London is bursting at the seams with activities to keep children entertained and as the summer holidays swing into view, they’ll give you and your little people the opportunity to explore the best of the city, and maybe even a chance to… relax?

Read on to find our edit of the best things to do this summer with kids.

Theatre on Kew: The Wind in the Willows 

Fall back in love with your favourite childhood story as Mowgli heads on her adventure through the jungle. Expect to meet some friendly characters along the way, from the noble Akela to the irresistible Baloo and the wise Bagheera. 

Set with a backdrop of Kew Gardens, filled with trees and picnic blankets, this is one day out that’ll result in endless giggles and surprises. 

Head further afield and visit their sister site, Wakehurst for an even more enchanting time.

When: 23rd July – 21st August 

Where: Victoria Gate, Kew Gardens

Website: www.kew.org

This Bright Land

Somerset House is set to undergo a mesmerising transformation this summer, turning its courtyard into a wonderland open to all. Titled This Bright Land, the space has been created by Somerset House Studio artists Gareth Pugh and Carson McColl, and will feature the likes of day-and-night performances, music, dance, talks, workshops and a 35m observation wheel and open-air Vogue Balls.

Not all of Somerset House’s magical world may be free, but it’s definitely worth heading down for to soak up the experience to its fullest.

WHEN: 01.08.2022 – 29.08.2022

WHERE: SOMERSET HOUSE, STRAND, WC2R 1LA

WEBSITE: WWW.SOMERSETHOUSE.ORG.UK

 

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Hampton Court Palace’s The Magic Garden

London may be filled with some golden spots for children, but venture a little further out one day this summer holiday and explore the best of Hampton Court Palace’s Magic Garden.

After you’ve finished exploring the palace and picnicking in the grounds, let your imaginations come to life at the Hampton Court Palace in their Magic Garden as your children explore and play on the castle inspired play area. You’ll come face to face with mythical beasts and battle for victory against the menacing dragon…

WherE:Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU

Website: www.hrp.org.uk

101 Dalmatians, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

This one has been in the works for a while having been cancelled twice due to Covid-19, but we can finally confirm that Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s adaptation of Dodie Smith’s loveable novel, The Hundred and One Dalmatians will finally be making its way onto the stage this summer.

Set to be a family favourite, the production, spearheaded by director Timothy Sheader, will follow Pongo, Perdi and their litter of puppies as they find themselves on a survival journey as it’s rumoured that Curella de Vil has her heart set on a new Dalmatian fur coat…

when: 12.07.2022 – 28.08.2022

where: REGENT’S PARK, INNER CIRCLE, NW1 4NU

website: WWW.OPENAIRTHEATRE.COM

 

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature

Rediscover Beatrix Potter’s loveable characters this February at the V&A’s family-friendly exhibition, Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature. Open to fans, the exhibition will guide you on a journey through Potter’s life as a scientist and conservationist, spanning the places and animals that inspired her famous characters.

Created in collaboration with the National Trust, the exhibition features drawings and detailed illustrations, studies and paintings created by the children’s author. Fall back in love with Peter Rabbit and all of his friends in this fun and detailed exhibition.

when: until 08.01.2023

Where: V&A,Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL

Website: www.vam.ac.uk

Sharky & George’s Holiday Camp 

Children’s events organisers, Sharky & George team have announced that their Holiday Camp will be returning, helping to keep the kiddies entertained during the school holidays. The activity club will be held at The Parsons Green Club, and in true Sharky & George style, you can expect a whole load of fashion shows, chocolate making and whacky science experiments, perfect for children aged 5-11. 

When: Until 02.09.2022

WherE: The Parsons Green Club

Website: www.sharkyandgeorge.com

Biscuiteers 

Put your artistic skills through their paces as you learn the ins and outs at the School of Icing.

From recreating your very own Paddington Bear to trying your hand at icing your best friend, Biscuiteers provides a whole lotta fun budding artists, or just fans of delightful biscuits.

where: NOTTING HILL / BATTERSEA

WEBSITE: WWW.BISCUITEERS.COM

Sixes Social Cricket Club

Fancy a spot of cricket? Let your kiddies perfect the art of batting this summer at Sixes Cricket Club, the only venue in London that provides guests a place to play cricket and dine. 

The Sixes Cricket Simulator, styled as batting nets, draws on the style of Top Golf, Flight Club and Puttshack, and takes the immersive experience and the famed sport to new heights. 

wherE:  Fulham & Fitzrovia

Website: www.sixescricket.com

The Railway Children

Edith Nesbit’s ever popular children’s book, The Railway Children, has been given a 21st Century adaptation, and it’s in cinemas this summer!

