Boys and girls come out to play: Part Two of our bumper guide to summer activities for children

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If you thought street theatre was all about buskers belting out renditions of Yesterday outside Tube stations, you're in for a surprise. The BT Streets of London Festival '94, a window on inventive and entertaining street spectacle - from mime, illusion, stilt-walking and clowning, to bungee jumping, pyrotechnic wizardry and mechanical creation - has brought together 40 international companies to roam the city's streets in celebration of outdoor theatre. The centrepiece, which captures the spirit of this year's festival is The Coming, a 45-minute piece involving five different groups or 'tribes' from all over Europe. Audiences are invited to come along in costume and prepare to party. All events are free, except where stated, and suitable for children. For more information, ring 0273 821588. Photograph: Alan Crumlish

STREETS OF LONDON FESTIVAL

Enquiries and brochure phone 0273 821588.

BRENT (081-908 7503).

23 July 12noon-6pm at Harlesden Streets and Willesden Sports Centre, pyro-sculptural percussion ensemble with stilt choreography and infectious rhythm. 27-30 July at Willesden Sports Centre Playing Fields (ring 081-908 7502 for times) Swamp Circus with acrobatics, giant puppets, tumbing, juggling and dance (tickets for this event pounds 2.50). Aug 21 Brent Show, Roundwood Park from 12noon-7pm

features Fairy Floriblunda Bloomer and Norbet Gnome's whimsical comedy walkabout show. 27 Aug 12noon-6pm at Willesden Green Library and Harlesden High Street, Fun Finale with The Elastolouts.

DOCKLANDS (0273 821588). 20 Aug Limehouse Festival, Limehouse Basin. Street performances and canal boat trips all day, culminating in a performance of The Coming (see caption). 27 Aug 11am-10pm Canary Wharf Street Festival featuring Plasticeens Volants with their giant floating inflatables and pyrotechnics, Medicine Show, Grand Union Street Band, The Brasshoppers, Emil and Mike, Drue Franklin and Skinning the Cat.

HACKNEY (081-986 5336).

23 July 11am-6pm in Hackney Town Centre, music Echo City and big band The Happy End, foolery from Festival of Fools, acrobatic duo Clinch and The Elastolouts.

HAYES GALLERIA London Bridge (071-626 3411). All shows 12noon-2pm. 5 Aug: Commedia del'arte from Ophaboom Theatre using mask and acrobatics. 12 Aug: a bouncing tea-party installation, Cafe Elastique, from The Elastolouts. 14 Aug: clowning, slapstick, magic and mime in Toad in the Hole. 19 Aug: tightrope and clowning from John Lee. 26 Aug: The Medicine Show's parable of power and ambition told through illusion, acrobatics, fooling and combat. 28 Aug: Living Sculptures by Boa'Yo.

KINGSTON (081-574 5483). 28 July 12noon-5pm at Kingston Shopping Centres (Clarence St, Eden Walk and Market Square) Scarabeus's dance and acrobatic stilt show Fata Morgana with musical entertainment from Crocodile Style. 4 Aug 12noon-4pm in Kingston and Eden Walk Shopping Centres, Passo a Passo martial arts and dance from Capoeira. 7 Aug 12noon-4pm on Kingston Riverside, riotous, risque family entertainment from The Pierotters. 11 Aug 12noon-4pm in the Hook Centre, street comic Tim Bat, and Ophaboom Theatre's Commedia del'arte interpretation of Richard III using mask and acrobatics. 18 Aug 12noon-4pm in Kingston and Eden Walk Shopping Centres, Circus Bumelini and Desperate Men with high-spirited circus acts. 25-27 Aug 12noon-5pm in Kingston and Eden Walk Shopping Centres, three-day finale featuring Circus Bumelini's children's performance platform, story-telling contortionist Dru Franklin and buskers.

MERTON (081-545 3096). 23 July 10am-6.30pm Street Theatre Day starts at Bond School with a parade of 150 costumed school children led by stilt-walking samba dancers. At Mitcham Town Centre Pierre Rollins comperes Jiving Lindy Hoppers, Tim Bat, Capoeira displays, Asian folk dance and more.

RICHMOND (081-332 0534 for more info on Richmond's Great Outdoors Season). 13 Aug at Richmond Riverside Les Cousins presents juggling, balancing, acrobatics, 2.30pm.

