CHILDREN: WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN LONDON

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The Word for Kids

Various venues across London including Battersea Arts Centre, SW11 (festival office 0171-837 2555) today and tomorrow, times and prices vary from free to pounds 5.

London's first festival of language and literature kicks of this weekend with a host of talks by acclaimed children's authors such as Michael Rosen and Colin McNaughton (above) and illustrators including Quentin Blake. The festival runs all through the week and over next weekend too.

Craic Galore

Royal National Theatre, South Bank SE1 (0171-452 3333) today, 11.30am to 11.30pm free.

A special festival celebrating all things Irish is being staged on the South Bank today with impromptu music, workshops and visual art, as well as theme stalls and Irish food and drink. Events start with a storytelling session (11.30am-12.30pm) by one of Ireland's top storytellers Oddie Lenehan in the Lyttelton foyer followed by lunchtime music from Forties band Carrig at 2.15pm.

Soho Street Party

London W1 (0171-872 5678) tomorrow, noon until midnight, free.

To celebrate London's restaurant week, some central streets in Soho will be closed to traffic and over 40 restaurants will be offering buffet-style food (you have to pay for this bit) and entertainment such as juggling, music, dancing and competitions. There will also be an Italian waiters' choir and a parade at 3pm.

... AND BEYOND

Taster Dance session

City of Bath College, Avon Street, Bath (0117-907 3303) today, 10am-5pm, 50p per workshop.

Absolute beginners (both children and adults) are invited to have a go at everything from flamenco to folk at a series of drop-in workshops organised by Bristol area dance agency. The organisers advise visitors to wear loose, comfortable clothing and (for flamenco a pair of sturdy-heeled shoes).

Nature Activity Day

Snibston, Discovery Park, Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicester (01530 510851)

tomorrow, 8.30am to 10pm, free.

It's an early start for this family event where you take an early-morning stroll around the park with the rangers to discover more about local bird life. Participants are advised to wear suitable clothing and footwear and bring binoculars. From 11am to 1pm there will be a "build your own bird box" session. (Tickets priced pounds 4 go on sale at 10am on the day) tools and materials will be provided. NS

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