The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

UK’s Top 5 most accessibility friendly museums for hearing-impaired visitors

With 1 in 6 of the UK’s adult population affected with hearing loss, it only makes sense that our cultural attractions should be made accessible for all visitors and in this case, equipped with facilities to accommodate hearing-impaired visitors. 

The hearing specialists at ReSound carried out a report on 40 the most visited attractions in the UK, and analysed how many of them had accommodating features available for the hearing-impaired. Sign language guides and tours for hearing-impaired visitors were one of the accommodating features analysed in the report, as well as sensory rooms and quiet times.

Continue reading “UK’s Top 5 most accessibility friendly museums for hearing-impaired visitors”
The Wandering Mother Blog - Free Family things to do in Greenwich this Easter bank holiday weekend

What’s On: Easter events for the family this bank holiday weekend!

Family things to this Easter weekend

Good Friday was just spectacular! The weather was so good that I completely forgot to write up the Easter events round-up so my apologies but if you are still stuck on ideas for what to do with the family, check out the below.

I’ve been on annual leave for the second half of the Easter holidays and have been taking the kids out (will post on that shortly) but yesterday was a kid-free day for me. I went out with my sister to enjoy a trip to a very special museum and then took a stroll around Leadenhall Market. As it was Good Friday, a lot of the shops were closed but there was a lovely French bakery that was still open and a couple other eateries.

The Wandering Mother Blog - What's On: Family events this Easter bank holiday weekend
Stumbled upon this beautiful Easter decorative arch inside Leadenhall Market!
Continue reading “What’s On: Easter events for the family this bank holiday weekend!”
The Wandering Mother Blog | Chinese New Year Craft Activities

February Feels: this month in photos…

Celebrating Lunar New Year festivities

Chinatown, Soho

Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year/Spring Festival ‘Tet’ to Vietnamese) was a joyous celebration in London for the first time post-covid. The lion dance was back for a short appearance on 01 February which Little Miss had the honour of watching. I have never taken the kids to watch the CNY celebrations at Soho before – simply because it was always too busy – but this year, it was slightly less of a crowd but still busy enough to showcase its bustling atmosphere.

The Wandering Mother Blog | February Feels
Little Miss in front of the beautiful cherry blossom display in Soho, London
Continue reading “February Feels: this month in photos…”
The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel

Visiting Greenwich? Top tips on places worth visiting from a Greenwich local…

Whether your coming from Richmond or Runcorn, Greenwich is a major tourism town that sees thousands of people paving its streets every year. This year has seen a rise in tourism again and with lockdown officially behind us all, the streets of Greenwich are starting to fill up. 

I originally published this post in August 2020 but have revised it again to keep it current with this year’s events. Spending a day trip visiting Greenwich during the summer holidays can be easy, cheap and very enjoyable for the whole family. Train companies usually offer GroupSave discounts when travelling during summer holidays if you’re coming from outside of London.

Continue reading “Visiting Greenwich? Top tips on places worth visiting from a Greenwich local…”
The Wandering Mother | Top 10 Instagrammable Places in UK

Insta-capital: London is home to the UK’s most Instagrammed tourist attractions

The research development team from SlotsUp analysed hashtag data to determine which of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions are the most Insta-worthy. The study analysed popular hashtags on Instagram of the top 80 most visited tourist attractions in the UK and revealed the Tate Modern in London to be the most ‘Instagrammable’ location, with over 1 million posts.

The Natural History Museum located in London landed in third place, with 674,294 posts, followed closely by the Tower of London with 602,666 posts.

Top 10 most Instagrammable tourist attractions in the UK

  1. Tate Modern – London – 1,094,047 posts 
  2. Stonehenge – Wiltshire – 786,316 posts 
  3. NHM (South Kensington) – London – 674,294 posts 
  4. Tower of London – London – 602,666 posts 
  5. Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh – 586,892 posts 
  6. British Museum – London – 586,287 posts 
  7. Kensington Palace – London – 402,921 posts 
  8. Royal Albert Hall – London – 333,873 posts 
  9. Chester Zoo – Chester – 326,866 posts
  10. Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland – 302,942 posts

Methodology: Taking a seed list of the most visited tourist attractions in the UK, we’ve gathered hashtag data from Instagram to determine the most-posted attractions in and around the UK.

