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The essential magazine for parents of children aged 0–12

Issue 10: November/December 2012

! e e r F

London–Kent Borders

Christmas w ishes… Where’s Santa? ❆ Our pick of the pantos ❆ Great Christmas days out ❆ Christmas markets ❆



A family ticket to Winter Wonderland

Tickets to Room on the Broom ❆ £200 to spend at Polarn O. Pyret ❆ A family meal at Giraffe in Bluewater ❆

Plus: News, ‘What’s on’ & much more inside! ★ For families living in the Bromley & Bexley boroughs, Dartford & the surrounding areas of Kent

Blend Celebrate with friends, family and colleagues at one of our DJ Parties or Tribute Nights. We have some great acts which include: Freddie Mercury, ABBA, Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams, Elvis, Madonna, Adelle, Motown and more... On New Years Eve we open until 2am, see details and book online at: 272-274 Broadway, Bexleyheath.

0208 298 0284

For ideas of things to do, fun places to visit, your local ‘What’s On’ guide & competitions visit

London–Kent Borders

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Advertise to over 30,000 readers in the London–Kent Borders! To advertise call 020 8466 6977 or email and learn more about advertising with Families

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In this issue

4 News 5 Mothers mean business 6 Clubs & Classes 8 Where’s Santa? 10 What’s On 11 Competitions 12 Out & About 13 Pick of the Pantos 14 Christmas Markets

Distributors wanted for Dartford, Orpington and Bexleyheath areas


We’ve set to work to make this issue full of exciting things to do in the lead up to Christmas and throughout the festive season. Plus we have some great competitions, including tickets to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, £200 to spend on clothes at Polarn O. Pyret and a family meal at the newly opened Giraffe in Bluewater, so please do visit to enter. Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and hope you all get what you wished for!

Juliette Dixon, Editor 020 8466 6977, Follow us on Facebook at Families London–Kent Borders Magazine and on Twitter @familieslkb © Families London–Kent Borders. We take every care preparing this magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences. Any original materials submitted for publication are sent at owner’s own risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families London–Kent Borders nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage. Families London–Kent Borders is part of the Families® group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license. Printed by Williams Press Ltd,

Music classes for babies and young children! ® time of music Nur turing a life

For your FREE trial class call: Bexley, Dartford & Eynsford Tel - 01322 862021 Beckenham, West Wickham, Bromley & Chislehurst Tel - 020 8777 6700

020 8466 6977

Distributors Wanted

Action songs and rhymes Music and movement Fun with percussion Musical games

If you own a car and would like to join the Families London-Kent Borders delivery team please get in touch

call 020 8466 6977

Le tri

Home & Office Organiser

• Get decluttering and you’ll be amazed at the difference!

• Le Tri will declutter and organise any room in your home or office and also provides a cleaning service. 07551 329 645 (Julianah) •

Business MuMs Wanted Successful local business is seeking five partners to work part-time from home without compromising family commitments. If you have a Managerial, Sales, Marketing, Recruitment or Self-Employed background and you want to develop a more balanced lifestyle around your family’s needs, call Katie

01737 766403 / 07909 681884

Since 1993 thousands of children across the UK have grown up with Monkey Music. Our unique teaching curriculum was written by classically trained musicians, and introduces music to very young children in a way they can easily understand and enjoy. Rock ‘n’ roll - from 3 months Heigh ho – from 12 months Jiggety jig – 2 & 3 year olds Ding dong – 3 & 4 year olds Winner of the Best National Pre-School Activity Award.


Babble from the Borders

News and Views

Winter Wonderland, London’s spectacular Christmas destination, returns to Hyde Park (23 November– 6 January) with free admission and even more entertainment than before. Families will love the beautifully decorated attractions stretching from Hyde Park Corner to the Serpentine, including the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink, the Giant Observation Wheel and the beautiful Angels Christmas Market. There will also be a new market – the Yuletide Market which will offer traditional Christmas items such as wooden toys, nativity scenes and decorations. Younger visitors will love Santa Land where they can see Father Christmas who is waiting for them with a special gift. Other attractions include Zippos Circus who will perform two new shows: Zippos Christmas Circus and Zippos Cirque Berserk, an evening show for older thrill seekers. Tickets are now on sale for Ice Skating, the Giant Observation Wheel and Zippos Circus. Winter Wonderland is open from 23 November until 6 January (closed Christmas Day) from 10am–10pm (on 23 November it opens at 5pm). For more information and to book tickets visit

Studio 74 lights up for Demelza

Students and staff at Studio 74 Dance and Theatre School in Bromley are producing a Charity Christmas Album in aid of Demelza Children’s Hospice, a charity that provides support for the whole family. The album will include up- beat and modern songs, a few traditional Christmas Carols and ‘Light Up’, a song which was recorded at Studio 74’s recording studio and includes performances from children who are supported by Demelza. Studio 74 is looking for help with auction and raffle prizes for their AlbumLaunch Party and are hoping to have a few surprise celebrity guests at the launch! They would be delighted to hear from anyone that can offer any help with PR, media coverage, donations, microphone and sound engineering. Studio 74 students will also be performing at the Bromley Lights Up event on Sunday 2 December at 3pm–3.30pm where their album can be purchased with donations to Demelza. If you can help please email or call 0208 295 4255. (Demelza is a registered charity no.1039651)

Smiles for Smile Please Studio

Smile Please Studio is moving into one shop on Wellington Parade. In the past, the studio operated from two shops, four doors apart, but to ease confusion it has decided to move into one premises. Why not pop in to see their new look or to book a family portrait, host a Smile Please Photo Party, order digital prints, have passport photos taken or purchase photo frames? Plus, if you’re looking for Christmas presents, don’t forget that they do personalised iphone case printing and gift printing. Smile Please Studio, 23 Wellington Parade, Blackfen Road, Sidcup, Kent DA15 9NB, 0208 331 5836,


Reader offer…

Christopher Vine has published four more fantastic paperback books in the Peter’s Railway series. These pocket size books combine entertaining adventure stories while introducing some simple technical information and make perfect gifts. OFFER: Each reader will get a free Peter’s Railway book with every book purchased via the Peter’s Railway website; simply visit and enter ‘FAMDEC’ in the personalised dedication box. Offer valid until 31 December 2012.

