Enjoying the Bank Holiday? Life feels so much better now that the sun’s out all week and we can hangout a little in the fresh air — while still taking care to maintain safe social distancing. Half term on lockdown means no homeschooling (hooray) but plenty of online fun to keep you and your little ones busy. Take a look.
May Half Term on Lockdown for Kids and Grownups
Hay Festival Digital
The popular literary festival goes digital with a fab line-up of the world’s leading writers and thinkers. Highlights include Gloria Steinem, Elif Shafak, Adam Rutherford, Afua Hirsch, Inua Ellams and more. Visit the website for full details on how to register for sessions. (until May 31)
Chineke! Orchestra Lockdown Series
Watch the brilliant Chineke! Orchestra, the UK’s premier Black and minority ethnic orchestra, in a collaborative performance of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Othello suite. This series of videos features collaborators, the USA’s Sphinx Organisation, among musicians performing in no fewer than 81 different homes. The project helps amplify the voices of artists of colour whose communities have been greatly impacted by the pandemic.
The Sixteen: Sheppard’s Libera Nos (Virtual Performance)
Libera Now means ‘Deliver or free us’, a message that hits home most poignantly at the end of this beautiful lockdown performance. Watch and let the sounds of The Sixteen wash over you. The Sixteen is an Artistic Associate for Kings Place, one of the many London organisations we’ve been missing since the outbreak.
Little Angel Theatre presents: I Want My Hat Back
Little Angel Theatre streams a charming puppet performance of ‘I Want My Hat Back’ by Ian Nicholson and Samuel Wilde, adapted from Jon Klassen’s picture book. Aimed at ages 3-6, suitable for all. (until Jun 7)
I Believe in Unicorns and Q&A with Michael Morpurgo
Wizard Presents will perform a short excerpt from the play I Believe in Unicorns, adapted from the popular book by beloved children’s author Michael Morpurgo. Tune in on Thursday May 28 at 11.50am to catch the show. Also reserve your spot for a Q&A with Michael Morpurgo on the same morning. Q&A at 11am; play performance ta 11.50am (May 28)
English National Ballet: Wednesday Watch Party
English National Ballet have launched a Stay at Home programme of ballet shows streamed to your living room. Shows are available for 48 hours and up next is the riveting Swan Lake (from May 27 at 7pm until May 29). Subscribe to get regular updates on their #WednesdayWatchParty
Shakespeare’s Globe at Home
Bring Shakespeare and the world famous Globe theatre into your home via YouTube, as they offer FREE livestreams of select plays for two weeks each. You can still catch The Winter’s Tale (until May 31) and next up is The Merry Wives of Windsor (premieres Jun 1 at 7pm). Donations welcome.
Make and Play
Samsam Bubbleman teaches Bubble Tricks
Learn some bubbleology with the Guinness World Record smashing bubble maestro Samsam Bubbleman. Throughout lockdown he’s been sharing tips to make your own bubbles and create some bubble magic at home, with anything from square and giant bubbles to DIY bubble toys. It’s great fun and a fantastic play activity for all ages.
Bringing King’s Cross To You
There are tons of ideas on the King’s Cross website, ranging from recipes to competitions and family activities. Make naan with Dishoom or Brazilian black bean stew with Leon, do a DIY manicure with Sweaty Betty, make pompoms with PlayKingX or engage in family science fun with the Crick Institute.
Noel Fielding’s Art Club
Every Saturday at 3pm-5pm, funnyman and visual artist Noel Fielding is hosting an art club for all ages and abilities. Simply share your latest work using the hashtag #NoelsArtClub. A chance for the whole family to get creative. Sats 3pm-5pm. (ongoing)
London Wetland Centre Family Activities: Bringing Nature to You
The wetlands are closed to the public but the WWT London have a range of activities and ideas for families on their website. Inspiration ranges from attracting wildlife to your garden to starting birdwatching from your window. You can also download printables for kids on creating your own fantasy duck or going bug-hunting in your garden.
DIY Face Mask Tutorial – No Sew
Want to make your own face mask, but don’t know how (or can’t be bothered) to use a sewing machine? Try this simple DIY face mask tutorial that takes just 5 minutes and requires nothing but an old T-shirt. She offers tips for both adult and kid masks. (Remember, masks won’t stop you from catching the virus but can help prevent passing it on in public spaces.)
Moves and Grooves
Swans for Relief
Swans for Relief is an achingly gorgeous performance by top ballerinas of various countries and ethnicities, in aid of COVID-19 relief. My OH who isn’t a fan of ballet said it was ‘stunning’.
Zoo Nation Online Dance Classes
As regular readers know, we’re huge fans of ZooNation Dance company. Now they’re running basic, foundation level hip hop dance lessons online. Join tutor Danielle in a 30 minute session of warm up, funky steps and freestyle to the original sounds of ZooNation. Free but donations welcome.
Rave with Big Fish Little Fish
If you haven’t joined in a Kitchen Rave with BFLF then you’re missing a trick. Last weekend we partied to serious drum & bass grooves courtesy of DJ Deadman. Next Sunday, hit the kitchen (or garden or living room etc) floor to good time sounds from more live DJs. All ages. Sun at 2pm; FREE (Sundays)
Tom Hardy reads Bedtime Stories (ends May 31)
Bring Your Own Baby Comedy: Lockdown Laughs 4 Parents (every Thursday at 8.30pm)
National Theatre at Home (new shows on Thursdays at 7pm)
British Library challenge: Create a Miniature Book (ongoing)
Fleabag Live (Charity Streaming) (ongoing)
Read-Along Mondays with Michelle Obama (ongoing)
Opera for Kids: Royal Albert Hall at Home (ongoing)
Mail Rail virtual tour
360 Virtual Tour of London
Buckingham Palace Virtual Tour