30 COOLEST Things to do in London at Christmas 2014

 
London at christmas
 
Our annual countdown of the 30 Coolest Things to do in London at Christmas 2014 features ice skating, Christmas markets, popular Christmas attractions and of course where to visit Santa and his pals. Have a very merry Christmas holiday!

 
Frostival Eyeskate
 

ICE SKATING IN LONDON

1. Frostival at London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB (Waterloo tube)
Frostival is the London Eye ice rink experience with open air skating under the shadow of one of the city’s top attractions. Stabilising seals available for younger ones (ages 4+). 10am-9pm daily; adult from £9.45/child from £6.75/under 4s FREE (until Jan 4)

2. Ice Skate Vauxhall | Christmas Tree Maze at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Kennington Lane, London SE11 5HY, UK (Vauxhall tube/rail)
Could this be a contender for coolest ice rink in London? Enjoy a skate around and then get lost amidst a maze of Christmas trees. When you reach the centre, there’s a surprise encounter. You’ll also find a street food market on site and traditional rides. All ages. 11am-8pm (Sun-Thu), 11am-11pm (Fri-Sat); adult from £10.80/child from £7.65 (until Jan 4)

3. Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7SL (Shepherd’s Bush tube/overground)
Take a break from Christmas shopping and enjoy a skating session under the open roof. Varying times from 10am-9pm (Mon-Sat) and 12-6pm (Sun); adult from £9/child £7 + £5 stabilising seals and penguins (prices for online bookings, box office prices slightly higher) (until Jan 4)

4. Natural History Museum Ice Rink Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD (South Kensington tube)
Whizz around on the 950 square metre ice rink which offers wheelchair sessions and Bob skates for toddlers (two blades on a shoe). For non-skaters, there’s a cafe and a carousel. Hourly from 10am-9pm (Mon-Wed), 10am-10pm (Thu-Fri), 9am-10pm (Sat), & 9am-9pm (Sun); late openings Christmas to New Year; adult £12.65 off peak-£14.65 peak/child £8.80 off peak-£9.80 peak/family from £36.90 (until Jan 4)

5. Skate at Somerset House at the Strand, WC2R 1LA (Charing Cross tube)
The hottest rink in town features a stunning backdrop and hot DJs on rotation. Newbies can join the Skate School for beginners and there’s also a Polar Cub Club for under 8s. Hour-long sessions between 10am-11.30pm; tickets from £7.50 (until Jan 11)

We also like
There’s more ice skating fun at brand new Winterville in Victoria Park and also at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (see Christmas Attractions below); the super sized Canary Wharf Ice Rink (from 10am, until Feb 28); turn up and skate at Broadgate Circle Ice Rink (10am-10pm, until Feb 26); make a day trip to Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink (10am-10pm, until Jan 4); and of course, all year round skating at Alexandra Palace

 
Hogwarts in the Snow
 

CHRISTMAS ATTRACTIONS

 
6. Winterville, Victoria Park (entrance near Crown Gate), E3 5TB (Mile End/Bethnal Green tube)
East London gets its own wonderland experience with Winterville, filled with colourful rides and illuminations, a Spiegeltent where live bands and entertainers perform, Robin Hood panto for all the family, Ice Rink and Roller Disco, delicious food stalls and much more! Until Dec 21: 3pm-10.15pm (Mon-Thu), 3pm-10.45pm (Fri), 10am-10.45pm (Sat), 10am-10.15pm (Sat-Sun); after Dec 21: 10am-10.15pm (Mon-Thu & Sun), 10am-10.45pm (Fri-Sat); New Year’s Eve 10am-8pm, New Year’s Day 10am-6pm; FREE entry, prices for attractions/rides and panto (until Jan 1)

7. Christmas at Kew 2014, Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB (Kew Gardens overground)
By day there are fairground attractions, Santa in his grotto and Christmas storytelling. By night you can wander the illuminated trail with giant light sculptures and Tunnels of Light. Fun for all ages. Opens 9.30am, adult £15-£17/child £10-£12/family £45-£50/under 5s FREE (until Jan 3)

