EVENT Here Be Dragons
Wrap up warm and head out to celebrate Chinese New Year. There are celebrations across the country – see dragon dances, dodge firecrackers and try some delicious Chinese food somewhere near you as you welcome in the Year of the Pig. London’s biggest celebrations are in Chinatown and Trafalgar Square this Sunday. Watch the parade, then enjoy martial arts performances, flying lion dances and art workshops. If it’s cold, dodge into the National Gallery for dumpling making, fan crafting and Mandarin storytelling. Outside of the capital, Liverpool’s huge celebrations run across the weekend,with projections, parades and lumiere light, music and pyrotechnics shows. Alternatively, join a parade in Newcastle with drummers and firecrackers, see concerts and daring shaolin monks in Birmingham, meet a giant piglet and golden dragon in Manchester or make paper lanterns, try calligraphy and dress up in traditional Chinese costume for a family photo at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
DO New Room
A bedroom makeover cheers and inspires. With half-term on the horizon, why not plan one for your kids now? We’re always on the hunt for interesting bookshelves, and these ideas make beautiful use of recycled and repurposed materials. Sorting out your family’s toys and keeping them beautifully helps keep them fresh and used – there are some cunning ideas for storage here. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, why not repurpose or make your own beautiful bed – we’re jealous of the children who will get to sleep in these incredible creations, while these loft bed plans are a little more realistic and will save on space. Find more DIY-deas for your own room rejig here
EVENT Drop It
Even the recent snowfall hasn’t dampened the plucky snowdrops in our background. Why not go for a walk amongst drifts of these first signs of Spring? Find a garden full of them near you here, or discover more about them at Scotland’s snowdrop festival, held at venues across the country. Or create your own permanent displays indoors – will you go for tissue paper or origami versions?
MAKE Stitch That
Sewing cards teach the basics of the craft to children, are a lovely way to spend a few hours, and result in wall-worthy artwork! Laminate them if you want to reuse again. These animal cards are adorable – pattern the fox’s tail, the owl’s tummy or the hedgehog’s spines . Or try these jolly round ones for a hit of summer. Raindrop, cloud and sun designs are fun while Mr Printables’ animal cross-stitch designs are a step-up for older children and adults.
RECIPES Be Warm
Sandwiches and crisps are all very well, but a warm packed lunch is more welcoming at this cold time of year. Find a decent wide-mouthed insulated flask and send the kids in with a hot dinner. The easiest thing is to cook big dinners and send in leftovers the next day. We have gone savoury oat crazy this year – try this recipe for Steel Cut Oats with Mushroom and Thyme. Or slowly stew a pot of Warm Lentil Salad. A grain bowl can be served hot or cold – here are five ideas to inspire you. Alternatively, a spicy curry will keep tummies warm all day – try this Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew or our favourite kid-pleaser, Coconut Dal.