LittleBird loves…..our EPIC Summer Top Picks Guide!

As the summer holidays approach, it’s time to plan some fantastic family fun! The LittleBird team have compiled our epic Summer Guide – your go-to list of our top picks for the whole family to enjoy and experience!

Featuring theatre from the wonders of the West End to local theatre, immersive experiences, staycations and UK holidays, FREE events, brand new book releases, podcasts, exhibitions, events, outdoor and indoor adventure, new cinema releases, magazines, arts, crafts, recipes, games and tips for starting school phew…. and so much more – there’s something for everyone. Grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and explore our guide and get inspiration for an unforgettable school holiday.

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Your summer awaits…..

Featuring The Lion King | My Neighbour Totoro | Les Misérables | Hamilton | Smartest Giant In Town | Sister Act | Frozen | Wicked | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child | Matilda | Back to the Future | The Play That Goes Wrong | Mrs Doubtfire | Shrek The Musical | Blippi | Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out | The Gruffalo | The Tiger Who Came To Tea | Tina | Fawlty Towers |Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors | Showstopper! | A View from The Bridge | Guys & Dolls | Six | Wizard of Oz | Starlight Express | MJ The Musical | FanGirls| Stranger Things | Mean Girls | Marie Curie The Musical | Mamma Mia | The Secret Garden & more!

Theme Parks and Attractions

Thorpe Park Day Tickets – from just £29pp!

Chessington World of Adventures Day Tickets – from just £29pp

LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort Day Tickets – from just £29pp

Sealife Aquarium London Entry Tickets – from just £28pp

Alton Towers Day Tickets – from just £29pp

Visit your local Sea Life Centre from only £19!

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester – tickets from £18.50

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham – tickets from £20

The Bear Grylls Adventure, Birmingham – tickets from £20

Discover London’s darkest history at The London Dungeon – tickets from £26.50

Immersive Experiences

Featuring The Paddington Bear Experience | The Gunpowder Plot Experience | Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds |The Art of the Brick Experience – save 5% | Bubble Planet | Dopamine Land | Van Gogh The Immersive Experience – 5% off

Family Days Out

Horrible Histories – Terrible Thames is running all summer!

A 45-minute tour from Tower Bridge to the Palace of Westminster and back bringing London to life and narrating its’ history with all the nasty bits left in! Book tickets here

Green-themed Summer Family Fun at the London Transport Museum | 20 July to 1 Sept

Green-themed summer fun with London Transport Museum hat will take young visitors on a journey of discovery, exploring climate change and sustainability through family-friendly workshops, crafts, and storytelling sessions. Plus, learn about the small day-to-day changes we can all make to help play a part in building a greener future.  All family activities free with Museum admission – and kids go free! Tickets here

Hobbledown, Epsom, Surrey | Hullabaloo Festival!

Experience the ultimate in indoor and outdoor adventure play, and don’t miss the Hullabaloo Festival, Hobbledown’s enchanting summer extravaganza which runs from July 20 – Sep 3. Enjoy a summer of magic with activities like paint parades, water wars, giant bubbles and dragon meet and greets. Book tickets here

Harry Potter Studio Tour | Return to Azkaban | Warner Bros Studios | 1 May to 4 Sept

Join the Harry Potter Studio Tour in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with a brand new feature for 2024. Discover new filmmaking secrets and explore fan-favourite sets, built by the original filmmakers and available at the Studio Tour for the very first time! Book tickets up until 31 Dec 2024 here

The Battersea Games Returns! Battersea Power Station | 1 July to 8 Sept

Battersea Power Station will once again be the home of sports and games this summer, with the return of The Battersea Games from 1 July – 8 Sept. Take part in free family-friendly activities all summer long, or watch all the live sporting action on the big screen. Find out more here.

The Tower of London, summer fun and The Moat in Bloom

Experience the Tower of London Moat bloom into life once more this summer! Walk amongst the plants and flowers, walk the battlements, shoot arrows, assemble firearms, brandish swords, learn about women in the Tower of London and so much more! Activities are included in Tower of London Admission tickets, buy tickets here

Meet the characters of The Cutty Sark and hop on board!

Set sail for Greenwich and discover what life was like on board the Cutty Sark, the celebrated historic sailing ship and fastest of its time. Meet the Cutty Sark characters, stand beneath the unique hull, listen to tales on the FREE audio tour, enjoy sensory sessions, family trails and fun activity kits! Book tickets here

London Zoo’s Big Summer of Fun | 22 July to 3 Sept

Get set for family fun this summer with a whole day packed with wild games, over 14,000 animals, England’s biggest penguin pool, London’s biggest living rainforest and, of course, big cats! Don’t miss Poo at the Zoo! Running from 25 July – 1 Sept too – a family-friendly journey of discovery into the fascinating world of wildlife waste! Visit the unique ‘pooseum’ and become a poo-ologists for the day. So much to see and do in one day, book tickets here

Horrible Histories: Rotten Royals – Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich | 11-14 August

This is the latest in the Horrible Histories series of stage shows. It is a compilation of hilarious sketches, all featuring mad monarchs from our history. The show is great fun as well as informative, full of funny jokes, daft songs and silliness galore! Tickets £18, various times, buy here

Stanhill Farm | Maize Maze Opening 20th July – 8th Aug!