8. Southbank Centre Winter Festival, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (Waterloo/Embankment tube)
Southbank Centre simply sparkles at Christmas! This year’s Winter Festival sees giant illuminated rabbits, a Christmas tree maze, Christmas tree cafe, Santa Express train and the bustling Christmas Market. Indoors there are family friendly shows by toddler friendly Oily Cart, the amazing Slava’s Snowshow, circus show Timber and screenings of The Snowman and Peter and the Wolf accompanied by live orchestra. All ages. Christmas Market open daily 10am-9pm (Sun-Thu) and 10am-10pm (Fri-Sat); FREE entry (until Jan 4)

9. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, W2 (Hyde Park Corner tube)
Grab your Christmas hat and skip on over to Hyde Park for the grand opening of its Winter Wonderland. It gets bigger every year, and you can always look forward to ice skating, a Giant Observation Wheel, a Magical Ice Kingdom, two shows of Zippo’s Circus, German chalets and funfair attractions. All ages. 10am-10pm daily; park entry is FREE, ride tokens cost £1 and rides start at £2 for kids rides, £3 for adults; book for special attractions and skating in advance at www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/tickets (until Jan 4)

10. Hogwarts in the Snow, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Aerodrome Way, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7GS (Watford Junction rail)
Experience the magic of Harry Potter right before your eyes, as the Hogwarts castle model is covered in snow. Visit the Great Hall decorated for Christmas, see the Weasleys’ festive jumpers worn by the Weasleys and scope out Harry’s gifts like the Invisibility Cloak! 9am-10am first tours, last tour 4-6.30pm (closing time 3 hours after last tour); adult £31/child £23.50/family £93/under 4s FREE but require tickets. Pre-booking essential. (until Feb 1)

We also like
Hear carols sung around the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree (nightly until Dec 23)!

 
LEGO Santa Covent Garden
 

FESTIVE SIGHTS & SCENES

 
11. Make Hackney Sparkle: Christmas at the Pictures at St John-at-Hackney Church, Lower Clapton Rd, E5 0PD (Hackney Central overground/Lower Clapton Rd rail)
For the third year in a row Hackney Council and elevenfiftyfive join forces to present a sparkling evening of entertainment for all the family. Catch pedal-powered screenings of Frozen and the LEGO Movie, munch on mince pies and street food including yummy dogs from the Babe Papa aka Big Apple Hot Dogs, sip on mulled wine and local ales, listen to carols, maybe even catch a moment with that guy in the red suit. Pedal pushers will be rewarded with free cake and there’s also an in-house cycle surgery and bike shed. Doors 4pm, Frozen screening 5pm-6.45pm, LEGO Movie screening 7pm-9.10pm; FREE entry (Dec 15)

12. Enchanted Christmas House, at London Art House, 2-18 Britannia Row, N1 8PA (Angel tube)
A truly enchanting world where kids can explore in the Garden of Winter Wonder, decorate Gingerbread Men in the Gingerbread Kitchen, assist Santa’s elves in the Busy Elves’ Workshop, tuck into a winter picnic and watch a festive show. Plus Santa’s in his grotto to welcome all! 10.30am & 1.30pm for three hour sessions; from £129 (family of 2) up to £340 (family of 7) (until Dec 24)

13. LEGO Santa and Sleigh, Covent Garden, north east Piazza (Covent Garden tube)
We loved the LEGO Christmas tree in St Pancras, the Giant Advent Calendar and the gorgeous LEGO snow globe last year. For 2014, the star attraction in Covent Garden is a Santa and Sleigh pulled by Rudolph and 8 more reindeer, all made out of 700,000 bricks. You can even climb aboard and take a #LEGOsleigh selfie! Daily, FREE (until Dec 29)

14. Holiday Fun at Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, Canary Wharf E14 4AL (West India Quay DLR)
Go back in time to a Victorian Santa’s grotto (Dec 6-23). You can also hear festive tales come to life, take part in Christmas crafts and activities for all ages. Dates, times and prices vary; £7 grotto, most activities FREE. Find more seasonal activities at Museum of London. (Dec 21-Jan 4)

