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The weekend ahead - festivals, magic and theatre

It's a little bit quiet this time of year, but we've dug out our picks of what's on this weekend. If you fancy something festive, then take a look at the Christmas fairs and markets in North London and Santa's grottos in North London which are also on offer or you can think about ice skating -  there are now ice rinks at Somerset House, Natural History Museum, Tower of London, Westfield and Alexandra Park.

All weekend

If you fancy venturing into town, then check-out the South Ken Kids Festival which is running from 24 to 27 November. The Institut français in London will be staging the 14th annual South Ken Kids Festival devoted to children's literature. Four whole days of fun with workshops, drawing duels, author talks, films, theatre... and lots more! The line-up features includes Quentin Blake, Lauren Child (we love!) David McKee, Kitty Crowther and many more.  There are a range of talks and workshops aimed at various ages, with the youngest for children aged 3+.  

The RAF Museum is celebrating St Andrews Day on Saturday and Sunday 11.00 – 13.00 and 14.00 – 16.00. Learn about the Flying Scotsmen and make your own paper plane.

The Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink opens on Saturday- feel the cold tingle of London’s crisp winter air, listen to the music, and take in the incomparable surroundings as you glide (gracefully or not so!) around the rink in front of the breathtaking West Front of Henry’s Tudor Palace.  

The Magic Worlds exhibition at the Museum of Childhood Magic (running until March 2012) which takes visitors on a journey into miniature magical worlds, complete with witches, wizards, fairies and magical creatures. Combine this with a visit to Up, Up in the Air...Magical Aerial Dance Saturday and Sunday between 12 and 3pm featuring mindbogglingly bendy performances by aerialist, Ilona Jäntti, inspired by Magic Worlds.


Head to Lauderdale House for a performance of Ali Baba and the Naughty Thieves! Help save Ali Baba with all the best traditions of pantoland and unlimited joining in!  From 10- 10.45am. Children 2-6.

The Phoenix Cinema is showing the film Prom at 12am, with kids club from 11am.

Lovely Lauren Child, creator of Charlie and Lola, will be at Daunt Books Hampstead shop on Saturday, 26th November from 10.30am-11.30am, for chit-chat and signing and jolliness.

There is a vintage market at The Boogaloo in Archway 12-6pm.

Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn is showing Tim and Light at 11.30am and 2pm. The playful spirit of a violin breaks free from his strings and journeys into a world of musical fantasy in search of the beautiful Violinka. During his quest birds fly out from musical scores and puppets made from musical instruments spring to life and the music teacher Metronomous tries in vain to impose order. Suitable for 5+.

Barbican Family Film Club is showing Muppets from Space at 11am. You can join the family film club for free.

Somerset House has a free family workshop at 2pm on the theme of The Rainforest Club. For ages 6-12. 


The Jewish Museum is holding an Entertaining the Nation Family Trail from 2-3pm. This is a child friendly guided tour of the exhibition suitable for 5-11 year old, including a discovery trail to explore new things, look and draw and solve puzzles.

The Arts Depot is showing the tantalising sounding Voyage of the Nutjellynana at 12 and 3pm.
Join Melby, Alice and Fidge, three forgotten old cuddly toys as they build a rocket ship, blast off into space, and boldly go where no toy has gone before. for Children 4+.

Jacksons Lane is Showing Bob the Man on the Moon at 2 and 4pm, for children 3+. Inspired by the award winning book, following Bob whose special job is to look after the moon. 

Head back to Lauderdale House for an arts and crafts fair between 11 and 6pm- Discover a fantastic selection of local, national and international arts and crafts.  Perfect presents or just a treat for yourself.

National Gallery Family Sundays has storytelling for the under 5s at 10.30am and 11.30am and workshops for 5-11s at 11am and 2pm.

Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham has a free family arts and crafts session 2pm. 

Have a great weekend!

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