Family-friendly London activities for the summer holidays
Can you hear all that noise? That’s the sound of children with no homework. School’s out for summer (UK schools typically get six weeks off), which means that a range of London’s museums, galleries, shops and restaurants are putting on special events. Take a look at our fun selection below.
The Monster River Trail with MBNA Thames Clippers, daily until 9 Sep
The most frequent boat service on the Thames has teamed up with the team behind summer movie Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation, creating a fun activity pack with a river trail challenge. If you take part, you could have a chance to win a family holiday in Tenerife. Find out more about the MBNA Thames Clippers Monster River Trail and competition here.
Flower Fairies storytelling at the Garden Museum, 11.30am-12.30pm, Wed 8 Aug
The Lambeth museum’s current Flower Fairies exhibition celebrates artist Cicely Mary Barker. 2018 marks the centenary of her first fairy illustrations and this free, one-hour session includes props and music. The best part? You can just drop in on the day, so there’s no need to book. Browse more Garden Museum events here.
The Funfair at Westfield, daily until 5 Aug in Shepherd’s Bush, daily 18-27 Aug in Stratford
This free funfair at London’s largest shopping centres is sponsored by SEAT, which means car-loving kiddies will be happy on the dodgems and exploring the car on display here. Elsewhere, there’s a hall of mirrors and games such as hook-a-flamingo. Find out more about The Funfair at Westfield here.
Meet conflict veterans at HMS Belfast, 11am-3pm, every Wed until 29 Aug
Climb aboard this WW2 Royal Navy warship on the South Bank to meet people who have lived through conflicts around the world, including the Falklands and Korean wars and WW2. Both soldiers and eyewitnesses will be telling stories and answering questions – much more fun than a history book. These sessions are included with standard admission prices. Find out more about We Were There at HMS Belfast here.
Culinary Kids at Tredwells, daily throughout Aug
This Seven Dials restaurant is by Marcus Wareing – if your child is a budding chef, bring them here. Culinary Kids is a seven-course tasting menu for little people, costing £17 and including BBQ lamb chops and chargrilled broccoli with almonds. Alternatively, one child eats for free (one main, one dessert) per adult with the Junior menu. Find out more about Tredwells here.
Interactive shows at the Museum of London Docklands, 11.30am-12.15pm & 1.30pm-2.15pm, Wed-Sat until 31 Aug
In conjunction with the museum’s new exhibition Roman Dead, this show near Canary Wharf centres around Grata, who died during Roman times but has somehow got stuck in modern London. The audience then helps Grata, as they learn all about Roman funerals. Find out more about Styx, Stones and Roman Bones at the Museum of London Docklands here.
Parachute Adventures at the National Army Museum, various times, Mon-Sat until 1 Sep
Head to the National Army Museum in Chelsea for these free workshops, where children can design their own parachutes and test their creations by dropping them from the stairs. There are also daily ‘Mission Training’ sessions, which will give kids a taste of life in the armed forces. All you need to do is pick up free tickets when you arrive. Check the times for the National Army Museum’s Parachute Adventures here.
The Great Summer of Engineering at London Transport Museum, various times until 3 Sep
There’s all sorts going on related to engineering at Covent Garden’s London Transport Museum at the moment. There’s a different challenge each week until the end of the holidays, including ‘Underground Steam’, which involves dressing up and finding out how London’s first underground was built. All of the challenges are included with standard admission prices. Find out more about The Great Summer of Engineering at London Transport Museum here.
For more ideas, click here to discover the parts of London which will appeal to adults and children this summer