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Festive Fun this December

Jingle those bells, jump on your sleigh and make your way to Redbridge, because we’re inviting you to come and celebrate the magic of Christmas with us!

Christmas Writers Competition, 7-10 yrs

Monday 10 December- Saturday 5 January

Think you’ve got what it takes to show off your writing skills?


Get writing this December, and pick up a book and write yourvery own review. The book that you are reviewing doesn’t have to be Christmasthemed, but if you’re feeling extra creative this Christmas, why not give it atry! So put your pen to paper and fill out a review sheet.

One review will be accepted per child. This competition isrun in partnership with Thy English Academy.

Review sheets will be available at:

  • Wanstead Library
  • South Woodford Library & Gym
  • Woodford Green Library

More details can be found on the Redbridge website.


In light of the bookA Christmas Carol, 5 yrs+

Get in the Christmas spirit with a classic.

We all know the classic tale of miserable ol’ Scrooge, but you won’t want to miss this unique take on the classic tale! The wonderfully silly and tenderly heart-wrenching spellbinding tale is brought to life in this fast-paced adventure comedy – featuring spooky spectres, audience interaction, and many a change of hat!

Redbridge Drama Centre
Tuesday 11-Thursday 13 December, 5pm

To book your tickets, visit the Redbridge Drama Centre box office.


Festive Rhymetimes, Under 5s

This December get your little ones in the mood for singing by joining our Santa filled sessions.

Come and meet Mr and Mrs Santa in our very special Rhymetime singing Christmas songs. Join in with the jolly fun, ideal for those little voices. This wonderful session is free, just turn up.

Gants Hill Library
Wednesday 12 December

Or if you prefer crafting to singing, then come along to our Christmas Rhymetime sessions at Redbridge Central Library, where you can join Santa for a festive story and Rhyme time followed by a fun free craft session, just turn up!

Redbridge Central Library
Tuesday 18 December & Thursday 20 December



Cracker Crafts, 2-11 yrs

Are you ready for a special surprise?

Wanstead Library
Monday 17 December
£1.75 per child

Add a personal touch to your Christmas tree with your very own hand crafted decorations! But that’s not all – you’ll even make two personalised cards to share with your friends and family. Embrace the season of giving and come down to Wanstead Library for this festive workshop.

Christmas Holiday Fun Drop Ins, 4-12 yrs

Until Friday 28 December

Looking for a quick Christmassy session that will keep you in the festive mood?

Challenge yourself with some puzzles, sure to put your brain to the test. Or if puzzles aren’t your thing, embrace your inner artist and pick up those colouring pens and pencils and bring colouring pages to life with artistic flare, be sure to make them look extra special for Christmas! We have that, and many more different crafts to keep those little hands busy this December.

Redbridge Libraries are hosting a number of drop-in sessions at different locations, up until 28 December. Find a session that suits you and pop into a Redbridge Library!

For a list of sessions available and their locations visit our website.


Owls Christmas Party

The party doesn’t just have to be at home!

Friday 21 December, 5pm to 7pm
£10 per child
Book in advance, call 020 8500 9669

Make some magical memories with the family at Owls Christmas Party. Join in for unlimited play, snacks and access to Santa’s grotto which of course, means a special gift.

Owls are also offering an annual membership. Start the new year with this great offer’ unlimited use of Owls Play centre, no queuing and no time limit on the length of their visit for a whole year! Be sure to take advantage of this very special Christmas promotion.  

Interested? Visit our website for more.


TGI Film Nights Present: The Muppets Christmas Carol, All ages

Join us for this classic holiday tale, with a very special twist.


Friday 21 December
£3 per person or £20 for a family ticket

Kermit the Frog takes on the role of Bob Cratchit, in this festive film along with the rest of the muppet crew – Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and many more. This classic story is filled with laughs, touching moments and of course – lots of muppets! It’s a perfect Christmas story.

Redbridge Drama Centre invites you and the whole family to join us for the screening of The Muppets Christmas Carol, as part of TGI Film Nights. Not only is there a screening, but there are also Christmas crafts and games beforehand, so be sure to come early for the full experience!

Visit our website for details on times, tickets and more.


Christmas Trail, All ages

Fancy a challenge? See if you can complete our Christmas trail!

Redbridge Museum
Friday 21 December-Saturday 5 January
FREE, drop in, no need to book
11am-3pm during normal opening hours

Follow our special Christmas trail around the museum and make some festive finger puppets or your very own Christmas badge (50p)! This mix of crafts and detective work is ideal for those who are looking for a challenge.