15. Christmas Past and Farewell to Christmas at Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Rd, E2 8EA (Hoxton overground)
400 years of English seasonal homes are on display showcasing parlour games, feasting and mistletoe. Explore the exhibition over the holidays, then say Farewell to Christmas (Jan 6) with traditional burning of holly and ivy, mulled wine, carols and 12th Night cake. 10am-5pm; Farewell to Christmas 3.30pm-5pm (Jan 6), both events FREE (until Jan 6)

We also like
Immersive storytelling for ages 3-6 in One Snowy Night at Discover Children’s Centre in Stratford, but hurry as already selling out! (until Dec 24); support Christmas Jumper Day to raise funds for Save the Children (Dec 12); celebrate a Glorious Georgian Christmas at Kensington Palace (various activities daily until Jan 4)

 
Santa and Reindeer London Zoo
 

SANTA AND FRIENDS

 
16. Meet Santa on his Floating Grotto with Hidden Depths Canal Cruises, Granary Way, N1C 4AA (King’s Cross/St Pancras rail)
Drift along the canal in the company of Father Christmas and one of his trusty elves, aboard the Lapwing riding through Islington tunnel and back. Pick up and drop off on the steps outside the Kings Cross Granary Building, going through Santa’s grotto on the Regents Canal. 45 minute round trip with presents for kids and mince pies! 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm & 5pm. Ring (0745 608 4584) or email (lapwing@hiddendepthscanalcruises.co.uk) to guarantee a seat or just turn up on the day. Adult £5/child or senior £4/babes-in-arms FREE. (Dec 13-14 & Dec 19-23)

17. Santa’s Grotto at Duke of York Square, off King’s Rd, SW3 4LY (Sloane Square tube)
A hugely popular spot to meet the man in the red suit. Kids are invited to write their wishes and post them to Lapland, as well as take a photo with Santa and bag a starter Xmas gift. 10am-5pm (Tue-Sun), FREE but pre-booking recommended (until Dec 23)

18. Santa’s Special Train on the Epping-Ongar Railway, North Weald, CM16 6BT and Ongar, CM5 9AB (vintage bus ride via Epping tube to North Weald station)
There’s fantastic fun aboard Santa’s Special Train, where Mr Claus will meet you on the way to the ‘North Pole’ and back to Ongar for an hour-long experience on a steam or diesel train. Kids get a gift and there’s mince pie and mulled wines for parents who’ve been good too. Trains leave Ongar at 10:00, 11:30, 13:40 and 15:00. The fares for Santa’s Special train include the present/glass of festive drink and mince pie, train journey and connecting bus. Adult/senior £16, child £13/babies under 18 months FREE. (Dec 13, 14 & Dec 20-24)

19. Meet Santa and his Reindeer at London Zoo, Regent’s Park Rd, NW1 (Regent’s Park tube)
Head to the zoo to meet Santa (weekends, daily from Dec 19-24) and his Reindeer buddies. Make friends with elves in Elfville and help create festive treats for furry friends. 10.15am-3.45pm; adult FREE entry to grotto (+ regular zoo admission)/child £24.09 (includes Santa £7 and regular admission)/under 3s £8 (for Santa, zoo entry FREE) (until Dec 24)

20. Santa’s 5D Grotto at Westfield Stratford, E20 (Stratford tube/overground) (also available at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush).
Ride on the Christmas train with the elves for a magical journey into Santa’s 5D grotto experience, plus a gift and photo for the kiddies! 10am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 9am-8pm (Sat) & 10am-6pm (Sun) – special opening hours for Christmas Eve; tickets £5-£6/family £16-£20 (until Dec 24)

We also like
Tickets for the Harrods Christmas Grotto sell out early each year. But you can have a meal with Santa at Hamleys (Nov 23-Dec 24, £45 per child); or hang with the big guy at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Kew Gardens, London Wetland Centre and also find Santa at Battersea Park Zoo (Dec 6-24, £5.50 + entrance fee). And don’t forget you can pet real Reindeer in Covent Garden at Covent Garden Piazza (every Saturday until Christmas)!

