Five fun (and slightly festive) events in the capital to keep your little ones busy this weekend
1. A World Inside a Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and other creatures
Calling all Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler fans, young and old! The brand new, year-long exhibition at Stratford’s Discover Children’s Story Centre brings 12 of the authors’ enchanting picture books to life, with illustration galleries, a scaled-down town to make the little ones feel like giants, The Highway Rat‘s cave with creatures hidden in rocks, a Monkey Puzzle jungle and so much more to enjoy. Take a bridge over the sparkly river from Stick Man, or visit the dark forest where a full-size Gruffalo hides.
When: until September 2018, session times vary
How much: £8 each; under-twos, £2; under-ones go free
Where: Discover Children’s Story Centre, 383-387 High Street, Stratford, London E15 4QZ
0208 536 5555
Little ones aged three to seven are being encouraged to get into the competitive spirit at Lee Valley Athletics Centre for a day of long jump, 200m races, shot put, javelin and 60m hurdles. Youngsters can choose any three disciplines and compete with their age group in a relaxed sporting atmosphere.
When: Saturday 9 December, from 10am
How much: From £15 each
Where: Lee Valley Athletics Centre, 61 Meridian Way, Edmonton, London N9 0AR
3. Winter’s Tales
As a celebration of classic and contemporary stories, and in support of the charity Give a Book, a stellar line-up of well-known names will be reading their favourite books at the Print Room at the Coronet this December. Suitable for little ones aged six to 12 years, and their families, the event will include comedian and present Mel Giedroyc reading Agatha Christie’s The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, singer Emeli Sandé reading one of her childhood favourites, and actress Penelope Wilton reading from A. A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh.
When: Until Sunday 10 December, reading times vary
How much: Adults, £15.50; children, £12.50
Where: Print Room at the Coronet, Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3LB
0203 642 6606
4. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Back for its 11th year, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland has become something of an annual excursion, with so much to do. The ice rink will see live music played day and night, while the Magical Ice Kingdom returns with a new theme – Deep Sea Adventure. Families can also enjoy shows, street food and stalls. Hot chocolate, anyone?
When: Until Monday 1 January 2018, 10am to 10pm
How much: Free; activities cost extra
Where: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
5. The Snow Queen
Recommended for children aged five to 11, although with younger siblings welcome, this magical production tells the story of best friends Kai and Gerda in a reimagined version of the Hans Christian Andersen classic.
When: Until Sunday 4 February 2018, performance times vary
How much: £18.50 each
Where: Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB
0208 543 4888