SATURDAY 11 JULY
I’m really excited about this. We already love going to the sandpit at the Olympic Park near Westfield Stratford and were commenting just the other day how great it would be if there was a paddling pool. And then I find out they’re going one better with an urban beach! Opening this weekend and open until the end of August, it will be the largest one in the UK with a huge kid’s paddling pool overlooking the canal, one thousand tons of sand as well as funfair rides, beach bars and lots of events and activities. So grab your bucket and spade and we’ll see you there.
TIME: Open daily 10am-10pm from 11 July to 31st August
ADDRESS: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
MORE INFO: Olympic Park website
This looks like a really interesting immersive theatre experience at Valentine’s Mansion. It promises that families can meet famous characters from fairytales and listen to their version of the stories we know and love in some unusual places and inventive spaces. Look out for the hungry wolf, a wet Frog Prince and Snow White’s wicked stepmother. Suitable for children 6 years and older
TIME: 11am, 3pm & 7pm (60 minute performance)
PRICE: £8 adults, £5 children and concessions, £20 Family ticket. Booking advised via Redbridge website
ADDRESS: Valentine’s Mansion & Gardens, Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA
MORE INFO: Redbridge website
FREE FILM SCREENING, LEYTONSTONE
As part of a Free Film Day, the Leytonstone Film Club is showing the wonderful children’s film My Neighbor Totoro by brilliant Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. The award-winning film follows the two young daughters of a professor and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan. If you want to expand your children’s horizons beyond Disney, this is a great introduction to the films of Studio Ghibli.
PRICE: Free but seats are limited and will be allocated ona first come, first served basis
ADDRESS: Leytonstone Children’s Centre (Former Harrow Green Library, ground floor), 8 Cathall Road, E11 4LF
SUMMER FETE & SPORTS DAY, ST JOHNS SCHOOL CHIGWELL
After a weekend full of school fete’s last weekend, there are a few more going on this week before all the schools break up. So check your local one and if you’re near Chigwell, this one at St John’s school looks like a traditional offering with a BBQ, raffle, home produce, stalls and refreshments.
TIME: 12- 3PM
PRICE: £1 adults & 50p children (free for school students)
ADDRESS: St John’s RC School, Turpins Lane, Chigwell, IG8 8AX
MORE INFO: Ring 0208 504 1818
SUNDAY 12th JULY
My Little One is obsessed with aeroplanes and helicopters so we are already regular visitors to the North Weald Airfield and the great child-friendly café they have there. It was on a visit a few weeks ago that I saw posters for their open day and air display and I know our son will love it. It is being put on to celebrate the75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and will feature Second World War fighter planes, military vehicles and classic cars. An air display will begin at 2pm featuring Spitfires and Hurricanes plus aerobatic displays. Plus there will be helicopter pleasure rides, family friendly activities with magic tricks, fairground rides and a bouncy castle in the children’s adventure corner. And the day will end with a parade at 4pm by the Royal Air Forces Association.
TIME: Gates open 10am
PRICE: £5 per person available on the day, babies 12 months and under free
ADDRESS: Merlin Way, North Weald, Essex CM16 6HR
MORE INFO: North Weald Airfield Facebook page
There’s four-legged friends at The View on the edge of Epping forest in Chingford. There’ll be have-a-go agility, displays, stalls, tombola and a companion dog show. Visitors can also take in ‘Tudor Stuff’ at Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge between 2pm and 4pm.Costumed guides will bring The Hunting Lodge to life and there will be Tudor art and craft activities on offer.
TIME: 11am – 4pm
PRICE: Free entry, £1 entry to the dog show and £1 for craft activities
ADDRESS: The View, Rangers Road, Chingford E4 7QH
MORE INFO: Ring 020 7332 1991 or visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/eppingforest