Category Archives: families

Celebrate National Tea Day with a tea dance at St Katharine Docks

© St Katharine Docks

Celebrate National Tea Day with a tea dance at St Katharine Docks

Brits’ love affair with tea looks unlikely to be slowing down any time soon. So it’s probably no surprise to hear there’s an annual National Tea Day this April (apologies if it’s an important part of your calendar already…).

This year, St Katharine Docks will be hosting a celebration of the mighty cuppa with a tea dance. Following the success of their first tea dance last year, the Docks will be marking National Tea Day, which coincides with the Queen’s 91st birthday. The Ragroof Players will be hosting two tea dances, featuring vintage music from the 1920s to the 1950s, glamorous costumes and stunning dance displays. People of all ages and abilities are invited to join in one of the two-hour participatory tea dances.

Meanwhile, Tom’s Kitchen will be serving Canton tea and homemade lemonade accompanied by a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes for those feeling peckish between 12-7pm. The Friday World Food Market will also be on site with stalls serving foods with a British twist from 11am-3pm.

  • The National Tea Day Tea Dance is on 21 April 2017, with tea dances taking place at 12-2pm and 5-7pm. At St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website.

For a guide to what else is on in London, click here.

To find out about the history of St Katharine Docks, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London this Easter 2017 for adults and children

© onefox/Pixabay

Chicks, chocolate and bunnies galore in London this Easter
© onefox/Pixabay

Easter is fast approaching! To many of us that means a long weekend, lots of chocolate and (hopefully) warmer temperatures. With parents searching for ways to entertain their children, a host of London attractions have curated special activities over the break. My monthly ‘what’s on guides’ include many activities on in the capital during April, however for those looking for more family and Easter-centric ideas of what’s on during the holidays, here’s listings of things to keep you occupied. However, it’s not all for the kids, with a special section at the bottom with adults-only Easter fun over the Bank Holiday weekend (which is 14 – 17 April in case you’re wondering).

  • 24 March – 23 April : George Irvin’s Funfairs

Travelling funfairs will be setting up camp at Crystal Palace (24 Mar – 9 Apr), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (1 – 17 Apr), Clapham Common (1 – 23 Apr) and Hampton Court (13 – 18 Apr) over the Easter break. Rides include Big Apple Coaster, Dodgems, Bungee Trampolines, Tea Cups, Waltzer, Inflatable Slide and Carousel, among many others. For more information, visit the Irvin Leisure website.

  • 1 – 16 April : Bunny Hop and Seek for Easter @ Museum Of Brands

Hunt a parade of Easter bunnies around the museum and through the Time Tunnel. Tues-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Activities free with museum entrance: Adults £9, Children 7-16yrs £5. Museum Of Brands, 111-117 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, W11 1QT. Nearest station: Ladbroke Grove. For more information, visit the Museum Of Brands website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Moomin Adventures @ Kew Gardens

Explore Kew Gardens on an interactive trail before ending up at the magical Moomin Festival Camp in the wild woodland. There will also be the opportunity for craft workshops, sample the Moomins’ pancakes and visit the Hemulens’ Herbarium. There will also be Lindt chocolate treats for every visitor. Tickets: Adults: £14, Children £2.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information and tickets, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Jurassic Kingdom

Dinosaur fans will get the opportunity to see 30 life-sized installations of animated dinosaurs, which move and make noise. There will also be street food and drink vendors on site. 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults – £13.50 (online), £15 (on the door), Children £11.50 (online), £13 (on the door). Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4RB. Nearest station: Osterley. For tickets, visit the Jurassic Kingdom website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Easter Egg Hunt @ Battersea Park Zoo

Find out what zoo animals will be holding Easter eggs. Open 10am-4.30pm. Visitors can purchase a £1.50 (including prize) quiz sheet upon entry and follow the trail. General admission: Adults £8.95, Children 2-15 yrs £6.95. Battersea Park Zoo, Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For more information, visit the Battersea Park Zoo website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Easter Family Fun @ Hampton Court Palace

Go on a Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at the homes and gardens of King Henry VIII. Other activities include meet Princess Caroline, decorate your own chocolate cup and find out how Georgians used to drink their chocolate. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £23 (£20.30 online), Children £11.50 (£10.20 online). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.

