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Children in Need fundraiser at the park!

Children in Need 2014 poster It is that time of year again! Yes, it does come round quickly, and yes, you will need to dig out the following:

A onesie - your ticket to a free drink!* (only if you actually wear the thing to the park. None of this stuffing it in a carrier bag and trying to surreptitiously half-wear it. Be proud of your fleecy animal suit.)

*we donate the cost of your drink to Children in Need, so the more onesies the merrier!

Your estimating skills you'll need them for guessing the weight of the cake, (baked by the brilliant Karen of Karen's cakes and bakes) and the name of the teddy - the winning guessers get to take the cake and thee bear home!

As much cash as you can get your hands on. That is, afterall, the point. Children in Need is a brilliant cause to support with your children. This year the theme is about being a hero and raising as much money as you can.

Bring your capes. And possibly some lycra.

Be A Hero

The highlights of our morning:

At 9.45 the Theatre Train company are coming to run an excellent singing, drama and dance workshop for the under 5's.

There's lots more information about the wonderful Theatre Train workshops and classes here.

At 11.30 we've got more entertainment with Theatre Bugs who are hosting an interactive puppet show, complete with shakers, bubbles, singing and dancing.

The workshops cost just a £1 donation each, which all goes to Children in Need.

There will be special edition edible wands and Nikki's Gluten Free cupcakes for sale, and a coin Pudsey, which we'll be aiming to fill with as much change as we can. (Check your sofas, pockets and the coin jars! Raid the piggy banks!)

Pudsey

And to top it all off, we've got a colouring competition with the chance to win some great colouring goodies!

Oh, and don't let the weather worry you. If it rains, we'll put up a tent to keep the workshops dry, and we've got plenty of blankets and hot water bottles to keep fundraisers happy. That's essential.

Other fab things to do to raise some much-needed cash:
Download the official Children in Need single here
Have a look in the official Children in Need shop here
To get you in the mood, here's the video of the Children in Need song 2014: by Gareth Malone and an all-star choir, no less!
 [embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ghScc6KDD0[/embed]

 

 

 

Theatre

Doodles at The Kiosk - for charity!

It's NATIONAL DOODLE DAY tomorrow! What a wonderful national celebration - all in aid of the Epilepsy Action  charity. Doodling is fab, because even if you're not the finest artist in the universe, you can still do a very brilliant doodle. And, it helps pass the time in life's less-interesting scenarios too. (Afterall, who HASN'T drawn a masterpiece or three whilst on hold on the phone to a Very Dull Call Centre?) national_doodle_day_logo

So we've decided to celebrate the day of the doodle too. All day at The Kiosk at the Park, there will be paper, pens, and space on the doodle doors. (That's just the regular door of the Kiosk, by the way.) If you, your child, your dog or your arty friend want to pop by and draw a doodle, we'll stick it to out doodle doors. We'll even pick a winner! If you do draw a doodle, we'll ask that you leave a doodle donation in the pot, which we'll send off to Epilepsy Action.

If you can't make it to the Kiosk - you can still join in. There are forms available to download on the website here, which you can send off with a donation to be entered into the National Doodle Day competition! - You could even win your doodle made into a cuddly reality by Lucy Moose!

Image

And National Doodle Day is made even more delightful by the involvement of the legendary Lord Dodo,

The famous Dodo-Pad

manufacturer of the very finest Dodo Pads, eminently suitable for doodling!

If you need some inspiration, just look what local illustrator David Litchfield achieved when he did a drawing a day for a year.

Little Free Library at the Kiosk at the Park

Our very own little free library in situ at The Kiosk Those of you who follow us on Twitter and Facebook will know that we've had a book-themed plot up our sleeves for a while now - but if you've not heard the news - a Little Free Library is now in situ at Kiosk at the Park! Masterminded by local book enthusiast Rachael Rogan, it's a free community library - on a very small scale. We asked Rachael to tell us about the inspiration behind her idea of bringing the Little Free Library to Bedford, and what plans she had for it:

"When I first read about the Little Free Library movement I felt the surge of excitement normally reserved for the release of the latest Neil Gaiman novel. A friend, knowing of my love for all things book-like, pointed me to the growing number of over-sized birdhouses popping up across the US, housing books for locals to freely take, enjoy, return or exchange. As she said, “It seems like your kind of thing Rach…”. A dollhouse filled with books? What’s not to fall deeply in love with, begin obsessing over and make your latest mission?

