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This weekend sees a huge science fair at London’s ExCel exhibition centre; some new film releases sure to keep the grandkids happy while the snow falls (again!) and an amazing automata exhibition on board a German warship… All aboard for another weekend of fun and frolics in and around the capital, with, as usual, one or two things to do elsewhere as well.

The Big Bang Fair at the ExCel centre is running all weekend and on into next week. It’s a massive event, whose intention is to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world  by showing kids how the science they learn at school can get them into some really cool careers.

Crammed with interactive exhibitions; as well as interesting stands and plenty of workshops; the Big Bang Fair is opening just before the weekend and still has plenty of places left for Saturday and Sunday. Booking is advised.

If getting involved with the crazy experiments at the Big Bang isn’t enough for the science minded, there’s a new exhibition in town too – and it’s on board the MS Stubnitz, a German warship currently docked close to Canary Wharf. The Stubnitz is hosting an exhibition of awesome automata this weekend (the exhibition lasts until April). The Cabaret of Mechanical Theatre is a collection of working automata made by some of the most famous artists working in the medium – including Paul Spooner, whose moving Anubis models have been loved and admired all over the world for decades.

In case you didn’t know, an automaton is a model that can be made to perform a scene by pressing buttons and pulling levers. Kids love to watch as the funny little mini-shows unfold in front of them.

This week sees a number of kid’s films in the cinema, including Sam Raimi’s Oz: the Great and the Powerful, which has received a number of glowing reviews from kids and critics alike. Set in the time before the Wizard became the Wizard, Oz explores the history of a family favourite. It’s satisfyingly creepy and may be a bit dark for very young viewers.

Long-awaited animated cavemen adventure The Croods also shows in preview screenings this weekend, so watch out for some Flintstone style adventures. Well, if the residents of Bedrock were a bit ruder, that is.

In Birmingham, Dudley Zoological Gardens and Castle are hosting a Tickle a Tapir day – every day! Kids get the chance to help groom and clean out the tapir enclosure. Ideal for the budding Attenborough, and fascinating for adults too. No booking required.

In Manchester, the Manchester Irish Festival 2013 is in full swing. It builds up to a huge Patrick’s Day carnival on Sunday, so if you’re in the mood for some outdoor fun then this could be the place to go. There are also other events, including an Irish Market lasting for the duration of the festival. No booking required.