Head to the V&A for the Making Herself Up tour - a collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to Frida Kahlo; many of which have never before been exhibited outside of Mexico. There’ll be eyebrow pens and bespoke boots for her prosthetic leg on display, necklaces, painted corsets, and photographs.
The Science Museum is one of our favourite places to take the kids as there's always the chance to learn through play when we're there.
This holiday choose from:
Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery
The £6 million interactive children's gallery has exhibits, specially commissioned artworks, explosive demonstrations and immersive experiences led by the museum's team of science communicators. Under 3s go free.
Mathematics: The Winton Gallery
Budding Mathematicians will love exploring remarkable stories, historical artefacts and design to highlight the central role maths plays in our lives, You'll also get to see how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped build the modern world over the last 400 years. Free.
Space Descent VR with Tim Peake
Everyone's favourite astronaut Sir Tim guides you on a virtual reality mission as you explore the latest state of VR technology and get a 360 degree look inside the famour Soyuz capsule. Suitable for kids age 13+. Tickets from £7.
A special overnight workshop for kids age 7 to 11 featuring science shows, a film in the IMAX theatre, a sleepover at the museum and a tasty breakfast. Tickets from £60.
Get up close and personal to Banksy's famous pieces in the first UK exhibition which allows visitors to see Banksy’s work all in one place; from stenciled canvases, to unique paintings, to limited-edition prints and many more. The unique collection will reaffirm how relevant the anonymous artist’s social and political comments are in today’s world, whilst letting art enthusiasts view works they may have never known existed.
Free entry. More info here.
Michael Rosen’s beloved and ever-so-slightly scary story about an intrepid family on a hunt for a bear transports itself to the West End stage, celebrating ten years since its first UK tour. From early July until 2nd September at the Lyric Theatre, the familiar rhythmic tale comes to life through original songs, puppetry, lights, music, and a beautifully soulful singing dog. From swirling snowstorms to splishy splashy water, dark forests that make you stumble-trip and swishy swoshy grass, the cast use cardboard, paint, buckets and ribbons to build a magical terrain that comes totally alive.
It’s an immersive experience with a few damp surprises that will keep the kids wide-eyed; scenes of messy, muddy play and water-filled buckets and a snowstorm engulfs the audience in light and sound, all backed up by Benji Bower’s glorious musical score.
There’s a strong Rosen-inspired thread through both the dialogue and the songs that’ll keep the kids who know the book singing along, catchy enough to get everyone in the audience clapping and singing and making butterflies and waving their arms in the air in a festival-esque kind of way. The music will stay with you, especially the dog Buddy (aka Benjamin Hills) singing the bluesy “What A Beautiful Day”, which transports you to a prairie plain instead of the darkened bowels of Shaftesbury Avenue.
There’s tension, thrills and spills; the performance builds up into the *spoiler alert* moment the bear finally gets found, and the family, slightly more scared than they thought they were, run breathlessly all the way to the safety of their home. Courage, imagination, music and play all come together in this wonderful stage adaption of a well-loved tale - keep this one for a summer family treat.
Suitable for kids age 3+. Book here.
Inspired by the classic 1940 Disney film, Sounds and Sorcery celebrates Disney FANTASIA via a series of installations that bring some of the world’s most iconic classical music to life in a multi-sensory experience.
Step inside The Vaults maze of tunnels in Waterloo where, wearing individual headphones, a 96-piece orchestra will guide you on an interactive journey. Each space will reveal a fantastical environment using a combination of cutting edge binaural sound, 3Dprojections, elaborate set designs and dazzling lighting effects to reimagine the many worlds of Disney Fantasia.
Some of the sets and scenes will be dark, with flashing lights, in unusual environments. You will be given headphones and an iPod touch to carry to experience the music, and so the event may not be suitable for young children.
Tickets from £30 (concessions available)
Fly high at the National Army Museum with their Summer mission: Parachute adventures activities and workshops. Inspired by the Special Forces: In the Shadows exhibition, the Museum is running a series of fun filled activities for children of all ages throughout the summer holiday.
