Issue No. 41
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Where to see Santa
a fairy tale
See pg 6
The Herts magazine with the information young families want
From your Editor… In this issue:
Hello and welcome to the Christmas issue.
Although I’ve been thinking about Christmas since early September I can’t believe that it’s just News & Views: 3-5
around the corner! We are continuously being told we are living in straightened times and,
as a result, we are all trying to make less money go further. Our Christmas feature gives tips Competitions: 6-7
about how to be frugal and still be festive – it really is possible!
Our ‘What’s On’ listing is crammed with lots of seasonal attractions, events and places to go Family Matters 8
that will take your family right through from Firework night and into the New Year. Coping with Divorce & Seperation
At this time of year, when night-time begins in the late afternoon I get the urge to hunker
down and hibernate. The nightly ritual of walking around the house closing curtains and Education 9
turning on lamps and feeling cosy indoors is something of a guilty pleasure! And, whilst I’m
in confession mode, I also feel the need to do things that involve needles, wool and strange Christmas 10-11
hieroglyphs such as ‘k2, (yo, k2tog) 3 times, yo, k4’. Have a great Christmas – I’m off to the
Enjoy a festive but frugal Christmas.
5 Stocking Fillers
back in January, Shelley What’s On: 12-15
Christmas & Seasonal
Where are we? Baldock, Bishops Stortford, Don’t miss a copy. Families Herts by post for
Borehamwood, Chorleywood, Harpenden, just £9.30 for 6 issues (1 year) or £18 for 12 issues
Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, (2 years). Call or email for a subscription form. Next Issue: Nurseries
Hitchin, Kings Langley, Knebworth, Jan/Feb copy deadline: 5th December
Letchworth, Radlett, St Albans, Stevenage, Families Herts, PO Box 434,
Ware, Welwyn GC. Pick it up from cafes, Pinner, HA5 9AH
playgroups, nurseries, schools, activity Tel/Fax: 020 8428 6384
groups, selected shops, surgeries, leisure firstname.lastname@example.org
centres and libraries. Get in touch www.familiesherts.co.uk
to request copies for your venue.
News & Views
Get fit for maths Junior ISAs
Getting your child (or mathlete) to do
their times tables could soon be a whole
lot easier, thanks to a new activity club
NumberFit sessions feature an innovative From November parents and grandparents
blend of maths, team games and sport, will be able to deposit up to £3,600 a year
combining academic and physical exercises for their children in new Junior ISAs. The
in line with the national curriculum and are ISAs replace Child Trust Funds which were
suitable for all children. withdrawn as part of the government's
It has been designed to stimulate children’s set for mathletes living in an increasingly austerity measures. Junior ISAs are
minds and bodies, and is based on the proven technical world, as well as keeping them active intended to provide youngsters with a
link between physical exercise and academic and healthy. nest-egg towards university costs, or a
performance in children. It’s “like a keep-fit class meets a maths car or flat deposit, when they reach 18 -
The aim is to make mathematics fun and lesson meets a school sports day,” as one they're not allowed to delve into the funds
allows the mathletes to associate the positive parent puts it. until then.
feelings they have for the team games with NumberFit is available for children aged 3 to
For more information see
mathematics. This, combined with practice 11, with groups for pre-school and Key Stages
and repetition, leads to improved attainment, 1 and 2. Classes in Berks, Bucks and Herts.
which in turn feeds their confidence. The For more information or a school visit
result is the development of an essential skill www.numberfit.com or call 0208 123 3996.
Say you saw it in 3
News & Views
Time is Ticking at We’re going on a Bear
St Albans Tick Tock Hunt... New Wildchild
Families Herts is delighted to congratulate Pre-school Parties.
Abi at Tick Tock Music on the occasion of her
marriage in May to Mr Andrew Giles. Wildchild Bear and Dinosaur Parties are
Now the new Mrs Giles has turned her really rather special and a world away from
attentions to all things musical. Having left indoors! Designed specifically to capture the
imaginations of pre-school children, these eggs . After playing some specially themed
parties offer younger children the opportunity party games, there’s an opportunity to enjoy
to experience different seasons, nature and tea and cake before the birthday girl or boy
the outdoors. says goodbye to their tired but happy friends.
Pre-schoolers and parents, wellie clad when
appropriate, head off into the woods where, For more information visit
along the way they will be making amazing www.wildchildactivities.com or
and exciting discoveries of teddies or dinosaur call 0845 3717099.
Childrens’ Centres You Shop, They Give!
Parents and communities are to be given the The TheGivingMachine is a not-for-profit
freedom to run their local children’s centre. company set up by four Herts Dads that
On the table are proposals that will enable aims to raise £1m a year for UK schools and
parents and community groups to apply to Charities. The scheme works in partnership
their local authority to run a children’s centre with online retailers including household
in their local area. names such as Ebay, Amazon, Tesco and John
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said: Lewis and allows online shoppers to support
her role of Manager at Re:Play after school “Children’s centres are at the heart of their child’s school or a UK charity without
club she is now focussing on her own business, community life. New proposals to enable having to spend a penny.
Tick Tock Music. Tick Tock is expanding and parents and communities to help run TheGivingMachine gets commission from
has now launched classes in Welwyn Garden children’s centres will give local people more businesses by referring sales to them and then
City. Abi has also added a class on Wednesday control and influence over the services they passes this commission on to the schools and
afternoons for children who are at pre-school use on a daily basis." charities chosen by its members.
in the mornings. Abi said, “after 5 fun filled As part of an overall drive to help children’s Over £270,000 has been raised so far for
years we could not bear to say goodbye to centres achieve even better results, 2,500 UK schools and charities. The scheme’s
those children we have known since they were Hertfordshire County Council is one of several biggest monthly payout to date is £20,000
6 months old, so we have added the afternoon that have been chosen to trial a ‘payment by which went to a Hertfordshire school.
class”. results’ scheme. Frances Button, Executive This November sees the launch of their
Tick Tock also provide fun and exciting Member for Education and Skills, said: “The Christmas GiveAway Raffle.
childrens’ birthday parties that are tailor made aim of this scheme is to identify how to Every week for 6 weeks members can
for the birthday child. Abi will include all of achieve a clearer focus on reaching the most nominate their friends and family to win
their favourite songs and much more. disadvantaged families. This would be in amazing prizes from iPads to widescreen TV’s,
addition to the excellent opportunities which weekends away to children’s bikes.