SUTTON (081-770 4610).

24 July Annual Sutton Borough Show at Cheam Recreation Ground 10am-6pm (admission pounds 2.50 under-16s pounds 1.50) featuring France's Echassiers Fifrelot stilt dancing with UK's The Festival of Fools troupe in hot pursuit.

WALPOLE (081-758 8268 for programme). 13 & 14 July at Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, W5, from 12noon-6pm with juggling and jokes from Lee Hayes, walkabout characters from Bob and Bob Jobbins Part of Walpole Festival.

WALTHAM FOREST (081-521 7111 for programme). 30 July-21 Aug four Saturdays of street theatre in Town Square, High St, Waltham from 12noon-5pm. 30 July: Ophaboom Theatre's Commedia del'arte. 6 Aug: The Pierotters family entertainment.

13 Aug: The Elastolouts bouncing off the urban environment. 20 Aug: Grand Theatre of Lemmings' human cannonball act plus Whalley Range All Stars.

FILMS, THEATRE AND SHOWS

Ashcroft Theatre Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon (081-688 9291; East Croydon BR). 26-30 July The Jungle Book, new stage show for over-3s, 2.30pm. pounds 4. 30 Aug Mr Men for under-5s, 1.30pm & 4pm. pounds 4.50.

BAC Old Town Hall, Lavender Hill, SW11 (071-223 8413; Clapham South Tube/Clapham Junction BR/45, 77, 156 bus). Sat children's shows, 11am. pounds 1.75.

Barbican Children's Cinema Club Barbican Centre (Cinema 1), EC2 (071-638 8891; Moorgate/Barbican Tube). Films and cartoons for 6-12-year-olds every Sat, 2.30pm (closed August). Annual membership pounds 3, then children pounds 2.50, adults pounds 3. 23 July The Secret Garden. Barbican Children's Library often has puppet shows for over-3s. Free.

Broadgate Arena, Liverpool St/ Eldon St, EC2 (071-588 6565; Liverpool St Tube/BR) Free. 27-29 July, 12.15pm & 1.15pm El Caballo de Espana - Spanish horses and riders demonstrate dressage steps, charging formations etc.

Clapham Picture House 76 Venn St, SW4 (071-498 2242, Clapham Common Tube). Sat Kids' Film Club, 11.45am, with competitions, prizes and film. Membership pounds 3 a year. Then members pounds 2.50, adult guests pounds 4.50.

Criterion Theatre Piccadilly Circus, W1 (071-839 4488, Piccadilly Circus Tube). Juggle and Hyde. The Flying Karamazov Brothers juggling vials of nitric acid, electric carving knives, chainsaws etc.

18 July-3 Sept Mon-Sat, 7.30pm (20 July at 7pm), mats Weds 3pm & Sats 4pm. Adults pounds 12.50, children pounds 6.50. One adult free with every 2 children under 11.

Hackney Empire 291 Mare St, E8 (081-985 2424). 20 July, 7.30pm: Gemini Theatre Group present Annie, musical version of Little Orphan Annie. pounds 5 (concs pounds 4).

Lauderdale House Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill, N6 (081-348 8716; Archway Tube). Tues-Fri, 11am-4pm. Tickets pounds 1-pounds 4. A family venue with fairs and puppet shows on Sats for under-10s from 11.30am (closed Aug).

Little Angel Marionette

Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, off Cross St, N1 (071-226 1787; Angel Tube/Highbury Tube/BR). 23-24 July, 1am & 3pm: A Big Top and a Small Tale for 3-7-year-olds. Adults pounds 5, children pounds 4.50, then theatre closed until 3 Sept.

London Bubble 5 Elephant Lane, SE16 (071-237 4434). Mobile arts company whose summer tour travels through London's parks from 30 July-4 Sept. Theme this year is the Arabian Nights with Arabian Nights, a show for all the family, Arabian Days workshops for 3-5-year-olds and Sinbad - the Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor for 5-8-year-olds. 30 July-7 Aug, Chiswick House Grounds, Burlington Lane W4. 4-5 Aug, Richmond Green. 10-14 Aug, Maryon Wilson Park, Charlton. 17-21 Aug Ravensbury Park, Morden Rd, Mitcham. 24-28 Aug, Valentines Park, Cranbrook Rd, Ilford, Essex. 31 Aug-4 Sept, Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill, N6. Tkts: Arabian Nights pounds 8 (concs pounds 5), Sinbad pounds 4 (concs pounds 2), Arabian Days pounds 2, details 071-237 4434.

