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                                                         Issue No. 41
                                                          Nov/Dec 2011

Ho! Ho! Ho!
It's Christmas
 Brilliant competitions
 Where to see Santa
 Christmas fairs
 Firework displays

     a fairy tale
   family wee
     worth over
      £1,000 r
    Families rea
        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
     yarn shop!
                                                                                                             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
     centres and libraries. Get in touch   
     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
called NumberFit.
  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 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 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 or email                                                             or                         To find your nearest Childrens’ Centre go to
call 07933 153054.                       

4     For inclusion in News & Views pages please ring 020 8428 6384 or email
                                                      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 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

Dash Success
                                                      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     
services that they provide.
  Kirsty Hall, who generously shared her story        To find out more go to or
with Families Herts readers describing how            call the helpline: 01727 841841

                                                      Newlife Foundation
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
  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 or email                       For more details go to www.newlifecharity.          “A beautiful place for my child to               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 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
                               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
                               For more information:         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 for your chance win.
Closing date: 30th November
                                                                                                             WIN! W
                                                                                                                   IN! WIN

Win a Digital Camera or a Changing Bag!
                                                   a physical barrier to help protect against the 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: 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 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
Family Matters

Coping with Divorce                                                                                        Some helpful websites include:


and Separation                                                                                             Her
A stable and long lasting marriage may be the ideal that we hope for but,                        
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
you do?
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
                                                                                                       temporary basis


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                       

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.              
                                                  • 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
                                                                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                                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.
                                                                                          Price: £8
 “A very long walk on boxing                                                    

  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
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
                                                                                                 HERTFORD THEATRE
                                                                                                 The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PS
                                                01908 609001              01992 531500
ABBOTS LANGLEY FIREWORK DISPLAY                 Santa’s Northern Lights Firework Display
Manor House Playing Fields.                     23 Dec                                           Wake Up, Don Quixote
01923 265139                                    Magical Fireworks set to Christmas music.        4 Nov - 10am, 1pm                     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
                                                                                                 and film.
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                  01727 844488               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
                                                                   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                       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               Sun Street, Hitchin, SG5 1AE.
Crabtree Lane, Harpenden                        Cinderella                                       01462 433553
01582 462958                                    17-20, 22-24, 27-31 Dec                
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                                       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’.
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                             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
01923 226400
                                                                                                 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                                                      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
£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.

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                                   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
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                              01707 645005                                    Tree Planting
Hansel and Gretel                                            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
                                                                                                01992 582686                                                     
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                                              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                        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                              £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.                                                     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     
                                                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                        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
                                                                                                Handprint Reindeer
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            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.                                                          De Havilland Campus, Univ. of Hertfordshire
                                                 Christmas Fayre                                 Hatfield, AL10 9AB
SPARKLING CHRISTMAS FASHION SHOW                 3 Dec – 1-4pm                                   01707 281127,
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                                                                 
                                                 Albans. Plus, a local crafts stall.
01462 420144                                                                                     3-4 Dec – 10am-4pm
                                                 Day time admission is free but donations are                                                                 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,
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:                          Pages Park Station, Billington Road,
12, 26 Nov – 9.15am-3pm                                       Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4TN
A wide of charity Christmas cards, wrapping      Christmas Craft Fair                            01525 373888
paper and gifts to buy.                          12-13 Nov                             
                                                                                                 Santa Specials
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.                         01727 890256
                                                                                                 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.
Knebworth Park, SG3 6PY                                                                          SantaLand
01438 812661                                     HERTFORD CASTLE
                                                                                                 26 Nov-23 Dec                           Hertford, SG14 1QD
                                                                                                 Meet Santa in his grotto and then ride
Christmas Crafts and Country Gifts               01992 584322
                                                                                                 the Lapland Express, walk through Winter
19-20 Nov – 10am-5pm                             Carols at the Castle
                                                                                                 Wonderland and follow the Reindeer
                                                 17 Dec – 5-6pm
                                                                                                 Competition Trail.
                                                 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
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                          
St Albans Hill, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 9NH           Magical Ice Rink                                    HEMEL-BERKHAMPSTED BRANCH                              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
to book.
                                                                                                       Ascot Rooms, Coop Club, Stockingstone Road,
WILLOWS FARM VILLAGE                                                                                   Luton, LU2 7NF
Coursers Road, London Colney, St Albans.
0870 129 9718,
                                                   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:
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                                                                       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.
                                                   Town Centre
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
                                                   Town Centre
4 Nov – 8 Jan – check website for
                                                   25 Nov – 4-7pm (lights at 5pm)
session times
                                                   Entertainment, Christmas street market
The NHM will be transformed into a magical
                                                   and more.
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.
                                                   ST ALBANS
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
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