For more information about Tick Tock Musc our children’s centres offer for all members of
classes and parties visit the community." To find out more go to
www.ticktockmusic.co.uk or email www.thegivingmachine.co.uk
email@example.com or To find your nearest Childrens’ Centre go to
call 07933 153054. www.hertsdirect.org
4 For inclusion in News & Views pages please ring 020 8428 6384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
workers and service personnel. The result is
Santa’s a moving tale that will delight and educate
children. This story encourages children to
Delight enjoy the abundance of Christmas, but also
to remember those who protect and care
Local author and for them. Her message communicates the
Montessori teacher, universal values of generosity, kindness and
Marisa Laycock, compassion that will resonate across a wide
based in St Albans, has audience. Santa’s Delight is the perfect bed-
recently published a festive story for children. time story for parents and children to read
Called ‘Santa’s Delight’ the book is a heart- together at Christmas time.
warming and festive tale about the people Santa’s Delight (published by Matador 2009,
who’s jobs may take them away from their RRP £5.99) is available from Amazon
families at this special time of year; people www.amazon.com and can be ordered from
such as fire fighters, police officers, rescue book retailers.
Darren’s Buggy she was supported by SABN when she lost her
husband, Darren, without warning when she
was 9 weeks pregnant with their first child,
recently organised an event in memory of
her husband to raise much needed funds for
Darren’s Buggy Dash proved to be a huge
success. People from all over St Albans took
part – pushing buggies containing babies,
dolls, turtles, teddies and more besides. Not
to be outdone children brought along their toy
buggies so that they could take part too.
Organised with The Cathedral Ecumenical
Chaplaincy, SABN will be holding their annual
Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving on
picture you photography’ Sunday 20th November at St Albans Cathedral
Image courtesy of ‘me
405798) at 3pm. There will be a dove release at
(David Har tnup, 07710
2.30pm at the West Door. This service is also
suitable for bereaved children.
Back in our July/August issue we printed an The funds raised by Darren’s Buggy Dash
article about St Albans & District Bereavement have already reached £2000. To donate go to
Network (SABN) and the free counselling www.justgiving.com/Darrensbuggydash
services that they provide.
Kirsty Hall, who generously shared her story To find out more go to www.sabn.org.uk or
with Families Herts readers describing how call the helpline: 01727 841841
Hertfordshire’s very own Newlife Foundation offers information and
Time Team! practical support on a wide range of children’s
disability issues through its helpline which
The Norton Community Archaeology Group is staffed by experienced nurses. The charity
(NCAG) based in Letchworth Garden City was also provides grants for specialist equipment
set up 5 years ago by volunteers who wanted such as wheelchairs, beds, walking frames,
to learn more about the distant past of their seating, safety equipment and communication
village and how it has developed over time. aids.
NCAG welcomes families, schools and The helpline (0800 902 0095) is open
individuals whatever their experience and Mondays to Fridays 9.30am to 5pm, extended
age. The group offers participants a rare to 7pm on Wednesdays. There is also an
opportunity to get “hands-on” with their own online chat service available during the same
history and to make many exciting discoveries. hours at www.newlifecharity.co.uk.
This summer over 50 local residents got For parents coping with terminal conditions,
down and dirty at the NCAG annual Summer Newlife’s new Just Can’t Wait service can help
Dig. The dig was based at a local ‘henge’ and to make the last months of children’s lives Outstanding Montessori
their hard work was rewarded when they more comfortable and potentially enables in Harpenden
found that they were digging a site that has them to stay at home longer by providing
proved to be of national importance. The finds specialist equipment quickly and free of
so far seem to confirm it as one of the earliest charge. Healthcare professionals and parents
henges in the country with a possible date of can contact Newlife’s free Just Can’t Wait
about 3000 BC – that’s old, very old! service by calling 0800 902 0095 or emailing
07787 535135 or 07795 510130
For more details go to
www.nortoncommarch.com or email For more details go to www.newlifecharity. “A beautiful place for my child to
email@example.com. co.uk or call the helpline on 0800 902 0095. start his education” a current parent
Say you saw it in 5
WIN a ‘Zap’n’Ride’ Experience WIN a Copy of ‘Annabel’s
Kitchen’ DVD and Recipe
for Two at Rye House Kart Raceway plus Book
20% discount for Families Herts readers! Award-winning children’s
food expert Annabel Karmel
has teamed up with CiTV
Rye House Kart Raceway is Situated in Hoddesdon this one-stop pleasure to bring nine episodes from
venue and kart racing race circuit is where her kids cookery show to
offering one lucky Families Formula One star Lewis Hamilton got started DVD for the first time.
Herts reader the chance to as a youngster and is a great alternative to In her magical loft
the traditional kid’s party. Alongside the main kitchen, Annabel is
experience this great prize! kart track, which is suitable for children/ assisted by the calamity-
teenagers from 8 to16 years and adults, is prone fish-mad penguin,
the dedicated Junior Circuit for children aged Jimmy, and the confident
5 to 11 years. It is available for 30 minute or and organised, Pearl.
