Family Events in the East End, Fun Palaces, Tiny Explorers in Kensington Palace, National Theatre Workshops and more

Oct 2, 2014 by

This Weekend for Family, Bigger kids and Little Ones:

Family – big kids, little kids, mums, dads and nans:

Fun Palaces Festival London

Fun Palaces – take part in the annual celebration of the fulfillment of Joan Littlewood and Cedric Price’s dream of creating mobile, temporary, mini “universities” or Fun Palaces for children to create, explore, discover and dream.  There are loads of activities taking place across London.  The most interesting ones are learning to play a violin at Barbican; make a brain at Roundhouse; make Islington 3013 at Little Angle Theatre and singing war songs with veterans at The Coach and Horses on Greek Street.

Mad Saturdays in Hackney: bring the scooters, take rock n roll music classes, participate in the swap shop, Sharkey and George will be on hand to further entertain the kids this weekend in E8.

Wimbledon Bookfest – head over to Wimbledon Common and take part in A Mouse’s Tale, an art workshop led by Tony Kane.  10:30am, tickets £7.50 per child, ages 6+.  After the workshop, the family can wander around Bookfest.


Mostly for bigger kids and perhaps their younger siblings:

National Theatre Paper Workshop

National Theatre, Paper Theatre: head over to the Clore Learning Centre at the National Theatre and get an introduction to costume design using roll paper and glue.  Sing up on the day at 10am for 11am, 1:30 and 3:45 workshops.  Free

Ragged School Museum: head over on Sunday from 2-5 to explore a former Dr. Bernardo home for abandoned London children.  At 2:15 and later again at 3:30 you and your children can participate in a Victorian Classroom.  Suggested donation £2, all ages.

Pumphouse Gallery, Battersea Park: come and explore Thames water in petri dishes and jars, become a scientist for the afternoon and discover what animals are living in our Thames.  11:30- 3:30, free, all ages

Geffrye Museum Tales from the Past

Geffrye Museum, Tales from the Past: Sunday 10:30-12:30 and again 2-4pm.  Come and hear the story of Ernest Baker, a Victorian schoolboy who lived in the building over 100 years ago.  Afterwards, create puppets to help you re-tell the story at home.

Somerset House Familly Art workshop

Somerset House Family Art Workshop – Zoom Zoom Zoom.  Saturday 12:30-3:30 join award nominated illustrator Katherina Manolessou for an workshop where you can make a crafty collage inspired by the AOI Illustrator Awards currently on exhibit at Somerset House.

The Musical Adventurists London kids parties

The Musical Adventurists:  “Best children’s party entertainment ever” – I had The Musical Adventurists to my own home for a party earlier in the summer; I cannot recommend them more highly – everyone was thrilled.  My son’s class has taken the characters with them over the summer, they are still playing Captian Boon! Cross the dark lagoon.  The Musical Adventurists provided hours of quality fun and magic, the kids can’t wait for them to come back…  London’s Children Entertainers The Musical Adventurists.   Check out some footage here – so. much. fun.

Little kids (and perhaps their older siblings):

Tiny Explorers Kensington Palace

Tiny Explorers Kensington Palace, Saturday 1-2 or 2:30-3:30.  Explore historical object, learn about the trinkets and treasures of those who lived and worked in the palace long ago.  £6 per child + 2 adults (this does not include admission to the rest of the museum). Ages 0-4

Big Draw National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery, Big Draw: join artist George McCallum for an afternoon of doodling, drawing, sketching and fun.  This event will be BSL interpreted. Sat, 1:30-4pm.   Free, all ages

Garden Museum:  Head over to the gorgeous Garden Museum for an enchanting storytelling session, followed by a charming craft-making activity.  Craft 11:00, storytelling 11:30.

JW3: head over to Finchley Rd for AMAZING activities and theatre for kids.  Yogabugs, crafternoon as part of the Fun Palace Festival; kids can also attend the Imagination Station classes for infants and toddlers.

Wallace Collection, Little Draw: head over to Marylebone for this monthly artist-led workshop.  Artist Heidi Deedman will be helping children make a model museum using cut out paper forms inspired by the fanciful and unusual shapes found around the Wallace Collection.

Family Cinema:

Curzon Cinema, Victoria:  Do head over and check out Victoria’s swish, new cinema, right off Victoria Street.  This week’s Kids Club programme: Mosnter’s Universtiy.  Saturday and Sunday, 10:00. £3.50 per person.

Gate Picturehouse, Kids Club: This week’s programme: Postman Pat.  Tickets £1 with £4 membership, popcorn and juice £2. (best £3 you will ever spend on a rainy Saturday)

Barbican Family Film Club: This week’s feature: How to Train Your Dragon. Tickets are £2, bring the kids and escape the cold while you chill and watch a movie. Great price. 11am, all ages.

Electric Cinema, Kid’s Club: This week’s feature, Frozen Sing-A-Long,  9:30am. Check out the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill with its plush, red velvet beds, sofas and armchairs. Looks like a great way for Dad to occupy the kids on a Saturday morning. Tickets £8 per person. All ages

Le Institute Francais: Eleanor’s Secret (in English) delightful story about two children and a magical library.  £5 per ticket, 11am Sunday morning.

For Babies and Toddlers:


Chelsea’s award-winning mum and baby activity, Monkey Music, is now three weeks into the term and as there are only a few places remaining, Monkey Music Chelsea is offering a fabulous promotion for London-baby readers: when 3 or more mums join together, the membership fee is £1 (normally £18).  Spaces are filling up quickly and the offer will not last for long, avoid disappointment and book your place soon.  Call Monkey Music on 020 8767 9827 (don’t forget to mention London-baby) or email

Aquababies Swimming Classes:  New classes Tuesdays 11:30 – 1pm, few spaces remaining.  Aquababies, a specialist swim school for infants and toddlers up to 3 years old, has a few openings remaining in their Marble Arch venue at exceptional value – £75 for 5 week course.   Bring a friend and mention London-baby and you will receive a 20% discount.  Bring two friends and get a 40% discount (don’t forget to mention London-baby!!).  Ring Sam on 01273 833101 and he will happily give you more information about the course, the instructor and the pool.

Ritzy, Brixton, Toddler Time:Thursdays 11am, £3 per child, adults free.

Electric Cinema, Electric Scream: This week’s feature: The Inbetweeners– bring babies under 12 months to this amazingly plush cinema, relax with some coffee and catch a flick.

Ritzy, Brixton, Big Scream: Fridays, 11am.  £7.50.  This week’s feature: Gone Girl

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