London Baby and Kids Summer Guide

Jul 13, 2016 by

Arts, Crafts and Experiences:


Archikids Festival 23rd-24th July: Head into the city for a variety of thinking, building, creating, doing, making activities focused on the architecture of London.  Do take a look as there are over 25 activities at various locations.


Shakespeare’s Globe, Shakespeare’s Telling Tales: Head to the penultimate festival celebrating 400 years of the Bard.  Friday 29th – Sunday 31st July – workshops, plays, storytelling, arts crafts and more.


Royal Institute Great Britain: Head over with the kids to take part in a variety of curious and stimulating activities over the summer.  Make mathematical origami, take part in a robot workshop, extract your own DNA, build a bridge and more.


Serpentine Galleries, The Weight of the World Family Weekend: Join artist Katie Schwab for a weekend of interacting with the current exhibit and making art in response to it.  August 20-21st, 1-5pm, free, all ages.


Q Pootle 5 at Royal Museums Greenwich: Head over to the Royal Observatory Tuesday 26th July for a family event with Q Pootle 5.  Join Nick Butterworth as he presents an interactive show based on Q Pootle 5.  Watch an episode on the big screen surrounded by stars in the planatarium.  £6 per head, 10am-1pm, all ages.


Monkey Music: Classes for September are already starting to fill up.  If you haven’t tried a music class with your baby or toddler, come along and join in the fun for a complimentary class at one of their super venues for free!   Classes run in Chelsea, Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, Belgravia & Pimlico.  The Cineworld venue in Chelsea has a Starbucks opening inside the theatre for a pre or post Monkey mocha.  Also, the Cooper’s Arms venue in Chelsea will begin serving brunch from 9:30am in the autumn, so pop in for a post Monkey meal with your friends from class.  Also, Monkey has launched a new book, “Let’s Sing and Play” which includes a delightful, 25 track CD of Monkey Music.

dad and 2 boys book

Monkey Music’s classes are structured, action packed and beautifully presented with enchanting puppets, hand crafted props, specialist percussion instruments, dance and movement, magical bubbles and lots more. Each term there is a special Saturday event, open to family members.   Email Caroline to book your complimentary class before they fill up!!


House of Illustration: Take the kids for a poster design and printmaking workshop, Magna and Comic making, or screen printing workhshop this summer.  Times, costs vary, booking required.

Kensington Palace: Head over to Kensington Palace for a variety of activities including storytelling, gardening … even chocolate making.  You need to purchase tickets to go in the palace, £16.50 per adult (£15.40 online) but children are free and so are the activities.

British Museum: Check out the amazing variety of activities on over the school holidays including activities based around “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds” exhibit currently running, children go free and the activities are included in the price of an adult admission ticket.

Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition Workshops: These look fantastic and in years past have been very worthwhile.  The workshops are £15 per adult and £3 per child, various times and dates.

Southbank Centre: Head over for clay workshops, performance, art, music, markets, skateboarding and more … great place to spend some time this summer.

JW3: head over to Hampstead for loads of interesting activities and events for children including coding, circus skill, graffiti art workshops, soccer, climbing at Swiss Cottage and much more.  There will be Crazy Golf, too.

Westminster Abby: Head over to Westminster on Tuesdays and Thursdays with children age 5+ and take part in arts and crafts and other activities with themes including Mapping our World, Knights and Dragons, Thicker than Water, Music Makers and more.  Booking strongly recommended.

Charles Dickens Museum: Head over to the Dickens Museum Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-3pm throughout the school holidays for hands-on art sessions.  Activities are free with general admission.

National Portrait Gallery: Loads of excellent workshops and activities on over the summer holidays here – starting 25th July and going through to 5th August, there are loads of interesting art activities including making portrait jigsaws, painting portraits, animation workshops, modelling animals.  Free, drop-in, activities for ages 3+ and also 5+.

Foundling Museum: Bring the kids to experiment sketching, making mono prints, see Jacqueline Wilson, make a miniature card house and more.  For ages 5+, free with the price of admission (£8.25 adults).

Wallace Collection: Fabulous, proper art workshops for older kids and some activities for the littlies, too.  Activities running through July and August, ranging from ages 5-12.

The Horniman Museum: Come and check out the Brazilian Summer Programme at the Horniman.  This great museum to spend the day with your kids – there are gorgeous grounds surrounding the museum and they have activities everyday over the school holidays.  Check the website for dates and times, make sure to time your visit around one of the making activities.  Most activities are free, all ages but some are bookable and charge a small fee.