60 minute sessions and unlimited group sizes. Annabel guides children and parents on a
For those who want even more thrills or for culinary journey of humorous and light-
visitors that do not fancy go-karting check out hearted food exploration; whipping up food
the on-site indoor Rye House Laser Combat. like the easiest banana ice cream ever, home
This attraction provides 30 minutes of made junk food and making a watermelon into
entertainment for kids, mums and dads. After a pig!
the games enjoy a meal in the racing themed Children will love watching and learning as
restaurant to round off the fun! Annabel does what she loves best – inspiring
Enter at www.familiesherts.co.uk for a children to have fun in the kitchen, make their
chance to win. Closing date: 30th November favourite meals and try something new.
To claim your 20% discount off your visit to Running time: 100 Minutes. DVD RRP: £12.99
Rye House Kart Raceway. Cert: U. For more information go to
call 01992 460 895 ext 2 and quote ‘Families www.annabelkarmel.com
Herts Magazine’ when booking. To enter this competition to win one of four
This offer cannot be used in combination with sets of ‘Annabel’s Kitchen’ DVD and Recipe
any other offers Book go to www.familiesherts.co.uk.
For more information: www.rye-house.co.uk Closing date: 16th December
WIN One Annual Membership
or a Family Day Pass*
to Gambado in Stevenage!
Gambado, the UK’s premier indoor play and party centres for children
has come to Stevenage.
The expanding children’s entertainment centre operator has announced
the acquisition of the centre previously operated by Monkey Bizness.
Gambado Managing Director, Ian Westwater said: “This is an exciting
time for our company and we are delighted to be in a position to take on
new sites and bring the unique Gambado experience to Stevenage.”
Gambado offer a unique indoor soft play
experience for children under the age of 12 years
along with the best birthday parties in town.
To celebrate the opening Gambado are giving away *1 annual
membership for 1 child and 2 named adults and *2 runners up prizes of a
family day pass for 5 people.
Come on down and meet Gambado the Tiger and the whole team!
For more information and to find out what’s coming soon visit
Go to www.familiesherts.co.uk for your chance win.
Closing date: 30th November
Win a Digital Camera or a Changing Bag!
a physical barrier to help protect against the www.boots.com. RRP £2.99 for 40g and £5.49
external irritants which can cause nappy rash for 80g. Always read the label.
and helps seal in the skin’s natural moisture Visit: www.metanium.co.uk to join the
keeping baby’s skin soft. Because it is free from Metanium Baby & Toddler Club for more
fragrance and lanolin it is gentle enough to use information about the treatment and
at every nappy change. prevention of nappy rash.
Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment is Enter at www.familiesherts.co.uk for a
available from Boots, leading pharmacies and at chance win. Closing date: 16th December
Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment
(formulated to treat nappy rash) has
now been joined by new Metanium
Everyday Barrier Ointment for daily
application to help prevent nappy rash.
So whether it’s treatment or prevention
of nappy rash, Metanium has an answer.
To celebrate the launch Metanium
are offering these fabulous competition
prizes: 1 digital camera each for two
first prize winners, so you can capture
every magical moment of your baby’s
development or, for 3 lucky runners up,
a specially designed Metanium Changing
Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment
has a unique double action formula to
help guard against nappy rash. It forms
Say you saw it in 7
Coping with Divorce Some helpful websites include:
and Separation Her tschildrenscentres.org.uk
A stable and long lasting marriage may be the ideal that we hope for but, fco.gov.uk
unfortunately, the harsh fact of life is that some marriages will end with
For further information contact Ama
separation and divorce. It is the effect of such a change on the children of the nda
Melton at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin
family that is of vital importance. Whatever can be done should be done to on 01923 202020 or email
protect children from the fall out of a broken a relationship. Here, Amanda
Melton, of solicitors Matthew Arnold & Baldwin gives some helpful advice on
how to deal with some concerns that may arise.
Your Childrens’ Security
If you are considering divorce or separation it
is important to consider the impact this will
have upon the children of your relationship.
What practical steps can you take to protect
your children in these circumstances and when
should those steps be taken?
Is there a risk of abduction?
A separation often invokes a variety of
emotions. Abduction is a real fear in only
a minority of cases. It is better to try and
prevent this rather than try and solve the
problem after the event. What are the higher
risk areas? If your partner is a foreign national
or your children have dual nationality or your
partner has family or property overseas there
is a possible risk that the children may be
taken overseas during contact. What can
1. Ensure you know where the children’s
passports are at all times and check with towards you it is imperative the children do 2. If there has been violence obtain a non
the Passport Office or the Embassy to see not witness this. Your partner’s emotions molestation order and/or an occupation order
whether the children could travel by any may be running high – if he/she is exhibiting from the courts. This will prevent further
other means unusual behaviour or making threats to harm violence or threats of violence and can also
2. If there is a threat made then obtain either himself or the children you need to take prevent your partner from returning to
a prohibited steps order from the court urgent steps to protect them. the home
preventing the other parent from taking the 1. Make sure that someone else is able to deal 3. If your partner’s behaviour is erratic and
children out of the jurisdiction without the with the handover of the children – preferably you are concerned about his/her state of mind
court’s permission a family member who is respected by your or what he/she may do when the children
Is there a risk of the children being affected partner. If your family/friends are too involved are with him you should insist upon him
by domestic violence? try to deal with the handover of the children seeing the children whilst supervised either
If your relationship with the other parent in a public place by a trusted family member or within the
has broken down as a result of violence confines of a contact centre even if only on a
Say you saw it in 9
Festive and Frugal
By Susan Lightfoot
We love Christmas in our house but this year we’re more
determined then ever not to blow our budget and to make sure that
it’s about happy times and not mostly about shopping and eating.
We’ve put together a few tips to help make your Christmas frugal
and festive whilst keeping it full of meaning and Christmas cheer.
