There’s entertainment for children of all ages this half term at artsdepot, as two much-loved stories are brought to life on stage. Tall Stories, the company behind The Gruffalo’s Child, returns to artsdepot with its latest collaboration with Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler - The Snail and the Whale. Created in Tall Stories’ unique style, The Snail and the Whale combines physical storytelling, live music and lots of laughs, ideal for children aged four to 10, to tell the story of a tiny snail who hitches a lift on the tail of a huge humpback to see the world. The Snail and the Whale is on Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, February 19 at 12pm and 3pm.
Angel Exit’s production of The Secret Garden unearths the dark heart of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic tale to celebrate the centenary of the novel’s publication, in a treat for families with older children. Spoilt orphan Mary Lennox’s story is presented in a rich visual style that blends ensemble storytelling with striking physicality, beautiful puppets and haunting songs. The Secret Garden is on Thursday, February 16 at 7pm and Friday, February 17 at 2pm. Details: artsdepot, Nether Street, North Finchley. 020 8369 5454, www.artsdepot.co.uk
They dined on mince, and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon. And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon. This year is the centenary of Edward Lear, and Keats House in Hampstead is hosting a special family craft workshop to commemorate the author of The Owl and the Pussycat and various other nonsense poems. Create your own fantasy animal inspired by Edward Lear’s famous nonsense poetry, then write a poem about your creature and bring it to life in this fun-filled craft workshop for the whole family. Wednesday, February 15 at 11am at Keats House, Keats Grove, Hampstead. Details: 020 7332 3868, www.keatshouse.cityoflondon.gov.uk
This half-term, the RAF Museum in Hendon is giving children of all ages the opportunity to learn more about the history of its helicopter collection through a series of interactive workshops. They will be opening up their Whirlwind and Royal Wessex helicopters to give visitors a rare look inside, and kids will also get to make their own paper helicopters. Session times are 11am-1pm and 2-4pm from Monday, February 13 to Friday, February 17. RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, London. Details: 020 8205 2266, www.rafmuseum.org.uk
Barnet-based Bodens Youth Theatre presents A Little Princess, a brand new musical and one of the biggest productions the performing arts school has undertaken in its 40 year history. With a cast of 100 students ranging in age from six to 19, all from the Barnet and Enfield areas, the show, based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is accompanied by an album which will be available to buy from iTunes later this month. The kids have had an amazing experience working on the show, recording the album and spending a week away from home living as Victorian school children at St Mark’s College in Saffron Walden to help them prepare for their roles. Wednesday, February 15 to Saturday, February 18 at Wyllyotts Theatre, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar. Details: 020 8447 0909, www.bodens.co/shop
Zippos Circus at Brent Cross
On its tour of the UK, Zippos Circus will be stopping off at Brent Cross shopping centre this half term for daily action-packed performances of traditional and contemporary circus acts. Combining acts from Africa, Argentina, France, Japan, Ukraine, Brazil as well as the UK, the shows feature dazzling displays both in the air and on the ground. Friday,February 10 to Sunday, February 19 in the South Overflow Car Park at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, Brent Cross. Details: 0871 210 2100, www.zippos.co.uk Panto time Elstree Productions presents Aladdin The Pantomime, a traditional family panto suitable for all ages. Good clean fun, lots of comedy, singing and dancing, audience participation, plus just a little bit of magic. St Theresa’s Church Hall, Shenley Road, Borehamwood from February 17-19. Details: 020 8953 6560