Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield July Aug 2012

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Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield magazine for July August 2012

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FREERJULY-AUGUST 2012 ISSUE 10HARBORNE-MS-BOOKKEEPINGEmail: msbookkeeping@talktalk.netAccounts Preparations,VAT Returns,Bookkeeping& Payroll ServicesTel: 0121 4282684 Mob: 07823550041www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukBirmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdfieldBig ticket promoReading - facts and statsDinosaurs are coming!LegolandGive your child a head start at school!The online reading program for children!FREE 5 WEEK TRIAL!Register your child at www.readingeggs.co.uk and use this code: UKS24BRMHurry, this great trial offer ends on 31st August 2012Big ticket promoReading - facts and statsDinosaurs are coming!Legoland2 Issue 10DINOSAURSUNCOVEREDDINOSAURSUNCOVERED21 JULY 2012 6 JANUARY 2013TICKETS: CHILDREN 4.95/ADULTS 5.95/UNDER 4S FREE/FAMILY TICKETS 18.00SAVE 10% BY BOOKING AT WWW.THEHERBERT.ORG OR PAY ON THE DAYFREE FAMILY SUMMER EVENTS & MONSTERS OF THE DEEP SUMMER AQUARIUMExcellent group discounts available from Db Promotions UKFor tickets contact Db Promotions UK on 0121 308 4511 or email info@dbpromotions.co.ukFor more information visit www.dbpromotions.co.uk6th July 2nd September 2012Aberdeen Glasgow Nottingham BirminghamSalford Quays Cardiff Newcastle Brighton Liverpool28th September 2012 6th January 2013Glasgow Newcastle ManchesterBirmingham London DisneyIssue 10 3 www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukSummer Fun www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk4 Issue 10www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukNext Issue: Advertisers: book now for our September/October issue. Call 0758 352 6056or e-mail editor@familiesbirmingham.co.ukbefore Friday, August 3.Hello and welcome to the July/August school summer holiday issue of Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield.This issue we have teamed up with 7 great West Midlands attractions and have almost 1,000 worth of family tickets to be won in our Big Ticket Give-away reader competition. Read page 10 to find out how to take part but hurry, the closing date is July 18 so that the winners can enjoy a family day out during the school holidays. Also in our bumper summer issue, we offer you the chance to win tickets to Legally Blonde, the musical which is playing at the New Alexandra Theatre in August. Just turn to page 21 for details.Our education pages focus on reading. Find out why it is so important to a childs future progress; see if you are surprised by the facts and the stats; check out a list of 100 great reads for keystage 2 pupils; or log on to Reading Eggs for some free online summer fun which also promotes your childs reading skills. Going on holidays? Check out a vets advice for pets and holidays. Staying at home? Find out where to go and what to do this summer we bring you details of a day out with the dinosaurs; tell you about the workshops and family days at Selly Manor; report on what Mickey and Minnie Mouse are up to, and more.Families Birmingham & Solihull, EditorWendy FlynnFront page picture by photo artist Abby Wilkes. Abby won the West Midlands Master Photographer Award for her work with children three years in a row.She specialises in photographing children and families, creating art from lifes special moments. Contact Abby for more information:07966 867306. www.abbywilkes.comDesign: www.MattWaltonDesign.co.uk Print: Warners Midlands PLC, Manor Lane, Bourne, Lincs. PE10 9PH Copyright Families Birmingham and Solihull, July 2012We take care preparing this magazine but the publisher and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers, nor for the accuracy of the contents nor its consequence.ContentsNewsClubs and classesBig Ticket Give-awayMums in businessStaycations and daycationsSupport for new mumsPets on holiday Communicating with nanny EducationSummer readsTheatreWhats On581011 1214161718202122In this Issue...582110121618www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk Summer FunIssue 10 5 Newswww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukBournvilles Selly Manor will be a place of magic and mystery this summer as it hosts summer workshops for children - as well as an intriguing diabolical drop-in family event.Between August (14-24) a magician, astrologer, courtier, explorer and spy visit the Manor House to discover more about the mysterious Dr Dee. Visitors and families are invited to make star trackers and a compass; create brilliantly bizarre beards and fantastic hats, learn magic tricks and play garden games; and of course help solve the mystery of Dr Dee on the Manor trail. With a family ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children costing just 9.50, this makes for a great value, fun family outing. The Manor also hosts holiday workshops for children aged 5-11. These include:Workshop Tickets are 3.95 per child and must be booked in advance as they sell out fast. Children must be accompanied by an adult. To find out more or to book call 0121 472 0199. Jester Skills (Jul 24) where they will learn juggling, plate-spinning and Diablo as well as making juggling balls and jester hat. Pirates (Jul 26) where they make cut-throat cutlasses, eye-patches, and parade in their own pirate hats. Dragons (Jul 31) where they make a dragon lair and create their own dragon puppet, and dragon egg. Time Traveller workshop (Aug 2) where they can make their own super time machine with recycled materials.Dr DeesDiabolical Drop-inHave a wild time at the Parkridge Centre, Brueton Park, Solihull, this summer building survival dens, exploring ponds, being a nature detective, discovering the hidden world of creepy crawlies and learning bushcraft. The centre run workshops every weekday during the school summer holidays alternating between events for tiny tots (2-4) and sessions for children aged 4 plus. The fun workshops run between 10.30am-12 and 1-2.30pm and cost 4 per child. Book in advance on 0121 704 0768. Under 8s must be accompanied.Solihull Arts complex will be running a 2-day summer dance, drama and art workshop on Aug 13 and 14 for 7-14 year olds. It costs 30 and will be led by professionals. Other holiday workshops include beach-themed crafty fun for 4-7 year-olds, Art makers for 8-11 and dance for both age groups, all running on Thursdays in August. Call 0121 704 6962 to book. Go wildHoliday ArtsDr DeesDiabolical Drop-inrhiggs@littlekickers.co.ukwww.littlekickers.co.ukApproved football training for kids aged 2 to 7 yearsWhere learnings a ballClasses in Solihull, Knowle, Hockley Heath & WythallFor a free trial class or information about our football parties please call0121 744 9730YB-MB-AD-080612.pdf 1 08/06/2012 09:35StagecoachTheatre ArtsStagecoach Edgbaston Saturday classes at Edgbaston High School for Girls for children and young people aged 4 to 18Call: 01926 651159email: edgbaston@stagecoach.co.ukwww.stagecoach.co.uk/edgbastonStretch Your Childs Imagination In Three Directions At Once The original, largest and still the best part-time performing arts schools in the world.Nurturing and developing young peoples potential through dance, drama and singing.SING! DANCE! ACT NOW!www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukFor little kids and big kids who know that magic really does exist add a sparkle to the summer holidays with a trip to Mickeys Magic Show live on stage at the NIA.Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Alice and the Mad Hatter team up with some world-class magicians to perform awesome tricks right before your eyes that will have children transfixed. Witness the Fairy Godmother transform Cinderellas rags into a shimmering ballgown in seconds; watch amazed as Aladdins Princess Jasmine levitates, and see the enchanted dancing brooms from Fantasia. The show runs at the NIA from July 25-29. Catch it if you can. (To book: 0121 308 4511)The Disney-on-Ice show Passport to Adventure will be on in Birmingham during the October half term week. Mickey and Minnie glide off on a journey that takes them to the enchanting underwater world of Disneys Little Mermaid; to the Pride lands of the Lion King and the starry world of Peter Pan. (Mickey and Minnie really do have an enviable lifestyle!) If you would like to travel along with them, bookings are now open. E-mail info@dbpromotions.co.uk or call 0121 308 4511Life-size dinosaurs are taking up residence at the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry this summer. Its the perfect opportunity to take the kids on a time travel voyage back through 250 million years to discover the secrets of the dinosaurs.These awe-inspiring creatures - who dominated earth for a lot longer than we humans have been around - are an endless source of fascination for children. The sheer scale of the exhibitions life-size dinosaur models, real and replica fossils and holographic video presentations will capture their imaginations. Visitors will follow the dinosaur story from the Triassic Period, when they first appeared, through the Jurassic Period when they roamed the earth to their ultimate extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 65 million years ago.The exhibition is designed with families in mind with lots of fun facts and interactive activities such as designing their own dinosaur skin, colouring with the popular Dino-Paints, and testing their knowledge with the Dino Age and Dino Buster. Catch up with the Dinosaurs as schools break up (July 21) and right through the summer holidays. Advance tickets are on sale now and there is a 10 per cent reduction for online booking www.theherbert.org. Tickets cost 5.95 for adults; 4.95 for children; under 4s are free, and a family ticket costs 18.00.The Dinosaurs are coming!Disneys Magical MomentsNews6 Issue 10www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 10 7 NewsScience for summer a human hamster wheel Busy Mums constantly on the go instinctively know what it feels like to