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With school out for summer get your holidays off to a great start with our pick of some of the best the borough has to offer between now and September for families and young people.
If you’re stuck for ideas on how to fill the summer break we’ve selected 25 places to go/activities to do over the Summer from skate parks to fairy school to keep you and your children entertained. You can choose from events, sports and outdoors, summer learning and family friendly venues. Many are also free.
Something’s happening for kids annual family day
The Place, 17 Duke's Road, WC1H 9PY
Children’s poet Michael Rosen is joining The Place for their annual family fun day. Join in a fun filled day of dance and other hands-on activities.
One of the highlights will be Michael Rosen giving a special participatory reading of his famous poem ‘We’re going on a bear hunt.’
Tickets £6 or £16 for groups of 4
Get out and play
Coram’s Fields, 93 Guildford Street, WC1N 1DN
Now in its 25th year, the theme for this year’s annual playday is ‘get out and play’.
Billed as the biggest annual celebration of children’s play, Playday 2012 will be celebrated with a fun packed day of free entertainment, live music, arts and crafts, messy play, fun and games for children and young people up to 16 years.
For more information call 020 7837 6138
17- 19 August 2012
Now in its third year, LolliBop is the biggest UK festival for kids aged 0-10 with an action packed programme that will delight your little ones.
It’s a magical land of endless fun for the under 10s and the best summer day out for families. Plus once you have paid your ticket price everything is free (apart from food, drinks and gifts from our markets)
23 July – 17 August, weekends not included, 9am to 4.30pm
Talacre Sports Centre, NW5 3AF
Encourage your youngster to get active this summer by signing onto our multi-sport scheme for boys and girls aged 8 -14 years. Activities includes swimming, football, basketball, trampolining, badminton, gymnastics, mini tennis, cricket and fun games . Prices range from £33.50 to £90.50.
Application forms are available from Talacre reception or by calling 020 7974 8765.
Green to Gold: Give it a Go event
9 September, free
Parliament Hill Fields, Highgate Road, NW5 1QR
Join us for a fun day out for all with plenty of free opportunities to try new and exciting activities including: Tai chi, Nordic walking, football, bowls, street dance, workshop, climbing, dodge ball, and a health bus. Plus plenty of fun for all the family guaranteed including fancy dress party, adventure playground and circus workshop, sponge throwing, face painting, live music, performance, and stalls.
British Library and King’s Cross station, The Roundhouse
For one month, 100 ping pong tables will pop up at locations all over London. Bats and balls are supplied, so when you come across a table it's easy to just stop and play. Locations in the borough include the British Library, King’s Cross Station and The Roundhouse. There will also be classes by the English Table Tennis Association held around the tables, which are brought to the city by Sing London.
Swiss Cottage Climbing Wall
Adelaide Rd, NW3 3NF
Swiss Cottage is home to an impressive 14-metre wall and bouldering area, offering a Junior Rock Club (7-16s) on weekday evenings and Sunday mornings, and Pebbles (4-7s) on Monday and Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Parents can slope off and enjoy some the lovely café near the centre's entrance.
If we're lucky enough for the sun to shine this summer, you may want to go swimming to cool everyone down (parents included) if the thermometer starts to rise. There are some beautiful pools in Camden's sport and leisure centres, indoors and out. Of course, taking a dip is an equally good idea for those rainy, what shall we do days too.
For more information visit camden.gov.uk/swimming
Kilburn Grange Park Adventure Playground
Kilburn Grange Park, off Messina Avenue, NW6. Free.
Let the kids run wild in our award winning adventure playground. With a climbing structure and treehouse, slides, rope swings and sand pit there's something to keep them entertained for hours. You could even make an afternoon of it by taking along a picnic in the park. Among the best play facilities in the borough, the playground is suitable for children aged eight to 13.
For more information visit camden.gov.uk/parks
Coram’s Fields is a unique seven acre playground and park for children and young people living in or visiting London. Over the summer it has free sports programmes for under 16s, under 5s drop-in centre & activities, city farm, play equipment and more!
Located between King’s Cross and Holborn, the park is open from 9am till dusk and is free and open to children and young people under 16. No adult can enter Coram’s Fields without a child.
The Pirate Castle Club
Pirate Castle, Oval Road, London NW1 7EA
Take the kids to this community boating project where they can learn how to have fun and experience adventures on Regent’s Canal. The charity offers activities on a variety of boats including kayaks, rowing boats, canoes and even two full length narrowboats.
Cantelowes Gardens and skate parks
Cantelowes Gardens is a large green space next to Camden Road. The major attraction is a state-of-the-art skatepark open from 11am - 9pm seven days a week. The Park also includes a new multi-use sports pitch and pavilion, two new children's playgrounds and landscaping work to provide quiet areas, shrub beds and dog walking space.
