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! Leeds’ Favourite Parenting Magazine // NOV/DEC 2011 // ISSUE 19

Visit to find out more and to download our drawing sheet

beauty &

Sat 17 – Sat 31 December 2011 Box Office 0844 848 2703

Martha Leebolt as Beauty Photo Jason Tozer.

world w orl première david davi nixon’s

Christmas Show

competitions ENTRIES CLOSE 9TH DECEMBER 2011

WIN… a family trip to NORTHERN BALLET’S BEAUTY & THE BEAST Discover the magic that can happen when you look beneath the surface with Northern Ballet’s new Beauty & the Beast this Christmas at Leeds Grand Theatre. We have a family ticket worth £100 to give away to one lucky reader. You’ll see the story of the handsome Prince who is transformed into a Beast as punishment for his ugly arrogance. Only true love can break the spell – but who could love a monster like him? This is no pantomime. For this Christmas production the classic fairytale is brought to life by the fantastic Northern Ballet with an infectious score played live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia. To be in with a chance of winning tickets to the 7pm performance on 28th December, simply send your name, address and contact number to with the words NORTHERN BALLET in the subject line. Winners will be notified by email by Friday 16th December. If you aren’t lucky enough to win, tickets are available for performances from 17th – 31st December from £10. Good Luck! • 0844 848 2703

WIN… a family trip to HARROGATE THEATRE’S BEAUTY & THE BEAST Be our guest at one of the best pantomimes in town. Harrogate Theatre never disappoints with their festive offering and this is one not to be missed. Follow Belle and the Beast, a handsome prince who has been placed under an evil spell for a hundred years. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved in return, the spell will be broken and he will return to his true self. But time is running out. Join your favourite pantomime characters on a hilarious journey that will make your Christmas just a little more magic! To be in with a chance of winning 4 tickets to the 7pm show on Friday 16th December, simply send your name, address and phone number to Winners will be notified by email by Monday 12th December. If you aren’t lucky, then book your tickets at or call 01423 502 116. Beauty and the Beast runs from Friday 25th November until Sunday 15th January 2012. Good Luck!

What’s inside… 4 Families NEWS 6 Families REVIEW… TUMBLE TOWN 7 Mums Mean Business meets POPALICIOUS 8 Class NEWS 9 What happens at… FLEX DANCE 10 HELP, it’s MATHS homework! 12 “We couldn’t do it without them!”

Welcome Back… I recently found Eliza, in her bedroom sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of teddy bears. After a cuddle and some medicinal chocolate, I asked my beautiful five-year-old daughter to explain what on earth was wrong, and who was to blame. “You,” she replied. “You told me to be a big girl and I don’t want to grow up. I don’t want to be a big girl. I want to stay five forever.” As my heart began to break from this utterly innocent and incredibly honest admission, I started to think about how I was to blame. I do want her to ‘be a big girl’ and get herself dressed each morning, use her knife and fork and stand up to the mean boys who make fun of her beautiful red hair. I want her to master riding her bike without stabilizers, concentrate on her homework and learn that losing is fine, as long as you’ve tried your best. But seeing her curled up, cuddling the teddy bears that just a few years ago were cuddling her, I wanted to stop the clock. I don’t want her to go on sleepovers. I don’t want her to discover boys. I don’t want her to find out the truth about the tooth fairy and I don’t want her to stop believing that Mummy makes everything better. This time of year, more than any other makes me want to hold onto my girls’ childhood, so that’s the theme of the Butters family Christmas. There will be a visit to Santa, a trip to a pantomime and there’ll be a few days when we’ll eat nothing but chocolate for breakfast. There will be late nights, laughter and lots of homemade Christmas magic. I can’t make Eliza’s wish that she never grows up come true, but I can make sure she doesn’t grow up to soon. I hope this issue of Families Leeds helps you cherish your children’s childhood. The best gift we can all give this year is the lesson that a happy Christmas doesn’t come from the gifts under the tree, but the family around it. See you in 2012!

Sarah Butters

The grandparents helping with childcare

14 Families BUSINESS meets PEEL 2 SAVE 15 Christmas NEWS 16 SHOP LOCAL – Families Leeds’ Gift Guide 20 Where’s SANTA? Our Great Grotto Guide 22 The DO’S and DON’TS of a Happy Family CHRISTMAS 24 It’s SHOWTIME 26 Christmas COMPETITIONS 27 Christmas WHAT’S ON CIRCULATION: 18,000 copies printed NEXT DEADLINE: for Jan/Feb is Thursday 8th December. If you want to advertise contact

CONTACT US: PO BOX 403, BARDSEY, LEEDS LS17 1EP 01937 579 065 • 07764 943 789

DESIGNED BY: Justin Leeming •

COVER IMAGE: William & Ethan Lowans taken by Justin Leeming

PRINTED BY: Warners, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE 10 9PH Families Leeds® is distributed free of charge to schools, nurseries, playgroups, clubs and classes, selected retail outlets and sports centres. Distribution is across ALL LS postcodes. Families Leeds® is part of a larger group of magazines headed by Families SW London®. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. We take every care when preparing this magazine, but publishers and distributors – which include schools – cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor any consequences.

Fitness, Fun & Friends! MUSICAL THEATRE & STREET DANCE for children from 3–11 years across Leeds BOOK NOW for the magical Christmas dance and craft workshops at John Smeaton Leisure Centre on the 20th & 21st December FLEX DANCE parties also available

0 7 9 2 1 2 2 2 7 1 0 • w w w. f l e x d a n c e i n c . c o m

Families NEWS… Celebrate at Leeds City Museum Classes at: The Grammar School at Leeds, Ramada Jarvis nr Bramhope, Moorlands School and Temple Moor High School.

0844 264 1102 (Local call rate)

Fancy hunting for Rory the Tiger in the galleries of one of Leeds’ favourite museums? Leeds City Museum is opening its doors to children’s birthday parties. For 2 – 6 year olds, there’s a Tiny Tigers party themed around the museum’s mascot Rory. For older children, there’s the Explorer party where you’ll get to hunt for hidden treasures in the museum, before heading to the craft room to get creative. Parties are for a maximum of 15 children and are held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons between 2pm and 3.30pm. Party food is available at the wonderful Museum Café. • 0113 224 3728

School launches Toddler Group…

Fundraise with Attach a Tag

Horsforth based Froebelian School says its new Toddler Time session is proving a hit with local parents. The school is welcoming mums and dads from 9am – 10.20am each Monday with the promise of music, movement and a mug of something hot. “The emphasis is on play and socializing,” says Julie West from the school. “There will be a structured activity every week for the toddlers, and a welcome cup of coffee for parents!” Sessions run through term time in The Hub with the final session on the 12th December. • 0113 258 3047

Looking for a way to raise funds for your school without spending a penny? Our friends at Attach a Tag have been helping PTAs across the country raise money, with a super scheme. Register your school, nursery or playgroup for free and you’ll receive 10% of any order made and attributed to your organisation. “We’ve had a great response from schools and PTAs looking for a new and easy way to fundraise,” says Liz Waites from Attach a Tag. “All parents need to label their children’s clothes, and now they can raise money while doing it!” Attach a Tag is a durable clothes labeling system using personalised tags attached by an easy to use device. Prices start at £18.50 (+VAT).

Shop move for Armadillo " Chapel Allerton based toy shop Armadillo has grown! The popular store has moved to a larger home on Harrogate Road. “We’re delighted with the new space,” says Lisa Clay. “There’s room to move a double buggy around the shop and loads more space to display the great toys we have in store – all in time for Christmas!” Armadillo Toys stocks favourites like Sylvanian Families, Playmobil, Cobi, Big Jigs Wooden Railway and Orchard Toys. The new Armadillo toy shop is based at 112a Harrogate Road.

Jo Jingles is Here! Fun Music, Singing & Movement Classes for children aged 3 months to 5 years Children’s Parties & Nursery Sessions also available!

For details on classes in: Wakefield (Sandal & Stanley), Ossett, Normanton, Pontefract, Ackworth, Wetherby, Boston Spa, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet & Harrogate - Call Paula on 01977 650455 Adel, Bingley, Bradford, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ilkley, Menston, Otley, Rawdon, Yeadon, Addingham, Idle, Baildon, Horsforth & Shipley - Call Lisa on 07853 263143


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Fun classes for children aged 2 –11 and their parent/carer With puppets, songs, craft, stories and snacks Leeds, Roundhay, Horsforth, Harrogate & York We’re expanding: teachers required

Tel 0113 3470350

FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 5

Pots 2 Go changes HANDS

Harrogate based pottery painting café Pots 2 Go has a new owner. Suzie Poole is a familiar face to regulars at this popular place, but now she’s the brains behind the business. “It’s really satisfying to see plain characterless pieces of pottery being transformed into works of art. It’s my first Christmas in charge and I’m ready for the mad rush!” says mum of two Suzie. Pots 2 Go offers everything from newborn baby handprints, through to children’s birthdays. There’s also a great selection of gifts in store for the less artistic amongst you. We wish Suzie and her team well. 01423 524 797

Language Success Foreign language teaching at Richmond House School in Far Headingley has been recognised by the Department of Education. The school received a Links Mark for its innovative approach to languages, which begins with children from 4 years old. Richmond House’s Modern Language coordinator Katie Lucas says it’s recognition the school deserves. “We believe learning a foreign language from an early age benefits children in so many ways – advanced reading skills, greater confidence and a better grasp of English.” Pupils begin French in Reception, and Spanish from Year 5.

