Monthly Round-Up

Twenty awesome things to see and do with your little Londoner in December

Pack in plenty of wintry fun this month, from grotto visits and festive theatre to yuletide markets and seasonal cinema.
  1. Father Christmas is popping up all over the capital for gift-giving and a gossip this December, with hot spots including Kenwood House, Museum of London, MoL Docklands, Sutton House and Camden Market (check individual venues for dates).
  2. Half Moon is hosting two great Christmas shows on the 1st and 15th: Cinderella Ashputtel is a stylish, puppet-led retelling of Cinderella for ages 3+, while Five Little Monkeys is a riot of music, numbers and clowning around, and is suitable for 2-6s.
  3. Mr Rabbit Meets Brer Santa will be showing at the Puppet Barge Theatre throughout December. Suitable for ages 3+, the production features hand-carved marionettes and the voice of Rudolf Walker – AKA Patrick Truman from Eastenders.
  4. Head down to Chelsea Old Town Hall for Babyccino’s ever-popular Shop Up event from the 2nd-3rd. Retailers will include London favourites Niddle Noddle and Scandi Mini, while activities will range from arts and crafts to mini photoshoots.
  5. The Jewish Museum is hosting a Hanukah Family Day on the 2nd. Families with kids of all ages are invited to play games and take part in arts and crafts and food tasting to celebrate Hanukah and mark the 80th anniversary of Kindertransport.
  6. Barbican is running a Let’s Make: Wetwang Slack and Modern Couples Family Day
    on the 2nd. Enjoy a free family tour of the Modern Couples exhibition before taking part in workshops involving crafts, puppets, storytelling and collaborative collages.
  7. Head down to Islington’s Union Chapel for its Winter Warmers Week from the 3rd-9th. Enjoy festive baby cinema, a Christmas Cockney singalong, a seasonal market and family-friendly film screenings accompanied by live scores and mince pies.
  8. Discover is hosting two The Polar Express storytelling events this month. A Polar Journey is a free session for 0-3s while Festive Story Time for 3-7s is £2 and includes a copy of The Polar Express. These events run from the 3rd and 8th respectively.
  9. V&A will be the setting for free Festive Play Sessions for Under Fives on Wednesdays-Fridays throughout December, beginning on the 5th. These multi-sensory drop-in sessions will take inspiration from the 12 Days of Christmas.
  10. Chickenshed’s festive Christmas Tales return to the Rayne Theatre for another year from the 5th-30th. Aimed at 0-7s and their adults, these energetic, vibrant performances promise puppets, singing, dancing and larger-than-life characters.
  11. Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City will be popping up at the V&A from the 8th December-6th January. This annual installation aims to connect the public with architecture, and this year focuses on the theme ‘Imagining the Future City’.
  12. Messy-play masters A Fine Mess are running a Snowy Mountain-themed festive special at Archway’s Hargrave Hall on the 10th. Full details of what to expect are being kept under wraps, but make sure you dress for mess and bring lots of wipes.
  13. Little Angel Theatre is hosting a Christmas Carol Concert for families with children of all ages on the 13th. This magical evening of carolling will be supported by the puppets and casts from LAT shows, and will include a free drink and mince pies.
  14. Turner Prize-nominated artist Monster Chetwynd’s Tate Britain Winter Commission will be unveiled on the 1st. Visit on the 15th and you can also enjoy the gallery’s free Winter Fair, featuring pop-up stalls, food, craft makers and live music.
  15. Museum of London Docklands is running a special Festive Storytime session for children aged 0-5 and their families on the 21st. This free, interactive workshop will be filled with music, movement and puppets, with an emphasis on joining in.
  16. Blast Off Stories! will be popping up at Tate Modern’s Tate Exchange from the 19th-30th to celebrate voices of colour. Drop in any time between 12-5pm to read books together, listen to readings by Tate’s story-tellers at 1pm or read aloud at 3pm.
  17. Kew is hosting a series of family-friendly Tales and Trails events from the 22nd December-6th January. Go on an outdoor adventure in The Fabularium, cosy up with Rachel Rose Reid’s tales of the natural world, or brave a self-led trail.
  18. Southbank Centre will host its free Snow Ball on the 22nd, packed with wintry fun including festive crafts, a fancy-dress disco, a Penguin Parade movement workshop, songs from Polar Express and music by afrobeat band Mansion of Snakes.
  19. Southbank Centre is also running a Winter Knees Up filled with music, stories and craft on the 23rd, plus a Kids’ Countdown NYE party on the 31st with music-hall-singer-turned-hip-hop-star Ida Barr. Both events are free and suitable for all.
  20. Head to the V&A for a weekend of free activities on the 28th-30th. Create a modular building with The Imagination Station or catch the Buildy-Uppy Dance Show, an interactive adventure that takes place in a playground inhabited by its audience.

Babu befriends an elephant at The Selfie Factory, Shoreditch.

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