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Filtering by Tag: Russell Park

Hedgehog Art

It's been a few weeks since our sunny day of hedgehog creation in the park.  We thought that you might like to see the winning entries, chosen by illustrator Katy Dynes from a huge selection of inspired designs. Katy told us that it was 'really hard to choose - so many of the hedgehogs were amazing and showed so much imagination!' Russell the Hedgehog by Sarah

Russell the Hedgehog by Ella R.

Russell the Hedgehog by Ella

Russell the Hedgehog by Fenya

Russell the Hedgehog by Harry

Russell the Hedgehog by Isabelle

Russell the Hedgehog by Olivia

Russell the Hedgehog by Polly

As you can see we have a huge range of Russell designs, from the natural look - leaves and pinecones, to soft pink with a yellow nose; there are floral patterns and pom-pom accessories, plus the addition of a surfboard in one.  All of the ones that we picked showed a great deal of personality - essential for a cheeky hedgehog living near the Kiosk.  Katy took elements of all these winning designs for her final  soft toy of the Kiosk mascot Russell - to be unveiled VERY SOON! Much excitement! We've got some fab interviews with some of the winning artists coming up on the blog, as well as, obviously, the first photos of our very own mascot Russell. Paparazzi moment!

If you would like to collect your work of Russell-Art - perhaps to hang above your mantelpiece, they are all available for collection from the Kiosk. Thank you all for your imaginative entries.

Did you know that we are starting an e-newsletter to keep you in the loop about all the activities we run, and what exciting events are coming up? If you'd like to receive it, please email kioskatthepark@gmail.com with your details.

Hedgehogs AND illustrators at the Kiosk!

Kiosk at the Park is not only a meeting place for the local human community, it's a bit of a wildlife hangout too! It would be impossible to work in the park and not be aware of the local animal visitors, not only our friendly canine regulars, but lots of interesting birds - including a very friendly robin, lots of magpies and blackbirds - some squirrels, the odd cat - and a smallish hedgehog. Hedgehogs are fascinating creatures, with their long snuffling noses and spikes; the way they waddle about but can put on a sudden sprint if they see something interesting or threatening. We started to think about this animal community, and thought how nice it would be to imagine what they get up to when the human park people are sound asleep. So we've written about Russell (well, clearly the hedgehog of Russell park would need to be called Russell! Perhaps the park was named after him, in fact?) and some of his friends. And now we'd like you to get involved. What do you think Russell might look like? Is he a naughty hedgehog or is he well-behaved? What does he do at night when no one else is about? Tennis? Does he hang out in the playground? And what's his favourite Kiosk treat?

Local illustrator and soft toy maker Katy Dynes (Kitty Dinners) is going to help us out and will be running a 'design a Russell Hedgehog' workshop at the Kiosk on Wednesday 28th August at 10am-12.30pm . Come down and join in with some designing, collage making and illustrating! Tell us what you think Russell looks like, what he eats and where he likes to play. The final/winning design will become the Kiosk mascot and will be made into a real soft toy by Katy! There'll be more information on this event later in the week - we've got LOADS of hedgehog-related fun planned including a treasure hunt, face painting, cake decorating, and hopefully some VERY special guests! In the meantime, we asked Katy about her illustrating career and influences.

 Illustration by Kitty Dinners

How did you get into illustrating? Was it something you always wanted to do?
K: A little by accident! I've always loved books and drawing and thought I'd hopefully, do 'something in art' when I left School. When I was 19, I went off to do an Art Foundation Course at Bedford College and loved every minute of it- experimenting with a variety of different disciplines. I finally settled on 'Photography' but really, in my heart of hearts, wanting to learn animation. I had a FAB photography tutor, who said he would build me a lightbox, in the photography studio, if I was prepared to teach myself animation, but also learn photography. I bought myself a stop frame camera, a projector and some plasticine and I was off! I loved it so much, I managed to secure a place at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design to study 2D Animation.
However........... when I graduated, I realised sadly, it wasn't the 'moving image' that was my passion- it was the 'setting the scene/designing the characters and telling the story' that I really loved......so I swiftly sidestepped....... and a career in freelance illustration was born!

Which children's illustrators did you admire when you were growing up? Do you have a favourite now?

