With the summer holidays finally here and children to entertain, The Resident picks out some of London’s best summer holiday programmes and activities to keep the kiddos happy…
Lead Image: Jungle Adventures at Westfield Stratford City
1 The Kids’ Table, various venues
Throughout the Summer Holidays
The Kids’ Table is a pop-up children’s corner service for pubs, restaurants and fitness studios, allowing parents to relax and make the most of a long lunch or workout class knowing that their little ones are enjoying arts, crafts, games and face painting, led by an experienced team of childcare and kids entertainment experts. Suitable for 3-10 year olds, free of charge and available at a number of restaurants and fitness studios across London, including the Wright Brothers Battersea (available 4 & 18 August, 12-3pm, just reference ‘The Kids’ Table’ when booking), Boxpark Croydon (12pm-5pm, Saturdays and Sundays, and Boxpark Wembley when stadium events are not taking place), The Garden at The O2 (Sundays 12pm-5pm), The Chill Out Lounge at Icon at the O2 (Mon-Weds from 22 July-7 August, 11am-4pm), Market Hall Fulham (Sundays 10am-1pm) and Market Hall Victoria (Sundays 11am-2pm).
2 Summer Art Camp at the V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green
31 July-2 August
To make sure your kids attend a truly epic summer camp, sign them up for one of the two summer camps the V&A Museum of Childhood is offering this summer. The Secret Museum DIY Film Collective with Albert Potrony will allow the kids to bring the museum’s collection of toys to life by developing characters, designing costumes, making sets and props, and creating sound effects (ages 8-12, three days only). Adventure Making and Play with Matthew Shaw lets kids explore materials, build from their imagination, create and play (ages 5-10, one, two or three days). £40 for one day, £75 for two days or £100 for three days (10% siblings discount). 10am-3.30pm.
Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA; vam.ac.uk
3 Dinosaur World Live, Wembley
18 July-1 September
Dinosaur World Live at the new Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre is an exciting new interactive show for all the family. Grab your compass and join an intrepid explorer across uncharted territories to discover a pre-historic world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as a Triceratops, Giraffatitan and Segnosaurus. Do you dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World?Tickets from £14. Ages 3+.
1 Fulton Road, Wembley HA9 8TS; dinosaurworldlive.com
4 Victorian Vauxhall at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens
Relive the glory days of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens with a free, Victorian-style family day out featuring circus performers, music hall bands, stilt walkers costumed in scented silk flowers, a vintage carousel and a Victorian inflatable balloon. Tightrope walkers, strong men, Victorian ice creams served from a vintage trike and plenty of free games, including snakes and ladders – taking place across two areas in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens – will keep the whole family entertained on August Bank Holiday weekend.
Vauxhall Gardens SE11; beinvauxhall.com
5 Colourfest & Art in the Pavilion at Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Colour Palace
4 August & 7-28 August
Help your kids become more creative by taking them by Art in the Pavilion, a month full of family events hosted at the Colour Palace, Dulwich Picture Gallery’s 2019 incarnation of the Dulwich Pavilion. Running every Wednesday from 7-28 August, kids aged 4-12 can take inspiration from the Pavilion’s colours, patterns, shapes and lines to create sun catchers, sculptures, masking tape paintings and more for just £3 per child (click here for the full programme). Also, don’t miss Colourfest on Sunday 4 August, when kids of all ages can spend a day at the gallery exploring colour in lots of different ways, from rainbow storytelling at the gazebo in the grounds to building a pop-up palace in the Linbury Room and being the first to try Dulwich Picture Gallery’s new family trail!
Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
6 Go Ape, various locations
Is your family full of thrill seekers? If so, check out Go Ape in Battersea Park – Go Ape’s most central location, which runs two separate tree top experiences – Tree Top Adventure (10+) and Tree Top Junior (all ages). The Tree Top Junior course takes about an hour to complete through shady canopies and complex obstacles. At the end of the course, there’s an electrifying 34.5 metre zipline. Go Ape is an excellent wet weather activity, as the course stays open when it rains. There are further adventure centres in Trent Park, Alexandra Palace, Cockfosters, Black Park near Uxbridge and Chessington World of Adventures.