Enjoy these exciting Christmas activities and much more. For more great ideas to keep you and the family busy, take a look on our website.

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

Post Author: Priya Devandran

If you’d like to become a guest writer, fill in our simple form.


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Sizzling Summer Activities for you and the family

Make the best of your Summer holiday by taking part in one of our many events at Redbridge, we have everything from picnics to festivals, to allow you to take advantage of the wonderful weather.

For a full guide of our activities, check out our Summer Do More Guide.

We’ve managed to narrow it down to our top 5 events or places to be this summer:


1. Valentines Mansion

Fancy some arts and crafts? Valentines mansion is the place for you, with fantastic family friendly activities.

  • Monday 6 August – Lavender Bags
  • Wednesday 15 August – Funky Fish & Crazy Crabs
  • Wednesday 22 August – Sunflower Fun

Find out more about these arty events and get yourself involved by visiting the website for more information about prices and times.



2. Redbridge Museum

Come down and visit the Build It Exhibition this summer at Redbridge Museum where you can explore Redbridge’s different buildings in the past, present and future by taking part in this interactive exhibition, running until Saturday 1 September. There is free admission and special activities on certain days.

Specifically for the summer, there are a range of creative activities where you can put your building skills to the test; make prints based on historic buildings or make your own stained ‘glass’ made from paper!

Make sure you dig into our website for further details on how you can get involved.


moana.jpg3. Redbridge Drama Centre

Redbridge Drama Centre is hosting its very own educational workshops, Drama Days, where you can learn improvisation, mask work and physical theatre. Learn the art of acting and do something bold and brave this summer.

Or you could take a trip to the beach and join us for a very special adventure with Moana. This very special beach party on Friday 10 August will include spectacular summer activities to get involved in, as well as a showing of the film. Make sure you book your tickets fast!



4. Redbridge Libraries

Redbridge Libraries are the place to be, with their fun drop ins, special holiday film clubs and ceramic painting experiences. There is something for everyone, but make sure you book your place to avoid disappointment!

The Summer Reading Challenge is also being held; an event that helps encourage reading. You can win your own prizes for the books that you read, earn yourself a medal or certificate!

These educational activities are not to be missed, and are for a range of ages. For details and a list of events just visit our website.



5. The great outdoors

Do you love the great outdoors? Come and explore with us, and find out how beautiful nature can be. Our nature conservation holiday activities are perfect for all those curious adventurers that can’t wait to start exploring! Take a look at what’s on:

  • Monday 6 August – Woodland Pond Dipping
  • Wednesday 8 August – Hapa Zone

Keep yourself busy this summer. Visit the website for more details.


Honourable mentions

Loxford Leisure Centre

Want to cool off in this heat? Loxford Leisure Centre is hosting school holiday crash course swimming lessons where you can learn to swim like a fish in water!

Already know how to swim? Try out our paddle sports sessions and come to learn how to kayak in this friendly atmosphere.

Visit the website for more information.

Redbridge Cycling Centre

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, Redbridge Cycling Centre has something for everybody with their summer holiday courses, where you can develop your cycling skills. Learn how to ride on different terrains with the Mountain Bike Skills session, or start from scratch with the Novice Go-ride Skills.

Visit the Website for more information.


For more sports check out our Summer Do More sports guide, packed full of clubs and activities to help your kids enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest.

Post Author: Priya Devandran

If you’d like to become a guest writer, fill in our simple form.

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Redbridge Museum’s On The Move Exhibition

Redbridge Museum’s summer exhibition On The Move is coming to an end this weekend, so I thought I would go along and see what it was all about!  The theme is transport related and showcases a variety of different modes of transport.  As a first time visitor to the Museum exhibition, I wasn’t really aware of what to expect, and I was surprised that everything was extremely interactive providing lots of things for children to do.


As you walk inside the exhibition space, there are lots of colours and signs drawn on the walls which are actually road signs. There are many huge structures which the children can climb on including a plane with seating for a pilot and co-pilot, a boat which children can climb aboard, and for children that love to dress up, there are costumes which they can wear. There was a train with lots of seats inside, so multiple people could sit and watch a video showing a drivers view of the London underground. The exhibition also includes other types of transport including wheelchairs, bicycles and scooters.

There is an assistant who is very hands on and keen to help all the children, explaining to them how things work, as she did this she explained how real versions of the exhibits would work too and the children were so mesmerised by her and you could really tell that they were interested in what she had to say.