K: My wonderful Gran had a fantastic selection of children's books for me to read when I was growing up and I loved anything with bright colourful illustrations, but always something drawn with a 'twist' or a 'hidden element'. I had a huge and wild imagination, so I was (and still am!) a great believer in make believe, fairies and magic. Richard Scarry was a favourite Illustrator, as was Arthur Rackham, Cicely M Barker, Ernest Shepherd and Beatrix Potter.
Now, I have many favourites: Arthur Rackham is joined by Dave McKean, Oliver Jeffers, Lauren Child, Lizbeth Zwerger and Jane Simmons.

What are your favourite animals to draw? Do you find any particularly tricky?
K: I love drawing any animals- I find it fascinating to try and work out the best way to capture their personalities and incorporate that in my illustrations. Elephants, dogs, cats and horses are favourites.
However, ask me to illustrate a dolphin...........I might just manage to draw a 'nose' popping out of the water!!! I find them soooooooo difficult!!!
So save the date: Wednesday 28th August is HEDGEHOG DAY! Come down to the Kiosk to meet Katy, help design a Russell mascot for us and get involved in lots of hedgehog-themed fun! We'll leave you with some inspiring work by Katy - just to get you thinking about how you might illustrate a certain young hedgehog...

Painted Illustration from Lawrence the Lion Seeks Work by Miller Caldwell, illustated by Katy Dynes

Image from 'home' by Katy Dynes

Painted Illustration by Katy Dynes

Summer Holiday Plans

Parents of small and not so small children throughout Britain are currently preparing themselves for the onslaught of the Summer Holidays. Yes, it is a lovely school-free time to spend hanging out with your offspring, but with unpredictable summer weather and squeezed family budgets, it can be a somewhat testing time for many.

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Fear not! We have compiled a list of seven of the best summer holiday activities, all local, all brilliant, many recommended by friends of the Kiosk. (Other mums are such a valuable source of information when it comes to things like this.) So, grab a pencil and pen and a cup of tea, put your feet up and plan some summer holiday fun.

In at number one, it has to be the VERY recently re-oped Higgins gallery in Castle Quay's summer activities. View the full list here, but our pick of the lot would have to be the Who Stole the Ducks? event on Tuesday 30th July.

“You’re the detective: solve the clues, find the evidence, interview the witnesses and present your case to the Justice, during this fun family day on Victorian crime.” Join in Wednesdays and Fridays (11-1, 2-4pm 31st July - 28th August) sound pretty good as well – just £2 to join in and make, free play for the under 3's.

Next up: Tennis! We've gone tennis mad here at the Kiosk recently, and if you would like your kids to do the same, why not sign them up for one of Riverside Tennis Club's holiday camps?

There is a massive range of tennis courses, plus football for the under 12s. They take children from 3 years at Tennis nippers, right up to 11-18 year olds at their RAW Tennis Camp. Have a look at their information here, or contact them on doc@riversidetennis.co.uk or 01234 352726

The Bunyan Meeting church, which incidentally, is one of Bedford's most interesting historical buildings, will be running their popular holiday club from 13-15 August, 10-12.30. A mix of fancy dress, games and craft, the sessions are open to children 4 and over. For more information, call the office on 01234 213722

Kidsize activity camps are highly recommended by lots of Kiosk regulars. Based this summer at Biddenham Upper, Redbourne Upper and Cranfield University sports centre, they offer a multitude of sport and other activities, including cooking, nature, construction and performing arts. They offer an early bird session from 8-10am, and a late stay from 4-6pm, as well as the core 10-4pm session; a great thing for working parents! Have a read of their extensive programme here.

Bedford Modern School offer a amazing range of activities from athletics to debating, jewellery making to swimming. All sessions are for half days, from 9.30-12.30 or from 1.30-4.30, with early bird and late flyer sessions available. You can browse their summer 2013 brochure and use their online booking form here.

Bedfringe has put on an excellent programme for children this year, including the rather marvellous-looking 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus'  in the Harpur Suite from Sunday 28th-Tuesday 30th July. You can look at the Childrens' Theatre programme here, but don't forget to check out the rest of the Bedfringe events, there are a great range of free events as well as the ticketed ones.

We can't resist a plug for our own theatre event of the summer: The Playhouse at the Park event in Russell Park on August the 5th WHEN the Oxford  Playhouse will be bringing a pop-up theatre to the park - and it looks like it will be BRILLIANT.

