Week 1 – Monday 21st July – Sunday 29th July
Monday 21st July
A Midsummers Nights Dream, Monday 21st July, 6.45pm (FREE) Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5NY
Celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with a high-energy, feel-good, family theatre show with live music, exhilarating circus skills and some outrageous hunting dogs! Four lovers run off to the countryside in pursuit of each other and their dreams but deep in the mysterious woods, mystical creatures play tricks on them with hilarious results.
For more family friendly outdoor children’s theatre performances Click Here
Tuesday 22nd July
A Puffin Book – Tuesday 21st July – 24th August, Suitable for all ages (FREE) Waterstones Bookshop, Piccadilly, W1J 9HD
Puffin has been publishing the very best children’s stories for almost 75 years. Discover the story behind the story throughout the Summer. Secrets of treasured children’s books are revealed in this summer exhibition of archive material that will be on display to give young & old readers an exclusive insight into the history of childhood favourites such as Goodnight Mister Tom and The Borrowers.
For more information Click Here.
Books about Town – until 15th September, Suitable for all ages (FREE) Various Locations around London
Trails of benches shaped as open books, decorated by famous illustrators and local artists, will appear for everyone to enjoy. It will be a unique opportunity to explore the capital’s literary connections, to enjoy art from some of the country’s top artists and to experience the joy of reading for pleasure. There are 50 to discover!
For further information and to find a bench near you visit the website.
Mythical Maze, Summer Reading Challenge, 12th July – 16th September, Suitable for 4 to 11 year olds (FREE) Sign up at your local library.
The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays and Mythical Maze is this years epic adventure. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way – all for FREE! This year’s Mythical Maze is illustrated by award-winning artist Sarah McIntyre.
For further information, visit the website or go to your local library and find out about special themed FREE family friendly events running throughout the summer holidays.
Cass Arts Kids Summer Workshops – Tuesday 22nd July – every Tuesday until 26th August – 10AM – 12PM Suitable for 4+ (FREE) Hampstead, NW3 1EN and every Wednesday until 27th August at Islington, N1 8SB
Design and decorate your own tote bag using fabric pens and stencils to create a beach bag for your holidays at this particular workshop. Drop in, have fun and create at the Cass Art Kids Workshops for kids. Activities designed to inspire and ignite children’s imaginations. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For further details on themed workshops throughout the summer at the Hampstead and Islington Store, visit the website
Wednesday 23rd July
Corelli Creature Carnival – throughout July, Suitable for all ages (FREE) Greenwich Village and Various locations
Throughout July, Greenwich Village will be home to a unique public arts display and trail of 32 colourful creature sculptures of five well-known and loved UK creatures including the owl, cow, frog, pig and shire horse. They will be on prominent display in windows, inside shops and cultural venues throughout Greenwich Village to reflect the personality of our Corelli College students, established artists and designers that produced them. For further information visit the website or download a copy of the trail map.
Beach Spray Painting – Cass Art Kids Summer Workshops – Wednesday 23rd July – every Wednesday until 27th August – 10AM – 12PM Suitable for 4+ (FREE) Islington, N1 8AB
Experiment with stencils and chalk sprays to create seaside scenes.
Drop in, have fun and create! Activities designed to inspire and ignite children’s imaginations. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
For further details on themed workshops throughout the summer, visit the website
Thursday 24th July
Tour De France Fan Park – Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th July, 11am – 10pm (FREE) Suitable for all ages, Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf, E14 9SB
The Tour de France returns to Wood Wharf from Thursday 24 July for the final stages and grand closing celebration and you’re invited to join in all the action!
Tour de France Fan Park at Wood Wharf enjoy the Food and Drink Village and watching the day’s race footage on the big screen. With an even bigger Fan Park to explore there is no excuse not to visit the Tour de France themed exhibition and photo archive, join in with interactive cycling activities and enjoy live music. For further information, Click Here
Great Explorers at Westminster Abbey, Thursday 24th July, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm (FREE) Suitable for 5+, Westminster Abbey, SW1P 3PA
Held in College Garden at The Abbey or the Education Centre if wet. Booking recommended as space is limited to 20 per session. For the full Summer Holiday Family Events at Westminster Abbey running every Tuesday & Thursday 24th July – 19th August inclusive, click here
Friday 25th July
Floating Cinema’s Beastly London – Friday 25th, 12 – 1pm & 2- 3pm, (FREE) Suitable for ages 8 to 11, The Pirate Castle, Oval Road, NW1 7EA
Creative Writing and Illustration Workshop for children. Design your own beastly creature inspired by our journey along the canal surrounding London Zoo. Led by writer and spoken word artist Ross Sutherland, bring together the head of a rhino with the legs of a giraffe to make your own frightening and fabulous London beastie.
Due to limited space, parents are not able to accompany children during the workshop and booking is required, for more info Click Here.
BFI Southbank’s Mediatheque, Tues – Fri 12pm – 8pm, Sat & Sun 12.30pm – 8pm, (FREE) Suitable for all ages, The Southbank, SE1 8XT
Free Films for Families! Did you know that the BFI Southbank are just ready and waiting for you to watch – all for free! In their amazing Mediatheque you can sit down in front of a viewing screen and call up many weird and wonderful titles which have been digitised from our archive. You can watch anything from full length feature films to old cinema adverts, TV children’s programmes and documentaries… great fun for young and old alike! Book in advance: 020 7815 1346
Saturday 26th July
Parkour Generations, Saturday 26th July, 2 – 5PM (FREE) Suitable for all ages, Part of Urban Weekend, Under Hungerford Bridge, The Southbank, SE1 8XT
Parkour Generations demonstrate the skill and strength required to train and perform parkour. Running over the rooftops, they move with ease and beauty through the air.