Mothers Mean Business

Gill Pretious is a local Jo Jingles teacher and mother of four

Walking in the air

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, and just in time for Christmas, Build-A-Bear Workshop® is welcoming The Snowman to its collection. This cute toy will melt any heart and is available from 7 November. Prices start at £18 (including the hat and scarf). For more information visit

Young People’s Sports Awards

Nominations are now open for Bexley’s annual Young People’s Sports Awards, which will be presented at a special ceremony on Saturday 2 February 2013. The event recognises and celebrates young people’s achievements in competitive sport as well as the contributions they make through coaching, volunteering and officiating. There are also categories to acknowledge the sporting achievements of the best primary and secondary school in the Borough, as well as recognising the contributions made by individual students. Sports clubs, teachers, coaches and families can nominate any young person who fits the criteria. The closing date for nominations is Friday 4 January 2013. For an application form and further details contact the Sport and LeisureTeam on 020 3045 4898 or email

Wear a hat for brain tumour research

Take part in ‘Wear a Hat Day’ on 28 March to help raise awareness and funds for Brain Tumour Research. ‘ Wear a Hat Day’ is a fun way of increasing awareness and getting people to raise money for an often overlooked form of cancer. Why not encourage your school or nursery to get involved and even make a hat to wear on the day? Contact sarah@ braintumourresearch. org or visit www. braintumourresearch. org for information.

020 8466 6977

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am married and a mother of four, the eldest has just started Uni. I am also a committed Christian and attend the Salvation Army where my love for music started. I love walking, reading, socialising with friends and eating out, but mainly I am a taxi driver, cook, cleaner etc, which I love! Briefly describe your business. I run fun, educational, music and movement classes for babies to preschool children and their parents called Jo Jingles. What made you decide to become a Jo Jingles teacher? I am a qualified NNEB nursery nurse and have always worked in childcare, private nannying, day nurseries etc, and when I had my children I did part time evening work around them. I wanted to use my nursery nurse skills and my love for music together, so when I saw the advert to own my own business incorporating the two I knew it would be right up my street and I could also do this around my family commitments. How long have you been involved with Jo Jingles? I have been running the classes for nine years; I saw the advert in the July and by the following January I launched with eight classes. When I first started my children were very young and the first year was extremely hard going. I was working 24/7 trying to set the business up, get new customers in and run the classes as well as a family – I could have given up many times. However, as my children have grown older (they are now 18,16,14 and 12) it has become more manageable. And although there is still never enough

time to fit everything in and inevitably during school holidays I end up working (catching up on paperwork 80% of the time), I have learnt to time manage and shut the door at the end of the day! What are the worse bits about working for yourself? Trying to please everyone, dealing with customer complaints and the continual stress of making sure you have enough customers coming through the doors to pay the bills. Also the fact that you can never get fully away from your business. What are your plans for the future? I will at some point sell my business as I want to retire and enjoy my grandchildren, God willing, and travel. So in the next five years I will be constructing an exit plan and hope to sell a healthy, growing business to someone who would get as much pleasure out of running my franchise as I have. What advice would you give to other parents wanting to set up in business? Do lots of research and make sure you take into account finances and time available in the first year, to put in the extra hard work needed to get your business off the ground. Take into account the competition and the need for your product in the area. Top tip for a good work/life balance? Organisation and shutting the office door at the end of the day. Gill Pretious runs Jo Jingles classes across Bexleyheath, Bexley, Dartford, Meopham and Gravesend and also works in Sure Start centres, schools and private day nurseries. For more details, contact Gill on 07525865030 or email www.jojingles. com/gravesend


Clubs & Classes & Education

News and Views Could a music franchise be for you?

The franchise for Jo Jingles in Bromley and Beckenham is for sale. Owner Susan Rimmer who has been running Jo Jingles in Bromley and Beckenham for over three years is looking for someone to take it over and build further on her success. The business is an exclusive franchise for the Bromley area that is flexible enough to take on part-time to fit around family life, or to even grow to a full time job. So if you are looking for a new career challenge then look no further! Jo Jingles benefits from low start up costs and the training and support you would expect from an established national brand (there are 120+ UK Jo Jingles franchisees). For more information contact Susan on 020 8290 0909 or email her at

Talking Tots wants more nursery rhymes

Local children’s group Talking Tots is running a campaign to encourage the use of nursery rhymes both at home and in childcare environments. ‘Sharing rhymes with children stimulates their memory, vocabulary, social and emotional skills, giving them a real head start in their language development,’ explains Nicola Byers, who runs Talking Tots classes across Bromley, Beckenham, West Wickham and Orpington. Talking Tots has put together a free download of nursery rhymes and accompanying actions with advice on using rhymes to help stimulate communication and language skills. For more details visit or contact

School Open Days • HolyTrinity Lamorbey CE Primary School Sidcup (020 8300 3613) 22 November, 2pm & 6 December, 2pm • Breaside Preparatory School Bromley (020 8460 0916) 27 November, 9.30am–12pm • Baston House School Bromley (020 8462 1010) 8 November & 4 December. Doors open at 10.45am. Principal’s talk at 11am. • Colfe’s School, Lee (020 8852 2283) 10 November, 9am–12pm (Senior) • Merton Court Preparatory School Sidcup (020 8300 2112), 13 November, 9am–3pm * Please note some Open Days require you to register before attending.

Help your baby to communicate BEFORE speech with our award winning MUSIC program. Our unique music courses combine action songs and nursery rhymes with gestures derived from sign language. Contact Karen 01689 837 905 e: Classes in Bromley, Beckenham & Orpington

The original nature discovery play programme Themed activity, crafts, and real wildlife encounters! Suitable for 2-5yrs • weekly classes • holiday events • children’s centres • nursery visits


©Nature Nuts

❄ ❄

Nutty about nature?

If your child loves nature then Nature Nuts is for them. Nature Nuts is the original nature discovery play programme and is suitable for pre-schoolers aged between 2 and 5. Since 2009, Nature Nuts’ ground-breaking classes and events have helped to connect hundreds of children with the nature on their doorstep. Activities include play, crafts, colouring and real wildlife encounters from wiggly worms to hungry caterpillars, lovely ladybirds, fascinating natural objects and more. Classes take place on Mondays (10.30am–11.15am) in Bromley at Trinity United Reformed Church, Freelands Road, Bromley and Fridays (10.30am–11.15am) in Sevenoaks at Vine Baptist Church, Park Lane. Children must be accompanied and siblings 11 months and under are free. Sessions work out at around £6 each (refer a friend and get the next term you book at half price). To secure your place contact or visit

Tips for times tables

With the latest guidance stipulating that children should master their tables up to 12x12 by the age of nine, teachers need parents’ help in getting children to learn the basic facts. Finding a pain-free method of learning times tables is not easy, but we’ve found some great websites with online games and printable worksheets that should help: • • • • • • • Or you could try this ‘Multiplication Tables’ mug (£8) from McLaggan Smith Mugs Ltd at

New Sports and Fitness Classes for 2 to 5 year olds

Kiddi Cardio is a new sports class that incorporates assault courses, sports related activities and games. Each week each age appropriate class (2–3 years and 3–5 years) features a different sport which is broken down into its key parts giving the children the opportunity to learn essential skills needed as part of their development. We all know that children have an abundance of energy and Kiddi Cardio aims to tap into this by providing stimulating and energetic activities that increase their cardio activity. The session has music played throughout to help motivate the children (and parents). Fitness isn’t just about exercise it’s also about communicating, working as a team and building confidence and Kiddi Cardio’s mission is to get children into fitness and sport early in life. Children that take part in regular physical activity tend to maintain this as part of a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives. For more information visit or call 07812 676815 or email

020 8466 6977



Studio 74 will be holding lots of fun Christmas Classes and Workshops over the Christmas Break.

