Children; WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN LONDON AND BEYOND

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The Independent Culture
Family Back-Pack Tours

Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 (0171-938 8638) today 10am-5.50pm, adults pounds 5, children free

As one of the museum's half-term events, children can pick up a back- pack and explore (above). There are four different packs for different galleries, all of which contain hands-on activities such as jigsaws and puzzles.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Gerrard St, London W1 (0171-734 5161) tomorrow 11am-6pm, free

Traditional celebrations to welcome the Year of the Rabbit, with dragon dances, music and entertainment. If your kids get upset by firecrackers and loud noises this may not be for you; otherwise, it's a must.

Pretty Pots

Exhibition Gallery, Croydon Clocktower, Katherine St, Croydon (0181-253 1030) today 11am-1pm, adults pounds 2, children pounds 1

This arts and cultural centre runs regular Saturday workshops and events for children. This weekend they can make a traditional African pot and decorate it with motifs from the current "Face of the Gods" exhibition or get stuck into stamps with the local philatelic society (Balcony bar 11am-12.15pm, ages 7-10, free).

Creepy Crawlies

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 (0171-938 9123) today 10am-5.50pm, tomorrow 11am-5.50pm, adults pounds 6, children pounds 3

You've seen the movie, now see the real thing. This popular "Creepy Crawlies" exhibition reopens, with a colony teeming with live leaf-cutter ants and a six metre-high "walkthrough" of a termite mound (below). Children aged 7-11 can also take part in Movers and Shakers, an interactive theatre production about building a new planet, which takes place in the museum's Len Moore Room each hour.

Nikki Spencer

Birdboat

Poole Quay, Dorset (01202 666226) tomorrow 1.30pm-4.30pm, adults pounds 8.50, children pounds 5

Brownsea Island Ferries runs regular Birdboat cruises around Poole Harbour. This Sunday you can take a three-hour trip up the river to Wareham, accompanied by a knowledgeable local birdwatcher. Booking is essential.

Snowdrop Sunday

Belton House, Nr Grantham, Lincolnshire (01476 566116) tomorrow 11am-3pm, pounds 5 per car

Blow away the cobwebs with a stroll around the grounds of this 17th-century National Trust property, which is opening up its gardens so members of the public can enjoy their spring snowdrops. The restaurant will also be open. NS

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