Remember, if all else fails (as sometimes it does,) just come along to the Kiosk. We will be here in all summery types of weather, from welly to flip-flop. We have Duplo and colouring, coffee and sanity. There are always plenty of children and similarly vexed parents to sympathise with. We do offer lunchboxes as well now, so if you have run out of picnic food, you can give them lunch at the Kiosk. As well as the playground, we have tennis, mini golf and table tennis to offer. Storytime sessions continue throughout the summer, where we'll be welcoming a team of Superstar Storytellers for stories, songs, milk and biscuits on Monday mornings. Keep checking the blog and facebook page for updates and more information.

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Anyone for Tennis ?

If, like us, you failed to qualify for the French Open, and will instead be watching the final on TV on Sunday - perhaps you could do with a spot of expert tennis coaching. There has never been a better time to dust off your sweatbands and steam clean your tennis whites; for tennis-mania has come to Bedford. Tennis ball stuck in fence

Excitingly, the Kiosk has teamed up with Riverside Tennis Club to help you get the most out of the tennis courts at Russell Park. We've got a new and exciting programme of events to get everyone involved, whatever your tennis playing skills are like.

On Monday, a new fitness class called Cardio Tennis  hit Russell Park, with Claire Norman leading a fast-paced tennis based workout to motivating music. No tennis skills required for this one - but you'll probably pick some up along the way. Cardio Tennis is on from 9.15 to 10.15 on Mondays until 15th July. You can see some of the first session here:

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

Wednesdays from 10.00-11.30 is Tennis Morning - come down for expert coaching from Rob Stean, with some match-play time to put those tips into practice.

And on Sundays from 11.30-1pm we've got Tennis X-Press, with group coaching available from Claire Norman. A great way to improve your game AND meet new players.

You can pay per session, but all block bookings of sessions include a free drink afterwards every week at the Kiosk - so you can have a post-match-natter/debate/full-blown-argument about the finer points of the game over a nice drink. Although anyone who continuously shouts 'you CANNOT be serious!' in a terrible American accent will be removed from the premises.

To book any of these sessions, or for any more information, email Neil Frankel on doc@riversidetennis.co.uk

And as a final point, we should draw your attention to the new website tennisinbedford.com, for all your Bedford Tennis needs. It really couldn't be easier to get into tennis this summer!

Kiosk Tennis

Oh, and just for a bit of inspiration, we'll be showing the French Open final at the Kiosk on Sunday - come down to watch it if you want to create a bit of a Parisian atmosphere, although we do draw the line at strings of onions round necks...

Birthday Party in the Park

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So: this weekend marks our very first birthday! What a year it has been. Weather-wise, we've had it all; from torrential rain to snowman-quality snow, from baking sunshine to frosty sleet. And through it all we have served coffee cake and sandwiches to you - our wonderfully loyal and enthusiastic customers;  whether you've sheltered under blankets with hot water bottles or you've come seeking some shade and a cool drink. You've come for stories and songs, a chat and a catch up, a lazy afternoon tea and a morning coffee. You've made the Kiosk into the heart of Russell Park.

Thank you.

Here are just a few of our highlights of a brilliant first year:

And so it begins...

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Red Nose Day Fun

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Peppa Pig and Friends

We would love to see you all for a mini birthday party in the park on Sunday to celebrate a fantastic year! Birthday cake to be served between 5 and 6pm.  And after a year of this Kiosk lark, we have learned one or two things about good cake...

Bedford Annual Kite Festival

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jx9dIUFNq8 We found this lovely video of the annual Kite Festival in Russell Park on Youtube, by the very talented Lez Marwick (we always approve of the ad-hoc use of a 'z' in names.)

We were tickled by his description of the event;

"This is an annual event held in Russell Park. The venue is far from ideal for kite flyers, as it is surrounded by trees, but it is in an excellent location for spectators... It was a very dull day, with a constant threat of rain, but at least we had some wind."

2012 was not kind to the Kite Festival. There may have been cases of Trench Foot. Let's hope this year is a bit more kite flier and spectator-friendly.

See you in Russell Park for more kite-excitement, at the 2013 Kite Festival this weekend! Remember you can always refuel and refresh at The Kiosk...

Let's go fly a kite...