On further reading I discovered that, not only was it deeply exciting, but it had a broader mission - to promote four of my favourite things: a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults, and libraries. By this stage I was hyperventilating and only dogs could hear me. Of course, the first step, ‘Build a library’, was fairly problematic, given that I have absolutely no skills in the rather necessary areas of carpentry, joinery, making things waterproof…

Luckily, an idea like this seems to attract the interest of other like-minded souls. And when one of those souls, local Handy Man Marc Simpson, happens to be something of a Grand Vizier of Craftsmanship, the result is a thing of beauty worthy of housing Bedford’s favourite books. A random text to local High Priestess of Horticulture (and Gardening Editor at The Guardian) Jane Perrone along the lines of “Oooh, wouldn’t it be cool if the Little Free Library had a green roof??” led to a Marc/Jane collaboration, which led to the creation of a living canopy. And a hesitant, “Do you think The Kiosk would like a Little Free Library..?” to Coffee Overlords Emma Garrett and Nansi Rose, provided it with a loving home.

In fact, from that first over-excited, optimistic moment, the Little Free Library has taken on a life of it’s own. As word has spread the book donations have flooded in – beloved favourites from locals, contributions from authors, even packages from publishers. However, it’s important that the library starts as it means to go on - something created by everyone, for everyone. So when the Library arrives at it’s new home after storytime at The Kiosk at The Park on Monday, it will be empty. We’re inviting you to fill the library with your favourite books in time for the big launch on Saturday 22nd February.

Do you have a book that you go back to again and again? Something you’d like to share with friends - and soon-to-be-friends? Spread the love – become part of the Little Free Library movement! "

http://vimeo.com/72957294

Another local bookworm, aged 8, has already got going on that last very important bit - filling the Little Free Library with great books - and has made a list of five of her all-time favourites:

Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson

Atticus Claw Breaks the Law by Jennifer Gray

Alfie gets in First by Shirley Hughes

All time favourites of an 8 year old

We've found that all of these are available second-hand from Amazon Marketplace OR on Ebay, for the princely sum of between 1p and 50p, plus postage. Which is an excellent way to ensure that the Little Free Library stocks great recommendations, if you want to lend your favourite stories without having to donate your own copies.

The Grand Opening (including ceremonious cutting of the ribbon by exciting local Bedford book-celebrity!) of Bedford’s first Little Free Library will take place at 10:30 am on Saturday 22nd February.  Please join us for free 'Hungry Caterpillar' cake and try your hand at designing your own bookplate.

And, if you can't wait til the weekend, don't forget, The Library is now in place at The Kiosk at the Park (Russell Park) and the books are already flying in and off the shelves!

We've been collecting some beautiful pictures of Little Free Libraries on Pinterest - have a look at some amazing ones here! Please spread the word that the Little Free Library movement has come to Bedford - and share your books with us!

Smarties Tubes, Tree Planting and Mountains.

We do so love a fundraising campaign that involves eating...and the very special project we're starting this week at the Kiosk involves eating smarties. Did you know that eating smarties can help plant trees on mountains? No? Well, we did say it was a really special project, not to mention a brilliant idea. We're teaming up with the wonderful people who supply our coffee, Ethical Addictions, to raise money for their indigenous tree planting project. The trees are going to be planted on Africa's tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro, helping to preserve the rainforest and protecting the local environment.

Nursery Trees

This is why Ethical Addictions is a special kind of coffee supplier:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M7_NiY_lzg

The fundraising we're doing works like this:

Pick up a tube of Smarties from the Kiosk, or go and buy one (the hexagonal kind.)

