111 FUN THINGS TO DO IN THE 2019 SUMMER HOLIDAYS

things to do with kids this summer in London.jpeg

Whatever the weather, living in London means there’s no shortage of fun things to do in the school summer holidays.

We’ve rounded up our favourite summer activities for kids - anything to prevent hearing the dreaded words: “I’m bored!”

And when we say kids, we mean kids of all ages - we've got something for babies, toddlers, tweens and teenagers - our guide aims to keep the whole family entertained.

If you're lucky enough to be leaving the country this summer, check our tips of flying long haul with kids.

We find it helpful to manage expectations and explain that we may not be going out every single day. Some days will mean time spent at home/in the garden and that may involve the kids entertaining themselves.

Find out why children feeling like they have nothing to do is a good thing via our guide on the benefits of creative play.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself either - especially if you work from home - often times the kids are happy to potter about in the same room as you, they can't always and often don't want to have every minute of their day planned or chock full of activities.

Think local - what’s going on in your local park or library? When you do go out for the day, always remember to bring your own water and healthy snacks. Nothing makes kids more hungry or thirsty than walking past a shop!

111 things to do this summer:

Disney In The West End Summer Pop-Up | Covent Garden - Tuesday 23rd July - Sunday 1st September 2019

Disney’s West End musicals The Lion King, Aladdin, Frozen, and Mary Poppins will be part of a Disney in the West End Summer Pop-Up in Covent Garden from Tuesday 23rd July until Sunday 1st September 2019. The pop-up will be at 21 Long Acre, Covent Garden and open every day from Monday – Saturday 10:30am - 7:00pm and Sunday at 11:00am - 5:00pm.

Visitors will be able to explore the iconic masks, puppets and costumes from The Lion King up-close and learn about the inspiration behind many of the show’s impressive designs, as well as enjoy the Circle of Life in a fully immersive 360⁰ Lenovo Mirage Solo virtual reality experience.

Disney in the West End Summer Pop-Up.jpg

For the first time ever in the UK, fans of Frozen will have the unique opportunity to interact with the musical and strike a pose in a specially-created photo moment.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy the nostalgic charm that made them fall in love with Aladdin the first time around and they may even catch a glimpse of the magic lamp in all its wonder.

You will be put through your paces with a Mary Poppins spelling challenge of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

More info at disneyonstage.co.uk.

A Day by the Seaside | Mile End Park Events Field - Wednesday 14th August

The seaside comes to London’s Mile End at the annual Day by the Seaside event. Plenty to do including donkey rides, arts and crafts, helter skelter, trampolining and more.

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Find out more on the Tower Hamlets government website.

Brainiac Live | 31 July – 1 September

Based on the popular science entertainment TV show, Brainiac Live! is a fun and fact-filled exploration of the weird and wonderful world of science, that through a series of high energy experiments delves fearlessly, and perhaps a little foolishly, into the mysteries of science.

Expect exploding dustbins, supercharged spinning chairs and the ultimate Airzooka challenge.

Book Brainiac Live here

Disney Store Westfield Stratford, Oxford Street + Westfield White City | 23 July - 15 August

This summer, Disney Store is hosting special events based on your favourite characters every Tuesday and Thursday between 2pm – 4pm to take part in their free weekly activities.

Design your own Lion Mane and wear with Pride

Tuesday 23rd & Thursday 25th July, 2-4pm

Create your own Forky

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Tuesday 30th July & Thursday 1st August, 2-4pm

Spider-Man Training Academy

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Tuesday 6th & Thursday 8th August, 2-4pm

Create your own Forky

Tuesday 13th & Thursday 15th August, 2-4pm

Activities run every half an hour during the times/dates above and are suitable for kids age 3+. They are happening in selected stores only, visit shopDisney.co.uk.events-and-activities to find your nearest store.

Summer at Horniman Museum | 24 July – 30 August

Pond Dipping - Every Monday 29 July - 19 August

things to do with kids summer holidays Pond dipping.jpg

Join pond dipping sessions exploring nature and wildlife in the museum’s Nature Trail pond. Suitable for children aged 5+. Tickets: Child £2.50

Hands on Base: Horniman Explorers | Every Monday and Friday - 26 July–30 August

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Discover the collections that make the Horniman special! Explore and touch things from puppets to sharks jaws in our Hands on Base.