Spring Fling at the Park

Two great British traditions will come together on Saturday in Russell Park - the marvelous concept of the picnic, and also LAUGHING IN THE FACE OF THE BRITISH SUMMER. We like both. Picnicking, for obvious reasons - delicious food, eating outdoors, on a nice rug, (or just one that has been rolling around in the back of the car for an unspecified number of years, it really doesn't matter-)  perhaps a pork pie or two- a picnic is a really lovely, outdoorsy, social way to eat.

Picnics - the dream

And, laughing in the face of the British so-called-Summer. Well, it is practically a national obsession, and you can usually turn it into a nice game to help pass the time as you shelter from the latest downpour.

"Who can remember a worse Spring?"

"Ah, the May of 1985 was terrible - definitely colder."

"But do you remember the awful drought of May 1991? At least we're not on a hosepipe ban and queuing for water..."

etc.

Umbrella-tastic - stylish British picnics

We'll be celebrating BOTH of these things this Saturday, (May 18th) with a little help from our friends. The Spring Fling Picnic is all about heading down to Russell Park with a picnic, a blanket or two and some friends/children/accomplices  to be part of a great big community knees-up in the park.  The Kiosk serves hot drinks, remember, and has blankets and hot water bottles available if the weather does its worst.  And if the sun comes out, we can all enjoy the actual Springtime. It's on from 11am at The Kiosk - and excitingly, we have room for buskers! If you, or someone you know wants to book a slot - get in touch!

We're organizing the event in association with The Scone Roses and Kris, from The Frogs Chorus. So there will be singing, storytime, busking and loads of other activities all around the Kiosk - and you can top up your picnic supplies from the Kiosk  - have you seen our beautiful new kids' lunch bags?

A ladybird lunch

Come on - let's show the weather that it takes more than a bit of drizzle to defeat Bedford's finest picnic-ers. See you there!

Playhouse at The Park

So we mentioned here that Alex Levene would be delivering some VERY exciting news about an event coming up in the Summer at The Kiosk....well, if you missed him at Storytime, I hope you are sitting comfortably now for some rather marvelous news. Kiosk at the Park is delighted to announce that The Oxford Playhouse will be visiting Russell Park on the 5th August with their Pop-Up Theatre, a travelling tent described as a theatrical discovery space - exciting for everyone!

Inside, the tent will be a haven of creativity - stuffed with activities for families, young children as well as older children and adults.

For the under-sixes there will be performances of Teatime, a wonderfully silly celebration of mealtimes in stories, song, music and dance; all inspired by games played around the kitchen table.

There will also be workshops, games, craft and other activities for families to join in with.

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For older children and adults, there will be a cryptic treasure hunt to puzzle over, as well as audio plays, poetry and many digital experiences.

And if the excitement of all that gets too much, you can kick back for a bit in the chill-out area with books to curl up with and read, and cosy armchairs to relax in. Reviving drinks and snacks will be on hand at the Kiosk.

If you'd like to find out more, you can see their blog describing their 2012 Pop Up Theatre tour here.

Now, how brilliant does that sound? Pretty darn brilliant is what we think. Pop the 5th August  down in your diary/phone/Summer Plans List, right now.

You have our solemn permission to do a celebratory dance of excitement now.

 

Storytime at The Kiosk

The latest in our line-up of SuperStar Storytellers at The Kiosk will be none other than Alex Levene, director of The Place Theatre. Alex has read at Storytime before, so is a seasoned professional. Do not be alarmed by his beard. Or his paper hat. Or, his expression in this photo. He is an actor, OK? Image

Storytime will be at The Kiosk at 9.30am, bank holiday Monday - 6th May. The weather forecast is great for once*- so kick off your Bank Holiday with a brilliant story session and a early energy burst for the kids in the park. Coffee, tea, cakes and cookies will be on hand, as well as milk and biscuits for the children. Dogs, bikes, scooters, mums, dads, brothers, sisters and grandparents all very welcome.

Alex will not only be reading a story, but also announcing some VERY special news about a brand new and very exciting project coming to The Kiosk this summer. Be the first to know the news. We are, quite frankly, GIDDY with excitement...

*That's our final word on the matter in case we accidentally jinx the good weather.

The Anne Frank Tree

There are many lovely trees in Russell Park, some for climbing on, some for playing hide and seek behind; many for picnicking under. And then there is one, other tree. At the far end of the park there is a small horse chestnut tree, with a plaque next to it. This is the Anne Frank Tree. The plaque on the Anne Frank Tree

It was planted almost 15 years ago, on the 15th of May 2000, by the then mayor Carole Maxwell Elllis. It is, as the plaque says, a memorial to all children who died in war and conflict during the 2oth century.

