Children:; WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN LONDON; ... AND BEYOND

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Newham Festival

Beckton Park South, Stansfield Rd, London E6 (0181-557 8648) today 1pm-8pm, free

This annual multi-cultural extravaganza, which is headlined by Jazz Jamaica, has a whole "village" full of free activities for kids including an under- fives' marquee with a ballpool and soft play, and an art and crafts marquee for the older ones.

Hackney Show

Hackney Downs, off Downs Park E5 (0181-356 3000) today 12 noon-8pm, free

Festivals in East London seem to be a bit like No 53 buses - you don't get one for ages and then they all come at once. This mega music and dance event also has a separate "Kidzone" (left) with inflatables, face-painting etc. Hackney City Farm will also be bringing along some of their animals.

Summer Reading Challenge

London Transport Museum, Covert Garden (0171-379 6344) to 5 Sept, 10am- 6pm, adults pounds 4.95, children pounds 2.95

This festival celebrating the written word will include workshops, readings and appearances by well-known children's authors. It kicks off this weekend with "make your own bookmark" sessions and calligraphy workshops plus the chance to listen to travel tales in the book corner as well as all the museum's usual attractions.

Nikki Spencer

Family Fun Day

The Grange, Leominster, Herefordshire (01568 616348) tomorrow 12-5pm, free

Children aren't the only ones who will be having fun and games at this family get together in Herefordshire - adults get their own bouncy castle too. Other attractions include fairground rides, face-painting (right) and live music.

Castle Fun Day

Pevensey Castle, East Sussex (01323 762604) today and tomorrow noon onwards, adults pounds 3, children pounds 1.50, members of English Heritage and under fives free

Clowns, juggling, uni-cycling, face-painting and magic are just some of the activities on offer for children at this medieval castle ruins in East Sussex this weekend. There will also be costumed entertainers and medieval games and activities.

Children's Festival

Victoria Square, Birmingham (0121-303 4400) today and tomorrow 11am-4pm, free

Grab your buckets and spades and head for... Birmingham! The city council's leisure department has turned Victoria Square into a beach with a 40ft sandpit. They've also laid on a Punch and Judy Show, donkey rides and souvenir rock. Other activities include seaside craft workshops and "end- of-the-pier" entertainment, including a roller-skating mermaid. NS

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