Children; What to do this weekend in London

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The Independent Culture
Frost Fair Queen's House, Romney Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 (0181-312 6565) today and tomorrow, 11am-4.30pm, adults pounds 5, children pounds 2.50

A day of 17th-century entertainments for all the family, this recreates the days when the Thames froze and fairs were held on the ice. Includes costumed performers, period music and dancing, plus stalls. Admission includes entry to the Observatory and National Maritime Museum.

Paddington Bear Day Harrods, Brompton Rd, London SW1 (0171-730 1234) today, 10am-6pm, free

The top people's store is celebrating Paddington's 40th birthday with Peruvian musicians and marmalade sandwiches in the Toy Kingdom on the fourth floor. Paddington will mingle with shoppers, and Michael Bond, his creator, will sign books between 11am and noon.

... AND BEYOND

Festive Season Family Day Dunwich Heath/Minsmere Beach, Saxmundham, Suffolk (01728 648505) tomorrow, 10am onwards, pounds 1.50 parking, charges for some activities

This National Trust property will be getting into the Christmas spirit when they decorate and light up their Christmas tree to the accompaniment of a brass band. Other activities include a festive stroll.

Tree Dressing Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Chichester, Sussex (01243 811363) tomorrow, 12noon-4.30pm, adults pounds 5.20, children pounds 2.50

The tradition of tree-dressing is celebrated at this rural heritage museum. The day's activities will also include morris dancing, singing, storytelling and plays, plus a lantern-making workshop culminating in a lantern procession at 4pm.

Wartime Santa Dover Castle, Dover (01304 202754) today and tomorrow, adults pounds 6.60, children pounds 3.50

The mighty fortress was the nerve centre for the Dunkirk evacuation, so forget the yo-yos and Barbies - this Santa will be giving out oranges and maybe, if children are lucky, a few precious sweets. Somehow I don't think the queues will be as long as Selfridges. The admission fee also includes entry to the castle and the secret wartime tunnels.

Dickensian Christmas Rochester, Kent (01634 843666) today and tomorrow 10.30am-6pm

Costumed carol-singers and bell-ringers will be taking to the streets this weekend when they show how Christmas would have been celebrated in the time of Charles Dickens. Other activities include old-time music-hall and street-theatre productions. NS

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