Monday, 8 August 2011

Kids Week Launch

I am so excited about the launch of Kids Week because I previously had no idea that this fantastic initiative took place in London every year. Free West End theatre for children is such a brilliant treat and it is wonderful that all of the major theatres are on board.

On Wednesday 12th August, officially the first date of Kids Week, they are celebrating by kicking off  the festivities with an amazing showcase of some of the best musical numbers from our current West End shows. From The Lion King to Wicked you and your miniscule music lovers can hand clap and groove away to the musicals soundtrack of the year, all for FREE.

Just head down to the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall. Be there by 2pm, settle down with the brood (grab a glass of wine!) and take it all in. If you want to know more about Kids Week click here  - More information

Have a great time.

Mama xx

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Lollibop Review

Just got back from Lollibop. Kids had a really good time and we had fun watching them have a really good time. It was sold out today, and we felt so sorry for all those parents who had taken their brood up to Regents Park, in the hope of getting in, only to be turned away at the gates. But there are still tickets available tomorrow, so you never know, it might be worth another visit!

If you are going, here are my top tips.
1. Bring food. The queues were ridiculous. If you have a portaloo you may be able to sustain the wait but if not, bring as much as you need so you can enjoy more of the event.
2. Do NOT wait for half and hour in a queue of over 700 people to see the Charlie and Lola's Bestest Play Ever. I'm sorry but it would have been more apt to re-title it Charlie and Lola's Longest and Most Pointless Play Ever! What were they thinking? They had four people dressed in subdued black and grey, holding little paper cutouts of Charlie and Lola desperately trying to communicate the most unimaginative story about our heroes tidying their bedroom, having a bath and nightmares!! I kid you not, people were actually leaving half way through. I saw at least 6 parents in close proximity to me fall asleep! One of my boys asked me whether it had finished yet, only 10 minutes into the show! The foresight of youth eh? I am sure that Lauren Child would have been horrified!
3. Make sure you see Rastamouse. Da Easy Crew put on a brilliant show and created a lovely vibe for parents and children alike. He just brings a smile to your face and adds a groove to your moves!
4. The WOW tent was brilliant. As soon as the twins saw those fantastically designed toys they were in the tent like a shot and played happily for ages on the mini tables with race tracks, cars, trucks, planes you name it! And each child was given a little toy to take home! Great move.
5. The Itsy Bitsy Strictly Tent is where we should have spent some time but didn't. It was a dancing tent but with a chill out zone thrown in. Everyone in there sounded like they were having a great time, so I would highly recommend it.
6. Minimission is where to head if you fancy a groove, the music was superb in there.
7. The Waybuloos were yogatastic and loved by all.
8. Don't forget your picnic blanket - it's a must!!
9. Keep an eye out for the freebies on offer, drinks and food.
10. Leave before the rush.

Staff were oh so friendly and the vibe was great. If you adhere to my tips. You'll have a wonderful time tomorrow.

Mama xx

Friday, 5 August 2011

New kid on the block - Apple Cart

Sunday 7th August
Victoria Park
This weekend London will play host to the debut appearance of the city's newest festival (yes another one!). Apple Cart will be alive and kicking at Victoria Park on Sunday August 7th.  If you are stuck for something to do this weekend, you could do worse than venture in the direction of this heady combination of music, comedy, cabaret in an attempt to entertain the little ones.

Music wise it definitely hits a nerve with the likes of Soul II Soul, Dexy's Midnight Runners and DJ's Giles Peterson &Andy Weatherall! Just a few of the artists the Apple Cart cleverly managed to sign for the event.  For the children they have magic, traditional village fete games, ministry of stories, a House of fairy-tales and more. You can find all the information you need about this event at The Apple Cart.

It will be interesting to see how well this new kid on the block fairs, given the number of events like this on in London now. Plus they have boldly decided to go head to head with Lollibop which is on in Regents Park the same weekend.

If you head up there. Please let me know what you experienced.


Mama xx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Summer Holidays - More August Ideas!

In a few days we will be down to one month! Yes my friends, one single month, four weeks, two fortnights! Whatever you want to call it, before the children go back to school. Don't get me wrong, I know how we love spending time with the little crumb-snatchers and a month doesn't sounds THAT bad but; we still have to entertain, excite, stimulate and endure the whims of our much loved prepubescent offspring Gdammit! Which is, incidentally, where I come in. 

As you know I have already produced a round up of activity that I think you and the family might enjoy throughout August here, August Summer SpecialBut I am also keeping my ear to the ground for anything that might be coming up (or that I might've missed!). So here are two more interesting events you should be aware of that might add an interesting dimension to your August.

1. Nomad Cinema. Until Friday 30th September
In a nutshell this new pop up cinema company appears and promptly disappears from parks all over London all in the name of the cool outdoor movie experience! Who needs a sound proofed room, comfy chairs, roof and the warmth of well bled radiators associated with traditional cinemas mmmmm? That is just so last decade!! Open air is all the rage now! You'll find this style of event at Somerset House & at The Queen of Hoxton, people so it is time we got on the curve.  The show times vary but most are on in the evening; so depending on what time you put your movieloving-munchkins to bed it may or may not suit! But if it doesn't, what the hell, get a babysitter and go yourself, with a friend, better half, frenemy, whatever floats your boat! Listings are here. Nomad Cinema

2. Brixton Splash - Sunday 7th August 12:00 - 7:00pm. FREE
This year the Brixton Splash is 6 years old. This free fun family extravaganza takes place in Windrush Square (outside Brixton Library) and along Coldharbour Lane. If you want to see some of the up and coming artists that London has to offer then this is where you will see many of them showcase their talents. There will be stall after stall of great food, arts and crafts in abundance and without question plenty of dancing with the sounds of calypso, reggae, soul, dub-step and more providing the culturally relevant soundtrack. In the words of Rastamouse this event will no doubt be "Irie". Brixton Splash

Keep it locked!
Mama xx

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wind in the Willows - Wonderful!