Eat Smarties.

Fill the empty tube with 20p coins.

Bring the stash of 20ps in the tube to the Kiosk over the Easter weekend, and we will donate the money to Ethical Addictions Coffee.

EA Coffee will use the money to plant trees on a mountain!

smarties blog

You can read more about EA Coffee's environmental work here, and you can see a video of their tree planting project, which has been running from 2010, here.

Excitingly, once the trees have been planted, you'll be sent a GPS reference for the tree that has been planted with the donations you made! That's definitely worth saving up those 20ps for. You can get 60 20ps into a smarties tube: which is £12. Just £10 will pay for your tree to be planted. Well worth the saving/hunting behind sofas/pestering Dad...

 Kiosk 1

Carols at The Kiosk

It is very, very, VERY nearly Christmas! We're holding a Christmas celebration here in the park on Christmas Eve, so that we can celebrate with the wonderful Kiosk community. Christmas at the Kiosk

So on Christmas Eve afternoon,  put down your wrapping paper, sellotape and those last Christmas cards, and head to Russell park for 4pm to join us with a mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pie and a bit of carol singing.

There will be an opportunity here for a bit of festive dressing up. Perhaps you never got to be an angel in the school nativity play, and have a pair of tinsel-trimmed wings you're itching to wear? Or a teatowel that you think might look particularly fetching over your head, shepherd-style? Or was your child disappointed not to be Mary, again? If you've got a blue dress, you know what to do ! We're actively encouraging dressing up for Christmas Eve - perhaps a impromptu nativity scene will appear in Russell Park! Snowflakes, stars, Christmas fairies, reindeer and donkeys are all suggested outfits too! There will be free glow sticks for the kids, and if grown ups could bring head torches, lanterns or candles, then we can celebrate Christmas Eve in style by candlelight/torchlight!

It's been a great year in the park, with hedgehogs, Halloween, Thanksgiving, cookies and coffee. We'd love to see you there to wish you a very happy Christmas! We'll leave you with a few costume ideas, in case you need some inspiration...

festive fancy dress 4

festive fancy dress1

Festive fancy dressing up2

festyive fancy dress 3

And from all the team at the Kiosk - a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Owls at The Kiosk!

Tomorrow  at 10am, we welcome Ian from Forest Owl Forest School to The Kiosk at The Park! To get you in the mood, he's sent us a few owl-facts (via owl-post, obviously). Did you know that there are over 200 different species of Owls? (Wow!)

These include the rather festive sounding Cinnamon Screech Owl,

cinnamon_screech-owl_IMG_9904

The magnificent Snowy Owl:

Snowy Owl

And the teeny tiny Elf Owl!

ELF OWL

There are loads more owls, which you can look up here. We'd love to know what your favourite owl is! (We love the sound of an elf owl, although presumably they are busy this time of year, what with all that wrapping and packing of presents for Father Chrsitmas!)  Whichever one you like the sound of best, why not join us tomorrow at the Kiosk when we welcome Ian from Forest Owl Forest School - you can even make your very own toilet roll owl or even a festive toilet roll Robin.

Come along from 10am and bring some toilet roll inners (don't worry if you can't find any we will have some spares) and Ian from Forest Owl will show you how to make either an Owl or a festive Robin just like these handsome chaps:

 Owl toilet roll 1

 OWL TOILET ROLL2

Forest Owl, Forest School is a new Bedford based organisation that will be offering, alongside their work teaching curriculum based lessons at schools across Bedfordshire, some exciting birthday party ideas and curriculum based “subject booster” Saturday clubs from their new woodland base in Bromham starting in January 2014.

Forest Owl

For more information and for some great fun forest based ideas follow Forest Owl on Facebook here.

See you there! Milk, biscuits, Christmas snacks and more will be on sale as usual for hungry crafters and their owls!  We'll have special themed cupcakes and mulled wine  as well as some very yummy gluten-free mince pies.  Last but not least we are also launching the latest deliciousness from Malmesbury Syrups 'Bah Humbug' - deliciously minty in a hot chocolate or latte!

