I know what you’re thinking: it can’t be half-term again already. Well, I’m afraid it is, but fear not: the life and style team at City A.M. have put their heads together and come up with the ultimate guide to the weeklong school holiday, featuring everything from Chelsea FC’s victory parade to a family orientated hip hop show at the Roundhouse. Sign up to some of the these activities and your children will be distracted enough not to drive you to distraction. Good luck!
Chelsea Victory Parade
Chelsea won the league at a canter this year, but just because they made it look easy doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to celebrate. If you’re a Chelsea fan, head to west London this Bank Holiday Monday to see your team parade their trophy through the streets on an open top bus. Jose will be there, as will the vaunted Chelsea academy who this year lifted the FA Youth Cup and Uefa League Trophies. The bus will leave Stamford Bridge and travel east along Fulham Road before turning onto the Kings Road and the New King’s Road.
Create and Make
Tear the kids away from the TV and iPad for something truly stimulating. Create and Make: Life on Foot at the Design Museum is a workshop where kids learn to make their own eye-catching shoe accessories using arts and crafts skills. Under the watchful eye of the Design Museum’s expert staff, they’re sure to create something special that they can take home and show their friends.
King’s Cross Pond
King’s Cross has a train station linking to mainland Europe, every kind of restaurant you could possibly want and a large selection of excellent pubs. What it didn’t have, until today, was a large outdoor pool for bathing during the summer. The UK’s first “natural” swimming pool is designed by Austrian company Biotop, and has a swimming area of 2,282sqm suitable for 163 swimmers at a time. The water is completely chemical free and is instead cleaned through a “closed-loop process using wetland and submerged water plants to filter the water and keep it clear”. The pond/art installation is open Monday-Friday from 6am-dusk, and Saturday-Sunday from 8am-dusk and facilities include toilets, lockers, changing rooms and showers. There are no “vanity areas” though, so do come prepared.
Fowl Play @ the Puppet Barge Theatre
Little Venice’s cherished Puppet Barge Theatre always has an interesting programme of shows if you fancy something a little different. This half term you can see Fowl Play, a puppet show set on a farm focusing on the plight of new foal and some gossiping chickens. A good option for very small children. And anyone who likes talking wooden animals.
The Ragged School Museum
If you think the last thing your children want to do during half term is go back to school, then you obviously haven’t heard of Mile End’s Ragged School Museum, a fascinating museum dedicated to the early experiments in public education that saw destitute kids given basic education and provisions. The detailed recreation of a ragged school classroom provides a unique and interactive insight into a forgotten world.
Greenwich Book Festival @ Greenwich University
With the Cutty Sark, the Maritime Museum and the National Observatory, Greenwich is already spoiled for family friendly attractions. There’s always room for more, though, and this half term the first ever Greenwich Book Festival is coming to the area. Hosted by the University of Greenwich, the festival will feature a variety of top authors including Tracey Thorn and Steven Butler.
Bouncing Cats and Boom Pups @ the Roundhouse
Guess what: kids love hip hop. If yours are too young for NWA, ease them in gently with this family orientated show at the Roundhouse. Join spoken word artist Maxwell Gordon and Grraffiti artist Mr Dane for a journey into a magical animal land where beat box, rap and graffiti come together.
In The Night Garden Live @ the o2 Arena
In the Night Garden is up there with the very best shows for little ones, and the live version returns this summer thanks to popular demand. Come see Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka brought to life using full-size costumes and puppets. Music and projections complete the magical world of the night garden inside the purpose built showdome.