The summer holidays are underway! It can be hard work filling the long weeks before kids go back to school in September, and pricey too. We’ve rounded up the best things you hadn’t considered doing with kids this summer holiday, and even better they’re FREE.
Summer at the Museum of Childhood
The V & A Museum of Childhood presents the Summer Holidays Fun Fridays, a series of afternoon activities every Friday in August. Highlights include Make a Move Day, with dance workshops inspired by their temporary exhibitions and aimed at different age groups; Performing Play, a day of drama exploring friendship, home and belonging, inspired by the collection; and the Great Games Day, with old fashioned board games making a comeback. Each weekend, they’ve also got Summer Games, with outdoor activities for families, weather permitting.
Captain Show Off at the Scoop
This summer’s More London Free Theatre features adaptations of Roman theatre classics. The early evening production Captain Show Off is family orientated, an adaptation of the Roman comedies of Plautus. It tells the story of Milos Colossus, who returns from war to his bustling, Roman hometown. With audience participation, sing-a-longs, mistaken identity, slapstick and a colourful cast, it’s perfect for the whole family. The play is shown Wednesday to Sunday night at 6 until the 30th August. It’s free, but it’s first come, first seated, so head down early if you can.
Bold Kids & Co (at Bold Tendencies)
Bold Tendencies' reputation for great food, drinks and parties can sometimes overshadow their programme of arts and events. Their educational programme caters for kids, with every Sunday afternoon this summer dedicated to them. Every week is different, but it kicks off every time with Yoga for children and parents. Other events include drawing sessions, Cass creative corner, storytelling with Vanessa Woolf and interactive workshops with musicians. Each day of events ends with a film screening, and highlights include ET, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Home Alone. It’s free, though you have to book a place on certain sessions, and donations are encouraged, to help keep the Bold Tendencies programme going!
It’s easy to forget about city farms, but there are loads around the capital and they’re a great escape from the madness of London. Hackney, Vauxhall and Spitalfields city farms are all free, though they welcome voluntary donations. The best city farm is Mudchute, London’s biggest city farm, and one of Europe’s largest, located in the middle of the Isle of Dogs. It has 32 acres to run around in, over 100 animals, and fantastic views over London, and you can get to this corner of countryside in East London on the DLR. It’s also free, but like other city farms, they need help to keep it open and free, so sponsoring an animal is very welcome.
For more information on Mudchute, Hackney, Vauxhall or Spitalfields city farms, check their websites.
The biggest of the temporary London beaches, Beach East is located in the enormous Olympic Park in Stratford. With not one but two beaches and 1000 tons of sand, there’s no need to take the kids all the way to the seaside. It’s free, and comes with fairground rides, a huge paddling pool, beach bars, Beach Volleyball courts and other sports, events and activities. It runs until the 31st August, and the last weekend will be one big Beach Party, a last chance for fun, sunshine and sand.