be a hamster in a wheel, but do your children? And as for that matter, does your husband?This summer let the kids and your better half find out for themselves at ThinkTanks brilliant new Science Garden which comes complete with a ginormous, human-sized hamster wheel that has a top speed of 30 revolutions per minute.This interactive outdoor exploration space has been 3 years in the making and is designed to give visitors of all ages hands-on (or should that be paws-on) experience of science and engineering.Theres an 8 metre high clanging Terminus machine, a logic-defying square-wheeled people wagon, a giant weighing station and a pulley me up exhibit. Visitors can also try their luck with an elasticated squirter a unique water piston that uses elastic potential energy (the physics bit) which cranks up two fast-moving propellers for the Flyer exhibit.The inventive Science Garden is the first project of its kind in the UK and one of only a few in the world. It has taken a team of designers, engineers, building contractors, science geeks, and education experts more than 10,000 hours of work to complete.A special family ticket to ThinkTank and the Science Garden is on offer for 39 and the Science Museum and Garden are open every day from 10am-5pm.Queens visitThe Queen will visit West Midlands and Birmingham on July 11 and 12 as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour. MAC gets playfulMAC arts has launched its 50th anniversary celebrations this summer with Japanese artists in residence working with local children.Watch out for the result, The Playmakers, when you next visit a part sculpture and part puppet installation leading from the ground floor to the first floor gallery space. The new work draws on MACs history as both an art and sport centre and as a theatre for experimental puppetry. www.ackers-adventure.co.ukFor further details please call 0121 772 5111 or visit our website now!!Ackers Adventure, Birmingham B11 2PY 0121 772 5111FANTASTIC FUNAND GREAT VALUEFOR MONEYACTIVITIES FOR ALL THE FAMILY After School Clubs Whizz Kids School Holiday Club Birthday Parties Thrillseeker Taster Days Climbing, Canoeing, Archery, Skiing, Jungle Challenge, Tobogganing and much more....Selly ManorIn the garden village of Bournville lie two of Birminghams oldest buildings. Rescued from demolition by George Cadbury they are now a popular museum that holds events, family activities and weddings throughout the year.Open Tuesdays to Fridays 10am to 5pm Saturdays and Sundays 2pm to 5pmwww.bvt.org.uk/sellymanorsellymanor@bvt.org.uk Tel: 0121 472 0199Tudor Heritage in the heart of Bournvillewww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk8 Issue 10Clubs and ClassesClubs & Classes DIRECTORY To advertise here call 0758 352 6056MUSICMUSICMUSICTIM TANDLER DRUM SCHOOL1-to-1 drum tuition, City Centre locationRock School grades 1-8. Ages 4 upwards. Tel: 0121 503 5849www.timtandlerdrumschool.co.ukB I R M I N G H A MTel: 0121 503 5849www.birminghamdrumschool.co.uk1-to-1 drum tuition,City Centre locationRock School grades 1-8.Ages 4 upwards. PRE-SCHOOL MUSICCall 0121 711 4224 for nearest classwww.rhythmtime.netEarly learning through musicBaby, toddler and pre-school classesYouth Theatre Group, Age 6+ Garretts Green Lane, Sheldon, B26 2SA Telephone: 0121 722 3761 MASQUERADE MUSICAL THEATRE Ballet, Tap and Jazz age 2 +Branches in Yardley and Shirley Telephone: 0121 744 1422 www.dubarrieschoolofdance.co.uk DUBARRIE SCHOOL OF DANCE DANCE & DRAMAPYJAMA DRAMADrama for creative little people, 6 months -7 yearsSing, dance, pretend, play. Call Kate on 0800 542 0363or e-mail: kate@pyjamadrama.comwww.solihullyoungdancers.co.ukSolihull Young DancersBallet and Tap DancingClasses from age 2 +Tel: Kate on 07722 732678www.masquerademusicaltheatre.co.ukAdventure holidayTry something new this summer. Ackers Adventure will be hosting Whizz Kids giving youngsters of 8-16 a chance to try their hand at canoeing, skiing, archery or climbing. It costs just 8 a session. They will also be running a week-long adventure summer scheme aimed at 8-14 year-olds who like a challenge. The scheme will run from 9.30am-5pm and will cost 150 for the week or 35 per day.Have a splashing time!Summer and water go together whether it is the sun and sea, the hotel pool, or even a paddling pool in the back garden. And, the best way of making sure your child is safe around water is to ensure they can swim like a fish or, at least, can make it to the side of a pool on their own.Try an intensive summer swim school which can be a real confidence booster because they make much faster progress than at weekly lessons.Make A splash swimschool are running 5-day courses of 30 minute lessons at the Village Hotel, Solihull, on the weeks of July 30 and Aug 6. They teach children from age 3 and over. (Call 0121 705-9374)S4 swimschool who operate in a number of pools in Sutton Coldfield and Erdington also run intensive holiday courses (Call 0121 374 2109), and the Munrow Sports Centre on the University of Birmingham campus run holiday swim schools during four of the six school holiday weeks 0121 414 4117. Arts Classes Holiday Clubs Arty Parties Aldridge Rd, Great Barr www.arts.alkhami.comTel: 0121 244 8435Kids run freeWorried about the kids watching too much TV and not getting enough fresh air? Sign them up for Kids Run Free at Bentley Heath Park in Solihull and Kings Heath Park in Birmingham. Kids Run Free is staging running races for everyone from tiny-tots to teens on the first Saturday of every month at parks across the country, with the aim of getting 24,000 kids running by the end of 2012.This brilliant initiative costs nothing but could have major health benefits, fostering a lifetime love of running, athletics, or just mucking around in the great outdoors. If the children are active in other sports, running will help improve their fitness levels which will give them an added edge. The races get longer in age stages with tiny tots under 2 toddling along for 50 metres and 9 and 10-year-olds running a 500m distance. There is also a 1km club.Each child signing up for the races (register online at www.kidsrunfree.co.uk) will be given a barcode to print out which will allow them to take part in the races every month. The barcode will also allow them to check their times online, see how they improve as their fitness levels rise, and compare their times against runners from right across the country.Whether kids take part just to have fun or enter with a competitive spirit, it is a free and sociable way to get fit.Sign up online and just turn up at the park on the first Saturday of every month. Races start from 9am, and you are asked to turn up fifteen minutes before.www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 10 9 Clubs and ClassesSinging in the choir!TV presenter Gareth Malone has made singing in choir cool and Sutton Coldfield youngsters are quickly getting in on the act.Music teachers Richard Jeffries and Liz Birch train the Four Oaks Cluster Choir for children in years 5-8 a competitive choir which will perform at the National Festival of Music for Youth in July. It is also in the running for Choir of the Year, being named as Choir of the Day in a recent regional heat. With the success of the Four Oaks cluster choir, Richard and Liz started a teen choir, Sutton Youth Choir, for ages 8 and above, and an adult choir The Accidentals, which now has 90 members. Their latest venture is a training choir for children in years 2, 3 and 4 and all children in those year groups are eligible to join the training choir. The training choir meet at the Arthur Terry School on Fridays between 5.15 and 6.15pm, while Sutton Youth Choir meet at Four Oaks School on Mondays, and the Cluster Choir and the Accidentals meet there on Wednesday.To find out more about joining the choirs or about taking part in a Vocal Summer School call Richard on Mob: 07736 318 340.YogaBugsYogaBugs will be running a series of family workshops across Birmingham and Solihull over the school summer holidays. A great stress-buster for parents, a calming effect for children and great exercise for all. For full details call 0845 863 0691 or email:Michelle/mbest@yogabugs.com Helping parents with school holiday childcare since 2005For further information and bookings visit www.activecamps.co.uk/fbm12 or call 08455 08 27 34Venues: Bishop Veseys Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield Tudor Grange Academy, Solihull King Edward VI School, LichfieldValue From as little as 1.98 per hourFlexible Open every school holiday from 8am6pmFun Over 25 different sports and activitiesSafe - Ofsted registeredAspire Active Camps helped 988 families last year, making us the most popular Ofsted registered provider of sports and activity focused childcare in the area.Dates: Summer holidaysTuition PlusHelping students achieve their true potentialProfessional TutoringLiteracy & Numeracyfor ages 5 to 11Harvest Fields CentreSutton Coldfield B75 5TJTel: 07592 556 452www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk10 Issue 10Big Ticket Give-awaywww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukWe have teamed up with 7 top family attractions in the West Midlands for a Big Ticket Give-away reader competition. Dont miss out as we have family tickets worth almost 1,000 in total to give away.Black Country Living MuseumTake a step back in time for a great family day out at this open air living history museum. Catch a tram to explore the canal-side village; explore underground mines and meet the costumed characters; have a lesson at the local school; spend time at the Fairgound rides and visit the local fish and chip shop. Fun family activities and a great day out. (3 family tickets to win).Cadbury WorldA fun family day out with themed zones where you can learn how chocolate is made, play in chocolate rain, and create your own delicious taste sensation in warm liquid dairy milk. Yum!