It follows a group of children who are evacuated to the English countryside during WWII. It’s here they meet an injured American soldier who needs their help to get back home.

in cinemas now

Wicked

Perfect for the older kiddies, Wicked is London’s favourite witch centred narrative on the West End. 

See the story of Oz get turned on its head, as we see the story from the witch’s perspective. Follow as an unlikely friendship between the good witch, Glinda, and the misunderstood ‘green girl’ named Elphaba arises. 

For cheap theatre tickets, read our guide to Kid’s Theatre Week here.

Where: Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, Pimlico, SW1V 1LG 

Website: www.theatreticketsdirect.com

 

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Puttshack

Let’s face it, golfing isn’t exactly the funniest of sports. But, mix it with loops, tricks and quirky holes, and you’ve got yourself an afternoon filled with kid-friendly fun!

The guys at Puttshack have fused space-age technology with the classic game of mini-golf, so even your 15-year-old will (finally) get off Snapchat and join with some family entertainment. So grab your putt and ball, and let the kids versus adults competition begin!

where:  White City, Bank & Lakeside

Website: www.puttshack.com

London’s Urban Petting Farms

Make a moo-ve as you wander around London’s best farms and zoos. Despite being a city, there’s a few places in London that’ll thrust you into the ways of the countryside even if just for an afternoon, one of these being petting farms. 

We’re compiled a list of London’s best farms, zoos and animally attractions fit for the kids to get outside and experience nature in a whole new way. 

Cats and Dogs

Know your pet pooch pretty well? Think again. Horniman Museum & Gardens presents a brand new exhibition designed to teach kids and adults alike more about their furry friends.

Cats and Dogs is an interactive offering, exploring everything from animal behaviour to examining human relationships with our feline friends and doggos.

when: UNTIL 30.10.2022

Where: Horniman Museum & Gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ

website: WWW.HORNIMAN.AC.UK

Frozen the Musical

Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or the umpteenth time, Frozen the Musical brings Disney’s most loved princesses to life on the big stage. Now on stage at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, let your imagination run wild as you see Elsa and Anna’s story unfold through beautiful costumes, special effects and stunning scenery.

Stop by The Grand Saloon for the best afternoon tea experience in the city first.

WHERE: THE LANE, CATHERINE STREET, COVENT GARDEN, WC2B 5JF

WEBSITE: WWW.THELANE.CO.UK

Explore London’s Free Museums

Come rain or shine, hitting up one of London’s numerous museums is a guaranteed fun day out for all the family. Long gone are the days of being dragged around looking at old artefacts. Oh no, museums these days are equipped with activities to keep the little’uns fuelled and eager to learn, whether it’s in the Wonderlab at the Science Museum or it’s getting up close and personal with some dinos at the Natural History Museum. The extra bonus? It’s a free day out for all the family. Although the kids will probably want to peruse the gift shops…

Or Go Venture To Some Of London’s Wacky Museums

When you cast your mind to traditional London museums it’s highly unlikely that the sewing machine museum comes to mind. But we’ve delved deeper and gone off the beaten museum track to pluck out random, weird and questionable museums that sound like they’re totally worth ticking off the factual bucket list. Here’s our higgledy-piggledy selection, and you can find it here!

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Based on the book by Judith Kerr, The Tiger Who Came To Tea returns to the stage this summer. Performances will be held at Theatre Royal Haymarket, and will follow the story of a little girl and her mummy, who were holding a little tea party together, when a stripy tiger knocks at the door… 

Expect all of the chaos, laughter and sing-a-long songs to unfold before your eyes.

When: Until 04.09.2022

where: Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street, SW1Y 4HT

Website: www.trh.co.uk

The Original Sweetshop Afternoon Tea 

Every child has a devilish sweet tooth, so this summer why not treat them to an afternoon inspired by the Hardys Original Sweetshop?

Filled with a selection of finger sized sandwiches, freshly baked homemade chocolate chip and fruit scones and endless pastries and cupcakes. You’ll both be munching through Coca-Cola slices, Drumstick macaroons and raspberry cheesecake liquorice allsort. Yum. 

where: 35 Charles Street, Mayfair, W1J 5EB

Website: www.chesterfieldmayfair.com

Family-Friendly Exhibitions

If you find yourself at a loose end this summer, searching for ways to keep the kids entertained, a day packed out with adventure, fun and action at one of London’s many museums is the answer.