Family Art Fun | Every Tuesday - 30 July–27 August

Enjoy making some fabulous art and craft inspired by the museum’s collections and Gardens. Tickets: £2.50

Wonderful Wednesdays | Every Wednesday, 24 July to 28 August

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Join in on a day of free family activities every Wednesday. There will be different themes and activities each week including storytelling, trails, family games and creative workshops.

Celebrating London National Park City Week | 24 July

Explore the museum Gardens with bug and tree experts, enjoy a sensory trail and find out about the importance of London’s green spaces for wildlife.

National Play Day | Wednesday 31 July

Go and play with the Horniman as part of National Play Day. Take part in free storytelling and family games in the gardens.

Nature Notebooks | Every Thursday from 25 July – 29 August

Create your own Nature Notebook to help you to explore the Horniman Gardens in a fun way.

Minibeast Safari | Every Friday from 26 July - 23 August

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Hunt for creepy crawlies and bugs on the Horniman Nature Trail and discover the variety of insect life to be found in London in spring. Suitable for children aged 3+.

All children must be accompanied by an adult. These activities are not suitable for prams or pushchairs. Tickets: Child £2.50

A World of Stories: August Bank Holiday | Monday 26 August

Be whisked away to faraway places and different times in these free storytelling sessions inspired by the Horniman’s collections. Suitable for children aged 5+.

Visit the Horniman Museum website for times and tickets.

Film4 Summer Screen | Somerset House - 8 – 21 August

The ultimate open-air cinema experience Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House returns in August for two weeks of screenings. Highlights from this season’s line-up include Black Panther, The Princess Bride and Clueless.

© James Bryant Photography

© James Bryant Photography

Dates, prices and times on the Somerset House website.

Smithfield Street Party: A Beastly Adventure | 25 August from 10 am - 6 pm

A fantastical free street party where the animals top the bill, curated by the Museum of London.

Learn how to dance like a bee, look up and watch extraordinary aerialists fly through the sky, transform your perspectives with free running classes and animal amusements and learn how to care for the animals that live alongside us.

In this year’s take on Culture Mile’s annual festival, all London’s animals – past, present or future, large and small, rare and familiar – will be taking over the streets around Smithfield Market for one day only to teach humans the secret ways of their world.

culturemile.london/festivals/smithfield-street-party

Summer at the Geffrye Museum of the Home | August 15 - 30

Explore the theme of kindness through free hands-on art, craft, digital and multi-sensory activities, family tours of the restored 18th century alms-house and trails in the museum’s beautiful gardens.

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Inspired by Charles Dickens’ boy-hero Pip and his journey of self-discovery in the novel Great Expectations, children will be encouraged to create small acts of kindness whilst learning about Victorian family life – having fun and making a difference at the same time.

Families are welcome to stay on afterwards and enjoy a late afternoon performance of Great Expectations by Free Theatre UK in the gardens (free/pay what you can).

As the museum is now closed until spring 2020 for a transformational redevelopment, most of the activities will take place outside, either on the lawn or under a big canopy.

Drinks and light refreshments will be available to buy or bring a picnic to eat on the lawn.

All activities free except tours of the 18th century alms-house for adults are £5.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Many of the workshops are drop-in. Booking for timed workshops opens 30 minutes in advance of each session and places are first-come first served.

geffrye-museum.org.uk

Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain - Part Four | August 1 - 31

We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead!

(c) Mark Douet

(c) Mark Douet

Be reduced to rubble by the ruthless Romans! Would you be shaken or stirred by Richard III? Will Queen Elizabeth I endure her terrible teeth?

Would you be hanged by King James I for being a witch? Mount a mutiny against King Henry VIII! See Mary Tudor knock the spots off Mary Queen of Scots. Peep into the world of Samuel Pepys and help Georgian detectives find the headless man!

Take a trip into the night with the night soil men and discover how to survive the first ever train ride!