In her diary, Anne mentions the horse chestnut tree that she can see from her attic window several times.  On the 23rd Febuary 1944, six months before her secret hideout was discovered:

"From my favourite spot on the floor, I look up and see the blue sky and bare chestnut tree on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. When I looked outside and into the depth of nature and God, I was happy, really happy."

The Tree Anne could see from her window

The horse chestnut in Russell Park is a small reminder of all of the children who were unlucky enough to be caught up in the conflicts of the 2oth Century. It also provides a place to gather and reflect on Holocaust Remembrance Day, held once a year on the 27th January.

A place to reflect

It really is a remarkable tree.

Mini Golf at the Kiosk

ImageRussell Park is full of interesting things to do: adventure playground, climbing trees, space for rugby, football, hide and seek, scooting, bike-riding, dog walking, tennis, table tennis and MINI GOLF. Also known as 'pitch and putt', there are different ways to describe it - but basically a mini 18-hole course, right here in the park!

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If you're looking for something to keep yourself or your offspring busy for an hour or so - why not try your luck on the course, just behind the kiosk!  All the equipment is available to hire from the Kiosk. It's cheap, fun, and outdoors - just think of all the vitamin D* you'll be soaking up whilst aiming for that hole in one! Or two, or three. Or, let's face it, these things take time to perfect.

Three (or 4, if you count a comedy shopping opportunity) reasons to play mini Golf in Russell Park:

Reason 1: We found this great review of the course on this blog here - written by Richard Gottfried, who is a British Minigolf Association (BMGA) Tour Pro, Great Britain International Minigolfer & a member of the 2008 BMGA British Club Champions – the Midlands Minigolf Club. So he knows his stuff. He says 'the course is in excellent condition with good equipment and scorecards. Last time out I scored a 48(+12), with a hole-in-one on the 15th hole and this time I scored a slightly better 46(+10) and an Ace on the 14th hole.'

So there's a score to beat!

Reason 2: The Mayor does it. As does 3 Counties Radio DJ Nick Coffer. It's basically a celebrity sport.

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Reason 3: You could introduce it as a lunchtime activity for your office or a group of colleagues. Think of the benefits of getting fresh air, some time out of the office AND the chance to fit in some always-welcome  team-building and socializing time. Oh, and the Kiosk just happens to be a great place for lunch...Here are the guys from Woods Hardwick at the Kiosk for a bit of lunchtime mini-golf. We'd love to see some more local firms following suit - we're planning to start a lunchtime league, just to give you that competitive edge to your lunchtime putting.  Give us a call on 01234 271877 to find out more.

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Reason 4: If you get good enough, you could buy yourself this t-shirt:

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*the Kiosk can guarantee you nice cakes and tea afterwards, but not sunshine. It's just not in our remit, OK?

 

Kiosk at the Park's Guide to enjoying a Cheep Easter!

The thought of two weeks of arctic condition Easter holidays is enough to strike fear into any parent - but if you are feeling like this - perhaps we can help. We've picked the brains of some of our customers who are also the proud owners of school-age children for their top tips for holiday entertainment on a budget. 1. Wrap up warm and go for a nature hunt in the park. Once the children have collected their treasure they could have a go at making some stuff with it. For a start, lots of feathers and twigs are good for an Indian headdress when combined with card or fabric to tie round your head. Or you could make a nature mobile using strong thread or string. And there's always leaf printing with poster paints on paper or fabric paint on cloth.

Make a nature-mobile

2. Dad tip #1:  Make a home cinema. For an authentic cinematic experience on the cheep, get a dvd the kids haven't seen before (Bedford Central Library have a good selection you can hire for a week for just £1.40, or Blockbusters in Kempston is a good place to look for newer titles you can hire,) draw the curtains and get the popcorn in! Invite friends and add beanbags for a really great (easy) afternoons' entertainment.

3. Enter the Kiosk at the Park drawing competition! All you have to do is draw and colour your very own Easter Picture using felt tips, crayons or colouring pencils on a sheet of A4 paper. Write your name, age, email address and a contact number on the back. Hand it in at The Kiosk before April 12th, and you will be in with the chance of winning a hamper of Easter goodies. The winner will be announced on April 14th, and will be judged by members of the Circus of Illustration!  There will be paper and colouring pencils available at The Kiosk throughout the holiday - so come and do Colouring at the Kiosk!