Lyric Hammersmith King St, W6 (081-741 2311; Hammersmith Tube). Children's shows, 11am in The Studio. pounds 2.50. 23 July Stop the Clock Theatre Co present Jack and the Beanstalk for 3-5-year-olds. 30 July Major Mustard in The Ugly Duckling for 3- 7-year-olds. 6 Aug Cornelius and Jones Original Punch and Judy for over 4s. 13 Aug Cornelius and Jones in Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady for 4-8-year-olds.

Mirage Theatre Company present The Mirage Space Probe which promises to

hurtle you deep into space. Aug 16, from 10.30am at Richmond Library, Little Green, Richmond (081-940 0981), and from 2.30pm at Sheen Library, Sheen Lane, East Sheen. Free. For 3-7-year-olds. Booking essential.

National Film Theatre South Bank, SE1 (071-928 3232; Waterloo Tube/BR). Junior NFT, Sat & Sun, 4pm approx (check time). Children pounds 3.15, adults pounds 4.35. Send SAE to Junior NFT for programme.

Nomad Puppet Studio 37 Upper Tooting Rd, SW17 (081-767 4005; Tooting Bec Tube). Fairy-tales for 3-8-year-olds, Suns at 11.30am & 2.30pm. July shows incl The Unhappy Brontosaurus, The Busy Gnomes, Jo Jo, Scruffy and Friends. Closed Aug. Booking essential.

Phoenix 52 High Road, N2 (081-444 6789/883 2233; East Finchley Tube). Children's Cinema Club. Sats at 11am. Children pounds 2, adults pounds 3.

Polka Theatre For Children 240 The Broadway, SW19 (081-543 4888/0363; Wimbledon Tube/BR or South Wimbledon Tube). Purpose-built complex for under-12s with 300-seat theatre, adventure room, playground, free puppet and toy exhibitions.

9 July-27 Aug: The Jungle Book, a new musical version of the Kipling story. For children of 7-plus. pounds 5.50. 5 July-13 Aug The Magic Boat Sails Again, with a Cat, a Beetle and a Seagull on a voyage to the West Indies, for 3-5-year-olds. pounds 3.50; 20 Aug Goldilocks for 3-5-year-olds. pounds 3.50. 27 Aug Red Riding Hood and the Blue Falcon. pounds 3.50.

Puppet Theatre Barge (0836 202 745). A Thames barge converted into 50-seat auditorium is home to Movingstage Marionettes Theatre Company. River Thames summer tour includes The Flight of Babuscha Baboon, about a baboon who wants to fly to the moon in a hot air balloon. For over-3s. 18, 19, 25, 26 July, 2.30pm & 4.30pm the barge is moored at Christ Church Meadows, Caversham, Reading. 23-24 July, 2.30pm at Henley Bridge alongside the Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames. 13 Aug-3 Sept Mon-Sat, 2.30pm and 10 & 11 Sept, 2.30pm at Higginson's Park, Marlow. 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 27 Sept, 1 & 2 Oct (times vary, check when booking), at Buccleuch Gardens, Petersham Rd, Richmond. Children pounds 4.50, adults pounds 5.

Rio Cinema 107 Kingsland High St, Hackney, E8 (071-249 2722/254 6677; Dalston/Kingsland BR). Sat 11am Children's Picture Club. Children pounds 1.50, adults pounds 2.50.

Saturday Sausages Nettlefold Hall, West Norwood Library, 1 Norwood High St, SE27 (071-738 3801). Shows on the first Sat of month. 6 Aug, 2pm the Avena Puppet Company presents The Town and Country Mouse for 3-5-year-olds. pounds 2.25. Book early. For booking on the day phone 081-670 6212.

Tom Allen Arts Centre Grove Crescent Road, Stratford, E15 (081-519 6818). 2-5 & 10-12 Aug, children's theatre shows 11am & 2pm, for various age groups from 3-12 years. Shows include Burglar Bill and Betty, Tails and Feathers, slapstick magic circus, Pekko's Puppets, Tara Arts' Journey to the Sun and Mirage Theatre's Space Probe. All tickets pounds 2.50.