1. Tate Modern, London

Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London. In 2016, the Tate Modern expanded by 60% to incorporate more gallery space, and visitors numbers increased by almost 25%, making it one of the UK’s most visited tourist attractions. The modern and contemporary art gallery has now been revealed as the UK’s most Instagrammed tourist attraction, with a staggering 1,094,047 posts.

The Tate Modern features a collection of artistic impressions, including painting, paper, sculpture, films, performances installations and is home to many famous pieces by artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Dali and Warhol. 

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Lifestyle Blogger
Tate Modern gallery / Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

2. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

One of the most famous prehistoric monuments in Britain, Stonehenge is among the most Instagrammed tourist attractions in the UK, with 786,316 posts on the platform. The World Heritage site was erected in the late Neolithic period around 2500 BC, and the mystery of how and why the stones came to be placed in their unique positions remains a mystery to historians to this day.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Aloe Vera - easycare plants
Stonehenge / Photo by Sung Shin on Unsplash

3. Natural History Museum, London

Established over 130 years ago, London’s Natural History Museum is one of the UK’s most Instagrammable tourist attractions, with 674,294 hashtags. The museum was founded in the 1850s by biologist Richard Owen, and now features hundreds of exciting and interactive exhibits for visitors to enjoy. 

Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature is currently being featured at the Natural History Museum, where families can discover where the real world and the Wizarding World intertwine and explore the myths, legends and magical creatures. 

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Travel & Lifestyle Blogger
NHM South Kensington / Photo by Claudio Testa on Unsplash

4. Tower of London, London

Steeped in mystery, violence and death, the Tower of London dates back almost 1,000 years and attracts more than 6 million visitors each year. The tower is most notable for the Crown Jewel collection, which showcases an incredible 23,578 glittering gemstones, alongside the infamous Tower Ravens. 

Visitors can take a guided tour from the famous Beefeaters, see the Ceremony of the keys – which takes place daily – and learn all about the Tower’s history and unusual ex-inhabitants. 

The Wandering Mother Blog | London Travel & Lifestyle Blogger
Tower of London / Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

5. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle is a world-famous tourist attraction located in Scotland, and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. Perched on an extinct volcano at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the castle plays a significant role in the city’s skyline. 

With over 500,000 posts on Instagram, Edinburgh Castle is now one of the most Instagrammed attractions in the UK. Tourists often catch a snapshot of the twinkling views of the capital at night, the red and pink skies as the sun sets below and the stunning dusky views throughout the day.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Travel & Lifestyle
Edinburgh Castle / Photo by Ben Guerin on Unsplash

6. British Museum, London

Founded in 1753, with more than 13 million artefacts that span over two million years of human history, the British Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. More than 5 million visitors head to the museum each year to see the most notable ancient artefacts – the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens, and the famous Rosetta Stone. 

In addition to the extensive artefact collection, the museum has special exhibitions, displays and events available for visitors to enjoy. You can book a private tour to gain more insight into the history of each exhibition, or join a workshop or lecture. 

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Travel & Lifestyle
British Museum / Photo by Nicolas Lysandrou on Unsplash

7. Kensington Palace, London

Kensington Palace in London is a working Royal residence and was the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. It has since hosted a wealth of royals, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana, with their children, Prince William and Prince Harry. Currently, the palace is the official London residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess live in the 20-room Apartment, formerly the residence of Princess Margaret. 

There are multiple areas of Kensington Palace that are open to the public. Visitors can take a stroll through the King’s State Apartments, the Queen’s State Apartments and the Gardens. Guests can also visit the exhibitions, shop and cafe. 

