Category Archives: Stroller Days Out

Stroller Days Out: Bricklive London ExCel

SM Dad reviewer writes: “My eldest son (5) is LEGO bonkers. I must confess (*drum roll*) that I often don’t have the patience to build it with him, as he still gets quite frustrated when the pieces won’t fit (and then his mother gets frustrated when she finds them down the back of the sofa). 

So I wasn’t sure if BRICKLIVE would be too much for him. It is billed as ‘built for LEGO fans’ and part of me wondered if the whole thing might be full of grown up geeks (like Comic Con). 

But no. Not at all. It was incredible. From the giant pits full of just one colour brick that kids could quite literally immerse themselves in, to building one’s own racing car to race it. And my son’s fave; NinjaGo

The sheer effort that must have gone into building any one of the thousands of constructions put me to shame for not taking the time previously to help my son put together a fire engine. 

My three-year-old also really enjoyed the day out and even tried his hand at building a spaceship (which he otherwise wouldn’t have done at home) and had a great time with all the stuff to climb on. 

It really was very inspiring and the whole building was buzzing with excited kids…And it might just have brought out the reluctant LEGO fan in me…”

Find out more at BRICKLIVE.

Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Open House in Hyde Park – first details announced today

Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park’s OPEN HOUSE returns for a week of free entry to fantastic summer activities, in-between two weekends of legendary musical line-ups. On offer will be outdoor movie nights, tennis screenings live from Wimbledon, street food stalls from all over the world, pop up bars serving draft & craft beer, wine & cocktails, live music and entertainment, the Moretti Gran Tour, Soho Radio live broadcasting, Chickenshed Theatre and much, much more.

For more info, click on the OPEN HOUSE web page.

Hay Festival tickets go on sale tomorrow…

Way-‘Hay’! If you’re looking for the ultimate culture-fest, that also happens to be a great day out for kids, then Hay-on-Wye’s annual shindig is the cream of the crop.

image: Marsha Arnold

Tickets for the 30th Hay Festival in Wales are released tomorrow, with the programme including appearances from Jacqueline Wilson, Judith Kerr, Julia Donaldson, Chris Riddell, Cressida Cowell, Adrian Edmundson, Anthony Horowitz, Axel Sheffler, Julian Clary, Marcus Sedgwick, Michael Rosen, Maria Turtschaninoff, Akala, Katherine Rundell, Gemma Cairney, Juno Dawson, Kimberly Wyatt, Patrick Ness, Sarah Crossan, The Bookseller YA Book Prize shortlist, and the Aarhus 39.

Full programme can be browsed here:

Big Fish Little Fish x Camp Bestival does Dreamland Margate

Got some hyperactive little ones to entertain over the Easter hols. Burn off all that excess energy by getting them throwing shapes on the dancefloor.

BFLF and Camp Bestival will be putting on a kiddy rave at Dreamland, Margate on 8th April and as well as (not too loud) bangin tunes there will be dressing up, ball ponds, tents and a photobooth.

More info and to book tickets here. Or get the Dreamland Margate app, powered by Second Screen.

Peppa Pig My First Cinema Experience hits the screens in April 2017

The porcine one will grace the cinema screens in time for the Easter holidays, ensuring that snorts and giggles will be the only form of conversation your kids will have with you until July.

The cinematic feature will screen nine never-been-seen episodes, leading with ‘Peppa Visits London’,  where Peppa and her friends hop on board a double-decker red bus as the Queen takes them on an unforgettable tour of iconic London landmarks including Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. The other new ‘oink-tastic’ episodes include ‘The Police, ‘Canal Boat’, ‘The Zoo’, ‘Move to the Music’ and a four-part story in which viewers will join Peppa on an Australian holiday to visit her old friend, Kylie Kangaroo.

Each of the nine brand-new episodes will be connected with interactive entertainment featuring live action Peppa and George characters and their friend Daisy, in her colourful new world.  Little ones (and parents too!) can join in with games as well as singing and dancing along to new versions of their favourite nursery rhymes, including The Wheels on the Bus and Row Row Your Boat in this unique new offering for preschoolers.

David Mitchell lends his voice to Policeman Panda in the episode ‘The Police’ and Jo Brand voices Mrs. Crocodile in ‘The Zoo.’

‘PEPPA PIG MY FIRST CINEMA EXPERIENCE’ will be released in cinemas nationwide from 7th April 2017.

For an exclusive sneak peek, click here to watch the trailer.

Or, you can get into the festive spirit, Piggy-style with this mash up below…

Apply for VIP family tickets for the Beano Experience launch on 25th September

If you grew up loving the cheeky (slightly non-PC) antics of Dennis, Minnie, Billy Whizz, Roger and Lord Snooty then you’d better be quick to get your mitts on these highly coveted family passes…

Details below:

To celebrate the hotly anticipated relaunch of Britain’s most mischievous kids brand as an all singing all dancing entertainment network; the menace makers at Beano HQ have plotted a TOP SECRET VIP launch extravaganza and are making a series of limited tickets available to the most intrepid and mischievous members of the public…

Bringing the new Beano brand to life at a secret London location on Sunday 25th September, children will have the opportunity to step into an amazing experience like no other. Tasked with a top secret gunge-filled mission, children aged 7-10 years will get their own back on the ‘rents as they cause mischief and mayhem in this truly interactive, highly confidential, Beano event. In a world where the kids are in charge, adults enter at their own peril.

