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Compiled by Jessica Bennett

We all know we should be looking forward to the school holidays and all the extra time with our children that it brings… but the reality is those long weeks can feel even longer without any plans! As such we’ve rounded up a list of things going on in and around London’s Queen’s Park and surrounding areas  (plus a little further afield when we thought it was worth it) to keep your little ones busy over the summer.

All details are correct at time of going to press, but please check with the individual organisations before booking.

PARK LIFE

Queen’s Park 

Our very own Queen’s Park has its own host of activities to help keep our little ones entertained through the long summer holidays. Wednesdays and Fridays in August will see a variety of magicians visiting including Richard and Duncan his talking dragon, and Magic Dave the ventriloquist.

Location: Queens Park
Date: 01/08 – 31/08
Time: 3pm
Ages: all
Cost: Free

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Nomad Cinema

The Lexi’s Nomad cinema also returns to the park this summer, and their film line up includes the family friendly Aardman’s Early Man. For older children (or nights off without children!) they are also showing Blade Runner: The Final Cut (27/07), The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (30/08), The Goonies (01/09) and The Shape of Water (08/09)

Location: Queen’s Park
Date: 28/07 (Early Man)
Time: Opens 7pm, screening at 8.15pm
Ages: Rated PG
Cost: Adult ticket £15.40, child ticket £8.25, family ticket £27.50
Book: www.whereisthenomad.com/queens-park

Queen’s Park Gardens Summer Festival

A jam packed summer community celebration including live music, kids entertainment, family sports & games, dog show, over 50’s party and delicious food and drink!

Location: Queen’s Park Gardens, Ilbert Street, W10 4QJ
Date: 11/08
Time: 12.00 – 18.30
Ages: All
Cost: Free
More info: www.queensparkcommunitycouncil.gov.uk

Sundance at Hampstead Heath

For a lovely family afternoon of fun and music, head to Parliament Hill Bandstand in Hampstead Heath for live rock, country and Irish music at Sundance.  Best of all, it’s free!

Location: Hampstead Heath (Parliament Hill Bandstand)
Date: 29/07
Time: 15.00 – 17.00
Ages: All
Cost: Free
More info: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/

Music in Regents Park

Music-lovers can bring a picnic, grab a deckchair and catch weekly performances in Regents Park ranging from classic rock to big bands and jazz, while taking in views across the park’s boating lake.

Location: Regents Park bandstand. The bandstand is located at Holme Green, between the boating lake and Inner Circle.
Date: Sundays from 24/06 to 2/09 and Bank holiday Monday (27/08)
Time: 3pm – 5pm
Ages: all
Cost: Free
Contact: More information at https://www.royalparks.org.uk/

Hyde park - Discovery days

Hyde Park – Discovery days and walking tours

Nature inspired activities for all the family. Hyde park is hosting a series of events for you and your children over the summer, with topics ranging from life underground, beetles and butterflies and a sunset safari. Free drop in days with a nature trail and arts and crafts, and bookable walking tours and nature explorers sessions.

Location: Hyde Park
Date: 2-3 a week from 31/07 – 28/08
Time: Discovery days 11am-3pm, times 2-3 hour slots for walks and explorers sessions
Ages: all
Cost: Free for Discovery day drop in sessions, £5 – £15 for booked sessions
Book: For more information and to book https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks

 

Chelsea Physic Garden – Family days

The hidden oasis of the Chelsea Physic gardens are hosting a series of family days over the summer where you and your children can explore, have fun and learn. Topics range from learning how to make your own herbal remedies and chocolate blends, to the Wiggly Wild Show and Garden Safari.

Location: Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HS
Date: Selected dates from 02/08-29/08
Time: 10.30am-3pm full day, 2pm-3.30pm half days
Ages: 3-15
Cost: £11 per person for a half day events, £15 per person for full day events. Children must be accompanied by a ticket-holding adult (the 3 events for teenagers are an exception to this).
Book: online at https://www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

Museum of Brands – Transportation Discovery Trail

This summer the Museum of Brands is running three themed family trails for all ages. These new trails have been created to accompany the family activities provided at the Museum to bring its collection to life and include Fashion through the Decades, a Transportation Discovery Trail and Spotting Shapes and Colours for younger visitors.