(1 family ticket to win).Drayton ManorHome to some of the biggest, scariest and wettest rides around but also home to Thomas Land - ideal for younger children. Whether you revel in the big rides, or enjoy some gentle fun, this attraction is ideal for all ages. Thomas Land is set in parklands, has wonderful themed rides and a spectacular indoor play area. The 4D cinema in the park is showing the family-friendly Little Prince movie. For older children and adults who love a thrill Drayton offers rides like Shockwave, Stormforce and Apocalyse. (4 family tickets to win).Dudley ZooLions, bears, tigers, meerkats, mongoose you name it, Dudley Zoo has it. With more than 1,300 birds and animals and 168 species, there is lots to see and do. Dont miss the Penguin Bay new for 2012 which allows visitors to get up close to a 70 strong colony of Humbold Penguins. (4 family tickets to win).Ragley HallLive the highlife at the magnificent Palladian mansion house set in spectacular gardens designed by Capability Brown, and let the kids run wild in the parkland. Have a picnic by the lake or head to the Kids Zone with its 3D maze, climbing frames, trampoline, swing slides, wooden fortress and aerial runway. There is also a little peoples playground for younger children.(5 family tickets to win).WaterworldWhatever the weather you can enjoy a trip to the UKs number one tropical aquapark with slides and waterfeatures to rival any of the waterparks at holiday resorts abroad. The Aquapark has plenty of attractions to suit weak as well as strong swimmers. Slides, inflatables, waterfalls, rapids its a whole load of fun. (1 family ticket to win).How to enterTo enter log on to www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk before the closing date, July 18, and tell us how many attractions are featured in the Big Ticket Give-away competition. One family ticket will be allocated to each winner in the order they are drawn. Remember to state your order of preference for the tickets you are interested in winning.Sea Life Centre BirminghamFrom delicate seahorses and cute clown fish to giant turtles, sting rays and otters the National Sea Life Centre enthrals with hands-on sessions at the interactive rock pool; an ocean tunnel walkthrough, and a deadly shark lagoon. Learn fascinating facts along the way did you know, for example, that the male seahorse gives birth? Family fun is planned too for summer as the Sealife links up with Aardman Animations. (1 family ticket to win).Big Ticket Give-awayHome ofwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk Mums in BusinessA results-focused businesswww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukFor entrepreneur Natalie Jones running the Princess Trust- backed Academic Excellence tutoring group is all about improving childrens life chances.Natalie admits that she fell into this enterprise more by chance than design. Her own privately-educated daughter needed support with Maths tutoring and Natalie was left dumbfounded by the prices commanded by some private tutors and their variable quality. Yet, one highly qualified Maths tutor made a huge difference within a short space of time and her daughters understanding of Maths improved rapidly.Natalie says: Thats when I realised I wanted to help a lot more children achieve academically. There are a lot of parents out there with great ambitions for their children without the finance to smooth the way. Paying 100 a week for a couple of hours help is not realistic for most parents it makes support outside school inaccessible to almost all but high income parents.Thats where Academic Excellence can help. It is about changing peoples pathways and putting them in a better position. As a founder of the business I dont take a wage but when parents are in tears hugging me because we have helped their children, thats my payment ten times over.Academic Excellence aims to provide support to children from qualified teachers with a proven track record but at a much lower cost. We only recruit tutors who share the ethos of offering every child the support to reach their potential.This summer one of Academic Excellences success stories is the child of a single mother who has been given a full scholarship to a private school. It is thanks to the support she has received from the tutoring group, who liaised with the school on her behalf about applying for entry and funding. If she were taking up the local authority school place she was offered, she would be starting a secondary school this September where academic results are near bottom for the country.Natalie is also delighted that so many of their students are taking up Grammar school places this year, but she stresses that it isnt all about the academic highfliers, it is about helping every child to reach their potential.We had three children who had failed a GCSE prior to coming to us. They came to us for only five weeks before taking re-sits and they all came out with B grades. (Imagine if they had come to us earlier with more time to tutor them!) Nevertheless the parents and the children were extremely happy with the result and I am so proud of them all.Academic Excellence now operates from four bases in Edgbaston, Quinton, Solihull and Erdington, and is continuing to expand. To find out more about its summer school or term-time tutoring call 0121 454 2858 or e-mail Natalie:info@academicexcellence.org.ukAcademic Excellences Holiday Fun Club is not just about learning its about making friends, having a laugh and living life to the full.But the holiday club will also give children the chance to do better at school next year. Natalie says: Teachers often put children into sets in the first few weeks of September based on their work when they return to school, but many children forget what they have learnt over the summer break. An hour a day at the holiday club will mean they are well placed to get into a higher set, and that will pay dividends throughout the year.The idea came from parents who said their children enjoyed attending their regular classes in term time, and asked about holiday tuition. So the Holiday Club took shape. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and children dont want to spend their holidays in class, so the balance is two hours play and activities to one hour of academic support. The club caters for children aged 4 -14 with morning, afternoon and full day sessions available to fit with working parents.The academic sessions explore Maths, English, Science and languages to help children catch up or get ahead with their schoolwork in the summer holidays, and the fun comes with football, dance, zumba, multisports, cookery, art and design.All children are welcome to join the Holiday Club. To find out more call 0121 454 2858or e-mail Natalie: info@academicexcellence.org.uk Summer campIssue 10 11 www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk12 Issue 9Parties www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukwww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukLeisureStaycations & Daycations top attractionsLEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick configuration, the Minifigure and LEGOLAND are trademarks of the LEGO Group 2012 The LEGO Group.12 Issue 10LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is one of my all-time favourite family attractions and I have the family snaps to show for it. It has that magical quality which appeals to adults as much as to children, and that makes for a great family staycation.Where else can you go round the world in 80 minutes watching red London buses trundling along in Mini-Land, then heading over to Holland to see the barges on the canal, and the windmills, before jetting over to the USA all before lunch?The children will marvel at Legolands Mini Land scenes and have fun spotting famous landmarks in miniature, but there is lots more to see and do so expect to find yourself dragged hither and thither by excited children.We made numerous trips with my youngest along Fairy Tale Brook, a magical boat trip for tiny tots, and cheered on my 8-year-old as she got her first driving licence at the driving school. We got wet on the water rides, not to mind the boating school, floated through the trees on a roller coaster, and went skyward in the Space Tower. There was never a dull moment.Mind you Legoland has got even bigger and better now that it is not just for earthlings. Since I last visited there is a new underwater ride in a submarine to find the Lost City of Atlantis, complete with lego mermaids and fish, and for Sci Fi fans, the recently completed Star Wars experience will be truly galatic.Where to stay: Less than half an hour away from the hustle and bustle of LEGOLAND, stay at The Bull Hotel, a 17th-century building set in beautiful landscaped gardens overlooking Gerrards Cross Common. The Hotel is ideally placed for a staycation: combine a trip to Legoland with a visit to Windsor Castle (30 mins away) and a family trip to London (the train station is within walking distance of the hotel and you get to London Marylebone in 25 mins). Madame Tussauds, Hamleys, the London Eye and the Tower of London, all appeal to children, and dont miss out on the street entertainment at Covent Garden. www.legoland.co.uk or www.sarova.com or call The Bull on 01753 885995.Staycations & Daycations top attractionsStaycations & Daycations top attractionsThe BullGerrards Cross | BuckinghamshireThe Bull Oxford Road, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire SL9 7PA t 01753 885995 f 01753 880116 e bull@sarova.co.uk w sarova.comTerms and conditions apply. Offer is subject to availability until 30 September 2012. Kidz Zone available during the school holidays and weekends. Full pre-payment is required at the time of booking.Save 55% on a 2-night luxury Family LEGOLAND BreakFamily 2-day passes at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort2-night luxury stay only 309 for 2 adults & 1 child or 349 for 2 adults & 2 children 1-night luxury stay only 219 for 2 adults & 1 child or 259 for 2 adults & 2 childrenRRStar Wars and all characters, names and related indicia are 2012 Lucaslm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved.LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick conguration, the Minigure and LEGOLAND are trademarks of the LEGO