Top Picks for the week ahead 3rd – 9th September

Actual real life events are taking place once again and museums are still re-opening. So if you’re up for getting out and about, here’s our pick of the best things to do in and around London; from the reopening of Fairy Tales at Discover to the return of Backyard Cinema’s Winter Night Garden, exploring the London Mural Festival to experiencing Cloudscapes in a meadow plus you can now watch films on water.  

Check out our previous blog on what opened and when From theme parks, cinemas, museums and attractions. 

And there’s lots of virtual fun to be had; watch the Unicorn Theatre’s theatrical reading of Roald Dahl’s The Twits, catch Réversible by Les 7 Doigot performed virtually, all the way from Montreal, Canada, imagine the future with the House of Illustration and visit a digital exhibition plus learn how to make your own lava lamp – there’s lots to do, see and have fun with. 

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Fairy Tales at Discover, reopens 4th September 

Step into a fairy tale town and through into the woods to discover a world of giants, palaces, gingerbread houses and treasure caves.Numbers in each session will be very limited so there is plenty of space for everyone to play and explore our magical Fairy Tale world. 

Trip trap over a bridge (but watch out for the troll!), join in the palace disco with the musicians of Bremen, sit in a giant’s footprint, help Jack win some magic beans and stop by Grandma’s caravan (why is her face so furry…?)

Aimed at 0 – 8 year olds, the exhibition sessions last 30 minutes. 

Book your exhibition tickets here

To find out more about visiting Discover, safety measures and booking tickets, click here 

Backyard Cinema The Winter Night Garden, opens 4th September 

Backyard Cinema’s Winter Night Garden is back. With a reduced capacity and social distanced seating, get ready to experience a new adventure as you enter a secret tunnel of trees that leads you to a beautiful, indoor enchanted forest and rediscover your favourite films. 

To find out more and when the Snow Kingdom opens, click here 

Cloudscapes, Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th September, 2pm, 3.30pm & 5pm

Part of the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (running until 12th September), experience Cloudscapes.  Lie back and relax as cloud enthusiast Lorna Rees invites you to contemplate the troposphere. Her dreamy commentary on the passing skies will allow you to appreciate the temporary ‘galleries’ created by clouds. Visit the Cloud Museum afterwards to learn more about cloud-gazing and climate change. 

To find out more and book your ticket, click here

To find out more about the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, what’s on and when, click here 

London Mural Festival, throughout September 

London Mural Festival will feature over 100 international and local artists painting suburban houses to city centres and cultural hubs. Artists including Camille Walala will create murals at more than 50 locations including Wembley Park, King’s Cross, Holborn, Crystal Palace, Canary Wharf, the City, Camden, Hackney Wick and Tottenham.

The weekends within the festival will celebrate creative communities across the city, whilst introducing a new way for people to experience one of the world’s biggest art movements. 

To find out more, click here 

OpenAire Float-In cinema by Häagen-Dazs, until 27th September 

Take the helm and skipper your crew through London’s historic canals before mooring up to enjoy a cinematic experience on water. 

Watch your favourite film on the UK’s biggest ever riverside screen, with sound streaming straight to your boat or deck chair, there is plenty of Häagen-Dazs ice cream to go round too. 

To find out more, click here 


Réversible by Les 7 Doigots,  Friday 4th September @ 7pm

Part of the Freedom Festival (4th – 6th September),  catch Réversible by Les 7 Doigot performed virtually, all the way from Montreal, Canada.  Be prepared for the best in contemporary circus. Through a unique, riveting mix of theatre, circus, dance, music and acrobatics, Réversible is dedicated to a generation who forged the world that we live in today and whose stories might hold the key to a better tomorrow. Our elders lived in a simpler era, when time moved at a less rapid pace. This time in history inspired poetry, imagination, passion and staggering virtuosity. To find out more about the show and their Sunday performance Séquence 8, click here

To find out more about the Freedom Festival, Luke Jerram’s first artwork made specifically for young children, Lullaby taking place each evening of the festival and more click here

Roald Dahl’s The Twits Online with the Unicorn Theatre, Saturday 5th September @10am

Enjoy this new theatrical reading of one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved books about a most despicable couple, The Twits, the clever Muggle-Wump and the magnificent Roly-Poly Bird. This unabridged reading, filmed in the Unicorn theatre, is gleeful, gunge-filled digital storytelling. 

Imagine the worst people you can think of, can you do that? Good. Then you’re just about ready to meet Mr and Mrs Twit, the nastiest couple you could ever hope (not) to meet.

Aimed at ages 6 – 12, the story is split up across three 20-minute episodes, but will be released all at once so that you can enjoy them whenever, and wherever, you want, available until 30th November.  Watch it on the Unicorn’s YouTube Channel here

Play-Along Plink and Boo, Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th September @ 10am

Part of the Freedom Festival (4th – 6th September), explore a world of colour, interactivity and adventure. The topsy turvy world of Plink and Boo uses acrobatics, music and mountains of toys, to create interactive filmed circus theatre adventure, exploring what happens when people don’t fit into boxes. 