Book Horrible Histories tickets here.

Summer at The Postal Museum | Saturday 20 July to Saturday 31 August

No matter the weather this summer, The Postal Museum will be celebrating with live music, barbecues, Wimbledon screenings, outdoor games and a fun-filled family programme inspired by the tradition of travelling to the seaside and The Great British Summer.

To kick off the summer holidays on Saturday 20 July, The Postal Museum invites visitors to join them for their opening summer weekend, where they will be able to help plant an urban garden, enjoy live music, feast on a sumptuous BBQ and play outdoor games in their green courtyard.

© The Postal Museum

© The Postal Museum

Families can also travel to the seaside without leaving London, with a range of beach-themed family-friendly activities. From Punch and Judy hand puppet workshops and postcard making sessions to storytelling and a book signing, there’s something for kids of all ages.

As well as enjoying the outdoor activities on offer, visitors can take a break from the sunshine and cool off with a ride through Mail Rail’s secret subterranean tunnels. Rides are included with all admission tickets.

Find out more on The Postal Museum website.

The Gruffalo | 3 July to 8 September

Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep dark wood… meet a wheeler-dealer Fox, an eccentric old Owl, a maraca-shaking, party-mad Snake!

Mouse can scare these hungry animals away with tall stories of the terrifying Gruffalo, but what happens when he comes face to face with the very creature he imagined…?

The Gruffalo is a musical adaptation of the best selling picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler and features colourful, comical characters and is a fun and lively mix of song, dance and drama.

Suitable for kids age 3 and over. Babes in arms free tickets to be issued to children under 18 months of age only at the venue on arrival.

Tickets from £18. Book to see the Gruffalo live here.

AI: More than Human | 1 – 26 Aug 2019, Barbican Centre

The exhibition maps out the development of artificial intelligence and explores how humans have evolved as a species alongside the technology.

Kids will enjoy visiting Sony’s robot puppy aibo, who has developed a specific personality from its database of memories, in his own enclosure. They will even be able to stroke him!

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In Universal Everything’s Future You, you can physically interact with a huge robot version of yourself and teach it how to move.

In Kreyon City, kids can plan and build their own LEGO city while interacting with an AI that advises them of what needs building, such as hospitals or schools.

Mario Klingemann’s piece Circuit Training will allow visitors to train a neural network to know what they find interesting by selecting from visuals it will present to them. The AI will then generate a piece of art tailored specifically to their interests.

In PoemPortraits, Es Devlin invites visitors to donate a single word to a photobooth installation, which will then turn it into a two-line poem generated by an AI. You can even take away a unique memento with your own PoemPortrait.

There’s a family day coming up on 27 July, which will include drop-in arts and crafts workshops.

More info via the Barbican website.

The Worst Witch | 24 July to 8 September

Long before Harry Potter, there was Mildred Hubble. An ordinary girl who found herself in an extraordinary place: a school for witches.

Now in her final year, accident prone Mildred and her fellow pupils are about to embark on their biggest and most important adventure yet.

Jealous Ethel Hallow is always out to spoil Mildred’s fun. Miss Hardbroom is opposed to all fun in general.

And just as Mildred sparks some inevitable mayhem certain to upset them both, an old enemy returns with a plan for revenge that could threaten not just the academy, but the whole world.

Recommended for kids age 7+. Tickets from £24. Book to see The Worst Witch here.

Dinosaur World Live | 18 July to 1 September

Grab your compass and join intrepid explorers across uncharted territories to discover a prehistoric world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs.

Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan and Segnosaurus, to name a few.

Tickets from £17. The show lasts 50 minutes (no interval) and is recommended for kids ages 3 and above. Babes in arms must get a free ticket from box office on arrival. There’s a special meet and greet with the dinosaurs after the show.

Book here.

9 Things To Do In The Royal Parks

  1. Enjoy summer nights at the Bandstand

The bandstands of Greenwich Park and The Regent’s Park will come alive this summer with the sweet sound of music.

Each weekend both bandstands will host free performances from a variety of local concert bands, jazz big bands, small groups and choirs – entertainment perfect for your summer picnics and outings.

