Hello September! It’s not been looking too clever outdoors lately but I’ve got that warm, toasty feeling inside after scoping out events coming up in autumn.
One of the many joys of blogging about London is that my calendar is already filling up with some gorgeous sounding activities.
At the start of the year, I shared my list of 15 Things to look forward to in 2015 and although many of those are past (and some we missed — Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Open Air Theater… sob!), there’s still loads of good stuff on the horizon.
Here are 15 Things to make your heart sing this Autumn!
1. Oxygen Freejumping Family Bounce
London’s biggest trampoline park Oxygen opened over the summer, and they now offer 60 minute Family Bounce sessions on Saturday and Sunday mornings, exclusively for parents and kids. Leap, fly and cartwheel your way through 150 interconnected trampolines and work the stresses of the week out of your system. (ongoing, £10 per person)
2. Totally Thames Festival
Dip into a whole month of the Totally Thames, festival featuring arts and culture across multiple venues and spaces. Highlights include St Katherine Docks Classic Boat Festival, Greenwich Ghost Tours and Totally Thames Blast speedboat rides! Dates, times, prices vary, many events FREE (Sep 1-30)
3. Heartbeat: 100,000 Balloons in Covent Garden
If you need cheering up, head to Covent Garden to witness the eye-popping spectacle of 100,000 balloons floating in the Market Building. Heartbeat is French artist Charles Petillon’s first public art installation and you can see more of his work at a pop-up gallery on the Piazza at Unit 5, Royal Opera House Arcade. Daily, FREE (until Sep 27)
4. Spiegeltent at Canary Wharf
A huge hit last year, this autumn sees the return of the Spiegeltent at Canary Wharf with our fave ravers Big Fish Little Fish joined by Comedy Club 4 Kids, Ready Steady Colour interactive theatre, Bach to Baby concerts, and a broad mix of comedy, dance, acrobatics, theatre and more for all ages. (Sep 10-20, £5-£8, some activities FREE)
5. On Blackheath: Elbow, Madness, Kelis
Last year, watching sexagenarian Grace Jones hula hooping on stage without missing a beat was a summer (and lifetime) highlight. This year’s On Blackheath festival line-up features Elbow, Laura Mvula, Kelis, Manic Street Preachers, Madness, Dynamo and Gilles Peterson curating a DJ stage. Special kids area and a very family friendly vibe too! (Sep 12-13, £35-£54.50)
6. The World Goes Pop
Celebrating the bold, brash and brilliant genre known as pop art, this sweeping exhibition spans Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern explores
everything from canvas art to photography, pinball machines to advertising campaigns. It’s sure to excite young ones as well as older fans, and under 12s go FREE (Sep 17-Jan 24, 2016, from £14.50)
7. Rugby World Cup
We’ve been anticipating Rugby World Cup 2015 since the start of the year, and with major games at Twickenham, Wembley Stadium and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London is set to be abuzz with rugger mania over the coming month. Come on England! (Sep 18-Oct 31, tickets from adult £15/child £7)
8. Disco Loco presents Splatter Go-Go
UPDATE: We just heard that the Disco Loco in the Park summer festival (previously featured here) is unfortunately cancelled as they were unable to secure Arts Council funding – boo! But don’t fret, the party loving East Londoners are ready to kickstart their indoor season with another fab sounding and FREE event. Disco Loco presents Splatter Go-Go is a paint splatter party promising paint filled balloons, buckets of paint, spray guns and the largest white wall in Hackney, along with the usual DJ line-up, food stalls and more. Wear something old, and preferably white, for the ultimate family messy play! All ages, 3-6pm. (Oct 3, FREE)
9. Hello Kitty Live!
She’s an international superstar and Hello Kitty Live: Fashion & Friends brings the pink-loving pussycat to the stage (Hammersmith Apollo plus national tour). The show features fab fashion and costumes, animation and soundtrack by the likes of Clean Bandit, Bruno Mars, Charlie XCX, Kylie Minogue and more. Aimed at kids ages 3-10 and Hello Kitty fans of all ages. Babies under 1 go FREE! (Oct 8, from £21.50)
10. Audrey Hepburn at National Portrait Gallery
She was a humanitarian, a mother and a screen legend and the retrospective of her work is not to be missed. Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon at National Portrait Gallery celebrates the star in photographs, film stills and archival material. Online tix have sold out but limited day release tickets available at the door, and it’s FREE for members and kids under 12. (until Oct 18, from £9 )
11. Elf the Musical
Let’s not mention the C word just yet, but I’m a teensy bit excited about Elf the Musical, a big-hearted, toe-tapping adaptation of the hilarious Will Ferrell movie about a boy who (wrongly) believes he’s an elf. Playing at Dominion Theatre W1 from next month. Hope it’s a cracker! Recommended for ages 4+, children under 2 not allowed. (previews Oct 24, opens Nov 5-Jan 2, 2016, £51.80-£83.90)
12. Ratatouille with Live Orchestra
A rat with gastro skills? Ratatouille Live in Concert sets the ’tail’ of Remy the rat chef and his kitchen adventures to a live score. Watch the brilliant Disney movie accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall. 25% discounts for kids, under 2s FREE on parent’s lap. (Oct 28, £22.90-£68.80)
13. Halloween in London
Scream, it’s almost Halloween! Every year my London Kids Halloween guide gets bigger and badder. Last year it was all about the Pumpkins at Kings Cross. Keep an eye on the blog to find out what spooky new experiences are waiting around the corner for your little terrors! (Oct 31)
14. Jazz for Toddlers
Jazz for Toddlers has become a staple at the London Jazz Festival and this event always sells out fast. Professional artists provide music and moves in a jazz groove for kids ages 2 to 5, and yup several sessions (at Arts Depot and Kings Place) are already out of seats. Hurry to nab your places at Rich Mix and Discover Arts Centre for they won’t last long. You’ve been warned. (Nov 14, 15, 17 & 21/£5-£18)
15. The Peanuts Movie
Alright so it’s not coming out in the UK until the end of the year (Dec 21), but my heart’s crooning a happy tune for the release of The Peanuts Movie (USA, Nov 6) starring Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Franklin and the rest of the gang on an epic quest that uses state-of-the-art 3D animation. Check out the trailer and feel your joy factor rise. (UK release Dec 21)
And here’s some of what you can expect from Babes about Town blog:
Reports from our summer adventures in New York, Royal Ascot, Nigeria and Big Feastival
A brand new foodie feature to tickle your appetites
Helpful London mini guides, from Birthday parties to Ice Cream spots
And much more… stay tuned!
What are you looking forward to in London this autumn?