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North London Mums' Weekend Round Up- 19 and 20 October 2013

Festivals galore and much more make a fabulous weekend supercharged with family-friendly activities for the whole family.

Bloomsbury Festival
The Big Draw, the month-long, annual festival designed to provide opportunities for people of all ages to discover, or return to, the pleasure of drawing continues this weekend, and we feature some of the local events in this listing. This weekend is also the launch of the Family Arts Festival, 17 days of arts for all the family with over 1500 events taking place at 700 venues across the UK ... and over a third are free! We've picked out the best of what's on in and around North London.

The Natural History Museum kicks off the 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition this weekend. Photogenic plants, fascinating animals and dramatic landscapes are all ready for their close-ups in this annual photography competition and exhibition, which this year attracted almost 43,000 entries by professional and amateur snappers from 96 countries. A key part of the show is the stories which accompany the one hundred photos on show, describing the often remarkable conditions under which each photographer captured their winning shot.

This weekend is also the Bloomsbury Festival which runs from 15-20 October. The Bloomsbury Festival is a free celebration, featuring over 200 free events in London’s most inspiring cultural quarter, and this year's theme is vitality.  Following in their footsteps, the Bloomsbury Festival empowers the extraordinary people that live and work here today – and shows what neighbours, no longer strangers, can achieve together. On Friday evening, 6.30 to 7.30, there is the opening of the Embassy of Children's rights, a pop up embassy in Russell Square, with hundreds of colourful tokens and sculptures, illuminations and live music. Weekend activities include a pop up bookstore and craft market  in Russel Square. There are also loads of kids activities in the square including experiments with Cosy Science, and making a bottle Playhouse. From 10am to 7.30 on Saturday and 11 am to 5pm on Sunday.  Oh and activities at the Cartoon Museum, and Bach to Baby Music at Pushkin House..and much more....Full schedule of activities here.

Saturday 19 October

The Forge is holding a Children's Storytelling Session with Music based on Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. Enjoy storytelling and live music. The session is at 11am and costs £5 a child.

Booster Cushion Theatre presents Old Macdonald and the 3 Pigs Plus... at Karamel Restaurant, Wood Green. This is a comical show weaving the song ‘Old McDonald’ with the story of the Three Pigs. The pigs get fed up singing ‘eieio’ and move out of the barn to the other side of the farm. They build their own houses only to be visited by a hungry wolf. Luckily, our pigs have planned ahead and have enough dog toys to play with. The children help identify farm produce, sing, take part as animals and rear pigs. For children 3+.

Sunday 20 October  

The Arts Depot, North Finchley, is holding a Big Draw Family Day from 11am to 5pm.  the event promises a fun-filled futuristic family day exploring what the future might look like with giant sketchpads, face painting, workshops, games, prizes and more. For children 3+. There is also Just a Bit of Paper, an interactive show for ages 3 - 5 with performances at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
Ticket price includes entry to Big Draw Family Day.

We love the sound of  The Turnip Prize taking place this Sunday at JW3 from 2pm, as part of the Family Arts festival.   Children can give Turner Prize winners a run for their money. There’ll be a “Mr Maker” workshop, a doodle-athon with Ms Doodle and her poodle, and action painting for the little Jackson Pollocks. We’ll be showing Chagalls to feed the imagination, and there’ll be an Art-Attack Family Challenge that you can join in too.

For children aged 2+, Jacksons Lane Theatre is showing the Big Red Bath at 12pm and 3pm. Join a bubbly, barmy bath time adventure around the world and home again celebrating all things bath time. Blending music, song and lots of fun, Big Red Bath is a brand new take on this well-loved book by Julia Jarman.

If you are a one time fan of Bagpuss then you will love "Bagpuss: the Songs and Music" taking place at Cecil Sharp House  between 4 and 7pm this Sunday.  Bring the family along for an afternoon of songs and music celebrating the legendary 1970s children’s character Bagpuss.

Looking to the week ahead, don't forget the free family event at Brent Civic Centre on the 22nd October at 11am, called ‘Rainy Day Bears Adventure’ which is a fun, interactive journey with songs and dancing about a girl named Milly and the adventures she has with her favourite toy, "Rainy Day Bear". 

The Geffrye Museum has fantastic family events and this weekend it is Autumn Gardens Family Day - Use fallen leaves and conkers from the Geffrye gardens to make autumnal accessories, create garden animals from clay, hear stories about hibernating creatures and have a last look at the period gardens before they close for winter. There are lots of great events all day and the museum is very family friendly generally. A good day out. 


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