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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?

books

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
10.30am-11am

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
10.30-11.30am

 

crackers

Cracker Crafts, 2-11 yrs

Are you ready for a special surprise?

Wanstead Library
Monday 17 December
10am-11am
£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.

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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:

sunflower

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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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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Keep busy in Redbridge this Easter: Top 10 activities

Feel like the New Year only just begun? Have the Easter holidays crept up on you?
If you find yourself with no plans for the kids this Easter, don’t worry we’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of fantastic events and activities taking place across Redbridge. So there is nothing left to do except start booking!

Nursery Easter Egg Hunt

1) Easter Trails at Hainault Forest & Valentines Park

It wouldn’t be Easter without a few fun trails to follow! This year you can choose from two Easter trails. The first is at Hainault Forest where you will follow the clues to defeat the wicked Winter Pixie who has hidden the signs of Spring in the Forest because he wants it to stay winter forever. At Valentines Mansion children can look for hidden eggs and bunnies in the house and gardens and pick up special treats when all the eggs are found!

2) Find that Easter Bunny!

Want to help our rangers search for signs of the Easter Bunny? At South park there are wonderful plants to have a look at, from the tallest trees to the littlest flower… and if you’re lucky you might find places where the Easter Bunny has been exploring!

Only £3 per child (payable on the day)
Book your place by emailing nature.conservation@visionrcl.org.uk or call 020 8559 2316

3) Multi Sports Camps

If your children are full of energy or you’re looking to keep them active this holiday, then the multi-sports camps at Wanstead Leisure Centre are the perfect place for them. With activities including football, basketball and short tennis, they won’t ever want to leave!

£10 per day. To book or find out more contact Wanstead Leisure Centre on 020 8989 1172

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4) Easter at Redbridge Libraries

Looking for free activities? Come down to Redbridge libraries where we offer a range of exciting events, many of which are free or only have a small charge. A great place for parents and children to spend time together, so come along and enjoy our holiday drop in sessions, film club, face painting and more.

Find out about the activities in Redbridge Libraries

5) Swimming courses at Loxford Leisure Centre

Girl swimming action

Give your child the opportunity to learn a skill that not only has health and safety benefits, but is one of the most fun things to learn! We are offering swimming courses at Loxford Leisure Centre throughout the holidays including ducklings courses and stage one.

Find out more by contacting Loxford Leisure Centre on 020 8478 5634

 

6) Family Film club at Redbridge Drama Centre

Want to sit back and enjoy a fun family movie? No need to spend loads of cash at the cinema, we’ve got a family film night right here in Redbridge! Head over to Redbridge Drama Centre on Friday 6 April for everyone’s favourite Roald Dahl classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. On Friday 13 April the Trolls are in town!

Book your tickets via the box office

7) Watersports camps at Fairlop

Think your child would love activities that take place on water? Sign them up for our sports camps at Fairlop Waters Outdoor Activity Centre! From sailing to kayaking, the kids can explore the lake and learn skills from our highly experienced instructors!

£120 for the week
To find out more or to book call 020 8500 1468

8) Cycling courses

Whether your child is a beginner or pro, there are sessions available for all cycling levels at Redbridge Cycling Centre this holiday.

Visit the website to find out dates and for booking information

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9) Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Valentines Mansion

End the holidays with the biggest party this spring! Join the Mad Hatter and friends for exciting activities including crafts, rides, theatre and lots more. Don’t forget to dress up and enter our costume parade, with prizes for children dressed in Alice in Wonderland costume!

Book your tickets now

10) Bonus Picks!

We couldn’t do a top ten list without mentioning our fantastic Do More advertisers who all run great activities for children!


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Fabulous February: Top 5 General events for you and the family this half term

It’s time to make the most of your holidays, February is the perfect time to get active and prepare yourself for the summer. We’ve got a wide range of activities available to help you to get out and get active, or sit back and enjoy one of our shows, the choice is yours!

This is just a small selection of our February events, if you would like to see more please visit our website.

half term 1

Water Sports Camp: Monday 12 February to Friday 16 February at Fairlop Outdoor Activity Centre

Ever thought about becoming a sea adventurer? Well, first you’ll need to learn the basics and that involves all the skills you’ll need on the water.  At our Watersports camp held at Fairlop Outdoor Activity centre, now is your chance to have fun while you learn how to sail, canoe, kayak and much more!