The exhibition offers educational benefits because next to all the interactive activities there are fact sheets that described what it represented and for some pieces it described the history about it so that the children were learning and having a good time. The interactive activities included many puzzles, things they could build and games, including a variation of whack-a-rat.


The atmosphere in the exhibition was entirely happy and the sounds of laughing and playing was very clear, a young boy called Charlie summed up his visit by saying “it’s fun!” and another young boy called Louis, when asked what he liked the most exclaimed “all of it!”. A grandparent of children playing also told me that she had brought her grandson once and he loved it so much that she brought him and his cousin back again! This proves that this exhibition is not one that should be missed!

Exhibition closes on Saturday 2 September, so hurry if you wish to experience the fun. Entry is FREE.

For more information visit the website

Guest Author: Kate Beard




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Top things for Adults in Redbridge this Easter!

Now that the kids are all sorted, it’s finally time to focus on yourself! Find out what Redbridge has to offer adults this Easter, and take that well deserved break from everyday responsibilities!

1. Curl up with a good book

April is the chance for the whole of London to come together and enjoy something collectively. This year, Cityread encourages you read the book ‘Prophecy’ by S.J Parris, a gripping Elizabethan spy thriller, focused on the plot against Elizabeth to put Mary Queen of Scots on the throne. Join our book groups, learn secret codes and meet the aumusic festthor at events taking place throughout April. Find out more on our website.

2. Enjoy some music

Enjoy music and the outdoors? Pack a picnic and head down to Valentines Mansion Gardens on Sunday 9 April for an afternoon listening to musicians and singers from in and around Redbridge. Enjoy mixing folk and jazz, soft rock and classical, pop and country, and everything around and in-between. Find out more here.

3. Take a tour of the mansion and surrounding gardens

Do you ever wonder about the history of the mansion that sits within Valentines Park? Well here’s your chance to find out. Come along on Sunday 16 April for a costumed guided tour through the house. If you’re interested in the surrounding beautiful gardens, then you won’t want to miss the tour of the gardens on Tuesday 11 April. For more tour dates, visit the website.what redbridge wore

4. Learn about Redbridge’s fashion trends

It’s fascinating to see how fashion trends have changed over the years, and this exhibition is no different. Learn what Redbridge wore over the last 400 years including 20s flapper dresses, an Edwardian wedding dress and a police uniform from the 60s! Find out opening times on our website.

5. Go DancingThe Streets, Ilford Town Centre, Events - 11 Nov 2016

Get your dancing shoes on and head over to Sir James Hawkey Hall on 12 April for our tea dance! Resident DJ Mr Wonderful has the best tunes lined up this Easter which promises an afternoon of great fun. Visit the website for more information.

6. Watch a play

Take part in a new interactive kind of play at Redbridge Drama Centre. Using your mobile phone, you can interact with David and shape his movements and sounds around you. An interesting look into how the digital world shapes us. Book your tickets now!

Post Author: Nida Hussain

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Set sail and get creative with Ship Ahoy!

Redbridge Museum’s new exhibition opened just last week and the kids already love it!

ship ahoy 26 july 2016 (14)

When I arrived at the exhibition, a little before opening time at 10am, I wasn’t the first one there. There were already at least ten children standing at the doors, anxiously waiting to be let into the Ship Ahoy! exhibition, ready to explore everything that was to offer. Some of them had already been signed up by parents to the morning activity that day ‘Build a Barge’ – where children could use recycled materials, scissors, tape and colouring pens to create their own boats.

ship ahoy 26 july 2016 (17)

From the minute you enter the exhibition, it feels like you’ve been transported to a different place and time. Waves of blue colours on the floor reflect the vast seas, and twinkling lights give the impression of night sky, setting the scene for a truly magical experience. Hard to miss is the adult size (or perhaps child size) ship, all-inclusive with a deck, sails, wheel and even a kitchen! Kids were excited to play-act captain and crew as they imagined sailing the wild seas. The exhibition also includes something a little different this summer, sea-related board games positioned throughout the room! The giant Spice Traders board game includes two large wheels to spin carrying the game forward. For our more musically inclined visitors there is a section to sing along to sea shanties and play with instruments.