Tricycle Theatre 269 Kilburn High Rd, NW6 (071-328 1000; Kilburn Tube). Performances Sat 11.30am & 2pm (extra mat in summer). pounds 1.75 in advance; pounds 2.25 on the day. Excellent children's shows as well as after-school and holiday workshops. Sats,11am and 2pm. Book in advance. Workshops July and August.

UCI Cinema Whiteleys, Queensway, W2 (071-792 3332; Queensway or Bays-water Tube). 23 July-3 Sept. Up to eight films each week - from 8.45am. Clowns, entertainers, theme days. Children pounds 1, one adult free.

Unicorn Theatre Great Newport St, WC1 (071-836 3334, Leicester Sq Tube). London's oldest professional children's theatre. Drama workshops for 4-12-year-olds. Family membership pounds 15 per year.

Warehouse Theatre Dingwall Rd, Croydon (081-680 4060; East Croydon BR). Children's shows every Sat at 11am. Adults pounds 2.75, children pounds 1.75. 23 July Coconut the Clown in Coconut in a Stew for 3-7-year-olds. 23 July Twizzle's Magic Show for under-5s.

Willesden Green Library Centre High Rd, NW10 (081-830 0822; Willesden Green Tube) Every Sat, 11am Kids Cinema Club. pounds 2.50 ( adults pounds 3.50).

Zippo's Circus animal-free circus featuring acrobatics, contortion acts, clowning, Russian circus stars and Martin 'Zippo' Burton. A bit loud for very young children, 19-24 July, Walthamstow Village, E17 (Walthamstow Tube), Weekdays 5pm & 7pm, Sat 2-30pm, 5pm & 7.30pm; Sun 11am & 2.30pm (19 July 6pm only). Adults pounds 4.50-pounds 7.50, children pounds 3.50-pounds 6.50. Circus Hotline 0374 811811

SUMMER DAY AND RESIDENTIAL CAMPS

Camp Beaumont 9 West St, Godmanchester, Huntingdon, Cambs (0480 456123). From nursery day camps for over-2s to independent foreign holidays for teenagers. Residential and Day Camps at Brentwood, Mill Hill, Windsor, Orpington and Wimbledon. Based on the American idea of summer camp, there are hundreds of activities ranging from sports to arts and crafts. There are barbeques, picnics, discos, treasure hunts and theme days. Under-5s can learn to swim, trampoline, archery and fly kites and enjoy a host of events from storytimes to Teddy bears' picnics. There are separate riding, motor sport, drama, language and technology camps for 7-14-year-olds, and French and Spanish adventure holidays for 11-17-year-olds. Day Camp (3-5, 5-12, 12-16-year-olds) from pounds 122 a week. Residential camps (over-5s) from pounds 199 a week.

Experience UK (031-349 1444) runs day camps at Edgware and Finchley and residential courses in Suffolk and caters for 6-17-year-olds. Activities include judo, swimming and doughnutting (zooming round a lake in a dinghy) for younger children, to driving, diving and go-karting for older ones. pounds 199-pounds 219 a week.

Multibase (081 744 2083). July 25-Aug 26 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (half-day option for 3-year-olds). Multi-activity day camps in south west London for children from 3-14 years. Activities include dry skiing, riding, swimming, archery, biking, rifle-shooting, arts and crafts, games, theme mornings and a canoeing adventure day. For little ones there are bouncy castles, a rumpus room and ball ponds. Week-long camps are non-residential, pounds 99 per week.

Sports Experience (081-715 5434). Seven sites in outer London and the Home Counties offer day camps for children aged 4-14 and residential courses for children aged 7-17. There are also computer and adventure courses. pounds 119-pounds 234 per week.

YMCA Summer Day Camps held at Squerryes Home Farm, Westerham, Kent, Park Lodge Farm, Harefield, Middx; Mansfield Outdoor Centre, Lambourne End, Essex.

25 July-26 Aug Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm. Swimming, climbing, archery, drama, den-building, storytelling, treasure hunts and Teddy bears' picnics. Transport available. Ring 081-520 5599 for info; 081-520 6086 for brochure. .

CITY FARMS

These genuine working farms allow children of all ages to see a wide variety of farm animals, and to get involved in the day-to-day activities.

