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“You’re off to great places Today is your day"
"You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting! So... get on your way!" Dr Seuss' Oh! The Places You'll Go.
Are you looking for ideas for what to do with the kids this Spring to inspire them and ignite their imaginations? Here are ten activities to get you started.
1. The Fantastic World of Dr Seuss Exhibition This immersive exhibition brings to life the magical world of Dr Seuss. There are illustrations to see from The Cat In The Hat, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham and Oh! The Places You'll Go!. Children can dress up, play music with the Boom Band from Oh! The Places You'll Go!, have a go at wordplay games and be inspired by one of the most popular children's writers of all time. Tickets cost £5 for kids and £18 for a family of four. The exhibition runs until 3 September 2017 at Stratford's Discover Children's Story Centre. Check out this link: Dr Seuss Exhibition.
2. Ride a Shetland Pony in Richmond Park
For children aged three to six years old, Stag Lodge Stables run a Pony Park Lesson, which is a 30 minute lead-rein lesson around Richmond Park. Children can take to the saddle on one of their Shetland ponies: Scooby Doo, Honey Bee or Comet. A Pony Park Lesson costs £25 on weekdays and £30 at the weekend. Book in advance. They also offer one off lessons and courses for children aged 3-16, as well as a Pony Week course during half terms for children aged five plus. For more info, check out: Stag Lodge.
3. Pelican Feeding in St James' Park The central lake in St James' Park has been home to pelicans since the 17th century. These impressive birds are fed fresh fish every day between 2.30pm and 3pm next to the Duck Island Cottage. These mischievous birds love a bit of company and will no doubt be a big hit with your little ones. For more info: Pelicans
4. Discover Spring For Yourself London is jam-packed full of parks and green spaces. So this Spring, why not head out on an adventure with your little ones to discover crocuses and daffodils emerging from the ground, while watching ducklings test out their sea legs.
5. Shakespeare For Kids: King Lear Shakespeare's famous tragedy has been abridged and re-worked for kids aged five and over, and what better way to introduce them to one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond are staging a production of King Lear for those aged five and up and I reckon it'll be well worth getting a ticket. King Lear is 70 minutes long and tickets cost £10 each. There are two performances: on Saturday 13 May at 11am and Saturday 10 June at 11am. For tickets, call the box office on 020 8940 3633 or book via their website: Orange Tree Theatre. Read more about it here: Shakespeare For Kids.
6. Step In To A World Of Tropical Butterflies The Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley Glasshouse is currently home to more than 6000 exotic butterflies, like the Blue Wave and Tiger Leafwing. Kids can get up close and personal with these enchanting creatures in this rainforest like tropical paradise.
7. See Dinosaurs Take your own tiny paleontologist to see the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs. All the dinosaurs are outside so a decent Spring day is a good time to check out these prehistoric animals. There are over 30 statues created by sculpture Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, and they actually date back to around 1854. The park opens at 7.30am and closes at dusk and it's free for all. Just don't climb on them.
8. Do Some Graffiti at the Royal Academy Families with children of all ages can drop in for free and have a go at their own street art. Let the kids loose on painting a wall (that's not your lounge wall) and create their own graffiti. This idea is inspired by their America After The Fall: Painting In The 1930s exhibition, where you can see Grant Wood's famous painting American Gothic up close. It's the first time this painting has ever left North America so it's worth seeing, if you have the time. For more info: Graffiti.
9. The Robot Zoo at Horniman Museum Running from February through to October, The Robot Zoo recreates amazing animals in robot form to reveal their inner workings. From bats to giraffes to grasshoppers, children can get under the skin of their favourite creatures. A family ticket costs £17; adult tickets cost £7 and children £4. The great news? Under threes are free.
10. Visit A Playground (In A Pub) Everyone knows that kids love slides, swings and sandpits – and parents like to chill out on a bright Spring day with a coffee or a wine or a pint. So why not combine the two? The Anglers Pub in Teddington has a playground in the beer garden so you can let the kids have fun while you keep watch with a drink in hand. Everyone's a winner!