The Wandering Mother | Family Lifestyle & Travel Blogger
Princess Diana Memorial Gardens at Kensington Palace / Photo by Amy-Leigh Barnard on Unsplash

8. Royal Albert Hall, London

One of London’s most notable and iconic attractions, the Royal Albert Hall has hosted some of the world’s most famous musicians, sports stars and politicians since it opened in 1871. The Royal Albert Hall design was based on a Roman amphitheatre, with stacked balconies that bring visitors close to the action. With a capacity of around 6,000, the number of visitors that have entered the venue over the years runs to many millions. 

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Travel & Lifestyle
Royal Albert Hall / Photo by Raphaël Tomi-Tricot on Unsplash

Chester Zoo, Chester

The beloved Chester Zoo has been entertaining and teaching the North West for almost 100 years. In recent years it has seen over 2 million visitors flock to the zoo annually, not surprising considering the 130 acres of land is bursting with tens of thousands of animals and even more plants. The zoo is now officially one of the most Instagrammed attractions in the UK, with 333,873 posts on the social platform. 

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel
Tiger at Chester Zoo / Photo by Clovis Wood Photography on Unsplash

10. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

The Giant’s Causeway comprises around 40,000 thousand interlocking basalt columns, descending into the Atlantic Ocean. The hexagonal-shaped columns are the aftermath of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption and date back almost 60 million years. To truly immerse yourself into the Giants Causeway experience, head into the visitors centre where you can discover the story of this UNESCO World Heritage site. 

The Wandering Mother Blog - Family Lifestyle & Travel
Giant’s Causeway / Photo by Kevin McMahon on Unsplash
The Wandering Mother | Top 10 Instagrammable Places in UK

The data and findings in this post were made by the research team at SlotsUp. All photos have been credited to their original sources respectively.

The Wandering Mother Blog - Royal Docks Summer Programme 2021

Summer is back on! The Royal Docks team have just revealed their free Summer 2021 Programme

Okay, so this week the weather’s not that great but how AMAZING was the weather a couple weeks ago? I don’t know about you but I was loving the sunshine! Died a little (well, a lot thanks to hay fever) from the high pollen count but apart from that it was all good! I even managed to sneak in a little tanning session at my local park. 🙂

With summer activities back on, The Royal Docks team have just released their summer 2021 programme and it’s set to be a good one. There’s so much family-friendly things to do – below are a few of my favourites from the programme’s highlights.

Royal Victoria Docks will once again become a home for family fun this summer!

Free Summer events at Royal Docks

JULY

Ensemble Festival

July 24

The Wandering Mother Blog - Royal Docks Summer Programme 2021
Ensemble Festival / Photo credit: Royal Docks London

“Ensemble Festival will present an explosive mix of art and performance bringing the very best of UK artists to heart of the Docklands… developed by producers Certain Blacks”

The free event sees a blend of circus, dance, theatre and art – and there’s so much to explore. Creatively combining strength and circus physicality, Strong Enough tells stories of ordinary people finding power at times when we might wobble or struggle. And don’t miss Do What yah Mama told yah!, an immersive comedy show featuring plate-spinning, food-juggling and fire-blazing. Not to be missed! Suitable for all ages. More details about the Ensemble Festival here.

Kids Summer Splash

Jul 31 – Aug 22

The Wandering Mother Blog - Royal Docks Summer Programme 2021
Photo Credit: Royal Docks London

“Dive into family fun this summer as Kids Summer Splash brings you delightful dock swimming, super sandpits, tasty food, cooling drinks, and much more.

Grab your towels and head down to the Royal Victoria Docks for a swim in the large lido that’s built out into the waters. Don’t worry if you’re not a confident swimmer or have little ones, there’s also a shallow end for younger children to have a splash around. Once you’re bored of the water, you can play around in the sandpits or family chill-out zones. There will be a snack shack for you to grab a bite to eat or something to drink but you can always bring your own picnic too. Just don’t forget to bring your buckets and spades!

Suitable for all ages.

Advance booking is required but it’s not open yet to the public. Head over to their website and bookmark their page or sign up to their newsletters. More details on Kids Summer Splash here.