Creative presents Festive savings www.houseoffraser.co.uk
We’re not suggesting that you give Granny a • Earn money shopping at Christmas using
junk robot – but if you pick the right craft or cashback facilities on credit cards, or shop
idea to suit your talent, a thoughtful present online at specialist cash back sites such as It all in the timing
can outshine any new gift. www.cashbackshopper.co.uk.
• Check the discount voucher sites online – Children value the time we spend together far
• Frame your child’s picture – the right frame there are some great discounts and you may more than presents.
can do justice to any work of art, however even get new ideas for presents.
abstract. • If you are hosting a family celebration and • Find a game that all the family can play
• Make a family photo calendar. There are your budget is really stretched, ask everyone together this can also ensure they are not on
companies that can do this for you, but if you to make a contribution. You don’t have to their electronic games all day.
are a dab hand on the computer, you may request cash but why not ask people to bring • Take all toys out of their boxes before
even be able to do it yourself. a dish such as Christmas pudding, mince pies, wrapping them, remove all the plastic
• Decorate a piece of pottery. There are cheeseboard, chocolates or something home wrapping and ties and put them back in
plenty of local pottery cafes where you can cooked. It’ll save you work as well as money. their boxes with batteries installed. It saves
go and paint a ready made piece of pottery. • With supermarkets open most of the festive scrabbling around for Philips screwdrivers on
It doubles as an afternoon’s entertainment as period don’t over buy or over spend on food. Christmas Day morning.
well as presents. With careful planning you can just buy what • Don’t give all the children’s presents on
• Homemade chocolate truffles, jams or you need, then top up as you go. Christmas Day – give them over the whole
chutneys always go down a treat and this year • Everyone understands when money is tight period between Christmas and New Year. This
we are going to make lemon curd too. and if you feel uncomfortable about accepting saves on present overload for little kids and
• You could also try customised bed linen or gifts that cost more than you’ve spent then brings a sense of excitement and anticipation
cushions. ask the whole family to set a ceiling on every day. You could try hiding a few presents
• Give up presents and donate a small the amount everyone spends to help avoid and doing a treasure hunt each day.
amount to charity. embarrassment. • Make sure the kids get some decent periods
With children, this can be difficult so you • If skimping at Christmas is out of the of time to play with and enjoy their presents.
could try buying from charity sites or shops – question then plan, plan and plan. Buy early There’s nothing more frustrating than having
many sell products which aren’t second hand. spreading the cost and don’t buy anything you to go off to another relative’s house when you
don’t need. really want to make a Lego model.
Being frugal with food
• Plan your meals, make sure you estimate
your quantities as precisely as you can and
only buy what you need. It’s all too easy to go
to the supermarket with an open-ended list
so include the amounts you need against each
item and stick to it.
• Buy quality in a few things such as a British,
organic and well- reared turkey and use it all.
Try the things our mums used to make; turkey
sandwiches, casserole, stock and curry!
• There is no doubt that home-baked mince
pies and yule log taste better than shop-
bought ones – but the ingredients can be
costly and baking can be time consuming (and
sometimes disastrous) so focus on cooking
a few special items and don’t worry about
buying everything else in.
5 Stocking Fillers
What readers say:
1. Paper Planes 4. Bend n’ Build Sticks
“We always try to go to Make 10 different paper Make fun models with these
planes. Includes 40 reusable sticks. Bend n’ Build
church service for children sheets of patterned Sticks are made from clear
We’re not big on relig ion bu
paper, stickers and wax over coloured string
guide. and stick together with no
Christmas is a relig ious hol Price: £4.99. glue required. They hold
to their shape but may be
so it’s important for children
Age: 7+ years
www.galttoys.com reshaped and reused.
understand the real reason
Price: £4.99. Age: 5+ years
celebrate.” 2. Door Hangers
These double sided door hangers are perfect
“We have a screen ban for the dancing princess, talented footballer or
messy little man in your life. Price: £1
on Christmas day so it’s www.greenboardgames.com 5. BrainBites
Choose to answer an easy, medium or hard
all about the time spent question and earn brain cells. The first player to
together.” fill their brain card is the winner. A great game
for the whole family.
“A very long walk on boxing www.greenboardgames.com
day (along with new bikes,
skateboards or roller skates).”
“A difficult jigsaw
usually keeps everyone
in our house happy.” 3. Glow ‘n’ Speak Animal
“Our stree t has a Christm Squeeze their handle to wake them up. Their
as mouths open and the torch light switches on.
carol sing-along comple te
with Each animal has their own sound. Great for
mulled wine and mince pie sleepover fun! Price: £7.99
s.” Age: 18 months plus.
For more tips and articles about Christmas visit www.familiesherts.co.uk
from where you can gain access to the whole of the brilliant Familiesonline website.
Say you saw it in 11
What's On: Christmas & Seasonal
Firework Displays GULLIVER’S
Livingstone Drive, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DT
The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PS
01908 609001 www.gulliversfun.co.uk 01992 531500
ABBOTS LANGLEY FIREWORK DISPLAY Santa’s Northern Lights Firework Display www.eastherts.gov.uk
Manor House Playing Fields. 23 Dec Wake Up, Don Quixote
01923 265139 Magical Fireworks set to Christmas music. 4 Nov - 10am, 1pm
www.abbotslangley-pc.gov.uk Check website for further details. 5 Nov - 11am, 3pm
4 Nov - Grounds open 6.30 fireworks at A look into the world of dreams with comedy
and magic, giant puppets, dance, music
BUTTERFLY WORLD Tickets: £7, £5 concs
Miriam Lane, Off Nuke Lane, Chiswell Green, Annie
Herts, AL2 3NY THE ALBAN ARENA 10 Nov – 7.30pm; 11 Nov - 7.30pm;
01727 869 203 Civic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3LD 12 Nov - 2.30pm, 7.30pm
firstname.lastname@example.org 01727 844488 www.alban-arena.co.uk Annie runs away from the orphanage and
Fireworks Display Peppa Pig's Treasure Hunt finds an easier life where tomorrow is always