COLLEGE FARM 45 Fitzalan Rd, N3 (081-349 0690 Finchley Central Tube). Adults pounds 1.25, children 70p, OAPs pounds 1 (on open days pounds 2, pounds 1, pounds 1.50). Daily 10am-6pm. Small children's farm with usual animals and special Open Day on first Sun of month (1-6pm) with craft fair, donkey rides, puppet shows.

DEEN CITY FARM 1 Batsworth Rd (off Church Road), Mitcham (081-648 1461; Mitcham BR or Bus 264). Open all year daily 9am-4pm. Free but donation appreciated. Farm with animals, riding school for able-bodied and disabled children, and organic horticulture. 8-12 Aug: Discovery Week for 11-15-year olds. pounds 27.50 for the week.

FREIGHTLINERS FARM Sheringham Rd, N7 (071-609 0467; Highbury & Islington Tube or buses 43, 271, 4, 19, 17). Tues-Sun 9am-1pm & 2-5pm. Free (donations invited). Sensory garden. Playgroup for under-5s Wed and Sat morns. Cafe, farm shop.

HACKNEY CITY FARM 1a Goldsmiths Row, E2 (071-729 6381; Cambridge Heath Tube or bus 26, 48, 55). Open daily 10am-4.30pm. Free. Cobbled yard, small orchard, ecological pond, butterfly tunnel and wild flower area. Activities include pottery, spinning and weaving.

KENTISH TOWN CITY FARM 1 Cressfield Close, NW5 (071-916 5421; Chalk Farm tube/Kentish Town Tube/BR or Gospel Oak BR). Tues-Sun 9.30am-5.30pm. Free. Horses, sheep, pigs, chicken, ducks, cows, geese & rabbits.

MUDCHUTE FARM Pier Street (off Manchester Road), E14 (071-515 5901; Mudchute DLR). Open daily 9am-5pm. Largest city farm in Britain includes wildlife area, horses, woodland and parkland. Excellent riding facilities. Cafe. 14 Aug: Agricultural Show.

NEWHAM CITY FARM Stansfeld Road, E6 (071-476 1170; Royal Albert DLR) Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Barbecues, pony rides, craft sessions, picnic area.

SPITALFIELDS FARM ASSOCIATION Weaver Street, E1 (071-247 8762; Whitechapel or Bethnal Green Tube). Open Tues-Sun 9am-6pm. Free (voluntary donation). Local history horse-drawn cart tours and pony rides, free pottery and dairy workshops.

STEPNEY STEPPING STONES FARM Stepney Way, E1 (071-790 8204; Stepney Tube). Open Tues-Sun 9.30am-5pm. Free (donations invited). Usual animals plus wildlife pond and picnic garden.

SURREY DOCKS FARM Rother-hithe Street, Rotherhithe, SE16 (071-231 1010; Surrey Quays DLR). Open Tues-Thurs, Sat & Sun 10am-1pm, 2-5pm. Free. Small orchard, wild area, riverside walk and duck pond. Farm shop. Cafe.

VAUXHALL CITY FARM Tyers Street (Off Kensington Lane), SE11 (071-582 4204 Vauxhall tube). Tues-Thurs, Sat & Sun 10.30am-5pm. Free (except tours) but donations welcome. Good riding facilities at cheap rates (ponies and donkeys for the very young). Spinning Club and holiday play scheme. No cafe but

reasonable picnic area.

ZOOS, MUSEUMS, EXHIBITIONS

Battersea Park Children's Zoo Battersea Pk, SW11 (081-871 7540 BR Battersea Park); Mar-Sept, daily 11am-6pm. Entrance 90p, children 30p, OAPs 25p, wheelchairs free.

Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 (081-980 2415/4315 Bethnal Green Tube); 'Not Just a Pretty Face' exhibition organised by the British Doll Artists' Association until 1 Oct. Mon-Thurs/Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 2.30-6pm. Free.

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre 33-34 The Market, Covent Garden, WC2 (071-379 7961; Charing Cross Tube); Hand-made mechanical figures and scenes you can move. All year, daily 10am-6.30pm. Entrance pounds 1.;OAPs and children over six pounds 1.20.

Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards, Whitehall (0839 123411; Trafalgar Sq/Westminster Tube); Both last for about half an hour. Call for exact times. Free.

Cutty Sark King William St, Greenwich SE10 (081-858 3445 BR Greenwich or DLR Island Gardens); Apr-Sept, Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6. Entrance pounds 3.25, OAPs and children pounds 2.25.

