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WELCOME TO MUM'S GUIDE TO HARPENDEN!

From bumps to teens, we have it covered!  This is your one-stop site for everything you need to know about living in Harpenden with children. We're number one for information about what's on, things to do and children's activities locally! 

Scroll down to find out what's happening this week and to read our pick of what's on this month.

Lavender & Stone
Feature

It’s a thumbs down to persistent thumb sucking

Thumb sucking is a perfectly natural way for children to seek comfort and send themselves off to sleep. There’s really no need to worry if your child is under five and still sucking their thumb. In fact, most children will stop doing so between 2-4 years of age and especially when they start school. However, if they are still thumb sucking when their permanent teeth come through, it can affect the alignment of the teeth, the roof of the mouth and the position of the jawbone.

If you are concerned that your child’s thumb sucking is continuing longer than it should be, here are some tips to help break the habit:

  • Try not to scold your child - this may cause them stress and lead to increased thumb sucking. Alternatively, praise your child when they choose to abstain.
  • Try to identify and eliminate any sources of anxiety that may be causing them to self-soothe in this way.
  • Explain how thumb sucking can have negative effects on their teeth.
  • When your little one starts to suck their thumb, distract them with a tempting toy or cheerful song.

Harpenden Smiles Dental Studio know all about caring for children’s teeth, so if you’re concerned about your youngster’s thumb sucking or any other aspect of their dental health, call 01582 763420.

Harpenden Smiles
Monthly Picks

With Christmas fast-approaching December's monthly picks is dedicated to panto, theatre and music, and we're not short of choice!

Top of the bill is our very own Cinderella in Harpenden Public Halls 10th - 22nd December 2016.  Starring X Factor star Honey Fine, Steve Leeds from Nick Jr's Go! Go! Go!, Hi-5’s Luke Roberts and comedian and impressionist Jess Robinson, you're sure to have a ball!

This year The Alban Arena presents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 8th December to 8th January starring Rita Simons from Eastenders.

Further afield you could enjoy ...

Aladdin at The Grove Theatre, Dunstable, 8th December - 2nd January starring everyone's favourite bad-guy, Coronation Street's Brian Capron.  Dick Whittington at the Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn, 17th December - 4th January. Peter Pan at Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, 25th November - 22nd January with Emmerdale's Tom Lister and Britan's Got Talent's dance sensation Twist & Pulse. Jack & The Beanstalk at The Radlett Centre, 10th December - 3rd January. Beauty & The Beast at the Watford Palace Theatre 2nd - 31st December.

And that's not all.  If panto isn't your thing you can still enjoy lots of Christmas cheer with some feel-good festive theatre productions. The classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker is being performed at The Alban Arena by Vienna Festival Ballet on 26th November. Also on 26th November, Santa's Little Helper at the Sandpit Theatre offers the opportunity to meet Santa!  (Talking of which, have a look at our Where to See Santa article if you are wondering where else you little ones can meet him this year!) And there's also a chance to the man himself at Santa and the Pirates that don't want Christmas at UHArts on 18th December.

St Albans Chamber Opera present Engelbert Humperdink’s charming and delightful opera Hansel and Gretel at the Malting Arts Theatre 8th - 10th December.

Santa and the Night Before Christmas at Watford Colosseum, 1st - 24th December, promises an interactive experience complete with snow falling on the audience! Whilst Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, a festive story packed full of adventure, snow and dragons will be at Trestle Arts Base 9-10th December.

Billed as a "modern day fairy-tale" Lily and the Little Snow Bear will be on at The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead 22nd - 24th December.  Or you can get into the excitement of The Night Before Christmas at Luton Library Theatre 12th - 24th December.

Although it's not specifically a Christmas play, it's also worth mentioning that Wind in the Willows is on at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans 16th - 22nd December & 27th - 30th December.

The ever-popular Teddy Bear Concert with the Kings Chamber Orchestra returns to Highfield Oval on 3rd December.  Take your Teddy along for some classical music, carol-singing and fun! Under 5s are also invited to bring teddies along to the Mini Musicians Christmas Concert on 12th December where professional musicians will perform Christmas music and there will be a special surprise too! And on 11th December at Aldwickbury School, Harpenden Concert present their annual Family Christmas Concert. This is a free concert and any children learning a wind instrument can bring it along and join in with one of the pieces!

And if all that wasn't enough to get you into the mood, there are a whole host of other christmas events and activities running throughout December and all listed on our events page. We'll also be adding details of the local church carol, nativity, crib and christingle services there as they become available. Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Rebecca Jade Health & Beauty
Harpenden at Christmas

20% off all full price items at Fullwoods Ladieswear with the coupon from the Harpenden High Street at Christmas leaflet (available from particpating retailers)

New fashion items, great gift ideas, wish list in store at 10 Leyton Road, Harpenden AL5 2TL.