Get colouring in!

4. Take a well-wrapped-up walk around Mowsbury Woods, which are just behind Mowsbury Park It's perfect boy-and-stick territory, and if you take wellies and a jam jar, you can wade about in the stream, and bring home some interesting stream-life. (Or some precious pond weed.)

5. Dad-tip #2: Visit Priory Marina. Ideal for slightly older children, the new(ish) adventure playgound near the car park features a flying fox! Other attractions at Priory include a labyrinth, a walk around the finger lakes, and the best stone-skimming destination in all of Bedford.

6. Dye some eggs. Well, it is Easter, after all.  For a simple approach, dip boiled eggs into bowls of food colouring for a beautiful coloured effect. Accessorize with soldiers! For more advanced egg decorating, see here.

Egg dying - simple, but beautiful.

7. Go egg rolling. You're in good company if you do - it's the Easter day activity at The White House, no less. For this, you just need hard boiled eggs, and a hill. You may also need chalk for marking out the points that your contestants' eggs reach. Refereeing skills are preferable.

Egg Rolling

8. Do some baking. Let's face it, any cake looks better with the addition of some decorative chicks/mini eggs/foil-wrapped bunnies. If you want to make an Easter Victoria sponge, have a look at the tips here from one of our awesome baking team, Karen.

Easter Nest Cakes

9. Take a day trip to Watergate Farm near Leighton Buzzard to see some newborn lambs! Admission really is cheep - £3.50 for adults, £2.50 for kids, and you can  also take a tractor ride, see baby pigs, or have a pony ride. Wellies are a good idea.

10. Come to Russell Park, grab a warming drink and some sustaining snacks from The Kiosk. You are bound to run into other owners of small children. As well as our colouring competition, we will have Face Painting duo Sophie & Millie on hand to create artworks like this:

Face Art

At least the kids might sit still for ten minutes!

We'd love to hear any of your ideas for keeping kids busy over the holidays! Comment on the blog, or leave a post on our Facebook page.

Guest Blog: Gemma Kirkham

We're really lucky to have loads of brilliantly creative people living in and around Russell Park. Here, mum and photographer Gemma Kirkham talks about her kind of park life.

I feel so lucky to live so close to Russell Park - I’ve always loved to spend time outside and with two active boys to run around after it’s lovely to be able to release the kids into the Park to blow off a bit of steam!

Since The Kiosk opened, it’s changed our experience of the park because it really adds to the sense of community and has become a real hub and place to meet! There is always someone there to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with…and the kids can’t walk past without begging for a giant cookie or slice of cake! It’s the first stop on any visit to the park and I love coming around the corner to see Nansi, Emma, Charlotte, Hannah or any of the other lovely staff.

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As I am also a photographer, I like to hold my photo shoots outside come rain or shine- so Russell Park is the perfect location! All of my summer mini sessions were held in and around the Park which made for beautiful and natural photographs for all of the families I worked with! We did have to shelter at The Kiosk with a cup of tea one morning to wait for the rain to pass but when it did – the wellies and umbrellas combined with puddles made for lots of fun and great shots! On those cold winter sessions a pit stop at The Kiosk to warm up has become part of the routine. I find that shooting outside is much more fun for the children and for the parents – everyone is able to relax and enjoy the experience which really is the secret to creating the most natural photos!

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Gemma Kirkham Photography

Call me: 07771664532

Email me: gemma@gemmakirkhamphotography.co.uk Visit me: www.gemmakirkhamphotography.co.uk Join me: www.facebook.com/gemmakirkhamphotography

Follow me: @GemKPhotography

Breakfast in a Bun

Image We do this thing on a Sunday.  Its rather good, even if we do say so ourselves.  We can't take the credit for it - that goes to the rather wonderful Xanthe Clay - no-nonsense cookery columnist for the weekend section of the Daily Telegraph.  She came up with it last Christmas as a one-stop-breakfast option and we love it! Breakfast in a Bun is our take on her recipe and you can find them on sale at The Kiosk every Sunday from about 11am. Bacon, mushrooms, egg and tomato all neatly packaged in a crispy roll. Perfect for those Sunday mornings when you feel slightly jaded, in need of some fresh air and a bit of delicious breakfast incentive to get you out of bed. We're working on the vegetarian version now.

