July 23 – July 28: Dance your way to August!

This year's Yoruba Arts Festival celebrates the culture, food and music of south-west Nigeria.

This year’s Yoruba Arts Festival celebrates the culture, food and music of south-west Nigeria.

From tea dancing to celebrating Nigerian heritage, there’s plenty to keep families busy as the school holidays begin.

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Yoruba Arts Festival (Free)

Saturday July 27 July – Sunday July 28, 11am – 9pm

Clissold Park, Hackney, N16

The Yoruba Arts Festival is becoming a regular feature on the Hackney summer calendar. Now in its fourth year, the colourful African festival which celebrates the culture, food and music of south-west Nigeria and the diaspora is going from strength to strength with more artists and activities. The two-day event will feature cultural performances, workshops, traditional cuisine and music from DJ’s and live Bands from around the world.

Sound: Check Live at St Johns (£15)

Friday July 26, 7.30pm

St John at Hackney Church, Lower Clapton Road, E5 0PD

The church of St-John-at-Hackney will be alive with heavenly music of a different kind this Friday as it hosts Sound:Check, a night of acoustic music from a unique blend of artists.  Only accompanied by a church organ, a baby grand piano, a string section, and an all female choir each artist will have to adapt their musical style to best fit the instruments. The event will feature performances from Jono McCleery and Fiona Bevan, The Night VI, Gideon Conn,
Bridgette Amofah, Stac and The One Taste Choir. Be prepared for an evening of beautiful music in a beautiful setting, and all proceeds from the event go to ChildHope a children’s charity working in developing countries to prevent child abuse and exploitation.

For more info visit: http://bit.ly/pojxlp.

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Open East (Day tickets £9.50 [adults] £6 [5-16 years] under 5s go free)

Saturday July 27 – Sunday July 28

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20

Marking the first anniversary of the London Olympic Games, this weekend of music, theatre, food and fun for all the family is probably one of London’s cheapest festivals. With a great line up including world music artists such as Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, and performers from the amazing Olympic opening ceremony exactly a year ago, it looks set to be a great way to remember last summer’s festivities.

Tea Dance with a Cockney Twist (Free)

Wednesday July 24, 1pm – 5pm

93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, E1 6QL

If you fancy a right old Cockney knees-up, put on your ‘ones and twos’ and head down to 93 Feet East for a tea dance.  As part of the Cockney Heritage Festival, the tea dance is aimed at older adults and you can bring photos and memorabilia to share your memories with others. The event is free but booking is recommended.

To book your free place visit: cockneyheritagefestival.eventbrite.co.uk.

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The Groundnut Pop-up restaurant (£30 for banquet-style dinner)

Thursday July 25 – Saturday 27 July

Lewisham Arthouse, 140 Lewisham Way, SE14 6PD

The Groundnut is a three-day pop up restaurant dishing up tasty fare inspired by the founder’s African and British backgrounds. For three days only, diners will be treated to a modern and creative menu including twists on African classics such as moin moin served with a beetroot pickled egg, and okra muffins with dandelion and burdock.

The Big Red Bus Tea Dance for Little People (£6 per child/£4 siblings/FREE for under 2 siblings)

Saturday July 25 – Saturday July 26, 10.00am, 11.15am, 2.00pm and 3.30pm

Big Red Pizza Bus, 30 Deptford Church Street, SE8 4RZ

The Big Red Pizza Bus is one of Deptford’s hidden gems, an old-fashioned Route Master that has been lovingly restored to serve food and drinks and host events. This weekend, kids can get aboard the bus and take an imaginary tour around London, exploring the city through songs, music and map reading with the singing conductor. Ideal for children aged 0-8.

To Book a place call Big Red on 0203 4908346, or visit www.tdlp.co.uk

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Theatre Workshop Coulsdon production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It (adults £9, children/concessions £6)

Wednesday July 31 – Saturday August 3, 8pm

Coulsdon Manor Hotel, Coulsdon Court Road, Coulsdon, CR5 2LL

Enjoy theatre as Shakespeare himself would have – in the open air. The Theatre Workshop Coulsdon are putting on just eight performances of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It, set aptly in the forests, it’s a tale of love, jealousy and the power of nature. The production is seated outside but bring a foldable chair or comfy rug and cushions to sit on, and food and drink purchased outside of the premises will not be permitted.

For tickets call 07709 266 728

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