Group 2012 The LEGO Group.t 2-nights luxury accommodation, complimentary upgraded to an Executive Bedroom t Full English Breakfastt Use of Kidz Zone with XBOX Kinect, LEGOLAND toys and many other gamest Free car parkingt Complimentary Wi-Fit 10% discount on all food & beverage t Late check-out until 3pmRwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk PartiesIssue 9 13 www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 10 13 Leisure www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukStaycations & Daycations top attractionsMuggling along The Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden is top on my wish list of family attractions to visit - I just havent been able to conjure up the time or the tickets - but Ill get there yet.A more organised friend has been already with her two children aged 10 and 12, both of whom are fans of the boy wizard, and her verdict on the trip is its just magical. This isnt a theme park. There are no rides (unless you count the broomstick) and much of the tour is look but dont touch, but if your children have devoured the Harry Potter books and loved all the movies, then this is a must-do family trip.Its all there the sets, the costumes and the props - you can see the house-sized model of Hogwarts Castle, visit the great hall set for dinner, take a peek at Dumbledores office and the Gryffindor common room, and peer into the Potions Room. Visit Hagrids cottage and the Weasley home, wander down Diagon Alley passing by Florish and Blotts and Ollivanders or have a look at the purple Knight bus, and the Ford Anglia which crashed into the Whomping Willow. Tickets are not sold on the door so you must book in advance, and you will need to be quick if you want to go this summer as most weekend slots are already sold out. Of course if you have a wand, the spell is Accio tickets Alas for muggles, its not so easy. www.wbstudiotour.co.uk or phone 08450 840 900 2011 Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R.Vintage trains and red double-decker buses Catch the Shakespeare Express this summer holiday and steam along in a Vintage Train on a day trip to Stratford-on-Avon. The town centre is an easy 10 minute stroll from the railway station. Hop on a City Sightseeing double-decker red bus and hop off at Shakespeares birthplace, Anne Hathaways Cottage, and Mary Ardens Farm. The bus also offers a unique Kids Commentary full of funny titbits and amusing anecdotes to keep the younger ones entertained. They also get a kids passport with felt tips, puzzles and games. Vintage trains run the Shakespeare Express every Sunday from July through to September running from Snow Hill, Moor Street, Tysley or Henley. A family ticket costs 40 booked in advance - 0121 708 4960. For more information on City Sightseeing Tours see www.citysightseeing-stratford.comStaycations & Daycations top attractionsStaycations & Daycations top attractionswww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk14 Issue 10So, youve had a baby. Youre a new mum and of course youre tired, but youre also elated and amazed at this tiny new being that has entered your life. You spend every waking hour staring in adoration at their tiny little toes and gorgeous little mouth. Your exhaustion doesnt matter as you drift from day to day in a haze of milky delight.Or maybe you dont. If you are like me then those first few weeks, even months, of being a new mum are the hardest days of your life. Not only are you exhausted after weeks of unbroken sleep but youre also struggling with breast feeding and getting your baby to take a bottle, your baby is unsettled and suffers from reflux and why oh why wont it just go to sleep? Even if its your second or third baby, its still just as hard. Now the most important thing you can do, even if you dont feel like it, is to get out there, meet some other new mums and get some support. If youre tired, struggling to bond with or feed your baby or have a touch of the baby blues, there are plenty of support networks out there. Health visitors are there for the welfare of babies and their parents, and your health visitor should support you in whatever way they can. They should get in touch with you in the first few days of you returning home from hospital, but if you dont know how to reach your Health Visitor your doctors surgery will be able to tell you.Home-Start is a charity that helps parents by providing volunteer support. Whether youre struggling to look after your baby or suffering from postnatal illness or even just feeling lonely and isolated, Home-Start can help. Volunteers offer regular support, friendship and practical help to young families under stress in their own homes. The visits are flexible and you decide together what to do during that time. Call 08000 68 63 68 for details of your local Home-StartChildrens Centres (also called the SureStart programme) have been developed throughout England to help parents, with many offering support groups for new mums as well as stay and play sessions, baby clubs, postnatal and breastfeeding classes. Find your nearest centre at www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents Bumps, Babies and Beyond groups are run by NCT across the country, where you can make friends and share experiences with other new mums, and support is provided.Drop-in centres, playgroups and baby groups offer vital postnatal support and advice. Most importantly, they dont cost more than a pound or two.It can be tough, but theres help out therewww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukParentingDay Nursery SchoolsQuality Pre-School Education and Care106 Wake Green RoadMoseley, B13 9PZ.Tel: 0121-449-367319 Woodland Road,Northeld, B31 2HU.Tel: 0121-475-8416 Ages 3 months to 5 years Small group sizes Open 8.00am to 6.00pm Mature qualied staff Home cooked meals Ofsted approved CCTV and Door-entry security Grant Funding processed Teachers specializing in Music, Dance & French (subject to availability)www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 10 15 2008|2009RUSSELL NURSERY SCHOOLChildren aged from 3 months to 5 years.Ofsted Outstanding Qualied friendly staff. Daily home cooking. Interactive Whiteboard/Table. CCTV cameras in every room. Free Grant places available for 3+Tel: 0121 777 4902130 Russell Rd, Hall Green, Bham B28 8SQ621 Fox Hollies Road,Hall Green,Birmingham.B28 9DWTel: 0121 777 3778Other sitesSmall World Nursery,975 Stratford Road,Hall Green,BirminghamB28 8BGTel: 0121 693 30712008|20092008|2009Whether its a picnic in the park, a coffee at Starbucks or a mother-and-baby group, its important to get out there and meet other new mums. The NCT arrange regular coffee mornings and local playgroups often arrange get-togethers outside of the playgroup. You dont have to join these groups or come every time, but youll be sure to get a warm welcome and you will find these meet-ups invaluable, I promise you. Alternatively, join a class. This will give you an opportunity not only to meet other mums but also to bond with your baby. Start with a baby massage class, where simple massage techniques help stimulate your babys senses. Many local health services run free massage classes and there are plenty of private classes around too. Baby Sensory offer local classes. Baby massage has also been proven to help enormously with mums suffering from postnatal depression. www.babysensory.co.uk Baby yoga is also a great way to encourage baby-parent interaction. A natural transition from baby massage, it incorporates stretching, relaxation and yoga techniques, enabling you and your baby to create a joyful interaction. There are many baby yoga classes across the UK, but one company that runs classes in Birmingham and Solihull is www.yogabugs.com Activity classes. These dont have to be expensive, so shop around. Choose from music classes to drama to sensory stimulation classes even for newborns! Its a great way to get out of the house, meet other new mums and compare notes. Find local classes for young babies at:www.happyaquababies.co.uk www.rhythmtime.netwww.tinytalk.co.uk Post Natal Depression (PND) Post Natal Depression is often not fully understood by mums who experience it, yet one in three mothers will suffer from it. Becoming a parent can be a shock and it is perfectly normal to feel emotional, vulnerable and sensitive after your baby is born. However, postnatal depression is more serious and must be treated immediately. Symptoms of PND can include: a lack of motivation to get up and do anything; a constant sense of anxiety, sometimes escalating into panic attacks; feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope; feeling guilty about everything and wondering if you are a bad mother; having frightening thoughts about harming yourself or your baby or about bad things happening.If you feel any of the above, it is important to seek professional help. Your GP may suggest antidepressant medication and/or counselling and your health visitor will know about local postnatal depression support groups. You can also go to www.apni.org or www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk for information, support and advice. Also, tell your family and close friends, as talking about your feelings is part of the cure.It can be tough, but theres help out thereBy Joanna ParryParentingwww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukGrasshoppers DayNurseriesLoving, caring and quality childcare in homelysettingsErdington - 0121 384 8096Edgbaston - 0121 455 6026Open 7.00am 6.15pmHarborne - 0121 427 5040Open 7.30am 6.15pmChild rst day nurseryChildcare and a whole lot more Drop in anytime and see 3 months to 5 years0121 788 8148 solihull@childrst.co.ukwww.childrst.co.uk Cooks Lane B37 6NZTel: Andrea on 077329 08194Age 2.5 to schoolFree places for 3 and 4 year oldsVivian Road Pre-schoolPick up and drop off-ALL local primary schoolsBreakfast Club and After-school ClubHarborne Kids ClubMeet other mums and join a class16 Issue 10Now that summer is here, if you have pets, you will be making provision for their holidays. Up-to-date vaccinations for dogs, cats and rabbits are essential if they