For more information about the Urban Weekend events, click here
Archikids Festival, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th July, (FREE) Suitable for all ages, City of London’s Square Mile, EC1
Become an Architective (that’s a detective of architecture, obviously!) and explore some awesome City buildings this July! On Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th of July spaces in the City of London’s Square Mile are being opened up for you to check out as part of Archikids Festival!
At the Gherkin, there’s the chance to design your own flying kites and also build a giant 4-metre LEGO Gherkin! Plus 30+ workshops, exploration trails and cool competitions across the capital!
It’s all free and you’ll learn loads about architecture and the buildings around you! For more information about the festival and events check out the website
Sunday 27th July
PIG by The Whalley Range All Stars, Sunday 27th, 11.30 – 1.30pm – (FREE) St John’s Church, Waterloo Roundabout, SE1 8TY
As part of the Watch This Space Festival…On The Road, a 9-metre-long sow is sleeping in her pen. The farm-hand invites you to take a peek at an unexpected piece of theatre, inside her belly. (10 mins) For further info about all festival events this summer, check out their website
Great British Carnival at The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Sunday 27th July, 12pm – 9.30pm (FREE) Suitable for all ages, E20 2ST
The Great British Carnival will be a magical, breath-taking event of dance, infectious music, performance and costume, presenting the world premiere of The Carnival of the Animals: a magical twilight crescendo of costumed performers, 300 dancers, giant carnivalesque creatures and extraordinary illumination. With lots of fun things for kids to do including mask-making, costume-making, face painting, Rickshaw Samba Squad, Carnival jam, workshops in float decoration, Stratford Circus Juggling Workshop, capoeira, samba, salsa and improvisation plus lots more.
For further event info, Click Here.
FREE ice cream at Summer Streets present Magnum’s 25th Birthday, Sunday 27th, 12pm – 6pm, (FREE) Suitable for all ages, Regent Street, W1B 5AH
Head down to Regent Street to enjoy freshly dipped Magnums at the world-famous Dipping Bar where Magnum will be distributing 25,000 ice creams to shoppers. With an exciting mix of pop-ups, performances, exhibitions, live music, fashion and food this is a sweet treat not to be missed.
For further info about the event, Click Here.
Walthamstow Garden Party, Lloyd Park, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th July, 12pm onwards (FREE) Suitable for all ages, E17 4PP
The Walthamstow Garden party is a one-off Free event presented by The Barbican, Create London.
This special weekend festival makes full use of the landscape of the Lloyd Park, home to the award-winning William Morris Gallery, filling it with an eclectic mix of non-stop entertainment of music, theatre, food and family fun. With two music stages, showcasing international and local artists including soul pioneers Brand New Heavies and Ivory Coast’s reggae powerhouse Tiken Jah Fakoly – a theatre & dance stage, pop-up performances and interactive fun taking place across the park. Enjoy refreshments from the Real Food Festival before taking time to browse the Useful & Beautiful Craft Marquee and E17 Designers Market showcasing local designs.
For further event info and daily programmes, Click Here.
Wonderful Weaving at The Foundling Museum, Saturday 26th July, 10.30am – 4.30pm (FREE), WC1N 1AZ
Enjoy this family workshop and create a collaborative tapestry in response to Grayson Perry’s work in Progress, and take away a framed tapestry about your own family.
For further info about the Museum and other family friendly free events visit the website
Summer Festival at The Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, – Sunday 27th July, 11.30 – 4.30 (FREE) Suitable for all ages, E2 9PA
Make your way down to the best in family festival fun at The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Join us for our ever popular annual summer event in the Museum grounds. They will be buzzing with live music, dance, walkabout acts, art and craft activities, designer stalls, food, face painting, rickshaw rides and games. Not be missed whatever the weather! For further info and an event programme, Click Here.
Week 2 – Monday 28th July – Sunday 3rd August
Monday 28th July
Westminster Boating Base Family Activity Festival, – Monday 28th – Thursday 31st July, 11am – 4pm (FREE) Suitable for all ages but some activities have minimum age requirement. E2 9PA
It’s not often you find a festival on water! With some amazing activities to choose from including Sailing, Kayaking, Powerboating, Football Tennis, Fencing and Table Tennis this promises to be a fun for all ages. Kids can also climb on board the River Fire Brigade Boat & Big Red Fire Engine, have their face painted, make a smoothie and so much more. Great family fun for all!
Activities are free but booking is advised and note minimum age 10 yrs for Sailing, Kayaking & Powerboating. For programme information visit the website
Tuesday 29th July
Thames Foreshore Wildlife Morning at Fulham Palace, Tuesday 29th July, 10am – 12pm (FREE) Suitable for ages 5+, SW6 6EA
Come mudlarking on the Thames foreshore and see what you can find during this free event. From small fish and eels to black-headed gulls and shrimp. Join Netty Ribeaux, Groundwork London’s Conservation Officer, identifying the animals that live in and around the Thames.