Stanhill Farm, Dartford, is growing its tenth 8-acre Maize Maze, which will open on Saturday 20 July ready for the summer holidays, through until Sunday 8 September.   In support of the RNLI and their 200th anniversary year, this year’s theme will be Search & Rescue! Join them in their Search & Rescue Maize Maze and they have a Mini Maze too!

Find out more here and don’t forget to enter our competition here with Stanhill farm to win vouchers for 4 people to enter, we have 6 to give away!

Kew Gardens | Horrible Science | 20 July to 1 Sept

Get up close with nature’s nasty side in Kew Gardens’ exciting new family programme this summer, inspired by the Horrible Science series. Unveil foul facts, find out what makes Vicious Veg so grotty, look out for Fiendish Flowers and Foul Fungi, encounter some Greedy Greenery and Revolting Roots. Lots to explore all summer long with special events, talks and activities. Included with entry to the gardens, tickets here

Royal Institution | A family summer of science at the Ri and save on every booking with Ri Membership!

Add a dash of science to your summer with the Royal Institution’s Family programme! Learn ‘How to build a rocket’ with TV’s Fran Scott, and ‘Can you blow up the Sun’ with astronomy author Matt Bothwell. Go to their Family Fun Day to get hands-on with exciting experiments or treat your scientist of the future to a Holiday Workshop – there are nearly 60 to choose from! Save money on your summer of science with an Ri Membership or Family Membership here

The London Eye River Cruise from £15.50 | See London from the water!

Setting sail from The London Eye Pier, you’ll witness iconic landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben (Palace of Westminster), St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Tower of London, and Tower Bridge! The London Eye River Cruise offers a seamless journey without any stops, ensuring a continuous, scenic experience. Book tickets here

Summer of Play with The National Trust

National Trust have a summer full of fun with activities for everyone as in their Summer of Play! Try cricket, follow nature trails, spark creativity in arts and crafts workshops or play dress up and put on a performance! With cafés and shady picnic spots to choose from, bring everyone together for an adventurous day out at a place you love. Find out more here

English Heritage Summer Fun and Save 20% on annual and gift memberships

So many exciting events for families taking place throughout the summer with English heritage! Look out for the Kids Dig at Stonehenge, as well as a Medieval Season across some of the sites, and amazing Summer Explorer Quests at other popular sites. Adventures await! More info and save 20% off annual and gift memberships here

Summer holiday fun at RHS Gardens Wisley | 20 July to 26 Aug | The Great Garden Adventure with Shaun the Sheep

© and TM Aardman Animations Ltd 2024

At RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey, follow Shaun’s journey of discovery this summer. Create a clay Shaun the Sheep, meet him ‘in the fleece’, lose yourself in the straw bale maze, enjoy hands-on nature workshops and plant some insect-friendly flowers too!  And get 25% off RHS memberships with LittleBird so you can enjoy their events and locations all year round here

Warwick Castle Day Tickets

Spectacular shows and attractions, spellbinding storytelling and exhilarating experiences all year-round make Warwick Castle an exciting family day out! The award-winning Dragon Slayer also returns to Warwick Castle through popular demand this August bringing daring new equestrian stunt work, theatrical projection-mapping, and live-action to life. Find out more and book tickets here

Chelsea Physic Garden | The Wind In The Willows | 12-18 Aug

Wild Immersive presents ‘The Wind in the Willows’: A Theatrical Adventure into the Wild Wood from12-18 Aug (excl. 17 Aug) Adult £25 Child £18, find out more and book tickets here

Monopoly Lifesized | The Experience

Complete challenges, build houses, charge rent, escape jail and even control London’s waterworks as you travel around the lifesized board earning as much money as you can by completing escape room style challenges. Tickets from £54, buy here

Go Ape | Save 15% on Treetop Challenges!

Go Ape Treetop Adventure is an action-packed one-hour introduction to high ropes life. Go Ape Treetop Adventure is a jam-packed hour of intricate crossings, wobbly bridges and a zip wire finale – all designed with the younger family in mind. Family-fuelled fun in the great outdoors! Book here to save 15%

Gravity Active and Gravity Max | Save 10% on bookings

Move, Groove, Jump and Shout at a Gravity Active Trampoline and Adventure Park near you this summer! And, if you are looking for high-tech excitement, action, energy and enjoyment with the whole family, Gravity Max has it ALL! Find locations and save 10% on tickets for Gravity Active here and for Gravity Max here

The Paddington Bear Experience at County Hall

Get those Marmalade Sandwiches ready! The Paddington Bear Experience is now on at County Hall! This multi-room, immersive experience will take you into Paddington’s world. Explore recognisable locations from the Paddington stories, whilst you embark on an interactive adventure full of gameplay, to help Paddington and the Brown family prepare for a very special occasion. Tickets here

Hever Castle | Adventures in Time Travel | 24 July to 3 Sept

Throughout the summer holidays your little ones can take part in a series of hands-on activities and challenges as part of Adventures in Time Travel at Hever Castle. More information and tickets here and find out what else is on at Hever Castle this summer here

The roarsome Dinosaur rEvolution at Horniman Museum and Gardens

Which dino features are better – horns, spikes or quills? Did T-rex actually have feathers? And how did some dinosaurs survive extinction?

Dinosaur rEvolution is a colourful and fascinating exhibition, including five large animatronic models, cast fossil skeletons and skulls – some touchable, detailed graphics, dress up, games, and more! 10.00am – 5.30pm | On until 3 Nov 2024, tickets from £6, find out more here

Discover Children’s Story Centre | Monster Funfair and Story telling

A new immersive family adventure – go through a fantastical circus tent and into the woods. In amongst the trees you’ll find an amazing, marvellous, EXTRAORDINARY… Monster Funfair! Tickets £5 and opens 20 July, more information here. They also run storytelling sessions for littler visitors, plus super fun Space Adventures!