Come and join us for Christmas Fairy Baby Ballet Workshops, Funky Festive Street Dance Classes, The Nutcracker Ballet Workshop and so much more! For our full timetable email

❄ ❆


• 020 8295 4255 • INFO@STUDIO74DANCE.CO.UK

Studio 74 LTD


❄ ❄ ❆

Holy Trinity Lamorbey CE Primary School

170 years of Christian Education in Sidcup Open Afternoons for prospective parents: Thursday 22 November at 2pm & Thursday 6 December at 2pm

Parents of prospective entrants are welcome to visit the school and can arrange to do so by making an appointment to see the Head Teacher • We offer a Christian framework to develop pupils’ confidence and responsibility and make the most of their abilities (for pupils aged 3-11). • Fantastic resources, including a library, computer suite, sports field and modern interactive classrooms • A broad and balanced curriculum, including trips and residential visits. • Experienced, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, including specialist sports coaches and music teachers.

• High academic achievement, but also support for children with special needs. • Close and long established links to local Secondary Schools, including both Grammar and High Schools.

Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup, Kent DA15 9DB • 020 8300 3613 •

Building on a strong foundation



On Stage

A high energy treat

★★★★ The Sunday Times



Based on the best-selling book by

Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler



watch a sneak preview online at


Shopping Centres & Stores Bluewater

www.bluewaterwinterwonderland. 17 Nov–23 Dec, 10am–8pm & 24 Dec 10am–4pm Meet Santa at Bluewater’s Winter Wonderland. Visits are free, but pre-booking is advisable (£1 per child).

Broadway Shopping Centre, Bexleyheath www.broadwayshoppingcentre. com 10 Nov–24 Dec Visit Santa in his spectacular ‘Mice’ themed Castle Grotto. Entry costs £2 and photos with Santa start at £7.

Canary Wharf Weekends from 1 Dec Children will love the magical Santa’s Grotto in Jubilee Place Mall. £2 donation to Variety, the Children’s Charity.

COOLINGS GREEN & PLEASANT Main Road, Knockholt TN14 7LJ, 24 Nov–23 Dec (selected dates) Visit Santa in his secret woodland hideaway and receive a special Christmas gift. £7.50 (includes a family day pass to the Nature Trail). Pre-book (01959 534 386).

THE GLADES, Bromley 5 Nov–24 Dec Celebrate Christmas with the 3D animation featuring Rocket the Reindeer™ and his friends, followed by a chance to meet Santa in his special grotto. Child (0–12): £3.50. Adult: £3.

Greenwich 28 Nov, 15, 16, 22 & 23 Dec, 12pm–5pm Enjoy magic and balloon fun while you wait to meet Santa in his grotto at Greenwich


Market where children will receive a Christmas gift bag. £4 per visit.

RUXLEY MANOR GARDEN CENTRE Maidstone Road, Sidcup DA14 5BQ, 10 Nov–24 Dec Santa’s Grotto experience lasts approximately one hour from the moment you enter the enchanting Elf Village, then its through to Santa’s study where you will make a personalised Christmas card, followed by a visit to the Log Cabin Kitchen where Santa’s secret mix of reindeer feed is being made! You will then meet Santa in your group and receive a personalised gift. Child (under 2): £5.99. Child (over 2): £8.99. Adult: £2. Book online.

The Walnuts, Orpington 8, 15 & 22 Dec, 10am–4pm Meet Santa at the Walnuts where he is giving away chocolate treats.


Ashdown Forest Llama Park 01825 712040, 1, 2, 8, 9 & 15–24 Dec Visit Santa in his Grotto and meet the reindeer. Children can write a letter to Santa and can join in with the Christmas Trail to find the magic pine cones hidden by the elves. £3 per child plus admission.

EAGLE HEIGHTS WILDLIFE PARK 15, 16, 22 & 23 Dec Meet Santa, his elves and his huskies and receive a lovely gift. £19.99 for one adult and one child (includes entry to the park). Booking essential (01322 866 577).

London Wetland Centre 8 & 9 Dec Visit Santa and his huggable huskies at this Winter Wonderland Weekend. Young children can experience the excitement of a husky sleigh ride and Merlin the magician will be on hand to help Santa keep the children entertained.

London Sealife Aquarium 20 Dec–3 January (selected dates) Watch Santa dive as he visits the rare green turtles, cownose rays and tropical fish in the Ocean Reef Display.

The Reindeer Centre Capralama Farm, Pluckley Road, Bethersden, Kent TN26 3EQ, 01233 820545 17 Nov–24 Dec, 10am–4pm Walk through six animated festive scenes before meeting Father Christmas in his log cabin along side some of his trusted reindeer friends.

WILDWOOD 1, 2, 8, 9, 15,16, 22 & 23 Dec, 1pm– 4pm Every child will get a special present from Santa and photos will be available for a small fee. £6 per child (membership or entry fees apply), no need to book.

Historical Houses, Parks and Gardens BODIAM CASTLE

Bodiam, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5UA, 01580 830196 17, 18, 22 & 23 Dec, 10.30am–4.30pm Come and meet Father Christmas who will be tucked away inside a beautifully decorated medieval grotto in the heart of the Castle. Child: £6.50. Child (less than 18 months): £3. Booking required.

Calverley Grounds Royal Tunbridge Wells, 23 Nov–24 Dec (selected dates) Father Christmas and his friendly elves will be welcoming families into their lovely warm log cabin in the picturesque Calverley Grounds in Royal Tunbridge Wells opposite the real ice rink. Each family visit includes time spent talking to Father Christmas, a lovely gift for the children and a professionally taken photograph of Father Christmas with the family in a glass mounted frame. Child: £9.50 (adults free).

Where’s Santa?

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to see Father Christmas. This year it looks like he will be even busier than usual as he dashes from shopping centre to farm, and steam train to stately home

ta’s s Sanacros k c Tragress orld . w o r p the t t a san ad nor


HEVER CASTLE 1–16 Dec (weekends) & 17–24 Dec Step into Hever Castle’s own winter wonderland as you visit Santa in his snow-dusted Grotto. £10 + entry fee (includes gift). Pre book.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 23 Nov–6 Jan Father Christmas is at his grotto in Santa Land where children can explore the land of Santa, see his workshop, meet the elves and ride on the Santa Express. There is no pre-purchase or ticketing system and visits to Father Christmas are free.