Upswing’s Circus Flavours

July 31 – Aug 1

The Wandering Mother Blog - Royal Docks Summer Programme 2021
Upswing’s Circus Flavours / Photo credit: Royal Docks London

“Leading contemporary circus company Upswing’s diverse and highly skilled performers will be demonstrating their incredible blend of acrobatics and physical theatre over two days in the Royal Docks.”

Fancy being an acrobat for the day? Always thought you could make it as a circus performer? Now’s your chance to prove it. Watch the amazing performance by Upswing. After, the artists will come of the stage to lead open workshops where you can try your hand at the crazy tricks.

Suitable for all ages from 5+. For more details and to book, click here.


AUGUST

Making Space: Artist Walk

Sep 28

The Wandering Mother Blog - Royal Docks Summer Programme 2021
Making Space: Artist Walking Tour / Photo credit: Royal Docks London

“Art walking tour with a difference. The result is a series of large-scale wall-based artworks that weave together text, photography and archival material.”

On Saturday 28th September from 2.30-5pm, artist and researcher Alberto Duman will give a walking tour with artist Jessie Brennan of her new four-part commission Making Space in the Royal Docks, located at the Good Hotel. The artists will hold an ‘in conversation’ at each of the four sites: discussing Jessie’s process working with local communities to generate these new site-specific works, focusing on the significance of the artworks in context, and the forthcoming changes in the area. More information on the event here.

SEPTEMBER

Music of the Spheres

Sep 4

The Wandering Mother Blog - Royal Docks Summer Programme 2021
Music of the spheres / Photo credit: Royal Docks London

Music of the Spheres will see performers in huge transparent globes move through the audience and float on the water of the docks, with musicians, aerial performers, lights and smoke inside them.

Each of the three shows on 4 September begins with dancers and musicians moving through the audience in land-based Spheres. Then, open your ears to performances on unusual and sculptural instruments from around the world as musicians play under a large sculptural canopy. The grande finale sees Simon Desorgher perform a piece of flute music he’s composed especially for this occasion, based on a theme from Debussy’s La Mer. His performance is transmitted to Eye Music Trust co-Director, Lawrence Casserley who transforms the sound into a whole orchestra on his computer from inside a transparent Dome. More details here and to book your free tickets.


Press release by Royal Docks London

Van Gogh House opens with guided tours: A must-see for any art lover

Van Gogh House

Nestled on the streets of Stockwell was the place where Vincent Van Gogh lived in his early adult life. This Georgian terraced house reveals the unique character and charm of the late artist, and has been lovingly conserved using heritage techniques.

First opened in 201`9, Van Gogh House is a local heritage site and a unique venue for exhibitions and artist residencies. This amazing place has now opened up for the general public to view with a guided tour of the house and grounds. It’s a must-see attraction for anyone who has an interest in the arts and culture.

Van Gogh House Guidied Tours

Our tours of the house cover not only Van Gogh’s stay but a cast of other characters including Vincent’s landlady and her daughter who he supposedly fell in love with, a small boy in the 1850s who hid a time capsule of toys beneath the floorboards, a postman on strike in the seventies who discovered the Van Gogh link in the 1871 census, Mrs Smith who lived in the house until she was 100, her life irrevocably changed by the discovery of a famous former resident of her house.

Guided tours of the house are now available to book. They are held on the last weekend of the month.

Photo Credit: Van Gogh House
Photo Credit: Van Gogh House

Their long-running poster project, ‘On The Western Window Pane’ is currently in situ in the Van Gogh House front window. A new artist-designed poster is installed on the first of each month from April 2021 until March 2022. This month’s poster is by Lesley Sharpe. The next temporary exhibition, Life and its Trivial Particulars by Brian Griffiths and Frank Kent will be open on September 4th – 18th December 2021. The house will then be open Wed-Sun, 11-5pm with unguided entry tickets available. These will cost £5 per person (£3 Concession, £2.50 Art Fund) and free for under 16s.