 
Disney on Ice
 

SEASONAL FAMILY SHOWS

 
21. The Snowman at Peacock Theatre, Portugal St, WC2A 2HT (Holborn tube)
Utterly breathtaking children’s theatre, adapted from Raymond Briggs’ beloved tale, with glorious score and a snowman who actually flies! A true Christmas classic. For all ages (recommended 2+). 11am, 2.30pm & 7pm; £15-£35/family £95 (until Jan 4)

22. Mother Goose at Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, E8 (Hackney Central overground)
Panto season is officially open in Hackney with larger than life characters, soaring vocalists, crazy costumes and slap-your-thigh humour. Mother Goose inherits Princess Priscilla, whose golden eggs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! All ages. 1pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 5.30pm, 7pm; £10-£32 (Nov 22-Jan 4)

23. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at Rose Theatre Kingston, 24-26 High Street, KT1 1HL (Kingston/Surbiton rail)
Escape to Narnia, where the White Witch rules but four siblings battle evil with the power of Aslan behind them. Thrilling adaptation of CS Lewis’ classic fantasy. No age recommendation, possibly best for 4+. Shows at 11am, 1.30pm, 2pm, 3pm, 5pm, 5.30pm (Tue-Sun, times vary daily, check website); £10-£27/family tickets from £17.50 per person (Nov 30-Jan 4)

24. The Railway Children at King’s Cross, Goods Way entrance, Kings Boulevard, N1C 4QL (King’s Cross St. Pancras tube/rail)
The Olivier Award winning show returns to King’s Cross, bringing the classic tale by E Nesbitt beautifully to life and starring a real live steam train as its centrepiece. All ages. 7.30pm (Tue-Fri), 2pm & 5.30pm (Sat) and 2.30pm (Thu & Sun); £26-£45/25% off for under 16s (Dec 16-Mar 1, 2015)

25. Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic at O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX (North Greenwich tube)
Celebrate the best of Disney on Ice with all your favourites from Mickey and the Gang to the stars of Finding Nemo, The Lion King, The Incredibles, Toy Story and more gliding, spinning and thrilling audiences every night. All ages. 11am, 2.45pm, 6.30pm; £22-£46 (Dec 24-Jan 4)

We also like
See the full list from our Top Christmas Family Shows in London 2014

 
Kings Cross Real Food Market
 

CHRISTMAS MARKETS

 
26. King’s Cross Real Food Christmas Market, Kings Cross Square, Euston Road, London N1 9AP (King’s Cross/St Pancras tube)
Not content with its regular presence at Southbank Centre, this year the Real Food Christmas Market is also running at King’s Cross. You can pick up seasonal festival products and munch on some of the most flavoursome street food around. From 12pm-7pm (Wed-Fri), 12pm-6pm (Sat); FREE entry (Dec 17-23)

27. Southbank Centre Christmas Market, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (Waterloo tube)
The Winter Festival brings the delightful Christmas Market back with dozens and dozens of chalets lining the riverside, selling festive gifts, food and drink. 10am-9pm (Mon-Thu & Sun), 10am-10pm (Fri-Sat); FREE entry (now until Jan 4)

28. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Christmas Market, W2 2ET (Hyde Park Corner tube)
Enjoy the Bavarian atmosphere with 200 fairy lit chalets selling gourmet goods, handmade gifts, delicious treats and bric-a-brac at the largest Christmas market in London. Daily 10am-10pm, FREE (until Jan 4)

29. Somerset House Christmas Arcade at the Strand, WC2R 1LA (Charing Cross tube)
Something extra special this year as The Christmas Arcade is transformed into a pop-up version of Fortnum & Mason. See handsome design, beautiful displays and gifts to treasure. Get your hands on Fortnum’s limited edition Skate at Somerset House collection. 10am-8pm (Mon-Sat), 10.30am-5.30pm (Sun) – NB seasonal variations apply to entry times; FREE entry (until Jan 11)

30. Barbican Christmas Market at Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS (Barbican tube)
Browse for unique gifts, handpicked goods and artisanal wares at the annual market and enjoy mulled wine and mince pies too. 4-8.30pm (Mon-Fri) & 12-8.30pm (Sat-Sun), FREE entry (Dec 12-21)

We also like
Go on a hunt for gifts and goodies at Greenwich Christmas Market (Dec 24); Winterville (see Christmas Attractions above) and More London at the Scoop Christmas Market (Dec 21)

The ShopUp: Where Style Meets Swag

 

Babes Dressed Up
 
How dashing do the babes look, all dressed up for their uncle’s 40th birthday celebrations last weekend?

