Until now, the only way I've noticed that it's half-term is when I can suddenly get a seat on the bus before 9am and there's an ominous absence of rubbish R&B blaring from mobile phones on the back seat. All that has changed, now that I'm grilling every parent I know for the truth about looking after kids. The "joy" of school holidays comes up regularly.
When I was a kid school holidays were ace, and in the same way I didn't realise that my dad wasn't that into Girl's World, I had no sense at all that school holidays were in any way a challenge for my parents. Of course, I'm sure they do provide an invaluable opportunity to spend time as a family, doing nice stuff and going on trips, but at some point they must feel like hard work, what with sorting out work commitments and finding enough activities to fill the days.
Well, here's one activity you might want to consider, for Londoners or if you're planning a trip to the capital. On Tuesday, the wonderful Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall is hosting a West End Family Fun Day, as part of Kids Week in the West End, a jolly good scheme in which you can get kids theatre tickets for free (find out more here.Described as a theatrical extravaganza, the West End Family Fun Day will include a range of exclusive workshops, arts and crafts activities and a performance from Thriller - Live, the West End show that celebrates, yes you guessed it, the "legendary career of the world's undisputed king of pop, Michael Jackson". Let's hope it skips over the slightly dodgy bits, it being a family day.
Parents and children will also have the opportunity to take part in a ballet workshop hosted by the English National Ballet (that sounds very cool to me) and a singing lesson taught by Mary King, the voice coach to the stars of London theatre.
And get this, for pushy parents and little stars: "There's the chance to be put through your paces by the resident choreographer and the children's resident director of Oliver! as they teach you the words and moves to Consider Yourself, the much-loved song from the hit West End musical." Broadway here your little cherub comes!
The West End Family Fun Day will be held at The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, from 11:00am on Tuesday 26 May 2009.
Have you spotted any free family events during half-term? Tell us about them here.
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