Bethnal Green’s Young V&A has announced its Summer Festival ahead of July opening.

Taking place on Saturday and Sunday July 8-9, the free Summer Festival is a weekend of fun activities, sights and performances.

This includes a large scale installation by Leap Then Look and wearable shadow puppet workshops as well as performances from Britain’s Got Talent finalists IMD Dance, Keynote opera and Grand Union Ortchestra, and hula hooping by The Majorettes.

Related Content: The best things to do in London with family & friends in June

More programming will be announced in coming days. 

Designed with and for young people, aged between newborn and 14-years-olds, Young V&A will open on Saturday, July 1, and will not waste any time with getting on with business – inspiring the future generations of artists, designers, performers and practitioners.

In addition to the Summer Festival, the centre will also showcase several key displays on opening.

This includes the Sound It Out display which features original poems inspired by the V&A’s collections by leading authors like Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho, Valerie Bloom, Liz Brownlee, Bob Raczka and Michael Rosen.

Each of these writers have responded to an object or collection of things to create inventive, playful poems - Liz Brownlee has created visual poems in the shapes of the objects that inspired them including Beatrix Potter’s beetle sketches, and Bob Raczka plays with phonics and uses wordplay in his poems about Kings and Queens riffing on a 19th century bronze bust of Queen Victoria, for example.

These one-of-a-kind poems are accompanied by playful illustrations from Nayanika Chatterjee.

A life-size Joey the War Horse puppet, a Microlino car suspended from the ceiling, Star Wars’ Jabba the Hutt and conservation-approved slime are also set to impress young minds.

Dr Helen Charman, Director of Young V&A, said: “At Young V&A we have reimagined the way national collections can be used to connect with younger audiences - displaying objects in new ways to support early learning and inspire creativity.”

Young V&A is full of serious fun and playful learning. Across three galleries – Play, Imagine and Design – more than 2,000 objects dating from 2,300 BC to present day have been displayed in creative and ingenious new ways.

In Play, the youngest audiences can discover ornate marble sculptures while crawling along a smooth marble landscape.

Want the latest features and reviews straight into your inbox? Sign up for The Resident's weekly email newsletter here.

In Imagine, visitors will have their perceptions tested in an optical illusion room and hear objects come to life in a living room filled with works by the Surrealists and artists and designers such as Méret Oppenheim, Eduardo Paolozzi, Bridget Riley and The Memphis Group, while the Design gallery tells the stories behind some of the most inventive contemporary creations.

The centre opens on July 1. For more information visit