  • 1 – 21 April : Easter @ WWT London Wetland Centre

Enjoy the Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail and Easter Giant Duck Hunt (1 – 17 April only) during the Easter Holidays. The trail (£1 entry) will feature 6ft sculpture of Dusty Duck with a chocolate prize at the end, while the hunt (£1 entry) will feature ducks hidden around the reserve with a prize at the end. Entrance tickets: Adult £12.26-£13.49, 4-16 years £6.75-£7.42, family tickets £34.36-£37.80. London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes or Barnes Bridge. For more information, visit the London Wetland Centre website. Read the rest of this entry

Be a record breaker and join the Space Hopper Challenge

Space Hopper Challenge

Fancy being part of a World Record attempt at the Space Hopper Challenge?

Fancy being part of a world record? Well, you can have the opportunity to do just that on the second Bank Holiday in May.

TickTheBucket and London Flashmob are organising the Space Hopper Challenge on 29 May 2017. It’s set to be a fun day out for family or friends, with the opportunity to picnic and enjoy some alfresco drinking alongside the chance to make history.

Participants will be invited to attempt to break the world record for the most people on space hoppers, alongside two other surprise world records too. Johannesburg, South Africa are the current holders of the record, which they’ve held since 2013, with 2,943 people.

The challenge is open to both adults and children, with each ‘hopper’ able to take their own space hopper home to keep. Hopefully, the weather will be kind so it’ll be a nice spring day out in the green surrounds of the King’s House Sports Ground in Chiswick.

  • The Space Hopper World Record attempt takes place on 29 May 2017. Doors open at 12pm. Event at 2.30pm. Tickets (include space hopper): Adults £12. Children £10. King’s House Sports Ground, Riverside Drive, Chiswick, W4 2SH. Nearest station: Barnes Bridge or Chiswick. For more information, visit the Space Hopper Challenge website.

For the latest London’s what’s on guide, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in March 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Spring is in the air!

Spring is here… allegedly! The temperatures are rising – just a bit – and the nights are getting lighter. With the advent of March, London starts to come alive with a lot more festivals and events on around town. There’s also a host of film, food and drinking festivals if that whets your whistle.

For a guide to what’s on in London over the Easter holidays, click here.

  • 1 – 5 March : Cinema Made In Italy

Film festival of the newest features from Italy at the Ciné Lumière, featuring screenings and Q&As including 7 Minutes, Ears, Pericles The Black, The Confessions, In Guerra Per Amore, Slam, Pawn Streets, Vangelo and I Was A Dreamer. Tickets: Adults £12, Children £10. Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensbury Place, SW7 2DT. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Ciné Lumière website.

  • 1 March – 3 September : The Art Of The Brick – DC Super Heroes

Lego artist Nathan Sawaya has created an exhibition of Lego sculptures of Super Heroes and Villains including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Joker and Harley Quinn. Open Sun-Wed 10am-6pm, Thurs 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-7pm. Tickets: Adults £16.50, Children £11. The exhibition is in a temporary structure on the corner of Upper Ground and Cornwall Road, South Bank, SE1 9PP. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit the Art Of The Brick website. For a review of the previous Art Of The Brick exhibition, click here.

  • 3 March – 7 May : The Iris @ Now Gallery

A new art installation from artist Rebecca Louise Law, featuring 10,000 fresh irises suspended from the ceiling. Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm. Free entry. NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the NOW Gallery website.

  • Now until 5 March : Orchid Festival

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by India. The sea of colour from one of the world’s most stunning flowers will certainly brighten up a dull winter’s day. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: £8 adults or £2.50 children. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • Now until 5 March : Vault Festival

Six week arts festival in the tunnels beneath Waterloo across three venues, five bars and a restaurant. Entertainment includes live music, theatre, film, dance, comedy and late-night parties. Open Wed-Sun. Ticket prices vary, although venue entry is free. The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For booking, visit the Vault Festival website. For highlights, check out Metro Girl’s blog post on this year’s festival.

