It doesn’t matter if you or your kids have seen War Horse, the show, in order to enjoy this exhibition – and learn from it too, though not in a dreary way. It’s a history of how horses have been used in warfare, focussing mainly, though not solely, on the First World War when about 8 million horses were killed or slaughtered. More than anything it’s about the relationship between these highly trained animals and the men who rode and looked after them, and if your children are interested in either horses or the army, they will be engrossed by the exhibits on display – which include many really telling photographs, Siegfried Sassoon’s hand-written notebooks on horse care, riding equipment, and two of the National Theatre’s War Horse puppet heads, great seen up close. The show is interactive, so kids can sit on a saddle, and colour in and name their own war horse to be pinned on one of the exhibition’s walls. The National Army Museum has a really good kids zone too, as well as a good shop and cafe.
If you’ve got pre-teen kids and they haven’t discovered Wimpy Kid, now is your chance to introduce them to something they will love. Jeff Kinney’s books – the half cartoon, half written diaries of unpopular school kid Greg Heffley – are huge in the States, but have more of a cult following here. But those who know the books and the first film are obsessed, and have been counting the minutes for movie number two: Wimpy Kid 2, Roderick Rules. So treat them to the BFI’s Wimpy Kid day this Sunday. They’ll be able to create their own Greg Heffley diary at the free workshop at 11.30 am, and then be the first to see the film at the special preview screening at 1.30pm. Book now to avoid disappointment. Further good news: this is a movie that you’ll enjoy almost as much as them. Never mind Greg, we’re obsessed with Roderick.