Events are listed by city, then type. Submit listings at least 14 days before publication to firstname.lastname@example.org. Listings are compiled by Laura Ennor.
GLASGOW Activities & Fun FREE Toy Stories Until Mon 2 May (not Mon). Tue–Thu & Sat 10am–5pm; Fri & Sun 11am–5pm. Scotland Street School Museum, 225 Scotland Street, 287 0500. Indulge in a little childhood nostalgia, or just see how children used to play, at this exhibition of toys and games of past and present. FREE Saturday Art Club Special Sat 8 Jan, 10.30am–12.30pm. Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, 287 3050. A special edition of the weekly art club, giving 3–11 year-olds and their parents the chance to make their own sculpture. FREE Saturdays at the Palace Sat 8 Jan, 2pm. People’s Palace & Winter Gardens, Glasgow Green, 276 0788. Fun activities for families inspired by the displays in the museum. NYCOS Mini Music Makers Tuesdays, 11 Jan–8 Feb, 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am & 12.30pm. £4 per session; five weeks £20. City Halls, Candleriggs, 287 2943. Fun sessions run by the National Youth Choir of Scotland and comprising songs, games and simple rhymes to help youngsters develop a love of music. Ages 0–2 at 9.30am, 2–3 at 10.30am and 3–4 at 11.30am and 12.30pm. Email email@example.com or call to book your place. FREE St Mungo’s Birthday Party Thu 13 Jan, noon–4pm. St Mungo Museum, 2 Castle Street, 553 2557. Everybody deserves a party to celebrate their special day, and the patron saint of Glasgow is no exception. Head down to the museum named after him and enjoy cake and family fun in his honour. Kids @ Citz 15 Jan–20 Mar. Saturdays 10.30–11.30am & 2–3pm; Sundays 12–1pm & 3–4pm. £44 per term. Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, 429 0022. Weekly drama classes for ages 4–5. FREE RSPB Weekend Sat 15 & Sun 16 Jan, 11am–1pm & 2–4.30pm. Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Argyle Street, 276 9599. Family friendly activities with experts from the RSPB. See the results of the annual schools’ Bird Feeder Competition, and learn about attracting birds to your garden through some fun family activities. Kids @ Citz 15 Jan–20 Mar. Saturdays 11.45am–12.45pm, 3.15–4.15pm & 3.45–5pm; Sundays 1.30–2.30pm, 2–3.15pm & 4.30–5.30pm. £44 per term. Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, 429 0022. Weekly drama classes for ages 6–8. Kids Percussion Workshop Sat 15 & Sun 16 Jan, noon. £4. Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street, 353 8000. A workshop for 8–12-year-olds introducing them to simple rhythms on various samba percussion instruments. Accompanying adults go free. Part of Celtic Connections. Family Percussion Workshop Sat 15 Jan, 1.30pm. £7 (under 16s £4; family ticket £15). Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street, 353 8000. Workshop aimed at adults and older children exploring samba drumming techniques. Part of Celtic Connections. Music For Early Ears Sat 15 Jan, 1.30pm & 2.30pm. £12 for four weeks. City Halls, Candleriggs, 353 8000. Creative music class for young children and their parents/carers aiming to encourage learning through creative play. Ages 5–6 years at 1.30pm; 3–4 years at 2.30pm. FREE Burrell for Families Sat 15 Jan, 2–4pm. Burrell Collection, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, 287 2550. Learn all about the intricacies of weaving in this practical workshop. Suitable for families with children aged 5–12. Booking essential.
58 THE LIST 6–20 Jan 2011
Kids @ Citz 15 Jan–20 Mar. Saturdays 2–3.30pm. £44 per term. Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, 429 0022. Weekly drama classes for ages 9–12. Teenagers @ Citz 15 Jan–20 Mar. Saturdays 3.45–5.15pm; Sundays 4–5.30pm. £44 per term. Citizens’ Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, 429 0022. Weekly drama classes for ages 13–15. Little Explorer Days: Splish Splosh Sun 16 Jan, 10am–2pm. £6.25 (one free adult per child). Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay, 420 5000. Benny the puppet visits the Science Centre to take little ones aged 2–5 through some fun experiments with water. Kids @ Citz 15 Jan–20 Mar. Sundays 12–1.30pm & 2–3.30pm. £44 per term. Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, 429 0022. Weekly drama classes for ages 9–10. Kids @ Citz 15 Jan–20 Mar. Sundays 12–1.30pm & 4–5.30pm. £44 per term. Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, 429 0022. Weekly drama classes for ages 11–12. Skillshops 17 Jan–21 Mar. Mondays 6.30–8.30pm. £60 (£50). Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, 552 4267. Course of ten weekly sessions exploring drama, voice and movement for 13–17 year-olds.
