories and characters of Christmas' past through engaging puppetry and live music; gain some secret elf knowledge; make and take home your very own stuffed toy. Ages 3+ 6 Dec THE LEGEND OF THE JAZZ PENGUIN An interactive adventure in The Legend of the Jazz Penguin. We hear the tale of how the penguin got his jazz, as we journey around the world meeting a variety of music loving animals from dancing eggs to a drumming Octopus. Expect tooting, trumpeting and bopping in this hilarious and Christmassy celebration of music. 8 Dec E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL IN CONCERT Experience all the mystery and fun of their unforgettable adventure, complete with John Williams’ Academy Award® winning score performed live by a full symphony orchestra while the film is projected in high definition on the big screen. 15 Dec MY CHRISTMAS ORCHESTRAL ADVENTURE Father Christmas has lost his map on a practice run of his delivery route! Thankfully our trusty ensemble has found it but they need your help to return it to him ahead of the big day! A full symphony orchestra will bring this adventure to life. 28-31 Dec THE NUTCRACKER This Christmas classic is brought to life by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s world-class dancers and its orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
SE1 8PX www.southbankcentre.co.uk Mon and Fri DRAGON BABIES Bring your little ones to shake, rattle and gong.
Gamelan for ages 3-5. 16 Nov, 7 Dec, 4 Jan FAMILY GAMELAN TASTER SESSION All the family can play in the Javanese gamelan percussion orchestra. No previous musical experience is necessary, just a willingness to sit on the floor, take off your shoes and have fun. Each workshop lasts for two hours. 10 Nov OAE TOTS: MOZART'S CAT Meet Mozart’s fluffy friend in an interactive introduction to music-making for ages two to five. Young Mozart was once very distracted during his piano practice - he jumped off his stool to chase a passing cat! Follow the cat and imagine what it might find as it weaves its way through Mozart’s Symphony No.40. There’s lots of action and activity for youngsters to enjoy, including the chance to meet players and their instruments in the venue foyer after the performance. 15, 16 Nov JAZZ FOR TODDLERS Get the kids syncopating at an interactive musical session for children aged 2 - 5. In a dynamic workshop led by vocalist Juliet Kelly and saxophonist Tony Kofi, toddlers can explore the wonderful world of jazz. Explore a range of sounds, techniques and styles and take away musical ideas 23 Nov-23 Feb SOUNDPIT Play in giant sandpits illuminated by beautiful graphics, creating music with your own movements. Run your hands through the sand, sit in it or even walk across it. You are the composer of your own masterpiece. 45-minute sessions run hourly from 10.15am until 4.15pm. 14 Dec CARIBBEAN CHRISTMAS WITH JUST VIBE Soak up the spirit of the islands at a festive family party featuring traditional music, stories, performances and DJs.
All children love to receive a letter addressed to them in the post, but what could be more special than a letter from Father Christmas?
Here are two ways of making this happen: (1) Royal Mail Letter to Santa For children to receive a FREE letter from Santa via the Royal Mail children must post their letter to Santa by Friday 6 December 2019. Envelopes must have either a first or second class stamp and be addressed to: Santa/Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland XM4 5HQ. The letter must include your child’s full name and address. https://letterfromsanta.nspcc.org.uk/letter-from-santa
(2) NSPCC Santa Letter
Children can also receive a personalised reply from Santa via his elves at the NSPCC in exchange for a minimum £5 donation to the charity. The letter is ordered online and must be placed by 9 December 2019. www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/make-a-donation/letter-fromsanta/
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Activities, Clubs & Classes
MUSIC AND MOVEMENT
HARTBEEPS Award-winning, original, multi-sensory musical baby and toddler classes with original music, bubbles, costumes, twinkles, sparkly parachutes, puppets and more. Bells - Newborn - Sitting Beeps - Sitting - Standing Happy house - Toddlers and Siblings e: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hartbeeps.com/west-london Ealing W5 2DP, Putney SW15 1EU, Northfields W13 9EP, Kew TW9 4HF, Fulham SW64TJ, Chiswick W4 5BQ, East Sheen SW14 8A, Wandsworth SW18 2QB Hammersmith W6 0UH, Acton W3 9BH
DANCE GALLERY Dance Gallery teaches many different styles of dance (Street Dance, Contemporary, Commercial/Modern, Tap) and also runs Musical Theatre classes. The structured lessons promote fitness and confidence, with pupils enjoying learning fun exercises and routines. These routines build towards their famous “sell out” musical theatre shows performed at Questors Theatre, Ealing. Classes take place at St Stephens Church Hall, Ealing W13 8HB (Mon - Thurs 3.45 - 7pm). e: email@example.com t: 020 8566 9672 www.dancegallery.co.uk KENSINGTON BALLET 15 months through to more formal RAD syllabus classes. Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill and Fulham. t: 07957 650 042 www.kensingtonballet.com
STAGECOACH PERFROMING ARTS Provide fun and engaging weekly classes in dance, drama and singing in a safe and happy environment. Students aged 4 to 18 years are taught by a professional and experienced team of teachers. They offer two-week trials for all new students so that your child can try the class out. To enrol go to: www.stagecoach.co.uk e: firstname.lastname@example.org Chiswick - 020 8398 4709 Hammersmith & Kensington: 020 8398 8106