New - Bah Humbug Syrup

Halloween at The Kiosk

If you are in the mood for some spooky fun on Halloween (and let's face it, Halloween is the perfect time for spooky fun,) then look no further than the Kiosk, where the Circus of Illustration are hosting a spooky spectacular! Do go and check out the Circus of illustration's website - they are a friendly and extremely talented bunch of Bedford illustrators. The only people ever - probably - to have designed and made an illustrated fold-out doll of the Mayor of Bedford. (With or without beard.) Halloween

Off trick or treating? The Kiosk is the perfect place to stop off at on the way! We've got a fancy dress competition, AND a prize for the best-in-show pumpkin. There's also a spooky puppet workshop and scary facepainting.  And of course we do have our own rather marvellous range of treats: giant cookies, cupcakes, malteser squares, hot chocolate to warm your ghostly hands. What with that, plus The Circus of Illustration, who have plenty of tricks up their sleeves... we've got Halloween covered!

If you need a bit of home-made costume inspiration, why not try the suggestions here?

Photo: AllYou.com

And if you are hosting a ghoulish party of your own - be sure to check out one of our favourite bloggers' guides to Halloween fun. Single Slummy Mummy's blog of ghostly wisdom can be read here.

Last year the Circus hosted a spooky Drink and Draw session at The Kiosk. Here are a few artistic highlights...

pumpkin3 Pumpkin Pumpkin2 lantern 1

 

 

 

 

OXJAM at The Kiosk!

Sunday is going to be really special this week, because this Sunday we host OXJAM at the Kiosk! YEAH! Live music, a photo competition and face painting, all going towards raising money for a fantastic cause. And sunshine is promised too, just to make it tip-top and extra special. Image

We chatted to Oxjam's lovely Clare Sullivan about all things Oxjammy:

So. What is Oxjam?

Oxjam is a programme of events nationally, throughout October, all raising money for Oxfam. Since the first event in 2006, Oxjam has raised over £1.5m for Oxfam’s life-saving emergency responses and life-changing development work. That’s enough money to buy 13,000 emergency shelters, 60,000 goats or 900 classrooms.

Who are Oxjam Bedford?

Oxjam Bedford are a team of unpaid volunteers, working hard to bring some fantastic events to Bedford, whilst raising money for Oxfam.

What’s going on at Oxjam At The Kiosk?

12pm - 12.30pm: Mat Roberts leads a live jam session 12.30pm - 1pm: The Frogs' Chorus (children’s music, songs and dancing) 1pm - 1.30pm: Oh My (close harmony acoustic duo) 1.30pm - 2pm: Sean Morris (Americana acoustic) 2pm - 2.30pm: Liam Burke (English anti-folk) 2.30pm - 3pm: Kam Singh (acoustic balladry and winner of 2013 Bedford Battle of the Bands) 3pm - 3.30pm: Andrew R Hubbard of The Shtooks (popular acoustic covers and originals) 3.30pm - 4pm: Cicero Buck (everyone’s favourite Acoustic Rock/Folk/Pop/Blues duo, one half of whom co-wrote the smash hit ‘No More I Love Yous’)

There'll also be a tip-top tombola, games, face painting, as well as all the usual Kiosk fun including table tennis and mini golf.

Everyone is welcome to join the live jam session but please note that the event is completely unamplified so if you play electric bass, please bring a small amp and we can provide the power!

Clare said "We're delighted to be coming back to the Kiosk - we had a great time last year and hope for an even better day this year!"

We'll be running a photo competition on the day, so if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a delicious hamper of Kiosk goodies, bring your camera/phone down on Sunday and get snapping! The prize goes to the photo we think best sums up the day.

The event is free to attend but all donations will be very welcome and will support Oxfam's life-saving emergency responses and life-changing development work.

On the day there'll be a chance to enter the Oxjam raffle - the prize being £1,000 in cash! Well worth a ticket or two...

