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What’s on for families during May half term and Bank Holiday weekend in south east London and north Kent (May 24 to June 1)
Keep the kids entertained this half term with one of these great activities.
Brockley Max, from May 30 to June 7
The community-led arts festival has more than 40 performances of music, comedy, poetry and family events across 17 south east London venues, and most of them are free. Go to brockleymax.co.uk
Immortal Chi: A Warrior’s Quest for Harmony at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley, on June 1 and 2
A jaw-dropping martial arts show direct from China, with a cast of 30 acrobats, musicians and martial artists.Tickets £20 to £23.50 at atgtickets.com/Bromley or on 0844 8717620.
Moshi Monsters at The Walnuts Shopping Centre, Orpington, from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday (May 28)
Popular characters Katsuma and Poppet will meet fans at The Walnuts. Get free wristbands from the centre now as the meetings are on a first come, first served basis. There will also be children’s workshops and a popular land train.
Shark Weeks at the Sea Life London Aquarium
Learn all about sharks at Sea Life’s Shark Weeks, which started on May 19 and run until Saturday (May 31). There are interactive talks, family activities and a big blue cuddly shark will tell you all you need to know about the animals.
The aquarium’s Shark Reef Encounter display has more than 15 amazing sharks to take a look at, as well as lots of other marine creatures. Go to visitsealife.com/London
Step back in time at Penshurst Place
There’s a First World War theme to the fun at Penshurst, near Tunbridge Wells. Throughout the holidays, children can have a go at making spy binoculars or red poppies in the Education Room from noon to 4pm daily. On May 25 and 26, from 11am to 5pm, get dressed up for First World War-style or have a go at the war-themed paintball firing range. Activities are free with entry, except the paintballing which costs £2.50 per dozen balls.
Hello Kitty and the Fat Controller at Drusilla’s, East Sussex
Hello Kitty returns to her garden home at Drusilla’s on bank holiday Monday (May 26), Wednesday (May 28) and Friday (May 30). Visit her beautiful themed house, have a picture taken, get pampered in the Hello Kitty Beauty Parlour and have a thrilling time on the Hello Kitty Secret Garden rides.
The Fat Controller will take charge of Thomas and Friends on Tuesday (May 27). Go to drusillas.co.uk
Rozanne Hawksley: War and Memory exhibition at Queen’s House, Greenwich, from May 28
One of the UK’s most emotive artists explores the nature and meaning of commemoration and memorialisation of war. The four room exhibition continues until November 16. Free entry, from 10am to 5pm daily.
Quentin Blake: As Large as Life at Hall Place, Bexley, until August 31
One of Britain’s best-loved illustrators and famous Roald Dahl collaborator, Quentin Blake’s artwork is on display at Hall Place. The pictures were created by the Sidcup artist for the walls of museums and hospitals to have a therapeutic effect on residents. Admission is free with entry to the house.
Ralph Steadman: For No Good Reason at the White Space Gallery WC2H, until June 4
Johnny Depp will front a documentary on Sky this June about the legendary Kent-based artist Ralph Steadman, called For No Good Reason. To coincide with the programme, Sky is holding a free retrospective exhibition of Steadman’s art at the White Space Gallery in London from May 30 to June 4.
Radical artist Steadman is most famous for his illustration work with Gonzo pioneer Hunter S Thompson.
The Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch, Bank Holiday weekend
Enjoy a weekend of classic racing, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. There will be several generations of F1 machinery on the track and spectators can see them pushed almost to their limit, as well as support races and machinery on display. Sunday is the main race day. Entry from £5, go to brandshatch.co.uk
Community Garden Party at St Andrew’s Gardens in Gravesend Riverside, from noon to 4pm on Friday, May 30
Gravesend in Bloom’s fun day will get more people planting. There will be baskets to plant and display around the town as well as a fun day with circus entertainment, bouncy castle, music, face painting, party games, cakes and refreshments. Bring a picnic. Free entry.