Giffords Circus coming to Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire this summer!

Giffords Circus is on at Barrington, Oxfordshire from the 25 July to 5 August, Minchinhampton Common, Gloucestershire from 8 August to 19 August and Marlborough Common, Wiltshire from 22 August to 2 September. Enjoy a cast of acrobats, magicians, musicians and clowns from all over the world in a show that will combine poetry, music and performing arts. Book tickets here

Eltham Palace | Where’s My Shadow Quest | 1 July to 1 Sept

Noble, the trusty guard dog, has lost his shadow at Eltham Palace and needs the help of little adventurers to find it! Join Noble and his friends on a summer quest to search for his shadow throughout the grounds during the summer holidays. More info here and save 20% on membership for English heritage here

Free range fun at Bocketts Farm this summer! | Summer Fun on the Farm | 20 July to 1 Sept

Bocketts Farm is a working family farm set in the beautiful Surrey countryside and a fun day out for all the family! This summer they have indoor and outdoor play, farm activities, gold panning, bubble disco, wildlife stamp trail, crat corner and more! Tickets from £13, under 2’s free, book here

Family Events and Programme at Westminster Abbey | Various Dates

Westminster Abbey is a wonderful place to discover as a family. Whether you want to become a royal for the day, create a new and exciting piece of art or sing with our world famous choir, there is something for everyone and a wide range of events over the summer, find out more here

The British Motor Show Live | Farnborough | 15 – 18 August – 10% off Family Tickets with LittleBird!  

The British Motor Show runs from the 15th-18th August offering a weekend of family fun and amazing experiences. Keep the whole family entertained with a mix of driving experiences, supercars, live arena shows, fairground rides, celebrities, live entertainment, stunt shows, parachute displays and of course….cars! Save 10% on Family Tickets with LittleBird here

Family Theatre

Underbelly Festival | London’s Cavendish Square | July to September

Underbelly Festival returns to London’s Cavendish Square from July – September. This pop-up festival is a go-to destination for the whole family to eat, drink and watch fantastic performances. With a range of family and children’s events in the spiegeltent, including Mr Sleepybum, Tweedy’s Massive Circus, Baby Loves Disco and Shelf: The Kids’ Show, plus more to be announced soon. The square is open every day, free to enter, with tickets to the spiegeltent performances starting from £11.50, plus use ‘LBIRD15’ for 15% off! Buy tickets here

Summer Flying Theatre – Trailblazers, Royal Air Force Museum | 20% off Early Bird tickets | 25 July to 1 Sept

A new exhilarating and immersive performance that tells untold stories of unsung heroes! On this summer at The Royal Air Force Museum, London, every Weds to Sunday from 25 July to 1 Sept, ages 4+, tickets here and don’t miss all their other family events too, details here

Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors Live on stage | Apollo Theatre | 25 July – 1 Sept

Terrible Tudors is back with the hit West End show for a third terrific year! From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, hear the legends (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry’s headless wives and his punch up with the Pope. Survive the Spanish Armada as they launch their attack! It’s history with the nasty bits left in! Buy tickets here

The Railway Children | Actors Church – St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden | 21 Aug to 1 Sept

A magical story steaming with fun, music and heart-warming storytelling. The Waterbury children Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis are ordinary children living in an ordinary house, until one day, a mysterious event changes their lives forever. Forced to move to the countryside, the young heroes find themselves in the midst of a true adventure. Ages 5+, book tickets here

The Secret Garden at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre | 15 June – 20 July

Spoilt and abandoned, 10-year-old Mary Lennox is sent from India to Yorkshire, to live with her Uncle. At Misselthwaite Manor, a broken-hearted house full of secrets and strange noises, Mary discovers a garden as lost and neglected as she is. Can she bring more than just the garden back to life? Tickets here

Fiddler On The Roof at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre | 27 July – 21 Sept

It’s 1905 in Anatevka where Tevye lives his life by their proud traditions. For his five daughters, that means a visit from the matchmaker… But as each daughter challenges his beliefs, can Tevye hold on to his roots, or learn to embrace the unfamiliar? Tickets here

There’s A Monster In Your Show | Riverside Studios | 14 Aug to 1 Sept

Tom Fletcher’s interactive adventures for big imaginations are leaping from page to stage, as the beloved ‘Who’s in Your Book?’ series makes its debut as a brand-new musical show. A high-energy 55-minute adventure featuring lively original music, this show is the perfect introduction to live theatre. Book tickets here

Shrek The Musical, Eventim Apollo, London, 19th July – 31st August

This award-winning musical brings to life the world of Shrek live on stage for six weeks only this summer! See the original story live on stage and join Shrek and Donkey on their daring quest to rescue the feisty Princess Fiona. Meet a fire breathing Dragon, a Gingerbread man with attitude, Pinocchio and a whole bunch of fairy tale misfits who’ll leave you in stitches. Book your tickets here

Spirited Away, London Coliseum, 30th April – 24th August 

Studio Ghibli’s Oscar-winning Spirited Away is re-imagined for the stage with the original Japanese cast. A masterpiece of storytelling and stunning visuals Spirited Away tells the enchanting tale of Chihiro who while traveling to a new home with her family, stumbles into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba.  Aimed at ages 7+. Tickets from £24.75, book tickets here  