What you need to know about the Van Gogh House tour

Where: 87 Hackford Road, London, SW9 0RE

When: Guided tours of the house are always the last weekend of the month

Price: £12 per person – a guided tour is currently the only way of visiting the Van Gogh House.

What’s included: a 45mins-1hour guided tour of the house, its famous and less famous residents, its architecture, renovations and history of the local area.

Photo Credit: Van Gogh House

The information above was kindly sent to me as a press release by Van Gogh House. All photos are credited to the Van Gogh House and should not be reused without their consent.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel

What’s On: Free Easter Events in Greenwich

April 12: Get ready to leave lockdown!

Get those trainers, walking shoes or wellies on and get ready to start exploring again as London and the rest of the UK gear up to leave lockdown 3.0 behind. There’s so many wonderful places you can visit outdoors that there’s no excuse not to head out for some fresh air and scenic sights.

The walkway by The Tide is now completed and looks magical in all its colourful glory, thanks to artist Liz West. More on how you can visit the walkway below. A lot of businesses are still shut until April 12th but it’s only a couple weeks away. Make the most of this time now by going to places you wouldn’t normally go to because we all know once the restaurants and cafes open, we’ll be finding ourselves a spot there as soon as we can or slotting in as many retail therapy moments as possible.

Whilst I couldn’t find any free Easter Egg hunt events in Greenwich this year (there’s one in Canary Wharf – see below), but there are Easter egg hunt events dotted about London. The Big Easter Egg Hunt in Chislehurst is our closest one on Saturday 3rd April, 2-4pm. More details and booking on Eventbrite. There’s also an Easter Adventure Quest for kids at Eltham Palace on now until April 18th but there’s a fee. Check out the website for more details.

Spring is here to bring us more sun, warmer days and outdoor events…


Greenwich Market re-opens April 1st 2021

FINALLY, the markets will be re-opening in just a couple days! Food stalls are scheduled to reopen April 1 however arts & crafts, vintage stalls and retail shops will reopen April 12 inline with government guidelines. The management team will be working hard to make sure the market is covid-safe but remember to also do your part by wearing your mask and social distancing whenever possible.

The Wandering Mother Blog | What's on in Greenwich
Hundreds and Thousands by Liz West at The Tide / Photo credit: NOW Gallery
The Wandering Mother Blog | What's on in Greenwich

Crosstown Doughnuts have just launched their delicious Easter spiced doughnuts filled with cinnamon custard filling. YUMMY! These limited edition selection boxes are perfect for gifting. Pre-order now as they’re only available from March 29 to April 5.

What’s On: Greenwich

Free events to visit this Easter break

Hundreds & Thousands by Liz West

Greenwich Peninsula has commissioned artist Liz West to create a new installation; Hundreds and Thousands for The Tide in 2021. The artwork wraps 700m of the walkway’s glass balustrades, creating a ribbon of undulating colour. Just in time as we transition from spring to summer.

To celebrate Hundreds and Thousands, will be a series of collaborative artistic responses exploring the human colour experience.

The Wandering Mother Blog | What's on in Greenwich Easter 2021
Nicholas Daley’s Return to SLYGO exhibition / Photo credit: NOW Gallery

Return to SLYGO

NOW Gallery will be welcoming one of the UK’s most pioneering young fashion designers, Nicholas Daley, to debut at the gallery. The fully immersive exhibition titled, RETURN TO SLYGO will celebrate the coming together of Nicholas’s multicultural Jamaican-Scottish roots with his passion for music in a multi-sensory installation.

Events nearby: Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf has a line of treats set up for us this Easter.

Their ongoing commission ‘Captivated by Colour’ by artist Camille Walala on the Adams Plaza Bridge is still on show. Following the success of London Mural Festival, Camille’s playful yet impactful design has now become a part of the city’s permanent art collection. If you’re visiting, make sure you get a shot before you leave, it’s a great backdrop for any selfie! There’s lots of artwork all around the estate, you can download their art map to find them all.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel

Secret Sunrise X Canary Wharf:
Happy Egg-stravaganza

Saturday 3rd April, 9-10am

This family-friendly session will have you dancing and twirling this Easter weekend. Embark on an interactive adventure set out by the Canary Wharf team. All you need to join is a laptop or smart phone, some comfy clothes, and your dancing shoes on. The funkier the outfit the better!

