A Family Friendly Guide to World Cup 2014!
One day to go!
You might not be living in a house full of football fanatics (welcome to my life) but it’s hard not to get swept up in football fever this month.
If you have little ones, they will want to share in the excitement but of course you can’t keep them up too late (the latest kick off is 2am). However many of the matches start early enough for the kids to watch and there are loads of World Cup 2014 family friendly activities in London throughout the tournament.
Over the next few weeks, Babes about Town will be supporting England, Nigeria, France (my stepson’s half-French) and like most people, we’ll all be a little bit Brazilian.
London will take on a decidedly more vibrant flavour, with samba and bossa nova beats spilling out of restaurants and bars, and the sounds of cheers and groans filling pubs across the nation.
All together now… gooooooooool!
Check the Beeb’s guide to all the World Cup football match times
Brazil Day in Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DS (Charing Cross tube)
Celebrate the Brazil World Cup 2014 kick off in carnival style with live samba bands, capoeira demos, dance lessons, family football zone, inflatable pitch, Brazilian food stalls and photo ops with life-sized images of football stars. No screening of the Brazil v Croatia game is planned, but short films and plenty to keep the crowds entertained. All ages. 12-7pm, FREE (Jun 12)
Gamewagon World Cup Fever Pitch at That Place on the Corner, 1-3 Green Lanes, Newington Green, London, N16 9ND (Highbury & Islington tube)
The brilliant mobile video gaming birthday party experience is holding a pop-up event every Friday through the tournament at lovely kids cafe That Place on the Corner. You can have a kick about on Xbox and Playstation versions of FIFA 14, enjoy the cafe’s menu (tasty dishes, cakes, ice creams, beers and more), and watch all the early games! Plus every visitor has a chance to win your own Gamewagon Birthday Party at That Place on the Corner. 4pm-9pm (Fris), FREE entry (Jun 13-Jul 11)
Cass Art Kids Class: Flag Painting, 58-62 Heath St, NW3 1EN (Hampstead tube)
Ready to fly the flag for England (or whatever nations you support)? Come along to this fun family workshop where you can design and decorate your own Silk Flag using Pebeo silk paints. Feel free to invent your own country! For ages 4+. 10am-11am, £5 limited tickets, pre-booking essential (Jun 14)
Joga Bola: Family Poster Making Workshop at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA (Shoreditch High St overground)
Get stuck in at this bold and brilliant session led by real street artists from Brazil, where you can learn their techniques and draw inspiration from their work to create a poster to take home. Part of the Street Art Brazil Project happening through August. For ages 6-11, younger siblings welcome. 11am-1pm, FREE but limited spaces, booking ahead essential (Jun 14)
World Cup Braziliant Day at Spitalfields Market, Brushfield St, E1 6AA (Liverpool St tube)
Feast on the finest Brazilian moves and music with the Braziliant show featuring costumed dancers, live DJs, footballers demonstrating their skills, plus Zumba and samba classes and of course, yummy food. All ages. 1-5pm, FREE (Jun 22)
Storybook World Cup at The Bowler Hat, Paternoster Square, EC4M 7LS (St Paul’s tube)
As part of the City of London Festival, major football clubs, children’s writers and libraries join forces in the inflatable Bowler Hat arena for Saturday morning storytelling sessions. Every week will see a surprise guest from a popular UK football team reading from stories inspired by the World Cup. Aimed at primary school age children, all ages welcome. 10.30am, FREE but advanced booking essential on 0845 120 7502 (Jun 28, Jul 5 & Jul 12)
Brasil 2014 Screenings at The Wick at CRE8 Lifestyle Centre, The Old Baths, 80 Eastway, E9 5JH (Hackney Wick tube)
A brilliant pop-up festival for the World Cup offering giant screens, outdoor beach, live music and DJs, a kids play zone, ice cream emporium, footy pitch and competitions, food from the likes of Big Apple Hot Dogs (represent!), BBQ, beer garden, cocktails and more. All ages. Keep an eye on the The Wick Facebook page for opening hours, all FREE entry (Jun 12-Jul 13)
Joga Bola Free Brazilian Cultural Festival at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA (Shoreditch High St overground)
A month-long party is happening at the wonderful Rich Mix in Spitalfields. Not all of the events are ‘bring your own baby’, but there are several daytime screenings of Brazilian and football documentaries, watch the earlier matches (all games will be shown), explore the Street Art Brazil project, munch on Brazilian treats and try a family poster-making workshop (listing further down). From as early as 3pm daily (dates and times vary), FREE (Jun 12-Jul 13)
The Vaults World Cup Carnival (Old Vic tunnels), Leake St, SE1 7NN (Waterloo tube/rail)
