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

Jan 21, 2016 by


Monkey Music Spring Term

Monkey Music, the “must do” specialist, baby and toddler music classes have a few remaining spaces in their ever-popular Chelsea venues.  These mum and baby music classes are favourites with over 400 local mums, and are a great way to connect with other families in your neighbourhood.  The venues are lovely, carefully chosen for mums and pushchairs.


The light-filled, spacious Cineworld Cinema venue is a favourite with local mums; colourful and fun with sweeping fews over Fulham road. Coopers Arms, just off Flood Street, is another fabulous venue and very convenient for anyone running an older child to school in the area.

Monkey Music is extending a special offer to new members:  half-price on its membership in January.  Please ring Caroline 0208 767 9827 or email chelsea.westminster@monkeymusic.co.uk to book your complimentary trial class and receive half off your membership fee; book early to avoid disappointment.

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


The Parasol Unit, London Art Fair, Sunday Family Workshop: Sunday 24th, noon-5pm, all ages.  Come and participate in this exciting off-site Educational Worksop at the London Art Fair in Islington’s Business Design Centre.


The Foundling Museum, Tanglefields Circus Featuring Hetty Heather: Saturday 23rd, 10:30-noon; 1-2:30 & 3-4:30.  Free for children and two accompanying adults (with museum ticket).  Create your own circus based on the exhibition Drawing on Childhood.

John Landor, London Musical Arts Orchestra at rehearsal in St Martin in the Fields church.

John Landor, London Musical Arts Orchestra at rehearsal in St Martin in the Fields church.

St. Martin-in-the-Field, Mini Maestro Family Concert: Saturday 23rd, 4:30pm.  Vivaldi Four Seasons, interactive family concert just off Trafalgar Square.  £8.50 adults, £6.50 children.


Unicorn Theatre, Up Club and Up Club: Head over on Saturday mornings for a free art session.  This Saturday make snazzy shells, noon-2pm, age 2+, drop-in.


Le Institute Francais, Digital Club:  Saturday, 2:30, age 6+, free.  Head over to South Kensington and let the kids have a bilingual play with kids trying out new games and apps – really good fun.

Family Theatre 


World’s End, Chelsea Theatre, The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse: Sunday 11am and 2pm, ages 3-8 years, £9.  Join two friends as they embark on an amazing journey and discover that sometimes new can be exited and different good.


Half Moon Theatre, Lullaby Lane: Friday 22nd 1:30; Saturday 23rd, 11am and 2pm;  Monday 25th 10:30 and 1:30; Tuesday 26th 10:30 and 1:30. Lullaby Lane is a unique theatrical experience mixing the vibe of a music gig with the intimacy and magic of theatre.  Ages 3-7, £6.50


Lyric Hammersmith, George and The Dragon: Saturday 23rd, 11am and 1pm, ages 5-12, £8.   Beware! In a cave under the castle lurks a fiery dragon waiting to devour monks, knights, sheep and princesses.

The Unicorn, Minotaur: Sunday 24th – 2nd April.  As part of the Greek Season at The Unicorn, head over for a playful retelling of this favourite myth.  Tickets from £8


Noel Coward Theatre, A Christmas Carol: This is neither free, nor affordable, but we took the kids and went as a family on New Year’s Eve and had the most wonderful time.  As you would expect, the kids LOVED Jim Broadbent who brilliantly played Ebenezer Scrooge with a perfect balance of timing and physical comedy to keep them roaring with laughter, while the grown-up thoroughly enjoyed the anti-austerity political commentary running throughout the play.  Worth every penny, if you have any left after the holidays.


For anyone wishing to think about including more fitness in their 2016, do check out local mum Kerri Holland’s new Postparty online fitness videos. This is a fabulous resource for anyone staying at home with small children, or returning to work and unable to squeeze a visit to the gym into the grind (there are workouts for home and office).


If you do some social media sharing or sing up to be a free member to Postparty site, you can also enter to win a complimentary stay at the sumptuous all-inclusive family guest house, Villa Pia in Lippiano Italy, during April or May, excluding May half-term.  Should you win, you, your spouse and infant (any additional children and activities will incur regular the tariff) will be treated to a 6 night stay in Villa Pia, be wined and dined for all meals except Thursdays (chef’s day off) and have use of two swimming pools, tennis courts, grounds, play equipment, cots, highchairs, cutlery … a true holiday for parents.


Babies and Toddlers 


Wigmore Hall, For Crying Out Loud: Tuesday 26th, 11am and 12:30pm.  Be sure to come to these delightful parent and baby concerts put on the by musicians from the Royal Academy of Music.  £7.50 per adult, babies free.


Little Diggers, Vauxhall City Farm: A gardening club for parents and toddlers with a range of activities that get children digging in soil and growing food.  Thursdays 10-11:30, children ages 2-4, £4 per adult.


Royal Albert Hall, Storytelling and Music Sessions: Could you think of a more stately venue to introduce 0-4 year olds to music, movement and storytelling?  Join seasoned storytellers Paul Rubinstein, Olivia Armstrong and Becky Dixon to this fabulous, hands-on, musical storytelling session.  Wednesdays, 10 am and 11:30 (sold out), tickets just £5.

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, 11:00.  This week’s feature: Brooklyn. Bring babies under 12 months to this amazingly plush cinema, relax with some coffee and catch a flick.

Clapham Picturehouse, Big Scream: Head to Clapham and see Dad’s Army, Sunday and Thursday Room, 10:30, £7.50.

Ritzy, Brixton, Big Scream: Fridays, 11am, £7.50.  This week’s features: The Big Short (if it is anything like the book, the seemingly dry world of collaterized debt obligation is RIVETING).

Rich Mix, Parents and Babies: See The Revenant.  Monday 11th January  £6, 11:40

Family Cinema 


BFI Families: The Iron Giant, Ted Hughes classic is told in animation and this 1999 film has been remastered.  £4 – £10.65, Sunday 1pm, ages 6+.

Barbican, Buster Keaton:  Head to the Barbican for a double bill of Buster Keaton with live piano accompaniment.  Sunday, 4pm, £11.50 (hurry, only a few seats left).

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

Gate Picturehouse, Kids Club: This week’s programme: London International Animation Festival Shorts.  £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 My Little Pony, £3.00 per person.

Ritzy, Brixton, Kids’ Club: Saturdays, 10:30am.  £1.50.  This week’s feature: London International Animation Festival Shorts.

Electric Cinema, Kid’s Club: This week’s feature, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, 9:30am. 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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