This camp will give those with some water sport experience the chance to complete their proficiency awards. Wetsuits and waterproofs are provided to help keep the cold at bay. All coaching is delivered by RYA and BC qualified instructors. All you need to bring is a packed lunch, plenty of fluids and a change of clothes.

£150 for the week.
Perfect for ages 8-16.
Drop off at 8.45am and collect by 5pm.
Bookings now being taken! Grab your place by calling: 020 8500 1468 or visit the website

half term 2

Storytelling with John Kirk: Monday 12 February at Valentines Mansion

Chinese New Year is round the corner, and with it there are plenty of stories revolving around this celebration! Storyteller John Kirk is coming to Valentines Mansion to present a series of stories inspired by the Chinese Zodiac, from classics to tales from all around the world. This zodiac storytelling session is bound to have something for everybody, so put on your best costumes and head down for an exciting afternoon.

Join us on this adventurous journey. Ideal for ages 5 yrs+
Choose from two sessions (see website)
£5 per child, pre-booking essential.
For more information visit the box office.

half term 3

Multi-Sports: Monday 12 to Friday 16 February at Wanstead Leisure Centre

Keeping in shape is important, and the holidays are no time to become lazy! So get up and get ready for some multi-sports.  This fun, engaging club offers a wide range of activities including basketball, football and hockey, as well as fun games like Dodgeball. You will learn skills such as versatility, agility and much more to help you be the best you can be. If that wasn’t enough, to get your competitive spirit going we also run small tournaments where the winner will get the glory!

Don’t miss out on a fun day at Wanstead Leisure Centre.

9am-3pm
£10 per day
For more information or to book contact us on 020 8989 1172 or visit the website

Mrs Back to FrontMarvellous Magic: Wednesday 14 February at Valentines Mansion

Magic has been around for centuries, perplexing people for years in the form of different tricks that have changed throughout time. Now it is your turn to be utterly astounded.

Prepare to be mystified by some marvellous magic tricks as Mrs Back to Front arrives at Valentines Mansion. But that isn’t all! This is also your chance to learn magical fun and secrets that will amaze your friends too as she passes on her special tricks to you!

Don’t miss out on a day of entertainment, fun and mystery. What more could you ask for?
Perfect for ages 5 yrs+

Choose from two sessions:
11.30-12.30pm (magic show & magic workshop)
1pm-2pm (magic show & balloon workshop)
£10 per child, pre-booking essential.
For more information visit the box office.

half term 5

TGI Film Night – Tangled: Friday 16 February, 3pm at Redbridge Drama Centre

Stolen from her parents’ castle as a baby, Princess Rapunzel is locked in a hidden tower longing for an adventure. Now an imaginative and determined teenager, she takes off on hilarious hair-raising escapades with the help of a dashing bandit.

Join us for heart, humour, and hair… Lots of hair.

Redbridge Drama Centre presents Tangled as part of our TGI Film Night; this modern Disney twist on the classic German fairy tale “Rapunzel” from the collection of folk tales published by the brothers Grimm has captivated audiences all over the world. It is Disney’s 50th animated film, and has been nominated for a number of awards such as Best Animated Feature Film in the 68th Golden Globe Awards. As well as winning the best Animation award in the National Movie awards and Best Song (‘I See the Light’) from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society.

Be sure not to miss out on this cinematic experience perfect for you and the rest of the family.

Book your tickets now

Look for our blog post on top things to do in libraries this Feb half term.. coming soon.

Post Author: Priya Devandran

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


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KidsQuest.. a new place for kids to play

Blogger Mummy Em visited one of Ilford’s newest gems, a great place for kids to have fun and parents to relax. Check out what she thought of KidsQuest.

kidsquest4

Last week we were invited to go and visit Kids Quest, the new soft play area located in Creams Café in Ilford Town Centre.

It is brilliant. The staff are so lovely and what I loved most was that they took the time to know the names of every child in there, and go above and beyond to make sure you have everything you need.