are to be boarded. Dogs may also need an extra kennel cough vaccination. Remember to leave contact details and make provision with the kennels, friends or your vet in case problems arise whilst youre away.If you are taking your dog abroad, the requirement for a PETS Passport have been reduced since January 2012, but you still need them micro-chipped, and a Rabies vaccination a minimum of 21 days before you can travel to Europe. (More regulations apply if you are travelling further afield). For your return, your dog will need to be officially treated for tapeworms between 1-5 days before coming back. Importantly too, your vet can advise you about preventing other common and serious diseases abroad not included in the passport scheme. Your dog is still at risk even if kept away from local animals.When travelling in a car secure your pets safely, so that if you break sharply they or their cage dont continue to travel... Dog harnesses that strap into a seat belt are a good idea. Make frequent breaks, allowing your pet access to water and toileting. And please, never leave them in the car in warm weather, even for a short time.Happy, safe holidays for all!Menus4Mums, the online family meal planners, have launched a Batch Cooking Plan of summer dinners for busy parents. The plan shows you how to cook 8 delicious and healthy family meals for the freezer in just 1.5 hours. All the meals can be finished off in a matter of minutes when required.Batch cooking means parents can make good use of multi-buys and avoid food waste. Best of all, they have a freezer full of family meals so no longer have to rely on takeaways or ready-meals at the end of a family trip out or a busy working day.The batch cook plan includes Bolognese sauce with summer veg; Mediterranean burgers; a versatile tomato sauce for pasta or chicken; and a chicken bake recipe. It comes with easy-to-follow recipe cards with no hard-to-find ingredients, together with a costed shopping list broken down into supermarket aisles. At just 8.99 for an immediate download, it could save the modern family a lot of money and time! Visit www.menus4mums.co.uk/batch-cook for more details.www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukLifestyleEat well,save timeand money!If a rewarding job with true security that provides you with the work/life balance, flexibility and control over your own destiny sounds appealing contact Carolyn Rose today.You can work part time, around your existing work or family commitments and there is no financial investment.Find out how Carolyns children can always be her priority working part-time hours to suit her family commitments you too could change your life.Contact Carolyn for a FREE information pack on07789 916278 or email: carolyn.rose1@tesco.net1,500Pets on Holiday!Operating facilitiesX rays, Ultrasound In-house lab PETS Passport SchemeDental workMicrochippingVaccinationsPharmacy and Shop Out of hours Emergency TeamThe 608 Pet Health ClubFor all your pet animals a dedicated team for help and adviceSURGERIESSolihull: Tel. 0121 705 3044Bentley Heath: Tel. 01564 774246Acocks Green: Tel. 0121 706 1870Sheldon: Tel. 0121 743 2890www.608vetpractice.co.ukBy Deborah Hope from 608 Vet PracticeIssue 10 17 Communicationin the office v communicationwith the nanny!Lifestylewww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukBy Kathryn Mewesor go to www.sallysnannies.co.ukSimply call us on 08000 194518We can provide a complete and professional service that meets all your nannying and childcare needs: - Day nannies - Live-in nannies - Night nannies - Maternity nurses - Breast-feeding support - Babysitters - Before and after school care - Corporate and event nanny servicesCommunicating in the office is one thing...communicating with the nanny is a whole different ball game!The key is to know what you want and to be realistic. Your nanny will dedicate up to 12 hours a day to your children but she does also have a life of her own to consider. I interviewed a business woman recently who employs a full time live-in nanny. I asked her about how she makes her nanny aware of her expectations. Her response was fascinating... I dont really. was her reply. I instinctively had to ask Why? I dont want to discipline her and upset her. If I do this she may become upset or angry and I dont want her unhappy around my children when I have to leave her alone all day.... I think I live on a false hope that if I say nothing the issue will go away. She then gave out a huge sigh and said but it rarely does go away. My mother once told me that: You can say anything in life to anyone... ...you just need to choose your moment and pick your words carefully. Example: You would much rather your nanny emptied the dishwasher in the morning rather than you. Name, I am so busy in the morning. I would like to be able to sit and breakfast with (childs name) before dashing out the door. Would you mind emptying the dishwasher each morning while I eat? Thank you so much. That is so kind and such a help. By praising your nanny at the end of the statement she will not hear this as an instruction. What if you have to tell your nanny of something that she is or is not doing that you do not approve of? For example, your nanny is on her mobile phone more often than you would like. You need to think about how often and when you are happy for her to use her mobile. We do need to accept that we are ruled by modern technology today. Name, I need to talk to you about something and see if we can come to a mutual agreement. I must be honest with you and that is that I would rather you didnt use your mobile phone quite so often around the children. I trust you with my children 100% and I just want to know that when they are with you they have your undivided attention. Can we suggest that you use your phone during their day nap to speak to friends and answer your texts when the children are occupied with activities in the home like play dough at the table or building their train track etc. PAUSE I hope you understand, I just want the best for my child and I know that you give them the very best. We are very lucky to have you. Finish with praise and then you have to step back and trust her. At the end of the day you need to gel with your nanny. You need to respect one another and this all stems from good communication. If something is bothering you, you need to stop and ask yourself... Is it important enough to approach or is it something you can live with? If it needs addressing choose your moment carefully and approach this with sensitivity and positive energy. That way, constructive criticism is well received, you are enhancing your nannys skills and the bond between you is continuing to strengthen. The 3-Day Nanny by Kathryn Mewes was published in June by Vermilion, 12.99.18 Issue 10Did you know that keeping books in your home can significantly increase your childrens likelihood of going to university. Thats irrespective of background, size of family, parents occupation or any other social factor? Further research has also shown that the biggest impact on a childs educational development is reading to them from a very early age. So in this issue we focus on reading.Read on www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukEducation One hundred great readsEveryone remembers their favourite childhood books and everyone loves a good booklist. KSOL the online tutoring group has put together their list of 100 great reads for 8-11 year olds. We choose the books because they are challenging and interesting, says Anita Dhunna from KSOL, and they appeal to childrens imaginations.The list includes books with timeless appeal such as Mary Nortons The Borrowers; E Nesbits The Railway Children; and Tolkiens The Hobbit; which you might remember from your own childhood, along with modern authors like Anne Fine (Flour Babies); Michelle Magorian (Goodnight Mr Tom); Terry Pratchett (Truckers); Roald Dahl (Matilda); Anthony Horowitz (Stormbreaker); Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl) and Michael Morpugo (Arthur High King of Britain).Sadly, we dont have space to print the list in full, but if you are curious to know whether your childhood favourites made the list, or want some suggestions for your own children, e-mail editor@familiesbirmingham.co.uk or log on to www.ksol.co.uk/wf Reading did you know According to a TalkTalk survey, just over half of parents read their children a bedtime story - but those in the West Midlands are better at it than most The National Literacy Trust found that half the nations children say they love reading, or enjoy it quite a bit, but one in 10 never enjoy itAmong young people technology-based materials are more widely read than books, with two thirds of children reading websites every week Stats and facts 84 per cent of children reached the expected level 4 in reading in 2011 compared to 78 per cent in 1999Although Englands literacy levels have improved, its place in a global league table slipped to 23, with faster improvements seen in Japan, Netherlands, Belgium and NorwayChief Schools Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw wants primary school reading targets to be higher because he thinks the present level 4 target is not a secure foundation for secondary school Ninety five per cent of children who achieve level 5 in reading at primary school (above the current expected level) go on to get 5 good GCSEs compared with 45.6% of those reaching the expected level 4Up to 5 million adults (1 in 6) lack the basic literacy skills needed to get by in work and lifeAdults with poor literacy skills are less likely to be employed and less likely to get promotedwww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukI ssue 10 19 Education www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukLibraries across the UK are gearing up to introduce children to an imagination paradise that will keep them reading throughout the school summer holidays. Story Lab, the 2012 Summer Reading Challenge run by The Reading Agency, an independent charity, aims to inspire children to read in their holidays.With incentives