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Friday Finds - Go out! Stay in! Have fun...

Every Friday we like to bring you things that we have found on our travels around North London and the wider world. Some you may already know but we hope you will discover some new things too. This week we bring you a lovely magazine for children that we have taken to our hearts, a park that we have discovered with lots going on, a great restaurant for Sunday lunch and a website that will have you browsing for hours....

Go Out!

A couple of weeks ago, we paid our first visit to Springfield Park in Hackney. This park is very close to Stoke Newington and is a great place to go with kids. There is a small but fun playground with a very big sandpit with pretend pirate ship action, lots of good walking and scooting, and a large pond with ducks. If you go just outside of the park you can walk along the towpath of the Lee Valley canal and see lots of houseboats, which was fascinating for my daughter who now wants to live on a boat!

As well as being a great park for a day out, there is a really family friendly cafe called Spark Cafe, which has high chairs and a good kids menu.

All in the name of research we had a very lovely Sunday last week in beautiful Highgate. First of all we went to a family friendly classical music concert at Lauderdale House. The concert was great but our three year old didn't make it through the whole thing and may have been a bit young. Older children were spellbound however. Afterwards we fed the ducks in Waterlow Park and then had a really great Sunday lunch across the road at Cote. There is a really great weekend menu that is very good value and there was also a nice and varied children's menu. High chairs were provided and no eyebrows raised at all when the baby threw food all around the room and wailed loudly. Our food was really delicious and the atmosphere was very relaxed. Just how Sunday should be.

Stay In

Through our adventures in Twitter (have we mentioned that we are addicted..), we found out about PLOC Magazine. This magazine is called The Happy Mag For Little Ones but should really be called The Happy Mag for Parents (And Little Ones). This is the very antithesis of the magazines I am coerced into buying for my daughter that come with annoying plastic tat taped to the front and are thrown away within days. PLOC is something that you will want to keep and look through again and again with your children as it has really interesting articles that will stimulate discussion such as 'how do potatoes grow' and 'how is bread made' - as my daughter is in the 'WHY?WHY?WHY?' stage, this was fantastic fodder for her to get her teeth into. There are also nice activities that will keep children engaged like colouring and spot the difference. However, the absolute winner here is the beautiful illustrations that made me so nostalgic for books of my own childhood. PLOC is illustrated by old school French illustrator Alain Gree and you will recognise and love his style. Enjoy.

Our website Of The Week this week is Etsy. We love this site where you can buy literally everything crafty that you would ever desire. Hardcore crafters will already be very familiar with the site but we are only just realising how very fabulous it is now. On Etsy you can both buy and sell handmade things. I could literally browse this site for hours as there are so many things to look at from all over the world made by individual crafters and small businesses. For children you will find great wall art, clothes and toys and for grown ups there is a fantastic selection of art, clothing and more.

We have our eye on this beautiful hand knit girl's jacket but we also love the wall prints and art. Go browse.

Have a great weekend and do tell us if there is anywhere or anything you think we should visit.

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