FACEBOOK Showroom Harrogate boutique Still Gorgeous is now displaying its pre-loved clothing range on the social networking website, Facebook. Clare Whittaker from the store says it’s a great way of showing customers the huge range of constantly changing high quality clothing in stock. “Just ‘like’ us and you’ll be kept up to date with the latest stock and prices,” says Clare. “If you see something you like, you can phone ahead and reserve it for three days.” Clare is also happy to take details of specific items customers are looking for. At the moment, UGGS, Hunters and skiwear are in high demand! Still Gorgeous is on Cold Bath Rd in Harrogate. Closed Mondays. 01423 560 402 •

Scrap Your Photos Is your home filled with photos of your family that never seem to make it to an album? Would you like help creating a scrapbook that you’ll treasure? Why not join a scrapbooking class, run by local craft expert Julie Kettlewell across Leeds and Bradford. She’ll provide the craft products and you provide the memories. For more email

Avoid temptation this Christmas… Local weight loss hypnotherapist Rachel Swann is offering you some seasonal support when it comes to avoiding the excesses of Christmas. Rachel says there are some simple rules to follow when it comes to keeping in control over this tempting time of year. “Don’t deny yourself but don’t think Xmas is an excuse to pig out. Make sure you stay active and use my online visualization support to stay focused. You are in charge of your own body!” Rachel is offering all Families Leeds readers a FREE visualization aid. Just go to to read more from Rachel and you’ll find the click through to some Beautiful Swan support.

BABY SWIMMERS Come Swimming, Be Safe, Have Fun!

Introduce your baby to the enjoyment of water Skill related activities and underwater swims, to build water confidence. LEEDS • BRADFORD • YORK • HARROGATE • POCKLINGTON

Tel: 01757 229 880 •


FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011

Owner Claire Fearnley (left) with a member of staff

TUMBLE TOWN ADVENTURE PLAY We sent local dad of two Justin Leeming to Leeds’ newest soft play centre to see if he and his daughter Lucinda thought it deserved the Families Leeds thumbs up! There’s a hurricane outside, competing with my tired daughter’s Thursday morning tantrum – the Indian summer is officially over. What better way to escape the gloom, than a trip to Tumble Town. We’re met with a warm welcome, as I drag a reluctant Lucinda through the doors. Within 10 minutes her mood is lifted and off she goes to explore. This allows for a large coffee and a whirlwind tour with owner Claire Fearnley. We start in the large party room which caters for 1½ hour parties throughout the week. Upstairs there are rooms used by popular classes like Rhythm Time on Mondays and Socatots on Saturdays. Unlike many other soft play centres, Tumble Town is just the right size to allow you to relax without the worry of losing your child, or having to rescue them from a vertiginous, netted assault course. I find Lucinda driving by the filling station with her new best friend Poppy. Poppy’s mum Georgina, raves about why it’s her favourite local play centre. “There’s lots of lovely mums to chat with. The food is good value and even the coffee tastes great.” And she’s right. There’s a good selection of freshly prepared snacks 1 on offer which owner Claire describes as simple and healthy – there’s 2 /2 ! 11 y e a r s no deep fat fryer here! A popular dish is the homemade ‘Hidden Pasta Sauce’ and special dietary requirements are also catered for. Lucinda demolishes an egg mayo sandwich and I enjoy some cheese For Boys and Girls on toast. There’s a 60p debit card charge, but the food is so cheap, A small school with a I forgive them. big heart Overall Tumble Town offers great value for money with discounts for siblings and child minders paying half price on Tuesdays. Steer Outstanding wraparound clear if you prefer to lose your kids in the hubbub of soft play centre care from 7.45am to 6.30pm mayhem. However, if you’re looking for an intimate, clean and safe Purpose!built Nursery from environment then I’d recommend toddlers, pre-schoolers and even two and a half years parents explore the delights of Tumble Town. Lucinda speeds down the slide one last time. I ask how she feels Rich and varied and with both thumbs outstretched she exclaims,”I’m great!” curriculum After two hours of Tumble Town fun, what a transformation – Exceptional music even the weather’s improved. Strength in sport and Where’s Tumble Town? the creative arts Gyll Royd, Guiseley, LS20 9PP beautiful handmade cake pops Achieving excellent academic results baked to order within a rich and varied curriculum. How would you rate... fun themed party pops


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FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 7

Helen Mallik is in her kitchen designing a host of Christmas themed cake pops. At the moment, all eyes are on a bright green Christmas tree, speckled with edible glitter and finished off with candy baubles. From this Ilkley kitchen, Helen has over the past five months gone from making treats for family and friends to creating over 400 every month for customers of her business Popalicious Cake Pops. “I got the idea when on a visit to America,” says mum of two Helen. “After doing some research and finding out how to make them, I took some to my son’s 4th birthday party and everyone went crazy. It’s spiraled out of control since then!” If like me, you’ve never heard about these sweet treats, it’s worth explaining what they are. Cake pops are moist balls of chocolate cake covered in a candy coating, placed on a stick and decorated as anything from a fairy to an entire football team. But how does Helen create cakes that look too good to eat? “First I bake the chocolate cake and then break it into pieces and mix it with frosting,” she explains. “I mould it into the shape I want and then put it in the fridge until it hardens. Then I dip it in candy coating and decorate – that’s the fun part!” Designing the cakes is time consuming, but it’s the part Helen enjoys most. Her background in interior design has come in handy but so has advice from her two sons – Will, who is six and four year old Charlie. They’re not only creative advisors on each cake pop Helen makes, but they’ve also come up with a plan for developing the business further. “When Will says one of the cakes is rubbish, I usually shelve it,” admits Helen. “It’s got to be about what kids think and what their reaction is. However they’ve come up with some great ideas. My favourite is Cake Pop Parties which I’m working on to launch in the new year.” Helen already has some celebrity fans. She recently made some personalised cake pops for the JLS boys and has been commissioned to make a Pixie Lott cake pop. The detail on each of her designs is truly amazing. “A classic cake pop takes me a few minutes but some of the more complicated ones take me hours,” says Helen. “The JLS ones were really detailed. It took me all day to decorate just four cake pops!” But for Christmas she’s focusing on the oldest celebrity in town – Santa. Watching Helen put the finishing touches to the candy coated Christmas trees and sweet snowmen for her festive range, it’s easy to forget that these beautiful creations will be gone in a few bites. However that’s exactly why they’re so popular with parents planning parties. They’re a great alternative to a traditional cake, as Helen

explains. “The vast majority of children get a cupcake and eat the top, but leave the rest – they’re full. With my cake pops they have a few delicious mouthfuls and they’re happy. They’ve had just enough and there’s no waste so parents are happy too.” Join Helen’s Facebook page to see all her creations. To place an order call 07759 029 138

BOOK FOR 2012 NOW! Stagecoach booking now in… Wetherby, Selby and Kippax on 0113 210 3505 Alwoodley on 01943 817 414 Horsforth & Morley on 01757 248 884


FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011

Class NEWS… NEW TEACHER A warm welcome to Amanda Tennant who has joined the talented Jo Jingles team in Harrogate. Amanda will be running sessions at Kidzplay and Paula Ridley says she’s a great addition. “She’s got loads of experience working with young children and we’re really excited to have her onboard.” To find out where you can jingle with Jo in Leeds, take a look at


Award winning Art & Craft sessions for 12 months – 11 years old You create, we clear up!

You can now join Victoria Iball’s super baby massage sessions in Chapel Allerton on a Thursday at the Methodist Church. “People have been asking me to put on a course in Chapel Allerton for a while so I’m delighted we’re now up and running here,” says Victoria. Victoria also has an En Masse Christmas Baby Massage running on Friday 9th December at Horsforth Children’s Centre at 12.30pm. Babies are invited to come along dressed festively!

s also available

Sessions in Yeadon & Horsforth • Partie

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Let your child learn electrifying moves whilst turning into a confident person. Our programmes develop a deep rooted respect for parents, teachers & law and order. WARRIOR MARTIAL ARTS ACADEMY Robin Mills, Greengates Call Now for your 2 trial classes 07909 518939 or e-mail

Anyone for tennis? If you’re aged between 4 – 6years old, you can join Tennis Tots Plus after school sessions. The classes introduce more racquet skills, ball control and encourage working in pairs to strike and receive. It’s a natural progression for children who’ve enjoyed the pre-school classes but Tennis Tots founder Matt McTurk says the emphasis is still on fun. There are classes in Cookridge (Monday), Horsforth (Wednesday), Roundhay (Thursday) and the promise of Saturday classes coming soon.