Jed’s wearing a gifted Caramel Baby & Child coat, as featured on the blog a couple of years back. Look how much he’s grown since then!

 
Koala-coat-grey
 
Caramel Baby & Child is just one of the gorgeous brands featured in The ShopUp presented by Babyccino Kids at Chelsea Town Hall on Dec 3 & 4. The fabulous shopping event for ultra chic families will also feature some of our other favourites like Muddy Puddles and Tulipop among 40+ stalls including Niddle Noddle and the wonderful sounding Sisters Guild (pictured below).

 
Sisters Guild
 
Check out the full list of ShopUp Participants.

The Shop Up offers a veritable treasure trove of independent kids fashion, accessories and toy retailers, impeccably curated by the savvy mamas behind Babyccino Kids blog and online shopping portal.

 
Babyccino girls by maud fontein
 

Following on from a successful ShopUp in 2013, this year’s event promises to be rich pickings for anybody looking for high quality, handmade or organic goods, and unique gifts.

 
Anorak shopup colouring wall
 
You can also bring the kids along for fun activities led by Maggie & Rose members’ club, a giant colouring wall by Anorak magazine, and getting jiggy with a live brass band. See you there!

 
The ShopUp is on Dec 3 (12pm to 9pm) & Dec 4 (9am to 5pm) at Chelsea Town Hall, King’s Road (opposite Sydney St), London, SW3 (Sloane Square tube). FREE entry!

Photo of Babyccino Kids by Maud Fontein

Muddy Puddles Giveaway: Win a Ski Jacket worth £55!

 
Muddy Puddles on Babes about Town
 
When it’s grey and soggy outside, there’s nothing like kids in bright, funky clothing to cheer up the neighbourhood.

 
Muddy Puddles Snow Flurry ski jacket
 
The babes couldn’t wait to romp about in the rain, trying out their gifted Muddy Puddles Snow Flurry ski jacket (Ezra) and Puddleflex red wellies with faux fur trim and lining (Jed).

 
Muddy Puddles giveaway
 
My little man had been complaining that his old wellies kept slipping off and that he couldn’t run properly — a Jed who can’t run, or dance, is an unhappy Jed indeed.

The Muddy Puddles wellies are sturdy, flexible and can be laced up tight at the top. So Jed was able to bust some moves with ease!

 
Muddy Puddles red wellies
 
By all accounts, the wellies are cosy and warm and they also come with gripped soles and high-vis reflective strip for added safety.

The ski jacket is fully waterproof and windproof and also features the impressive-sounding double storm flap to stop the snow getting in. I think the graphic check pattern looks really cool and would be easy to spot, whether Ezra was whizzing down the slopes or (far more likely) chasing his brother around a London park.

 
Muddy Puddles ski jacket and wellies
 
Muddy Puddles’ philosophy is all about getting kids to embrace the outdoors, and your little one will love splish sploshing about in their range of all-weather gear including ski suits, base layers, boots and all-in-ones. Visit www.muddypuddles.com to explore what’s on offer including current sale items.

 
new-snowflurry_jacket_indigo

Muddy Puddles Giveaway: Win a Ski Jacket worth £55

Muddy Puddles has kindly offered a Babes about Town reader one of their Snow Flurry Ski Jackets available for boys or girls in sizes from age 2 to 12.

This is a fab prize and entry is straightforwards via the Rafflecopter form below. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Westfield Stratford Kids Events for Summer

Westfield Stratford 22 2012-07-07

I remember taking my two boys (Jed was still in a pushchair) to Westfield Stratford on the second Saturday after its grand opening. While I was impressed by its size and scope, I could also barely move past the crush of shoppers. Daft move.

But since then I’ve made many happy trips to Westfield Stratford as it’s so easy to get to (20 minutes from Islington via overground), accessible (it’s right outside the station) and more convenient than any major shopping zone, especially if you have kids.

We love the mix of restaurants and the huge variety of stores, both indoors and outside on The Streets (although we seem to spend most of our visits in the Lego Store). And I’ve always been a fan of the Parent & Baby rooms with toys and play area, kids shows on TV, ample baby changing stations, mini toilets and sinks that little ones can reach. They even provide microwaves so you can warm up baby bottles and food!