  • 5 – 12 March : French Fest @ Live At Zedel

An eight day celebration of French culture, featuring music, opera, theatre and comedy in French or English or both. Dining options also available. Live At Zedel takes place at Crazy Coqs or Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood Street, Soho, W1F 7ED. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Brasserie Zedel website.

  • 7 – 12 March : Women Of The World Festival

A festival of talks, debates, music, film and comedy celebrating women. Gillian Anderson, Sandi Toksvig, Catherine Mayer, Nilüfer Yanya, Reni Eddo-Lodge, among the featured names. Events range from free to £30 or many included with day pass £22. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 8 – 10 March : London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival

CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) North London host a beer and cider festival. As well as over 150 beers, ciders and perries to choose from, there is also food, tombola and ‘shut the box’. Opening times vary. Tickets: £4 (£3 for CAMRA members), but free during Wed and Thur lunchtime openings. Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, WC1H  AU. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information visit the CAMRA North London website.

  • 9 – 12 March : Affordable Art Fair @ Battersea Park

For those among us who aren’t loaded, this event is a chance for people to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. There is over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale ranging for £40 to £4,000. Tickets: £10-£12 in advance, more on the door. Battersea Evolution, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or short bus ride from Sloane Square tube. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

The Art Of The Brick Lego art returns to London with a superhero theme

  • 9 March – 18 June : American Dream – Pop To The Present

Look back over 60 years of the world superpower with prints from American artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu. Tickets: Adults £16.50, Children under 16 free (w/ a paying adult). British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3DG. Nearest station: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road. For more information, visit the American Dream Exhibition website. Read the rest of this entry

Feeling Gung-Ho? A giant inflatable obstacle course is coming to London

Gung-Ho

Gung-Ho – a huge inflatable obstacle course – is coming to London’s Brockwell Park in March

Is your average fun run or sponsored walk just not challenging enough? Well thrill-seekers will get the chance to do a very different 5K when Gung-Ho! comes to London in March.

The world’s biggest inflatable obstacle course will be making a one-day pit stop in South London’s Brockwell Park on 25 March. Up to 5,000 people will be able to travel 40mph on Europe’s tallest inflatable slide – the five-storey-high, 200ft-long Thriller. There will be 10 obstacles spread across the 5k course featuring enough air to inflate 100 million footballs. Among the mini adventures will be a huge inflatable ball-pit, climbing wall and foam-filled labyrinth, as well as huge vertical drops and an inflatable ‘gauntlet’.

The event was conceived in 2014 by Cbeebies presenter Alex Winter, who brought Gung-Ho! on a huge countrywide tour last year following its successful launch in 2015. He said: ‘I am so excited to be bringing Gung-Ho! to London for the first time – as our capital city I have always wanted to take the event there, and finally we have managed it. We have visited some amazing cities across the UK and seen how Gung-Ho! they can go – now we’ll find out just how Gung-Ho! London is! I have no doubt Londoners will be well up for what is a unique, fun-filled event for people of all ages. It is a chance for adults to feel like kids again, and kids to show the adults what they are made of.’

For those who want to raise money at the same time, Gung-Ho! has teamed up with BBC Children In Need, who are offering discounted tickets and a free T-shirt to those who run for Team Pudsey.

  • Gung-Ho! takes place in London on Saturday 25 March 2017. At Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, SE24 9BJ. Nearest station: Herne Hill or 20 minute walk from Brixton. Time slots from £41. Runners must be at least 3ft tall. Spectators can watch for free. For tickets and more information, visit Gung-Ho’s website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in March, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in February 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Magical Lantern Festival

Gloomy January is over so by now you’ve hopefully got used to the cold weather and your finances have recovered after the festive season. With winter in full swing, February gets a little injection of colour (well, pink and red) in the middle of the month with the saccharine fest that is Valentine’s Day (more on that in another blog post!). There’s also half-term holidays so no doubt parents will be looking for things to occupy their little ones. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this February.