and rewards, plus a certificate or medal if they complete the Challenge, children can sign up at their local library from the end of June. An interactive Story Lab website www.story-lab.org.uk launches this month, enabling children to talk about their favourite books, or follow the Summer Reading Challenge at:Top Tip To help your child improve their vocabulary KSOLs Anita Dhunna recommends: Read alongside with your child; note the difficult words; build a dictionary/vocabulary book, and then challenge your children to use those words in their schoolwork and in conversation. You could make this a fun game.Summer challengeADVERTFamilies magazine has teamed up with Reading Eggs to give you some FREE summer reading fun. All you need to do is to log on.Whether you want to help your child crack reading or they aleady love it the Reading Eggs programme will give them hours of fun this summer. Schools out (well, almost) but children never stop learning, even in play, and this computer-based game-style programme will captivate them as well as teaching them and improving their skills. The online literacy resource, developed by teachers, offers Reading Eggs for children from nursery age to the end of Key Stage 1; a Reading Eggs World for children who have the basics of reading and are developing; and a Reading Eggspress programme for Key Stage 2.Younger children can choose their own activities from: Storylands (builds reading, vocab and comprehension); Driving Tests (sight words, letters and sounds); Puzzle Park (word puzzles and word recognition); Skills Bank (spellings); Story Factory (creative writing) and The Arcade (arcade-style games to reward and motivate).The Eggspress programme for older children uses an engaging spinning island to involve and interest them as they explore an online world. They gain golden eggs (from completing tasks and targets in the Library, Comprehension Gym, and the Stadium skills tests) to buy avatar clothes and apartment furniture for their online world.All you need to go eggsploring is to log on to www.readingeggs.co.uk and use code UKS24BRM and you can trial it FREE for an extended period of 5 weeks. Thats summer sorted. Go Eggsploringwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk20 Issue 10www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukSummer ReadingMy First Justins Jokesby Justin FletcherFaber 4.99Hands up if you like laughing! Childrens TV superstar Justin Fletcher shares his favourite jokes for young fans in My First Justins Jokes. Giggle-tastic, full-colour spreads include hilarious scenes on the farm, at a festival and going to bed - perfect for ages 2+. Warning! This book will make you laugh out loud.The Baby That Roaredby Simon Puttock and Nadia ShireenNosy Crow 6.99When Mr. and Mrs. Deer find a little antlered bundle on the doorstep, Mrs. Deer thinks their wish for a baby has come true; Mr. Deer thinks that the baby is very, very peculiar. It wont stop roaring, so they ask advice from friends and family, who in turn send them off to fetch what they think the baby needs. But each time Mr. and Mrs. Deer return home from an errand, someone is missing and the baby is still roaring. It takes wise old Granny Bear to spot the problem. The babys not a baby - its a little monster! A very hungry monster at that. Mystery Horseby Jane SmileyFaber 6.99When Abby Lovitt gets to work at her familys ranch, she can hardly believe her luck. True Blue is a beauty, a dapple grey, and he needs a new home - his owner was tragically killed in a car crash, and no one has claimed him. Her father is wary, as always. But Abby is smitten. True Blue is a sweetheart, and whenever Abby calls out, Blue, Blue, how are you? he whinnies back. But sometimes True Blue seems, well ...spooked. He paces, and always seems to be looking for something. Or someone. Abby starts to wonder about True Blues owner. What was she like? What did she look like? And what are the strange whispers Abby sometimes hears when shes with him?The Sleeping Armyby Francesca SimonProfile 6.99This is an exciting new novel for children 8+ from one of the bestselling childrens authors in the world, the creator of the Horrid Henry series. Freya is an ordinary girl living in modern Britain, but with a twist: people still worship the Viking gods. One evening, stuck with her dad on his night shift at the British Museum, she is drawn to the Lewis Chessmen and Heimdalls Horn. Unable to resist, she blows the horn, waking three chess pieces from their enchantment; the slaves Roskva and Alfi, and Snot the Berserk. They are all summoned to Asgard, land of the Viking gods, and told they must go on a perilous journey to restore the gods to youth. If Freya refuses she will be turned into an ivory chess piece but, if she accepts her destiny and fails, the same terrible fate awaits her.All books are available from your local Waterstones bookshop and online at www.waterstones.comWaterstones holiday readingwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk Whats OnTHEATRE & SHOWSDirty DancingVenue: Hippodrome, Hurst Street, B5 4TBDate: July 4- Aug 25 Times: vary Age guide: 12 plus Tickets: 20 -55 To Book: 0844 338 5000The Witches PromiseDuring the lavish wedding of wealthy baron, John De Somerys sister, five witches appear and make a terrifying prediction Inspired by remarkable historical events that took place in and around the ancient landmark, The Witches Promise will be performed by a community cast in the medieval ruins of Weoley Castle.Venue: Weoley Castle Ruins, Alwold Road, Weoley, B29 Date: July 7, 14 and 15 Time: July 7 at 7pm; July 14 at 3pm and 7pm; July 15 at 3pm Age guide: 7 plus Tickets: 3 To Book: 0121 236 445542nd StreetWinner of the 1980 Tony Award for Best New Musical and the 2001 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical: 42nd StreetVenue: New Alexander Theatre, Station Street, B5 4DS Date: July 10 -14 Time: 7.30pm; Wed Sat matinee 2.30pm To Book: 0844 871 7627Much Ado About NothingFamily-friendly open Air Theatre performance with a 1940s twist on Shakespeares comedy.Venue: Brueton Park, SolihullDate: July 17Time: 7pmTickets: Adults 9 in advance and child 3. First 336 tickets sold guaranteed seat in theatre in extreme weather. Bring a seat, blanket and warm clothing.To Book: 0121 704 6962Kidnapping CameronThirteen year old Lucy has a plan. Shes going to kidnap the Prime Minister and hold the whole government to ransom until they fix all the problems. The REPs youth theatre. Venue: The Old Rep Date: July 18-21 Time: 7pm and Sat matinee at 2pm Tickets: 7 To Book: 0121 236 4455Romeo and JulietOutdoor theatre performance Venue: Coughton Court Gardens; Alcester, B49 5JADate: July 21Time: 7.30pmTickets: 15 adult; 8 child; 38 familyThe TempestOutdoor performance of The Tempest come rain or shineVenue: Aston Hall, Trinity Road, B6 6JDDate: July 21 and 22Time: 5.30pmTicket: 10 in advance; 12 on doorTo Book: 0121 675 4722Disney Live! Mickeys Magic ShowSee Mickey, Goofy, Alice, the Mad Hatter and all the Disney Princesses live on stage alongside skilled magicans.Venue: NIA, King Edwards Road, B1 2AADate: July 25-29Times: vary Tickets: Adults from 19 and children from 16.50To Book: 0121 308 4511EmmaOpen air stage adaptation of Jane Austens EmmaVenue: Botanical Gardens, BirminghamDate: July 25 and 26Time: 7.30pmTo Book: 0121 454 1860The GruffaloJoin Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories magical, musical adaptation of the award-winning picture book by Childrens Laureate Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Venue: Town Hall, Victoria SquareDate: July 31-Aug 5Tickets: 10.50Age: ideal for ages 3-7 and their familiesTo Book: 0121 345 0493Railway ChildrenOpen air performance of Heartbreak Productions adaptation of this favourite childrens tale.Venue: Brueton Park, SolihullDate: July 31Time: 7pmTickets: 7 adults and 6 children in advance. 1 surcharge at gate.To Book: 0121 704 6962Bring a seat, blanket and warm clothing. First 336 tickets guaranteed seat in theatre in extreme weather.The TempestOutdoor production at Birminghams Botanical GardensVenue: Botanical Gardens, Westbourne Road, B15Date: Aug 1 and 2Time: 7.30pmTo Book: 0121 454 1860Terrible Topsy Turvy TalesA trail style performance for children under 10 and their families. On their travels the audience will meet a host of terribly topsy turvy fairytale characters, who will enlist their help in an adventure. Venue: MAC Arts, Cannon Hill Park, B12 9 QHDate: Aug 11 and 12Time: 11.30am and 2.30pmTickets: 8.00 and 6.00To Book: 0121 446 3232Angelina Ballerina- The MousicalEveryones favourite little star, Angelina Ballerina, pirouettes onto the stage in her brand new musical - a magical show packed full of singing and dancing. Venue: New Alexander Theatre, Station Street, B5 4DS Date: Aug 14-16 Time: Aug 14 at 6.30pm; Aug 15 and 16 at 2.30pm and 6.30pm Tickets: 13.50 - 17.50 To Book: 0844 871 7627MacbethShakespeare in the park - Outdoor Theatre performanceVenue: Coughton Court, Alcester, B49 5JADate: Aug 17Time: 7.30pmTickets: Adult 15; child 8 and family 38To Book: 0844 249 1895Much Ado About NothingShakespeare performed against the backdrop of a beautiful moated manor house.Venue, Baddesley Clinton, Rising Lane, B93 0DQDate: Aug 18Time: 7.30pmTickets: 15 adult; child 8; family 38To Book: 01564 783294Legally BlondeElle Woods can handle anything. So when her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School and win him back, but learns that it is so much better to be smart. Venue: New Alexander Theatre, Station Street, B5 4DS Date: Aug 28 - Sept 1 Time: 7.30pm; Wed, Thurs and Sat matinees at 2.30pm Tickets: 12 - 45 To Book: 0844 871 7627Hairy MaClary and friendsHairy MaClary from Donaldsont dairy a show based on the book by Lynley DoddVenue: MAC, Cannon Hill Park, B12 9QHDates: Aug 28-30Times: Aug 28 at 2 and 4pm; Aug 29 and 30 at 11am and 2pmTickets: 9 adult; 7 child and family 28To Book: 0121 446 3232Grimms Fairy TalesBring the family and a picnic to this outdoor theatre performance of well-known fairy talesVenue: Packwood House, Lapworth, B94 6ATDate: Aug 29Time: 7pmTickets: Adult 15; child 