N.B. Wellies and waterproofs advised. Tides are influenced by the weather, wind and rain so please be prepared to leave the foreshore earlier if required. For further info visit the website;
Holiday Football Coaching with Tesco, (FREE), Suitable for ages 5 – 11, Various Venues Nationwide
Perfect for children who want to develop their football ability and also if they just want to have some fun during the holidays. Boys and girls aged 5-11 years of all abilities are welcome to football coaching sessions to learn new skills, develop techniques and most importantly have lots of fun. To find your nearest Tesco Skills Session, Click Here;
Wednesday 30th July
Beach at The Camden Roundhouse – until 23rd August, Opening Times Vary (FREE) Suitable for all ages NW1 8EH
Visit the Camden Roundhouse and wiggle your toes in 900 sq metres and 150 tonnes of the finest sand, enjoy end of-the-pier amusements, play a game of ping-pong, listen to music & eat tasty food. For further info visit the website:
Mini Fest – Hampton, Wednesday 30th July, 12pm – 5pm (FREE) Suitable for all ages, Hampton Square, TW12 3YH
Mini-Fest is a mobile festival celebrating the borough of Richmond’s green and urban spaces by placing exciting and inspiring arts events in local settings. Mini-Fest brings art to everyone in the borough and is a fun and free day out for all, whether you are eight or eighty.
Taking place in the newly renovated Hampton Square, to celebrate the space an action packed day is promised. C-12 Dance Company’s ‘Market stall’ take audiences by surprise with dance, circus skills and parkour while the Bureau of Silly Ideas’ ‘Small Job’ turns an everyday road works scenario into a high-flying acrobatic adventure. Continue your adventures on board the ‘Flycycle’ and ‘Submercycle’, Pif Paf Theatre’s machines of the imagination, designed to fly you to far away distant lands and back in time for tea.
For further info on this event & The Barnes Mini Fest this summer, visit the website
Thursday 31st July
The City Children’s Trail Map Monday – Throughout the summer, Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm, Available from the City Information Centre, (opposite St Paul’s Cathedral) EC4M 8BX
Let Draco the dragon show you around the City! From towering, modern skyscrapers to mysterious, medieval fortresses and fabulous, world-class museums to the imposing, world-famous Tower Bridge. The City is packed with iconic landmarks and hidden gems just waiting to be explored.
Perfect for short-legged walkers the Children’s trail makes exploring London’s Square Mile on foot even easier for families.
The Highwalk London, Throughout the summer, Access the guided walk on your phone for FREE.
The Highwalk offers an unusual and enjoyable guided tour from the City of London to the Thames via the Barbican Highwalks. The route starts in the City near Moorgate, and goes up off the street into the weird sci-fi world of the Barbican.
You can stop off at the tropical Conservatory or the arts centre, and then the Roman remains around London Wall. Coming back to ground level you go round St Paul’s Cathedral, then down to the Millenium Bridge across the Thames. The whole walk will take about an hour, or an afternoon if you stop off at one or more of the sights. It is a great family outing for the weekend.
To get started Click Here on your mobile.
Friday 1st August
PING! Jubilee Place & West Wintergarden – Friday 1st – Sunday 10th August, Fri 11am – 5.30pm, Sat & Sun 12pm – 6pm (FREE)
Ping!, part of the London’s Street Ping Pong Project, sees four full size table tennis tables pop up in Jubilee Place & the West Wintergarden inviting you to play, compete, get some tips from professional coaches or witness the professional’s battle it out in showcase matches. They’re free to play and tables can be pre-booked on site.
For further info about this event, Click Here
Can’t get enough ping pong? Find out which parks have free tables.
London Beach Rugby, Be a spectator for free – Friday 1st to Saturday 2nd August, 10am – 7pm (FREE), Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf , E14 5AB
Wood Wharf plays host to two days of London Beach Rugby tournaments. Celebrating the lead up to the Rugby World Cup 2015 to be held in England and part of a summer of interactive sport at Wood Wharf. Beach Rugby provides a fun and innovative way to enjoy rugby in the capital.
Free to spectators, the popular beach sporting event has been a huge hit in the Capital and now arrives to the dockside in the heart of Canary Wharf for the first time.
For further event details, Click Here;
Horrible Histories Barmy Britain – Part One! By The Birmingham Stage Company, Saturday 2nd August, 4pm (FREE) Suitable for ages 6+, Canada Square Park, E14 5AX
Have you ever wondered why the Romans never won MasterChef? What if a Viking moved in next door? Would you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry? Will Parliament escape gunpowder Guy? Enrol yourself at Georgian Crime School, dare to dance the Tyburn jig and find out what a baby farmer did!
Taking inspiration from the hugely popular book series by Terry Deary & Martin Brown, Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain – Part One! takes a hilarious romp through the history of Britain from the Romans to the Trenches.
For more family friendly events and outdoor theatre click here.
Brixton Splash Sunday – Sunday 3rd August, 12pm – 7pm (FREE)
This year’s Brixton Splash promises to be bigger than ever featuring a variety of sound systems on and around Atlantic Road and Coldharbour Lane with a main stage on Windrush Square supporting local talent with music styles including Soul, Pop, Ska and Reggae, dancehall and roots music. The Peace Gardens Arts & Family Village will offer free workshops, activities and arts and crafts for the whole family.
