It’s hard to keep up with everything; what’s launched, what’s new, what’s become available, what’s now digital. Fear not, we’ve done the hard work for you.
We’ve rounded up some of the best things to do this week, virtual events as well as actual real life events plus some online anytime activities too.
Hear Michael Morpurgo talk about his new picture book adaption of War Horse or learn how to turn old T Shirts into handy bags. Catch up with Ben Fogle as he talks about his latest children’s book Mr Dog or find out how to make the iconic japanese dessert Dorayaki. Step into a world of creativity as Cressida Cowell headlines the Reading is Magic Festival or learn how to chalk print, explore the solar system or watch the Little Angel Theatre’s new show and if you’re excited about Halloween already, find out where you can pick your own pumpkin – there’s lots to do, see and fun with.
If you find it useful, please share our Top Picks with your family and friends and sign up to the newsletter. We publish our blog every week.
OUR VIRTUAL TOP PICKS
Japan Matsuri Presents, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th September
Japan Matsuri Presents takes Japan online to bring the best in Japanese culture. Expect cooking masterclasses, headline musical acts, martial arts and dance over the weekend. Watch Kamishibai, a style of theatre where the story is told through illustrated boards, learn how to draw Manga, find out how to make the iconic japanese dessert Dorayaki, join the guided gallery tour of Japan House London’s new exhibition Architecture for Dogs and catch viral sensation Tomioka Dance Club plus so much more.
To find out what’s going on when, click here
Solar System Discovery, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th September @ 11am, 12pm, 1pm & 2pm
Join a Royal Observatory Greenwich’s astronomer and embark on a tour of the Solar System, all from the comfort of your home in this live, online planetarium show.
Starting from Earth, you’ll travel through our celestial neighbourhood, visiting objects like planets, moons and asteroids, and ending with a fly-out to view our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Aimed at ages 7+. Tickets are free but you’ll need to book. To find out more, click here
London Podcast Festival, running until Sunday 27th September
The London Podcast Festival celebrates some of the biggest and brightest names on the podcasting scene perform live in front of a limited capacity. There’s comedy, politics, music and art. All events will be live streamed to a global audience. Tickets from £9.50
To find out more about the festival, what’s on and when, and to learn about the art of podcasting, click here
Reading is Magic Festival, Sunday 27th September – 2nd October
Get ready to step into a world of creativity. The Reading is Magic Festival is offering six days of free, inclusive and engaging digital events for everyone, everywhere. How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once creator Cressida Cowell is heading the line-up and the festival will be hosted by TV presenter, broadcaster and Strictly Come Dancing finalist, Karim Zeroual.
Catch Chris Riddell, Dapo Adeola, Nathan Bryon, Jason Reynolds, Sue Hendra, Paul Linnet, Jasbinder Bilan, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sophy Henn, Steven Lenton, Steven Butler, Joseph Coelho, Pamela Butchart, and so many more.
Aimed at ages 4 to 13 and beyond. Events last between 10 and 30 minutes and will be broadcast on a schools-friendly platform.
Ben Fogle; Mr Dog, Sunday 27th September @11am
Part of the Henley Literary Festival (26th Sept. – 4th Oct), tune into broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle for this special event for kids and their grown- ups! Find out about his latest children’s book, Mr Dog, inspired by his own real-life animal experiences. Oh deer! The fawn’s forest home is in danger, but canine hero Mr Dog has a plan!
Tickets are free but you’ll need to book here
To find out more about the Henley Literary Festival, click here
AFRORETRO: UpCycle Your Life and Bag a Tee, Sunday 27th September @ 10am
Upcycle old unloved t-shirts and sweatshirts into handy bags with the artsdepot. Join Ugandan Sisters Anna and Lilly and learn all about upcycling and how you can stop your clothes ending up in landfills across the world.
Don’t worry if you don’t already sew, Anna and Lilly will help you get creative and turn your unwanted clothing into handy bags.
Each household only needs to purchase one ticket. Pay what you decide, Artsdepot suggests £5, but it’s up to you.
To find out more and book your ticket, click here
Little Angel Theatre’s Scoop’s Space: Mr Gobble’s Garden, Sunday 27th September @11am
Mr Gobble is the grumpiest man you’ll ever meet in your life, but his pride and joy is his garden. He tends to his herbs, fruit and sunflowers, and is growing an enormous Orchid to enter into a competition. But one day, a mischievous mole comes digging, and Mr Gobble has to learn an important lesson about kindness, sharing and friendship.