OK, I’m in, what about other Oxjam stuff….. What’s this ‘Oxjam Bedford Takeover’?

The highlight of the Oxjam Bedford events programme is the Oxjam Bedford Takeover, ‘taking over’ Bedford’s best live music venues on Saturday 19 October. The Takeover is a one-day multi-venue music festival, featuring the best of Bedford’s local music talent. One wristband will give you access to the Takeover venues, featuring over 60 great bands, performers, and DJs, all coming together to support one fantastic cause.

Who is playing the Oxjam Bedford Takeover?

You can catch The Scruff, The Jebs, The Bedford Arts Choir, Midnight Taxi, Danni Nicholls, Buzzard Lope, Sunsinger, Jonny Mudd, Tucky Tulloch, Sean Morris, Liam Burke, The Doghouse Roses, Near Moments, Healyum, The Metatrons, Kinkaid, Credit to the Nation, Kerry-Jo Hodgkin, Paul Hegley Band, Cicero Buck, Frogs Chorus, Electric Uke Orchestra, Robed In Desire, Council Tax Band and many more!

Sounds good – where can I get tickets?

Tickets are on sale now for the advance price of £8 at Danny’s Bar (Esquires), Luscious Juice Bar, The Cheese Kitchen, The Bear, The Bedford Arms, Kiosk At The Park and The Music Centre. You can also buy online – go to www.oxjambedfordtakeover.co.uk for more information.

How else could I get involved?

  • Performers – we’ve been overwhelmed with performer requests this year and are currently at capacity for performers. However, things can and no doubt will change in terms of the line-up so if you’d like to be considered for a slot, please email Clare Sullivan at oxjam.bedfortakeover@gmail.com
  • Volunteers – we’d love to hear from brilliant bucket shakers, and magnificent marketers, as well as anyone with any sound or live music production.
  • Sponsors – a range of great value sponsorship packages are available to local businesses who’d like to support a great event and a trusted charity brand. Email oxjam.bedfordtakeover@gmail.com for more information.

Thank you Clare! A combination of live music, Kiosk snacks, sunshine and tombola-ing is music to our ears!

Last years' winning Oxjam photo by Gemma Rogers

A festival of Hedgehogs!

Did you know that the collective noun for hedgehogs is 'a prickle of hedgehogs' ? Neither did we!  If you want to look up more delightful collective nouns for animals, take a peek at this list. We especially love 'a sleuth of bears' and 'an ambush of tigers' . Anyway, last Wednesday, a rather large prickle of hedgehogs started to appear on the grass by The Kiosk - all designed by local Kiosk Kids. Part of our Hedgehog Mania event was the task we set children to design Russell the hedgehog, which could be made into a soft toy mascot for The Kiosk by local illustrator and designer Katy Dynes. Never ones to shirk from a good designing task, the kids unleashed their creative sides and this rather good-looking prickle of hedgehogs appeared:

What a good looking bunch!

Katy offers some design advice

HedgehogBlog4

Everyone did really well, and we were amazed to see the creativity of the Kiosk Kids - no two Russells were the same - we had multi-coloured ones, collage hedgehogs, Russells with acorns and leaves and pinecones, fluffy pom-pom noses, hedgehogs on surfboards, pink hedgehogs, green ones...

Katy and Jo, who organised the craft activities, are currently looking at a selection of the entries, which Katy will then use to create the final mascot. Well done to everyone who contributed - Russell will be a really special hedgehog, made up of your ideas!

As well as the craft, we also had a VIP guest - Honey the African Pygmy Hedgehog! She was visiting us with the team from Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital. who talked to everybody about hedgehogs and how we can help them. Honey was a bit of a hit to be honest. We fully expect that diva-like behaviour may follow very soon.

Honey the Hedgehog wows the crowds

We were then treated to a really special storytime with Jane Lambourne from Wassledine. Jane is a storyteller who creates tales that are based on the nature around us. She also carries and exciting trunk of fairytale objects - including the apple that poisoned Snow White; the children were completely spellbound, we have it on good authority that several of them are still speaking in hushed tones about the glass slipper they saw and the hedgehog adventures...