Play-Along Plink and Boo is free but requires advance booking. To find out more and how to prep before watching the performance so that you can interact and play along from the comfort of your own home, click here

To find out more about the Freedom Festival, Luke Jerram’s first artwork made specifically for young children, Lullaby taking place each evening of the festival and more click here

Host a Picnic for Polka at your home, Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th September @ 1pm 

Help raise funds for Polka Theatre by inviting your friends, neighbours or family together for a special picnic. Create your own Polka Picnic with a fundraising pack full of recipes, games and get access to a live-streamed gig, click here to sign up.   

A River Runs Through It, finishes Sunday 6th September at 8pm 

Part of the Totally Thames Festival that runs throughout September, enjoy a virtual exhibition celebrating London’s intoxicating mix of vibrant colours, stunning architecture, the beauty of the Thames, its bustling streets, and the non-stop buffet of cultural events. This year A River Runs Through It is proud to present an exciting online blend of art in a unique virtual exhibition, intriguing podcasts and films about our favourite London gems, interviews with remarkable London heroes, and an emotional tribute to London in lockdown. To catch it before it finishes, click here

Totally Thames is an annual season of unique, diverse and accessible arts and culture throughout the month of September with activity taking place on, beneath, and along the River Thames. The Festival runs until 30th September, to find out what’s on and when click here

Nicola Davies – My Butterfly Bouquet, Sunday 6th September @ 11am

Part of the Borders Book Festival (running until 27th September), join author Nicola Davies to hear how one little girl in need of a lot of cheering met a whole bouquet of butterflies. Nicola will explore all the stages of a butterfly’s life, tell you how very important they are to our ecosystems and explain how easy it is to invite butterflies into your garden.

Aimed at ages 5 – 7, find out more click here 

Family friendly events happen every Sunday at 11am throughout the festival, click here to find out more. 

Otters and Orcas, Puffins and Skuas, live from Orkney’s Coast, Monday 7th September @ 7.30pm

Part of the International Orkney Science Festival, join award-winning wildlife cameraman and photographer Raymond Besant as he takes you on a tour of Orkney’s coast, from cliffs and geos to sandy beaches, and the varied birds and mammals who live and feed there in a world of wild weather, orcas, otters, seabirds and seaweed.

You can watch this free event from here, or if you’d like to join questions and discussion, you can also go direct to it in the Science Festival’s YouTube channel here

Make your own lava lamp with Glasgow Science Festival,  Wednesday 9th September @ 4.30pm

Celebrate science from the comfort of your own sofa this autumn. Join Glasgow Science Festival  digital programme (9th September – 9th November) with hands-on activities, talks, shows and more. The festival kicks things off with the Glasgow Science Centre team at home. Take part in 5 days and 5 science shows with Wednesday’s experiment  showing you how to make your own lava lamp. Join via the festival’s facebook page.   

Find out more here and what’s going throughout the festival here 

Prepping Roald Dahl Story Day, Sunday 13th September 

With Roald Dahl Story Day next weekend, don’t miss getting your hands on the official Party Pack for 2020. Packed full of ideas to help you celebrate, you can download the pack here plus there’s a pack for Titchy Toddlers you can download here

There’s lots going on between now and the big day so keep checking in to find out more about competitions, quizzes and much, much more. 

Keep up to date here

The Virtual Big Dog Walk, until 30th September 

Taking place throughout September, join in the Virtual Big Dog Walk – the World Big Dog Walk Challenge aiming to support dog-related charities. Dog walkers from all over the world will complete their walks independently, choosing to walk wherever and with whomever they like. 

Find out more here



TED-Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative with a mission to spark and celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world. 

TED-Ed Animations are short, animated videos about ideas that spark the curiosity of learners everywhere. These videos, paired with questions and resources, make TED-Ed Lessons. 

There’s a section for parents as well as students. Click here to find out if the ocean can run out of oxygen, how our brains process speech and what makes volcanoes erupt, plus find out more about Earth School here

Unicef’s Paddington Postcards

Discover the world and explore new countries with Paddington and see how other children live. Sign up for an £8 monthly donation and Paddington will send a personalised postcard every month along with fun, educational activities helping your child to explore different countries with Paddington each month.

Unicef receives 100% of subscription. Perfect for children aged 6-10.

Sign up here 

Imaging the future

From the House of Illustration, enjoy these free downloadable family activities Imagining the Future. Design your own future home, the clothes that people might wear in the future or the community and neighbourhood they might live in. 

Aimed at ages 5 – 12. Find out more here

Seven Stories Online Exhibitions 

Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, have digitised three of their exhibitions so that families can enjoy the stunning artwork, interesting facts and carefully curated exhibitions from anywhere in the world; 

Twists and Tails – the Story of Angelina Ballerina, 

Tiger, Mog and Pink Rabbit – A Judith Kerr Retrospective and Mystery

Magic and Midnight Feasts – The Many Adventures of Enid Blyton. 

To start exploring the exhibitions, click here 

RSC Shakespeare’s Learning Zone

The RSC Shakespeare Learning Zone offers loads of information about Shakespeare’s plays. You’ll find key facts, key scenes, pictures from past productions, videos of actors and directors working on and performing the plays AND find out about all the main characters and how they relate to each other. A great resource for those studying the bard. Choose a play and get going here

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