Believe it or not, Mr Punch is 350 years old this year, and in celebration there is a big party at Covent Garden, part of a national celebration organised by The Big Grin and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. There will be a giant birthday cake ceremony plus a celebratory string of 350 sausages and performances in a huge booth in front of the portico at St Paul's Church in Covent Garden Piazza. The shindig is followed on Sunday by the Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival which takes place every year at Covent Garden's St Paul's Church.
The Little Angel Theatre is showing Remember the Umbrella, a delightful, original combination of storytelling and visual theatre using shadow puppetry, as well as live music and song and gentle audience participation, and is a one-woman show for children by artist and musician Su Eaton. Shows at 11am and 2pm, for children 4-7. Babies and children under 4 will only be admitted at the Baby Friendly performance at 11am on Sunday 13 May.
Saturday 12 May
For something Spring like (oh yes) head to Cecil Sharp House in Hampstead which is holding "May in a Day'. The afternoon event (start 2pm) is open to everyone, especially for children under 12 and their families. The afternoon will feature live music, barn dancing, maypoles, morris dancing, visual arts and crafts, clogs and more!
Lauderdale House runs a kid show every Saturday morning. We went along last weekend and really enjoyed the informal atmosphere (kids sit on a rug, parents round the side ), spot on cafe and beautiful grounds. This Saturday, Aesop's theatre company presents not such an ugly duckling (shows 10am and 11.30 am). In this adaptation of a traditional tale, the little duckling discovers beauty is only skin deep. With puppetry, a good deal of humour music and songs this interactive production gently conveys the message that bullying is hurtful and wrong. For children 2-7years.
As part of the E4 Udderbelly Festival, now into its second year at the Southbank, Impropera is showing at 4.15. A family show for anyone who likes great music, surreal comedy and
sublime silliness. Impropera makes up operas on the spot from your suggestions. You suggest it, they sing it! The hilarious results are a delight for young and less young alike.
One of our fave venues, the Chickenshed, is hosting Sunshine on a Rainy Day- a festival of Arts and Culture from Southern Africa. The Saturday Shed performance between 10 and 12.15 is a Southern African Special - Nyemu and Wedzi from World Musik Makers create a traditional African Cultural environment where everybody participates through singing, chanting, dancing and drama. 10am - 11am (6-8 yrs) 11.15am - 12.15pm (9-12 yrs).
If your little ones would love to be a pirate, then head to the Museum of London, Docklands, for the How to be a Pirate Workshop. Join in with the fun and games in this drama performance to help our bungling buccaneer learn how to become a proper pirate. Suitable for children 3+. Performances at 12.30, 2.30 and 3.30.
Baby Rock and Roll Disco for children 0-5 years takes place at the Interchange Studios 4-5pm.
The second annual Great British Cucumber Festival features local producers of jams, sausages, cakes and bread as well as arts and crafts, activity stalls and a charity auction. 10am - 4pm, Waltham Abbey Gardens.
Sunday 13 May
At E4 Udderbelly Festival The Comedy Club 4 Kids is back and better than ever. Cracking entertainment for everyone over the age of six, you'll find the best comedians on the UK and International circuit doing what they do best...but without the rude bits! This Sunday the show features Ginger & Black and Tony Law.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra's FUNharmonics Family Concert season ends this Sunday with a concert that includes The Cunning Little Vixen Suite by Leoš Janácek . The narration has been created especially for the occasion by Hannah Conway. The show is at midday, and in the Foyers at Royal Festival Hall throughout the morning you can try your hand at playing an orchestral instrument in one of the Have-a-Go sessions or join the Human Orchestra workshops from 10.30am to 2.30pm.
Kid Carpet and the Noisy Animals is showing at the Arts Depot at 12 and 3pm. For children aged 3-8, the show follows the adventures of the charismatic singer and his animal band (made up of a gorilla, a bear, a hedgehog and a badger) as they make friends, play games, contemplate the world and finally rock out at a grand dance contest.
Best Paw Forward Highgate is a sponsored dog walk in aid of Cancer Research UK taking place in Highgate Woods. The four-kilometre walk through the wood starts at Cranley Gate. All participants receive a goody bag and dogs get a medal. There are prizes for the best-dressed dog and for the top three canine fundraisers.
Screaming with Laughter a comedy club for parents and babies comes to The Good Ship in Kilburn at 1.30pm with the fantastic Lucy Porter as compere.
And finally.. for a bit of retail therapy head to the fabulous Nicky Grace Vintage Fabric and Gorgeous Things pop up Vintage Shop in Muswell Hill. Housed in the kitchen of her Victoria home, stylist and author Selena Lake will be signing copies of her new book. Oh and the event promises tea and cakes too!
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Have a really great weekend!