Holiday, Celebrate! (Part 2)

handprintI could certainly do with a Holiday myself after the week I’ve just had, working full time and being a mum to a teething tot are not compatible! As promised, here is the second part of my guide to what to do with the kids over the holidays.

pencil crayons

Get the Crayons out

Especially good for a rainy afternoon is a drawing session. To give the little ones a bit of inspiration and motivation, why not enter their original artwork into a competition? Look and Learn Art run monthly competitions on different themes with a small cash prize for the winners. The July theme is China and entries need to be submitted by 7th August.

If you are going on a long journey or you need some activities to do on holiday, colouring in is always a winner. If you haven’t the time (or inclination) to draw your own pictures, there are plenty you can down load online for free. Activity Village has colouring in pages, puzzles and lots of craft ideas to inspire you.


Animal Magic

London Zoo is great a day out for the whole family, the only problem is the price, £24.54 for Adults and £18.63 for children (under 3’s go free), for a family of four you are looking at £86.34! There is a small discount for booking online but this price is really prohibitive. But fear not, you can still see some great animals in one of the many City Farms that are dotted around the capital, and most of them are free. I’m so impressed with the number farms I will create a new page for them when I get a change. For now though, here are three of the best.

cowSpitalfield’s City Farm – This is a lovely little city farm that I have been to in my lunch hour. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer and summer events including Cow Fest on 10th August, its very own moosic festival. Once you’ve been to the farm you can always visit Spitalfields Market for a bite to eat or to browse the stalls for funky art, clothes and homeware.

Mudchute Farm and Park – This is the largest city farm in London at a whopping 32 acres. I visited this farm a few years ago with a group of children. I don’t know if they were really pleased to be missing school for the day or if this was one of the best experiences of their lives, but a good time was had by all. And as it is such a large place you should be able to tire the children out sufficiently.

Vauxhall City Farm – I’ve not been to this one but it has Alpacas named Ben and Jerry, and Tom (or is that Tom and Jerry, and Ben?). Other animals with cool names include Waffle the goose, Trevor the turkey and Stinker the ferret. There is a kids club and they also offer riding lessons.


Mini Festivals

puppetThese two are local to me and so they get a mention. Walthamstow Garden Party 25-27th July and Chingford Big Weekender 9th and 10th August. Last year the Chingford Big Weekender had a lovely family feel on the second day, with lots of food stalls, bouncy castles and activities. For all Waltham Forest Events see here.

You want more, in London, for Free? More London Free Festival is for you. More London has put together a programme of Theatre, Music, Film and Food and it is all free. There is no need to book but all things are on a first come first served basis.

Museum of Childhood Summer Festival, 27th July. The Museum grounds will be home to live music, dance, walkabout acts, art and craft activities, designer stalls, food, face painting, rickshaw rides and games. They also have lots of regular events so if you can’t make this weekend it is worth a trip there on any day of the holiday.

Mayor of London’s Eid Festival, 2nd August. Trafalgar Square will host the Mayor’s Eid celebrations with food from all over the world, music and entertainment to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Take a look at The City of London’s events page for all the summer events in the City.



ice cream vanThere does seem to be an awful lot of stuff ‘popping up’ nowadays. Things that have clearly taken a lot of forward planning are using the ‘pop-up’ title to grab a bit of extra attention. However, just because the name is over used doesn’t mean you should snub the  ‘pop-up’ trend.  Keep an eye on London Pop-ups which lists all the new pop-ups around London, as they, well… pop-up. You will mostly find bars, cafes and restaurants but there are sometimes galleries, markets, gigs and festivals.