10 Family Friendly Activities in Greenwich & Lewisham this Summer

Lead image: Cutty Sark

As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and the hospitality sector embraces the ‘new normal’, we are starting to see some attractions and leisure places open up across Greenwich and Lewisham, allowing us to have some fun this summer.

Greenwich and Lewisham have always been great for their summer activities, including People’s Day and Greenwich Music Time and more. While these events may not be possible this year, the two south east London boroughs have made a conscious effort to adapt and get families excited for summer with a variety online and in-person things to do.

So what can families do this summer in Greenwich and Lewisham?

About the author

Liv Facey is a community champion for Greenwich & Lewisham. Find more of her work at livswonderfulescape.wordpress.com

1 Horniman Museum & Gardens
The Horniman Museum is reopening from Thursday 30 July. All visitors will be required to book a free ticket in advance – available online from 20 July – to control the number of people in the museum. The Horniman’s Gardens, which have been open throughout lockdown, will remain open on Mon-Sat from 7.15am to sunset, and the Sunday market also remains open for families to enjoy.

2 Deptford Cinema
While public screenings remain suspended, Deptford Cinema has been hosting a new on-demand service to enjoy from home. They feature a wide range of films from student and indie films to artists’ moving image, as well as independent feature-length films from artists locally and internationally. A new feature film is posted every Monday, with a new Shorts Collection posted every Thursday, and look out for the film quizzes hosted on their Insta stories too!


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3 Free Range Film Club on Blackheath 
The Free Range Film Club – a refreshing, car-free alternative to all the drive-in cinemas – will host alfresco movie screenings from 12-16 August on Blackheath. Films include Black Panther, 10 Things I Hate About You, Groundhog Day, Grease and The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of The Desert. Wireless headphones are issued on entry and you will also be able to purchase food and drinks at a licensed bar.


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4 Cutty Sark
The historic Greenwich Cutty Sark will reopen to members on 18 July and the general public on 20 July. Their opening times will be from 10.30am-4pm and entry will only be available via pre-booked tickets from the Royal Museums Greenwich website. Also, for a limited time, you can get a free child ticket to the Cutty Sark with every paying adult.


5 Sydenham Artists Trail
The Sydenham Arts website is now home to virtual galleries, allowing visitors to view the normally IRL Sydenham Artists Trail online. There were two big weekends of increased activities on 27-28 June and 4-5 July, but the virtual gallery, featuring more than 150 artists work, runs throughout the summer.


6 The Secret Love Life Of Ophelia at Greenwich Theatre
The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is one of the most tragic in all of Shakespeare’s plays, but so much of their burgeoning love affair is unwritten… The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, which will premiere on Greenwich Theatre’s YouTube channel on 31 July 2020, reveals the growth of that young love through an exchange of tender letters. The performance will be available to watch for free until 14 August. Greenwich Theatre is also hosting a Children’s Theatre festival broadcast on YouTube from 6-19 July (more here).


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7 Young Greenwich x Futureversity Free Summer Youth Programme
Young Greenwich often holds different events for young people which allow them to make new friends, learn new skills and go on fantastic trips. While this won’t be possible this year, they are hosting an online Youth Programme in collaboration with Futureversity, allowing young people in any borough to learn new skills, from engineering and coding to film making, in preparation for their return to school in September.

8 Young Greenwich x Champions 4 Change Boxing Sessions
Young Greenwich is partnering with Champions 4 Change to offer free face-to-face boxing classes to young people every Monday and Friday from 13 July. Taking place in Abbey Wood Park on the basketball court, the sessions will adhere to social distancing, but this is a great way to exercise and learn the skill of boxing.

9 Greenwich Libraries
Greenwich Libraries are opening in a phased manner to browse and borrow books, DVDs and other resources as well as using the printers and computers for 30 minutes. They are also offering a Library Takeaway service, which is essentially a click-and-collect service that allows you to call your library to request the books you’d like and then pick them up. Woolwich, Eltham & Greenwich Centre Libraries are open Mon-Sat 10am-2pm, Blackheath, New Eltham & West Greenwich are open Mon, Tues & Thurs 10am-2pm. Find further information here.

10 Lewisham Libraries
Most Lewisham libraries will also be open for a click-and-collect only service from 7 July on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-2pm & 3pm-7pm, including Deptford Lounge, Downham (Bromley) and Manor House (Lee). Torridon Road library in Catford will be open Mon & Thurs 11am–12pm for the over 70s and 2.30pm-4.30pm for all, while Forest Hill Library will open from 14 July (Tues & Thurs, 10am-2pm & 3pm-7pm). The reopening date for the main Lewisham Library has yet to be confirmed. More here.