Performances until Sunday August 7
Special offer for 5 MamalovesLondon followers at al, 2 for 1 tickets per booking for 6pm performance on Friday 29th July. Call the number at the bottom of this post. Good Luck
Yesterday I went to see the alfresco theatre production of Wind in the Willows in Brockwell Parks' walled garden with my 3 year old twins. As a family, having been to the theatre many times, you kind of know what to expect BUT, given this was an open air affair we had no idea as to how this classic tale would be adapted given its new environment!

As you can imagine the concept of an outdoor play, lasting 70 minutes and targeting children set in a garden has its fair share of challenges. I had visions of rescuing the children from naive exploration of thorn riddled flora or bribing them with organix fruit bars in an attempt to keep them focused but fortunately I realised early on that I could cast away such typical parental worries because the shows producers had thought of everything and created an engaging, enjoyable interpretation of the play that was quite frankly brilliantly done.

Cleverly and surprisingly the tale began outside the garden in the park amongst toadstools with the audience sitting on mats provided by the production, shortly after which we moved seamlessly into the garden to absorb more of the story told eloquently  - in most part - by a team of very good actors. Not wanting to give too much away, throughout the show we meandered through the garden scene by scene enjoying the music, the singing, the enchanting script and set design; and the children were completely enthralled.

Hats off to the Director Jenny Lee who delivered a winning formula considering a complex script and varied audience. She nailed it. It was fun, feisty and fabulous!

For parents and children alike it's a show worth every penny (around £20 for one adult and two children), and for an extra £3:00 the little ones can participate in a workshop too.

For more information you can check out this link or call 07958448690.

Ratty and Toad were my favourite. Who will yours be?

Go visit. Its on until Sunday August 7.

Mama x

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

In the Night Garden - The Old Deer Park

Saturday July 30 - Saturday August 13
I'll be honest, In the Night Garden as big a phenomenon as it is, is already feeling a little bit retro to me! Anybody feeling the same? Despite that, I know that many of you lovely people have children who just cannot get enough of IgglePiggle or Makka Pakka. So I am just using this post to let you know that In the Night Garden Live is offering up a person size puppet show at the Old Deer Park in Richmond Park. Their PR says it is specially designed for the under 5's.

Look, between you and me, Richmond Park is beautiful and that is really the great attraction! So go and enjoy that.

Nod and a wink!

Mama xx
In the Night Garden

Monday, 25 July 2011

National Theatre - Family Fun Week

Monday July 25 - Sunday July 31
You can always rely on the National Theatre to think of some way of entertaining families over the summer holidays. As one would expect, they have delivered yet again in an attempt to ease us gently into the swing of things for the next six weeks. You'll find music, theatre, cabaret, games even a pie - throwing extravaganza (very topical, given the recent incident at the #hackgate public enquiry! Let's  hope Wendi Murdoch isn't about!).

There is absolutely no need to list all events here when there is a perfectly good link at the National Theatre detailing everything that is going on. The weather is going to be beautiful this week by all accounts. So soak up some sunshine on The Southbank, and check out these events.
Family Fun Week

Mama xx

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Summer Holiday Special

6 long weeks with the children are upon us and we have to make sure we hold on to our sanity over this challenging period. The key? Organisation, good planning and knowledge of what the hell is going on in this city will no doubt make our lives easier and make the little people in our lives happy and ultimately exhausted, so we can enjoy night after night of restful sleep!!

Do not fear Mamas. Mamaloveslondon has been working tirelessly to bring you news of what I think you and your offspring will enjoy over the summer. I've tried to break it down for you by month to make it easy. But I'll tell you now that pools, parks and playgrounds as generic attractions are not included here as there are plenty of sites covering that information. Instead I am going to detail events, shows, attractions that may have flown under your radar in my attempt to keep you ahead of the curve over the summer.

Just click the tabs at the top of the site entitled July Summer Special or August Summer Special for the latest news and as the weeks go on I will be updating the blog and keeping you one step ahead on twitter. Until the sunsets on September 4, keep it locked to Mamaloveslondon. Follow me to make it easy then the update posts go straight to your inbox.

Summer Special

Have a great summer.

Mama xx

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Itch of the Golden Nit - created by children for children

Trafalgar Square - Saturday 23rd July. Admission Free!!!

In 2010 The Tate Modern, through a massive collaboration across Britain, managed to extract ideas, drawings and creative concepts from over 500 children to create a feature film entitled The Itch with the Golden Nit.

The animated characters drawn by the children were brought to life by the team behind Wallace and Grommit and their voices are being portrayed by the likes of Miranda Hart, David Waliiams, Rik Mayall, Jane Horrocks, Harry Enfield, Vic Reeves and many more of our favourite Brtish stars.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Barbican Weekender - Extraordinary Voices

Do you know, I cannot remember the last time I went to the Barbican. As a London girl, I find it astonishing that I haven't explored it more and taken advantage of the fantastic events they put on there. But the tide is changing, now that I have spotted an event that I think the whole family will truly enjoy.

At no cost for entry, the Barbican is hosting a weekend celebrating the dynamism of our voice! Channelling this artistic expression will be a combination of talented acts from choirs, storytellers & beat-boxers to poets and interactive media. All with very different creative points of view.