Tickets are selling like hot coxinhas for this month-long event in the uber cool underground venue. There’s live music before every match with 5m screen, giant sound system, along with ping pong, foosball and an extensive bar menu. We’ve got our eyes on Argentina vs Nigeria (Jun 25, 4pm). Probably best for bigger kids! Doors open from 4pm depending on game times, tickets from £8 (early bird) to £15, advance booking essential. (Jun 12-Jul 13)
Whirled Cup at Whirled Cinema 259 Hardess Street, Loughborough Junction SE24 0HN (Brixton tube/Loughborough Junction rail)
Head to this cosy Brixton cinema for screenings of select World Cup games, along with a well-stocked bar. Tickets £6, timings vary (Jun 12-Jul 13)
Football Focus at East Village Screen Weekend, Stratford E20 (Stratford tube/overground)
Mark the start of the World Cup at this big screen weekend where you can watch family friendly football shorts, along with a broadcast from football channel Copa90 from the East Village pitch. Also on offer is an Aardman Animations Morph modelling clay workshop for all ages (2pm & 4pm, pre-booking essential). Part of the East End Film Festival. 12-7pm, FREE (Jun 14)
Broadgate Summer of Sport, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2JN (Liverpool St tube)
Kick back on one of the lawn chairs in Exchange Square set up for a free Summer of Sport screenings that of course includes all the World Cup action. You’ll be surrounded by local eateries and street food vendors for match refreshments. There will also be free sporting activities ranging from simulators to the real thing. From 8am Mon-Fri (no weekend games shown), FREE (from Jun 12 through Sep 5)
Also see FREE Summer of Sport screenings at Regent’s Place (Jun 12-Jul 18)
Cafe Kick, 43 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL (Angel tube)
Tasty tapas, platter boards, hearty buffet, yummy salads and sandwiches and friendly locals. Plus screens to watch the footie and table football (baby foot) to keep the minions happy. Tel: 0207 837 8077
Also see sister venue Bar Kick in Shoreditch
Cafe Football in Westfield Stratford, The Street, E20 1EN (Stratford tube/overground)
Move fast to bag a table at this family friendly footie-themed cafe launched by Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. There are screens showing all the big games and an extensive kids’ menu. Tel: 0208 702 2590
Fever Pitch at Broadway Bar and Grill in Fulham, 474-476 Fulham Broadway, SW6 1BY (Fulham Broadway tube)
This South London pop-up is nothing less than a football mega-zone showing all World Cup games on 13 wall-to-wall screens. Two roof terraces and stadium food to accompany the Broadway Bar and Grill’s popular menu. Tel: 0207 610 3137
World Cup 2014 at Bloomsbury Lanes, basement of Tavistock Hotel, Bedford Way, WC1H 9EU (Russell Square tube)
Bloomsbury Lanes will show a selection of the big games, along with game-time discounted bowling and karaoke, plus match time snacks and child-friendly menu on offer. Daily from midday. Tel: 0207 183 1979
Grand Union Bars World Cup 2014 at multiple venues (Brixton, Camberwell, Kennington, Wandsworth, Farringdon, Chancery Lane, Camden, Paddington)
Brazilian themed hamburgers and hot dogs, drinks and big game action can be consumed in tree huts and private booths, or arena style seating. Booking online or call your local venue.
Coco Bamboo, 48 Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AJ (Chalk Farm tube/Camden Rd overground)
Tuck into delicious food blending Brazilian and Caribbean dishes and flavours and an exotic vibe. They have special World Cup screening and dining packages, along with free shots for every score and a chance to scoop tickets to the winning country. Tel: 0207 267 6613
FAMILY FRIENDLY PUBS
Of course World Cup games will be screened at most family friendly pubs in London. Here are some we like:
NB: I will be adding to this list, feel free to recommend your local in the comments or by email at info(at)babesabouttown(dot)com!
DATES WITH DADS
Boteco Brasil World Cup Pop Up at The Gallery Soho, WC2H 0EW (Tottenham Court Rd tube)
Described as the ‘Official Brazilian World Cup Experience in London’, this month-long event features an evolving roster of food, film, arts and entertainment alongside all the match screenings. Daily from 4pm; tickets £40-£60, includes free flowing food, screenings (2 matches or 1 match + after party) and complimentary drink. (Jun 12-Jul 13)
Also see Fat Ronaldos World Cup Pop Up in Shoreditch
Brasiliance Weekend at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA (Shoreditch High St overground)
Discover the fascinating real-life stories of Brazilians who have been living in London since the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Readings, visual arts, live music and food. 11.30am-around 9pm, most events FREE (Jul 5-6)
Brasil Brasileiro at Sadlers Wells, Roseberry Avenue, EC1R (Angel tube)
38 performers from Rio de Janeiro bring the spirit of carnival to the stage with incredible footwork and an infectious live band. For ages 5+ (NB: under 5s not admitted). 7pm (Tue-Sun), 2.30pm (Sat-Sun); £15-£50 (Jul 8-27)