For a guide to Valentine’s Day events, click here.

  • Now until 2 February : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. There is also a rinkside bar and street food stalls. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13.50, Children £9.50. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

  • 2 – 5 February : Destinations – The Holiday & Travel Show

Presented by The Times, the Holiday and Travel show is full of inspiration for your next adventure or holiday. As well as lots of travel companies, there is photography masterclasses, health advice and meet the experts. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £11 in advance, Under 12s free when accompanied by paying adult. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.

  • 3 – 4 February : London Remixed Festival

A two day celebration of emerging talents from the worlds of ghetto funk, drum and bass, reggae, anarchic hoedown, Latin breaks, brass band hip hop, electro-Afro music, Balkan beats, blues remix, electro swing, tropical bass, Ethiopian dub, DMC scratch masters +and more. Open: Fri 8pm-1am, Sat 8pm-4am. Tickets: £8-£15. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6LA. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Old Street. For more information, visit the London Remixed Festival website.

  • Now until 4 FebruaryLondon International Mime Festival

Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £9.50-£29. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Platform Theatre, Soho Theatre, Southbank Centre, Shoreditch Town Hall and The Peacock. For more information, visit the London International Mime Festival website.

  • Now until 4 February : Amaluna by Cirque du Soleil

The newest touring production from the Cirque, a spectacular re-telling of The Tempest. Tickets range from £20-£115. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Cirque Du Soleil website.

  • 4 – 5 February : Fare Healthy

Feel good festival of food, exercise and wellbeing. Featuring Deliciously Ella, Skye Gyngell, Anna Jones, Natasha Corrett, Martin Morales, Dale Pinnock, Madeleine Shaw, Melanie Sykes, James Duigan, Gaby Roslin and many more. 9.30am-6pm. Tickets: £25. Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. For tickets, visit the Fare Healthy website. Read the rest of this entry

When’s the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck visiting London?

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Find out when the Coca-Cola Christmas truck is rolling into London

Yes, it’s shamelessly commercial… but so much of Christmas is these days whether you like to admit it or not! However, there are many who delight in hearing that familiar theme song and the sight of the big red truck as the Coca-Cola lorry journeys around the UK spreading Christmas cheer. Last year, I spotted the truck in Leicester Square, complete with fake snow, which admittedly made me feel very festive indeed.

The Coca-Cola Christmas truck will be giving the public the chance to explore a ‘special winter wonderland’ and receive a free 150ml can of Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar or Diet Coke. There is also a chance to win a Santa’s sack full of goodies worth £5,000.

Here’s when the Coca-Cola truck will be making pit-stops in London:

  • 1 December : Watford High Street, Watford, WD17 2BD. Nearest station: Watford High Street. 1-9pm.
  • 3 – 4 December : The O2, Peninsula Square, North Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. 12-8pm.
  • 14 December : Asda Leyton Mills, Marshall Road, Leyton, E10 5NH. Nearest station: Leyton. 1-9pm.
  • 18 December : London Eye, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo. 1-9pm.
  • 20 December : Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. 12-8pm.

For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.

To find out about London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here or for the capital’s open-air ice rinks, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in December 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Santa’s on his way!

A festive bomb has been dropped on London turning everything sequinned, red and green. As you would expect, a host of Christmas themed activities and events are on around the capital. However, if you’re feeling seasonally jaded, there’s some regular events like film and arts festivals on around town. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on in the capital this December.

For ideas on where to spend New Year’s Eve in London, click here.

Fancy a festive cocktail? Here’s where to find London’s Christmas tipples.