For further event info, Click Here;
CowFest, Sunday 3rd August, 12pm – 5pm (FREE), Spitalfields City Farm, E1 5AR
Head down to Spitalfields City Farm for a unique moosic festival. Meet Harry and Henry the foster cows, enjoy music from some udderly amazing bands and milk products from Ahimsa Dairy Foundation. For full details Click Here
Week 3 – Monday 4th August – Sunday 10th August
Monday 4th August
The London 2012 Olympic Cauldron at The Museum of London, Throughout the summer daily Monday to Sunday 10am – 6pm (FREE), Suitable for all ages, EC2Y 5HN
Thomas Heatherwick’s Olympic Cauldron has a new home at the Museum of London. The London 2012 Cauldron will tell the story of this iconic symbol of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The exhibition will celebrate Thomas Heatherwick’s cutting edge design and the unforgettable moment it was revealed to the world during the Olympic opening ceremony. Click here for more information.
Tuesday 5th August
Green Walks – Suitable for all ages (FREE) – Various Locations Across London
Hidden amongst our great City are a wonderful array of nature reserves, towpath walks and green walkways waiting to be explored. The longest linear nature reserve Parkland Walk running from Alexandra Palace to Finsbury park is definitely worth a visit, a former railway line it’s a perfect place to meander with the kids on bikes or not, you may even find a Blackberry or two along the way. Another gem the Thames Path Walk is the main artery of London covering a magical 40 miles (64 km) of easy, level walking on both sides of the river from Hampton Court Palace, through the heart of London to the East India Dock on the north bank and the River Darent on the south bank.
Wednesday 6th August
Did you know it’s National Playday today!
Playday at Coram’s Fields – Wednesday 6th August, 12pm – 4pm (FREE) Suitable for all ages, WC1N 1DN
Coram’s fields will once again be holding their annual Playday! The event is free for all children, young people and their families. There will be lots of exciting activities for youngsters to
participate in including a bouncy castle and giant slide, face painting, a treasure hunt and plenty more. For further info about the event, Click Here;
Who knew there was a National Playday?! Playday is the national day for play!
For lots of fun events near you Click Here.
The Ring Cycles Plays, A Tale of Gods and Monsters! At The Scoop, 6th to 31st August, Every Wednesday to Sunday 6.30pm onwards (FREE) Suitable for ages 9+, Queen’s Walk, More London, London SE1 2DB
This summer The Scoop are hosts to some of London’s best free open air Theatre. Be thrilled by Richard Wagner’s celebrated adaptation of Viking myths; An extraordinary cast of gods, giants, nymphs, dwarfs and humans are brought to life, revealing how mortals and immortals fall under the spell of a powerful ring, possession of which brings the chaos and glory of absolute power!
The story unfolds over four hours interspersed with generous intervals and builds into an unforgettable, family friendly evening of mythical romance, comedy and drama. Catch them on different nights or see them all in one epic visit.
For further programme & event details
Thursday 7th August
The National Portrait Gallery Family Workshops, Thursday 7 August, 11:30am-1pm (FREE), Suitable for ages 5+, WC2H 0HE
The National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square has lots of fantastic activities for families over the summer. Explore how contemporary artists and historical portrait painters have portrayed dreaming in art. Create your own Jigsaw Portrait and explore and experiment with colour.
Be sure to check for signage on the day. Free ticket required, available one hour before the event, spaces are limited to 20 places per session for children plus accompanying adult.
For a full list of activities Click Here;
Friday 8th August
Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park- Throughout the summer! (FREE) Suitable for all ages
Stream walking – don your wellie boots, pack a picnic and discover the botanical beauty of the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park – a perfect place to enjoy a magical day away from the hustle and bustle of city life – imagine other worlds as you walk through the streams and garden, it is a true paradise for little people.
Saturday 9th August
Ride London Free Cycle Festival of Cycling, Saturday 9th August, 9AM – 4PM Suitable for all ages (FREE), Various Locations.
This summer’s Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle on Saturday 9th August promises to be the UK’s biggest and best festival of cycling. Uniquely you can enter and exit at any point along the route, making it truly family friendly.
As well as they cycling there will be music and entertainment all along the route with music zones, music bikes, bands on bikes, stilt bicycles, Penny Farthings, stagecoaches and rickshaws as well as tons of activities for the kids including a Balance Bike Challenge for the young ones, a cycle superhero zone and a bling your bike zone to name a few.
It’s free to register so sign up now, or simply go along on the day and join in the fun!
Cuming Cabinet of Curiosity presents Mythical Creatures – Canada Water Library – Saturday 9 August 2014, 2pm to 3.30pm (FREE), 21 Surrey Quays Rd, SE16 7AR
This summer the Cuming Museum brings activities and unique objects from their collections to festivals and libraries across Southwark. Families will have the opportunity to develop new craft and design skills, find out about the role of museums and discover the rich history of the area.
In this creative workshop for families discover the story of the Japanese kylin, then create your own mythical creatures to take home and bring you good luck.
For further info about this event and others, Click Here
Happy Seeds Festival – Tomato Harvest Bonanza!, Saturday 9th August, 11am – 6pm (FREE), Suitable for all ages, – St James’s, New Cross Gate, SE14 6AD
Enjoy a fun day of free activities for kids and families in New Cross all accompanied by live music.
