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London is probably the best city in the world in terms of activities for families and children including lots of free activities and events. We list here lots of initiatives that we believe London Mums and their children from babies to teenagers would enjoy especially at the most entertaining places such as the Science Museum, The V&A, Kew Gardens, Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Greenwich, West End shows, the London Eye, the London Aquarium, Kingston upon Thames, Chelsea, SouthBank and so much more.

Paddle Round the Pier 2014: Brighton’s Beach Festival Returns

The UK’s biggest annual watersports and beach lifestyle festival returns to Brighton on 5th and 6th July. Paddle Round the Pier, which has been running since 1996, sees thousands of people descending on the city to watch water activities and live music. The festival is free to enter, although there is a £1 suggested donation, and all the money raised goes straight to charity. Paddle 2014 looks set to be the ideal event to escape London for, and here are the main reasons why.

Paddle Round the Pier

Live Bands

The organisers of Paddle Round the Pier will be laying on an eclectic range of quality live music. This year sees performances from Canterbury’s fusion folksters CoCo and the Butterfields and 1950s rock ‘n’ roll group Fat45, amongst others. Meanwhile, over on the Ukulele Stage, a diverse range of solo artists and groups will be pushing the Hawaiian stringed instrument to its limits. We can only hope the sun is still shining!

Water Events

Paddle Something Unusual Event
Paddle Round the Pier’s main event is the paddle from which it takes its name. Water users of all stripes grab their surfboards, bodyboards and Lilos, hitting the water en masse to raise money for charity. As long as you can swim, you can take part, too. The other unmissable spectacle is Paddle Something Unusual, which takes place on Sunday at midday. In this event, teams take to the water on all manner of wacky watercraft, including floating beds, aeroplanes and even a floating Peugot 206!

Kid’s Stage

Paddle has a dedicated children’s stage to keep the kids amused, featuring entertainers and magicians. This year’s line-up includes Crazee Hazee performing his popular brand of Punch and Judy and balloon twisting, and Tomfoolery handling the magic shows. Tom recently won Netmums’ Favourite Party Entertainer for the South East, so a quality show is guaranteed. Look out for the full timetable of events coming soon to their website.

Dog Show

Dog on Longboard, Brighton
If you’re all paddled out, then make sure you check out Paddle’s fun dog shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. There’s something for everyone, with competitions including Cutest Puppy, Coolest Dude and Fanciest Dresser. And best of all, anyone can register their pooch to enter for a £1.00 donation.

Access Beach

One of Paddle’s best areas is Access Beach, which offers children with disabilities the chance to enjoy the beach and sea as well. Staffed by a team of volunteers, Access Beach provides balloon-wheeled wheelchairs that roll over the pebbles and float in the sea, special decking on the stony beach and easy-access toilets and changing facilities. To date, the team has helped hundreds of children with Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, sight deficiencies and other disabilities to enjoy the water – some of them for the very first time!

With all of this going on, and a whole lot more besides, there has never been  a better time to visit Brighton. Check out this Skateseeing – Brighton on a Skateboard video for one more reason why:
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Image credits: 1 / 2 / 3

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