Dinosaurs Dig Discover at Discover Children's Story Centre in Stratford, from 11am to 5pm Saturday (May 24) to Monday (May 26)
Have a go at archaeology and see what you can discover in a sandpit of bones (up to age 3) or moake your own skeleton dinosaur fossil to add to the museum gallery (4+). Dress up and bring dino friends. Go to discover.org.uk
Lee Rigby Memorial Walk, from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday (May 24)
A year after the death of Lee Rigby, a memorial walk will leave from the White Horse pub in Charlton to the barracks to lay flowers and hear a bugler playing the Last Post. It’s a non-political event, so no flags or a banners are welcome. All welcome. Police and stewards will keep the event safe. Free.
Comic Life at Discover Greenwich, from 10.30am on Tuesday (May 28)
The whole day session explores storyboarding techniques and creating digital comic book pages inspired by the characters and stories of the OId Royal Naval College. It’s for ages 11 to 14 and costs £5. Go to ornc.org or call 0870 6082000.
Make a cress head at The Woodlands Farm Trust in Welling on Wednesday (May 28)
Pop by the farm from 11am to 2pm to make a cress head to take home. Plant your seed and decorate your head with a fun face, ready for when its hair grows. It costs £2 per child. Book on 020 83198900.
Kent v Worcestershire at Tunbridge Wells, from Sunday (May 25) to Wednesday (May 28)
The county game comes (nearly) up to our neck of the woods, to Tunbridge Wells, for a four day championship game. Gates open at 9am each day, while day two is ladies day and day three has a Made in Kent day.
Tickets from £15, or £5 on the final day, and free for juniors. Go to kentcricket.co.uk
James Robson: the Cook on the Cutty Sark at the Cutty Sark, Greenwich, on Tuesday (May 27) and Wednesday (May 28)
Join the historic ship’s cook to sing songs, learn sailor skills and find out what’s for dinner on board. The sessions at 11am, noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm are free with entry to the Cutty Sark.
Go to rmg.co.uk
Pearl Morris: Coming to Britain, at the National Maritime Museum on Monday (May 26) and Friday (May 30)
Pearl Morris will share her experience of travelling from Jamaica to join her husband in post-war Britain. based on accounts of the Windrush generation, and her experiences of Notting Hill Carnival. Suitable for ages six and up. Talks at noon, 1pm and 2pm. Free.
It links in with the week-long Cruise Away at the museum, where you can journey back to the 1930s and the golden age of cruising. Go to rmg.co.uk
Explore the Vikings at Manor Close Community Centre, Thamesmead, on Thursday (May 29) from 10am to 3pm.
Learn about life in Viking times and make a boat, mask and jewellery. It’s free and refreshments are provided, but you should bring a packed lunch. Call 020 82982842.
Low tide walk at Creekside Discovery Centre, Deptford, from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Sunday (June 1)
Find out about the history and the wildlife of the mud in an expedition. Children over eight are welcome if accompanied. Wear comfy clothes – waterproofs, waders and walking sticks are provided.
It costs £10 adults, £8.50 concessions of children 8 to 16 and £30 families. Go to creeksidecentre.org.uk
Into the Night Garden Live at the O2, Greenwich, from Thursday (May 29) to June 14
Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and the gang are brought to life in a loveable live show in Greenwich. Tickets from £14.50.
Go to nightgardenlive.com
Family Art Fun at the Horniman Museum, Forest Hill
From Monday (May 26) to Friday (May 30), the Horniman is running fun, free arts and craft sessions.
Three days will involve Chelsea-inspired paper flower making, while the second two consist of making nature nests. The sessions run every 45 minutes from 11am to 2.45pm.
Go to horniman.ac.uk
Cave Cartoons at Bromley Museum from 2pm to 4pm, Tuesday (May 27) to Thursday (May 29)
Get messy creating your own cave wall decorated with mammoths, bison, reindeer, hand prints and more. £1 per child.
Kids go free at The Shard
All half term, children aged four to 15 can go up Western Europe’s tallest building and check out its unrivalled 360 degree views of London. Go to theviewfromtheshard.com/kidsgofree
Kids fun at Bluewater
The Entertainer has a full week of activities including Moshi Monster swaps and character hunts, World Cup sticker swaps and Playdoh demos.
The Lego store is holding a special build event from Friday to Sunday (May 23 to 25), where you can help to build a two metre Lego City Police Officer.
Go to bluewater.co.uk
Bromlin half term happenings at Intu Bromley
The shopping centre formerly known as The Glades is inviting youngsters to meet the borough’s newest residents from outer space, The Bromlins, and take part in a week of free art and craft workshops.