Children’s activities include face painting, card making, clay workshop, painting wooden plant pot holders, collage making, bracelet making and yoga. Enjoy an alternative show gardening – 92 different type of tomatoes (“how to grow without garden”) plus hand crafts, local food and Hungarian tomato stew (“lecso”)
For further info about this event; Click Here
Sunday 10th August
Make a Hotchpotch Horse at The British Museum – Sunday 10th August, 11.30am – 3.30pm (FREE) Suitable for ages 7+, WC1B 3DG
For the computer whizz kids in your family use Photoshop to create your own hotchpotch horse from different parts of the Museum’s collection then see your horse race on a giant screen! Event takes place at the Samsung Centre, spaces are limited & the activity takes approx. 30 mins.
You can also enjoy free trails, free activities in backpacks and borrow crayons, pencils and paper to engage, inspire and fascinate little and big people – head for the Family Desk in the Great Court on arrival.
For further family friendly events running throughout the summer holidays, click here
LittleBird Tip: The British Museum website has a great kid friendly section full of fascinating facts, activities ideas, print outs and online games, click here to discover history across the world. Plus Kids eat free in the gallery cafe. Get one free kids meal with a paid Adult Meal.
Inside Out at Kenwood House – Sunday 10th to Monday 11th August, 12pm – 4pm (FREE) Suitable for all ages, Hampstead, NW3 7JR
Enjoy summer on the Heath with interactive activities at Kenwood House. Every Sunday and Monday throughout the summer holidays they have free artist-led family art workshops. Take inspiration from inside Kenwood House and set off on an outdoor adventure.
For further info click here
Week 4 – Monday 11th August – Sunday 17th August
Monday 11th August
Glorious George & Regal Royals, Crafts in the Clore at Old Royal Naval College, Monday 11th – Friday 15th August, 1pm – 4pm – Suitable for all ages, (FREE) Greenwich, SE10 9NN
Spend the morning in Greenwich Park feeding the squirrels, spot the deer, and wondering around the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum getting starry and nautical. Then
head over to the Old Royal Naval College to celebrate the 300 year anniversary of King George I’s
coronation with this week of family craft activities inspired by Greenwich’s many royal connections. There will be a range of different materials throughout the week so you can drop in more than once.
For further event information and other family friendly events throughout the summer, click here;
LittleBird Tip: Enjoy an amazing array of flavoured ice creams at Black Vanilla, Greenwich – and the coffee’s good too!
Tuesday 12th August
Cocoon – The Natural History Museum, Throughout the summer, Suitable for all ages, (FREE), SW7 5BD
Head to The National History Museum and interact with the science of nature like never before! Take a self-guided tour and witness real insect & plant specimens, incredible displays and animated interactive activities. Meet science guides, witness huge installations & displays and interact with hands on activities.
Don’t forget to pick up your free NaturePlus card at the Darwin Centre welcome area. Use it to collect highlights at Cocoon exhibits where you see scanners, and explore these later online.
You can also discover and investigate, explore and gets hands on through a variety of FREE activities and shows in the Museum. And if the kids need to run free after your Cocoon visit, visit the Wildlife Garden – enter via the Darwin centre in the Orange Zone
For further family friendly daytime events running throughout the summer holidays, click here
The Littlebird Tip: Check out the Natural History Museum Kids Only section on their website – fun & games, facts, things to make and do, interviews with the scientists themselves and more – perfect for summer holiday projects! click here to explore
Wednesday 13th August
Project Wild Thing – Throughout the summer, Suitable for all ages, (FREE)
Promise the kids wild time this summer after weeks of classroom captivity and print out a voucher of promise. Wild Time is free and anywhere will do, any doorstep, anywhere from the middle of the city to the remotest rural countryside – it can be a few minutes to hours and days as long as you keep it wild. Have a look at the Project Wild Thing Website for 8’033 ideas!
If you need some more inspiration for wild play take a peek at The National Trust’s website for lots more ideas.
LitleBird Tip: If your wild time takes you near a pond – enjoy this pack from the nature detectives.
Thursday 14th August
Creative Kids: Dreamcatchers – William Morris Gallery, Thursday 14th August, 10am – 11.30am & 1pm – 2.30pm (FREE) Suitable for Under 5’s, Lloyd Park, Walthamstow , E17 4PP
Play, make and get hands on with Creative Kids; collect good dreams in your own dreamcatcher and try weaving for the first time.
Further information of family friendly events this summer, click here;
Littlebird Tip: The William Morris Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday and situated in the glorious Lloyd Park – with play areas, skate park and outdoor table tennis tables.
Friday 15th August
Progress – The Foundling Museum, Friday 15th August , 10.30am – 4.30pm (FREE) , 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ
Work with artist Daniel Wallis to create a giant cartoon strip inspired by the stories of artists and families visiting the Museum.
A Day of Tales – The Museum of Childhood, Friday 15th August, 11am – 4pm (FREE), Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 9PA
Head to The Museum of Childhood to build a story! Tell a tale! Spin a yarn! Join in a day of storytelling, with popular tales from far and wide. Delve into the reading Den with a book from the Pop Up Library – Find out more about Family Fun Friday’s and plenty more fab free events throughout the summer
Saturday 16th August
City Farms – Throughout the Summer, Suitable for all ages, (FREE)
You don’t have to travel to the country to commune with the animals this summer. With plenty of city farms to visit, dotted in and around London, most offering FREE entry, they make for a perfect day out. A great way for kids to discover and learn about animals, food, nature and the environment.
