The first people who come to mind as online schooling draws to a close and a vast expanse of yet more empty days appear. In an ideal world Mary Poppins will sail into your garden and give each kid a kite, but that ain’t happening, as we are trapped in a Sci Fi film not a Disney movie. So it’s over to you and a possible visit to Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourn, where safety provisions in the 32 acres inspires confidence, notably for the animals. There is protective screening at indoor ‘contact’ points, social distancing and hand-washing signage and masks available to buy with everyone advised to wear one. Most importantly you need to book tickets for a visit in advance at www.pwpark.com.
The same rules apply at London and Whipsnade Zoos with ticket buying in advance, so that visits can be timed. The experiences including ‘Be a Zoo keeper for a day’ and sleepover at the lookout lodge are temporarily on hold until restrictions ease (www.zsl.org).
With so many summer camps and tours cancelled, it is heartening to see United synagogue’s Tribe rallying their leaders to organise weekly ‘Staycations’ at venues in Finchley and Bushey starting from 27 July. Children aged 8-11 will be able to take part in sports, games, arts and crafts and outdoor activities in socially- distanced ‘bubbles’ of 15 children, though numbers could change with government updates. The cost is £140 for four days and you need to supply lunch. Just for your own children ,as Jewish mothers love to feed 5,000. Places are going fast understandably, so hurry to www.portal.tribeuk.com
Should the urge to stay by the computer overwhelm your children, make it productive, challenging and inventive by signing them up for a Fire Tech camp online.
The rave course reviews for ages 9 to 17 are from parents who have tried them all, and endorse the teaching expertise and support given in real time. Students who want to learn about technology and build their own video games get to brush up on Python coding skills, perfect their digital photography, and ultimately dive deep into the world of artificial intelligence catered for at Firetech.
And don’t worry about their well-being as games are scheduled into the day with fresh air breaks. Fire Tech are well aware of the dangers of too much screentime and don’t let their students sit for long periods, plus there are part-time, two-hour courses for kids who have other plans.
Fire Tech’s online summer courses are now available and for a short time only, the code FIRE20 gets you a 20 percent discount.
Camp Beaumont is also running in Mill Hill, but observing social distancing requirements and operating group bubbles of up to 15 children (www.campbeaumont.co.uk).
If your child harbours stage desires then they will enjoy watching West End stars from your cars. The producers of West End Musical Brunch are staging a socially distanced musical theatre party drive-in at Brent Cross on August 1(www.westendmusicaldrivein.seetickets.com) with Kerry Ellis who was Elphaba in Wicked and Jon Robyns, who played Hamilton’s King George and is currently Jean Valjean in Les Mis.
From now until 21 September you can also leave Bushey for @TheDriveIn which is offering sing-along films, Car Bingo, Silent Car Disco and family games with waiters on wheels delivering snacks and drinks straight to your car in Blackheath and east London.Last, but by no means least as a quick google will reveal, there’s Brent Cross beach which may not be Malibu, but there is sand, a pool and rides. Book online in advance and for £3 per person the kids will see you as Mary Poppins, the practically perfect nanny.