Top Picks for the week ahead 31st to 5th August 2020

Actual real life events are BACK! So if you’re up for getting out and about, here’s our pick of the best things to do in London from the Natural History Museum and the Haywood Gallery opening up to Cineworld and Vue! 

Check out our previous blog on what is opening up in the real world! From theme parks, cinemas, museums and attractions. 

But there’s lots of virtual fun to be had too with free streaming of The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party by the brilliant hip hop dance company ZooNation to the Apple Camp at Home which offers tons of great projects and activities to do to the Lego Life app which gives will get the kids inspired to build fantastical creations! 

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Top Picks of things to do 

Natural History Museum Re-Opens! 

From the 5th August you can visit your favourite museums again. Take a  tour  to see some of the Museum’s biggest sights⁠ including dinosaurs, whales and volcanoes.ou will need to book your fTo help keep everyone safe, a timed entry system is in place. Only a limited number of people are allowed in our galleries.ree ticket in advance here. 

Cineworld and Vue Cinema Re-Open 

Cineworld reopens on 31st August. Book your tickets here

Take part in the Cineworld Family Favourites with films for all ages. From classics to brand new adventures, child tickets from £5 and family tickets £20. 

Vue Reopensthey’ve also got some film related ideas to keep the kids entertained! 

Haywood Gallery Reopens with – Among the Trees

From 30th July you can see Among the Trees transports us around the world – from Colombian rainforests and remote Japanese islands to olive orchards in Israel and a 9,550-year-old spruce in Sweden.

By drawing attention to the beauty, scale and complexity of trees and forests, the 37 artists in this exhibition turn our vision of the natural world on its head, inviting us to see it with new eyes.

Open Wed – Sundays Book here. 


Royal Opera House at Home -The  Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Zoo Nation (7pm. 31st July) 

This is irresistible narrative hip hop dance theatre. ZooNation’s exuberant, sell-out show The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party taps into the heady imagination of Lewis Carroll’s much-loved world. The show was commissioned by The Royal Ballet, uniting ballet and hip-hop under one tradition of excellent storytelling through dance.

ZooNation’s take on Carroll’s classic is a riot of invention and infectious energy – not to be missed! 

The Secret Love Life Of Ophelia (with Helen Mirren) at Greenwich Theatre (7.30pm 31st July)

The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is one of the most tragic in all of Shakespeare’s plays, but so much of their burgeoning love affair is unwritten. The Secret Love Life Of Ophelia seeks to fill in the gaps, revealing the growth of that young love through an exchange of letters between the two characters which are both intimate and direct, tender and passionate.

In direct response to the current closure of theatres, the play is now being adapted for a unique online premiere which will see the letters reimagined as video messages and a cast of 40 exceptional actors coming together to perform them. Together this diverse cast will reveal just how universal the experiences of the young lovers are.

Radio 1 Ibiza Prom (BBC Four, 1st August) 

Pete Tong takes charge of the BBC Radio 1 Prom and decides to employ the Heritage Orchestra to play a selection of Ibiza classics. The Royal Albert Hall has never seen anything like it!

Jules Buckley conducts the orchestra through dance masterpieces by Fatboy Slim, Eric Prydz, Shapeshifters, Robert Miles, ATB, Moby, Frankie Knuckles, Orbital, Inner City, Daft Punk, Faithless, Stardust and so many more, with the help of Ella Eyre and John Newman.T

Apple Camp at Home (First project available from 1-7 August) 

This summer, bring Apple Camp into your home with free, fun, creative projects for kids to explore at their own pace. Guided by an easy-to-follow Activity Book and live virtual sessions, they can create a positive video for the neighbourhood, design a space for happiness, and learn to code a helpful robot using iPad. 

Join a free 30-minute virtual Orientation with an Apple Creative to get started! 

Each project takes about an hour, but Campers can create and work at their own pace. The Activity Book will be a project road map, guiding them from idea to finished masterpiece. They’ll learn what to expect from each project during a live Orientation session, and drop in to live Q&A sessions to get help. If all sessions are full, they’ll be adding new sessions each week. 