Tumbling Bay Playground, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Throughout the summer (FREE) Suitable for all ages, Stratford, E20 2ST
Designed to be a bold, new space for local children to play, the Tumbling Bay playground features rock pools, sand pits, tall treehouses, and wobbly bridges, as well as slides, swings and plenty of space to run about. Children have the chance to play in a real, natural environment encouraging them to experiment, and built on the natural landscape of the Park.
For further info about the playground and park, click here
LittleBird Tip: If play has been cancelled by rain, or you still need to buy that school uniform, head over to Westfield Stratford City and check out their What’s On for Kids event programme this summer;
The Elephant & The Nun – Saturday 16th August, 12pm – 8pm, Suitable for all ages, (FREE) Burgess Park, SE5
At this year’s festival, along with all the usual fun and games, there will also be a cracking main stage of world music from Global Local, stunning performances from the National Theatre as well as quirky and hilarious cabaret from Pull The Other One and its many side shows.
There will also be plenty of time to shop at the Africa Live Festival market and enjoy the delicious delights of the food village throughout. Also on offer is a super massive funfair from George Irvin, try your hand at something healthy with Creation Trust and the super 7 sports challenge from the sports clubs based in the park. For further event info, click here
Horrible Histories, Barmy Britain – Ondaatje Wing Theatre, National Portrait Gallery – Saturday 16th August, 3pm – 4.30pm (FREE) Suitable for Ages 8+
Join Neal Foster for an exciting and fun afternoon exploring the funny side of history. Neal directs and performs in the live stage productions of Horrible Histories and has co-written for Barmy Britain and Barmy Britain – Part Two! The event will feature a live sketch and a Q&A session. A Free ticket is required, available one hour before the event.
For further family friendly events throughout the summer, click here;
Sunday 17th August
Centenary Celebrations, Sunday 17th August, 10am – 4.30pm, (FREE) Suitable for all ages, Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Rd, E2 8EA
Celebrate the centenary of the Geffrye Museum and tri-centenary of the Geffrye’s almshouses. Young people can create perplexing photo portraits, children can listen to almshouse animal stories, play historic garden games and make animal masks, and everyone can dance along to some live recycled rhythms.
For further information about FREE events and workshops throughout the summer, visit the website. Enjoy colourful art and craft workshops, storytelling and live musical entertainment. Workshop places are allocated on a first-come, first served basis 30 minutes before each activity. Children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
Diana Memorial Playground, Kensington Gardens – Throughout the Summer, (FREE) Suitable for Ages 12 and under, The Broad Walk, W2 2UH
A huge wooden pirate ship is the amazing centrepiece of the Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground. There is a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the pirate ship and various toys and play sculptures; all set against a lush backdrop of trees and plants. There’s plenty of seating so the grownups can relax too. Inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, the playground encourages children to explore and follow their imaginations, learning whilst they play.
For further information, click here
Week 5 – Monday 18th August – Sunday 24th August
Monday 18th August
Pot Making for Firing on the Foreshore, Monday 18th August, 1 to 3 PM, Suitable for all Ages, FREE, Bankside, Location: Globe steps, and on the Bankside foreshore.
Potmaking from the Thames River Clay, Globe steps, Bankside – Create your own piece of Thames history by the river by crafting a pot, figure or whatever takes your fancy from Thames river clay before seeing it fired in one of two bonfires during Firing on the Foreshore on Saturday 13 September.
Absolutely no previous experience or skill required! This is how pots were made and fired in prehistory so head down and experience the way your ancestors would have produced their household goods! Archaeologist Dr Fiona Haughey and earth artist Edith Slee will be on hand to help. For more info Click Here.
This event is part of the Totally Thames festival celebrating London’s River – for more info on family friendly events, click here.
Tuesday 19th August
Children’s Commission, Francis Upritchard – Experimental Art at The Whitechapel Gallery, Throughout the summer (FREE), Suitable for All Ages, E1 7QX
A two-metre long papier-mâché dinosaur, strange creatures and delicate objects are part of London-based artist Francis Upritchard’s experiments with materials, forms and textures inspired by
classical sculpture, and craft traditions from Brazil to her native New Zealand.
For further info about the exhibition, click here; Download the Children’s Commission Family Trail –
LittleBird Tip: Have a wander down Brick Lane & indulge in some of the best curries in London
Wednesday 20th August
Wild Family Fun – Art Nature, Walthamstow & Leyton Marshes, 1pm to 3pm (FREE) Suitable for ages 5 – 12. Booking is required for this event. Call 08456 770 600 or book online here (limited availability), Leyton, E10 7QL.
Thursday 21st August
Pop Up Museum at The Science Museum Summer workshops – until 1st September – 12.30pm – 1.30pm weekdays & 1pm – 2pm weekends (FREE) Suitable for ages 5+, SW7 2DD
Part of the Science Museum’s 3D summer, Pop Up Museum inspires children to create their own own pop up Science Museum filled with some favourite objects from the collection Located on the First Floor, Agriculture gallery
You could also pop along to 3D Spec-tacular and a drop in between 3pm – 4pm Embark on a journey through the third dimension! Make your own 3D glasses, try them out and see the world through different eyes.
For further information about this event and other free and paid for workshops and activities, click here;
LittleBird Tip: Kids in need of fresh air and a run around? Hyde Park is 10 minutes walk away.