From parachute making to camouflage and aerodynamics, participants will learn about the challenges of working in extreme conditions through a variety of specially designed drop-in workshops and activities. Put your knowledge and skills to the test as you design, create, and target drop your parachute. Does your parachute have what it takes to survive the fall? See how it stacks up against the competition by joining our leader board for the more competitive challenges.
What happens once your parachute lands safely? The journey to the ground is just the beginning of your mission. Learn about how to ensure you pack the right tools for success and test your memory in our Kim’s game activity. Do you have the skills and knowledge needed to complete this mission?
Summer Mission: Parachute Adventures
Activities daily Monday – Saturday
Design Your Own Parachute
- 10.30am – 11.15am and 2pm – 2.45pm
- Pick up a free ticket from the Welcome Desk
What material, shape and design makes the best parachute? What will you choose? Make sure your paratrooper can hit the target, stay camouflaged and complete the mission.
Giant Parachute Drop Zone times
- 11.20am – 11.50am and 2.50pm – 3.20pm
- Drop in
How well can your parachute fly? Test your accuracy and beat your friends with our daily drops. Can you make our leaderboard? Come back another day to try and beat your personal best!
Mission Training sessions
- 12pm – 12.45pm and 3.30pm – 4.15pm
- Pick up a free ticket from the Welcome Desk
Get prepared for your special mission with one of our training workshops. Sharpen your memory to see if you can make the cut, pack your bag with the essentials for survival and test your observation skills with our spot the sniper activity.
More info here.
Soar through the sky on a 225-metre zip wire taking in the sights of Parliament and the London Eye
An additional wire has been added so up to 3 people at a time can ride side by side.
You can also take part in a free-fall experience called the ‘Mega Drop’ for a heart-in-the-mouth freefall before being lowered safely down to earth. The entire Zip Now experience lasts 40 minutes which includes a thorough safety briefing.
Children must be 8 years old and a minimum of 1.2m tall in order to take part.
Tickets start at £22.50, children £16.50 and family and group packages are available.
Disney’s spectacular musical Aladdin has breathtaking sets, mind-blowing special effects, over 350 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast and orchestra bringing the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life on the West End stage.
Featuring all the songs from the classic Academy Award®-winning film including ‘Friend Like Me’, ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Arabian Nights’, prepare to experience the unmissable ‘theatrical magic’ (Daily Telegraph) that is Aladdin.
Suitable for children age 3+.
Tickets from £25. Book here.
Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, with original songs from comedian Tim Minchin, Matilda is the captivating new musical masterpiece from the RSC that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.
Winner of five Best Musical awards with 5 star reviews.
Suitable for children age 5+.
Tickets from £30.50. Book here.
Wembley Park's Summer of Play includes over 300 hours of free events and displays including music, movement workshops, film and theatre screenings, crafts and markets - the majority of which are free.
National Theatre Live screenings
The National Theatre comes to Wembley Park’s summer screen with first-ever screenings in the Borough of Brent. Family friendly films included.
Emergency Exit Arts Workshops
Join one of eight creative workshops where kids can learn woodworking skills while carving totems, make benches with Stephen Stockbridge and discover their sewing skills while creating flags with visual artist Helen Davenport.
Tickets: £10 with two free bank holiday sessions for local children.
A troupe of world renowned hula-hoopers will take Wembley Park by storm with their all-star routines.
Find out more here.
Summer fun at the museum includes:
Hetty Feather & Rose Rivers Day: Art Workshop
- Saturday 21 July 2018
- 10:30-16:45 | Free with Museum admission
Drop in to our free, artist-led workshops to celebrate Jacqueline Wilson’s new book, Rose Rivers. Inspired by the bangles Rose gives to her friends Hetty and Clover, make your own friendship bracelets and charms to fit onto them. Pick which character you’d like to make your bracelet for, and let your creativity flow. Workshops run throughout the day and are drop-in. No booking needed.
- Tuesday 31 July 2018
- Sessions run 11:00-12:30, 13:15-14:45 & 15:00-16:30
Inspired by Jodie Carey’s monumental installation Sea and the Foundling Hospital fabric tokens, explore ideas of identity in this fun workshop. Led by Sculpture Lab, create a series of plaster casts using scraps of found clothing. Suitable for age 5+. Book a session on the day. Free for children and up to two accompanying adults.