Jed and Rufus in Kiddy Cars at Westfield

To add to Westfield’s parent friendly status, they offer Child Safe Shopping so parents can pick up wristbands for their kids and get a hotline number to call in case of emergencies. And the kiddy cars are always a hit with the knee-high crew, Jed still begs to ride one even though he’s now too big (spot him above, rolling with Rachelle @LoveLearnCook’s cutie Rufus).

Dinosaur  Train at Westfield

We were invited to see Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train live show at Westfield Stratford this week. When we got there, my 8-year-old gave me some serious ‘side eye’ as it’s clearly a show aimed at toddlers. Even the 5-year-old thinks he’s too cool for CBeebies, so neither was too fussed that we only caught the tail end (ba boom) of the dinosaurs.

And none of us had any complaints because we were in such a relaxed mood. Coming to Westfield Stratford on a mid-week morning is awesome. There aren’t that many people about, you have space to swing your arms and even chill on a seat and take in features like sun pouring in through the glass roof.

Throughout the year, Westfield Stratford and its sister store Westfield London put on fun, family friendly activities. We’ve been ice skating at Westfield, bowling at All Star Lanes, watching family films at Vue Cinema and hanging out with Diversity’s Perri and Jordan at a Westfield showcase.

This summer there have been tons of things to do with kids at both shopping centres.

Westfield Hawkins Bazaar space-hopper

Coming up at Westfield Stratford, your kids can settle in for tales from Compton Valance, the most powerful boy in the universe, at Foyles Summer of Stories (Thu Aug 28, 3-4pm). And at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, there are pizza making workshops for kids at Spaghetti House (Thu Aug 28, 10-11am).

Do keep an eye on both sites for details of family events and special offers including Kids Eat Free deals. And if you pop down to either store, remember to sign your children up to the Kids Club for a free goodie bag.

Visit Westfield Stratford

Disclosure: We received a gift voucher as part of our experience at Westfield Stratford.

House of Fraser Christmas in July Previews

House of Fraser Christmas tree

It’s a dizzying feeling stepping off the practically baking hot streets of Baker Street into the cool House of Fraser showrooms to be confronted with Christmas trees and sparkle.

I had come to check out their Christmas in July previews, showcasing the most covetable items in decor, fashion, toys and gifts for the festive season.

House of Fraser Christmas Kids

The showcase was small — just two rooms — but exquisitely put together and I found myself cooing in surprise and delight several times.

There are some really special touches in the House of Fraser Christmas 2014 collection, like their peacock feather wreaths, black and gold Biba-themed hats and horns tree decorations and the gingerbread house advent calendar.

House of Fraser Christmas in July

Don’t you love the Wild & Wolf telephone? And the super cute bunny and carrot cuff links.

House of Fraser Bunny and Carrot cuff links

Their Christmas party wear is all about vintage bling, from ‘20s style shimmery dresses to disco diva sparkle and plush men’s dinner jackets.

House of Fraser Christmas Partywear

My favourite thing was their new fragrance brand Valeur Absolue, exclusive to House of Fraser. It comes in three subtle yet lingering scents infused with essential oils.

The lovely HOF rep sprayed some on me before I left (laden with goodies**) for an evening out at National Portrait Gallery and I felt deliciously refreshed all evening long.

Valeur Absolue perfume

www.houseoffraser.com

**gift samples

Win Aden + Anais ‘Baby George’ Gift set £64.99

 

Aden + Anais Harrods Pop Up

Look who’s popping up at Harrods this month? Celebrity baby brand Aden + Anais are back for their second consecutive year at London’s world famous department store.

Following on from last year’s successful outfit, themed ‘Twinkle’, the Aden + Anais pop-up at Harrods runs throughout May in the Nursery department.

This year’s theme is ‘Jungle Jam’, centring around one of the brand’s bestselling ranges that features gender neutral items including Aden + Anais’ trademark 100% cotton muslin products.

Eagle eye readers among you might recall  that Will and Kate’s newborn baby Prince George was first seen wrapped in an Aden + Anais blanket… in the Jungle Jam fabric dontcha know!

