10 ways to get a breath of fresh air this half term

1. Run along the South Bank and join in the free fun at the annual Imagine Children's Festival. Things you can do include: writing and performing your very own three minute story, painting a back drop for a real live show, listening to some stories from authors Frank Cotterel Boyce and Michael Rosen, making a din at the Big Bash with Colin Currie or playing poetry hopscotch. The Imagine Festival runs from 11 February - 24th February 2013.

2. Send a message in a bottle to the other side of the world from the beach at Mersea Island in the Blackwater Estuary, Essex.  Collect shells to make a delicate necklace, build a sandcastle and peer through your binoculars to identify swooping sea birds. Take the ferry across the water to Brightlingsea for some crispy fish and chips.  Or eat Oysters at one of the charming oyster shacks along the coast.

3. Discover the story of ice cream in London and follow the towpath of the Regent's Canal from the Canal Museum at King's Cross all the way to Camden Market. Make some lemon ice from the recipe on page 180 in London Adventure Walks when you get home.

4. Hire a pair of binoculars at Rainham Marshes visitor centre and see what birds have gathered over winter to feed and keep warm on this ancient marshland. Only a short skip and a jump from the noisy, hustle and bustle of central London, you can still see Canary Wharf on the horizon, but the air here is only punctuated by birdsong. 

 5. Book your place at The Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley and be awed by the exotic butterflies as they feed on plant nectar and engage in romantic flights of courtship.

6.  Get your hands mucky down at one of London's City Farms and get a taste of the country without even leaving town. Hackney City Farm, Mudchute Farm, Hounslow Urban Farm, Freightliners Farm, Crystal Palace Park Farm, Kentish Town City Farm, Stepney City Farm, Surrey Docks Farm, Vauxhall City FarmSpitalfields City Farm and Belmont Children's Farm

7. Go on a scavenger hunt in one of London's Royal parks. Look for: a pigeon's feather, a seed, a pine cone, nuts and berries (don't eat these!), a bird's footprint, a bird's nest, a bird's song, an animal track, a duck and a mushroom or toadstool. 

8. Play Pooh Sticks in the Enchanted Ashdown Forest in East Sussex,  just like Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Gather pine cones and build Eeyore's house, sing some Poohish style songs and eat some delicious honey sandwiches. 

9. Fly over the Thames and grab some great views from in London's newest attraction: the Emirates Cable Car which straddles the river between Greenwich and the Royal Docks. 

10. Take the train to Sydenham Hill and play follow the leader through one of London's wildest ancient woodlands,  Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Woods. Build a shelter, set a trail and lay an ambush. 

Detailed walks can be found in our books, Adventure Walks for Families in and around London and London Adventure Walks

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