Guinness World of Records Trocadero Centre, Coventry St, W1 (071-439 7331 BR Charing Cross, Leicester Sq/Piccadilly Tube): All year, daily from 10am-10pm.

Entrance pounds 5.75, OAPs and children pounds 4.50.

Hampton Court Palace East Molesey, Surrey KT8 (081-781 9500/977 8441 BR Hampton Court); mid-Mar-mid-Oct, Mon 10.15am-6pm, Tues-Sun 9.30am-4.30pm. Entrance pounds 7, OAPs pounds 5.30, children pounds 4.70.

HMS Belfast Morgans Lane, Tooley St, SE1 (071-407 6434 BR London Bridge, DLR Tower Gateway). Explore a World War II cruiser. Daily 10am-6pm. Entrance pounds 4, OAPs pounds 3, children pounds 2.

Imperial War Museum Lambeth Rd, London SE1 (071 416 5000 Lambeth North/Elephant & Castle Tubes). A real U-boat and Spitfires. For 7-12-year-olds: Operation Doodlebug, a secret mission organised around a treasure hunt, starts on 30 July-14 Aug, Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm. Booking advisable on 071-416 5311, 10am to 5pm. Entrance pounds 3.90, OAPs pounds 2.90, children pounds 1.95.

London Dungeon 28-34 Tooley St, SE1 (071-403 0606 BR London Bridge). Apr-Sept 10am-6.30pm, Oct-March 10am-5.30pm. Not for small children. Entrance pounds 6.50, OAPs pounds 5.50, children pounds 4.

London Planetarium Marylebone Rd, NW1 (071-486 1121 Baker St tube). All year, Mon-Fri 12.20-5pm, Sat/Sun during school holidays 10.20-5. Entrance pounds 4.20, OAPs pounds 3.25, children pounds 2.60.

London Zoo Regent's Park, London NW1 (071-722 3333 Camden Town Tube). All year, daily 10am-5pm.

Entrance pounds 6.50, OAPs pounds 5.50, children pounds 4.50.

Madame Tussaud's Marylebone Rd, London NW1 (071-935 6861 Baker St Tube). Waxwork collection plus Chamber of Horrors and Spirit of London. All year, Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat/Sun 9.30am-5.30pm. Entrance pounds 7.95, OAPs pounds 5.95, children (over 5 only) pounds 4.95.

Museum of London 150 London Wall, EC2 (071 600 3699 BR Moorgate, Barbican/St Paul's Tubes). History of London from prehistoric times to now. Tues-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm. Entrance pounds 3, children pounds 1.50, wheelchair users free.

Museum of Mankind

6 Burlington Gdns, W1 (071-437 2224 Piccadilly Tube). Artifacts from around the world. Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm, Sun 2.30-6pm. Entrance free.

Museum of the Moving Image South Bank, SE1 (071 928 3535 BR/Tube Waterloo). Hands-on activities and some actors in costume. All year, daily 10am-6pm (last admission 5pm). Entrance pounds 5.50, OAPs and children pounds 4.

Musical Museum 368 High St, Brentford TW8 (081-560 8108 Gunnersbury Tube). July/Aug, Wed-Fri 2-4pm; Sat/Sun 2-5pm, Sept/Oct Sat/Sun 2-5pm. Entrance pounds 3.20, OAPs, children pounds 2.50.

National Gallery Trafalgar Sq, WC2 (071-839 3321 BR Charing Cross, Leicester Sq Tube). For 6-12-year-olds. Colour trail through the galleries. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 2-6pm. Free.

National Maritime Museum Romney Rd, Greenwich, SE10 (081-858 4422 BR Greenwich, DLR Island Gardens). Apr-Sept, Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm. Entrance pounds 3.95-pounds 7.95, OAPs and children over 7 pounds 2.95-pounds 5.45.

Natural History Museum Cromwell Rd, SW7 (071-938 9123 South Ken Tube). Dinosaur collection plus geological museum. Interactive English countryside exhibition from 18 July-25 Sept. Mon-Sat 10am-5.50pm, Sun 11am-5.50pm. Entrance pounds 5, children from 5-17 pounds 2.50 and concs (children under 5 free). Family ticket pounds 13.50. Adv. booking on 071-938 9242.