7 Immotion VR Pods at The O2 Arena, Greenwich Peninsula
Immotion has installed a new 12-station virtual reality entertainment zone offering you the chance to become a deep space explorer or deep-sea adventurer. You’ll find two immersive cinema pods with multi-directional motion, 360 HD sound and incredible visual FX – there’s the Thrill Coaster, featuring a series of VR roller coasters, and Undersea Explorer, where users can experience swimming with turtles, humpback whales and tiger sharks. There’s also a new four-person free-roaming shooting experience, exclusively featuring the global number one interactive VR game, Raw Data. Get a Standard Pass (one five-minute session) for £5 or a Variety Pass (30-minute session) for £20.
To book see immotionvr.com/theo2-booking
8 BODY WORLDS London, Piccadilly
BODY WORLDS London is offering a packed school holiday programme. The popular Junior Doctors programme, where budding doctors, nurses and health experts aged 8-12 get the chance to don white coats and take a bespoke tour of the museum with a real life doctor and learn things like how to do CPR, runs every Sunday at 10.30am and every Wednesday at 2pm (£25 per child). On 9 & 23 August, special Junior Artists Days Summer Special mean kids get the chance to spend the whole day exploring all three floors of the anatomy museum and capturing what they see on paper (£10 per child). The Family Trail will also be running throughout the summer holidays, with an interactive and activity-led route through the museum for mums, dads and little ones alike, and BODY WORLDS London has also teamed up with Planet Hollywood and Sophie’s with Meal & Travel Package Deals to help make a day of your visit (from £28).
The London Pavilion, 1 Piccadilly Circus W1J 0DA; bodyworlds.co.uk
9 The Workshop at London Fire Brigade Pop Up Museum
The Workshop, alongside The London Fire Brigade Pop Up Museum, is hosting the Mega Maker Lab throughout the summer holidays. Running from 1-31 August, for £5 on week days and £7 on weekends, kids can explore five creative zones, including the Imagine & Play Zone, where they can try out a communal LEGO Build the Change challenge and help keep a mega marble run rolling, a Challenge Zone where they can create everything from vehicles to buildings and a mini-city in the sky out of wire, and a Test Arena where they can try junk modelling and prototype their own inventions. Also, on 7 August, little ones can head to the London Fire Brigade Museum to meet a firefighter, check out a fire engine, learn how to stay safe at home and make a fire engine greeting card, all for free.
26 Lambeth High Street SE1 7AG; theworkshoplondon.com
10 Fenwick’s Children’s Baking Classes, Mayfair
Tuesdays throughout the summer
Fenwick is hosting Children’s Baking Classes with a Parents’ Sparkling Cream Tea this summer holiday. While the kids make and decorate their own cupcakes with a variety of fun decorations – either to enjoy in store or taken home to savour later – parents can enjoy a delicious Sparkling Cream Tea with a glass of prosecco, fruit scone and a hot beverage. Booking is essential for both children and adults, with tickets costing £9 per child (soft drink included) and £12 per adult. Classes start at 3pm, lasting one hour, on the following dates: 23 & 30 July and 6, 13, 20 & 27 August.
63 New Bond Street, Mayfair W1S 1RQ; fenwick.co.uk
11 Children’s Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester London, Park Lane
The Dorchester London has created a special Children’s Afternoon Tea, inspired by a day out in Hyde Park, for the summer holidays. Throughout August, the colourful high tea features crudité bites – presented to the table as soon as the little guests arrive – alongside a doorman teddy cupcake, a bright yellow duck made of chocolate, jigsaw puzzle sandwiches and a chocolate milkshake. The Afternoon Tea is complimentary for children aged 5-11 years from 1-31 August when accompanied by an adult enjoying the traditional afternoon tea, priced £65 or £75 per adult (one complimentary children’s afternoon tea per adult).
