Creative & Interactive
Whether you like getting your hands dirty, creating colourful pictures or doing science experiments there are lots to of ways to learn something new this summer. The good thing about all these events is the kids get to have a go.
12th - 20th July 2008
With programmes like 'Time Team' making archaeology more popular than ever, National Archaeology Week is your chance to get your hands dirty and dig up the past. London-centred events over the weekend include special Olympic-inspired family activities at the Museum of London (19th and 20th July) and a dig at Tower Beach (26th and 27th July), in the shadow of the Tower of London. There's also a rare chance to look behind the scenes at the Institute of Archaeology (12th July at 31-34 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PY), meet the expert 'Time Detectives', explore ancient Egyptian and Roman history and join in the sandpit excavation. These are just some of the London institutions taking part. For full details go to www.nationalarchaeologyweek.org.uk.
16th July 2008
Jazz musician Pete Churchill gives kids aged between 7 and 10 years a fun introduction to the world of jazz and improvised music. Jazzy ensembles are created through singing, learning jazz repertoire by ear, and exploring story-telling through music. It's a fun workshop at the recently restored Fulham Palace that everyone can get involved in, even if they don't have their own musical instrument. Booking recommended as places are limited.
23rd July - 27th August 2008
Dulwich Picture Gallery has been shortlisted for the Guardian's most family-friendly museum of the year - and it was the only London venue to make the cut. See what makes the gallery so loved by families at their summer 'Art in the Garden' workshops, six weeks of drop-in classes on Wednesday afternoons that positively encourage youngsters to let their artistic side shine through. Workshops are held in the beautiful gardens (weather permitting, obviously) where you can enjoy a picnic, sit on the lawn and get creative.
26th & 27th July 2008
See the largest working beam engine in the world in action at the Kew Bridge Steam Museum on 26th and 27th July. The 90" engine, built in 1846 in Cornwall for waterworks duty, is among the Giants of Steam operating over the special weekend of talks and tours. These giant engines are only run once a month so this is a good chance to see them in all their glory. The imposing Boulton & Watt and the Maudslay beam engines are also being put into action as the Victorian pumping station is brought back to life. Find out about the history of these impressive engines with expert guidance and behind-the-scenes tours.
27th - 30th July 2008
Explore the medieval side of Eltham Palace by following a trail laid out across the grounds of the beautiful landmark building used as a royal residence from the 14th to the 16th century. The original palace dates back to 1305 when it was given to Edward II by the Bishop of Durham, Anthony Bek. After a period of restoration in the 1930s, which gave the Great Hall some Art Deco touches, the property came under the management of English Heritage. This special family fun trail takes you and the kids around the landscaped gardens, the moat and the old hunting grounds.
28th July - 22nd August 2008
Lights, camera, action! See what your 7 to 16 year-old kids can do with a clapper board and a camera at the Filmsteps school. For this summer, four five-day courses are held at the historic Sutton House, a wonderful Tudor National Trust property sure to inspire a period drama. Kids are taught how to make their own mini feature films by experts working in the industry. Directing, acting, editing, screenwriting, camera operating, team work and creative thinking are all covered. Better for your kids to be behind the camera than sitting in front of the TV. Check out www.filmsteps.com for details.
2nd August 2008
The Royal Institution is brilliant at making science interesting for youngsters - their Christmas lectures are a case in point. Now your budding boffins can get some hands-on experience at the newly revamped RI - officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 28th May 2008. On the first Saturday of the month, starting on Saturday 2nd August, kids of all ages can get involved, making slime and building a space rocket. There's a whole range of hands-on activities, exciting demonstrations and talks from the experts. If all that scientific fact-finding has your head spinning, you can take a break in their new 'Time & Space' cafe which opens late summer.
4th August 2008 - 8th August 2008
Stuck for ways to keep the kids entertained over the summer holidays? If your sprogs are inspired by the Wall-E movie the Design Museum's Animation Summer School will be likely to animate them. It's a great way for 12 to 16-year-olds to put their creative energies to good use. And at the end of the five days you'll get to see what they've been up to. Kids learn a whole range of moving image techniques and develop new skills to create short animated films. Who knows, after this your kid may be getting a job at Pixar. For further details and to book email firstname.lastname@example.org.
29th March 2008 - 31st August 2008
A new multi-sensory exhibition in the Story Den at the fantastic Discover storytelling centre in Stratford East, City of Stories celebrates East London's characters and history through the real life tales of its residents. They're a well-travelled bunch, bringing tales from Albania, Bangladesh, Somalia, Poland and London. With music and installations by artist Cathy Wren, the multi-sensory part really lifts the words from the page to appeal to kids - something Discover does consistently well.
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