- Friday 3 August 2018
- Sessions run 11:00-12:30, 13:15-14:45 & 15:00-16:30
Create a colourful sculpture inspired by Yinka Shonibare MBE’s Trumpet Boy. Using found objects, fabric and modelling materials build a sculpture that reflects your heritage, interests and identity. Suitable for age 5+. Book a session on the day. Free for children and up to two accompanying adults.
More info here.
Polka is one of the few theatres in the UK dedicated exclusively to children. This school holiday our faves include:
Jacqueline Wilson’s Double Act
Ruby and Garnet are twins, identical, inseparable and do absolutely EVERYTHING together. But their lives are about to change. Dad’s gone a bit weird and has been acting strange ever since he started dating that frizzy dizzy Rose. And why has he gone and bought a bookshop in the country?
Suitable for kids ages 8+.
The Everywhere Bear
The Everywhere Bear has a home on a shelf but he doesn’t spend very much time by himself, as each boy and girl in the class is a friend and he goes home with one of them every weekend.
One day he gets more than he bargained for when he falls unnoticed from a backpack and embarks on his own big adventure! He’s washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, carried off by a seagull... How will he ever make it back to Class One?
This new story from best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb comes to life with rhyme, original music and delightfully expressive puppets in a fun and exciting stage adaptation.
Suitable for kids ages 3-6
Find out prices and book tickets here.
The Royal Parks are hosting a series of free events for young bug-enthusiasts over the summer holiday with free family minibeast roadshows designed to uncover the Royal Parks’ hidden inhabitants.
Kids can learn more about the amazing minibeasts that call London’s parks home this summer, as Mission: Invertebrate aims to raise public awareness of the vital role creatures like snails, worms, spiders and insects, play in our ecosystem. With many native species of invertebrates under threat, the project hopes to get people involved in conservation work to help them thrive.
Uncover the fascinating secrets of a host of invertebrate, through bug hunting, critter crafting and interactive storytelling, with road show dates throughout July and August, at each of the capital’s eight Royal Parks – St James’s Park, The Green Park, The Regent’s Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park.
Activities will be on offer between 11am and 3pm, and are free with no booking required.
Visit royalparks.org.uk/missioninvertebrate for further details.
Home to one of our favourite water fountains, there's plenty to do with the kids before and after you've had a splash around.
Our faves include:
25 July – 7 August
10.00 – 18.00 daily
Accompanying the activity across the site is Circus Originals, an exhibition exploring the history of contemporary circus from the beginnings of modern circus in the 1800s through to present day, featuring a new installation from Rose English.
- 28 – 29 July and 4 – 5 August
- 12.00 – 17.00; times of performances vary
The biggest free outdoor contemporary circus event in central London this summer, Circus Sampler will present two weekends of distinctive and original contemporary circus to celebrate 250 years since Philip and Patty Astley pioneered circus in the capital.
Joining forces with Somerset House-based visual theatre producers Crying Out Loud, Circus Sampler will showcase compelling, large-scale work from 65 artists, including outdoor performances from experimental hip hop theatre collective Far From The Norm, hoola hoop acrobat and twelve times Guinness World Record holder Marawa the Amazing and the Majorettes, and juggling maestros Gandini Juggling with live brass music from French circus company Circa Tsuica.
Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House: Sleeping Beauty
- Sunday 19 August
- Doors open 18.30
- Tickets: £19.75
- 13.30-16.30: Drop in workshop for families - Free
For a magical family Sunday film night, Film4 Summer Screen features a Disney animated classic for the first time with 1959’s Sleeping Beauty. During the day, families are invited to attend a free workshop, hosted by animator Lauren Orme, to help realise Sleeping Beauty’s dreams by creating dream like figures through drawing and 3D modelling.
More info here.
There’s always something for the kids at Horniman Museum and this summer is no exception. Our favourite events include:
Summer Welly Walk on the Nature Trail
Saturday 28 July, 1.45pm until 3.30pm
Get your wellies on and join the Horniman Nature Trail to explore the animals, insects and plants that thrive there in summer. Have a go at sweep-netting, tree-beating and identifying what you discover.