Park Lane W1K 1QA; dorchestercollection.com
12 Family Space at the Royal Observatory Greenwich
11 & 31 August
With the space race firmly in focus as we celebrate 50 years since man first landed on the Moon, head for the Royal Observatory Greenwich any day throughout the summer holidays to discover more about mankind’s journey through space and time. Specifically, head for ROG’s Family Space events on 11 and 31 August, which include a planetarium show and access to the historic observatory for 50% off the normal combined ticket price. After enjoying a journey through the solar system and beyond with an astronomer presenting live in the planetarium (10am-10.45am), you’ll be able to explore the observatory and stop by a drop-in station with an Observatory Explainers (available 11am-2.30pm).
Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich SE10 8XJ; rmg.co.uk
13 Futureversity’s Greenwich Summer Youth Programme
22 July-16 August
Ever thought about making a leather belt, escaping from a locked room or designing a stage for theatre? Futureveristy’s free activities for 11-19 year olds (or up to age 25 with SEND) are run by industry professionals throughout the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The courses will focus on six categories: Skills for Life, Art and Fashion, Sport, Fitness and Wellbeing, Digital Media, Film and Photography, Music and Performing Arts and Business and Careers. In addition to learning from the classroom, the kids will have the chance to gain experience visiting the real-life settings of these categories in central London. Places are limited so do book online.
14 The Postal Museum’s Summer Activities
All summer long
As well as The Postal Museum’s family-friendly interactive exhibitions, the venue is hosting plenty of special activities throughout the summer holidays, from storytelling to arts and crafts and the new Mail Rail Family Trail. Running every day from 10am-5pm, the new self-led Family Trail, beautifully designed by kids’ story book illustrator Salvatore Rubbino, takes wannabe engineers around the Mail Rail exhibition (ideal for ages 5-8). Check the websites for details of the arts and crafts workshops, which range from hand puppet making to creating a delivery vehicle. Advance tickets are £16 for adults (25+), £11 for young people (16-24) and £9 for kids (3-15) or £1 more on the door.
Phoenix Place, Clerkenwell WC1X 0DA; postalmuseum.org
15 Go skiing at Chel-Ski, Chelsea
All year round
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t hit the slopes. Strap on your skis or snowboard and take on Chealsea’s very own Chel-Ski centre. The centre is a great place to ski for all ages and abilities, and offers both personal and group instruction to help you conquer the slopes. There’s even a mirror so you can critique your technique on your own. Single sessions are £39.95 for adults and £34.95 for kids, or you can bulk buy sessions to save money per session. Supply of boots, skis and helmets are included in the price. If you don;t fancy joining in, you can watch the action from the venue’s St Moritz Alpine Bar.
4 Sotheron Place, Michael Road, Chelsea SW6 2EJ; chel-ski.uk
16 Grandad’s Island at The Mill, Walthamstow
Thursdays from 25 July-22 August
The Mill community hub is bringing the award-winning picture book Grandad’s Island by local author-illustrator Benji Davies to life this summer. In a series of free art workshops running throughout the summer, kids can work with local artists to bring the colourful illustrations from Grandad’s Island to life, creating exotic flowers, tropical birds, plants, animal masks and sailor hats. The workshops will culminate in a special procession for families and local residents up the famous Walthamstow High Street to The Mall on Sunday 1 September from 2pm, where the cardboard boat created by families at Walthamstow Garden Party in July will take pride of place. There will be refreshments on arrival at The Mall and even some sea shanty singing! The workshops are part of the Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture project, From Page to Pavement, run by local arts organisation, Artillery.
7-11 Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow E17 7HA; themille17.org
17 Horse riding lessons in Richmond
Tuesday-Friday from 9 July-30 August
Love ponies? Take the little ones horse riding at Stag Lodge Stables on the edge of Richmond Park, near Wimbledon Common. Stag Lodge offers four-day Pony Week Courses for ages 5-12 throughout the school holidays, offering two rides per day, as well as stable management lessons including grooming and mucking out, and competition day on Friday, with a themed grooming competition such as Cowboys and Indians in the morning and a gymkhana in the afternoon. A four-day Pony Week Course is £325 per child. Single days are available for £90.