Friday 22nd August
Cloud Gazing, Open Space Required – Throughout the summer (FREE) Suitable for all ages
Cloud gazing – like star gazing- but to be enjoyed in the day! Head to your favourite green open space – and simply lay down and look up – find elephants, mice, giant ogres, funny faces & castles. Did you know there was a cloud appreciation society? – now you do! and they have an app
Watch the entertainers at Covent Garden
Covent Garden is famous for its street entertainment: You can see everything from mimes and acrobats to daredevil stunt riders, magicians and opera singers… to name just a few.The acts that perform in Covent Garden are all auditioned in front of a panel of judges to ensure that they’re good!
LittleBird Tip: The best acts tend to site themselves around the outside of the Piazza. You can sometimes listen to singers performing in the basement level of the Piazza too, which you can overlook from the ground-level balcony (just walk round the shops inside the Piazza, and you will see another level below).
Saturday 23rd August
Fountain fun! Choose from a great selection of fountains around London (FREE) Suitable for all ages
Pack a picnic and a towel, get your friends and enjoy fountain fun throughout the city.
The fountains at Kings Cross One Granary Square are definitely worth a visit, animated with over 1,000 choreographed fountains – each individually lit, the kids (and you!) can frolic in the fountains daily between 8am and 7pm. They’re at their most spectacular at night! What’s more grab some lunch from one of the brilliant street food vendors at kerbfood (From 12- 2pm Tue- Fri) See here for who will be there when.
Sunday 24th August
Notting Hill Carnival – Children’s Day, 9am- 7pm (FREE), Notting Hill Gate, Suitable for All Ages
Notting Hill Carnival Childrens Day takes place on the first day of the carnival, kicking off London’s biggest street party on Sunday 24th August 2014. Children and families will take to the streets for a day of fun and festivities in West London in true carnival spirit.
For more info click here
LittleBird Tip: The smaller the buggy, the better. Ideally, use a baby sling if you can.
The earlier you arrive, the less crowded it will be. Wear comfy shoes and give flip-flops and open-toed footwear a miss. Plan your toilet stops to avoid queues, and bring your own loo roll!
National Theatre’s Watch This Space Festival…On the Road at The Unicorn – Sunday 24th August, More London Plaza, City Hall, SE1, Suitable for All Ages
Micro-Shakespeare – 11.30am – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm at More London Strada
Crazy In Love – 12.30pm – 1pm & 3.30pm – 4pm
As part of The National Theatre’s summer festival soak up some free outdoor entertainment at the Unicorn with Crazy in Love!, an acrobatic comedy about the highs and lows of falling in and out of love. Four mismatched lovers dream they’re trapped inside a fantastical circus and despite all their squabbling and tussling, the show must go on! Inspired by the lovers from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a completely happy ending is not necessarily guaranteed.
Plus! Micro-Shakespeare featuring magical boxes full of puppetry surprises. Open the box, put on the headphones, follow the instructions and suddenly you’re an amazing puppeteer – you won’t have a clue what you’re doing, but your audience will have a great time watching a mini-Shakespeare classic! Watch these 25 minutes performances for free in the open air!
Week 6 – Monday 25th August- Sunday 31st August
Monday 25th August – Bank Holiday!
Digital Art Workshop, Museum of London (FREE) Suggested ages 7+
Explore animations and film making at The Museum of London in this workshop turning actions and movement into art. Plus every Sunday there is a Free Drop in between 12 – 2pm where you can join one of the Museum’s Hosts in the galleries for fun, hands-on activities. Tickets are allocated on arrival, for a full list of events see here.
Serpentine Gallery – Throughout the summer, Suitable for all ages, Open Every Day 10am-6pm
Visit the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion this Summer designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic.
A semi-translucent, cylindrical structure that resembles a shell and rests on large quarry stones, this year’s Pavilion occupies 350 square metres of the Serpentine’s lawn and is home to and inspiration for the Park Nights series of events. At night there is a gorgeous amber glow that lights it up..
Designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space, the Pavilion has a cafe sited inside. You are encouraged to enter and interact with the structure in different ways. So get going and be amazed!
At the Sackler Gallery absorb Ed Atkins until 25 August ‘one of the most prominent artists of his generation’, who works primarily with HD Video and text.
Tuesday 26th August
British Library, Throughout the summer, Suitable for all ages, Euston Road, NW1 2DB
Discover some of the world’s most exciting, significant and oldest books, at the British Library.
Marvel at the genius behind the Leonardo notebooks, and see the earliest versions of some of the greatest works of literature, including Beowulf and Shakespeare’s First Folio. If you have time pop up to Level 2 and 3 to look at the poster exhibition for the Tour de France.
LittleBird Tip: The Fountains are close by at at Granary Square so don’t forget to pack a towel and let the kids scream and shout!
Wednesday 27th August
Saatchi Gallery – Throughout the Summer, 10am-6pm, 7 days a week, (Last Entry 5:30pm) Suitable for all ages, (FREE), Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY
The Saatchi Gallery is specifically geared towards introducing a younger audience of art students and enthusiasts to work at the cutting edge of contemporary art. Fun, different and interesting its sure to get you and the kids debating contemporary art!
Admission to the galleries is free but if you’re looking for some scrumptious tea and cake or a spot of lunch The Gallery Mess at the Saatchi Gallery has got many enthusiastic reviews for its beautiful setting, charming atmosphere and excellent food!
