FUN & FANTASTIC THINGS TO DO WITH THE KIDS IN LONDON THIS WEEKEND
SATURDAY 13TH & SUNDAY 14TH JUNE
CARSTON HOLLER: DECISION AT THE HAYWARD GALLERY, SOUTHBANK
If you haven’t noticed the giant slides swirling down the side of the Hayward Gallery yet, as soon as you do, you’ll want to book a ticket! Carsten Höller: Decision opens today and is the artist’s largest survey show in the UK to date. Erupting beyond the Hayward Gallery’s roof and walls, this fantastical looking exhibition explores perception and decision making; the choice is yours… to use the stairs or go down the Isomeric Slides… mmmm wonder what the kids will choose?
Confronting you with a series of choices, it features mirrors, disconcerting doubles and mysterious objects which together create an impression of a world where nothing is quite as it seems. When you enter, you’re asked to choose between two different entrances, behind which lie separate routes through the first gallery. Once inside, you’ll encounter a range of situations – including a flying machine and the invitation to consume a pill, contents unknown. You’re then asked to reflect on the process of decision making.
When: runs until 6th September
Where: Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX
Age: Suitable for everyone that loves the book
Cost: Adults £15, 12 – 18 £10, under 12s free
LittleBird’s Top Tip: The Festival of Love returns this summer to the Southbank along with the beach and art installations galore including Love Story by Richard Woods and the fabulous Appearing Rooms by Jeppe Hein – prepare to get soaked and all the name of love!
THE BIG WILD RUMPUS AT THE UNICORN THEATRE,
*** A National Event ***
To celebrate 50 years since Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic was published, Random House Children’s publishers and outdoor family arts organisers Wild Rumpus are leading a multi-city national celebration of Where The Wild Things Are. This event is nationwide and anyone can take part.
This Saturday the Unicorn Theatre joins in the celebrations and asks lovers of Where the Wild Things Are to rise up, celebrate the book and join in with the reading at 11am. Dress up, roar your terrible roars, gnash your terrible teeth, and join together for the most Wild Rumpus of all. The reading will last approximately 25 mins and will be followed by free Crown Crafts and Monster Mess events in the foyer.
When: Saturday 13th June, 10am – 1pm
Where: Unicorn Theatre, SE1 2HZ
Age: Suitable for everyone that loves the book
LittleBird Top Tip: To find your nearest Wild Rumpus and read more about the event and celebrities involved, read our blog, click here. All readings start at 11am on Saturday 13th June.
OPEN GARDEN SQUARES WEEKEND
Take a peek behind the closed gates of more than 200 London gardens at the Open Garden Squares Weekend. From traditional private squares to contemporary roof gardens, not to mention skips, prisons, museums, schools and allotments.
Lots of the gardens are offering activities for the kids including Punch and Judy shows at Eaton Square (SW1) and Russell Square (WC1), a garden party including children’s entertainment on Saturday afternoon in Lexham Gardens (W8), crafts and games at Centre for Wildlife Gardening (SE15) with face painting and games for little ones at Culverley Green (SE6). There are children’s trails and quizzes at William Morris Society (W6) and Culpeper Community Garden (N1), while the Geffrye Museum (E2) is organising self-guided garden activities for children.
For those interested in nature, you can go pond dipping at Camley Street Natural Park (N1), meet farm animals at Spitalfield’s City Farm (E1) or make bird feeders and bug hotels Winsford Gardens (SE20),
When: Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th June
Cost: £10 in advance, £12 on the day – ticets valid throughout the weekend, with under 12s free
LittleBird Top Tip: If you’re a National Trust member, you get 25% off your ticket.
GREEN DAYS FETE & CRAFT FAIR
This weekend Acton Green Common hosts Green Days Fete & Craft Fair – part of the Bedford Festival that runs from 12th – 28th June. Lots of family fun is promised with live music and performances, craft stalls, food and drink for all tastes and a cycle zone encouraging confidence as well as offering minor repair work and maintenance from Dr Bike for free. There’s even cooking demonstrations, a Jam and Chutney Making competition plus journalist and broadcaster Fergal Keane will open Festival.
Kids can take part in, or watch, the junior 5-a-Side Football tournaments and there’s a fancy dress parade and don’t miss the Children’s Corner offering hair braiding, lucky dip, face painting, frog hoop-la and lots, lots more.
When: Saturday 13th June, 11am – 6pm & Sunday 14th June 11.30am – 5.30pm
Where: Acton Green Common
THE FAIR IN THE SQUARE, HIGHGATE
This Saturday, Highgate’s Pond Square turns into an open air Circus for the annual event; The Fair in the Square and promises music, entertainment, scrummy food and fun for all the family. Circus acts and skills from Jacksons Lane will be showcased throughout the fair along with local choirs, dancers, musicians and even steel pans.
The kids can enjoy an array of traditional fairground rides, a creative play tent, Punch and Judy shows, circus skills workshops, stilt walkers, a fire engine to discover and explore and even an unmissable Sheep Shearing Show featuring a dancing sheep!.
When: Saturday 13th June, 12.30pm – 5.30pm
Where: Pond Square, Highgate Village, N6 6BS
LittleBird Top Tip: Take the scooters and pop by Waterlow Park (home to Lauderdale House – this Saturday featuring Sing and Dance in Time and Space with Mr Boom at 10am & 11.30am – tickets required) on your way to the Square or for some wild time after. The Red Lion & Sun is perfect for a drink in the garden on the way home (food is yummy too!).
THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY PARADE, CENTRAL LONDON
Always wanted two birthdays? Well the Queen does! Her actual birthday was privately celebrated on 21st April but this Saturday sees her official birthday celebrations taking place – always celebrated by the Trooping the Colour ceremony. Official celebrations have always taken place on a day in the summer, when good weather is more likely and the Queen has attended Trooping the Colour every year of her reign (since 1951) except in 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event.
Over 1400 officers and men are on parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums march and play as one. During the ceremony the Queen will salute the troops and guns will be fired in Green Park, Hyde Park and the Tower of London. At the end of ceremony the Queen joins other members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony to watch a flypast by the Royal Air Force at 1pm.
When: Saturday 13th June, 10am with the fly past at 1pm
Where: Advice on the best place to stand is The Mall or on the edge of St James’s Park overlooking Horse Guards from 9.00am.
LittleBird’s Top Tip: Take a picnic to enjoy in St James Park after the excitement of the parade – there’s a playground with a giant sandpit, deck chairs (to rent) and a cafe for a coffees so you’ll be able to have a lovely afternoon – weather permitting! And don’t forget to the take the kids to see the pelicans.
BIG DAY OUT IN WHITTINGTON PARK, ISLINGTON
The Holloway Arts Festival comes to a close this Saturday with Big Day Out in Whittington Park. Families can look forward to an afternoon of fun activities including free workshops and performances. There are free sports workshops plus Yoga, Tai Chi, Dance and aerobics, an Arsenal Penalty Shootout, street dance with Leroy FX, a fairground, a dog show plus plenty of live music including a Ukulele Orchestra and stalls galore!
When: Saturday 13th June, 1pm – 5pm
Where: Whittington Park, N19 4RS
LittleBird Top Tip: If the crowds get too much and you fancy breaking free from the hubbub, there’s plenty going on in Whittington Park. There’s a natural play area, sand pit, playground, wildlife pond and ecology garden plus table tennis tables (so don’t forget your bats and ping pong balls) not to mention the lovely Whittington Park Cafe.
WORLD OF ARCHAEOLOGY FESTIVAL, BLOOMSBURY
Head to Gordon Square and the Institute of Archaeology this Saturday to explore and discover the World of Archaeology. There’s an amazing array of activities throughout the Institute and Gordon Square that the kids will love at the World Archaeology Festival: Passport to the Past. Let them find out how to work flint into tools (flint knapping), learn how to make fire in the Middle Ages, turn copper into gold, make their own mummified fish just like the Egyptians did as well as learn about ancient weaving techniques. There’s cave art, wax modelling, pot making, sandpit archaeology and a rather gruesome (and potentially smelly) activity called Whose Poo – a great way, so we’re told, to find out what people in the past had to eat by dissecting their poo…mmmm, pass the bucket please!
When: Saturday 13th June, 12pm – 5pm
Where: UCL Institute of Archaeology & Gordon Square Gardens, WC1H 0PY
LittleBird Top Tip: Pick up a Passport to the Past: Time Detectives Handbook at the Information Desk and let the kids follow the children’s trail around the Institute. Marley Mole is their guide and if they answer the questions, they’ll receive a prize!
CHILDREN’S ART WEEK AT THE SOUTH LONDON GALLERY, PECKHAM
*** A National Event ***
Celebrate creativity this weekend with Children’s Art Week – discover and explore all things arty by getting hands on with the kids! Children’s Art Week runs from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 June across the UK and this Sunday the South London Gallery is celebrating Children’s Art Week promising something big, messy and lots of fun!
Join artist Laura X Carlé for an afternoon exploring large scale sculpture and installation. You and the kids are invited to take part in this collaborative hands on workshop to transform the South London Gallery’s art studio into an imaginative cardboard world.
Other London events throughout the Festival include; Children’s Art Weekend at the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, Family Art Workshop at Fleming Collection, Painted Planes at Royal Air Force Museum, Gallery @ Half Moon at Half Moon Theatre Make & Do at Camden Arts Centre, Albion Street Pop Up Art Shop at VirtueVision and Post it Note Animation at National Portrait Gallery.
When: Sunday 12th June, 2pm – 4pm
Where: South London Gallery, SE5 8UH
Age: 0 – 11
LittleBird Top Tip: Children’s Art Week runs from Saturday 13th – 21st June, is UK wide and promises more than 100 events. To find out more as well as your nearest creative event, read our blog and click here.
SCULPTURE SPECIAL AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY, PICCADILLY
Head to the Royal Academy this Sunday for a free family workshop; Sculpture Special. Let the kids take inspiration from the range of sculptures on display in this year’s Summer Exhibition 2015 and create their own 3D works of art. As well as the Summer Exhibition 2015, this weekend also hosts the RA Schools Show 2015 and admission is free.
Every year at the Summer Exhibition free activity art trays are provided for kids, full of materials for them to make their own mini-masterpieces inspired by the works they experience in the galleries around them. They can also enjoy the RA’s Art Detective Family Trails or why not get them to make their own artist sketchbook to bring along, click here for instructions.
When: Sunday 14th June, 11am – 3pm
Where: Royal Academy, W1J 0BD
Cost: Workshop and RA Schools Show are both free, Summer Exhibition is £13.50 for adults, and under 16s are free
LittleBird’s Top Tip: You’re ever so close to Piccadilly Circus and the iconic statue of Eros and of course Ripley’s Believe it or Not! – The UK’s most extraordinary attraction! A perfect moment to enjoy LittleBird’s Ripley’s & Planet Hollywood great value family package. Click here for family fun!