After half an hour exploring the exhibition we moved across the hall to the Gloucester Room where tables, chairs and supplies were set out for the activity. Led by our museum assistant Aki, the children were given a history of Ilford docks and the river Roding. One of the highlights of the activity was getting to visit the museum on the 2nd floor. The children listened intently as Aki told them about working at the docks and then each child was given a chance to use a magnifying glass to locate the river on the map.

ship ahoy 26 july 2016 (20)

Returning to the activity room, children were given a chance to plan out their boats before being called up table by table to pick out their supplies. This was where the real fun began! The kids were back and forth, picking out the right bottles, the perfect colours and just the right material to make their perfect ship. The kids were able to get really creative with their ideas, when asked about what they enjoyed most one child said that they “enjoyed putting the strawberries on the boat” while another “enjoyed making the captain.”

The fun was not just limited to the children though! Even the parents were having an amazing time bonding with their children over this great activity. One parent said that “planning the barge with [their] son” was their favourite part!

It was a joy to see the proud and enthusiastic look on each child’s face after they were finished. Aki and our museum volunteer Jemima did a great job leading the workshop and assisting throughout the activity while I spent most of the time photographing the entire process, being a fly on the wall to ensure the children weren’t distracted, however even I was approached by a young boy who asked if I could take a picture of him with his finished boat. That was a request that I was more than happy to fulfil!

Before the session came to an end, some of the children wanted to tell the class a little about their boats. One by one the children talked about why they chose the colours and materials they did, and what they loved most about their boat. They had put so much effort into their creation, and you couldn’t help but feel proud of each of them.  A final group photo was taken before each child left the session, with their creations held tightly in their hands.

ship ahoy 26 july 2016 (43)

This was just the first of many activities taking place during the exhibition run. There are plenty more to come in the next few weeks including making your own map, designing a flag for your own ship and singing sea songs and rhymes!

For more information on events visit our museum events page.

ship ahoy 26 july 2016 (45)

Post Author: Nida Hussain


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Object of the Week – 16 to 20 September

At the heart of Redbridge Museum is a unique collection of over 7000 objects, oral history and film. Once a week we will be selecting one object from Redbridge Museum’s collection to share with you online.

This week the 18th September marks an historical occasion, as residents of Scotland cast their votes and decide if Scotland should be an independent country.

With this in mind we look back at ‘The Ilford Scottish Association’ that was founded in 1902 by members of the Presbyterian Church, Oakfield Road.

As the new suburb of Ilford prospered at the turn of the twentieth century with the expansion of London, many people moved to Ilford from elsewhere, including Scotland.

The association helped to raise thousands of pounds for good causes.  In its first year, the Ilford Scottish Association had 327 members.

The aims of the Association were to promote social intercourse among Scots, to revive and preserve Scottish reminiscences, to assist deserving persons connected with Scotland and to establish a fund for educational, charitable or benevolent objects.

This week our object of the week is a silver badge gifted to the president of the Ilford Scottish Association.  The badge displays the emblem of Scotland, a floral green and purple thistle motif.

Badge for Ilford Scottish Association president

To find out more visit Redbridge Museum 2nd Floor, Redbridge Central Library.

Opening times: Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm & Saturday 10am-4pm

For more information visit Redbridge Museum website

Post Author: Akbinder Deo

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Redbridge Musuem Object of the Week – Kodak Camera

At the heart of Redbridge Museum is a unique collection of over 7000 objects, oral history and film. Once a week we will be selecting one object from Redbridge Museum’s collection to share with you online.

We are sad to say it’s the last few days of our fun, family interactive exhibition Super Science! If you haven’t been to visit yet the exhibition is filled with amazing science facts including the science behind light, optics and astronomy. This fantastic summer exhibition also includes interactive games, puzzles and objects from Redbridge’s past.

One of the objects that may puzzle younger visitors used to the digital world is this 1930s camera. It was used by local resident Fred James who lived in Wanstead and Woodford from 1905 to the 1970s. Throughout this period Fred took many photographs of local life, his travels abroad and his time as an Air Raid Precaution (ARP) Warden during World War II.

To find out more visit the Super Science exhibition open until Saturday 6 September and Museum display A Warden’s Story at Central Library Ilford.

Super Science Leaflet image

Kodak Duo Camera on display at Redbridge Museum

Kodak Camera

Associated Dates: 1930s

Location: First Floor, Super Science Exhibition and Redbridge Museum 2nd Floor

Opening times: 22 July-6 September 2014  Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm & Saturday 10am-4pm

Redbridge Museum website

Redbridge Museum 020 8708 2317

Post Author: Akbinder Deo