6 Nov – 5-7pm 2 Nov – 1pm & 4pm, 3 Nov – 10am & 1pm brighter.
Fireworks at 6.30pm. BBQ, hog roast, soup, Peppa Pig goes on a treasure hunt. With Tickets: £13, £11 concs
drinks, ice creams. puppets, sing-along songs and a brand
Face painting for £3.50. Tickets: £5 new story. LETCHWORTH ARTS CENTRE
www.peppapiglive.com 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City,
CHESHUNT FIREWORK DISPLAY Tickets: £14.50, £12.50 concs, u16s: £2 off Herts SG6 3EW
Cheshunt Park, Park Lane, Cheshunt, EN7 6QD Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 01462 670788
01992 785574/ Box Office 01992 441946 9 Dec – 1 Jan The Snow Queen
email@example.com This Christmas, don’t miss our magical, fun- 19-22 Dec – 3pm & 7pm
6 Nov – Gate: 4.30pm, fireworks from 6.45pm packed, family pantomime. Join Gerda on her adventure to the icy palace
Tickets: Advance £4/ £14 for 4; at the gates Tickets: £13.50 - £21 of the Snow Queen.
£6/ £20 for 4 Tickets: £8, £6 concs
Under 2s free. BARN THEATRE
Handside Lane, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6ST THE MARKET THEATRE
CRABTREE FIREWORKS SPECTAULAR 01707 324300 www.barntheatre.co.uk Sun Street, Hitchin, SG5 1AE.
Crabtree Lane, Harpenden Cinderella 01462 433553
01582 462958 17-20, 22-24, 27-31 Dec www.markettheatre.co.uk
5 Nov – Gates: 5:30pm Contact theatre for times. Jack and the Beanstalk
Display Starts: 6:30pm Tickets: £10 3 Dec-7 Jan
Aimed at 3-8 year olds, this show will also be
THE ROYAL GUNPOWDER MILLS BROXBOURNE CIVIC HALL enjoyed by children of all ages!
Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey Essex EN9 1JY High Street, Hoddesden, EN11 8BE Tickets: £8
01992 707370 01992 441946
www.royalgunpowdermills.com www.broxbourne.gov.uk THE OLD TOWN HALL THEATRE
Guy Fawkes Experience Sleeping Beauty High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE
5-6 Nov – from 2pm 9-31 Dec 01442 228091
A weekend of familiy activities themed around Starring X Factor finalists ‘Same Difference’. www.oldtownhall.co.uk
the Gunpowder Plot. Plus, firework display Contact for times and prices. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark
19 Nov – 1pm & 3.30pm
ST ALBANS FIREWORK DISPLAY GORDON CRAIG THEATRE Plop was exactly the same as every other barn
TIC@stalbans.gov.uk Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, owl - except for one thing - he was afraid of
Box Office: 01727 844488, 01727 864511 Stevenage, Herts SG1 1LZ 08700 131030 the dark.
5 Nov - Gates open 6pm; display 7.30. Beauty and the Beast Ages 3+
Display in Verulamium Park organised by St 26 Nov – 22 Jan – various times Tickets: £6.25, £4.25 concs
Albans Cathedral in aid of local charities. There's a baddie wanting boos, goodies Aladdin
with outrageous gags, a heroine in a tragic 3 Dec – 1pm & 3.30pm
WATFORD FIREWORK DISPLAY situation...but what has happened to the This colourful tale is set in a mysterious
Cassiobury Park handsome prince? eastern kingdom. For ages 4+
Cassiobury Park Avenue, Watford WD18 7HU Contact venue for times and prices. Tickets: £6.25, £4.25 concs
The Velveteen Rabbit
5 Nov – 6pm-8.15pm HARPENDEN PUBLIC HALLS 8, 9 Dec – 5pm; 10 Dec – 11am & 2.30pm
6.15 Children’s Fireworks Southdown Road, Harpenden, AL5 1PD, Hear the enchanting story of how one boy's
7pm Bonfire 01582 767525 favourite toy was loved so much that he
7.30pm Fireworks Stick Man became real.
Entertainers on stage between fireworks 5 Nov – 1.30pm Ages 4+
displays. The world is a dangerous place for Stick Man. Tickets: £6.25, £4.25 concs
After ending up on a fire, will he get back to
FIREWORK DISPLAY the family tree? Ages: 4+ PLINSTON
Mansion House, Tickets: Adults £8, Children £6 Broadway, Letchworth Garden City,
Shuttleworth, Old Warden Park, Biggleswade
Herts, SG6 3NX
01767 626262 HAWTHORNE THEATRE www.plinston.com
www.keech.org.uk Campus West, Welwyn Garden City, Sleeping Beauty
5 Nov - Gates open at 7pm AL8 6BX 27 Dec-1 Jan – times vary
In support of Keech Hospice Care 01707 357117 Tickets: £9.50, £8.50 concs
Cost in advance: Adult £5, child £3, family www.welhat.gov.uk/campuswest
£12.50 (2 adults, 2 children) Aladdin
On the door: Adult £6, child £3.50, family 8 Dec – 1 Jan
£15.00 (2 adults, 2 children) Contact for times and prices.
