What’s On: This Week’s Best Free and Affordable Family Events

Nov 5, 2015 by

This Weekend for the Whole Family


Southbank, Funharmonics Family Concert Telling Tales: Sunday 8th, noon (with activities beginning at 10am) Come on board for a brand new, swashbuckling story in the Billy’s Band series of sea-themed music.  Throughout the day there will be activities around Royal Festival Hall.  Adult tickets from £10, children from £5. All ages


Coram’s Fields: Friday 6th November, 3:30, fireworks start at 5pm.  Head to Coram’s Field for family-friendly firework fun and enjoy a complimentary screening of “Finding Yourself”, a documentary produced by young filmmakers.  Refreshments and hot food available.  Free, all ages.


Duke of York Square, grotto opening: Saturday 7th from 2pm, Victorian carts, toffee apples, face-painting, real-life reindeer, carols and more.  The Christmas lights go on at 4:30.


Royal Opera House Family Sundays

Royal Opera House Family Sunday: Sunday November 29th, £3-£5.  Book (only 12 tickets remain) now for a great day listening to arias, trying on ROH costumes, learning about stage makeup, dance workshops and more.


Gwenelda, London’s Favourite in home beauty service provider, has just launched an app for your iPhone or smartphone.  Now you can browse and schedule appointments from your phone.  Book your children’s haircuts for just £15 in your own home.  Add an a 30 minute blow-dry for just £25 – fantastic value especially if you have events this holiday season.  Gwenelda’s professional and highly talented team can dye and highlight your hair, they can massage, give manicures, pedicures, extend eyelashes are just a few services they provide.


This Weekend for Younger Children (and perhaps their older siblings)


Kings Place, Aurora Orchestra: Come and join in this interactive show Saturday and Sunday 10:15, 11 and 11:45am and explore the music of Benjamin Britten and House of Secret Sounds in a concert specially pitched for children ages 0-4.  Tickets £5.50 children, £7.50 adults, £2-.50 for a family of 5.


Half Moon Theatre, Bear & Butterfly: Saturday 7th, 11am and 2pm, ages 4-7, £6.50.  Bear’s life changes forever when, deep in the branches of the tree, her hears the munching and crunching of a bright, green caterpillar.

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


Somerset House, T-Veg Dinasaur Recipes: Saturday 7th, noon-3pm.  Join illustrator  Katherina Manolessou and make a fruit and veg dinasour to take home.  Ages 6-12, free, drop-in, younger siblings warmly welcomed.  Puppetry, live music and beautiful storytelling about love, loss and friendship.

national Gallery

National Gallery Studio Sunday, Face to Face: Sunday 8th 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm.  Take part in an artist-led workshop focusing on Titian’s Portrait of a Lady followed up with a workshop where children will make their own multi-dimensional portrait.  Free, ages 5-11, tickets allocated one hour before arrival.

This Weekend for Much Older Children


Royal Academy, Ai Weiwei: now until the 13th of December.  I took my daughter for her big 10th birthday to the exhibit and cannot recommend it more highly.  The artwork is provocative, reactive, concrete and some works incredibly abstract.  The installation includes life-sized models of his time in prison.  The exhibit is not at all appropriate for young children as the installations are too easy to touch.  £16 for adults, children are free.


Rich Mix, Grand Union Youth Orchestra: Sunday 8th, 10am-1:30pm for musicians ages 12-26 to form jazz youth ensemble to take part in high-profile performances, work with leading jazz musicians, learn about music first hand and try new instruments.  Its free, but registration is required.

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

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: The Intern. Bring babies under 12 months to this amazingly plush cinema, relax with some coffee and catch a flick.

Everyman Belzise Park, Baby Club: Head up to Belsize Park and catch a film.  Tuesday 10th November, 10am, watch Spectre!!

Clapham Picturehouse, Big Scream: Head to Clapham and see Brooklyn.  Thursday, 10:30, £7.50.

Ritzy, Brixton, Big Scream: Fridays, 11am, £7.50.  This week’s features: Brooklyn

Family Cinema 

Curzon Cinema, Victoria:  This week’s programme, Spy Kids.  Saturday and Sunday, 10:30. £3.50 per person.  On Saturday at 11am and 4pm, there will be a screening of He Named me Malala, PG (full price).

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

Bloomsbury Curzon: 10:30 Saturday, this week’s screening is Spy-Kids. £3.00 per person.

Rich Mix Bethnal Green: This week’s screening, The Lorax.  Saturday, noon. £1.75.

BFI Family Cinema: Sunday 8th November, The Princess Bride, 2pm.  Kids £4, adults £11.75.

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

Ritzy, Brixton, Kids’ Club: Fridays, 11am.  £1.50.  This week’s features: Inside Out.

Electric Cinema, Kid’s Club: This week’s feature, The Big Knights, 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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