Watch the new show here and if you haven’t watched Moon River, When… and What a Wonderful World, they’re only available until Wednesday 30th September so catch them before they’re gone here
The Little Angel Theatre is offering all their online shows for free, but if you’re able to make a donation it would be much appreciated.
Sir Michael Morpurgo: Reflections of War and Fiction, Sunday 27th September @ 4.30pm
Part of the Chelsea History Festival (17th – 27th September) offering a mixture of online and in-person events, join Sir Michael Morpurgo as he discusses turning the subject of war into fiction and his new picture book adaption of War Horse.
You can join the event for free online here and to find out more about the festival, click here
Live from Under the Thames, Sunday 27th September @6pm
Part of the Totally Thames Festival that runs until 30th September, tune into a live streamed concert from the Brunel Museum by Modulus Quartet, who specialise in performing in unusual locations as they perform works from their new album. The live stream will be followed by a Q&A session with the performers and composers. Tickets are £5. Find out more here
Totally Thames Festival runs until 30th September, to find out more, click here
OUR TOP PICKS OF THINGS TO DO
Tulley’s Pumpkins, pick your own pumpkin, from Saturday 26th September
If you fancy picking your own pumpkin this Halloween, Tulleys’ Farm opens this weekend.
Whether you want to carve a ghoulish face, make a delicious pie or decorate your house with unusual gourds so there’s an ideal pumpkin for everyone. There’s a total of 20 acres of pumpkins, producing around 150,000 pumpkins.
Tickets vary between £2 to £5 depending when you go and you’ll need to book a time slot and from Friday 9th October you can pick your own pumpkin at night!
To find out more and book your slot, click here
Horniman Museum & Gardens: Falling Birds
Falling Birds is a brand new display at the Horniman Museum & Gardens by UK-based artist Helena Hunter, which illuminates the ongoing environmental crisis in relation to bird species. Larger-than-life X-ray photographs of extinct and endangered bird specimens from the Horniman’s Natural History collection and poetic texts highlight extinction and the alarming decline in bird species around the world.
While you’re here, visit the Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs. 252 million years ago life on Earth was dominated by extraordinary creatures –-fearsome sabre-toothed predators, giant insects and bizarre-looking sharks.
The Museum and Gardens are free, but you must book a ticket online in advance to visit. The family-friendly exhibition, Permian Monsters, is charged for, a family ticket £18
Find out more here
Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, cinematic release, Wednesday 30th September
Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes arrives in cinemas for the first time. Winner of two Olivier Awards, The Red Shoes is a tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.
Filmed live at Sadler’s Wells in London especially for cinemas, Matthew Bourne’s magical adaptation of the classic Powell and Pressburger film is set to the achingly romantic music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann.
To find out more and where it’s showing, click here
Canary Wharf Children’s Art Trail, London
Canary Wharf has picked 12 sculptures they think will interest young minds, plus a handy map to show their locations.
The 12 artworks chosen are a small selection of over 70 permanently on display all over Canary Wharf, both outside and indoors. Download the trail here here
Family How To: Chalk Printing
Create with the Royal Academy’s Family How To series and find out how to Chalk Print. Like many artists throughout history – from Claude Monet to J.M.W Turner and James Turrell, the Royal Academy has been inspired by the effects, colours and patterns made by clouds in the sky. What does the sky look like where you are?
Try out two simple techniques and experiment with using chalk to make colourful abstract prints.
Find out more here
Make a Pleasure Gardens souvenir
Museum of London Docklands asks, have you ever collected something to remember a day out and take it home as a souvenir? Why not create your own memory mobile, inspired by the fun of the Pleasure Gardens.
If you looked up at the sky on a clear evening in the 1800s, you might just spot a hot air balloon rise up over Vauxhall. Georgian London was home to the famous Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens – a spectacular place for the upper and middle classes to see and be seen. Entertainment for the visitors included music, acrobatics and a ride in a hot air balloon!
Find out how to make your own memory mobile here
Digital Do Your Own Thing
Heart n Soul is a creative arts company and charity who believe in the talents of people with learning disabilities. Digital Do Your Own Thing is their creative arts project, now online, for young people with learning disabilities aged 10-25. Young people can take part in music, dance, radio, DJing, visual arts and digital arts.
Find out more here and to explore their creative downloadable packs, click here
Your weekly guide to noticing nature
Spending time in nature not only boosts our connection to the natural world, it also helps our wellbeing. The National Trust have put together a weekly guide that aims to help us find time to connect with nature in our everyday lives. The guide full of easy ideas to get you started – from looking up at the trees to walking barefoot in the grass. Make nature part of your daily routine and download their guide here
Brought to you by The LittleBird Family Pass – saving families money all year round. To find out how, click here