Brainiac Live! explodes on stage at the Marylebone Theatre this summer! | 30 July – 24 August 

Watch from the safety of your seat as the Brainiacs delve fearlessly into the mysteries of science and do all those things on stage that you’re too scared to do at home! With a great range of experiments and demonstrations join the Brainiacs in this messy audience participation all action live show that’s set to blow your minds. Suitable for ages 5+ but great for all the family, book your tickets here

The Tiger Who Came to Tea | Theatre Royal Haymarket | 8 July to 1 Sept

The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger! The stage is set, the Tiger’s prepared…all they need now is you! Book tickets here

White Rock Theatre Hastings | £2 off featured shows with code SUMMERFUN

It’s Showtime at Hastings White Rock! £2 off featured shows* for LittleBird subscribers with code SUMMERFUN. Enjoy shows such as Fireman Sam, a time-travelling Baron, the Milkshake! crew and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this summer! Situated on the shoreline, the theatre is on the seaside with lots of family shows in the programme. *T&C Apply. Book here

You Belong Here | Southbank Centre | 29 June to 8 September

Bursting with spectacular and thought-provoking performance, art, conversations, music and family fun, the summer series at Southbank Centre is a beacon of welcome for all. To find out what is on, click here

Greenwich Theatre | Beauty and The Beast | 2 to 25 August

This classic ‘tale as old as time’ gets a fresh makeover with an astonishing cast of actor-musicians in a magical, musical, laugh-out-loud new adaptation at the Greenwich Theatre this summer. Ages 3+, book tickets here

Lyric Theatre – The Gruffalo |17th July to 8th September

A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood… Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler – celebrating 25 years in 2024!  Songs, laughs and monstrous fun for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the much-loved show that’s toured Britain and the world!

The Lion Inside at the Unicorn Theatre | 23 July to 4 August

The bestselling story about a shy little mouse who sets out on a journey to find his roar. Fed up of being ignored and forgotten by the other animals, Mouse wishes he could roar like Lion. But, as he discovers, even the biggest, bossiest people are scared sometimes… and even the smallest creatures can have the heart of a lion! Book tickets here

Blippi: The Wonderful Tour comes to the West End this summer! | 8 July to 7 Sept | Harold Pinter Theatre

Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour sees the return of the energetic and educational global sensation Blippi to the West End this summer with his best friend Meekah too! Book tickets here

Polka Theatre | Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts | How to Catch a star and Rise and Fall

Pop along to the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon this summer, they have a lovely line-up of children’s shows including Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts, How to Catch a Star and Rise and Fall, tickets here

Rose Theatre Kingston | Family shows galore!

Featuring a summer line-up packed with family favourites, choose from Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, Milkshake Live!, The Gruffalo, The Witch and The Warthog with Julia Donaldson and their popular Summer Schools. Find out more and book here

Little Angel Theatre | Children’s Puppet Festival 2024 | 2 Aug to 1 Sept

The OFFIE Award Winning Children’s Puppet Festival is back at Little Angel venues this summer! The vibrant programme will showcase a broad range of puppetry by the most exciting UK and international companies currently making theatre for young audiences. Find all shows in the festival here and get 10% off when you book 2 events or 20% when you book 3 or more.

Kids Week | Kids Go Free This Summer! | Free children’s tickets to top West End shows

Official London Theatre’s Kids Week is back, with more than 50 top West End shows offering free tickets for kids. A child aged 17 and under can attend a show for free when accompanied by an adult paying full price. An additional two children can attend for half price – and there’s no booking fees. Book here

Rough Magic at Shakespeare’s Globe | 20 July to 24 August  

A brand-new family show, Rough Magic, is coming to Shakespeare’s Globe in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse this summer! Join them in the world of Shakespeare’s magical characters as Macbeth’s wonderfully wayward Weird Sisters cook up a supernaturally silly adventure of their own. Buy tickets here

Enitan’s Game at Punchdrunk Stores, Wembley Park | 14 June to 1 Sept

A immersive theatre show for families from Punchdrunk Enrichment. Enitan’s Game celebrates the power of shared stories, loss and community. Ages 6-11, prices from £15 – £55, also offering £5 off for Brent residents and six “pay what you can” experiences. Find out more here

Theme Parks

Legoland Day Tickets from just £29!

Experience the ultimate LEGO® adventure! Book in advance and save up to £39, book here

Thorpe Park One Day Standard Entrance Tickets | Tickets from £29!

Over 30 thrilling rides, attractions and live events at Thorpe Park! A day out like no other, book here

Chessington World of Adventures Day Entry | Tickets from £29!

Answer the call of the wild at Chessington World of Adventures Resort this year! Buy in advance and save! Book here

Cadburys World Birmingham | Save when you book online and in advance

Dive into a whole world of creamy, rich stickylicious chocolate on a fun and educational visit to Cadbury World. Book in Advance and save here!

Diggerland | Free Downloadable Voucher for Diggerland! Save 20% off Admission to any Location

Children and adults can enjoy a day of thrilling and unforgettable experiences as they ride, drive and operate REAL full-size machinery. Voucher valid for use at any UK location: Kent, Durham, Yorkshire and Devon – get your voucher and book tickets here.

Family Friendly Exhibitions

Birds Brilliant and Bizarre at The Natural History Museum | Hatched and open for visitors!