Suitable for children aged 5+. Tickets: Child £3, Adult £5
Bach to Baby Family Concert: All Around the World in 60 Minutes
Monday 6 August, 11am-12pm
Enjoy a magical musical adventure with Bach to Baby, the critically acclaimed classical concert series for the whole family. Little ones can roam about and revel in the wonder of live music, and no concert is complete without crying, feeding and dancing!
Suitable for children of all ages. Tickets: Children free, Adult £15 includes entry to our prize draw.
Shared World Summer Season
8 July – 2 September 2018
Celebrate the opening of the museum's new World Gallery with a season of vibrant cultural activities that bring people together. Enjoy fun festival days, music, dance, food and art activities that all share the human qualities of creativity, curiosity and collaboration.
Sundays, 5, 19 and 26 August: 3-5pm
Put on your dancing shoes for free upbeat concerts guaranteed to make you move! Enjoy an eclectic mix of Afro-Latin styles, reggae, Afrobeat and funky Ethojazz from nine-piece bands and soulful artists.
Big Wednesdays: Shared World
Wednesdays, 8, 15, 22, 29 August, 10.30am-3.30pm
Join free performances, storytelling, art and craft and films and celebrate what makes us human and connects us with nature. Look out for special activities inspired by the exciting new arts space, The Studio, which opens in October.
23 July–30 August
Family Art Fun: Summer Holidays
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - entry every 45 mins from 11am onwards. Last entry 2.30pm.
Enjoy free and fabulous craft activities inspired by the Horniman’s collections, new World Gallery and Colour: The Rainbow Revealed exhibition. Suitable for children for aged 3+.
Horniman Explorers: Summer Holidays
Mondays and Fridays (Except Monday 27 August) 11am until 12.30pm, 2pm until 3.30pm
Drop into the Hands on Base to take part in free fun challenges and activities such as trying on clothes, playing musical instruments, drawing and exploring museum objects. Suitable for children for aged 3+.
Big Wednesdays: The Big Butterfly Count
Wednesday 25 July, 10.30am until 3.30pm
Celebrate beautiful butterflies with a free day of activities including a Big Butterfly Count on the Nature Trail.
Big Wednesdays: Horniman Favourites
Wednesday 1 August, 10.30am until 3.30pm
Join a day of the Horniman’s favourite free summer activities and events. See a Punch and Judy show and meet the owls from JAMBS Owls.
Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm
Pond dipping activities to discover nature and wildlife in the Horniman Nature Trail pond. Suitable for children aged 5+. Tickets: Child £5.
Find out more here.
Bring a cushion and watch some classic films for free at the outdoor cinema, with each film linking to Southbank Centre’s themed summer weekends. You can power the films themselves on one of the bikes provided by Electric Pedals. The bicycle-powered cinema is 100% human powered and completely off-grid.
Screenings start at 9.15pm so may be more suited to older kids/teens.
Wednesday 25 July, from 9.15pm, Summertime Stage, Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre
Free outdoor screening of the classic comedy Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg (rated PG). Approx running time: 100 mins
Wednesday 1 August, from 9.15pm, Summertime Stage, Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre
Free outdoor screening of Jim Henson’s 1986 classic fantasy film, Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly (rated U). Approx running time: 140 mins
Wednesday 8 August, from 9.15pm, Summertime Stage, Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre
Free outdoor screening of the original 1988 version of Hairspray, the oddball teen dance drama directed by John Waters. Featuring Divine, Ricki Lake, Sonny Bono and Debbie Harry (rated PG). Approx running time: 90 mins
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
Wednesday 15 August, from 9.15pm, Summertime Stage, Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre
Free outdoor screening of the 2017 smash hit musical film The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman (rated PG). Approx running time: 95 mins.
Wednesday 22 August, from 9.15pm, Summertime Stage, Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre
Free outdoor screening of the kitsch high-school musical film Grease. Forty years since its release, the film starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta as star-crossed sweethearts Sandy and Danny is as feisty and funny as ever (rated PG). Approx running time: 120 mins
More info here.
