– Marvellous Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake
After a seemingly sensational start to sunny Spring, you wouldn’t be blamed for hanging up your (Wellington) boots. So, let the boots stay where they are while you snuggle up on the couch with your bootie-wearing bambino for a little escapism of the literary variety.
Meet Mister Magnolia, a sunshine hero who has two lovely sisters playing the flute, owls learning to hoot, and friends he takes for a scoot. But poor Mister Magnolia has only one boot. Until one day he receives a parcel …
Your little book-lover will enjoy the simple, silly rhymes and energetic, colourful images of this tremendous tale, and will soon be finishing sentences as you read aloud.
Sounds like you’re on to a winner? And it’s a counting book to boot. (Examine those pages carefully.)
So, will you too be reciting the poem joyously? You bet your boots!
What Mini says:
And mummy says I’m getting too big for my boots!
Mister Magnolia (SSP £5.99) by Quentin Blake is available online and at good bookshops.
– Family fun at the Royal Botanical Gardens
Jump the queues this bank holiday weekend by lining up for an early start at Kew Gardens.
Celebrate the Royal Botanic Gardens 250th birthday with a feast of fun, family-friendly festivities. Try seed weaving at Seed Walk. Meandering through the grounds on the self-guided Plant Spy Thinking Walk. Or get creative at the Climbers and Creepers Centre, making tool kits, collecting bags, nature notebooks and treasure boxes – all absolute must-haves for the most ardent adventurer.
Kew (a World Heritage site) is great for tots of any age – dinky dots enjoy the fresh air … and may doze off leaving their parents to enjoy a couple of hours (minutes?) together. For those keen on displaying their mobility, what better than 300-odd acres to drag a grown-up through? And for the budding aviator, there are all the Heathrow-bound planes to admire.
For those who like their adventure a little more mellow, marvel at giant water lilies or carnivorous plants before munching on a picnic. Take your cue from the very chic, and head to somewhere fab beforehand to pick up your picnic. The strong could brave the café queues …
What Mini says:
Sounds right on cue.
The Gardens are open from 9.30am to 6.30pm and 7:30 pm on weekends. Tickets cost £13 for adults with tots going free. Information on planning your visit is available online.
– Spring Bank Holiday & Half Term for London Families
The credit crunch is only half the reason you’re not heading off on a glam break this Spring Bank Holiday weekend – the other has to do with not getting your act together on time.
But you’ve never been of the half-empty kind, so you’re planning to make the most of your weekend, and Half Term too, when it comes to it. Afterall, it’s National Family Week. And you’re so not half-hearted when it comes to arranging a great family outing or two.
They say that two halves are better than one. So join forces in Regent’s Park in a collective attempt to break the Guinness world record for the largest picnic. And enjoy complimentary strawberries and cream.
Or try your hand at worm charming at the London Wetland Centre. Then head over to the Battersea Park Zoo with your little lamb for sheep shearing
From child-friendly museums and exhibitions, tot-focused theatre to great days out for the family, we’ve got everything you could need for a weekend that’s not half bad.
And, our Half Term Listing is, well, hardly half-baked.
What Mini says:
She isn’t half clever, my mummy.
The list is long so click here to be guided around what’s on for London families.
– Supercool clothing for your Superbaby
Superman and Lois. Batman and Robin. Every superhero needs a good side-kick.
So, in your role as SuperMummy , you’ll need to ensure your little SuperBaby is not only stylish, but also suitably attired.
Cast aside all images of (nappy) changes in red phone booths, and make sure your tot is dressed for any eventuality with a gorgeous SuperHero or SuperCute babygro from American cult outfitters, WryBaby.
With superhero status emblazoned across the chest and a silky cape sewn into the shoulder seams, there’ll be no mistaking who’s the hero of this double act.
Let him (or her) grow up thinking anything is possible. (Perhaps leave out the bits about scaling buildings – learning to walk is enough of a challenge at this stage.)
What Mini says:
Luckily the jumpsuit is back this season, Cat Woman.
The SuperHero and SuperCute babygros (£17.50) by WryBaby are available in sizes 0-6 months or 6 -12 months and are available in the UK at online boutique LouLouBee.
– Child-friendly theatre across London
These London theatres stage children’s and family performances. Some are dedicated children’s and family theatres and puppet-theatres, others stage appropriate performances from time to time. Click on the theatre name for more details of what’s currently showing:
Arts Depot (N12)
- ArtsDepot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, N12 0GA
- Contact the Box Office on020 8369 5455 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Air Theatre at Fulham Palace (SW6)
- Museum of Fulham Palace, Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, SW6 6EA
- Call 020 7736 8140
The Polka Theatre (SW 19)
- The Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, SW19 1SB
- Contact the Box Office on 020 8543 4888 or at email@example.com.
The Lyric Hammersmith (W6)
- The Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, W6 0QL
- Contact the Box Office on 0871 22 11 729
The Richmond Theatre, TW9
- Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1QJ
- Contact the Box Office on 0870 060 6651
The Milton Keynes Theatre
- The Milton Keynes Theatre, Marlborough Gate, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3 NZ
- Telephone the Box Office on 0870 060 6651
The New Wimbledon Theatre
- The New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, SW19 1QG
- Box Office – 0871 297 5454
The Unicorn Theatre, SE1
The Little Angel Theatre (N1)
- The Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, Off Cross Street, Islington, N1 2DN
- Call 020 7226 1787 (Box Office) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, EC1
- Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Roseberry Avenue, EC1
- Tickets 0844 412 4300
– Family fun this Bank Holiday Weekend
The bank holiday weekend is here and your plans (or perhaps modest hopes) for a quiet getaway have nosedived. Like interest rates.
But with temperatures heading in the opposite direction, being in London this weekend need not mean getting into the red. You’ll muster up plenty of interest in our listings of great things to do en famille. From the little actor’s first theatrical adventure; mulling over the inventions in Wallace and Gromit’s House at the Science Museum, or enjoying the sunshine at an outdoor fair, we’ve got it covered. Bank on it being fun.
And, many of the events and activities in our listing are free. So they won’t break the bank.
Go on, pique a banker’s interest – that (worried –looking investment) banker friend of yours, that is. Show him (or her) how it’s done.
What Mini says:
We’ll be laughing all the way to the bank (holiday weekend)!
Click here to check out Mini-et-Moi’s suggestions of fab things to do in London this bank holiday weekend.