Children will get a Kids Club Pack when they sign up, which includes an activity book, stickers, bookmark, colouring pencils and a lollipop. Children who take part in The Bromlins treasure hunt will also be in with a chance of winning one of five prizes worth £30.
Formula One comes to Kent on Bank Holiday Monday
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kent-based driving legend John Surtees’ Formula One championship and his 80th birthday, rare cars and bikes will take to Edenbridge on Bank Holiday Monday (May 26).
The racer is the only person to have won world titles on both two and four wheels and a collection of his rare motors will drive twice through the town before returning to the old Team Surtees base. That will be followed by a procession of veteran and classic vehicles. The parade starts at 3pm.
A photographic exhibition dedicated to John Surtees is also at Topfoto Gallery in Fircroft Way.
Save the World at The Hive, Eltham
The Hive is a new Day Camp that brings together iPod technology, gaming mechanics and nature exploration to offer exciting outdoors missions for children aged 7 to 11.
The Camps provide children with unique hands-on nature experiences, cool tech, team building, a bit of competition and an opportunity to learn new skills.
From geocaching to fire making, wildlife tracking, whittling, bee keeping, gardening, or potion making, every day at The Hive different.
The Hive is running four days of activities in the beautiful grounds of Eltham College during the May half term with a launch offer of £25 a day and a buy one day, get one day free offer.
Medieval Weekend at Lullingstone Castle, 11am - 5pm (May 25 and 26)
Prepare for battle with 15th century sword fighting recreation, live firing of medieval black powder weapons, authentic outfits, campfires, tents and much more exciting activities that will be sure to transport visitors back to the feudal era.
Go to lullingstonecastle.co.uk
Farmers’ Market at the Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, 9am -1pm (May 24)
Showcasing locally source delights in the museum's glorious gardens, the weekly market offers a wide range of produce including vegetables, meat, fish, flowers hot food and much more.
Go to horniman.ac.uk
BrewFest at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, 11am - 9pm (24 – 26 May)
Soak up the beautiful setting whilst sampling the taste of craft beers from across the globe. Over 80 draught lines and over 150 different beers will be on offer over the weekend plus bottled beers from the UK, US and the rest of Europe.
Bands will also entertain between 1.30pm to 8.30pm along with tutored beer and cheese tastings in The Old Brewery in the evening.
Go to ornc.org
Activity Trail at Shorne Woods Country Park, Gravesend, 10am to 3pm (May 24)
Can you follow the clues, answer the questions and champion the trail to receive a reward? If so, then head down to the beautiful country park for the challenge. Trail sheets are available from the visitor centre for £2.50.
The West Kent Country Show at The Hop Farm (May 25 and 26)#
The Hop Farm will be transformed into a fun ground for two days of action packed entertainment.
The Knights of the Damned Jousting Team, Birds of Prey Flying Displays, The Sheep Show and Medieval Re-enactment with the Company of 1415 are just some of the superb merriments available for all to enjoy.
Arts, crafts and gift marquees, a fully catered and a licensed bar will also be on offer.
Go to thehopfarm.co.uk
Mad Hatters Fayre at The Greenwich Theatre, 12-6pm (24 May)
Lewis Carroll’s classic tale Alice In Wonderland will soon find its way to Greenwich Theatre, brought to life by the Sell A Door Theatre Company, and to mark the launch guests are invited to join the Mad Hatter at a charming Fayre.
Entry is free and activities include badge making, biscuit decorating, balloon making and more will be at hand for visitors to enjoy. Go to greenwichtheatre.org.uk
Roller Skating Disco at Giffin Square Market, Lewisham, 10am-4pm (24 May)
Head down to Giffin Square and try out your roller skating skills in the outdoor mobile rink in celebration of Love Your Local Market 2014.
The free event is run by Lewisham Community Sports, is open to all ages and of course fun. Skates will be provided. Go to Lewisham.gov.uk
Tinkerbell and The Pirate Fairy at Empire Cinema, Bromley 9am and 11am (May 24 and May 25)
Join Tinkerbell and friends on an enchanting adventure as they travel to a place that could change things forever. Book at empirecinemas.co.uk
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