If you are lucky enough to live in Bedford, its easy to head to Russell Park, with three shiny gold coins in your pocket - call it Elevenses, call it Brunch - call it what you will,  whatever you call it, we don't think you'll be disappointed.Image

The Kiosk, Russell Park, The Embankment, Bedford.  Open every weekday 8.30am to 5.00pm and at weekends 9.30am to 5.00pm.  Call 01234 271877 if you want to know more!

Half Term Fun and Games

If you are having a 'staycation' half term, and feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a pricey marathon of entertainment-finding, don't worry! We have done the hard work for you and scouted out some fun, and crucially inexpensive things to do over the next week, all in and around Russell Park in Bedford!  Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to see how many of the 10 activities we have found you can tick off in the week.

1. RUSSELL PARK 

Come down to play in Russell Park and stop off at The Kiosk– we have lots of exciting things planned for the week – as well as the usual tea, coffee, cakes, goodies, milk & biscuits and of course our famous Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Mountain Explosions!

Monday 18th 9.30am - join us for Songtime with Kris from The Frogs Chorus

Wednesday 20th 11am - 3.00pm come down and do some badgemaking with Celene

Friday 22nd 2pm - 4pm Facepainting with the lovely, and extremely talented, Sophie

2. IN THE SWIM

Even if you're not going away somewhere hot this half-term, you can still visit Bedford's very own Tropical Paradise – The Oasis Beach Pool. Open for Holiday Supersplash Sessions from 10 - 4.30, Monday to Friday, with off-peak swimming sessions from 4.30 - 7.30. There are some great offers on admission prices available here, valid until the 28th February.

3. DISCOVER A WHOLE NEW WORLD

Not only is the Bedford Central Library free, it is also warm and dry, (always a bonus for days when the weather doesn't behave itself.) Let the kids have a rummage through the bookshelves, while you sit in the storytelling chair and remember the days of Bernard Cribbens and Jackanory!  Peruse the notice board which is a mine of information or escape to another world by burying your own head in a book! There is also a great coffee shop where you can sit and watch the world go by.  

Wednesday 20th:11.00 - 12.00

Chinese New Year Storytime - Fabulous stories and crafts - fun all ages.

Friday 22nd1.00 - 4.00

Pitta Puppets - Drop in and make puppet kings and queens with Jim Morris.

Chatterbooks is a group for 8 to 12 year olds which runs every three weeks with crafts, games, quizzes and more! The next meeting is Saturday 2nd March at 2.30.

4CRAFTY PLAN #1

Visit The Kiln on Bedford High Street. Call in, choose some pottery – loads of shapes and sizes available to paint and decorate and they will fire it for you, ready to collect a week later.  There is also a lovely coffee shop and tea room - not that we need caffeine to enjoy ourselves you understand!

5. SAY CHEESE

If you're not going away, photography is a great way to see familiar places in a totally new light, and get a new perspective on where you live.  If you like a challenge, we are running a photographic competition at The Kiosk, the closing date for entries being March 10th. To tie in with Crufts 2013, your subject needs to be of the Canine variety, but If you don't already own a dog, why not phone a friend who does? See if you can go for a walk with them and their four-legged friend and take some pics to enter Canines at The Kiosk. For some handy tips on animal photography, have a read of this guide for children on the National Geographic site, happy snapping!  For competition categories, terms and conditions read here!

6CRAFTY PLAN #2

Buy a Craft Kit from Bedford's The School of Craft – there is free delivery on craft kits this week, which include all you need to make your own Mexican Wrestlers Mask, or Modernist Flower Display! The boxes fold out into a mini-magazine with full instructions, extra activities and lots of information.

7. MOVIE MAGIC

Wreck it Ralph (times available here) is sure to be a hit with the younger contingent, on over half term at Cineworld, just a short walk from Russell Park. For very cheap cinema-fun, check out the Saturday morning kids' films.  At only £1 per person it's a bargain, and did you know, if you book online you can save 10%?!

8. FLAPJACK-TASTIC

One of the most popular bite-sized treats we sell at The Kiosk is Barbara's Triple-Tested-Flapjack.  Flapjack is perfect for a 'cooking with the kids' morning. Find our top recipe suggestion here.  (If it does all go horribly wrong, you can always come and taste how it should be done and buy some of Barbara's Flapjack at The Kiosk!)