QUEEN MOTHER THEATRE
Woodside Car Park, off Walsworth Road,
THE WESTON AUDITORIUM
De Havilland Campus, Univ. of Hertfordshire Places To Go
Hitchin. Hatfield, AL10 9AB
01462 455166. 01707 281127 DOLLS HOUSE AND MINIATURES FAIR
www.queenmothertheatre.org.uk www.herts.ac.uk/uharts Plinston, Broadway, Letchworth Garden City
The Boy Who Stole Christmas Day The Snowman/Father Christmas (U) Herts, SG6 3NX
15-18 Dec – various times 18 Dec – 10.15am Tel: 01462 672003
Why is life for young Nathaniel so miserable? A screening of Raymond Briggs’ ever popular www.plinston.com
It takes a powerful magician to work out The Snowman and Father Christmas. Childrens 6 Nov – 10.30am-3.30pm
what’s wrong. illustration workshop before the film. The very best in dolls houses and miniatures.
Tickets: £10, £8 concs Admission: £5.50 (including film) £2, £1.50 concs.
THE RADLETT CENTRE WYLLYOTTS CENTRE HEARTWOOD FOREST
1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL Wyllyotts Place, Sandridge. AL3 6JE
01923 859291 Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 2HN www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/heartwood
www.radlettcentre.co.uk 01707 645005 Tree Planting
Hansel and Gretel www.wyllyottscentre.co.uk 20 Nov
5 Nov – 2pm Jack and the Beanstalk Help us get tree planting season off to a
Tickets: £9.50 10 Dec-1 Jan tree-iffic start! With Welly Wanging fun too.
Sleeping Beauty Join Jack as he bounds up the beanstalk to do 4 Dec
10 Dec-1 Jan battle with Giant Blunderbore. Santa Claus is coming to town - and he'll be
Contact venue for times and prices. Contact venue for prices and times. planting trees at Heartwood!
RHODES ARTS COMPLEX HERTFORD MUSEUM
South Road, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 3JG
01279 651746 Camps & Courses 18 Bull Plain, Hertford, Herts, SG14 1DT
Robin Hood and the Babes in CAMP GOSLING Toddler Tuesdays at Hertford Museum
the Wood Gosling Sports Park, 15 Nov – 10.30am-12pm
9 Dec -2 Jan Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City, Ice Age Creatures
Tickets: £14.95, £11.95 concs, 01707 331056 13 Dec – 10.30am-12pm
£46 Family ticket www.goslingsports.co.uk Christmas is coming
19-30 Dec – 9am-3.30pm Craft activities, play with toys and share a
THE SANDPIT THEATRE - SANDRINGHAM Multi activity sessions: Tennis, athletics, story! Ages: 2-4.
SCHOOL football, trampolining and more. £1.50 – including refreshments. Book in
The Ridgeway, St. Albans, AL4 9NX. Junior Base Camp (4- 7 yrs), advance.
01727 370067 Base Camp (8-9 yrs), Christmas Model Railway Day
www.sandpittheatre.co.uk Sports Academy (10-15 yrs). 3 Dec – 10.30 am-3.30 pm
Disney’s Camp Rock Early drop off and late pick up facility: A festive model railway extravaganza! Drop-in.
8-10 Dec – 7.30pm 8am - 6pm at extra cost. Free but donations are welcome.
10 Dec – 2.30pm Daily: Members £23.50, Non Members £28.50 Victorian Christmas crafts workshop
Summer at camp was supposed to be about 10 Dec – 11am-12.30pm
the music, but the new, flashy Camp Star HATFIELD SWIM CENTRE Make a selection of Victorian trinkets
threatens Camp Rock’s very existence. Lemsford Road, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 0EB including a festive theatre scene. Age 8+.
Tickets: £12, £10 concs Tel: 01707 276276 Advance booking essential.
Fun Sessions Cost: £3.50 per child.
TRESTLE ARTS BASE Sat and school holidays 1.30-3pm Christmas Table Crafts
Russet Drive, St Albans AL4 0JQ Energetic, fun sessions with inflatables 20, 21 Dec – 10.30am-3.30pm
01727 850950 and floats. Make decorations for your Christmas dinner
www.trestle.org.uk £3.20. table. Last entry 3pm. Drop in.
Wake Up, Don Quixote Ages 8-15 Cost: £1.50 per child.
1 Nov – 1pm; 2 Nov – 10am, 1pm
A look into the world of dreams with PERFORM DRAMA COURSES NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM AT TRING
comedy and magic, giant puppets, dance, Call 0845 400 1272 The Walter Rothschild Building,
music and film. www.perform.org.uk Akeman Street, Tring, Herts, HP3 6AP.
Tickets: £8 Adults, £6 Concs, £25 Family (Max Fleetville Junior School, 228, Hatfield Road, 020 7942 6171
2 adults) St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 4LW www.nhm.ac.uk/tring
Narnia Play with Clay
WATFORD PALACE THEATRE 19-21 Dec - 10am-12pm 15 Nov – 10.15am & 2pm
20 Clarendon Road, Watford, WD17 1JZ Children will combine live original music, Create an animal from clay. 30 minute
01923 225671 inspirational dance and quick witted workshop. Age: under 5s.
01923 235455 improvisation into a colourful mini £1.50
www.watfordtheatre.co.uk performance on the final day. Animals After School – Feather and Fur
Jack and the Beanstalk Age: 4-8 yrs. 24 Nov – 4-4.45pm
25 Nov-31 Dec
Discover some incredible animals and make
Join Jack, Dame Trott and Buttercup the cow.
something to take home. Age 5+
Packed with laughter and a never-ending
Check with venue for times and prices.
13 Dec – 10.15am & 2pm
Messy play with paint. Aprons provided.
