Children: What to do in this weekend in london and beyond

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The Independent Culture
London-Brighton Veteran Car Run

Hyde Park Corner to Madeira Drive, Brighton (01753 681736) tomorrow, first cars leave at 7.30am and arrive in Brighton at 10.40am, free

Four hundred and fifty vehicles, all built before 1905, will take part in this annual 57-mile run (above) to the coast to commemorate Emancipation Day, when a man with a red flag or a lamp no longer had to preceed all vehicles.

At Hyde Park there will be pre-run festivities or you can join the crowds lining the route - over Westminster Bridge and along the A23 to Croydon - or you can check out "younger" vintage cars in the East Piazza at Covent Garden (9am-12noon).

Hallowe'en Celebration

London Aquarium, County Hall, SE1 (0171-967 8000) today and tomorrow, 10am-6pm, pounds 7 adults, pounds 5 children

Yet more Hallowe'en jinks with special appearances (and disappearances) by Count Dracula, ghosts, skeletons and zombies at this award-winning aquarium, where children will be given free Hamley's goodie bags. What the fish will make of it is anyone's guess!

Dolls House Fair & Teddy Bear Fair

Alexandra Palace, N22 (01903 244900) today and tomorrow, 10am-5pm, pounds 5 adults, pounds 3.50 children

No ghosts and ghouls here, just hundreds of dolls and doll's-houses and teddy bears. Saturday is Collectors' Day for serious enthusiasts, Sunday is more suitable for children, say the organisers. Free courtesy bus from Wood Green Tube and Alexandra Palace BR.


Medieval Fun

Hever Castle, near Edenbridge, Kent (01732 865224) tomorrow, sessions at 12noon, 1.30pm & 3pm, pounds 5.50 adults, pounds 3.60 children (events included in admission price)

Catch the final performance of Hever Castle's half-term fun activities, when you can take part in a "Mummers' play", discover how a medieval knight got kitted out for battle, and dress up as medieval archer. There's also the usual children's attractions, such as the water maze and adventure playground. Activities are held indoors, so it's a good option even if it's raining.

Spooky Stories and Songs

Old Sarum Castle, near Salisbury (01722 335398) today and tomorrow, 12noon- 3pm, pounds 2 adults, pounds 1 children

This Iron Age hill fort is a suitably mystic setting for Hallowe'en tales from "Emerald the Witch", who will sit in a creepy "cavern" and tell stories and sing songs. NS