Aden + Anais Jungle Jam gift set

Now you can snap one up at the Harrods pop-up along with sweet finds like their popular Loveys and Daydream blankets.

And if you fancy winning the Jungle Jam New Beginnings set (pictured) for your baby or as a gift for someone adorable, read on!

 

Win Aden + Anais Jungle Jam New Beginnings gift set worth £64.99

This gift set includes:
+
two swaddles: 100% cotton muslin breathable blankets that are as versatile as they are beautiful-complete swaddling instructions inside.
+
one burpy bib®: a bib and burp cloth all in one to provide maximum coverage during feed-ins.
+
one musy mate™ lovey*: a cuddly companion that puts a fun twist on traditional security blankets at bedtime and beyond.
+
one musy: versatile muslin square are the essential nursery item.

 

Entry is simple via the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to refresh the page to reload if the form doesn’t show and any further problems email info(at)babesabouttown(dot)com. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/aden-anais-baby-gift-set-%C2%A36499#sthash.4ZCWROLq.dpuf

London Kids Weekend Scoop (May 15-18, 2014)

ArtsArts Depot Tales from Old Japan

Ooh don’t we love the sunny skies above, and temperatures are set to climb this weekend! Lots on for parents and kids in London as always, whether you’re a culture crawler or a hot stepper.

Sleepover at Kensington Palace, Camp Bestival and Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave, Feast in London Fields, Spitting Image at Cartoon Museum, Tales from Old Japan in North London, Peppa Pig on a Steam Train…

And who’ll be watching the FA Cup Final? Come on you Arsenal!

Fri: Kensington Palace: The Kids’ Sleepover, Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX (High Street Kensington tube)
Sleep like a royal at this rare opportunity to spend the night at the historic palace. Part of the Glorious Georges season and Museums at Night, the Kids’ Sleepover presents an evening of mask making and dancing, slumber in the spectacular palace rooms and a regal breakfast. For ages 7-11, no unaccompanied parents! 6pm-morning, £60, includes breakfast (May 16)

Fri-Sun: Cartoon Museum: Museums at Night Weekend at Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell St, WC1A 2HH (Tottenham Court Rd/Holborn tube)
Come along to the museum for a Design your Own Puppet workshop for ages 7+ (Thu); and special Punch & Judy shows for all the family, with seaside treats including toffee apples and candy floss on offer (Fri). While you’re at the museum, have a gander at the Spitting Image exhibition celebrating puppets from the classic TV animated comedy. Workshop 6-7.30pm, £10 (Thu); Punch & Judy show 6.30-8.30pm, FREE (Fri); museum entry adult £7/child under 18 FREE (MAY 15-17)

Notting Hill May fair

Sat: Notting Hill May Fair, St John’s Church, Notting Hill, W11 2NN (Notting Hill Gate/Holland Park tube)
Enjoy a traditional village fete in the heart of West London with maypole dancing, village games and stalls, folk music, handmade goods, dog show, fancy dress parade, Pimms and BBQ grub on offer. 1-5pm, £1 (May 17)

Sat: Feast in the Fields at London Fields Brewhouse, Railway Arches 369-370, Helmsley Place, E8 3SB (Bethnal Green tube/Hackney Central overground)
The summer feasting series is back at the Brewhouse with an array of mouth-watering food and activities on the menu. The Handcrafted in Hackney theme covers 12 food stands including Thank Cluck, Square Pie and Shebeen Queen. Take part in the Hackney Hot Wing and Hotdogathon challenges, also live DJs, craft beer, music, games for kids and cookery demos. 10am-late, £4, buy ahead to avoid disappointment! (May 17)

Sat: Royal Institution Family Fun Day: Great Stuff at Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle St, W1S 4BS (Piccadilly Circus tube)
What happens when you make a liquid with iron filings? How can you make paint change colour before your eyes? Delve into the wonders of the material world, exploring scientific principles using everyday objects from fans to jelly babies! For ages 6-12, younger siblings welcome. 11am-4pm, drop-in, adult £12/child ages 3-18 £6/under 3s FREE (May 17)