Mini Golf, Columbus Courtyard

From April 15th 2021
Thursday – Sunday at 12pm-6pm

It’s back! Test your putting skills on the colourful mini-golf course. With 9 holes to play through, including the classic ‘loop-de-loop’, the ‘death drop’, and many more trick shot opportunities this is the perfect place to show off your mini golf skills to friends and family.

The Wandering Mother Blog | What's on in Greenwich

Not ready to explore outdoors just yet?

No worries! There’s still a lot of online events and activities available for you from the comfort of your own home.

Family Wellness Nature Tour
by Natural History Museum

How To Grow A Cress Caterpillar
by Natural History Museum

30 Virtual Easter Game Ideas
by Parade.com

Kids Cook-along: Easter Chick Biscuits (April 1)
by Waitrose & Partners Cookery School

Kids Cook-along: Salmon Fishcakes (April 2)
by Waitrose & Partners Cookery School

The Wandering Mother Blog
The Wandering Mother Blog | Chinese New Year Craft Activities

How to celebrate Chinese New Year in lockdown + lantern craft activity

Chinese New Year & Lunar New Year
(Friday 12th February 2021)

Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year, Spring Festival or Tết (Vietnamese). It is greatly celebrated worldwide by those of Chinese and Asian heritage. It’s like the equivalent to celebrating January 1st but following the lunar (moon) calendar… yes, that’s a real thing! Traditionally, the festivities go on for 16 days from new year’s eve up until the start of the lantern festival. For 2021, this would be from Feb 11-26.

Tết is a very joyous time of year and usually Asian families really go to town with the decorations. My dad tells me that in Vietnam tet festivities actually lasts between 2 weeks and we have many traditional customs that are carried out during the days and the eve of the lunar new year. This includes our ancestral venerations (prayers for dead loved ones) – kind of like Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead), and the burning of paper money, clothes, bags, shoes and hats for the ancestors, family banquets are prepared with special food, traditionally eaten only at the new year. And the handing of the infamous red envelope that every child looks forward to most of all… because it’s real money inside those red pouches handed from parents and older relatives to the younger ones.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Lunar New Year - Vietnamese Tet
Ancestral Veneration / Photo by Pop Zebra via Unsplash

On Chinese New Year’s eve, this is when the spring cleaning starts. It’s forbidden to clean or sweep your house as well as showering, cutting with scissors, and swearing on Chinese New Year because it’s said to be bad luck! Some of these ‘rules’ are not followed as strictly in today’s society but don’t be surprised if our older relatives still believe this.

Chinese New Year in London

Unfortunately for 2021, Chinese New Year in London is cancelled. They are not going to be hosting any live events in accordance to government guidelines but not all is lost because there will be the organisers, London Chinatown Chinese Association (a non-profit organisation run by volunteers) will be putting on a show online via Youtube to uphold the festivities. Feel free to tune in on February 14th to watch past and new performances.

“To celebrate the Year of the Golden Ox, which has traditionally taken place over the middle weekend of the two-week celebrations. On Sunday the 14th of February, the LCCA will present an online review of Chinese New Year and its past, alongside new Chinese artists for us all to enjoy.”

LCCA, 2020
The Greenwich Mummy | Events: Chinese New Year
London Chinatown Parade & Celebrations / Photo: Google

How to celebrate Chinese New Year in lockdown

Chinese New Year is easy to celebrate at home as a lot of the traditions involve being around family. Obviously with the pandemic, it means you can only celebrate it with your immediate household however here are ways you can still enjoy the festivities, whether you are Chinese or not. As it’ll be half-term you could teach the kids briefly about the festivities; why it’s celebrated, what it’s about and how you can celebrate it at home.