A hoot for all the family, the new exhibition at The Natural History Museum invites you into their world, past and present, like never before! Recommended for hatchlings aged 8+ and see what we thought of it here at LittleBird in our blog here.

Barbie®: The Exhibition, The Design Museum, Kensington, 5th July  

1962 Barbie Dream House © Mattel, Inc

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Barbie brand, the exhibition will map the Barbie legacy that started in 1959 when Ruth Handler wanted to craft a different narrative for her daughter, Barbara. It will explore the story of Barbie through a design lens, including fashion, architecture, furniture and vehicle design.  To find out more, click here  

Charles Dickens Museum | Faithful Companions: Charles Dickens & his Pets | On until January 2025

This family friendly exhibition will for the first time explore the stories of Dickens’s own pets and some famous animals from his novels. Hear the stories of the Dickens family pets such as the Dick the canary who hopped about the breakfast table or Bob the cat who used to extinguish Dickens’s reading light to get more attention. Little storytellers can create their own fantastic fables in our animal inspired story space. More information here

Museum of Brands | Share the Brands That Make You This Summer! 20 July to 3 Sept

Join the adventure through the Museum Time Tunnel with their Brands That Make Me… Healthy Family Brand Hunt, looking at brands focused on our nutrition and health. Meanwhile adults can take a trip down memory lane with a nostalgic journey spanning 200 years of social change, culture, and lifestyle! If you can’t make it to the Museum, have a look at their online family activities, available to download for FREE.

Young V and A | Myths to Manga Exhibition | On until 8 Sept 2024  

Take an exciting and atmospheric trip through Japan – and explore how landscape and folklore have influenced Japanese art, technology and design.  Tickets £10, find out more here 

BFI Southbank | Coraline 15th Anniversary screening (3D) with Q&A | 11 August

Neil Gaiman’s dark fantasy is brought to life by Laika in an extraordinary stop-motion experience and the screening features a Q&A with director Henry Selick and actor Teri Hatcher too. Tickets from £13 (members pay £2 less), book tickets here

Free Events

Taylor Swift Songbook Trail | Young V&A Museum | Free | Opens 27 July

Explore a free trail across V&A South Kensington celebrating Taylor Swift, with a range of her iconic looks on display! Opens 27 July, find out more here

Summer Family Fun at The Natural History Museum | 27 July to 1st Sept

Throughout the Summer holidays, the Natural History Museum is running lots of lovely family activities from pond dipping to nature themed arts and crafts in their gardens! Find out more here

Celebrate Playday 2024 at the Brunel Museum on August 7th!

This year’s Playday 2024 theme is “Play – The Culture of Childhood”. Join Brunel Museum for a day filled with STEAM-related activities designed for families, including origami flowers, giant dominoes, bridge building, slime making, and more, for ages 5+. Bring picnics to enjoy in the Museum Piazza and Garden, free event but booking recommended, book here.

The Place | Family Dance Day | 20 July | 11am to 4pm

The Place is taking over Coram’s Fields with a day of entertainment for the whole family on 20 July between 11am and 4pm! The Family Dance Day returns with a new line up of FREE events and activities including fantastic theatre shows, interactive storytelling, arts and crafts and learning new moves with The Place’s brilliant dance artists! Find out more here

Art and Play | Dulwich Picture Gallery

Explore the world of art and play in these outdoor sensory sessions around the Wiggle Wonderland pavilion – running various dates this August. Free but booking advised, find out more here

Family Fete & Museum Takeover | Museum of the Home 

Join the Museum of the Home on the opening weekend of their new gallery for a Museum takeover for all the family, exploring the many meanings of home! Engage in creative workshops and enjoy open play spaces, live music, delicious food stalls, and performances throughout the Museum. Free, 10am to 5pm, Sunday 28th July, more information here

Tate Modern Uniqlo Tate Play | Oscar Murillo Flooded Garden | 20 July – 6 August

This summer, artist Oscar Murillo will transform the Turbine Hall into an enormous painting garden. Oscar invites everyone to take part in creating a vibrant work of epic proportions. Pick up a paintbrush and make your mark using wave-like strokes to flood a giant canvas. Daily 10.30 – 6pm, no need to book but it may be messy! Do wear suitable clothing!

Park Works | Part of Greenwich and Docklands International Festival|25 and 26 August | 1pm – 6pm

Family-friendly street theatre, circus, dance and installations transform Stratford Park into a theatrical and creative playground for children and their families for two magical days on the 25 and 26 Aug. Every performance is FREE and unticketed – just show up! More info here. GDIF is back this Summer with FREE outdoor theatre, dance, circus and installations. See here for what else is on and when.

Westminster Abbey Choir School Summer Fête | Saturday 13th July | Free | 11-3.30pm

The annual Choir School summer fête is held in the picturesque garden square of Dean’s Yard. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun. There are Children’s games, Face painting Crafts and gardening stalls, 60ft inflatable obstacle course, last man standing inflatable and more! More info here

The British Library | Family Station: Explore and Play | 12 – 18 Aug

Lots of creative resources full of ideas to explore, make and play in the Library. Start your family adventure here, then go off to discover the building and learn all about the Library. Free, drop in, more info here

Discover Woods in the Summer with the Woodland Trust!

Lush green landscapes, glorious sunshine, rainbows of wildflowers – a visit to the woods in summer time is not to be missed. Make the most of the woods in the daylight, smell the flowers, watch wildlife or even enjoy a picnic. Lots of tips here to help you identify wild species, forage and tips on how to enjoy the woods with the family this summer!

