It’s all happening in Islington this weekend with three major family friendly events to keep us locals busy. But we’ve found plenty of things to do with in London with kids even if you’re not in N1:
Royal Greenwich Tall Ships festival, Little Angel Summer Party, Big Bonkers Ballooning Day with Bold Tendencies in Peckham, Angel Canal Festival, The Cally Festival, last chance to catch The Elephantom…
Oh and happy ‘Back to School’ week. Hope all your kids are settling in ok!
Fri-Tue: Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, at at Lower Ground Square, Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9NN and multiple sites across Greenwich (Greenwich rail/DLR/Cutty Sark DLR/West India Quay DLR)
Totally Thames Festival is a month-long party featuring 100+ events celebrating arts, culture and all things riverside. This weekend sees a major highlight: the largest fleet of Tall Ships to visit the UK in 25 years. There will be a chance to climb aboard, parades, fireworks, village stalls and more over five days. The launch event sees the grounds of Old Royal Naval College transformed into an aquarium in a spectacular piece of performance art. All ages. Festival activities daily (Fri-Tue), launch show 8.30pm (Fri), fireworks display 9.30pm (Fri), Parade of Sails finale 1-4pm (Tue) (Sep 5-9)
Fri-Sat: The Elephantom at New London Theatre, Drury Lane, WC2B 5PF (Holborn tube).
We absolutely LOVED this fun family show. A little girl makes friends with a ghost-elephant in her bedroom, and it’s the start of a very messy adventure. Puppetry, music and laughs for ages 3+. 11.30am & 2.30pm (Tue-Fri), 2.30pm (Mon) & 10am (Sat); £13-£20 (Jun 30-Sep 6)
Fri-Sun: This Morning I Woke up from the Most Amazing Dream at Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG (Southwark/Blackfriars tube)
Step into a dream-like space of ever-changing colour, shapes and light where birds, dancers and swimmers collide. This fun, immersive experience is inspired by the Henri Matisse: The Cutouts exhibition that also ends this weekend. Don’t forget to visit the Families Welcome Room at Tate to pick up a Colour Walk activity to inspire you on a hunt for colour through the museum. All ages. 10am-6pm, FREE entry (ongoing until Sep 7)
Fri-Sun: Sensational Butterflies at Natural History Museum, Exhibition Rd, SW7 (South Kensington tube).
Follow in Prince George’s tiny footsteps on the hunt for butterflies and moths of all descriptions as dozens flutter about in this hugely popular walk-through exhibition. All ages. 10am-5.30pm, £5.50/under 5s FREE (until Sep 14)
Sat-Sun: Unicorn Theatre: See Saw, 147 Tooley St SE1 2HZ (London Bridge tube)
It’s not easy being little. There’s so much fun to be had and so many places to explore, but you can’t do it alone and a seesaw only works with two. This sweet tale of friendship from the perspective of the very young is aimed at ages 2+. Hurry, limited availability for tickets this weekend! 11am (Sat-Sun), varying times and dates (Tue-Fri); £10-£16 (until Nov 2)
Sun: Big Bonkers Ballooning Family Day at Bold Tendencies, Levels 1-10, Multi Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 9ST (Peckham Rye overground)
Families are invited to celebrate the art of ballooning at this fabulous sounding day out in the iconic multi-storey car park. See artist James Bridle’s commission of a giant balloon floating above the car park; take part in aerial family photographs; watch The Red Balloon, Pixar’s Up and more; hear tales of Icarus from storyteller Vanessa Woolf; join in Reading Workshops on a ballooning theme; BBQ, model workshops and much more. You can also book ahead for a special balloon concert from the Multi Story Orchestra (spaces limited). All ages. 12-4pm, FREE entry (Sep 7)
Sun: Little Angel Theatre Summer Party, 14 Dagmar Passage, N1 2DN (Angel tube)
We always look forward to the Little Angel Summer party, a fantastic day out for all the family where you can meet the puppets and their creators, make and take your own puppets, play and picnic in the garden, go behind the scenes of the theatre and more. This year to celebrate the Fantastic Mr Fox production, it’s all about Roald Dahl with the chance to make a giant Willy Wonka and a BFG lurking in the garden. All ages. 1pm-5pm, FREE (Sep 7)
Sun: Angel Canal Festival, adjoining City Road Lock, Islington N1 8JX (Angel tube)
Every year 80+ stalls and gazebos line Regent’s Canal for this brilliant family festival celebrating the waterways. Come for Punch & Judy shows, arts and crafts activities, have-a-go at canoeing sessions, funfair rides, live music, street theatre, boat trips and much more. All ages. 11am-5pm, FREE (Sep 7)
Sun: The Cally Festival, Caledonian Rd, N1 (Caledonian Rd & Barnsbury overground/King’s Cross or Caledonian Rd tube)
The pop-up festival is back for another big day out celebrating the best of Cally Rd and the surrounding areas. The line-up includes poet Paul Lyalls and storytellers from Roald Dahl Museum on Story Street, an arts and crafts block party, the Bus Stop dance zone, a pirate-themed play space, live music, stalls and of course delicious street food. All ages. 12-7pm, FREE (Sep 7)
Sun: Chrisp Street Festival, Chrisp Street Market, Poplar, E14 6AQ (Poplar/All Saint’s DLR)
In keeping with the extended summery weather, this East End festival is transforming Chrisp Street into a holiday zone with swimming pool, beach, funfair, donkey rides, live music and performance plus Bite street food. All ages. 12-7pm, FREE (Sep 7)
We also like
The programme of FREE Summer Screenings at More London features Life of Pi (PG) this weekend (Fri); swing your partner at a FREE Family Barn Dance at Sutton House in Hackney (Sat); there’s a bouncy castle, dog show and more at Chatsworth Road Festival (Sat); make your own Tiny Tall Ships at Cutty Sark Family Day as part of the Tall Ships Festival (Sat-Sun)
Look out for our Amazing Autumn guide coming soon!