Wear RED

In previous years, it’s been hit and miss for me to wear red on the day but I try my best and this year I will definitely make the effort. Ideally, it’s traditionally supposed be your ‘Sunday’s best’ kind of clothes but nowadays anything clean and decent will do (so nothing old, torn or stained). We are currently living 99% of our lives in PJs and loungewear so my outfit will probably be a pretty top and leggings.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel
Mother and daughter in red traditional wear / Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Watch the festivities online

As I mentioned above, the London Chinatown Chinese Association will be screening performances online via Youtube so check that out. If you’re joining from across the pond, there’s so many online events hosted from the US such as the 2021 Virtual Lunar New Year Festival by the Chinese Community Center which is a free event but make sure you’ve registered for it on Eventbrite.

Here are some dates to add to your diary, all events below are free:

10


Get Drawing: Chinese Dragons Workshop

Join artist Pui Lee in this mindful art session where children and adults are guided through this dragon drawing activity. Materials needed are listed in the link below. No drawing experience needed.

13


Chinese New Year Celebration

Cardiff Hubs and Libraries are hosting a day full of activities and fun from learning how to speak basic Chinese in their taster session, to learning traditional Chinese painting in the afternoon.

16


Chinese New Year music and song

In this 60 minute Zoom session Wigan and Leigh College Confucius Classroom will share with everyone traditional music and songs associated with Chinese New Year celebrations.

18


Chinese Zodiac
Animals Origami Workshop

Learn more about the 12 Chinese zodiac animals and their traits with Yuen Humble. Learn how to make 4 easy paper origami animals, following origami techniques – ox, snake, monkey and tiger. Suitable for children.

Eat LUCKY foods

Asian culture is very superstitious, we have numbers we consider auspicious and food we consider good luck! Here are the 7 most common lucky foods to eat at Chinese new year:

  • spring rolls – wealth
  • dumplings – health
  • fish – prosperity
  • round fruits ie. oranges, tangerines, pomelos – fullness and wealth
  • noodles – longevity
  • sweet rice balls – family togetherness
  • glutinous rice cakes – higher income/position

Vietnamese banh chung (bánh chưng)

In Vietnamese culture, we don’t have ‘good luck’ foods but we do have certain dishes we make for tet. As the lunar new year symbolises the start of spring, we usually feast on steamed fish (seabass), spring rolls, candied dried fruits, round fruits ie. pomelos, oranges, tangerines, and boiled chicken with a lemon salt and chilli dip. Our main speciality has to be bánh chưng, also known as autumnal cake. Although it’s not a cake per se; it’s a savoury, square parcel made of glutinous rice with the inside filled with pork, fat and yellow mung beans. It’s wrapped in banana leaves which colours the outside rice green and gives it a distinctive flavour. I love them, they’re usually made by families to give to each other as gifts. You’ll only find these made and eaten at new year, it’s a special cake. 🙂

The Wandering Mother Blog | How to celebrate Lunar New Year
Vietnamese Banh Chung / Photo by VietnamDiscovery.com

Hand out red envelopes

This is THE BEST bit! Well, for the children anyway… these little red envelopes contain money for children, usually for the children of relatives and friends but nowadays you can gift to anyone you like. Traditionally it’s seen as bad luck to gift coins unless it’s the special Chinese round coins, notes are preferred. Try not to give crimpled or ripped notes – lucky for us, our notes are made of plastic so they won’t rip or crimple so easily.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Chinese New Year Craft Activities
Good luck money envelopes / Photo by Yuwei Shaw Oh via Unsplash

The amount you put in is up to you but usually for young children between £5-10 is enough and older children aged 10-16 then £10-20 is a decent amount. Children older than this can receive £20+ but it’s up to you as the whole point of giving the red envelopes is for young children and to wish them a wealthy future. By 16 years, you’re legal to work so some families may not see it as necessary to gift their children once they’re at this age.

If you’re not able to get any lucky red envelopes, you could alternatively place the money inside plain red card envelopes. They don’t need to be any larger than a card size (roughly A5 – A6).