OKIDO, the independent arts and science magazine for young children and their families, is holding a weekly series of Art and Science workshops every Friday of the school holiday.
Each workshop will be centred around a different topic where we learn about it through discussion, reinforce it with a fun science experiment or make something fun to take home.
You’ll get to meet the people behind the magazine and the hit TV show ‘Messy goes to OKIDO’, learn something new, take part in some fun activities, and make new friends.
The Summer Club is most suitable for children aged 3-7.
These workshops are a great learning environment to satisfy curious little minds through collaboration, curiosity, exploration, creativity, discovery, and critical thinking and will cover everything from Gravity and Dinosaurs to Colour and The Body.
Tickets from £8 per child. Adults don’t need to buy tickets.
Join a new line-up of acclaimed authors, illustrators and performers for the annual family storytelling festival Shakespeare’s Telling Tales.
With rescued elephants, pirate queens and a host of Shakespeare characters kids will be in for a treat of a weekend celebrating the joy of storytelling.
Opening the festival on Friday 27 July is a new adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling children’s novel An Elephant in the Garden, by Simon Reade. Performer Alison Reid and cellist Clare O’Connell will bring to life the story of Marlene the elephant and her escape to a family’s back garden in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
On Saturday 28 July, a gang of Roald Dahl characters will take over the Playhouse with the Magnard Ensemble’s Revolting Rhymes and Marvellous Music. Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs and a host of dirty beasts will all be brought to life with music and narration.
On Sunday 29 July, Fleurble Laffalot will return to the Globe to explore the magical world of J.K. Rowling’s much-loved Harry Potter books, whilst Chris Riddell will join poet and performer A. F. Harrold for Things You Find in a Poet’s Beard. Also on Sunday, Ankita Saxena, commended twice in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, will lead a hands-on writing workshop for 11-14 year olds inspired by Shakespeare’s retelling of popular stories. Performance poet and playwright Joseph Coelho will break down the Shakespearean sonnet and teach participants to write and perform their own in his Superstar Sonnet Spinner workshop.
Throughout the weekend, Globe storytellers will recreate Othello, The Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Workshops exploring the characters and themes of each play will also be taking place each afternoon. Families can also take a trip to Bottom’s Book Market, a magical reading forest beneath The Globe where storytellers will read extracts from some of their favourite stories.
Tickets from £7. Book here.
Shrek’s Adventure brings the sparkle to the Southbank at their Trolls Summer Festival.
After your adventure in Far Far Away, party true Trolls style and step through the curtain to enter the rainbow filled world of Trolls where there's the chance to dance, sing, craft and even meet Poppy.
After watching some troll-tastic videos, including exciting musical moments that are sure to get little feet moving, you can make your way to the craft station where little hands can get busy bringing the Trolls world to life.
For an extra £5 children can take to the stage with Poppy and sing-a-long some classics including ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling.'
For more info and to book your tickets visit shreksadventure.com/london.
Southbank Centre plays host to a wealth of family-friendly activities, including live music, family shows, workshops, circus and plenty of outdoor fun.
ZOONATION PRESENTS THE NEXT GENERATION
Saturday 28 July, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. Suitable for kids age 4+. Tickets from £15
Southbank Centre Associate Company ZooNation Youth Company present a spectacular show of dance and musical talent created for and by young people. Kicking off the school holidays, ZooNation Youth Company (ZYC), under the direction of Rhimes Lecointe, perform an innovative night of dance, music and spoken word alongside guest performers.
Tuesday 7 - Sunday 12 August, 11am + 2pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room. Suitable for kids age 3+. Tickets from £8.
Young inventor Monty creates a whole world of wacky inventions and incredible monsters in Monstersaurus. From the creators of Aliens Love Underpants, Monstersaurus is an energetic show full of thrills, spills, magic and mayhem. There’s original music and lots of audience participation.
