Ascot Family Day
Just four days before Christmas, Ascot's Christmas Family Raceday offers a day of jumps racing headlined by the JLT Hurdle Race, one of the most prestigious long distance hurdle races in Britain. The event on 21st December promises to be exhilarating and enjoyable for all ages with a festive animal trail complete with animatronic polar bear, a Christmas parade led by Mr & Mrs Claus in a horse-drawn sleigh, free fairground rides and candle-lit carol singing with the Ascot Brass Band. There will also be arts and crafts, plus face painters, Father Christmas and his reindeer in attendance.
Bow and Rattle
Bow & Rattle baby changing bags are as stylish on the outside as they are crafted on the inside. Designed with attention to detail and high-quality materials, Bow & Rattle baby bags combine looks and practicality – and many of them are unisex. The bags are designed to work for every stage of your child’s early days and each bag has plenty of pockets and space. We especially like the look of the ‘Mia’ changing mat bag in tan, which comes with a thermal insulated bottle holder, a padded changing mat and a separate zipped pouch to store wet items or smaller items including creams, nappies and medicines.
Brolly Sheets are washable, waterproof bed pads with wings, available in a selection of sizes, colours and patterns. The sheets are made with a 100% cotton top and a breathable, waterproof back, meaning it can go on top of the bottom sheet – when wet it only takes seconds to change in the night. Brolly Sheets are loved by kids because they feel soft, don’t make embarrassing crinkly noises and have cute designs on the top fabric. Older kids love the independence of being able to change their own bedding without mum or dad’s help. The highly absorbent sheet can take up to two litres and dries quickly once washed.
Looking for the perfect balance of style child-friendly practicality? You’ll like the look of Cucumber Clothing’s ruffle range and ballet tops. They come with silky fabric, elegant shoulder straps, a ruffle across the front and a deep keyhole front closure that allows easy access for your baby. The slight stretch in the fabric makes it comfortable to wear and its wicking properties mean you can stay stylish all day without any extra worry about baby food smears. The brand’s pull-on harem trousers with an adjustable drawstring waist are another bestseller.
Maggie and Rose Islington
Family club and nursery Maggie & Rose has opened a 1,200sq m site in Islington. The member spaces pay homage to a post office sorting room with reclaimed, old post box doors used as artwork on the walls and in the soft play area, where children are able to enjoy posting parcels and letters. The members’ brasserie has a spacious area for families to eat together; working mums and dads can head to the co-working space to pick up emails or answer calls while keeping an eye on their little ones through the two-way mirror; and members have access to a lounge and snug cinema to watch the latest family films.
Merci Maman: Studio Stories
Over the years, personalised jewellery company Merci Maman has heard many stories pass through its studio – some helpful, some heart-warming and some hilarious. The team were keen to find a way to share the imperfectly perfect stories they’ve enjoyed being a part of. The result is Merci Maman: Studio Stories. The new weekly podcast tackles all things parenthood. From IVF to post-natal fitness and loneliness, parenting proves to be an unpredictable rollercoaster of ups and downs. As this podcast demonstrates, no two experiences are alike. You can find it on Entale, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
On the hunt for a baby shower present? Oh Mumma is a luxe subscription box for modern mothers. Each box has five to seven handpicked beauty and lifestyle products for new/expecting mums and something for her little one’s ever-changing needs. Products are tailored to the mother’s beauty profile and baby’s birth/due date. Expect to see some much-loved brands alongside indie brands founded by mums. Whether you’re buying for yourself or as a gift, the value of the box is guaranteed to be more than double the selling price. Best of all, a percentage of profits goes to the PANDAS Foundation, which supports families coping with pre- and postnatal mental illnesses.
The Museum of Architecture has brought its hugely popular Gingerbread City exhibition to Somerset House, which challenges leading architects, engineers and designers to create a futuristic city made entirely of gingerbread. Expect the unconventional and mesmerising as you explore a mini, edible city inspired by cutting-edge technologies and sustainable design ideas. This year’s exhibition will also include a series of daily family-friendly gingerbread house-making workshops and a treat-filled shop. The perfect place to head before a round on the Somerset House’s festive ice rink.
Magical Christmas House
Magical Christmas House is a festive experience filled with daily activities for babies and children. Taking place between 22nd November and 5th December, you’ll find leading boutique brands, original Christmas gifts and children’s workshops including Art Play, a space where children of all ages are free to let their imaginations run wild. As the name suggests, the scheme will provide a variety of creative workshops that allow children to express themselves through art. Elsewhere, Festive Games in the Snow is an active games and dance class led by Scott, a professional children's entertainer who will confidently lead the room, making sure every child is engaged and involved in the activities.
Walking With The Snowman
Christmas by the River is set to welcome a festive sculpture trail celebrating Raymond Briggs’ quintessential Christmas character, The Snowman. The ‘Walking with The Snowman’ trail will feature 12 giant Snowman sculptures, each designed according to ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. Created by different artists, each statue will be placed at varying locations throughout the 70-stall-strong London Bridge market. Christmas by the River will also be hosting a series of family workshops to celebrate The Snowmens’ arrival, from storytelling to arts and craft sessions.
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