Kew Gardens 8–23 Dec, 12pm-3.30pm Bring your little ones to meet Father Christmas in his grotto in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. After Christmas the grotto will reopen for magical story telling featuring puppetry (26 Dec–6 Jan).

020 8466 6977

LaplandUK: the UK home of Father Christmas 1 Dec–24 Dec Step into Father Christmas’ arctic homeland and decorate gingerbread with Mother Christmas, go ice-skating and help the elves in the toy factory – a personalised visit to Father Christmas in his snowy forest home completes this unique day out.

LEEDS CASTLE 12–23 Dec, 3.45pm–8pm Enjoy the illuminated Woodland Walk before taking a ride on the Victorian train to the Fairfax Courtyard where there’ll be a small selection of stalls selling gifts and food, with street entertainment, Christmas carols and Santa Claus accompanied by real Reindeer! The ticket price for children includes a gift. Adult: £20. Child (under 12): £15. Family Ticket: £60. Booking required (01622 880 008). Weekends in Dec Step through the garden gates into Father Christmas’s magical grotto. Tickets £5. No booking required.

RED HOUSE Red House Lane, Bexleyheath DA6 8JF, 0208 303 6359 8 & 9 Dec, 11.30am–4.30pm Father Christmas will tell stories of Christmas past. £2.50 plus normal admission prices apply.

SHORNE WOODS COUNTRY PARK 8, 9, 15 & 16 Dec, 12pm–3pm Follow the trail around the woods and solve the clues to find Santa. All children will receive a present from Santa and a personal reply to their letter. Child: £5. Booking required.

Railways KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 & 22–24 Dec On board the beautifully decorated steam train families will meet Santa

during the hour and ten minute return journey to Northiam Station. Every child up to the age of 16 will receive an age appropriate quality gift to take home and put under the tree. After your train ride the fun continues at Tenterden Station with a ride on the miniature railway to meet the beautiful Snow Queen for a photograph. Booking recommended (01580 765155). Tickets from £14.50.

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 & 20–24 Dec Enjoy a yesteryear Santa special when you take a magical ride in a carriage hauled by the world famous steam locomotives between Hythe and New Romney. During your visit, meet Santa in his Grotto, where each child will receive a quality gift. Tickets from £16. Booking essential (01797 362353).

SPA VALLEY RAILWAY 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 & 24 Dec Take a steam train ride through the Wealden countryside, then meet Santa in his magical grotto. All children receive an age-related gift. Tickets £10 (under 2s, free). Booking essential on 01892 537 715 or visit


What’s On

Out & about

T = Christmas Fun

EVENTS TWinter Wonderland at Bluewater 16 November–13 January The UK’s biggest indoor winter wonderland at Glow Bluewater offers a host of festive activities including ice skating, a 40 metre long extreme snow slide, Santa’s Grotto and vintage Christmas rides, games and amusements. Tickets for ice skating cost: £12 (adults), £10 (13–16yrs) and £8 (4–12yrs). Penguins are available for £5. Santa’s Grotto is free.


Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park 23 November–6 January London’s spectacular Christmas destination has free admission and has more entertainment and attractions than before including the new Magical Ice Kingdom, the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink, a Giant Observation Wheel and a spectacular show from Zippos Circus. Admission is free but tickets are required for various events including the Magical Ice Kingdom (child: from £5, adult: from £7), skating (child: from £8.50, adult from £10.50) and Zippos Circus (child from £6, adult from £9.50).

TOutdoor Ice Skating in Calverley Grounds 23 November–7 January Skaters can visit this fantastic location in Tunbridge Wells and enjoy a skate with family and friends; spectators can enjoy a hot chocolate or a warming glass of mulled wine as they watch the festive fun unfold on the ice. Adult: from £9.50. Child (4–15yrs): from £7.50. Family Ticket (2+2): from £30.60.


High Street, Bromley, 08448 717 620, 20–24 Nov Disney’s Beauty and the Beast This Broadway classic has spectacular costumes, scenery and effects and promises to be a perfect treat for all the family.


Park Lane, Croydon, 020 8688 9291, 19 Nov Sleeping Beauty This performance is by the world famous Russian State Ballet and includes original choreography. 2–24 Dec The Night Before Christmas This lovely production features a little girl called Emily who is waiting for Santa and a little mouse called Eddie who can’t understand why only humans get presents at Christmas. Follow their tale in this wonderful show full of catchy songs and plenty of audience participation. 8 Dec, 11am Arthur Davison Family Concert: Christmas Concert Enjoy the musical story of Dickens' A Christmas Carol.



as ide do e r mo s to ilies For thing of www nt.c ke it vis ndon lo

the best-selling book by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson MBE and Axel Scheffler. The witch and her cat are flying happily along on their broomstick when a mighty wind blasts the witch’s hat, bow and wand away into the night! What will happen next? Fasten your seatbelts for a rip-roaring ride on a truly magnificent broom! Age 3+.

National Theatre

South Bank, London SE1 9PX, 020 7452 3000, 7 Dec–26 Jan, 1.30pm, 3pm, 6pm & 7pm Hansel and Gretel Explore the world of Hansel and Gretel in an intimate and captivating new production of this classic fairytale which promises to be an enchanting Christmas treat for the whole family. Ideal for 7 to 10 year olds. Tickets £12 for under 18s.



Bank of England Museum Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH, 020 7601 5545, Until 31 Jan Gold and the Bank of England 17–21, 24, 27, 28 & 31 Dec & 2–4 Jan Jigsaw Japes Draw your favourite Museum object on a pre-cut jigsaw to take home. Admission free.



Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue, 0844 412 4661, 21 Nov–13 Jan Room on the Broom This production is adapted for the stage from



Goudhurst, nr Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2SJ, 01580 879 820,

The great Christmas lights switch-on! Beckenham 17 November, 3pm– 6pm Bring the family to Beckenham Green (next to St George’s Church) and enjoy music and entertainment, plus a visit from Santa and see the Christmas lights switch on. Bromley 2 December, 12pm–5pm This year’s Christmas Parade and Santa Dash takes place in the High Street and Market Square. Stars of Peter Pan will open the event. The Santa Dash


starts at 2pm followed by carols and the Christmas Parade; the Christmas lights switch on and fireworks finale take place at 5pm. Chislehurst 1 December, 3pm–5pm Enjoy Carol singing, mulled wine and mince pies in Chislehurst High Street as the Christmas lights are switched on at 4pm. Dartford 17 November, 2pm There will be lots of great family

entertainment at the big Christmas Switch-On in Dartford High Street with live entertainment, a laser light show and a festive market. Expect appearances by a surprise olympic guest, Gareth Gates and Father Christmas. Orpington 21 November, 4pm–7pm Lots of entertainment and live music plus a mini funfair, Father Christmas, face painting, Christmas stalls, children’s art activity and

a grand fireworks display at 7pm. Petts Wood 24 November, 12pm–7pm Head along to Station Square and Queensway for children’s rides, local choirs and market stalls selling festive goods. The Christmas lights will be switched on at 5.30pm followed by a fireworks display; don’t miss the live entertainment and Christmas Carnival which will take place in Station Square.

Registered charity:1093411

WEAR A HAT DAY Thursday 28 th March


Win a £200 Shopping Spree in time for Christmas! New clothes make any occasion extra special. The Polarn O. Pyret Christmas collection for newborn to age 12 years is now in stores and online. As always, the clothes ar geared towards children not just looking good, but feeling comfortable too. Cosy cotton PJ’s that will last until next Christmas Eve, a new party dress that can handle spills, or an extra cute outfit for Christmas Day. Enjoy the occasion PO.P style whatever you are planning for the holidays.

For your chances to win, enter your details at by 10 December. Terms and conditions apply. Winner will be notified via email on 11 Decmeber 2012.

Win a family ticket to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland London’s spectacular Christmas destination returns to Hyde Park for another fun year of winter cheer and even more entertainment and new attractions than before. We have secured a family ticket* to the event, where you can experience the ultimate Christmas day out. The prize includes tickets to the new Magical Ice Kingdom – a breath taking snow and ice experience in the heart of Winter Wonderland, a skate around the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink, a ride on the iconic Giant Observation Wheel finished off with a spectacular show from Zippos Circus in the Big Top. Hyde Park Winterwonderland is open from 23 November until 6 January 2013 from 10am–10pm (except Christmas Day).

REGISTER NOW | Tel: 01296 733011

For more information visit

To enter visit: * Family ticket is for two adults & two children & is valid up until 6 January 2013 All entries must be received by 12 December 2012.

Win a family ticket to Room on the Broom

School’s out! Christmas break 17 – 21, 24⁺, 27, 28, 31⁺ December and 2 – 4 January 10:00am – 4:30pm

Jigsaw Japes Draw your favourite Museum object on a pre-cut jigsaw to take home. Will it be a banknote or a gold bar, the old iron chest or the muskets once used to defend the Bank? You’ll be spoilt for choice. ⁺Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 10:00am – 1:00pm

Admission free 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Closed weekends and public holidays. Entrance in Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH. Tel: 020 7601 5545

020 8466 6977

We are offering you the chance to win a family ticket (admits four) to see Tall Stories’ Room on the Broom at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, this Christmas. Room on the Broom is a spellbinding adventure from the creators of The Gruffalo, adapted for the stage from the best-selling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It tells the story of a witch, her cat and the friends they meet along the way and, a hungry dragon! A magical, musical delight for children aged 3+

Room on the Broom is at the Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue from 21 November to 13 January. Book Now 0844 412 4661

To enter visit:

All entries must be received by 9am on 15 November 2012.

Win a family meal at Giraffe in Bluewater

Giraffe, the family friendly restaurant, has recently opened in the Wintergarden at Bluewater. To celebrate, Giraffe are giving 1 lucky winner a family meal for four at their restaurant at Bluewater • Offering everything from award-winning breakfasts, all day brunch, signature favorites of stacked high gourmet burgers, healthy salads, amazing desserts, freshly made smoothies and cocktails. • Little ones are loved just as much as grown ups and have their very own menu complete with puzzles and games to keep them entertained. For more information and to get access to exclusive deals, sign up to their newsletter • Giraffe is in the Wintergarden at Bluewater, Kent DA9 9SF • 01322 380 066 •

To enter visit: All entries must be received by 14 December 2012.


What’s On

ONGOING EVENTS Family cycle trails (bikes for hire: 01580 879 694) & Go Ape ( 26 Dec Boxing Day Walk

as they journey through the grounds singing carols and discovering the nativity story with the help of the animals.


LEEDS CASTLE near Maidstone, ME17 1PL, 01622 765400, 8–24 Dec Christmas at Leeds Castle Experience the magic of Christmas as you visit the beautifully decorated rooms. 12–23 Dec 3.45pm–8pm Christmas Past Enjoy an illuminated woodland walk before taking a ride on the Victorian train to the courtyard where you will be entertained with street performers and carols, plus meet Santa and his reindeer. 26 Dec –1 Jan The Winter Trail


The Priory, Church Hill, Orpington BR6 0HH, 01689 873826, Free family club first Saturday of the month. Family events throughout the year.



Chislehurst Caves Caveside Close, Old Hill, Chislehurst BR7 5NL, 020 8467 3264 Adult £5, child & concessions £3, under 3s free. See website for opening times and special events. Entrance to the caves is by guided tour only. Tours last 45–50 minutes.



DARTFORD BOROUGH MUSEUM Market Street, Dartford, Kent DA1 1EU, 01322 224739, Discover more about Dartford and its history with the help of children’s activity sheets. Until 24 November Play to Win! An exhibition celebrating the history of sport in the borough, featuring local clubs, sports and sporting heroes.

DICKENS WORLD Chatham Maritime ME4 4LL, 01634 890 421, Step back in time and experience life in the days of Charles Dickens. Attractions include the Great Expectations Boat Ride, Fagin’s Den, Peggotty’s Boathouse and the Haunted House.

ENGLISH HERITAGE Properties Members free. For prices & opening times visit


East of Dover town centre, Dover, Kent CT16 1HU 1–2, 8–9, 15–16, 22–23 & 29–30 Dec Christmas Quests Crack the clues and win a prize in this festive mystery.



Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, London SE9 5QE, 0870 333 1183 (tickets) 9 & 16 Dec Festive Family Fun Trail Get into the festive spirit with a fun trail to find the hidden clues to solve the puzzle and win your prize.



Luxted Road, Downe, Kent BR6 7JT, 01689 859119. Check website for special events.


Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0JA, 01322 863467. Wonder at the display of artefacts, including two human skeletons, and dress up in traditional Roman costumes.

HALL PLACE AND GARDENS Bourne Road, Bexley DA5 1PQ, 01322 621238, 9 Dec, 2.30pm Christmas Celebrations See Santa and enjoy a family Christmas Carol Concert. Adult: £12, Child: £8.



Members free. For prices & opening times visit CHARTWELL Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent TN16 1PS, 01732 868381 15 &16 Dec Festive Family Weekend Events include a children’s trail and visit to Santa. KNOLE Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0RP, 01732 450608 / 01732 462100, 8 & 15 Dec Christmas decorations workshop for children Make a fantastic Christmas decoration with the children in this fun workshop. £6 (includes materials and lunchbox), booking essential (01732 462100). QUEBEC HOUSE Quebec Square, Westerham, Kent TN16 1TD, 01732 868381 8–9, 15–16 & 22–23 Dec, 1pm–4pm Before the Trees and the Tinsel – The Decorated House Come and see the house with traditional Georgian decorations. RED HOUSE Red House Lane, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8JF, 020 8304 9878 15–16 Dec, 1.30pm Morris Dancers & Mummers Plays Watch Morris Dancers perform a traditional Mummers play in the atmospheric surroundings of Red House. SCOTNEY CASTLE Lamberhurst, TN3 8JD, 01892 893 820. 1–23 Dec (selected dates) Christmas Activities Help Rocky Robin find his friends as you go on this Christmas trail and join in the free festive craft activities. Small charge applies.


Meet the reindeer family at Ruxley Manor Garden Centre from 10 November to 24 December Tickets include a class of mulled wine or juice and a mince pie. Pre-book. 6 Jan, 3pm–5pm Twelfth Night Celebration Bid farewell to the festive season as you gather round the bonfire as darkness falls and warm yourself up with hot apple drinks and apple cake. Free.

HEVER CASTLE Hever, near Edenbridge, TN8 7NG, 01732 865224, 1–2, 8–9 & 15–16 & 22–23 Dec Donkey Rides Young children can take a short donkey ride and meet William the little donkey in his stable. Rides £3, plus normal admission charge. 1–2, 8–9 & 15–16 & 22–23 Dec Stories & Workshops Visit the theatre dome where a traditional storyteller will delight children with the Christmas story and little ones can make their own tree decoration to take home.


HORNIMAN MUSEUM 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ 020 8699 1872, Regular activities include: Storytelling, Art Makers, Family Art Fun, African Drumming Workshops for Children, Nature Explorers, Discovery for All sessions, Pond Dipping and: Busy Bees Lively sessions for under 5s with creative play, enchanting stories from around the world, simple art and craft, songs and lots of fun.


Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone ME14 3AU, 01622 7633936,
 17 & 18 Nov WWII Experience – Christmas on the Home Front Watch the family prepare for a 1940s Christmas. 25 Nov Meet Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fat Controller Pre-book. 16 Dec, 3pm Farm Nativity Children are encouraged to dress up and be part of the nativity








Cudham Road, Downe Village, Kent BR6 7LF, 01689 861603, 10am–4pm. Check website for holiday activities.

COLCHESTER ZOO Maldon Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex CO3 0SL, 01206 331292, 24 & 25 Nov, 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 & 19–24 Dec The Magic of Christmas: Don’t miss the infamous staff pantomime, Santa’s reindeer, elf tales, festive dancing with Rudolph and a visit from Mother Christmas. Other events include Christmas Light Switch-On (24 Nov), Special Senses Santa Day (1 Dec), breakfast with Santa and early morning and late night opening.


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Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0JB, 01322 866 577, Check website for opening times and events information Flying displays 12pm & 3pm, reptiles and mammal encounter 1.45 pm & daily demonstrations. Selected dates in Nov, Dec & Jan The Husky experience The off-road ride is designed to give you a once in a life time opportunity to ride with a large team of huskies (8–14). You can relax or join in as you are pulled down hills along the 2 mile track which has beautiful views across Darenth Valley and Central London! This experience lasts for around one and a half hours. £150 for 1–2 people and £250 for 3–4 people.  Pre-booking essential. Age 8+. A ‘Christmas with the Huskies and Santa’ experience is available also. Call 01322 866 577 for more details.

Bekesbourne, Nr Canterbury, Kent CT4 5EL, 0844 842 4647, howletts 9.30am–5pm. Adult £19.95, child £17.95, under 3s free – tickets valid for 12 months. Passport events: November: Tickling the tastebuds: gastronomes, gourmets and gluttons; December: Jungle bells: It’s Christmas at the Park!


FOAL FARM ANIMAL RESCUE CENTRE Jail Lane, Biggin Hill, Kent TN16 3AX, 01959 572 386, 1.30pm–4.30pm (except Tues). Check website for holiday activities.

GODSTONE FARM & PLAYBARN Tilburstow Hill Road, Godstone, Surrey RH9 8LX, 01883 742546, 10am–5pm. Adult £5.50, child (1 year) £2, child (2–16) £5.90. Check website for holiday activities.

PORT LYMPNE WILD ANIMAL & SAFARI PARK Lympne, Nr Hythe, Kent CT21 4PD, 0844 842 4647, portlympne 9.30am–5pm. Adult £19.95, child £17.95, under 3s free – tickets valid for 12 months. Check website for holiday activities. Passport events: November: The Evolutionary Challenge: Can you survive it? December: Advent Animals: It’s Christmas at the park!

SOUTH OF ENGLAND RARE BREEDS CENTRE Woodchurch, Ashford, Kent TN26 3RJ, 01233 861 493, 8–23 Dec, 10.30am–4.30pm Truly Magical Christmas Enjoy a traditional Christmas with Santa and his helpers, stories and songs and a magical grotto plus lots more fun including a one-man panto to keep the children entertained. ‘See Santa’ sessions are available on 8, 9 & 15–23 December and need to be pre-booked.


WILDWOOD Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ, 01227 712 111, Adult £9.95, child £7.95 (under 3s free), 10am–5pm 8 Dec, 1pm–3pm Holly Hullabaloo Make Christmas decorations out of natural and recycled materials to take home. £2. Pre-book. 30 Dec, 6.30pm–9pm Frost Moon night Tour See the animals under the moonlight on a guided night tour to coincide with the full moon. £25 (hot meal included). Min age 10yrs. Pre-book.


THE WOODLANDS FARM TRUST 331 Shooters Hill, Welling, Kent DA16 3RP, 020 8319 8900 Check website for holiday activities.


COOLINGS GREEN & PLEASANT Main Road, Knockholt TN14 7LJ, 01959 534386 29 Nov, 10am, 11am, 12pm & 1.30pm ‘We’re All Going on a Bear Hunt’ Storytelling for the under 5s. £4.50 (lunch included), must pre-book.

LULLINGSTONE COUNTRY PARK & VISITOR Centre Castle Road, Eynsford, DA4 0JF, 08458 247 600, 3–21 Dec Christmas Walk and lunch Enjoy a themed walk around the park followed by a traditional Christmas lunch. £20. Pre-book.


Traditional family fun this Christmas at the pantomime… ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE Crescent Road,

reunites with Andrew Pollard for another all-singing, all-dancing pantomime treat.

Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2LU, 01892 530613/532072, 14 Dec–6 Jan Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Stunning sets, beautiful costumes and great music are guaranteed to delight in this entertaining adaptation which sees Jenny Jones from CITV’s Hi-5 as Snow White.

Lyric Hammersmith Lyric Square, King Street W6 0QL, 020 8741 6850, 24 Nov–5 Jan Cinderella Last year’s panto hero Steven Webb returns to the Lyric with Mel Giedroyc (The Great British Bake Off) as the wicked stepmother in a show which will delight all the family.


Catford, London SE6 4RU 020 8690 0002 NEW WIMBLEDON Pricilla Presley makes her pantomime debut as the THEATRE 15 Dec–3 Jan Cinderella Wicked Queen at the New WimbledonTheatre The Broadway, Wimbledon, Join Floella Benjamin as the London, SW19 1QG FAIRFIELD HALLS Fairy Godmother and CBBC’s Andrew 0844 871 7646 Park Lane, Croydon, 020 8688 9291, Haydn Smith as Buttons in a show www. packed full of fun and laughter. 7 Dec–13 Jan Snow White 7 Dec–6 Jan Jack & The and the Seven Dwarfs Beanstalk Join EastEnders’ Pricilla Presley will be making her Laila Morse as the Fairy, CBeebies CHURCHILL THEATRE pantomime and London stage debut presenter Sid Sloane as Jack and the High Street, Bromley, 08448 717 620, as the Wicked Queen in this year’s tallest man in Europe, Neil Fingleton spectacular family pantomime. who at 7ft 7.56 inches tall plays the 30 Nov–6 Jan Peter Pan Join Peter Pan, Wendy, The Lost Boys and Tinker Bell in this magical adventure, but don’t forget to look behind you for the infamous Captain Hook! This year’s panto stars include Jennifer Ellison from Dancing On Ice as Peter Pan, CBBC presenter Gemma Hunt as Tinker Bell and Ace Bhatti, EastEnders’ evil Dr Yusef Khan, as Captain Hook.

020 8466 6977

mighty Giant in this magical treat for all the family.

GREENWICH THEATRE Crooms Hill, London SE10 8ES 22 Nov–6 Jan Robin Hood – A pantomime Adventure Greenwich Theatre once again

O2 Arena Peninsula Square, Greenwich SE10 0DX, 020 8463 2000 7 Dec–5 Jan Aladdin – A Wish Come True Lilly Savage stars in London’s biggest panto in this spin on the Aladdin story in a specially built theatre in the O2’s forecourt.

THE ORCHARd Theatre Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1ED, 01322 220000, 8 Dec–6 Jan Aladdin Ex EastEnders’ baddie Steve McFadden leads the cast as the wicked Abanazar in a show full of stunning sets, beautiful costumes and 3D special effects.

RICHMOND THEATRE The Green, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1QJ 0844 871 7651 www. 7 Dec–13 Jan Aladdin Lots of laughter in this sparkling production of Aladdin which stars Nickelodeon’s Helena Dowling as Princess Jasmine.

THE STAG London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1ZZ, 01732 450175, 8 Dec–6 Jan Aladdin Join Boyzone’s Shane Lynch as the villain Abanazar in this traditional family panto. Woodville Halls Theatre Woodville Place, Gravesend DA12 1DD, 01474 337 774, 10 Dec–1 Jan Jack and The Beanstalk With superb scenery, stunning costumes and hilarious slapstick this show promises to be a great treat for all the family.



What’s On

Christmas markets Bexley


17 & 18 November, 10am–12pm & 1pm–3pm Christmas Craft Fair at Hall Place

1 December, 11am–2pm Christmas Fair at Dartford Bridge Community Primary The fair will take place in the Suscon Building on The Bridge.

24 November Christmas Fair at Old Bexley CE Primary School

Bexleyheath 1 December, 1pm–4pm Christmas Fair at St THomas More Catholic Primary School

Bromley 24 November, 11am–3pm Bromley High School Christmas Market Santa opens the market at 11am. Craft stalls, Christmas gifts, secrets room for children’s parents’ presents, pamper room for teenagers and Santa’s grotto. 3 December, 4pm–6pm Bishop Challoner Catholic College

Canterbury 23 November–23 December Traditional Christmas Market (Whitefriars Square) Enjoy the festive atmosphere while relaxing with a glass of ‘Glühwein’ (German Mulled Wine) and listening to traditional Christmas music.

Chiddingstone 30 November, 10am–4.30pm Chiddingstone Castle Christmas Craft Fair Enjoy mince pies, mulled wine and a delightful choice of stalls. Entry £3.

Chislehurst 24 November, 11am–4pm Farringtons School Christmas Market 1 December, 12pm–3pm Christmas Fair at Edgebury Primary School 8 December, 11am–3pm Christmas Fair at Mead Road Infant School 8 December, 12pm–3pm Christmas Bazaar at Babington House School


8 December, 12pm–4pm Maypole Primary School’s Christmas Fair

Erith 8 December, 11am–4pm Christmas Craft Fair at Erith Riverside

Eynsford 24 November, 12pm–3pm Anthony Roper Primary School’s Christmas Fair

Goudhurst 22–24 November, 9am–4.30pm Midwinter Fair at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest 25 November, 10.30am–4.30pm Christmas Craft Fair at Finchcocks Adult £5, child £2.

London 8 & 9 November, 10.30am–5.30pm Horniman Christmas Fayre Find perfect Christmas gifts in the Christmas market and visit Santa in his Grotto. Free. 16 November–24 December Traditional Christmas Market at London Southbank (next to the London Eye) Visit the wooden chalets at the Southbank full of unusual Christmas gifts and sample the German culinary delights. Children will love the carousel in the centre of the market. This year there are two wooden chalets just for children with fun activities and pocket money gifts. 23–25 November Norwegian Christmas Fair This annual Norwegian Church Christmas Fair at St Olav’s Square in Rotherhithe is a great opportunity to fill up your cupboards with delicious Norwegian food and gifts while sampling traditional Norwegian ‘gløgg’ or sharing a waffle heart with someone special. Entry £1, under 12s free.

Maidstone 24 & 25 November Christmas Gifts Fair at Leeds Castle Entry £2, under 16s free.

Orpington 24 November, 1pm–4pm Downe Primary School Christmas Fair 8 December, 11am–2.30pm Christmas Fair at Green Street Green Primary School

1 December, 12pm–3pm Christmas Fair at Sherwood Park Primary School 1 December, pm Christmas Bazaar at Longlands Primary School The bazaar will take place at Christ Church Church Hall, Woodside Crescent 7 December, 12pm–3pm Christmas Fayre at Holy Trinity Lamorbey Church of England Primary School

Otford 24 November Christmas Market at St Bartholomew’s Church Centre 25 November Otford Christmas Shopping Festival

Rochester 1–2 December, 10am-5pm Dickensian Christmas Market at the Castle Moat Mingle with Dickensian characters as the streets become alive with festive entertainment and market stalls. Other entertainment includes the Seven Poor Travellers Procession (11am), the Grand Parade (12pm), a Candlelit Procession (4.45pm) and an Open Air Carol Concert (5pm).

Sevenoaks 24 November, from 12pm Christmas Bazaar at Halstead Community Primary School

Sidcup 24 November, 1pm–4pm Christmas Bazaar at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School 30 November, 2pm–5pm Merton Court Preparatory School Christmas Fayre

Tonbridge 30 November (10.30am–10pm) & 1 December (9am–6pm) Penshurst Christmas Market A magical Christmas market in the hear of Penshurst. 5 December Christmas Farmers’ Market at Penshurst Place (outside the gift shop)

Tunbridge Wells 1–2 & 15–16 December Christmas markets at the pantiles

Welling 2 December, 11am–3pm Christmas Fair at The Woodlands Farm Trust

West Wickham 25 November, 12pm–3pm Wickham Court School’s Christmas Fair

Westerham 30 November–2 December, 11am–4pm Chartwell Christmas Market

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T15 Dec–2 Jan Winter Holiday Activity

Trail Follow the clues, answer the questions and complete the trail to receive a prize. £2.50.

Nature Nuts Small Halls, Trinity United Reformed Church, Freelands Road, Bromley BR1 3AQ & Hall, Vine Baptist Church, Park Lane, Sevenoaks, TN13 3UP, Bromley: Mondays 10.30am–11.15am Sevenoaks: Fridays 10.30am–11.15am Enjoy an original nature discovery play programme: suitable for pre-schoolers aged 2–5yrs. The classes include play, crafts, colouring and real wildlife encounters – from wiggly worms to hungry caterpillars, lovely ladybirds, fascinating natural objects and more. Children must be accompanied. Siblings 11 months and under free. Pre-book online.

RUXLEY MANOR GARDEN CENTRE Maidstone Road, Sidcup DA14 5BQ, 020 8300 0084, 8 Nov–6 Jan Real Outdoor Ice Rink & Ice Cafe New to Ruxley is this real ice rink with an adjoining heated Ice Cafe. Each session lasts 45 minutes. Adult from £5.99. Child (14 & under) from £3.99. Child (under 3) from £0.99. Pre-book. 10 Nov, 11am Santa and his Shires Welcome Santa as he arrives in a glass carriage pulled by Samson and Delilah, his magnificent shire horses. This will be followed by a charity balloon release in aid of Demelza Children’s Hospice. 10 Nov–24 Dec Ruxley’s Reindeer Family Come and see Lightning, Bolt and Blossom in their purpose built reindeer enclosure. Please note that from 2pm every Wednesday the reindeer will be attending flight practise and will be leaving at 2pm on Christmas Eve!




SHORNE WOODS COUNTRY PARK Brewers Road, Shorne, Gravesend, DA12 3HX, 08458 247 600,, 15 Dec–2 Jan Winter Holiday Activity Trail Follow the clues, answer the questions and complete the trail to receive a prize. £2.50.


TROSLEY COUNTRY PARK Waterlow Rd, Vigo, Meopham, Kent, DA13 0SG, 08458 247 600,, Check website for holiday activities.

WILDERNESS WOOD Hadlow Down, East Sussex TN22 4HJ, 01825 830509,, See website for lots of fun weekend activities ranging from woodskills, storytelling in the woods and craft activities. All activities must be pre-booked and children must be accompanied by an adult. 30 Nov, 5pm–7pm Tree Lighting party Start the festive season with a flourish as you join the Christmas party and take beautiful homemade paper lanterns into the wood to adorn a beautifully bejewelled holly tree. £12. Pre-book. 17 Dec, 4pm–5pm Winter Campfire Learn to light a campfire in the winter woods and use it to toast crumpets. Listen to wintery stories and feel snug as a bug! Adult: £4.80. Child: £6.60. 18 Dec Christmas Create Collect natural materials from the winter woods to make wreaths, table decorations, cards and clay reindeer. Adult: £4.80. Child (6+): £7.70.




07958 762828, 1 December, 1pm–3pm Otford Otford Village Memorial Hall, High Street, Otford TN14 5PQ

CHILDREN’s NEARLY NEW Baby and children’s clothing, nursery essentials and shoes. 12 Nov, 10am–12pm Belvedere (in partnership with St Augustines Children’s Centre) The Leather Bottle Pub function room, 131 Heron Hill, Belvedere 19 Nov, 10am–12pm Bexley Hurst Community Centre, Hurst Road, Bexley, Kent, DA5 3LH

Marie Chantal Sale Farnborough Village Hall, Church Road, Farnborough BR6 7DB, 07582924425, 17 Nov, 12pm–4pm A sale of brand new clothing (0–12yrs) from Marie Chantal at up to 60% discount. Marie Chantal, the Crown Princess of Greece, has stores in London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, and LA, and is well known for clothing many of the Star’s children, such as Harper Beckham and Suri Cruise.

NCT NEARLY NEW SALE – check website for local sales. We have taken every care in preparing the listings in this magazine but sometimes events are cancelled or times changed, so please double check details before setting out.

Look out for the January/February issue

Includes our special Travel Feature – if you would like to advertise your holiday home please call 020 8466 6977.

Classified Ads FOR SALE Baby Clothes for Sale End of line stock for sale, all new.

Call 020 8300 1830 for more information

You could be here...

020 8466 6977



Le tri

Home & Office Organiser

• 07551 329 645 (Julianah) •

Handyman For all your household repairs and odd jobs. I offer a professional and courteous serivice. 020 8249 3264 or 07913 656 502

To advertise your business here call 020 8466 6977 or email editor@


Interior / Exterior Experienced, Reliable, Clean Fully Guaranteed / Insured FREE ADVICE AND QUOTE John:- James & Lamont 020 8462 4646-07802 535695


BABINGTON HOUSE SCHOOL Independent Day School for Boys 3-7 and Girls 3-16

Outstanding SATs and GCSE results A nurturing and stimulating environment ‘Excellent in all areas of school life’ (ISI inspection)

Term Time Open Mornings by appointment Preparatory Tours - Wednesdays at 9.00am Senior Tours - Tuesdays at 9.00am

For further information please contact the school Grange Drive, Chislehurst, Kent, BR7 5ES Telephone 020 8467 5537 Facsimile 020 8295 1175 Email Web

Next Open Day: Thursday 8 November & Tuesday 4 December. Doors open at 10.45am

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Families London-Kent Borders November-December 2012 (Issue 10)  

Families London-Kent Borders Magazine for November and December 2012