Stag Lodge 2, 197 Robin Hood Way, Richmond SW20 0AA; ridinginlondon.com
18 Storybox 2019 at Foyles, various locations
Throughout the summer, Foyles bookshops will be hosting a number of events to help young ones develop their imaginations. From So You Want To Be… Activities with Takayo Akiyama on Thursday 1 August, where kids can learn about Romans and Vikings and create their own headwear (£3, ages 5+), to Cookie: Activities and Storytime with Konnie Huq on Thursday 8 August, where kids can join the broadcaster and author for brain-busting quizzes and games perfect for 7-11 year olds, inspired by her upcoming book Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World (£12), and A Wild Child’s Guide to Endangered Animals: Activities with Millie Marotta on Wednesday 28 August, where the illustrator will introduce some of the world’s most remarkable and endangered wild animals featured and kids can make their own animal masks (tickets £3, ages 5+). All activities listed here take place at 107 Charing Cross Road from 2pm-3pm but activities also take place at Foyles Westfield Stratford City.
19 Slime Planet’s Poppin’ Candy Slime Workshop’s, Brixton
20 July-18 August
If your kids love gross facts and getting messy, then these Poppin’ Candy Slime workshops are perfect. Slime Planet – the world’s one and only slime venue is hosting Poppin’ Candy Slime workshops throughout the school holidays, every day from 20 July until 18 August. Kids can choose their colour, mix-ins and favourite sweet scent, such as bubble gum, add some Poppin’ Candy and listen to their slime crackle, fizz and pop! The one hour workshops run from 11am and 1pm. Slime Planet will also be running Glow Slime workshops every day throughout the holidays at 3.30pm. Suitable for ages 3 and up (under 5s need adult supervision). Tickets are £13.50 per child.
Arch 494 Rathgar Road, Brixton SW9 7EP; slimeplanet.co.uk
20 Summer Skate Skool at House of Vans, Waterloo
24 July-31 August
The House of Vans, a free community space below the arches of Waterloo station dedicated to Vans and the skate culture it embraces, leads free learn-to-skate sessions for ages 5+ throughout the summer from Wednesday to Saturday (Weds-Fri 2pm-4pm and Sat 10am-12pm). Pads, boards, helmets and a locker are provided. There’s also a 100-seat cinema room with comfy bean bags hosting the Little Rippers Film Club, screening kids film favourites old and new every Wednesday to Saturday (Weds-Fri at 3pm and Saturday 10.15am & 12pm). Those not up for the half pipe can chill in The Wall cafe or check out the Metallica and Kerrang! Hardwired…and Early Dayz exhibition in the House of Vans Gallery space.
Arches 228-232, Station Approach Road, Waterloo SE1; houseofvanslondon.com
21 Summer Art Clubs at Gerald Moore Gallery, Eltham
Gerald Moore Gallery is hosting Art Clubs every Saturday this summer, running from 9.30am-11am for ages 5-7, and 11.30am-1pm for ages 8-11 (both £12.50 per child). There are also free Family Day Crafternoons every Tuesday in July and August from 2pm-4pm, as well as a couple of special edition workshops for ages 5+: West African Print Pencil Cases on Wednesday 10am-12pm, and Powerful Plant Pots on Wednesday 14 August from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm (both £5, or £8 for two kids).
Mottingham Lane, Eltham SE9 4RW; geraldmooregallery.org
22 Zip Now London at Archbishop’s Park, Lambeth
Until 15 September
Zip Now London is back at Archbishop’s Park for another summer of adrenaline rushes. The world’s longest and fastest city zip line, reaching speeds of 50kph once you’ve launched yourself off the 35-meter high tower, the 225-metre-long zip wire now accommodates four people, as opposed to three last year, so an entire nuclear family can whizz along together. You’ll take in views of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye from your sky-high vantage point, and the Mega Drop free-fall at the end will keep that heart-rate up as you leap down from the landing tower to the ground. Single riders £25, or get four tickets for £90.