As well as all of this, we had (hedgehog) biscuit decoration, guess the weight of the (hedgehog) cake, and some really rather fabulous face-painting thanks to local students Sophie and Millie. We raised money for the Hedgehog Hospital, and had a brilliant time while we were at it. What a great morning. Watch this (hedgehog shaped) space for the first glimpse of new-look Russell, created by you, coming soon!

It was all summed up very nicely by a lovely customer who left this feedback on our facebook page:

"My girls had a fab time at the hedgehog activity today, my folks took them and raved about it. The lady who ran it -Katie- was fab and really great with the kids and Emma thought it was so cute the way Honey kept trying to hide in the ladies' cardigan! My girls came back very happy and with beautifully painted faces - thank you!"

This kind of event really emphasises how it is you - the local community - who make The Kiosk a really special place to come. Thank you for your support and your enthusiasm. Thank you for bringing your imaginative children along to take part in our events and to enjoy them! Massive thank-yous also go to Jane from Wassledine who generously gave us her time, to the team from Shepreth, to Karen Bland for her incredible hedgehog cake and to Jo Midgely and Katy Dynes for their work organsing the event and help with the craft.

Decorate a biscuit...

Guess the weight of the hedgehog cake

Hedghog face paint

Hedgehog Mania!

So we told you that we were planning a hedgehog-themed event. Missed that? Catch up with hedgehog news AND an exclusive interview with local illustrator Kitty Dinners here. Well, we got rather carried away, and made it an even MORE exciting event! If you've got school-age kids, it's that point in the holidays where the children are getting a bit...restless (have we put that politely enough?). So we've put together a programme of events to suit all kinds of wriggly children (and hedgehogs.) The date to remember is Wednesday 28th August! Hedgehog in the wild!

The emphasis of HedgehogMania is on creating a mascot for the Kiosk: Russell the Hedgehog. We want your input! What does Russell look like? What are his favourite Kiosk snacks? And who does he hang out with? Katy Dynes (aka Kitty Dinners) will be on hand from 10am for drawing, collage-making and colouring. We've got handy hedgehog templates for less-confident artists, and lots of paper, pens and sparkly stuff to decorate your creations.

At 10.30 we have our guests of honour: visitors from Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital, with an African Pygmy Hedgehog called Honey! They'll be showing off the tiny hedgehog, as well as giving advice on what to do if you find an injured or orphaned hedgehog, and what to feed any spiky visitors to your garden on to keep them healthy.

We'll have a brief pause about 10.50 for drinks and snacks, as you'll need to be sitting comfortably for 11am when we are VERY lucky to be welcoming storyteller Jane Lambourne. Jane specialises in nature-based storytelling, and believes that 'every place has a story to tell' - so she's the perfect person to help us shape some stories and ideas about the wildlife around the Kiosk. This should be one very special storytime at the Kiosk!

Baby African Pygmy Hedgehog

From 11.30 until 12.30 there'll be more opportunities to create your own version of Russell - the winning design will be made into an actual soft toy mascot by Katy - so it's worth having a go - you could be designing a really special hedgehog! As well as craft, there will be facepainting (free!), hedgehog biscuit* decoration (small charge per biscuit). All profits and any other donations from HedgehogMania will go to the Shepreth Hedgehogs - wristbands will also be available for pocket-money prices.

If this has tickled your fancy for all things hedgehog - this is a good place for finding out more 'hog-info.

Oh, and if you've got any soft toys or books that need a change of scene (hedgehog themed or otherwise), bring them along on Wednesday for The Great Kiosk Cuddly Toy & Book Swap - a great way to rejuvenate the playroom!

Sometimes it is wrong to resist pictures of hedgehogs in knitted hats. This is one of those times.