8 and family 38To Book: 01564 783294Mr Honk and his sad tromboneA show for ages 5plus which combines music and comedy as Mr Honk tries to cheer up his sad trombone.Venue: Solihull Arts Complex, Homer Rd.Date: August 31Time: 12.30 and 3.30pmTickets: 6To Book: 0121 704 6962www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukThe international award-winning hit Legally Blonde The Musical is coming to Birmingham. Winner of 7 major awards including Best Musical 2011(Olivier Awards) this all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is about knowing who you are and showing what youve got! Elle Woods can handle anything. So when her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School and win him back. With some help from new-found friends Paulette, Emmett and her Chihuahua Bruiser, she learns that its so much better to be smart. Directed by Tony and Olivier Award winning Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray)Legally Blonde The Musical is the funniest and most fabulous musical around. The best show in town, case closed.To win a family ticket* to see the show on Tuesday 28 August at 7.30pm, just answer this simple question: Who played the role of Elle Woods in the Legally Blonde movies?1. Charlize Theron 2. Reese Witherspoon 3. Jennifer AnistonPlease email your entries to alexandratheatre@hotmail.com by July 31, 2012. Terms and Conditions: The closing date is July 31, 2012. Only one entry per person. The winner will be the first correct entry drawn at random from all eligible entries. *A family ticket consists of 4 tickets including a maximum of 2 adults. Tickets are for the stated performance only and no alternative prize is available. For more details on the show visit www.atgtickets.com/birminghamor call 0844 871 301WIN A FAMILY TICKET* TO SEE LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICALAT THE NEW ALEXANDRA THEATREIssue 10 21 Terrible Topsy Turvy TalesDirty Dancingwww.familiesbirmingham.co.uk22 Issue 10www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukWhats On www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukCooking Kids KitchenOUT AND ABOUTShakespeare ExpressTravel on a vintage stream train and have a fun family day out in Stratford on Avon Dates: Every Sunday from July 1 to September 9.Venue: Catch the train from Snow Hill, Moor Street, Tyseley or Henley in ArdenTickets: In advance -Adult 20 return and children 12.50. Family 40.To Book: 0121 708 4960Craft activitiesA range of Sunday afternoon and summer holiday art activities at Birminghams Botanical gardens. July 1: Birdprints; July 8: Printing and Painting on Canvass; July 15 Woodland Cartoon Characters; July 22: Fun Pirate crafts; July 29: Indian Art; Aug 1: African Crafts; Aug 8: Pond-dipping and scavenger hunt; Aug: 12 Paper Boats; Aug 21: Rainforest Creatures; Aug 22: Pond dipping and Scavenger Hunt; Aug 29: Paper BuntingVenue: Botanical Gardens, Westbourne Road, EdgbastonTime: 1.30-4.30pmTickets: 2 per activity and usual garden entrance applies.Dudley Canal Boat TripA canal boat trip through the black country. Venue: A4123 Bham New Rd, DY1 4SBDate: Daily. Boats leave hourly for 45 minute trip. Longer trips 2hr held monthly.Tickets: for 45 minute trip: Adults 5.70; children 4.70 (3-16 years); Family of 4 18.50Pirates On BoardAn inclusive pirate-themed family fun day with face-painting, balloon modelling, magic, pirate crafts, music, treasure hunt and lucky dipVenue: Centre for the Child, Central Library, Chamberlain Sq. B3 3HQDate: July 7Time: 10.30am-3.30pmFREE EVENTBritish Trampolining and Tumbling ChampionshipsSee top class gymnasts in action as they battle it out for British titlesVenue: NIA, King Edwards Street, B1 2AADate: July 7 and 8Tickets: Adults 13 and children 10To Book: 0844 338 8000Living HistoryTudor Living History (Jul 7 and 8); Merchant House (July 14, 15, 20 and 21); Gladiator Training Workshop (Jul 25 and 26) Roman V Celts (28 and 29)Venue Avoncroft Museum, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, B60 4JRTickets: 7.70 adults; 4.00 child; under 5 Free. Family: 19.80Meet the Miller, Jazz and Origins of Middle EarthSummer events at Sarehole Mill Venue: Sarehole Mill, Colebank Road, Hall Green, B13 0RDDates: Jazz July 8; Meet the Miller Aug 5; Childrens workshops Make a Medal (July 25) Turn Teddy into a mascot (Aug 8); Scarecrow Galore (Aug 15) and Gingerbread man puppet Aug 22)Breathe the BeatSpectacular day of free dance performances and workshops, including appearances from two of the UKs leading street dancers.Venue: Mell Square, SolihullDate: July 14Time: from 10amFREE EVENTShirley CarnivalAn action packed day out for all the family, with stalls, refreshments and entertainment galore! Come along and support this event as all proceeds go to a good cause. Venue: Shirley ParkDate: July 14Time: 12.30pm-4.30pm gates open at 12 noonVillage FeteTraditional village fete for all the family at this imposing Tudor House set in beautiful gardensVenue: Coughton Court, Alcester, B49 5JADate: July 14Time: 12-4pmTickets: 9.50 adult or 6.50 gardens only; 5 child or 3.50 gardens only; Family 26 or 17 gardens only.The Aston GamesTake part in a range of sports and fun family events as part of the 2012 Community GamesVenue: Aston Hall, Trinity Road, B6 6JDDate: July 15Call: 0121 675 4722 for more information.FREE EVENT. Usual admission to Hall - 4 adults and children under 16 free.Highbury Hall Open DaySummer Open Day with free entry to Highbury Hall. BBQ with burgers, hotdogs, strawberries and cream with Pimms on sale throughout the day.Venue: Highbury Hall, Yew Tree Road, Moseley, B13 8QGDate: July 15Time: 11am-4pmFREE ENTRY Guided tours 3.50 per person.WatersportsHoliday courses in multiwatersports, canoing and kayaking with Edgbaston WatersportsVenue: Edgbaston Reservoir, Icknield Port Road, B16 0AADates: July 16-Aug 31Time: 10am (supervision possible from 9am with breakfast provided)To Book: 0121 454 1997Dinosaurs UncoveredA family-friendly exhibition with life size replicas and interactive activities for childrenVenue: Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QPDates: From July 21Tickets: Adult 5.95; child 4.95; under 5 free: family 18Music in the ParkPotential stars of tomorrow strutting their musical stuff! Young, talented local rock and pop bands and musicians will be performing at this radical departure for the Music in the Park series. Venue: Tudor Grange ParkDate: July 21Time: 2-5pmThe Gypsys Tale Musical PicnicA morning of musical entertainment and Romany folklore with storytellers and musiciansVenue: Symphony Hall Caf BarDate: July 21Time: 10.30amFREE EVENTMidsummer CraftsSolihulls Midsummer Craft Fayre has something for everyone from jewellery to pictures, bags to candles. Venue: High Street, SolihullDate: July 21 and 22 Time: from 9am. Really Wild WorkshopsA range of fun outdoor and craft activities for children during the school summer holidays, including building Survival Dens, Pond Exploration, Teddy Bears Picnic, Nature Detectives, Funny Footprints for Tots. For full details on www.warwickshire-wildlife-trust.org.ukVenue: Parkridge Centre, Brueton Park, Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3HW Dates: Weekdays from July 23-Aug 31Time: 10.30am-12pm and 1.00-2.30pmTickets: 4 per child pr 3 WWT membersTo Book: 0121 704 0768Sutton Six PackCollect your pack and take part in different self-led activities in the parkVenue: Visitor Centre, Sutton Park, Park Road, B74 2YTDate: July 23-Aug 31Time: 10am-5pmCost: 1 per packWhizz Kids For 8-16 year-old. Try your hand at archery, skiing, canoeing or climbingVenue: Ackers Adventure, Golden Hillock Road, B11 2PYDate: July 23-Aug 31 Cost: 8.00 To Book: Tel 0121 772 5111Jester, Pirate, Dragon and Time Traveller workshopsFun holiday workshops for children aged 5-11Venue: Selly Manor, Maple Road, Bournville, B30 2AEDates: Jester (July 24); Pirates (July 26) Dragon (July 31 and Time Traveller (Aug2)Time: 10am and 1pmTickets: 3.50 per child and must be booked in advance. Children must be accompanied.To Book: 0121 472 0199Tots Time Tuesday and Crafty Thursday Creative play and activities for under 5s at Blakesley Hall including Rhyme and Storytime; Peg-dolly making; Magical Playtime; Weave a mug coaster and Rhythm and SoundtimeVenue: The Barn, Blakesley Hall, B25 8RNDates: July 24, July 26, July 31.Aug 2, Aug 7Time: 1-3pmTickets: 1 per childTreasure Trail TourTreasure trail tour around Villa Park. Children receive an activity pack and get a special prize if they crack the treasure TrailVenue: Villa Park, B6 6HEDate: July 24 and July 31; Aug 14 and Aug 21Tickets: Child: 6.95 and accompanying adult 9.95 To Book: 0800 612 0950 Dig for HistoryUncover the past at this archaeological dig for all the family. Discover buried treasure, learn from rubbish and join other activities, tours and trailsVenue: Aston Hall, Trinity Road, B6 6JSDate: July 25Time: 1-4pmTickets: 2 per person; includes entry to Aston HallTuesday Treasure TrailA fun summer treasure trail for all the familyVenue: Clent Hills, near RomsleyDate: July 24 Aug 28 (Tuesdays only)Time: 10am-3pmTickets: 1 per personSummer at Soho House Summer events for children and familiesDates: Dig It a family archaeological dig (July 15); Community Games (July 21); A summer of sport inspired craft activities at Soho House - Get, Set Go (July 27), On Your Marks (Aug 3) and Going for Gold (Aug 10),Summer crafts (Aug 24); Crazy Science incredible experiments and crazy chemistry - Aug 11; and Costume Activity days Aug 17 amd Aug 31Venue: Soho House, Soho Road, Handsworth, B 18 5LBTimes: Dig It and Community Games 12-4pm; craft activities, crazy science and costume days 1.30-3.30pmTickets: Activities free. Usual entrance to house applies.Cooking Kids KitchenSpend two hours in Villa Parks kitchens, sample lunch you have prepared and then enjoy a stadium tour or have fun on the dance mats.Venue: Villa ParkDate: July 30 and Aug 20Tickets: 25 for first child: 20 for secondTo book: 0800 612 0950Living History DaysMeet the Medieval Soldier, the Regency Household, The Medieval Wise Woman and Tudor HouseholdVenue: Tamworth Castle, The