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Roll up, roll up to the Spiegeltent: Comedy, music, acrobatics and more come to Canary Wharf

Ready Steady Colour

Ready Steady Colour, an interactive theatre experience for families, is among the entertainment at the Spiegeltent in Canary Wharf this September

With its skyscraper offices and busy professionals, Canary Wharf is usually associated with work. However, this September, the area is getting a huge injection of fun in the form of a 11 day festival in The Spiegeltent. Pitching up at Canary Square Park, The Spiegeltent will host comedy, music, dance, cabaret, acrobatics, theatre for both adults and families.

Opening the festival is award-winning Las Vegas veteran Peggy Sued with a variety night, featuring Pete Firman, Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer, Rod Laver, Felipe Reyes and burlesque bombshell Sophia St Villier. There’ll be the unique blend of circus swing and burlesque folk of Gabby Young + Other Animals plus the Nest Collective House Ceilidh Band.

Boudoir Circus 2

Aircraft Circus presents Boudoir Circus, a sexy mix of acrobatics and dance
© Dimitris Amvrazis

One of the Spiegeltent’s biggest acts will be Scotland’s internationally acclaimed and award-winning ‘half-man-half-Xbox’ Daniel Sloss, brining his Edinburgh Festival hit show Dark.

On 15 September, Alex Horne and The Horne Section will be getting the crowd laughing with their new barnstorming mix of stand-up and music. Turning circus on its head will be the Aircraft Circus presenting Boudoir Circus, a dark and sexy soiree with acrobatics and dance.

As well as performances, there will be workshops too so you can acquire new skills and entertain the children. Learn to dance with the London Academy Of Dance, create your own scrapbook with Shimelle and ice gingerbreads to perfection with Serena Montesissa. The kids will be able to burn off some energy at the Big Fish Little Fish and their Family Rave. Or get the children into comedy early at Comedy Club 4 Kids, with stand-up and sketch from Luke Toulson, Bec Hill and Howard Read. Other family entertainment includes musical workshops by Boppin Bunnies, Bach to Baby and Theatre of Widdershins performing their musical puppetry show The Elves and The Shoemaker.

Other acts performing over the festival include improvisation comedy champions BattleActs!, psychic siblings Twins Macabre, BBC Folk Club winners The Nest Collective, Nepalese band Night and impressionist, art-folk ensemble Firefly Burning.

During the festival, there will a bar providing refreshments while the many restaurants and bars of Canary Wharf will be moments away should you wish to eat.

  • The Spiegeltent will run at Canary Wharf from 10-20 September 2015. The tent will be pitched at Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. Ticket prices range from free to £16 depending on event. For most tickets, visit SeeTickets, or for Daniel Sloss tickets, visit LiveNation.

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

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Guide to what’s on in London for families over the summer holidays 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Find out where to keep your little darlings occupied this summer

As much as we love summer, the season also means one thing for frantic parents everywhere – how to keep their children occupied during the school holidays. Of course, my monthly what’s on guides includes many child and teen-friendly activities, but I’ve also done a round-up of attractions in the capital I’ve previously blogged about that would appeal to families, both free and ticketed, to give you some ideas.

For the August guide to what’s on in London, click here.

  • Carsten Höller: Decision

Soar above the rooftops on a flying machine or whizz down a huge slide at this fun, interactive art exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Runs until 6 September 2015. Tickets: Adults £13.50-£15, Concessiosn £11, Under 12s free. Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For information and tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • Serpentine Pavilion

Kids will find it an adventure going through the multi-coloured, multi-layered pavilion, which also includes a café so parents can put their feet up and enjoy a slice of cake. Open until 18 October 2015. Free to visit. Open 10am-6pm. Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, Kensington, W2 3XA. Nearest tube: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • Alice’s Adventures Underground

Enjoy an immersive theatre experience with different shows available for varying age groups. Adventures In Wonderland for 5-10 years old and Alice’s Adventures Underground is for 11 plus and adults. Runs until 30 August 2015. Tickets for Adventures In Wonderland: Adults £18.50, Children £12.50. Tickets for Alice’s Adventures Underground: Tues, Wed and Sunday £35, Thurs £40-£47.50, Fri and Sat £47.50. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Alice’s Adventures Underground website. For Metro Girl’s review of Alice’s Adventures Underground, click here.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Slide out of the Hayward Gallery at Carsten Holler’s Decision

  • London Dungeon

Maybe more suitable for older children, a journey through London’s more gruesome history, including rides for those daring enough. Tickets start from £17.50 for adults or £15.94 for children, cheaper if booked online in advance. Opening times vary. Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube/train: Waterloo or Westminster.  For more information and tickets, visit the official London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • London Eye

Enjoy some of the best views in London – and 360 degrees of it – from the big ferris wheel by the Thames. Opening times vary. Standard tickets (always cheaper online!) start from adults £19.35, children 4-15 years £13.95. Tickets can be bought from the Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.

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Egg-cellent guide to what’s on in London over the Easter holidays 2014

© Sister72 on Flickr

© Sister72 on Flickr

Easter Holidays means many different things to people – chocolate, bunnies, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and two bank holidays. However, to many parents and guardians it also means – eek, how do we keep the children entertained for two weeks?

My monthly ‘what’s on guides’ include many activities on in London during April, however for those looking for more family and Easter-centric ideas of what’s on during the holidays, I’ve put together listings of things to keep you occupied.

For an adults-only Easter activity, read Baileys Feaster Egg Hunt: Time for adults to have some Easter fun!