Also on Wednesday is a public consultaion about the exciting new play equipment that will replace the old timber-frame multi-play units in the playground area. The organisers want your ideas, and your childrens' design for a 'signature piece' - designed to the specification of the many young children who play in this part of the playground. The meeting will be held from 12-3 in the play area - please pop along and help shape the future of our park!

See you on Wednesday!

*that's a biscuit in the shape of a hedgehog, rather than a biscuit for a hedgehog, in case you were wondering!

A Bin Elf and a loyalty card for Kiosk Kids!

Two exciting new schemes launch at the Kiosk on Friday, as part of our super summer holiday entertainment: a litter picking event and a loyalty card for our younger visitors. Friday morning is a very rare opportunity to meet one of the bin elves that tidy the park – and even help one out for the morning! Flynn the bin elf will be at the Kiosk from 10am to meet young (and any older) litter pickers, and we’ll be having a special storytime too! Litterpicking: good for your elf, don’t you know! Flynn says 'I am a very special elf as I can reuse the rubbish people put in the bin. My mission is to make Bedford cleaner and ensure that everyone uses a bin and recycle where they can.' ! An elf that can reuse rubbish is a VERY HELPFUL ELF!!

Flynn the Bin Elf

As for the loyalty cards – why should the grown-ups have all the fun and benefits of a loyalty card? We’re launching a card where young kiosk-ers (if that wasn’t a word, it is now!) can collect points every time they purchase a treat or drink from the Kiosk at the Park. On Friday we’ll be introducing the scheme and giving out loyalty cards.

Malteser squares could soon earn you points!

We’ve had a brilliant summer so far – we’ve been story-writing, paper doll making, and colouring; we’ve had a visit from the playhouse tent, a storytime bonanza, and LOTS of sunshine! There’s still plenty of time to make some paper dolls for the world record attempt and to enter our  500 words of summer competition,  and we’d love to see you on Friday for some  elf-tatsic litter-picking and to claim your loyalty cards.

Hurrah for Fridays!

Paper Dolls at The Kiosk

The Paper Dolls As well as all the other super holiday things we have planned (don't forget our Playhouse at the Park next Monday, and our 500 words of summer story competition!) we are also taking part in a WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT! It doesn't involve daring deeds or baked beans, instead we are helping to make the worlds' longest paper doll chain! To celebrate the brilliant Paper Dolls book by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb, (if you haven't read it - read it now! It's an amazing book!) publishers Pan Macmillan are organising the record attempt - trying to get a chain of dolls 3km long!

That is 60 lengths of an Olympic swimming pool. Or 270 London buses... and about 11,500 of their paper doll templates!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYoVq1LfDIs

The paper doll templates are available to download from the website, and you can choose the one to colour in, or the one where you can design your own dolls. You could try superhero dolls, or fairytale-themed dolls, or space man dolls...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYoVq1LfDIs]

And for every paper dolls chain we send in,  Pan Macmillan will donate 10p to Save the Children.

Work started last Monday at our storywriting workshop, and we've got a few templates for you to collect and colour in at the Kiosk. Alternatively, you can download and print the template here. You can send in your entry online, or by post- all the details are on the website. You can also hand in your dolls at the Kiosk and we will send them all off together. We've got a good collection already - but remember that for every set sent in, another 10p is raised for Save the Children - so the more of you that get creative, the more money we can raise for charity!

We have until 31st August 2013 to complete the record - so get colouring and designing, folding and cutting! You can check the doll-o-meter on the website to see how the record attempt is going. If you'd like to hand your dolls in at the Kiosk, please do so by Monday 26th August so we can send them in on time to be part of the 11,500 sets of dolls!

Emergency Poet at the Park!

