If you’re looking for kids activities and something to do with the family in West Essex this weekend – you’re in luck. This seems to be the favoured weekend for lots of school fairs and fetes around Woodford, Wanstead and the local area. So aside from the list below, chances are a school near you will be hosting a summery event with tombolas and kids stalls for a fun, local day out.
SATURDAY 4 JULY 2015
The fourth annual Fairlop Fair has lots of family-friendly activities to keep the little ones amused. Set in the Fairlop Waters County Park, the heart of the fair is the Fairlop Arena where bands and choirs will be performing as well as a local talent show. The Children’s Zone includes a Gingerbread man competition and some free children’s theatre including a classic Punch and Judy show. There’s a brilliantly named Craft Jungle Pod when you can get your face painted, make a jungle mask or wild head dress or balloon hat so you’ll be suitably attired for the Fairlop Parade at 4pm. And I love the sound of the Bubble Man who is apparently a bubbleologist and will be creating all sorts of bubbles from giant ones to tiny ones and even bubble caterpillars filled with smoke! There’s loads more going on too so it sounds like there should be something for everyone.
TIMES: 11am – 6pm
ADDRESS: Fairlop Waters, Forest Road Barkingside, Essex, IG6 3HN
PRICE: Free, car park is £3
MORE INFORMATION: Fairlop Fair website
(The Gingerbread Men and the parade have their roots in the original fair started in the 1720s and in its heyday the Fairlop Fair used to attract around 200, 000 revellers! These days its usually around 5, 000 but you can read a really interesting history of Fairlop Fair here: Ilford Historical Society)
SUNDAY 5 JULY 2015
The Woodford Green children’s hospice has planned lost of family-friendly games and activities including a bouncy castle, swing boats, tombolas and a rodeo bull. Alongside the stalls and food there’s a Frozen princess sing-along, a magician, pirate ship-themed playground and live music from a Blues Brothers tribute act, the Epping Forest Pipe Band and Popchoir.
TIME: 11am – 4pm
ADDRESS: Haven House Children’s Hospice, High Road, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 9LB
PRICE: Suggested £2 donation for entry (under 3s are free).
MORE INFORMATION: Haven House website
I haven’t been able to find out lots of detail about the Epping Town Show, but a funfair, animals, circus skills, refreshments, activites and arena events are all being promised.
TIMES: midday – 5pm
ADDRESS: Stonards Hill Recreation Ground
MORE INFORMATION: Epping Town Show
This looks like a lot of fun. It has been a very long time since I went to a donkey derby but this one promises stalls (such as hook the duck and smash the crocks), entertainment and a dog show alongside the seven races. Apparently it attracts about 4, 000 people each year. There will be seven races in the derby, with children aged 10 to 15 trying to get their mules around the course in one piece. Punters can bet on the donkeys for fun with a payout for the winners in each race.
TIMES: midday – 4pm
ADDRESS: The Green, Theydon Bois
MORE INFORMATION: Theydon Bois village website
And the circus is coming to town, you can book now for Circus Fantasia that opens in Ray Lodge Park, Woodford on Wednesday 8th until 12th July. I have no idea if it is any good so I’d love to hear what you think if you’ve been before or you go along this time. You can book advance tickets for Circus Fantasia on the Ticketline website.