  • 5 – 21 April : Charlie’s Chocolate Adventure @ Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is hosting Charlie And The Chocolate Factory-inspired events for their Easter Festival, including create your own chocolate bar, sing along in the inventing room, go nuts in the nut room and not forgetting the Easter egg hunt on 20 April. Must buy general entrance tickets: Adults £14.50, Children 16 and under (accompanied by an adult) Free. Activities vary in cost from free to £5. Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest tube: Kew Gardens. For more information and tickets, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • 5 – 21 April : Bunnies On The Run @ London Eye

Help Edwin find his missing bunnies and receive a chocolate reward. The experience includes an activity pack, a guided host to assist the mission and a 30 minute ride on the London Eye. Tickets: £24.21pp. Every Saturday and Sunday on the dates mentioned above, Good Friday and Easter Monday. Highly recommended that tickets are bought in advance. Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.

  • 5 – 21 April : Easter @ WWT London Wetland Centre

The London Wetland Centre are hosting several activities over Easter including a self-guided spring trail, paint your own egg, pond dipping and see the ducklings. Some activities include a £1 donation. General admission tickets: Adult £12.35, 4-16 years £6.90, family tickets £34.50 for 2 adults, 2 children. Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest train station: Barnes or Barnes Bridge. For more information, visit the London Wetland Centre website.

  • 7 – 19 April : Easter Adventures @ Kenwood House

The historic Kenwood House is hosting several events for families over the holidays including the chance for a stately portrait and meet Lord Iveagh. Free admission. Opening times: Noon-4pm. Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, NW3 7JR. Nearest tube: Archway or Hampstead Heath (overground). For more information, visit the English Heritage website.

  • 17 – 20 April : Disney On Ice

Your favourite Disney characters take to the ice for the Worlds Of Fantasy show. Tickets: £24.25-£47.30 per person. Wembley Arena, Engineers Way, HA9 0AA. Nearest tube: Wembley Park. For more information and tickets, visit the Disney On Ice website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Search for the bunnies on the London Eye

  • 18 – 19 April : Family Weekend @ Sadler’s Wells

Two day festival featuring family activities before and after performances of Rapunzel or Deep In The Woods. Tickets must be booked in advance. Tickets £12-£15. Takes place at the Lilian Bayllis studio or main Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R. Nearest tube; Angel. For more information and booking, visit the Sadler’s Wells website. Read the rest of this entry

Things that go bump in the capital: What’s on in London this Halloween 2013

© Ram Yoga on Flickr

© Ram Yoga on Flickr

Every year Hallowe’en appears to be bigger than ever before, and 2013 is no exception. Having just returned from the USA, where they really go to town for the Pagan festival, the UK has got a bit of catching up to do to match it. However, if you’re a fan of the spooky holiday, there’s plenty going on in the capital for both adults and children alike. Parents looking for some half-term ideas to keep their children occupied will also find some inspiration.

For the 2014 guide to Halloween in London, click here.

Daytime jitters

  • 25 September – 9 November : Halloween at the London Dungeon

Of course, one of the city’s scariest places is the London Dungeon, who are making the most of All Hallows Eve with six weeks of frightful goings-on.  As well as the usual features, the Hallowe’en festivities will also include a new character of the Pumpkineer, a graveyard themed shop and some other special surprises. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website.

  • 18 October – 3 November : Climb Of The Cursed at Up At The O2

The climb over the roof of The O2 has been given a Hallowe’en makeover, featuring a few shocks and surprises on your ascent. Once you read the summit, you’ll be given a Gothic-style map of some of the capital’s horror hotspots. The experience takes place during day and night. Tickets £30, highly recommend to book in advance. Up At The O2, SE10 0DY. Nearest tube: North Greenwich. For tickets and information, visit the Up At The O2 website. For Metro Girl’s review of Up At The O2, click here,

  • 26 October – 2 November : Witch Academy on the London Eye

Imagine you’re on a broomstick and can soar into the sky over London… then open your eyes and realise you’re on the London Eye as part of the Witch Academy. As well as a 30 minute ride on the big attraction, an academy experience also includes a Hallowe’en character host, storytelling for four to nine-year olds and a 4D experience. Tickets are half-price for kids if booked online in advance, or £17.40 on the day. London Eye, near Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website.

  • 26 October – 3 November : Boo At The Zoo

London Zoo has plenty of spooky goings on during half-term week. Special events will be taking place across the zoo including The Curiosity Shop of Horrors, creepy creatures in the Amphitheatre and see the Nocturnal animals. London Zoo, Outer Circle of Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY. Nearest tube: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information and tickets, visit the London Zoo website.

  • 26 October – 3 November : Shriek Week at Ally Pally

Alexandra Palace hosts a week of creepy activities, including spooky storytelling, pumpkin carving, inflatable play area, Dance Macabre at the ice rink (1 November), face-painting and gory games. Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY. Nearest train station: Alexandra Palace or tube station: Wood Green. For more information, visit the Ally Pally website.

  • 31 October : Pumpkin Carving Competition at Fortnum and Mason

Two competitions for adults (6pm on the Lower Ground Floor) and children (3pm in the Demonstration Kitchen) to see who can make the most creative and imaginative pumpkin. Adult participants pay £10 to enter, while children 10 and under are free. All entrants must sign up beforehand. Fortnum and Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER. Nearest tube: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. To find out more, visit the Fortnum and Mason website. Read the rest of this entry