Archbishop’s Park, Lambeth SE1 7LE; london.zip-now.co
23 The Monster, Alexandra Palace
Following two sell out years, The Monster – the world’s biggest inflatable obstacle course – is headed back to Alexandra Palace this August bank holiday weekend with an even bigger line-up of new activities and games. The 300 metre-long bouncy castle has some 40 obstacles, including the 18-metre Mega Slide, the terrifying House of Hell and the new Exterminator. The Monster will also host Europe’s biggest live NERF experience during the special Family Days (27-28 August), where teams of 4-6 people can take part in a battle with the latest NERF blasters in themed zones with interactive challenges, trick shots and special effects, as well as the chance to play with the latest NERF Footballs, Vortex Howlers and Sports Nerfoop. Adults £25, children £20 (aged 7-15). Groups of six or more (adults or children) get a 20% discount. Family Days 27-28 August.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; themonsterUK.com
24 Summer Holidays at the Horniman Museum, Forest Hill
Throughout the Summer Holidays
There’s always plenty of fun to be had for families at the Horniman Museum, and the summer holidays are of course no exception. There’s Plonk Crazy Golf in the Horniman Gardens (open daily throughout the school holidays from 10am-5pm, adults £6, kids £4), Nature Notebooks, where craft activities will help kids explore the beautiful gardens (Thursdays, free), Nature Explorers: Minibeast Safari, where kids can search for minibeasts on the Horniman Nature Trail (select Fridays, £2.50 per child), Nature Explorers: Pond Dipping (every Monday from 29 July-19 August, £2.50 per child), and Family Art Fun (Tuesdays, £2.50 per child). There’s also a Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave on 28 July in the Horniman Gardens with flowers, bubbles and balloons (adults £15, kids £12.50).
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk
25 Disney in the West End Summer Pop-Up, Covent Garden
23 July-1 September
The Disney in the West End Summer Pop-Up will return to Covent Garden this summer showcasing four of Disney’s most beloved stage shows like never before. Explore the iconic masks, puppets and costumes from The Lion King and enjoy the Circle of Life in a fully immersive 360⁰ virtual reality experience, interact with Frozen the musical and strike a pose in a specially-created photo moment, catch a glimpse of Aladdin’s magic lamp, and try Mary Poppins’ supercalifragilisticexpialidocious spelling challenge and kite-making workshop. Open Mon-Sat, 10.30am-7pm and Sun 11am-5pm. Access to events is available on a first-come first-served basis.
21 Long Acre, Covent Garden WC2E 9LD; disneyonstage.co.uk
26 Paw Patrol Playroom at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
To celebrate its partnership with the PAW Patrol Little Heroes Awards, taking place this October, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London has launched a new playroom and afternoon tea for kids ‘ready for action’! Open throughout the summer holidays and complimentary for hotel guests, kids who want to be Chase the traffic cop for the day can follow the pups’ paw-prints in the hotel to find the room and have a barking good time. The playroom will allow all that enter to fully immerse themselves in a puppy paradise and play with toys, kinetic sand, character figures and more. There’s also a special puppy themed afternoon tea to coincide with the partnership, available from 12pm-5pm throughout August for just £25 per child (12 and under). The hotel also offers a Family Getaway with complimentary breakfast and dinner, children’s gift bag, Park Plaza children’s vouchers and complimentary in-room Sky Movies from £245 for a family of four.
