What’s on in London: Free and Affordable baby, toddler and family events 9th -16th February

Feb 5, 2013 by

Please take 2 minutes (honest – easy peasy) to sign a petition to keep the Westminster fire station open.  This is the only fire station serving Westminster, its families, workers and all its gorgeous historic sites.  The population and traffic in London can only be expected to increase, we cannot close fire stations and risk congested routes.  A London-baby reader recently lost her home due to fire trucks not being able to get to her south London home quickly enough, it is imperative for those living and working in Westminster to have fire stations: http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/firestation/

In response to the tragic death of Hani Hicham Abou El Kheir, local residents and members of the community are all warmly welcome to attend a meeting at Churchill Gardens Hall, 6:30pm, Thursday 7th February.  This will be an opportunity to learn more about this tragic incident, and what we might be able to do to prevent other such incidents, but also an excellent opportunity to learn about how our community works.  Ward councillors, the local police and Mark Field, MP will be attending.  You will see familiar faces and have a chance to learn more about who it is who is doing the governing.

On a much lighter note, do not forget to check through half-term events that you need to book for here and now for planning the week ahead:

Family Events Saturday 9th February

National Portrait Gallery: Faces of Changing Fortunes.  Join artist Hale Man and explore the Chinese Zodiac to celebrate Chinese New Year (on the doorstep of China Town I might add).  3 hour workshop aimed for ages 5+.  Free, tickets allocated 1 hour prior to start.

Saatchi Gallery, family art workshops: Saturdays, 1-2:30pm, £7 per workshop, ages 3-12.  Come and learn about a different Russian artist each week and create your own work of art in response.  This week’s artist is Dasha Shishkin.  Booking essential workshops@saatchigallery.com

Barbican Family Film Club: Transylvania.  Tickets are £2, bring the kids and escape the cold while you chill and watch a movie.  Great price.  11am, all ages

Gate Picturehouse, Secret of Kells.  Tickets £1 with £4 membership, popcorn and juice £2.  My husband’s rainy day ace in the hole, fabulous value for Saturday morning family time in a great location.

Electric Cinema, Kid’s Club: This week’s feature,Princess Lillifee 10:30am.  Check out the newly refurbished Electric Cinema with its plush, red velvet beds, sofas and armchairs.  Looks like a great way for Dad to occupy the kids on a Saturday morning.  Tickets £8 per person. All ages

Shutter and Sketch: Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift: London’s Only Bespoke Children’s Portrait Artist.  I could not give Shutter and Sketch a higher recommendation or be more pleased with my son’s portrait created entirely in pencil strokes, check out Lucy SM Johnston’s fabulously affordable and beautiful results.  Lucy offers vouchers, fabulous fall-back when you are shopping for special gifts for parents, grandparents or yourself!! Do get in touch if you are on the fence with this, you will not be disappointed: mail@lucysmjohnston.com.


Family Events Sunday 10th February

CHINESE NEW YEAR, TRAFAGLAR SQUARE!!! (just a little excited about going to Chinatown for this wonderful event) Come celebrate the Year of the Snake; apparently, London’s very own West End holds title to the largest celebration outside of Asia.  The parade starts down Charing Cross Road at 10am, ending at 11am on Rupert Street.  From noon, Trafalgar square will be host to a fabulous rotation of musical, artistic and acrobatic events for the remainder of the afternoon. Fireworks commence at 5:55pm.  Free, drop-in, all ages.

English Folk Dance and Song Society Family Barn Dance.  3-5pm, adults £5, children £3.  No need to book.

V and A: Drop-in Design.  Dragon Puppets and Fans.  Come and explore the museum and get inspired in the Asian Galleries to make a keepsake puppet or fan to take home.  Free, drop in, all ages.

Forge Arts Venue, Coffee and Keys: Stealing, Borrowing, Remembering.  Bring the kids for a family-friendly chamber concert.  Drink fine coffee, enjoy music and then move on to Sunday roast after in their fabulously child-friendly restaurant.  10:30am, adults £9, children £7, book online.

And on to the upcoming week:

For Babies:

Electric Scream: Come and see Hitchcock.  Experience the luxury of the newly refurbished Electric Cinema.  Monday 28st January, 11am.  This screening is only for carers with infants under 12 months, dim lighting, changing tables, quality food, even wine!!  £15.50 for an armchair, very pricy but great fun.

Gate Picturehouse, Big Scream.  Bring your infant under 12 months on Tuesday 29th January at 10:30 for a screening of Hitchcock.  Tickets are £8.50

Mums and Babies Dolphin Square Gym: Thursdays 10:30-11:15.  You do not have to be member to try out this brilliant class brainchild of London’s celebrity yummy mummy trainer, Nina Turner.  If you want to get motivated to get fit, come to Nina: she will make you crack a rib laughing as you train so hard you might vomit (she is a bit gentler on new mums) but bring the baby and get your energy levels back.  No need to childcare, just come along and get your game back on.  £60 for 6 sessions for non-members, £50 for members: use them as and when.   Alternatively, try Buggy Fit with Nina in St. George’s Square SW1, 9:30am Monday mornings.  You bring the pushchair, Nina supplies the weights, skip ropes, mats and other torture devices er, fitness equipment.  Same prices and policy.  NTurner@dolphinsquare.co.uk

For Babies and Toddlers:

Love Swimming, Pimlico: London’s premier specialist swimming school (cited in this month’s Triatholon 220 as London’s top swim coach) has opened up morning lessons for babies and toddlers, 10am-4pm, see the timetable for all availability.  This is an excellent chance to get your kids in their swim school as there is a waiting list for school-age kids; the demand for places is huge as Love Swimming kids go to join swim on competitive and elite swimming squads all over London.   The Baby Lessons are an affordable way to get your kids into this highest quality, over-subscribed, specialist swimming school.

Pippa’s Poppets: SW1’s favourite singer and songwriter is kicking off another term.  There is an early morning class at St. Saviour, St. George’s Square (just by the Pimlico Tube) from 9:35am for 4 months- 3 years. £7.50 per class.  Mondays and Wednesdays at St. Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico.  Thursdays in Chelsea at Beaufort House (fabulous London family club) and Tuesdays in Knightsbridge.

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