Pollock's Toy Museum 1 Scala St, W1 (071-636 3452 Goodge St Tube). Toys, dolls, Teddy bears and miniature theatres. Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm. Entrance pounds 2, child-ren 75p. Sats free with adult.

Science Museum Exhibition Rd, SW7 (071-938 8000 South Ken Tube). Steam engines to Apollo spacecraft. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Entrance pounds 4.50, OAPs and children pounds 2.40.

Tate Gallery Millbank, SW1 (071-887 8000 Pimlico Tube). Activity Week where children can explore images with group leaders 9/10/11 and 23/24/25 Aug. Open all year, Mon-Sat 10am-5.50pm. Under-12s only with an adult.

Thames Barrier Visitor Centre Unity Way, Woolwich SE18 (081-854 1373 BR Charlton). World's largest movable flood barrier. All year, Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat/Sun 10.30am-5.30pm. Entrance pounds 2.50, OAPs and children pounds 1.55.

Tower Bridge SE1 (071-403 3761 BR Charing Cross, DLR Tower Gateway, Tower Hill Tube). High-tech exhibition. April-Oct 10am-6.30pm (last entry 5.15pm); Nov-Mar 10am-5.15pm (4pm). Entrance pounds 5, OAPs and children (5-15) pounds 3.50.

Tower of London Tower Hill, EC3 (071-709 0765 DLR Tower Gateway, Tower Hill Tube). Free guided tours, Crown Jewels a must. Mar-Oct, Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Entrance pounds 7.95, OAPs pounds 5.95, children pounds 5.25.

Victoria and Albert Museum Cromwell Rd, SW7 (071-938 8500 South Ken. Tube). All year, Tues-Sun 10am-5.50pm, Mon 12-5.50pm. Chinese summer performances and events in the Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art on Sundays.

ONE-OFF SUMMER EVENTS

BAC Lavender Hill, SW11 (071-223 6557 for details, 071-223 2223 for booking, BR Clapham Junc). Rainforest dancing to drama to story-telling and video projects.

Busy Bees/A Scheme Abercorn Place School, 28 Abercorn Place, NW8 (071-286 4785 Maida Vale/St John's Wood Tubes). Cooking, arts and crafts and languages. 12 July-19 Aug 10am-3.30pm. pounds 95/ four-day week.

Camden Summer Funsplash (All over the borough. Call 071-911 1560 or see brochures from sports centres, schools, libraries.) 25 July-26 Aug: Performances, workshops and games in Camden 25 July-26 Aug.

Dramarama various venues in NW3 and N12. (081-446 0891). Theatre courses for 3-18-year-olds, 11 July-19 Aug.

Fun with French Willoughby Hall School, Hampstead (0451 860379); French for children in games and songs. 25-29 July, 9.30-3.30pm.

Islington Arts Factory 2 Parkhurst Rd, N7 (071-833 4843); Theatre improvisation summer school for all ages. 1-5 Aug, 2-5pm. pounds 45.

Janet Sodring Spectrum Singers (081-994 8149). Week-long workshops 25 July-19 Aug for children 8-12. 10am-12noon, pounds 40 for the week.

Multibase (Details 081-744 2033). Multi-activity day camps in SW London for children aged 3-14. 25 July-26 Aug. pounds 99 per week.

Paint Pots Summer School Chelsea United Reformed Church, Edith Grove, SW10 (071-792 0433). Arts, crafts, music. 18 July-5 Aug. pounds 20-35.

Tower Hill Pageant 1 Tower Hill Terrace, EC3 (071 709 0081). Learn the history of the City of London. Museum of Waterfront Archaeology. 23 July-1 Sept, Daily 9.30am-5.30pm. Entrance pounds 5.45, children and concs. pounds 3.45. Family ticket (2 adults with 2 children) pounds 13.45.

Union Dance Company Summer School Danceworks, 1 Balderton St, W1 (071 734 3262); Courses for ages 12-18 in jazz, contemporary and ballet techniques. pounds 15. Westminster residents pay pounds 10. 40 places per course.

ADVICE

ACE - Advisory Centre for Education Unit 1B, Aberdeen Studios, 22-24 Highbury Grove, N5 (071 354 8321), 2-5pm weekdays only.

Kidsline (071 222 8070), Mon-Fri, 4-6pm.

(Photographs omitted)

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