Geffrye Museum: Here is another good museum to spend the day, Tuesdays-Fridays the Geffrye has several activities on where kids will make a nice craft to take home.  Brick Lane and Spitafields Market are near-by.

National Gallery: On Sundays, children ages 5-13 can take part in Artist’s apprentice workshops; for early years there are Messy Mondays and Talking Tuesdays; and numerous all ages activities on various dates throughout the holidays.

Somerset House: head over to enjoy the Safra Fountains any hot day, and bring the kids to see The Iron Giant, take part in a robot workshop and more.

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Head over to Dulwich Picture Gallery for loads of interesting storytelling activities and art events.  All activities are free with the £6 adult admission to the museum.

Camden Arte Centre: Head out to Camden on Sundays throughout summer, 2-4:30, all ages, free, drop-in.

Museum of London: There are loads of activities on at the Museum of London, they have an excellent education room that is great for big kids and younger siblings. The theme this year is Romans.

Benjamin Franklin House: bring the kids to the London home of this fascinating American Founding Father.  Tuesday 28th July Family Day: Festival of British Archaeology, free, all ages but suitable for 7-14 year olds, donations welcome and booking recommended.  Saturday 6th August 11am-4pm Children’s Summer Fete.  Family Day: Olde Time Olympics Tuesday 2nd and 9th August, 11am.  Family Days  August 23rd and 30th.  Free, all ages.

Outdoor Exploration and Sport


London Baby and Kids Paddling Pools and Outdoor Fun: as mentioned on the Robert Elms Show, this is London’s pinnacle guide to where to cool off with little ones.

Holland Park Ecology Centre: this is such a great resource for kids, the Holland Park Ecology Centre is located in the Adventure Playground in Holland Park.  The workshops are excellent – they do some learning, some playing, some making and they are on a variety of interesting topics.  Children 8 and older can be dropped off.  The workshops run from 10am-noon, 2-4pm (5-10 year olds) and longer workshops for older kids 11-3pm (8-12 year olds).  Prices are £4.20 (residents of RBKC) £5.40 for two hours, £7.90/£9.50 for 4 hours.  Check the link for the workshops

Battersea Park Zoo: this is a great place to take the little ones.  Its smaller, easier to explore and navigate, less expensive than larger zoos and great day out. Over the holidays they will be having different events and activities on.

Chelsea Physic Garden:There are loads of interesting workshops and activities where children learn about plants and nature from making paper, making natural dyes, creepy crawlies, ethnobotany and more.  Activities from ages 4+, £6.60 for half day workshops, £8.60 for full day. Adults £9.90 and £11.90.

Isis Education Centre: send the kids off to nature school at the gorgeous Isis Education Centre in Hyde Park. In August, kids 8-11 can take part in the Nature Explorers Beetles and Butterflies workshop (£15, drop-off).  There are two drop-in Discovery Day – Meadow Madness workshops 11am-5pm, all ages, free and a Wild Water Discovery Day, also free.  There will be a Sunset Safari in August for £12 and Take a Walk in the Park – Peter Pan and learn about this famous statue and the story around it for £5.

Get Away – Great Trips from London by Train

  • Whitstable: Oysters, seaside, ice cream and beer – 1.5 hours from London
  • Broadstairs: London’s closest sandy seaside town – 2 hours by train.
  • Downe, Kent: 1 hour from London Victoria, Charles Darwin’s Down House, horseback riding, field walks and more.

Music, Performances, and Workshops:

Opera Holland Park, Alice in Wonderland: take the kids to see an outdoor production of Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, an opera written for Opera Holland Park. Running 28th July – 13th August, various times.

Royal College of Music: bring the kids to a variety of music workshops and concerts; these are always rewarding and great fun.  Tickets starts at £10 for day-long workshops and tickets. Various times and dates, one event all ages, some 5+, others 6-9 and 13-18.

Wigmore Hall, Toupe: The Bad Mood: Join musicians from TROUPR in an interactive family adventure featuring movement, storytelling and music by Bach, Cage and Ravel.  Adults £10, children £8. Saturday 16th July, 11am – noon, ages 7+.

BFI Families: Catch films with the kids over the school holidays or let them take part in various BFI Holiday workshops for children ages 11-14 years.

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