Say you saw it in 13
What's On: Christmas & Seasonal
Christmas Tree Robins THE RADLETT CENTRE ST LUKE'S CHURCH
19, 20 Dec – 10.15am, 10.45am, 11.15am, 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL "The Church-on-the-Roundabout"
11.45am, 2pm, 2.30pm 01923 859291 www.radlettcentre.co.uk 58 St. Albans Road East, Hatfield, Herts
Make a pine cone robin tree decoration. Charity Christmas Card Sale 01707 329744
All ages. 11 Nov – 10am-3pm 10 Dec – 10.30am-1.30am
£1.50 Stock up on Christmas cards and gifts while Following the Star
Pick Up a Finger Puppet supporting some worthy charities. A Christmas journey for families at St. Luke's
21 Dec - 2 Jan (not 24-26 Dec) – 10am-5pm Church.
Make your own finger puppet. Drop-in. ST ALBERT THE GREAT SCHOOL
All ages. Acorn Road, Hemel Hempstead THE WESTON AUDITORIUM
Free. firstname.lastname@example.org De Havilland Campus, Univ. of Hertfordshire
Christmas Fayre Hatfield, AL10 9AB
SPARKLING CHRISTMAS FASHION SHOW 3 Dec – 1-4pm 01707 281127, www.herts.ac.uk/uharts
Riverside Shopping Centre, Hemel Hempstead Husky rides, gift stalls, tombola's, raffles, Christmas Carol Concert
26 Nov – 10am-4pm, with shows 1pm & 3pm design a Christmas card and more. 7 Dec – 1pm & 6.30pm
Models will be strutting their stuff down the Hatfield primary and secondary schools
catwalk to showcase winter fashion. ST SAVIOUR'S CHURCH present a Christmas carol concert.
25 Sandpit Lane, St Albans, AL1 4DF.
Christmas Fairs Christmas tree Festival
15-24 Dec – open daily 10am-5pm except Where to see Santa
15 Dec - 2-5pm; 18 Dec -12-5pm; 24 Dec CAPEL’S CHRISTMAS CAROUSEL
BRITISH SCHOOLS MUSEUM Capel Manor Gardens, Bullsmoor Lane,
See 90 Christmas trees that have been
41/42 Queen Street, Enfield, EN1 4RQ
decorated by local groups from around St
Hitchin, Herts SG4 9TS www.capelmanorgardens.co.uk
Albans. Plus, a local crafts stall.
01462 420144 3-4 Dec – 10am-4pm
Day time admission is free but donations are
www.hitchinbritishschools.org.uk Visit Santa’s grotto. Plus, carol singing, roast
appreciated. Evening admission: £5 (children
Christmas Fair chestnuts, children’s entertainment, magic
free) with entertainment.
3 Dec – 10am-3pm shows, face painting and tractor rides.
Little Monsters Normal admission fees apply, see website for
BROXBOURNE CIVIC HALL 20 Nov – 2pm & 3.30pm details.
High Street, Hoddesden, EN11 8BE. Two concerts for children. Hear a full-scale
01992 441931 symphony orchestra playing music from GULLIVER’S AT CHRISTMAS
Christmas Fayre around the world. Meet the musicians and try Livingstone Drive, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DT
27 Nov – 11am-3.30pm out the instruments. Dress as your favourite 01908 609001, www.gulliversfun.co.uk
Visit Father Christmas in his grotto. monster! Santa’s Grotto
Adults: £1.50 Children and over 60s: 70p Tickets: Adults £5, Children £1 26 Nov – 24 Dec
See the website for full details, times and
COMBINED CHARITY CHRISTMAS STANDALONE FARM prices.
CARD SALE Wilbury Road, Letchworth GC Herts, SG6 4JN
Court House, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4. 01462 686775 LEIGHTON BUZZARD STEAM RAILWAY
For more details: email@example.com www.standalonefarm.com Pages Park Station, Billington Road,
12, 26 Nov – 9.15am-3pm firstname.lastname@example.org Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4TN
A wide of charity Christmas cards, wrapping Christmas Craft Fair 01525 373888
paper and gifts to buy. 12-13 Nov www.buzzrail.co.uk
HARPENDEN CIRCLE CHRISTMAS GIFT AND WELWYN ST MARY’S PRIMARY SCHOOL 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23 Dec –
CRAFT FAIR London Road, Welwyn, AL6 9DJ times vary
Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Christmas Fair Enjoy a 25 minute ride in a decorated steam
Harpenden, AL5 1PL 4 Dec – 2pm-4pm train. Then walk through the Magic Tunnel to
01582 762880 meet Santa, with a present for each child.
25-26 Nov – 10am-4pm Tickets: Adult £7, Child (2 – 15) £7.50, Under
Run by the Harpenden Ladies Circle and 2’s £3
featuring a wide range of crafts and gifts. Mince Pie Specials
27-28 Dec – times vary
HATFIELD HOUSE CATHEDRAL & ABBEY CHURCH OF
A 25-minute ride in a festively decorated
Hatfield, Herts AL9 5NQ ST ALBAN
steam train plus hot punch and mince pies in
01707 287010 Sumpter Yard, St Albans, Herts AB1 1BY
the station buffet.
www.hatfield-house.co.uk 01727 890256 www.stalbanscathedral.org
Tickets: Adults £6.50, Children (2-15) £3.50,
For enquiries: 01707 262632 The Christingle Service
Under 2s FREE.
Christmas Market 4 Dec – 3pm
12 Nov – 10.30am-4pm An event for younger children. MEAD OPEN FARM
50% of the proceeds will go to Isabel Hospice. Family Carol Concert Standbridge Road, Billington,
Entry: £2, children free. 10 Dec – 3pm Nr. Leighton Buzzard
Tickets available on entry. 01525 852954
KNEBWORTH HOUSE Adults £5, Children £1 if seat needed. www.meadopenfarm.co.uk
Knebworth Park, SG3 6PY SantaLand
01438 812661 HERTFORD CASTLE
26 Nov-23 Dec
www.knebworthhouse.com Hertford, SG14 1QD
Meet Santa in his grotto and then ride
Christmas Crafts and Country Gifts 01992 584322 www.hertford.gov.uk
the Lapland Express, walk through Winter
19-20 Nov – 10am-5pm Carols at the Castle
Wonderland and follow the Reindeer
17 Dec – 5-6pm
Carol singing in the castle grounds.