9TOTALLY RUBBISH

Have a Spring clear out! Recycle any clothes that have been outgrown by donating them to one of the fabulous local charity shops. Other bits and bobs that you find cluttering up the house can also often be put to good use.  Challenge the kids to create a work of art from a load of rubbish - there are loads of ideas on the fabulous cbbc show Totally Rubbish.  And for more up-cycling ideas for kids to try (or for you to have a go at on their behalf!) have a look at this great Pintrest board. Pinspirational! 

10. LETS GO FLY A KITE

If you don't have the wherewithall to hire a Mary-Poppins-type-nanny for the day, (tempting as that might be) then do as the great lady herself advised and take your kite to Russell Park! If you didn't know, Russell Park is the home of the Kite Festival which will be back for the weekend of the 25th - 27th May 2013. Just enough time to get some practice in! All you need is a kite and bit of wind! (If you don't have a kite make your own!)

Have a wonderful Half Term - and we do hope you enjoy our activity challenge!  We'd love to know how well you did and what your top half term survival tips are too.  So head down to the Kiosk for a catch up and a reviving cup of coffee - we're open 8.30 - 5.00 all week!

Competition Terms & Conditions

Terms and Conditions for Canine at The Kiosk Photography Competition February/March 2013.

www.facebook.com/CaninesattheKiosk 

Terms-608x_w608

The Small Print...

1. All photos must be received by midnight on the 10th March 2013. The winners will be selected and informed via email the following week.

2. This competition is open to UK residents only.

3. The competition is judged upon, but not limited to, the following criteria....

The creative composition of the photo, image quality, relevance to category.

5. By entering this competition you grant Kiosk at the Park the right to publish submitted photo(s), your name, and your dogs name, on our blog, in the press and on our social networking channels.

6. Small photo alterations may be made by our staff in order to fit our website, social networking channels or email newsletters.

7. Canines at The Kiosk will be judged by a panel of local personalities chosen by The Kiosk Management. All decisions are final.

8. All photos sent to Canines at The Kiosk must be the legal property of the person submitting the image and must have been taken by them. The Kiosk at The Park will not be held responsible for any copyright infringements.

9. The Canines at the Kiosk team reserves the right to refuse any photograph which they deem unacceptable and not suitable for this competition.

10. By entering this competition you will also be automatically added to our mailing list but please feel free to unsubscribe at any time.

11. There is no limit to the number of submissions per person.

12. Please ensure the information you submit is completed accurately.  Canines at The Kiosk will not be responsible for photos being placed in the wrong categories due to inaccurate information submitted by entrant. 

13. This competition is in no way related to Facebook, although entries will be posted on www.facebook.com/CaninesatTheKiosk.

14. The winner will be announced on Sunday 17th March at 11am at The Kiosk, Russell Park, Bedford.

15. Entrants must be accompanied by the completion of the caption "My dog loves Russell Park because....", with contact details.  Entrants must specify whether they are over 16 or under 16. 

Chapter 2: Russell and the mystery of the lost tennis ball

What's all the noise, Swans?” Russell shouted over the squealing and kerfuffle.
"We've lost our ball!” called one of the swans. It might have been Sydney, it might have been Sam. It was always very difficult to tell the swans apart.
Sophie Squirrel put down her yoga mat and rested her paws on her hips. “You definitely can't play tennis without a ball. Why don't you go and look for it? Perhaps we could all have a bit of peace then.”
I'll go!” shouted Russell (as loud as hedgehogs can shout, which is actually not very loud. It's more like a loud-ish whisper).  Russell thought that it would probably take the swans ages to find the ball. They were not very good at getting underneath the sort of places a ball might roll, and sometimes they got their necks tangled up trying to look very quickly in all directions.
He had a poke about under a few bushes, but couldn't see it. He put his snuffly nose into the three nearest tree trunks, but there was no ball. As quickly as his little legs (very little legs, actually) could go, he scuttled under the big weeping willow tree and towards the Malmsbury Ginger Baker's Gingerbread House. Russell loved the gingerbread house, it smelled delicious. But after the last time (or the pink marshmallow sofa fiasco, as he like to call it), Russell remembered that he definitely must NOT nibble at the furniture. He stood up as high as he could on his back legs and pressed the Smartie doorbell.
 
'Ding dong' it rang, and Russell heard gingerbread footsteps running towards the door...

 

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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