Offer valid 21 November - 19 December 2016

What's On This Week

17th November - 9th January
Skate Van Hage Read more...

23rd November - 24th December
Willows Farm Santa Spectacular Read more...

24th November - 18th December *FREE*
Meraki Mini Christmas Festival Read more...

25th November - 22nd January
Peter Pan Read more...

1st December - 24th December
Santa Claus and the Night before Christmas Read more...

2nd December - 31st December
Beauty & The Beast Read more...

2nd December *FREE*
Southdown Christmas Lights Switch-on Read more...

2nd December - 4th December
A Victorian Christmas Read more...

3rd December
Teddy Bear Concert Read more...

3rd December
St Dominic School Christmas Fair Read more...

3rd December
Cracking Christmas Crafts Read more...

3rd December - 4th December
Festive Day out with Thomas Read more...

3rd December
Glaze Time Christmas Pottery Painting Read more...

3rd December *FREE*
Storytime with the Panto Stars Read more...

3rd December
Flamstead Pre-School Christmas Fair Read more...

3rd December
A Merry Crabtree Christmas Fayre Read more...

3rd December
Little Red Riding Hood Read more...

3rd December
Classical Evening Concert Read more...

3rd December
NCT Christmas Party Read more...

3rd December
St George's School Christmas Fair Read more...

3rd December - 4th December
The Santa Special Read more...

3rd December
Christmas Owl Encounter Read more...

3rd December - 4th December
Children's Christmas Trail Read more...

3rd December
Gladys & Tallulah Christmas Craft Party Read more...

3rd December - 4th December
Traditional Chilterns Christmas Read more...

4th December *FREE*
Family Carol Service & Carols by Candlelight Read more...

4th December *FREE*
Batford Christmas Lights Switch-on Read more...

4th December
Goldilocks and the Three Bears Plus Read more...

4th December
Sunday Lunch with Santa Read more...

4th December *FREE*
50 Things Walk Read more...

4th December
Christingle celebrations at St Nicholas Church Read more...

4th December *FREE*
Christmas Tree Dressing Day Read more...

4th December *FREE*
St Albans Cathedral Christingle Service Read more...

6th December - 11th December
Top Hat Stage School: Dick Whittington & The Pied Piper Read more...

7th December
The Santa Special Read more...

8th December - 8th January
Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Read more...

8th December - 10th December
Hansel & Gretal - St Albans Chamber Opera Read more...

8th December - 2nd January
Aladdin Read more...

8th December
Reindeer Print Cards Read more...

See all events >>

News & Notices

Parking: Good News for Christmas Shoppers

Extra car parking has been arranged for Harpenden during Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas.

Shoppers and visitors will be able to use a temporary car park at Rothamsted Research in West Common on the edge of the town centre. It has around 300 spaces.

It will be open from 9am to 6pm on every one of the five Saturdays from November 26 to December 24 to help cope with the Christmas rush. There will be a flat charge of £4 no matter the length of stay.... Read more


Harpenden Secondary Free School Timeline Published

16th November 2016: Harpenden Secondary Free School have published an updated timetable for delivery of the school with the following key dates:

Winter 2016/2017: Contract put out to tender and contractor chosen
Spring 2017: Designs and plans developed. Plans will go to Public Consultation.
Autumn 2017: Planning application submitted
Spring 2017: Construction begins

You can see the timetable on the school website.  


Dear Santa...

It's time to get those letters off to Santa. Royal Mail will send a reply from Santa (not personalised) for the price of a 1st class stamp.

Send your letters to:
Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa's Grotto,
Reindeerland,
XM4 5HQ

Include your child's name and address on the back of the envelope and get your letters in by 9th December.  Full details are on the Royal Mail website.


Primary School Admissions 2017/18

The Primary School Applications process is now open for children who are due to start Reception in 2017 and also for those who need to apply to transfer from Infant School to Junior School .

The deadline for applications is 15th January 2017.

Our website has details of the School Open Days that have been published. For schools with no published dates contact the school office to arrange a visit.

All the information you need about the process itself can be found on the Herts County Website.


BLOG

Magical Festive fun at Willows Farm

Elf school, real-life reindeer, create-a-cuddly husky dog (and meet a real one), a 3D sleigh ride film and, of course, meeting the big man himself – Father Christmas - and getting the key to his toy shop to choose your own present… These are just some of the fantastic attractions on offer at Willows Farm this Christmas!... Read more