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The Regent’s Park – Every Saturday and Sunday from 22 June to 8 September. Concerts start at 12.30pm and finish at 5.30pm with an interval. regentsparkmusicfestival.org.uk

Greenwich Park – Every Sunday from Sunday 23 June Concerts normally start at 3pm and finish at 5pm. They will also be hosting a Bank holiday Monday concert on Monday 26 August. friendsofgreenwichpark.org.uk

2. Bugtastic Family Fun

Bug-themed sensory activities, crafts, storytelling and in Richmond Park for children with special educational needs or disabilities and their families.

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3. Walking Tour: Peter Pan

Follow in Peter Pan's footsteps from Hyde Park to Kensington Gardens experiencing the magic that inspired J.M. Barrie's wonderful tales.

4. Ponds in the Royal Park

Get stuck into a survey of the park pond. Work out which species you have caught and record them. Learn about the carnivores, herbivores and omnivores found in a pond and how they move and hunt.

5. Discovery Day - Wild Water

Free, educational holiday activities looking at the Royals Parks' wild waterways.

6. Butterflies and Dragonflies in Bushy Park

The Royal Park has grasslands full of these wonderful creatures in the summer months. Join a butterfly hunt in the park, identify different species and take part in butterfly themed activities.

7. Discovery Day - Meadow Madness

Free, educational holiday activities focusing on the Royal Parks' meadows.

8. Go on the road with Mission Invertebrate

Discover the magnificent minibeasts that call London’s Royal Parks home. Join Mission: Invertebrate for a day of bug trails, creative crafting and invertebrate missions galore.

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Until October, Mission: Invertebrate will be on the road, visiting Royal Parks from Greenwich Park in the east to Bushy Park in the west, giving you the opportunity to get close to nature and learn more about the wonderful world of invertebrates.

9. Nature Explorers: Water World

Drop your young explorer off in Hyde Park to spend the day taking a dip and exploring the park's many waterways. Activities suitable for 8-11 years old.

Visit the Royal Parks website for times, dates and prices.

royalparks.org.uk/whats-on

Family Dance Day Festival | The Place | Saturday 20th July – 11am-4pm

For one day only, The Place opens its doors to London’s most exciting family dance event with plenty of performances, workshops and free activities.

(c) Rob Greig

(c) Rob Greig

families are invited to take over the beautiful Camden culture hub and discover a variety of dance styles through creative workshops where participants are transported across continents, from the storytelling of Kathak, a traditional Indian dance, to the thrills of Break Dance.

theplace.org.uk/whats-on

PETER PAN by J M Barrie | Troubadour White City Theatre | 20 July – 27 October

Get set for an awfully big adventure as the National Theatre’s magical retelling of J M Barrie’s PETER PAN, a thrilling story for audiences of all ages devised by the companies and directed by Olivier Award-winner Sally Cookson (Jane Eyre, A Monster Calls), will open at Troubadour White City, a new theatre in West London, this summer.

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We all know the story - All children grow up. Except one.

When leader of the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, loses his shadow during a visit to London, headstrong Wendy helps him re-attach it. In return she is invited to Neverland – where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await.

Tickets from £18.

peterpanonstage.com

Summer at Museum of London

Great Fire of London family walk | Saturday 20 July, Sunday 4 August & Saturday 24 August

Was the baker of Pudding Lane to blame? What did Samuel Pepys bury in his garden?

Find out on a 45 minute interactive family walk exploring how the Great Fire started, spread, and was finally stopped.

Take part in mini challenges as a family while you visit key sites of the Great Fire of London. Recommended age: 5+ Book in advance. Tickets: adults £7.50, children £5.00. Kids under 5 go free.

(c) Museum of London

(c) Museum of London

Seek the Beasts: Family summer trail | Saturday 27 July - Sunday 1 September

Uh-oh… It looks like some of the beasts from the Beasts of London experience are starting to get restless! They’ve escaped into the galleries and the museums needs your help to find them!

Can you seek them out in the galleries and find them all? Don’t forget to ask a host for help, there may be some extra escapees.