  • 1 December : Christmas In The Queen’s House

Late night opening of the Queen’s House in Greenwich with the 17th century building turned into a giant advent calendar with surprises behind every door. 6.30-9pm. Tickets: £25 (£20 conc). Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest station: Cutty Sark (DLR) or Greenwich. For booking, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

  • 1 – 4 December : London Illustration Fair

Four day event celebrating illustration, featuring artist-led stands, talks, workshops, music, DJs, live signings. Open Thur 6-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Entry: £6 advance, £8 on the door, Under 12s free. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo . For more information, visit the London Illustration Fair website.

  • 1, 8, 15 and 22 December : Live Music Sessions @ St Martin’s Courtyard

Festive gospel choir Get Gospel will be entertaining shoppers on Thursday evenings throughout December. 5,30-8.30pm. Free. Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For more information, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.

  • 1 – 10 December : Dolce by Ferrero Rocher pop-up

Italian chocolatier Ferrero Rocher are hosting a pop-up dessert experience. Open from 1-11pm. Sessions last 45 minutes: £10 for walk-ins and £15 for pre-booked slots (includes a glass of Prosecco). Dolce, 21 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For booking, visit the Dolce by Ferrero Rocher website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on Dolce, click here.

  • 1 – 22 December : Art For Love Christmas Festival

Three weeks of festive entertainment at Devonshire Square in the City of London. Line-up includes Get Gospel choir, Michael Jackson tribute dance show, penguin visit, acrobatic arts show in the Winter Globe, live music from Zalon, Girls On Sax and Sammie Jay. Show times vary between lunchtime and evenings. Free. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.

  • 1 – 23 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square

After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on 1 December (a gift from Norway), there is daily carol singing in the Square between 5 – 23 December and the Blessing of the Crib on 4 December. Carol singing between 4-8pm weekdays and 2-6pm weekends. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC1. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 2 December : London Lift-Off Film Festival

The London branch of the international Lift-Off Film Festival, which gives a platform to independent filmmakers. Screenings taking place nightly. Charlotte Street Hotel, Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RJ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. For more information, visit the Lift-Off Film Festival website.

  • 2 – 4 December : Portobello Winter Festival

The iconic west London market gets a festive makeover featuring vintage and pop-up stalls, Christmas rum shack, steel pan band, live music and dancers and Grotto wonderland for the kids. 10am-8pm. Free entry. Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W10 5QZ. Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

  • 2 – 11 DecemberLondon International Animation Festival

Showcase of animation from around the world featuring gala premieres, retrospectives, filmmakers Q&As, workshops, audience voting and screenings. Tickets start from £11.50 (Barbican session tickets) to £95 for full pass. At the Barbican, The Horse Hospital, Close-Up Cinema and The Whitechapel Gallery. For more information and tickets, visit the LIAF website.

  • Now until 3 December : Pigs Ear Beer And Cider Festival

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Opening hours TBC. Entry: £3 (members), £5 (non-members). Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.

  • 3 December : The Great Christmas Pudding Race

Watch or take part in the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden, which sees participants dressing up and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Entertainment starts at 11am, first race at 12.10pm. Covent Garden Piazza, WC1. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and details on entering, visit the Xmas Pudding Race website.

  • 3 December : Beautycon

Social media influencers and celebrities will come together to talk beauty, fashion and style. Featuring Justine Skye, Estee Lalonde, Fleur DeForce, Dulce Candy and Sam and Nic of Pixiwoo. 12-6pm. Tickets start from £30. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Beautycon website.

  • 3 – 4 December :  Santa and his huskies come to the London Wetland Centre

Special Christmas weekend event at the London Wetland Centre, where families can visit Santa’s Grotto, enjoy a sleigh ride with the huskies or a donkey ride or make decorations in the elves’ workshop. Normal admission prices to LWC apply: Adults £13.10, Children £7.20. Santa visit £6 per child (includes gift). London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes. For more information, visit the WWT London Wetland Centre website.

  • 3 – 4 December : Frost Fair

Festive family event at the Museum Of London Docklands, featuring performances, interactive games and crafts. 12-4pm. Free entry. Museum Of London, No.1 Warehouse, West India Dock Road, Docklands, E14 4AL. Nearest station: West India Quay (DLR). For more information, visit the Museum Of London website.