NEW TEACHER APPEAL/ NEW SESSIONS Would you like to spend your days teaching pre-school children the joys of jive? Could you learn to disco the Diddi Dance way? The successful team behind the fast expanding Diddi Dance Leeds are looking for a new, enthusiastic teacher to join them. Caroline Gill Carey and Cath Hale say they’re looking for someone with bags of energy and a love of children. To find out more contact There’s also new sessions in Farsley and Guiseley with more new classes expected in the new year.

SPLASHATHON SUCCESS Babies across West Yorkshire raised more than £3,000 for the charity Tommy’s by taking part in a sponsored swim. The local effort was part of a massive £387,179 raised by Waterbabies across the country. “We want to say a huge thank you,” says Arran MacDonald from Waterbabies. “We’re delighted with the parents who helped raise money for such a worthwhile cause.” Tommy’s funds research into pregnancy problems and provides information for parents. For more, visit

FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES Following the success of their French and Spanish for Fidgets classes, Little Fidgets now have some fantastic franchise opportunities in our area. If you’re looking for a really rewarding career that fits in with your family this could be just the thing for you. Contact Lucy at Little Fidgets on 01273 833 340 for information on opportunities in Leeds and Harrogate.

NEW VENUE Leading swim school Splish Splosh is launching classes at Temple Moor High School in East Leeds from January. The lessons are for babies through to improvers and run on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 4pm.

What happens at

FLEX DANCE INC? It’s rehearsal time at Colton Primary School for the dozens of Flex Dance pupils putting the finishing touches to their Christmas production.

Tennis Tots is the UK’s leading tennis play and coaching programme for boys and girls aged 2-6 years of age

To book a free trial call Leeds - 07763 128853 Harrogate - 07725 339257

In just a few weeks time this group of enthusiastic youngsters will take to the stage at the prestigious Northern Ballet theatre in the centre of Leeds to show friends and family what they’ve spent their spare time working on. Flex Dance is a dance and musical theatre school with a difference. There are no tutus, no exams and no stars of the show. There are just lots of children aged between 3 and 11 enjoying exploring how to move to music. “I studied at the Royal Ballet School and found striving towards perfection really sucked the fun out of dancing for me,” says Stephanie Bowles from Flex Dance. “It’s important for me NOT to put these children under pressure. I want them to have fun and be active. The focus is on having a go, doing what you can and having fun.” Today, rehearsal is focused on a routine inspired by the musical Barnum. The children move to centre stage in groups to showcase cartwheels, show hands and lots of smiles. There is genuine enjoyment in the shared energy as each group gets up to perform. Five year olds share the stage with the older pupils, meaning there’s a real range of abilities. “We find our classes work better with a mix of ages in them, because the older ones will demonstrate and inspire the younger ones,” says Stephanie. “Different aged children bring different talents and qualities. In the same way as you’d have a dance company filled with dancers of different abilities, that’s what Flex Dance is about.” The two hour session allows the children to explore musical theatre and street dance. There’s also opportunities for the children to be creative, exploring their own choreography and inventing routines. But it’s the games that get the largest cheer as the session comes to an end – a reward for working on the routines and a welcome break in concentration for the youngsters. “Our motto is Fitness, Fun and Friends,” says Stephanie. “They definitely get a workout in the two hour session. It’s packed with fun !"#$"$#%&'())*)%+,-%.(."*)%/%&0"'1-*$%% and even though most of these children are from different schools "$%2**1)3%4-(1+,-1%/%5(--,#(6* they’ve made friends through Flex Dance. They love it!” WHERE CAN I FIND FLEX DANCE? ! Wigton Moor Church Hall: Tuesday 4.30pm – 6.30pm ! Colton Primary School: Saturday 9am – 11am ! Armley Leisure Centre: Saturday 10am – 12noon ! John Smeaton Leisure Centre: Saturday 10am – 12noon ! Otley Prince Henry’s: Saturday 9 – 11am Flex Dance also run popular 3 day holiday workshops incorporating musical theatre and themed craft activities across Leeds. To find out when the next session is, take a look at • 07921 222 710



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FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011


It’s MATHS AIN! homework AG

If the sight of a maths book in your child’s backpack brings you out in a cold sweat, don’t despair. We’ve called on the expert help of Simon Deacon from after school support group First Class Learning to give us some guidance for helping at homework time.


F ALL THE SUBJECTS covered at school, maths seems to be the one that causes the most controversy. Not only do they ‘do things differently these days’ but there’s now a whole language. Plain old maths lessons are now numeracy skills. Children are being taught to use terms like partitioning and Carroll diagrams. Long division is now chunking or grouping. Long multiplication is the grid method. If all this leaves you reaching for an aspirin you can at least take comfort from the fact that some of the techniques are even older than us parents. Don’t be blinded by the jargon that goes with all of these new methods – the principles are very straightforward and very old. There never was a day when pupils left school completely able to do long division. In fact, as technology has changed from slide rules and log tables, there are very few instances where we need to actually do it at all. But knowing which supermarket offer gives better value and how this is calculated, is more useful when trying to balance the family budget. Today children are taught paper and pencil techniques and these are closer to the ‘back of an envelope’ methods that confident mathematicians use. Quick and simple calculations will help to shine a light on the increasingly sophisticated financial decisions your child will make in the future. Modern techniques are not just about getting the right answer, but about helping them to develop number sense, estimation and reasonableness. But what about your own ability? You are probably better at maths than you think. Most adults are well versed in mathematical ‘common sense’ – choosing a car deal, challenging a government

Profile to KNOW Find out how YOUR child learns to unlock their potential.

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statistic, recognising a pattern. The problems arise when maths is more abstract. Factors, equations, prime numbers and so on can easily become the tipping point between ‘can do’ and ‘do later.’ So if you hit a brick wall, it’s time to take a deep breath and look at the options. Most adults assume that maths is about ‘being able to do it’ and ‘getting it right.’ That’s the ultimate aim but there is nothing wrong with getting stuck. Sleeping on it, looking at the problem from another angle, going for a walk, drawing a diagram to help you understand and relaxing are all great tools. Frequently one small change in emphasis will cause a ‘Eureka!’ moment. Remember that it is your children’s schoolwork and you can expect support from their teacher. Many schools are actively encouraging ‘learn how your child learns’ meetings. They are a great resource and an enthusiastic parent can be a real asset to a child’s education. Be pro-active, ask questions and don’t hesitate to feedback on any maths problems. You might consider calling in a tutor through First Class Learning. A good tutor can cut through to the heart of the child’s needs and help both you and your child navigate maths problems confidently. A carefully structured, individual programme will work wonders for a child’s confidence. Whatever your child’s academic ability, tutoring can help to get the very best from formal education. Much more than just learning how to do long division! Simon runs after school support sessions in Alwoodley and Cookridge. For more information contact 0113 267 1150.

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Little ones blossom at Rose Court Rose Court Nursery & Pre-Prep provides a nurturing beginning for children from three to seven years old. The school in Headingley, part of The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), offers a safe and welcoming environment for boys and girls... with fun playing a central part in the learning process.

and geography include visits and provide insights to other cultures. There are also lots of opportunity for activity outside the classroom, including gymnastics and games, plus arts, crafts, music, drama and dance.

Head of Rose Court, Anne Pickering, says: “Experience tells us that play is the key to successful early learning. We use organised play to help pupils become confident learners with good social skills.”

Children thrive at Rose Court and never look back with most pupils continuing their education at GSAL Junior School and on into Senior School.

Children are taught numeracy and literacy, moving on to learn about science and the environment. History

To find out more about the GSAL experience visit or call Angela Boult, Admissions Manager, on 0113 228 5121.

Make your child's dream come true - book a taster day Guided by a member of staff and a group of supportive, like-minded pupils, your child will have the opportunity to see what makes GSAL a truly magical and excellent teaching environment and pursue one of their interests whether that be sport, music, drama, art, science or cookery. Throughout their taster day with us, your child will experience our superb facilities first-hand, meet with our teaching staff, and will be fully encouraged to make their own magic to see what wonderful opportunities lie ahead here at GSAL.

But don’t just take our word for it; The Grammar School at Leeds recently received top marks across the board following a visit from the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The School was rated as ‘Excellent’, achieving the highest possible rating in every category, from academic success through to extra-curricular activities, demonstrating we really do offer excellence in everything we do.

Call us before all the places disappear on 0113 229 1552 or email

“ We couldn’t do it

without them!” More than a half of all grandparents regularly help look after their grandchildren. It’s saving parents across the UK a massive £12BILLION a year in childcare costs. We meet three local mums who rely on grandparents to help them juggle family life and find out how it works for them.