Craft Activity: Chinese paper lanterns

Making Chinese lanterns can be a fun and easy craft activity for the kids to do. If the simple ones are too easy for your kids, there’s more challenging ones that you can try out. I’ve linked up a few Youtube videos of my favourite paper lantern crafts. I think that watching how to make them is easier than reading but I’ve added a couple links if you to read.

We’ll be making some so I’ll upload these photos once we’ve given them a go – we’ll be sticking to the easy-medium ones! 🙂 PS. if you do have a load of red envelopes spare at home, you can try making this amazing hanging red envelope lantern.

Difficulty: 1/5

How to make a Chinese paper lantern
by Kidspot

Difficulty: 2/5

Paper lantern for Chinese new year activity
by Mrs. Sara Tiemogo

Difficulty: 3/5

How to make Chinese lanterns – easy DIY
by Craft Factory

Difficulty: 5/5

How to make 24-unit
Ornamental Ball
by ireneblchua

If you’re not keen on crafts, you could always purchase a crafts box or some paper lanterns that you can decorate instead.

The Wandering Mother Blog

Inspirational Actors You Won’t Believe That Are Over 65

These inspirational actors are not only young at heart, they still look it too. It’s quite hard to tell how old they really are. But when you take a closer look at the number of years they’ve been gracing our screens, you can get an inkling of their age.

Age UK Mobility recently released an infographic on inspirational actors you won’t believe are over 65 and I was lucky enough to get involved. Here’s what I had to say:

“I didn’t realise some big-name actors like Dame Helen Mirren, Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis were over 65! They all still look fabulously amazing for their age! I loved Helen in Collateral Beauty. The film has an amazing cast and the story was brilliantly told and unravelled.”

Manny, The Wandering Mother

If you’ve never watched Collateral Beauty, I highly recommend it! It stars Will Smith (who plays Howard) who is going through difficult time in his life and at work. It’s a story that will tug on the heartstrings – it left me in tears but not of sadness, instead tears of emotional relief. The story is brilliantly told and I loved the unravelling twist at the end.

Infographic: Actors Over 65

Inspirational actors you won't believe are over 65
Credit Source: Age UK Mobility

Infograph credit: Age UK Mobility


More on Age UK Mobility and the infographic here: https://www.ageukmobility.co.uk/mobility-news/article/inspirational-actors-you-wont-believe-are-over-65Age UK Mobility

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Christmas in London

Natasha Kaplinsky to host star-studded virtual event to benefit Barnardo’s

Broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky will host an evening of festive song and spoken word to raise money for Barnardo’s as part of the charity’s Christmas campaign, known as ‘Kidsmas’.

The Kidsmas Live event will be broadcast from St. John’s Smith Square on December 1 and will feature virtual performances from several of the charity’s children’s choir supporters from across the UK. There will also be very special performances by soon-to-be announced musical guests and spoken word artists.

The leading children’s charity has teamed up with Vodafone to stage the virtual Christmas event to help bring some magic to a festive season which will be unusual for many around the country. Broadcast via YouTube Live, Kidsmas Live will give viewers the chance to hear beloved festive classics as well as newer pieces that speak to the times we live in.

This is the second year of the charity’s Kidsmas campaign, and the first time Kidsmas Live is taking place.

To register for free, all people need to do is go to this link https://kidsmas-live.eventbrite.co.ukhttps://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kidsmas-live-registration-126210251259

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

“The vulnerable children Barnardo’s supports need us now more than ever. As we enter a challenging winter season, many more families are falling into poverty and the pandemic is wreaking havoc on children’s mental health and increasing their risk of harm at home, online, and in the community. All this means too many children and young people will be deprived of the chance to enjoy the festive season.”

“All this means too many children and young people will be deprived of the chance to enjoy the festive season.”

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive

“This is why I’m particularly grateful to our fantastic President Natasha Kaplinsky for hosting Kidsmas Live and to Vodafone for its support. With their help, and yours, we can help raise vital funds supporting vulnerable children through this crisis and beyond.”


This is a press release from Barnardo’s • more details can be found on their website http://www.barnardos.org.uk