  • 3 – 22 December : A Peninsula Christmas

Christmas extravaganza by The O2 in Greenwich Peninsula. Featuring designer-maker Christmas market, Tepee Snug Bar, Santa’s Grotto of Wonderment, Enchanted Forest, Arcola Theatre, Storybrook, Theatre Bugs Panto, Craft London Tasting Menu and many more. 12pm-late. Free entry. Greenwich Peninsula, North Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website.

  • Now until 4 December : Enchanted Woodland

Syon Park in South West London is open after hours, with an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum. Exciting lighting effects will transform the trees, plants and lake into a magical place. Hot food and drinks also available. Open Fri-Sun 5-9pm, last entry 8pm. Tickets: Adults £9, Children £3. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website. Read the rest of this entry

Santa’s behind you! Shopping, panto and food at Sutton House Christmas

© Sutton House

Head to Sutton House for the pantomime-themed Christmas fair every weekend

Sutton House in Hackney is a rare gem. A Tudor manor house in the heart of East London. Now restored and run by the National Trust, the doors of the centuries old building are preparing to open for a special festive event. Every weekend from Saturday 26 November until Sunday 18 December 2016, Sutton House will be hosting a pantomime-themed Christmas fair.

The historic building will be transformed into an indoor winter wonderland featuring designer stalls and high quality food and drink. Each room will be themed around a pantomime and feature live action characters from Jack & The Beanstalk, Dick Whittington, Puss In Boots, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks, Snow White, Alice In Wonderland, The Beauty and The Beast, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Robin Hood, and the Wizard Of Oz. As well as getting up close with their favourite characters, children will also be able to visit the man of the moment himself, Santa, in his grotto, a double-decker caravan.

Meanwhile, there will also be a range of evening entertainment over the Christmas period, including carol performances, film previews, foodie events, local theatre productions of Beauty And The Beast and more. For the event, Sutton House has teamed up with City Showcase Markets, who are famous for the Embankment Summer Market, Soho Flea Market and Dalston Christmas Market.

  • Sutton House Christmas will take place every weekend from 12-5pm between 26 November – 18 December 2016. Sutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High Street, Homerton, E9 6JQ. Nearest stations: Homerton or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the National Trust website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.

For a guide to Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

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Guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter 2016/2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Take to the ice at the Natural History Museum rink

It’s that time of year again. With the temperatures dropping and the lights a twinkling, it’s no surprise many people want to take to the ice. As usual, there are a host of pop-up, open air rinks on around town. Many are accompanied by other wintry activities and festive food and drink offerings. Here’s a guide to open-air and pop-up ice skating in London this winter season.

  • 27 October – 8 January 2017 : Natural History Museum Ice Rink

A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £12.65, Children 12 and under from £8.80. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.

  • 4 November – 25 February 2017 : Luminocity – Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Skate over ice filled with 8km of LED lights in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Non-skaters can watch the action from the bar or street food stalls. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £9.95-£16.95, Children £9.95-£10.95. Canada Square Park, E14 5AB. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

  • 14 November – 2 February 2017 : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. There is also a rinkside bar and street food stalls. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13.50, Children £9.50. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Whole lotta history: Skate in the dry moat of the Tower Of London

  • 16 November – 3 January 2017 : Tower Of London Ice Rink

Skate on a rink in the moat of the Tower of London. After a skate, visit the Eis Haus Ice Experience, an immersive ice bar where you can drink out of glasses made of ice. 11am-10pm. Tickets: Adults £13.50, Children under 12: £9.50. Tower Of London (off Lower Thames Street or Tower Hill), EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill. To book, visit the Tower Of London Ice Rink website.

  • 17 November – 15 January 2017 : Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason

One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Session times last 1 hour and are from 10am until 10.30pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Adults from £14.65 (inc booking fee) and Children from £8.90. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. To book, visit the Somerset House website.  Read the rest of this entry