New Year, Same Old Me! :)

familyAnd so a New Year has started and I have taken these few weeks to just enjoy quality time with my favourite gang (although my youngest did come down with the adenovirus) and make the very important resolution of… not having any resolutions! 🙂

While for some January is the “blue” month, for us it has always been a special one since it’s when we celebrate my Birthday, as well as our Wedding Anniversary. I also love the fact that January is related to the Roman God Janus, whose name comes from the Latin word for door (ianua) – a door to another year and hopefully an opening to new beginnings.

So here’s to you, January! 

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Fun Christmas Workshops

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Christmas Day is in little more than two weeks and, like me, you still haven’t bought all your gifts and the end of Autumn Term is upon us… Don’t panic. There are some great Holiday Workshops where you can drop your kids off while you plan your festive shopping.

Here are some of the girls’ favourites:

  • Art Barn – The girls have been going there for a long time… They run fun arts and craft morning workshops where children aged 3 to 9 years old can be creative (just look at the cute tiger canvas that Leonor brought home once!) Kids will explore Art through a range of materials and activities. From the 13th to the 21st December, 9.30am to 12.30pm, in Kensington (48 Emperor’s Gate, SW7 4HJ).
  • Lorna Jackson Fun Days – They provide high quality childcare for children aged 3-12 years during school holidays and take them out on different trips around London each day. At Christmas time, they will be open all day (8.30am to 6.30pm) on the 20th, 21st and 22nd December in Hammersmith (Matthews Community Hall, 12 Margravine Road, W6 8HN). The girls have gone with them to Kidzania, Hampton Courts, London Zoo, Gambadoo, Greenwich Boat, as well as karts, movies and museums, to name but a few of the trips. If you are interested:  call 0787 331 4417 or email: fundays4kids@aol.co.uk.
  • Camp Beaumont Group will have four Christmas camps open this year from the 18th to the 22nd December, from 9.00am to 5.30pm. In London, you can choose between the Hampstead camp (NW3 6XH) and the Mill Hill one (NW7 1QS). Children are grouped according to their age (at these two camps, it will be for kids aged 4 to 16 years old) and they can try up to six sporting, creative and adventure activities each day, ensuring the programmes are safe as well as fun filled. They offer four main clubs: Playtime, Magic, Mania and Teen. My girls love going there!
  • If you are into Science, why not try out the exciting and inspiring Richer Education Christmas Science Camp, which will be open from the 18th until the 22nd December, from 9.00am until 3.30pm, at the Imperial College of London, in Kensington (180 Queens Gate, SW7 2RH). All levels of knowledge are welcomed and children from 4 to 11 years old will be organised into separate groups depending on their age and level.

Naughty or Nice?

girlsAnd just like that in four weeks time it will be Christmas again… Let’s face it, whether naughty or nice (and although we do tell them that if they don’t behave, Santa is not coming down the chimney), ours kids’ wish list will come true. So why not give them collectables this Christmas?

My girls are obsessed with LOL Suprise Dolls and have asked for the tots dolls, lil’ sisters, pets, big surprise, games, you name it… So we thought it was a great idea to just ask all the “Santas” to get them. They are not cheap and are mostly sold out in London (Argos, Smyths Toys and Toys r’ Us will be your best options to get your hands on one).

Other collectable ideas this Christmas are the Hatchimals Collegtibles, Num Noms, Shopkins, Tsum Tsum for girls, Pop Vinyls Figures, Lego Brickheadz or Lego DC Comics for boys and for younger kids the eternal Peppa Pig, the Sylvanian families or Paw Patrol mini figurines will always be a hit.

Most importantly don’t forget that, if you are in the UK, you must write and post the children’s letter(s) to Santa Claus by Friday the 8th of December. Royal Mail has a very cool page with all the details and with a message from Father Christmas himself! 😉

So Many Markets, So Little Time

general-christmas-marketChristmas Season in London wouldn’t be complete without a family walk through one of it’s many markets and fairs, where you can discover gift ideas, get inspired with seasonal decorations, warm up with hot roasted chestnuts or mulled wine, watch some festive films or even go ice skating.

In my previous posts I have already mentioned the known Hyde Park Winter Wonderland as well as Winterville in Clapham Common, but here are some of our other picks for you to enjoy this year:

  • The Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair will take place on the weekend of the 25th and 26th of November and is a good opportunity for you to find some unique gifts and festive decorations. Plus kids enter for free;
  • The first-ever Hammersmith Christmas Market will take place all day on Saturday the 2nd December. There will plenty of stalls along a traffic-free King Street and in Lyric Square offering seasonal gifts, food and drinks, live music, carol singing and a visit from Santa. While the popular traffic-free North End Road Christmas Market will return on the 9th of December with over 150 stalls packed with presents, festive food and drink;
  • The free Notting Hill Bazaar Market returns this year from the 1st to the 3rd of December and promises to delight the whole family, with plenty of stalls to visit and its own Santa Grotto (£10 per child);
  • This year, the Chelsea Christmas Shopping Weekend is also on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of December, “two days of festive fun and sparkle that will see over 50 stores and restaurants in the area offering exclusive Christmas promotions”;
  • And the annual Belgravia Christmas Sunday will take place on the 3rd of December, from 11am until 5pm, where you will be able to find artisan crafts, as well as enjoy seasonal food and drinks from the local traders.