Perfect for rainy days or for somewhere with air conditioning to escape the London heat, it’s fun, engaging and often pretty educational too! From Tate Modern’s dotty Obliteration Room to the V&A’s special homage to Beatrix Potter, these are the best family-friendly exhibitions taking place this summer that even parents will enjoy.

Try Some Of London’s Best Ice Cream Joints

There’s nothing a child loves more than a big ol’ scoop of ice cream so when the weather is scorching, venture to one of London’s leading ice cream parlours. Our favourite? The Knickerbocker Glory from Fortnum’s – the ultimate childhood dessert you can’t help but love. 

It could even become a bit of a science lesson if you head to London’s first ice cream parlour made using liquid nitrogen, Chin Chin Labs…

Tower of London

Explore life as a royal for the day as you uncover 1,000 years worth of history at London’s most iconic castle and World Heritage Site. The children will love perusing the luxurious Crown Jewels (who wouldn’t?) and delve into the nooks and crannies of the Tower of London. 

where: St Katharine’s & Wapping, EC3N 4AB

Website: www.hrp.org.uk

Pick-Your-Own Fruit Farms

There’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh, crisp strawberry. And where better to sample one than at one of the UK’s pick-your-own fruit farms? 

This summer holidays, venture a little field afield and you’ll find yourself fulfilling your countryside dreams at a pick-your-own farm. If you’re in need of a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up the seven best PYO farms near London, from Parkside Farm to Garsons Esher.

Diana Memorial Playground

Ahoy there! Jump aboard the pirate ship at Diana Memorial Playground and channel your inner Peter Pan as you travel the seas to Neverland.

It’s set in the heart of the Diana Memorial Playground, which has now reopened, and is inspired by Diana’s love for childhood and its innocence. Let your children run wild with their buddies as they explore the sensory trail, ship and teepees.

where:  Broad Walk, Kensington, W2 4RU

Website: www.royalparks.org.uk

Harry Potter Activities

From WANDSworth to POTTER’S Bar, London is full of Harry Potter, from immersive days out to locations and inspiration. Here are a few of the places you can head to to get the true Potter experience.

Stag Lodge Stables

Horse riding isn’t just for country lasses. Well neigh, you won’t want to be galloping around Trafalgar Square but you can saddle up and see some of London’s quieter sites such as Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common. Stag Lodge Stables offer riding lessons and courses for kiddies and adults of all ages from three upwards so you’re bound to be pros by the end of the summer…

where: Robin Hood Gate, Richmond Park, SW15 3RS

Website: www.ridinginlondon.com

Kung Fu – A Warriors Journey

Have an eager Kung Fu fighter in your house? Then Proud Embankment’s new show is the perfect place to take them this summer. 

Opening in September, Kung Fu – A Warriors Journey follows a young boy’s journey to become a Kung Fu master. It stars a master of kung fu, MJ, the only non-Chinese Shaolin Disciple of the Shaolin Temple to perform in the famous Shaolin ‘Wheel of Life’ show worldwide.

Watch masters of kung fu perform breathtaking feats of acrobatics whilst you indulge in a delicious three-course Asian feast.

When: 14.09.2022 – 20.11.2022 

Where: Proud Embankment, 8 Victoria Embankment, WC2R 2AB 

Website: www.proudcabaret.com

Cutty Sark

Ahoy there me hearties! Cutty Sark is welcoming pirates back on board once more to uncover the history of the fastest clipper. 

Don’t miss out on the experience to catch the cast of colourful characters, take a snap on board ship and see just what the former workers used to get up to.

Throughout the summer holidays, expect special events to be taking place, from family weekends filled with workshops to the big climb.

where:  King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 8HT

Website: www.rmg.co.uk

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station is home to restaurants and fun activities for all ages to enjoy. From crazy golfing spot, Birdies to restaurants with kiddies menus, there’s something for all this summer.

They’ve recently launched Summer Showtime on the Coaling Jetty. Catch one of the film screening or theatrical performances this summer – more information here.

where: CIRCUS WEST VILLAGE, BATTERSEA POWER STATION, SW11 8AH

Website: www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk

London’s Outdoor Swimming Pools

From learning to swim to swimming races against friends, summer is the perfect time to make a splash at one of London’s outdoor swimming spots. From Brockwell Lido to Tooting Bec and Hampstead Heath Ponds

Visit one of the UK’s waterparks 

With the warm weather finally here, cool down this summer with a trip to one of Britain’s best waterparks. 

From Alton Towers’ waterpark to Dorest’s Splashdown Poole, there’s so much fun to be had and done. Splash around, fly down the flumes or simply knock a bucket of water over your siblings head. See our 5 favourites here

More of a theme park lover, check out our favourites here too. 


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