Ask a member of staff when you arrive for your free trail. This is a self-guided activity, so stop by anytime. This trail does not require entry to the ‘Beasts of London’ experience.

Culture Mile Explorers: A beastly family challenge | Sunday 30 June - Sunday 1 September

Intrepid explorers are needed for a new beastly adventure designed by award winning digital production studio Fish in a Bottle and inspired by the Museum of London’s Beasts of London experience.

The Beastly Family Challenge is an exciting digital treasure hunt connecting some of Culture Mile’s best family friendly spaces, with challenges, games and clues to help families explore a new route through the city.

You can play on your own devices, and details of how to access the trail will be available soon. The trail will take you away from the busy streets of the city and up to the City’s high walk and the streets in the air.

Roman London Family Walk | Sunday 21 July & Sunday 18 August

Go back 2,000 years and walk the streets of Roman Londinium, visit the remains of the Roman city wall, the location of a long lost fort and Londinium’s hidden amphitheatre, where brave gladiators and nimble acrobats entertained the raucous crowds, on this interactive tour for families.

Recommended age: 5+ Book in advance. Tickets: adults £7.50, children £5.00. Kids under 5 go free.

museumoflondon.org.uk

Summer at Museum of London Docklands

The events below are free and drop-in and most have a suggested age of 5+ unless otherwise noted.

Ration book recipes | Friday 26 July - 12pm - 2.30pm

Create your own recipe inspired by the museum collection and bring it to life using craft materials. But there’s a twist, you can only use what’s in your World War II ration book. What delicious meals can you rustle up?

Build a boat | Friday 2 August - 12pm & 2.30pm

Build a beautiful boat using recycled and craft materials and learn some sailor speak. Fill your boat with the goods that travelled to the Docks from all over the world.

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River tails and sewer stories | Select dates from Wednesday 7 - Saturday 31 August

Dive in to the sewers and discover tales of pirates, poo and pollution in this interactive family show.

London’s rivers are at risk! What would you do to save them? (To ensure your spot, book online in advance.

Peg dolls | Friday 9 August - 12pm & 2.30pm

Many poor children in the East End during the 1800s could not afford to buy toys. Instead they would make their own from materials they found.

(c) Museum of London

(c) Museum of London

Get crafty in this art workshop and make your very own peg doll like those made by Londoners in the past.

Pirate pictures | Friday 16 & Friday 30 Aug - 12pm & 2.30pm

Create your very own pirate hat and patch fit for any fearsome marauder. Then jump aboard your ship using digital technology to make a pirate picture.

Smells from the docks | Friday 23 Aug - 12pm & 2.30pm

Sniff the goods that would have sailed to the Docks in times past. Can you tell your cinnamon from your cloves?

(c) Museum of London

(c) Museum of London

Identify some mystery aromas and make your own smell bag to take home.

More info here.

Track Academy Outdoor Competition | Willesden Sport Centre | July 25

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Track Academy’s annual outdoor competition returns for an evening of local and national athletic talent.

Keep an eye out for world class athletes like Daley Thompson, Christian Taylor and Christine Ohuruogu as they often come to spectate.

All ages and abilities are welcome to sign up and compete; spectating is completely free.

On the last Saturday of every month families are invited to collectively run a mile. A mile is equal to 4 laps of the track and you can divide it between each of you, how you see fit.

Email events@trackacademy.co.uk for more information.

(In)visible Dancing | July 22nd – August 4th

Dance company Luca Silvestrini’s Protein will be tapping, spinning and leaping their way along the streets of Woolwich as they take their celebrated family-friendly, mass participation dance project, (In)visible Dancing, to London for the very first time.

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Seemingly ad-hoc pop-up performances by professional company members and local troupes will grow in scale before culminating in an explosive finale.

Hailing from Greenwich, the company will tread familiar ground as they revel in a joyous celebration of dance and community around Woolwich, which by 2020 will house the all-new Woolwich Creative District.