200 Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7UT; radissonhotels.com
27 Kids Week, across London and the West End
The 22nd annual Kids Week grants the magic of theatre to thousands of children for free! The month-long event (don’t be fooled by the name!) offers kids aged 16 or under the chance to see some 45 top London shows for free when accompanied by a full paying adult. Half-price tickets can also be purchased for two additional children in the same group. West End favourites and family-friendly shows signed up for the scheme include The Worst Witch, Zog, Monstersaurus!, Brainiac Live, Dinosaur World Live, Aliens Love Underpants and Horrible Histories: Brainy Britain – Part Four. Booking is also still open for some of the exclusive, free Kids Week activities taking audiences behind the scenes, whether it’s a choreography workshop at Come From Away or Thriller Live, the chance to learn the Waitress finale song, or insights from the Wicked technical team.
28 Children’s Intelligence Agency & More at KidZania London, Shepherd’s Bush
KidZania London, the indoor city run by kids at Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush, is pulling out all the stops to keep kids entertained for even longer this summer holidays, with extended Summer Camp hours and new fun-packed learning activities. New this summer is the launch of KidZania London’s new top secret Children’s Intelligence Agency (the other CIA!), where inquisitive minds can develop their spy, computing and coding skills, learning how to create an algorithm to save KidZania from a computer virus! Other activities include SummerSlam celebrations with WWE, where kids can create their own WWE Superstars in the WWE Academy and report on the latest SummerSlam news at the Global Radio Studio and Metro Newspaper, and weekday Summer Camps (running until 15 August), with themed days including Design & Technology and Sports & Science with plenty of interactive activities tailored to camper’s favourite jobs in the indoor city, as well as three hours free play per day and all-day supervision.
Westfield London, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush W12 7GA; kidzania.co.uk
29 Summer by the River, London Bridge
Until 1 September
This summer, the three month festival Summer by the River by London Bridge City presents a range of free and fun activities for all the family, with children’s workshops and films running until 1 September. Free outdoor cinema screenings include Disney’s Coco on Tuesday 13 August, Black Panther on Tuesday 20 August, and Mary Poppins Returns on Tuesday 27 August (all at 7pm), as well as an interactive performance of The Sea Queen where you can dance a jig and sing a sea shanty and live the life of a Pirate Queen as Chieftain Grainne O’Malley sets sail on her greatest adventure yet (Weds-Sat at 6pm & Sun at 4pm from 7 Aug-1 Sept), and pirate-themed craft workshops like Davy Jones’ Crafting Workshop on 24 August at 11am where kids can create their own loot to hide in Davy Jones’ Locker, and The Sailor’s Hornpipe dance and theatre workshop on 31 August at 11am.
London Bridge City SE1 2DB; londonbridgecity.co.uk
30 My Opera House by Kinska at NOW Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula
Until 22 September
While Kinska’s My Opera House is not predominantly created for children, it certainly appeals to little people and kidults alike. The installation, created predominantly from ceramics, offers an insight into a surreal world born from the mind of the Argentinean artist. This is the artist’s first large-scale exhibition bringing together around a thousand handmade ceramic pieces, but the highlight of the exhibition is a whimsical wooden house, based on her studio in Hackney, sitting under a rainy sky of hundreds ceramic tear drops. So while you reflect on the deeper meanings of love and pain – the result of introspection and personal insights into emotions and feelings following a hip replacement that left her bed-bound with only sketchbooks and her imagination to hand – the kids can explore the otherworldly house and garden and everyone is welcome to interact with individually themed sketchbooks in which you can write, draw and express yourself. There’s also an intricately illustrated ceramic table and brightly coloured dice, which kids can play with on the playful carpet.
The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square SE10 0SQ; nowgallery.co.uk
31 Maggie & Rose Camps, Kensington & Chiswick
Until 30 August
Maggie & Rose Camps explore themes such as Mini Popstars, Crunch Munch and ABC Sing with me, and focus on a variety of things from everything foodie to art and make believe. Maggie & Rose nurseries are home to family-friendly spaces for little ones and grown-ups to eat, play and learn together. Running from half to full day sessions every half term and holiday at both the Kensington and Chiswick clubs, the camps aim to inspire and offer something totally different and creative. Choose from the likes of Horrible histories, where kids can explore weird and gross stuff from the past (Chiswick, 19-23 August), to Dino Rumpus, where kids can enjoy a special dino hunt (Kensington, 12-16 August). The camps are open to non-members too. There’s also a Maggie & Rose pop-up in Islington until the end of August.
