Rosy Moorhead rounds up the best of what's on in north London this May half term

Times Series: The Gruffalo's Child is at artsdepot in North Finchley The Gruffalo's Child is at artsdepot in North Finchley

MUSIC

In the Groove

A medley of jazz, folk, big-band and world music from brilliant young talents. From Barnet the Queen Elizabeth’s School Big Band, directed by Kieron Howe, joins forces with the Choir of St Margaret’s School Bushey, under the direction of Ian Hope.

  • St Mary’s Church, Church End, Hendon on Friday, May 24 at 7.30pm. Details: 020 8959 0207, hendonparish.org.uk

African drumming workshop

Learn from an expert how to produce exhilarating rhythms at an African drumming workshop. Drums are provided and full participation is expected! Just bring your sense of fun.

  • St Mary’s Church, Church End, Hendon on Saturday, May 25 at 12pm. Details: 020 8959 0207, hendonparish.org.uk

DAYS OUT

Keats Festival

Poetry, performance and family fun at the Keats Festival. Keats House’s poet-in-residence for this year’s festival is Jo Shapcott. Expect the usual line-up of poetry readings, workshops, crafts, music, theatre, and children’s activities.

  • Keats House, Keats Grove, Hampstead from Friday, May 24 to Sunday, June 2 at various times. Details: 020 7332 3868, cityoflondon.gov.uk

Search & rescue week

In this free, family activity visitors are invited to climb aboard an RAF life-raft and learn how to survive at sea without ever leaving the safety of dry land. The RAF’s role in mounting Search and Rescue operations in hazardous conditions will be highlighted and there will be the opportunity to get hands-on experience of lots of life-saving kit.

  • RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon from Monday, May 27 to Friday, May 31 from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm. Details: 020 8358 4896, rafmuseum.org.uk

Big Family Picnic Day

Venture down to 100 Aker Wood where Winnie the Pooh and On With The Show productions will be hosting a family picnic. There will be lots of activities for the whole family to take part in, including singing, dancing, games, crafts and a treasure hunt.

  • Aldenham Country Park, Aldenham Road, Elstree on Monday, May 27 from 1pm to 5pm. Details: 020 8953 9602, aldenhamcountrypark.co.uk

Whitsun Holiday Camps

The Hertswood Centre offers holiday Kiddie Kamps for ages five to seven and Day Camps for ages eight to 14. Activities throughout the week include team games, a bouncy castle, dodge ball, basketball, football, squash, swimming, trampolining, table tennis, art and craft workshops, face painting and soft play for younger children, and cinema trips.

l Hertswood Centre, Potters Lane, Borehamwood from Tuesday, May 28 to Friday, May 31 from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Details: 020 8387 5600, hertsmereleisure.co.uk Airfix exhibition This exhibition will chart the history of this Great British institution by displaying original Box Art as well as Airfix’s most popular models from the ‘50s to ‘90s in the Museum’s Art Gallery.

  • RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon from Monday, May 27 until December. Details: 020 8358 4896, rafmuseum.org.uk

Sheep shearing

Professional sheep shearers will be giving demonstrations and talks all about this ancient skill. You can then follow what happens to the fleece by seeing how it is transformed into yarn by spinning and then into woolly jumpers by guests from the Knitting and Crochet Guild.

  • Aldenham Country Park, Aldenham Road, Elstree on Saturday, June 1 from 12noon to 4pm. Details: 020 8953 9602, aldenhamcountrypark.co.uk

ART & CRAFT

Chinese calligraphy

Try your hand at the art of Chinese calligraphy with Jing He. This drop-in workshop is suitable for adults and families. No booking is necessary.

  • Keats House, Keats Grove, Hampstead on Saturday, May 25 from 2pm to 4pm. Details: 020 7332 3868, cityoflondon.gov.uk

Waterstones and Early Learning Centre

The Spires shopping centre has fun craft activities and storytime adventures at the Early Learning Centre on Tuesday, May 28 from 10.30am to 12noon and at Waterstones on Thursday, May 30 from 10.30am to 12noon.

  • The Spires, High Street, Barnet. Details: 020 8449 7505, thespiresbarnet.co.uk

Chocolate making workshop

Do you want to learn how to make chocolates with a crisp outer shell and a smooth, creamy centre? this workshop is for ages eight to 11.

  • London Jewish Cultural Centre, Ivy House, North End Road, Golders Green on Sunday, June 2 from 2pm to 4.30pm. Details: 020 8457 5000, ljcc.org.uk

FILM

Films at the Phoenix

The Phoenix cinema is offering the chance to see three Michel Ocelot animations, with a free craft workshop before each one. On Monday, May 27 is Azur & Asmar – The Princes’ Quest (U). On Thursday, May 30 is Kirikou and the Sorceress (U). And on Friday, May 31 is Kirikou and the Men and Women (U).

  • Phoenix cinema, High Road, East Finchley. Activity workshops are at 10am, films at 11am. Details: 020 8444 6789, phoenixcinema.co.uk

THEATRE

Gruffalo’s Child

Following hot on the heels of The Gruffalo’s sell out tour and his monstrous West End success comes The Gruffalo’s Child – with attitude!

  • Artsdepot, Tally Ho Corner, Nether Street, North Finchley from Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26 at various times. Details: 020 8369 5454, artsdepot.co.uk

Cinderella Kids

The timeless fairy tale meets the magic of Disney in this adaptation of the treasured animated film. Featuring dancers from Hertsmere Academy of Dance and Performing Arts.

  • Ark Theatre, Elstree Way, Borehamwood on Saturday, May 25 at 7.30pm and Monday, May 27 at 6.30pm. Details: 020 8238 7288, thearktheatre.co.uk

Woodland

artsdepot will be transformed into a woodland world for families to visit. Take a seat on stage and find out what happens when a tree mole called Chester Tuffnut sets out to find adventure in Woodland. Featuring puppetry, adventures and surprises, this interactive theatre treat is very special indeed. For ages three to five.

  • Artsdepot, Tally Ho Corner, Nether Street, North Finchley from Tuesday, May 28 to Saturday, June 1 at 11am, 2pm and 4pm. Details: 020 8369 5454, artsdepot.co.uk

Charlie & Chocolate Fun Day

Spend the morning playing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed games and decorate your very own Wonka Bars. The classic film from 1971, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory will be shown in the afternoon. Come along dressed as your favourite character from the film.

  • Ark Theatre, Elstree Way, Borehamwood on Wednesday, May 29 from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Details: 020 8238 7288, theark theatre.co.uk

My Brother the Robot

Once upon a time in the future there will be a little girl called Bobbie. Bobbie will live with her inventor dad in a house filled with technology. One day, Bobbie announces that she wishes she had a little brother. For ages four and above.

  • Artsdepot, Tally Ho Corner, Nether Street, North Finchley on Sunday, June 2 at 12pm. Details: 020 8369 5454, artsdepot.co.uk

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