WEST LONDON DANCE ACADEMY Classes for ages 3yrs to Adult. Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz, Contemporary. Classes held in Chiswick and Ealing e: email@example.com t: 07795 578781
WEST LONDON SCHOOL OF DANCE Classes for Boys and girls 21/2 - 16 years. Ballet, Point Work, Modern Jazz, Tap, and Annual Performances. Classes held in Bayswater, Notting Hill Gate, Oxford St, Shephers Bush, South Kensington. e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 020 8743 3856 www.westlondonschoolofdance.co.uk
ALBERT AND FRIENDS INSTANT CIRCUS Email or visit the website for all the classes. e: email@example.com www.albertandfriendsinstantcircus.co.uk
ALBERT AND FRIENDS INSTANT CIRCUS FUN WITH FIMO CLAY www.funwithfimoclay.co.uk
ARTSED EXTRA Develop musical theatre, dance and drama skills and grow in confidence at ArtsEd’s Saturday EXTRA Academy in Chiswick. Available to children aged 4-16 of all abilities. e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 020 8987 6692 www.artsed.co.uk
PERFORM Perform is a unique children’s drama school with a special emphasis on child development. Perform uses a mix of drama, dance and singing to bring out every child’s full potential. Run by highly experienced actor-teachers, in small groups, Perform classes focus on developing the 4 Cs: confidence, communication, coordination, and concentration. The Perform curriculum ensures plenty of fun, using a mix of energetic games, catchy songs and funky dances. All class materials are written by Perform, with apps, music downloads and videos for the children to play at home, keeping the magic of the classes alive. Perform offer no-obligation FREE trial sessions. Visit: www.perform.org.uk/try to book a FREE class today. Venues: Acton, Brook Green, Chiswick, Chiswick Park Ealing W5 and W7, Earls Court, ,Hammersmith, Ickenham, Kensington W8, Maida Vale, Notting Hill, Shepherds Bush. e: email@example.com t: 020 7255 9120 www.perform.org.uk/try
STAGECOACH PERFORMING ARTS Provide fun and engaging weekly classes in dance, drama and singing in a safe and happy environment. Students aged 4 to 18 years are taught by a professional and experienced team of teachers. They offer two-week trials for all new students so that your child can try the class out. To enrol go to: www.stagecoach.co.uk e: firstname.lastname@example.org Chiswick: 020 8398 4709 Hammersmith & Kensington: 020 8398 8106
ARABIC FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN Female teacher, native speaker 18 - year experience. 15 years experience at Ealing Arabic School. Private lessons. All ages and all levels welcome; from absolute beginners to university level. Specialist in GCSE and A level courses. Excellent track record. e: email@example.com
FOOTBALL: KIDDIKICKS Football (W2,W4,W8,W10,W11,TW8). For boys and girls from 18 months to age 9. e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 020 7937 7965 www.kiddikicks.co.uk RUGBY: EALING TRAILFINDERS RUGBY CLUB Mini's Rugby 6yrs-12yrs. e: email@example.com www.ealingrugby.co.uk SWIMMING: SERIOUSLY FUN Swimming Lessons. From 3 years. Crowne Plaza Heathrow. t: 01753 364 366 www.seriouslyfun.com
TUITION SUPPORT VICTORIA PAGE Private tuition 21/2 - 11 years. t: 07050 246 810
VIVIEN BORNEMANN Home tuition. Art, Craft and design. All ages. t: 020 8932 1010
TUITION “HOME TUITION” FULLY QUALIFIED TUITION IN ART, CRAFTS AND DESIGN Help with exams for school, portfolio’s for college, or, just for fun!! ALL AGES WELCOME
Contact: Vivien Bornemann 020 8932 1010
For all your party needs, Balloons Partyware · Banners · Decorations and much more. 9:30am - 5pm Monday - Saturday.
020 8987 8404 4 Acton Lane Chiswick Park W4 5NB www.partyplus.co.uk www.partiesbypost.co.uk
MUSIC & MOVEMENT
PERFORM PARTIES Based around an exciting theme of your choice, Perform’s energetic party leaders use a magical mix of songs, games and laughter to create funfilled, action-packed parties to remember. Call 0207 255 9120 or visit: performparties.co.uk for more info.
STAGECOACH Their themed parties for 4-10 year olds combine drama, dance and singing with a wide range of party games and storytelling all based around your chosen theme. You choose the date and the time and they can come to the venue of your choice. Stagecoach Kensington: 020 8398 8106 Stagecoach Chiswick: 020 020 8398 4709
ADAM ANTS PARTIES 020 8959 1045 or 07969 121094 firstname.lastname@example.org www.adamantsparties.co.uk
BOO BOO THE CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINER 07961 355269 www.mr-booboo.co.uk SILLY MILLIE tHE CLOWN Parties for 3 - 9 year olds. Funny magic show, puppet’s, party games, silly songs and balloon animals. Impossible = I am Possible 020 7823 8329 or 07939 239 397 www.sillymillietheclown.co.uk
FUN ON A FARM!
BIRTHDAY PARTIES AT ODDS FARM PARK For more information including full party terms and conditions and to book please visit: www.oddsfarm.co.uk
BLUEBERRY PLAYSONGS Fun, inter-active, musical parties for the under 5’s since 1991! Guitar-accompanied songs with actions, joining in, instruments, games and dancing. 020 8677 6871 email@example.com
PARTY PLUS They have a wide range of themed partyware available from stock. For mail order and more visit: www.partyplus.co.uk
BETTY BLYTHE Specialises in bringing the Tea Service party to your own home or venue of your choice. They can also host up to 10 in their Vintage Tea room. firstname.lastname@example.org www.bettyblythe.co.uk