GRAVITY + OTHER MYTHS: BACKBONE
Tuesday 14 - Sunday 19 August 2018, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, 5pm & 7:30pm. Suitable for kids age 7+. Tickets from £20
A high-octane exploration of the limits of human strength, circus company Gravity & Other Myths take a visceral ride to the edges of physical, cerebral and collective brawn in this UK premiere. Staged with a deceptively DIY aesthetic and dispensing of trickery and distraction, this is circus that goes straight for the jugular and leaves no viewer unmoved. Backbone is the culmination of all that’s gone before: a celebration of human connectedness and the meaning of strength.
HOW TO CATCH A STAR
Thursday 23 - Monday 27 August, 11am & 2pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room. Suitable for kids age 4+. Tickets from £7.
Based on the beloved book by award-winning Irish author Oliver Jeffers, Branar Téatar do Pháistí return to the Southbank Centre to present the eponymous theatre show How to Catch a Star. Following the story of a boy who dreamt of having a star as a friend and his adventure, the performance combines puppetry and a magical original score.
Until Sunday 9 September, 10am - 9pm, Queen’s Walk, near Waterloo Bridge
Can’t get to the seaside but want to enjoy the beach? Come to Southbank Centre with your own bucket and spade and there will be 85 tonnes of golden sand to play with.
JEPPE HEIN’S APPEARING ROOMS FOUNTAIN
Until Sunday 9 September, from 12pm - 9pm Mondays, from 10am - 9pm Tuesday - Sundays, Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre
This interactive sculpture, created by Danish artist Jeppe Hein, returns to Southbank Centre after popular appearances in previous summers. Shooting jets of water into the air, the fountain creates rooms that disappear as quickly as they emerge.
Find out more here.
Pop Up Screens provides a pop-up cinema experience to moviegoers with bring brilliant movies at cool locations. This summer, get your movies al fresco with the following family-friendly screenings. (See their website for the full/more grown up listings)
Family-friendly films include:
Ruskin Park, Denmark Hill - Saturday 28th July
Corams Field, Russell Square - Sunday 5th August
Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
- Friday 10th August - 10 Things I Hate About You
- Saturday 11th August - Beauty and the Beast (2017)
- Sunday 12th August - The Greatest Showman
Manor House Gardens, Hither Green
Friday 24th August - The Jungle Book
Times and prices here.
Disney’s hit West End musicals Aladdin and The Lion King are hosting a summer Pop-Up in Covent Garden throughout August. Located at 25 Long Acre in the heart of Theatreland, the Pop-Up will be open every day from Tuesday 31st July until Sunday 26th August with a host of free interactive experiences and special events to enjoy.
You'll be able to explore the iconic masks, puppets and costumes from the Tony-Award winning The Lion King up-close and learn about the inspiration behind many of the show’s designs. Step inside a specially-created ‘Cave of Wonders’ and take a photo with the legendary lamp from Aladdin.
Delve into a treasure hunt to uncover four magic lamps – each offering a clue to an Aladdin themed puzzle. Those who unscramble the message can take home a limited edition poster as their well-earned reward.
A variety of free events will take place daily within the Pop-Up including performances from cast members of the two West End shows, puppetry demonstrations and stage makeup masterclasses, as well as vocal and movement bite-sized workshops to get a first-hand flavour of the shows’ music and choreography.
The full schedule is available to view at disneyonstage.co.uk and access to events is available on a first-come first-served basis.
Prepare for a procession as the Museum of London Docklands takes you on a journey to the Roman Underworld with a month of free interactive shows, Styx, stones and Roman bones.
The ancient Romans had unique beliefs surrounding death, which affected how they lived
their lives. Romans would often have money, food and other items placed into their graves,
as they believed their souls would need such objects for the journey around the River Styx,
which wound its way through the Underworld nine times.
Visitors will help a Roman spirit travel to the afterlife by using song and dance, creating
special trinkets, and joining a procession, just as the Romans would have done to help their
loved ones complete their journey over 2,000 years ago.
After the show families will have the opportunity to visit the museum’s exhibition, Roman
Dead, the latest major exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands, which explores burial
practices and funerary rites in ancient Londinium.
The exhibition features the first sarcophagus discovered in London in over a decade as well
as 11 skeletons and 250 other objects left behind in graves by friends and loved ones.
