What’s On: London’s Best Free and Affordable Events and Activities

Sep 4, 2015 by

This Weekend for the Whole Family


Totally Thames Festival, Potter’s Field: This is a fantastic, month-long festival celebrating London’s main waterway.  This weekend, take the family to The Riverside Festival at Potter’s Field and see the ARC Gloria (tallest tall ship in the world), take part in Soap Box Science, meet characters from The Unicorn Theatre, make a clay model and much more.  Other venues will be hosting interesting events, including the Cutty Sark.  Saturday and Sunday, free event, all ages.


Discover Indonesia Festival, Southbank Centre: Bring the little ones over to Southbank Centre for a weekend of exploring music, puppetry, dancing, food and art.   Explore the traditions and culture of Indonesia taking part in a Javanese percussion orchestra, watch fairy tale puppet theatre, learn Indonesian dancing and much more.  A fabulous weekend to explore Southbank Centre.  Various events both Saturday and Sunday. free, all ages.


Souq for Syria, Rich Mix: Take the family over to Bethnal Green and amble around a pop-up Souq. Take a journey through a Syrian market and browse Middle Eastern inspired arts, crafts, jewellery, toys and sample arabic cuisine. There will be children’s activities and live music.  Entry is free, profits will go towards Watanili’s Learning Centre, in Reyhanli Turkey, a charity helping displaced children.

This Weekend for Slightly Older Children (and perhaps their younger siblings)

Go Fly A Kite

Kite and Key, Benjamin Franklin House: Join Stephen Wilson for a lecture and live demonstration exploring science and speculation behind Franklin’s infamous “kite and key” experiment.  For science novices and Franklin fans alike.  Ages 5+, £5, Saturday 11:30


Tower Beach Open Day: Part of the Totally Thames Festival, head over to Tower Beach (long staircase, crowded beach, no push chair access) and go mudlarking with the experts.  Last year my kids and I pulled out pottery shards and had archeologists on hand teaching us how to differentiate between Roman, Tudor and Victorian remains.  Free, 12:30-2:30 (strict due to the tidal schedule) on Tower Beach.



National Gallery, Drawing Sunday: take part in an artist-led workshops where you learn to draw a perspective landscape using the lines in Hobbema’s Avenue of Middleharnis.  Students will make their own perspective view.  Free, ages 5-11, spaces allocated on arrival.  Sunday 11-12:30 and 2-3:20


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Babies and Toddlers 


Monkey Music: Chelsea, Gloucester Road, South Kensington, Belgravia and Pimlico. Complimentary taster class at Holy Apostles, Cumberland Street Friday 11th September.  This is the best-loved mum and baby activity in the area.  Monkey Music’s award winning specialist music classes have been running since 2003, teaching and entertaining hundreds of babies each week.  Autumn classes are soon to begin, click here to see the various venues and learn more about Monkey Music Westminster and Chelsea.  Book your first FREE class 020 8767 9827 or chelsea.westminster@monkeymusic.co.uk


Royal Albert Hall, Storytelling and Music Sessions: bring children ages 0-4 to Royal Albert Hall on Wednesdays for a magical experience with storytellers Paul Rubinstein and Olivia Armstrong where singing, storytelling and musical instruments are woven into one story session.  £4, 11:30am


Classical Babies Pimlico: Head over to St. James the Less in Pimlico Monday 14th September for 11am.  Luminary soprano Caroline Kennedy will be singing best love arias and vocal pieces for a very special performance.  Tickets are £10 per adult, children are free, you can pay cash at the door or book online .  Contact Pauline 07581 440258 or pauline@classicalbabies.com

Monkey Music Pimlico and Chelsea

Pimlico Toy Library: Pimlico Toy Library has a new web site showcasing all their wonderful children’s workshops and baby playtimes.  This is a fantastic resource for any parent or carer, the toys are fastidiously cleaned and the art workshops are brilliantly planned with high quality materials.

Electric Cinema, Electric Scream: Mondays.  This week’s feature: Spy. 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: Love & Mercy


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