I know it’s difficult to imagine moving far off the sofa when it’s this dang cold but c’mon London, there is a world of opportunity out there. I’m snuggling right down tonight in the lurid reindeer onesie my choirsters gifted to me, but I’ve already done trampolining at the Feel Good Centre tonight and I may have to leave the house at 4am to rescue Eva from her first sleepover. So I’m justified for tonight. But tomorrow is another day and I refuse to let this chilly weather restrict me. I’m taking my pet scouser for Hipster crisps at HipChips and nothing’s gonna stop me. I’ll be reporting back soon.
If you’re feeling similarly determined, let me recommend a few wintery outings to you. Don’t worry, a lot of them are indoors. Let’s start with the ever reliable Chickenshed, who are taking “Tales From the Shed” to the Royal Albert Hall on 16th Feb. They have a host of other events going on too, with weekly Friday and Saturday shows at their Southgate theatre and holiday clubs running over the Feb half term and Easter holidays, also in North London. Have a look at their website for more details.
Talking of holiday clubs, there are a couple of good options in other parts of London too. Our old friends Nimble Arts are once again bringing their creative madness to East Dulwich and the kids’ drama school Perform are running “Peter Pan”-themed holiday courses in Highbury, Blackheath, St John’s Wood and Belsize Park. Don’t tell Eva – she’s obsessed with Peter Pan at the moment and she’s spent quite enough of Mummy’s money for now.
Something that I’m excited about is the Institute of Imagination, which is opening on the edge of our old estate in Kennington. Obviously, I’d be more excited if we still lived there but hey…they’re booking now for a launch day on 11th Feb which promises ”dance and movement, crafting and engineering, numbers and language”. The Imagination Lab is going to be a creative community space which runs family events and I’ll be visiting soon. Perhaps not that day, which is already mind-bendingly complex but soon.
And on to what would be Reuben’s pick if I let him know about it – Art of the Brick are returning to London with a DC-heroes-themed exhibition. Now, we’re more of a Marvel household but I’m pretty sure he would love this anyway. It’s at the Southbank Centre from March and ties in nicely with the Lego Batman movie which I’m predicting may cause a swing to the DC Side. The last Art of the Brick show we went to was pretty amazing, and Eva got on Al-Jazeera so what’s not to love? Also coming up at the Southbank Centre is “Adventures in Moominland“, which runs from tomorrow and sounds just awesome.
I’ve also heard about some interesting theatre shows that are opening soon, especially for those of you with older kids. “Running Wild” is an adaptation of the Michael Morpugo novel of the same name and it’s visiting the Hackney Empire as part of its UK tour. The story is based on real-life events – when an elephant named Ning Nong saved the life of a small girl by running away from a tsunami with her on its back – and is told through the use of puppets as well as live action. It’s recommended for ages 6+. Another show that uses puppetry to tell its tale is “The Missing Light“, which opens at the Old Vic on 24th March. For kids aged 7 and above, it’s about two elderly friends on a journey together to restore the light in their lives. I’m pretty sure it’ll make me cry.
It’s always worth mentioning our friends Big Fish Little Fish, who seem busier than ever. Their parties sell out pretty quickly nowadays but there are still tickets for Hackney in Feb and Balham in March if you look on their Events page. Plus, they’re launching in Southampton, land of my fathers! Go and support them, Hampshire folks.
After all that, do you still need more? OK, well here’s two final tips for you – the Discover Centre is holding some author events, the first being 28th Jan, and is also taking some time over half term to celebrate the anniversary of “The Cat in the Hat”. Have a look at their website to prebook. Lastly, an outdoorsy one – the St Pancras Lock is having an Open Weekend on 4th and 5th Feb, where you can explore the lock and climb the St Pancras Water Tower. There are kids’ activities on one of the boats.
Have I convinced you to leave the house yet? Let me know what it’s like out there…