LittleBird Tip: Take a wander around The Duke of York Square which offers restaurants and cafes and alongside the iconic Saatchi Gallery and set in a gorgeous oasis of elegance and history. If you visit on Saturday enjoy Farmers market that takes place every Saturday offering a fantastic range of delicious food and some of the finest produce available in London!
Thursday 28th August
Crystal Palace Park – Throughout the summer, Suitable for all ages, London SE19 2GA
Free and Fun Crystal Palace park is very much worth a visit. You will be transported back in time to when the dinosaurs walked the earth. Download Darwin & The Dinosaurs audio trail and enjoy the world’s first theme park, in what we now know as Crystal Palace Park. Enjoy a great day out at one of the largest parks in SE London – there’s a maze, playground, a children’s farm and thank goodness a cafe too!
Friday 29th August
Free Climbing Walls, Fairlop Waters Boulder Park, Ilford, IG6 3HN and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2ST
The UK’s largest boulder park is now open at the Fairlop Waters Country Park in the London Borough of Redbridge and easily accessible from the M25. Nine individual boulders have been installed and constructed in sprayed and carved concrete. The boulder complex provides a unique outdoor recreational facility with an extensive range of features and challenges that will appeal to climbers of all standards and abilities. You can can download the climbing guide here.
There are also accessible pathways for all to enjoy a walk through the country park as well as a large natural play area for younger visitors! For more info see here
Another place to enjoy free climbing is the Queen Elizabeth’s Olympic Park
This area, once almost entirely paved as the main pedestrian plaza for the London 2012 Olympic Games, has been reinvented as a series of amazing pleasure gardens with outdoor spaces boasting climbing walls, play areas, theatre spaces and carousels.
There are activities for kids of all ages, including sand pits, water play areas, swings and a climbing wall down to the riverside. Music, with larger than life instruments that kids can play on and a giant fountain with 195 individual computer controlled jets.
Micro-Shakespeare, outside The Unicorn Theatre – Friday 29th August, 12 – 2pm & 5 – 7pm (FREE)
Micro-Shakespeare, featuring magical boxes full of puppetry surprises outside The Unicorn Theatre. Open the box, put on the headphones, follow the instructions and suddenly you’re an amazing puppeteer – you won’t have a clue what you’re doing, but your audience will have a great time watching a mini-Shakespeare classic! For more info click here.
Saturday 30th August
Egyptian fun at The British Museum – Saturdays Throughout the summer, Exploring Egyptian Mummies Drop-In, 11.30am – 15.30, Suitable for ages 5+, (FREE)
Head down to The British Museum this summer and explore digital techniques used by the Museum scientists to uncover the secrets of the ancient Egyptians. On Sunday 31st August turn yourself into a Pharaoh, an Egyptian god and other characters in the Egyptian photo booth.
LittleBird Tip: Kids eat free in the gallery cafe. Get one free kids meal with a paid Adult Meal.
Sunday 31st August
Join the Great River Clear Up with Thames21. The Big Thames Tidy – Gabriel Wharf Sunday 31 August: 10.30am – 1pm, Gabriel’s Wharf foreshore via steps to Gabriel’s Wharf and Bernie Spain Gardens, SE1 9PP, Suitable for all ages, (FREE)
Get your wellies on and don your rubber gloves for this great river clear-up organised by Thames 21 the voice of London’s waterways. Scores of volunteers will descend on the foreshore in central London for this two-day tidy: one of the biggest events of its kind held on the river.
You’ll have great fun as you join other like-minded people to make London’s river look even lovelier than it does already! Free for all ages, help out as little or as much as you like, with full equipment, supervision and support provided. Please wear old clothes and sturdy footwear that you do not mind getting dirty, and which are suitable for the weather conditions.
This event is part of the Totally Thames festival celebrating London’s River – for more info on family friendly events, Click here
Sunday 31st August
London Mela – A celebration of Asian Culture, Sunday 31st August, Gunnersbury Park 1pm – 9pm. Suitable for all ages, (FREE), W3 8LQ
The 2014 London Mela explodes onto Gunnersbury Park this summer with a huge programme of live entertainment, traditional Asian culture and family activities. Thousands of Londoners will fill the park at what is expected to be one of the biggest free festivals of the year.
Imperial War Museum, Sundays throughout the Summer, Suitable for all ages. 11AM – 12.30PM and 2PM – 4PM, (FREE), SE1 6HZ
Every Sunday at The Imperial War Museum over the summer holidays, visit “Object Conversations” a new immersive object handling sessions where families can explore objects from the collections. Feel the weight of a shrapnel piece from the First World War and come to grips with real objects!
Also join Creative Response art activities based on themes featured in the atrium and galleries
Kenwood House Storytelling Sundays, Hampstead, Sunday 31st August, 12.30PM, 2PM, 3PM, Suitable for ages 3+, (FREE)
Discover the stories behind Kenwood’s collection with their interactive storytelling sessions for families. With a multi-sensory and hands on area this is a great way to find out about the lives of the people in the glorious paintings. There will be three 30 minute sessions over the course of the day. For more information Click Here and for more summer events Click Here.
LittleBird Tip: Pack a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful Kenwood grounds and make a day of it for all the family. The café sells delicious cakes and yummy ice-cream. Then why not pop up the road to the famous Spaniards Inn and enjoy this characterful 16th century inn, which is one of the oldest pubs in Britain!