Holloway, Ladybank, B79 7NADates: Tues July 31, Aug 7, 14 and 21; Wed 1, 8, 15 and 22Time: 11.30am-4.45pm. Last entry 4pmTickets: Adults 6.50; child 5plus 4.00; age 2-4 1.00Fun Festival: School Sports Day! The ever-popular Fun Festivals get off to a flying start with an Olympic style sports day! Be like your sporting heroes and try to beat your own personal bests by taking part in various races and activities. With medals www.familiesbirmingham.co.ukIssue 10 23 www.familiesbirmingham.co.uk Whats Onwww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukfor the winners and races for the Mums and Dads, this event is fun for all the family and will give you plenty of exercise! Other entertainment and themed craft activities available for 1 per person, and there is a small charge for some of the other attractions. Date: Aug 1Venue: Tudor Grange ParkTime: 11am - 3pm Bug Hunt, Pirate Academy and Knights AcademyFamily Activites at Avoncroft Bug Hunt (Aug 1 and 2) Pirate Academy (Aug 15 and 16 learn how to fire a cannon, fight with a cutlass and create your own parrot); Knights Academy (Aug 22 and 23)Venue: Avoncroft Museum, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, B63 4JR Summer CraftsChildrens craft activity inspired by the summer. Suitable for all ages. Book your place on arrival. Places on a first come first served basis.Venue: Aston Hall, Trinity Road, B6 6JDDate: Aug 1, 15, 22 and 29Time: 1pm; 1.45pm; 2.30pm and 3.15pmTickets: 1 per childMedal Madness, and moreFamily workshops led by artists and designers at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter - suitable for children aged 5 and overVenue: Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Vyse Street, Dates: Medal Madness (Aug 2) design your own gold 2012 medal with artist Louise Mary; Summer workshop with artist Adrienne Craddock (Aug 9); Shaping Up (Aug 16) make your own decorative dish with copper with designer Shona Marsh; Gothic Revival (Aug 23) make gothic-inspired jewellery guided by artist Jolene SmithTime: 1-3pmTickets: 2.50. Booking essential. Tel: 0121 554 3598Squishy Bugs ArtFamily activities at Weoley CastleVenue: Weoley Castle, Alwood Road, B29Dates: Squishy Bugs (Aug 3) Bug Hats and Masks (Aug17) Bird Feeder Making (Aug31)Time: 1-3pmTickets: 1 per child. All materials included.Go Wild Summer AcademyGo Wild Adventure weeks for children aged 8-15 a week of activities at Dudley Zoo with hands on animal experience, fun crafts, and behind the scene experiences. Knight school discover the horrible history of Dudley Castle in a week of medieval fun. Venue: Dudley Zoo, Castle Hill, DY1 4QFDates: Adventure Week (ages 8-10) Aug 6-10 or 27- 31; Knight School Aug 13-17 (ages 8-12) and Ranger Week (age 11-15_ Aug 20-25.Time: 10.30am-3pmCost: 99 per child for five days.Places limited. To book: 0844 474 2272Robert Wilkinsons Funfair Come and enjoy all the fun of the fair as this popular event returns to Meriden Park for the second time this year. There are thrills, spills and rides suitable for all ages, as well as chances to win prizes and catering galore. Dont miss it! Venue: Meriden ParkDate: Aug 2-5Fun Festival: We are the Champions! Calling all Usain Bolts! To commemorate the London Olympics, this Fun Festival has a sporting theme with plenty of races, sporting activities and entertainment. With medals for the winners, sports-themed craft activities and a treasure trail, this event is a sporting triumph! 1 per person for the craft activities and a small charge for some of the other attractions. Venue: Meriden ParkDate: Aug 8Time: 11am-3pmFamily Fun Days Fun for all with outdoor games and wildlife activity cardsVenue: Coughton Court, Alcester, B49 5JADate: Aug 1 Aug 31Time: 11am-4pmTickets: 9.50 adult or 6.50 gardens only; 5 child or 3.50 gardens only; Family 26 or 17 gardens only. 1 per child for activity cards.Family Fun Summer holiday fun for all the family with outdoor games and nature trailsVenue: Packwood House, Packwood Lane, Lapworth, B94 6ATDate: Aug 1 - 31Time: 11am-4pmTickets: Adult: 9.15; child 5.05; Gardens only: Adult: 5.25; child 3.15 and family 13.65Wildlife Workshop DayGet up close and personal with nature and join in with wildlife workshop daysVenue: Baddesley Clinton, Rising Lane, B93 0DQDate: Every Friday between Aug 3 and Aug 24Tickets: Adults: 9.95; Child 5.00; Family 26.00. Gardens only: Adult 6.50; Child 3.25 and family 17.00Space Stations to SkyscrapersChildrens activity - space Stations to Skyscrapers, castles to cottages. Be inspired by Aston Hall to make your own dream home. Venue: Aston Hall, Trinity Road, B6 6JDDate: Aug 8Time: 1-4pmTickets: 1 per childSolihull on Sea, Dance and Art Makers Holiday workshops for children at Solihull Arts Complex. Beech-themed crafty fun for children aged 4-7 and Wiggle and Giggle Dance; Aspire Dance and Art Makers workshops for ages 8-11Venue: Solihull Arts Complex, Homer RoadDates: Thurs Aug 9, 16, 23 and 30Time: 10.30-12 (Craft and Aspire Dance) 1pm Wiggle and Giggle and Art MakersTickets: 4.50 craft; 4 Aspire DanceTo Book: 0121 704 6962 Bat Walk Ever wondered how to track down a bat? Find out with the help of our Park Rangers and their bat detectors. Discover the nocturnal world of this fascinating creature - a brilliant evening for all the family! Venue: Elmdon Park. Meet by the Tanhouse Farm Road car park. Date: August 9Time: 8 -10pm Tickets: 3 per person or 10 per family ticket (2 adults and up to three children under 16). Places are limited so to book in advance.To Book: 0121 704 8000. Musical Picnic A morning of musical entertainment for all the familyVenue: Symphony Hall, Caf BarDate: Aug 11Time: 10.30amFREE EVENTStig of the Dump Summer Art CourseDance, art and drama on day 1 and specialise in one area on day 2. For ages 7-14Venue: Solihull Arts Complex, Homer RoadDate: Aug 13 and 14Time: 10.30am-3.30pm day 1 and 10.30am-4.30pm day 2Cost: 30To Book: 0121 704 6962Dr Dees Diabolical Drop In A fun day out for all the family as a magician, courtier, astrologer and explorer drop into the Manor to solve the mystery of Dr Dee. Help solve the mystery trail, make a star gazer, learn magic tricks and more.Venue: Selly Manor, Maple Road, Bournville, B30 2AEDate: Aug 14-24Time: Tues-Friday 10am-5pm and Sat and Sunday 2-5pmTickets: Adults 3.50; children 1.50; Family (2 adults and 3 children) 9.50Fun Festival: Way Out West! Cowboys and girls should saddle up in their best fancy dress for a chance to win this contest. Take part in a treasure trail to find the Most Wanted villains and visit the tepee to hear some tales of the old Wild West! Childrens rides, entertainment and themed craft activities. 1 per child for the craft and treasure trail, with a small charge for some of the other attractions. Venue: Shirley ParkDate: August 15Time: 11-3pm Tickets: 1 per child for craft and treasure trail. Small charge for some other attractions. Bat Walk Spot resident bats zooming around the night sky. If you dont see them, you will definitely hear them with our high-tech bat detectors! Venue: Babbs Mill LNR. Meet at the car park off Fordbridge Road, between Oakthorpe Drive and Dunton Rd. Date: Aug 16Time: 8-10pmTickets: Tickets cost 3 per person or 10 per family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) Places are limited so to book in advance.To Book: 0121 704 8000. Half Price Family Night A family event after hours at Black Country Living Museum with street performers, punch and judy show, circus skills, games, face-painting and balloon modellingVenue: Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQDate: Aug 18To Book: This event must be pre-booked. Tel: 0121 520 8054Fun Festival: Summer Holiday! Take a holiday in the park with our spectacular seaside Fun Festival! There will be a Punch and Judy Show and lots of summer entertainment for you to enjoy, as well as a treasure trail and themed craft activities. Venue: Olton Jubilee ParkDate: Aug 22 Time: 11am - 3pmTickets: 1 per child for the treasure trail and craft activity, plus a small charge for some of the other attractions. Teddy Bears picnicGive your teddy and outing and bring him to the Botanical gardens for a fun day or games and entertainment.Date: Aug 22Time: 12-3pmTickets: Special admission to the gardens on this day.For further details www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.ukSummer Family Fun Party games, DJ, face painting and balloon modelling and visit from a Villa Mascot along with a 2-course buffet lunch Venue: Holte Suite, Villa ParkDate: Aug 24Tickets: Adults 19.95, under 16 - 8.95, Under 5 3.95 and under 2 freeTo Book: 0800 612 0950Music in the Park: Brass Magic! There is a fitting finale to our series of Music events with a rousing performance from a local brass band. Bring along a picnic, sit back and enjoy the show - a perfect way to spend a Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon! Venue: Elmdon ParkDate: Aug 26Time: 2 - 4.15 pm All the Fun of the Fair! Roll up, roll up to the last Fun Festival of the year! Traditional funfair with childrens rides and stalls galore! Treasure trail - and come along in fancy dress for a chance to win. Craft activities also available. Date: Aug 29Venue: Lavender Hall ParkTime: 11am - 3pm Tickets: 1 per child for the craft and treasure trail, with a small charge for some of the other attractions.Black Country MuseumLearn, live and laugh a lot this summerFunHolidayMATHS ENGLISH LANGUAGESVERBAL REASONINGSCIENCESNON-VERBAL REASONING11+ GCSEsTUITION...we have dedication to educationIntensive 11+ tuition available now and through summer holidaysCatch up or get ahead Call 0121 454 2858 to find out moreImprove school grades, make new friends, have fun1 hour of work: 2 hours of playEnglish, maths, science, languages, multisports,football, cookery, dance, art, design, fashion, zumba Morning, afternoon, or full day sessions Fits with working parentsFor more information please call 0121 454 2858or email info@academicexcellence.org.ukClasses @ Edgbaston, Solihull, Chelmsley Wood, Erdington & QuintonTEL 0121 454 2858 | MOB 07543 668261 | www.academicexcellence.org.ukForages 4-14Clubwww.familiesbirmingham.co.ukFamilies