SANTA TO YOUR DOOR THE VAN HAGE REAL ICE RINK WELWYN GARDEN CITY
Party entertainer, Adam Ant, will bring 10 Van Hage, Pepper Hill, Great Amwell, Nr Outside the Howard Centre
Christmas to life for your children. When Ware, SG12 9RP 25 Nov – 4.30-6.30pm
Santa arrives he will chat to your children 01920 870811
about their favourite things, eat a mince pie www.skatevanhage.co.uk
and deliver all those fabulous presents you’ve
spent ages wrapping. And best of all he’ll visit
16 Nov – 8 Jan
Tickets: Adults £12.50/£9, Diary Dates
on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or any day. Children £8.50/£7, Family £35/£29
Call the Adam Ant party hotline on NCT NEARLY NEW SALES
WILLOWS FARM VILLAGE Everything for children 0-5 years old including:
0208 959 1045 for more details.
Coursers Road, London Colney, St Albans clothing, equipment, toys, books, videos,
0870 129 9718 maternity wear.
THE SNOW CENTRE www.willowsfarmvillage.com
St Albans Hill, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 9NH Magical Ice Rink HEMEL-BERKHAMPSTED BRANCH
www.thesnowcentre.com 23 Nov – 24 Dec Longdean School, Rumballs Road, Hemel
Winter Wonderland with Santa’s Cabin Included with entry to Willows Farm during Hempstead, HP3 8JB
End Nov - Christmas Eve Santa’s Spectacular Grotto. Get your skates on 12 Nov – 2-3pm (1.30 for members)
Warm clothing essential - it will be very cold! to experience our synthetic ice rink for all the £1
Call 0845 258 9000 for prices, full details and fun without the cold and wet.
Contact venue for prices. LUTON BRANCH
Ascot Rooms, Coop Club, Stockingstone Road,
WILLOWS FARM VILLAGE Luton, LU2 7NF
Coursers Road, London Colney, St Albans.
0870 129 9718, www.willowsfarmvillage.com
Christmas Lights 19 Nov – 11am-12.30pm
HERTS NORTH BRANCH
Santa’s Spectacular Grotto
HARPENDEN CHRISTMAS CARNIVAL Kingshott School, Stevenage Road, Hitchin,
23 Nov-24 Dec - 10am- 5.30pm
Harpenden Town Centre SG4 7JX
Visit Santa in his Grotto and receive a golden
01582 768278 12 Nov - 10.30 - 12noon
key to his toy shop where children can choose
27 Nov – 12-6pm Contact: email@example.com
a present. Join in with the Nativity show, hop
on the Festive Wood Ride, enter the Elves Suitable for all the family; Acts on the stage,
procession along the High Street, Farmers DUNSTABLE BRANCH
House, see the reindeer. Don’t miss the Fun
Market, Lights Switch on, charity stalls, Santa's Watling Lower School, Bull Pond Lane,
Fair rides, undercover JCB Young Drivers Zone,
Grotto, fairground rides and more. Dunstable, Beds, LU6 3BJ
Woolly Jumpers indoor play barn and Reindeer
Free with the exception of the stalls and 26 Nov – 1.30-3.30pm
Hunt with a prize for every child.
fairground rides. £1
Ice Rinks & More HARPENDEN WEST HERTS BREASTFEEDING PEER
Batford SUPPORT NETWORK
(Bottom of Pickford Hill). www.westhertsbreastfeedingpeersupport.
4 Dec com
HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND Running daily drop-ins for breastfeeding
0871 620 7064 Southdown Shopping Area
2 Dec – from 6pm support across Dacorum, sponsored by the
www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com NCT and local Children's Centres.
18 Nov – 3 Jan 10am-10pm daily Live Music, Santa, fairground rides,
Christmas Fair and more. Free.
London’s largest Ice Rink,
Giant Observation Wheel, Zippo’s Circus. Free with the exception of the stalls and
Free entry, purchase tokens for rides and fairground rides.
attractions. Booking is recommended for the CHILDCARE
Ice Rink and the Wheel. Closed Christmas Day.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM ICE RINK 27 Nov – 4-5.30pm
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD Featuring Peppa Pig and George.
0844 847 1576, 020 7942 5000
HERTFORD CHRISTMAS GALA
4 Nov – 8 Jan – check website for
25 Nov – 4-7pm (lights at 5pm)
Entertainment, Christmas street market
The NHM will be transformed into a magical
setting with 76,000 Christmas lights in the
trees surrounding the Ice Rink.
Ticket: Adults £11.50/£13, Children (under
MARLOWES SHOPPING CENTRE PARTIES
Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1DX
12) £8/£8.50, family £31/£34.50. 01442 413815
Christmas Lights Switch On
Strand, London WC2 1LA
20 Nov – 3.30-5.30pm
An entertaining programme including Ben and
Ticketmaster 0844 847 1520
Holly from NickJr and Santa with his Elf who
22 Nov- 22 Jan
will be giving away chocolate coins. Plus a
TOWER OF LONDON ICE RINK fireworks extravaganza.
0844 412 4636
St Peter’s St., outside Town Hall
19 Nov – 8 Jan
20 Nov – from 1pm (lights on at 5.30pm)
Tickets: Adults £10.50/£12.50, Children
(under 16) £8/£8.50, Family £32/£34 (Prices
include skate rental and booking fee)
Say you saw it in 15
Printed by Warners Midlands Plc, Bourne, Lincs., PE10 9PH. Copyright Families Herts 2011. Any original materials submitted for publication are sent at owner’s own risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families nor its agents
accept liability for loss or damage. Families Herts is part of a group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license. We take
care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of the advertisers, nor for the accuracy of the contents or for any consequences.