The play area is located to the rear of the café, and is the stuff of kids dreams. There is the compulsory ball pit, and a massive slide, which was even big enough for me to have a cheeky go.kidsquest6

Prices are extremely reasonable with two price options available, and what’s more it is open until 7.30pm in the week.

Personally I love that it is located in a café so parents can sit and have a coffee (or a ice cream without having to share) while their little one can enjoy themselves in the sweet themed play area.

Now, as if all of the above wasn’t fab enough they are now introducing autism hour. From Tuesday 30th January, 4.30pm-5.30pm the play area will be closed to the public every Tuesday in order for children (aged 0-10) with Autism Spectrum disorder have a safe place to play, socialise and develop their physical skills in. How fab is that!

Guest Writer: Mummy Em

If you’d like more information about the new play area, visit the KidsQuest website.

If you’d like to read more from Mummy Em, visit her blog!

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


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The Cat in the Hat family fun!

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On Saturday we headed to a reading of The Cat in the Hat by the world famous Dr Suess at Barkingside (Fullwell Cross) library.

The event was held outside and benches were lined up in front of the steps ready for the performance. Prior to the show starting people from the event were making balloon animals up and down the high street.

The performance was put on by The Discovery Centre who are based in Stratford in partnership with the Vision Redbridge Culture Team. If you haven’t been to The Discovery Centre yet I cannot recommend it highly enough, the 2 people performing  were really good and interacted well with the parents and children and really brought the story to life.

There was even a surprise visit at the end by The Cat in the Hat himself!

Once the performance was over with there was a chance to have your photo taken with the cat and his car, obviously I jumped at the chance of this.

 

We then headed inside the library to take a look at the arts and crafts that included face painting for £1.50 and making items from the story including  a hat like the cat’s, these were all free.

It was a great way to spend a few hours locally and not spend any money!

To see what other events are on take a look at Vision’s Do More guide.

Maybe I’ll get to see you and say hello at an event!

Guest Writer: Mummy Em

If you’d like to read more from Mummy Em, visit her blog!

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


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Top things to do in Redbridge for Kids this Easter!

With the weather picking up and the sun shining, it finally feels like spring is here to stay! This Easter, don’t waste the holidays at home – there’s so much to do right outside your door. Check out our top picks of things to do in Redbridge for the kids.

easter eggs1. Go on an Easter egg hunt

What are Easter holidays without an Easter egg hunt? Lucky for you, there’s three to choose from (or why not try all three!) At Owls Play Centre, and around Fairlop Waters Country Park search for tokens and end the day relaxing while the little ones enjoy the play centre. Over at Valentines Mansion there are hidden eggs and bunnies to find with a special treat waiting for you. Or head over to Hainault Forest Country Park for a nature trail, clues and a chocolatey prize!

2. Visit your local library!

Did you know that there are always lots of kids activities taking place in libraries during the holidays? We have arts and crafts, creative workshops and even film clubs! Don’t miss out – find out what’s going on in your local library here.

3. Enjoy cycling sessionscycling

There’s no better way to spend time outdoors than a good few laps around the cycle circuit. With courses for everything from beginners to pros, there’s no reason not to give it a try!

To book or for more information call Redbridge Cycling Centre on 020 8500 9359.

Jelly Roller1 - St Georges Day 174. Celebrate St. George’s Day

Come along to celebrations across Ilford and Barkingside on Saturday 22 April. Join us in operating the 12ft tall George the Dragon – he plays music and blows bubbles! Don’t forget to head over to Ken Aston Square for the traditional Punch and Judy puppet show. Learn more about the day’s activities.

5. Take part in trampolining

Give the kids a place to release all that energy with our fun and exciting Trampolining courses! It’s a great way to stay fit and improve your skills – head over to Wanstead Leisure Centre and enquire at reception about holiday courses! Or call on 020 8989 1172.DSC_1250

6. Follow our family fashion trail

Throughout Easter, Redbridge museum is hosting free family fashion trails and dressing up along with puppet making sessions. If you haven’t visited the new exhibition yet, this is a great chance to get involved and learn all about the changes in fashion across the last 400 years! Come along anytime between 11am to 3pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

With so many events and activities taking place, you’re bound to find something to keep the kids busy this Easter!

Read our part-two Easter blog post: Top things for Adults in Redbridge this Easter!

Post Author: Nida Hussain