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“My dad is my rock.” Caroline Gill Carey from Morley runs Diddi Dance classes across Leeds. Caroline’s dad Roy Edwards helps with the childcare of Robin who’s 4 and 3 year old Willow. Carolines says,“I moved back to Leeds from London a few years ago. When I was there, Dad would say ‘if you lived closer to me, I could give you some support’. Whenever Dad visited, he spent time with Robin and Willow and really helped me out. I could see their relationship was positive. Dad is retired, so when I was looking to buy the Diddi Dance franchise we started talking about whether he’d be able to support me. I had no budget for a nursery so this worked on so many levels. It’s given Dad an insight into the children’s lives. He knows my kids. He knows their quirks. Our fixed slots have reduced this year because Robin has started school and Willow is in the school nursery. But I know I can call on Dad to help when I need him. He is my rock.” Roy says,“When Caroline was growing up I didn’t have the time to spend with her because I was busy building up a business and working seven days a week. I see what I’ve done as a way of helping. Caroline lets me know what support she needs and I work my week around it. I’m getting the benefit of being part of my grandkids’ life. Every time there’s a puddle, Willow needs to jump into it. She’s just like Peppa Pig! Now they’ve started school I miss them. They can be little terrors, but I love having them with me. I love seeing them grow up. I’ve done nappy changing, potty training and I’ve made some mistakes. But I’ve amazed myself! I didn’t do it when Caroline was growing up but I’m making up for it now!”

FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 13

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“I don’t feel guilty when I’m at work.” Heidi Tomlinson from Boston Spa is a BBC TV reporter and mum to Rosie who’s nine, four year old Bethany and George who’s two. Both her mother, and her mother in law help with the childcare. “As soon as I fell pregnant with Rosie, both grandmas offered to help when I went back to work. So when Rosie was 7 months old, I returned to work, and each of them looked after her a day a week. I was working a 4 day week, so it meant I only had to put Rosie into nursery for 2 days. There are times I think they do too much. I’m feeling guilty at the moment because mum still works and she does so much for me. She collects the girls on a Thursday after school and has them both overnight. She then takes them to school and has George all day Friday. I do ask – ‘is it too much?’ but she’s Wonder Woman! I don’t feel guilty that I work because I know they’re being loved in their home environment. They’re getting cuddles from the next best thing to a parent. But they are also being disciplined. If they don’t use manners, or if they are cheeky, they are told. If the children were allowed to run rings around their grandmas, it wouldn’t work. Both grandparents have such complete love for our children and they want to do it. They’ve never made me feel like it’s a duty.“

Contact: 07808 579 812 •

“I couldn’t have set up Tumble Town without the support of my family.” Claire Fearnley recently opened Tumble Town, a soft play centre based in Guiseley. Both her mother and mother in law help look after four year old Libby. “I returned to quite an involved managerial position when Libby was almost a year old. At the time, the thought of my ‘baby’ going to strangers every day of the week was very difficult to deal with. It just added to my feeling of guilt at having to go back to work. The fact she was spending some of the time with family made the whole transition much easier. At the moment I use three different forms of childcare. Libby spends some time with my parents in law, some time with my mum and the rest of the time in the local pre-school. She absolutely thrives on the arrangement. She has her special days with her grandparents who spoil her rotten and then she has a fabulous time at pre-school with all her little friends. Setting up Tumble Town has been a big upheaval for all the family. The support of my family has been vital – we wouldn’t have got this far without it. No matter how many business courses you go on, nothing can prepare you for the intensity and sheer exhaustion of the first few months of owning a business. But knowing that somebody is always there for Libby has been wonderful. We couldn’t have done it without them.”


FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011

FAMILIES BUSINESS Crafty Party in a Box! Everything you need to host a craft birthday party.

Money saving couple launch fundraising card

Suitable for boys and girls. Contact Julie on 0113 2570917 or 0792 199 7148

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all looking for ways to save money in the run up to Christmas, and a local couple have launched a card to help you save while raising money for local good causes. Elizabeth and Craig Hawkshead are hoping their Peel 2 Save card will help raise ÂŁ30,000 for charities and non profit making groups across North Leeds over the next 12 months. Town theme with Shop, Cafe & Petrol Station Freshly prepared food daily â&#x20AC;˘ Separate baby area Private Parties catered for (centre closed for parties) Unit 2 â&#x20AC;˘ South View Business Park â&#x20AC;˘ Guiseley Leeds LS20 9PP (straight on past Argos, we're 3rd on left)

01943 870 189

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great concept,â&#x20AC;? says Elizabeth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credit card size with 64 money saving stickers from local businesses, offering over ÂŁ500 worth of savings. You simply peel off the sticker and claim your saving.â&#x20AC;? Any local charity, school or non-profit making organisation can use the cards to raise funds. The Scholes based couple hope to work with groups to sell 6,000 cards over the next year raising tens of thousands of pounds for local good causes. For Elizabeth and Craig, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a way of giving something back. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sometimes in business itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to take, take, take,â&#x20AC;? says Craig. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With Peel 2 Save any school, charity, sports club or playgroup can take these cards on a sale or return basis. The group sells them for ÂŁ10 each and they get to keep ÂŁ5 from every card sold. For that ÂŁ10, people are getting ÂŁ500 worth of savings!â&#x20AC;? The Leeds North Peel 2 Save card has offers from local businesses such as Casa Mia, Haley and Clifford, Shaky Jakes and Anastasia Flowers. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also discount stickers from national chains Dominos Pizza, Pizza Express, David Lloyd and Cartridge World. Are you a charity, school or non profit making group looking to raise funds? There are cards covering all the LS postcodes. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested in finding out how your local Peel 2 Save card could help YOUR group, contact Elizabeth or Craig Hawkshead on 0113 264 6314 â&#x20AC;˘

Water Babies are the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading baby swimming school offering multiaward winning classes in your area.

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To find out more and Join in the fun call...




FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 15

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Christmas NEWS… ..GERMAN MARKET RETURNS TO LEEDS.. Millennium Square in Leeds plays host to Christkindlemarkt for a 10th year. Forty wooden chalets will be groaning with German delicacies and traditional gifts to kick start the Christmas celebrations. Where else can you enjoy gluhwein, bratwurst sausage and stollen while listening to the sound of a German band? The market opens on Friday 11th November at 10.30am until Sunday 18th December.

..TRAIN UP YOUR CHRISTMAS ELF.. Festive helpers can be hard to find, but the good folk at Fantasy Kids Club have come up with a great solution. They’re providing Christmas Elf and Fairy training at a series of workshops across Yorkshire throughout December. The weekend sessions aim to hone the skills of your little helpers, as they map Santa’s journey, create new toys and get everything ready for the big day. Workshops run from 9am – 3pm at sites in Leeds, Wakefield and Harrogate for trainee elves and fairies aged between 3 and 8 years old. It’s a great way to add a bit of magic to the build up to Christmas, while buying busy mums a bit of time! • 01924 281 365

Soft Play Christmas Parties Wed 21st & 22nd Dec Little Bees Play & Party • Seacroft Xmas themed show from 3.30pm – 6pm starring Mrs Giggles. Book your tickets. 0113 232 9822

Friday 23rd December Crazy Tykes Thorp Arch • Wetherby • LS23 7BJ Get out your party hats and head to Crazy Tykes for their Christmas party. Party games and the chance to meet Santa. Begins at 4pm. Booking essential. 01937 541 007 Tumble Town • Guiseley Christmas party with activities and lots of festive games. 01943 870 189

..LIVING NORTH FESTIVE FAIR AT HAREWOOD.. Christmas comes to Harewood House on the 25th November with The Essence of Christmas Fair. More than 100 exhibitors are expected at the show which promises to be a festive celebration of the very best of Yorkshire. There’s a food and drink marquee featuring top produce from across the county and a shopping and lifestyle pavilion for some great gift ideas. Tickets are available online and the show runs from Friday 25th – Sunday 27th November. Doors open at 10am.

..BUY A BOW FOR ALFIE.. Supporters of the annual Alfie Martin Christmas Fair are in for a special treat this year. Local designer Carole Ogden Pickering has created a navy blue diamante organza bow for the event, to raise funds for the charity it supports. “I’m delighted to be working with Fiona Martin and the team behind this wonderful charity,” says Carole. “All profits from this bow will go to them and at £5.00 it’s an affordable gift – a perfect Christmas stocking filler as it comes in its own gift box.” The Alfie Martin Christmas Fair will take place on Friday 18th November at East Keswick Village Hall. Doors open at 9.30am. You can pre-order this limited edition bow online at

Based at: Moorlands School – Leeds & Belmont Grosvenor School, Birstwith, Harrogate. Swimming Lessons take place on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings Intensive courses are also available during every holiday

We teach all standards of swimmers FROM 3 YEARS

For more information please call Nick on:

07870 562 365


Shop Local

FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011

Families Leeds Christmas Gift Guide


ORGET those petrol guzzling trips to out of town shopping centres. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t waste your cash on city centre parking charges. Families Leeds has teamed up with our favourite local retailers to take the stress out of Christmas. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get a warm welcome and some great advice. Join the Families Leeds Shop Local Campaign this year and support the high street on your doorstep.

Babyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s First Christmas DOTTY BOTS GIFT SET

From ÂŁ15.00 â&#x20AC;˘ Give the greenest gift in town! These stylish reusable nappies make saving the planet cool. The set includes nappies, dribble bib, hat, shoes and a wet bag, all presented in a beautiful gift box. Designed by local mum of two Rebecca Wareing, this present could help save a family up to ÂŁ1,500 over 2 years.



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BABY ROOTS CHRISTMAS TREE From ÂŁ24.00 A gift that will grow with your baby. Angela Ward runs the award winning Baby Roots from her home in Wetherby. The Blue Spruce is just one of a number of trees she sells, and is the ideal Christmas gift. Keep it outside through the year, bringing it in during UNT DISCOMILIES A F December to join in the festivities. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a gift R FO ERS â&#x20AC;&#x2122; READ LEEDS that will bring joy and bring back memories for years to come.


HANDPRINT DECORATION From ÂŁ10.00 â&#x20AC;˘ Those tiny fingers and tiny toes grow so quickly, so capturing them in a ceramic tree decoration that will last forever is the perfect gift. Tara Binns from Ilkley based Joy Impressions will create you either a heart or circle decoration with a choice of coloured ribbons, presented in a gift box. The print can also be made into a silver charm for you to wear close to you heart. Final order date for Christmas delivery is Saturday 3rd December.

For Girls…


Suitable from 3 years old • Local Stockists: Treasures of Wetherby & The Little Hen Company, Horsforth This will be at the top of many girl’s Christmas list this year! Top Model has created a range of colouring products which tap into every girl’s love of fashion. Style books start at £3.50 and come in a range of themes including Mermaids, Popstars and Pirates. For younger girls there is the Trixibelle colouring and sticker book range which invites you to ‘Create your own Palace’ or style your own ‘Home Sweet Home’. A great way to encourage creativity this Christmas!

SYLVANIAN FAMILIES FATHER CHRISTMAS From £14.00 • Local Stockist: Armadillo Toys, Chapel Allerton & Horsforth & Treasures, Wetherby Those Sylvanian Families certainly know how to celebrate Christmas and this year Santa has come early. This adorable set is the perfect addition to any family and is bound to be popular. It’s one of a selection of Sylvanian goodies tipped for the best seller list this Christmas.

Fun fashions and accessories for Babies & Toddlers. Try our Dotty Bots reusable cloth nappies.


07576 053 503

From £69.99 • Suitable from 2 years old Local Stockist: Coldbath Toys, Harrogate The best value toys are the ones made to withstand not days but years of play. This handpainted pink castle is such a toy. It’s the perfect place to make visiting fairies welcome and will provide your child with a place to let her imagination take over.

PERSONALISED CLOCK From £24.99 • Counting down to Christmas will be so much easier with this clock handmade by local artist Helen Sinfield. They can be themed to feature a butterfly, princess, flower or a fairy and finished with the name of your choice. But no girl’s clock would be complete without a scattering of sequins and some glitter to add a touch of Christmas magic. Also a boy’s range available. Final order date for Christmas is Wednesday 14th December.

FIGIT From £55.00 • Suitable from 6 years old Tipped to be THE toy of Christmas 2011, Fijit is a squishy robot guaranteed to entertain your child and irritate the heck out of you! Tickle it and it laughs. Ask them to tell a joke, and you’ll get one. Leeds’ based online toystore It’s Toytastic predicts this will be every girl’s new best friend. One to buy early!

Independent Toy Shop

BOXED HEADBAND SET £10.00 • Those clever folk at The Bow Company have come up with an affordable yet fun girly gift. The interchangeable headband allows you to put a new bow on it every time you wear it. Choose a headband and three bows for £10.00 and it will come in a beautiful pink box and tied with, you’ve guessed it, a bow!

PERFECT FOR CHRISTMAS GIFTS: Toys and Games for all Ages Quality Brands including – Lego, Duplo, Orchard Toys, Melissa & Doug, Big Jigs wooden rail, Meccano, Galt, Manhattan Toy, Wow Toys, Le Toy Van, Schleich, Papo and many more… Many offers on Le Toy Van Wooden Dolls Houses, 10% off all Orchard Toys, Games & Jigsaws.

NEW BIGGER Chapel Allerton Shop at 112a Harrogate Rd • LS7 4NY • 0113 266 7500 20 Town St • Horsforth • LS18 4RJ • 0113 258 8777

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For Boys…


£49.99 • Suitable from 7 years old Local Stockist: Treasures of Wetherby This is the final year you’ll be able to get your hands on the wonderful Harry Potter Lego and Zhara Armstrong from Treasures of Wetherby says this could be a collector’s item. The castle comes with seven >-#+'4+!?$((!@+&:',+!!!!!ABBC!BAD!EFEG!!! minifigures and has a variety of sets to compliment it including a !!!$#*-H.--#0&'.%&2$)#I4-I<7!!!! Knight Bus (with shrunken head and Hedwig!). !!!:::I.--#0&'.%&2$)#I4-I<7!!! One for buying and keeping! WIT CYC H THE LES BIG JIGS WOODEN RAILWAY SCOOTER ADV ENSE E ON RT From £5.00 • Local Stockist: From £50.00 • Local Stockist: P23 Armadillo Toys, Horsforth Cyclesense, Thorp Arch and Chapel Allerton If you’re looking for an affordable yet durable wooden train set, Whether your little man is looking for his first Big Jigs comes recommended time and again. There’s a huge set of wheels, or you’ve got a would-be stunt range of trains to collect and track sets start and at £10.00 man in the house, Cyclesense has a scooter to suit. The three wheeled Mini Micro Scooters are really stable and easy to manoever. HEX BUGS They’re available in a host of colours and From £8.99 • Suitable from 3 years old can be used by children from 3 years old. Local Stockist: Treasures of Wetherby But this Christmas is the year of the Stunt Scooter and Cyclesense have a great A SC OO range by JD Bug to suit all budgets. ON P TER 26 I just wish they did them for adults!

10% OFF


Tiny collectible micro robotic creatures which use vibrations to move. They can flip, turn and navigate their way around a Habitat ES SUR A E Set (RRP £26.99) which Treasures are TR ER OFF offering at special seasonal price of £21.99. There’s a range of robotic friends on offer this Christmas including an ant, a crab, an inchworm and a spider. Already a favourite in playgrounds across Leeds!

99 £21.

The Little Hen Company

Wooden Toys



Schleich Plastic Animals

Sylvanian Families

Big Jigs Rail

Wooden Railway


Beanie Boos

Baby Gifts PLAYMOBIL NEW SHOP IN HORSFORTH 125 New Road Side (A65) • Horsforth • LS18 4QD 0113 258 2808 •

PAPO WEAPON MASTER CASTLE £79.95 • Suitable from 4 years old • Local Stockist: Coldbath Toy Shop, Harrogate A traditional toy that’s been built to last hours of imaginative play. This medieval castle is the perfect sport for battles between your Papo Knights. There’s a spacious courtyard for sword fights and a working drawbridge to keep the enemy at bay.

COBI SMALL ARMY SETS From £4.95 • Suitable from 7 years old Local Stockist: The Little Hen Company, Horsforth Cobi have created these army themed construction sets that are really competitively priced. Create an army from the Special Forces Tank Set (£24.95) and the Phantom Plane (£12.95). There’s a great range to choose from and they’re compatible with the leading block specialists.

DANCING STAR MICKEY From £75.00 • Suitable from 2 years old Another toy tipped as a best seller this Christmas. Dancing Star Mickey walks, talks and even moonwalks. It’s as near as you’ll get to the real thing without a trip to Disneyland!

Shhh… for You!

FINGERPRINT PENDANT From £38.00 Simple and elegant, these pieces are created by Yorkshire based jewellery designer Jill Stewart. Capture your child’s fingerprint on a silver charm that you can wear long after they’ve stopped giving you kisses at the school gates. Last date for Christmas orders is 10th December.

CALM DOWN AND…. £9.99 • Local Stockist: Stockeld Park Gift Shop We could not resist putting this in our guide to the perfect Christmas gifts. The gift shop at Stockeld Park is packed with great gifts for all the family – many sourced locally. But we’ve already spotted our favourite. It’s a message that will take us through the dark days of winter until we’re back in Pimms season.


Shop Local…

Catherine O’Hare • Transform your photos into works of art. Celebrated local artist Catherine O’Hare takes three weeks to turn your images into either a watercolour or an oil painting. Styles and prices to suit your budget. 01943 877 532

Po t s 2 G o

Christmas Opening Times


112a Harrogate Rd, Chapel Allerton LS7 4NY Open daily, including Sundays in December.