Film FREE Secret Film Programme Sun 9 Jan, 2pm. Burrell Collection, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, 287 2550. A surprise film for families at the Burrell. Children must be accompanied. Theatre & Storytelling Wonderland Thu 13 Jan–Sat 15 Jan, 10.30am & 1.30pm. £4. Eastwood Park Theatre, Eastwood Park, Rouken Glen Road, Giffnock, 577 4970. Max the mouse learns to skate with the help of various festive friends. Ages 3–6. Thomas and Friends Fri 14 Jan,
4.30pm & 6.30pm; Sat 15 Jan, 11am & 2pm & 5pm. £15.25–£17.50 (children £13.25–£15.25). King’s Theatre, 297 Bath Street, 0844 871 7648. The Really Useful Engine proves his worth when the Big Top comes to town. See preview.
EDINBURGH Activities & Fun Hopetoun’s New Year Hike Sat 8 Jan, 10am–1pm. £3.70 (children £2.20). Hopetoun House, Shore Road South Queensferry, www.hopetoun.co.uk. Start 2011 as you mean to go on with a brisk walk around the grounds of Hopetoun House, offering great views of the Forth Bridges. Bring a snack. Families and dogs on leads welcome. FREE Winter Into Spring Sun 9 Jan, 12.30–3.30pm. John Hope Gateway Centre, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, 552 7171. Join members of the Botanic Garden staff to see if you can spot the first signs of spring. Ages 5+. FREE Portrait Detectives! Sun 9 Jan, 2–4pm. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, 624 6200. Do the National Galleries a favour by solving some age- old mysteries from Scottish history, the answers to which are contained within some of the fascinating portraits on display as part of the Portrait of a Nation exhibition. Strange Town Tue 11 Jan & 18 Jan, 6–8pm. £78. Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 30–36 Dalmeny Street, Leith, 555 7100. Theatre class for ages 14–18. Strange Town Wed 12 Jan & 19 Jan, 5–7pm. Fri 14 Jan, 3.30–5.30pm. £78. Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 30–36 Dalmeny Street, Leith, 555 7100. Theatre courses for ages 11–14. Strange Town Fri 14 Jan, 2–3.30pm. £59 for 13 weeks. Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 30–36 Dalmeny Street, Leith, 555
7100. Theatre class for ages 8–10. FREE The OneOak Project Sat 15 & Sun 16 Jan, 12.30–3.30pm. John Hope Gateway Centre, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, 552 7171. Staff from the Forestry Commission and the Sylva Foundation tell the life story of one oak tree from germination to death, in a show combining film, music and art. Ages 5+. FREE Bags of Art Sun 16 Jan, 2–4pm. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, 624 6200. Collect a bag of fun activities from the Art Station and help your family explore the collections and create amazing works of art. Ages 3–12. Music Ditto Thu 20 & Sat 22 Jan, 1pm; Fri 21 Jan 10am. £6. Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 228 1404. A new musical performance conceived by Greg Sinclair during a residency with children’s arts organisation Imaginate. Performed by a quartet of trombone, clarinet, vocals and percussion, the piece explores the spaces between thoughts, notes and emotions. Ages 8+.
Theatre & Storytelling FREE The Alba Puppet Show Sun 9 Jan, 12.45–1.05pm & 1.45–2.05pm & 2.45–3.05pm. National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, 225 7534. Learn the story of ‘The Black Douglas’, meet Hamish the Highlander and hear the tale of the last bear in Scotland. Story Space Thu 13 Jan, 11–11.50am. £6. Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High Street, 556 9579. Exciting storytelling for children aged 2–5. FREE Talking Trees Storytelling Sun 16 Jan, 2–3pm. John Hope Gateway Centre, Royal Botanic Garden, 20a Inverleith Row, 552 7171. Storytelling suitable for anyone with an imagination (ages 5+).
THOMAS & FRIENDS LIVE! King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 14 & Sat 15 Jan
When Wilbert Awdry wrote the first of his Railway Series books in 1945, he could scarcely have guessed the longevity of their appeal. Forty years later, ITV introduced Awdry’s characters to a whole new generation, with its animated TV show Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. The upshot of which is that today, the big-faced vehicles have millions of fans, young and old, worldwide. So if you’re going to dabble with this international treasure, you’d better not mess it up.
‘It’s a huge responsibility,’ says Jason Francis, director of a new stage version of Thomas currently being toured by Premier Productions. ‘We’ve been entrusted with the rights to what really is an iconic brand, and we’re recreating something that’s very close to a lot of children’s hearts, so we’ve got to get it right. This production took over a year to set up, and is our most ambitious show to date.’
Not least because Thomas and his pal Percy weigh in at a ton each, forcing Francis and his crew to reinforce the stage in some venues. ‘They’re full scale trains that the driver can jump in and literally drive around,’ he explains, ‘so they’re not restricted to fitting on tracks. They’ve got steam coming out of them, their eyes move, and they can react and speak – they really are fantastic.’
On this occasion, the Really Useful Engine runs into trouble when a circus comes to the Island of Sodor, and he forgets to pick up their trucks from the port. Needless to say, it all ends well, with a little help from his young fans. ‘The story revolves around Thomas trying to put things right, and find somewhere for the circus to perform,’ says Francis. ‘So the Fat Controller empowers the audience to help by shouting out and singing along. We want the children to feel part of Thomas’ team, and that they’re helping to solve the problem.’ (Kelly Apter)