Location: 111-117 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QT
Date: From 21/07
Time: Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday and Bank Holiday 11am – 5pm
Ages: All
Cost: Free with museum admission. Entry to the museum – Adults £9.00, children (7 – 16) £5.00,
Under 7s free. Tickets 50% off National Trust card holders.
Contact: No booking required. More information at museumofbrands.com or email stephanie@museumofbrands.com / http://www.museumofbrands.com

Cartoon museum

The Cartoon Museum – summer holiday workshop days

Half day and day workshops for any cartoon enthusiasts. The topics range from creating your own beano cover or birthday card, to the chance to try cut-out animation, make clay animation characters and masterclasses in manga.

Location: Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2HH
Dates: Tuesday to Friday from 31/07-24/08
Times: Various 
Ages: 8-14 (younger children may be able to stay with an accompanying adult but this must be mentioned when booking)
Cost: £12 (half day) £25 (full day)
Book: http://www.cartoonmuseumshop.org or call 020 7580 8155

NHM - butteflies

Sensational butterflies at Natural History Museum

Follow the trail through a jungle habitat in the heart of London to see hundreds of live butterflies and moths up-close. Kids and families can find out fascinating butterfly facts and learn more about the behaviour and diversity of these much-loved creatures.

Location: Natural History Museum
Date: 29/03 – 16/09
Time: Timed slots from 10am -5pm
Ages: all
Cost: Individual £5.85, Family ticket £19.80. Children under 3 are free.
Book:  http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/sensational-butterflies.html

 

THEATRE, CINEMA AND CARNIVAL

Dinosaur live - Regents Park

Dinosaur World Live at Regents Park Open Air Theatre 

Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World Live in this interactive new show for all the family. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favourite, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, in this theatrical Jurassic display in the beautiful open air theatre of Regents park.

Location: Regents Park Open Air Theatre, Queen Mary’s Garden, Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU
Date: 14/08 – 09/09 (no shows on Thursday)
Time: 10.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm  
Ages: Recommended for ages 3 and over 
Cost: £16.50, includes a post show meet and greet
Contact:https://openairtheatre.com/production/dinosaur-world-live / 0844 826 4242

Alice in Wonderland at Kew Gardens 

Join Alice on her amazing journey through Wonderland. An outdoor theatre production of Lewis Carroll’s classic story with colourful costumes, interactive games and catchy songs, all set in the beautiful surrounds of Kew gardens. 

Location: Kew gardens (meet at Victoria gate 30 mins before the performance start time)
Date: 21/07 – 27/08
Time: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 10.30am, Friday and Saturday 10.30am and 2pm
Ages: From 3
Cost: Adult tickets £22.90 (£18.90 for a Kew member), children’s ticket (age 1-15) £17.90 (£13.90 for a Kew member)
Book: https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens / 0871 231 0847

Taste Film presents Shrek (2001) – Kids Special!

Taste Film will be screening the DreamWorks smash Shrek in August, at Parlour, Kensal Green where all are invited to enjoy this fantasy comedy that regardless of its age, always delivers on the ‘feel good’ factor.

As the story unfolds, sit back and eat through food-loving Shrek’s eyes as you devour the innovative delights placed in front of you, throughout.

From stuffed tomatoes, washed down with an ‘Eyeball’ Martini cocktail (mocktails for the kids), to a distressed gingerbread man (if you can bear the guilt!), to other gastronomical delights all inspired by the green not-so-mean ogre. To round off your food-film experience, it just wouldn’t be a fairy tale without a sweet happy ending.