Camden summer university
Various venues. Free.
Interested in creating the next Tank Girl or learning some new dance moves? Camden Summer University (CSU) is offering a wide range of free summer courses from Monday 23 July to Friday 31 August including creative writing and graphic novels for young people aged 13 to 19 years (and up to 25 for those with a learning disability) who live or go to school in Camden. Places are filling up fast so register and book online today at cmdn.co.uk/summer/
Story Lab: Summer reading challenge 2012
At local libraries boroughwide. Free.
Take part in the Summer Reading Challenge at Camden libraries throughout the school holidays. The challenge, aimed at 4-11 year-olds, is to read six books over the holidays. As well as the challenge, there will be plenty of events and activities to keep children entertained over the summer - to find out more please visit your local library, call 020 7974 4444, or visit lovecamden.org.
Across the borough
Book your child into a holiday play scheme this summer for hours of fun in a safe and stimulating environment running from 23 July to 29 August.
There is a wide range of activities on offer, including arts, crafts, sports, games, music and trips out – all provided by experienced staff. Please contact the individual play scheme of your choice (for a list visit Camden.gov.uk/play). For general play service enquiries, call 020 7974 1519 or visit camden.gov.uk/play.
Chalk Farm Rd, London, NW1 8EH
The Roundhouse hosts an impressive range of workshops and courses for participants aged 11-25 covering music, creative media and performing arts, all based at the high-tech Roundhouse Studios. Projects include music production, filming and editing, journalism, drama and circus skills. For full details check out the Roundhouse website roundhouse.org.uk
Classes in singing dance and acting for young people aged 6-18.
Professional teachers all CRB Checked. Every year Theatretrain performs in Prestigious West End Theatres such as Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Sadlers wells, The Palladium and even the Royal Albert Hall.
London Zoo – Animal athletes
Cheer for some of the most incredible athletes in the world at ZSL London Zoo this summer! Follow unique animal athletes trail to learn more about our sporting stars here at the Zoo. There are also daily Animal Athletes live demonstrations happening around the Zoo including Bob the burrowing owl taking part in the 100cm sprint!
For more information visit zsl.org
Kentish Town City Farm
Nestled between the railway lines and residential streets, the farm covers four and half acres. It has a stock of chickens, cows, ducks, geese, goats, horses, pigs and sheep. Some of the animals are rare breeds and they are are used to being touched. Everyone is actively encouraged to participate in all aspects of animal care, from mucking out to helping with feeds and site maintenance.
35 Little Russell St, WC1A 2HH
With cartoons spanning from the early eighteenth-century to 'modern times' the collection at the cartoon museum feature comic strip art from 2000AD, the Dandy and the Beano and characters including Rupert the Bear, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd to name but a few. Children's animation workshops are held during school holidays.
For more information visit cartoonmuseum.org
40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ
Here the regular Family Fun programme offers free drop-in sessions for three-to-12 -year-olds on the first Saturday of most months and on Thursdays and Fridays during Camden school holidays. Children under 16 are admitted to the Foundling Museum free of charge. Read more at foundlingmuseum.org.uk
If dressing up as a gorgeous, glittery, pink fairy is your kind of thing then look no further – Mystical Fairies in Hampstead is the place for you. Stocking the most amazing number of fairy-themed items, from costumes and books to stationery and fairy dust, this shop is a young child’s dream. They also have a special summer holiday fairy school and princess academy
Pollocks Toy Museum
Discover a quirky collection of toys at this eccentric museum in Fitzrovia. You’ll find everything from toy theatres, teddy bears and English tin toys to puppets, china dolls and board games. For more information visit lovecamden.org
Art for fun
Let the creative juices flow at this ceramic painting studio where you can design masterpieces on plates, cups, t-shirts and glass. It’s great for kids and rumour has it the adults love it as well. The team will serve you coffees and tea but if you want more adult fun, bring along a bottle of wine and order a pizza to help you channel your inner Picasso. lovecamden.org/art-4-fun
12 – 13 New Wharf Road, NW1 9RT. 020 7713 0836
Open every day apart from Monday.
Adult £3. Child £1.50
Get your day off to the best possible start by visiting Camden's unique and exciting Canal Museum. It's a small, intimate space where you're bound to learn about London's hidden history, about cargoes carried and the people who lived and worked on the waterways in a bygone age. Housed in a former ice warehouse built in 1862, the museum is packed with interesting exhibits that will appeal to children and adults alike. Something to tell your friends about when you get home!
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Full summer programme
You'll find an exciting, rich variety of cultural and sport events to choose from in Camden’s fantastic summer 2012 programme - a three month extravaganza of over 60 public events and activities coinciding with the London Olympics and Paralympics. Plan your perfect summer 2012 - find our summer programme on our 2012 section lovecamden.org/2012.