The free event runs every Wednesday to Saturday in August.
11.30 am – 12.15 pm | 1.30-2.15 pm | 3-3.4 5pm
More info here.
Prepare yourselves for Horrible Histories live on stage with a brand new show featuring all new scenes in Barmy Britain – Part Four.
Be reduced to rubble by the ruthless Romans. Would you be shaken or stirred by Richard the Third? 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!
Tickets from £18.50.
Suitable for children age 5+. Book here.
Heroic deeds, epic duels and a lavish masquerade ball all come to life in a huge, outdoor adventure for all the family.
It’s 1626 and a young d’Artagnan sets out for Paris, determined to join the King’s Musketeers. There’s just one problem, women aren’t allowed. Undaunted, our heroine disguises herself as man and manages to befriend the legendary Musketeer trio Athos, Aramis and Porthos.
The four fast friends are soon caught up in deadly plot involving the Queen, twelve diamonds studs and the safety of the entire French state. Will this mean war with England? Will all four of our heroes survive? And will anyone discover d’Artagnan’s secret?
This summer in the grounds of St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, join d’Artagnan on her secret mission to be the first female Musketeer.
Tickets from £17. Book here.
Summer Screenings takes over the Leicester Square Gardens during the first two weekends of August from 10.30am until 8pm with a line-up of family favourite films including: The Incredibles, The Lego Movie, Sing, Finding Nemo and more.
Using special pixel pitch LED screens, which are ideal for outdoor viewing, the open air cinema will welcome up to 750 film buffs, who can recline in comfort on their own picnic blankets, or sink into some of the scatter bean bags provided.
The screenings will be interspersed with a series of free fun activities and giveaways from Leicester Square’s West End neighbours, including interactive quizzes, competitions and spot prizes.
As part of the event, local businesses are also offering a number of exclusive discounts that will be running throughout the summer screening weekends for visitors to enjoy. These include a 20% discount at a number of restaurants, 2for1 entry for adults with ‘kids go free’ at the new Michael Jackson On the Wall exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery; fun goings-on at the Lego Store and 2for1 cocktails and mocktails at Hotel Indigo.
Click here for all the offers and full schedule with screening times.
Have you ever dreamt of flying to the moon? Meeting an alien? Becoming an astronaut? Join star seekers Alph, Betty and Gammo on a journey through space where you take the steering wheel.
Inspired by our childhood wonder of the universe, this unique theatrical experience explores the limitless majesty of galaxies, the solar system, shooting stars and planets through songs, silliness and anti-gravity antics. Waterloo's Star Seekers need help to help complete their mission and answer one of the greatest unanswered questions of the universe: What do astronauts really have in their packed lunch boxes?!
The Star Seekers will be accompanied by creative workshops and activities for families. Visit the NT space station 1 hour before every performance to take part in free family activities or book in for a family workshop where you can invent intergalactic stories, create space-tastic songs and made-up melodies.
Suitable for kids age 3-8.
Tickets: £12 adults/£10 under-18s
PLAY Expo is the UK’s largest arcade and retro gaming show and features a Minecraft zone, a dedicated VR area as well as hundreds of original playable arcade and pinball machines, games consoles and PCs, playing gaming classics such as Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter, Space Invaders, Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, Super Mario Kart, Sensible Soccer, Super Mario Bros and Pokemon.
On the Expo stages you will find talks from gaming celebrities, Cosplay displays, where you can dress up as your favourite gaming character, and tournaments for gamers of all skill levels, including ‘Challenge Dad + Mum’ competitions.
Tickets from £14. Book here.
Hold on to your bloomers and prepare for a pant-abulous, knicker-tastic adventure!
This national bestseller and much-loved family favourite is reimagined for the stage with special effects, original music, lots of aliens and many, many pants.
Aliens Love Underpants tells the story of a gang of mischievous aliens on a visit to earth, travelling not to visit to the earthlings, but simply to steal their underpants!
Silly, quirky and irresistibly fun, the show follows the aliens as they ransack the washing line on their search for pants – big and small, red or green. They love Grandma’s spotted bloomers, while Grandad’s long johns make for the perfect slide!