Sat-Sun: Peppa Pig at Epping Ongar Railway, North Weald/Ongar Rail stations (Epping tube)
Ride the heritage bus, diesel and steam trains along the Epping Ongar Railway and meet special guest Peppa Pig, with George also along for the ride. Face painting, bouncy castle, petting farm, magic and more entertainment for young and old. From 9.30am-5pm, adult £14/child £8/family of 4 £40/under 2s FREE (May 17-18)

Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave

Sun: BFLF presents Camp Bestival’s Travelling Circus at Shapes, 117 Wallis Rd, E9 5LN (Hackney Wick overground)
The 2-4 hour party people join forces with award-winning family festival Camp Bestival to close out their family rave season. Look forward to top DJs Felix of Hot Chip and a super cool surprise guest on the turntables, plus dress-up box and photo booth, glitter cannon and motion capture projection, baby chill-out, toddler play tunnel and licensed bar. All ages. 2-4.30pm, adult £8 adv, £10 door/child £4 adv, £5 door/non-walkers FREE (May 18)

Sun: Tales from Old Japan at Arts Depot (top pic), 5 Nether St, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley N12 0GA (Finchley Central tube)
Three mysterious and delightful Japanese tales are brought lovingly to life through puppetry, music and storytelling from inventive company A Thousand Cranes. For ages 5+. 11am & 2pm, £7 (May 18)

Sun: Mwalimu Express at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA (Shoreditch High St overground)
Our favourite family afternoon groove and chill session returns for its monthly outing. Parent and toddler dance workshops, African food and crafts stalls, DJ sessions, live music from London Zulu (Soul II Soul, Neneh Cherry vocalist), games from the Oware Society and African Cinema from Screenstation. 2-5pm, FREE (May 18)

Sun: Keats House Family Day, Keats Grove, Hampstead NW3 2RR (Hampstead tube/Hampstead Heath overground)
Spend a summery afternoon in the garden at Keats House. This month’s Family Day promises an engaging session of arts and crafts for all ages, inspired by forests, jungles and everything green. 1-4pm, adult £5.50/child under 18 FREE (May 18)

We also like
Street Feast weekly night food market is back in Dalston Yard (Fri-Sat, 5pm-midnight); see the brilliant Wall-E at Everyman Cinemas Screen on the Green in Islington (9.45am); enjoy music, Big Apple Hot Dogs and 20% discounts at Seven Dials Spring Shopping Festival in Covent Garden (Sat, 12-5pm); family friendly opera in Operantics at Rose Theatre Kingston (Sat, 3pm); find furry friends at The London Pet Show at Earl’s Court (Sat-Sun); belt out ‘Let it Go’ at the Frozen Sing Along at Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square (Sun, 1pm)

Images via Notting Hill Mayfest, Big Fish Little Fish, Arts Depot

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<a href=”http://www.mama-andmore.com/” title=”Our London Link Party”><img src=”http://www.motherwifeme.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Our-London-Link-Party-Badge.jpg.jpg” alt=”Our London Link Party” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

Babes Love… Skribbies (customisable hi-tops)

Skribbies with Ezra

Looking for a way to freshen up the kids’ wardrobe now that British summertime is officially here?

Your mini stylistas can put their best feet forward in a pair of Skribbies customisable hi-tops.

We were sent a pair to review at Christmas and Ezra couldn’t wait to get them on.

Skribbies customisable hi-tops for kids

The cool thing about Skribbies is that they come with erasable coloured marker pens and stickers that kids can use to decorate their own shoes. There’s even a handy wristband to wipe their shoes clean so they can graffiti them all over again.

Skribbies hi-tops

I love that Skribbies combine fashion, functionality and creativity as they encourage children to let their imaginations loose. At the same time, they look trendy enough to wear without any embellishment. Here’s Ezra rocking his Skribbies while modelling Smafolk boys wear!

Ezra in Skribbies and Smafolk

Skribbies founder Jennifer Duthie is also one of the forces behind the Pledge to Play movement, a campaign that encourages adults to spend at least two hours a week in creative play with their kids. Definitely a girl after our own hearts!

Check out Skribbies at skribbies.com, available in three colours (yellow, blue or pink) at £35.95 retail.

Visit Pledge to Play on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Pledge2Play or follow @pledge_2_play on Twitter to find out about their weekly chat.