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

Sep 17, 2015 by

This Weekend for the Whole Family


King’s Place, Alice in Wonderland Cellophony: Bring the little ones to hear a Alice and Wonderland told with the help of a cello octet.  Older children will learn a new song and perform it with the ensemble.  Saturday, 3:30, all ages, tickets £4.


Bermondsey Street Festival: There are a wide range of activities and events for all ages including Maypole dancing, dog show, children’s crafts and entertainers.  The Unicorn Theatre will be there along with Vauxhall City Farm.  Also, there will be a children’s tennis tournament in Tanner Street Park.  Music, dance, food and fashion shows will also be included in the festival.  Saturday, free entry, all ages.


Pan Neverland in Leicester Square Gardens: bring the little ones over to Leicester Square where children of all ages can explore Neverland.  Older children take part in Blackbeard’s Pirate Training Tent (green screen booth, telescope making, tattoos), Pan’s Warrior Tent (pan pipes, drumming lessons, musical crafts, headers making, painting), Tiger Lily’s Kingdom (make fairy wings, pan for pixie crystals, fun with bubbles), Jolly Roger Stage (masts and rigging with live performances).

Upcoming Event, Radio Times Festival, Royal Hampton Court Palace: 

     Radio Times is holding an arts and literature festival at Hampton Court Palace Sept 25th-27th.  Adults can attend talks hosted by David Attenborough, Andrew Marr, Robert Peston, take a Wolf Hall tour of the palace and many more amazing sessions to get involved with.  Click here for the full programme.

Children can take part in Shaun the Sheep model making, Thomas the Tank Engine, Tony Ross (Horrid Henry) drawing masterclass, storytelling with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler just to name a few.  Click here for the complete children’s programme.

Radio Times is offering London Baby and Kids a few free tickets to one or a selection of the following: Crackanory, The Bolds, Timothy Bentinck, Thomas the Tank Engine and From Gruffalo to Stick Man.  There are 10 tickets which will be allocated to the first to respond.  To apply for a free ticket and for more information, please email daisyc@brandevents.co.uk, make sure to be quick, before the free ones go! As a gesture from the Radio Times Festival, use discount code GBDC10 at checkout and receive a 10% discount on your tickets.

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


Totally Thames Festival, Design Museum, Design River Relay: Take part in a weekend of family friendly fun with modelling, sketching and making activities for all ages. “Make, Do and Draw” Saturday 11am-4pm, free with museum entry


Royal Academy, Open House Weekend: Head to the Royal Academy and tour Burlington House and Gardens as part of Open House Weekend.  Take the kids to a free, drop-in workshop where they will explore architecture through upcyling and rebuilding old books.  The Ai Weiwei exhibit is opening this weekend, so there is a lot on offer for all ages.


National Portrait Gallery, Talking Portraits: learn a bit more about a portrait in the gallery and then take part in an art project afterwards.  Children ages 3+ from 1-2:30 and children ages 7+ from 3-4:30.


Archikids Festival: another branch of Open House London, head over to The City and then Fitzrovia, to take part in some great activities in some architecturally amazing buildings.  Saturday, 11am-3pm, head to City Hall and plan your own future London with skate parks, cycle routes and more.  Sunday, head over to Leadenhall Market from 11am-3pm, create your own sculpture in this beautiful setting.  After, head over to RIBA and create your own replicas of London buildings.

Babies and Toddlers 


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

Monkey Music is Expanding!


Monkey Music: Chelsea, Gloucester Road, South Kensington, Belgravia and Pimlico. 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

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: Everest. 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 features: Everest and also, How to Change the World.

Family Cinema 

Curzon Cinema, Victoria:  This week’s programme,Inside Out.  Saturday and Sunday, 10:30. £3.50 per person.

Gate Picturehouse, Kids Club: This week’s programme: LIAF Animated Shorts Kids’ Club Special. £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 is The Secret of the Kells. 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, Khumba. 10:30am. Check out the Electric Cinema with its plush, red velvet beds, sofas and armchairs. Looks like a great way for Dad to occupy the kids on a Saturday morning.

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