The rules are…there are no rules!

Spearheaded by the brand new Beano Studios, the event will launch an exclusive showcase of Beano’s brand new digital network. The portal aims to provide a completely new experience for 7 – 10 year olds; a digital brand that brings together a variety of great kids’ entertainment under one roof across Beano apps and web, as well as YouTube and Popjam. From new and original shows and experiences to hilarious content from around the web; the platforms will host videos, listicles, competitions and mini-games.

Beano Studios will create, curate and deliver entertainment for kids across multiple touchpoints, including TV, digital content, consumer products, theatrical projects and the much-loved comic and annual.

The initial launch will be followed by a radically re-imagined CGI TV series for Dennis & Gnasher and more broadcast and theatrical plans to follow.

The Beano Experience takes place on Sunday 25th September (approx. 15:00-18:00pm) at a TOP SECRET Central London location

Apply for a Family Ticket (4 tickets) at

Please note, tickets are subject to availability and guests will be chosen at random. Guests are only able to gain access to the event upon receiving an accreditation email. Applicants are advised that the recommended age of children for the event is between 7-10 years old.

Off to see Pete’s Dragon this weekend? Get Behind the Wings with Bryce Dallas Howard

Pete’s Dragon is out tomorrow and is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon.

Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in UK cinemas on 12th August 2016.

Stroller Days Out: Ice Age Collision Course

Out in cinemas nationwide this weekend, Ice Age Collision Course is the latest in the film series. One of our Dad writers took his son to the premiere screening last week and reports back…

SM Dad writer: “OK so I’ll confess, I did shed a lil tear in the first Ice Age, at the bit where Diego comes back… And I didn’t even have a child with me when I first watched it (although I was a bit hungover…) Anyway – what I am saying is it is never a chore to watch those crazy animals; haven’t worked out which one I identify with most but I guess there’s a bit of Sid and a bit of Manny in all us fathers… 

This film starts off in space; not an easy concept to explain to my four year old, but a cool twist. Obviously Scrat the rat is to blame for the fact that the world is about to end – and needs to be saved by the gang of mongrels… But the Mammoths are all getting ready for Peaches’ wedding (‘Daddy, why is Peaches all grown up..?’) 

Personally I thought this film had a lot of LOL moments and I really enjoyed it. My son asked questions the whole way thru – not a bad thing per se but I apologise to the rest of the auditorium. At 95 mins long it’s engaging enough for little ones and I’d recommend as a way to while away a rainy day…”

Stroller Days Out: Little Birdies at Roof East

If you’re an Eastender you might have ventured to Roof East last Summer for a skyline cinema experience. This year the venue (which is situated on top of a car park) is also offering crazy golf – which on weekend afternoons is an option for little putters too…

One of our Dad-writers investigates…

“Growing up in Scotland right next to a famous golf course, trotting ’round the green was all the rage for us kids. Obviously for my own boys (living in earshot of Bow bells) the sport isn’t even on their radar (except as an explanation for why Grandpa sometimes wears silly trousers). So I was quite chuffed at the fact that there is a crazy golf not ten minutes drive from me (right by Stratford station if you take the train/bus/tube/DLR) – a good intro into a gentleman’s sport, I thought…

I took my kids (four and two) after they had already been for a swim on a WP_20160626_12_59_46_Pro Sunday morning – totally forgot any sort of healthy snack or drink but Roof East has an amazing selection of hot dogs, fries, nachos etc – all loaded with American style cheese sauce (not an Organix bar or fruit kebab in sight, but you’ll be Dad of the year if you proffer the cheesy chips!) The kids thought driving all the way up to the top floor was awesome (in a sort of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang way) and were also pretty smitten with the cheery security chap on the door, who had more enthusiasm than I did of a Sunday…

The course itself is nine holes, a mix of ‘trick shot’ ones (like a loop the loop) and tricky angles – but all very manageable even for a two year old (with a bit of patience). My eldest son got a bit tired and grumpy (we had to have a little chat about sportsmanship…) but soon perked up again when he saw the impressive sportscars with trees and plants growing in them (no, really, there are!)

WP_20160626_13_01_57_ProTotally would recommend this – especially if you’re looking for a Dad-date playdate idea (or you want to bet a fellow parent that you can show them a car that’s been made into a shrubbery…)

If you’re heading to Roof East with kids I’d suggest: 

  • Pack sunscreen (it is very exposed, so even when cloudy there’s a lot of sun)
  • Take cash (for cheesy chips etc)
  • Don’t wear a hat that will blow off (or it will blow off the top of a multi-storey carpark)
  • Have a little chat about flora and fauna being our friends (there are lots of well nurtured bits of urban horticulture right at child level…)
  • Don’t expect a serious game of golf… “