Tickets from £12, £17 (including booking fees).
The show lasts 55 minutes and is suitable for kids age 3 and over. Book here.
Get creative in the Geffrye Museum's beautiful gardens with a packed programme of free activities exploring kids' adventures at home, including craft and digital workshops, multi-sensory, hands-on activities and Nursery Rhyme Time sessions for young visitors.
Special family-friendly tours of the restored 18th century almshouse will also be on offer, giving a rare glimpse into the lives of London's poor and elderly in former times (adults £5, children free).
Check out the daily schedule of activities here.
As the museum is now closed until 2020, most of the activities will take place outside - either on the lawn or under a big canopy - so come prepared for the weather!
Drinks and light refreshments will be available to buy or bring a picnic to eat on the lawn.
Children under 11 must be accompanied at all times 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, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Workshops will run in August only:
- Thursdays 16, 23 and 30
- Fridays 17, 24 and 31
Time: 10 am - 4.30 pm
Introducing little ears to the world of classical music, Classical for Kids features top class musicians performing a carefully selected repertoire for children and their families to enjoy without any expectation to stay still or quiet.
Join multi-award-winning saxophonist Huw Wiggin and Albert’s Band regular Edd Leech for a wonderful hour of music written by composers including Yoshimatsu, Piazolla, and Iturralde.
Buggies, babies and budding musicians all welcome! You can also enjoy a 20% discount on food and drinks in Verdi – Italian Kitchen on the day of the event. Simply show your ticket when ordering.
Tickets from £6. Book here.
Ally Pally's free summer festival returns for a celebration of its story of innovation and entertainment as well as the work the charity does with partners and communities across the borough.
You will be able to explore the television studios through VR or see a 3D map of the Theatre’s complex stage machinery as well as attend yoga classes or dance workshops. There will also be live music across three stages, a silent disco in the woods and an outdoor screening of Dreamgirls.
Find out more about the free event here.
Smithfield 150 is a two-day free festival curated by the Museum of London and inspired by the medieval extravaganza Bartholomew’s Fair. The festival will take over the markets and surrounding Smithfield streets to celebrate the market’s 150th anniversary.
Celebrate the history and people that make Smithfield such a special area with a jam-packed programme of music, food, performance and entertainment for all the family. On Saturday 25 August, visitors will enjoy London’s Biggest Birthday Party which will include a special area for families with under 5s, massive party games, party food galore, fun fairs and lots of surprises along the way.
Sunday 26 August will celebrate the great tradition of the Sunday Lunch, with the best of the surrounding market’s produce sharing food from around the world. You can take part in a giant communal feast, listen to live music, bring the kids to a pop-up roller skating disco, or join in with the choir for a mass sing-a-long.
Entertainment will include plenty of fun for children (of all ages!) including:
- Horrible Histories
- Comedy 4 Kids workshops
- Puppetry Processions
- Disco Loco
- Hula Hooping masterclasses
More info here.
Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s largest free street festival showcasing London's rich and varied multicultural heritage with masquerade bands, steel bands and samba bands as well as live music stages, sound systems, children’s activities, and an array of delicious Caribbean food stalls to choose from.
Notting Hill Carnival is an all inclusive celebration of Caribbean culture and symbolises the effect the Windrush generation and larger local community has had on Britain. These people are its heartbeat and not only laid the foundations of Carnival, but also the wider community groups that are now a vital part of Notting Hill.
Children's Day xxx
Find out more about the new, safer carnival here.
Families with special needs children can sit back and enjoy a dedicated Autism-Friendly performance of Aladdin which has modifications to the booking process, performance and the theatre environment, including the theatre’s foyer includes designated quiet and activity areas plus staffed by experts in autism throughout the performance should anyone need to leave their seats.
Slight adjustments are made to the performance itself, including the reduction of jarring sounds or strobe lighting that face the audience.
The cast of Aladdin along with Prince Edward Theatre box office and front of house staff have been given training to understand the needs of an audience made up of adults and children who are autistic.
A specific website has been set up for this performance, linking to a dedicated booking page. The website i