Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Family Activities over August Bank Holiday 2010

Here's a little selection of great ways to spend time with your family this Bank Holiday weekend:

• Summer Fun Fair at Alexandra Palace
Open from 12pm-7pm until September 12th, with a variety of rides for children and refreshment stalls for the family, the fun fair is popular with kids of all ages throughout the summer holidays. Free entry, although there is small charge on rides. More info...  |  Alexandra Palace was rated 4* : click here to find out why

Kids Week 2010 (13th August- 3rd September 2010)
Kids Week London includes a full programme of activities and workshops for children. Kids can get theatrical in a series of interactive events, giving them the chance to learn about life on stage. As well as this kids can enjoy free theatre shows and discounted tickets.
Click here for more info and to book tickets

• Notting Hill Carnival Children’s Day (29th August, 9am-8.30pm)
The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the most vibrant events in London, taking place annually in a huge two day party. The first day of the carnival is traditionally Children’s Day, where children and family groups are encouraged to join the party. The day will be packed with costume parades, live music, street performances, play areas etc. Free to attend.  Click here for more info

• Toy Story 3D IMAX (23rd-29th August)
Woody and Buzz Lightyear return for a colourful third instalment of Toy Story, showing at the child friendly BFI IMAX cinema on London's South Bank. Various times and prices.

• Kidsfest 2010 (30th August, 11am-5pm)
A day of fun, exciting and innovative things for kids to participate in. These include great hands-on workshops in art, crafts, pottery, music, drama, dancing, singing, balloon modelling, DJ skills and drumming. There are soft play and story telling areas, kids' archaeological digs, relaxation sessions, rides, face-painting and caricaturing, all taking place at the Colour House Children’s Theatre.

London Aquarium (everyday)
In addition to the hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from all over the world, the aquarium's Shark Walk allows visitors to walk over a floating glass platform with sharks swimming just below their feet. The newest addition is the Rainforests of the World area, complete with exotic vegetation, a tropical waterfall and a pair of six-foot dwarf crocodiles. An ultimate fun day out for the whole family.

• Diana, Prince of Wales Memorial Playground (May-August 10am-7.45pm daily.)
The design of this large playground next to Kensington Palace is inspired by the stories of Peter Pan. A huge wooden Pirate ship is the centrepiece of the playground, and there is a sensory trail, teepees, toys and play sculptures. Next to the playground is the Broadwalk Cafe and Playcafe. The playground underwent a refurbishment in March 2009 including the creation of some exciting new features and equipment and enhancements to the pirate ship and Mermaid's rock. Admission is to children up to age 12 (and their parents or carers) only. Rated 5* by mums and dads.

Mudchute Park and Farm (9.30pm-4..30pm daily)
There are goats, sheep, pigs, horses, cows, ducks, geese, dogs and even llamas. Activities include animal handling, a nature trail, activities for the family, horse riding lessons and more. You can also join the ducks on their walk from the farmyard to the duckpond in the morning (9 am), and back to the farmyard in the afternoon (4 pm). There is a play area in Milwall Mark, adjacent to Mudchute Park.
Treat yourself to a homemade breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea at the Mudcute Kitchen, set in the courtyard and overlooking the horses. This is not your typical cafe. They use fresh, seasonal ingredients, including produce from their own allotments, and their chefs have trained at the River Cafe, Moro, Lidgate the butcher and the Rivington Bar and Grill. You are also welcome to bring a picnic lunch - there are picnic tables in the courtyard.

• In the Night Garden Live at the O2.
The first staged version of the award-winning BBC children's TV show 'In the Night Garden' provide an opportunity for the capital's pre-school fans of Igglepiggle and Upsy Daisy to enjoy the character's antics in a live musical featuring puppets and panoramic projections. For times and prices visit the website www.nightgardenlive.com. Click here to read a review of In the Night Garden Live.

• Toy Tales at the Cartoon Museum (till 5th September 2010)
Bringing together some of the most loved children's animated characters from over the last 50 years. Big kids and genuine children alike will love the exhibition this summer as classics from the past rub shoulders with current stars. Featuring the likes of Bagpuss and Peppa Pig, the show focuses on the timeless appeal of children's cartoons across the ages. Under 18s are free.

- Sam Sanchez

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