Video Project: Spark Positive Change Available 1–7 August

Create a one-minute video to share a positive message for change in your neighbourhood.

The Old Vic’s  – Streaming Jekyll and Hyde (from 7pm, 5th August) 

A dance thriller devised, directed and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Drew McOnie. Inspired by Robert Louis Stevensons The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.


Disney at Home

Over the coming weeks Disney will be showcasing some of the most popular parts of Disney Theatrical’s free education programmes. See activities from The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Frozen, and a selection of Careers in Theatres videos and podcasts for primary (ages 6 – 11) and Secondary (ages 11 – 14). With videos and activity sheets from all your Disney favourites. 

LEGO Life App

Kids can get inspired, share their creations with other kids, find interactive building instructions and much more in the LEGO Life app.  All in a completely child-safe environment. 

Its free to download on both Apple app store and google play

Save with stories – watch celebrities read stories and donate!

The coronavirus pandemic has turned every child’s life upside down. However, the UK’s poorest children face falling further behind as parents lose jobs or are forced to cut hours. That’s why Save the Children has created Save with Stories. Every donation to Save with Stories will help children and families who’ve been hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, both here and around the world.

Now you can watch some of your favourite celebrities from Kate Winslet to Ray Winstone, The Princess Royal to Martin Freeman read some of the most much loved stories. 

If you can, please donate to Save the Children by going here . Or you can text STORIES to 70008 to give a one-off donation of £5,

Madame Kalamazoo’s Magical Mail – A free storytelling adventure by the National Theatre

Madame Kalamazoo is a mysterious storyteller who arrived from the Blue Moon at the start of lockdown. She writes funny daily stories for children and will send them to you for FREE via the National Theatre by email. The magical thing about her stories is that they have your children in them as the main characters!

These imaginative stories have been written to help young people get through the unusual times we are living in, and to invite them into a community of children, all receiving their own special Kalamazoo adventures.

Choose from daily or weekend delivery brought to families by the National Theatre

Recommended for 5-11 year olds. 

If you would like your children to be part of the growing community receiving their own special stories from Madame Kalamazoo, then click here to register now .

Digital Nature Journal from the Natural History Museum

Away on holiday and discover some you’ve never seen before or at home & can’t identify – check out Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity identification facebook group or create your own Digital nature journal and check out Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity if your kids are fascinated by the natural history of the UK? Investigate all aspects of the natural world – from insects and plants to fossils and minerals – with the help of our staff, facilities and resources.

Wonderful Beast – Lockdown Tales – a new podcast sharing stories for children

This fantastic resource is a new podcast which has children’s stories read by all sorts of famous names ​ All the Lockdown Tales are suitable for all ages, but to help you find what you’re looking for, they’re listed them loosely by age group.

Many of the stories and activities overlap age groups, there’s stories and activities for 0-5 year olds, 5-7 year olds, 7-11 year olds

From I love you, Blue Kangaroo to Jack and the Beanstalk, Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book to The Princess and The Pea.

Available on itunes, spotify, sticher and soundcloud.

Search ‘Wonderful Beast Lockdown Tales’

Rooting Hip Hop Theatre – Popping with Shawn Aimey

Part of get creative – Find out about Popping technique with Shawn Aimey as part of Rooting Hip Hop Theatre in Wales. 

Rooting Hip Hop Theatre in Wales is a training programme for Welsh Hip Hop Theatre, for dancers, teachers and the community. Avant bring you Shawn Aimey. A UK Pioneer, to talk you through foundations and share his Popping knowledge.

Join in the workshop here

The Barbican Family Film Club Workshop: My Neighbor Totoro paper puppets

Learn how to make your very own paper Totoro puppet in part 1 of this workshop, inspired by the beautiful Studio Ghibli film, My Neighbour Totoro. 

In part 2, have a go at making the Catbus, another magical character that appears in the film.  

My Neighbour Totoro is available to watch on Netflix.

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