Location: Parlour,  5 Regent St, NW10 5LG
Date: 07/08
Time: 12.30pm – 15.00pm
Ages: All
Cost: £49 p/p for over 12’s / £25 for under 12’s p/p
Contact: https://www.tastefilm.co.uk/tickets/

Notting Hill nursery carnival

If the full Notting hill carnival (weekend of 26/27 August, family day on Sunday) feels too much with your littles check out the Notting hill nursery carnival. Every year Kensington Memorial Park is brought alive with the sounds and costumes from the Notting Hill Nursery Carnival, hosed by Children’s and Parents Carnival Association (CAPCA).

This year’s theme is “Fancy Sailors”, which is a traditional carnival character from Trinidad, dating back to 1880. The park is decorated with flags, balloons and piñatas hanging from the trees. There is lots of entertainment taking place on the day including dancers, drums, puppets, bouncy castles, clowns and the Junior Steel Band Competition.

Location: Kensington Memorial park, St Mark’s Road, London, W10
Date: 13/08
Time: 11am – 5.30pm
Ages: All
Cost: Free
Contact:  http://www.westway.org/events

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Notting Hill Carnival

A carnival parade like no other!  The bank holiday weekend brings the streets of West London alive with colourful floats, sound systems and an abundance of delicious street food!

The parade begins at 9.30am on both Sunday August 26th and Monday August 27th. Judging finishes at 6.30pm. Soundsystems play on both Sunday and Monday, with a strict noise curfew at 7pm, giving floats, trucks and parade bands time to clear the streets by 8.30pm.

Sunday is traditionally ‘family day’ when kids are out in force.  A great place to pitch up a space is at Meanwhile Gardens, next to Westbourne Park Tube station.  It’s a one stop shop for watching floats, eating lunch and the kids being entertained by the best in the business!

Location: On the streets of W10: Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park
Date: 26-27 / 08
Time: 09.30am – 19.00
Ages: All
Cost: Free
More information: https://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com

Tabard theatre 

The Teaspoon Family are coming to West London in a fun filled theatrical adventure the whole family can enjoy. Inspired by Lotte Moore’s children’s book The Teaspoon Family, this brand new play written by Nick Bromley plays for a limited 3 week run over the summer holiday.

Location: Tabard theatre, 2 Bath Road, London, W4 1LW
Date: 08/08 – 26/08
Time: 11am and 1pm Wednesday to Sunday. Extra 3pm show on Saturday and Sunday.
Ages: 4 years and up
Cost: Tickets £12, concessions £8
Book: www.tabardtheatre.co.uk / 0208 995 6035

SUMMER FUN

Duck race and Dragon boat regatta

An annual event, and fundraiser for the children’s intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, 500 ducks will travel down the Paddington basin. A duck can be bought for £3 each and there will be prizes to be won!

Later the dragon boat racing will take place with prizes for fastest and best dressed teams.

Location: Merchant Square, Paddington, London, W2 1JZ
Date: 26/07
Time: 12am – 9pm (duck race will start between 12-1pm, the dragon boat races will be from 5-9pm)
Ages: all
Cost: Free to spectate. £3 a duck 
Contact: https://merchantsquare.co.uk

All The Fun of The Fair Comes To Westfield

Roll up, roll up! Visit Westfield for all the fun of the fair this summer as both centres play host to a classic funfair with a modern twist. The Funfair, hosted by SEAT will include dodgems, super bikes, a high-tech Hall of Mirrors and classic fairground games such as coconut shy and hook-a-flamingo. 

Location: The Atrium, Westfield London
Date: 27/07 – 05/08 (Westfield London)
Time: 10am – 6pm
Ages: all
Cost: Free
Contact: https://uk.westfield.com/london/entertainment/events/the-funfair

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The Beach at Brent Cross

The beach is at Brent Cross all summer! There is more sand, more space and more water this year, so there is even more room for you and the kids to relax and play. There are also exciting rides for all the family to enjoy.

Location: Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London, NW4 3FP
Date: 26/05 – 02/09
Time: Mon – Fri: 12pm to 10pm Sat & Sun: 11am to 10pm
Ages: all
Cost: Entry – £3 per person, Token price for rides £1.20 each or 10 for £10
Contact: http://www.thebeachbrentcross.com

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