London Summer Holidays Family Activity and Events 2012
London-baby top picks for summer 2012 (Part 1)
Playgroups, schools, after school clubs are closed; here is a little guide to quality events that will be going on over the summer.
Great places and parks to take your kids over summer holidays:
Lido in Hyde Park: just behind the building next to the Serpentine Lido, where the café and the swimming area are located, is a tiny little toddler and small child paradise. You pay £9 for a family ticket, and this gives you access to a gorgeous little garden with a paddling pool, climbing frame, swings, sand and lawn where you are welcome to bring a picnic or eat from the café.
Read more ideas for paddling pools and water play here …
But on to specific events and activities this summer:
Westminster Abbey Free concerts: head over to Westminster Abbey on Wednesdays for “Brass in the Grass”, 12:30-2pm. Bring a picnic and listen to brass bands play each week. On Mondays, head over to St. Margaret’s Chapel and listen to a free recital at 12:45. Tuesdays and Thursdays book into the children’s workshops held in the Dean’s Yard Gardens, ages 5. All events are free, concerts are drop-in, but the workshops can be booked.
Pimlico Toy Library will have an extensive rota of activities and outing on over the summer, in addition to hosting their regular play sessions Monday – Wednesday. The fee to join is £20 for the year with each session costing an additional £1. They are really suffering from funding cuts, so please pass on this info (and I will try and send out an email with their complete rota next week or the week after)
National Theatre Workshops: mostly geared to school-age children, take your kids over to take part in workshops on costume design, juggling, fabric dying and more… click through and click on “Workshops” in the menu.
Stars Gym Judo Camp: August 13th, 14th and 15th from 9am-noon. Bring the kids out to train with Great Britain team members Jonathan Purssey and Alex Farbon who love teaching kids about judo. A great chance to take part in sport this summer. £75 for the three day camp.
Holland Park Ecology Centre: offering morning and afternoon sessions throughout much of the summer (except during the Olympics 21st July-12th August), for £5 each kids can come and learn all about mini beasts, building a shelter, using a compass, animal habitats … each day is a different topic. Children over the age of 8 do not need a parent to stay with them, so you can head off for a coffee or to High Street Ken.
Gate Picturehouse, BBFC Workshop: Saturday 28 July, 10.30. Bring the kids along to this funny, interactive workshop where you will learn about what we should and should not watch has changed over the years. Tickets are £3 or £1 for Kids’ Club Members. (It only costs £4 for your child to join, and their first ticket is free!) Book on 0871 902 5731
Make-it Clay Workshop at the V and A: the V is putting on a ceramics workshop for ages 5+ Wednesday 15th, 22nd and 29th August 10:30-12:30 and 2:30-4:30. Children will make a teapot and at the end of the workshop discuss decorating it. The teapots have to be fired and cooled, and collected 1-2 weeks after. Book online, tickets are
Shakespeare in Summer at the British Museum: on Friday 17th and 24th of August, from 11am-4pm, in the Great Court off the Museum, there will be a storytelling and craft-making.
Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition Family Workshop: suggested for ages 5+, these events are of a very high quality and are well-worth the effort to attend. They are pricey: £10 for adults and £4 for children 5+, but only £5 for Friends of the Royal Academy.
Royal College of Music Summer Music Workshops: bring the kids, beginners to more advanced students, to a day of music making and learning with the RCM. The workshops are 21st, 25th, 31st July and 14th and 22nd August. They are for ages 6-9 and 10-12. Tickets are £14 each.
Fantastic Mr. Fox at Holland Park Opera: This is a “have-to” if you have not been. This is a children’s opera and it is written specifically for Holland Park, with the lawns and trees making the sets. The acts move about the lawn, children are encouraged to sit right up near the orchestra. Absolutely charming. July 17th, 19th, 31st 3pm; July 21st & 28th 1 & 4pm; July 26th 11am; Aug 2nd, 4th 1 & 4pm;
Southbank Festival of the World: Not sure what to do with the kids? Head over to Southbank as there is so much going on over the summer. There is the rainbow sand, the rooftop gardens, there are Lego, performance, poetry, food, fun and more … do check out their interactive mapTweet