Eco Adventures at Greenwich Park – outdoors fun for the whole family!

Join the Field Studies Council at the Greenwich Park centre in London for fun school holiday activities for children and families. Activities are based outdoors, exploring the natural world to inspire you to find out more and discover how you can help wildlife on your doorstep. For all age ranges, Free to attend but booking advised, various dates, find out more here

Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms at The Southbank Centre | 5 Jun – 8 Sept 10 am | Free

A summer favourite is back! This interactive sculpture is the brainchild of Danish artist Jeppe Hein and is playful and so much fun! By shooting jets of water into the air, the fountain creates rooms that disappear as quickly as they appear! Find out more here

FREE events with Sadler’s Wells East | Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

As Sadler’s Wells East is preparing to open, they have performances at summer events, and are hosting workshops and events including the below and more!

Breaking Olympic Watch Parties – As Breaking makes its debut in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, join Sadler’s Wells East for a live watch party in the park, accompanied by DJs from BBC 1Xtra. 9-10 Aug, 1.30pm-10pm

Hip Hop Games – East London dancers compete in a thrilling hip-hop dance improvisation game with a series of challenges, 3 August 2-7pm. Featuring DJs from BBC 1Xtra and audiences will have their say on the winning team.

The Cove | An Exciting New Playground at the National Maritime Museum

An exciting new playground at the National Maritime Museum has opened. Get ready to explore The Cove! Clamber aboard the ship and take the wheel, spin on the compass roundabout, scramble through the mighty Kraken’s tentacles and come face to face with the giant Cutty Shark! Open 10am – 5.45pm, Free, more details here

Minigolf by Craig and Karl | Montgomery Square | Canary Wharf | Until 29th September

Montgomery Square has been transformed into a vibrant one-of-a-kind minigolf cours and is the ideal place to enjoy a day out with the kids! Its free to play, and clubs and balls are provided. The perfect activity for all ages and abilities to enjoy! Open 12-6pm, more information here

Family Festival of Carribean Culture | Museum of London Docklands | 23 and 24 August

Celebrate London’s diverse Caribbean culture in this free family festival. Get moving with Nzinga Dance in the East Caribbean dance workshops or have fun and party with entertainer Amber Play-worker. Create colourful crafts and get stuck into a range of food-themed workshops! This event is free, but some activities will require tickets and you will need to book, more info here.

Tennis for Free –

Tennis for Free run fully inclusive mass participation alternative tennis sessions for all nationwide at public parks for free! Find out where your nearest TFF session is here and join in! Find out more here

London Heritage Quarter | Heritage Summer | Journey Through Time Trail

Embark on a trail of innovation and creativity from Victoria to Strand, passing through Westminster and Whitehall and visit 11 London-themed sculptures, painted by artists from the London art agency, Artiq! Plus you can win an afternoon tea experience too! More info here.


Reading Eggs | 30 day free trial | Learn to read in 30 days for free

Tassomai | 7 day free trial | Screen time you won’t want to limit!

Learn a new language or three with Duo Lingo! Free and paid options available and on an app!

Things to listen to…

Fun Kids Radio | Listen on DAB Digital Radio, Mobile, Online, App, Smart Speaker and on TV!

Don’t miss Fun Kids Science Weekly – The science podcast for kids with Dan exploring the weirdest and coolest stuff in science!

And don’t miss The Week Junior Show which takes you behind the scenes of the award-winning magazine for 8 to 14-year-olds. Each week, Bex from Fun Kids is joined by members of The Week Junior team to discuss their favourite stories, debate the week’s hot topic and discover whether the ‘Real or Rubbish?’ report is fake news or the real deal.

Super Great Kids Stories

Super Great Kids’ Stories is a podcast of fun, traditional tales to make you laugh and cry with some of the best storytellers from around the world and their collection features over 200 stories! Listen here

Not Just For Kids Podcast

Once a week they revisit the movies we loved as children, looking at their place in the history of family films, the themes they explore and if they’re any good. Each season they focus on a different area: be it a particular film studio, director or time period. And each week they invite a guest onto the podcast who will offer their own perspective on the films being covered that week.

Looking Ahead…

Royal Opera House | Mad Hatter’s Tea Party | 4 – 24 Sept

An energetic remix of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland by hip hop company ZooNation, tickets on sale from 10th July, prices from £5-50, book here

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity | RBC Race for the Kids | 12 October

Join Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’s family festival and fun run RBC Race for the Kids and walk, run, wheel or scoot 2k or 5k to help beat childhood cancer. Bring the whole family to London’s Hyde Park on Saturday 12 October for a fun-filled day of music, entertainment, food, games, face painting and much more. Kids go free! More info here.

Ghostbusters in concert at The Royal Albert Hall – 26 October | Who you gonna call?

The beloved ‘80s sci-fi comedy, Ghostbusters, will join the Royal Albert Hall’s Films in Concert series to celebrate the movie’s 40th anniversary.

Watch Ivan Reitman’s original 1984 classic on the big screen at Halloween – all whilst Elmer Bernstein’s famous score is performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Peter Bernstein. Book tickets here

Alice in Wonderland | Brixton House | 1 to 31 December

Multi-award-winning company Poltergeist weave rap music together with the sights and sounds of Brixton into a hundred-mile-an-hour Christmas adventure! Tickets from £15 here.