We have news of an exciting-sounding emergency service coming your way very soon! The Emergency Poet is the world’s first and only mobile poetic first aid service, and she will be driving her vintage ambulance to the Kiosk at the Park on Sunday 21st July, from 11am-4pm. Described as a 'mix of the serious and the theatrical', the ambulance will also contain skulls, jars full of eyeballs and none other than Nurse Verse! Sound intriguing? There's more! After a consultation, you will be diagnosed and prescribed some great poetry, perhaps in the form of poemcetamol... Image

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The emergency poet's secret identity is Deborah Alma, an experienced workshop facilitator who has, amongst many other things, delivered sessions on using poetry to help communicate with people with dementia for The Courtyard Theatre, Hereford. Deborah has a degree and a masters in creative writing, and is lead writer at The West Midlands Writers Squad, which teaches creative writing to young people in Ludlow. We're really excited about her visiting the Kiosk, and look forward to welcoming her on Sunday, along with her poetry and her eyeballs!

The Emergency Poet is just one of the many Bedfringe events that are happening all over Bedford during the next few weeks. Have a look at what else is on here: loads of comedy, theatre, and shows for children.  And if you've been to a brilliant Bedfringe event and would like to review it - why not write a post for the citizen bedford blog?

See you on Sunday for an emergency appointment with some poetry!

500 Words of Summer

Ever dreamed of writing your own book? Do you secretly dream of being an author like Julia Donaldson or JK Rowling? Would you like to wrote a short story, just to get started? Well, if so, we have marvellous news for you. The Kiosk at the Park is delighted to announce that we will be running a storywriting competition over the summer holidays! We're teaming up with local authors and book enthusiasts to get the children (and grown ups!) of Bedford writing stories. There are no set themes or rules about what you have to write about - it just needs to be 500 words or under. There will be EXCELLENT prizes for the winning story plus two runners up in each category. Winners will be decided by a panel of expert judges. There are four age categories:

Up to 9 years (If your 9th birthday is after the 26th August 2013, that's the one for you.)

9-13 years (for those with 13th birthdays after the 26th August)

13-18 years (for those with 18th birthdays after the 26th August)

18 years plus (you know who you are.)

Just one entry per person please, and you'll need to hand your stories in to the Kiosk before 6pm on the 26th August. We'll have some forms for you to fill in your contact details.

If you'd like some help getting started, there will be a drop-in storywriting workshop (with a bit of storytime for the younger ones) on Thursday 25th July at the Kiosk from 10-12. Keep checking the blog and our facebook page for more details - and make sure you tell all of your friends!

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Pimm's O' clock!

The unusual combination of Wimbledon and glorious sunshine (at the same time - almost unheard of!) has signalled that it is well and truly Pimm's season! Keen to make the most of the weather, we've looked into making the perfect Pimm's. Waitrose's recommended recipe for the perfect Pimm's is listed as:

  • 3 parts lemonade to one part Pimm's,
  • 1 slice orange, 1 slice lemon, 2 slices cucumber, 1 sliced strawberry, sprig of mint.

They also say that Pimm's is 'usually credited to James Pimm, a shellfish monger from Kent who opened his famous Pimm's Oyster Bar in London in 1823. Using gin, quinine and his own secret mixture of herbs, Pimm created a drink that he served as an aid to digestion.'

An aid to digestion, eh? Practically medicinal!

If you fancy branching out from the classic Pimm's and lemonade combo, we found this recipe for ginger-ale based Pimm's on a great website: theydrawandcook.com - a collection of beautifully illustrated recipes from around the world. Have a look on their website for other inspiring recipes - there are loads of different ideas - and you can even search by illustration style!

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But whichever kind of Pimm's you make, you'll definitely need some fresh mint. If you don't have any growing in the back garden - head to the herb garden on Rothsay Roundabout - the mint there is fresh and free to good homes!  Pick your way to the perfect Pimm's. We love it!

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Summer opening times

pavilion open 9-5pm
the window stays open until 6pm

last food orders 3:30pm

Autumn opening times
as of October 1st

pavilion open 9-4pm
the window stays open until 5pm

last food orders 3:15pm

Mondays: Café opens at 10am

we are open 7 days a week and dogs are welcome on our heated veranda during the winter months

We occasionally close early for private bookings. Please always call us to book a table & avoid being disappointed!

01234 351104

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