History of Polka Exhibition | Morden Hall Park | 16 July – 2 August 2019

To kick off Polka’s 40th birthday celebrations this year, Morden Hall Park and Polka Theatre are putting on a series of workshops for children, a Woodland Crafts and Storytelling Picnic, and an interactive exhibition exploring Polka’s heritage and legacy.

Polka’s building is currently closed for its £7.5 million redevelopment, but this summer children and families can enjoy Polka’s making and performing activities out and about in the beautiful surroundings of Morden Hall Park.

Credit Craig Fuller

Credit Craig Fuller

The focal point of the programme is the free exhibition that delves into Polka’s archive, giving children and adults a peek into the backstage world of this local theatre.

Co-designed with a host of local volunteers, the exhibition celebrates 40 years of children’s theatre and performance.

There are ticketed and free activities open to different age groups including acting workshops, talks and crafts.

polkatheatre.com/whats-on

Royal Opera House | Fabulous Creatures | Sunday 28 July 2019 - 11am to 3pm

immerse yourself in behind-the-scenes events at the Royal Opera House through a series of theatrical Family Sundays.

The next Family Sunday, Fabulous Creatures, gives you the chance to step into the magical worlds of opera and ballet and discover some of our fabulous creatures.

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Opera and ballet are full of fabulous creatures from magically transformed swans and the Firebird to dragons, water goblins and the Minotaur – not to mention fantastical human creatures such as mermaids and fairy godmothers.

From pop-up performances and singing workshops, to dancing and making with Royal Opera House artists, the day will be full of surprises, for children aged 3 and over and their families.

Tickets range from £8 to £10 and the event is best suited to children aged three to ten.

roh.org.uk/events

Pop up Screens Outdoor Cinema | From July 19 - September 29

If the weather stays good, here is something for everyone including Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins, lovable robot WALL-E, the Oscar Winning Spider-man: Into The Spiderverse and a sing along the Little Mermaid

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Kids’ tickets start from £8.80.

popupscreens.co.uk

TroubaKids Festival | Troubadour White City theatre - 23 July to 1 September

TroubaKids Festival brings Little Baby Bum Live, Monstersaurus and Aliens Love Underpants to the new Troubadour White City theatre

Based on the online and digital TV sensation, Little Baby Bum Live combines puppetry, live action and animation as audiences are invited to step into the magical and colourful world of ‘Little Baby Bum’ and join Mia, Jacus, Twinkle and their Nursery Thyme friends on an adventure.

(c) Helen Maybanks

(c) Helen Maybanks

‘Little Baby Bum’ began life on YouTube and is now one of the platform’s most watched channels with over 32 million subscribers and over 25 billion views across multiple platforms.

Monstersaurus comes from the same team behind ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ and follows the young inventor, Monty, as he creates a whole world of whacky inventions and incredible monsters.

Monty has a problem: now he has made all of these monsters, what is he going to do with them?!

Monstersaurus.jpg

Based on the international best-selling children’s book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort, Aliens Love Underpants is a hilarious tale brought to life on stage with stunning effects, madcap action, original music and lots of aliens.

(c) sjsphoto

(c) sjsphoto

Little Baby Bum Live’ is recommended for ages 0 – 5 years while Aliens Love Underpants and Monstersaurus are suitable for kids 3 – 8 years old.

Buy your tickets here for exclusive discounts:

Aliens Love Underpants Tickets

Little Baby Bum Live Tickets

Monstersaurus Tickets

Summer at Southbank Centre

The 17-acre site plays host to an array of free events and an abundance of fun and entertainment for the whole family.

Spanning the season’s holidays the destination adopts a festival atmosphere celebrating summer with a new and varied programme to suit all age groups.

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With free events throughout the season the summer-long party by the River Thames explodes with family events as well as performances, film screenings, live music and DJs.

Highlights include:

  • Jeppe Hein’s free interactive sculpture returns to Southbank Centre after popular appearances in previous summers, providing excitement for the whole family. Shooting jets of water into the air, the fountain creates rooms that disappear as quickly as they emerge.

  • Free, outdoor pedal-powered film screenings Little Shop of Horrors, Chicago, Moulin Rouge and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  • Peppa Pig: My First Concert everyone’s favourite pig family leads a fun, interactive introduction to live orchestra.