The Great River Race | London’s River Marathon!| 21 Sept

The Great River Race is London’s River Marathon! A spectacular boat race covering 21.6 miles travelling under London’s famous bridges. It’s a great fun day out and if you want to join the crowds and witness one of London’s finest sporting spectacles, find out where to view from here.

Its London baby! The Friends Experience is coming to London | From 19 August

Could it BE anymore iconic? Step into the world of FRIENDS™ and explore interactive set recreations for a nostalgia-packed immersive experience. Get your cameras out and re-create your favourite scenes from the show; dance in front of the fountain, peep through the iconic purple door, play foosball at Joey and Chandler’s and take a selfie on the orange couch in Central Perk. Book tickets here

Books and Magazines

What On Earth magazine | Summer Fun | Save 10%, get a Free Book and the Bumper Summer Issue!

What on Earth! Magazine is a fun, fascinating and fact-filled way for children aged 7-14 and every month, it covers topics such as animals, space, nature, science, history and more. Every issue is packed with amazing facts, spectacular photos, inspiring true-life stories, eureka moments, quizzes, puzzles, games, jokes and activities. Get the bumper Summer Issue, save 10% and get a free book! More info here.

The Week Junior | Make reading their superpower and get your first 6 issues FREE and 20% off WHSmith!

The Week Junior has a fantastic offer running for 6 weeks FREE and a 20% off WHSmith voucher for new subscribers and it gets children into reading – and reading really is an enduring superpower! See here for more info.

Summer Reading Challenge | The Reading Agency | Sign up online or at your local library

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to keep reading during the summer holidays, ensuring they are ready for a great start to the new term in the autumn. Children set a reading goal and collect rewards too! Sign up at your local library or online, and it’s FREE to take part.

Football is for Everyone | Rico Henson King | Bloomsbury Publishing

Football is for Everyone, which publishes 1st August in paperback, is an empowering and authentic football story by Junior Premier League footballer Rico Hinson-King, illustrated by the iconic Nick Sharratt about bravery, teamwork and making sure everyone is included.

New Releases from Michael Rosen, B.B. Alston and David Walliams from HarperCollins!

Out of This World, The Wierdest Poems of all time by Michael Rosen – (on sale 29 August) From former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, comes a wickedly brilliant new collection of poetry to take the reader out of this world and go on a journey of imagination and time travel, through history, geography and beyond!

Amari and the Despicable Wonders by B.B.Alston – (on sale 29 August) The third book in the series that began with Amari and the Night Brothers! Perfect for readers aged 8+ and fans of Skandar, Percy Jackson and Nevermoor.

Astrochimp by David Walliams – (on sale now) Chump the Chimp is one ASTRONOMICAL astronaut on a MONUMENTAL mission! Strap in and hold onto your bananas for infinite laugh-out-loud mayhem, out-of-this-world characters and zooming spaceships! 

New releases by Sam Taplin, Ashley Thorpe and Fiona Wattt from Usborne

The Boy to Beat the Gods by Ashley Thorpe | 9 yrs + | (released July 2024). A fierce and fun story of one boy versus six gods, from a magical new voice in children’s fiction.

Sticker Dolly Dressing Pets by Fiona Watt | 5 yrs + | Join the dolls as they look after their pets and dream pets! This fabulous addition to the Sticker Dolly Dressing series uses stickers to dress the dolls as they feed and groom their pets as well as play with puppies, rabbits and kittens.

Don’t Tickle the Rhino by Sam Taplin | 6 mths + | (released July 2024) You’d better not tickle the rhino… because it just might snort if you do! Babies and toddlers will love exploring the hilarious world of this book, where each animal can be brought to life by touching a soft patch on the page.

Poppy and Sam’s Nature Sounds by Sam Taplin | 6 mths + | (released July 2024) From splashing ducks to buzzy bees and tweeting birds, this illustrated sound book is perfect to help babies and toddlers learn about the natural world.

New Books by Hamza Yassin, Andy Griffiths, Leah Williamson and Jordan Glover from MacMillan Children’s Books

The Wonder Team and the Rainforest Rescue by Leah Williamson and Jordan Glover | Ages 8+ | Release date 29 August 2024 | Join Leah Williamson, captain of the Euro-wining Lionesses, in The Wonder Team and the Rainforest Rescue – the third book in the bestselling time-twisting adventure series, written with Jordan Glover and fantastically illustrated by Robin Boyden. It’s time to kick off a time-twisting adventure with the Wonder Team!

Hamza’s Wild World by Hamza Yassin | Ages 8+ | Pre-Order, release date Sept 2024 | Go on a wild adventure with naturalist, wildlife cameraman and winner of Strictly Come Dancing, Hamza Yassin. Hamza’s Wild World is filled with fascinating information about the relationships between man, beast, and the environment they all share – in the sky, on the land and in the sea.

The Land of Lost Things by Andy Griffiths | Ages 7+ | Pre-Order | Release date Sept 2024 | The first book in the series from Andy Griffiths, the author behind the Treehouse series. Remember the time we flew to the moon without a rocket? And the time we went to the bottom of the ocean and fought a high-voltage octopus? And how about the time we got lost in the Land of Lost Things? It all started like this . . .Lose yourself in The Land of Lost Things – you’ll never want to be found!

