Activities & Classes

Classes, Clubs & School Holiday Camps

The website gets updated on an ongoing basis. However, please note there may be schedule changes taking place that we haven’t been notified of. Therefore, should you see something that is no longer correct, please don’t hesitate to contact us on hello@nw8-mums.com.

Your GP surgery usually has lots of information about things to do, classes etc so it might be worth asking them or your health visitor. You can also check Happity for classes close to you.

Playgroups

Please note that many playgroups and regular activities often run according to school term times. Some don’t run school holiday classes or workshops whereas others do both.

  • Little Locusts is a playgroup for pre-school children or crawling babies with their parent or carer, and they meet every Tuesday from 10.30-11.30 am in St John’s Wood Church located by the roundabout at the bottom of the High Street. People can drop in and out as suits, no need to be on time or stay the whole time. For more information, please call 020 7286 2089 or check the church website.
  • The playgroup Little Lions in St Mark’s Church Hamilton Terrace takes place every Tuesday 10am – 11.30am. Playing, chatting, singing and refreshments for 0-3s and their carers. No need to book; just turn up to this friendly group on Tuesdays during term-time. Please note that there may have been changes to timings since the church fire in 2023.
  • Another firm playgroup favourite with NW8-mums is the one at The Church of Our Lady at the corner of St John’s Wood Road and Lisson Grove. The sessions run during term time only on Tuesday, Wednesday for soft play, and Thursday for music between 9.30-11.30 am. There is a nominal fee per child. Nannies/childminders are welcome. There are often craft activities and always singing and stories on Thursdays and outdoor play in the summer.
  • St John’s Wood Baptist Church runs a toddler group on a Thursday morning between 9.15 – 10.50 am during term time. They have coffee, tea and pastries for the big people and snacks for the little ones. Most of the session is free play with a craft activity and ends with singing and a story from the Bible. There is a nominal cost per child. Should you have additional queries, please email pastor@sjwrbc.org or call 020 7289 5468.

Music

  • Wigmore Hall, situated in Marylebone, is best known as one of the world’s most famous chamber music venues. However, they also run concerts from babies and up, to workshops and events for families including their incredibly popular series called Chamber Tots. Most of their child/family events sell out very fast, so act quickly. Even though something is sold out, it can well be worth turning up on the day to check with their box office for returns.
  • North London Strings Club runs weekly music classes. Theyoffer fun-filled and motivating tuition, developing children’s musicianship alongside their confidence, focus and social skills. Choose from violin, guitar, ukulele or cello. They offer instrument hire leaving the stresses of buying an instrument behind. Their 10-week-courses coincide with school term-times and offer children the chance to learn an instrument in a fun and rewarding environment. Lessons incorporate their carefully crafted curriculum, ensuring children develop a real understanding of music theory and performance. The end-of-term concert lets the children show off what they have achieved.
  • Mini Mozart runs classes in various venues. These are all music classes featuring live instruments performed by professional musicians.
  • The lovely and energetic Anita runs Caterpillar Music in NW London. Karin’s son used to love going to her classes.
  • Hartbeeps multi-sensory classes in St Johns Wood for 0-2 years are popular with parents and babies in the group. Baby bells classes are for newborn to sitting babies and Baby Beeps classes are for sitting babies to toddlers.
  • Latino Bambino was one of Karin’s son’s favourite classes. They also offer a baby-wearing exercise/dance class for new mums.
  • Baby Brain Training was founded by an NW8-mum and incorporates music and activities aimed at stimulating the right side of the brain.

Venues – Indoor Classes

  • Primrose Hill Community Association runs a number of events for children and families. They are located on 29 Hopkinson’s Place, Fitzroy Road, London NW1 8TN.
  • Church Street Library runs classes for under 5s. Please check with them directly for their current schedule.
  • Maida Vale Library runs classes for under 5s. Please check with them directly for their current schedule.
  • St John’s Wood Library on Circus Road has a lot on weekly for children as well as half-term and school holiday activities. Pop in, email or call them to check their current schedule.
  • Swiss Cottage Library also has a number of things on for children and families. Please check with them directly for their current schedule.
  • Jaego’s House is a little bit further afield in Kensal Rise, but a popular venue.
  • A bit further north on Finchley Road and easily acessible by foot or bus, Curiouser Family is also a well-liked place for local familes.
jaego’s house

Ballet, Dance & Drama

  • Regal Ballet – This is a lovely, warm and friendly ballet school that gets children inspired to dance and create. It is a gentle class and Karin’s daughter loved it. She was with them and taught under the tutelage of their founder Therese herself from 2,5-4,5 years of age. Karin’s son also did ballet classes with Therese (until he disovered football…).
  • Bluebirds Ballet School runs classes from various locations in London. The nearest one to us is Maida Vale.
  • Creative Movements – Another lovely class the gets the children engaged and creative.
  • Rosy Thompson Academy of Dance (RATD) offers a whole array of classes from singing, drama, musical theatre to street jazz. Situated in Portland Place and Harley Street in Marylebone, this academy offers so much for children from the age of 3. Karin’s daughter has been with them from when she was 5 years old.
  • Alyssia Fleur School of Dance, located just off St John’s Wood High Street and also in Marylebone, is a popular dance school for many families.

regal ballet
alyssia fleur school of dance

Sports – Venues & Clubs

There are many companies and venues that offer various types of sports and here are just a few.

Alvaro Castano coaching football in a 1:1 private class. Karin’s son loves these classes.

The A Academy runs term-time football classes as well as 1:1 and 2:1 sessions. The A Academy is run by PT, ex-football player and coach Alvaro Castano. His term time classes and camps, located in Paddington Rec or in Paddington Academy, are hugely popular and filled with children of NW8-mums’ families. Their classes are very small, incredible teachers and they use their own methodology. Karin’s son plays with them since they opened classes locally in summer of 2020.

Meiji Martial Arts is popular with children and adults alike.

Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre offers a range of sports for children, but it does change from time to time so best to check with them if there is something specific you are looking for.

Little Gym runs classes of different kinds from the O2 Centre as well as in other London locations.

Gymboree is another favourite with parents. They have different locations in London and our nearest one is situated in the O2 Centre.

Playball Kids is popular with parents and they have various locations in London.

Lords Cricket Ground runs cricket classes and camps. How amazing to learn how to play this game in the venue where it all started. Karin’s son loved his classes here (until he discovered football…).

Paddinton Sports Club offers tennis classes and camps among other things.

Park Sports in Regent’s Park is popular with both adults and children. They run a variety of tennis classes, camps and tennis parties for children.

Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club and Hampstead Cricket Club offer a range of sports for children and adults alike.

alvaro castano of the a academy
the a academy
the a academy

Language Groups

  • FrenchClub Petit Pierrot has been going for a very long time and their classes are very popular. Please check their website for the nearest venue to you.
  • FrenchLa Jolie Ronde offers French playgroups from babies and up in different locations.
  • German – The German YMCA in London runs classes for children. Check directly with them to see their current schedule.
  • GermanThe German Saturday School in Hampstead offers classes from nursery age. Please contact them directly for more information.
  • SpanishLa Jolie Ronde offers Spanish playgroups from babies and up. Check their website for current locations.
  • Swedish – On Tuesday afternoons between 1-3 pm, the Swedish Church in Marylebone offers a stay and play group in the downstairs main hall.
  • Swedish – There is the North London Swedish School in Marylebone on Saturday mornings, but it has a very long waitlist. If you are keen for your child to start, you should register your child as early as you can. Karin’s family had to wait for two years before getting a space.

Arts, Craft, Writing & Education

  • Mini Picassos – We know this is not in St John’s Wood, but we have to mention Mini Picassos in Kensal Rise. Sarah who runs it puts on fantastic classes for children starting from 15 months (till teenagers). There are after school clubs, and she also offers adult classes. Bus no 187 runs all the way from St John’s Wood to Kensal Rise Station and Mini Picassos is 30 seconds away (or you can hop on the no 6 from Warwick Avenue and it takes you there too), so you can get there very easily. You can also go on the Overground from Finchley Road & Frognal and get off at Kensal Rise. Highly recommended!
  • Art Buddies in Primrose Hill offers a range of all things art.
  • Hampstead School of Art runs art classes for children through term-times and also during school holidays.
  • Happy Little Humans, founded by an NW8-mum, works on art and play with the aim to help children develop their confidence, problem solving skills and more.
  • Sapna Chamaria is a local 7+ and 8+ expert and tutor who can be contacted directly on Sapnavc@gmail.com.
  • Three to Eleven helps with educational aspects like preparing for assessments and exams as well as ongoing eudcational support.
  • Kids Reach – bespoke tutoring agency with Oxford University tutors
  • Paideia supports families with preparing for school exams.
  • Chelsea Young Writers runs after-school and holiday creative writing courses and workshops for children aged 7-12 years led by award-winning children’s authors. With unique and inspiring outlines CYW aims to encourage and improve children’s creative writing skills, critical perceptions and imaginative faculties as a form of expression. They closely collaborate with primary schools predominantly from the private sector. Check directly with them for your nearest venue.
happy little humans

Science

  • Little House of Science is a popular group and they run classes in various local venues. Check their website for your closest one.
  • At e2 Young Engineers it is all about learning through play. They offer holiday camps and weekly classes to children ages 5-11 where those attending will develop their ability to analyse engineering processes and build their knowledge of various engineering principles from physics and science. They learn about this while building a motorised model out of LEGO. Each child works with their own individual Young Engineers kit.
  • Mother Nature Science offers a range of classes and clubs for children including birthday parties.

Soft Play

Yoga

  • The Baby Yoga Company
  • For those of you who are either pregnant or are new mothers, The Kailash Centre in St John’s Wood, offers various classes. Check with them directly for their current schedule.

Swimming

There are so many swimming companies. This list doesn’t cover them all, but should hopefully give you a head start.

  • Swimming Nature
  • Get Set Go is a firm favourite with many in the group. Karin’s son swims with them and she is one of their ambassadors.
  • Turtle Tots – Karin used to take her little boy swimming with them and loved their baby classes.
  • Waterbabies is another popular swimming class.
  • St John’s Wood Swim School is located just off St John’s Wood High Street and opened during autumn 2023.
get set go

Outdoor – Exercise & Classes

  • The Hub in Regent’s Park offers a variety of mummy and baby friendly activities such as Parent and Pram. Please check directly with them for their current schedule.
  • Buggy Fit – It is easy to get fit and meet other mums with Buggy Fit. The nearest places to do this are in Maida Vale and Primrose Hill. Please note that BuggyFit is run as a franchise so you might not have the same instructor even if different locations are close by.

School Holiday Camps & Courses

Many of the providers already mentioned in the above section also run camps. However, some companies only, focus on school holiday camps. Many camps do a mixture of many things, so in this section I have simply put them in A-Z rather than under different categories.

As often is the case, places for school holiday camps get snapped up quickly, so if you are interested in them, it might well be worth booking a space sooner rather than later. Please note that some companies that run regular term-time classes, don’t operate during school holidays. However, some of them may put on camps instead.

There are many more places and companies than these below of course, so this is by no means an exhaustive list. Please send an email to hello@nw8-mums.com if you have anything to recommend – we are always keen to hear of more.

  • The A Academy is run by PT, football player and coach Alvaro Castano. His term time classes and camps, located in Paddington Rec and Paddington Academy, are hugely popular and filled with children of NW8-mums’ families. Their classes are very small, incredible teachers and they use their own methodology.
  • Alyssia Fleur School of Dance runs school holiday camps.
  • The American School in London (ASL) runs very popular summer programmes with a variety of topics.
  • Camp Beaumont offers both summer camps as well as half-term ones.
  • Chelsea Young Writers offers after-school and holiday creative writing courses and workshops for children aged 7 to 12 years, led by award-winning children’s authors. With unique and inspiring outlines CYW club aims to encourage and improve children’s creative writing skills, critical perceptions and imaginative faculties as a form of expression. They have been running children’s creative writing workshops for a number of years – mainly in Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea and Fulham areas. They closely collaborate with primary schools predominantly from the private sector.
  • Creative Movements organise workshops for half-terms/holidays and they usually have an array of different classes from ages 2-8 years ranging from music, art, prop making and lots more.
  • At e2 Young Engineers it is all about learning through play. They offer holiday camps and weekly classes to children ages 5-11.  The children will develop their ability to analyse engineering processes and build their knowledge of various engineering principles from physics and science. They learn about this while building a motorised model out of LEGO.  Each child works with their own individual Young Engineers kit.  They have various locations.
  • Fit for Sport offers half-term and summer camps.
  • Happy Campers Club was founded by one of our mums, Sofia Kamal, and it has become hugely popular in the group. They currently only offer school holiday camps.
  • Lords Cricket Ground runs holiday crickets camps. How amazing to learn how to play this game in the venue where it all started.
  • Mini Picassos in Kensal Rise puts on fantastic art camps for children. Bus no 187 runs all the way from St John’s Wood to Kensal Rise Station and Mini Picassos is 30 seconds away (or you can hop on the no 6 from Warwick Avenue and it takes you there too), so you can get there very easily. You can also go on the Overground from Finchley Road & Frognal and get off at Kensal Rise. Highly recommended.
  • Highly acclaimed and fun children’s science holiday camps with Mother Nature Science. They run both term time classes and camps in a variety of locations.
  • Regal Ballet – They offer school holiday camps in a lovely, warm and friendly environment that gets children inspired to dance and create. My daughter started doing ballet with founder Therese Schweppe when she was 2,5 years old.
  • Not only do they run classes during term time, but they also run amazing half-term and long school holiday courses. Rosy Thompson Academy of Dance (RTAD), situated in Portland Place and Harley Street in Marylebone, is quite something and Karin highly recommends it to anyone whose child is interested in drama, dance and the like. Her son loved their camps too and her daughter got into serious dancing, drama and so on having started off doing their camps.
  • St John’s Wood Library often puts on special events for the breaks, so it is worth checking with them. It is not very easy finding specific information online, so the best thing is probably to call or email them, or pop in and ask.
  • The Strings Club runs half-term or holiday camps as well as term-time.
  • Get Set Go runs intensive swimming during half-terms and longer school breaks.
  • Many museums including The London Zoo puts on special events for the half-term and summer holidays.
  • PottyTunity, founded by an NW8-mum, offers potty training camps.

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