Coldbath Toys 123 Coldbath Rd, Harrogate HG2 0NU Open daily, including Sundays from 11am – 4pm in December.

Pottery Painting, Birthday Parties, Baby Hand & Foot Prints 25 Montpellier Parade • Harrogate • HG1 2TG

01423 524 797 Open Tuesday to Saturday

The Bow Company

The Little Hen Company 125 New Road Side, Horsforth LS18 4QD Open 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday, and from 10am – 4pm every Sunday throughout November and December.

Treasures 8 High Street, Wetherby LS22 6LT Open 9.30am – 5pm Monday – Saturday. From Sunday 27th November, open from 11am – 4pm each Sunday until Christmas.



Santa ?

The Christmas Adventure Stockeld Park, Wetherby LS22 4AN • From Sat 12th November – Sat 24th December • Crowned Britain’s Best Grotto by readers of The Mirror last Christmas, this is a Families Leeds’ readers favourite. Set in the heart of this Yorkshire Winter Wonderland, this is a magical experience with minimum stress. Pay for your ticket then register with a Yorkshire Elf and wait for your number to appear on the onsite screens. “We hope our virtual queuing system will minimize the time families have to wait in line,” says Amy Thornton from The Christmas Adventure. “You shouldn’t wait for more than 20 minutes once you’re in Santa’s Grotto.” From Saturday 12th November – Friday 9th December, you can see Santa from 3pm – 7pm every weekday. There are extended 12noon – 7pm opening hours every weekend, and daily from 12th December. Visits from £7.50 per child. There’s also the chance to have a festive family photo taken with Father Christmas in the grotto. 01937 586 333

Bolton Abbey Strid Wood, Skipton BD23 6EX • Each weekend from Saturday 3rd – Sunday 18th December Daily between 19th – 22nd December • Hidden in a Romany caravan in the heart of the magical Strid Wood is Father Christmas, waiting to meet well behaved children looking for some festive fun. The Strid Wood Elves promise to keep the children entertained while they wait to follow the trail of presents into Santa’s cosy grotto. Entry is £4.50 per child, with each visitor receiving a personalised gift. The grotto opens from 10am – 4pm. Booking recommended as this is always popular. 01756 718 009

Harewood House

Christmas Crafts in December Book breakfast with Santa on the 4th, 11th & 18th December


0113 244 4343

Leeds • LS17 9LG • Friday 25th November, then every Saturday & Sunday until 23rd December • After Santa’s first visit to Harewood last year, he’s decided to come back. His Geopod Grotto opens on Friday 25th November, to coincide with the Living North Christmas Fair. From Saturday 26th November, Santa will giving out gifts from 10am – 4pm every weekend until Sunday 23rd December. Entry is £7.50 per child and includes a present. You can book your tickets online or through the box office. 0113 218 1000

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th December • Kick start Christmas with a visit to the beautiful Fountains Abbey. Visit Santa in his grotto, which is based in the Visitor Centre. Little Angels will receive a gift! 01765 608 888

Abbey House Abbey Walk, Leeds LS5 3EH • Sunday 4th,11th & 18th December Come along and write Santa a letter before heading into his Abbey House grotto to meet him. Entry is £4 and the grotto is open from 10am – 3pm. Visitors will receive a small gift. 0113 230 5492

FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 21

Temple Newsam

Santa at Treasures

Leeds LS15 0AD • Saturday 10th December Join the Victorian Christmas celebrations at Temple Newsam. Visit the living nativity at Home Farm before heading to meet Santa in his grotto. Celebrations begin at 5pm with a host of Christmas activities for all the family. Booking recommended. Family tickets available and there are discounts for Leeds Card holders. 0113 264 7321

High Street, Wetherby LS22 6LT Saturday 19th November • Head to Wetherby’s favourite toy shop to write Santa a letter and deliver it by hand. Create a Christmas Wish List with one of Santa’s helpers in store, and enjoy fun, food and some festive magic from 12noon. If you miss Santa’s visit, pop into Treasures to post your letter into the North Pole Postbox and see a Christmas Elf pop in to pick up all your mail on Sunday 27th November. 01937 589 187

Breakfast with Santa Thackray Museum, Leeds LS9 7TF • Sunday 4th, 11th & 8th December • Do you fancy sharing a smoothie with Santa? Head on down to the Thackray Museum where you can join Father Christmas for a festive feast. Tuck into a VIP breakfast of fruit juice, pastries, a chocolate fountain as well as a cooked option before you meet Santa. Breakfast is served from 10.30am until 12noon. Book your table directly with the Camuco Café on 0113 245 1111. Tickets are £10 per child.

White Rose Centre From Monday 7th November until Sat 24th December The first grotto to open in Leeds this festive season. Santa will be at the White Rose Centre for 48 days this year. It’s a miracle he makes it anywhere else! Open every weekday from 11am – 6pm. Open Saturday 10am – 7pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm. Santa leaves the White Rose Centre at 3pm on Christmas Eve. 0113 229 1234

All Aboard with Santa! Kirklees Light Railway Clayton West, Huddersfield Every weekend from 27th November until Christmas Eve Travel by steam to visit Santa in his cosy grotto at Shelley Station. There’s mince pies and sherry for grow ups and a gift from Father Christmas for children. Twilight trains also running on 16th, 21st and 22nd December from 4pm. Daytime Santa trains running from 10am. Tickets from £9. 01484 865 727

Middleton Railway Moor Road Railway Station LS10 2JQ Every weekend in December including Christmas Eve Also on Wednesday 21st December • Jump onboard a Santa Special. Sit back and enjoy the 30 minute train journey. Trains begin at 10.30am and end at 3pm and the journey costs £4 for under 3s and £7.50 for children aged between 3 – 12 years old and include a gift. Booking essential. 0845 6801 758

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6AF • Sunday 20th and 27th November Every December weekend from 3rd – 18th December Enjoy an hour long train ride with Santa through one of the most beautiful parts of Yorkshire. If you’re good, Father Christmas will be touring the carriages to hand out gifts. Four trains running daily from 10am until 2.30pm. Tickets from £6. Booking essential. 01756 710 614

Winter Wi t Season S o22011 n 011 Santa’s Harewood Grotto opens with... · 25th -27th Nov

...Plus Plus 1 10.00am 0.00am - 4.00pm mW Weekends eek e ends in December & Daily 19th - 23rd Dec

· Explore our win wintry wi try Grounds & Gardens trails · Visit the House dressed for the festive season · Join in w with ith Children’s Children’s craft activities activities · Enjoy FFestive estive Shoppi ng, Food & Drink Shopping, Throughout our Winter nter Season pay just £5 £ for parking at our Information Centre on arrival. (excludes cludes des Essence of Christmas) Christm - Upgrade to visit the State Rooms for just £4 on the day day.. Santa’s Grotto £7.50 per child - includes a Harewood gift!

Book Santa online now or call our bo box x office

0 0113 113 2 218 18 1 1000 000 · www


FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011


Simple r e p u S e mat er... The Ultirofit Fundrais High P Call Craig or Elizabeth on 0113 264 6314

s a m t s i r h C DOs & DON’Ts of a HAPPY FAMILY


..DON’T expect it to be perfect..

Like it or not, your Christmas will not be perfect. You will over cook the turkey, under cook the pudding and end up sobbing into a huge glass of Sauvignon Blanc because your mother in law has criticized your gravy. But because you’ve put so much time and effort into hosting the perfect Christmas, the disappointment at the odd hiccup is overwhelming. Start the festive period accepting you’re not Nigella and it won’t be perfect and you’ll enjoy the parts that go well.

..DO try and relax.. By the time Christmas Day arrives, most of us are exhausted. You’ve probably spent the weeks prior to the big day panic shopping, baking everything that Jamie suggested in his Christmas special and ferrying the family from one festive event to the next. Earmark some time for you. It’s supposed to be a holiday!

..DO make your own traditions.. Every family has it’s own way of celebrating. Now you have your own children it’s time for you to make your own traditions. Whether it’s a trip to the local crib service on Christmas Eve, or a day of Christmas baking on the Sunday before the festivities begin, it’s up to YOU to create your traditions. A great idea I’ve taken from a friend is the Christmas Eve hamper. This is a basket, left by one of Santa’s helpers filled with goodies to enjoy on the night before Christmas. In it are festive pyjamas for the children, new tooth brushes, a mug to make hot chocolate and a DVD for the family to watch. It’s the perfect kit to help kick start Christmas.

..DO get out and about.. You are not under house arrest over the festive period. We shouldn’t be surprised that if you fill your home with relatives you rarely see and then lock the door, there will be arguments. Add some wine and the results are anything but festive. Don’t be afraid of getting wrapped up and heading out for a bracing walk. It will clear the house and let the little ones run off some steam.

FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 23

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..DON’T expect your children to be angels.. They’ve broken up from school about to burst with excitement about the arrival of Santa. You’ve been using the ‘if you’re not good, Santa won’t come’ since Easter and then the presents are opened and your little angels turn into little devils. Rules and routine are thrown out of the window so relatives can be entertained and trips can be taken. Combine that with too many treats and lots of attention from well meaning visitors and the magic of Christmas can disappear pretty quickly. Try not to let all discipline go out of the window and if you sense that there’s a tantrum on the way, remove your child from the mayhem. During your time out, remind them that Santa can take gifts back from children who don’t behave!

..DO give out jobs.. A resentful host is not a happy host so when you do your pre-Christmas shopping list, make sure you also write a list of jobs you’ll need doing on the big day. If you know your Mother in Law has a view about your Yorkshire Puddings, set her to work making some better ones. Remember, a busy cook is often a quiet cook!

..DON’T waste money.. Let’s face it, this is going to be a tough year for all of us. We want to give our children everything on their list, but won’t be able to. Most of us will be celebrating making it to the 25th December with a job and a roof over our heads. However, you can still enjoy the festivities while being frugal. Swop traditional cards for an email including a festive photo. Organise a secret Santa for adult family members with a spending limit. Or simply suggest that you only buy for the family’s children. Keep reminding yourself that it’s not about the money you spend on each other, it’s about the time you spend with each other.

..DO enjoy the preparation.. If you’re not careful, baking the cake, decorating the house and dressing the tree can begin to feel like a chore. Don’t let it become hard work. Give yourself the time to enjoy it and accept that with a little help from your little ones you can create some lovely Christmas memories. OK, you won’t have a cake fit for Delia. There’ll be precious few needles left on the tree and your house will resemble the aftermath of a children’s birthday party. But despite the imperfections you’ll have happy children and you won’t have spent a penny. Now that’s a happy Christmas.

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..DO laugh!.. Forget the stress of present buying and preparing a feast fit for a royalty and take a minute to laugh. Remember, when you strip away all the tinsel and tat this is about preparing one meal, on one day with decorations and a gift or two. And if you’re finding smiling hard, try using our favourite Christmas Cracker joke to cheer you up. What’s Santa’s favourite pizza? One that’s deep, and crisp and even.

..DON’T stress about the presents.. So you haven’t been able to find the latest Transformer or bag a Buzz Lightyear doll. Before you beat yourself, ask yourself this. Do you remember the presents you didn’t get when you were a child? Or do you remember the experiences you had? My Christmas memories are preparing lunch with my wonderful Nana and attempting to wake my King Charles Cavalier after he’d drunk the best part of a bottle of Blue Nun. Your kids will remember the laughter and the love and when you wake up in January, so will you. Happy Christmas!



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FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011

It’s Showtime

Heading to the theatre is part of the Christmas festivities. This year we have some old favourites and some new shows to entertain all the family.

..Beauty & the Beast • Leeds Grand Theatre.. • 17th – 31st December..


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A classic fairytale brought to life by the prestigious Northern Ballet. There’s a handsome prince, transformed into a beast and his salvation is in the hands of a beautiful young woman. This classic story unfolds in an elegant and enchanted world filled with fairies, sprites and goblins. On Thursday 22nd December, children are invited to join a dance workshop at the Northern Ballet Dance Centre, before having lunch and heading down to the Leeds Grand Theatre for the matinee performance. The workshop is an additional £12. Book when you reserve your tickets for this superb show. A beautiful alternative to the traditional pantomime. 0844 848 2703

..Jack & the Beanstalk • The Christmas Adventure.. • Sunday 20th November.. Stockeld Park’s very first pantomime. Join Jack, Dimples the cow and Mayor Botchett on an exciting adventure through Pantoland. Head to the Big Top Marquee set in the heart of Stockeld Park for the 90 minute show. Performances at 1.30pm and 4pm. Tickets are limited and start at £4 for children and £5 for adults. 01937 586 333

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..Beauty & the Beast.. TicPage 2 ..Harrogate Theatre... ..25th November – 15th January.. This fantastic theatre has been putting on pantomimes for 111 years but this is the first time Beauty and the Beast has been in town. Follow Beauty Belle and her journey with a handsome prince who is living under an evil spell that’s transformed him into a Beast. Can he learn to love and be loved before time runs out? A thigh slapping, ‘it’s behind you’ traditional panto. Tickets start at £9. Ours are already booked! 01423 502 116


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Three easy steps to booking your hassle-free and professionally delivere d party: 1. Choose your theme - Spy School Party - Dance Party - Sports Party

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3. Book your venue

FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 25

..Robin Hood –.. ..The Pantomime Adventure.. ..Alhambra Theatre, Bradford.. ..17th December – 5th February.. Billy Pearce returns to the Alhambra for his 13th pantomime to star as Robin Hood. This is a brand new show for Yorkshire audiences and promises to be as popular as ever. It’s packed with comedy, great costumes and there’s even a flying dragon. As well as matinee performances, there’s also a handful of early evening shows in January for younger children. Tickets from £9. 01274 432 000

..Jack & the Beanstalk.. ..West Yorkshire Playhouse.. ..9th December – 21st January.. Definitely NOT a panto! This is the tale of harp playing Pearl who is captured by the Giant and taken to live in the clouds. Featuring Milkywhite the Cow and some happy chickens, we follow a rather lazy Jack as he climbs the magic beanstalk to make his rescue. Suitable for children from 4 years old. Tickets from £8.50. Family tickets available. 0113 213 7700

Give them a party they won’t forget! Completely safe for 4–9 year olds. Bring your party to one of our indoor venues.

Contact Geoff on 01422 351 981

Harrogate Theatre’s trul truly ly tra traditiona traditionall pantomime ffor or o 2011/12

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FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011

WIN… a FAMILY PHOTOSHOOT with ANGELA STUBBS Capturing the perfect family photograph is priceless but not impossible. Angela Stubbs is one of Yorkshire’s leading family photographers. She’s built up a loyal following from her base in Boston Spa, and her wonderful work reveals why.

Santa’s Cracking C WIN… a LEGO ADVENT CALENDER Fed up of predictable chocolate advent calendars? LEGO has the solution this Christmas with these super themed calendars. Behind each door is a LEGO gift that after 24 days, creates a play set. The generous elves at Treasures of Wetherby have one of these super sets to give away. Choose from the best selling LEGO City Calendar (£17.99) or the new for 2011 Star Wars Advent Calendar (£24.99). Simply send your name, address and choice of calendar to with the words LEGO in the subject line to be in with a chance of winning 24 days of LEGO fun. Good Luck! Treasures is on High Street, Wetherby, LS22 6LT. 01937 589 187


Angela has teamed up with us this Christmas to offer one reader the chance to spend a morning on a shoot in a location of your choice. Maybe you’d like to capture your family in your own home, or on your favourite winter walk. The key to the shoot’s success, according to Angela, is that you’re all relaxed. You’ll enjoy a slideshow presentation of the memories Angela captured in your own home and get to choose either five 7x5 prints or two 12x8 prints. As one of Angela’s recent clients, Natasha said,“When Angela comes back with the images, you are amazed and delighted. These are lifelong memories. She is truly gifted.” To be in with a chance of winning this wonderful prize, simply send your name and address to with the words ANGELA STUBBS in the subject. The shoot must be booked before 29th April 2012 and must be within a 30 mile radius of Boston Spa. To see more of Angela’s work, take a look at:


WIN…. a MINI MICRO SCOOTER This scooter will be on the Christmas list of children across Leeds. We’ve teamed up with Cyclesense of Thorp Arch to play Santa. This fun, flexible scooter is the best set of wheels in town and comes in pink or blue. To be in with a chance of winning one, simply send your name, address and the colour of the scooter you’d like to with the word SCOOTER in the subject line. We’ll let you know by Monday 12th December. If you don’t win, take a look at the great range of ride-ons at Cyclesense this Christmas at or visit their Family Showroom at Thorp Arch. 01937 844 068

FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 27


Christmas Adventure AT STOCKELD


November FREE events & low season prices

What’s on…

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Dig out your white beard and practise your ‘ho, ho, ho’ because Christmas is here and we’ve found some great places to get festive. Whether it’s walking in one of our Winter Wonderlands or getting joyful and triumphant with a Yorkshire brass band, we have a packed calendar for you. Wrap up warm and remember to say you saw it in Families Leeds!

Friday 4th November Every Friday until 16th December

An inspirational day out for all ages at Stockeld Park. Near Wetherby on the A661. Open 7 days a week from 21 October.