Family Recipes and Cooking

We love the Taming Twins site (and books!) here at LittleBird – fuss free family food. They are running a Summer of Kids’ Cooking Series  where they will be will be sharing two recipe videos each week that are perfect to cook with children. We will definitely be following and hopefully by the end of it, the kids might be cooking for us! Find out more here

Summer Berry Skewers with vanilla honey dip from Eats Amazing

These look so delicious and the perfect healthy breakfast or quick snack! You can substitute different fruits and little hands can help make it and put it all together too!

Delicious One Pot Chicken and Chorizo Orzo from The Family Cookbook

This looks a lovely recipe from The Family Cookbook. Perfect for a mid week family meal, super quick to cook and on the table in 30 minutes!

Banana Muffins from Liana’s Kitchen

A yummy recipe from Liana’s Kitchen for Banana Muffins… great to bake / freeze in advance and transport if you are out and about this summer too!

How to make Planet Cookies with the National Geographic Magazine!

Decorate a delicious solar system of tasty iced biscuits…an out-of-this-world baking adventure! Get the recipe here

(And if you want to subscribe to National Geographic for kids, LittleBird have an amazing offer here for £35 for 13 issues + a FREE Our World Quiz Book worth £5.99)

Arts, Crafts and keeping kids occupied whilst travelling!

Get Crafty with Orchard Toys!

Get Crafty with these fun ideas from Orchard Toys! There’s everything from cotton wool sheep to a kitchen roll rocket that is out of this world!

Giant Posters / Tablecloths from Eggnogg – perfect outdoor entertainment!

LittleBird loves these giant tablecloths / posters from Eggnogg for little ones to colour in. There are lots of themes to choose from and they offer hours of entertainment!

Sailboat String Art for Children from Easy Peasy and Fun

We thought this idea from Easy Peasy and Fun looked super fun for older children!

Sponge Boat Sail Craft for younger children from Easy Peasy and Fun

And this looks perfect for younger children – hours of fun!

FREE printables from Storytime Magazine!

Storytime magazine is packed with brilliant tales for boys and girls of all ages and is a quality children’s magazine that actually helps to improve literacy with great content you can keep forever. And, unlike most magazines for kids, Storytime has no adverts and no throwaway plastic toys, just wonderful stories! And you can download free printables from their site to complement the stories, great for travelling and home activities too! Find out more here

Timeout bags – the perfect travel or stay at home companion for children to help them keep occupied!

Timeout bags are a Kids Activity Park and they are perfect for staying at home, long car journeys or when out and about! Each bag include tried and tested ‘hero’ products which are made to order for every child. Their products and snacks are carefully selected for their educational and nutritional benefits and each bag is handpicked so no bag is the same and should keep children busy for hours! Find out more and purchase here

Crafts for Kids – 10 Best Travel Toys to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Holiday

Crafts for Kids have put together a super handy list of 10 best travel toys to help keep kids entertained on holiday that are really easy to pack too!

Cinema Releases

⭐ Despicable Me 4 | Release date 12 July

⭐ Harold and The Purple Crayon | 2 August

⭐ Beetlejuice | Release date 6 September

And the rest of 2024 promises to be exciting with the release of Moana 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Mufasa: The Lion King and more – it is an epic year for fantastic family films!

Staycations and Holidays

Book a last minute staycation this summer for the family and save!

Family Staycations in Central London | Park Plaza Hotel near County Hall | Kids Eat Free

LEGOLAND® Holidays | from £59pp | Book Now and Get Your 2nd Day FREE!

Alton Towers Resort | from £56pp | Summer Short Breaks For Families

The Ultimate LEGO® Sleepover |from £65pp | Legoland Windsor

Thorpe Park Short Breaks | From £60pp | Including 2 day theme park entry

Chessington World of Adventures resort | from £55 pp | Get your 2nd day FREE when you book a short break

Plum Guide | Book a stay in the UK’s Best Homes from £90

Away Resorts – beautiful family holiday resorts in 21 locations in the UK! | from £34

Toad Hall Cottage | Last minute staycations from £298

Preparing for Back to School

My Name Tags – Personalised children’s labels – free shipping!

Looking for clothes labels? My Nametags offer colour stickers and permanent, durable iron-ons that are both washer and dryer compatible. These labels are made out of high quality PVC which gives them waterproof properties and makes them suitable for these conditions! Get organised and order now here.

BBC Bitesize | BBC Parents Toolkit | Starting Primary School

Advice and games to help you and your child prepare for primary school, then thrive during their first year.

BBC Bitesize | BBC Parents Toolkit | Starting Secondary School

Advice for parents here who have a child starting secondary school this year, with tips on the emotional and practical sides of the transition.

Dr. Seuss – Back To School Activity Sheets from HarperCollins Children’s Books

Download a FREE set of Dr. Seuss activity sheets here, and make the return back to school or nursery fun!

Handy Back to School and Starting School Tips from Toucanbox

School teacher Marie’s blog to help you and your child make the most of the new school year. Discover her tips and tricks for a smooth return to school!

And…don’t forget to sign up for Kidstart too! Every time you shop at one of their partners, they pay cashback into your child’s account for free! View all their partner retailers, sign up and find out more here

Thank you for reading our Top Picks Guide! If you find our guide useful, please share Top Picks with your family and friends and sign up to the newsletter here.

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And…if you have any suggestions on things you would like to see or hear about on the LittleBird site or for the upcoming summer holidays, just drop us a message at We would love to hear from you!

Happy Summer holidays and happy planning!

From the LittleBird Team xo

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning LittleBird may receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through any links. This is at no cost to you.

All prices, dates, events and venues correct at time of publishing but may be subject to change!

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