  • ZooNation Youth Company makes a welcome return to Queen Elizabeth Hall with Tales of the Turntable, a toe-tapping, heart-warming dance and music show for all the family commissioned by Southbank Centre

Peppa Pig Concert.jpg

Find out more about the summer season at Southbank Centre here.

Discounted Theatre Shows

Did you know that going to the theatre can help your children do better at school?

Find cheap and discounted tickets for London theatre here.

Visit A Theme Park

Technically, there aren’t any theme parks in London (although Visit London argue Shrek’s Adventure, London Dungeon and even Go Ape count as theme parks!) but if you’re willing to travel a bit, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and LEGOLAND are worth a visit.

From Friday 19 July to Monday 2 September, Chessington is throwing The Gruffalo Summer Party, to celebrate The Gruffalo’s 20th Birthday.

As we're all hoping for good weather this summer, LEGOLAND is offering a splashtastic time in the Resort’s splash-tastic play areas. In Splash Safari little ones can play amongst their favourite DUPLO animal friends, brought to life with a host of water features.

Bigger kids can brave the oversized tipping DUPLO brick and whiz down the water slides at the largest outdoor water play structure in the UK; Drench Towers.

Over at the Heartlake Harbour Arena, the LEGO® Friends are back for the summer in their all singing and dancing live action show – ‘LEGO Friends to the Rescue’.

Kids can discover “The LEGO® MOVIE™ 2” film set recreated in hundreds of LEGO bricks in The LEGO® MOVIE™ 2 Experience. You can even become part of the action in a new 4D movie; ‘LEGO City 4D Officer in Pursuit!’ brought to life through 3D glasses and 4D water, wind, fire and bubble effects.

The Making of Harry Potter Tour

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London gives you the opportunity to enter the magical world of Harry Potter with a visit to the captivating studios that produced the most successful film series of all time.

See the imaginative sets, costumes and props used and worn by your favourite characters in the films during this unique walking tour.

Showcasing the best in British filmmaking and revealing some closely guarded production secrets, you can take a stroll through Privet Drive, wander down cobbled Diagon Alley and hop on Hagrid’s bike during the tour – you have the option to purchase a famous Butterbeer to sip on too!

Book Harry Potter tour tickets here.

Underbelly Festival Southbank | 7 - 28 July

Underbelly Festival Southbank offers a variety of family entertainment including circus spectacular Transit by Flip Fabrique; a thrilling exploration of travel and transition showcasing dazzling circus skills from acrobatics and aerial to diablo and trampolining.

London’s only mother-baby stand-up show Screaming with Laughter returns to the Southbank on 13 July with the Scummy Mummies and Darren Walsh.

Shakespearience (14 July) provides the ultimate introduction to the Bard for little ones; an uproarious whizz through the Bard’s greatest work.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant (20-21 July) sees David McKee’s beloved multicoloured creation take to the stage on the Southbank for the first time to celebrate its 30th Birthday with a fabulous 21-strong puppet-theatre show.

(c) David Jensen

(c) David Jensen

There's also Monski Mouse and her Baby Disco Dancehall and contemporary kids classic Shark in the Park.

Tickets and pricing here.

Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – the Musical! | National Theatre - 25 July to 31 August

Who likes bears? Everyone likes bears! Well, not quite everyone…

Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals and fun of any kind – so when a big bear called Padlock strolls into town, trouble can’t be far off.

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Can nine-year-old Polly and her band of misfit friends help Padlock escape the villain’s evil clutches, or will Mr Gum and his gruesome butcher sidekick prevail?

Based on Andy Stanton’s hilariously anarchic, award-winning children’s books, Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – the Musical! promises to be an all-singing, all-dancing, occasionally-burping extravaganza for children and adults.

There will be free family activities in the foyer one hour before each 2pm performance and family workshops will also accompany this show.

Suitable for kids age 7+. Tickets from £15. Book via the National Theatre website.

Check out these events that are on year round and are particularly suited to when you’re looking for things to do in the summer school holidays: