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Rosy Moorhead rounds up some fun events taking place in north London this February half term
This half term at artsdepot the line-up features incredible adventures, worlds made from rubbish and a perilously large vegetable!
Rubbish imagines a world that celebrates its rubbish – where, at the touch of a puppeteer’s hand, the contents of a bin bag can transform before your eyes. A visually stunning and playful production exploring the unexpected value of discarded objects. For ages six and above.
- Friday, February 15 to Sunday, February 17 at various times, with craft workshops on Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 17.
From Tall Stories, the company behind The Gruffalo, comes a stage adaptation of the classic TV series Mr Benn, full of catchy songs and astounding magic. One Mr Benn comes across an extraordinary shop and the shopkeeper shows him into a mysterious dressing room where changing clothes leads Mr Benn into incredible adventures, full of dragons, princesses and sea monsters… Will he ever go back to his ordinary life? Ages four and above.
- Saturday, February 16 at 2pm.
Living on an allotment in a tiny house the size of a shed, Mr and Mrs Chickweed show off their prize-winning vegetables for the last time before they retire. However they can't resist planting one last seed... Disaster! The Enormous Turnip won't stop growing and is threatening their house. Will anyone help them pull up the Enormous Turnip? Ages three and above.
- Thursday, February 21 to Sunday, February 24 at various times. Craft workshops are available from Thursday, February 21 to Saturday, February 23.
Artsdepot is also a host venue for London Children’s Bookswap, which takes place throughout the capital and offers children the chance to bring along a book they’ve enjoyed and swap it for someone else’s recommended read. Bookmark making workshops will also be available. Saturday, February 16.
- Artsdepot, Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley. Details: 020 8369 5454, www.artsdepot.co.uk
Herts Inclusive Theatre’s teenagers and volunteers romp panto-style through JM Barrie’s timeless classic, Peter Pan, with eccentric characters and a hungry crocodile.
- The Ark Theatre, Thriftfarm Lane, Borehamwood on Saturday, February 16 at 4pm. Details: 020 8238 7288, www.thearktheatre.co.uk
Billy Goats Gruff is the simple story of three hungry goats and a grumpy old troll, told with a gentle ecological message. Watch out for the dance of the goats, the flying troll and load and loads of rubbish! With puppets, live music, storytelling and singing this is ideal for three-year-olds and above.
- Wyllyotts Theatre, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar on Sunday, February 24 at 11am. Details: 01707 645 005, www.wyllyottstheatre.co.uk
Have you ever wondered what you would find if you could travel to the other side of a mirror? Or what you would find at the bottom of a rabbit hole?
Join Alice on her whirlwind tour through the Looking Glass and Wonderland as she meets the most amazing, amusing and bemusing creatures ever imagined when Garden Suburb Theatre present Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
- Henrietta Barnett School, Central Square, Hampstead on Friday, February 22, Saturday, February 23, Sunday, February 24, Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 at various times. Details: 020 7723 6609, www.gardensuburbtheatre.org.uk
As always, Zippo’s Circus will be wowing shoppers at Brent Cross shopping centre this half term, with a whole new show for 2013.
Carnaval features equestrian star Nicky de Neumann, the thrilling motorcycle Globe of Death and France’s funniest clowns, a troupe of bouncing Cuban acrobats, and an amazing Ukrainian strong-man, aerialists, jugglers, and ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE with Britain's best-trained budgerigars!
- Brent Cross, Prince Charles Drive, off North Circular Road from Friday, February 15 to Sunday, February 24 at various times. Details: www.brentcross.co.uk, www.zippos.co.uk
If the snow clears up in time, help keep the Avenue House gardens shipshape by joining in for a couple of hours of gardening. Tools, gloves and a flapjack to keep you going are all provided.
- Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley on Sunday, February 17 from 11am to 1pm or 2pm to 4pm. Details: 020 8346 7812, www.avenuehouse.org.uk
There’s lots going on at Aldenham Country Park. The week starts off with Make and Bake, where you can bake your own biscuits to take home and enjoy, on Monday, February 18. Every day, you can take part in a Pooh Bear hunt around 100 Aker Wood.
Families can join in a fun nature walk along the park’s nature trail and learn fun facts along the way, on Wednesday, February 20 at 10.30am or 2pm. Survival Day is on Friday, February 22 at 2pm for ages eight and above to enjoy den building, fire making and everything you need to survive in the great outdoors. Finish off the week with the Young Farmers’ Club on Saturday, February 23, which offers practical farming experience.
- Aldenham Country Park, Aldenham Road, Elstree. Details: 020 8953 9602, www.aldenhamcountrypark.co.uk
ARTS & CRAFTS
As part of the BBC Your Paintings celebration, Burgh House is hosting a day of family fun, including craft activities and a story afternoon, suitable for five to nine year olds.
- Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, New End Square, Hampstead on Friday, February 22 at 2pm. Details: 020 7431 0144, www.burghhouse.org.uk
GAMES & ACTIVITIES
The Hertswood Centre in Potters Bar is holding more of its popular day camps and kiddie kamps this half term.
Activities include team games, a bouncy castle, dodge ball, a variety of sports, trampolining, arts and crafts workshops, face painting, soft play and cinema trips.
Kiddie Kamps are for ages five to seven and day camps are for ages eight to 14.
- Hertswood Centre, Potters Lane, Borehamwood from Monday, February 18 to Friday, February 22 from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Details: 020 83875600, www.hertsmereleisure.co.uk
Calling all families with children in school years 1-8 - dress up and head down to Ivy House for a Family Purim Extravaganza!
The afternoon will include karaoke, hamentaschen decorating, face painting and a fancy dress competition and catwalk show – plus a surprise event not to be missed.
- London Jewish Cultural Centre, Ivy House, North End Road, Golders Green on Sunday, February 24 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Details: 020 8457 5000, www.ljcc.org.uk
Young visitors to the RAF Museum in Hendon can enjoy Half Term Helicopters. Learn more about the history of the museum’s helicopter collection through a series of fascinating and fun interactive workshops.
Jump inside the Royal Wessex and Whirlwind search and rescue helicopters and ask questions about these magnificent machines. You can also explore the interior of the Merlin helicopter and the interactive Chinook exhibition. Kids can also make their own paper helicopters to take home.
- RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon from Monday, February 18 to Friday, February 22 from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm. Details: 020 8358 4896, www.rafmuseum.org.uk