58 Pembroke Road, Kensington W8 6NX & 1 Essex Place Square, Chiswick W4 5UJ; maggieandrose.com
32 Fest-For-All! at London Designer Outlet, Wembley
24-26 August & 31 August-1 September
For four weekends in August, London Designer Outlet (LDO) will bring all the fun and music of the festival season to Wembley Park with their Fest For All, kicking off with two weekends of festival styling for grown-ups, alongside kid’s immersive street theatre and entertainers (10-11 August & 17-18 August), followed by two kids’ mini-fests over four weekends. Running over the weekends of 24-26 August and 31 August-1 September, 11am-5pm), the kids’ mini-fest will feature a bubble wizard, face painters, hula hooping, ribbon twirling and more. In the mornings, the LDO tipi, located outside the M&S Outlet on the ground floor, will see buskers warm up the crowd before a DJ plays the kids’ favourite tunes to get them dancing. Make a great day even better with a trip to LDO’s Cineworld, where Toy Story 4, The Lion King and The Queen’s Corgi are screening all summer. There will also be hourly chances to win a £100 LDO gift voucher from 11am-6pm on 10, 11, 17 & 18 August, and between 11am-5pm on 24, 26 & 31 August & 1 September).
Wembley Park Blvd, Wembley HA9 0FD; londondesigneroutlet.com
33 Jungle Adventure at Westfield Stratford City
Westfield Stratford City hosts an all new jungle-themed adventure for the entire family to enjoy for free this summer holiday. The Jungle Adventure will feature a host of activities including a climbing wall nearly six metres tall, animal toy-rides, face painting, a photobooth and bug catcher game with prizes. In addition, there will be a Wild Immersion’s VR experience – the first-ever Virtual Reserve for mini-adventurers, transporting then from the city into a real-life wilderness. The event will be open throughout the week from 12pm-8pm and 12pm-6pm on Sunday. All activities are free. Further fun for all the family at Westfield Stratford City includes the UK’s largest All Star Lanes bowling alley and a 20-screen all-digital Vue cinema.
Olympic Park, Stratford E20 1EJ; uk.westfield.com
34 Summer Activities at Hamleys, Regent Street
London’s finest toy shop, Hamleys, is hosting a series of activities to keep your kids away from screen time this summer – and they won’t cost a penny. Kicking off the summer bonanza is Hamleys’ very own summer funfair, taking place every single day of the summer holidays on the fifth floor, complete with a lucky dip for kids to have the chance to win some amazing prizes! There will also be Hamleys puppet shows throughout the day on the ground floor, as well as story time on the first floor and the famous Hamleys parade with Hamley Bear and other beloved characters weaving through the store, floor by floor, to finish with a spectacular finale on the fourth floor daily. Plus, on 18 August, don’t miss the Summer Streets street party when Regent Street will be pedestrianised for a fun-filled street party complete with meet and greets at Hamleys with PJ Masks and Pikachu.
188-196 Regent Street, Soho W1B 5BT; hamleys.com
35 Sir Horace Jones’ Big Birthday Bash at Tower Bridge
Until 31 August
Celebrate the 200th birthday of Tower Bridge architect Sir Horace Jones at his Big Birthday Bash in the historic Engine Rooms. Taking place daily until September, families are invited to party with the man behind Tower Bridge, featuring games, a birthday activity table, treasure hunt and Victorian photo opportunity. Sir Horace’s birthday party is free with general admission, and throughout the summer you can get joint tickets to Tower Bridge – which this year celebrates its 125th anniversary – and The Monument, the 202ft high column with 311 spiral steps, built to remember the Great Fire of London and offering great views over the City. Family tickets from £15.30 for one adult and two kids.
Tower Bridge Road SE1 2UP; towerbridge.org.uk
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