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Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th November Polar Bear visits Yorkshire

Messy Monkeys

ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM Messy art and craft fun for under 5s. Leave the mess behind! Wear suitable clothing 0113 230 5492

THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Come along to the wonderful Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park and see a Polar Bear. Don’t worry, it’s not real but you’ll think it is! Shows at 1pm, 2pm and 3.30pm. 01937 586 333

Thursday 10th November

Tiny Tigers

Leeds Lights Switch On

LEEDS CITY MUSEUM Create a historical mess! Make use of paints, stencils, crayons and glue. For under 5s. 10am start. 0113 224 3732

VICTORIA GARDENS Join X Factor star Matt Cardle as he switches on the city centre lights. Fun begins at 6.45pm. Firework display to end the evening

Friday 11th Nov – Sunday 18th December

Saturday 5th November Rory’s Saturday Club


Christkindlemarkt Every Saturday in Term Time

LEEDS CITY MUSEUM Free art and craft session for the family beginning at 11am. Runs throughout term time. 0113 224 3732

Artspace LEEDS ART GALLERY Family art workshop. New artwork introduced each session. Booking required. 0113 247 8254

MILLENNIUM SQUARE One of the UK’s largest German markets. Over 40 wooden chalets filled with produce and gifts. A great way to get in the Christmas spirit! Open daily from 10.30am.

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th November Santa’s Sleigh Parade THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Meet Santa as he arrives in Yorkshire to set up his award winning grotto at Stockeld Park. Santa and his reindeers will take a journey through the forest to start the festive season. 01937 586 333


Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th November

Friday 25th – Sunday 27th November

Day out with Thomas

The Living North Christmas Fair

KIRKLEES LIGHT RAILWAY All aboard for a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends Percy, Toby and Mavis. Tickets are £10 for adults and £8 for over 2s. Booking recommended. 01484 865 727

HAREWOOD HOUSE Regional Christmas fair showcasing the very best produce and gifts from across the county. Doors open at 10am daily. Closes at 5pm on Friday and Saturday and 4pm on Sunday. 0113 218 1010

Thursday 17th November

Saturday 26th November

Christmas Shopping Event

A Christmas Musical

Friday 18th November

THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE A live music show for all the family. Come and join in the Christmas spirit. 01937 586 333

Children in Need Celebrations

Kirkstall Deli Market

HOLY TRINITY PRIMARY SCHOOL Evening shopping event organised by the PTA at Cookridge Holy Trinity on Green Lane. Begins at 7pm. Entry is £2.50.

THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Come along to the Christmas Tree light switch on at Stockeld Park. Buy a Children in Need bauble to place on the tree to support the charity. 01937 586 333

Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th November Breakfast with Santa

KIRKSTALL ABBEY Great quality food, plants and goods from local producers. Market starts at 12 noon.

Family Day LOTHERTON HALL Afternoon of family workshops at this super attraction. Great café. Great playground. 0113 281 3259

THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Join Father Christmas for a breakfast buffet at Stockeld Park. Starts at 9am with a choice of hot and cold food. Santa will tour the café with gifts for the children. Booking essential. Online booking available. 01937 586 333

HORSFORTH LIBRARY Stories and crafts for the family with a pantomime theme. Free session which begins at 11am. 0113 214 4801

Friday 25th November

Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th November

Playground LEEDS ART GALLERY Sometimes messy multisensory session inspired by the gallery’s artworks. 0113 247 8254

Horsforth Family Club

Every weekend until 18th December

Christmas Music and Lights

FOUNTAINS ABBEY Get in the festive spirit with a visit to this wonderful Winter Wonderland. Listen to seasonal music in the floodlit Abbey ruins and see the trees twinkle with lights. Magical! 01765 643 166

FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 29

Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th November Breakfast with Santa THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Join Father Christmas for a breakfast buffet at Stockeld Park. Starts at 9am with a choice of hot and cold food. Santa will tour the café with gifts for the children. Booking essential. Online booking available. 01937 586 333

Saturday 26th Nov – Friday 16th December Edwardian Christmas Trail LOTHERTON HALL Find the clues around Lotherton and enter the competition to win a festive prize. 0113 281 3259

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Wednesday 30th November Multiple Monkeys KIRKSTALL ABBEY Play session for multiple birth families. Explore the ruins or take part in a craft activity. 10am start. 0113 230 5492

Saturday 3rd December Christmas Crafts

Every Saturday in term time

THACKRAY MUSEUM Make snowflakes and Victorian Christmas cards in sessions from 10am – 12noon and then from 1 – 3pm. 0113 244 4343

Saturday Shoppers ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM

Every Saturday until 17th December 2 hours of craft fun inspired by the Victorian Streets. Begin at 2pm. 0113 230 5492 Every Saturday until 17th December


LEEDS ART GALLERY Family art workshop. New artwork introduced each session. Booking required. 0113 247 8254

Winter Wonderland Gift Fair Sat 3 and Sun 4th December 10.00am - 4.00pm The perfect opportunity to buy your loved ones that extra special gift, while soaking up the festive atmosphere with a live brass band.

Father Christmas in Strid Wood 3, 4,10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 December 10.00am - 4.00pm Follow a present trail to find Father Christmas and his elves nestled in Strid Wood. Each child will receive a personalised gift. £4.50 per child, normal admission applies.

Twelve Days of Christmas Sun 25th December to Thurs 5th January 10.00am - 4.00pm Enjoy this special time with all your family and discover a magical walk through Strid Wood. See the “Twelve Days of Christmas” come to life and experience this Christmas carol for real. Free event, normal admission applies.

Further information contact:

01756 718 009 BOLTON ABBEY


FAMILIES LEEDS | November/December 2011

Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th December

Saturday 10th December

Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair

Victorian Christmas

BOLTON ABBEY Find extra special gifts for your family at this extra special place. The fair will take place in a marquee opposite the Cavendish Pavilion accompanied by the sound of a festive brass band. It’s also the launch of the Strid Wood Grotto (see our Grotto feature) so well worth a visit. 01756 718 000

Glisten, Glitter and Glow

Every weekend until 18th December

FOUNTAINS ABBEY Come along and make your own Christmas decorations. Activities at Swanley Grange. 01765 643 166

Sunday 4th December Every Sunday until 18th December

Arty Smarties

ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM 2 hours of craft fun inspired by the Victorian Streets. Begins at 2pm. 0113 230 5492

Friday 9th – Sun 11th December Music at Stockeld Park THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Join the Wetherby Choral Society on Friday, Wetherby Silver Band on Saturday and Churches Together Choir on Sunday to kick off the countdown to Christmas. 01937 586 333


TEMPLE NEWSAM Visit the living nativity and Santa’s Grotto in Home Farm. Listen to stories and watch Victorian dancing in the house. Booking recommended. Tickets £6.50 for adults, and £4 for children. Family tickets available. Begins at 5pm. 0113 264 7321

Sunday 11th December Carols by Candlelight FOUNTAINS ABBEY Traditional carol service in the Abbey with candles for children. Begins at 3pm. 01765 643 166

Friday 16th December Music at Stockeld Park THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Let the Wetherby Silver Band put you in the Christmas spirit as you visit Stockeld Park for a ski, skate and a winter walk in the Enchanted Forest. The perfect start to Christmas. 01937 586 333

Playground LEEDS ART GALLERY Sometimes messy multisensory session inspired by the gallery’s artworks. 0113 247 8254




Sunday 18th December Carols at the Abbey KIRSTALL ABBEY Carols in the beautiful Kirkstall Abbey Church. Begins at 2.30pm. 0113 230 5492

Monday 19th - Wednesday 21st December Totally Tropical Christmas TROPICAL WORLD Join a steel band as they play carols among the animals. £3.75 per person. From 5 – 8pm.

Tuesday 20th – Friday 23rd December Messy Monkeys Christmas Party ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM Festive fun and games for under 5s. Santa will be visiting. Admission to the party is included in regular museum admission. Sessions at 10.15am and 2pm. 0113 230 5492

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Christmas Story Telling FOUNTAINS ABBEY Lots of festive stories for children from 4 – 9years old. £1.50 per child. Booking essential. 01765 643 166

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Sunday 25th December – 5th January 2012 Twelve Days of Christmas BOLTON ABBEY Wrap up warm and walk off the turkey as you follow the 12 days of Christmas through Strid Wood. The Priory church and ruins will be floodlit through the festive season. A truly beautiful way to spend one of the 12 days! 01756 718 000


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Design a flower bed competition

We would like to invite children 4-14 years of age to design a flower bed for ‘Leeds in Bloom 2012’.

Each of the three winning flower bed designs will be planted in one of three prestigious locations around leeds city. Winning schools will receive £300 worth of vouchers. Each runner-up will also receive a prize All entrants will receive a certificate.

Closing date is Monday 9th January 2012 For information on entering the various Leeds in Bloom competitions telephone Richard Gill on 0113 2375301 or email


Win a New Year treat for your family!

One lucky family will win a fairy tale weekend in London worth over £1,000! Your weekend will include four fantastic tickets to see Shrek The Musical, an overnight stay in the 4* Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, four London Passes - giving you access to over 50 London attractions, so you can take in the sights. Then finish it all off with a meal at the world famous Rainforest Cafe.

To enter, go to and use the code: TRIP-SHREK Full Full terms terms and and conditions: conditions: w ww.fa .

Families Leeds Nov-Dec 2011  

Families Leeds Magazine Nov-Dec 2011